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Article

‘Perfidious Goth’, Holy Martyrs Cult and the Memory of Roman Troops in 5th Century Edessa

Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik. 2020. Vol. 80. P. 134-142.

The present article deals with the literary image of a Gothic man who happened to  be in Edessa in the 5th century AD as a part of Roman auxiliary troops. He is reported to marry there a local girl under pretext of being a celibatarian. Having left Syria for Gothia, it turned out that he was married and had children. The Syrian wife became a slave and suffered a lot before returning miraculously back to Edessa. From the comparative study of the sources it becomes clear that the Gothic auxiliary troops were summoned to Edessa in connection with the advance of the Huns. Notwithstanding the common equation of Goths and Getae, the Gothic soldier in question was Germanic and not Getan (Dacian). The last question is the character of the marriage gift he presented for his temporary marriage.