Monday, June 30, 2008

The Age of Attila by Colin Douglas Gordon

The Age of Attila by Colin Douglas Gordon was originally published in 1960. This book contains translated fragments from ancient historians about the fifth century A.D. Gordon points out that this era of Roman imperial history is particularly lacking in sources the information being broken up between obscure texts. So he provides them grouped into one place. He is solely interested in political and military history which I was quite happy about.

As the title suggests the Hun invasions are central to the events discussed in the book. Particularly interesting were the descriptions of Attila's character. His behavior towards several Roman embassies are enlightening as well as the perception of the Huns by the Romans. There doesn't seem to be much your about battles only their outcomes.

These sources are connected by introductions that give background on chronology and some contextual analysis of the sources. The book concludes with a discussion of dating the sources as well as their authorship. The book gives an excellent illustration of how often so much of what we know about the past is based on very brief material. Always something that historians should keep in mind.


Is available through AbeBooks.

No comments: