The Goths (Gothic: *Gut-þiuda, *Gutans; Old Norse: Gutar/Gotar; German: Goten; Latin: Gothi; Greek: Γότθοι, Gótthoi) were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe.
The most important source is Jordanes' 6th-century, semi-fictional Getica which describes a migration from southern Scandza (Scandinavia), to Gothiscandza, believed to be the lower Vistula region in modern Pomerania, and from there to the coast of the Black Sea. The Pomeranian Wielbark culture and the Chernyakhov culture northeast of the lower Danube are archaeological traces of this migration. In the 3rd century, either through crossing the lower Danube, or travelling by sea, the Goths ravaged the Balkan Peninsula and Anatolia as far as Cyprus, sacking both Athens, Byzantium and Sparta. By the fourth century, the Goths conquered Dacia, and were divided into at least two distinct groups separated by the Dniester River, the Thervingi, led by the Balti dynasty, and the Greuthungi, led by the Amali dynasty. Centered around their capital at the Dnieper, the Goths ruled a vast area which at its peak under the Kings Ermanaric and Athanaric stretched from the Danube to the Volga river, and from the Black to the Baltic Sea.
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