Page 1041

1041 BARBARIAN ASCENDENCY-TRIBES OF THE NORTH.

Burgundians, who in their origin are thought to

have been of the same stock with the Goths.

Their primitive seats lay between the Oder

and the Vistula, from which position they

were expelled at an early period by the Gepidae. They then settled in the region between

the Main and the Neckar, and in the beginning of the fifth century joined the Suevi and

the Vandals in their initial incursions into

Gaul. In the country bounded by the Alps,

the Saone and the Rhone, the Burgundians

established themselves, fixing their capital first

at Geneva, and afterwards at Lyons. Here

they remained until the year 534, when their

king, Gundemar, was conquered and killed in

a battle with the Franks, who thereupon became masters of Burgundy. Having lost their

political power by this catastrophe, the Burgundians were by degrees amalgamated with

the conquering people, and ceased to be an

independent race.

Among the Teutonic tribes swept westward

by the invasion of Attila should be mentioned

the Bavasians. The first references to this

nation discover their presence in Pannonia and

Noricum. A little later, however, when Theodosius had purchased an ignominious peace

of the Huns, the Bavarians revolted from Attila, and, being supported by the Romans,

succeeded in maintaining their independence.

The nation became influential in Rhetia, Vindelicia, and Noricum, where the Bavarians

were governed by their own kings both before

and after the downfall of the West. From

the middle of the sixth to the middle of the

seventh century, the Franks by continued aggressions gradually curtailed the Bavarian dominions and finally incorporated the state with

their own, leaving the government, however,

to be administered by native dukes. These

rulers frequently revolted against their masters, and were as many times suppressed, until

finally, in 777, an insurrection, headed by

Thassilo, was put down by the strong hand

of Charlemagne. The government of Bavaria

then remained to the Carlovingian House until the same became extinct in A. D. 911.

Of these barbarian nations, and many other

petty tribes of the same race, the most powerful were, as already said, the Goths, the Vandals, and the Franks. It was among the first

of these, perhaps, that the barbarian character

displayed itself in its best estate. Especially

were the Visigoths conspicuous among the Teutonic peoples for the character and .extent of

their culture. The language of this people

was more highly developed than those of the

other Teutonic tribes. Their contact with the

Romans, especially after their settlement in

hither Dacia, was more regular and beneficial

than that between the Empire and any other

state. The Christianization of the Goths, also,

falling as the new faith did upon the conscience

of a people Just awakening from the slumbers of

barbarism, showed better results so far as the

development of moral character was concerned

than had ever been exhibited in Rome. To

these elevating influences should be added the

special fact of the early translation of the Bible into the Gothic language.

In the year A. D. 267, in the course of a

war with the Eastern Empire, an army of

Goths was sent into Asia-Minor, where the invaders laid waste the province of Cappadocia,

and carried back to the Danube a large number of prisoners, among whom were many persons of culture and many Christians. In the

year 311, there was born in a Gothic home

in Dada, of one of the Cappadocian mothers

whom a Gothic chief had taken to wife, a child

who received from his parents the name of

Ulfilas. From his boyhood he was taught the

doctrines of Christianity, and early became a

zealous adherent of that faith. He studied

Greek and Latin, going to Constantinople for

that purpose, thus familiarizing himself with

the New Testament in the original. About

this time, the Christian Goths fell under the

displeasure of their pagan neighbors, and were

subjected by them to severe persecutions. In

order to save his brethren from martyrdom,

the young Ulfilas conceived the design of emigrating with his people to the hither side of the Danube. He accordingly went as ambassador to Constantine, and obtained from that

sovereign the privilege of bringing a Christian

colony into the province of hither Dacia.

He became acquainted with the renowned

Eusebius, then bishop of the Eastern

Church, and by him was himself consecrated