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The Invasion of Europe by the Barbarians

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  151 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
In print for more than thirty years, this book has long served as a standard text on the Germanic penetration of the Roman Empire. Bury's history is indispensable to anyone who seeks to understand the connection between the barbarian migrations of the third to the ninth century and the framework of modern Europe.
Paperback, 291 pages
Published August 17th 2000 by W.W. Norton & Company (first published 1967)
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Tim Martin
Sep 29, 2015 Tim Martin rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, reviewed
_The Invasion of Europe by the Barbarians_ by J. B. Bury is a very readable and well written book that outlines the sequence and consequences of the migratory movements of the northern barbarians into Roman territory, migrations of the third through sixth centuries AD that eventually lead to Germanic peoples occupying the western half of the Roman Empire, from Britain to North Africa and ultimately largely dismembering the Empire.

It would be difficult for one to guess how old this work is from r
Авангардна Шишарка.
Џон Бегнел Бјури (1861-1927) је био ирски историчар и класични филолог. Довео је византијску историју (коју је он сматрао и називао, изричито, римском) до својеврсног препорода.

Иако врло питко написана, Варварска инвазија на Европу има известан број пропуста. Наиме, доста важних државно-политичких догађаја и последица које су они оставили, аутор једноставно подразумева и самим тим их изоставља. Бјури се усредсређује на најважније догађаје везане за период који покушава да опише, али му, чини ми
Oct 18, 2016 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although it is dated, Bury's series of lectures show admirably the gradual "Germanisation" of the East and West Germans, as well as the Huns and Avars; these, he argues, often made advantage of existing Roman institutions (political and military) rather than seeking utter destruction of Roman provinces. Read also if you'd like to know how Attila the Hun's invasions of Gaul and Italy were a Romantic misunderstanding of epic, perhaps comedic, proportions.
Sep 09, 2013 David rated it really liked it
This is based on lectures from 1927, so I'm sure it's out dated. And though it presents things much more from the barbarian perspective than most things I've seen, it can be anti-barbarian and in particular anti-German at times. One of the best examples of this was during its discussion of the Huns, where Bury claimed that the Huns acknowledged their cultural inferiority to Germanic peoples, who were in turn culturally inferior to the Romans. Another example is its treatment of Stilicho, who was ...more
Greg Northrup
Oct 20, 2009 Greg Northrup rated it really liked it
This period of history has always been a little fuzzy to me and Bury lays out the major whos, whats and whens in a comprehensible and organized fashion. I suppose what I take away from this book most is that the Western Roman Empire didn't so much collapse as it gradually evolved, albeit painfully, into medeival society. He draws several conclusions that I wouldn't necessarily draw, and fails to make some connections that I thought might be important, but he clearly delineates the historical ...more
Nov 20, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
As I read this book, I can't help but wonder what further knowledge has been discovered since 1902! Supposedly, this is still considered the definitive work on the subject. It's interesting, but a bit dry. Also, the author references regions that have not existed in centuries. Maps would have been most helpful. In order to get my geographical bearings, I printed out some maps from the internet.

This book is interesting on more than one level. It not only tells us about the age of the barbarians,
Aug 10, 2007 Erica rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys Tolkien, European history, and has always had a little thing for Visigoths.
This book is actually a collection of a series of lectures given by J. Bury at Cambridge in 1927. In them Bury describes the gradual sundering and collapse of the Roman Empire over six centuries (third-ninth C.E.) by the Germanic Tribes (I [heart] Visigoths). I found it truly fascinating to read this and learn about the connection between these invasions and migrations and the shape of the Europe we know today. I recommend having an atlas handy, however; maps are not furnished in this book and ...more
Jun 16, 2012 Nathan rated it really liked it
This is a spectacular history of the late Roman period of western Europe. Despite being almost a hundred years old, it remains one of the best general histories of the period.

The only real drawback is that it is essentially a transcribed series of lectures and not originally intended for a book. As a result, it doesn't contain anything but in-the-lecture references to Bury's sources.

This book is best read with a basic understanding of, or at least access to an atlas of, ancient Europe.

great book
Aug 28, 2011 Marcus rated it really liked it
A consist and readable overview of migration of Germanic people and its effects on Roman Empire. It is hardly surprising that the author concludes that it was a grave mistake of Roman emperors to entrust defense of the empire to the very people that turned out to be the main threat to its stability. At the same time, Bury makes a compelling argument for the theory that Germanic people weren't trying to topple the Roman might, but were merely trying to become the part of it.
Mar 07, 2014 John rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Originally a series of lectures given in the early 20th century by a leading Medieval Historian. If you want to know about the "fall of the Roman Empire" and want to know the difference between a Visigoth and an Ostrogoth this is a good start. At times critical of the accepted view of certain battles/events as expressed by Gibbon.

Note: the geography can be difficult to follow unless you are an expert on Roman provinces and know the location of various Eastern European rivers.
Jul 04, 2016 Kevin rated it liked it
This is a collection of lectures by noted historian JB Bury. As such it doesn't go into great detail on the subject matter but is a capable supplement to other reading. It lacks a great degree of transparency and critique when it comes to sources but there are numerous instances when Bury's historiographical detective work shines through.
Sep 29, 2008 Gilbert rated it liked it
Shelves: done-read
Good book, well written. Limited appeal/audience. Fairly detailed level re the successive waves of invastions by the Germanic tribes & Asiatic peoples into Europe during the "Dark Ages". I enjoyed it, most folks won't.
Miroslav Mlinarček
Iako već ima novih saznanja za ovaj period, knjiga je odlična za sve one koji se prvi put sreću sa malo ozbiljnijim proučavanjem seobe naroda. Pisana je stilom dostupnim svim zaljubljenicima istorije. Kao nedostakat naveo bih da je izostavljena anglo-saksonska invazija na Britansko ostrvo.
Will Skinner
Aug 29, 2009 Will Skinner rated it it was amazing
A masterfully written history. Bury is detail-oriented without being dry; analytical, without being academic; the closest thing I've found to an heir to Edward Gibbon. I enjoyed this book very much as a buff to the late Antique, early medieval period.
Aug 03, 2009 Pat rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
The title says it all. Lectures by Bury nearly 100 years ago about the various barbarians--Goths and Germans--invading the Roman empire.
Susan rated it it was amazing
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Nov 15, 2008
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Jan 31, 2012
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Evan Procknow rated it really liked it
Dec 26, 2015
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Chelsea Eakle rated it it was ok
Nov 25, 2014
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Mark Altizer
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Sep 14, 2015
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Mar 12, 2010
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John Bagnell Bury was a historian and expert on the Greeks, Romans, the Byzantine Empire, and the Medieval period. He was also an editor of the Cambridge Ancient History series.
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