Your high school or college history instructor probably spent some time on the fall of the Roman Empire. If you remember anything from those hazy days, it was probably something to the effect that the barbarians toppled a declining empire like a particularly destructive toddler going after her Leaning Tower of Building Blocks or a drunk college freshman trying hopelessly to remove a block in a game of Jenga.
That’s not a particularly up-to-date version of the story, though. I’m Patrick Wyman, and I spent way, way too long getting a PhD on this period in European history. You can benefit from my bad professional choices through this podcast, in which I bring you the cutting edge of historical research on the Fall.