The Goths
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The Goths (The Peoples of Europe)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  6 reviews
This volume draws on all the available literary and archaeological evidence to reconstruct the Goths' dramatic history, and to explore the meaning of Gothic identity at different moments and in different contexts.
Paperback, 378 pages
Published June 8th 1998 by Wiley-Blackwell (first published January 16th 1991)
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Well, interesting. Informative. If you're looking for a narrative history of the Goths, this isn't it - but that's not what it is trying to be. Problem is, I'm not sure quite *what* this is trying to be (though granted, this is at least as likely to be due to my own lack of experience in this field as it is to any deficiency in the book itself).

Much of the book is spent discussing the question of whether there ever existed a Gothic ethnicity - to which the answer, according to the author, appea...more
Heather's analysis of the primary sources (Jordanes, Cassiodorus, Procopius, Ammianus, and about 75 others) is incredible, and his presentation of archeological evidence (notably the material from Wielbark and Cernjachov excavations) is likewise impressive. My only real complaints are: 1) While he makes a convincing argument for placing the Goths point of origin somewhere in what's now northwestern Poland/eastern Germany (based mostly on Tacitus and grave finds) - instead of Sweden (the legendar...more
Jose Esquibel
Although the material in this book is somewhat dense, this scholarly work provides the most detailed account of the various tribal groups known collectively as Goths up to the time of its publication in 1996. In particular, Peter Heather supplemented the findings from the written historical record with archaeological discoveries to document both the migration of the various groups of Goths from the Baltic region of Europe to the Balkans and then across the Danube into the regions that were once...more
Excellent overview of the Goths as an entity from their 1st century appearance on along the shores of the Baltic through the end of the Visigoth kingdom in Iberia. I prefer Heather's reading of the evidence (Goth's as distinct cultural entity through most of the time period) to O'Donnell's (Ostrogoths as essentially Roman).
A great introduction to the history of the Goths by Peter Heather. This book traces the movements of the Goths from the Baltic to the Balkans, their invasion and settlement of Italy and Iberian Peninsula, to their final entanglements with the eastern empire and ultimate pacification.
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