Honorius explores the personal life and tumultuous times of one of the last emperors of the Roman West. From his accession to the throne aged ten to his death at thirty-eight, Honorius’ reign was blighted by a myriad of crises: military rebellions, political conspiracies, barbarian invasions, and sectarian controversies. The notorious sack of the city of Rome occurred on Honorius’ watch, and much of the western empire was given over to anarchy and violence.
This book should interest undergraduates, research students, and professional scholars. Given the enduring appeal of the fall of Rome and the collapse of western Roman civilization, the wider public should also find much of interest.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Chronology; Maps; 1 Opinion and Source; 2 The Stage is Set; 3 A Child of Two Courts; 4 Young Lion of the West; 5 Crisis in North Africa; 6 Restoration and Manipulation; 7 Pro Patria; 8 The Emperor and his Church; 9 A Kind of Peace; Glossary of ancient terms; General bibliography; Index
Chris Doyle currently lectures in Ancient and Medieval History at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Republic of Ireland. He is interested in the art and religion of the late antique period, and has published on stylistic developments in late Roman coinage. He is presently working on two books: a study of rebellion and dissent during the Christianization of the Roman world; and a biography based on his grandmother’s experiences as a frontline nurse with the British army in North Africa, Italy, and Greece during the Second World War.
"Chris Doyle takes up an unenviable task in reviewing the life and reign of the much-despised emperor Honorius. His study presents a very good and much fairer evaluation of this controversial ruler, bringing him out from under the shadow of his general Stilicho and his sister Galla Placidia, and showing how he survived and preserved the western Roman Empire for nearly 30 years against long odds." - Richard Billows, Columbia University, USA
"Doyle's Honorius is an excellent Imperial biography. He offers a profound and thought-provoking treatment of one of Rome's most misunderstood emperors who stood watch during a critical time in its history. Doyle's Honorius offers appeal to a broad audience and rightly deserves wide readership among scholars and students of Late Antiquity." - Classical Journal
"As a synopsis, Doyle's Honorius biography undoubtedly has its value and complements the research on the political history of late antiquity, which rarely devotes attention to the Western Roman Emperor Honorius." - Bryn Mawr Classical Review
" Doyle writes vividly and sprinkles his prose with humour." - Plekos, 2019
"Chris Doyle provides a short and easy-to-read overview of the life and times of this notorious late Roman emperor... a wide-ranging overview of the Roman world in the early fifth century C.E. using a diverse body of evidence." - The Journal of Roman Studies