Alexander the great attacked them, and Trajan conquered them, and reduced their country into a Province of the Roman Empire: and thereby the propagation of the Gospel among them was much promoted. They were composed of several Gothic nations, called Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Vandals, Gepides, Lombards, Burgundians, Alans, &c. who all agreed in their manners, and spake the same language, as Procopius represents.
While they lived under the Romans, the Goths or Ostrogoths were seated in the eastern parts of Dacia, the Vandals in the western part upon the river Teys, where the rivers Maresh and Keresh run unto it. The Visigoths were between them. The Gepides, according to Fornandes, were upon the Vistula. The Burgundians, a Vandalic nation, were between the Vistula and the southern fountain of the Roristhenes, at some distance from the mountain Crapac northwards, where Ptolemy places them, by the names of Phrugundiones and Burgiones. The Alans, another Gothic nation, were between the northern fountain of the Boristhenes and the mouth of the river Tanais, where Ptolemy placeth the mountain Alanus, and western side of the Palus Maeotis.
These nations continued under the dominion of the Romans till the second year of the Emperor Philip, and then for want of their military pay began to revolt; the Ostrogoths setting up a kingdom, which, under their Kings Ostrogotha, Cniva, Araric, Geperic, and Hermanaric, increased till the year of Christ 376; and then by an incursion of the Huns from beyond the Tanais, and the death of Hermanaric, brake into several smaller kingdoms.
Hunnimund, the son of Hermanaric, became King over the Ostrogoths; Fridigern over the Visigoths; Winithar, or Vinithar, over a part of the Goths called Gruthungi by Ammian, Gothunni by Claudian, and Sarmatae and Scythians by others: Athanaric reigned over another part of the Goths in Dacia, called Thervingi; Box over the Antes in Sarmatia; and the Gepides had also their King. The Vandals fled over the Danube from Geberic in the latter end of the reign of Constantine the great, and had seats granted them in Pannonia by that Emperor, where they lived quietly forty years, viz. till the year 377, when several Gothic nations flying from the Hunns came over the Danube, and had seats granted them in Maesia and Thrace by the Greek Emperor Valens. But the next year they revolted, called in some Goths, Alans and Hunns, from beyond the Danube, and routed the Roman army, slew the Emperor Valens, and spread themselves into Greece and Pannonia as far as the Alps. In the years 379 and 380 they were checked by the arms of the Emperors Gratian and Theodosius, and made a submissive peace; the Visigoths and Thervingi returned to their seats in Maesia and Thrace, the Hunns retired over the Danube, and the Dalans and Gruthingi obtained seats in Pannonia.