Eli5: How did the term “Goth” go from Germanic tribes destroying Rome, to the music and fashion we know today?

429 views

Eli5: How did the term “Goth” go from Germanic tribes destroying Rome, to the music and fashion we know today?

In: 7280

19 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Via gothic architecture which was considered barbaric German style architecture, and through into literature set in buildings built in the gothic style become gothic novels.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You are missing a step

The goth style is drived from the gothic rock scene which was an offshoot of post-punk

The gothic rock scene got its name in 1967 when John Stickney had and interview with Jim Morrison in a room he basically called a gothic dungeon that’s suited the style of the music

Anonymous 0 Comments

The Gothic architecture was named in early medieval period as Modern Work/New Work. Calling it Gothic architecture or Barbarous German Style was a pejorative name used by contemporaries Latin/Italian.

The name Gothic Architecture became the more widespread name for that style of architecture and eventually lost its pejorative nature.

Another comment explained how it went from Architecture to music.

Anonymous 0 Comments

To add another step, there was a Gothic Revival around the early 19th century, largely as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, mass production, conformity and the “dark satanic mills”. There was great interest in the medieval or native pre-industrial styles across art, architecture, music and literature.

It took a while before 19th c. gothic revival architecture actually started to look anything like actual gothic architecture, interestingly, because almost everything had been forgotten and needed to be relearned. Early Victorian Gothic can look very cack-handed.

In literature, you had the great Romantic and Gothic writers like Wordsworth, the Bronte sisters, Mrs and Mr Shelly, and on into people like Stoker and “Dracula”. They all loved individualism, intense emotion, moody looking into middle distance, and a flamboyant disregard for one’s continuing existence.

The term moved over into music from there, as other posts have said.

Anonymous 0 Comments

goths, gothic architecture, gothic revival architecture, gothic novels, goth rock, goth punk, goth fashion.

Anonymous 0 Comments

At first, there was Gothic architecture. This was a new style of church architecture in the High Middle Ages, and was derisively called such because it was “Germanic” and deviated from Roman canons.

Then there were Gothic novels. They were named after old medieval churches and castles where ghosts, vampires and other relics of the past threatened the new, enlightened way of life of the XIX century. So the “Gothic” was appropriated to mean “ancient, dark and spooky”.

And then there was a music and fashion subculture that tended to dig the ancient, dark and spooky aesthetic.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Mary Shelly predates the goth rock scene.

She wrote Frankenstein while vacationing at a lakehouse in the early 1800s – to which, she traveled in and dressed daily in attire you would label as “Goth”

Anonymous 0 Comments

Victorians were big on BS-ing history around what they could observe. And by the Victorian era gothic architecture was grimy, dirty and dark. While on their time, a lot of it was bright and shiny.

So our views on what “gothic” is today comes from people seeing dirty, old, eroded stuff from 600 years prior and going “oh, that must’ve just been the aesthetic of the time”.

Anonymous 0 Comments

[This video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STOJftffOqs) explains it really well and is hella fun

Anonymous 0 Comments

Fun fact: before it was called “Goth” music, it was known as “Positive Punk”