Why study the fall of Rome and the emerging states that arose in the aftermath?
The historian Paul Fouracre explains the problems with the mythic version of the fall of Rome and the aftermath. In conclusion, he feels the need to justify the study of this period: “Most West Europeans do live in states that had their origins in what grew out of the Roman Empire and do want to know how this came about. The task is to write about this in a clear and accessible way that comprehends the complications and avoids the crusty value judgments of old. David Rollason has shown the way forward in his recent textbook, Early Medieval Europe 300-1050 (2012), which opens with the question: ‘why study this period?’ Well, because in its complications we see how the complex world in which we live first took shape. Oh, and it is fascinating.” Rollason’s answer applies equally to all other areas of history. It’s unfortunate that we as historians feel compelled to justify what we do, but the value of history is not apparent to many people.
To read Fouracre’s article go here: