"One of the great Christian scholars of antiquity and a high-ranking public official under Theoderic, King of the Ostrogoths, Cassiodorus compiled edicts, diplomatic letters, and legal documents while in office. This letter collection, the Variae, remains among the most important sources for the sixth century, the period during which late antiquity transitioned to the early middle ages. Translated and selected by scholar M. Shane Bjornlie, The Selected Letters pulls together the most interesting evidence for understanding the political culture, legal structure, intellectual and religious worldviews, and social evolution during the twilight of the late-Roman state. Bjornlie's invaluable introduction discusses Cassiodorus's work in civil, legal, and financial administration, revealing his interactions with emperors and kings, bishops and military commanders, private citizens, and even criminals. Section notes introduce each letter to contextualize its themes and connection with other letters, opening a window on to Cassiodorus's world"-- Provided by publisher.
Sixth-century Italy in a wider world : diplomatic letters from the Ostrogothic court to the Eastern imperial and Western "Barbarian" courts The senate in public life and public office : letters to the senate, letters to individual senators, letters announcing the appointment of senators to office Civil bureaucracy and administration in Italy : letters describing the activities of the court bureaucracy and appointment to bureaucratic posts Taxes and finances : letters describing fiscal organization, the collection, and distribution of State resources Administration of provinces : letters concerned with Ostrogothic administration of regions outside of Italy Goths and the military: letters concerning Gothic settlement and the organization of the military Urban Life : letters describing the care of the urban environment Rural Life : letters addressed to the settlement of people in the countryside and their obligations to the State Religion : letters to bishops and letters touching upon the court's involvement in religious matters and its spiritual sentiments Family and gender : letters concerning households, relations between family members, and letters to women Law, order, and conflict : letters describing the court's approach to criminal charges against individuals Intellectual culture : letters treating various disciplines of the late-antique intellectual culture Nature : letters that provide literary perspectives of the natural world.
Translated from the Latin. Includes bibliographical references and indexes.