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Ulphilas Ulfilas

gothic, goths and greek

ULFILAS, ULPHILAS, or WULFILAS, bishop of the Goths: b. north of the Danube, about 311; d. Constantinople, 383. He was con secrated bishop by Eusebius of Nicomedia, probably at Antioch in 341; and though his native language was gothic, he learned to speak and write Greek and Latin. Like all the Goths he was an Arian, and was called to Constanti nople by the Emperor Theodosius shortly be fore his death to attend a conference or con troversy on disputed matters of faith. His claim to renown is based upon the fact that he translated into his own tongue the whole Bible, with the exception of the books of Kings, which he deemed too warlike for his in flammable Goths. He seems to have invented the Gothic alphabet, which is evidently based on the Greek. He employed the Septuagint for the Old Testament, and a Greek text, different from the received text, for the New. His translation is faithful, but not slavish. It was generally used by the Goths who migrated to Spain and Italy, but the Gothic language hay ing died out in southern Europe it was entirely lost and only some fragments have been pre served. These consist of the greater part of

the Gospels and epistles of Saint Paul, frag ments of Ezra, Nehemiah, Genesis and of a psalm. The chief manuscript is preserved at the University of Upsala. There are editions of Gabelentz and Lobe (Leipzig 1843-46), Heyne (1896), Balg (1891), etc. This Gothic work is of the highest importance to the student of philology. (See GOTHIC; Gams). Consult Uppstrom, (Codex Argenteus,' a facsimile (Up sala 1857) ; Gothica Selecta' (ib. 1861); (Codices Gothic Ambrosiani' (Stock holm 1868). Consult also Bessell, W., (Ueber das Leben des Ulfilas and die Bekehrung der Goten zum Christentum' (Gottingen 1860) ; (Cambridge Mediaeval History' (New York 1911) and Scott, C. A., (Ulfilas: Apostle of the Goths' (London 1885).