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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus.: The Burgundians embrace Christianity under Theodosius the Younger.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXX.—The Burgundians embrace Christianity under Theodosius the Younger.

I must now relate an event well worthy of p. 170 being recorded, which happened about this time. There is a barbarous nation dwelling beyond the Rhine, denominated Burgundians; they lead a peaceful life; for being almost all artisans, they support themselves by the exercise of their trades. The Huns, by making continual irruptions on this people, devastated their country, and often destroyed great numbers of them. In this perplexity, therefore, the Burgundians resolved to have recourse not to any human being, but to commit themselves to the protection of some god: and having seriously considered that the God of the Romans mightily defended those that feared him, they all with common consent embraced the faith of Christ. Going therefore to one of the cities of Gaul, they requested the bishop to grant them Christian baptism: who ordering them to fast seven days, and having meanwhile instructed them in the elementary principles of the faith, on the eighth day baptized and dismissed them. Accordingly becoming confident thenceforth, they marched against their invaders; nor were they disappointed in their hope. For the king of the Huns, Uptar 999 by name, having died in the night from the effects of a surfeit, the Burgundians attacked that people then without a commander-in-chief; and although they were few in numbers and their opponents very many, they obtained a complete victory; for the Burgundians were altogether but three thousand men, and destroyed no less than ten thousand of the enemy. From that period this nation became zealously attached to the Christian religion. About the same time Barbas bishop of the Arians died, on the 24th of June, under the thirteenth consulate of Theodosius, 1000 and the third of Valentinian, and Sabbatius was constituted his successor. Enough has been said of these matters.



Octar, mentioned as an uncle (father’s brother) of Attila by Jornandes, Historia Getarum, chap. 35.


430 a.d.

Next: Nestorius harasses the Macedonians.

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