Christianity and Islam in Spain (756-1031) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 224 pages of information about Christianity and Islam in Spain (756-1031).

    [1] Eulog., “Mem.  Sanct.,” ii. c. xv. 1—­“Fidem praevaricantur,
    abdicant religionem, Crucifixum detestantur.”

    [2] Eulog., “Mem.  Sanct.,” ii. c. ii. sec. 6.  Also in his
    letter to Alvar sending the “Mem.  Sanct.,” he says, very few
    remained firm to their principles.

[3] Alvar, “Ind.  Lum.,” sec. 9—­“Cum palam coram ethnicis orationem non faciunt, signo crucis oscitantes frontem non muniunt ...  Christianos contra fidei suae socios pro regis gratia, pro vendibilibus muneribus et defensione gentilicia praeliantes.”  Elsewhere he says:  “Nullus invenitur qui iuxta iussum Domini tonantis aetherii super montes Babiloniae, caligosasque turres crucis fidei attollat vexillum, sacrificium Deo offerens vespertinum.”

    [4] Eulog., “Mem.  Sanct.,” iii. c. iv. sec. 5:  Alvar, “Ind. 
    Lum.,” sec. 18.  See above, p. 51.

    [5] Ibn al Kuttiya—­apud Dozy, ii. 137.

    [6] Eulog., “Mem.  Sanct.,” iii. c. ii.

    [7] Dozy, ii. 137.

[8] Eul., “Mem.  Sanct.,” ii. c. xv., sec. 3—­“Aliquid commentaremur, quod ipsius tyranni ac populorum serperet aures.”  The “praemissum pontificate decretum” he calls “allegorice editum.”



The death of Eulogius was a signal for the cessation of the dubious martyrdoms which had for some years become so common, though the spirit, which prompted the self-deluded victims, was by no means stifled either in Spain or the adjoining countries.[1] Yet the measures taken to put down the mania for death succeeded in preventing any fresh outbreak for some time.

Under the weak government of Abdallah (888-912) the Christians, determining to lose their lives to better purpose than at the hands of the executioner, rose in revolt, as will be related hereafter, in several parts of Spain.  After the battle of Aguilar, or Polei, in 891, between the Arab and Spanish factions, 1000 of the defeated Christians were given the choice of Islam or death, and all, save one, chose the latter alternative.[2]

During the long reign of Abdurrahman III. (912-961) there were a few isolated cases of martyrdom, which may as well be mentioned now.  After the great battle in the Vale of Rushes,[3] where Abdurrahman defeated the kings of Navarre and Leon, one of the two fighting bishops, who were taken prisoners on that occasion, gave, as a hostage for his own release, a youth of fourteen, named Pelagius.  The king, it is said, smitten with his beauty, wished to work his abominable will upon the boy, but his advances being rejected with disdain, the unhappy youth was put to death with great barbarity, refusing to save his life by apostasy.[4] A different version of the story is given by a Saxon nun of Gaudersheim, named Hroswitha, who wrote a poem on the subject fifty years later.  She tells us that the king tried to kiss Pelagius, who thereupon struck him in the face, and was in consequence put to death by decapitation (June 26, 925).[5]

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