This work examines the as yet undocumented interest in the Goths among German scholars between 1500 and 1750 and traces the attendant growth of a historical and cultural awareness in Germany. Alaric's conquest of Rome, Wulfila's Gothic Bible and the Gothic cathedrals were regarded in German writings of this period as milestones in the political and cultural ascendancy of the Goths and thus also of the Germans, who were popularly held to be their direct descendants. In the works examined, the traditional denigration of the Germanic peoples as ruthless barbarians responsible for the demise of European civilization and the ensuing «dark ages» is confidently rejected and a strikingly positive image of the Goths seen to emerge in its place.
Contents: I. Civilized Barbarians. II. The Uncouth Grandeur of the Gothic Language. III. The Gothic Cathedral - Monstrosity
or Masterpiece? IV. Genesis versus Critical Scholarship - Tenacious Traditions and First Attempts at an Objective Appraisal
of the Gothic Past.