Persecution, past and present: memorialising martyrdom in late antique and early medieval Córdoba

Wood, Jamie (2015) Persecution, past and present: memorialising martyrdom in late antique and early medieval Córdoba. Al-Masaq, 27 (1). pp. 41-60. ISSN 0950-3110

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The Christian martyr movement of 850s Córdoba has received considerable scholarly attention over the decades, yet the movement has often been seen as anomalous. The martyrs’ apologists were responsible for a huge spike in evidence, but analysis of their work has shown that they likely represented a minority “rigorist” position within the Christian community and reacted against the increasing accommodation of many Mozarabic Christians to the realities of Muslim rule. This article seeks to place the apologists, and therefore the martyrs, in a longer-term perspective by demonstrating that martyr memories were cultivated in the city and surrounding region throughout late antiquity, from at least the late fourth century. The Cordoban apologists made active use of this tradition in their presentation of the events of the mid-ninth century. The article closes by suggesting that the martyr movement of the 850s drew strength from churches dedicated to earlier martyrs from the city and that the memories of the martyrs of the mid-ninth century were used to reinforce communal bonds at Córdoba and beyond in the following years. Memories and memorials of martyrdom were thus powerful means of forging connections across time and space in early medieval Iberia.

Keywords:Medieval history, Mediterranean history, Martyrdom, Hagiography / Iberia, Apologetics, Cordoba, Spain, Eulogius of Cordoba, Paulo, author, Visigoths (Iberian kingdom)
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
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ID Code:16972
Deposited On:24 Mar 2015 13:39

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