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Scourge of God

(1) Attila, king of the Huns. A.P. Stanley says the term was first applied to Attila in the Hungarian Chronicles. In Isidore's Chronicle the Huns are called Virga Dei. (*, 434-453.)

(2) Genseric, king of the Vandals, who went about like a destroying angel “against all those who had, in his opinion, incurred the wrath of God.”(Probably the word Godegesal (Gothgesal, God-given) was purposely twisted into God-gesil (God's scourge) by those who hated him, because he was an Arian, God-gesal (or Deodatus) was the common title of the contemporary kings, like our Dei Gratiâ. (*, 429-477.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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