Goths, a Germanic people who invaded the Roman Empire. During the second and third centuries A.D. they migrated from the Baltic Sea southeast to the Black Sea. They attacked the Roman Empire repeatedly in the third century, and were allowed to settle in Dacia (ancient Romania) in 271.
The Goths became civilized earlier than other Germanic peoples. During the fourth century they were converted to the Arian form of Christianity by Ulfilas, who translated the Bible into Gothic. About 370 the Goths permanently divided into two branches.
The adjective Gothic is often used to refer to subjects related to the Middle Ages. Gothic architecture originated in France in the 12th century. Gothic novels are melodramatic suspense tales set in Gothic castles or old mansions. The first was Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764). Gothic lettering refers to a style of lettering once widely used in northern Europe or to the similar style sometimes called “Old English.” An unrelated type style, also called Gothic, is similar to that used for the title of this article.