Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the form of Christianity adopted by Ostrogoths in the 4th century AD, which they learned from Roman missionaries and from their own contact with the imperial court at Constantinople. This form spread to the Vandals and the Visigoths, who took it into Roman Spain and North Africa, and the Ostrogoths brought it deeper into Italy after the fall of the western Roman empire. Meanwhile, with the Roman empire in the east now firmly committed to the Nicene Creed not the Arian, the Goths and Vandals faced conflict or conversion, as Arianism moved from an orthodox view to being a heresy that would keep followers from heaven and delay the Second Coming for all.

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  • Judith Herrin 2 episodes
    Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, Emeritus, at King's College London
  • Robin Whelan No other episodes
    Lecturer in Mediterranean History at the University of Liverpool
  • Martin Palmer 22 episodes
    Visiting Professor in Religion, History and Nature at the University of Winchester

Reading list

  • Nicaea and its Legacy: An Approach to Fourth-Century Trinitarian Theology
    Lewis Ayres (Oxford University Press, 2004) Google Books →
  • The Great Heresies
    Hilaire Belloc (Sheed and Ward, 1938) Google Books →
  • Arianism: Roman Heresy and Barbarian Creed
    Guido Berndt and Roland Steinacher (eds) (Routledge, 2014) Google Books →
  • 'Begotten, Not Made': Conceiving Manhood in Late Antiquity
    Virginia Burrus (Stanford University Press, 2000) Google Books →
  • The Triumph of Christianity
    Bart D. Ehrman (One World, 2018) Google Books →
  • The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God: The Arian controversy 318-381
    R.P.C. Hanson (Baker Academic, 2006) Google Books →
  • The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies
    Susan Ashbrook Harvey and David Hunter (eds) (Oxford University Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • The Formation of Christendom
    Judith Herrin (Basil Blackwell, 1987) Google Books →
  • Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe
    Judith Herrin (Allen Lane, 2020) Google Books →
  • The Cambridge Companion to the Council of Nicaea
    Young Richard Kim (ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 2021) Google Books →
  • The Legend of Arius' Death: Imagination, Space and Filth in Late Ancient Historiography
    Ellen Muehlberger
  • Christian Beginnings from Nazareth to Nicaea AD 30 - 325
    Geza Vermes (Penguin, 2013) Google Books →
  • Being Christian in Vandal Africa: The Politics of Orthodoxy in the Post-Imperial West
    Robin Whelan (University of California Press, 2018) Google Books →
  • Arius: Heresy and Tradition
    Rowan Williams (SCM Press, 2002) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 270 (Christian church history)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In the 4th century AD, Roman missionaries converted the Ostrogoths to Christianity in the form known as Arianism as a way of integrating them into the Roman Empire.