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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Diehl, Peter D.

Second Advisor

Eurich, S. Amanda, 1956-

Third Advisor

Murphy, Sean Eisen


The re-introduction of the so-called "Arian" heresy into the Roman Empire as an attribute of several Germanic Kingdoms of the fourth and fifth centuries requires an explanation of why, with the adoption of so many Roman ideological and administrative structures, Arianism remained fundamental to the ideological structure of these kingdoms. Previous studies have emphasized Arianism's role as a marker of identity in the context of Roman and Gothic interaction, but have yet to expand upon its social and political relevancy. Utilizing the Ostrogothic and Vandal kingdoms as case studies, this thesis seeks to elaborate upon the ideological and political contributions of the Arian doctrine within each context. It will be argued that, for the Ostrogothic kingdom, Arianism was used to construct a sense of precedent and longevity for the Amal dynasty of Theoderic the Great and his successors. Within the Vandal kingdom, the local focus of the Arian ecclesiastical community allowed for greater monarchal control over doctrinal decisions. These attributes corresponded with the policy of political and ideological centralization pursued by Geiseric and his successors. It is hoped that this study will contribute to an understanding of the multiple applications that Arianism held within the social structure of the Late Antique period.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Arianism; Vandals--Religion--Case studies; Vandals--Politics and government--Case studies; Goths--Religion--Case studies; Goths--Politics and government--Case studies; Trinity--History of doctrines--Early church, ca. 30-600




masters theses




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