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Ulfilas
Ulfilas
(c. 311–383),[1] also known as Ulphilas and Orphila, all Latinized forms of the Gothic Wulfila, literally "Little Wolf",[2] was a Goth of Cappadocian Greek descent who served as a bishop and missionary, translated the Bible
Bible
into the Gothic Bible, and participated in the Arian controversy. He developed the Gothic alphabet in order to translate the Bible, sans Kings due to the war narratives he feared would entice the Goths, into the Gothic language.[3]

Contents

1 Biography

1.1 Alleged Getic Influence

2 Historical sources 3 Creed of Ulfilas 4 Honours 5 See also 6 Notes and references 7 Bibliography 8 External links

Biography[edit] Ulfilas' parents were of non-Gothic Cappadocian Greek origin[4][5] but had been enslaved by Goths, and Ulfilas
Ulfilas
may have been born into captivity or made captive when young.[6] Philostorgius, to whom we are indebted for much important information about Ulfilas, was a Cappadocian. He knew that the ancestors of Ulfilas
Ulfilas
had also come from Cappadocia, a region with which the Gothic community had always maintained close ties. Ulfilas's parents were captured by plundering Goths
Goths
in the village of Sadagolthina in the city district of Parnassus and were carried off to Transdanubia.[7] This supposedly took place in 264. Raised as a Goth, he later became proficient in both Greek and Latin.[6] Ulfilas
Ulfilas
converted many among the Goths
Goths
and preached an Arian Christianity, which, when they reached the western Mediterranean, set them apart from their orthodox neighbours and subjects. Ulfilas
Ulfilas
was ordained a bishop by Eusebius of Nicomedia and returned to his people to work as a missionary. In 348, in order to escape religious persecution by a Gothic chief, probably Athanaric[8] Ulfilas obtained permission from Constantius II
Constantius II
to migrate with his flock of converts to Moesia
Moesia
and settle near Nicopolis ad Istrum
Nicopolis ad Istrum
in modern northern Bulgaria. There, Ulfilas
Ulfilas
translated the Bible
Bible
from Greek into the Gothic language
Gothic language
and devised the Gothic alphabet.[9] Fragments of his translation have survived, notably the Codex Argenteus
Codex Argenteus
held since 1648 in the University Library of Uppsala
Uppsala
in Sweden. A parchment page of this Bible
Bible
was found in 1971 in the Speyer Cathedral.[10] Alleged Getic Influence[edit] According to 17th century scholar Carolus Lundius (sv),[11] Ulfilas
Ulfilas
created the Gothic alphabet
Gothic alphabet
based on the Getae's alphabet, with minor alterations. Carolus is quoting Bonaventura Vulcanius' book, De literis et lingua Getarum sive Gothorum, (Lyon, 1597) and Johannes Magnus, Gothus, Historia de omnibus Gothorum Sueonumque regibus, Roma, 1554, a book in which it has been published, for the first time, both the Getic alphabet, and the laws of the Getae legislator Zamolxis.[12][13] Historical sources[edit]

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Arianism

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Eusebius
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Other Arians

Asterius the Sophist Auxentius of Milan Auxentius of Durostorum Constantius II Gothic persecution of Christians Fritigern Alaric I Artemius Odoacer Theoderic the Great Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury

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There are five primary sources for the study of Ulfilas's life. Two are by Arian authors, three by Imperial Roman Church (Nicene Christianity) authors.[14]

Arian sources

Life of Ulphilas in the Letter of Auxentius Remaining fragments of Historia Ecclesiastica by Philostorgius

Nicene Christianity
Nicene Christianity
sources

Historia Ecclesiastica by Sozomen Historia Ecclesiastica by Socrates Scholasticus Historia Ecclesiastica by Theodoret

There are significant differences between the stories presented by the two camps. The Arian sources depict Ulfilas
Ulfilas
as an Arian from childhood. He was then consecrated as a bishop around 340 and evangelized among the Goths
Goths
for seven years during the 340s.He then moved to Moesia
Moesia
(within the Roman Empire) under the protection of the Arian Emperor Constantius II. He later attended several councils and engaged in continuing religious debate. His death is dated from 383. The accounts by the Imperial Church historians differ in several details, but the general picture is similar. According to them, Ulfilas
Ulfilas
was an orthodox Christian for most of his early life and converted to Arianism
Arianism
only around 360 because of political pressure from the pro-Arian ecclesiastical and governmental powers.[citation needed] The sources differ in how much they credit Ulfilas
Ulfilas
with the conversion of the Goths. Socrates Scholasticus gives Ulfilas
Ulfilas
a minor role and instead attributes the mass conversion to the Gothic chieftain Fritigern, who adopted Arianism
Arianism
out of gratitude for the military support of the Arian emperor. Sozomen attributes the mass conversion primarily to Ullingswick but also acknowledges the role of Fritigern. For several reasons, modern scholars depend more heavily on the Arian accounts than the Imperial Church accounts.[citation needed] Auxentius was clearly the closest to Ulfilas
Ulfilas
and so presumably had access to more reliable information.[citation needed] The Nicene accounts differ too widely among themselves to present a unified case.[citation needed] Debate continues as to the best reconstruction of Ulfilas's life. Creed of Ulfilas[edit] The Creed of Ulfilas
Ulfilas
concludes a letter praising him written by his foster son and pupil Auxentius of Durostorum (modern Silistra) on the Danube, who became bishop of Milan. It distinguishes God the Father ("unbegotten") from God the Son ("only-begotten"), who was begotten before time and created the world, and the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son:

I, Ulfila, bishop and confessor, have always so believed, and in this, the one true faith, I make the journey to my Lord; I believe in one God the Father, the only unbegotten and invisible, and in his only-begotten son, our Lord and God, the designer and maker of all creation, having none other like him (so that one alone among all beings is God the Father, who is also the God of our God); and in one Holy Spirit, the illuminating and sanctifying power, as Christ
Christ
said after his resurrection to his apostles: "And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49) and again "But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8); being neither God (the Father) nor our God (Christ), but the minister of Christ... subject and obedient in all things to the Son; and the Son, subject and obedient in all things to God who is his Father... (whom) he ordained in the Holy Spirit through his Christ.[15]

Maximinus, a 5th-century Arian theologian, copied Auxentius's letter, among other works, into the margins of one copy of Ambrose's De Fide; there are some gaps in the surviving text.[16] Honours[edit] Wulfila Glacier
Wulfila Glacier
on Greenwich Island
Greenwich Island
in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
Antarctica
is named after Bishop
Bishop
Ulfilas. See also[edit]

Eastern Christianity portal

Attila Gothic Bible Gothic Christianity Germanic Christianity

Notes and references[edit]

^ Van Kerckvoorde, Colette M. (June 1993). An Introduction to Middle Dutch. Walter de Gruyter. p. 105. ISBN 3-11-013535-3.  ^ Bennett, William H. An Introduction to the Gothic Language, 1980, p. 23. ^ Dowley, Tim (1990). Introduction to the History of Christianity. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. pp. 187–88. ISBN 978-0-8006-3812-2.  ^ Fried, Johannes (2015). The Middle Ages. Harvard University Press. p. 10. ISBN 9780674055629. One of their own number, Bishop Ulfilas, a Goth who originally came from a Greek-Cappadocian family, translated the Holy Gospel into the Gothic vernacular – an enormous undertaking and a work of true genius.  ^ Berndt, Dr Guido M (2014). Arianism: Roman Heresy and Barbarian Creed. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 57. ISBN 9781409446590. Though ulfila may have spoken some Greek in his own family circle, since they were of Greek origin, he is likely to have been able to draw on formal education in both Latin and Greek in creating Gothic as a literary language.  ^ a b Noel Harold Kaylor; Philip Edward Phillips (3 May 2012), A Companion to Boethius in the Middle Ages, BRILL, pp. 9–, ISBN 978-90-04-18354-4, retrieved 19 January 2013  ^ History of the Goths. Herwig Wolfram ^ Mastrelli, Carlo A. Grammatica Gotica, p. 34. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 4, chapter 33. The Gothic alphabet
Gothic alphabet
was a modified Greek alphabet; see Wright, Joseph A Primer of the Gothic Language
Gothic Language
with Grammar, Notes, and Glossary, p. 2. The most complete Gothic texts borrow elements from the Roman alphabet; see Bennett, William H. An Introduction to the Gothic Language, p. 126. ^ http://www.goruma.de/Wissen/KunstundKultur/WelterbestaettenUNESCO/Unesco_Welterbestaetten_Deutschland/kaiser_mariendom_speyer.html ^ See Carolus Lundius, Zamolxis, Primus Getarum Legislator, Upsala 1687 ^ Carl Lundius at Dictionary of Swedish National Biography / Svenskt biografiskt lexikon (in swedish) ^ See: Translation and Commentary at DACIA REVIVAL INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY / "Zamolxis—the first lawgiver of the Getae". ^ For an overview and evaluation of the historical sources, see Hagith Sivan, "Ulfila’s Own Conversion," Harvard Theological Review 89 (October 1996): pp. 373–86. ^ Heather and Matthews, Goths
Goths
in the Fourth Century, p. 143. ^ Heather and Matthews, Goths
Goths
in the Fourth Century, pp. 135-137.

Bibliography[edit]

H. C. von Gabelentz, J. Loebe, Ulfilas: Veteris et Novi Testamenti Versionis Gothicae fragmenta quae supersunt, Leipzig, Libraria Schnuphasiana, 1843. Carla Falluomini, The Gothic Version of the Gospels and Pauline Epistles. Cultural Background, Transmission and Character, Berlino, Walter de Gruyter, 2015 (Capitolo 1: "Wulfila and his context", pp. 4-24.) Peter J. Heather, John Matthews, The Goths
Goths
in the Fourth Century, Liverpool University Press, 1991 (with the translations of selected texts: Chapter 5. The Life and Work of Ulfila, 124; 6. The Gothic Bible
Bible
145; 7. Selections from the Gothic Bible
Bible
163-185).

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ulfilas.

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Streitberg's edition of Ulfilas' Bible

Jim Marchand's translation on Auxentius' letter on Ulfilas' career and beliefs, with Latin text Project Wulfila Gothic fonts after Ulfilas Ulfilas, the Apostle of the Goths
Goths
by Charles A. Anderson Scott in BTM format

Preceded by Theophilus Bishop
Bishop
of Gothia sometime after 325 until his death Succeeded by Selina

Alexander A. Vasiliev (1936). The Goths
Goths
in Crimea. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Mediaeval Academy of America. p. 37. 

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 66477200 LCCN: n87800795 ISNI: 0000 0001 1068 1960 GND: 118763512 SELIBR: 102716 SUDOC: 028163656 BNF: cb12005325t (da

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