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Re: Gothic christianity

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  • Dr. Dirk Faltin <dirk@smra.co.uk>
    ... Visigoths. ... conversion to ... provided ... failed to ... factor ... be ... people had fled. ... Catholic ... Tore, I am not sure if that is the correct
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 27, 2002
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      --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, Tore Gannholm <tore.gannholm@s...>
      > >Hi Dirk,
      > >
      > >>I do not deny that Arianism was a uniting factor for the
      > > >Yet, Visigothic kingship emerged strengthened after the
      conversion to
      > >>Catholicism. Throughout the 6th century Visigothic kingship was
      > >>rather weak. For a lot of the time they relied on government
      > >>by Ostrogothic Italy. Also, the Byzantine colonies in the south
      > >>seemed to pose the most direct threat. The big mistake of the
      > >>Visigoths was that they failed to create an inclusive, integrated
      > >>kingdom that could mobilised all parts of the society. When the
      > >>biggest hurdle to such an integrated realm was removed (i.e.
      > >>Arianism) this was already too late and he subsequent steps
      failed to
      > >>promote unitity.
      > >>
      > >Here we definitely disagree since Arianism was just the uniting
      > > able to mobilize the Goths. I grant you the Roman citizens might
      > >less enthusiastic but we talk of Gothic unity. The Romans were of
      > >course inclined to follow the pope as is also shown in the sad
      > >developement that followa and also continues after the Reconquista
      > >resulting in the inquisition terror.
      > As far as I know the Pope does not play any political role until
      > after the Visigothic invasion of Rome or perhaps only after the
      > Vandal invasion.
      > Rome was at that time a desolate town from where the important
      people had fled.
      > The Roman Church being more defined in the 6th Century was because
      > of the efforts of Gregory I, and those that came after him.
      > It is only from that time we can really talk about the Catholic
      > church as a political power.
      > Had the Franks been Christian earlier they had probably also been
      > Arians and arianism had been the leading Chrisian religion.
      > As the Franks converted very late and happened to adopt the
      > belief that changed the West European religious world. The sword
      > decides.


      I am not sure if that is the correct deduction. Firstly, the Franks
      may have briefly flirted with Arianism before convering to
      Catholicism. Secondly, if the Franks had adopted Arianism they might
      not have succeeded in creating the most powerful kingom in Europe.
      Frankish Catholicism facilitated the creation of a strong, integrated
      kingdom, which included non-Frankish Catholics as well.

      It allowed the local elites to assume a Frankish identity and support
      the Frankish kingdom. If we really want to speculate, we might say
      that, had the Franks become Arian Christians, their kingdom might not
      have become as strong as it was and it might have been overrun by the
      armies of Islam in the early part of the 8th century, and Europe
      could have become a largely Islamic place.


      > >
      > >>
      > >>I don't follow this picture which you are painting of 'naturally
      > >>benevolent and tolerant Germanic pagan/Arians' on the one hand
      > >>and 'naturally malevolent and intolerant Romans/Catholics etc.' on
      > >>the other hand. Historical events cannot be explained by the
      > >>inclinations of certain peoples. Instead, it is circumstances,
      > >>institutions, systems etc. which explain events and actions.
      > >>
      > >>As for Normannic/French involvement in Italy, this was not quite
      > >>uncontroversial. The rule of the D'Hauteville dynasty was
      regarded as
      > >>a great burden by the local population of Sicily and southern
      > >>
      > >>In 1053, the population of southern Italy appealed to the pope to
      > >>send an army for relief. The pope did lead an army and the
      > >>was labled a crusade, but not because religious matters were at
      > >>stake, but in order to garner extra support.
      > >>
      > >
      > >That is always a standard thing with "religious" wars being in fact
      > >political and it goes for all crusades. Still it was, as you admit,
      > >regarded as an crusade because it threathened the power of the
      > >
      > >>
      > >>Overall, the d'Hautevilles were not naturally 'tolerant' people,
      > >>but they were mainly mercenaries who sought to establish their
      > >>principality. They had no material
      > >>interest in supressing other religions and therefore abstained
      from doing so.
      > >>
      > >Regarding that the most outstanding enlightened and humanistic and
      > >tolerant emperor, Frederic II, was raised within the the house of
      > >d'Hautville you must consider them untimely tolerant.
      > >
      > >Best
      > >Ingemar
      > --
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