Walter Goffart

Walter Goffart

Fellow: Awarded 1979
Field of Study: Medieval History

Competition: US & Canada

Education: University of Toronto

Walter Goffart’s research has ranged from late Roman taxation (Caput and Colonate, 1974) through ninth-century forgeries (The Le Mans Forgeries, 1966) to modern historical atlases (Historical Atlases, 1570-1870, 2003); it still covers that range.  His other books are Barbarians and Romans: The Techniques of Accommodation (1981); The Narrators of Barbarian History (1988); and, most lately, Barbarian Tides: The Migration Age and the Later Roman Empire (2006).  He is the translator of Carl Erdman, The Origins of the Idea of Crusade (1978). Many of his early articles are collected in Rome’s Fall and After (1989); a second collection of his articles, Barbarians, Maps, and Historiography: Studies on the Early Medieval West,  was published in 2009 (Ashgate Variorum).

He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a corresponding fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, which awarded him its Haskins Medal in 1991.  Belgian-born, he moved to North America in 1941 and was educated in the United States; all his academic degrees are from Harvard (Ph.D., 1961). Appointed a lecturer in history at the University of Toronto in 1960, he was promoted to professor in 1971 and retired in 1999.  On retirement, he was given After Rome’s Fall. Narrators and Sources of Early Medieval History. Essays Presented to Walter Goffart (1998), which contains his bibliography to that year.  Since 2000, he has been a Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer in History at Yale University.

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