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The Early Germans Paperback – November 19, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1405117142 ISBN-10: 1405117141 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (November 19, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405117141
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405117142
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

‘This book delivers on its claim to be an overview of what is currently known about the early Germanic tribes and their impact on the declining classical civilizations. It is a good, up-to-date overview of the Germanic impact on Western civilization.’

Choice


‘The text is clear and compact, the maps, figures and photographs are apt and profuse, … thoroughly efficient work is rounded off with a thoughtful chapter on the treatment of the German past from antiquity to present.’

History


‘This very readable and most handsomely produced book provides a general introduction to the social structure, trade, customs, religion and craftsmanship of the Germanic peoples in northern Europe until about the end of the Roman Empire.’

Medium Aevum --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

For many centuries Germanic peoples occupied much of northern and central Europe. From the fourth century onward, migrant groups extended their power and influence over much of western Europe and beyond to North Africa. In so doing, they established enduring states in France, Spain, Italy, and Britain. This illustrated book makes use of archaeological and literary sources to outline the ethnogenesis and history of the early Germanic peoples. It provides an overview of current knowledge of these peoples, their social structure, settlements, trade, customs, religion, craftsmanship, and relations with the Roman Empire. The second edition incorporates important new archaeological evidence and reports on advances in historical interpretation. In particular, it offers new insights into developments in central and eastern Europe and the implications for our understanding of migration and settlement patterns, ethnicity, and identity. New plates have been added featuring significant sites discovered in recent years.

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Customer Reviews

All of this was good and made me glad that I bought and read the book.
Rivermanmiss
Trade and interactions with Rome as well as other Germanic groups is well covered.
JAG 2.0
An excellent book for both the undergraduate student and the general reader.
Tim O'Neill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Tim O'Neill on June 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Todd's book has become the standard introduction to the history and archaeology of the early Germanic peoples in English. In a remarkably clear and concise work, Todd manages a comprehensive overview of much of the main evidence regarding the Germanic tribes which goes a long way to correcting the popular conception that they were the filthy grunting savages seen in the opening sequence of the movie 'Gladiator'.
In the first part of the book he covers most of the important aspects of the culture of these tribes, covering the physical landscape of forest and marshland in which they lived, their general social structure, trade and diplomacy with Rome, burial customs, art, technology and (of course) warfare. He draws on both literary and archaeological sources of information and uses both judiciously to present a concise picture of these complex and warlike peoples.
Part Two gives brief but useful summaries of the history of the major tribes who took part in the 'Age of Migrations' from the Third to the Seventh Centuries AD. He presents information on the Goths, Seubi, Vandals, Franks, Alemanni, Burgundians, Gepids, Lombards, Thuringians, Bavarians and the Scandinavian tribes, with mentions of many other minor peoples. Each of these is little more than a useful sketch ranging from four to forty pages each (consider that Herwig Wolfram's 'History of the Goths' checks in at over 600 densely packed pages), but each of these is enough to introduce the essential information about each these peoples and direct the interested reader to more extensive information. It also shows that these tribes differed from each other culturally and, to an extent, linguistically and that what is true about the Germanics in the First Century may not be so in the Sixth.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Stadtmiller on February 24, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read many books re: this subject, but they have treated the subject in a picemeal manner. This book combines many aspects of those other works into one general history. I liked it very much and have read it three times already!

I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in early Europe and/or an interest in things relating to German history.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Mattern on July 26, 2006
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Todd's work is an absolute must for German scholors and enthusiasts. It makes an excellent companion to Tacitus and many of the book's sitations are in German. I did not find the language to be at all cumbersome, finishing in only a few days. Excellent begining to any serious study of Germany and its people.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Rick A. Riedlinger on January 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Todd's book is the single best introduction to the subject of Germanic peoples I have found. It contains an accurate summery of the current state of scholarship and is an easy read.

If you can have only one book on the subject, this should be it.
The latest edition of this book is ISBN 1405117141.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
The growing number of volumes in the "Peoples of Europe" series are generally quite useful to students of early medieval history; at less than 300 pages, they do well as surveys. This one, unfortunately, is one of the less readable efforts. Todd is interested in the Germanic tribes and their migrations from the early Roman Empire up to about 700 A.D., but he wanders from a chronological coverage of all the multitude of Germanic peoples (who never thought of themselves as "Germans" in the first place), to a topical one (chapters on economy and agriculture, social institutions, burial practices, trade and diplomacy, art and technology, etc), to a geographical survey divided into sections on Goths, Vandals, Franks, Burgundians, Gepids, Lombards, and (oddly) Scandinavians. It's a confusing book to read, with various groups appearing (naturally) in each other's chapters. Todd also mentions in passing specialized information or rival interpretations of the sources that he apparently assumes everyone knows -- which is a bad assumption in a survey of this kind. While there's useful stuff here, I would not suggest this as a first resource for someone new to the field. Instead, I would recommend the separate books in this series by James on the Franks, Heather on the Goths, and Christie on the Lombards -- and Heather's latest, _The Fall of the Roman Empire_ (2006), over all of them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher R. Travers on October 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't read any of the other "Peoples of Europe" books yet (just about to start on the book on the Goths) but I found this to be a great introductory survey of what was known about the Classical and Migration-Age Germanic peoples generally. The book covered, in a cursory fashion, the Goths, Franks, Alamanni, Lombards, and so forth, as well as general discussions about the archaeology and textual evidence. Given the nature of the evidence, the book leans very heavily towards the archaeological corpus.

The book is divided into two parts. The first covers various topics, such as the landscape and the people, difficulties of Roman conquest, the role of Rome, trade, art, religion, military approaches and challenges, etc. This section is excellent. The second covers distinct clusters of Germanic peoples, such as the Goths, the "Northern People" and the like. This section is also quite interesting but seemed overly cursory (presumably this is a way into many of the other books in the series though, so I am not holding it against the author here).

All in all, I'd say, "Highly recommended"
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