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The Origin and Deeds of the Goths, Index



551 AD

translated by Charles C. Mierow

Princeton University Press, 1915

Introductory Note

Jordanes, as he himself tells us a couple of times, was of Gothic descent and wrote this work as a summary of Cassiodorus' much longer treatment of the history of the Goths. Because Cassiodorus' book no longer survives, Jordanes' treatment is often our only source for some of the Gothic history it describes. He wrote the Getica during the later stages of the reign of Justinian, not too long after the demise of the Ostrogothic kingdom in Italy.

Jordanes divided his work, apart from the brief introduction and conclusion, into four main sections (reflected in the contents below). These are :

1) a Geographical Introduction;

2) the United Goths;

3) the Visigoths;

4) and the Ostrogoths.

Other large sections, such as the discussion of the Huns, he treats as digressions of a sort (the more interesting or important of these have been added to the contents below). Mierow prefaces his translation with a detailed literary analysis of all the topics in the text; this is not, however, reproduced here.

The text of the translation presented here was scanned from a printed copy of Mierow's book and checked carefully for errors (a few misprints in that book have been corrected as well). This hypertext version has been designed for the use of students of Ancient History at the University of Calgary. I have included the (Roman) chapter and (arabic) section numbers to facilitate specific citation (or to find a specific reference; these numbers may be found in Mierow's translation as well, though the section numbers are in his margins) and have added internal links for purposes of navigation.

J. Vanderspoel,

Department of Greek, Latin and Ancient History, University of Calgary


  1. Preface

  2. Geographical Introduction

  3. The United Goths

  4. The Goths in the Third Century A.D.

  5. Origin of the Huns

  6. The Divided Goths (Visigoths)

  7. Attila the Hun; The Battle of the Catalaunian Fields

  8. The Divided Goths (Ostrogoths)

  9. Conclusion


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