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The Goths (The Peoples of Europe)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  74 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The volume is divided into three parts, corresponding to the three main phases in Gothic history: their early history down to the fourth century, the revolution in Gothic society set in motion by the arrival of the Huns, and the history of the Gothic successor states to the western Roman Empire. At its heart lies a new vision of Gothic identity, and of the social caste by ...more
Paperback, 378 pages
Published June 8th 1998 by Wiley-Blackwell (first published May 9th 1998)
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Dec 06, 2014 Fortunr rated it it was amazing

This is an excellent, academically impeccable, thoroughly enjoyable book about the fascinating Gothic history, starting from the first dimly recognizably "Gothic" evidence in the first century AD, all the way to the end of the Ostrogoth and Visigoth kingdoms in the sixth and early eight centuries AD.

Peter Heather is one of my favorite authors - an eminent historian of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, and one of the most knowledgeable experts in Gothic history. His competence and depth of spe
Michael Smith
Nov 16, 2014 Michael Smith rated it really liked it
In a relatively few years, Heather has become perhaps the leading living expert on the Goths during Late Antiquity and the early medieval period, and especially on their relations with the Roman Empire. This is also one of the best entries in the long-running and high-quality “Peoples of Europe” series, which makes it doubly worth reading. The last survey (in English) of the whole three centuries of the Gothic period was published in 1888, and not much really new literary material has come to li ...more
Oct 21, 2013 Harold rated it really liked it
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
Jun 26, 2014 Paul rated it liked it
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
Jose Esquibel
May 19, 2012 Jose Esquibel rated it liked it
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
Jan 26, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it
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).
Sep 10, 2011 Neil rated it really liked it
Shelves: german, history
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.
Sep 04, 2014 Scott rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
I loved it. It's an amazing insight into the Gothic culture, before, during and after their time within the Roman Empire.
Peter Bradley
Jul 25, 2014 Peter Bradley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
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