Jordanes: Romana and Getica

BookJordanes: Romana and Getica

Jordanes: Romana and Getica

Translated Texts for Historians, 75


November 30th, 2020





Of Gothic descent, Jordanes wrote 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 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. Whilst 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 his debt to Cassiodorus. Extensive notes guide the reader through these fascinating but often complex texts.

'Jordanes may get less respect than any other well-preserved ancient historian. But nowthe inexhaustible learning of Lieve Van Hoof and Peter Van Nuffelen has made himhonourable amends. This volume is now the best and essential introduction toJordanes' work, while remaining eminently serviceable for use in classroom settings.'
James J. O'Donnell, Arizona State University

'It is hard to overstate the value of this volume. The sheer quantity of material included beyond the publication of good, up-to-date, translations of the Romana and Getica, is one of the chief benefits of the book. This makes it invaluable in the classroom, though also for anyone less familiar with Jordanes... Van Nuffelen and Van Hoof deserve fulsome praise for their achievement.'
Conor Whately, The Medieval Review

'Inexhaustible learning of Lieve Van Hoof and Peter Van Nuffelen has made [Jordanes] honorable amends. This TTH volume is now the best and essential introduction to Jordanes’s work, while remaining eminently serviceable for use in classroom settings.'
James J. O’Donnell, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Author Information

Peter Van Nuffelen is Professor of Ancient History at Ghent University. His books include Orosius and the Rhetoric of History, Oxford University Press, 2012 and (with Lieve Van Hoof) The Fragmentary Latin Histories of Late Antiquity (AD 300–620), Cambridge University Press, 2020, and (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. In addition to the books co-authored with Peter Van Nuffelen, her publications include Libanius: A Critical Introduction, Cambridge University Press, 2014, and Plutarch’s Practical Ethics: The Social Dynamics of Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2010.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
1.      Life and context
The Romana
The Getica
Text and translation
6.      The medieval and humanist reception
A summary
of all times, or On the origin and deeds of the Roman people
On the
origin and deeds of the Getae