How much can we blame barbarisation of the Roman army in leading to the end of the western empire in AD476?

Introduction

The ‘barbarisation’ of the Roman army has become a popular explanation for the end of the Roman Empire. While the empire possessed a strong army of professional Roman soldiers, it could not fail; therefore its end in AD476 was the result, directly or indirectly, of the failure of the army. And since by the fifth century AD the army had come to incorporate many non-Romans into its ranks, logic follows that this ‘de-romanisation’ of the army – the deterioration of Roman military discipline, the end of the legions of the Principate – made the army ineffective and weak.¹

Continue reading “How much can we blame barbarisation of the Roman army in leading to the end of the western empire in AD476?”

12 — the experience and effects of WW2

Study Overview

  1. The state of the USSR in 1924: the power struggle after Lenin’s death, and Stalin’s victory
  2. Economic policies: collectivisation and the Five Year Plans
  3. State control: the purges and the cult of personality
  4. Daily life in Stalin’s USSR
  5. The Soviet experience of WW2, and how it shaped the USSR after the war

The Soviet Experience of WW2, and its Effects

In this unit

  1. The course of the war
  2. Why was the German invasion initially so successful?
  3. Why did the Soviets eventually win the war?
  4. Was WW2 a turning point in Soviet history?
Continue reading “12 — the experience and effects of WW2”

11 — Daily life in Stalin’s USSR

Study Overview

  1. The state of the USSR in 1924: the power struggle after Lenin’s death, and Stalin’s victory
  2. Economic policies: collectivisation and the Five Year Plans
  3. State control: the purges and the cult of personality
  4. Daily life in Stalin’s USSR
  5. The Soviet experience of WW2, and how it shaped the USSR after the war

Daily Life in Stalin’s USSR

In this unit

  1. Living conditions in the USSR, rural and urban
  2. Living and working conditions for women
  3. Stalin’s treatment of ethnic minorities
  4. Stalin’s education and religious policies
Continue reading “11 — Daily life in Stalin’s USSR”

the whole story of the Bible in 5 parts

The Creation

The story of the Bible begins with chaos. In the beginning God creates the sky and the earth, but the earth is covered with water and nothing else. It’s shapeless and terrifying. And then God decides to speak — with his word he speaks things into being. He speaks and the sun and moon shine; he speaks and time exists; he speaks and the mountains rise up; he speaks and vines, apple trees, and rainforests spring from the ground; he speaks and whales and eels swim, seagulls and sparrows soar, and lizards, ants, mice, dogs, and elephants wander around. God is now King of all creation. But he’s not done yet — he wants to share all this with people. And so he makes a man and a woman to be just like him, to think like him, speak like him, and be together with him for all time. The King now has his people to love and to take care of what he created — everything is good, everything is at peace.

[This part of the Bible story covers Genesis chapters 1 and 2. It’s one of the most famous parts of the Bible. In recent years it’s been used to try to argue for or against scientific ideas such as evolution or the age of the earth. There’s a lot to unpack there, more than we have space to talk about here, but at least we can say that Genesis chapters 1 and 2 focus on God’s role as King of creation, rather than how exactly he created everything. And in fact that role is one of the first and most important building blocks of the Bible story — very little in the Bible will make sense if we don’t accept this as truth.]

Continue reading “the whole story of the Bible in 5 parts”

10 — Stalin’s propaganda machine

Study Overview

  1. The state of the USSR in 1924: the power struggle after Lenin’s death, and Stalin’s victory
  2. Economic policies: collectivisation and the Five Year Plans
  3. State control: the purges and the cult of personality
  4. Daily life in Stalin’s USSR
  5. The Soviet experience of WW2, and how it shaped the USSR after the war

Stalin’s Propaganda Machine

In this unit

  1. The reasons for state-controlled thought in the USSR
  2. The methods and results of state-controlled thought in the USSR
Continue reading “10 — Stalin’s propaganda machine”

09 — Stalin’s political policies

Study Overview

  1. The state of the USSR in 1924: the power struggle after Lenin’s death, and Stalin’s victory
  2. Economic policies: collectivisation and the Five Year Plans
  3. State control: the purges and the cult of personality
  4. Daily life in Stalin’s USSR
  5. The Soviet experience of WW2, and how it shaped the USSR after the war

The Purges and Political Control

In this unit

  1. Red Tsar (The reasons for the purges)
  2. Key features of the purges
  3. Results of the purges
Continue reading “09 — Stalin’s political policies”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑