Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Germanpalooza! II

Can you tell I love Angus McBride's detailed recreations of the past? Well, I do! I first became aware of his work, not with the Osprey books, but with his magnificent depictions of Tolkien's world for ICE back in the 80s. As much as I like Alan Lee's, I think McBride did a better job.

I think this selection of pictures reinforces my contention that the Germanic tribes were more invaders than simple immigrants. Most of these show them in some sort of conflict, attacking and attempting to destroy the municipal and culture heritage of centuries of Roman civilization. Good times!

Franks creeping up on a Roman sentry - 4th cent. AD

Burgundians - 4th cent. AD

Vandal and Alan in North Africa - 429 AD

Visigoth in Italy - 5th cent. AD

Visigoth (mounted, left) vs. Ostrogth (mounted, right) - Battle of the Catalunian Fields - 451 AD

Ostrogoths attack near the Masoleum of Hadrian, Rome - 537 AD

Franks vs. Romans at Casilinium - 554 AD


  1. The Age of Migrations has always been one of my favorite historical periods to read about. Something about the wildness of Europe at the time (with Ice Age animals still living in the forests of Germany), the variety of tribes and customs, the colorful characters (Gaiseric, Stilicho, Attila, etc.), and the clash with a decadent civilization captures my imagination. If you haven't seen it, I recommend Fritz Lang's two-part, five-hour-long silent film Die Nibelungen, which evokes the period with beautiful sets and costumes (and dwarves and dragons); the whole thing can be watched on youtube.

  2. It seems the prototype setting for the modern fantasy tale. I've never read any scholarship on it but I've always assumed much of Middle-earth was based on the period: Gondor=Byzantium, Wainriders, etc=Huns, Rohirrim= Gothic foederati, and Catalunia Fields=Pelennor Fields. No, I've never even heard of the Lang film. I just watched a few moments and am going to try to watch some of it this afternoon. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. Yeah, McBride's work is beautiful. I meant to put up a picture of the Mausoleum of Hadrian as it looks today http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castel_Sant'Angelo