[[1.]] There are about twelve pages of readable text fraught with lacunae, edited by L. Traube as Orationum Reliquiae, in MGH.AA.XII, immediately following Mommsen's edition of the Variae.
[[2.]] The active career of Ennodius overlaps that of Cassiodorus only slightly and thus falls beyond our ken; but of course what he did is very much analogous to Cassiodorus' later panegyrics.
[[3.]] It may be important that the preface to the Chronica indicates that Cassiodorus was writing in obedience to royal command. The preface is addressed, we deduce, to Eutharic himself: "Sapientia principali, qua semper magna revolvitis, in ordinem me consules digerere censuistis, ut qui annum ornaveritis glorioso nomine, redderetis fastis veritatis pristinae dignitatem." We need not take this claim too seriously, but it foreshadows a theme in all of the works of Cassiodorus' public life.
[[4.]] Mommsen, MGH.AA.XI, 111-113. Cassiodorus' dependence on Livy gives an excellent example of the problems faced in untangling the relation of such an entirely derivative work to its sources. Certainly the information for much of the earlier consular listing follows Livy (in his original edition, Mommsen printed the consuls as given by Livy side by side with Cassiodorus' text to show the close parallel), but at what remove we did not know for a long time. There has since been unearthed a papyrus epitome of Livy from Oxyrhynchus which demonstrates that for the establishment of athletic contests at Rome in 186 B.C. Cassiodorus followed in his entry the wording of the Oxyrhynchus epitome, not that of Livy himself. See C.H. Moore, AJP 25(1904), 241-255, esp. 245, who also argued that Cassiodorus, Obsequens, and the Oxyrhynchus epitome go back to another parent chronicle in addition to Livy.
[[5.]] Mommsen, MGH.AA.XI, 113, hints that frequent mention of Roman games and other affairs of the city means that this work was compiled "in usum plebis urbanae." The material is suggestive, but of a different conclusion: a visit of the heir to the throne to Rome to celebrate his consulship, perhaps.
[[6.]] The invasion of Asia is also in Get. 20.
[[7.]] Sc. "Cassiodori Senatoris, viri clarissimi et inlustris, ex quaestore sacri palatii, ex consule ordinario, ex magistro officiorum, praefecti praetorio et patricii."
[[8.]] The history of Jordanian studies is full of distinguished scholars, not always working at their best. The latest is best: N. Wagner, Getica (1967); the first chapter deals with our concerns particularly.
[[9.]] Ordo generis, lines 35-37: "scripsit praecipiente Theodoricho rege historiam Gothicam, originem eorum et loca mores XII libris annuntians." Athalaric's letter, Var. 9.25.4: "Iste Amalos cum generis sui claritate restituit, evidenter ostendens in septimam decimam progeniem stirpem nos habere regalem." Cassiodorus' preface, Var., praef. 1.1: "duodecim libris Gothorum historiam defloratis prosperitatibus condidisti."
[[10.]] The argument has been most strongly pressed by A. Momigliano, PBA, 41(1955), 207-245.
[[11.]] The line of descent of generations is, as 1 read it: (1) Gapt, (2) Hulmul, (3) Augis, (4) Amal, (5) Hisarna, (6) Ostrogotha, (7) Hunuil, (8) Athal, (9) Achiulf, (10) Vultvulf (whose brother Hermanaric was the great-great-great-grandfather of Eutharic), (11) Valaravans, (12) Vinitharius, (13) Vandalarius, (14) Theudimer, (15) Theoderic, (16) Amalasuintha (marries Eutharic), and (17) Athalaric (Getica 14).
[[12.]] For the attractive but unfounded theory of Momigliano on the origins of the Getica, see Appendix IV.
[[13.]] Get., praef. 3; H. Fuchs, reviewing Momigliano in Museum Helveticum, 14(1957), 250-251, hypothesized lacunae in Jordanes' statement and proposed emendations, with plausibility but without necessity.
[[14.]] The Jordanes who was bishop of Crotona is known to have been in Constantinople with Vigilius in 551 (Mansi 9.60), and the Romana of our Jordanes was dedicated to Vigilius. The attractions of the theory identifying bishop and historian are as obvious as its weaknesses.
[[15.]] N. Wagner, Getica (1967), 5-16.
[[16.]] Ibid. Mommsen advanced his argument in the preface to his Jordanes, but it was already rejected by C. Schirren, Deutsche Litteraturzeitung, 3(1882), 1420-1424.
[[17.]] N. Wagner, Getica (1967), 31-56.
[[18.]] Get. 50.265-266. Wagner, op. cit., 5-16, collected similar evidence for confusion of nationalities among people whom Jordanes claims to have known.
[[19.]] W. Ensslin, Des Symmachus Historia Romana als Quelle füĀr Jordanes (1949). If Ensslin's hypothesis, taken up by M.A. Wes, Das Ende des Kaisertums (1967), is correct, of course it means Jordanes must have been the sole author of that part of the Romana covering events after Symmachus' death; thus it is not impossible that he might have done the same thing with the same period in the Getica after Cassiodorus' work left off. Notice that the passage in the Getica, 46.243, dealing with the end of the empire in 476 is a word-for-word repetition of the description of the same event in his Romana, 345.
[[20.]] One wonders, however, what the format of Cassiodorus' Gothic History might have been. Could it have been merely a collection of extensive quotations from earlier authors, not unlike the Historia tripartita? Compare the phrase "defloratis prosperitatibus," referring to the Gothic History (Var., Praef 11), to the similar use of "deflorata," Hist. trip., Praef., 2, 3. At any rate, every allusion to the Gothic History speaks of Cassiodorus collecting his material from other authors (e.g., Var., Praef. 11; Var. 9.25.5), and Jordanes may only be aping him. Get. 60.316, Jordanes' conclusion, might then be read as having been written by Cassiodorus himself (save for the very last sentence), which would put a wholly new light on the defense therein against charges of bias. Cf. n. 26 below.
[[21.]] Mommsen chronicles the sources precisely, MGH.AA.V, xxx-xli. This plethora of sources is consistent with a remark of Athalaric (i.e., Cassiodorus) that seems to indicate a reliance on literary rather than oral tradition; "lectione discens quod vix maiorum notitia cana retinebat" (Var. 9.25.4).
[[22.]] cf. also Var. 10.22.2, where Theodahad called Justinian's attention to "Ablabi vestri historica monimenta." (This is an emendation by E. Meyer from the abavi meaninglessly transmitted by the MSS at this point.)
[[23.]] The name itself is not unknown; four others are listed in the first volume of PLRE, one a praetorian prefect (A.D. 329-337) who may have been the historian; from the reign of Odovacer, CIL 6.32169.
[[24.]] Taking the sixty chapters of the Getica and dividing them by twelve (the number of books in the Gothic History), it is not unreasonable to assume that each book of the original may be reflected in approximately five chapters of the abridgment. Is it then possible that the contents of Chapters 5-13 here brought under suspicion represent Books II and III (following the geographical-prehistorical book reflected by Chapters 1-4) of the original?
[[25.]] The three-days' loan of the original work still tantalizes. Was it, and the apparent secrecy of it, an effort to maintain Cassiodorus' appearance as a man of religion, holding himself above politics? Or was the short-term loan an effort by Cassiodorus ' steward to get the work back into the house before the master noticed its absence? Was Cassiodorus thus innocent entirely of the production of the Getica? Or was he perhaps merely away from home at the time? Not all questions have answers.
[[26.]] L. von Ranke, Weltgeschichte 4.2 (1883), 314-315, first pointed out the parallel between the passage at the end of Jordanes' Getica and Cassiodorus' preface.
[[27.]] T. Janson, Latin Prose Prefaces (1964), 82-83, characterized Cassiodorus' role in the history of flower metaphors in such prefaces. Such phrases were reasonably common: cf. Eugippius, Epistula ad Probam (ed. Knöll, CSEL 9.1, p. 2): "idcirco quaedam velut ex ingenti prato floribus asperso caelestibus ex librorum eius quae data est copia inops aegerque conlegi," describing his anthology of selections from Augustine.
[[28.]] C.f. W. Bessel, Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, 1(1862), 639-643, with prosperitatibus referring either to the felicity of Cassiodorus' rendering or, to me more probably, to the happiness of that history, as happy as the history indeed was if written in 519. After emphasizing the connection of the work for the best part of a chapter with the year 519, I should now point out that the exact dates of composition may run for several years before or after precisely 519, according to how long the research took. I would only argue that it must have been finished and published before the death of Eutharic (date uncertain: before 526).
[[29.]] Athalaric concludes that letter: "Perpendite, quantum vos in nostra laude dilexerit, qui vestri principis nationem docuit ab antiquitate mirabilem, ut, sicut fuistis a maioribus vestris semper nobiles aestimati, ita vobis antiqua regum progenies inperaret" (Var. 9.25.7). The purpose of the Gothic History, to connect the Gothic nation with the Roman where possible, and to elevate it to equal rank where not, is apparent throughout these remarks.
[[30.]] On Jordanes' Latinity, see E. WöĒlfflin, Archiv füĀr lateinische Lexicographie und Grammatik, 11 (1900), 361-368; L. BergmüĀller, Einige Bemerkungen zur Latinität des Jordanes (1903); F. Werner, Die LatinitäĄt der Getica des Jordanis (1908); and D. Bianchi, Aevum 30(1956), 239-246.
[[31.]] Cassiodorus' own later disregard for his own works is attested by the evidence mentioned earlier that the MSS of the Chronica date back to a redaction while he was still in public life that the Gothic History is not mentioned either in his list of his own works in the preface to the De orthographia or in the sections dedicated to historians in the first book of the Institutiones; and that the Gothic History could disappear at all, when virtually all of Cassiodorus' other works have fared better.
[[32.]] There is no specific content to the mention (Var., Praef. 11) that Cassiodorus' panegyrical works had a "secundus eventus."