Saturday, July 27, 2013

Isidore, Chapter Six

In the 406th era, during the fifth year of the reign of Valens, Athanaricus I took up the governing of the Gothic people, ruling for 13 years, whom, having been moved to a very cruel persecution of the faithful, wanted to train himself against Goths, who had taken up Christianity among his people.  Those out of the many, who would not agree to offer sacrifices to idols, he made martyrs. Moreover these many persecutions affected the feelings of the rest of the Goths. While he might have shrunk from killing a great number of people, he had committed a sin. Indeed he was driven to go into exile from his own kingdom and migrated alone to the Roman provinces.

[The Goths took up the Arian form of Christianity, i.e. they believed the Son was subordinate to the Father, but Valens was also Arian so this was not a source of conflict between them. It is surprising that Isidore referred to the Arians as Christians when, officially, they were considered heretics and worse than pagans. Athanaric does not appear to have been styled as a 'king' but as a 'judge'.]

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