Origins of the Goths

in The Gothic

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199586790
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191777905 | DOI:

Series: Very Short Introductions

Origins of the Goths

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Literary Studies (19th Century)


Show Summary Details


‘Origins of the Goths’ charts the history of the Goths. There have been many theories on the development of the Gothic race, their influence in history, and their religious beliefs. The story of the Gothic starts with the barbarians, a word derived from Greek. ‘Barbarous’ meant foreign (i.e. non-Hellenic), rude, outlandish, or brutish. The Romans adopted the word to mean anyone neither Latin nor Greek. It came to mean anyone not originating from the Roman Empire. Gothic origins in Scythia (modern Romania and southern Russia) suggest that ‘Goth’ meant ‘old barbarians’. The Goths were the first of the barbarians to develop a literate culture. They were cosmopolitans.

Keywords: Bible; Catholicism; Kent; Russia; Scotland; Virgil

Chapter.  2870 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.