Ostrogoths (East Goths), division of the Goths, one of the most important groups of the Germans. According to their own unproven tradition, the ancestors of the Goths were the Gotar of S Sweden. By the 3d cent. A.D., the Goths settled in the region N of the Black Sea. They split into two divisions, their names reflecting the areas in which they settled; the Ostrogoths settled in Ukraine, while the Visigoths, or West Goths, moved further west of them. By c.375 the Huns conquered the Ostrogothic kingdom ruled by Ermanaric, which extended from the Dniester River, north and east to the headwaters of the Volga River. The Ostrogoths were subject to the Huns until the death (453) of Attila, when they settled in Pannonia (roughly modern Hungary) as allies of the Byzantine (East Roman) empire.
Gothic and Old Norse
The Goths had a tradition of a Scandinavian origin. The main points cited by theories grouping North and East Germanic are:
1) The evolution of the Proto-Germanic *-jj- and *-gg- into Gothic ddj (from an older Gothic ggj?) and ggw and Old Norse ggj and ggv ("Holtzmann's law"). For instance, the Old High German genitive of zwei (two) is zweio, which is distinct from Gothic twaddje and Old Norse tveggja. Whereas German has the form treu, Gothic has triggws and modern Swedish trygg.
2) The existence of numerous inchoative verbs ending with -na, such as Gothic waknan and modern Swedish vakna.
3) Gothic is important for the understanding of the evolution of Proto-Germanic into Old Norse. For instance, the final -n in North Germanic languages, such as navn and namn (name) is explained by referring to Gothic in which namo had its plural genitive namne. Sometimes, Gothic explains forms of words found on the oldest runestones, such as the Gothic word gudja (priest) which explains the word gudija found on the runestone of Nordhuglo in Norway.
But there have also been theories grouping West and East Germanic. Today, the three groups are generally treated as derived independently from Proto-Germanic.
The Germanic tribes in the mid-1st century AD. The Vandals/Lugii are depicted in green, in the area of modern Poland.
Groups identified as East Germanic tribes include: