Definitions for ulfilasˈʌl fɪ ləs; -lə
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Ulfilas, Bishop Ulfilas, Ulfila, Bishop Ulfila, Wulfila, Bishop Wulfila(noun)
a Christian believed to be of Cappadocian descent who became bishop of the Visigoths in 341 and translated the Bible from Greek into Gothic; traditionally held to have invented the Gothic alphabet (311-382)
Ulfilas, or Gothic Wulfila: little wolf, bishop, missionary, and Bible translator, was a Goth or half-Goth and half-Greek from Cappadocia who had spent time inside the Roman Empire at the peak of the Arian controversy. Ulfilas was ordained a bishop by Eusebius of Nicomedia and returned to his people to work as a missionary. In 348, to escape religious persecution by a Gothic chief, probably Athanaric he obtained permission from Constantius II to migrate with his flock of converts to Moesia and settle near Nicopolis ad Istrum in modern northern Bulgaria. There, Ulfilas translated the Bible from Greek into the Gothic language. For this he devised the Gothic alphabet. Fragments of his translation have survived, notably the Codex Argenteus held since 1648 in the University Library of Uppsala in Sweden. A parchment page of this Bible was found in 1971 in the Speyer Cathedral. According to Karl Lund, Ulfilas created the Gothic alphabet based on the Getae's alphabet, with minor alterations. Karl Lund is quoting Bonaventura Vulcanius' book, De literis et lingua Getarum sive Gothorum, and Johannes Magnus, Gothus, Historia de omnibus Gothorum Sueonumque regibus, Roma, 1554, a book in which it has been published, for the first time, both the Getic alphabet, and the laws of the Getae legislator Zamolxis.
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