- The Goths were Germanic barbarian tribes that devastated Europe during the third to fifth centuries. They overthrew Rome and established kingdoms in Italy, France, and Spain.The Renaissance Italians considered the Middle Ages to have been crude and barbaric and the Goths were the best-known barbarians; ergo, the style of the pointed arch was Gothic, meaning barbaric. That the Goths had lost their identity centuries before did not matter: Their name implied uncultured, uncivilized, and destructive.A revival of Gothic architecture was started in the eighteenth century. Although certain basic designs were characteristic of Gothic, the churches of England, France, and Italy differed. Gothic employs a visual script to reflect the importance of the figures. Numbers are important, too; the number three is associated with the Trinity; four refers to earthly things. The refinements of Gothic architecture and the majesty gained by the edifices adorned with Gothic art have universal appeal. They are not judged to be crude and barbaric, but beautiful and graceful. One of the most acclaimed examples of Gothic architecture in the world is Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.