Synopses & Reviews
Incorporating exciting new material that has come to light since the last German edition of 1980, Herwig Wolfram places Gothic history within its proper context of late Roman society and institutions. He demonstrates that the barbarian world of the Goths was both a creation of and an essential element of the late Roman Empire.
"This is a revised and rewritten version, in a dense English translation, of the author's second German edition of a book first published in 1979 (Geschichte der Goten). Through a fresh examination and reassessment of the Latin and Greek sources, Wolfram provides a wealth of detail on the formation of the Gothic tribes, their migrations, and the later history of the Ostrogothic and Visigothic settlements. The theme is the integration of the Gothic tribal organization into late Roman imperial society, so that Theodoric's regnum in Italy and Leovigild's in Spain are seen as creations, and political-social reflections, of the imperium Romanorum. The moral is that the traditional nationalistic view of the Goths as ancestral Germans has to be abandoned in the light of the fragmented, heterogeneous and Romanized tribal regna. There are original and provocative ideas and conclusions presented here, supported by an armory of references in 157 pages of notes, and it is safe to say that neither the Goths, nor their historians, will ever be the same again." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
About the Author
Herwig Wolfram is Professor of History at the University of Vienna and Director of the Austrian Institute for Historical Research.