Decent books on the migration->medieval periods

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socks

Master Knight
WB
I know, there's a section of the AC called 'Music, books, and art', but since I'm looking for a history oriented book, I figured it'd be more appropriate to ask you guys. Does anyone know of any decent books covering the mentioned period? Christmas is coming up, my family members have no clue what to get for me, and I've of late become keenly interested in European history between when the various Germanic and other barbarians started invading the Empire and before the renaissance started. So, any suggestions?

e: I know it's a very broad subject, but I don't specifically mean books covering the whole era, although those would be welcomed as well.
 

Skot the Sanguine

Sergeant Knight
WBNW
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is a good start.  Honestly, this is a period of history I have had a long time interest in but have acquired knowledge of from a wide variety of sources (none really dedicated to the topic itself).  Thus, I am interested in hearing of titles as well.
 

Merlkir

Skot the Sanguine said:
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is a good start.  Honestly, this is a period of history I have had a long time interest in but have acquired knowledge of from a wide variety of sources (none really dedicated to the topic itself).  Thus, I am interested in hearing of titles as well.

Though if it's the book I think it is, it's a bit dated, isn't it?

I have a series of awesome (if a bit thick) books, but they're written by Czech authors :/ I somehow doubt there's a translation.
 
Merlkir, you should consider that, your English is good enough, maybe you could get a kick back from the Czech publishers?
 

DrevniDabar

FrisianDude said:
@ you two above, translate them, you selfish ****ers. :mad:
No! Never! You can't make us!
We Slavic people are too proud to translate our magnificient books to some lousy imperialistic language such as Eglish!  :razz:
 

Merlkir

Austupaio said:
Merlkir, you should consider that, your English is good enough, maybe you could get a kick back from the Czech publishers?

Ya, if I was unemployed and not studying, and if I had a super bloated ego, maybe. :grin:
 

Skot the Sanguine

Sergeant Knight
WBNW
Merlkir said:
Skot the Sanguine said:
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is a good start.  Honestly, this is a period of history I have had a long time interest in but have acquired knowledge of from a wide variety of sources (none really dedicated to the topic itself).  Thus, I am interested in hearing of titles as well.

Though if it's the book I think it is, it's a bit dated, isn't it?

I have a series of awesome (if a bit thick) books, but they're written by Czech authors :/ I somehow doubt there's a translation.

It is the one you are thinking about, but Roman sources haven't changed much since then :smile:.  It is a classic.
 

Merlkir

Interpretations of said sources evolve though, and archaeology backing those interpretations moves forward. :wink:
 

socks

Master Knight
WB
DrevniDabar said:
Wait, wait...
When you say book, do you mean
historical book or historical novel?
Books I meant, as in non-fiction. Given the length of my current series of novels I doubt I'll be wanting in terms of fiction for a long while.

Skot, would that be the one Wikipedia says was written in the 18th century? :p The article also says it mainly focuses on the Empire's fall and the reasons why; not necessarily what I was interested in - I'm more interested in the barbarians who were the most obvious culprits for the fall and of what was happening in the rest of Europe at the time - but it is certainly central to the matter, so I will look into it.
 

Majhudeen

So your looking on the various barbarian groups that attributed to the fall of rome, I.E Saxons, Vandhals, Huns, Franks, The Norse,Picts, Celts, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, and if your also looking at the Byzantines, the Great Islamic Jihad forces and the Seljuks?

I can grant some info and sources if you want.

I don't know about books, but I do know of some film footage that covers stuff like this. If you want I can dig up the links for you, its basically a documentary showing these various groups.

Another intresting one you will probably want to read up about, is the Scythians, Teutons (not the Knightly order) and Gauls, due to the fact they could be considered barbarians.
 

Merlkir

Scythians, Teutons and Gauls would also be rather irrelevant during the migration period.  :???:
 

Skot the Sanguine

Sergeant Knight
WBNW
The Migration Period is called the Migration Period namely due to the Germanic tribes mass migrations.  Celts, Scythians, Picts, and Teutons are all irrelevant to it, as Merlkir said.

Goths (Ostrogoth or Visigoth...or their respective predecessors the Greuthingi and Thurvingi), Vandals, Franks, Saxons, Langobards (Lombards), Burgundi, Alemanni (successor to the Suebi tribes, such as the Marcomanni), Rugi, etc...are what he is looking for.  The Norse, with the possible exception of the Rugi (debated origin) did not attack the Roman Empire directly.  However, many of the previous tribes were said to come from Scandinavian areas (as all Germans are said to), though namely the Goths, Burgundi, and Vandals.

As for the source being from the 1700's, yes it is.  That doesn't mean it is irrelevant to read.  The famous Herr Grimm of Grimm brothers' fame wrote a book series on old Germanic words, culture and languages and it must be the most thorough thing I have ever read too (dry as hell though).  I can't imagine it being any more detailed.  He was fluent in probably a dozen of old Germanic languages and runic alphabets.

Merlkir, to be honest, I don't care if new people have changed their views on various sources since that time.  In several decades those views will change too.  What I care about is straight information, what happened after the Battle of Adrianople, for example.  We know the Goths then began a pillaging raid throughout much of Greece.  Those sort of facts are what I care about when I read history books, not what some ******* thinks is why they attacked one city over another.  From such dry facts I make my own sense of it, and I think I do a better job of it than ancalimon (though that is like saying I play better football than a man without legs).

Anyway, as I said it is a classic.  I will get the titles of Grimm's books too, though I don't know how you might get your hands on a copy.  I own a copy of them, but they were not easy to get.

Tacitus's Germania is excellent too, though it was written a couple centuries before the migrations (around the time of the Marcomanni Wars).
 

Skot the Sanguine

Sergeant Knight
WBNW
Aye, the Goths are a complex people, so it is hard to say much with certainty.  We are not even sure if they are an entirely Germanic people or if it was a Germanic nobility/ruling class imposed upon local populations of the northern Black Sea coast.

I don't limit myself to historical sources, but I have grown tired of reading academic books where the author seems to want to wag his cock around as much as write the book.  Everyone wants their twist on how things happen in order to garner reputation and importance among colleagues.  I rather read a chronicle or autobiography.

Anyway, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is still a cornerstone in the field, even if it might have outdated viewpoints.  Not everything in it will be interesting to Socks, but he can skim it to find stuff that might be.

Germania from Tacitus would be more up his alley with regards to Germanic culture, but once again it is several centuries before the migrations, so things change.  Nevertheless, it is probably my favorite ancient resource.  If only we had Pliny the Elder's book on his service against the Germans though :sad:.
 

Frisicus

Squire
WB
If you want an up-to-date and decent book covering the period from the Late Roman Age (ca. 250 AD) till the end of the Late Middle Age (ca. 1500) I can advice you to purchase the book of Barbara H. Rosenwein A Short History of the Middle Ages (third edition).

Link: http://www.rosenweinshorthistory.com/about

It is (speaking from experience) the best study book for academic first year medieval history students who need to get to know the basics of the period in all its facets and its on a whole a nice book for anyone interested in the medieval period of Europe whether amateur- or graduated historian/archaeologists.

The book is chronologically set up elaborating on the general history (relevant processes taking place and important people(s) per time frame) with sub topics covering the various political, social, cultural, religious and economical changes that occurred and what triggered them.
 

EdwardWellcraft

Sergeant Knight
I'm currently reading this book.

http://www.amazon.com/Barbarians-Marauders-Infidels-Medieval-Warfare/dp/0813391539

IT starts off talking about the Goths and Longobards in Italy, and covers some of the other tribes. It's specific to warfare, however, and also mostly covers the Middle-Ages proper. Archaeology of Weapons also has a short bit on the migration period weapons, particularly swords.
 

Garoid

Recruit
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is still a pretty good one honestly. Views are different but he did a pretty exhaustive study of available classical sources. Just take his conclusions with a grain of salt, they're full of 18th century biases.

I'd also recommend Barry Cunliffe's Facing the Ocean. Most of the book is an archaeological survey of the Atlantic shore  and it's people, from the late stone age to 1500. However one of the later chapters (10 I think) deals specifically with the Migration Period and the peoples therein, and has some very nice and useful maps.

Problem is that's a very rare book, I paid a good deal for my copy, and that it's very thick and heavy to read since its a mix of pure archaeology and history.
 
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