Renaissance Chroniclers and the Apostolic Origins of Spanish Christianity

Katherine Van Liere

in Sacred History

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199594795
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741494 | DOI:
Renaissance Chroniclers and the Apostolic Origins of Spanish Christianity

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Compared with its Italian counterparts, Spanish historia sacra was distinctly under-developed in the sixteenth century. The most influential writing on the early history of the Spanish Church was the work of humanist national chroniclers who discussed the early Church as part of the story of Roman Hispania. This marked a departure from the practice of medieval chroniclers, who had generally ignored Christianity in the Roman era — and rightly so, for the evidence of first-century Iberian Christianity was problematic. By drawing on medieval liturgical traditions that told of early Christian missions by the Apostles Paul and James, Torquatus and the seven apostles, Eugenius of Toledo, Peter of Braga, and other first-century figures (some historical and some now considered fictional), Spain’s early modern national chroniclers created a narrative of first-century origins that became an article of faith in the polemical context of the Counter-Reformation, and lasted well into the eighteenth century.

Keywords: Spain; Christianity; saints; apostles; James the Greater; Lucius Marineus Siculus; de Morales; Ambrosio; Vasaeus; Johannes; Peter of Braga; Eugenius of Toledo

Chapter.  11316 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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