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The Origin and Deeds of the Goths: De Origine Actibusque Getarum Paperback – August 23, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

About the author: Jordanes (sixth century AD) was a Goth whose immediate family came from Moesia, or modern northern Bulgaria, when it was on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire. Little else is known about his life or death except that he was a high-level notarius, or civil servant who turned to history writing as a hobby after being converted to Christianity.

About the Translator: Charles Christopher Mierow (1883–1961) was an American academic who earned his Ph.D. in classical languages and literature at Princeton, where he produced this translation of Jordanes’ work (originally written in Late Latin) as part of his thesis. He worked as president of Colorado College (Colorado) and still later as professor of biography at Carleton College (Minnesota).

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466261242
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466261242
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,309,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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4 star
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See all 8 customer reviews
Seems like "Hardpress" means "Hard to read"...
Sven7
Jordanes is not considered to be historically accurate in his assessments of the Goths, since he was of Gothic heritage and is very favorable to them.
Joe Sutherland
This is a very readable, clear account of ancient history.
Carl Robinson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sven7 on November 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
This text by Jordanes on the Goths is fascinating and surprisingly readable, considering it's >1450 years old. It tells the tale of the constant struggle between eastern and western Goths, Romans and a myriad other peoples. Jordanes was of Gothic descent himself and obviously exaggerates a great deal about their boldness and so forth, which is perhaps problematic for historians but not for a lay reader like myself.

The Origin and Deeds of the Goths (and this translation) are out of copyright and therefore exists as an eBook at Gutenberg ([...] I bought this book by Hardpress in order to save myself printing all the pages, but was very disappointed with it for the following reason: on all even pages, the 9th line from the bottom is almost white! That is, the ink is missing! This makes it very hard to read and I sometimes had to go back to the eBook and fill in the words. Seems like "Hardpress" means "Hard to read"...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carl Robinson on June 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Jordanes' account, The Origin and Deeds of the Goths, is the classic work about one of the Barbarian Tribes that destroy the Roman Empire in the West. Most of what one learns about the end of the Roman Empire is in some way drawn from this work.

The narrative starts with the tribe's origins in Sweden and how they move to southern Russia and who they meet there, Huns, Amazons, and others. With the coming of the Huns, the Goths move into the bounds of the Roman Empire to claim parts of the empire for themselves.

This is a very readable, clear account of ancient history. It is a good idea to read the book with access to the internet nearby so one can google the ancient names of cities and places described.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JAMES on July 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jordanes is a delight. It has a fresher, lighter feel than other classical or medieval histories. It is also quite brief. Of course, as with almost any ancient history, there are some genealogical and ethno-historical parts that take determination to muddle through, and names are sometimes left in less-familiar forms (e.g. Theodorid for Theodoric), but these can usually be deciphered without too much work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on February 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was printed to order, and with a hard cover, so it should be pretty durable.It is a reprint of the translation of Jordanes by Charles C Mierow as part of his thesis for his doctorate. The text is the translation only and does not include the Latin text, but neither did Mierow in his original book. It arrived promptly and in good condition. Jordanes gives a Gothic view of their History, in contrast to the Latin and Greek Historians, such as Procopius, who give us the Roman view of the Goths. Jordanes is both trying to creat a national history, woven in part from tribal memory and mythology, and intergrate this Gothic history into the broad swep of classical history, as represented by the world chronicle of Eusebius, Jerome, Orosius and others.As such it is an essential text for the understanding of Fifth and sixth century history. The reader needs to be aware that Jordanes is both 'bigging-up' the Goths in relation to other barbarian tribes, in particular he deminishes the role of the Gepids who he reduces to ridicule, and he monsters the Huns; who epitimise everything barbaric, in contrast to the noble Goths. He is also simplifying Gothic history - to praise to Gothic royal families, the Balts and the Amals, who happen to be ruling Spain and Italy when he was writing. He has almost certainly intergrated great leaders of the Goths who were not Balts or Amels into their family history - he has almost certainly eradicated the memory of other leaders who were not of these families; he has almost certainly simplified Gothic history into that of two nations, the Visigoths and Ostrogoths, when there may have been a half dozen or more branches to the Gothic nation. However he preserves in some detail events in fifth century Gaul which would be lost to history, and to some extent the Balkans.Read more ›
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