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Bill Thayer

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Book IV
Ch. 1

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Italy and her Invaders

Thomas Hodgkin

published by the Clarendon Press

The text, and illustrations except as noted,
are in the public domain.

This page has not yet been proofread.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Book IV
Ch. 2

Vol. III
On the Route of the Ostrogothic Army
and their settlement in Macedonia

The sites of the towns mentioned in the 56th chapter of Jordanes are discussed by Mommsen, CIL III p268, and in Jordanes, p132.

About Naissus (Nisch) there is no doubt. Castra Herculis, the next place mentioned by Jordanes, is fixed by the Itineraries 14 miles from Naissus, perhaps at the point where a road to Scupi branched off from that to Scodra.

The site of Ulpiana is very doubtful. Mommsen seems to think it is generally placed too far south, and that it was really the first stage from Castra Herculis on the road to Scupi.

Stobi is recovered by modern editors with the help of the Palatine MSS. from the utter confusion of the old text. This had, 'Qui venientes, tam eam, quam et opes mox in deditionem acceperunt.' The Palatine MSS. read 'quam mestobis.' Closs proposed and Mommsen read 'quam Stobis.' The modern representation of Stobi is believed to be the village of Czerna Gratzko, near the confluence of the Czerna and Vardar (Eridon and Axius). It was an important place as, here, four roads met, from Scupi, Sardica, Heraclea, and Thessalonica. (See Tozer's 'Highlands of Turkey,' I.376.)

As for the towns granted to the Goths the amended text of Jordanes runs thus:—

'Loca [Gothis] jam sponte, quae incolerent, tradidit, id est Cerru, Pellas, Europa, Mediana, Petina, Bereu et alia quae Sium vocatur' (cap. lvi).

These are identified by Mommsen as

(1) Cyrrhus.

(2) Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great.

(3) Europus.

(4) Methone.

(5) Pydna, scene of the defeat of Perseus B.C. 168.

 p29  (6) Berea, mentioned in Acts of the Apostles, xvii.10.

(7) For Sium he would read Dium, in the Thermaic Gulf. MAP

These towns are all situated in Macedonia Prima near the N. W. angle of the Aegean Sea, and occupy a block of territory perhaps 60 miles long by 30 wide.

The chief part of these identifications must be right. But seeing that the Antonine Itinerary (224‑225) gives us both Beroe and Cium on the eastern shore of the Lower Danube, in that very province of Scythia where we next meet with Theodoric's allotment, I am disposed to suggest that Jordanes, misled perhaps by the resemblance between Berea and Beroe, has run two lists into one, and that the words 'Bereu et alia quae Sium vocatur' belonged in Cassiodorus to the later settlement of the Goths, that in the Dobrudscha, which he probably described here but which Jordanes has omitted.

It is always safe to suspect a blunder in Jordanes, and we must remember that according to his own account all his notes from Cassiodorus had to be completed in three days.

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Page updated: 11 Mar 12