Aetius: Attila's Nemesis Hardcover – 16 Feb 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
First of all, this is the only recent history book (as opposed to novels) written specifically on Aetius in English in about a century. To my knowledge, there is only one recent biography on Aetius in French, but it is rather poor and more of a novel than the work of a historian. I am not aware of any recent work in German. I didn't check for Italian, however. This seems surprising, given Aetius' lasting fame as "the last of the Romans", but it can be explained by problematic sources. The explanation helps to illustrate the kind of challenge that Ian Hughes decided to take up.Read more ›
Whilst his achievements and career have been analysed in many history books there are few books which are dedicated to a study of his life and career (at least in English) and virtually nothing is known about Aetius as a human being as opposed to his military and government career. This is unfortunate as the fact that he retained the loyalty of the army and was able to form alliances with the Germanic tribes and Huns in the way he did would indicate he was blessed with some impressive human qualities. Whilst there are many disagreements over the historical importance of the Catalaunian Plains there is almost no disagreement that his influence and impact on the Western half of the Empire was immense and that his efforts secured a semblance of stability and apparent recovery which it is hard to imagine could have taken place otherwise. That this stability and recovery was fleeting and merely delayed the fall of the Western half of the Empire is hardly his fault.Read more ›
The interesting thing about this book is the extremely positive image it presents of Aetius. In Hughes' previous books his subjects suffer a great deal of criticism despite the generally favorable conclusion. It's one of the things I've always liked about his books, even though it makes his hyperbolic titles seem that much more out of place. And now in the most prosaically named book he heaps on the praise. Perhaps this is due to how little information there is on the man, although even here he finds excuses for the worst of the accusations against Aetius. The lowest point in Aetius' career was when he got into a power struggle with the commander of North Africa while the Vandals were invading, yet Hughes argues (pretty convincingly) that it was in fact a third general, Felix, who was busy playing power politics at the empire's expense. I can't help but be amused by the fact that Belisarius with his own private historian and Stilicho who has panegyrics providing the main source for his actions both come off worse than a man whose praise-singers have been lost.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fascinating account of 'The Last Roman', who held the crumbling Roman Empire together until 454 AD. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Pappashanga
The man who stopped the unstoppable Attilla. There should be a big budget movie about this bloke in the "El Cid" mode. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Phil K
Very readable digest of the known facts with intelligent speculationPublished 16 months ago by edward s
At the time of writing this review Ian Hughes has written three excellent books covering the lives of military leaders who tried to halt the decline and fall of the Roman empire:... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Bill Greenhalf
This book pulls off a trick: it delivers a difficult and complex period of Roman history in an engaging and compelling style. Read morePublished 21 months ago by J Dorleac
This is a PhD thesis and by no means an easy read for the generally interested. Read the conclusion first and save yourself hours.Published on 20 July 2014 by Ann Ducas
History of the last days explained , who why and where !! The family rivalry and politicians scrimping yet again hoping for a lot having given a little .Published on 30 May 2013 by Patrick J. Murray