[Last revision: 4 December 2020]
For the prior parts in this series, see:
The third and final book of Saint Eulogius' magnum opus presented here in full translation concerns the beginning of the reign of Muhammad I as amir of the Emirate of Córdoba and his policies of persecution against the wider Christian community as part of the crackdown on the martyrdom movement. The book also details the second wave of 17 martyrs in the period 853-856 CE. These martyrs are listed in the table below. Combined with the 29 martyrs listed in Book Two and the remaining two documented in Eulogius' apologetic work for the martyrs, we get a total of 48 martyrs documented in this mid-ninth century period from Eulogius' works.
Editions consulted for the original Latin text and to check Biblical references in particular:
- Juan Gil, Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum (Madrid, 1973).
- Francisco de Lorenzana, SS. PP. Toletanorum Quotquot Extant Opera...Tomus Secundus (Madrid, 1785).
As always I have included notes for context where necessary. I welcome any suggestions for amendments and corrections regarding the translation.
I would like to dedicate this work to Shiraz Maher, one of my oldest friends who has always supported my endeavours in translation and commentary (and has always been rather amused by them). I think it is only fitting that the culmination of this massive work should be dedicated to such a close friend. I even had the privilege of attending his wedding to Jasmine El-Gamal. Shiraz, may you find much enjoyment in reading the stories of the martyrs of Córdoba and debating them with your beloved.
Since therefore the series of the preceding volumes explained amply the cruelty of the impious, which for a long time strove to wear out the constancy of the men who could not be overcome, and since it indeed explains by the step of assertion the origins, ages and war acts of the saints, this third book lays open something more- as I think- of the savagery committed against us not without heavy wound. And let them not assert that I am exploiting this occasion with arrogant brow, on the basis that I have applied the prop of a very small and, as I have thus said, a very cheap feeble intellect to such great material; or perhaps they should accuse us claiming that we have composed by candlelight matters that are untrue, even as we have prepared the structure of this work by that view, by which we have known that all things in the future are to be judged in the fairness of the engaged Judge, whom neither the hidden things of thoughts nor the quality of works can deceive. So as I know that every person will subject to his burden in the presence of the Lord: why should I wish to weigh down my substance, oppressed as it is by its own burdens, with an external weight? Or what benefit should I hope will be brought to myself through fabricated lies, when I will finally render my account from every word? But from here the mind content with the small veins of tenuous knowledge is agitated, because it tries to attack a matter I will not say must merely be irrigated by a great river's flowing, but also necessarily by the immense sea's flowing, which flows forth hardly moistening the moisture of the very small drip, like small drops of liquid forced forth and extracted.
And let me not be attacked by comparison with the affair of the tired traveller, who enervated of the vigour of strength sits rather often on the journey and is worn out all the more vehemently the more frequently it rests through various places. So also we, having no share in the knowledge of whole richness, linger through the inaccessible paths of locution as though with debilitated step and with sluggish step, as I have thus said, we scarcely touch the limit of the small works and so we opt everywhere for the end of speaking. And then more and more the weak traveller is shaken, when as he hopes that he will now rejoice about the completion of the journey, again suddenly sees that he still must complete an unexpected space. So we also, who believed that we had already finished this small work and rejoiced as though a stormy sea had been crossed through sailing without shipwreck and enjoyed the quiet of the chosen safe port, now observe that something else has arisen by chance, which must be added as a price of effort to the works previously published. Therefore we proceed bound as we are by the lack of eloquence, we proceed occupied with the cases of the immense persecutions, and as though there is a wind surging into the contrary, we shudder at the fact that we have at last been rolled off into the deep sea. But we trust that we will be made to succeed without hesitation by the help of the goodness of the One who has judged us to be worthy of their sight and friendship, so that we should also be imbued with the trophies of those whose sweetness we enjoyed.
Chapter One: The beginning of the King Mahomad[i]
So, as was noted in the end of the second work, when Mahomad obtained the power of his father, he immediately broke forth into prompt hatred against us and on the very day that he was endowed with the fasces and ascended the throne intending to rule, he got rid of all Christians from the palace and promulgated that they were unworthy of the chief ministry of the court.[ii] Again, not much later, he prescribed them under the tributary census,[iii] and deprived of the royal reward more people, who for a long time were nourished by the military provisions. And as has been written: 'As the judge of the people is himself, so also are his ministers.'[iv] So he committed the reigns of the city at the same time to those people, who labouring with the similar zeal of opposition against the people of God might afflict them, uproot them and oppress them everywhere, so that not only should they in no way presume to defame their prophet, but also driven by terrors they should profess the abominable cult. Thus also unbearable grief and ferocious persecution met us from all sides and immerged the majority in the trap of error.
Chapter Two: The error of that exceptor,[v] who previously had driven the saints to be anathematized.
But many turning themselves away from Christ by their own will adhered to the unjust and cultivated the sect of the devil with the greatest affection, just like the behaviour of that bastard unworthy of the benediction of the saints, about whom we mentioned in the second book. This man, putting the pomp of the reverence of this world over the heavenly affairs and revering office instead of God with unheard desire, was cast down from honour in the twelfth month[vi] after he had decreed for the saints to be anathematized and had attacked us with disgraceful insults. And so as he alone of the Christians had been retained by the consuls in the office of exceptor to the eloquence of the Arabic language, in which he had been strongly endowed, he was removed from both the palace and the ministry after some months. He did not bear this deed lightly. As he saw that he was cast down and sighed rather deeply that he had been deprived of such great dignity, he chose more readily to be dead to God rather than not to live for this life so immediately he rejected the faith of the holy Trinity and yielded to the sect of perversity and in no way wanted himself to be seen as Christian anymore. So having been turned into worse things, even as he had never contemplated the simple things, he became an exile from the Christians and was joined to the heathens and with frequent running he entered into that temple of impiety with frequency as though he were one of the ministers of the devil, having been driven out from the temple of God, which even while still a faithful one he only entered with late and sluggish visitation. So it has been written: 'The one who is arrogant will not dwell in the middle of my home. And he who speaks unjust things has not guided his affairs in the sight of my eyes.'[vii] Indeed the same man after the negation was restored into the original honour and set up again in the palace,[viii] where, being the snare and barb to entice others, he would become a trap for others to fall into the scandal of error, just as he had been for himself for the sake of temporal glory.
Chapter Three: The destruction of the basilicas
Meanwhile as the savage conspiracy of the leader grew more often against the group of God and afflicted the Christians everywhere, and not all rushed forth to his rite in a general collapse as he had hoped, he ordered to destroy the churches that had been recently built[ix] and to remove what was gleaming in the old basilicas with new cultivation and had been added with crude shaping in the times of the Arabs. So with this occasion seized on by the governors of darkness, they also destroyed those peaks of the temples, which having been erected by the zeal and industry of the fathers from the time of peace almost exceeded the number of three hundred years from the days of their establishment.
Chapter Four: Concerning the sedition of the provinces[x]
And indeed the rising wars of rebellions brought great trouble for him, for this man waged the privilege of domination in all the cities of Hispania, which his father had subdued and seized in acquisition through the vigour of power and the power of outstanding intellect and the generous gift of rewards. Particularly since he saw that his army, having been slaughtered and put to flight from some places, was everywhere diminished and he lamented that he was heading everywhere for worse things, so he put off for the future the end of perdition that he had long contemplated against us and with slow and sluggish attack he worked on the ruins of the churches. For I believe that if those bolts of difficulty were not standing in the way, he would not allow any of the Christians to tarry with him, indeed, as has been sent forth elsewhere, if he had the convenient license of ruling, he would also compel the Jews to be driven from him,[xi] so that surrounded by the accompaniment of only his people he might only merit to be in charge of those with whom he should pay the punishment of the inextricable torments of the eternal abyss and the unity of the damnable cult should not be cut by the diversity of another religion. Even so, with God calling and vexing through the splendid mysteries of the holy faith, the same man lamented at many still receding and adhering to piety and accepting death on account of Christ with firmer hope, besides those who impeded with the excess fear of the flesh still serve as soldiers for Christ the King under the state mantle with arduous contrition of the heart.
Chapter Five: Concerning the hatred of his own against the king and his greed and the tributes imposed on the Christians
And although as he burned the church of God with the flames of envy and was corrupted by internal thought he languished and strove for the peace of his people, while also arranging to exercise things of this sort against us, in no way can human shamelessness change the divine dispensation, which made him hateful to all, despised by all and execrable to all. So he was attacked even by the domestic hatred and, as they say, the hatred and curse of his concubines. As has been written in truth: 'The just king raises the land, but the greedy man destroys it.'[xii] So this man, burning with unheard burdens of greediness, cut off the provisions of the soldiers, hindered the offerings of tributes and diminished the lunar monthly flow of rewards. And he saw that still cheap taxes and almost scanty were being rendered from neighbouring places to him, because evidently if he was brought by the fault of the people to the sceptre through God's dispensation, nonetheless the cities and nations, driven into the goading of rejection because of the poorness of the merits of this man, did not allow him to enjoy wholly the tributes of the provinces.
Therefore, he turned the arms of punishment against us and he afflicted us like mud of the streets with the beating of domination. He was supported in his choice by the wickedness of certain Christians (if nonetheless they are to be called Christians, and not more workers of iniquity instead) who so that they might obtain the privilege of exacting the chirographs, purchased from the king the lot of the Lord and the gathering of the faithful through their recognizance and crime.[xiii] They loaded the necks of the poor with the unbearable burden of the census tax. Everyday they brought ruin to the people of the Lord, but undoubtedly there is that pronouncement of punishment in the future, which condemning the excesses of such people says: 'And those who bring ruin to your people, let them find perdition.'[xiv] Indeed it would be more fortunate for these people per the word of Truth to have their necks weighed down with the weight of milestones and to be drowned in the sea than to harass the timid with such great scandal or to bring such great force against the small flock, to whom it has pleased the Father to grant the kingdom.[xv] In their sight there is no God but the judgements of God have been removed from their consideration. They are always envious, always unjust, everywhere malicious, angry against each other, peaceable in the uprooting of others, unfaithful in confederations, cunning in circumvention, most apt in the preparing of harmfulness, divided for themselves in turn, united to destroy others, roused to deceive, slow to pity, arrogant in procession, proud in assertion, dubious in promise, avaricious in giving, stingy in largess, greedy in accepting, promising that which cannot be given, bringing that which cannot be enjoyed. They do not sleep without doing evil[xvi] and hasten to rise to iniquity, and they rejoice when they do evil and take delight in the worst matters,[xvii] and although they declare they are Christians, everyday they crucify Christ in His limbs, following the teachings of the traitor Judas, who, having his predecessor crucified through sale while squandering money, dug for himself the trap of perdition, but brought the due freedom to the world. These people indeed embody the same person, when they afflict His redeemed with cruel accusation and- what I profess not without the heavy wound of my heart- they regrettably compel those whom they should have protected (since we are members of Christ for each other)[xviii] to deny Christ.
Chapter Six: Concerning the insult of the leaders against the martyrs
In the meantime, as these evils were overhanging, and the church was being attacked by the afflictions of this sort, they say that because of this the king, inundated with huge joy, promised that he would inflict further troubles on the faithful and, as has been explained elsewhere, would grind them down with terrible attack and trouble, if he should obtain the beneficial outcome of ruling for a longer time. As a result, most of the leaders who once insulted the constancy of the martyrs who fell retorted to us: 'Whither now has gone the virtue of your strugglers? Whither has the magnanimity fled? Where hides the temerity that has been absorbed? Where has the enervated courage led itself away? They indeed with hasty steps zealously came forward to attack our dogmatist and were killed with due revenge, let them now be present, let them now come, indeed hurry, if inspired by divine intervention they engage in that struggle in truth.'
Chapter Seven: Concerning the martyr Fandila
While there they derided us with mockeries of this sort and by this mockery they wore out our wretched state almost finished with disasters, a certain young man Fandila of handsome look, of decent and good life, a holy presbyter full of reverence for God, was the first to open the door and approach of exercising martyrdom under the privilege of this tyrant amid these slaughters and savage crises. And so this man, whose origin was from the town of Acci[xix] came to Córdoba for the sake of learning and spent almost all his adolescence there under the tradition of the pedagogue. As soon as he approached youth, he took delight in the monastic conversation[xx] and immediately mixed with the monks intending to serve as a soldier in submission to the yoke of God. After he travelled and moved about through some places, in which his devoted burning mind could not rest, finally he brought himself into the Tabanensian monastery.[xxi] There he spent some time under the regular discipline and regime of the abbot Martinus he shone rather perfectly in the fear of the Lord.
And since he was of the greatest humility and great obedience, therefore by the grace of sanctity, by which he shone through divine intervention, while the monks of the monastery of Saint Salvator (which is located not far from the city of Córdoba in the north at the foot of the pinnacle of Mellaris) implored and requested for a long time, he was elected to the priestly office. Unwillingly and, as I have thus said, he undertook his holy ministry with the insistence and prejudgement of his abbot and nonetheless he increased his labours of fasts, vigils and prayers more readily than usual and walked from virtue into virtue intending to see the Lord after being carried out onto Sion through the ladders of his merits. Although his venerable life and conversation that is necessarily an example of imitation for all were revealed sufficiently with the worthy proclamation of praises by the relation of the same brothers and sisters of whom he was in charge, nonetheless the more magnificently they were declared, the more he passed over his most flourishing youth with robust mind and did not hesitate to subject his life to the sword of martyrdom.
Therefore with the perfection of the fear of the Lord accompanying him, as he looked down on all earthly things and hung his mind in heaven and desired to be dissolved as a better outcome and to live with Christ rather than to cling to perishable things, on a certain day with strengthened face he stood in the presence of the judge and preached the Gospel, denounced the unchaste prophet and he held that the crowd joined to the filthiness of the noxious cult, unless it regained its senses and adopted the faith of piety, would pay the penalties in the avenging fires. From here driven into prison and bound with chains he was locked up in the dwellings of the bandits, finally to be beheaded by the decree of the leader.
The judge did not defer this deed to be related to the hearing of the king, who was lit up with the fire of immense fury and dulled with a certain horror wondered in his stupidity what was that conquering boldness, which (he felt) did not fear a king of such great glory and drove forward to such ventures of irreverence a head so sublime with falsehood and arrogance and (as it thought itself) excelling over all things. Therefore in the same moment under a terrible voice he decreed for the bishop to be arrested, but he was protected by the remedy of flight and was saved. But they say, already then with no delay he had decreed for his punishment; he had even ordered to destroy all the Christian men in a general pronouncement and to scatter the women through public dissolution of marriage contract, except those who rejected the religion and should turn to his cult. And if this edict had not been shaken by the advice of the governors, from here I believe already from the foundations it would have extinguished our Christianity partly by the sword, partly by error. The governors advised as they did because they asserted that they should not kill all of them since no wise person, no urbane and none of the leaders of the Christians had committed a matter of this sort, and a personal leader was not leading them to battle. However, killing the most brave athlete by the sword, he ordered for him to be hanged on a fork-shaped yoke beyond the river.
Chapter Eight: The deeds of the martyrs Anastasius, Felix and Digna
Following him on the next day was Anastius the presbyter, who from the entering age was educated in the disciplines and literature at the basilica of Saint Acisclus of Córdoba and spent time there in the office of the deaconship all the way to the fullness of his youth. After he had spent time on his knees in the monastic life, in which he had long taken delight with the ministry rejected, he was at last applied to the priesthood. With eager step he sought the palace and stood before the consuls and striking the enemy of the faith with the true goads of the assertions he was immediately beheaded with the sword and hanged. With him also the monk Felix born from the Complutensian town, Gaetulian[xxii] by nation and who ended up in Asturias by some occasion, where he learnt both the Catholic faith and the monastic religion. On the same day and by the same profession he was beheaded and cast down.
And as that day filled the greatest change of its course and was now turning into the ninth hour, a certain young virgin, called Digna and deservedly so,[xxiii] from the college of the venerable Elisabeth, whose account the second book brought out, proceeded to the palm with God's revelation and strengthening. For a little before her martyrdom she saw through a dream a girl adorned with evangelic habit and appearance standing before her, holding roses and lilies in her hand. When she asked her about her name and the reason for her arrival, she said: 'I am Agatha,[xxiv] once destroyed by terrible punishments because of Christ. And now I have come to confer the part of this royal gift to you. Receive gladly the offering and act with bravery for the Lord. For I am going to give the remainders of the roses and lilies, which I keep in my hands, to those who will migrate after you from this place.' So the most consecrated virgin illustrated by such appearance and gift- as she[xxv] took up the rose from the right hand of the one conversing- became mixed with the heavenly breezes and was removed from the sites of the one who was gazing at her.
But this girl, although she finally judged herself among the fellow virgins for the utmost humility and obedience and was obedient with incomparable preparation, nonetheless never allowed herself to be called Digna and would say with tears: 'Do not call me Digna, but rather Indigna,[xxvi] because I also ought to be called by the name of what merit I am.' And when, driven from the day of her revelation by the love of martyrdom, she had begun to ponder more often in tacit thought by what means she could aspire to it, she became sufficiently more joyful as she was instructed in the martyrdom of these people, by which she might succeed to the crown as though these people were preceding. And so after the locks of the monastery were silently opened, when she had discovered that the blessed martyrs were already hanging, she sought the judge with eager step and asked with fearless assertion why he butchered her brothers who proclaimed justice. She said: 'Or is it because we are worshippers of God and revere faithfully the holy Trinity, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, professing the one and true God, and we not only deny all that which dissents from this belief, but also detest, curse and confound it, and therefore we are struck down?'
As the girl explained these things and things similar to these things with holy and immaculate mouth, the judge without hesitation committed her to the executioners to be beheaded, who soon brought the butchery to the delicate necks. And she fell with her limbs not terrified in delay, and she was turned downwards and hung on a rack and added to the rest across the river. So in this order all three of those named- namely, Anastasius the presbyter, Felix the monk and the blessed virgin Digna- fell at different times on the same day: on the eighteenth day before the Kalends of July, in era 891.[xxvii]
Chapter Nine: Benildis the matron martyr
Finally following these people was Benildis a woman already carried forth in age and, as they say, very much filled with the fear of God. She fell under the profession of the rest on the seventeenth day before the Kalends of July,[xxviii] in the aforementioned era. Their bodies after some days were cremated in a huge fire and scattered finally by the discharge of the river.
Chapter Ten: Saint Columba the martyr
We are compelled by both the numerousness of those struggling and the due support of vows to extend the pen into the long series of diction. From here it is that the material of this small work augmented further than we thought into a great codex has almost exceeded the measure of mediocrity, for after so many deaths and crises of unbearable burdens we thought that no one would straightaway approach such things. But we in no way keep silent about the things begun, by which we should narrate the accounts of all as we have promised.
Meanwhile there was a certain noble and beautiful virgin, called Columba, born from the town of Córdoba, a sister of the aforementioned abbot Martinus and Elisabeth, about whom we have mentioned in the preceding sections. As she spent time among her parents' property most gently in her years as a girl, she recognised the intention of her sister Elisabeth, which while still mixed with the common people they managed with her husband Hieremias, as long before they sought the monastery they consecrated themselves to Christ with many religious acts amid the gatherings of the people. Very often she left the company of her parents and more frequently visited the home of her sister and chose to have herself assigned to such things and desired to be a slave panting for this intention. And so immediately she desired to reject all earthly things, but her mother fighting back opposed the girl's intention, as she also was aroused with the disgraceful motions of anger against her offspring Elisabeth and her husband and complained heavily that she was thus enticing the mind of a young person as herself and causing this person to be lost and abandoning the world blooming with its flower through the dissipation of their marriage they desired to manage the affair in the solace of external people.
But amid this conflict (as is the custom of the people) the girl was sought for a nuptial union, and with frequent interruptions they sought to involve in affairs of this world the girl assigned by divine intervention to the nuptials of the heavenly bedrooms. And although she did not agree and the mother did not desist from seeking to have her handed over to marriage, the mother herself by the providence of God suddenly occupied with the trouble of illness was taken away from this world and receded under quick calling. The servant of God remained not so much sad at the death of her mother as more joyful by the grace of her devotion to be fulfilled without the prejudice of anyone.
But as both of the sisters engaged in the holy religion at the city, immediately the Tabanensian monastery became filled, as we have said, with their own expenditures. So the men brought themselves intending to serve as soldiers for Christ alongside the women. There the holy virgin extirpated herself from earthly things and clung to the heavenly things and turned her mind to the study of the scriptures she became more erudite in investigating and discussing the obscurities of opinions. The holiness of the blessed virgin grew and the fame of the monastery spread far and wide and also invited the rushing of cities located far away to it, so that they might be imbued by the teachings of such examples. But this virgin remaining under the regime of her brother Martinus and Elisabeth excelled in merits and preceded all in the grace of decency, as she was laudable in conversation, sublime in humility, perfect in chastity, firm in kindness, attentive in praying, apt for obeying, mild for showing mercy, easy to indulge, eloquent to preach, ready to instruct. Also shining with these virtues she brought about the affection of all towards her, as she was the norm and mirror of sanctity for all. And as she was driven frequently by the temptations of the adversary, so she offered herself with more frequent weeping in the province of the Lord, fearing that the long toils of her labours would perish through the break-in of the cheapest robber. From here she was elevated to the greater caution of sanctity and driven by fear of the enemy she strove more skilfully for the summit of virtues through a stricter life.
Often the tempter softened this girl with illnesses, and sent in aversion, offered the appearance of men, added long provision and caused weariness through various phantoms. Driven by horrible fear she grieved monstrously at these things, lest by the lapse of death she should be divided from the accompaniment of the spouse, for whose kindness she asserted that she was inflamed with such great ardour inside, that being wounded in her mind for desire of him like the scar of excised flesh she asserted that she could not heal herself in any way except through the sight of him in the heavens. She never insulted through her words any sinner, however oppressed he was by rather grave sins. She did not make judgements about any actions, she despaired about no one's salvation, and she did not look down on anyone even if he was made infamous through disgraceful rumours. 'I know,' she reported, 'the skills of the demons, I know the insolences of men, who attack in the meantime with the insult of cursing the very same person whom the Omnipotent considers approved by rather worthy merits. For there are many things condemned in human judgement that have been approved and sanctified in divine counsel, and in general men transgress the divine opinion by their own opinions, while they do not know of which merit each person remains with Him, and nonetheless now as though presages of the hidden things they both preach what is worthy and deem disreputable what is bad, although indeed they would judge more inculpably if they were to look at themselves, and if they were considering by how great and to what kind of burden each person should be subject and with what kind of debt the accused should be, in no way would they dispute culpably about unknown things. But not a few commit these acts, by which the divine rebuke once brought forth against us should be strengthened in truth, where it says: 'Attend and listen. No one says that which is good. There is no one who does penance because of his sin, saying: What have I done?'[xxix] These very people, having neglected the roof of crime, remaining concerned about the trifles of others, affirm that which they have captured with the light ear of whisper to be true nonetheless and in no way unbelievable.'
But never did the most mild virgin move anger without cause, except when by chance she saw someone negligent either from the little girls or the sisters, whom she rebuked in humbleness with the gaze of eyes alone. Never did she break forth on occasion into the insult of anyone, never was her mouth occupied with false talk, never did she allow anile and idle stories to be admitted to her ears. Contemplating Christ in heart, and Christ more often in mouth, she sang more frequently that antiphony with all affection which the blessed fathers chose in sweet song in praise of the saints: 'Open for me, oh Lord, the door of Paradise, so that I may be returned to that homeland, where there is no death, where the sweet joy perseveres.' With these people she delighted to converse, whose mind girded with spiritual virtue managed the limbs mortified with vices and desires. And she did not display the approach of seeing her to anyone except by chance the spiritual men, and that was very rare and rather serious. For the rooms of the women were separated from the cells of the monks with high walls placed between, although they were managed by the governance of one father, nonetheless these women in sequestered small dwellings did not provide the opportunity for anyone to gaze on them at all. But if immediately either a congruous necessity pressed on the brothers or the pious humanity of guests got its way, only the venerable Elisabeth would exhibit herself to be seen through the window, as she was the first and true mother of the whole monastery.
Therefore at a certain time Columba sought from her fellow sisters that amid the rooms a small cell be given to her in a certain corner, where remaining alone with herself she might be free from the roar of the rest. The holy sisters assented to the request and provided help by her agreement to increase the sanctity of the virgin, as they trusted also from there that they would get some reward. As also the zeal of holy conversation is worthy of the reward, so also is the religious affection towards those living piously, and good agreement does not differ from deeds, as it is not shaken by the virtue of the mind, but by the defect of strength, so that when by chance there has not been the vigour of the body to exercise such things, there should be the intention of the mind to delight in similar things. For common are the transactions of the holy work and thus they become most pleasing to Christ, by which we report for our benefit with simplicity in perfected kindness the zeal of the fraternal sanctity.
In short, having obtained the blessing of the sisters, the venerable virgin, now removed from every proceeding of the monastic cares, persevered for much time in the contemplation of God and the mediation on the scriptures, after frequent sights and immense weeping, in which she stood out above very many by the special gift through divine intervention, again she turned back to meeting in order to instruct the minds of the fellow virgins through divine fodder. But they say that very often she lay down in prayer for three and four hours, and sometimes into the middle of the day, and although no sighs resounded and her limbs were not struck with any convulsive sigh, nonetheless she brought forth weeping in great silence, in such a way that beneath the mat on which she would pray with prostrated body, the pavement would be shown wettened with tears. Also considering the greatest course while standing in beseeching, she was suddenly brought forth into such great speculation, that the twin river of tears descending from both eyes to the chin were turned into one course and would flow with a frequent dripping of one drop at a time onto the ground as though they were from a roof.
Meanwhile as the fury of persecution that raged to destroy the churches moved this collective of women to the city,[xxx] they brought themselves into the small estate, which they had erected for themselves a long time ago next to the basilica of Saint Cyprianus in order to be hidden. Here now the most blessed virgin was set and she wept incomparably and grieved very much both for her quiet that she had in the mountains and the tumults that she had encountered in the city. Nonetheless she always shouted with heart and tongue: 'You have known, oh Lord, that I did not desire the day of man over the earth.'[xxxi] She always preached, she always prayed, she always sang psalms, she the praise and the blessing of the Lord always resonated in her mouth. And as the dwelling of the virgins clung to the walls of the aforementioned sanctuary and she was merely separated from the vestibule of the altar by the interjection of the wall: if by chance she had heard from the clerics singing psalms some song resonating with the praises of the saints through the feast days of the martyrs, she would immediately be goaded by some pleasant feeling of the heavenly longings and would burst forth into tears, so that you would believe she was no less proclaiming within: 'My soul has thirsted for the living God. When will I come and appear before the face of God? Tears have been for me the bread by day and night, while it is said to me daily: Where is your God?'[xxxii] For the connections of the body are those things by which the mind of each saint retained in this journey is separated from that ineffable clarity of the saints even as it is consumed with the great thirst for supernal desires. They are like the barriers of walls that prevent the mind from reaching the city of the living with quick step as it wishes. So the mind, believing that the burden of the limbs is seemingly resisting it on the contrary, weeps and says: 'My tears have been for me the bread by day and night, while it is said to me daily: 'Where is your God?" With Him indeed it longs to be, with Whom the apostle desired to remain after mortality was already undone, and said: 'It is better to be dissolved and to be with Christ.'[xxxiii]
Indeed unceasingly did Saint Columba practise these vows, when she herself brought something more, as I think, of the Crucified into her very self than the furious torturer inflicted. For as she continued the labours of the vigils, fasts and prayers, as though all these torments brought onto herself by her own willing were small, it was as though she did not have confidence even in her own merits, even if she exercised greater things, and she feared that she would find the hundredth fruit of her virginity devoid of benefit in the eyes of the Father. So she aspired without doubt to the ineffable profit of martyrdom, which even sends the sinners by direct path into the kingdom of heaven as the Gospel says: 'The kingdom of heaven endures force and the violent snatch it away.'[xxxiv] From here aroused more ardently with love for Christ she gasped to reach Him whom she had faithfully served with quick steps, and she was also driven frequently by certain revelations to that, and so on a certain day she got out of the hiding place and quietly unlocked the doors and departed into the forum. Although she was unfamiliar with the streets of the city, nonetheless by foresight of inquiry she learnt where the judge was tarrying.
There when she had reached him and was standing before his sights, she gave the profession of the Catholic faith, brought forth the truth of the gospel, denounced the unjust dogma and declared the author taking up such things to be of great crime, and finally goaded the judge with still soft words asking why he joined himself to such sacrilegious things. Amazed at her appearance and words, the judge immediately led her into the palace and put her before the council of the governors. There she still professed, preached, admonished that all ought to consult the interest of their own salvation rather than engage in false deceptions, by which they tried to convert it. Also she said: 'Christ does not have such a spouse who can be changed from the original contract of His pledges. For who is richer than He, that you believe you can entice me with the riches of these worldly affairs? Who is more beautiful than He, the form of whose appearance is eminent above the sons of men, that you think I am to take delight in an earthly marriage? Which cult and sect is more holy than the truth of the evangelical faith, which promulgated by the voices of the apostles through the whole world promises the reward of eternal hope to the believers? Is there no doubt in truth that every claim of prophethood that differs from it is anathema? Therefore abandon the falsehood and seek the true leader of the gospel, by which you might beater be called the sons of light rather than the progeny of darkness and the offspring of death. For he said: 'He who follows me, will not walk in darkness, and all who live and believe in me will never die."[xxxv]
Therefore when all the consuls noticed the very strong constancy of the virgin and saw that imbued with such oracles she could not be changed and they could bear the exhortation of her assertion, immediately they ordered for her to be butchered before the doors of the palace. As they set her up in the forum with the greatest reverence, she did not permit herself to be beheaded before the most consecrated virgin should honour the executioner with the reward. And thus rather bent over as she inclined her neck, her pleasing body was laid low on the fall of the sword. And without delay, as it was covered with linen threads, the leaders ordered the body to be placed in a plaited basket and cast forth into the river, and not like the rest of the corpses of the slain did they either leave it before the doors or hang it on a rack. This was on the fifteenth day before the Kalends of October, era 891.[xxxvi] After the sixth day, it was brought to us unharmed and whole through divine intervention by the skill of some monks and it merited an honourable burial with worthy duty in the basilica of Saint Eulalia the virgin and martyr, which was located in the village of Fragellas. This was related to us in faith about her.
But you, oh most holy one, who grant the Catholic church patronage of your merits both by living in the example of conversation and dying on high, be mindful of your cultivator, rescue me from the traps of this world, drag me away from the disturbances of this life and grant to me after death the rest of Paradise through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives with the Father and the Holy Spirit, the one and immortal God forever and ever. Amen.
Chapter Nine: Pomposa the virgin and martyr
Therefore when on that very day the rumour of the consummated martyrdom of the aforementioned virgin had reached the notification of many and crept not only into the whole city but also the neighbouring places, a certain venerable virgin, called Pomposa rushed quickly on the next day as soon as she heard of the martyrdom from people saying. She was from the monastery of Saint Salvator, which has been set at the foot of Pinna Mellaria, where she had long ago brought herself with her parents, brothers and relatives as she intended to serve as a soldier for Christ, and from which previously the most blessed Fandila the priest of the same place had once descended. So this blessed virgin, seeing the holy conversation of parents and relatives that they used to carry out in Córdoba from which they had been born, immediately assigned herself to such a vow with avid mind. Along with these things at the same time she rejected this world, and abandoned transient things, and promised integrity and strove with all effort to seek what would remain for eternity.
For her parents constructed the aforementioned monastery after the division of the patrimony in the that place, which was called Pinna Mellaria because of the fact that from the time of antiquity our ancestors saw the honeycombs fashioned by the industry of the bees in that rather high cliff. So as they placed themselves in that same place to pursue monastic life, they say that this blessed girl flourished by the grace of sanctity amid the gathering of the sisters, and as she held the last grade through age, she became elevated with the more excellent peak of innocence and merit of simplicity than the rest. And so much she remained in the strongest meditation of the scriptures that, if it was possible, she did not take time off from reading in the nights or days, unless she were impeded by the storms of certain incongruous tempests. If by chance she sensed that anything was exaggerated to her injustice, she sustained with patient mind all things as she stood out by the grace of blessed humility. She insisted on vigils, fasts and rather frequently went to sleep with prayers, by which through the Lord's support she could preserve inviolably the promised vow.
There are more things that we have got to know concerning her sanctity by the report to us from the servant of Christ the monk Felix, the abbot of the same monastery. We have left these things for the sake of avoiding tedium to that, which undoubtedly sent her forth to heaven, so we hurry forth as quickly as possible. So as she had the zeal of the greatest holiness and served God faithfully, as soon as she learnt of the martyrdom of the blessed Columba, immediately she burned inside with the fire of martyrdom, now reconstituted much happier with such news and she considered in silent and singular consideration by what steps she could attain that thing. Oh what wonderful vocation of the Lord and what approach of the supernal disposition laid open, by which no one predestined for martyrdom is defrauded of the glory of martyrdom, by which no one ascribed to the group of the saints can be held by human entrapment! But they say that much more before this time this virgin would have flown towards martyrdom, if she had not been impeded by some bolts of her kinsfolk, who preserved her with deep custody because of the savage persecutions.
But what use is the miserable condition of custody, when it has been written: 'If the Lord does not guard, they watch over in vain'[xxxvii]- that is, those who think that they can guard anything in human capacity? So as the night came upon and with the nocturnal vigil consummated in the praises of God, one of her brothers, as the rest retired to bed in order to rest, took the key and uncharacteristically opened the door of the monastery and pushed it back with hardly a nail placed over. He did this as though he were advised by divine intervention and certainly not without the providence of the Lord. She silently approached it and secretly opened the entrance and wandered through the darkness of the night illustrated by the heavenly light and undertaking that while horrid journey with vast solitude before the first looming of light, she entered the city as the morning grew light and did not hesitate to present herself to the sights of the judge. She put forth the account of the holy faith to him and denounced the unchaste prophet with simple exhortation, so immediately he decreed for her to be butchered by the sword. And thus set before the doors of the palace she was laid low after her head was cut off on the thirteenth day before the Kalends of October in era 891.[xxxviii] They cast forth her corpse into the river and it was brought together in a small pit by the zeal of certain hirelings and buried over with much dust. After this again, with Christ's support, almost twenty days later it was dragged out from there by the industry of certain months and they brought it back to the aforementioned sanctuary of the blessed virgin Eulalia, and in the same place it was buried with the ministry of the priests and religious ones at the feet of Saint Columba. Nonetheless we believe this was accomplished through divine dispensation, that those who had loved each other in their life with such great kindness, should also remain undivided in death and burial, with the Lord Jesus Christ reigning forever.
Chapter Twelve: Abundius the presbyter and martyr
But from this time after an interval of ten months, a certain presbyter called Abundius who arose from the village of Ananellos, which is in the Córdoban mountain, and there he pursued his priesthood. They say that he was dragged to his martyrdom by the scheming and trickery of certain heathens. But the servant of God, when she saw that he was being chosen by a certain vocation for the true sacrifice through divine intervention, approached with the agreeable mind where he was led unwillingly. And thus interrogated by the judge he laid open the account of the faith with fearless response, and finally tread down the wicked dogmatist and his cult followers with the charges of assertions. And so under quick indignation he was killed and left to the dogs and beasts to be devoured on the fifth day before the Ides of July, era 892.[xxxix]
Chapter Thirteen: The martyrdom of the saints Amator, Petrus and Hludovicus
So in the following time, there was a certain young presbyter called Amator, who had once come from the town of Tuccitanum to Córdoba with his father and brothers in order to learn. There were also Petrus the monk and Hludovicus our fellow Córdoban and the brother of the deacon Paulus, whose martyrdom the second book expounds: they came from the citizens of Córdoba. All these men bound themselves with one pact and chose to preach the truth of the Gospel. And so quickly under the profession of the preceding they were killed on the second day before the Kalends of May, in era 893.[xl] Their bodies, immersed in the river depths, were exposed to the shore by God's support after some days, and although the holy priest gave no news within of his rest, nonetheless the rest of the saints were venerably stored in the foreseen places. So the blessed Petrus was buried in the monastery of Pinna Mellaria, and Hludovicus rests with dignity in a village of the Italicensian province[xli] called Palma, which lies by the river Singilio.
Chapter Fourteen: Concerning the martyr Witesindus
In that tempest there was a certain man Witesindus of full age and from the Egabrensian province.[xlii] He had incurred the lapse of the holy faith some time ago because of some persecution. While he was being called to the practice of the recently adopted cult, he refused to remain infected with the sacrilege of this sort, which he had taken up suddenly because of both the infirmity of the flesh and the trickery of the devil. In that moment, while he was professing such things, he was killed under quick indignation, in the aforementioned era.[xliii]
Chapter Fifteen: The martyrdom of Helias the presbyter and Paulus and Isidorus the monks
Meanwhile Helias the presbyter already an old man from the province of Lusitania[xliv] along with Paulus and Isidorus the monks who were still flourishing with youthful age were killed under the profession of the prior people on the fifteenth day before the Kalends of May, in era 894.[xlv] Their bodies, raised on fork-shaped yokes, were after many days laid away in the Baetican bay.[xlvi]
Chapter Sixteen: Concerning Argimirus the monk and martyr
From there moreover Argimirus a certain professor- a nobleman and already full in age- originated from the Egabrensian town, and at a certain time was made censor of patrician Córdoba by the king. While he quietly cultivated the leisure of the monastery after he left the judicial administration, he was tricked by the trickery and hatred of certain heathens and was accused in the presence of the judge concerning insult of their prophet and he was rebuked for the profession of the divinity of the Son of God, and on the grounds that he professed no one else was more omnipotent than He and asserted the other man to be the author of falsehood and the leader of the damned. Immediately the slave of God placed under the large and most ferocious movement of the judge was bound with much restriction in the prisons. After some days the judge ordered him to come to his presence, while he was eager to transfer him to the false rite through his exhortations and with a certain flattery of words but he could not do so, he imposed the soldier of Christ- tenacious as he was in the holy intent- on the rack while he was still alive and killed him through the piercing of the sword on the fourth day before the Kalends of July, in era 894.[xlvii] When his body was laid down from the fork-shaped yoke after many days by the order of the judge, it was carried to the basilica of Saint Acisclus by the skill of a certain religious person and it was buried near the grave of the aforementioned martyr and saint Perfectus[xlviii] by the worthy ministry of the priests.
Chapter Seventeen: Concerning Aurea the virgin and martyr
In that storm a certain noble virgin, called Aurea, the sister of the saints Adulphus and Ioannes, the martyrs about whom we mentioned in the preceding sections, performed the reward of devotion from the time of their fall. She remained through almost thirty years[xlix] and more with the revealed studies of the sacred religion in the Cuteclariensian monastery,[l] which was dedicated from old times to the name of the holy and glorious Virgin Mary. She gave notification of her faith to all and not overshadowed by any fears, she managed the conversation of her Christianity with open meeting. And since she was endowed with her noble origin and was adorned with great pride of Arab descent, no one of the outsiders dared to complain of the virgin's faith. That was until some of her kinsfolk from the Hispalensian province,[li] from where she drew her origin came in order to inquire about the truthfulness of the rumour that was brought to them as well as the intention of the virgin. I think they were hastened by divine intervention, by which the crown of martyrdom already due to the virgin before the constitution of the world might be prepared for her and she might rejoice more readily in the heavenly things from the consummated triumph. They cleverly lied that they were visiting for the sake of looking out for their kinsperson. As they saw that not only was she Christian, but also marked with the sign of sacred devotion, they immediately referred a complaint about her to the judge, who also himself was related to the same virgin by the right of birth through the concrete lineages.
Therefore aroused by such a report he ordered her to attend before his sights, and asked with very gentle exhortation why she rendered herself degenerate through the servitude of the Christian faith even as she had been augmented so nobly and why she stained the honour of such a noble lineage with this cheap intention. He said: 'But you will be able to be absolved from all the filth as quickly as possible and receive the due clarity of the polished origin, if having regard for your own interest you choose for yourself to be admitted to the cults of our faith with the deepest vows and obeying us with the greatest affections you follow that which we follow and you hurry to go where we are led. But if you both abrogate us despised as we are and also those things we follow and you decide to follow with the intuition of faith those whom you have so far emulated, after various torments of terrible torture, after immense punishments of multiple pains, which you pay deservedly as the defendant in such a great crime, finally you will incur the punishment of the most disgraceful death.' They say in the same moment that the virgin yielded under the rebuke of the judge and promised that she would gladly carry out everything she was commanded to do. And since it is better for those who have not investigated to be silent about matters than to ventilate unknown things in insolence: by the cover of what matter this very negation inserted itself into the future virgin, whether through the fear of flesh or for the sake of dealing with a familial matter, I do not dare to testify as I did not discover, unless by chance we are to believe that she did not succumb through the infirmity of the flesh (as the conjecture of human judgement would suggest) on account of the subsequent events, in which afterwards she endured obstinately in the profession and obtained the merited laurel.
Therefore after the judge heard her profession, by which she had pledged in the presence of all to practise the rites of their law, he immediately granted her the freedom for her to go wheresoever she wanted. So she returned home immediately. And just as before as a soldier performing service for Christ, she in no way laid aside the proposition of the holy faith and she did not allow herself to be separated from the company of the faithful, but rather mixing herself very often with the gatherings of those whom the religion of piety pervaded, with appropriate weeping and internal emotion she lamented the lapse of the tongue and she bound the true confidence of her hope to the indulgence of the Redeemer, if by chance He should not drive away the guilty servant because of the guilt of error, for previously He had snatched away the adulterer from the death of stoning[lii] and received Petrus who was falling asleep from the fluctuations of the sea as he was to carry out the apostolic supremacy[liii] and He admitted the thief stained by murder to His company as He was going to traverse Paradise.[liv] And she did not believe that the momentary crime of the useless servant would obstruct the very abundant and incomparable piety of the Lord, as with Him very much pity and abundant and exuberant redemption has come before those unworthy of the gift of grace, and He pardons through the consideration of piety those for whom no payments for strenuous labour are at hand. Moreover the holy virgin increased her drive, multiplied her zeal of lamentation, multiplied vows upon vows and with double grief and emotion she pressed upon her mind greatly and strove with happy vows so that in the final agony, she should not be seized by the eternal punishment after being condemned for a crime or be driven away from the company of her brothers- namely the blessed martyrs Adulphus and Ioannes- through the congruent barriers of merits.
So with clear and fearless procession she frequently approached the church, now strengthened in the virtue of the Lord, removed from the earthly contagions and gasping to be ascribed to the heavenly assembly, if by chance she should be put before the judiciary by the renewed event of some testimony. But the cunning fellow[lv] did not bear these matters lightly. He understood that the recently got off was now serving as a soldier for her Creator with more faithful union than before and he did not observe that the trick of his trickery was of benefit in any way within, because he had come to know that with some stupor of dullness cast in, the tongue of the virgin was turned away lightly and carelessly from the profession of the truth. Noticing that she had been carried away in tongue, but not in heart, he undoubtedly complained to his fellow demons about the diminished progress, saying: 'This celibate woman previously honoured me by chance through her lips, but her heart, girded with the supernal virtue, is separated from my enticements by a great obstacle.' And so itching again to persecute the blessed virgin, he drove some new recruit to test her in her faith.
Meanwhile several of the heathens, investigating her conversation, nonetheless found the servant of Christ was following her prior habit. So immediately they put a complaint about her in the presence of the judge, asserted a crime and brought forth their tricks and contended with perverse tongues that the punisher should oppose the presumption of such great abuse and strike down such audacious acts with legal authority. So he, immediately aroused with vehement anger, ordered for her to be brought before his sights by the vicious ministry of the ferocious attendants. And immediately after she was displayed before him, he rebuked her concerning the contempt for the recently adopted cult, and threatened her about the neglect of the promised proposition and asked with horrible sounding shouts why she did not honour the decree of such great legal force. Then the virgin, who had known that she was already chosen for such a struggle by divine intervention, as she was eloquent with more prudent pronouncements of tongue, and already illustrated with the holy regard, replied to the judge: 'I was never separated from Christ my God, and never did I depart from the religion of His piety, never even for a moment did I adhere to your profanities, although some time ago in your presence the tongue of conversation succumbed by some lapse. But my art had trust in the Lord, who raised me within by the supports of His promises saying: 'He who believes in me, even if he has died, shall live.'[lvi] From there although I came into the trap of error by word, nonetheless I had my heart fortified with the vivid steadfastness of the holy faithfulness. For as soon as I departed from you I exercised with vows and tearful emotions the cult I had learned from my infancy, I kept the faith, and I held the proposition. Therefore now it only remains that either I should be punished according to the right of your profanity or if it is possible to pass over the deed of this sort unavenged, then it remains that you should let me go with all liberty to adhere to Christ the Lord.'
Then the most monstrous judge, inflamed by the assertion of the virgin, as he intended to make a report about her to the king, handed her over to the prisons and bound her with the huge weight of chains. On the next day he had her killed by the sword through the decree of the leader, and immediately ordered for her lifeless body to be suspended with head downwards on the fork-shaped yoke of a certain murdered, who had been fixed to it a few days before. Her blessed corpse, which was immersed in the Baetican waters[lvii] with the rest of the limbs of the thieves who had then been killed on account of disgrace, has so far provided no trace of appearance. But Christ our God and Lord, who is the helper of those who fight and the crowner of the martyrs, who gives power to the weary, brings about the desire of searching for Him and brings to them the intention of knocking on the provident door of His mercy.[lviii] By the manifold accomplishment of matters, He has taken up in peace His female servant who was known beforehand and predestined for the crown of martyrdom before the beginning of the world. This is in accordance with the dispensation He has decided on. To Him belong honour and glory, virtue and power forever. Amen. This virgin was crowned on the fourteenth day before the Kalends of August, in the aforementioned era.[lix]
[i] Muhammad I, the amir of Córdoba who succeeded his father Abd al-Rahman II.
[ii] A question that arises regarding the status of the dhimmi is what kind of jobs he can carry out in an Islamic state. While there would be little objection to employing a dhimmi in a lower-level state administrative role concerned with affairs of dhimmis (e.g. exacting jizya tax from them), more problematic is employing a dhimmi in a position that entails some kind of responsibility (wilaya) over affairs of the Muslims. For example, Ibn al-Qayyim (a theologian who wrote much later than the time of these events) condemned appointing dhimmis to such positions on the grounds that this means standing with them, and standing with them means being one of them as God explained and condemned (cf. Qur'an 5:51). Appointing a dhimmi to a wilaya, Ibn al-Qayyim explained, is incompatible with disavowal of the disbelievers and the imperative of making the disbelievers lowly.
As Mun'im Sirry documents, some jurists framed the issue of employing dhimmis in administrative functions in terms of a distinction between 'ministry of execution' and 'ministry of delegation,' in which the former merely carries out the orders of the caliph while the latter can exercise independent judgement on matters. The famous jurist al-Mawardi permitted employing dhimmis in a ministry of execution but regarded employing them in a ministry of delegation as impermissible. Others opposed granting dhimmis either kind of ministry. Sirry's article also provides multiple examples from the Abbasid Caliphate period of employing dhimmis in administrative functions suggesting some responsibility over affairs of Muslims, though there were also instances in which rulers sought to restrict dhimmi roles in high-level administrative positions.
It may be that Muhammad I's move was intended to enforce the idea of keeping Christians out of all high level administrative offices, especially those offices that could entail responsibility over affairs of the Muslims. However, if Jews were still in the palace circles of the amir as suggested by Eulogius' work it seems this enforcement was more politically motivated in relation to the martyrs movement rather than driven by some sort of religious fanaticism.
Also relevant in this context is the role of the exceptor reipublicae, who is mentioned in this work as having been removed from his position (despite his opposition to the martyrs movement) as part of Muhammad I's policies against Christians only to be restored to the palace after he converted to Islam. While it is clear that the exceptor was some kind of secretary, it is debatable whether this was some kind of Christian community representative position in the amir's palace.
[iii] Kenneth Baxter Wolf suggests references to census tax and tribute are simply synonyms for the jizya. In other words, Muhammad I amir was not reviving the jizya on Christians but likely increasing it. I would suggest however that while Eulogius' various references to taxes have the jizya tax in mind foremost (and this was the tribute he denounced as humiliating in the first book of Memoriale Sanctorum), it seems to me likely that in his discussions he is also referring to a land tax called kharaj that was imposed on Christians. It may be that the references to census tax/tribute are to be identified with kharaj. For further discussion of taxes in Muslim-ruled parts of Spain, see 'An Approximate Picture of the Economy of al-Andalus' in the Legacy of Muslim Spain (Part I, Volume 12).
[iv] Ecclesiasticus 10:2.
[v] He is mentioned in chapter fifteen of Book Two of Memoriale Sanctorum, as he spoke against Eulogius in a council of bishops and called for anathematization of the martyrs.
[vi] Original Latin: post bisseno mense. The word bissenus literally means twice times the sixth: i.e. the twelfth. But the precise sense here is variously interpreted. Either it is seen as referring to December 852 CE, or the twelfth month after the bishops' council convened by Abd al-Rahman II. I prefer to go with the latter reading as suggested by Kenneth Baxter Wolf.
[vii] Psalm 100:7.
[viii] Many scholars, based on the information presented and comparison with Arabic sources, identify the exceptor as Qumis bin Antonian, who converted to Islam and attained a high-level administrative position under Muhammad I.
[ix] Under the normal dhimmi restrictions, it is forbidden to build new churches or renovate ones that have fallen into disrepair. So this measure was essentially reimposing a restriction that had not been enforced.
[x] Other sources attest that there were revolts in this period centred on Toledo.
[xi] Suggesting that certain Jews held some high-level administrative functions even as the Christians faced exclusion at this point. The Jewish community as a whole was not subject to persecution in this time because there was no martyrs movement associated with it and was not tied to the provincial revolts mentioned here.
[xii] Proverbs 29:4.
[xiii] Eulogius is referring here to Christian tax collectors working for the state.
[xiv] Ecclesiasticus 36:11.
[xv] Cf. Matthew 18:6 and Luke 12:32.
[xvi] Cf. Proverbs 4:16.
[xvii] Cf. Proverbs 2:14.
[xviii] Cf. Ephesians 4:25.
[xix] Guadix in Andalusia.
[xx] As before, note that the understanding of this word is archaic in the sense of 'way of life' and it is the general understanding of this word in this work.
[xxi] The monastery of Tabanos.
[xxii] i.e. Of Berber origin.
[xxiii] A play on the meaning of the Latin adjective dignus, which means 'worthy.'
[xxiv] Appears to refer to Saint Agatha, who was a Christian martyr from Sicily during the third century CE.
[xxv] Seems to refer to Digna here.
[xxvi] Meaning 'unworthy.'
[xxvii] 14 June 853 CE. We can deduce from this date and the opening words 'on the next day' in this chapter that Fandila was killed on 13 June 853 CE.
[xxviii] 15 June 853 CE.
[xxix] Jeremiah 8:6.
[xxx] i.e. The monastery was shut down and razed as per the persecution policies, likely because it had been an epicentre for the martyrs movement.
[xxxi] Jeremiah 17:16.
[xxxii] Psalm 41:3-4.
[xxxiii] Philippians 1:23.
[xxxiv] Matthew 11:12.
[xxxv] John 8:12 and 11:26.
[xxxvi] 17 September 853 CE.
[xxxvii] Psalm 126:1.
[xxxviii] 19 September 853 CE.
[xxxix] 11 July 854 CE.
[xl] 30 April 855 CE.
[xlii] Egabra/Cabra in southern Spain.
[xliii] i.e. In 855 CE. Though the precise date is not specified, the story's placement in the book suggests some time in the period May-December 855 CE.
[xliv] A region in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula.
[xlv] 17 April 856 CE.
[xlvi] i.e. It seems that their bodies were thrown into the river and then flowed out into the sea.
[xlvii] 28 June 856 CE.
[xlviii] Whose martyrdom was detailed in Book One of the Memoriale Sanctorum.
[xlix] Based on this point, we can determine that Adulphus and Ioannes were martyred in the 820s CE.
[l] The monastery of Cuteclara.
[li] The province of Seville.
[lii] Cf. John 8:11.
[liii] Cf. Matthew 14:25 ff. This is the story of when Peter got off the boat, and walked on water towards Jesus, and then began to sink and cried out to Jesus to save him.
[liv] Cf. Luke 23:43.
[lvi] John 11:25.
[lvii] The Guadalquivir.
[lviii] Cf. John 10:9, where Jesus describes himself as the door through which people shall be saved if they enter.
[lix] 19 July 856 CE.