The Story of the Goths

“History cannot forget the people whose valour shook the decaying Roman Empire to its fall, and prepared the way for the rise of a worthier civilization on the ruins of the old.”

Over three hundred years before the birth of Christ, a Greek traveller names Pythcas discovered the existence of a people called Guttones.

This civilization, through a number of spelling differences, became known as the Gotones, then simply, the famous people known as the Goths.

A century later, the nomadic Goths became the mightiest nation in Europe, with two kings, one on the throne of Caesar in Italy, the other reigning over Spain.

This account tells the story of these people, whose kingdoms no longer exist. With the exception of a brief mention in the Bible and a few other short written accounts, there is little known of these people and their history.

However, it is thought that they communicated in a language similar to that of old English. The people themselves held noble qualities. It is also believed that they possessed an alphabet of their own, known as runes.

In the year 245, the Goths were living near the Danube, where their real history begins. It was here that they took on the Romans and conquered them, following a series of invasions.

Along the Danube, the Huns had formed. Soon they were to become the Goths greatest enemy. The story of how the Goths retreated to the Romans for help and shelter against the Huns is told. The poor treatment towards the Goths by the Romans led to the revolt against the Romans.

Henry Bradley also tells the story surrounding the formation of the Goth’s two kingdoms: The Visigoth, in the South of Europe and the Ostrogoth, in Italy.

Describing the battles that took place between the Visigoths and the Romans, Bradley depicts the atrocities of these times. However, there were times of convenience where the Romans and the Visigoths found common ground.

With their inherent nomadic tendencies, the journey and division of the Goths, along with their rise and fall, is told in great detail.

Henry Bradley (1845-1923) was born in Manchester. Following his studies at a Grammar school, Bradley received an Honourable Master of Arts Oxford. In his early life, he took up private teaching and moved on to become a clerk and foreign correspondent. Further to his role as a temporary editor, Bradley became the joint-editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.

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