The Science Work
History
Site is for sale: mail@thesciencework.com
Category: History

Fall of the Western Roman Empire according to E.A. Thompson. Review of the book: E.A. Thompson. Romans and barbarians: Fall of the Western Roman Empire.



4 Archive of Church of the Resurrection to Tunisia. The register of births of Church of S. Paolo Ispovednic that at the Sea case, for 1920 — 1921; The Register of births of Church of S. Paolo Ispovednic that at the Sea case, for 1922; The Register of births of Church of S. Paolo Ispovednic that at the Sea case in Bizerte (Jebel Kebir, Sfayat, North Africa, Tunisia), on 1923, 1924, 1925

5 Archive of Church of the Resurrection to Tunisia. Metric notebook of church of the Seong-Jean and Remel camp, 1920 — 1923
6 Manslein-Chirinsky A. La dernière escale. Le siècle d’une exilée russe à Bizerte. Tunis, 2000. P. 174.

I H Knorring. Prisoners of Bizerte. SPb., 1998 Sfait//. Page 166.

8 Archive of Church of the Resurrection to Tunisia. The Russian orthodox community in Tunisia: historical information. L. 2.
9 Archive of Church of the Resurrection to Tunisia. The Russian orthodox community in Tunisia... JT. 2; A.A. Shirinskaya Bizerte: Last parking. M, 1999. Page 195.
10 A monument to the ships in Bizerte//the Sea magazine (Prague). 1936. No. 3. Page 20.

II About a monument to the Bizertinsky ships//the Sea magazine. 1936. No. 11. Page 8.

12 Committee on a temple construction in Bizerte//the Sea magazine. 1939. No. 1. Page 16; Manstein-Shirinskaya A.A. Andreevsky banner//Russian messenger. 1995. No. 28 — 29. Page 6.; Laying of the sea temple in Bizerte//the Sea magazine. 1937. No. 10-11. Page 35; The Monument to the ships in Bizerte. Page 20; Prisoners of Bizerte. Page 13.
15 Monument to the ships in Bizerte. Page 20.
14 Archives Nationales de Tunisie à l’Institut du Mouvement National de Tunisie à Manouba. Université Tunis 1. Archives de Nantes (ANT). Série E. C. 503. D. 8. Lettre du 3.03.1938 de l’Association Culturelle des Orthodoxes de Bizerte au Directeur de l’Administration Générale et Communale.
15 G.V. Goryachkin, T.G. Gritsenko, O.I. Fomin. The Russian emigration in Egypt and Tunisia (1920 — 1939). M, 2000. Page 59.
16 Archive of Church of the Resurrection to Tunisia. The Russian orthodox community in Tunisia... L. 2.
17 ANT. Série Tunisie. Bobine R 582. Dossier "Colonie Russe et Eglise Ortodoxe".
18 ANT. Série E. C. 503. D. 8. Le Statut de l’Association Culturelle des Orthodoxes de Bizerte.
19 ANT. Série E. C. 503. D. 4. Lettre du 20.10.1936 du groupe fondateur de l’Association Culturelle des Orthodoxes de Bizerte au Premier Ministre Tunisien.
20 ANT. Série E. C. 503. D. 8. Décret beylical du 25.01.1937.
21 Archive of Church of the Resurrection to Tunisia. The Russian orthodox community in Tunisia... L. 2.
22 Laying of the sea temple in Bizerte. Page 35.
23 Committee on a temple construction in Bizerte. Page 16.
24 ANT. Série E. Page 503. D. 9. Note du 12.10.1940 du Chef de la Sûrete au Commissaire Central à Tunis.
25 Kazdaghli H. La communauté russe de Tunisie (1920 — 1956)//Rawafid, revue universitaire de Tunis. 1997. 1 36.
26 ANT. Série E. C. 503. D. 9. La Notice de renseignement concernant les membres de la Communauté Orthodoxe de l’Eglise de la Résurrection de Tunis qui accompagne la Note du 12.10.1940 du Chef de la Sûrete au Commissaire Central à Tunis.
27 ANT. Série E. C. 503. D. 9. Note du 12.10.1940 du Chef de la Sûrete au Commissaire Central à Tunis.
28 ANT. Série E. C. 503. D. 9. La Notice de renseignement concernant les membres de la Communauté Orthodoxe de l’Eglise de la Résurrection de Tunis qui accompagne la Note du 12.10.1940 du Chef de la Sûrete au Commissaire Central à Tunis.

At the bookshelf

E.A. Thompson. Romans and barbarians: Fall of the Western Roman Empire. M.: Yuventa, 2003. - 288 pages

The PADENIYEZAPADNY ROMAN EMPIRE according to E.A. Thompson

Eduard Artur Thompson (Edward Arthur Thompson; 1914-1994) began the scientific activity even before World War II, in 1950-h-80-h he taught at the university of Nottingham, directed the edition of the Nottingham Medieval Studies magazine, was a member of British Academy. He wrote more than 90 works on the history of Western Europe in the period of late antiquity and the early Middle Ages. The most significant of them - "And History of Attila and the Huns" (Oxford, 1948), "The Early Germans" (Oxford, 1965), "The Visigoths in the time of Ulfila" (Oxford, 1966), "The Goths in Spain" (Oxford, 1969). They were republished more than once.

In 2003 one of books appeared in translation into Russian - "Romans and barbarians: Fall of the Western Roman Empire".

Chronologically it covers the 5-6th centuries. During this period the contacts between the Roman Empire and barbarians became the most active. For the western historian this chronological framework is in many respects indisputable for this reason the author does not stop on their justification. The Russian historian requires an explanation. In a modern western historiography the opinion was already repeatedly expressed that in the 4th century the Roman Empire remained stable and to speak about the beginning of the processes which led of it to death, still early. At the same time not as absolutely exact it is necessary to recognize also traditional date of death of the Roman Empire - 476 g: and after overthrow of the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire in the West on an extent on extremely measure of several decades the Roman state institutes which were used by barbaric kings remained, there was the Eastern Roman Empire which was still far from decline and death. Moreover, in the 6th century an attempt to revive the Roman Empire under the power of Justinian was made: he managed to put considerable territories of North Africa and Italy where the Roman statehood was restored under the control. Thus, final disappearance of the Roman state institutes in For -

Patna to Europe to belong at best to the second half of the 6th century, and the Roman public and economic institutes continued to work much longer that is confirmed by preservation of action of the Roman right on the most part of the territory of Western Europe. Therefore dating, "unusual" for the Russian historiography, is represented quite reasonable especially as the author considers also the social and economic relations between barbarians and Romans.

E. Thompson quite often does historical digressions to earlier periods: consideration of process of relationship of the Roman Empire, characteristic of it, and barbarians in continuous dynamics forces it to compare events of U-U1 of centuries to the facts from earlier times. Sometimes the author in the digressions reaches Julius Caesar's time. Such comparisons are not always correct. So, it describes backwardness of barbarians (page 12-13), putting barbarians of the 1st century and barbarians of the 4th century on one step of development. At the same time it does not consider also evolution of the most Roman Empire. Nevertheless, in general a chronological framework of the book is represented proved, and an exit out of their limits is in most cases justified.

The research is constructed by the territorial principle, in it resettlement of barbarians in the most important areas of the Western Roman Empire - Gallia, Italy, Norik, Spain consistently is considered. In many respects it is a consequence of the fact that this book is the continuation of several works of the author devoted to certain areas of the Roman Empire during the late antique period. Such approach is really most logical because during this period the Roman Empire began to lose internal political and cultural unity, regional features begin to prevail over all-imperial trends. Such approach and the sources used by the author is justified: local and barbaric chronicles, Western European hagiographical compositions. These sources differ in the fact that more or less authentically describe the events happening on the limited territory as the outlook of their authors was quite narrow.

For the Russian historian such work is of great value what leans on the sources which are not used in our historiography. So, domestic historians investigated an early medieval hagiography insufficiently though as the book by Thompson shows, it contains the most valuable data on the history of certain areas during a transition period between antiquity and the Middle Ages. Poorly studied in domestic literature are Spanish and British chronicles of the 6th century. Of course, they badly remained and reached us only fragmentary, but, nevertheless, bear very interesting information. Comparison

a large number of written sources allowed Thompson to construct the researches on rich actual material.

Special attention its illumination of biographies of the people participating in events of U-U1 of centuries deserves. Practically all who appear on pages of the book both barbarians, and Romans, are very carefully entered in an era context. It provides their biography, proves their views of the relations of Romans and barbarians, establishes their relations and extent of mutual influence at each other if characters are connected among themselves. At the same time the author sometimes exaggerates a role of individuals in historical process. So, at the description of activity of St. Patrick Thompson refers adoption of Christianity in Ireland only at the expense of it "laborious work", representing business, so as if all other aristocrats and ordinary Irish were against (page 221). At the same time Christianization of barbaric tribes was objective process of synthesis of ancient and barbaric art and therefore it is impossible to reduce it only to activity of individuals, even such as St. Patrick. On the contrary, appearance of such people was in many respects predetermined by process of the Roman and barbaric society in U-U1 of century

Thompson pays the main attention to regional features of interaction of the Roman Empire and barbarians. The general moment in a research kayaedy of areas is the emphasis on relationship of the Roman and barbaric elite. Much less attention is paid to the relations developing in barbaric communities and the Roman estates and the relations between ordinary barbarians and the Roman population of provinces. The political history of the separate breeding formations which appeared in the territory of the Western Roman Empire, especially Visigoths, svev, vandals, francs is in detail lit. It is explained first of all by a condition of sources in which other breeding groups are mentioned much less often. And also great political impact of these tribes.

All barbaric kingdoms which arose in U-U1 of centuries are analyzed by Thompson according to one scheme that allows it to compare early barbaric public entities in details. As a result he comes to a conclusion that initially barbaric states a little in what differed from each other and were on an equal footing: were amorphous, unstable political formations with the uncertain territory and motley ethnic part which was also barbaric tribes. The future of kingdoms was defined by a concrete political situation which developed in those areas where they were located. Its conclusions in general coincide with conclusions of the Russian historians, but the last came to them by other methods, investigating in the first

turn the system of the social and economic relations in barbaric kingdoms.

However in regional approach of Thompson to a research of the Western Roman Empire there are also weaknesses. First of all, it is difficult to make a full picture of the migration processes happening on spaces of Western Europe in U-U1 of centuries. The history of some breeding formations - vandals, Visigoths, svev - is divided between chapters of the book, and it makes difficulties both for the reader, and for the author who did not manage to recreate a uniform picture of the relations of Romans and barbarians in Western Europe. The emphasis on regional history distracts the author and from all-imperial trends which value is obviously belittled by it. Still it is possible to agree with such relation to the all-Roman institutes and trends in relation to the 6th century, however in the 5th century. The western Roman Empire remained still rather strong. Emperors continued to keep a long time the real power on the most part of the territory of the empire, still had considerable impact on the local Roman aristocracy, officials and commanders.

Often Thompson reduces the political relations between barbaric tribes and Romans to the interests of the local Roman aristocracy and barbarians. If considers the interests of the emperor, then so that they often are associated from action of individuals, such as Stilikhon or Aetsy that is also not absolutely true: the Roman commanders had own interests in the relations with barbarians which not always corresponded to opinion of the emperor. The Roman Empire in the 5th century is a difficult tangled ball of the most diverse forces and groups, each of which had interests, sometimes coincident, and most often not. To carry out the comprehensive analysis of all these forces and interests - business extremely difficult. And the author managed to consider in details only one of the parties of the political relations in the late Roman Empire.

Nevertheless, Thompson does generalizations in relation to all Western Roman Empire, and allocates the general for it to a trend. Global character is their distinctive feature. These generalizations describe the relations of the Roman Empire and barbarians in general in all their duration and a variety. So, the "Introduction" having a subtitle "Economic war" considers opposition on border of the Roman Empire between barbarity and a civilization from Julius Caesar before Great resettlement of the people. Relationship of the Roman Empire and barbarians are considered there most generally, the background of the period which is covered in the book is given. At the same time many parcels for a research are offered on the basis of isolated facts (page 7, 9).

Such introduction contrasts with the main book contents, rich with the actual material, containing the detailed analysis of the known facts and sources. Introduction differs also from what the reader of domestic scientific literature got used to see. And many parcels given in "Introduction" on which the author's reasonings in other parts of work are under construction are disputable. So, it is it is unlikely possible to agree with a statement that barbarians regarded all Roman Empire as peculiar El Dorado and aspired there only to plunder or live in luxury (page 9). Having appeared in the territory of the empire, barbarians did not begin to lodge in the Roman cities and villas, did not begin to turn out Romans to occupy their well-planned dwellings, and on the contrary - began to build the houses and villages differing in nothing from their dwellings in Germany. Perhaps, the certain cities of the empire, such as Constantinople and Rome shaking contemporaries by the sizes and greatness could also make such impression what is described by the author, but in general, in our opinion, barbarians, since 2nd century, sought to find in the territory of the Roman Empire first of all free lands.

It is difficult to agree with Thompson and that between barbarians and the Roman army the huge technical abyss (page 14) which he, however, reduces to absence at Germans of artillery lay. Barbarians almost never set as the purpose a long siege or capture by storm of well strengthened city. Either robbery, or resettlement in new territories was their purpose. Therefore they did not need artillery, the similar Roman. The difference between barbaric groups and the Roman army consisted in much bigger organization of the Roman troops, balance of the Roman army and its harmonious organization. From the beginning of active barbarization of the Roman army this difference gradually disappeared.

In a final part of the book Thompson analyzes the attitude of Romans and barbarians not only from the point of view of Rome, but tries to understand psychology and outlook of barbarians. He points to two ways on which barbarians began to perceive the Roman outlook and orders: service in the Roman army and adoption of Christianity. He considers aspiration to adoption of Christianity from some groups of the barbaric population paradoxical as Romans, according to him, did not conduct conscious policy of Christianization outside the Roman Empire. At the same time he notes that even those representatives of barbaric tribes which adopted Christianity or appeared on service of the empire did not lose until the end of the communications in the barbaric world and the outlook.

According to Thompson, before creation of barbaric kingdoms the Romans despised barbarians and did not find it necessary to include them in Roman the general

a stvo (page 207-208), that is process of a Romanization went spontaneously and at the initiative of barbarians or individuals - for example, Ulfila, St. Patrick. Such statement is submitted disputable. In researches of many authors including domestic, methods of policy of a Romanization and inclusion of barbarians in the Roman society are well studied. For example the system of hostages when descendants of barbaric leaders and the aristocracy received the Roman education while they were hostages. It is impossible to forget and the fact that in the 4th century the people who were carrying out Christianization of barbarians outside the empire got the state support, and the tribes which adopted Christianity used protection of Rome.

Besides the book "Romans and Barbarians" the Russian edition of 2003 included several essays and Thompson's articles anyway connected with a book perspective. Here entered: critical reviews on books by other historians of relationship of Romans and barbarians; articles devoted to Christianization of certain areas of the barbaric periphery, in particular researches on Christianization of Ireland and St. Patrick's activity. These essays supplement the book, concretize its some disputed issues.

Found reflection in this first research of Thompson published in Russian lines of the western historiography of antiquity are brightest. It is more, than in a domestic historiography, the attention is focused on regional history and microhistory: attention to individuals and events in a concrete and political context. But at the same time there are much less large-scale social and economic generalizations with which domestic historical researches abound. The style of the book approaches publicistic, popular that considerably simplifies her understanding by wide reader's audience. Considerably also the structure of a research differs: in the book there is no introduction and the conclusion in that value which is put in these traditional and firm elements of structure by domestic scientists: in introduction the background, and in the conclusion - an extensive reasoning on features and synthesis of barbaric and Roman mentalities is given.

Nevertheless, the book by Thompson is valuable to the modern Russian researcher the fact that in it methods are used, considerably different from methods of domestic researchers and also rich material on areas of the Roman Empire contains, studied in modern Russian historical science it is rather weak.

N.A. Dyakov

233
Hester Laureen
Other scientific works: