Emperor, Prefects & Kings: The Roman West, 395-565

Emperor, Prefects & Kings: The Roman West, 395-565

Emperor, Prefects & Kings: The Roman West, 395-565

Emperor, Prefects & Kings: The Roman West, 395-565


"P. S. Barnwell examines the development of imperial and royal government in the western part of the Roman Empire and in the early "barbarian" kingdoms that were established within its frontiers - the Visigothic, Burgundian, Frankish, and Vandal nations. Covering the fifth century - the period from the death of the Emperor Theodosius to the death of the Emperor Justinian - Barnwell's book demonstrates the extent to which barbarian government was influenced by its Roman predecessor. Earlier studies have argued implicitly that the fifth century witnessed the disintegration of an ordered Roman governmental system and its replacement by a series of disorganized "Germanic" administrations. Barnwell, by contrast, examines Roman government of the fifth-century western Empire on its own terms, and then analyzes the administrations of individual Barbarian kingdoms in relation to this fifth-century Roman background. He shows that the law and government of the Barbarian kingdoms were more deeply indebted to Roman institutions than most previous historians have realized." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


This book had its origin as part of a doctoral dissertation prepared at the University of Leeds. It is a pleasure to record my gratitude to that institution, and to many of its members, for having provided the most congenial of work-places: I owe a particular debt to the staff of the Brotherton Library for their helpfulness, courtesy and friendliness.

Dr I.N. Wood was a demanding supervisor, always ready to entertain discussion, but never to force his conclusions upon me: without his enthusiasm, both while I was a student and subsequently, this book would not have existed. Advice and criticism were provided by Professor G.R.J. Jones; his encouragement, together with that of Dr C.R.E. Cubitt, Dr J.M. Hill and Mr R.K. Morris, have meant a great deal. Away from Leeds, the book has benefited greatly from Dr J.L. Nelson's challenging criticism of its earlier incarnation, and her support for the project has been an important factor in bringing it to fruition. Although other people's comments have improved the book and saved me from a number of errors, the views expressed are my sole responsibility, as are any remaining infelicities.

I am grateful to Mr A.T. Adams for drawing the maps which appear at the end of the volume.

Finally, but by no means least, I owe my parents more than can be expressed. In many ways, both practical and less tangible, they have been supportive and encouraging over a period of many years: without them, I would never have been in a position to start research, still less to complete a book.


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