Narrators of Barbarian History (A.D. 550–800), The
Jordanes, Gregory of Tours, Bede, and Paul the Deacon
536 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Paperback | 9780268029678 | November 2005
Hardcover | 9780268075019 | November 2005
eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268075033 | November 2005
In this substantial work Walter Goffart treats the four writers who provide the principal narrative sources for our early knowledge of the Ostrogoths, Franks, Anglo-Saxons, and Lombards: Jordanes, Gregory of Tours, Bede, and Paul the Deacon. The University of Notre Dame Press is pleased to make this book available for the first time in paperback. Winner of the Medieval Academy of America’s Haskins Medal for 1991, The Narrators of Barbarian History treats the four writers who are the main early sources for our knowledge of the Ostrogoths, Franks, Anglo-Saxons, and Lombards. In his preface to this paperback edition, Goffart examines the questions his work has evoked since its original publication in 1988 and enlarges the bibliography to account for recent scholarship.
Walter Goffart is professor emeritus of history at the University of Toronto and Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer in History at Yale University.
"A work of considerable importance. [Goffart's] insistence that these Dark Age historians were literary figures, who had specific goals in mind, and moulded their narratives to suit their ends, is crucial. So too is the notion that the works by these historians, and not the information they contain, are our real incontrovertible 'facts.' . . . His thesis ought radically to transform our approach to the early middle ages." —Canadian Journal of History
"The Narrators of Barbarian History should become essential reading for all early medievalists." —History
"This book will be extremely valuable for those wishing to understand any of its four narrators. In addition to its exciting approach, it is a masterpiece of scholarship, magnificently and precisely noted." —Speculum
". . . a work which will both provoke much discussion of its central ideas and be widely consulted as a standard source of reference for the writers with whom it deals." —Church History
"As with everything Professor Goffart writes, this book is stimulating and provocative. There is much of interest in the detailed studies of the four writers presented here." —English Historical Review
"This is a very good book . . . full of freshness, imagination, and learning. . . . [Goffart has produced] a wealth of original arguments and insights that will succeed in permanently disturbing the old complacency." —American Historical Review