chapter  4
15 Pages

The Gothic

The barbarians may have been Goths, but people associate the Gothic with the northern Christian Church. The relationship overall is more complex than they might think, but to understand the churches they have to take some lessons some diagrammatic planning moves from the earliest basilicas, an eventual consequence of Constantine's Edict of Milan. Germany is the centre of the Gothic. The Goths, east of the Rhine and north of the Danube, proved a step largely too far for the Romans. The fact that the Visigoths, the Ostrogoths and so on sacked Rome is slightly bemusing; one can hardly imagine them wanting to leave those forests or forging empires, if by empire they might mean civilisation. Religious Gothic labours the vision of both heaven and hell; it relies on redemption to one and fear of the other, and even as a believer people were permanently on the balancing scales.