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Visigothic Spain 409-711 (A History of Spain)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  32 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
This history of Spain in the period between the end of Roman rule and the time of the Arab conquest challenges many traditional assumptions about the history of this period.

Presents original theories about how the Visigothic kingdom was governed, about law in the kingdom, about the Arab conquest, and about the rise of Spain as an intellectual force.

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Paperback, 263 pages
Published July 11th 2006 by Blackwell Publishers (first published 2004)
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Feb 25, 2015 Nora rated it it was amazing
An excellent survey on the history of the Visigoths in Spain. I would recommend this book for anyone with an interest in the Late Antique period, Iberian archaeology, "Gothic" tribes and their cultural and legal systems, Iberian historiography, etc. It includes a bibliographic essay, and is richly supported by citations to primary source materials (when available). Dr. Collins writes in a lively critical style which takes nothing as gospel and frequently suggests areas for further study and inte ...more
Aug 13, 2013 Jason rated it it was amazing
If you like your academics curmudgeonly this is the book for you. He lays out the evidence for what we know about the Visigoths whilst making some entertaining sideswipes at Spanish archaeologists, German romantic historians and assorted nincumpoops who have had ideas without thoroughly researching the territory first.

It is easy to read: don't pay attention to the dullards who should never have picked up an academic book in the first place.
Alexander Rolfe
Jun 09, 2009 Alexander Rolfe rated it really liked it
Collins seemed pretty reasonable to me. The prose was pretty dull, and there was a lot of good I wrote down what I learned as soon as I finished. Should have done this all through graduate school, of course, but hardly ever did. But now I'm too old to A) plan on re-reading everything, or B) remember it all without writing it down.
May 17, 2010 Arbitrista rated it it was ok
Again with the archeological history, but then I suppose that there isn't a great deal of primary source material during that period.
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Roger J. H. Collins (born 1949) is an English medievalist, currently an honorary fellow in history at the University of Edinburgh.
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Other Books in the Series

A History of Spain (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Romans in Spain
  • The Arab Conquest of Spain: 710 - 797
  • Caliphs and Kings: Spain, 796-1031
  • The Contest of Christian and Muslim Spain, 1031-1157
  • Spain 1157-1300: A Partible Inheritance
  • Spain's Centuries of Crisis: 1300-1474
  • The Spain of the Catholic Monarchs 1474-1520
  • Spain 1516-1598: From Nation State  to World Empire
  • The Hispanic World in Crisis and Change: 1598-1700
  • Bourbon Spain, 1700-1808

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“The literary and other evidence relating to these events comes from a variety of different periods, ranging from the immediately contemporary to ones several centuries later. The testimony of these sources thus differs greatly in value and usefulness. As a rule of thumb, reliability, and also brevity of narrative, are usually in direct proportion to chronological proximity. Thus, the fullest and most elaborate versions, which provide the most detailed accounts, tend to be those most removed in time from the events they are supposed to describe. The soundest methodological approach would be to take the earliest evidence first, and then proceed to the later sources in roughly chronological order, in so far as that can be established. This way it will be possible to see at what period the different elements first enter the story. In other words, the literary evidence can be treated in an almost archaeological fashion to establish the strata in which the various components of the narrative first appear.” 0 likes
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