Thursday, February 1, 2018

A Recommended Podcast on the Fall of Rome

Patrick Wyman, a historian that specializes in Rome, is the narrator. This series focuses on Rome and how it declined from the height of it's power. I just listened to episodes 11, 12, and 13. Those episodes focus on the Roman economy and trade.

There are surviving letters and archeological evidence of this decline. The takeaway is that the collapse was not sudden. It happens over a century, trade becomes more difficult as new borders form, the roads and bridges go unpatrolled and unmaintained, and the marginal cost of doing business makes the trade unprofitable.

Communication between cities and regions drop off. People leave the cities as the flow of goods dries up, adding to the spiral because there are less customers and therefore less profit, and finally the roads become impassible. People just adjusted, accepted the new situation, moved on.

Here's the website.

I am listening to this on my phone with CastBox.

It's hard not to draw parallels. This sign is posted 100 miles inside the U.S. border, just south of Phoenix.


Borepatch said...

Look at you, bringing the ancient Rome blogging! ;-)

Fredrick said...

Have you listened to Mike Duncan's history of Rome podcasts?

Unknown said...

I listened to the entire History of Rome podcast and loved it. I'm now slowly working my way through his follow-up Revolutions podcast.

LSP said...

Nice one -- have you read Belloc's Europe and the Faith? Chs 1-3 give an interesting if aggressive (it's Belloc...) account of the transition from centralized Imperial authority to the early medieval era. Startling economic/political/demographic parallels to today.

Hmmm. I might have to become an ancient Rome blogger...

Papa said...

A very good book on the subject:
The Fall of the Roman Empire.
A New History of Rome and the Barbarians.
Author Peter Heather

He shows how it was a slow decline, fizzled out.
The westward migration of tribes, immigration domino effect into Europe, to Spain, to Northern Africa where the Roman economic breadbasket was.
Pressure from Northern side.
Pressure from the east, Persia.
Interesting note about some germania tribes were more Roman than the Romans. Wanted to assimilate, but looked upon by Rome as second class and with distrust. I forget if that was resolved.

Good post!