Valens and the Goths – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 26 Part 3

valens and goths

Since the time of the first emperor. Augustus, there had been a rough equilibrium between the empire and the German tribes.  The empire had been too big for the Germans to defeat, but too overextended to threaten their independence.  But with the Huns now about to wipe out the Germans the position had changed.  The equilibrium was wrecked.  The Goths understood the change in the situation sooner than anyone else. Continue reading Valens and the Goths – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 26 Part 3

Valentinian, The Last Roman – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 25 Part 7

Power is always relative.  The Roman Empire had lost some territory to the Persians, but this did not hugely reduce its resources.  It remained the big beast in the jungle.  For the Persians however, acquiring some new provinces enhanced their capabilities considerably over where they had been  before the peace treaty.  They were still at a severe disadvantage in an all out fight with the Romans, but they posed a much bigger threat than they used to.  This meant the forces deployed to defend against them had to be larger and they had to be treated with a greater degree of diplomatic finesse. Continue reading Valentinian, The Last Roman – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 25 Part 7