- Germanic tribe that crossed the Rhine River (q.v.) in 406. In 413 the Burgundians founded the First Burgundian Kingdom (q.v.), located in Gaul (q.v.) with its capital at Worms (the setting for the great medieval German epic, the Nibelungenlied). In 443 a second kingdom was established south of Lake Geneva, after a defeat by the Huns (q.v.) that cost King Gundahar and 20,000 Burgundians their lives. Despite their adherence to Arianism (q.v.) until 516, when King Sigismund converted to Orthodoxy (q.v.), the Burgundians had good relations with their indigenous Roman subjects. Indeed, Roman influence was greater among the Burgundians than among any other Germanic people who settled in Roman territory, in part because of their close proximity to Italy (q.v.). However, Frankish expansion threatened the Burgundians; Clovis (q.v.) finally conquered them in 532-534.
Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . John H. Rosser .
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