Monday, 21 September 2009

According to Fletcher...

... (Saint James’ Catapult: The Life and Times of Diego Gelmirez, 1984, OUP), the “least unreliable” report would be from the Odoario Charter supposedly written by the Bishop of Lugo between 740 and 760. It begins with an autobiography of Odoario, but later the “corrupt” (sic) text is missing dates in crucial places. Odoario is involved in the foundation of three churches Bocamos to St. Julian, Mazoy to Sta. Eulalia and Meilán to St. James. All of these saints were featured on the Merida inscription mentioned earlier. The Charter goes on to claim the following:

- There was evidently a Christian cult of some sort at Compostela between the late Roman period (400 or so) through to the early part of the 7th century.

- Around about the time that the archaeological evidence from this region becomes fuzzy, we have a reference to a St. James at Mérida. These relics may have been transported northwards. We do not know which St. James.

- Around about this time we get the first mentions of Santiago having preached in Spain, but no references to his burial there. Isidore mentions nothing about it; Julian outright rejects it.

- Probably towards the middle part of the 8th century, a tomb is discovered in or near Compostela.

Theodemir the bishop claims it to be St. James. He is so certain that he chooses to be buried near it. A hymn to Santiago is composed between 783 and 788 which might have been associated with the dedication of a church to St. James.

Don't forget you have until September 30th to identify the mystery pic! See below....

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