(redirected from Ulphilas)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


(ŭl`fĭləs) or


(wo͝ol`fĭlə) [Gothic,=little wolf], c.311–383, Gothic bishop, translator of the Bible into Gothic. He was converted to Christianity at Constantinople and was consecrated bishop (341) by the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia. Ulfilas then returned to the Visigoths as a missionary; it was partly as a result of Ulfilas's work that the Goths became and remained Arians for so long in the face of triumphant Catholicism. Of Ulfilas's Bible only fragments remain—parts of Genesis, Nehemiah, most of the Gospels, and the whole of Second Corinthians, with several more fragments. Ulfilas is said to have invented the alphabet that he used.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Wulfila). Born circa 311; died circa 383. Ecclesiastical figure among the Visigoths. Circa 341, Ulfilas was consecrated bishop of the Goths by the Arian bishop of Constantinople. Subsequently, he helped to spread Christianity, in the form of Arian-ism, among the Germanic tribes.

Ulfilas is thought by many, though not all, scholars to have invented the Gothic alphabet and to have translated most of the Bible into Gothic. The surviving fragments of the translation constitute the oldest remnants of Gothic, now a dead language.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.