a visible Gothic presence

Discussion in 'English Only' started by aiyu, Feb 10, 2019 at 10:13 PM.

  1. aiyu

    aiyu Senior Member

    The streets of the Leonine City pilgrims may have echoed with numerous languages, spoken by visiting pilgrims, but across the Tiber one would have heard little else but Italian, along with some Latin, and German spoken by a few higher churchmen in the Lateran. Rome was probably more culturally monochrome in the eleventh century than it had been in the 530s, when at least there was a visible Gothic presence. Roman food, though, was becoming more diverse.

    This is from a book 'Rome: A History in Seven Sackings.
    I'm wondering what 'a visible Gothic presence' could possibly mean here. It's not Gothic language...

    Any comments would be appreciated.
  2. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Senior Member

    Cumbria, UK
    British English
    There were Goths in the city, and it suggests to me that Goths could be distinguished from Romans by appearance. I know little about either, so have no idea if this was the case.
  3. aiyu

    aiyu Senior Member

    Thanks a lot. I was wondering what 'a Gothic preence' meant, as it used 'a' there.
  4. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Senior Member

    Cumbria, UK
    British English
    "A" belongs with presence, which in this case means some people being there. "Visible" tells us there were enough of them for (other) people to notice.
  5. aiyu

    aiyu Senior Member

  6. kentix

    kentix Senior Member

    English - U.S.
    Gothic is one of those words where the newer meanings (1,2) are much better known to most people than the older meaning (3).
    1. (usually cap.) noting or pertaining to a style of architecture...
    2. Fine Art(usually cap.) pertaining to or designating the style of painting, sculpture, etc...
    3. Language Varieties(cap.) of or pertaining to Goths or their language.
    Most people probably don't even know (or at least think about) the third meaning. But Gothic is a general adjective that refers to anything to do with those people who were members of the Goth tribes.

    "A <x> presence" is very general and can be used for many situations. There is a notable British presence in Hong Kong, there is a notable Italian-American presence in New York, there is a significant Japanese presence in Hawaii.
  7. aiyu

    aiyu Senior Member

    Thanks so much! It really helped.
  8. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    English - US (Midwest)
    They ruled Italy until Justinian succeeded in taking it.

    The Byzantine invasion was in 535 -- thank you, Sprague de Camp. :)

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