Definitions for goths

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  1. Goths

    The Goths were an East Germanic people, two of whose branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe. An important source of our knowledge of the Goths is Getica, a semi-fictional account, written in the sixth century by the Roman historian Jordanes, of their migration from southern Scandza, into Gothiscandza—believed to be the lower Vistula region in modern Pomerania—and from there to the coast of the Black Sea. Archaeological evidence from the Pomeranian Wielbark culture and the Chernyakhov culture, northeast of the lower Danube, confirms that some such migration did in fact take place. In the third century, the Goths crossed either the lower Danube or the Black Sea, ravaged the Balkan Peninsula and Anatolia as far as Cyprus, and sacked Athens, Byzantium, and Sparta. By the fourth century, the Goths had conquered Dacia, and were divided into at least two distinct groups separated by the Dniester River, the Thervingi and the Greuthungi. The Goths dominated a vast area, which at its peak under the Kings Ermanaric and Athanaric extended all the way from the Danube to the Volga river, and from the Black to the Baltic Sea.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Goths

    a tribe of Teutons who in formidable numbers invaded the Roman empire from the east and north-east from as early as the third century, and though they were beaten back at the battle of Châlons, eventually broke it up.

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