The barbarians of the fifth and sixth centuries were long thought to be races, tribes or ethnic groups who toppled the Roman Empire. This book proposes a new view, through a case study of the Goths of Italy between 489 and 554. The author suggests wholly new ways of understanding barbarian groups and the end of the Western Roman Empire. The book also proposes a complete reinterpretation of the evolution of Christian conceptions of community, and of so-called "Germanic" Arianism.
Preface; Map of Ostrogothic Italy; List of rulers; Introduction: studying the barbarians in late antiquity; 1. Ethnicity, ethnography and community in the fifth and sixth centuries; 2. The Ravenna government and ethnographic identity: from civitas to bellicositas; 3. Individual reactions to ideology. I: names, language and profession; 4. Complementary and competing ideals of community: Italy and the Roman empire; 5. Individual reactions to ideology. II: soldiers, civilians and political allegiance; 6. Catholic communities and Christian empire; 7. Individual reactions to ideology. III: Catholics and Arians; 8. The origin of the Goths and Balkan military culture; Conclusion; Appendix 1: the inquiry into Gundila's property; Appendix 2: the Germanic culture construct; Appendix 3: archaeological and toponymic research on Ostrogothic Italy; Appendix 4: dress, hairstyle and military customs; Prosopographical appendix: a prosopography of the Goths in Italy, 489–554.
"Amory makes a significant contribution in his book on the Ostrogoths.... ...this extraordinarily rich book is a landmark in the study of the early middle ages in Italy." Michael Maas, Church History
"Patrick Amory has made a major contribution to the debate over identity and ethnicity that has dominated the historiography of late antiquity for at least two decades with the publication of this decidedly iconoclastic book." Thomas S. Burns, American Historical Review
"...this volume, which is so carefully and meticulously researched, will undoubtedly be the standard point of departure for any further study on the Ostrogoths. Amoryhas also set a challenging standard of scholarship for those who plan to write any future volumes on the peoples who settled in the western Roman Empire." Speculum
"...invaluable in illustrating the intermingling of the multi-ethnic people who entered Italy..." Medieval Prosopography