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The Goths
Goths
were an East Germanic people, two of whose branches, the Visigoths
Visigoths
and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and the emergence of Medieval Europe. The Goths
Goths
dominated a vast area,[1] which at its peak under the Germanic king Ermanaric and his sub-king Athanaric possibly extended all the way from the Danube
Danube
to the Don, and from the Black Sea
Black Sea
to the Baltic Sea.[2] The Goths
Goths
spoke the Gothic language, one of the extinct East Germanic languages. It was last spoken in Crimea
Crimea
in the 18th century by the Crimean Goths; the least-powerful, least-known, and almost paradoxically, the longest-lasting of the Gothic communities.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Origins 3 Migrations and contact with Rome 4 Visigoths
Visigoths
and Ostrogoths

4.1 Visigoths 4.2 Ostrogoths

5 Culture

5.1 Art 5.2 Language 5.3 Society 5.4 Economy 5.5 Religion

6 Legacy

6.1 In the sagas 6.2 Ancients who wrote about the Goths

7 References

7.1 Sources

Etymology[edit]

Götaland, south Sweden, with the island of Gotland
Gotland
in the east, a possible origin of the Goths; the southernmost and westernmost parts, Scania, Halland, Blekinge
Blekinge
and Bohuslän, were originally not a part of Götaland, but were Dano-Norwegian territory until 1658.

Further information: Gaut In the Gothic language
Gothic language
of Ostrogothic Italy
Italy
they were called the Gut-þiuda, most commonly translated as "Gothic people", but only attested as dative singular Gut-þiudai,[3]; another name, Gutans, is inferred from a genitive plural(?) form gutani in the Pietroassa inscription.[4] In Old Norse
Old Norse
they were known as the Gutar or Gotar, in Latin
Latin
as the Gothi, and in Greek as the Γότθοι, Gótthoi. The Goths
Goths
have been referred to by many names, perhaps at least in part because they comprised many separate ethnic groups, but also because in early accounts of Indo-European and later Germanic migrations in the Migration Period
Migration Period
in general it was common practice to use various names to refer to the same group. The Goths
Goths
believed (as most modern scholars do)[5] that the various names all derived from a single prehistoric ethnonym that referred originally to a uniform culture that flourished around the middle of the first millennium BC, i.e. the original Goths. Origins[edit]

The Roman empire, under Hadrian
Hadrian
showing the location of the Gothones East Germanic group, then inhabiting the east bank of the Visula (Vistula) river, (present Poland)

The expansion of the Germanic tribes 750 BC – AD 1 (after the Penguin Atlas of World History 1988):    Settlements before 750 BC    New settlements by 500 BC    New settlements by 250 BC    New settlements by AD 1

The exact origin of the ancient Goths
Goths
remains unknown. Evidence of them before they interacted with the Romans is limited.[6] The traditional account of the Goths' early history depends on the Ostrogoth Jordanes' Getica
Getica
written c. 551 AD. Jordanes
Jordanes
states that the earliest migrating Goths
Goths
sailed from what is now Sweden
Sweden
to what is now Poland, and replaced inhabitants there, forming the Wielbark culture.[citation needed] Modern academics have generally abandoned this theory. Today, the Wielbark culture
Wielbark culture
is thought to have developed from earlier cultures in the same area.[7] Archaeological finds show close contacts between southern Sweden
Sweden
and the Baltic coastal area on the continent, and further towards the south-east, evidenced by pottery, house types and graves. Rather than a massive migration, similarities in the material cultures may be products of long-term regular contacts. However, the archaeological record could indicate that while his work is thought to be unreliable,[8] Jordanes' story was based on an oral tradition with some basis in fact.[7]

The expansion of the Germanic tribes AD 1:

red: Oksywie culture, then early Wielbark culture blue: Jastorf culture
Jastorf culture
(light blue: expansion, purple: repressed) yellow: Przeworsk culture
Przeworsk culture
(orange: repressed) pink, orange, purple: expansion of Wielbark culture
Wielbark culture
(2nd century AD)

Sometime around the 1st century AD, Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
may have migrated from Scandinavia
Scandinavia
to Gothiscandza, in present-day Poland. Early archaeological evidence in the traditional Swedish province of Östergötland
Östergötland
suggests a general depopulation during this period.[9] However, there is no archaeological evidence for a substantial emigration from Scandinavia[10] and they may have originated in continental Europe.[11]

  Götaland   the island of Gotland    Wielbark culture
Wielbark culture
in the early 3rd century   Chernyakhov culture, in the early 4th century   Roman Empire

Gothic invasions in the 3rd century

Upon their arrival on the Pontic Steppe, the Germanic tribes adopted the ways of the Eurasian nomads. The first Greek references to the Goths
Goths
call them Scythians, since this area along the Black Sea historically had been occupied by an unrelated people of that name. The application of that designation to the Goths
Goths
appears to be not ethnological but rather geographical and cultural - Greeks regarded both the ethnic Scythians and the Goths
Goths
as barbarians.[12] The earliest known material culture associated with the Goths
Goths
on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
is the Wielbark culture, centered on the modern region of Pomerania
Pomerania
in northern Poland. This culture replaced the local Oxhöft or Oksywie culture
Oksywie culture
in the 1st century AD, when a Scandinavian settlement developed in a buffer zone between the Oksywie culture
Oksywie culture
and the Przeworsk culture.[13] The culture of this area was influenced by southern Scandinavian culture beginning as early as the late Nordic Bronze Age
Nordic Bronze Age
and early Pre-Roman Iron Age
Pre-Roman Iron Age
(c. 1300 – c. 300 BC). In fact, the Scandinavian influence on Pomerania
Pomerania
and today's northern Poland from c. 1300 BC (period III) and onwards was so considerable that some[who?] see the culture of the region as part of the Nordic Bronze Age culture.[14] In Eastern Europe
Europe
the Goths
Goths
formed part of the Chernyakhov culture
Chernyakhov culture
of the 2nd to 5th centuries AD. Migrations and contact with Rome[edit] Around 160 AD, in Central Europe, the first movements of the Migration Period were occurring, as Germanic tribes began moving south-east from their ancestral lands at the mouth of River Vistula, putting pressure on the Germanic tribes from the north and east. As a result, in episodes of Gothic and Vandal warfare
Gothic and Vandal warfare
Germanic tribes (Rugii, Goths, Gepids, Vandals, Burgundians, and others)[15] crossed either the lower Danube
Danube
or the Black Sea, and led to the Marcomannic Wars,[16] which resulted in widespread destruction and the first invasion of what is now Italy
Italy
in the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
period.[17] It has been suggested that the Goths
Goths
maintained contact with southern Sweden
Sweden
during their migration.[18] Goths
Goths
also served in the Roman military and played a limited role, e.g. Gainas. In the first attested incursion in Thrace, the Goths
Goths
were mentioned as Boranoi by Zosimus, and then as Boradoi by Gregory Thaumaturgus.[12] The first incursion of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
that can be attributed to Goths
Goths
is the sack of Histria in 238. Several such raids followed in subsequent decades,[12] in particular the Battle of Abrittus
Battle of Abrittus
in 251, led by Cniva, in which the Roman Emperor Decius
Decius
was killed. At the time, there were at least two groups of Goths: the Thervingi
Thervingi
and the Greuthungs. Goths
Goths
were subsequently heavily recruited into the Roman Army to fight in the Roman-Persian Wars, notably participating at the Battle of Misiche in 242. The Moesogoths settled in Thrace
Thrace
and Moesia.[19] The first seaborne raids took place in three subsequent years, probably 255-257. An unsuccessful attack on Pityus
Pityus
was followed in the second year by another, which sacked by Pityus
Pityus
and Trabzon
Trabzon
and ravaged large areas in the Pontus. In the third year, a much larger force devastated large areas of Bithynia
Bithynia
and the Propontis, including the cities of Chalcedon, Nicomedia, Nicaea, Apamea Myrlea, Cius
Cius
and Bursa. By the end of the raids, the Goths
Goths
had seized control over Crimea
Crimea
and the Bosporus and captured several cities on the Euxine
Euxine
coast, including Olbia and Tyras, which enabled them to engage in widespread naval activities.[20]

The 3rd-century Great Ludovisi sarcophagus
Great Ludovisi sarcophagus
depicts a battle between Goths
Goths
and Romans.

After Gallienus
Gallienus
was assassinated outside Milan
Milan
in the summer of 268 in a plot led by high officers in his army, Claudius Gothicus
Claudius Gothicus
was proclaimed emperor and headed to Rome to establish his rule. Claudius' immediate concerns were with the Alamanni, who had invaded Raetia
Raetia
and Italy. After he defeated them in the Battle of Lake Benacus, he was finally able to take care of the invasions in the Balkan provinces.[21] Learning of the approach of Claudius, the Goths
Goths
first attempted to directly invade Italy.[22] They were engaged at the Battle of Naissus. It seems that Aurelian, who was in charge of all Roman cavalry during Claudius' reign, led the decisive attack in the battle. Some survivors were resettled within the empire, while others were incorporated into the Roman army. The battle ensured the survival of the Roman Empire for another two centuries. In 270, after the death of Claudius, Goths under the leadership of Cannabaudes again launched an invasion on the Roman Empire, but were defeated by Aurelian, who however surrendered Dacia beyond the Danube. Around 275 the Goths
Goths
launched a last major assault on Asia Minor, where piracy by Black Sea
Black Sea
Goths
Goths
was causing great trouble in Colchis, Pontus, Cappadocia, Galatia
Galatia
and even Cilicia.[23] They were defeated sometime in 276 by Emperor Marcus Claudius Tacitus.[23] In 332, Constantine helped the Sarmatians
Sarmatians
to settle on the north banks of the Danube
Danube
to defend against the Goths' attacks and thereby enforce the Roman Empire's border. Around 100,000  Goths
Goths
were reportedly killed in battle, and Ariaricus, son of the King of the Goths, was captured. The Goths
Goths
increasingly became soldiers in the Roman armies in the 4th Century AD, contributing to the almost complete Germanization of the Roman Army
Roman Army
by that time.[15] The Gothic penchant for wearing skins became fashion in Constantinople, which was heavily denounced by conservatives.[24] Following a famine the Gothic War of 376–382 ensued, where the Goths and some of the local Thracians rebelled. The Roman Emperor Valens
Valens
was killed at the Battle of Adrianople
Battle of Adrianople
in 378. Following the decisive Gothic victory at Adrianople, Julius, the magister militum Eastern Roman Empire,[12] organized a widescale massacre of Goths
Goths
in Asia Minor, Syria and other parts of the Roman East.[12] Fearing rebellion, Julian lured the Goths
Goths
into the confines of urban streets from which they could not escape and massacred soldiers and civilians alike.[12] As word spread, the Goths
Goths
rioted throughout the region, and large numbers were killed.[12] Survivors may have settled in Phrygia.[12] Although the Huns
Huns
successfully subdued many of the Goths, who joined their ranks, a group of Goths
Goths
led by Fritigern fled across the Danube. Major sources for this period of Gothic history include Ammianus' Res gestae, which mentions Gothic involvement in the civil war between emperors Procopius
Procopius
and Valens
Valens
of 365 and recounts the Gothic War (376-382). Around 375 AD the Huns
Huns
overran the Alans
Alans
and then the Goths. In the late fourth century, the Huns
Huns
arrived from the east and invaded the region controlled by the Goths.

The maximum extent of territories ruled by Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great
in 523

Visigoths
Visigoths
and Ostrogoths[edit] By the 4th century, the Goths
Goths
had captured Roman Dacia[25] and divided into at least two distinct groups separated by the Dniester
Dniester
River: the Thervingi
Thervingi
(led by the Balti dynasty) and the Greuthungi
Greuthungi
(led by the Amali dynasty). The Goths
Goths
separated into two main branches, the Visigoths, who became foederati (federates) of the Roman Empire, and the Ostrogoths, who joined the Huns. Both the Greuthungi
Greuthungi
and Thervingi
Thervingi
became heavily Romanized during the 4th Century. This came about through trade with the Romans, as well as through Gothic membership of a military covenant, which was based in Byzantium
Byzantium
and involved pledges of military assistance. Reportedly, 40,000  Goths
Goths
were brought by Constantine to defend Constantinople
Constantinople
in his later reign, and the Palace Guard was mostly composed of Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
since foreign troops were less likely to rebel so far from home and also had less qualms about using deadly force on the native population. [26] The Gothic missionary Wulfila devised the Gothic alphabet
Gothic alphabet
to translate the Wulfila
Wulfila
Bible, had converted many of the Goths
Goths
from Germanic paganism
Germanic paganism
to Arian Christianity. The Goths
Goths
remained divided – as Visigoths
Visigoths
and Ostrogoths
Ostrogoths
– during the 5th Century. These two tribes were among the Germanic peoples who clashed with the late Roman Empire
Roman Empire
during the Migration Period. A Visigothic force led by Alaric I
Alaric I
sacked Rome in 410. Honorius granted the Visigoths
Visigoths
Aquitania, where they defeated the Vandals
Vandals
and conquered most of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
by 475. Visigoths[edit] The Huns
Huns
fell upon the Thervingi, whose staunchly pagan ruler, Athanaric, sought refuge in the mountains. Meanwhile, the Arian Thervingian rebel chieftain Fritigern approached the Eastern Roman Emperor Valens
Valens
in 376 with a portion of his people and asked to be allowed to settle with his people on the south bank of the Danube. Valens
Valens
permitted this, and even assisted the Goths
Goths
in their crossing of the river (probably at the fortress of Durostorum).[27] In 410, the Visigoths' Sack of Rome (410)
Sack of Rome (410)
under Alaric I, defeated Attila
Attila
at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains
Battle of the Catalaunian Plains
under Theodoric I
Theodoric I
in 451, and founded in 418 a Visigothic Kingdom
Visigothic Kingdom
in Aquitaine. In 507, the Visigoths
Visigoths
were pushed into Hispania
Hispania
by the Frankish Kingdom
Frankish Kingdom
following the Battle of Vouillé in 507. By the late 6th century, the Visigoths
Visigoths
had converted to Christianity. They were conquered in 711 when the Muslim Moors defeated Roderic
Roderic
during the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, but they founded the Kingdom of Asturias
Kingdom of Asturias
in 718 and began to regain control under the leadership of the Visigothic nobleman Pelagius of Asturias, whose victory at the Battle of Covadonga
Battle of Covadonga
(c. 722) began the centuries-long Reconquista. It was from the Asturian kingdom that modern Spain
Spain
and Portugal
Portugal
evolved.[28] These Goths
Goths
became completely Hispanicized, retaining little of their original culture except for Germanic names still in use in present-day Spain. In the late 6th Century Goths
Goths
settled as foederati in parts of Asia Minor. Their descendants, who formed the elite Optimatoi 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 calls them Gothograeci. Ostrogoths[edit] Christopher I. Beckwith suggests that the entire Hunnic thrust into Europe
Europe
and the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
was an attempt to subdue independent Goths in the west.[29] It is possible that the Hunnic attack came as a response to the Gothic eastwards expansion.[29][30][31] Ermanaric committed suicide, and the Greuthungi
Greuthungi
fell under Hunnic dominance. In the 4th century, the Greuthungian king Ermanaric became the most powerful Gothic ruler, coming to dominate a vast area of the Pontic Steppe
Pontic Steppe
which possibly stretched from the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
to the Black Sea
Black Sea
as far eastwards as the Ural Mountains.[32] Ermanaric's dominance of the Volga-Don trade routes made historian Gottfried Schramm consider his realm as a forerunner of the Viking
Viking
founded state of Kievan Rus'.[33] In 454 AD, the Ostrogoths
Ostrogoths
successfully revolted against the Huns
Huns
at the Battle of Nedao and their leader Theoderic the Great
Theoderic the Great
invaded what is now Italy
Italy
in 488 and settled his people there, founding an Ostrogothic Kingdom
Ostrogothic Kingdom
which eventually gained control of the whole Italian peninsula. Under Theodemir, the Ostrogoths
Ostrogoths
broke away from Hunnic rule following the Battle of Nedao in 454, and decisively defeated the Huns
Huns
again under Valamir at Bassianae in 468. At the request of emperor Zeno, Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great
conquered all of Italy
Italy
from the Scirian Odoacer beginning in 488. The Goths
Goths
were briefly reunited under one crown in the early 6th century under Theodoric the Great, who became regent of the Visigothic kingdom following the death of Alaric II
Alaric II
at the Battle of Vouillé in 507. Procopius
Procopius
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
persisted until 553 under Teia, when Italy returned briefly to Byzantine control. This restoration of imperial rule was reversed by the conquest of the Lombards
Lombards
in 568. Shortly after Theodoric's death, the country was conquered by the Byzantine Empire in the Gothic War (535–554)
Gothic War (535–554)
that devastated and depopulated the peninsula.[34] In 552, after their leader Totila
Totila
was killed at the Battle of Taginae
Battle of Taginae
(552), effective Ostrogothic resistance ended, and the remaining Goths
Goths
in Italy
Italy
were assimilated by the Lombards, another Germanic tribe, who invaded Italy
Italy
and founded the Kingdom of the Lombards
Lombards
in 567 AD. In the late 18th century, Gothic tribes who remained in the lands around the Black Sea, especially in Crimea
Crimea
- then known as Crimean Goths
Goths
- were still mentioned as existing in the region and speaking a Crimean Gothic dialect, making them the last true Goths. The language is believed to have been spoken until as late as 1945. They are believed to have been assimilated by the Crimean Tatars. However, it was claimed that the Crimean Goths
Crimean Goths
had survived to interbreed with German settlers in Crimea
Crimea
during the Third Reich
Third Reich
and that German communities in Crimea
Crimea
constituted native peoples of that area.[citation needed] Culture[edit] Art[edit]

An Ostrogothic eagle-shaped fibula, 500 AD, Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nuremberg

Before the invasion of the Huns, the Gothic Chernyakhov culture produced jewelry, vessels, and decorative objects in a style much influenced by Greek and Roman craftsmen. They developed a polychrome style of gold work, using wrought cells or setting to encrust gemstones into their gold objects. This style was influential in West Germanic areas well into the Middle Ages. Language[edit] Main articles: Gothic language
Gothic language
and Gothic alphabet The Gothic language
Gothic language
is the Germanic language
Germanic language
with the earliest attestation, from the 300s, making it a language of interest in comparative linguistics. All other East Germanic languages
East Germanic languages
are known, if at all, from proper names that survived in historical accounts, and from loan-words in other languages. It is known primarily from the Codex Argenteus, a translation of the Bible. The language was in decline by the mid-500s, due to the military victory of the Franks, the elimination of the Goths
Goths
in Italy, and geographic isolation. In Spain
Spain
the language lost its last and probably already declining function as a church language when the Visigoths converted to Catholicism in 589).[35] It is now an extinct language.

Reconstruction of the 3rd century Gothic grave from Masłomęcz
Masłomęcz
in the Lublin Museum.

Society[edit] Archaeological evidence in Visigothic cemeteries shows that social stratification was analogous to that of the village of Sabbas the Goth. The majority of villagers were common peasants. Paupers were buried with funeral rites, unlike slaves. In a village of 50 to 100 people, there were four or five elite couples.[36] In Eastern Europe, houses include sunken-floored dwellings, surface dwellings, and stall-houses. The largest known settlement is the Criuleni District.[37] Chernyakhov cemeteries feature both cremation 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.[38] Economy[edit] Archaeology shows that the Visigoths, unlike the Ostrogoths, were predominantly farmers. They sowed wheat, barley, rye, flax. They also raised pigs, poultry, and goats. Horses and donkeys were raised as working animals, and fed with hay. Sheep were raised for their wool, which they fashioned into clothing. Archaeology indicates they were skilled potters and blacksmiths. When peace treaties were negotiated with the Romans, the Goths
Goths
demanded free trade. Imports from Rome included wine, and cooking-oil.[39] Religion[edit] Further information: Gothic Christianity Initially practising Gothic paganism, the Goths
Goths
were gradually converted to Arian Christianity
Arian Christianity
in the course of the 4th Century as a result of the missionary activity by the Gothic bishop Wulfila, who devised a Gothic alphabet
Gothic alphabet
to translate the Wulfila
Wulfila
Bible. During the 370s, converted Goths
Goths
were subject to the Gothic persecution of Christians by the remaining pagan authorities of the Thervingi
Thervingi
people. The Visigothic Kingdom
Visigothic Kingdom
in Hispania
Hispania
converted to Catholicism in the 7th Century. The Ostrogoths
Ostrogoths
(and their remnants, the Crimean Goths) were closely connected to the Patriarchate of Constantinople
Constantinople
from the 5th Century, and became fully incorporated under the Metropolitanate of Gothia from the 9th Century. Legacy[edit]

In Spain, the Visigothic nobleman Pelagius of Asturias
Pelagius of Asturias
who founded the Kingdom of Asturias
Kingdom of Asturias
and began the Reconquista
Reconquista
at the Battle of Covadonga, is a national hero regarded as the country's first monarch.

The Gotlanders themselves had oral traditions of a mass migration towards southern Europe, recorded in the Gutasaga. 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
Germanic language
family. The Goths' relationship with Sweden
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 called Gothicismus, which included an enthusiasm for things Old Norse. Gothic language
Gothic language
and culture largely disappeared during the Middle Ages, although its influence continued in small ways in some western European states. As late as the 16th century a small number of people in the Crimea
Crimea
may still have spoken Crimean Gothic.[40] The language survived as a domestic language in the Iberian peninsula (modern Spain
Spain
and Portugal) as late as the 8th Century, and Frankish author Walafrid Strabo wrote that it was still spoken in the lower Danube
Danube
area and that Crimean Gothic was spoken in isolated mountain regions in Crimea
Crimea
in the early 9th century. Gothic-seeming terms found in later (post-9th century) manuscripts may not belong to the same language. In Medieval and Modern Spain, the Visigoths
Visigoths
were believed to be the origin of the Spanish nobility
Spanish nobility
(compare Gobineau
Gobineau
for a similar French idea). By the early 7th Century, the ethnic distinction between Visigoths
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).[41] In Chile, Argentina
Argentina
and the Canary Islands, godo was an ethnic slur used against European Spaniards, who in the early colony period often felt superior to the people born locally (criollos). In Colombia
Colombia
the members of the Colombian Conservative Party
Colombian Conservative Party
were referred to as godos. The Spanish and Swedish claims of Gothic origins led to a clash at the Council of Basel
Council of Basel
in 1434. Before the assembled cardinals 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, and there were also disputes over who were to have the finest chairs and who were 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, bishop of the Diocese of Växjö, claimed that the Swedes were the descendants of the great Goths, and that the people of Västergötland (Westrogothia in Latin) were the Visigoths and the people of Östergötland
Östergötland
(Ostrogothia in Latin) were the Ostrogoths. The Spanish delegation retorted that it was only the "lazy" and "unenterprising" Goths
Goths
who had remained in Sweden, whereas the "heroic" Goths
Goths
had left Sweden, invaded the Roman empire and settled in Spain.[42] Gutnish is still spoken in Gotland
Gotland
and Fårö. Old Gutnish was the dialect of Old Norse
Old Norse
there. In the sagas[edit]

According to Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks
Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks
(The Saga of Hervör and Heidrek), a 13th-century legendary saga, Árheimar
Árheimar
was a capital of the Goths. The saga states that it was located on the River Dnieper. Hlöðskviða
Hlöðskviða
(The Battle of the Goths
Goths
and Huns)

Ancients who wrote about the Goths[edit]

Ambrose: The prologue of De Spiritu Sancto (On the Holy Ghost) makes passing reference to Athanaric's royal titles before 376.[43][citation needed] Comment on Saint Luke: "Chuni in Halanos, Halani in Gothos, Gothi in Taifalos et Sarmatas insurexerunt"[improper synthesis?] Ammianus Marcellinus: Res Gestae Libri XXXI.[44] He wrote that Hunnic domination of the Gothic kingdoms in Scythia began in the 370s.[45] The anonymous author(s) of the Augustan History
Augustan History
wrote that the Goths, along with the Heruli
Heruli
sacked Heraclea Pontica, Cyzicus
Cyzicus
and Byzantium. They were defeated by the Roman navy
Roman navy
but managed to escape into the Aegean Sea, where they ravaged the islands of Lemnos
Lemnos
and Scyros. In the Battle of Thermopylae (267) they sacked several cities of southern Greece
Greece
(province of Achaea) including Athens, Corinth, Argos, Olympia and Sparta. An Athenian militia, led by the historian Dexippus, pushed the invaders to the north where they were intercepted by the Roman army under Gallienus.[46] However, large portions are known to be fraudulent and the factual accuracy of the remainder is disputed.[47] Of the second invasions, the history reports that an enormous coalition consisting of Goths
Goths
( Greuthungi
Greuthungi
and Thervingi), Gepids
Gepids
and Bastarnae, led again by the Heruli, assembled at the mouth of river Tyras
Tyras
(Dniester).[48] They claim a total number of 2,000–6,000 ships and 325,000 men.[49] This is probably a gross exaggeration but remains indicative of the scale of the invasion. After failing to storm some towns on the coasts of the western Black Sea
Black Sea
and the Danube
Danube
(Constanţa, Marcianopolis), they attacked Byzantium
Byzantium
and Uskudar. Part of their fleet was wrecked, either because of the Gothic inexperience in sailing through the violent currents of the Propontis[50] or because it was defeated by the Roman navy. Aurelius Victor: The Caesars, a history from Augustus
Augustus
to Constantius II Cassiodorus: A lost history of the Goths
Goths
used by Jordanes Claudian: Poems Epitome de Caesaribus The 4th Century Greek historian Eunapius
Eunapius
described the Goths' powerful build in a pejorative way: Their bodies provoked contempt in all who saw them, for they were far too big and far too heavy for their feet to carry them, and they were pinched in at the waist – just like those insects Aristotle
Aristotle
writes of.[51] Eutropius: Breviary Eusebius, an historian who wrote in Greek in the third century, wrote that in 334, Constantine evacuated approximately 300,000  Sarmatians
Sarmatians
from the north bank of the Danube
Danube
after a revolt of the Sarmatians' slaves. From 335 to 336, Constantine, continuing his Danube
Danube
campaign, defeated many Gothic tribes.[52] Gregory of Nyssa Hermann of Reichenau, an 11th-century scholar, wrote that the Goths entered the Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
and a detachment ravaged the Aegean islands as far as Crete, Rhodes
Rhodes
and Cyprus. The fleet probably also sacked Troy and Ephesus, destroying the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. While their main force had constructed siege works and was close to taking the cities of Thessalonica
Thessalonica
and Cassandreia, it retreated to the Balkan interior at the news that the emperor was advancing. On their way, they plundered Dojran
Dojran
and Pelagonia.[53] Jerome: Chronicle Jordanes, in his Getica, written in the mid-500s, wrote that the earliest migrating Goths
Goths
sailed from Scandza
Scandza
(Scandinavia) under King Berig in three ships. One shipload settled near the Vistula.[54] They then moved into an area along the southern coast of the Baltic Sea which was inhabited by the Rugians, and expelled them.[55] Julian the Apostate Lactantius: On the death of the Persecutors Olympiodorus of Thebes Panegyrici latini Paulinus the Deacon: Life of bishop Ambrose
Ambrose
of Milan Paulus Orosius
Paulus Orosius
wrote that the Goths
Goths
were of the same stock as the Suiones
Suiones
(Swedes), the Vandals, and the other Scandinavian tribes.[56] Philostorgius: Greek church history Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
wrote that Pytheas, an explorer who visited Northern Europe
Europe
in the 4th century BC., reported that the Gutones, a people of Germany, inhabit the shores of an estuary called Mentonomon (the Baltic Sea).[57] The 6th Century Byzantine historian Procopius
Procopius
wrote that the Goths
Goths
were tall and blond haired: For they all have white bodies and fair hair, and are tall and handsome to look upon.[58] He noted that the Goths, Gepidae and Vandals
Vandals
were physically and culturally identical, suggesting a common origin.[58] Sozomen Synesius: De regno and De providentia. The 4th Century Greek bishop compared the Goths
Goths
to wolves among sheep, mocked them for wearing skins and questioned their loyalty towards Rome:

A man in skins leading warriors who wear the chlamys, exchanging his sheepskins for the toga to debate with Roman magistrates and perhaps even sit next to a Roman consul, while law-abiding men sit behind. Then these same men, once they have gone a little way from the senate house, put on their sheepskins again, and when they have rejoined their fellows they mock the toga, saying that they cannot comfortably draw their swords in it.[24]

Tacitus
Tacitus
wrote that the Goths
Goths
and the neighboring Rugii
Rugii
and Lemovii carried round shields and short swords.[59] However, the Goths
Goths
who would later fight or be allied with the Huns, and who fought for and against Rome, might not be the same people Tacitus
Tacitus
describes.[60] Themistius: Speeches Theoderet of Cyrrhus Theodosian Code According to Zosimus, Dexippus won an important victory near the Nessos (Mesta River), on the boundary between the Roman province of Macedonia and Thrace, the Dalmatian cavalry of the Roman army earning a reputation as good fighters. Reported barbarian casualties were 3,000 men. He writes about the Battle of Naissus
Battle of Naissus
by a Roman army led by Claudius advancing from the north. The battle most likely took place in 269, and was fiercely contested. Large numbers on both sides were killed but, at the critical point, the Romans tricked the Goths into an ambush by pretended flight. Around 50,000  Goths
Goths
were allegedly killed or taken captive and their base at Thessalonika destroyed.[61]

References[edit]

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(New and completely rev. from the 2nd German ed., 1st pbk. print. ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 16–56, 209–210. ISBN 978-0520069831.  ^ "Who Were the Ancient Goths?". Retrieved 2016-09-09.  ^ a b Kaliff, Anders (2001). Gothic Connections. Contacts between eastern Scandinavia
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and the southern Baltic coast 1000 BC – 500 AD. Uppssala: OPIA. Retrieved 7 September 2016.  ^ Kessler, P L. "Kingdoms of the Germanic Tribes - Goths
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(Pbk. ed.). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers. p. 26. ISBN 978-0631209324.  ^ Kortlandt, Frederik (2001). "The origin of the Goths" (PDF). Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik. 55: 21-25. Retrieved 2017-11-08. ... the original homeland of the Goths
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...  ^ a b c d e f g h Kulikowski, Michael (2008-05-01). Rome's Gothic Wars: From the Third Century to Alaric (1 ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521608688.  ^ Kokowski, Andrzej (1999), Archäologie der Goten (in German), ISBN 83-907341-8-4 . ^ Dabrowski, J. (1989). Nordische Kreis und Kulturen Polnischer Gebiete. Die Bronzezeit im Ostseegebiet. p. 73.  ^ a b "History of Europe: The Germans and Huns". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
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and the East Roman Empire in the Migration Period, pp. 119, 134 , in Alcock, Leslie (1990), From the Baltic to the Black Sea: Studies in Medieval Archaeology, London: Unwin Hyman, pp. 118–37 . ^  "Goth". Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921.  ^ Bowman, Garnsey & Cameron 2005, pp. 223–229 ^ John Bray, p.290 ^ Tucker 2009, p. 150 ^ a b Bowman, Garnsey & Cameron 2005, pp. 53–54 ^ a b Cameron, Long & Sherry 2013, p. 99. ^ "Goth". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved January 16, 2015.  ^ "Ancient Rome: The Reign of Constantine". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
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Retrieved 16 January 2015.  ^ Kulokowski 2006, p. 130. ^ "Spain: The Christian states, 711–1035". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
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Goths
in the fourth century (Repr. ed.). Liverpool: Liverpool Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0853234265.  ^ The Goths
Goths
in the Fourth Century (1 ed.). Liverpool University Press. 1991-01-10. ISBN 9780853234265.  ^ "The Visigoths' Peasant
Peasant
Economy". Magyar Elektronikus Könyvtár. Retrieved 17 September 2016.  ^ Bennett, William H (1980). An Introduction to the Gothic Language. p. 27.  ^ Pohl, Walter. Strategies of Distinction: Construction of Ethnic Communities, 300–800 (Transformation of the Roman World). pp. 124–6. ISBN 90-04-10846-7. . ^ Söderberg, Werner. (1896). "Nicolaus Ragvaldis tal i Basel 1434", in Samlaren, pp. 187–95. ^ Ambrose, On the Holy Ghost, book I, preface, paragraph 15 ^ Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
judged Ammianus "an accurate and faithful guide, who composed the history of his own times without indulging the prejudices and passions which usually affect the mind of a contemporary." (Gibbon, Edward, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 26.5). But he also condemned Ammianus for lack of literary flair: "The coarse and undistinguishing pencil of Ammianus has delineated his bloody figures with tedious and disgusting accuracy." (Gibbon, Chapter 25.) Ernst Stein praised Ammianus as "the greatest literary genius that the world produced between Tacitus
Tacitus
and Dante" (E. Stein, Geschichte des spätrömischen Reiches, Vienna 1928). ^ "However, the seed and origin of all the ruin and various disasters that the wrath of Mars aroused ... we have found to be (the invasions of the Huns)",Marcellinus, Ammianus; tr. John Rolfe (1922), "2", Latin text and English translation, XXXI, Loeb edition . ^ Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Vita Gallienii, 13.8 ^ Craig H. Caldwell: Contesting late Roman Illyricum. Invasions and transformations in the Danubian-Balkan provinces. A dissertation presented to the Pricenton University in candidacy for the degree of doctor in philosophy. Quote: "The Life Of Probus
Life Of Probus
like much of the rest of Historia Augusta is a more trustworthy source for its fourth-century audience then for its third-century subject"; Robert J. Edgeworthl (1992): More Fiction in the "Epitome". Steiner. Quote: "For a century it has been established to general if not universal satisfaction, that biographies in Historia Augusta, especially after Caracalla, are a tissue of fiction and fabrication layered onto a thin thread of historical fact"; this view originates with Hermann Dessau. ^ The Historia Augusta mentions Scythians, Greuthungi, Tervingi, Gepids, Peucini, Celts and Heruli. Zosimus names Scythians, Heruli, Peucini and Goths. ^ Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Vita Divi Claudii, 6.4 ^ Zosimus, 1.42 ^ Moorhead & Stuttard 2010, p. 56 ^ Eusebius, "IV.6", Vita Constantini  ^ Contractus, Hermannus, Chronicon , quoting of Caesarea, Eusebius, Vita Constantini, p. 263 : "Macedonia, Graecia, Pontus, Asia et aliae provinciae depopulantur per Gothos". ^ Jordanes; Charles C. Mierow, Translator (1997). "The Origins and Deeds of the Goths". Calgary: J. Vanderspoel, Department of Greek, Latin
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and Ancient History, University of Calgary. pp. 24–96. Retrieved October 26, 2013.  ^ Beck, Heinrich; Geuenich, Dieter; Hoops, Johannes; Jankuhn, Herbert; Steuer, Heiko (2004), Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde (in German) (2nd ed.), Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 452ff, ISBN 978-3-11-017733-6 . ^ Orosius (417). The Anglo-Saxon Version, from the Historian Orosius (Alfred the Great ed.). London: Printed by W. Bowyer and J. Nichols and sold by S. Baker. Retrieved 28 March 2016.  ^ Bostock, John. "Pliny the Elder, The Natural History".  ^ a b Procopius. History of the Wars. Book III. II ^ Tacitus, Cornelius (2008-11-14). The Works of Tacitus: The Oxford Translation, Revised, with Notes, Volume II. BiblioLife. ISBN 9780559473357.  ^ "The Goths". Retrieved 2016-09-09.  ^ Zosimus, 1.43

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has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Goths.

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