Arianism: Roman Heresy and Barbarian Creed: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Arianism: Roman Heresy and Barbarian Creed

1st Edition

By Guido M. Berndt

Edited by Roland Steinacher


400 pages

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Hardback: 9781409446590
pub: 2014-10-01
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pub: 2016-04-15
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This is the first volume to attempt a comprehensive overview of the evolution of the 'Arian' churches in the Roman world of Late Antiquity and their political importance in the late Roman kingdoms of the 5th-6th centuries, ruled by barbarian warrior elites. Bringing together researchers from the disciplines of theology, history and archaeology, and providing an extensive bibliography, it constitutes a breakthrough in a field largely neglected in historical studies. A polemical term coined by the Orthodox Church (the side that prevailed in the Trinitarian disputes of the 4th century C.E.) for its opponents in theology as well as in ecclesiastical politics, Arianism has often been seen as too complicated to understand outside the group of theological specialists dealing with it and has therefore sometimes been ignored in historical studies. The studies here offer an introduction to the subject, grounded in the historical context, then examine the adoption of Arian Christianity among the Gothic contingents of the Roman army, and its subsequent diffusion in the barbarian kingdoms of the late Roman world.


'… an important contribution to the literature on Arianism … the essays in this volume give a rounded and nuanced picture of the state of current understanding of the religion and the social organization of the various Germanic peoples in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction: framing the historical and theological problems, Hanns Christof Brennecke; Ulfila und der sogenannte gotische Arianismus, Knut Schäferdiek (Â…); Ulfila and the so-called ’Gothic’ Arianism - English summary, Knut Schäferdiek (Â…); Was Ulfila really a homoian?, Sara Parvis; Sabas: ’orthodox’ or ’Arian’?, Paul Parvis; The Homoians, Uta Heil; Deconstruction of the so-called Germanic Arianism, Hanns Christof Brennecke; Vulfila pontifex ipseque primas Gothorum minorum, sed non apostolus eorum. Vulfila, bishop and secular leader of his people but not their apostle, Herwig Wolfram; Barbarian ’Arian’ clergy, church organization, and church practices, Ralph W. Mathisen; Germanic language and Germanic Homoianism, Brendan Wolfe; The non-archaeology of Arianism - what comparing cases in Carthage, Haïdra and Ravenna can tell us about ’Arian’ churches, Ralf Bockmann; The ecclesia legis Gothorum and the role of ’Arianism’ in Ostrogothic Italy, Guido M. Berndt and Roland Steinacher; Arrianorum abolevit heresem: the Lombards and the ghost of Arianism, Piero Majocchi; Arianism in Africa, Robin Whelan; Arianism and ethnic identity in 6th century Visigothic Spain, Manuel Koch; The Homoians in Gaul, Uta Heil; Britain: approaching controversy on the western fringes of the Roman Empire, Meritxell Pérez Martínez; Conclusion: the elusive nature of an orthodox heresy, Yitzhak Hen; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author/Editor

Guido M. Berndt is a researcher at the Department of Ancient History, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany; Roland Steinacher is a historian specialising in Roman History at the Institut für Mittelalterforschung of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and teaches at the University of Vienna, Austria.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Ancient / General
RELIGION / Christianity / General