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Goths (people)

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Definition (tribe)

The Goths were an East Germanic tribe which according to their own traditions originated in Scandinavia (specifically Götaland and Gotland). They migrated southwards and conquered parts of the Roman empire. Two closely related tribes that remained in Scandinavia and who are often called Goths are separately treated, as Geats and Gotlanders. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goths [Jun 2005]

Goth was originally the name of two Germanic tribes; Ostrogoths and Visigoths, that lived near the borders of the Roman Empire and later penetrated those borders. The Visigoths sacked Rome and settled in Spain and France while the Ostrogoths settled in the eastern empire but later invaded Italy. The term "goth" became pejorative, synonymous with "barbarian". (Interestingly, another Germanic tribe that caused incredible damage to the Roman Empire were the Vandals, resulting in their name acquiring a pejorative meaning.) Like most of the Germanic tribes that lived near the borders of the Roman Empire, the Goths were converted from "paganism" to Arian Christianity while the Roman Empire converted to Catholic Christianity. The latter considered the former to be heresy, not helping the barbarian association with the word "goth". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goth#Etymology:_ancient_Goths_and_medieval_architecture [Feb 2005]

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