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{{About|the Germanic people|other uses|Goth (disambiguation)}}{{Use dmy dates|date=January 2013}}File:Grande Ludovisi Altemps Inv8574 (cropped).jpg|right|upright|thumb|Depiction of a Gothic warrior battling Roman cavalry, from the 3rd century Ludovisi Battle sarcophagusLudovisi Battle sarcophagusThe Goths (; ) were an early Germanic people, two of whose branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe. Possibly originating in southern Sweden, the Goths are mentioned by Roman authors as living in the Vistula basin in northern Poland in the 1st century AD. During the subsequent centuries the Goths expanded towards the Black Sea, where they replaced the Sarmatians as the dominant power on the Pontic Steppe and launched a series of expeditions against the Roman Empire as far as Cyprus. During this time the Goths became divided into two major factions, the Thervingi and the Greuthungi, who were led by the Balti dynasty and Amali dynasty respectively. In the 300s, Ermanaric, king of Greuthungi, is said to have dominated a vast territory stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea as far as the Ural Mountains. During this time many of the Goths were converted to Arianism by the missionary Ulfilas, who devised a Gothic alphabet to write the Gothic Bible. In 370s, the territories of the Goths were overrun by the Huns. While the Greuthungi became subjects of the Huns, later being known as the Ostrogoths, many of the Thervingi, later known as Visigoths, crossed the Danube into the Roman Empire, where they after suffering severe mistreatment ignited a widescale rebellion, inflicted a massive defeat upon the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378 AD. Under their leader Alaric I, the Visigoths embarked on a long migration within the Roman Empire, notably sacking Rome in 410 AD, and eventually settled in Gaul and Hispania, where they founded the Visigothic Kingdom. The Visigoths fought together with the Western Roman Empire against the Huns of Attila and allied Ostrogoths at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains in 451 AD, in which the Huns were defeated. The Ostrogoths broke free from Hunnic control soon afterwards, and eventually migrated to Italy in the late 5th century under their king Theodoric, where they founded the Ostrogothic Kingdom.Shortly after the death of Theodoric, Italy was reconquered by the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian I, only to be conquered again soon afterwards by the Lombards, by whom the Ostrogoths were subsequently assimilated. The Visigothic Kingdom lasted until 711, when it was destroyed by the Umayyad Caliphate. In northern Spain, a remnant of the Visigothic nobility under the leadership of Pelagius of Asturias established the Kingdom of Asturias and began the Reconquista. In the Crimea, a small Gothic community, known as the Crimean Goths, were able to maintain themselves for centuries. The Crimean Goths held close religious and political relations with the Byzantine Empire, and were perpetual enemies of the Khazars, against whom they fought together with Kievan Rus'. As late as the 18th century, certain inhabitants of the Crimea might still have spoken Crimean Gothic. In modern times the Goths have played an important part in the nationalisms of Spain and Sweden, where its leaders have claimed descent from the ancient Goths.
|author = — Henry Bradley
|source = The Story of the Goths (1888)
|align =
|width = 32%


The 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 in general, it was common practice to use various names to refer to the same group. The Goths believed (as do most modern scholars){{harvnb|Wolfram|1990|pp=16-56, 209-210}} 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.In the Gothic language of the Ostrogothic Kingdom in Italy, the Goths were called the Gut-þiuda, most commonly translated as "Gothic people", but only attested as dative singular Gut-þiudai;{{harvnb|Lehmann|1986|pp=163-164}} another name, Gutans, is inferred from a genitive plural form gutani in the Pietroassa inscription.{{harvnb|Braune|1912|p=}}The word "Goths" derives from the stem Gutan-. This stem produces the singular *Gutô, plural *Gutaniz in Proto-Germanic. It survives in the modern Scandinavian tribal name Gutes, which is what the inhabitants of present-day Swedish island Gotland in Baltic Sea call themselves (In Gutnish - Gutar, in Swedish "Gotlänningar"). Another modern Scandinavian tribal name, Geats (in Swedish "Götar"), which is what the (original) inhabitants of present-day Götaland call themselves, derives from a related Proto-Germanic word, *Gautaz (plural *Gautôz). Both *Gautaz and *Gutô relate to the Proto-Germanic verb *geutaną, meaning "to pour".Compare modern Swedish gjuta (pour, perfuse, found), modern Dutch gieten, modern German gießen, Gothic giutan, old Scandinavian giota, old English geotan all cognate with Latin fondere "to pour" and old Greek cheo "I pour". The Proto-Indo-European root of the word "geutan" and its cognates in other language is *gʰewd-.WEB,weblink gheu-, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, September 18, 2019, This same root may be connected to the name of a river that flows through Västergötland in Sweden, the Göta älv, which drains Lake Vänern into the Kattegat {{harvnb|Wolfram|1990|p=21}} at the city of Gothenburg. It is certainly plausible that a flowing river would be given a name that describes it as "pouring", and that, if the original home of the Goths was near that river, they would choose an ethnonym that described them as living by the river. Another possibility is of course that the name of the "Geats" developed independently from that of the Gutar/Goths.WEB,weblink Götar, Nationalencyklopedin, September 18, 2019,


The exact origin of the ancient Goths remains unknown. Evidence of them before they interacted with the Romans is limited.WEB,weblink Who Were the Ancient Goths?, Jarus, Owen, March 18, 2016, Live Science, September 17, 2019,


In the sagas

{{See|Gutasaga}}Both the Goths and the Gutes were called Gotar in Old West Norse, and Gutar in Old East Norse (for example in the Gutasaga and in runic inscription on the Rökstone). In contrast, the other tribe, the Geats, were clearly differentiated from the Goths / Gutes. Since Old Norse literature do not distinguish between the Goths and the Gutes, but do clearly distinguish between the Goths or Gutes on the one hand, and the Geats on the other (as do Old English literature), it is plausible that the Goths supposed to have migrated out of Scandinavia were members of the Gutes tribe. The Gotlanders themselves have 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 family.{{harvnb|Wolfram|1990|p=23}}

Literary evidence

missing image!
- Wesiory.jpg -
A stone circle in the area of northern Poland occupied by the Wielbark culture, which is associated with the Goths
{{See|Getica}}The traditional account of the Goths' early history depends on the work Getica, written by the Goth Jordanes {{circa}} 551 AD. Getica is based on a earlier lost work by Cassiodorus, which was in turn based upon an even earlier work by the Gothic historian Ablabius. According to Jordanes the earliest migrating Goths sailed from Scandza (Scandinavia) under King Berig in three ships and named the place Gothiscandza, after themselves. Although the exact location of Gothiscandza is unclear, Jordanes tells us that one shipload "dwelled in the province of Spesis on an island surrounded by the shallow waters of the Vistula." From there, the Goths then moved into an area along the southern coast of the Baltic Sea which was inhabited by the "Ulmerugi" (Rugii), expelled them, and also subdued the neighboring Vandals.{{harvnb|Jordanes|1908|p=}}, IV (25){{harvnb|Jordanes|1908|p=}}, IV (26)Paulus Orosius wrote that the Goths were of the same stock as the Suiones (Swedes), the Vandals, and the other North Germanic (Scandinavian) tribes.{{harvnb|Orosius|1776|p=}} Procopius noted that the Goths, Gepids and Vandals were physically and culturally identical, suggesting a common origin.{{harvnb|Procopius|1914|p=}}, (:Wikisource:History of the Wars/Book III#II|Book III, II) According to Isidore of Seville, the Goths were descended from Gog and Magog, and of the same race as the Getae.{{harvnb|Isidore of Seville|1970|p=}}

Archaeological evidence

{{See|Wielbark culture}}File:Oksywie Wielbark Przeworsk.gif|thumb|The expansion of the Germanic tribes AD 1:{{unbulleted list|red: Oksywie culture, then early Wielbark culture|blue: Jastorf culture (light blue: expansion, purple: repressed)|yellow: (Przeworsk culture]] (orange: repressed)|pink, orange, purple: expansion of Wielbark culture (2nd century AD)}})Sometime around the 1st century AD, there may have been a large Germanic migration out of Scandinavia. Early archaeological evidence in the traditional Swedish province of Östergötland suggests a general depopulation during this period.{{harvnb|Oxenstierna|1948|p=73}} However, there is no archaeological evidence for a substantial emigration from Scandinavia{{harvnb|Heather|1998|p=26}} and it has been suggested that they originated in continental Europe.{{harvnb|Kortlandt|2001|pp=21-25}} "[T]he original homeland of the Goths must therefore be located in the southernmost part of the Germanic territories, not in Scandinavia..." The Wielbark culture is thought to have developed from earlier cultures in Pomerania.{{harvnb|Kaliff|2001|p=}} The culture of this area was influenced by southern Scandinavian culture beginning as early as the late Nordic Bronze Age and early Pre-Roman Iron Age (c. 1300 â€“ c. 300 BC). In fact, the Scandinavian influence on Pomerania and today's northern Poland from c. 1300 BC (period III) and onwards was so considerable that some{{who|date=November 2017}} see the culture of the region as part of the Nordic Bronze Age culture.{{harvnb|Dabrowski|1999|p=73}} File:Roman Empire 125.png|thumb|The Roman empire under Hadrian, showing the location of the Gothones East Germanic group, then inhabiting the east bank of the Visula (VistulaVistulaThe Wielbark culture replaced the local Oksywie culture in the 1st century AD, when a Scandinavian settlement developed in a buffer zone between the Oksywie culture and the Przeworsk culture.{{harvnb|Kokowski|1999|p=}} Archaeological finds show close contacts between southern 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, Jordanes' story was based on an oral tradition with some basis in fact. The settlement in today's Poland may correspond to the introduction of Scandinavian burial traditions, such as the stone circles and the stelae especially common on the island of Gotland and other parts of southern Sweden.

Genetic evidence

In a 2019 genetic study published in Scientific Reports and conducted on individuals identified with the Wielbark culture and the Goths, it appeared that people of the Wielbark culture were of mixed origin, with its male component largely traced to Iron Age populations of Scandinavia and its female component largely traced to local farming populations of Eastern Europe. These results seem consistent with the historical narrative of a southern Scandinavian origin of the Goths.JOURNAL, Stolarek, I., May 1, 2019, Goth migration induced changes in the matrilineal genetic structure of the central-east European population,weblink Scientific Reports, 10.1038/s41598-019-43183-w, harv, In 2019, a genetic study of various cultures of the Eurasian Steppe was published in Current Biology. Samples from three individuals thought to belong to the Gothic component of the Chernyakhov culture were analyzed. The results appeared to confirm the theory that the Chernyakhov culture emerged as a result of a Gothic migration from the north.JOURNAL, Järve, Mari, July 22, 2019, Shifts in the Genetic Landscape of the Western Eurasian Steppe Associated with the Beginning and End of the Scythian Dominance,weblink Current Biology, 29, 14, 2430-2441, 10.1016/j.cub.2019.06.019, Genetic makeup agrees with the Gothic source of post- Scythian Chernyakhiv culture, harv,

Early history

Pliny the Elder wrote that Pytheas, an explorer who visited Northern Europe in the 4th century BC, reported that the Gutones, a people of Germania, inhabit the shores of an estuary of at least 6,000 stadia called Mentonomon (i.e., the Baltic Sea), where amber is cast up by the waves.{{harvnb|Pliny|1855|p=}}, Book XXXVIII, Chap. 11 Pliny further notes that the Gutones sold this amber to their neighboors, the Teutones. The account of Pytheas is considered authentic by Winfred P. Lehmann. In an earlier chapter, describing the peoples of Germania, Pliny states that the Gutones, along with the Burgundiones, Varini and Carini, belong to the Vandili. Pliny considers the Vandili one of the five princial "German races", along with the Ingvaeones, Istvaeones, Irminones and the Peucini.{{harvnb|Pliny|1855|p=}}, Book IV, Chap. 28Ptolemy mentions a people called the Gutae (Gautae), living in southern Scandia.{{harvnb|Ptolemy|1932|p=}}, Book 10, Chapter 10Tacitus wrote that the Goths and the neighboring Rugii and Lemovii carried round shields and short swords.{{harvnb|Tacitus|1876|p=}}, (:Wikisource:Germania (Church & Brodribb)#XLIV|XLIV) However, the 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 describes.WEB,weblink The Goths, Mark, Joshua J., October 12, 2014, Ancient History Encyclopedia, September 17, 2019,

Migration to the Black Sea

{{See|Marcomannic Wars|Chernyakhov culture}}File:Chernyakhov.PNG|right|upright=1.15|thumb|{{legend|#0f0|Götaland}}{{legend|#f08|the island of Gotland}}{{legend|#f00|Wielbark culture in the early 3rd century}}{{legend|#f80|Chernyakhov culture, in the early 4th century}}{{legend|#80f|Roman EmpireRoman EmpireBeginning in the middle 2nd century, the Wielbark culture shifted to the southeast, towards the Black Sea. The part of the Wielbark culture that moved was the oldest portion, located west of the Vistula and still practicing Scandinavian burial traditions.WEB,weblink Jewellery of the Goths, Skorupka, Tomasz, (:pl:Muzeum Archeologiczne w Poznaniu, Poznan Archaeological Museum),weblink" title="">weblink July 12, 2012, September 18, 2019, It has been suggested that the Goths maintained contact with southern Sweden during their migration.{{harvnb|Arrhenius|2013|p=119, 134}}Around 160 AD, in Central Europe, the first movements of the Migration Period were occurring, as several Germanic tribes, such as the Rugii, Goths, Gepids, Vandals and Burgundians, 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.WEB,weblink History of Europe: Greeks, Romans, and Barbarians, Aubin, Hermann, :de:Hermann Aubin, Encyclopædia Britannica Online, September 17, 2019, As a result other Germanic tribes were pushed towards the Roman Empire, leading to the Marcomannic Wars, which resulted in widespread destruction and the first invasion of what is now Italy in the Roman Empire period.WEB,weblink Germany: Ancient History, Heather, Peter, Peter Heather, Encyclopædia Britannica Online, September 17, 2019, According to Jordanes, the Goths entered Oium, part of Scythia, under their king Filimer, where they subdued the Spali (Sarmatians).{{harvnb|Jordanes|1908|p=}}, IV (28) On the Pontic Steppe, the Goths installed themselves as the rulers of the local Zarubintsy culture, forming the new Chernyakhov culture (c. 200 â€“ c. 400)..{{harvnb|Heather|Matthews|1991|p=}} The first Greek references to the Goths call them Scythians, since this area, known as Scythia, had historically had been occupied by an unrelated people of that name. The application of that designation to the Goths appears to be not ethnological but rather geographical and cultural - Greeks regarded both the ethnic Scythians and the Goths as barbarians.{{harvnb|Kulikowski|2006|p=19}} Upon their arrival on the Pontic Steppe, the Goths quickly adopted several nomadic customs from the Sarmatians, who had dominated the steppes before the appearance of the Goths.WEB,weblink The Steppe, McNeill, William H., William H. McNeill (historian), Encyclopædia Britannica Online, September 18, 2019, They came to excel at horsemanship, archery and falconry,{{harvnb|Wolfram|1990|p=209-210}} and were also accomplished agriculturalists{{harvnb|Kershaw|2013|p=}} and seafarers.{{harvnb|Wolfram|1990|p=52-56}} J. B. Bury describes the Gothic period as "the only non-nomadic episode in the history of the steppe."{{harvnb|Bury|1913|p=428}} William H. McNeill compares the migration of the Goths to that of the early Mongols, who migrated southward from the forests and came to dominate the eastern Eurasian steppe around the same time as the Goths in the west.

Early raids on the Roman Empire

{{See|Crisis of the Third Century|Battle of Abritus|Battle of Naissus}}(File:Gothic raids in the 3rd century.jpg|right|upright=1.35|thumb|Gothic invasions in the 3rd century)In the first attested incursion in Thrace, the Goths were mentioned as Boranoi by Zosimus, and then as Boradoi by Gregory Thaumaturgus.{{harvnb|Kulikowski|2006|p=15}} The first incursion of the Roman Empire that can be attributed to Goths is the sack of Histria in 238. Several such raids followed in subsequent decades,{{harvnb|Kulikowski|2006|p=18}} in particular the Battle of Abrittus in 251, led by Cniva, in which the Roman Emperor Decius was killed. At the time, there were at least two groups of Goths, who were separated by the Dniester River: the Thervingi (led by the Balti dynasty and the Greuthungi (led by the Amali dynasty). Goths were at the time heavily recruited into the Roman Army to fight in the Roman-Persian Wars, notably participating at the Battle of Misiche in 242. The first seaborne raids took place in three subsequent years, probably 255-257. An unsuccessful attack on Pityus was followed in the second year by another, which sacked Pityus and Trabzon and ravaged large areas in the Pontus. In the third year, a much larger force devastated large areas of Bithynia and the Propontis, including the cities of Chalcedon, Nicomedia, Nicaea, Apamea Myrlea, Cius and Bursa. By the end of the raids, the Goths had seized control over Crimea and the Bosporus and captured several cities on the Euxine coast, including Olbia and Tyras, which enabled them to engage in widespread naval activities.{{harvnb|Bowman|Cameron|Garnsey|2005|pp=223–229}}After a 10-year gap, the Goths, along with the Heruli, another Germanic tribe from Scandinavia, raiding on 500 ships,{{harvnb|Syncellus|1829|p=717}} sacked Heraclea Pontica, Cyzicus and Byzantium.{{harvnb|Bury|1911|pp=203-206}} They were defeated by the Roman navy but managed to escape into the Aegean Sea, where they ravaged the islands of Lemnos and Scyros, broke through Thermopylae and sacked several cities of southern Greece (province of Achaea) including Athens, Corinth, Argos, Olympia and Sparta. Then an Athenian militia, led by the historian Dexippus, pushed the invaders to the north where they were intercepted by the Roman army under Gallienus.{{harvnb|Disputed|1932|p=}}, The Two Gallieni, 13 He won an important victory near the Nessos (Nestos) river, on the boundary between Macedonia and Thrace, the Dalmatian cavalry of the Roman army earning a reputation as good fighters. Reported barbarian casualties were 3,000 men.{{harvnb|Zosimus|1814|p=}}, (:Wikisource:New History/Book the First|I.42-43) Subsequently, the Heruli leader Naulobatus came to terms with the Romans.After Gallienus was assassinated outside Milan in the summer of 268 in a plot led by high officers in his army, Claudius was proclaimed emperor and headed to Rome to establish his rule. Claudius' immediate concerns were with the Alamanni, who had invaded 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.{{harvnb|Bray|1997|pp=279-291}}File:Grande Ludovisi Altemps Inv8574.jpg|right|upright=1.5|thumb|The 3rd-century Great Ludovisi sarcophagusGreat Ludovisi sarcophagusIn the meantime, a second and larger sea-borne invasion had started. An enormous coalition consisting of Goths (Greuthungi and Thervingi), Gepids and Peucini, led again by the Heruli, assembled at the mouth of river Tyras (Dniester).The Augustan History mentions Scythians, Greuthungi, Tervingi, Gepids, Peucini, Celts and Heruli. Zosimus names Scythians, Heruli, Peucini and Goths. The Augustan History and Zosimus claim a total number of 2,000–6,000 ships and 325,000 men.{{harvnb|Disputed|1932|p=}}, The Life of Claudius , 6 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 and the Danube (Tomi, Marcianopolis), the invaders attacked Byzantium and Chrysopolis. Part of their fleet was wrecked, either because of the Gothic inexperience in sailing through the violent currents of the Propontis or because it was defeated by the Roman navy. Then they entered the Aegean Sea and a detachment ravaged the Aegean islands as far as Crete, 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 and Cassandreia, it retreated to the Balkan interior at the news that the emperor was advancing. On their way, they plundered Doberus (Paionia ?) and Pelagonia.File:East-Hem 300ad (cropped).jpg|right|upright=1.4|thumb|Europe in 300 AD, showing the distribution of the Goths near the Black SeaBlack SeaLearning of the approach of Claudius, the Goths first attempt to directly invade Italy.{{harvnb|Tucker|2009|p=150}} They are engaged near 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. Some 50,000 Goths were allegedly killed or taken captive and their base at Thessalonika destroyed. 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 launch an invasion on the Roman Empire, but were defeated by Aurelian, who however surrendered Dacia beyond the Danube.WEB,weblink Goth, Encyclopædia Britannica Online, September 17, 2019, Around 275 the Goths launched a last major assault on Asia Minor, where piracy by Black Sea Goths was causing great trouble in Colchis, Pontus, Cappadocia, Galatia and even Cilicia.{{harvnb|Bowman|Cameron|Garnsey|2005|pp=53–54}} They were defeated sometime in 276 by Emperor Marcus Claudius Tacitus. In the late 3rd century, as recorded by Jordanes, the Gepids, under their king Fastida, utterly defeated the Burgundians, and then attacked the Goths and their king Ostrogotha. Out of this conflict, Ostrogotha and the Goths emerged victorious.{{harvnb|Jordanes|1908|p=}}, XVII (96-100)

Co-existence with the Roman Empire

{{See|Greuthungi|Thervingi|Oium|Reidgotland|Arheimar}}File:Pietroassa ring 1875.jpg|right|upright=1.2|thumb|Ring of Pietroassa, dated to 250 AD to 400 AD and found in Pietroasele, Romania, features a Gothic language inscription in the Elder Futhark runic alphabetrunic alphabet In 332, Constantine helped the Sarmatians to settle on the north banks of the Danube to defend against the Goths' attacks and thereby enforce the Roman border. Around 100,000 Goths were reportedly killed in battle, and Aoric, son of the Thervingian king Ariaric, was captured. Eusebius, an historian who wrote in Greek in the third century, wrote that 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.{{harvnb|Eusebius|1900|p=}}, (:en:Wikisource:Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series II/Volume I/Constantine/The Life of Constantine/Book IV/Chapter 5|Book IV, Chapters 5-6) Having been driven from the Danube by the Romans, the Thervingi invaded the territoy of the Sarmatians of the Tisza. In this conflict, the Thervingi were led by Vidigoia, "the bravest of the Goths" and were victorious, although Vidigoia was killed.{{harvnb|Wolfram|1990|p=95}} Jordanes states that Aoric was succeeded by Geberic, "a man renowned for his valor and noble birth", who waged war on the Hasdingi Vandals and their king Visimar, forcing them to settle in Pannonia under Roman protection.{{harvnb|Jordanes|1908|p=}}, XXXII (113-115)Both the Greuthungi and 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 and involved pledges of military assistance. Reportedly, 40,000 Goths were brought by Constantine to defend Constantinople in his later reign, and the Palace Guard was thereafter mostly composed of Germanic warriors, as Roman soldiers by this time had largely lost military value.WEB,weblink Ancient Rome, Paul, Petit, Paul Petit (historian), MacMullen, Ramsay, Ramsay MacMullen, Encyclopædia Britannica Online, September 17, 2019, The Goths increasingly became soldiers in the Roman armies in the 4th Century AD leading to a significant Germanization of the Roman Army. Without the recruitment of Germanic warriors in the Roman Army, the Roman Empire would not have survived for as long as it did. Goths who gained prominent positions in the Roman military include Gainas, Tribigild, Fravitta and Aspar. Mardonius, a Gothic eunuch, was the childhood tutor and later adviser of Roman emperor Julian, on whom he had an immense influence.The Gothic penchant for wearing skins became fashion in Constantinople, which was heavily denounced by conservatives.{{harvnb|Cameron|Long|Sherry|1993|p=99}} The 4th century Greek historian 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 writes of."{{harvnb|Moorhead|Stuttard|2006|p=56}} The 4th century Greek bishop Synesius compared the 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.{{harvnb|Cameron|Long|Sherry|1993|p=99}}In the 4th century, the Gothic missionary Wulfila devised the Gothic alphabet to translate the Wulfila Bible and converted many of the Goths from Germanic paganism to Arian Christianity. File:Athanaric and Valens on the Danbue.png|upright=1.2|thumb|Athanaric and Valens on the Danube, Eduard BendemannEduard BendemannIn the 4th century, Geberic was succeeded by the Greuthungian king Ermanaric, who embarked on a large-scale expansion. Jordanes states that Ermanaric conquered a large number of warlike tribes, including the Heruli (who were led by Alaric), the Aesti and the Vistula Veneti, who, although miliary weak, were very numerous, and took up a strong fight.{{harvnb|Jordanes|1908|p=}}, XXXIII (116-120) He came to dominate a vast area of the Pontic Steppe, which possibly stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea as far eastwards as the Ural Mountains.{{harvnb|Wolfram|1997|pp=26–28}} Jordanes compares the conquests of Ermanaric to those of Alexander the Great, and states that he "ruled all the nations of Scythia and Germany by his own prowess alone." Ermanaric's dominance of the Volga-Don trade routes made historian (:de:Gottfried Schramm (Historiker)|Gottfried Schramm) consider his realm as a forerunner of the Viking founded state of Kievan Rus'.{{harvnb|Schramm|2002|p=54}} According to Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks (The Saga of Hervör and Heidrek), a 13th-century legendary saga, Árheimar was the capital of Reidgotaland, the land of the Goths. The saga states that it was located on the Dnieper river. Jordanes refers to the region as Oium.In the 360s, Athanaric, son of Aoric and leader of the Thervingi, supported the usurper Procopius against the Eastern Roman Emperor Valens. In retaliation, Valens invaded the territories of Athanaric and defeated him, but was unable to achieve a decisive victory. Athanaric and Valens thereupon negotiated a peace treaty, favorable to the Thervingi, on a boat at the Danube river, as Athanaric refused to set his feet within the Roman Empire. Soon afterwards, Fritigern, a rival of Athanaric, converted to Arianism, gaining the favor of Valens. Athanaric and Fritigern thereafter fought a civil war in which Athanaric appears to have been victorious. Athanaric thereafter carried out a crackdown on Christianity in his realm.{{harvnb|Wolfram|1990|pp=64-72}}

Arrival of the Huns

missing image!
- Gizur and the Huns.jpg -
upright=1.4|Gizur challenges the Huns by Peter Nicolai Arbo, 1886.
Around 375 AD the Huns overran the Alans, an Iranian people leaving to the east of the Goths, and then, along with Alans, invaded the Goths themselves. A source for this period is Ammianus Marcellinus. He wrote that Hunnic domination of the Gothic kingdoms in Scythia began in the 370s.{{harvnb|Marcellinus|1862}}, (:Wikisource:Roman History/Book XXXI#II|Book XXI, II), 1. "The following circumstances were the original cause of all the destruction and various calamities which the fury of Mars roused up, throwing everything into confusion by his usual ruinous violence: the people called Huns, slightly mentioned in the ancient records, live beyond the Sea of Azov, on the border of the Frozen Ocean, and are a race savage beyond all parallel." The battles between the Goths and the Huns is also described in the Hlöðskviða (The Battle of the Goths and Huns), a medieval Icelandic saga. The sagas recall that Gizur, king of the Geats, came to the aid of the Goths in an epic conflict with the Huns. It is possible that the Hunnic attack came as a response to the Gothic eastwards expansion.{{harvnb|Beckwith|2009|pp=81–83}}{{harvnb|Beckwith|2009|pp=94–100}} Ermanaric later committed suicide, and the Greuthungi fell under Hunnic dominance. Christopher I. Beckwith suggests that the Hunnic thrust into Europe and the Roman Empire was an attempt to subdue independent Goths in the west.{{harvnb|Beckwith|2009|pp=331–332}} The Huns fell upon the Thervingi, and Athanaric sought refuge in the mountains (referred to as Caucaland in the sagas). Ambrose makes a passing reference to Athanaric's royal titles before 376 in his De Spiritu Sancto (On the Holy Ghost).{{harvnb|Ambrose|2019|p=}}, Book I, Preface, Paragraph 15 Although the Huns successfully subdued many of the Goths, who joined their ranks, Fritigern approached the Eastern Roman emperor Valens in 376 with a portion of his people and asked to be allowed to settle 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).{{harvnb|Kulikowski|2006|p=130}} Upon arrival, the Goths were to be disarmed as according to their agreement with the Romans, although many of them still managed to keep their arms. The Moesogoths settled in Thrace and Moesia.COLLIER'S, Goth, x,

The Gothic War

File:East-Hem 400ad (cropped).jpg|right|upright=1.5|thumb|Europe in 400 AD, showing the distribution of the Goths in the aftermath of the Hunnic invasion]]Mistreated by corrupt local Roman officials, the Gothic refugees were soon experiencing a famine; some are recorded having being forced to sell their children to Roman slave traders in return for rotten dog meat. Enraged by this treachery, Fritigern unleashed a widescale rebellion in Thrace, in which he was joined not only by Gothic refugees and slaves, but also by disgruntled Roman workers and peasants, and Gothic deserters from the Roman Army. The ensuing conflict, known as the Gothic War, lasted for several years. Meanwhile, a group of Greuthungi, led by the chieftains Alatheus and Saphrax, who were co-regents for Vithericus, son and heir of the Greuthungi king Vithimiris, crossed the Danube without Roman permission. The Gothic War culminated in the Battle of Adrianople in 378, in which the Romans were badly defeated and Valens was killed. Following the decisive Gothic victory at Adrianople, Julius, the magister militum of the Eastern Roman Empire, organized a wholesale massacre of Goths in Asia Minor, Syria and other parts of the Roman East. Fearing rebellion, Julian lured the Goths into the confines of urban streets from which they could not escape and massacred soldiers and civilians alike. As word spread, the Goths rioted throughout the region, and large numbers were killed. Survivors may have settled in Phrygia.{{harvnb|Kulikowski|2006|pp=145-147}}With the rise of Theodosius I in 379, the Romans launched a renewed offensive to subdue Fritigern and his followers.{{harvnb|Wolfram|1990|p=130-139}}{{harvnb|Kulikowski|2006|p=150-152}} Around the same time, Athanaric arrived in Constantinople, having fled Caucaland through the scheming of Fritigern. Athanaric received a warm reception by Theodosius, praising the Roman Emperor in return, and was awarded a magnificent funeral by the emperor following his death shortly after his arrival.{{harvnb|Kulikowski|2006|p=152-153}} In 382, Theodosius decided to enter peace negotiations with the Thervingi, which were concluded on 3 October 382. The Thervingi were subsequently made foederati of the Romans in Thrace and obliged to provide troops to the Roman army.

Later division and spread of the Goths

In the aftermath of the Hunnic onslaught, two major groups of Goths emerged, the Visigoths and Ostrogoths.WEB,weblink Visigoth, Encyclopædia Britannica Online, September 18, 2019, WEB,weblink Ostrogoth, Encyclopædia Britannica Online, September 17, 2019,

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