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Jordanes
Jordanes
(/dʒɔːrˈdeɪniːz/),[1] also written Jordanis or, uncommonly, Jornandes,[2] was a 6th-century Eastern Roman bureaucrat of Gothic extraction[3] who turned his hand to history later in life. Jordanes
Jordanes
wrote Romana, about the history of Rome, but his best-known work is his Getica, which was written in Constantinople
Constantinople
[4] about AD 551.[5] It is the only extant ancient work dealing with the early history of the Goths. Jordanes
Jordanes
was asked by a friend to write Getica
Getica
as a summary of a multi-volume history of the Goths
Goths
by the statesman Cassiodorus
Cassiodorus
that had existed then but has since been lost. Jordanes
Jordanes
was selected for his known interest in history, his ability to write succinctly[dubious – discuss] and because of his own Gothic background. He had been a high-level notarius, or secretary, of a small client state on the Roman frontier in Scythia Minor, modern south-eastern Romania
Romania
and north-eastern Bulgaria.[6] Other writers, e.g. Procopius, wrote works which are extant on the later history of the Goths. As the only surviving work on Gothic origins, the Getica
Getica
has been the object of much critical review. Jordanes
Jordanes
wrote in Late Latin
Late Latin
rather than the classical Ciceronian Latin. According to his own introduction, he had only three days to review what Cassiodorus
Cassiodorus
had written, meaning that he must also have relied on his own knowledge. Some of his statements are laconic.[clarification needed]

Contents

1 Life 2 Works 3 Controversy 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

Life[edit] Jordanes
Jordanes
writes about himself almost in passing:[7][8]

The Sciri, moreover, and the Sadagarii and certain of the Alani with their leader, Candac by name, received Scythia Minor
Scythia Minor
and Lower Moesia. Paria, the father of my father Alanoviiamuth (that is to say, my grandfather), was secretary to this Candac as long as he lived. To his sister's son Gunthigis, also called Baza, the Master of the Soldiery, who was the son of Andag the son of Andela, who was descended from the stock of the Amali, I also, Jordanes, although an unlearned man before my conversion, was secretary.

Already in the Mommsen text edition of 1882, it was suggested that the very long name of Jordanes' father should be split into two parts: Alanovii Amuthis, both genitive forms. Jordanes' father's name would then be Amuth. The preceding word should then belong to Candac, signifying that he was an Alan. Mommsen, however, dismissed suggestions to emend a corrupt text.[9] Paria was Jordanes' paternal grandfather. Jordanes
Jordanes
writes that he was secretary to Candac, dux Alanorum, an otherwise unknown leader of the Alans. Jordanes
Jordanes
was notarius, or secretary to Gunthigis Baza, a magister militum, nephew of Candac, of the leading Ostrogoth
Ostrogoth
clan of the Amali. This was ante conversionem meam ("before my conversion"). The nature and details of the conversion remain obscure. The Goths
Goths
had been converted with the assistance of Ulfilas
Ulfilas
(a Goth), made bishop on that account. However, the Goths
Goths
had adopted Arianism. Jordanes' conversion may have been a conversion to the trinitarian Nicene creed, which may be expressed in anti- Arianism
Arianism
in certain passages in Getica.[10] In the letter to Vigilius he mentions that he was awakened vestris interrogationibus - "by your questioning". Alternatively, Jordanes' conversio may mean that he had become a monk, or a religiosus, or a member of the clergy. Some manuscripts say that he was a bishop, some even say bishop of Ravenna, but the name Jordanes
Jordanes
is not known in the lists of bishops of Ravenna. Works[edit]

The deeds of Dacians
Dacians
and Getae
Getae
(here from Trajan's column) were wrongly attributted to Goths
Goths
by Jordanes

Jordanes
Jordanes
wrote his Romana at the behest of a certain Vigilius. Although some scholars have identified this person with pope Vigilius, there is nothing else to support the identification besides the name. The form of address that Jordanes
Jordanes
uses and his admonition that Vigilius "turn to God" would seem to rule out this identification.[9][11] In the preface to his Getica, Jordanes
Jordanes
writes that he is interrupting his work on the Romana at the behest of a brother Castalius, who apparently knew that Jordanes
Jordanes
had had the twelve volumes of the History of the Goths
Goths
by Cassiodorus
Cassiodorus
at home. Castalius would like a short book about the subject, and Jordanes
Jordanes
obliges with an excerpt based on memory, possibly supplemented with other material he had access to. The Getica
Getica
sets off with a geography/ethnography of the North, especially of Scandza
Scandza
(16–24). He lets the history of the Goths
Goths
commence with the emigration of Berig with three ships from Scandza
Scandza
to Gothiscandza
Gothiscandza
(25, 94), in a distant past. In the pen of Jordanes, Herodotus' Getian demi-god Zalmoxis becomes a king of the Goths
Goths
(39). Jordanes
Jordanes
tells how the Goths
Goths
sacked " Troy
Troy
and Ilium" just after they had recovered somewhat from the war with Agamemnon
Agamemnon
(108). They are also said to have encountered the Egyptian pharaoh Vesosis (47). The less fictional part of Jordanes' work begins when the Goths encounter Roman military forces in the third century AD. The work concludes with the defeat of the Goths
Goths
by the Byzantine general Belisarius. Jordanes
Jordanes
concludes the work by stating that he writes to honour those who were victorious over the Goths
Goths
after a history of 2030 years. Controversy[edit] Several Romanian and American historians wrote about Jordanes' error when considering that Getae
Getae
were Goths. A lot of historical data of Dacians
Dacians
and Getae
Getae
were wrongly attributed to Goths.[12][13][14][15] Christensen A. S., Troya C. and Kulikowski M.,[16][17][18] demonstrated in their works that Jordanes
Jordanes
developed in Getica
Getica
the history of Getic and Dacian peoples mixed with a lot of fantastic deeds.[clarification needed] Caracalla
Caracalla
(in 214) received "Geticus Maximus" and "Quasi Gothicus" titles following battles with Getae
Getae
and Goths. Also Belisarius
Belisarius
received "Geticus" title after battles against Getic tribes and not against Goths.[clarification needed] See also[edit]

History of the Roman Empire

Notes[edit]

^ "Jordanes". The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Columbia University Press, 2012. ^ According to Schanz-Hosius (Geschichte der Römischen Literatur, 4, vol. 2 (1920), pp. 115, 118) the best MSS of his work present his name as Jordanes, as does the 'Geographus Ravennas'. Jordanis is a 'vulgar' form that is also used, while Jornandes only appears in lesser MSS. The form Jornandes, however, was often used in older publications. ^ "If Jordanes
Jordanes
was a bishop (as is frequently assumed) and if he lived in Italy (also frequently assumed), those elements of his background have left no trace in his two histories" (Brian Croke (1987), " Cassiodorus
Cassiodorus
and the Getica
Getica
of Jordanes", Classical Philology, 82: 119 (117–134)., doi:10.1086/367034  ^ " Constantinople
Constantinople
is "our city" ( Getica
Getica
38). ^ He mentions the great plague of 542 as having occurred "nine years ago" ( Getica
Getica
104). Still, there are some modern scholars who opt for a later date, see Peter Heather, Goths
Goths
and Romans 332-489, Oxford 1991, pp. 47-49 (year 552), Walter Goffart, The Narrators of Barbarian History, Princeton 1988, p. 98 (year 554). ^ Croke 1987. ^ Jordanes, Mierow, ed., Getica
Getica
266  ^ Jordanes, De origine actibusque Getarum L  ^ a b Arne Søby Christensen (2002), Cassiodorus, Jordanes, and the History of the Goths. Studies in a Migration Myth, ISBN 978-87-7289-710-3  ^ Getica
Getica
132, 133, 138, noted by Croke 1987:125 ^ James J. O'Donnell (1982), "The Aims of Jordanes", Historia, 31: 223–240, archived from the original on November 9, 2007  ^ Walter Goffart, The Narrators of Barbarian History, Princeton 1988, p. 70. ^ Pârvan, Vasile (1928). Dacia: An Outline of the Early Civilization of the Carpatho-Danubian Countries. The University Press ^ Oțetea, Andrei (1970). The History of the Romanian people. Scientific Pub. Hoose. ^ Ioan Bolovan, Florin Constantiniu, Paul E. Michelson, Ioan Aurel Pop, Christian Popa, Marcel Popa, Kurt Treptow, A History of Romania, Intl Specialized Book Service Inc. 1997 ^ Arne Søby Christensen (2002), Cassiodorus, Jordanes, and the History of the Goths. Studies in a Migration Myth ^ Carlo Troya, Storia d'Italia del medio-Evo - Napoli - Stamperia reale - 1830 p.1331 ^ M.Kulikowski, Rome’s Gothic Wars, p. 130,

References[edit]

Mierow, Charles Christopher, The Gothic History of Jordanes: In English with an Introduction and a Commentary, 1915. Reprinted 2006. Evolution Publishing, ISBN 978-1-889758-77-0. [1] Carlo Troya (1842). Storia d'Italia del medio-evo (in Italian). Tip. del Tasso stamp. reale. pp. 1331–. Retrieved 5 April 2013.  Kulikowski, Michael, Rome’s Gothic Wars, p. 130. Arne Søby Christensen, Cassiodorus, Jordanes, and the History of the Goths. Studies in a Migration Myth, 2002, ISBN 978-87-7289-710-3 Kai Brodersen, Könige im Karpatenbogen: Zur historischen Bedeutung von Jordanes' Herrscherliste. In: Zeitschrift für Siebenbürgische Landeskunde 36 (2013) pp. 129–146 (ISSN 0344-3418)

External links[edit]

Works by Jordanes
Jordanes
at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Jordanes
Jordanes
at Internet Archive Jordanes, The Origins and Deeds of the Goths, translated by Charles C. Mierow. alternative. James J. O'Donell (1982), "The Aims of Jordanes", Historia, 31: 223–240, archived from the original on November 9, 2007  The Origins and Deeds of the Goths

v t e

Byzantine historians

5th century

Malchus Panodorus of Alexandria Priscus

6th century

Agathias Evagrius Scholasticus Hesychius of Miletus John of Ephesus John of Epiphania Jordanes John Malalas Liberatus of Carthage Marcellinus Comes Menander Protector Peter the Patrician Procopius Theodorus Lector Theophanes of Byzantium Zacharias Rhetor Zosimus

7th century

Trajan the Patrician Theophylact Simocatta John of Antioch

8th century

Hippolytus of Thebes

9th century

Theophanes the Confessor George Syncellus Nikephoros I of Constantinople George Hamartolos

10th century

Constantine VII Joseph Genesius John Kaminiates Leo the Deacon Symeon the Metaphrast Theophanes Continuatus

11th century

Michael Attaleiates George Kedrenos Michael Psellos John Skylitzes John Xiphilinus Yahya of Antioch

12th century

Nikephoros Bryennios the Younger Niketas Choniates Eustathius of Thessalonica Michael Glycas Anna Komnene John Kinnamos Constantine Manasses Joannes Zonaras

13th century

George Akropolites

14th century

Nicephorus Gregoras Nikephoros Kallistos Xanthopoulos George Pachymeres Michael Panaretos

15th century

John Anagnostes John Cananus Laonikos Chalkokondyles Michael Critobulus Doukas George Sphrantzes

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 268814081 LCCN: n85084093 ISNI: 0000 0001 2030 3509 GND: 118891472 SELIBR: 191963 SUDOC: 030817498 BNF: cb12215657t (data)

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