The fall of the Roman Empire is one of the central events in human history, and chances are good that at some point in your education, you were forced to sit through a godawful lecture or two filled with weird-ass names—seriously, Gundobad? Stilicho?—and dates that you forgot as soon as the test was over.
That’s understandable, and I don’t blame you, but this can and should be a more interesting topic. I’m Patrick Wyman, and I just completed my PhD on the end of the Roman Empire. I think it’s stupid as hell that professional historians don’t bother, you know, actually talking to the general public, which is why I’m doing this podcast on the fall of Rome.
In this third episode, “The Goths and the Beginning of Rome’s End,” we’re looking at the Goths’ entry into the Roman Empire. Contrary to what you might remember from history class, the Goths didn’t invade; it was a negotiated immigration, and it was the Romans who screwed them over, not the other way around. When they inflicted the worst defeat on a Roman army in 350 years and killed an emperor on the battlefield, well, it’s hard to say the Romans didn’t get what was coming to them.
If that’s interesting to you, give the third episode of The Fall of Rome a listen.