The Ecclesiastical History Of Theodoret by Theodoret
Chapter XXXIII.--How the Goths became tainted by the Arian error.
To those ignorant of the circumstances it may be worth while to explain how the Goths got the Arian plague. After they had crossed the Danube, and made peace with Valens, the infamous Eudoxius, who was on the spot, suggested to the emperor to persuade the Goths to accept communion with him. They had indeed long since received the rays of divine knowledge and had been nurtured in the apostolic doctrines, |but now,| said Eudoxius, |community of opinion will make the peace all the firmer.| Valens approved of this counsel and proposed to the Gothic chieftains an agreement in doctrine, but they replied that they would not consent to forsake the teaching of their fathers. At the period in question their Bishop Ulphilas was implicitly obeyed by them and they received his words as laws which none might break. Partly by the fascination of his eloquence and partly by the bribes with which he baited his proposals Eudoxius succeeded in inducing him to persuade the barbarians to embrace communion with the emperor, so Ulphilas won them over on the plea that the quarrel between the different parties was really one of personal rivalry and involved no difference in doctrine. The result is that up to this day the Goths assert that the Father is greater than the Son, but they refuse to describe the Son as a creature, although they are in communion with those who do so. Yet they cannot be said to have altogether abandoned their Father's teaching, since Ulphilas in his efforts to persuade them to join communion with Eudoxius and Valens denied that there was any difference in doctrine and that the difference had arisen from mere empty strife.