Late Antiquity: A Very Short Introduction debates the concept of and the events that took place in late antiquity. Was late antiquity a period of decline or transformation, conflict or interaction? Late antiquity was the period (c. 300—c.800) during which barbarian invasions defeated the Roman Empire in Western Europe by the 5th century and Arab invasions ended Roman rule over the eastern and southern Mediterranean coasts by the 7th century. It was a time of cultural clashes, political restructurings, geographical controversies, and competing religions. Late antiquity is discussed in relation to Byzantium and the Fall of Rome, and the relationship between late antiquity and the modern world is considered.