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The Gepids were a Germanic tribe first mentioned around A.D. 260, when they participated in an invasion in Dacia together with the Goths. The word "Gepid" is a Gothic term meaning "slow" or "lazy", for the Goths thought the Gepids were slow (in settling themselves). During their early history the Gepids were unlike other Germanic peoples in that they were unable to build a longlasting empire.

They eventually succeeded in settling themselves on the eastern bank of the Tisza river. In the 4th century they were conquered by the Ostrogoths. In 375 they had to submit to the Huns along with their Ostrogoth overlords.

They became the most favorite of Hunnic vassals. And under their king Arderic they were powerful enough to solely form the right flank of the Huns in the Battle of Chalons in 451.

After Attila the Hun's death the Gepids and the Ostrogoths formed an alliance to destroy Attila's empire. They finally broke the Hunnic power in the Battle of Nedao in 454.

After the victory at Nedao they finally won a place to settle in the Carpathian Mountains.

Not long after the battle at Nedao the old rivalry between the Gepids and the Ostrogoths spurred up again and they were driven out of their homeland in 504 by Theodoric the Great.

They reached the zenith of their power after 537, settling in the rich area around Belgrade. In 546 the Byzantine Empire allied themselves with the Longobards to expel the Gepids from this region. In 552 the Gepids suffered a disastrous defeat in the Battle of Asfeld and were finally conquered by the Avars in 567