Full text: Interferenz-Onomastik

descent or members of the Gothic-led group, with the possible exception of 
few converted Romans. In any case the Arian clergy was normally of Gothic 
culture and language.4 
Generally, in Italy Gothic personal names are linked to the Goths, as 
Romans do not seem to have employed Gothic names at all (Lazard 1973, p. 
14). The attitude of Ostrogoths was at times incongruous and uneven: on the 
one hand they tended to stick to their own traditions and to the Arian faith; but 
on the other they were also attracted by Roman culture and classical name¬ 
giving practices, showing sudden interest in local ways and habits, eventually 
to return, during the Gothic war, to their national heritage/ 
2. Non-Gothic names among the Gothic-led ruling group 
While Romans do not seem to have had Gothic names, it is interesting to 
observe that some supposed Goths had a name of non-Gothic origin; as 
Wagner (1997) pointed out, in the group of the Ostrogoths in Italy there were 
people with biblical, Latin, Greek, Alan and Thracian names (like Danihel, 
Candacis, Paria and Tzittane). Many eastern onomastic types were brought 
over into Italy from the Balkans; the examples are as follows: we find for 
instance in Classe in 541 the Arian priest Cristodorus, who was the father of 
the cleric Minnulus-Willienant, a lector in the Arian church of St. Anastasia in 
Ravenna.6 He bears a Greek religious name meaning „Christ’s gift“. This kind 
of names of eastern Christian origin were not rare among the Arian believers; 
a good example is that of Andreas the apostle, worshipped in the Black Sea 
area, whose name was rather popular among the Ostrogoths.7 * It is interesting 
that Cristodorus gave his son, probably born in Italy around 510-520, a natio¬ 
nal Gothic name like Willienant. This same Willienant had also the familiar 
nickname of Minnulus (for which form see below, § 2.2.). Also the supposed 
Gothic historian Ablabius bears a Greek name/ In 541 Eraric, king of the 
4 In Ravenna in 551 (papyrus Tjader P34) there were a few Arian priests with Latin 
names, who could have been either Romans who had converted or, more probably, 
Goths with religious Christian names such as Petrus, Paulus and the like. 
Lazard 2002, p. 1217. 
6 ,films qd CristodorP in the papyrus Tjader P33; for the position of his son 
Minnulus see also Tjader P34. See further Lazard 1991, p. 120, 129. 
An Ostrogoth named Andreas, also called Ademunt, was recorded in Ravenna in the 
year 553 (Tjader P13); another Andreas in 572 at Ravenna was the son of the late 
Lucerna (Tjader P35). 
Jordanes, Getica 4: et in priscis eorum carminibus pene histórico ritu in commune 
recolitur: quod et Ablabius descriptor Gothorum gentis egregius verissima adtesta- 
tur historia. 14: Ablavius históricas referí. 23: Ablavio histórico referente. 
Although this may be a fictitious character, Jordanes uses this name for the alleged 
historian of the Goths. 
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