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If Rome Hadn't Fallen (Paperback)

How the Survival of Rome Might Have Changed World History

Ancient History > Rome & the Roman Provinces Military

By Dr Timothy Venning
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 6 b/w maps
ISBN: 9781526791948
Published: 11th November 2020


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This is a fascinating exploration of how the history of Europe, and indeed the world, might have been different if the Western Roman Empire had survived the crises that pulled it apart in the 4th and 5th centuries.

Dr Timothy Venning starts by showing how that survival and recovery might plausibly have happened if several relatively minor things had been different. He then moves on to discuss a series of scenarios which might have altered the course of subsequent history dramatically. Would the survival of a strong Western Empire have assisted the Eastern (Byzantine) Empire in halting the expansion of Islam in the Middle East and North Africa? How would the Western Roman Empire have handled the Viking threat? Could they even have exploited the Viking discovery of America and established successful colonies there?

While necessarily speculative, all the scenarios are discussed within the framework of a deep understanding of the major driving forces, tensions and trends that shaped European history and help to shed light upon them. In so doing they help the reader to understand why things panned out as they did, as well as what might have been.

Speculative historical questions have always fascinated historians and non-historians alike. Inquiries starting with “what if” compel us to imagine what today’s world would look like had an important historical event not occurred or occurred in a completely different manner. Timothy Venning presents us with a captivating historical scenario in which the Western Roman Empire did not collapse during the barbarian onslaught of the fourth and fifth centuries.

Kunwon Saw, Freelance

This is a fun read - the earlier sections cast a light on the real fall of the Western empire, while the later sections provide an entertaining view of how history might have played out if Rome had survived in the west.

History of War website

What if. It's a fascinating subject. It's a line of thought taken up by Roman historian Dr Timothy Venning who, in If Rome hadn't Fallen investigates what would have happened if the Roman Empire had not crumbled under the onslaught of invaders on two fronts. He suggests that if Rome had survived the in-fighting back at home in the fourth and fifth centuries, European and world history could be different today. The author admits that of nesessity much of his predictions are speculative but he hopes his ideas will help the reader to understand why history panned out as it has.

Dover Express, Folkstone Herald, Deal Express, Whitstable Times
Dr Timothy Venning

About Dr Timothy Venning

Timothy Venning obtained his BA, followed by PhD at King's College, University of London, on Cromwell's Foreign Policy and is a gifted historian, deep and critical researcher and attractive writer, with wide range of historical interests. He can slip easily and effectually into early history, the middle ages and to the early modern period with the academic rigour, accessibility, and with both non-specialists, students and academic reference in mind. Publications: Dictionary if National Biography contributions (OUP 1996-2001); Cromwellian Foreign Policy (Palgrave 1995); A Compendium of British Office-Holders Palgrave 2005); A Chronology of the Byzantine Empire (Palgrave 2006); A Chronology of the Roman Empire (Continuum 2010); A Chronology of the Crusades (Routledge 2015); A Chronology of Early Medieval Britain and Europe, AD 450-1066 (Routledge 2017); Anglo-Saxon Kings and Queens; The Kings and Queens of Wales; The Kings and Queens of Scotland; Lords of the Isles; Kingmakers: Lords of the Welsh Marches (Amberley 2011-2016); If Rome Had Survived (Pen and Sword 2010); Alternative History of Britain: The Anglo-Saxon Age; The Hundred Years War; Normans and Plantgenets; The Tudors; The English Civil War; (all Pen and Sword 2013-2014); plus e-books and currently with Pen and Sword: Cromwell's Failed and the Monarchy; The Fall of the British Republic and Return of the King: From Cromwell's Commonwealth to Stuart Monarchy, 1657-1670; The King Arthur Mysteries: Arthur's Britain and Early Medieval World; The Anglo-Saxons and Early Britain; Royal Mysteries of the Medieval Period; Royal Mysteries of the Tudor Period.

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