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Cassiodorus, Jordanes and the history of the Goths : studies in a migration myth

Author: Arne Søby Christensen
Publisher: Copenhagen : Museum Tusculanum Press, 2002.
Dissertation: doctoral University of Copenhagen 2002
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
A study in the myth of the early history of the Goths as told in the Getica written by Jordanes in AD 551. Jordanes claimed they emigrated from the island of Scandza (Sweden) in 1490 BC, thus giving them a history of more than two thousand years. He found this narrative in Cassiodorus's Gothic history, which is now lost. The present study demonstrates that Cassiodorus and Jordanes did not base their accounts on a  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Academic theses
History
Sources
Material Type: Thesis/dissertation
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Arne Søby Christensen
ISBN: 8772897104 9788772897103
OCLC Number: 1000680275
Description: xi, 391 pages : genealogical tables ; 25 cm
Responsibility: Arne Søby Christensen.

Abstract:

A study in the myth of the early history of the Goths as told in the Getica written by Jordanes in AD 551. Jordanes claimed they emigrated from the island of Scandza (Sweden) in 1490 BC, thus giving them a history of more than two thousand years. He found this narrative in Cassiodorus's Gothic history, which is now lost. The present study demonstrates that Cassiodorus and Jordanes did not base their accounts on a living Gothic tradition of the past, as the Getica would have us believe. On the contrary, they got their information only from the Graeco-Roman literature. The Greeks and Romans, however, did not know of the Goths till the middle of the third century AD. Consequently, Cassiodorus and Jordanes created a Gothic history partly through an erudite exploitation of the names of foreign peoples, partly by using the narratives about other peoples' history as if they belonged to the Goths.

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