Hungary), a pair of fibulas dating from the end of their Pannonian period was found bearing a runic inscription that includes the word segun (blessing).4 It derives directly or indirectly from the Latin signum, sign (of the cross) and is commonly interpreted as an indication of Christian influence. Since the 560s, King Alboin had been seeking to associate himself with the tradition of Ostrogothic Arian Christianity. The motive for this must have been a political one, namely his wish to succeed to the Ostrogothic domination of Italy that had been destroyed by the emperor Justinian. This eventually came about in 568, when the Lombards invaded the country and subsequently conquered large parts of it. Gold foil crosses sewn onto cloth and laid upon the dead are frequently found within Lombard graves in Italy,5 but these, while indeed providing evidence for the spread of Christianity, can hardly serve to distinguish between Arian and Catholic faith. From the outset, Arian Christianity met with opposition among the Lombards. On the one hand, pagan elements survived for some considerable time, while on the other, Catholic influences were apparent from a very early stage. Even in the 580s, King Authari deemed it necessary to prevent Lombard children from receiving a Catholic baptism, whereas his successor Agilulf had his own son baptised a Catholic.

According to the Homoian doctrine of the Arian churches, God the Son is like God the Father: both are God. This does not, however, rule out a subordination of the Son in relation to the Father. Homoian theology rejected the use of the term 'substance' and consequently also the Nicene expression homousios (consubstantialis). Furthermore, it did not regard the Holy Ghost as being God. In the liturgy, the difference between the Arian and Catholic doctrines found expression in the form of the doxology. In the Arian version, the wording is 'Glory (be) to the Father through the Son in the Holy Ghost', whereas the Catholic version is 'Glory (be) to the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost'. Furthermore, the Arian practice of re-baptising those who converted from other Christian groups, a practice that originated in the Eastern tradition, caused offence in the West since the Western Catholic Church was traditionally satisfied if the convert had already been baptised by invoking the Trinity in a formally correct manner. It even recognised Arian baptism. But in usual church practice and people's everyday religious lives, there can scarcely have been much to distinguish Arians from Catholics.

Due to the fact that Gothic Arianism spread as it did, it has often been suggested that the Arian creed was specifically adapted to the culture of the

4 Stephan Opitz, Sudgermanische Runeninschriften, 11.

5 Horst Wolfgang Bohme,'Goldblattkreuze'.

0 0

Post a comment