9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
From the fall of Rome to the rise of the popes,
This review is from: The Restoration of Rome: Barbarian Popes & Imperial Pretenders (Hardcover)
A sequel to his The Fall of the Roman Empire, Heather here continues the story of what happened to the Roman west under three `imperial pretenders': Theoderic, Justinian and Charlemagne.
This is a popular book aimed at a non-academic audience, and Heather writes in an informal style throughout. Some of the chattiness of this grated a bit with me ("My own hunch would be...") and I didn't like the sweeping perjorative terms (the constant use of the term `barbarians' - what exactly does that mean? And from whose perspective? The ancient Greeks who first coined the term meant non-Greek speakers whose language sounded like bar-bar to them) and the popular cultural references so that Charlemagne, for example, is described as a Mafioso `Godfather' - very sensational, not terribly accurate.
But that's personal taste. This gives a broad historical narrative of what happened when, and helps to make sense of the period between about the fifth century CE and the eleventh century. It doesn't delve into cultural history so this isn't the book to go to if you're interested, for example, in the Carolingian court and the revival of Latin literature and poetry - practically all our extant Latin texts, for example, can be traced back to catalogues in Charlemagne's library, but Heather isn't interested in this aspect of appropriations from Rome.
So a good book if you want an accessible and fairly lively account of political history from the fall of Rome to the rise of the popes.