This book describes the tragic and bloody collapse of Roman civilization in the West in the fifth century and the near ruin of the Eastern Roman Empire. The hundred years from the death of Theodosius I to the conquest of Italy by Theodoric the Ostrogoth were years of chaos, havoc, and destruction. In the East we see the confusion of the imperial government, the palace intrigues, and the sinister role of the palace eunuchs - but survival. The events are dramatically described by eyewitnesses to the disasters - the Byzantine historians Priscus, Malchus, Olympiodorus, John of Antioch, and Candidus. The contemporary accounts are translated into English and provided with a running commentary by C. D. Gordon to form a continuous narrative of an age of turmoil - the Age of Attila.
David S. Potter has added translations of significant passages not in the original volume. He has also added extensive new notes to place the book in the contemporary study of the ancient world, as well as a new bibliography and a concordance with modern editions.