"Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.08.11
C. D. Gordon, The Age of Attila: Fifth-Century Byzantium and the Barbarians. Revised edition, with a new introduction and notes by David S. Potter. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2013. Pp. xx, 263. ISBN 9780472035786. $24.95 (pb).
Reviewed by Conor Whately, University of Winnipeg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The fifth century was a momentous one for the Roman Empire. At its start, though one emperor ruled the eastern half and another the western half, it had not been that long since one emperor alone had ruled the whole (Theodosius I). Even a quarter of the way through the fifth century, it was not certain that this unity would soon be undermined.1 (#n1) By its end, not only had this division of the Empire become inexorable, also those states that emerged in the former Empire’s ashes were also well on their way to becoming something else entirely (western medieval kingdoms, eastern Byzantine Empire, and so on), or so many would argue. The volume under review here, a revised edition of C.D. Gordon’s sourcebook, The Age of Attila: Fifth-Century Byzantium and the Barbarians (originally published in 1960), provides a narrative of some of the key events of the fifth century. The emphasis, as the title implies, is on political and military matters, and it is the fragmentary historians
of the fifth century, Candidus, Malchus, Olympiodorus, and Priscus, who provide the bulk of the selections, though so too John of Antioch. This revised edition contains new notes, additional bibliography, a list of concordances between Gordon and other editions of those historians, and a new overview of those historians, all provided by David Potter."