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Goths

Goths

Overview
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

n origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe.

The first recorded incursion of Goths into the Roman Empire took place in 238. Goths were subsequently heavily recruited into the Roman Army
Roman army
The Roman army is the generic term for the terrestrial armed forces deployed by the kingdom of Rome , the Roman Republic , the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine empire...

 to fight in the Roman-Persian Wars
Roman-Persian Wars
The Roman–Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between states of the Greco-Roman world and two successive Iranic empires: the Parthian and the Sassanid. Contact between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic began in 92 BC; wars began under the late Republic, and continued...

, notably participating at the Battle of Misiche
Battle of Misiche
The Battle of Misiche, Mesiche, or Massice was fought between the Sassanid Persians and the Romans somewhere in ancient Mesopotamia. The result was a Roman defeat.-Background and the Battle:...

 in 242.
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502   The Synodus Palmaris, called by Gothic king Theodoric the Great, discharges Pope Symmachus of all charges, thus ending the schism of Antipope Laurentius.

 
Encyclopedia
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

n origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe.

The first recorded incursion of Goths into the Roman Empire took place in 238. Goths were subsequently heavily recruited into the Roman Army
Roman army
The Roman army is the generic term for the terrestrial armed forces deployed by the kingdom of Rome , the Roman Republic , the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine empire...

 to fight in the Roman-Persian Wars
Roman-Persian Wars
The Roman–Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between states of the Greco-Roman world and two successive Iranic empires: the Parthian and the Sassanid. Contact between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic began in 92 BC; wars began under the late Republic, and continued...

, notably participating at the Battle of Misiche
Battle of Misiche
The Battle of Misiche, Mesiche, or Massice was fought between the Sassanid Persians and the Romans somewhere in ancient Mesopotamia. The result was a Roman defeat.-Background and the Battle:...

 in 242. Written records about the Goths prior to this date are scarce. The most important source is Jordanes
Jordanes
Jordanes, also written Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th century Roman bureaucrat, who turned his hand to history later in life....

' 6th-century, semi-fictional Getica which describes a migration from southern Scandza
Scandza
Scandza was the name given to Scandinavia by the Roman historian Jordanes in his work Getica, written while in Constantinople around AD 551. He described the area to set the stage for his treatment of the Goths' migration from southern Sweden to Gothiscandza...

 (Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

), to Gothiscandza
Gothiscandza
According to a tale related by Jordanes, Gothiscandza was the first settlement of the Goths after their migration from Scandinavia during the first half of the 1st century CE....

, believed to be the lower Vistula
Vistula
The Vistula is the longest and the most important river in Poland, at 1,047 km in length. The watershed area of the Vistula is , of which lies within Poland ....

 region in modern Pomerania
Pomerania
Pomerania is a historical region on the south shore of the Baltic Sea. Divided between Germany and Poland, it stretches roughly from the Recknitz River near Stralsund in the West, via the Oder River delta near Szczecin, to the mouth of the Vistula River near Gdańsk in the East...

, and from there to the coast of the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

. The Pomeranian Wielbark culture and the Chernyakhov culture
Chernyakhov culture
The Sântana de Mureș–Chernyakhiv culture is the name given to an archaeological culture which flourished between the 2nd and 5th centuries in a wide area of Eastern Europe, specifically in what today constitutes Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, and parts of Belarus...

 northeast of the lower Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 are archaeological traces of this migration. In the 3rd century, either through crossing the lower Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

, or travelling by sea, the Goths ravaged the Balkan Peninsula and Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

 as far as Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 on plundering expeditions. By the fourth century, the Goths had captured Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

 from the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, and were divided into at least two distinct groups separated by the Dniester River, the Thervingi
Thervingi
The Thervingi, Tervingi, or Teruingi were a Gothic people of the Danubian plains west of the Dnestr River in the 3rd and 4th Centuries CE. They had close contacts with the Greuthungi, another Gothic people from east of the Dnestr River, as well as the Late Roman Empire...

, led by the Balti dynasty
Balti dynasty
The Balti dynasty, Baltungs, Balthings, or Balths, existed among the Visigoths, a Germanic tribe who confronted the Western Roman Empire in its declining years. The Balti took their name from the Gothic word balþa...

, and the Greuthungi
Greuthungi
The Greuthungs, Greuthungi, or Greutungi were a Gothic people of the Black Sea steppes in the third and fourth centuries. They had close contacts with the Thervingi, another Gothic people from west of the river Dnestr. They may be the same people as the later Ostrogoths.-Etymology:"Greuthungi" may...

, led by the Amali dynasty
Amali
The Amali, also called Amals or Amalings, were the leading dynasty of the Goths, a Germanic people who confronted the Roman Empire in its declining years in the west...

. Centered around their capital
Árheimar
Árheimar was a capital of the Goths, according to the Hervarar saga. The saga only states that it was located on the river Dnieper, which flows from Ukraine to the Black Sea.- Hervarar saga :...

 at the Dnieper, the Goths ruled a vast area
Oium
Oium or Aujum was a name for an area in Scythia, where the Goths under their king Filimer settled after leaving Gothiscandza, according to the Getica by Jordanes, written around 551...

 which at its peak under King
Germanic kingship
Germanic kingship refers to the customs and practices surrounding kings among the pagan Germanic tribes of the Migration period and the kingdoms of the Early Middle Ages ....

 Ermanaric
Ermanaric
Ermanaric was a Greuthungian Gothic King who before the Hunnic invasion evidently ruled an enormous area north of the Black Sea. Contemporary historian Ammianus Marcellinus recounts him as a "most warlike man" who "ruled over extensively wide and fertile regions"...

 stretched from the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 to the Volga river, and from the Black
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 to the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

.

In the late fourth century, the Huns
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

 invaded the Gothic region from the east. While many Goths were subdued and joined the ranks of the Huns
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

, a group of Goths led by Fritigern
Fritigern
Fritigern or Fritigernus was a Tervingian Gothic chieftain whose decisive victory at Adrinaople the Gothic War extracted favourable terms for the Goths when peace was made with Gratian in 382.-War against Athanaric:...

 fled across the Danube and revolted against the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, winning a decisive victory at the Battle of Adrianople
Battle of Adrianople
The Battle of Adrianople , sometimes known as the Battle of Hadrianopolis, was fought between a Roman army led by the Roman Emperor Valens and Gothic rebels led by Fritigern...

. Meanwhile, the Goths were converted from paganism
Germanic paganism
Germanic paganism refers to the theology and religious practices of the Germanic peoples of north-western Europe from the Iron Age until their Christianization during the Medieval period...

 to Arian
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

 Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 by the Gothic missionary Wulfila, who devised the Gothic alphabet
Gothic alphabet
The Gothic alphabet is an alphabet for writing the Gothic language, created in the 4th century by Ulfilas for the purpose of translating the Christian Bible....

 to translate the Bible. In the fifth and sixth centuries, the Goths separated into two tribes, the Visigoths, who became federates
Foederati
Foederatus is a Latin term whose definition and usage drifted in the time between the early Roman Republic and the end of the Western Roman Empire...

 of the Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, and the Ostrogoths, who joined the Huns
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

.

After the Ostrogoths succesfully revolted against the Huns
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

 at the Battle of Nedao
Battle of Nedao
The Battle of Nedao, named after the Nedava, a tributary of the Sava, was a battle fought in Pannonia in 454. After the death of Attila the Hun, allied forces of the Germanic subject peoples under the leadership of Ardaric, king of the Gepids, defeated the Hunnic forces of Ellac, the son of Attila,...

 in 454, their leader Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great was king of the Ostrogoths , ruler of Italy , regent of the Visigoths , and a viceroy of the Eastern Roman Empire...

 settled his people in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, founding a Kingdom
Ostrogothic Kingdom
The Kingdom established by the Ostrogoths in Italy and neighbouring areas lasted from 493 to 553. In Italy the Ostrogoths replaced Odoacer, the de facto ruler of Italy who had deposed the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire in 476. The Gothic kingdom reached its zenith under the rule of its...

 which eventually gained control of the whole peninsula
Italian Peninsula
The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is one of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe , spanning from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale...

. Shortly after Theodoric's death in 526, the country was captured by the Eastern Roman Empire, in a war which caused enormous damage and depopulation to Italy. After the death of their able leader Totila
Totila
Totila, original name Baduila was King of the Ostrogoths from 541 to 552 AD. A skilled military and political leader, Totila reversed the tide of Gothic War, recovering by 543 almost all the territories in Italy that the Eastern Roman Empire had captured from his Kingdom in 540.A relative of...

 at the Battle of Taginae
Battle of Taginae
At the Battle of Taginae in June/July 552, the forces of the Byzantine Empire under Narses broke the power of the Ostrogoths in Italy, and paved the way for the temporary Byzantine reconquest of the Italian Peninsula.From as early as 549 the Emperor Justinian I had planned to dispatch a major army...

, effective Ostrogothic resistance ended, and the remaining Goths were assimilated by the Lombards
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

, another Germanic tribe, who invaded the northern parts of the country in 567 AD.

The Visigoths under Alaric I
Alaric I
Alaric I was the King of the Visigoths from 395–410. Alaric is most famous for his sack of Rome in 410, which marked a decisive event in the decline of the Roman Empire....

 sacked Rome in 410
Sack of Rome (410)
The Sack of Rome occurred on August 24, 410. The city was attacked by the Visigoths, led by Alaric I. At that time, Rome was no longer the capital of the Western Roman Empire, replaced in this position initially by Mediolanum and then later Ravenna. Nevertheless, the city of Rome retained a...

, defeated Attila at the Battle of the Catalunian Plains in 451, and founded a Kingdom
Visigothic Kingdom
The Visigothic Kingdom was a kingdom which occupied southwestern France and the Iberian Peninsula from the 5th to 8th century AD. One of the Germanic successor states to the Western Roman Empire, it was originally created by the settlement of the Visigoths under King Wallia in the province of...

 in Aquitaine
Aquitaine
Aquitaine , archaic Guyenne/Guienne , is one of the 27 regions of France, in the south-western part of metropolitan France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain. It comprises the 5 departments of Dordogne, :Lot et Garonne, :Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes...

 which was pushed to
Battle of Vouillé
The Battle of Vouillé or Vouglé was fought in the northern marches of Visigothic territory, at Vouillé, Vienne near Poitiers , in the spring of 507 between the Franks commanded by Clovis and the Visigoths of Alaric II, the conqueror of Spain.Clovis and Anastasius I of the Byzantine Empire agreed...

 Hispania
Hispania
Another theory holds that the name derives from Ezpanna, the Basque word for "border" or "edge", thus meaning the farthest area or place. Isidore of Sevilla considered Hispania derived from Hispalis....

 by the Franks in 507, converted to Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 by the late sixth century, and in the early eighth century conquered by the Muslim Moors
Umayyad conquest of Hispania
The Umayyad conquest of Hispania is the initial Islamic Ummayad Caliphate's conquest, between 711 and 718, of the Christian Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania, centered in the Iberian Peninsula, which was known to them under the Arabic name al-Andalus....

. Subsequently, the Visigothic nobleman Pelagius began the Reconquista
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

 with his victory at the Battle of Covadonga
Battle of Covadonga
The Battle of Covadonga was the first major victory by a Christian military force in Iberia following the Muslim Moors' conquest of that region in 711...

, and founded the Kingdom of Asturias
Kingdom of Asturias
The Kingdom of Asturias was a Kingdom in the Iberian peninsula founded in 718 by Visigothic nobles under the leadership of Pelagius of Asturias. It was the first Christian political entity established following the collapse of the Visigothic kingdom after Islamic conquest of Hispania...

, which eventually evolved in to modern Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

.

While its influence continued to be felt in small ways in some west European states, the Gothic language and culture largely disappeared during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. In the 16th century a small remnant of a Gothic dialect known as Crimean Gothic
Crimean Gothic
Crimean Gothic was a Gothic dialect spoken by the Crimean Goths in some isolated locations in Crimea until the late 18th century....

 was described as surviving in the Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

.

Etymology




The Goths have had many names, possibly due to their population being composed of many separate ethnic groups. People known by similar names were key elements of Proto-Indo-European and later Germanic migrations. Nevertheless, they believed (as does the mainstream of scholarship) that the names derived from a single prehistoric ethnonym
Ethnonym
An ethnonym is the name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms and autonyms or endonyms .As an example, the ethnonym for...

 owned by a uniform culture in the middle 1st millennium BC, the original "Goths".

Etymologically, the ethnonym of the Goths derives from the stem Guton-", which gave Proto-Germanic *Gutaniz (also surviving in Gutes (Swedish Gutar), the self-designation of the inhabitans of Gotland
Gotland
Gotland is a county, province, municipality and diocese of Sweden; it is Sweden's largest island and the largest island in the Baltic Sea. At 3,140 square kilometers in area, the region makes up less than one percent of Sweden's total land area...

 in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

). Related, but not identical, is the Scandinavian tribal name Geat
Geat
Geats , and sometimes Goths) were a North Germanic tribe inhabiting what is now Götaland in modern Sweden...

 (the inhabitants of Swedish Götaland
Götaland
Götaland , Gothia, Gothland, Gothenland, Gautland or Geatland is one of three lands of Sweden and comprises provinces...

/Geatland), from the Proto-Germanic *Gautoz (plural *Gautaz). Both *Gautoz and *Gutaniz are derived (specifically they are two ablaut
Indo-European ablaut
In linguistics, ablaut is a system of apophony in Proto-Indo-European and its far-reaching consequences in all of the modern Indo-European languages...

 grades) from the Proto-Germanic word *geutan, meaning "to pour". The Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 root of the "pour" derivation would be *gheu-d- as it is listed in the American Heritage Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language is an American dictionary of the English language published by Boston publisher Houghton Mifflin, the first edition of which appeared in 1969...

 (AHD). *gheu-d- is a centum form. The AHD relies on Julius Pokorny
Julius Pokorny
Julius Pokorny was an Austrian linguist and scholar of the Celtic languages, particularly Irish, and a supporter of Irish nationalism. He held academic posts in Austrian and German universities.-Life:...

 for the same root. The ethnonym has been connected with the name of a river flowing through Västergötland
Västergötland
', English exonym: West Gothland, is one of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden , situated in the southwest of Sweden. In older English literature one may also encounter the Latinized version Westrogothia....

 in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, the Göta älv
Göta älv
The Göta is a river that drains lake Vänern into the Kattegat at the city of Gothenburg on the western coast of Sweden. It is located in Götaland, with the river itself being a site of early Geatish settlement. The length is 93 km. Often the combination of Göta älv and Klarälven is mentioned...

, which drains Lake Vänern
Vänern
Vänern is the largest lake in Sweden, the largest lake in the EU and the third largest lake in Europe after Ladoga and Onega in Russia. It is located in the provinces of Västergötland, Dalsland, and Värmland in the southwest of the country.- History :...

 into the Kattegat
Kattegat
The Kattegat , or Kattegatt is a sea area bounded by the Jutland peninsula and the Straits islands of Denmark on the west and south, and the provinces of Västergötland, Scania, Halland and Bohuslän in Sweden on the east. The Baltic Sea drains into the Kattegat through the Øresund and the Danish...

.

Interestingly Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 records do not distinguish between the Goths and the Gutes (Gotlanders) and both are called Gotar in Old West Norse. The Old East Norse term for both Goths and Gotlander
Gotlander
The Gutes or the Gotlanders are the population of the island of Gotland. The ethnonym is identical to Goths , and both names were originally Proto-Germanic *Gutaniz. Their language is called Gutnish .-Early history:The oldest history of the Gutes is retold in the Gutasaga...

s seems to have been Gutar (for instance, in the Gutasaga
Gutasaga
Gutasaga is a saga treating the history of Gotland before its Christianization. It was recorded in the 13th century and survives in only a single manuscript, the Codex Holm. B 64, dating to ca. 1350, kept at the Swedish Royal Library in Stockholm together with the Gutalag, the legal code of...

 and in the runic inscription of the Rökstone). However, the Geats are clearly differentiated from the Goths, or Gutes, in both Old Norse and Old English literature.

At some time in European prehistory, consonant changes according to Grimm's Law
Grimm's law
Grimm's law , named for Jacob Grimm, is a set of statements describing the inherited Proto-Indo-European stops as they developed in Proto-Germanic in the 1st millennium BC...

 created a *g from the *gh and a *t from the *d. This same law more or less rules out *ghedh-, The *dh in that case would become a *d instead of a *t.

According to the rules of Indo-European ablaut
Indo-European ablaut
In linguistics, ablaut is a system of apophony in Proto-Indo-European and its far-reaching consequences in all of the modern Indo-European languages...

, the full grade (containing an *e), *gheud-, might be replaced with the zero-grade (the *e disappears), *ghud-, or the o-grade (the *e changes to an *o), *ghoud-, accounting for the various forms of the name. The zero-grade is preserved in modern times in the Lithuanian
Lithuanian language
Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...

 ethnonym for Belarusians
Belarusians
Belarusians ; are an East Slavic ethnic group who populate the majority of the Republic of Belarus. Introduced to the world as a new state in the early 1990s, the Republic of Belarus brought with it the notion of a re-emerging Belarusian ethnicity, drawn upon the lines of the Old Belarusian...

, Gudai (earlier Baltic Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n territory before Slavic conquests by about 1200 CE), and in certain Prussian towns in the territory around the Vistula River in Gothiscandza
Gothiscandza
According to a tale related by Jordanes, Gothiscandza was the first settlement of the Goths after their migration from Scandinavia during the first half of the 1st century CE....

, today Poland (Gdynia
Gdynia
Gdynia is a city in the Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland and an important seaport of Gdańsk Bay on the south coast of the Baltic Sea.Located in Kashubia in Eastern Pomerania, Gdynia is part of a conurbation with the spa town of Sopot, the city of Gdańsk and suburban communities, which together...

, Gdansk
Gdansk
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, at the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area.The city lies on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay , in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the...

). The use of all three grades suggests that the name derives from an Indo-European stage; otherwise, it would be from a line descending from one grade. However, when and where the ancestors of the Goths assigned this name to themselves and whether they used it in Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European society
Proto-Indo-European refers to the single ancestor language common to all Indo-European languages. It is therefore a linguistic concept, not an ethnic, social or cultural one, so there is no direct evidence of the nature of Proto-Indo-European 'society'. Much depends on the unsettled Indo-European...

 or proto-Germanic times remain unsolved questions of historical linguistics and prehistoric archaeology.

A compound name, Gut-þiuda, at root the "Gothic people", appears in the Gothic Calendar (aikklesjons fullaizos ana gutþiudai gabrannidai). Parallel occurrences indicate that it may mean "country of the Goths": Old Icelandic Sui-þjòd, "Sweden"; Old English Angel-þēod, "Anglia"; Old Irish Cruithen-tuath, “country of the Picts”. Evidently, this way of forming a country or people name is not unique to Germanic.

Origins



According to Jordanes
Jordanes
Jordanes, also written Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th century Roman bureaucrat, who turned his hand to history later in life....

’ Getica, written in the mid-6th century, the earliest migrating Goths sailed from Scandza
Scandza
Scandza was the name given to Scandinavia by the Roman historian Jordanes in his work Getica, written while in Constantinople around AD 551. He described the area to set the stage for his treatment of the Goths' migration from southern Sweden to Gothiscandza...

 (Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

) under King Berig
Berig
Berig is a legendary king of the Goths appearing in the Getica by Jordanes. According to Jordanes, Berig led his people on three ships from Scandza to Gothiscandza...

 in three ships and named the place at which they landed after themselves. "Today it is called Gothiscandza
Gothiscandza
According to a tale related by Jordanes, Gothiscandza was the first settlement of the Goths after their migration from Scandinavia during the first half of the 1st century CE....

" ("Scandza of the Goths"). From there they entered the land of the "Ulmerugi" (Rugii)
Rugians
"Rugi" redirects here. For the Romanian villages by this name, see Păltiniş, Caraş-Severin and Turcineşti.The Rugii, also Rugians, Rygir, Ulmerugi, or Holmrygir were an East Germanic tribe migrated from southwest Norway to Pomerania around 100 AD, and from there to the Danube River valley...

 who were spread along the southern coast of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

, expelled them, and also subdued the neighboring Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

. Regarding the location of Gothiscandza
Gothiscandza
According to a tale related by Jordanes, Gothiscandza was the first settlement of the Goths after their migration from Scandinavia during the first half of the 1st century CE....

, Jordanes states that one shipload "dwelled in the province of Spesis on an island surrounded by the shallow waters of the Vistula
Vistula
The Vistula is the longest and the most important river in Poland, at 1,047 km in length. The watershed area of the Vistula is , of which lies within Poland ....

."

Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

 described the Goths as well as the neighboring Rugii and Lemovii
Lemovii
The Lemovii were a Germanic tribe, only once named by Tacitus in the late 1st century. He noted that they lived near the Rugii and Goths and that they had short swords and round shields.The Oxhöft culture is associated with parts of the Rugii and Lemovii...

 as carrying round shields and short swords, and obeying their regular authority.

Pliny
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 refers to the voyager Pytheas
Pytheas
Pytheas of Massalia or Massilia , was a Greek geographer and explorer from the Greek colony, Massalia . He made a voyage of exploration to northwestern Europe at about 325 BC. He travelled around and visited a considerable part of Great Britain...

, who visited Northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

 in the 4th century BC. In this passage, Pytheas states that the "Gutones, a people of Germany," inhabit the shores of an estuary of at least 6,000 stadia (the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

) called Mentonomon, where amber
Amber
Amber is fossilized tree resin , which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewelry. There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents...

 is cast up by the waves. Lehmann (mentioned above under Etymology) accepted this view but a manuscript variant states Guiones rather than Gutones. In Pliny's only other mention of the Gutones, he states that the Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

 are one of the five races of Germany, and that the Vandals include the Burgodiones, the Varinnae, the Charini and the Gutones. The location of those Vandals is not stated, but there is a match with his contemporary Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

's east German tribes. As those Gutones are put forward as Pliny's interpretation, not Pytheas’, the early date is unconfirmed, but not necessarily invalid.

The earliest material culture associated with the Goths on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 is the Wielbark Culture, centered around the modern region of Pomerania
Pomerania
Pomerania is a historical region on the south shore of the Baltic Sea. Divided between Germany and Poland, it stretches roughly from the Recknitz River near Stralsund in the West, via the Oder River delta near Szczecin, to the mouth of the Vistula River near Gdańsk in the East...

 in northern Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. This culture replaced the local Oksywie
Oksywie culture
The Oksywie Culture, was an archaeological culture which existed in the area of modern day Eastern Pomerania around the lower Vistula river, from the 2nd century BC to the early 1st century AD....

 or Oxhöft culture in the 1st century, when a Scandinavian settlement was established in a buffer zone between the Oksywie culture and the Przeworsk culture
Przeworsk culture
The Przeworsk culture is part of an Iron Age archaeological complex that dates from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD. It was located in what is now central and southern Poland, later spreading to parts of eastern Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia ranging between the Oder and the middle and...

.

This area was influenced by southern Scandinavian culture from as early as the late Nordic Bronze Age
Nordic Bronze Age
The Nordic Bronze Age is the name given by Oscar Montelius to a period and a Bronze Age culture in Scandinavian pre-history, c. 1700-500 BC, with sites that reached as far east as Estonia. Succeeding the Late Neolithic culture, its ethnic and linguistic affinities are unknown in the absence of...

 and early Pre-Roman Iron Age
Pre-Roman Iron Age
The Pre-Roman Iron Age of Northern Europe designates the earliest part of the Iron Age in Scandinavia, northern Germany, and the Netherlands north of the Rhine River. These regions feature many extensive archaeological excavation sites, which have yielded a wealth of artifacts...

 (ca. 1300 – ca. 300 BC). In fact, the Scandinavian influence on Pomerania
Pomerania
Pomerania is a historical region on the south shore of the Baltic Sea. Divided between Germany and Poland, it stretches roughly from the Recknitz River near Stralsund in the West, via the Oder River delta near Szczecin, to the mouth of the Vistula River near Gdańsk in the East...

 and today's northern Poland from ca. 1300 BC (period III) and onwards was so considerable that this region is sometimes included in the Nordic Bronze Age culture.

The Goths are believed to have crossed the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 sometime between the end of this period (ca 300 BC) and AD 100. Early archaeological evidence in the traditional Swedish province of Östergötland
Östergötland
Östergötland, English exonym: East Gothland, is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden in the south of Sweden. It borders Småland, Västergötland, Närke, Södermanland, and the Baltic Sea. In older English literature, one might also encounter the Latinized version, Ostrogothia...

 suggests a general depopulation during this period. However, this is not confirmed in more recent publications. The settlement in today's Poland may correspond to the introduction of Scandinavian burial traditions, such as the stone circles
Stone circle (Iron Age)
The stone circles of the Iron Age were a characteristic burial custom of southern Scandinavia, especially on Gotland and in Götaland during the Pre-Roman Iron Age and the Roman Iron Age. In Sweden, they are called Domarringar , Domkretsar or Domarsäten...

 and the stelae especially common on the island of Gotland
Gotland
Gotland is a county, province, municipality and diocese of Sweden; it is Sweden's largest island and the largest island in the Baltic Sea. At 3,140 square kilometers in area, the region makes up less than one percent of Sweden's total land area...

 and other parts of southern Sweden.

Migration to the Black Sea


The arrival of Germanic-speaking invaders along the coast of the Black Sea is generally explained as a gradual migration of the Goths from what is now Poland to Ukraine, reflecting the tradition of Jordanes
Jordanes
Jordanes, also written Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th century Roman bureaucrat, who turned his hand to history later in life....

 and old songs.

Beginning in the middle 2nd century, the Wielbark culture shifted to the southeast, towards the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

. The part of the Wielbark culture that moved was the oldest portion, located west of the Vistula and still practicing Scandinavian burial traditions. In Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, they installed themselves as the rulers of the local Zarubintsy culture
Zarubintsy culture
The Zarubintsy culture was a culture that from the 3rd century BC until 1st century AD flourished in the area north of the Black Sea along the upper and middle Dnieper and Pripyat Rivers, stretching west towards the Southern Bug river. Zarubintsy sites were particularly dense between the Rivers...

, forming the new Chernyakhov Culture
Chernyakhov culture
The Sântana de Mureș–Chernyakhiv culture is the name given to an archaeological culture which flourished between the 2nd and 5th centuries in a wide area of Eastern Europe, specifically in what today constitutes Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, and parts of Belarus...

 (ca. 200 – ca. 400).

The first Greek references to the Goths call them Scythians, since this area along the Black Sea historically had been occupied by an unrelated people of that name. The term as applied to the Goths appears to be geographical rather than ethnological in reference.

According to Jordanes
Jordanes
Jordanes, also written Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th century Roman bureaucrat, who turned his hand to history later in life....

's Getica, the Goths entered Oium
Oium
Oium or Aujum was a name for an area in Scythia, where the Goths under their king Filimer settled after leaving Gothiscandza, according to the Getica by Jordanes, written around 551...

, part of Scythia
Scythia
In antiquity, Scythian or Scyths were terms used by the Greeks to refer to certain Iranian groups of horse-riding nomadic pastoralists who dwelt on the Pontic-Caspian steppe...

, under their 5th king, Filimer
Filimer
Filimer was an early Gothic king, according to Jordanes.He was the son of Gadareiks and the fifth generation since Berig settled with his people in Gothiscandza. When the Gothic nation had multiplied Filimer decided to move his people to Scythia where they defeated the Sarmatians. They then named...

, where they defeated the Spali (Sarmatians
Sarmatians
The Iron Age Sarmatians were an Iranian people in Classical Antiquity, flourishing from about the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD....

) before moving to the vicinity of the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

. There they became divided into the Visigoths ruled by the Balthi
Balti dynasty
The Balti dynasty, Baltungs, Balthings, or Balths, existed among the Visigoths, a Germanic tribe who confronted the Western Roman Empire in its declining years. The Balti took their name from the Gothic word balþa...

 family and the Ostrogoths ruled by the Amali
Amali
The Amali, also called Amals or Amalings, were the leading dynasty of the Goths, a Germanic people who confronted the Roman Empire in its declining years in the west...

 family. Jordanes parses Ostrogoths as "eastern Goths", and Visigoths as "Goths of the western country."

One theory claims that the Goths maintained contact with southern Sweden during their migration. Chernyakhov settlements tend to cluster in open ground in river valleys. The houses include sunken-floored dwellings, surface dwellings, and stall-houses. The largest known settlement (Budesty-Budești) is 35 hectares. Most settlements are open and unfortified, although some forts have also been discovered.
Chernyakhov cemeteries feature both cremation
Cremation
Cremation is the process of reducing bodies to basic chemical compounds such as gasses and bone fragments. This is accomplished through high-temperature burning, vaporization and oxidation....

 and inhumation burials; among the latter the head is to the north. Some graves were left empty. Grave goods often include pottery, bone combs, and iron tools, but hardly ever weapons.

On the Roman borders


In the first attested incursion in Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

 the Goths were mentioned as Boranoi by Zosimus
Zosimus
Zosimus was a Byzantine historian, who lived in Constantinople during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I . According to Photius, he was a comes, and held the office of "advocate" of the imperial treasury.- Historia Nova :...

, and then as Boradoi by Gregory Thaumaturgus
Gregory Thaumaturgus
Gregory Thaumaturgus, also known as Gregory of Neocaesarea or Gregory the Wonderworker, was a Christian bishop of the 3rd century.-Biography:Gregory was born at Neo-Caesarea around 213 A.D...

. The first incursion of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 that can be attributed to Goths is the sack of Histria
Histria (Sinoe)
Ancient Histria or Istros , was a Greek colony or polis on the Black Sea coast, established by Milesian settlers to trade with the native Getae. It became the first Greek town on the present day Romanian territory. Scymnus of Chios , the Greek geographer and poet, dated it to 630 BC...

 in 238. Several such raids followed in subsequent decades, in particular the Battle of Abrittus
Battle of Abrittus
The Battle of Abritus, also known as the Battle of Forum Terebronii, occurred in the Roman province of Moesia Inferior probably in July, 251, between the Roman Empire and a federation of Scythian tribesmen under the Goth king Cniva. The Romans were soundly defeated, and Roman emperors Decius and...

 in 251, led by Cniva
Cniva
Cniva was the Gothic chieftain who invaded the Roman Empire in the third century CE. He successfully conquered the city of Philippopolis, now present day Bulgarian city Plovdiv, and killed the emperor Decius and his son Herennius Etruscus at the Battle of Abrittus as he was attempting to leave...

, in which the Roman Emperor Decius
Decius
Trajan Decius , was Roman Emperor from 249 to 251. In the last year of his reign, he co-ruled with his son Herennius Etruscus until they were both killed in the Battle of Abrittus.-Early life and rise to power:...

 was killed.

Within the Roman Empire



Major sources for Gothic history include Ammianus Marcellinus' Res gestae, which mentions Gothic involvement in the civil war between emperors Procopius and Valens
Valens
Valens was the Eastern Roman Emperor from 364 to 378. He was given the eastern half of the empire by his brother Valentinian I after the latter's accession to the throne...

 of 365 and recounts the Gothic refugee crisis and revolt of 376–82, and Procopius
Procopius
Procopius of Caesarea was a prominent Byzantine scholar from Palestine. Accompanying the general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian I, he became the principal historian of the 6th century, writing the Wars of Justinian, the Buildings of Justinian and the celebrated Secret History...

' de bello gothico, which describes the Gothic war of 535–52
Gothic War (535–552)
The Gothic War between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy was fought from 535 until 554 in Italy, Dalmatia, Sardinia, Sicily and Corsica. It is commonly divided into two phases. The first phase lasted from 535 to 540 and ended with the fall of Ravenna and the apparent...

.

In the 3rd century, there were at least two groups of Goths: the Thervingi and the Greuthungi. The Thervingi launched one of the first major barbarian
Barbarian
Barbarian and savage are terms used to refer to a person who is perceived to be uncivilized. The word is often used either in a general reference to a member of a nation or ethnos, typically a tribal society as seen by an urban civilization either viewed as inferior, or admired as a noble savage...

 invasions of the Roman Empire in 262, sailing into the Aegean
Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea[p] is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus...

 and laying waste to the islands and the countryside in 267; they failed, however, to take any fortified cities. They suffered a devastating defeat a year later at the Battle of Naissus
Battle of Naissus
The Battle of Naissus was the defeat of a Gothic coalition by the Roman Empire under Emperor Gallienus near Naissus...

, and were destroyed by 271. Some survivors were resettled within the empire, while others were incorporated into the Roman army.

Later, an independent kingdom centered on the abandoned Roman province of Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

 was established. In 332 Constantine
Constantine I
Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

 helped the Sarmatians to settle on the north banks of the Danube to defend against the Goths' attacks and thereby enforce the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

's border
Border
Borders define geographic boundaries of political entities or legal jurisdictions, such as governments, sovereign states, federated states and other subnational entities. Some borders—such as a state's internal administrative borders, or inter-state borders within the Schengen Area—are open and...

. Around 100,000 Goths were killed in battle, and Ariaricus, son of the King of the Goths, was captured. In 334, Constantine evacuated approximately 300,000 Sarmatians from the north bank of the Danube after a revolt of the Sarmatians' slaves. From 335 to 336, Constantine, continuing his Danube campaign, defeated many Gothic tribes.

Both the Greuthungi
Greuthungi
The Greuthungs, Greuthungi, or Greutungi were a Gothic people of the Black Sea steppes in the third and fourth centuries. They had close contacts with the Thervingi, another Gothic people from west of the river Dnestr. They may be the same people as the later Ostrogoths.-Etymology:"Greuthungi" may...

 and Thervingi
Thervingi
The Thervingi, Tervingi, or Teruingi were a Gothic people of the Danubian plains west of the Dnestr River in the 3rd and 4th Centuries CE. They had close contacts with the Greuthungi, another Gothic people from east of the Dnestr River, as well as the Late Roman Empire...

 became heavily Romanized during the 4th century. This came about through trade with the Byzantines, as well as through Gothic membership of a military covenant, which was based in Byzantium and involved pledges of military assistance. The Goths converted to Arianism
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

 during this time. Hunnic domination of the Gothic kingdom in Scythia began in the 370s according to Ammianus. and confirmed by the Eunapius
Eunapius
Eunapius was a Greek sophist and historian of the 4th century. His principal surviving work is the Lives of the Sophists, a collection of the biographies of twenty-three philosophers and sophists.-Life:He was born at Sardis, AD 347...

 and the later Zosimus
Zosimus
Zosimus was a Byzantine historian, who lived in Constantinople during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I . According to Photius, he was a comes, and held the office of "advocate" of the imperial treasury.- Historia Nova :...

. Under pressure of the Huns, the chieftain Fritigern
Fritigern
Fritigern or Fritigernus was a Tervingian Gothic chieftain whose decisive victory at Adrinaople the Gothic War extracted favourable terms for the Goths when peace was made with Gratian in 382.-War against Athanaric:...

 approached the Eastern Roman Emperor Valens
Valens
Valens was the Eastern Roman Emperor from 364 to 378. He was given the eastern half of the empire by his brother Valentinian I after the latter's accession to the throne...

 in 376 with a portion of the Thervingi and asked to be allowed to settle with his people on the south bank of the Danube. Valens permitted this, and even assisted the Goths in their crossing of the river (probably at the fortress of Durostorum). Following a famine, however, the Gothic War of 376–82 ensued, and the Goths and the local Thracians rebelled. The Roman Emperor Valens was killed at the Battle of Adrianople
Battle of Adrianople
The Battle of Adrianople , sometimes known as the Battle of Hadrianopolis, was fought between a Roman army led by the Roman Emperor Valens and Gothic rebels led by Fritigern...

 in 378.

The Goths remained divided — as Visigoths and Ostrogoths — during the fifth century. These two tribes were among the Germanic peoples who clashed with the late Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 during the Migration Period
Migration Period
The Migration Period, also called the Barbarian Invasions , was a period of intensified human migration in Europe that occurred from c. 400 to 800 CE. This period marked the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages...

. A Visigothic force led by Alaric I
Alaric I
Alaric I was the King of the Visigoths from 395–410. Alaric is most famous for his sack of Rome in 410, which marked a decisive event in the decline of the Roman Empire....

 sacked Rome in 410
Sack of Rome (410)
The Sack of Rome occurred on August 24, 410. The city was attacked by the Visigoths, led by Alaric I. At that time, Rome was no longer the capital of the Western Roman Empire, replaced in this position initially by Mediolanum and then later Ravenna. Nevertheless, the city of Rome retained a...

. Honorius
Honorius (emperor)
Honorius , was Western Roman Emperor from 395 to 423. He was the younger son of emperor Theodosius I and his first wife Aelia Flaccilla, and brother of the eastern emperor Arcadius....

 granted the Visigoths Aquitania
Aquitania
Aquitania may refer to:* the territory of the Aquitani, a people living in Roman times in what is now Aquitaine, France* Aquitaine, a region of France roughly between the Pyrenees, the Atlantic ocean and the Garonne, also a former kingdom and duchy...

, where they defeated the Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

 and conquered most of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 by 475.

In the meantime, the Ostrogoths broke away from Hunnic rule following the Battle of Nedao
Battle of Nedao
The Battle of Nedao, named after the Nedava, a tributary of the Sava, was a battle fought in Pannonia in 454. After the death of Attila the Hun, allied forces of the Germanic subject peoples under the leadership of Ardaric, king of the Gepids, defeated the Hunnic forces of Ellac, the son of Attila,...

 in 454. At the request of emperor Zeno
Zeno (emperor)
Zeno , originally named Tarasis, was Byzantine Emperor from 474 to 475 and again from 476 to 491. Domestic revolts and religious dissension plagued his reign, which nevertheless succeeded to some extent in foreign issues...

, Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great was king of the Ostrogoths , ruler of Italy , regent of the Visigoths , and a viceroy of the Eastern Roman Empire...

 conquered all of Italy beginning in 488. The Goths were briefly reunited under one crown in the early sixth century under Theodoric the Great, who became regent of the Visigothic kingdom following the death of Alaric II
Alaric II
Alaric II, also known as Alarik, Alarich, and Alarico in Spanish and Portuguese or Alaricus in Latin succeeded his father Euric on December 28, 484, in Toulouse. He established his capital at Aire-sur-l'Adour in Aquitaine...

 at the Battle of Vouillé
Battle of Vouillé
The Battle of Vouillé or Vouglé was fought in the northern marches of Visigothic territory, at Vouillé, Vienne near Poitiers , in the spring of 507 between the Franks commanded by Clovis and the Visigoths of Alaric II, the conqueror of Spain.Clovis and Anastasius I of the Byzantine Empire agreed...

 in 507. Procopius
Procopius
Procopius of Caesarea was a prominent Byzantine scholar from Palestine. Accompanying the general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian I, he became the principal historian of the 6th century, writing the Wars of Justinian, the Buildings of Justinian and the celebrated Secret History...

 interpreted the name Visigoth as "western Goths" and the name Ostrogoth as "eastern Goth", reflecting the geographic distribution of the Gothic realms at that time.

The Ostrogothic kingdom
Ostrogothic Kingdom
The Kingdom established by the Ostrogoths in Italy and neighbouring areas lasted from 493 to 553. In Italy the Ostrogoths replaced Odoacer, the de facto ruler of Italy who had deposed the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire in 476. The Gothic kingdom reached its zenith under the rule of its...

 persisted until 553 under Teia
Teia
Teia , also known as Teja, Theia, Thila, Thela, Teias, was the last Ostrogothic king in Italy.Apparently a military officer serving under Totila, Teia was chosen as successor and raised over a shield after Totila was slain in the Battle of Taginae in July 552...

, when Italy returned briefly to Byzantine control. This restoration of imperial rule was reversed by the conquest of the Lombards
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

 in 568. The Visigothic kingdom lasted until 711 under Roderic
Roderic
Ruderic was the Visigothic King of Hispania for a brief period between 710 and 712. He is famous in legend as "the last king of the Goths"...

, when it fell to the Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

 invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

). However, the Visigothic nobles under the leadership of Pelagius of Asturias managed to defeat the Moors
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 at the Battle of Covadonga
Battle of Covadonga
The Battle of Covadonga was the first major victory by a Christian military force in Iberia following the Muslim Moors' conquest of that region in 711...

, and subsequently established the Kingdom of Asturias
Kingdom of Asturias
The Kingdom of Asturias was a Kingdom in the Iberian peninsula founded in 718 by Visigothic nobles under the leadership of Pelagius of Asturias. It was the first Christian political entity established following the collapse of the Visigothic kingdom after Islamic conquest of Hispania...

. The Gothic victory at Covadonga is regarded as the initiation of the Reconquista
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

, and it was from the Asturian kingdom that modern Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 evolved.

In the late 6th century Goths settled as foederati
Foederati
Foederatus is a Latin term whose definition and usage drifted in the time between the early Roman Republic and the end of the Western Roman Empire...

in parts of Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

. Their descendants, who formed the elite Optimatoi
Optimatoi
The Optimatoi were initially formed as an elite Byzantine military unit. In the mid-8th century, however, they were downgraded to a supply and logistics corps and assigned a province in north-western Asia Minor, which was named after them...

regiment, still lived there in the early 8th century. While they were largely assimilated, their Gothic origin was still well-known: the chronicler Theophanes the Confessor
Theophanes the Confessor
Saint Theophanes Confessor was a member of the Byzantine aristocracy, who became a monk and chronicler. He is venerated on March 12 in the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Church .-Biography:Theophanes was born in Constantinople of wealthy and noble iconodule parents: Isaac,...

 calls them Gothograeci.

Art



Before the invasion of the Huns
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

 the Gothic Chernyakhov culture
Chernyakhov culture
The Sântana de Mureș–Chernyakhiv culture is the name given to an archaeological culture which flourished between the 2nd and 5th centuries in a wide area of Eastern Europe, specifically in what today constitutes Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, and parts of Belarus...

 produced jewelry, vessels, and decorative objects in a style much influenced Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 and Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 craftsmen. They developed a polychrome
Polychrome
Polychrome is one of the terms used to describe the use of multiple colors in one entity. It has also been defined as "The practice of decorating architectural elements, sculpture, etc., in a variety of colors." Polychromatic light is composed of a number of different wavelengths...

 style of gold work, using wrought cells or setting to encrust Gems
Gems
-Gems:*gemstones*Gems , a 1988 compilation album by Aerosmith*Gems , a 1994 studio album by Patti LaBelle*Gems , a 2011 studio album by Michael Bolton...

 into their gold objects. This style was influential in western Germanic
West Germanic tribes
The West Germanic tribes were Germanic peoples who spoke the branch of Germanic languages known as West Germanic languages.They appear to be derived from the Jastorf culture, a Pre-Roman Iron Age offshoot of the Nordic Bronze Age culture....

 areas well into the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

.

Language



The Gothic language
Gothic language
Gothic is an extinct Germanic language that was spoken by the Goths. It is known primarily from the Codex Argenteus, a 6th-century copy of a 4th-century Bible translation, and is the only East Germanic language with a sizable Text corpus...

 is an extinct
Extinct language
An extinct language is a language that no longer has any speakers., or that is no longer in current use. Extinct languages are sometimes contrasted with dead languages, which are still known and used in special contexts in written form, but not as ordinary spoken languages for everyday communication...

 Germanic language that was spoken by the Goths. It is known primarily from the Codex Argenteus
Codex Argenteus
The Codex Argenteus, "Silver Book", is a 6th century manuscript, originally containing bishop Ulfilas's 4th century translation of the Bible into the Gothic language. Of the original 336 folios, 188—including the Speyer fragment discovered in 1970—have been preserved, containing the...

, a 6th-century copy of a 4th-century Bible translation, and is the only East Germanic language
East Germanic languages
The East Germanic languages are a group of extinct Indo-European languages in the Germanic family. The only East Germanic language of which texts are known is Gothic; other languages that are assumed to be East Germanic include Vandalic, Burgundian, and Crimean Gothic...

 with a sizable corpus. All others, including Burgundian
Burgundian language (Germanic)
The Burgundian language is an extinct East Germanic language, spoken by the Burgundians in the 4th and 5th centuries.Little is known of the language...

 and Vandalic
Vandalic language
Vandalic was a Germanic language probably closely related to Gothic. The Vandals, Hasdingi and Silingi established themselves in Gallaecia and in Southern Spain, following other Germanic and non-Germanic peoples , before moving to North Africa in AD 429.Very little is known about the Vandalic...

, are known, if at all, only from proper names that survived in historical accounts, and from loan-words in other languages like Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 and French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

.
As a Germanic language, Gothic is a part of the Indo-European language
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 family. It is the Germanic language with the earliest attestation but has no modern descendants. The oldest documents in Gothic date back to the 4th century. The language was in decline by the mid-6th century, due in part to the military defeat of the Goths at the hands of the Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

, the elimination of the Goths in Italy, and geographic isolation (in Spain the Gothic language lost its last and probably already declining function as a church language when the Visigoths converted to Catholicism in 589). The language survived as a domestic language in the Iberian peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 (modern Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

) as late as the 8th century, and Frankish
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 author Walafrid Strabo
Walafrid Strabo
Walafrid, alternatively spelt Walahfrid, surnamed Strabo , was a Frankish monk and theological writer.-Theological works:...

 wrote that it was still spoken in the lower Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 area and in isolated mountain regions in Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

 in the early 9th century (see Crimean Gothic). Gothic-seeming terms found in later (post-9th century) manuscripts may not belong to the same language.

The existence of such early attested corpora makes it a language of considerable interest in comparative linguistics
Comparative linguistics
Comparative linguistics is a branch of historical linguistics that is concerned with comparing languages to establish their historical relatedness....

.

Religion



Initially pagan
Germanic paganism
Germanic paganism refers to the theology and religious practices of the Germanic peoples of north-western Europe from the Iron Age until their Christianization during the Medieval period...

, the Goths were in the 4th century converted to Arian
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

 Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 by the Gothic missionary Wulfila, who devised a alphabet
Gothic alphabet
The Gothic alphabet is an alphabet for writing the Gothic language, created in the 4th century by Ulfilas for the purpose of translating the Christian Bible....

 to translate the Bible. The Visigothic Kingdom
Visigothic Kingdom
The Visigothic Kingdom was a kingdom which occupied southwestern France and the Iberian Peninsula from the 5th to 8th century AD. One of the Germanic successor states to the Western Roman Empire, it was originally created by the settlement of the Visigoths under King Wallia in the province of...

 in Hispania
Hispania
Another theory holds that the name derives from Ezpanna, the Basque word for "border" or "edge", thus meaning the farthest area or place. Isidore of Sevilla considered Hispania derived from Hispalis....

 was converted to Catholocism in the 7th century.

Legacy



The Gutes (Gotlanders) themselves had oral traditions of a mass migration towards southern Europe, recorded in the Gutasaga
Gutasaga
Gutasaga is a saga treating the history of Gotland before its Christianization. It was recorded in the 13th century and survives in only a single manuscript, the Codex Holm. B 64, dating to ca. 1350, kept at the Swedish Royal Library in Stockholm together with the Gutalag, the legal code of...

. If the facts are related, this would be a unique case of a tradition that endured for more than a thousand years and that actually pre-dates most of the major splits in the Germanic language family.

The Goths' relationship with Sweden became an important part of Swedish nationalism, and until the 19th century the Swedes were commonly considered to be the direct descendants of the Goths. Today, Swedish scholars identify this as a cultural movement
Cultural movement
A cultural movement is a change in the way a number of different disciplines approach their work. This embodies all art forms, the sciences, and philosophies. Historically, different nations or regions of the world have gone through their own independent sequence of movements in culture, but as...

 called Gothicismus
Gothicismus
Gothicismus, Gothism, or Gothicism is the name given to what is considered to have been a cultural movement in Sweden, centered around the belief in the glory of the Swedish ancestors, originally considered to be the Geats, which were identified with the Goths. The founders of the movement were...

, which included an enthusiasm for things Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

.

Beginning in 1278, when Magnus III of Sweden
Magnus III of Sweden
Magnus III Ladulås of Sweden, Swedish: Magnus Birgersson or Magnus Ladulås was King of Sweden from 1275 until his death in 1290....

 ascended to the throne, a reference to Gothic origins was included in the title of the King of Sweden: In 1973, with the death of King Gustaf VI Adolf, the title was changed to simply "King of Sweden."

In Medieval and Modern Spain, the Visigoths were believed to be the origin of the Spanish nobility
Spanish nobility
Spanish nobles are persons who possess the legal status of hereditary nobility according to the laws and traditions of the Spanish monarchy. A system of titles and honours of Spain and of the former kingdoms that constitute it comprise the Spanish nobility...

 (compare Gobineau for a similar French idea). By the early 7th century, the ethnic distinction between Visigoths and Hispano-Romans had all but disappeared, but recognition of a Gothic origin, e.g. on gravestones, still survived among the nobility. The 7th-century Visigothic aristocracy saw itself as bearers of a particular Gothic consciousness and as guardians of old traditions such as Germanic namegiving; probably these traditions were on the whole restricted to the family sphere (Hispano-Roman nobles did service for Visigothic nobles already in the 5th century and the two branches of Spanish aristocracy had fully adopted similar customs two centuries later).

In Spain, a man acting with arrogance would be said to be "haciéndose los godos" ("making himself to act like the Goths"). Thus, in Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

, godo was an ethnic slur used against European Spaniards, who in the early colony period often felt superior to the people born locally (criollos).

The Spanish and Swedish claims of Gothic origins led to a clash at the Council of Basel in 1434. Before the assembled cardinal
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

s and delegations could engage in theological discussion, they had to decide how to sit during the proceedings. The delegations from the more prominent nations argued that they should sit closest to the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

, and there were also disputes over who was to have the finest chairs and who was to have their chairs on mats. In some cases, they compromised so that some would have half a chair leg on the rim of a mat. In this conflict, Nicolaus Ragvaldi
Nicolaus Ragvaldi
Nicolaus Ragvaldi was bishop of Växjö and from 1438-1448 archbishop of Uppsala, Sweden...

, bishop of Växjö, claimed that the Swedes were the descendants of the great Goths, and that the people of Västergötland
Västergötland
', English exonym: West Gothland, is one of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden , situated in the southwest of Sweden. In older English literature one may also encounter the Latinized version Westrogothia....

 (Westrogothia in Latin) were the Visigoths and the people of Östergötland
Östergötland
Östergötland, English exonym: East Gothland, is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden in the south of Sweden. It borders Småland, Västergötland, Närke, Södermanland, and the Baltic Sea. In older English literature, one might also encounter the Latinized version, Ostrogothia...

 (Ostrogothia in Latin) were the Ostrogoths. The Spanish delegation retorted that it was only the lazy and unenterprising Goths who had remained in Sweden, whereas the heroic Goths had left Sweden, invaded the Roman empire and settled in Spain.

Written sources about the Goths

  • Ambrose
    Ambrose
    Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose , was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was one of the four original doctors of the Church.-Political career:Ambrose was born into a Roman Christian family between about...

    : The prologue of De Spiritu Sancto (On the Holy Ghost) makes passing reference to Athanaric's royal titles before 376. Comment on Saint Luke:„Chuni in Halanos, Halani in Gothos, Gothi in Taifalos et Sarmatas insurexerunt"
  • Ammianus Marcellinus
    Ammianus Marcellinus
    Ammianus Marcellinus was a fourth-century Roman historian. He wrote the penultimate major historical account surviving from Antiquity...

    : Res Gestae Libri XXXI.
  • Aurelius Victor
    Aurelius Victor
    Sextus Aurelius Victor was a historian and politician of the Roman Empire.Aurelius Victor was the author of a History of Rome from Augustus to Julian , published ca. 361. Julian honoured him and appointed him prefect of Pannonia Secunda...

    : The Caesars, a history from Augustus
    Augustus
    Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

     to Constantius II
    Constantius II
    Constantius II , was Roman Emperor from 337 to 361. The second son of Constantine I and Fausta, he ascended to the throne with his brothers Constantine II and Constans upon their father's death....

  • Basil of Cesareea: Letters
  • Cassiodorus
    Cassiodorus
    Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator , commonly known as Cassiodorus, was a Roman statesman and writer, serving in the administration of Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths. Senator was part of his surname, not his rank.- Life :Cassiodorus was born at Scylletium, near Catanzaro in...

    : A lost history of the Goths used by Jordanes
    Jordanes
    Jordanes, also written Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th century Roman bureaucrat, who turned his hand to history later in life....

  • Claudian
    Claudian
    Claudian was a Roman poet, who worked for Emperor Honorius and the latter's general Stilicho.A Greek-speaking citizen of Alexandria and probably not a Christian convert, Claudian arrived in Rome before 395. He made his mark with a eulogy of his two young patrons, Probinus and Olybrius, thereby...

    : Poems
  • Dexippus
    Dexippus
    Publius Herennius Dexippus , Greek historian, statesman and general, was an hereditary priest of the Eleusinian family of the Kerykes, and held the offices of archon basileus and eponymous in Athens....

    : Scythica which was used by Zosimus
    Zosimus
    Zosimus was a Byzantine historian, who lived in Constantinople during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I . According to Photius, he was a comes, and held the office of "advocate" of the imperial treasury.- Historia Nova :...

     for his New hystory
  • Epitome de Caesaribus
    Epitome de Caesaribus
    The Epitome de Caesaribus is the name for a Latin historical work, written at the end of the 4th century.It is a brief account of the reigns of the emperors from Augustus to Theodosius the Great. It is attributed to Aurelius Victor, but was written by an anonymous author who was very likely a pagan...

  • Eunapius of Sardis: Live of the Sophists
  • Eutropius: Breviary
  • Gregory Thaumaturgus
    Gregory Thaumaturgus
    Gregory Thaumaturgus, also known as Gregory of Neocaesarea or Gregory the Wonderworker, was a Christian bishop of the 3rd century.-Biography:Gregory was born at Neo-Caesarea around 213 A.D...

    : Canonical letter
  • Gregory of Nyssa
    Gregory of Nyssa
    St. Gregory of Nyssa was a Christian bishop and saint. He was a younger brother of Basil the Great and a good friend of Gregory of Nazianzus. His significance has long been recognized in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Catholic and Roman Catholic branches of Christianity...

  • Historia Augusta: A history from Hadrian
    Hadrian
    Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

     to Carus
    Carus
    Carus , was Roman Emperor from 282 to 283. During his short reign, Carus fought the Germanic tribes and Sarmatians along the Danube frontier with success. During his campaign against the Sassanid Empire he sacked their capital Ctesiphon, but died shortly thereafter...

    . However, large portions are known to be fraudulent and the factual accuracy of the remainder is disputed.
  • Jerome
    Jerome
    Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

    : Chronicle
  • Jordanes
    Jordanes
    Jordanes, also written Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th century Roman bureaucrat, who turned his hand to history later in life....

  • Julian the Apostate
    Julian the Apostate
    Julian "the Apostate" , commonly known as Julian, or also Julian the Philosopher, was Roman Emperor from 361 to 363 and a noted philosopher and Greek writer....

  • Lactantius
    Lactantius
    Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius was an early Christian author who became an advisor to the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine I, guiding his religious policy as it developed, and tutor to his son.-Biography:...

    : On the death of the Persecutors
  • Olympiodorus of Thebes
    Olympiodorus of Thebes
    Olympiodorus was an historical writer of classical education, a "poet by profession" as he says of himself, who was born at Thebes in Egypt, and was sent on a mission to the Huns on the Black Sea by Emperor Honorius about 412, and later lived at the court of Theodosius II, to whom his History was...

  • Orosius: History against pagans
  • Panegyrici latini
    Panegyrici Latini
    The Panegyrici Latini or Latin Panegyrics is a collection of twelve ancient Roman panegyric orations. The authors of most of the speeches in the collection are anonymous, but appear to have been Gallic in origin. Aside from the first panegyric, composed by Pliny the Younger in 100 CE, the other...

  • Paulinus
    Paulinus the Deacon
    Paulinus the Deacon was the notary of Ambrose of Milan, and his biographer. His work is the only life of Ambrose based on a contemporary account, and was written at the request of Augustine of Hippo; it is dated to 422.-Against the Pelagians:...

    : Life of bishop Ambrose of Milan
  • Philostorgius
    Philostorgius
    Philostorgius was an Anomoean Church historian of the 4th and 5th centuries. Anomoeanism questioned the Trinitarian account of the relationship between God the Father and Christ and was considered a heresy by the Orthodox Church, which adopted the term "homoousia" in the Nicene Creed. Very little...

    : Greek church history
  • Sozomen
    Sozomen
    Salminius Hermias Sozomenus was a historian of the Christian church.-Family and Home:He was born around 400 in Bethelia, a small town near Gaza, into a wealthy Christian family of Palestine....

  • Synesius
    Synesius
    Synesius , a Greek bishop of Ptolemais in the Libyan Pentapolis after 410, was born of wealthy parents, who claimed descent from Spartan kings, at Balagrae near Cyrene between 370 and 375.-Life:...

    : De regno and De providentia
  • Tacitus
    Tacitus
    Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

    : Germania, chapters 17, 44
  • Themistius
    Themistius
    Themistius , named , was a statesman, rhetorician, and philosopher. He flourished in the reigns of Constantius II, Julian, Jovian, Valens, Gratian, and Theodosius I; and he enjoyed the favour of all those emperors, notwithstanding their many differences, and the fact that he himself was not a...

    : Speeches
  • Theoderet of Cyrrhus
  • Theodosian Code
  • Zosimus
    Zosimus
    Zosimus was a Byzantine historian, who lived in Constantinople during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I . According to Photius, he was a comes, and held the office of "advocate" of the imperial treasury.- Historia Nova :...


See also



Descendants and related peoples:

  • Crimean Goths
    Crimean Goths
    Crimean Goths were those Gothic tribes who remained in the lands around the Black Sea, especially in Crimea. They were the least-powerful, least-known, and almost paradoxically, the longest-lasting of the Gothic communities...

  • Gepids
  • Greuthungi
    Greuthungi
    The Greuthungs, Greuthungi, or Greutungi were a Gothic people of the Black Sea steppes in the third and fourth centuries. They had close contacts with the Thervingi, another Gothic people from west of the river Dnestr. They may be the same people as the later Ostrogoths.-Etymology:"Greuthungi" may...

  • Ostrogoths
  • Gutes

  • Thervingi
    Thervingi
    The Thervingi, Tervingi, or Teruingi were a Gothic people of the Danubian plains west of the Dnestr River in the 3rd and 4th Centuries CE. They had close contacts with the Greuthungi, another Gothic people from east of the Dnestr River, as well as the Late Roman Empire...

  • Vandals
    Vandals
    The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

  • Visigoths


Other:

External links



...