Who were the Gepidae?

   The Gepidae were an ancient people, first known in history as settled near the southeastern shore of the Baltic. It is uncertain if the Gepidae were Goths, though closely connected with them politically. In the third century, together with the West and East Goths, they made inroads into Moesia and Thrace. In the fifth century, with the Vandals and Burgundians, they moved into Italy, but were defeated in 406 by Stilicho. They were conquered by Attila; but on his death (453) they occupied Hungary and Transylvania. It was to check their power that Justinian invited the Lombards to occupy the Roman provinces between the Danube and the Alps. Conquered by the Lombards and Avars, the Gepidae were gradually extirpated, and their lands seized by the Avars.