The Christians and their social status in Gothia in 4th century



Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Melita Classica Journal, Vol. 7, 2021
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Goths; Christianity; Social History; Saba; Wulfila; Elites
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Description The Christians appeared among the Goths for the first time in the middle of the 3rd century. Christian ideology with its appeal to poverty was, naturally, accepted mainly by the lower stratum of Gothic society. As consequence of the gradual spread of Christianity in Gothia and the turbulent relations with the Empire, the leaders of Danube Goths conducted at least two known persecutions of Christians. Because the maintenance of the tribal structures and old order of society was strongly bonded to the tribal pagan cult, these Gothic leaders should have had negative attitudes towards the new religion, which could have been perceived as a threat. It has been suggested that higher ranks of the Danube Goths accepted Christianity later and in the context of the settlement of the Goths onto Roman soil in 376, or even later. However, there are some hints in the sources, which indicate that it would not have been true for all instances of the higher Gothic community before 376.
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