ITALY AND HER INVADERS. VOLUME III. THE OSTROGOTHIC INVASION by Thomas Hodgkin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is an older book so get used to the prose from the 19th century.
This is a great book otherwise to fill in the gaps of history. In 476 AD, the last Western Roman Emperor was deposed, thus ending an era. But the way history is written or popularized, it’s like time just stopped there. This is not true, of course. Life went on. People were born. People lived, breathed, ate, worked, and died.
Hodgkins weaves a tale of the Ostrogothic Kingdom that rise out of the ashes. It was an amalgamation of so many different things:
1. powerful Gothic generals who played kingmaker;
2. Huns, Burgundian, and the Franks who formed the new “Roman” army;
3. the rise of the Eastern Roman Empire (aka Byzantine);
4. the power struggles between the weakened Imperial Roman senate and the Ostrogothic kings
5. and the fights between orthodox Christians and multiple heresies like the Arians, and the MiaPhysites and the MonoPhysites.
And who are the losers? Pretty much the every day folk. However, to quote Akira Kirosawa in The 7 Samurai, “It’s the farmers. The farmers always win.”
Note: I don’t have volumes 1 and 2.