On 9 August, 378 AD the Roman Empire began to fall. Two years earlier, a flood of refugees from the tribe of the Goths had arrived at the Empire's eastern border, seeking admittance. As the group swelled into an army, the Roman authorities struggled to hold them back until, finally, the horde charged and the battle of Adranopolis took place. The Roman army suffered its most disastrous defeat since Hannibal's victory over them almost 600 years earlier. Although the Empire would not fall for another century, the battle signalled nothing less than the end of the ancient world and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Vividly recreating the events leading to the conflict, and bringing alive leaders and common soldiers alike, The Day of the Barbarians is a heart-stopping account of one of the most significant turning points in world history.
Alessandro Barbero teaches Medieval Studies at the Universita del Piemonte Orientale. A previous winner of the Strega Prize, Italy's most prestigious literary award, he is the author of The Battle: A New History of Waterloo (Atlantic Books, 2005).