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the Visigoths had already departed into the Western empire by the early fifth century. After the Huns crushed the vast Ostrogothic kingdom between the Don and the Dniestr in 375/ 6, a new Ostrogothic nation formed north of the lower Danube, within the area under Hunic control. It is probable that Tervingi who had remained north of the Danube in 376 were also assimilated into this grouping. After the fall of the Hunic domination, these Ostrogoths settled in Pannonia, between the rivers Drava and Sava, in 456/ 7, as federates of the Romans. In 473, most of them left these bases and crossed the Balkan peninsula before establishing themselves under their king Theoderic the Great in Italy during 488, with the approval of the emperor Zeno. It is fair to assume that Arian Christianity had taken root among them while they were in Pannonia. Around 1940 a folded tablet of lead, now lost, was discovered in an Ostrogothic burial site at Hacs Bendekpuszta (in the county of Somogy, Hungary), dating from the late fifth or early sixth century.2 It bore the Gothic text of John 17.11 ff.

It is possible that early Ostrogothic Christianity is related to Tervingian Christianity, since there were Christians amongthe Tervingi who had remained in the area under Hunic control. At the same time, however, Gothic influences from the Danubian border region of the East Roman empire may also be assumed. Such influences are suggested by the Gothic translation of an early fifth-century Greek calendarium that probably originated from the Arian community of Constantinople. A single leaf of it has been preserved in the Ostrogothic tradition.3

In the sixth century, the Gepids were also Arian Christians. Following the demise of the Hunic domination (454/ 5), they formed a kingdom between the river Tisa and the Carpathian mountains, but there is no record of their Christianisation.

Sources do not sufficiently confirm the assumption that Gothic Arianism in the sixth century also embraced the Skiri in the western part of the Hungarian plain, the Heruli in southern Moravia and the Rugi in Lower Austria, and even entered southern Germany

The Lombards were latecomers to the commonwealth of Germanic Arian Christianities. In the second quarter of the sixth century, the centre of the area ruled and settled by them shifted from Bohemia and Lower Austria to Pannonia. By the late 540s, at least a part of their ruling classes was regarded as being Catholic. Within a grave in Bezenye (county Gyor-Moson-Sopron,

2 Piergiuseppe Scardigli, 'Das Bleitafelchen von Hacs-Bendekpuszta'.

3 Knut Schaferdiek, 'Gotische Literatur. ยง 3. Das Kalenderfragment'.

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