‘What and when is late antiquity?’ examines the meaning of late antiquity and how the classical world began to change during this period. Debates surrounding the definition of the late antique period are outlined, as are the boundaries of the Roman empire and its governance. Who held the balance of power and what were the greatest threats to stability? A picture of the ethnic groups of late antiquity, the threat of new religions and new ideas, and of power shifts between different geographic locations is given. Who were the Vandals and the Barbarians? Did Rome's rule end because of poverty, natural disasters, or lack of food? Did Rome fall or did it survive?