Two hundred and fifty ships, said Dion (in a lost passage quoted by Jordanes), could ride at anchor in its harbour.
JORDANES, 1 the historian of the Gothic nation, flourished about the middle of the 6th century.
Jordanes himself was the notary of Candac's nephew, the Gothic chief Gunthigis, until he took the vows of a monk.
The Getica of Jordanes shows Gothic sympathies; but these are probably due to an imitation of the tone of Cassiodorus, from whom he draws practically all his material.
We pass from the extremely shadowy personality of Jordanes to the more interesting question of his works.
There is a curious reference to Iamblichus, apparently the neo-platonist philosopher, whose name Jordanes, being, as he says himself, agrammatus, inserts by way of a flourish.
The work is only of any value for the century 45055 0, when Jordanes is dealing with recent history.
The other work of Jordanes commonly called De rebus Geticis or Getica, was styled by himself De origine actibusque 1 The evidence of MSS.
Jordanes professes to have had the work of Cassiodorus in his hands for but three days, and to reproduce the sense not the words; but his book, short as it is, evidently contains long verbatim extracts from the earlier author, and it may be suspected that the story of the triduana lectio and the apology quamvis verba non recolo, possibly even the friendly invitation of Castalius, are mere blinds to cover his own entire want of originality.
There is no doubt, even on Jordanes' own statements, that his work is based upon that of Cassiodorus, and that any historical worth which it possesses is due to that fact.
We can only say that he wrote on the origin and history of the Goths, using both Gothic saga and Greek sources; and that if Jordanes used Cassiodorus, Cassiodorus used, if to a less extent, the work of Ablabius.
In the eighteen years which elapsed between 533 and the composition of the Getica of Jordanes, great events, most disastrous for the Romano-Gothic monarchy of Theodoric, had taken place.
And, moreover, the instincts of Jordanes, as a subject of the Eastern Empire, predisposed him to flatter the sacred majesty of Justinian, by whose victorious arms the overthrow of the barbarian kingdom in Italy had been effected.
When Ravenna is taken, and Vitigis carried into captivity, Jordanes almost exults in the fact that "the nobility of the Amals and the illustrious offspring of so many mighty men have surrendered to a yet more illustrious prince and a yet mightier general, whose fame shall not grow dim through all the centuries."
His widow, however, bore a posthumous child, also named Germanus, of whom Jordanes speaks (cap. 60) as "blending the blood of the Anicii and the Amals, and furnishing a hope under the divine blessing of one day uniting their glories."
This younger Germanus did nothing in after life to realize these anticipations; but the somewhat pointed way in which his name and his mother's name are mentioned by Jordanes lends some probability to the view that he hoped for the child's succession to the Eastern Empire, and the final reconciliation of the Goths and Romans in the person of a Gotho-Roman emperor.
The celebrated expression certaminis gaudia assuredly came at first neither from the suave minister Cassiodorus nor from the small-souled notary Jordanes, but is the translation of some thought which first found utterance through the lips of a Gothic minstrel.
Jordanes refers in the Getica to a number of authors besides Cassiodorus; but he owes his knowledge of them to Cassiodorus.
It is perhaps only when he is using Orosius that we can hold Jordanes to have borrowed directly.
As to the style and literary character of Jordanes, every author who has used him speaks in terms of severe censure.
But nothing has really been more unfortunate for the reputation of Jordanes as a writer than the extreme preciousness of the information which he has preserved to us.
No wonder that it stands the comparison badly; but with all its faults the Getica of Jordanes will probably ever retain its place side by side with the De moribus Germanorum of Tacitus as a chief source of information respecting the history, institutions and modes of thought of our Teutonic forefathers.
The letters of Cassiodorus, chief minister and literary adviser of Amalasuntha, and the histories of Procopius and Jordanes, give us our chief information as to the character of Amalasuntha.
Jordanes says that they had been expelled from their territories by the Danes, from which it may be inferred that they belonged either to what is now the kingdom of Denmark, or the southern portion of the Jutish peninsula.
39; Idatius, Chronica; Jordanes, De origine Getarum; Procopius, esp. Bellum Goticum, ii.
Jordanes, a Goth, wrote the following about the Huns in 551: They are beings who are cruel to their children on the very day they are born.