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The Age of Attila: Fifth-Century Byzantium…
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The Age of Attila: Fifth-Century Byzantium and the Barbarians (edició 2013)

de C.D. Gordon (Autor), David Stone Potter (Col·laborador)

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823256,630 (3.69)1
This book describes the tragic and bloody collapse of Roman civilization in the West in the fifth century and the near ruin of the Eastern Roman Empire. The hundred years from the death of Theodosius I to the conquest of Italy by Theodoric the Ostrogoth were years of chaos, havoc, and destruction. In the East we see the confusion of the imperial government, the palace intrigues, and the sinister role of the palace eunuchs--but survival. The events are dramatically described by eyewitnesses to the disasters--the Byzantine historians Priscus, Malchus, Olympiodorus, John of Antioch, and Candidus. The contemporary accounts are translated into English and provided with a running commentary by C. D. Gordon to form a continuous narrative of an age of turmoil--the Age of Attila. David S. Potter has added translations of significant passages not in the original volume. He has also added extensive new notes to place the book in the contemporary study of the ancient world, as well as a new bibliography and a concordance with modern editions. "David Potter's re-edition, really updating, expanding, reshaping, and refreshing Colin Gordon's classic Age of Attila is a very welcome development. The Age of Attila, in Potter's expanded version, provides in English the most important literary sources for the immensely important period of the transition or decline, depending on one's view, of the Roman empire to the post-Roman kingdoms in the West, and for Roman history in the fifth century CE in general. This decisive century has always been hotly debated, but rising interest in economic history and a new wave of Attila books make this an especially fortuitous moment to have Gordon anew: no historian, no student of the later Roman Empire will be able to live without David Potter's edition of Gordon's Age of Attila!" --Susanna Elm, University of California, Berkeley "It has been half a century since C. D. Gordon published this valuable introduction to the fifth century, a narrative reconstituted from the fragmentary but tantalizing sources remaining for the period. David Potter has revitalized this classic work, updating it with reference to the latest critical editions and rewriting its notes to take account of recent scholarship. The book provides an excellent entry point into a world that saw the western Roman Empire crumble, Byzantium rise from its remains, and the barbarian peoples of central and western Eurasia reshape human history." --Noel Lenski, University of Colorado Boulder… (més)
Membre:JoeHamilton
Títol:The Age of Attila: Fifth-Century Byzantium and the Barbarians
Autors:C.D. Gordon (Autor)
Altres autors:David Stone Potter (Col·laborador)
Informació:University of Michigan Press (2013), Edition: Revised, 284 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca, Llegit, però no el tinc
Valoració:**
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Age of Attila de C.D. Gordon

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This is a Barnes and Noble reprint thirty-three years after the University of Michigan published it. I suspect it was out of copyright and there may be a dirth of Attila the Hun books. I shouldn't complain: I was looking for a down and dirty summation of Attila the man and this is an exhaustive vacuuming up of anything remotely related to Attila. Its also the first time much of it has been translated into English. These are fragments as the author calls them, much of it copied a few hundred years after Attila from documents contemporaneous with Attila but which since have disappeared. The fragments are presented in italics and the author's running commentary and remarks in a font only slightly different in appearance. The new University of Michigan rerelease has further commentary by David Stone Potter which has likely added sixty or so pages to the book.

Only one chapter, of fifty-six pages, is about the Huns; the subtitle should have been the giveaway before I bought this book. I previously reviewed this book but Library Thing or I failed to save it properly. I can now find only one tab about a personally interesting passage about Attila:
p.96: He could not stand the sight of Zercon, a Scythian so called, but a Moor by race.
There was a Roman envoy's description of Attila's living quarters. The envoy was impressed by the woodwork of these semi-nomadic people. Perhaps Fritz Lang's set designer read that passage before the filming of "Die Niebelungen."
There is one really interesting passage that gives an insight into Attila or his times. The author is a Roman envoy sent to parlay with Attila. After a long wait by the envoy, Attila returns home from a day of traveling around his dominion. They sit down to dinner and three bound prisoners are brought in. Attila asks about them, their crimes are explained and Attila is asked to pass judgement on them. Instead he eats dinner and converses with the envoy. After dinner as he is about to retire and almost as an afterthought, Attila quickly disposes of the prisoners. Each is to be killed in a different way, the details now escaping me, but they share the characteristics of cruel ingenuity.
There are no illustrations or photos. ( )
  JoeHamilton | Jan 8, 2021 |
History books have come a long way in the last century. Not necessarily in terms of content -- there are many topics where there just hasn't been any new material discovered. I'm talking about in terms of style.

Modern history writers do a better job telling a compelling story; compared with the old style of simply reciting known facts. First published in 1960, The Age of Attila is a short, but painfully dense book to read. Every page seems to introduce one or more persons. Many of these aren't persons we are otherwise find familiar. The book is not really about Attila, but rather of the greater event of the collapse of the Roman Empire in the west, as well as duplicitous dealings of the Eastern Empire as it laid the foundation for another 9 centuries of survival. The changing scenery and constant barrage of bit players made the book hard to follow. At times Gordon would insert quoted primary source material without actually quoting it...the shifting perspective was quite annoying. The effect of Attila's campaign was alluded to throughout the book, but no attempt was made for a comprehensive treatment of the war against the Huns. This was a very tiresome book. ( )
  JeffV | May 19, 2011 |
Es mostren totes 3
Ultimately, is the revised edition worthwhile? While some of the comments in the notes might provoke criticism, the bibliography may be a bit short, and the use of italics for translations is still hard to follow, the truth is this is the most accessible edition, in English, of much of the extant fragments of fifth-century classicizing historians. Priscus’ account of his expedition to meet with Attila is, to my mind, one of the best and most interesting pieces of extended narrative from any period of antiquity. Where else can we read about abandoned Danubian cities paired with the remnants of the region’s Roman institutions, the machinations of Attila’s court, and a philosophically inspired dialogue between an eminent Roman historian and a Greek immigrant living amongst the Huns? Thus, a readable and affordable version of Priscus’ account, not to mention the select fragments from the other historians, makes this worthwhile; moreover, Potter’s notes will be useful to student and scholar alike. Thus, with the growing scholarly interest in the fifth century, the reissuing of Gordon’s book is timely. All in all, this revised edition of Gordon’s classic sourcebook should reach a new audience.
 
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This book describes the tragic and bloody collapse of Roman civilization in the West in the fifth century and the near ruin of the Eastern Roman Empire. The hundred years from the death of Theodosius I to the conquest of Italy by Theodoric the Ostrogoth were years of chaos, havoc, and destruction. In the East we see the confusion of the imperial government, the palace intrigues, and the sinister role of the palace eunuchs--but survival. The events are dramatically described by eyewitnesses to the disasters--the Byzantine historians Priscus, Malchus, Olympiodorus, John of Antioch, and Candidus. The contemporary accounts are translated into English and provided with a running commentary by C. D. Gordon to form a continuous narrative of an age of turmoil--the Age of Attila. David S. Potter has added translations of significant passages not in the original volume. He has also added extensive new notes to place the book in the contemporary study of the ancient world, as well as a new bibliography and a concordance with modern editions. "David Potter's re-edition, really updating, expanding, reshaping, and refreshing Colin Gordon's classic Age of Attila is a very welcome development. The Age of Attila, in Potter's expanded version, provides in English the most important literary sources for the immensely important period of the transition or decline, depending on one's view, of the Roman empire to the post-Roman kingdoms in the West, and for Roman history in the fifth century CE in general. This decisive century has always been hotly debated, but rising interest in economic history and a new wave of Attila books make this an especially fortuitous moment to have Gordon anew: no historian, no student of the later Roman Empire will be able to live without David Potter's edition of Gordon's Age of Attila!" --Susanna Elm, University of California, Berkeley "It has been half a century since C. D. Gordon published this valuable introduction to the fifth century, a narrative reconstituted from the fragmentary but tantalizing sources remaining for the period. David Potter has revitalized this classic work, updating it with reference to the latest critical editions and rewriting its notes to take account of recent scholarship. The book provides an excellent entry point into a world that saw the western Roman Empire crumble, Byzantium rise from its remains, and the barbarian peoples of central and western Eurasia reshape human history." --Noel Lenski, University of Colorado Boulder

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