Jordanes: Romana and Getica

BookJordanes: Romana and Getica

Jordanes: Romana and Getica

Translated Texts for Historians, 75


November 30th, 2020





Of Gothic descent, Jordanes has left us a unique set of histories. The Getica narrates the history of the Goths from their earliest origins until the middle of the sixth century. Building on the lost history of Cassiodorus, it is the earliest example of a history told from the perspective of one of the barbarian peoples establishing kingdoms in the fifth and sixth centuries. It had great influence on later early medieval historians, on national histories of the nineteenth century and on modern accounts of Gothic history. The Romana is a survey of world and Roman history. If largely dependent on traditional Roman histories and chronicles for events up to the fourth century, it contains much unique information for the last two centuries it narrates. This book offers the first translation into English of the Getica for a century and the first modern translation of the Romana. The introduction locates the Getica and the Romana in the context of ancient historiography, building a new picture of Jordanes as a historian and of the two works themselves. It also offers a detailed discussion of the sources used by Jordanes, suggesting possible ways to identify the debt to Cassiodorus. Extensive notes guide the reader through these fascinating but often complex texts.

Author Information

Peter Van Nuffelen is Professor of Ancient History at Ghent University. His several books include (with Lieve Van Hoof): The Fragmentary Latin Histories of Late Antiquity (AD 300-620): Edition, Translation and Commentary, Cambridge University Press, 2020, (ed with Lieve Van Hoof) Clavis Historicorum Antiquitatis Posterioris. An Inventory of Late Antique Historiography (A.D. 300-800), Brepols, 2020. Lieve Van Hoof is Professor of Ancient History and Classics at Ghent University. As well as her three books with Peter Van Nuffelen, she is the author of Libanius: A Critical Introduction, Cambridge University Press, 2014 and Plutarch’s Practical Ethics: The Social Dynamics of Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2010.