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posted by 123pixie
The term "Gothic" was used in the Renaissance to describe certain types of art (and architecture -- think gargoyles) in the Middle Ages, according to Shelley Esaak's Art History 101. This art was considered inferior, just as the Romans had held themselves superior to the barbarians. In the 18th century the term "Gothic" morphed into a genre of literature that had elements of horror. Esther Lombardi (Classic Literature Guide) describes the genre as "characterized door supernaturalism, melodrama, and sensationalism." In the late 20th century it morphed again into a style and subculture characterized door heavy eyeliner and all-black clothing.
Originally, the Goths were one of the barbarian horseback riding groups that caused trouble for the Roman Empire.