He was a Goth and belonged to the western branch of that nation - sometimes called the Visigoths - who at the time of his birth were quartered in the region now known as Bulgaria, having taken refuge on the southern shore of the Danube from the pursuit of their enemies the Huns.
It was captured by Euric the Goth in 466 and by the Franks under Childebert in 542; it was dismantled by Charlemagne in 778, but repulsed the emir of Saragossa in 907.
The Aegyptus sive de providentia is an allegory in which the good Osiris and the evil Typhon, who represent Aurelian and the Goth Gainas (ministers under Arcadius), strive for mastery; and the question of the divine permission of evil is handled.
Toulouse passed away to the Frank; but the Goth kept Narbonne and its district, the land of Septimania - the land which, as the last part of Gaul held by the Goths, kept the name of Gothia for many ages.
Beside him are the Celts Josephus Scottus and Dungal, the Lombards Paulinus and Paulus Diaconus, the West Goth Theodulf and many Franks.
During this period the revolt of the African prince Gildo was suppressed (398); Italy was successfully defended against Alaric, who was defeated at Pollentia (402) and Verona (403); and the barbarian hordes under the Goth Radagaisus were destroyed (406).
The movement of the Goth Gainas (who held the post of master of soldiers) in 399-400 is less famous but was more dangerous.
He was, however, finally forced to leave, and having plundered for some time in Thrace was captured and killed by the loyal Goth Fravitta.
The sword of the Goth was to win back the last lands for Rome.
In Italy the Goth was but a momentary invader and ruler; the Teutonic element in Italy comes from other sources.