Where did the Ostrogoths come from?
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Who were the Ostrogoths?

Crimea
Crimea - Black Sea

The Ostrogoths, like the Visigoths, were originally Indo-European. We first hear of them when they are living in Poland around 100 BC. Soon after that, some of them, along with their relatives the Visigoths, seem to have decided to migrate to the south, very gradually and slowly.

Ostrogothic beads
Ostrogothic beads of gold and garnet
(a Central Asian style)
Now in Walters Art Gallery

Probably bad weather at home made it impossible to feed everyone, and so some people left looking for food. Or maybe somebody else pushed them out. The Ostrogoths slowly moved south through Slovakia, and settled along the north side of the Black Sea, to the east of the Visigoths (Ostrogoths means "eastern Goths").

plain metal helmet
Ostrogoth helmet

The Ostrogoths took up farming and trading with the Romans and the Parthians, and lived around the Black Sea more or less peacefully for several hundred years. Ostrogothic soldiers often fought as mercenaries for the Roman army, and some Ostrogoths began to get Roman or Greek educations. In the early 300s AD, Roman missionaries converted most of the Ostrogoths to Arian Christianity. But in the 300s AD the Ostrogoths began to be pushed southward and westward by new invaders, the Huns.

Learn by doing: follow the travels of the Ostrogoths on a globe
More about the Ostrogoths

Bibliography and further reading about the Ostrogoths:

More about Polish history
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Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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Now that the weather's nice, try some of these outdoor activities! How about bicycle polo, or archery for a Medieval Islam day? Or kite flying or making a compass for a day in Medieval China? How about making a shaduf for a day in Ancient Egypt? Holding an Ancient Greek Olympic Games or a medieval European tournament? Building a Native American wickiup?