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Ancient History Sourcebook:
Jordanes: History of the Goths
Chap. 20:  The Devastation of the Goths in the Reign of Gallienus, 260-268 CE


[Davis Introduction]

Under Gallienus (260 to 268 CE.) the Empire was in desperate straits and seemed on the eve of dissolution. Since 250 CE the Goths had been flinging their hordes over the Danube, and committing devastations which required decades of peace to repair. It is a tribute to the strength of the Empire that it did not perish in the third century CE. After continuing their havoc for a long time unchecked, they were at last expelled for more than a century, by the arms of Claudius II Gothicus, Aurelian, and Probus.

Jordanes: History of the Goths
Chap. 20: The Devastation of the Goths in the Reign of Gallienus.

While Gallienus was given over to luxurious living of every sort, Respa, Veduc, and Thuruar, leaders of the Goths, took ship and sailed across the strait of the Hellespont to Asia. There they laid waste many populous cities and set fire to the renowned temple of Diana at Ephesus, which, as we said before, the Amazons built. Being driven from the neighborhood of Bithynia they destroyed Chalcedon, which Cornelius Avitus afterward restored to some extent. Yet even today, though it is happily situated near the royal city [Constantinople], it still shows some traces of its ruin as a witness to posterity. After their success the Goths recrossed the strait of the Hellespont, laden with booty and spoil, and returned along the same route by which they had entered the lands of Asia, sacking Troy and Ilium on the way. These cities, which had scarce recovered a little from the famous war of Agamemnon, were thus devastated anew by the hostile sword. After the Goths had thus devastated Asia, Thrace next felt their ferocity.


Source:

From: William Stearns Davis, ed., Readings in Ancient History: Illustrative Extracts from the Sources, 2 Vols. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1912-13), Vol. II: Rome and the West, pp. ??

Scanned by: J. S. Arkenberg, Dept. of History, Cal. State Fullerton. Prof. Arkenberg has modernized the text.


This text is part of the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

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© Paul Halsall, June 1998
halsall@murray.fordham.edu