Friday, May 02, 2014
Many Goths who professed faith (whether Nicene or not) suffered martyrdom - sometimes at the hands of the pagan Goths, sometimes at the hands of other Christians. St. Saba the Goth was an apparently orthodox (i.e. Nicene) Christian who died at the hands of the pagans. For a variety of reasons, it's hard to have a great deal of confidence in this story, although presumably there was actually a professing Christian man who was drowned by the pagans. In "The Goths of the Fourth Century," p. 102, Heather et al. explain: "As with other texts of this nature, part of the function of the Passion is precisely to authenticate the circumstances of martyrdom in order to validate the cult that ensued from it." Likewise, p. 104, n. 17: "The first and last paragraphs of the Passion closely imitate the corresponding sections of the Passion of St. Polycarp ... ." (see the discussion of that interpolated work at this link).