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  • The Fate of Rome

  • Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire
  • By: Kyle Harper
  • Narrated by: Andrew Garman
  • Length: 15 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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The Fate of Rome

By: Kyle Harper
Narrated by: Andrew Garman
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AUD $16.45/mo after 2 months. Renews automatically. Cancel anytime.

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Publisher's Summary

A sweeping new history of how climate change and disease helped bring down the Roman Empire

Here is the monumental retelling of one of the most consequential chapters of human history: the fall of the Roman Empire. The Fate of Rome is the first book to examine the catastrophic role that climate change and infectious diseases played in the collapse of Rome's power - a story of nature's triumph over human ambition.

Interweaving a grand historical narrative with cutting-edge climate science and genetic discoveries, Kyle Harper traces how the fate of Rome was decided not just by emperors, soldiers, and barbarians but also by volcanic eruptions, solar cycles, climate instability, and devastating viruses and bacteria. He takes listeners from Rome's pinnacle in the second century, when the empire seemed an invincible superpower, to its unraveling by the seventh century, when Rome was politically fragmented and materially depleted. Harper describes how the Romans were resilient in the face of enormous environmental stress, until the besieged empire could no longer withstand the combined challenges of a "little ice age" and recurrent outbreaks of bubonic plague.

A poignant reflection on humanity's intimate relationship with the environment, The Fate of Rome provides a sweeping account of how one of history's greatest civilizations encountered, endured, yet ultimately succumbed to the cumulative burden of nature's violence. The example of Rome is a timely reminder that climate change and germ evolution have shaped the world we inhabit - in ways that are surprising and profound.

Author bio: Kyle Harper is professor of classics and letters and senior vice president and provost at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of Slavery in the Late Roman World, AD 275-425 and From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity. He lives in Norman, Oklahoma.

©2017 Princeton University Press (P)2017 Recorded Books

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excellent

excellent work, approachable and interesting for a popular audience but with enough depth for those with some background knowledge.

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Back when…

This is a brilliantly researched history of the Nasties that really finished Rome, way back when colonizing created contagions, before a toilet paper became popular, when social distancing happened automatically with way less of us.
Thoroughly enjoyable collection of words, finely tuned to an interesting relevance beyond the curiosity limit, a jolly good reminder that they were here before we arrived and will be cleaning up after we have gone.
Fascinating listen Kyle Harper thank you for your thoughts which Andrew Garman narrated so well, very much appreciated gentleman. :-)

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History backed by evidence

Bones, Stones and genomes comprise the extra scientific evidence that helps make this book s definitive work on Roman times. The book is a tour de force of early life, times and trades, of cultures including Medical culture, Egyptian, Christian, Chinese, Indian, and European.
Well done, comprehensive and drawing from classical sources and scholars.

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