Where did the Ostrogoths come from?
Welcome to Quatr.us Study Guides!

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
Quatr.us home

LIMITED TIME OFFER FOR TEACHERS: Using this article with your class? Show us your class page where you're using this article, and we'll send you a free subscription so all your students can use Quatr.us Study Guides with no distractions! (Not a teacher? Paid subscriptions are also available for just $16/year!)
Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Quatr.us Study Guides
  • Publisher: Quatr.us
  • Date Published:
Did you find what you needed? Ask your teacher to link to this page so other people can use it too! Send it in and win a Quatr.us "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article

Does your class page honor diversity, celebrate feminism, and support people of color, LBGTQ people, and people with disabilities? Let us know, and we'll send you a Diversity Banner you can proudly display!
Looking for more?
Quatr.us is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Quatr.us Study Guides, . Web. 24 April, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT