Identifying the Bergundian Horn

Identifying the Bergundian Horn

Where in Europe can we locate the Burgun­dians as one of the ten tribes fulfilling the prophecy of Daniel 2 and 7?

F. H. YOST. , S. D. A. Theological Seminary.

Where in Europe can we locate the Burgun­dians as one of the ten tribes fulfilling the prophecy of Daniel 2 and 7?

The Burgundians appear in history as a tribe in the valley of the Oder River. They entered the bounds of the Roman Empire in 407 A. D. After struggles with the Alamanni, they founded a kingdom in the upper Rhine valley and western Switzerland, centering around what is now the city of Worms. Be­cause the Burgundians raided and looted in northeastern Gaul (modern France and Bel­gium), the Roman master of soldiery, Aetius, sent against them an army of Huns, who very nearly cut the Burgundians to pieces. It was this disaster which gave the background for-the famous medieval poem, "The Nibelungen­lied."

In 443, the remains of the nation were granted permission by the Roman government to settle south of Lake Geneva in the Savoy, and from there they spread until they had taken over the Saone and most of the Rhone River valleys, with the important towns of Vienne, Lyons, Autun, Langres, Besancon, and Geneva. Their territory included ap­proximately the southeastern corner of France, and the western end of Switzerland around Lake Geneva. Thus the Burgundians occu­pied a definite part of the territory of the Roman Empire. They remained a true Bur­gundian kingdom until they were attacked by the expanding Franks, and were subjugated by 534. The Burgundian people became ab­sorbed eventually in the mixed population of southern Gaul, but the name lived on, being applied to one of the three Frankish kingdoms of Gaul.

After the breakup of the empire of Charle­magne in the ninth century, the southern half of old Burgundy became again a kingdom, and continued under the names "kingdom of Bur­gundy" and "kingdom of Arles," sometimes under the suzerainty of the Holy Roman Em­pire and sometimes under that of the kingdom of France, until it was absorbed permanently into the French kingdom in 1382.

The northern part of the old Burgundian territory, located in the region of the Jura Mountains of eastern France, became the duchy of Burgundy, with a county of Bur­gundy adjoining, while Geneva fell into the hands of the count of Savoy. In the fourteenth century, the duchy and the county of Burgundy were united under the duke of Burgundy. By the fifteenth century, the duke of Burgundy had become one of the most powerful nobles of France.

In 1433, through ducal marriage, the duchy had added to it the provinces of Holland; and these with Burgundy came into the hands -of the house of Hapsburg of Austria, when Mary of Burgundy married the Emperor Maxi­milian, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Hence Maximilian's grandson and successor, Charles V, of Reformation fame, was ruler of the Austrian lands, the Netherlands, and the duchy of Burgundy, as well as of Spain. Charles' son, Phillip II, inherited Spain, and the Netherlands, which country he persecuted so severely, while Burgundy came under the rule of France. The name "Burgundy" disap­peared completely as a geographic term, with the reorganization of France into departments at the time of the French Revolution.

Thus for almost a millennium and a half, long after the people who brought the name into the Roman Empire had been absorbed, the Burgundian name lived on in Europe, first attached to eastern France and western Switzerland, then to southeastern France; and for most of its later history, the name was given to the region of eastern France bordering Alsace-Lorraine.                                

F. H. YOST. 

[S. D. A. Theological Seminary.]


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F. H. YOST. , S. D. A. Theological Seminary.

December 1941

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