Kingdom of the Gepids
|Kingdom of the Gepids|
The Kingdom of the Gepids in its largest extent
|Languages||Vulgar Latin (or Proto-Romanian), Gothic|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
|Today part of||Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Ukraine|
In 453, the Gepids and other people allied to defeat Attila's horde of would-be successors, who were dividing up the subjugated peoples like cattle, and led by Ardaric, they broke the Hunnic power in the Battle at the River Nedao in 454. After the victory they finally won a place to settle in the Carpathian Mountains.
The Gepidae by their own might won for themselves the territory of the Huns and ruled as victors over the extent of all Dacia, demanding of the Roman Empire nothing more than peace and an annual gift as a pledge of their friendly alliance. This the Emperor freely granted at the time, and to this day that race receives its customary gifts from the Roman Emperor. (Jordanes, l.262)
Gepids reached the zenith of their power after 537, settling in the rich area around Singidunum (today Belgrade). For a short time, the city of Sirmium (today Sremska Mitrovica) was the center of the Gepid State and the king Cunimund minted golden coins in it. In 546 the Byzantine Empire allied themselves with the Lombards to expel the Gepids from this region. In 552 the Gepids suffered a disastrous defeat from Alboin in the Battle of Asfeld and were finally conquered by the Lombards in 567.
Many Gepids followed Alboin to Italy (see Paulus Diaconus), but many remained. In 630, Theophylact Simocatta reported that the Byzantine Army entered the territory of the Avars and attacked a Gepid feast, capturing 30,000 Gepids (they met no Avars). Recent excavation by the Tisza River at Szolnok brought up a Gepid nobleman from an Avar period grave who was also wearing Turkic-Avar pieces next to the traditional Germanic clothes in which he was buried.
- Adrian Poruciuc, "Historical Implications of a Romanian Lexical Famiily of Old Germanic Origin (ban, bănat, băni, bănui, bântui) ," Volume XLVIII Number 3, Spring 2008 pp. 353-395 (online).
- The episode is told in Procopius, in Paulus Diaconus and in Andreas Agnellus
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