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Vocabulary / Knowledge

Today's Word "Gothic"

gothic \GAH-thik\ (adjective) - Referring to the Teutonic tribes (Goths) who sacked Rome and provided the final impetus to collapse the Roman Empire from 378-450, hence barbarous, crude; a medieval art and architecture style of northern Europe, from the12th through 15th centuries; fiction that emphasizes the grotesque, mysterious and desolate.

"Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus' is the epitome of a Gothic work. Shelley's depiction of the Creature encourages us to consider the human condition, the ethics of scientific advancement, and moral responsibility."

From Old English Gota, Greek Gothoi, related to Gothic gutthiuda "Gothic people." The meaning of gutthiuda is taken to be "men, people" judging from the stem gut- or got- in Old Norse, but a definitive etymology of "gothic" is unknown. Parts of the Bible were translated into the West Gothic language in the 4th century (Wulfila Bible). The dialects of Gothic were Crimean Gothic, Ostrogoth and Visigoth. The last speakers were reported in the Crimea in the 18th century. By the way, "vandal" comes from the name of the other Germanic tribe fighting alongside the Goths against the Romans: "the Vandals and the Goths."


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