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Read ¹ Aetius AUTHOR Ian Hughes à PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ä In AD 453 Attila with a huge force composed of Huns allies and vassals drawn from his already vast empire was rampaging westward across Gaul essentially modern France then still nominally part of the Western Roman Empire Laying siege to Orleans he was only Nd defeated by a coalition hastily assembled and led by Aetius Who was this man that saved Western Europe from the Hunnic yoke While Attila is a household name his nemesis remains relatively obscu. Ian Hughes starts his foreword with the uote “Historians of the fourth and fifth centuries have a particularly difficult life Those used to the relative certainties of the late republic and early empire can only look on with admiration at those brave souls who plunge into the mess that is late antiuity” He refers partly to the fact that “everyone writing in this period had an agenda in which the accurate reporting of events was either irrelevant at best or at worst something to be avoided at all costs”Personally I think that a good trained historian should be able to cope with this problem using historical criticism something that is thoroughly instilled in every good college history education level MA or even BAThe content generally seems to be pretty solid Sometimes it seems that he's grasping at straws and in this book I often had the feeling that he speculated than was appropriate in a nonfiction book But I have to admit that the speculation is always marked as such and isn't hidden away in the textSome of his chapters are set up poorly and are written like a chronicle of facts and events ranged in chronological order as in a time line He actually recommends that chapters to be read in conjunction with the Chronology to aid understanding I missed a narrative or history which sets selected events in a meaningful interpretive contextChapter 4 about the Late Roman Army is an exact copy of the same chapter in his previous book about StilichoAs I am reading a lot of books to write an essay about “The Women of the Theodosian dynasty” I was a little bit disappointed about the fact that women are hardly mentioned in this book And this despite the fact that Galla Placidia her daughter Justa Gratia Honoria a rebellious lady who even sent a proposal of marriage to Attila Licinia Eudoxia Pulcheria sister of Theodosius II and future wife of eastern Emperor Marcian and Eudoxia who eventually married Huneric son of Geiseric who sacked Rome in 455 played a big role in the intrigues and politics of the early 5th centuryDespite these negative aspects it eventually is a meritorious book because it all comes nice together in a superb last chapter ‘Conclusion’ This chapter contains all the essential information and could be an exceptional essay on itselfConclusion This is not one of Ian Hughes’ best books He could have skipped a lot of superfluous passages or chapters But the fact is that it is definitely the only recent history book written specifically on Flavius Aetius the Last of the Romans Ultimus Romanorum

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In AD 453 Attila with a huge force composed of Huns allies and vassals drawn from his already vast empire was rampaging westward across Gaul essentially modern France then still nominally part of. The thing I like best about Hughes' books is that they hone in on one historical figure Most historians would shy away from that at least at that time in history I had read other books about the era which would mention Aetius but they always focussed on the broader subject and didn't really give a chronology of some of the major players For this reason I also recommend his book Stilicho who is another person that comes up freuently but not enough to get a sense of who he wasThe only fault to the book is that it involves a lot of speculation which is not the author's fault but the fault of the sources He also takes care to point out when it is only speculation This is only troublesome when later in the book he makes further speculation based on the first ones it makes logical sense but the whole thing ultimately goes back to a guess But again I'm sure that's the nature of the fragmentary source materialThe best thing Hughes does is to list all of the primary sources as well as how far removed they are from the time and what biases they may have had And reading the footnotes he bases uite a lot of his book on these sources There are some secondarymodern works he cites as well but it appears whenever possible he cites from a contemporary sourceOne final note he is a good writer Aetius had an eventful life and lived in momentous times and Hughes does it justice

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Aetius AUTHOR Ian HughThe Western Roman Empire Laying siege to Orleans he was only a few days march from extending his empire from the Eurasian steppe to the Atlantic He was brought to battle on the Cataluanian Plain a. A well written and delightful addition to my book shelf Huges does an excellent job in narrating the life of one of the oft forgotten Roman hero's of the 5th Century This is no small feat considering the scarcity of sources which reuires Hughes to formulate some very convincing and well thought hypotheses Though I would not necessarily agree with all these hypotheses I can never the less see where the author is coming from and will make a fine foundation for future works in this area I would also point out that the work adds nothing new with regard to the study of the Huns but this is forgivable given the scarcity of new sources and information regarding them as a result of little archaeological remains and their mention only in classical sources Also this work focus' on the world from the Roman perspective and as such is not an in depth study of the Huns and this Roman view makes it a refreshing read The author also makes excellent use of all the sources available to him with regard to the period and lists them of beforehand for the reader to investigate themselves should they desire an excellent addition Overall I would recommend this book to anyone whether beginner or veteran to Roman history in the 5th Century