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A.D. 756-1031






[Note: While there is only one Chapter IX in the Table of Contents,
there are two in text. I believe the first was meant to be part of
Chapter VIII.]



Invasion of Spain by the barbarians - Its easy conquest - Quarrels among
the conquerors - Departure of the Vandals - Visigoths gain the
supremacy - Conflict with Eastern Empire - Reduction of the Suevi - All
Spain becomes Gothic - Approach of Saracens - Planting of Christianity in
Spain - St James - Gospel first preached at
Elvira - Irenaeus - Persecutions - Martyrs - Council of Elvira - Council of
Nice - Number of Christians - Paganism
proscribed - Julian - Arianism - Ulphilas - Conversion of
barbarians - Degeneracy of religion - Priscillian - His heresy
condemned - Priscillian burnt - Paganism, in Spain - The Gothic
Government - Church and State - Power of king - Election of
bishops - Arianism of Goths - Ermenegild - Bigotry in
Spain - Jews - Influence of clergy - Of the pope 1-11


Period of Gothic rule - Degeneracy of Goths - Causes of their
fall - Battle of Guadalete - Resistance of towns - Theodomir - Remnant in
the North - Mohammedanism - Its rise and progress - Reduction of
Africa - Siege of Constantinople - Attacks on Spain - Tarif - Arabs in
Gaul - Anarchy in Spain - Christians in the North - Clemency of the
Arabs - Treaties - Conquest easy - Rhapsodies of
Isidore - Slaves - Jews - Impartiality of Arab governors - Khalifate
established - Feuds of Arabs and Berbers - Revolt of Berbers - Syrian
Arabs - Settlement of Arabs - Effect of Berber wars 11-25


Landing of Abdurrahman - Khalifate of Cordova - Condition of
Christians - Proselytism - Apostates - Arabs and Spaniards - Evidence of
Christian writers - Condition of the people - Serfs - No revolts - No
solidarity with the Christians in the North - Relations with Arabs at
first friendly - The jehad in Spain - Martyrs in battle - Fabulous
martyr - Anambad, first martyr - Peter of Najuma - No other till 824 - John
and Adulphus - Causes of Martyrdoms - Amalgamation of the two
peoples - Intermarriage - Children of mixed parents - Nunilo and
Alodia - Mania for martyrdom - Voluntary martyrdoms - The Spanish
confessors - Threatened deterioration in the Church - Christianity
infected with Moslem customs - Religious fervour in
convents - Fanaticism, of monks - Fresh martyrs - Perfectus, John,
Isaac - Arab inability to understand the motives of these
martyrs - Causes of fanaticism - Sanctus - Peter - Walabonsus, etc 25-40


Flora and Maria - Their adventures - Trial - Meet Eulogius in
prison - Their execution - Other martyrs - Hidden Christians - Aurelius,
Sabigotha, etc - Plan for procuring martyrdom - Miracle in
prison - Execution - Other martyrs - Death of Abdurrahman II. - Mohammed
I. - Martyrs - Prodigy upon their execution - Outrage in a
mosque - Punishment of offenders - Apprehension of king - Meditates a
persecution - Even a massacre - Series of martyrdoms - Cloister of Tabanos
suppressed - Columba, Pomposa - Abundius a true martyr - Others
martyred - Censor of Cordova - Persecution and death of
Ruderic - Eulogius - Parentage and antecedents - Opposes amalgamation of
Arabs and Christians - Encourages learning of
Latin - Imprisonment - Elected Bishop of Toledo - Again
imprisoned - Trial - Execution - His relics 40-54


Doubtful martyrs - No persecution raging - The Muzarabes - Churches in
Cordova - Arab description of a church - Monasteries outside the
city - Voluntary martyrs, chiefly from Cordova - No ferment at
Elvira - Enthusiasts not a large body - Their leaders - The moderate
party - Objections against the martyrs - Voluntary martyrdoms forbidden by
the Church - Answer of apologists - Evidence as to persecution - Apologists
inconsistent - Eulogius and Alvar - Reviling of Mohammed - Martyrs worked
no miracles - Defence of apologists illogical - Martyrs put to death not
by idolaters - Death without torture - Their bodies corrupted - Moslem
taunts - Effect of martyrdoms on the Moslems - Prohibition of
relics - Traffic in relics - They work miracles - Relics taken from Spain
to France - Expedition of monks for that purpose - St Vincent's
body - Relics of George, Aurelius, etc., carried off - Return to
France - Measures of the moderate party - Of the
Moslems - Reccafredus - supported by the majority of Christians - Fanatics
coerced - Anathematized - Action of king - Suspects political
movement - Revolt at Toledo - Grand Council - Measures against
zealots - Meditated persecution - The extreme party broken
up - Apostasies - Reason of these - The exceptor Gomez - The decision of the
Council - Cessation of martyrdoms 54-73


National party - Revolt of Spaniards against Arabs - Martyrs in
battle - Martyrdoms under Abdurrahman III. - Pelagius - Argentea - The
monks of Cardena - Eugenia - No real persecution under the Great
Khalif - General view of Christian Church in Spain under Abdurrahman
II. - Civil position of Christians - Councils - Neglect of Latin - Arabic
compulsory - Protests of Alvar, etc. - Latin forgotten - Cultivation of
Moslem learning - Moslem theology - Church abuses - Simony - Breach of
canons - Unworthy priests - Rival pastors - Heresy in the
Church - Depravity of clergy - Their apostasy - Their
deposition - Muzarabes - Free Christians in the North - The Church in the
North - Its dangerous position - Cut short by Almanzor - Clergy oppress
Christians - Count of Cordova - Ill-treats the Christians - Councils - Held
by Elipandus - By Reccafredus - By Hostegesis - Jews and Moslems
summoned - Council held by Basilius 73-86


Khalifate saved by Abdurrahman III. - Commander of the Faithful - His
character - Embassy to the Emperor of the West - Return embassy - John of
Gorz - Detained in Cordova - Messengers from the king - Cause of
detention - John of Gorz and John of Cordova - The king's
threats - Dead-lock - Fresh embassy to Otho - A second embassy from
Otho - First embassy received - Condescension of Sultan - Tolerance of
Moslems - Mohammed's injunctions - Tolerant Mohammedan rulers
elsewhere - Alcuin - Arnold of Citeaux - Bernard, Archbishop of
Toledo - Christians tolerated, even encouraged - "Officer of
protection" - Christian courts - Censors - Sclavonian bodyguard - Arab
pride of race - Partial Amalgamation of races - Alliances between Arabs
and Christians - Intermarriages - Offspring of these - The maiden
tribute - Evidence in its favour - No myth - Conversions - Mohammedan view
of apostasy 86-98


Arab factions - Berbers - Spaniards - Muwallads - Despised by
Arabs - Revolts at Cordova, &c. - Intrigues with the Franks - Letter of
Louis - Revolt of Toledo - Christians and Muwallads make common
cause - Omar - Begins life as a bandit - Captured - Escapes - Heads the
national party - Becomes a Christian - Utterly defeated - Muwallads desert
him - Death of Omar - Stronghold of Bobastro captured - End of
rebellion - Christians under Abdurrahman III. - Almanzor - Anarchy - End of
Khalifate - Knowledge of Christianity and Mohammedanism slight among
those of the opposite creed - Christian writers on
Islam - Eulogius - Mohammed's relation to Christianity - Alvar - Unfair to
Mohammed - His ignorance of the Koran - Prophecy of Daniel. - Moslem
knowledge of Christianity - Mistaken idea of the Trinity - Ibn Hazm - St
James of Compostella 98-114


Traces of amalgamation of religions - Instances elsewhere - Essential
differences of Islam and Christianity - Compromise attempted - Influence
of Islam, over Christianity - Innovating spirit in Spain - Heresy in
Septimania - Its possible connection with Mohammedanism - Migetian heresy
as to the Trinity - Its approach to the Mohammedan doctrine - Other
similar heresies - Adoptionism - Our knowledge of it - Whence
derived - Connection with Islam - Its author or authors - Probably
Elipandus - His opponents - His character - Independence - Jealousy of the
Free Church in the North - Nature of Adoptionism - Not a revival of
Nestorianism - -Origin of the name - Arose from inadvertence - Felix - His
arguments - Alcuin's answers - Christ, the Son of God by adoption - Unity
of Persons acknowledged - First mention of theory - Adrian - -Extension of
heresy - Its opponents - Felix amenable to Church discipline - Elipandus
under Arab rule - Councils - Of Narbonne - Friuli - Ratisbon - Felix abjures
his heresy - Alcuin - Council of Frankfort - Heresy
anathematized - Councils of Rome and Aix - Felix again recants - Alcuin's
book - Elipandus and Felix die in their error - Summary of evidence
connecting adoptionism with Mohammedanism - Heresy of
Claudius - -Iconoclasm Libri Carolini - Claudius, bishop of
Turin - Crusade against image-worship - His
opponents - Arguments - Independence - Summoned before a Council - Refuses
to attend - Albigensian heresy 114-136


Mutual influences of the two creeds - Socially and intellectually - "No
monks in Islam" - Faquirs - The conventual system adopted by the
Arabs - Arab account of a convent - Moslem nuns - Islam
Christianised - -Christian spirit in Mohammedanism - Arab
magnanimity - Moslem miracles - -like Christian ones - Enlightened
Moslems - Philosophy - Freethinkers - Theologians - Almanzor - Moslem
sceptics - Averroes - The faquis or theologians - Sect of Malik ibn
Ans - Power of theologians - -Decay of Moslem customs - Wine drunk - Music
cultivated - Silk worn - Statues set up - Turning towards Mecca - Eating of
sow's flesh - Enfranchisement of Moslem women - Love - Distinguished
women - -Women in mosques - At tournaments - Arab love-poem - Treatise on
love 136-149


Influence of Mohammedanism - Circumcision of Christians - Even of a
bishop - Customs retained for contrast - Cleanliness rejected as peculiar
to Moslems - Celibacy of clergy - Chivalry - Origin - Derived from
Arabs - Favoured by state of Spain - Spain the cradle of chivalry - Arab
chivalry - Qualifications for a knight - Rules of knighthood - The
Cid - Almanzor - His generosity - Justice - Moslem military orders - Holy
wars - Christianity Mohammedanized - The "Apotheosis of
chivalry" - Chivalry a sort of religion - Social compromise - Culminates
in the Crusades 149-156



Jews persecuted by Goths - Help the Saracens - Numbers - Jews in
France - Illtreated - Accusations against - Eleazar, an apostate - Incites
the Spanish Moslems against the Christians - Intellectual development of
Jews in Spain - Come to be disliked by Arabs - Jews and the
Messiah - Judaism deteriorated - Contact with Islam - Civil position - Jews
at Toledo - Christian persecution of
Jews - Massacre - Expulsion - Conversion - The "Mala Sangre" - The
Inquisition 156-161


Spain and the papal power - Early independence - Early importance of
Spanish Church - Arian Spain - Orthodox Spain - Increase of papal
influence - Independent spirit of king and clergy - Quarrel with the
pope - Arab invasion - Papal authority in the North - Crusade
preached - Intervention of the pope - St James' relics - Claudius of
Turin - Rejection of pope's claims - Increase of pope's power in
Spain - Appealed to against Muzarabes - Errors of Migetius - Keeping of
Easter - Eating of pork - Intermarriage with Jews and Moslems - Fasting on
Sundays - Elipandus withstands the papal claims - Upholds intercourse
with Arabs - Rejects papal supremacy - Advance of Christians in the
North - Extension of power of the pope - Gothic liturgy
suspected - Suppressed - Authority of pope over king - Appeals from the
king to the pope - Rupture with the Roman See - Resistance of sovereign
and barons to the pope - Inquisition established - Victims - Moriscoes
persecuted - Reformation stamped out - Subjection of Spanish Church 161-173




Just about the time when the Romans withdrew from Britain, leaving so
many of their possessions behind them, the Suevi, Alani, and Vandals, at
the invitation of Gerontius, the Roman governor of Spain, burst into
that province over the unguarded passes of the Pyrenees.[1] Close on
their steps followed the Visigoths; whose king, taking in marriage
Placidia, the sister of Honorius, was acknowledged by the helpless
emperor independent ruler of such parts of Southern Gaul and Spain as he
could conquer and keep for himself. The effeminate and luxurious
provincials offered practically no resistance to the fierce Teutons. No
Arthur arose among them, as among the warlike Britons of our own island;
no Viriathus even, as in the struggle for independence against the Roman
Commonwealth. Mariana, the Spanish historian, asserts that they
preferred the rule of the barbarians. However this may be, the various
tribes that invaded the country found no serious opposition among the
Spaniards: the only fighting was between themselves - for the spoil. Many
years of warfare were necessary to decide this important question of
supremacy. Fortunately for Spain, the Vandals, who seem to have been the
fiercest horde and under the ablest leader, rapidly forced their way
southward, and, passing on to fresh conquests, crossed the Straits of
Gibraltar in 429: not, however, before they had utterly overthrown their
rivals, the Suevi, on the river Baetis, and had left an abiding record
of their brief stay in the name Andalusia.

[1] "Inter barbaros pauperem libertatem quam inter Romanos tributariam
sollicitudinem sustinere." - Mariana, apud Dunham, vol i.

For a time it seemed likely that the Suevi, in spite of their late
crushing defeat, would subject to themselves the whole of Spain, but
under Theodoric II. and Euric, the Visigoths definitely asserted their
superiority. Under the latter king the Gothic domination in Spain may be
said to have begun about ten years before the fall of the Western
Empire. But the Goths were as yet by no means in possession of the whole
of Spain. A large part of the south was held by imperialist troops; for,
though the Western Empire had been extinguished in 476, the Eastern
emperor had succeeded by inheritance to all the outlying provinces,
which had even nominally belonged to his rival in the West. Among these
was some portion of Spain.

It was not till 570, the year in which Mohammed was born, that a king
came to the Gothic throne strong enough to crush the Suevi and to reduce
the imperialist garrisons in the South; and it was not till 622, the
very year of the Flight from Mecca, that a Gothic king, Swintila,
finally drove out all the Emperor's troops, and became king in reality
of all Spain.

Scarcely had this been well done, when we perceive the first indications
of the advent of a far more terrible foe, the rumours of whose
irresistible prowess had marched before them. The dread, which the Arabs
aroused even in distant Spain as early as a century after the birth of
Mohammed, may be appreciated from the despairing lines of Julian,[1]
bishop of Toledo: -

"Hei mihi! quam timeo, ne nos malus implicet error,
Demur et infandis gentibus opprobrio!
Africa plena viris bellacibus arma minatur,
Inque dies victrix gens Agarena furit."

Before giving an account of the Saracen invasion and its results, it
will be well to take a brief retrospect of the condition of Christianity
in Spain under the Gothic domination, and previous to the advent of the

[1] Migne's "Patrologie," vol. xcvi. p. 814.

There can be no doubt that Christianity was brought very early into
Spain by the preaching, as is supposed, of St Paul himself, who is said
to have made a missionary journey through Andalusia, Valencia, and
Aragon. On the other hand, there are no grounds whatever for supposing
that James, the brother of John, ever set foot in Spain. The "invention"
of his remains at Ira Flavia in the 9th century, together with the story
framed to account for their presence in a remote corner of Spain so far
from the scene of the Apostle's martyrdom, is a fable too childish to
need refutation.

The honour of first hearing the Gospel message has been claimed (but, it
seems, against probability) for Illiberis.[1] However that may be, the
early establishment of Christianity in Spain is attested by Irenæus, who
appeals to the Spanish Church as retaining the primitive doctrine.[2]
The long roll of Spanish martyrs begins in the persecution of Domitian
(95 A.D.) with the name of Eugenius, bishop of Toledo. In most of the
succeeding persecutions Spain furnished her full quota of martyrs, but
she suffered most under Diocletian (303). It was in this emperor's reign
that nearly all the inhabitants of Cæsar Augusta were treacherously
slaughtered on the sole ground of their being Christians; thus earning
for their native city from the Christian poet Prudentius,[3] the proud
title of "patria sanctorum martyrum."

[1] Florez, "España Sagrada," vol. iii. pp. 361 ff.

[2] Bk. I. ch. x. 2 (A.D. 186).

[3] 348-402 A.D.

The persecution of Diocletian, though the fiercest, was at the same time
the last, which afflicted the Church under the Roman Empire. Diocletian
indeed proclaimed that he had blotted out the very name of Christian and
abolished their hateful superstition. This even to the Romans must have
seemed an empty boast, and the result of Diocletian's efforts only
proved the truth of the old maxim - "the blood of martyrs is the seed of
the Church."

The Spanish Christians about this time[1] held the first ecclesiastical
council whose acts have come down to us. This Council of Illiberis, or
Elvira, was composed of nineteen bishops and thirty-six presbyters, who
passed eighty canons.

[1] The date is doubtful. Blunt, "Early Christianity," p. 209,
places it between 314 and 325, though in a hesitating manner.
Other dates given are 300 and 305.

The imperial edict of toleration was issued in 313, and in 325 was held
the first General Council of the Church under the presidency of the
emperor, Constantine, himself an avowed Christian. Within a quarter of a
century of the time when Diocletian had boasted that he had extirpated
the Christian name, it has been computed that nearly one half of the
inhabitants of his empire were Christians.

The toleration, so long clamoured for, so lately conceded, was in 341
put an end to by the Christians themselves, and Pagan sacrifices were
prohibited. So inconsistent is the conduct of a church militant and a
church triumphant! In 388, after a brief eclipse under Julian,
Christianity was formally declared by the Senate to be the established
religion of the Roman Empire.

But the security, or rather predominance, thus suddenly acquired by the
church, resting as it did in part upon royal favour and court intrigue,
did not tend to the spiritual advancement of Christianity. Almost
coincident with the Edict of Milan was the appearance of Arianism,
which, after dividing the Church against itself for upwards of
half-a-century, and almost succeeding at one time in imposing itself on
the whole Church,[1] finally under the missionary zeal of Ulphilas found
a new life among the barbarian nations that were pressing in upon all
the northern boundaries of the Empire, ready, like eagles, to swoop down
and feast upon her mighty carcase.

[1] At the Council of Rimini in 360. "Ingemuit totus orbis,"
says Jerome, "et Arianum se esse miratus est."

Most of these barbaric hordes, like the Goths and the Vandals, adopted
the semi-Arian Christianity first preached to them by Ulphilas towards
the close of the fourth century. Consequently the nations that forced
their way into Southern Gaul, and over the Pyrenees into Spain, were,
nominally at least, Christians of the Arian persuasion. The extreme
importance to Spain of the fact of their being Christians at all will be
readily apprehended by contrasting the fate of the Spanish provincials
with that which befell the Christian and Romanized Britons at the hands
of our own Saxon forefathers only half-a-century later.

Meanwhile the Church in Spain, like the Church elsewhere, freed from the
quickening and purifying influences of persecution, had lost much of its
ancient fervour. Gladiatorial shows and lascivious dances on the stage
began to be tolerated even by Christians, though they were denounced by
the more devout as incompatible with the profession of the Christian

Spain also furnishes us with the first melancholy spectacle of Christian
blood shed by Christian hands. Priscillian, bishop of Avila, was led
into error by his intercourse with an Egyptian gnostic. What his error
exactly was is not very clear, but it seems to have comprised some of
the erroneous doctrines attributed to Manes and Sabellius. In 380, the
new heresy, with which two other bishops besides Priscillian became
infected, was condemned at a council held at Saragoza, and by another
held five years later at Bordeaux. Priscillian himself and six other
persons were executed with tortures at the instigation of Ithacius,[1]
bishop of Sossuba, and Idacius, bishop of Merida, in spite of the
protests of Martin of Tours and others. The heresy itself, however, was
not thus stamped out, and continued in Spain until long after the Gothic

There is some reason for supposing that at the time of the Gothic
invasion Spain was still in great part Pagan, and that it continued to
be so during the whole period of Gothic domination.[2] Some Pagans
undoubtedly lingered on even as late as the end of the sixth century,[3]
but that there were any large numbers of them as late as the eighth
century is improbable.

Dr Dunham, who has given a clear and concise account of the Gothic
government in Spain, calls it the "most accursed that ever existed in
Europe."[4] This is too sweeping a statement, though it must be allowed
that the haughty exclusiveness of the Gothic nobles rendered their yoke
peculiarly galling, while the position of their slaves was wretched
beyond all example. However, it is not to their civil administration
that we wish now to draw attention, but rather to the relations of
Church and State under a Gothic administration which was at first Arian
and subsequently orthodox.

[1] See Milman, "Latin Christianity," vol. iii. p. 60.

[2] Dozy, ii. 44, quotes in support of this the second canon of
the Sixteenth Council of Toledo.

[3] Mason, a bishop of Merida, was said to have baptized a
Pagan as late as this.

[4] Dunham's "Hist. of Spain," vol. i. p. 210.

The Government, which began with being of a thoroughly military
character, gradually tended to become a theocracy - a result due in great
measure to the institution of national councils, which were called by
the king, and attended by all the chief ecclesiastics of the realm. Many
of the nobles and high dignitaries of the State also took part in these
assemblies, though they might not vote on purely ecclesiastical matters.
These councils, of which there were nineteen in all (seventeen held at
Toledo, the Gothic capital, and two elsewhere), gradually assumed the
power of ratifying the election of the king, and of dictating his
religious policy. Thus by the Sixth Council of Toledo (canon three) it
was enacted that all kings should swear "not to suffer the exercise of
any other religion than the Catholic, and to vigorously enforce the law
against all dissentients, especially against that accursed people the
Jews." The fact of the monarchy becoming elective[1] no doubt
contributed a good deal to throwing the power into the hands of the

Dr Dunham remarks that these councils tended to make the bishops
subservient to the court, but surely the evidence points the other way.
On the whole it was the king that lost power, though no doubt as a
compensation he gained somewhat more authority over Church matters. He
could, for instance, issue temporary regulations with regard to Church
discipline. Witiza, one of the last of the Gothic kings, seems even to
have authorized, or at least encouraged, the marriage of his clergy.[2]
The king could preside in cases of appeal in purely ecclesiastical
affairs; and we know that Recared I. (587-601) and Sisebert (612-621)
did in fact exercise this right. He also gained the power of nominating
and translating bishops; but it is not clear when this privilege was
first conceded to the king.[3] The Fourth Council of Toledo (633)
enacted that a bishop should be elected by the clergy and people of his
city, and that his election should be approved by the metropolitan and
synod of his province: while the Twelfth Council, held forty-eight years

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