Having translated and commented on all of Saint Eulogius' major works on this site, I now turn to his last remaining writings that take the form of letters. The letters of Eulogius are as follows:
- Letter to Álvaro of Córdoba asking for his opinion on the book Memoriale Sanctorum Book One.
- Letter to Álvaro of Córdoba asking for his opinion on the book Documentum Martyriale.
- Letter to Álvaro of Córdoba following his release from prison and noting the martyrdom of Flora and Maria.
- Letter to Baldegotho (the sister of Flora) noting the martyrdom of Flora and Maria.
- Letter to Wiliesindus the bishop of Pamplona, documenting the author's travels in northern Spain (mostly Aragón and Navarre) and promising to send saintly relics to the bishop. These travels are mentioned in Álvaro of Córdoba's biography of Eulogius and were likely in the period 848-850 CE, as suggested by Alwyn Harrison.
Also included in the collection of letters are the replies Álvaro of Córdoba sent to Eulogius providing feedback on his two books. Unsurprisingly, the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. The letters asking for feedback on the two works date from the time of Eulogius' imprisonment in late 851 CE. The letter to Wiliesindus also dates from the time of his imprisonment. The letter to Baldegotho probably dates from the time after Eulogius' release from prison. That the letter to Álvaro of Córdoba noting the martyrdom of Flora and Maria dates from the time after Eulogius' release from prison has already been noted above.
I would like to dedicate the translation and commentary on these letters to my friend Jonathan Krohn, who has shown interest in the works of Eulogius and his concepts of the predestination of the martyrs.
The following editions of the Latin text have been consulted and checked for Biblical references in particular:
- Juan Gil, Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum (Madrid, 1973).
- Francisco de Lorenzana, SS. PP. Toletanorum Quotquot Extant Opera...Tomus Secundus (Madrid, 1785).
Below are the letters in translation with notes. As always, any suggestions for amendments are welcome.
Letter of Eulogius to Albarus of Córdoba [correspondence on Memoriale Sanctorum Book One].
Eulogius to Albarus my most fear brother in the Lord Jesus Christ:
Once, my brother, invigorated by domestic tranquillity and with family cares pacified all things prospered rather comfortably for me. But when suddenly we were all thrown into disarray from the martyrdom of the blessed Isaac[i] and the whole city was amazed at the such great newness of the matter, all- both clerics and laypersons- began to revere with magnanimity that which was done and extoll the constancy of such a great preacher with the greatest honour. And while the gathering divine heat was inflaming many and was driving groups of the faithful to descend into the forum and to detest the enemy of the church with the profession of the faith sent forward, immediately all terrified by the anger of the savage tyrant changed their opinions with unheard changeability, as they detracted and cursed and declared both those who do such things and those who support them to be guilty of great crime, with very few (as you yourself are not unaware) separated from the sacrilege of such things, as they in no way changed their first opinion about the venerability of the saints. Concerning this matter I strove to engage in this effort and to shape the succinct mediocrity of this little book for the acquisition of strength through the Lord's help, so that rendering its testimony about us to future generations I should either attain the infamy of lying or the title of praise from them, since we nonetheless hope to receive from the Lord on account of this the prize of the defender of justice. This work was almost finished, when the furious governor's decision sent me to the horrible prisons, with all my family disturbed by the break-in of the state personnel. As it had been deposited in various papers and leads, I thought that it had been dispersed through various things. But then with the Lord's preservation, now amid the narrow confinements of prison and at last with His help that work not only merited to be finished, but also to be transcribed elsewhere and chose itself to be known to no one else other than you first, because it rather does not dare to be publicised to others than not wanting, lest the uncultivated material should provide the adversaries an opportunity for detraction , lest the unpolished discourse display a source of ridicule for the hateful ones. Hence to you, most dear brother, the most just judgement on my scant knowledge, I arranged to transmit the work first still distributed as it is on cheap parchments, so that if you approve it polished by brotherly judgement, it may be revealed. If you disapprove, it should be silent. And from there let the armed right-hand cut the wedges of mutterings with a step that cannot fall and let it accede to its faithful in victory, so that in imbuing the Catholic flock with simple exhortation, whatever it has merited of glory may be admitted to your praises and the whole blessing of it may be applied to your part. But if you decree that it is caught up in the whirlwinds of its sluggishness and should be put to sleep in eternal silence, no one will be able to mock it mute, no one will be able to defame it as it is silent. So I beseech your serenity that driven by the kindness by which we are both unshakeably joined together, you should emend through the choice of our decision this work called Memoriale Sanctorum through perusal of it, and may you refine it through review, and if it will bear the merit of its name, you should strengthen it by your testimony, so that you may rejoice with the very same saints about whom we speak with the memory of your name ascribed in the heavenly page, so long as the grace of their intervention has displayed for me a place of resting in the last corner of paradise. Amen. Goodbye in the Lord Jesus Christ, most serene brother.
Albarus' reply to Eulogius
Albarus to the most reverent father Eulogius
My master, you have restored the profits of the prior people and you have opened up for all the faithful the previous Catholic glow that had been obliterated just like a blocked up fountain of eternal life intended for sowing that flows forth from the breast of Jesus with the veins gushing out. For He who having pitied the error of this age of ours revealed the hidden struggle of his athletes, has himself inspired the great teacher before all, whom He should make the truest praiser of such things. Certainly equipped with heavenly vigour, not with that which is transient and of this world, and decorated equally with divine and human eloquence you both run forth first in encouraging the martyrdom and sweating before the other soldiers of the eternal palaestra and waging the wars of the Lord, you rise above all in defending the church. Truly that spirit has touched the hearts of your prudence: the one which sent once upon a time to the apostles decorated the church with various gifts, and which armed for the fight the heroes about whom we speak, and chose them for glory and led them to the eternal crown. The same spirit sharpens more than usual the constancy of your faith and the eloquence of your eloquent tongue or the doctrine of wisdom flowing forth and has imbued them in the matters of dogma pleasing to it with the same gift as has been known to please it alone.
And although the philosophical saying and abundant oration of the fount of Tullianus retain that three-fold kind of speaking[ii] for the innate natural caution, nonetheless one must consider with greater praise that which was arranged in the apostolic manner. For in one and, as it seems, a small volume, you both bring forth the indescribable light of heaven and represent not moderately the charm of human conversation, while you both sprinkle the rhetorical flower of the orators and offer the divine food for the readers. The milky stream of Livius[iii] is subject to you, that sweet worldly tongue of Cato yields to you,[iv] as well as the fervent ingenuity of Demosthenes and the once rich eloquence of Cicero[v] and the florid Quintilianus.[vi] And the one long praised[vii] with the pen in matters that are lost, transient and rushed downward with the rotation of the transient life, and every doctrine refined in one thousand ways, joined to the most splendid work, have become obsolete and tainted. The earthly brightness is equalled by no part of the sky and the immortal ingenuity is extolled by the immoral praise. For that which has been brought together by the supernal gift does not know how to be ended. For the good man brings forth from his good treasure those things which are good and the scribed taught by God brings forth from God's treasure the new and old things, from which he may rule the family of the greatest Father.
You have decorated, my most holy one, the last times of our age and brought forth the odour of nectar for the subsequent generations to taste, so that from generation to generation our age may be praised and your name may diffuse a scent in all the lands of the Earth. The divine vigour is not in need of the human preaching and that which stands out as laudable through itself is undoubtedly glorious on first impression. For the beautiful, as soon as it is seen, although it may be seen from afar, is loved, and the fiery-haired traveller of the centre, as soon as it rises, is approved as the eye of the sky and does not need laborious sight, because in rising it provides a view to those who do not see it.
So as you serve humility and subject to my judgement that which you have drawn up with divine oracle, although you tinge your words on account of our building and you more sufficiently merge the truth into an angle away from its step of the path, nonetheless you must be careful- while you very much serve humility- not to infringe on the judgement of truth, while you impose on such great material that which is last and you have proved as unknown many times and you not only do not discern the precious from the cheap, but what is to be feared more, you mix in filth and mud. Indeed as you tie to our censure, which is none, the decision as to whether it should be kept quiet or publicised, carry through with patience our opinion and strengthen the codex- shining as it is with starry splendour- for the remedy of the many, if it is right to be said, through letters for eternity. For you have made, most blessed father, a resounding poem, by which the enchanted fear of death may flee and the stupor of the soul hardened by the old glacier and the cold may be driven away, so that the heat of life and the godly fire, which Christ came to send, may burn and the extinguished charcoals and dead bodies may live as the spirit blows from the four parts of the world and they may receive the light extinguished by the Arabic trickery. Hail to you, hail to the you who are always to be reckoned of glory, as you have not only fulfilled the duty of the tongue in the praises of the professors, but also by the grace of the mouth you partly sense the punishment of the professors as reward for them and sowing the word of the kingdom amid the savage prisons and bonds of custody you flourish with the happier victory. He who placed in the punishments does not keep his tongue in check and alone is not silent on behalf of all ought to be praised for all generations. Be splendid and shine with more ample light by which you glow, because the rewards have been stored for you and the hundred-fold crown remains for you, and protect us by your help, by which you have always provided comfort.
Eulogius to Albarus [correspondence on Documentum Martyriale]
Eulogius to my most dear brother Albarus
Always, my brother, stung by the recollection of my sins I do not lose the daily grief, because the state of sinning on account of frequent use is not lacking from me. In addition to these things I have been worn out by the vehement grief of prison and no less suddenly has the weariness occurred to me regarding that day, in which your serenity warned me not to desist from glorification of the soldiers of Christ, lest I should render in vain my first opinion about them. Moreover, because they resisted with manliness the enemy of injustice, the cruelty of the tyrant confined us to the hardships of prison, attributing to our encouragements that which was inspired into them by divine intervention, as though this would be an easy opportunity for us to curse (may it be absent) those whom I had once praised and had extolled to be praised in word and pen. Concerning this matter I was compelled to take on the toil of this little work, which by chance might render testimony to the future generations about our belief in their victory and might provide the support of the hope of struggle for these virgins imprisoned with us on account of the profession of the truth. In my judgement I have believed it should be called Documentum Martyrii. But it is for you, most dear brother, to give authority to this volume, because before the gaze of the same virgins should approach it, I wanted it to be polished by your judgement, lest by chance through the error of lack of knowledge it should contradict Catholic dogma in some ways. With regards in the Lord Jesus Christ, most dear brother.
Albarus to Eulogius
In reading the luminous Documentum of your work I have judged it to have been elegantly collected from those good eastern fruit trees, about which one reads, and extracted with laborious skill from those vital juices and from the fountain of virtues that is split into four parts, alongside the innate study of literature. And not in examination, but in admiration I read the text of the whole laudable little work. And as it was brought forth from the treasure of the wisdom of God by a learned scribe with new and old rebuilding, I have deeply and profoundly investigated the whole thing, and I have found nothing in the most gentle breast of your humbleness that I should return to such a great work. Indeed in the manner of that Ioseph[viii] you dispense the stored wheat in the time of necessity and you provide the provision of nourishment to those labouring with hunger in the spring and you make the parched hearts grow fat through the spiritual fat. For whatever could ever be consumed by anyone from the holy sources of the scripture, it has been taken up, discussed and arranged by you, and plainly to us all wanting to mutter something there remains from there the imposed silence. For eloquently and splendidly in the manner of the orators, indeed with scholastic erudition the whole work has been explained and completed equally with human and divine instruction it does not lack the discussion, but rather seeks to be praised, and does not commit itself to be examined by labourers for lack of knowledge, but rather pours itself to be extolled with high bellowing into the hearts worthy of the commendations of the ribbons of the mitre and lofty by praise of virtues.[ix] So since you entrust such great glowing to my judgement lacking in knowledge (judgement which you have often approved), although this is known to be ascribed to the humility innate in you, nonetheless you should be careful lest the glow of the material and the splendour of the author should be tainted with gloomy horror, particular since the darkness is shaken out by the light and always the horrid darkness of the clouds is put to flight by the splendour, as the clouds, dense with thickness, are cleared up by the golden ray of light. And it has not been proven that vice-versa the darkness shakes out the light or the dense air subdues the Sun by its judgement. I indeed, my master, do not dare to subject to human judgement a little work worthy of the church of God and dedicated in the first place in the votive offering of its heart to Christ the creator and the crowner of the martyrs. For I have known that this little work has certainly been brought forth with divine inspiration from the inner depth of your chest. And indeed as the Holy Spirit has spoken through you, so also the name- which the author himself has imposed on it by the consensus of the good, indeed by your choice- our smallness which you consult determines that this name should stick to it forever and be vigorous through the perpetual memory. Hastily and quickly did I read the little work, but I hesitated to retain it for the purpose of writing anew, lest by chance I should have been culpable to your love. But I ask that it should be written to the sisters in another quaternion with more open hand and that one should be turned back to me again in order to write anew.
The letters of Saint Eulogius [collection of three letters]
First letter to Albarus
From Eulogius to Albarus, my most dear brother in the Lord Jesus Christ
The Lord has magnified His mercy with us, my brother, and we have become rejoicing,[x] because we see that those to whom we taught the word of life in tears have obtained the fruit of victory in joy. For we see that our virgins- with the prince of darkness defeated, the delights of worldly affections spurned, and the lamps of spelt grains lit up- have jumped forth to meet their bridegroom and the king of the heavens.[xi] And because they always prepared themselves as the living sacrificial victim, holy and pleasing to God, so approaching the thresholds of the heavenly court they entered by the invitation of Christ to the weddings, singing a new song and saying: 'You are worthy, our Lord God, to accept the glory and the honour, because You have redeemed us from the power of the darkness and make us worthy of the lot of Your saints and brought us across into Your eternal kingdom.'[xii] And although the whole church has this joy concerning their victories, nonetheless I in particular am extolled above the rest with a certain exultation of pleasure, because I observe that not in vain did I put forth the Documentum Martyriale to them, as they were almost slipping away from their step by the rebuke of certain people. Granted that both their vocation and their sanctification by God the Father without doubt proceeded from the beginning of the world, nonetheless our intent has in their instruction its reward stored in the presence of the Lord, who has promise that the granting of a small chalice given in His name will be remunerated.[xiii] For on the tenth day or thereabouts before they were led to martyrdom, that judge summoned my mistress Flora to his hearing of iniquity by the instigation of her brother and ordered her to be turned back into the prison after he recognised her most unconquered profession, by which the handmaiden of Christ reproached the judge and cast down the adversary of the faith. Therefore I approached the prisons, in which they were being held, and humbly asked my mistress what was the judge's interrogation of her and what was her response to the judge.
But she, as she was decorated with an angelic aspect, glowing by the grace of the supernal clarity, with cheerful face, chaste mouth, as though already animated by certain joys of the heavenly homeland, smiled and replied to me: While today I was presented to the judge, teacher, and my brother the adversary of our faith was not standing far off from the other side (and it was by his persecution I fell into this lake), I was asked whether I recognised him. I testified that this was my biological brother. The judge said: 'Why does this one remain the most approved worshipper of our faith while you profess Christ?' I replied: 'Eight years ago,[xiv] oh judge, when I was occupied with the darkness of error, I served the father's laws and served the heathen error. But as the author of piety illuminated me, I chose the faith of the Christians, on account of which I determined to struggle all the way to death.' And what,' said the judge, 'is your opinion today regarding that which you professed in my presence a while ago?' Of course with the interrogations thrust away I expressed the rebuke of his prophet by which some time ago with fear removed I declared my detestation of the author of the sect of perversity, when I returned again from my hiding places to the passion and I sought the forum and approached the judge.[xv] 'I express exactly the same things, oh judge, as you heard me first expounding. And if you are still asking me, I will reply to you even greater things about him than before.' Then he threatened me with death with inflated lips, swollen throat and harsh words in tongue and he ordered me to be returned to the prison.'
After my mistress replied with these words to me by the honey-sweet relation of her mouth, I strengthened her with what words I could. I advised her about the hope of earning the crown and I admired her angelic look with reclining necks. From there commending myself to her prayers and fortunate merits and having been renewed by her most reverent conversations, I returned to the hiding places of my prison. Thus I beseech your fraternity, most dear master, that you should only deign to arrange for the memory of posterity the deeds of their passion with brief pen, just as you should always merit to be covered by their help. But on the very day on which the death of these glorious girls under the profession of the name of Christ was related to us, we all rushed to the arms of prayers and spent the ninth hour in the praise of God, and from there with the exultations increased we celebrated vespers, morning prayers and the missal sacrifice in succession for the honour and glory of our virgins. And we all committed ourselves to be protected and cherished by their patronage. And as the hope of all was not placed perfunctorily in their merits, so, as you see, Christ favoured their victories and glorious interventions and released us from the bonds and got us out of the prison enclosure on the sixth day after they were crowned. Indeed they proclaimed this to certain familiar sisters before they suffered, that soon after they should attend to Christ their crowner, they would intervene for our liberation. And thus indeed they fulfilled their martyrdom on the eighth day before the Kalends of December,[xvi] we were dismissed on the third day before the same Kalends,[xvii] magnifying and blessing the name of our God, who strengthened in the struggle His holy virgins Flora and Maria (and they overcame), and He freed us through their worthy merits in peace, as He has been blessed forever. Amen.
Second letter to Baldegotho
Eulogius the servant of Christ sends regards to Baldegotho our most dear sister in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let it be known to you, mistress sister, that the mistress and most holy female patron of ours- your sister Flora- consummated her martyrdom in peace on the eighth day before the Kalends of December, on the third day of the week, at the ninth hour,[xviii] together with her companion the blessed Maria the Cuteclarensian nun, who sent forth into heaven her brother the deacon Walabonsus among the prior martyrs.[xix] They persevered in the holy profession all the way to death. So, most dear sister, we order you to remain supported with as much wealth of consolation as that by which we without doubt believe that they have been placed among the dwellers of heaven and the groups of the blessed virgins, holding the palms of victory, every day singing a new song before the throne of the Lamb and saying: 'You are worthy, our Lord God, to accept the glory and the honour, because You have redeemed us from the power of the darkness and make us worthy of the lot of Your saints and brought us across into Your eternal kingdom.'[xx] You indeed, most beloved, be eager to adorn your life with the worthy customs that please God, by which you may reign with Christ in eternity and join the groups of the blessed virgins. Finally we have sent to you for the memory of your venerable sister Flora the belt that she used in prison. Goodbye in the Lord and pray for us, most dear sister.
Third letter to Wiliesindus
Eulogius the presbyter sends regards to the most reverent and holy minister of God, y master and father Wiliesindus the bishop of the seat of Pamplona.
Once, most blessed father, the terrible fortune of this life, which led away my brothers Alvarus and Isidorus[xxi] from their native soil and almost made them become exiles in the further parts of Gallia Togata[xxii] with Hludovicus the king of Baioaria,[xxiii] compelled me also to approach various regions on account of them and undergo unknown and laborious journeys. The way had been crowded with robbers and some time ago all of Gothia[xxiv] had been disturbed by the deadly incursion of Wilhelmus,[xxv] who relying in that time on the help of Habdarraghman the king of the Arabs[xxvi] launched an insurrection against Carolus the king of the Franks[xxvii] and had rendered everything inapproachable and inaccessible. On account of these things, I had turned to the Pamplonian parts and had thought that I would quickly migrate from there. But again that region, which makes a border between Pamplona, Seburici[xxviii] and Gallia Comata,[xxix] raised more obstinate necks to destroy the aforementioned Carolus through the factions of count Sanctius Sanctio,[xxx] and coming against the authority of the aforementioned leader besieged the whole way and brought monstrous danger on travellers. In that time your beatitude displayed great consolation to me in that journey, and indeed bearing the image of the greatest Teacher and obeying in truth His precepts you did not hesitate to renew me through guest hosting, as I had been commended to you by the true kindness of Jesus Christ who says: 'I was a stranger and you took me in.'[xxxi] So eager to place the treasures of merits with the Father in the heavens you provide the necessary things for the destitute, you provide embrace in all things, you provide protection in all things, in such a way that in this exile of mine I have only sighed in longing for the affectionate presence of my brothers who are away and my family who have been left behind. I was often grieving, but you, father, assiduously provided consolation to the one grieving. I wept much, but you relieved the one laid low through your pious compassion, indeed as per the apostle you were infirm with me, you were sad with me and you lamented abundantly when I wept.[xxxii] And since the manifold grief did not allow me to reside in one place, I decided to visit the places of the saints, so that I might relieve my mind cast down with the greatest griefs.
And most of all I decided to approach the monastery of the blessed Zacharias, which is situated at the roots of the Pyrenees mountains at the doorkeepers of the aforementioned Gallia, in which the river Aragus[xxxiii] rising with rapid course irrigates Seburis[xxxiv] and Pamplona is poured into the Cantabrian river.[xxxv] This monastery, decorated with the most renowned zeal for regular discipline in exercise, glowed with all setting. But you, father, help the one gasping and instruct the one going away with salutary consultation and cherish the one going with the pious accompaniment of the brothers. But before I came to the same place, I stayed for several days at the Legerensian monastery[xxxvi] and got to know that in the same place were men outstanding in the fear of God. From there I travelled through some places and then others and at last through divine gift I reached that monastery which I longed for rather often. Indeed in charge of it at the time was the abbot Odoarius,[xxxvii] a man of the greatest sanctity and great knowledge, who worthily undertaking us displayed all humanity towards us, beyond which can be reported.
So in that college of the blessed congregation, which almost exceeded one hundred in number, some were indeed like the stars of heaven, but the rest thus shone with the various virtues of their merits. There flourished in several the perfect kindness of Christ, which sends fear out the doors. And humility extolled the majority of them with high peak. By this humility, each one thought himself inferior to his junior, so they sought to become imitators of the precepts of God. Indeed many, although they were weak in body, nonetheless they relied on the virtue of magnanimity and they exercised the enjoined obedience with keener minds. Thus also the obedience, which is the master of all virtues, asserting its principate in some, did not allow its executors to degenerate, but drove whomever it had illustrated with its gift to exercise great things beyond their strength. All worked in rivalry, and inviting each other they strove to outdo each other. In turn the ardour for pleasing God and the brothers was increased and each one exercised the industry of his own skill for the common success. Others exercised more diligently the care for travellers and guests and exercised obedience to all arrivals for their hospitality as though Christ were coming down. Since indeed there were so many, none murmuring, no one arrogant took part. All were keen for silence and reclining on concealed prayers through the whole night they overcame the nocturnal chaos through wakeful meditation, fortifying themselves with great circumspection, lest they should be marked with the reproach of the oracles of the psalmist, who says: 'They have slept through their sleep and found nothing.'[xxxviii]
But what can the mortal tongue report about the virtues of the saints, who placed in the lands act like angels and who, although they converse among men, nonetheless bear the heavenly intent? Staying with them for a little while, although I wanted to depart from them, all rushed forth on the ground, and demanded me to pray for them and asked with supplicating entreaty why they were being abandoned so quickly by me. Indeed then my most dear son Theodemundus the deacon displayed companionship for me, as he joined my company without being torn apart from the beginning of my journey all the way to the end and accomplished with me the crises of that whole journey. So as we returned the venerable abbot Odoarius and the prefect Ioannes provided companionship for us, holding conversation about the divine scriptures through the whole day all the way till the evening. Thus also with kisses given by each other, we departed and we immediately returned to you, apostle of God, and by your conception we merited to be received with such great venerability of honour by the elders.
Therefore although I desired to visit the own estate of my pious mother Elisabeth and the two sisters Niola and Anulo and the younger brother Ioseph, you compelled me to remain still and did not allow me to depart even as I was grieving. But you could not heal now my heart struck with both wounds: my hear to which both the journey of the brothers and being away from my family brought daily lamentation. So trusting in our kindness you asked that I should seek Córdoba again and direct to you the remains of the holy martyr Zoylus and illustrate the peoples of Pamplona with this gift. Immediately I responded that I would satisfy your request and I promised in truth that I would be owing this matter to you.
And when I was departing from you, I quickly reached Caesaraugusta[xxxix] for the sake of my brothers, whom the common opinion mentioned were participating in the cohorts of the businessmen descending recently in the same place from the lap of further Francia.[xl] From there approaching the city I indeed found businessmen, but I discovered by their account that my travelling brothers were away in Maguntia, the most noble city of Baioaria.[xli] And we learnt that this news of the businessmen was true, as our brothers returned by God's support in the following time from inner Gallia.
Then I spent some time with the pontifex Senior, who was then governing the same city with the just customs of life, and then I descended to Complutum, and suddenly I crossed through the city of Segontia,[xlii] which was then being governed by the most prudent man Sisemundus. And when I was worthily taken up by Venerius the Complutensian bishop, after the fifth day I returned to Toletum, where I found the still vigorous Wistremirus the bishop our most holy old man (the little torch of the Holy Spirit and the lamp of all Hispania).[xliii] The sanctity of this man's life illustrated the whole world and so far restored the Catholic flock through the goodness of his customs and his high merits. We spent many days with him and joined his angelic company.
And when I had called myself back into the home, I found all things safe: namely my mother and the two sisters and the youngest of all of us in age Ioseph, whom the savage indignation of the tyrant had cast down from the principate in that time.[xliv] The destitute family undertook its traveller and rejoiced with joyful minds that the Lord had visited after a long time, as though raised from the tomb. I indeed- extolling you as father in all my conversation- always consider your beneficence amid the familial discussions, and bearing the affection of your kindness in my heart I embrace it with the arms of my mind.
Indeed the long-winded bowl of the lands intercedes and so we are separated from each other by much spaces, and also there is some other monstrous chaos standing in the way, by which I placed in Córdoba will wail under the impious empire of the Arabs, while you located in Pamplona merit to be protected by the dominion of the Christian ruler.[xlv] As both sides always struggle against each other with grave conflict they deny free transit to those travelling. In these circumstances, it is also that we have not paid the due service to your goodness, and that we have not satisfied your pious longing in transmitting the remains, or because we have not considered it right to commit such and such great wealth to any old person. But now, indeed by God's dispensation the master Galindo Enneconis going back to his own property desires to visit his territory. Through him we have destined for you the remains of the aforementioned martyr. But also we have transmitted the remains of Saint Acisclus, which you did not demand from us, so that as you happily fulfill the vow of your sponsorship by constructing a basilica for their blessed memory, their patronage should come to benefit us through God's support on account of this obedience, while Christ compensates and grants you all those things which you have done for us and which you have done towards us. For the obedience you once displayed towards us is not hidden to Him and He is able to repay you one hundred-fold benefit with pious remuneration. For He said: 'He who receives you, receives me, and he who spurns you, spurns me. And he who receives a prophet in the name of the prophet, will receive the reward of the prophet. And he who receives a just person in the name of the just, will receive the reward of the just.'[xlvi] All these things, father, have been stored for you in the presence of the Lord. All those things that are owed for your labours remain save and unharmed with Him, to be received from Him in the necessary time, when the just judge arrives, to render to each person either the reward or punishment for the quality of his labours.
In short, most blessed father, we do not want you to ignore our tribulation, which we endure in these days through the impediment of our defect, so that as we defend ourselves more eagerly than usual through the shield of prayers we may merit to be saved from the profound labyrinth of irksome things by the merit of your intercession that cannot be repudiated- for we believe it has much force in the view of the Lord. For in the present year, which is era 889,[xlvii] the savage tyrannical fury blazed and overturned all things against the church of God, devastated all things, dispersed all things, imprisoning the bishops, presbyters, abbots, deacons and all the clergy and whomever it could capture in that time, it bound with the iron and submerged in underground caves as though they were the dead of this world. Among them I the lovable sinner of yours was bound and together we all equally suffered the horrid squalors of the prisons. The persecution has made the church a widow deprived of the sacred ministry, it has deprived it of the oracle, and it has alienated it from the duty. And there is not in this time an offering for us, nor sacrifice, nor incense, nor a place of the first-fruits, where we may be able to appease our Lord, but in worn down soul and in the spirit of humbleness we render the vows of praise to Christ, in such a way that away from the gathering with the singing of the psalmody ceasing, the inner depths of the prison resound with the holy murmur of hymns. All these things the master Galindo will be able to tell you in detail through prudent relation, because we- partly depressed by grief, and partly avoiding the distaste of unpolished discourse- have bound the letter by its limits, lest the epistolary brevity should transition into some kind of treatise.
But so that the times of the future generations may be illustrated and so that they should not be unaware of our tribulations and hardships, let us at least pluck out a few things from very many. For some of the presbyters, deacons, monks, virgins and lay people, armed with the sudden zeal of divinity have descended into the forum and have repulsed the enemy of the faith, detesting and cursing their wicked and criminal prophet Mahomat. And in this way raising the animated spirit against him they brought forth the testimony: 'This man, whom you revere with the greatest veneration and whose false sect brought out by the instinct of demons you undertake with such great honour, we have known to be a mage, adultery and liar and we profess that his believers are to be confined to the traps of eternal perdition. Why therefore do you, even as you are most prudent men, take part in such sacrileges and not rather strive for the truth of the Gospel? As they professed these things and similar things to them, in so far as the Spirit granted for them to speak, in the sight of the kings and leaders, they were all killed by the avenging sword. They hung their beheaded bodies on posts and after some days burned them with fire and submerged their ashes to be lost in the river waters. But they left many that were unburied before the doors of the palace and exposed them to be devoured by birds and dogs, with the guardianships of the soldiers put in place, lest any of the Christians driven by humanity should bury the corpses stripped of the fleshes, as has been written: 'They have placed the mortal remains of Your servants as carrion for the birds of the sky, the fleshes of Your saints for the beasts of the earth. They have poured out their blood as water in the circuit of Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.'[xlviii] We will explain their names and the days of their executions in the end of the letter. We remain bound by the cause of this matter, we have been imprisoned because of this, attributing to our inspiration and ascribing to our idea whatever they have done illustrated by divine intervention. So we beseech that you apply the aids of your prayers in our defence and you make our imprisonment known to all of your monasteries, and that you should order them to be devoted and bent over in pious prayer, so that after the end of the toil of this world you may rejoice in the eternal prize.
Indeed the duties of salutations, which we have long omitted by bringing forth others, now we have undertaken with mind inclined forwards, and we implore you to be vigorous in the happier series of times, as we ask that you do not deem it unworthy to greet our lovable and most dear fathers for us with the safe reverence of your honour: that is, Fortunius the abbot of the Legerensian monastery, with all his college, Athilius the abbot of the Cellensian monastery with all his college, Odoarius the abbot of the Serasiensian monastery with all his group, Scemenus the abbot of the Igalensian monastery with all his college, and Dadila the abbot of the Hurdaspalensian monastery with all his college. We also greet in the holy kiss the rest of the fathers, whom we considered tutors and consolers in our journey, and every school of the Lord.
In the name of the Lord, with the Lord Jesus Christ reigning forever, in the 850th year of his incarnation, in era 888, on the fourteenth day before the Kalends of May Perfectus the presbyter fell.
In the following year, which is now, in era 889, on the third day before the Nones of June, Isaac the monk fell, and after him Sanctio[xlix] the layperson from the Alavensian town, on the Nones of June, in this same era, triumphed with the death of martyrdom.
From there Petrus the presbyter, the deacon Walabonsus, Sabinianus, Wistremundus, Habentius and Iereimias the monks were killed in one day in one hour on the seventh day before the Ides of June in the aforementioned era.
But Sisenandus the deacon was laid low on the seventeenth day before the Kalends of August in the same era.
Paulus the deacon was executed on the thirteenth day before the Kalends of August in the aforementioned era.
Theodemirus the monk was killed on the eighth day before the Kalends of August in the same era.[l]
These are those who handed over their bodies in death on account of the testimony of truth, so that they might live forever, and indeed also now they have shut away along with us in prison the two virgins of Christ- Flora and Maria- on account of the same profession and everyday make threats regarding their end.
This letter was given on the seventeenth day before the Kalends of December through Galindus Enneconis the illustrious man, in era 889.[li]
[i] Isaac the monk, who was martyred on 3 June 851 CE.
[ii] In the Scholia of Ambrosius Moralis, the following is written on this passage: 'The rhetoricians distinguish the three-fold kind of speaking: high, middle and low. Almost into the same categorisation come Asian, Rhodian and Attic.'
[iii] Livy, a Roman historian.
[iv] In the Scholia of Ambrosius Moralis, the following is written on this passage: 'I do not see why he has called the tongue of Cato worldly. Unless by chance there were to be an error in the name of Cato, or in the epithet, that one should read singularis.'
[v] Marcus Tullius Cicero.
[vi] Marcus Fabius Quintilianus, who lived in the first century CE and wrote the Institutiones and Declamationes Maiores.
[vii] In the Scholia of Ambrosius Moralis, the following is written on this passage: 'This author who should have been named above all, has been left by him without a name: and it is not possible to guess to whom he is alluding.'
[viii] The biblical Joseph, who served as the vizier of Egypt (as per the Book of Genesis).
[ix] In the Scholia of Ambrosius Moralis, the following is written on this passage: 'This means, as far as I can ascertain, that rather the work should have been handed over to the bishops and the teachers worthy of the greatest priesthoods in order to be judged. For since Alvarus was a layperson (as we Christians have been accustomed to say), the judgement of the holy works, such as this was of Saint Eulogius, could not pertain to him. The things that follow in this sentence, were regrettably distorted in the old codex. We have restored in whatever way we could.'
[x] Cf. Psalm 125:3.
[xi] Referring to the virgins Flora and Maria, who were martyred on 24 November 851 CE.
[xii] Cf. Revelation 5:9-10.
[xiii] Cf. Mark 9:40.
[xiv] Flora's meaning here is that she first publicly identified herself as a Christian eight years ago. Prior to this point she had been practising Christianity in secret and was publicly identified as a Muslim. After she publicly came out as a Christian she went in hiding among the Christian communities from place to place (Memoriale Sanctorum Book Two). In the Documentum Martyriale, Eulogius mentions that Flora had been in hiding from place to place for six years. The timeline based on the data then is that Flora came out as a Christian in 843 CE, went into hiding from place to place until 849 CE, returned to her brother's presence and was punished in that year, and then escaped into hiding until she decided to go to the forum with Maria and denounce the Prophet Muhammad.
[xv] Referring to her coming out again, this time with Maria, to denounce the Prophet Muhammad.
[xvi] 24 November.
[xvii] 29 November.
[xviii] i.e. 24 November 851 CE, which fell on a Tuesday. The 'ninth hour' means 3 p.m.
[xx] Cf. Revelation 5:9-10.
[xxi] These are actual brothers of Eulogius. Alvarus here should not be confused with Eulogius' friend Alvarus (Álvaro of Córdoba).
[xxii] Gallia Togata ('Gaul of the Toga') traditionally referred to Cisalpine Gaul (i.e. what is now northwest Italy). Here it seems to be used to refer to a region all the way from what is now southern Germany extending into northwest Italy.
[xxiii] Appears to be referring to Louis the German, who was king of East Francia in the period 843-876 CE. Baioaria is a name for the region of Bavaria.
[xxiv] The land of Septimania, located in what is now southwestern France (corresponding to the western part of the old Gallia Narbonensis province). It came to be called Gothia because at one point it had been part of the Visigothic Kingdom.
[xxv] William of Septimania.
[xxvi] Abd al-Rahman II, the amir of Córdoba.
[xxvii] Charles the Bald, who was king of West Francia in the period 843-877 CE.
[xxviii] Zubiri, a locality in the Navarra region in northeastern Spain. It has a bridge across the river Arga.
[xxix] Gallia Comata ('Long-Haired Gaul') was traditionally contrasted with Gallia Togata and referred to the side of Gaul beyond the Alps and under the control of Gaulish tribes. Here the term seems to be referring to Gaul in general (i.e. what is now France), and so the author appears to be discussing the border region between what is now Spain and France.
[xxx] Appears to refer to Sancho II, the count of Gascony.
[xxxi] Matthew 25:35.
[xxxii] Cf. Romans 12:15.
[xxxiii] The river Arga in northeastern Spain, which is a tributary of the Aragón river.
[xxxv] Note that the Arga river is a tributary of the Aragón river, which is in turn a tributary of the river Ebro.
[xxxviii] Psalm 75:6.
[xl] Here Eulogius is using the term 'further Francia' as a synonym for east Francia/Baioaria.
[xli] The city of Mainz, which is now located in the Rhineland-Palatinate state of Germany.
[xlii] Identified with the town of Sigüenza, which is in the north of the province of Guadalajara in Spain.
[xliii] Wistremir, the bishop of Toledo.
[xliv] It is not clear what precise position is meant by the word principatus but it would seem to refer to some kind of high-level administrative office, perhaps in the amir of Córdoba's palace. In the Scholia of Ambrosius Moralis for this text it is written: 'As we have seen in the first book, Habdarrahman the king ordered for any Mozarab Christians, who performed public duties, or served in the palace on whatever account (of whom the number was not a few) to be deprived of the magistrate offices and to be cast from the palace and to be deprived of the royal provisions.' However, it was actually Abd al-Rahman II's son Muhammad I who instituted these policies systematically after Abd al-Rahman II's death (see Memoriale Sanctorum Book Two and Book Three). While Abd al-Rahman II removed Eulogius' brother Joseph from his position, the precise reason is not clear. It may have been because of the disturbances caused by the wave of martyrdoms in 850-851 CE. In the Scholia of Ambrosius Moralis it is also suggested that the use of the word principatus is intended for a comparison with the biblical Joseph, who was vizier of Egypt.
[xlv] Referring to the control of Pamplona by West Francia.
[xlvi] Matthew 10:40-41.
[xlvii] 851 CE.
[xlviii] Psalm 78:2-3.
[li] 15 November 851 CE.