Peterson2013

De EsWiki

  • David Peterson (2013)
  • Rebranding San Millán: the Becerro Galicano as a rejection of the monastery's Navarrese heritage (1192–95)
  • Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies, Volume 0, Issue 0, Page 1-20,


This article examines the context in which the Becerro Galicano of San Millán de la Cogolla was created in the late twelfth century. The first factor taken into account is the monastery’s position on the frontier between the kingdoms of Castile and Navarre. Then the contents and structure of the cartulary are compared with those of its now lost predecessor, the Becerro Gótico, a comparison that reveals that the prime concern of the monastery by the late twelfth century was the defence of its possessions from the bishopric of Calahorra. Finally, events of the 1190s, above all a resurgent bishopric and endemic warfare in the Rioja region, conditioned the decision to compose a cartulary stressing the monastery’s Castilian origins and subsequently seek its ratification by higher ecclesiastical authorities.

Keywords: San Millán de la Cogolla; Becerro Galicano; monastic cartulary; bishopric of Calahorra; Navarre; Castile; García III de Nájera; Fernán González


The purpose of this article is to put into context the Becerro Galicano, a cartulary composed towards the end of the twelfth century in the monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla in the Rioja region of Northern Spain. The Becerro is probably the single most important diplomatic source for the early medieval history of both the Rioja region and of nearby regions such as Castile, Navarre and the Basque Country, but the abundance of forgeries that it contains makes analysis of the cartulary singularly problematical. Nonetheless, by comparing the Becerro Galicano with a predecessor known as the Becerro Gótico we observe how many of those forgeries were absent from the earlier volume, and when this is set against the background of the ecclesiastical politics of the period, what emergesis a coherent processof institutional reinvention,with thecartulary being used to defend the monastery’s patrimony against external threats. n1

The frontier monastery

San Millán nestles in the foothills of the Sierra de la Demanda, below the mountain known inthe Middle Ages as the Cogolla, n2 hence the full name of the monastery, San Millán de la Cogolla.


n1 This paper is part of the research project “De los cartularios al territorio, la iglesia y la sociedad: edicióndigital y estudio crítico del Becerro Galicano de San Millán de la Cogolla” MICINN (HAR2010-16368). The new digital edition of the Becerro Galicano is accessible online at www.ehu.es/galicano/ . See also Peterson, “Reescribiendo el pasado.”

n2 From the Latin cucullum meaning “a hood", seemingly in reference to the mountain’s distinctively conicalform.

p2

The abbey’s origins can be traced back to the heremitic activities of its eponymous founder in the sixth century, a life immortalised by Braulio of Zaragoza in the seventh century and again by Gonzalo de Berceo in the early thirteenth. Not only does such antiquity distinguish San Millán from almost all the other great monastic institutions of Northern Spain, but the lack of any subsequent refoundation tradition suggests continuity between these primitive origins and the tenth century when the monastery truly emerges into history. The intervening period includes over two centuries when the Rioja, controlled by the muladi Banuqasi dynasty, was at least nominally part of al-Andalus, another distinctive aspect of the monastery’s past. However, the defining characteristic of the monastery is its frontier location. If we strip away the forgeries that dominate the monastery’s earliest documentation, the first bona fide San Millán texts, from the second quarter of the tenth century onwards, point towards it being within the sphere of influence of the count of Castile, n3 while nearby Nájera was controlled by the kingof Navarre. Accordingly, the cult of San Millán seems to have originally and essentially been a Castilian phenomenon, advocations to the saint being found almost exclusively in theregions to the west of the monastery. n4

At some point in the mid-tenth century the monastery seems to have passed over to Navarrese control, perhaps as a result of their capture of FernánG onzález, count of Castile, around 959. n5

The inconvenience potentially caused to pilgrims of a Castilian cult within Navarrese territory is explicitly addressed in an eleventh-century charter that refers back to a mid-tenth-century agreement ensuring access to the shrine for the people of Lara in Castile. n6 Finally, the monastery’s proximity to the shifting frontier is made clear in a singular text from 1016 that defines the border between Castile and Navarre, the summa Cuculla (i.e. Cogolla) being cited as one of the landmarks. n7

The monastery does not seem to have been handicapped by its peripheral location, but rather appears to have benefited from such a strategic position, being richly endowed by monarchs and private individuals from both sides of the frontier, and as a result the abbey’s domain is evenly spread between the two realms, as will be seen.

On a broader scale, the frontier leitmotif can be extended to the whole of the Rioja region. the Rioja region is a natural corridor that links the Meseta and the Atlantic seaboard with the Mediterranean basin, it held out as an uncomfortable andalusí salient for 200 years, frequent launching point for raids into the surrounding Christian lands, and conversely the target of numerous attacks by the monarchs of Pamplona and León.

Even after its definitive reconquest around 923 it would be fought over repeatedly by the Navarrese, Castilians and Aragonese, and would continue to serve as one of the principal routes of attack when the aceifas (campaigns) of Abderrhaman III and al-Mansur turned their attention towards Castile.

Conclusions

p17

In recent years a number of scholars have agreed that medieval cartularies, rather than beingsimple repositories for charters, were often conscious attempts to reframe an institution’s past and mould its image, and consequently they should be regarded as coherent volumes whose struc-ture and contents often serve as vehicles for the not necessarily explicit message they sought to transmit. n56 If we apply this methodology to what we have learnt about the Galicano, strippingaway later additions, we see how a number of highly significant elements emerge:

  • First of all, the Votos. Codicologically part of the cartulary, but stylistically quite distinct from the rest of the volume, this document occupies the single most prestigious place in the codex and is further distinguished by being the only significant narrative. It is also quite unequivocally, and I suggest very significantly given the political situation in late-twelfth-century Rioja, Castilian in focus.
  • An anachronistic diocesan structure absent from the Gótico, and which we can thus regard as having been intentionally introduced, although it is never made explicit. It subliminally refers us back to the mid-eleventh-century Golden Age in San Millán’s fortunes, while structuring the contents around diocesan geography.
  • The incorporation throughout the volume of forged material preoccupied above all with rights claimed by the monastery within the diocese of Calahorra.
  • Two distinctive compositive strata (pre-1187 and 1192 – 94) which together offer us both a precise chronology and suggest a sudden change in strategy in 1192.
  • And finally the transactiones: the significance of their location within the codex has beensomewhat obscured by later additions, but I suggest that, together with the Votos, theyneatly book-end the essential structure of the cartulary.

In this context, I regard the Becerro Galicano as a defensive response to perceived threats to San Millán’s patrimony, consolidating the favourable agreement reached in 1163 and enshrining rights based on spurious documents forged in the mid-twelfth century: essentially, laundering the forgeries. The structure of the cartulary points us towards which rights were its principal concern – those contained in the transactio which coincide significantly with the new (and forged) material introduced, and also towards where it was felt that the threat was coming from – the bishop of Calahorra. García Fernández of Calahorra’s aggressive promotion of his diocese's interests at the expense of the Cluniac priory at Nájera set an uncomfortable precedent, and the chronological coincidence with the structure of the Galicano is striking: the Nájera situation came to ahead in 1192, and by late 1194 or early 1195 the Galicano appears to have been finished. While the parallel with the Calahorra– Nájera conflict is instructive, it is far from exact: Nájera was a later (mid-eleventh-century) foundation, created ex novo by the now vilified García III and massively endowed during the precise period when the roles of bishop and abbot were conflated, whereas San Millán was much older, and it is possible that many of the rights it claimed had their origins in earlier periods, even if the documents to prove it did not necessarily exist. And of course, the most significant difference of all is that San Millán successfully defended its claims, while Nájera was defeated.

Indeed, San Millán had several things working in its favour: its undeniable antiquity, a glorious past that included a plausibly Castilian heritage, the support of Alfonso VIII, and the fact that its claims had already been accepted in 1163 (in a previous moment of weakness for the bishopric).

n56 Guyotjeannin, Morelle, and Parisse, Cartulaires; Geary, Phantoms of Remembrance; Bouchard, “MonasticCartularies”; Chastang, Lire, écrire, transcrire.

p18

Its situation was complicated, however, by the coincidence of its Golden Age with the politically unfashionable figure of García III. Regarded by the Navarrese as a source of legitimacy for their control of the Rioja and even parts of Castile, n57 he was conversely vilified by the Castilians, by 1180 virtually the victim of damnatio memoriae in the Chronica naierensis.

In light of the recent setbacks suffered by Santa María de Nájera – inescapably associated with García III – the convenience of finding alternative sources of legitimacy can be appreciated. As it happened, open conflict was avoided, because of a mixture of Alfonso VIII’s protection and García Fernández’s defection to Pamplona, but San Millán could not know this in 1192 and responded to the potential threat by adapting an already planned cartulary to showcase the monastery’s antiquity and Castilian heritage, hence the Votos.

Of course, where genuine documen-tation existed to support the monastery’s possessions, particularly in and around Nájera, this was duly incorporated into the cartulary; however, San Millán’s legitimacy was in many cases undermined to Castilian eyes by association with García III. The diocesan geography from the Golden Age is anachronistically built into the cartulary’s structure, but only ever as a subliminal reference in its struggle with the upstart diocese. It is never made explicit, and much more emphasis is placed upon the tenth century, a context that allowed San Millán to stress its Castilian heritage, tapping into the prestigious figure of Fernán González and in so doing flattering Alfonso VIII. Even a tenth-century Navarese monarch such as García Sánchez I, so necessary to explain the monastery’s Riojan holdings, had more validity than García III, since the former’s bloodline led to Sancho III, and thence to Fernando I and Alfonso VI. The cartulary is designed to say that San Millán was here long before García III, before the capture of Calahorra, before Santa María de Nájera, and before the Cluniacs, and all with an impeccable Castilian pedigree stretching back to the legendary Fernán González.

Appendix 1

Timeline: a summary of the rather complex chronology outlined above, dovetailingpolitical, military and ecclesiastical events with the workings of the San Millán scriptorium

Hechos relativos a à Peterson2013 — Búsqueda de páginas similares con +.Ver como RDF
Cleric García Fernández of Calahorra  +
Count Fernán González  + y García Fernández  +
Creator David Peterson  +
Dinasty Muladi Banuqasi  +
Event The Becerro Galicano of San Millán de la Cogolla was created in the late twelfth century  +, The prime concern of the monastery by the late twelfth century was the defence of its possessions from the bishopric of Calahorra  +, San Millán de la Cogolla is within the sphere of influence of the count of Castile  +, While nearby Nájera was controlled by the kingof Navarre  +, The cult of San Millán seems to have originally and essentially been a Castilian phenomenon  +, Advocations to the saint being found almost exclusively in theregions to the west of the monastery  +, In the mid-tenth century the monastery seems to have passed over to Navarrese control  +, Capture of FernánG onzález, count of Castile, around 959  +, Mid-tenth-century agreement ensuring access to the shrine for the people of Lara in Castile  +, San Millán de la Cogolla benefited from such a strategic position in the frontier  +, San Millán de la Cogolla's domain is evenly spread between the two realms  +, The frontier leitmotif can be extended to the whole of the Rioja region  +, The Rioja region is a natural corridor that links the Meseta and the Atlantic seaboard with the Mediterranean basin  +, The Rioja region held out as an uncomfortable andalusí salient for 200 years, frequent launching point for raids into the surrounding Christian lands  +, The Rioja region held out the target of numerous attacks by the monarchs of Pamplona and León  +, After the definitive reconquest the Rioja around 923 it would be fought over repeatedly by the Navarrese, Castilians and Aragonese  +, After the definitive reconquest the Rioja around 923 it would continue to serve as one of the principal routes of attack when the aceifas (campaigns) of Abderrhaman III and al-Mansur turned their attention towards Castile  +, Nájera was a later (mid-eleventh-century) foundation, created ex novo by the now vilified García III  +, San Millán successfully defended its claims  +, Nájera was defeated  +, San Millán had the support of Alfonso VIII  +, Its situation was complicated, however, by the coincidence of its Golden Age with the politically unfashionable figure of García III  +, Regarded by the Navarrese as a source of legitimacy for their control of the Rioja and even parts of Castile  +, Setbacks suffered by Santa María de Nájera  +, García Fernández’s defection to Pamplona  +, San Millán’s legitimacy was in many cases undermined to Castilian eyes by association with García III  +, San Millán was here long before García III  +, San Millán was here before the capture of Calahorra  +, San Millán was here before the Cluniacs  +, Impeccable Castilian pedigree stretching back to the legendary Fernán González  +, 1155 – 62 Bishop Rodrigo Cascante initiates Calahorra’s campaign against the Cluniac priory of Nájera (Rioja179, 210)  +, 1162 – 63 Navarrese invasion of the Rioja, Rodrigo Cascante besieged in Albelda  +, 1163 Sep. Calahorra transactio (Ledesma402)  +, 1164 Jan. Calahorra transactio confirmed by Archbishop Hugo of Tarragona(Ledesma404)  +, C. 1180 ca. Chronica naiarensis– pro-Castile, anti-García III  +, 1186 – 87 Preparation of a new cartulary begun (Galicano ff. 1 – 210)  +, 1188 May Papal support for Rodrigo Cascante’ s renewed campaign against Nájera(Rioja299)  +, 1190 Mar. Death of Rodrigo Cascante, beginning of García Fernández’s episcopate  +, 1192 April Papal support for Bishop García Fernández against Nájera (Rioja326)  +, 1192 Alfonso VIII of Castile donates Pazuengos and Saja to San Millán  +, 1192 Sep. Last addition to the Gótico (Ledesma470)  +, 1192 Preparation of Galicano begun in earnest, material hastily gathered from priories,latest texts in Galicano (ff. 211 – 34)  +, 1193 July Calahorra’s victory over the Nájera priory confirmed at the Council of Lérida(Rioja336)  +, 1194 Jan. Papal ratification of Calahorra’s victory over Nájera priory (Rioja342)  +, 1193 – 34 Transcription of the Galicano  +, 1194 May One last text – the result of Cardinal Gregorio’s intervention in the Altablequestion – incorporated (f. 234v), just before the transactiones (ff. 235 – 38)  +, 1195 Aug. Alfonso VIII defeated at Alarcos, Navarre reinitiates hostilities  +, 1195 Sep. Last notice of García Fernández as bishop of Calahorra (Rioja360)  +, 1195 late Bishop García Fernández defects to Pamplona  +, 1196 Feb. Cardinal Gregorio in Nájera (Rioja365)  +, 1196 Feb. Calagurre non est episcopus (Rioja366)  +, 1196 Feb. Archbishop Ramón Castellterçol confirms transactio in Nájera (in presence of Cardinal Gregorio?)  +, 1197 Cardinal Gregorio returns to Italy (Ledesma479)  +, 1198 Jan. Death of Celestine III  + y 1199 April – May Innocent III confirms the Calahorra transactio and other texts beneficial to San Millán  +
Monarch García III de Nájera  +, García III  +, Alfonso VIII  +, García Sánchez I  +, Sancho III  +, Fernando I  + y Alfonso VI  +
Monastery San Millán de la Cogolla  + y Santa María de Nájera  +
Topic Frontier between the kingdoms of Castile and Navarre  +, Lost predecessor, the Becerro Gótico  +, Monastery’s Castilian origins  +, Ratification by higher ecclesiastical authorities  +, Monastic cartulary  +, Bishopric of Calahorra  + y Forgery  +
Z.author Braulio of Zaragoza  + y Gonzalo de Berceo  +
Z.title Becerro Galicano  +
Herramientas personales