Christianity, Early: Christianity most probably spread towards Austria from the Balkans up the Danube and from northern Italy. First indications of Christians in the army of Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the Austrian area have been found in conjunction with the "Miracle of Thunder and Lightning" in the Marcomannian Wars on June 11, 172 A.D. Experts presume that small Christian communities existed in Austria in the late 3rd century A.D. The only Roman martyr known by name was St. Florian. At the time of the Synod of Serdica (Sofia) in 343 the existence of a bishop of Noricum can be proven, but it is not known where he had his bishopric; later Aguntum, Lauriacum, Teurnia and Virunum became bishoprics. Church organisation was fully developed by the time the Vita Severini (511) was written. There were early Christian churches in Aguntum, Duel, on Hemmaberg mountain, in Imst, Lavant, Laubendorf, Lauriacum, Lienz, Nenzing, Pfaffenhofen, Teurnia and Zirl, epitaphs in Molzbichl, St. Stefan ob Waiern (Carinthia) and Wels. Clay lamps, silver spoons, rings, a belt buckle and a necklace with Christogram have been found. Although the spread of Christianity in the 4th -6th centuries can be proven archeologically, pagan cultures remained common in Cucullis (Kuchl) until the time of St. Severinus (2nd half of the 5th century).
Literature#Severin zwischen Roemerzeit und Voelkerwanderung, 1982; P. Barton, Geschichte des Christentums in Oesterreich und Suedmitteleuropa, 1992; R. Pillinger, Fruehes Christentum in Oesterreich Ein Ueberblick an Hand der Denkmaeler, 1993; F. Glaser, Fruehes Christentum im Alpenraum, 1997.