During the fifth century, western Masters of Soldiers, and especially the highest ranking one, the patricius et magister utriusque militiae, acquired inordinate amounts of authority. Many of these generals, including Stilicho, Sigisvult, Ricimer, Fl. Valila, Gundobad, and Odovacar, were of barbarian extraction. Modern studies focus almost exclusively on the secular side of the policies and activities of these barbarian generals, and scarcely any notice is taken of any religious affiliations or agendas they might have had.1 Why is this? Did barbarians not have any religious interests? As these barbarians attempted to legitimate their personal authority in the context of the Roman world, government, and military, did not they, like Romans, see the political advantages to which religion could be put?