Although they exerted a profound, far-reaching influence on Continental geopolitics, the historical Goths (as opposed to contemporary fans of the Cure and Bauhaus) are little known. Peter Heather provides a readable precis of the Goths' role in ancient and medieval European history, examining the murky origins of various Gothic-speaking groups in the Vistula River region of northern Poland, from which they spread out eastward and southward. Pressured by the expanding Roman empire on one side and migrating Hunnish peoples from Central Asia on the other, the Goths aggressively defended their territory and eventually attacked westward, contributing to the collapse of Rome and establishing Gothic empires in Italy, Spain, and North Africa. Heather's useful book ends with the fall of these governments in the 7th century. --Gregory McNamee
"...a volume of central importance on the place of the Goths in early European history and a fine contribution to the study of the transformation of Europe after Rome." Times Literary Supplement, January 1998.
"... an excellent introduction to the student" Archaeological Review from Cambridge