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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 176 pages of information about Christianity and Islam in Spain (756-1031).

The number of misguided men and women that now came forward and threw their lives away is certainly remarkable, and seems to have struck the Moslems as perfectly unaccountable.  The Arabs themselves were as brave men as the world has ever seen, and, by the very ordinances of their faith, were bound to adventure their lives for their religion in actual human conflict with infidel foes, yet they were unable to conceive how any man in his senses could willingly deprive himself of life in such a way as could do no service to the cause, religious or other, which he had at heart.  They were quite unable to appreciate that intense antagonism towards the world and its perilous environment, which Christianity teaches; that spirit of renouncement of the vanities, nay, even of the duties of life, which prompted men and women to immure themselves in cloisters and retreats, far from all spheres of human usefulness.  Life under these circumstances had naturally little to make it worth the living, and became all the more easy to relinquish, when death, in itself a thing to be desired, was further invested with the glories of martyrdom.

The example of Isaac was therefore followed within two days by a monk named Sanctius[1] or Sancho, who was executed on June 5th.  Three days later were beheaded Peter, a priest of Ecija; Walabonsus, a deacon of Ilipa; Sabinianus and Wistremundus, monks of St Zoilus; Habentius, a monk of St Christopher’s Church at Cordova; while Jeremiah,[2] uncle of Isaac, was scourged to death.  Their bodies were burned, and the ashes cast into the river.

Sisenandus of Badajos[3] found a similar fate on July 16th:  four days subsequently Paul, a deacon of St Zoilus, gave himself up; and the same number of days later, Theodomir, a monk of Carmona:  all of whom were beheaded.

    [1] Eulog., “Mem.  Sanct.,” ii. c. 3.

    [2] Ibid., c. iv.

    [3] After his martyrdom he procured the release from prison of
    Tiberias, priest of Beja!  Eulog., “Mem.  Sanct.,” ii. c. vi.

CHAPTER IV.

FANATICISM OF THE MARTYRS.

The next candidates for martyrdom were two young and beautiful girls, whose history we learn from their patron, Eulogius, who seems to have regarded one of these maidens, Flora, with a Platonic love mingled with a sort of religious devotion.

Flora,[1] the daughter of a Moslem father and a Christian mother, was born at Cordova.  She is said to have practised abstinence even in her cradle.  At first she was brought up as a Moslem, and lived in conformity with that faith, until, being converted to Christianity about eight years before this time, and finding the intolerance of her father and her brother unbearable, she deserted her home.  But when her brother, in his efforts to discover and reclaim her, persecuted many Christian families, whom he suspected of conniving at her escape, she voluntarily surrendered herself

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