Besides its original meaning, "of or relating to the Goths, a Germanic tribe" and thus the Gothic language and the Gothic alphabet, and aside from its Early Modern connotations of "rough, barbarous," the word Gothic has been used since the 18th century to refer to distinctly different things.
Below are some of the things that Gothic can mean:
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It will be seen that the main dispositions of the Gothic plan are derived from Carolingian developments of Byzantine modifications of the early Christian basilica, itself but an adaptation of that of pagan Rome; from the Lombards, however, had been acquired three elements which were to lie at the base of Gothic construction.
Perhaps the nearest approach to true Gothic feeling and accomplishment is to be found in the unfinished front of Genoa cathedral; being of the twelfth century, it is sufficiently early to have received something of the first great Gothic impulse, and is a masterpiece of delicate relations and exquisite detail.
Thus in the hour of political and economic misfortune, in the midst of the financial ruin and degradation of the Church, was born flamboyant architecture -- the last frail blossom of medieval genius.
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