The Goths were an ancient East Germanic people. In the third century, they ravaged the Balkan Peninsula and Anatolia as far as Cyprus, and sacked Athens, Byzantium and Sparta. At the peak of their reign, they dominated an area extending all the way from the Danube to the Volga river, and from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea.
In subsequent centuries the Goths separated into two main branches: the Visigoths, who became federates of the Romans; and the Ostrogoths, who joined the Huns.
The Ostrogoths were eventually defeated by the Eastern Roman Empire.
The Visigoths sacked Rome in 410, and defeated Attila in 451. The Franks proved their match, however, pushing them back to Hispania in 507. They were conquered in the early eighth century by the Moors.
Gothic language and culture largely disappeared during the Middle Ages.