A loyal friend of Theodoric, he became his intimate adviser, encouraging his intellectual ambitions. After his retirement from public life, ca. 537 538, Cassiodorus put together all the documents connected with his chancellery activity. This heterogeneous work is titled Variae and consists of 12 books; books VI and VII contain legal formulas, the others official letters written by Cassiodorus either in his own name or, Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus, senator more often, in that of the Gothic kings. A vital source for the history of a barbarian kingdom, these letters are written in a style refined to the point of preciosity, always adapted to their various recipients, as the author himself says: quia necesse nobis fuit stilum non unum sumere qui personas varias suscepimus admonere. Best vacation USA Another historical work of this period was the lost Historia Gothorum, in 12 books, written at Theodoric’s order. Besides numerous allusions to it in the Variae, we have a summary, the so-called Getica, made in 551 by the Goth Jordanes. Its chief source was Ablabius’s Gothic history Var. X 20,2, and it is among the first national histories of barbarian peoples which flourished in the Middle Ages.