This is the first of two books which describe the Goths, their arms and armour, dress and equipment, army organisation, campaigns, battle tactics, and strategy.
The focus of this first volume is the early Goths, before they became integral to the history of the Roman Empire. The emphasis lies on the Goths themselves, outside and inside the Empire, rather than their part in the Late Empire’s history.
Emerging as a distinct people at the beginning of the first millennium AD, the Goths expanded from the Baltic to the Black Sea in the late second century and in time became the only Germanic people to cross Europe from one end to the other, the first Germanic people to establish lasting kingdoms in core Roman territories such as Italy and Spain, the first to successfully create a synthesis of Germanic and Roman elements, and the first non-Mediterranean people in Europe to enjoy an independent intellectual literary culture. Their legacy lasted far longer than their kingdoms.
The Goths were not the first lance-armed heavy shock cavalry in Europe, but they became so noted for it that cavalry of the Gothic type achieved an increasingly dominant role in all surviving Romano-Germanic successor states. Without the Goths, the medieval knight as we know him, armed with spear and shield would not have existed.
This book is illustrated with 70 plates, maps, illustrations and photographs of original items.