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Carl D. Sheppard

Term applied to any object made by the Visigoths during their migrations across Europe from the 1st to the 8th century ad.

The Visigoths were a Germanic tribe first mentioned by Pliny the elder in the 1st century ad as living along the western shores of the Baltic Sea. They gradually moved south and east until the 4th century. Emperor Aurelian (reg ad 270–75) conceded Dacia to them, and the Visigoths were converted to Arian Christianity in this region; in 341 Ulfilas, an Arian bishop and monk, was appointed to the Goths. Later in the 4th century pressures on the peoples living to the north and east of the Visigoths caused them to move south of the River Danube and into the Roman Empire. Eventually their leader, Alaric, led them to Italy in 401, and their sack of Rome in 410 horrified the inhabitants of the Empire and caused much self-recrimination; it was to explain the event that St Augustine wrote ...