Historian, lived about the middle of the sixth century in the Eastern Roman Empire. His family was of high standing, either Goth or Alanic, and his grandfather was notary to Candac, King of the Alani in Mæsia. He himself held for a time the office of notary, though under what circumstances is not well known. He was later "converted", that is, he took orders. Everything else that is reported of his life rests on more or less plausible conjecture. It is not really proven, for example, that he bore "before his conversion " the martial name of Jornandes (i.e. bold as a boar), nor that after this conversion he became a monk in Thrace or in Mæsia. It is also uncertain whether he was Bishop of Croton, and whether the Vigilius, to whom he dedicated his second work, was Pope Vigilies, who from 547 to 554 lived in exile, chiefly at Constantinople. Two of his historical works have come down to us. The one is a history of the Goths, or, perhaps it would be better to say, of Mæsia, it is now commonly entitled: "Do origine actibusque Getarum" and is dedicated to his friend Castulus (Castalius), at whose instance it was begun about 551. It is substantially an extract from the Gothic history of Cassiodorus Senator, which probably bore the same title. But as this latter work was lost at a very early date, this excerpt becomes of almost inestimable value in determining a series of facts in the history of the Goths and of popular migrations. Naturally, Jordanis transplanted into his work the fundamental idea of Cassiodorus, namely the conviction that the only way to secure for the Gothic race a prosperous future was to bring about its peaceful absorption into the Roman Empire as the centre of Catholicism and of civilization. The second of his works is sometimes called "De summa temporum, vel origine actibusque gentis Romanorum", sometimes "De regnorum et temporum successione", at other times "Liber de origine mundi et actibus Romanorum ceterarumque gentium", and again "De gestis Romanorum". Jordanis served as a source of information for the geographers of Ravenna, for Paul the Deacon, for Hermann Contractus, Hugh of Flavigny, and others. The following, among some forty editions, are worth noting: Augsburg 1015, of the recension of Conrad Peutinger ; Migne P.L. LXIX; Mommsen in "Monumenta Germ. Auctores antigenssimi" V; Germ. tr. in the "Geschichtsschreiber der deutschen Vorzeit", V; Fr. tr. by Savagner (Paris, 1842 and 1883); Swedish translation by Peringskiöld (Stockholm, 1719).
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online