The Historical Value of Jordanes’ <i>Getica</i>

P. J. Heather

in Goths and Romans 332–489

Published in print August 1994 | ISBN: 9780198205357
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676581 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

The Historical Value of Jordanes’ Getica

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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This chapter discusses the historical methods and materials of Jordanes. It looks at Jordanes' Getica, which is an account of Gothic history that includes an anachronistic account of the division of the Goths into Ostrogoth and Visigoth, as well as the exaggerated historical role accorded to the Balth and Amal dynasties. The chapter shows that the Getica provides some evidence that the workings of Gothic oral history were congruous with modern examples. Although parts of the Getica are singularly Gothic, this does not mean that it contains a unique and authoritative account of Gothic history.

Keywords: historical methods; materials; Jordanes; Getica; Gothic history; Ostrogoth; Visigoth; oral history

Chapter.  13862 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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