[Last revision: 4 December 2020]
For prior examples of Mozarabic writings, see:
. The Byzantine-Arabic Chronicle
. The Mozarabic Chronicle
. Correspondence between Álvaro of Córdoba and Speraindeo (/Speraindeus)
As I have noted previously, the term 'Mozarabs' is used to designate the Iberian Christians who lived under Muslim rule in Spain. While the term's Arabic roots has connotations of becoming Arabized linguistically and adapting to Arabic culture and rule, many of the writings that have survived and are dubbed 'Mozarabic' point to the opposite approach: that is, hostility to Islam and any adoption of Arabic language and culture, with the insistence on maintaining a separate Iberian Christian identity that uses Latin as the high language of discourse. The writings of Eulogius of Córdoba are a case-in-point.
An associate of Álvaro and subsequently canonised as a saint in the Catholic Church, Eulogius was the author of multiple works. His apologia for the martyrs of Córdoba is the focus of this post, as I have translated it in full with commentary. It is arguably his most notable work, in part because it contains an early Latin biography of the Prophet Muhammad, which Eulogius presents as taken from an earlier work. The work is also very important for shedding further light on the nature of Muslim-Christian relations in Iberia and internal Christian debates about how to deal with the Muslim rulers.
For context, the affair of the martyrs of Córdoba refers to the multiple executions of Christians carried out by the Muslim authorities in Spain in the mid-ninth century CE. Eulogius is our main contemporary source on these matters and was himself executed in 859 CE, and is thus reckoned to be one of the martyrs. The cases apparently pertained to charges of apostasy from Islam and blasphemy against Islam. In this particular work, Eulogius includes the story of two martyrs: one is Rudericus (Roderick/Rodrigo), a priest who was canonised as a saint in the Catholic Church, and the other is an individual called Salomon. To summarise their story, both men were accused of apostasy from Islam: Rudericus had never converted but was accused falsely by his brother who had converted, while Salomon had indeed embraced Islam at one point but then left it. Despite the judge's attempts to persuade them to follow Islam through worldly temptations, they refuse, and Rudericus in particular denounces Islam. This leads to their execution, though the remains of both are subsequently found and given Catholic funeral honours.
A depiction of Saint Eulogius' martyrdom.
However, as the work's title suggests, its main purpose is to defend the idea that those being executed by the Muslim authorities were actually martyrs, responding not to arguments being made by Muslims, but rather to arguments of fellow Christians who did not regard them as martyrs. In Eulogius' telling, these fellow Christians said that these people could not be compared to the true martyrs of the past. For whereas the Christian martyrs of the past suffered extensive torture and gruesome killing at the hands of the pagan persecutions, the Christians killed by the Muslim authorities were executed in a swift manner. In addition, the critics argued the earlier martyrdoms were accompanied by miracles, whereas there were no miracles to support these supposed martyrs. Further, they asserted that the executions could not be compared with the past martyrdoms because the executioners were Muslims, who worshipped the same God and practised the God-given law.
Eulogius' counter-arguments can be summed up as three main points. First, it is not the manner of killing and use of torture that matter in determining whether someone is martyr, but rather the martyr's intent. If the martyr's intent is to die for the faith, that is all that matters. That this argument is made would suggest that the Muslim authorities did not make a show of torturing Christians accused of apostasy and blasphemy, precisely because they did not wish to make martyrs out of them whose causes could foment unrest. Second, while miracles were an important part of the early spread of Christianity, it is not necessary for them to accompany a martyrdom.
But third and perhaps most importantly, Eulogius takes issue with legitimisation of Islam as a religion: in his view, it is actually an evil heresy of the kinds that the sacred scriptures had warned would mislead many people. It is in this context that he presents an anonymous biography of the Prophet Muhammad that he said he found in Pamplona. The biography portrays him as an arch-heretic who borrowed from some Christian doctrines, was driven by excess lust and commanded his followers to butcher their opponents. Eulogius' work also contains some more specific criticisms of Islamic teachings, in particular lambasting the idea that Jesus was a great prophet but was not divine or the son of God. This argument suggests that one way many Iberian Christians/Mozarabs tried to adapt to the Muslim rulers was by accepting that there was common ground between Islam and Christianity.
There are indications that the viewpoints of the critics of the martyrs represented a significant proportion of local opinion, if not the majority. One indication is the fact that this work was written at all and was written in Latin, intended to be read therefore by those who were literate in the traditional higher language of Christian discourse. Another indication that struck me is a particular remark that Eulogius makes after presenting the biography of the Prophet Muhammad: namely, that despite the evident falsehood of the religion and evil of its founder, 'most do not fear for them [Islam and Muslims] to be considered as coming under the name of the pious religion' (original Latin: plerique non metuunt sub nomine piae religionis censeri) as they claim that the martyrs of Córdoba were killed by 'men who worship God and have the law' (original Latin: ab hominibus Deum colentibus et legem habentibus). The word plerique can be rendered to mean 'very many' or a 'significant/considerable part' in a less intensive sense, but still supports the same general point here.
There may have been multiple reasons why there were many fellow Christian critics who apparently took these viewpoints about Islam and Muslims. They may have genuinely believed there was legitimate common ground, or felt it was best to profess adopt such a viewpoint to avoid upsetting the authorities and causing problems for their self-interests and/or the interests of their own community. I would therefore caution against using this text as proof that Muslim-ruled Spain was a haven of religious toleration and co-existence.
There is a legitimate question about the consistency between Eulogius' arguments in defence of the martyrs and his story of Rudericus and Salomon that he includes in this work. Specifically, as Alwyn Harrison noted in a 2009 doctoral thesis, Eulogius presents a certain miraculous aspect to the preservation of the body of Rudericus and portrays his funeral as being attended by a large crowd of faithful, while the location of Salomon's body is said to have been revealed by divine intervention. Yet Eulogius had argued that miracles were not a necessary aspect of martyrdom and gives the impression that the Muslim authorities are persecuting the Christian community in general and working actively to suppress veneration of the martyrs, such as when stones stained with the martyrs' blood are washed and thrown into the sea lest they serve as relics for the Christians.
I would like to dedicate this work to Alberto Fernandez, a former U.S. diplomat and a truly monstrous friend of mine who shares my interests in the Mozarabic literature and has always been most supportive of my work in this regard. I have always been impressed by the breadth of Alberto's knowledge of medieval literature and saint days in the Catholic Church, as well as his linguistic abilities. Here is to many more years of friendship, Alberto.
Below is the text translated with my notes and commentary. Note that for the sake of authenticity, I have largely preserved the work's original transliterations of names. The original Latin text used is that located in the Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum, edited by Juan Gil. Any suggestions for amendments and corrections are most appreciated.
Saint Eulogius' Apologetic Book for the Martyrs
While I was intending to enlarge the brevity of this work out of a desire to promote the deeds of the martyrs and I was directing my feeble pen[i] in the investigation of the battles of the saints, suddenly I had to take into consideration the opinions of the barking idiots, who reporting their own judgement about it instead of comprehension of knowledge assert that reverence should not be displayed to these martyrs also as with the prior ones. So I have striven to respond at the beginning of this work against them, by which it so happened that the subject matter should pass into the vigour of apologia for the deeds. And while the first part of this treatise of the martyrs deals with the struggle and the penultimate part of this little book explains how the soldiers of God have become renowned with the trophies of victories, I nonetheless decided that this work should be called the Apologetic for the Saints rather than merely the Deeds of the Martyrs because I encountered the curses of detractors in the beginning.
In this way, the commencement of reading, by designating the whole for the part, should open up the nook of the book, rather than driving into something else which the prudent reader did not expect on account of naming the part for the whole.[ii] In the latter case there would then be the easy opportunity for the hostile ones to engage in detraction, as it would bring forth one name, but another book. Therefore let my readers straightforwardly go through that which our faithful devotion has dedicated[iii] to the pious Saviour in defence of the martyrs, and may they not brutally deride our labour with malice, for it has been written: 'Every detractor will be eradicated.' For while our work may be worthy of reprimands, it is nonetheless to God, and not the envious ones, that the judgement for refuting us belongs. For the opportunity of carrying it out is immediately available for Him in inclination whenever the desire is at hand.
The text of the small work begins
It may be congruous for more prudent devout men to investigate the outstanding struggles of the blessed martyrs and the monuments of the fortunate men, who with God's support rejected the affectation of wholesale falsehood and abandoned the particular form of waging war to mortals. And it may be proper by right for the justified to expound on these things with a certain privilege of sanctimony. Nonetheless one must not negate the voice of the sinners who bring forth true things. For indeed not only is the consultation of foreigners like Iethro and Hiram sought, as Moyses guarded the form of the judgement expounded by one[iv] and Salomon received from the other industry in the building of the temple,[v] but also the exercising of eloquence in a human sense is granted to the irrational animal.[vi] Why therefore should the culpable one be judged as he takes up such things, when he is worthy in truth of the prize of blessing? And if sanctity rewards the just and renders him worthy of the holy assembly of the saints, why should the sinner who magnifies not protect the just with piety, so long as he is zealous to reveal the victories of the blessed to the benefit of the many? If they are forgotten in silence, they will not be able to show any example to the faithful of pious conversation, so that with the trophies of the elect composed by lamplight they can both excite the idle to battle and reach the epitome of perfection as they strive to inform. For even though all the saints are not lacking in the earthly commendation of praise as they already exuberate with the gifts of heavenly rewards, it is nonetheless necessary that whatever of good is added to their merits should be applied to the mortals by the grace of their examples.
Therefore I will bring forth the victories won by my masters and whatever has been able to be brought to me by divine inspiration, I will expend my efforts on such matters, because, as we do not doubt the clemency of the Saviour, we not only hope for the remedy for the faults by such zealous efforts, but also we trust to obtain the fellowship of those, whom we commemorate by the devoted pen. For thus says the Lord: 'He who loves you, loves me, and he who receives you, receives me. And he who receives a prophet in the name of the prophet will receive the reward of the prophet, and he who receives the just in the name of the just will receive the reward of the just.'[vii] And also in the Psalms: 'But your friends have been made honourable to me, oh God.'[viii]
But before I follow up on their outstanding trophies, I have believed that the value of the work pushes back against the ignorant, who deride the martyrs of these times with a blasphemous tongue and do not want them to be likened to the prior martyrs. In short, they say, that paganism once given to the cults of statues and occupied with various abominations of images was subject to the thousand-fold portent of idols. And it instituted forms of gods for as many kinds of worldly things that it marvelled at, thinking that in no other way could the benefit of this world be obtained, since it judged its efforts with the utmost strength pitiful, unless it had frequent regard for the gods. Deceived by its error, it vexed with cruel persecution the Christian soldiery that resisted and opposed it, utilising cries of reproach, lashes, whips, racks, fires, beasts, rivers and various forms of torments, hoping that souls could be recalled by the cult of the religion through punishments. These souls, acquainted with the spiritual conflict within, had known very easily how to overcome the material battles of the vanquishers. Thus while the stupid one admires the most invincible virtue of the bravest soldiers, in his astonishment concerning the enormous displays of miracles, he scoffs, imputing to demonic tricks, which the tendency of piety could not observe [/could not draw the attention of the tendency of piety?] since the mind is blinded. And as we have read among very many examples of the blessed ones, the reasons for conversion to Christ were the portents of the signs themselves. But these new recruits and confessors of our times, in merely receiving a quick death from the blow of the sword, having endured no bitterness of the furious tormentors, did not exert themselves under long-lasting stimulus, particularly since they were killed in a quick death by men worshipping God and professing heavenly laws. Hence it is sufficient for them if they obtained the care of past crimes, because the sound of chains, burden of iron, squalor of prison and the various punishments of persecution did not cleanse.
Therefore this empty invention of the people who give little weight must be refuted with the congruous authority of the laws, and, in so far as the Lord helps, struck with the battering ram of assertions speaking the truth, so that the mind of the religious, imbued with the most consecrated oracles may learn from truth how to venerate the new patron saints just like the old patron saints, whom in general devotion it discerns as going to the heavens through glorious death.
For what obstacle does a quick death present to the holy soldiers, through which the assembly of the blessed quickly reach that, which they once approached through various and harsh torments? Or what does it matter in what manner of death they depart from this life of death, when, as has been written, 'With whatever death the just is seized before his time, his soul will be in rest'?[ix] Or what does it matter whether they fall through long torments or sudden death, when one and the same is the thing that crowns both: namely the zeal of God and love of the eternal kingdom? Or are the executors of the commands of Christ to be thought imperfect: those who were made bright through sudden killing and as they rejected the delights of material things they even refused the affections of parents, sons, spouses, brothers and all neighbours when the time came? And what among all punishments is crueller than death? What is more terrible than to see the sword gleaming before the eyes and instantly about to fall on the necks of those professing faith? Or what is sought by the holy martyrs through long struggles except death? Indeed that death about which the psalmist sings and says: 'Precious in the sight of God is the death of his saints.'[x] For it is not to the long-suffering that the crown is promised, but the one who overcomes, and perseverance as it awaits the end of the blessed struggle is somewhat more animated for the more fortunate one one regarding the hope of eternal salvation. Thus says the Lord: 'He who perseveres to the end will be saved.'[xi] But whether in delays or in sudden mishaps of the sufferings death comes quickly or slowly for the enduring soldiers who fight for Christ, this merely is to be noted: if they accept sufferings for the sake of the faith, if for the sake of Christ the crowner of martyrs they gasp to lose their lives so that they may be saved forever, thus it has been written: 'If anyone wishes to save his life, he will lose it, and whoso loses his life for me, will protect it in eternal life.'[xii] For even if they are guilty of sins and come tainted by whatever dirtiness of vices to martyrdom, there is no impediment, since all destroyed in the trophy of martyrdom ascend to Christ to be crowned. For it is the same: to hand over one's life in death through many torments in the name of the Crucified, and to succumb on one occasion through one blow on account of the same thing. He said: 'If anyone loses his life for me, he will find it in eternal life.' And while it has been written 'that it behoves us to ascend to the kingdom through many tribulations',[xiii] by all means when they are at hand, there must be endurance until death. But if indeed the killing speed of the persecutor brings expedited death to the confessors of Christ, also in this is their glory by no means to be disparaged, because they have persevered to the end.
in vain therefore, should the outstanding soldier roused with the zeal for God rush to the prize of the games and expend his strength with the useless attempt in the primordial exertion, if he were defrauded of the triumphs of the deserved victory by the commander, on the grounds that in the readiness for battle and in the very auspice of the war he obtained the palm of victory tyrannically[xiv] and did not seek it through long-lasting and laborious struggle or acquire it through the various running of the dispute. Indeed it is to those laborious vexations and not to the hastened victory that the crown should be owed, if the extension of the fight were weighed more than the hurried trophy. And so the quality, and not quantity of the intention that traverses towards the prize should be observed, as the effect of the desired matter is captured in whatever way. However, one and the same is the eternal king, for whose love all saints submit themselves to temporal passions. For what stands in the way of the evangelical thief because he ascends the cross with his hands stained with brotherly blood? Or with what sort of miracles among the very losses of death has that person gleamed, who, as I have thus said, completed the end of his entire life with acts of theft, plundering and pillage! And nonetheless under the confession of one moment he is not only rescued from such great criminality, but indeed worthy of the companionship of the Saviour he is considered the first owner of paradise, as the Lord says: 'Today you will be with me in Paradise.'[xv] And if no one has greater love than the one who places his life for his friends,[xvi] with how much more outstanding kindness must the treatment be for the one who struggles for his God all the way to death? For also the father of the household, as he dispenses equal pay not in one hour to the tillers sent into vineyard, does not care greatly about the varying of the time, because in the exercise of labour he recompenses the work of the last hirelings that is not devoid of the intention of those before.[xvii] But many who are last will be first, and many who are first, will be last,[xviii] and many will come from west and east and recline with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.[xix]
Indeed the power of God displayed to the world the signs of the miracles in such a way once among the punishments through the same athletes that in the powers of the portents indeed it mitigated the raging people's madness, which was wearing out the constancy of the blessed, and converted the incredulous types away from the error of disbelief, which, with hardened heart, rejected the laws of the heavenly scriptures. And it was often necessary in that time for the witnesses of God to gleam with the signs of the powers, because they tried to make sure that the original Christianity that spread through time should become firm at the roots in the hearts of the believing people, first through the instruction of words, and then through the exercise of the scriptures, and then through the display of the signs, and then also through the famous trophies of the sufferings. Thus it has been written: 'Go through the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized, will be saved. But he who does not believe, will be condemned. But these signs will follow those who have believed: in my name they will cast out demons, speak in new tongues, remove snakes, and if they drink anything fatal, it will not harm them. They will place their hands over the ill and cure them. So they set out and preached everywhere with the Lord helping and confirming the words, and with the signs following.'[xx] And also: 'Go and preach, saying that the kingdom of heaven has come near.[xxi] Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out the demons. You have received freely. Give freely.'[xxii] These were the first rudiments of our faith, its tenderness both cared for and nourished by the exercise of these powers, like the beginnings of the infants who suck milk, so that the multitude of the faithful might be increased and the faith of the believers strengthened through the ministry of the signs. Indeed it is as though they have been certain implement tools, through which the ornaments of gold and silver, as well as necklaces, collars, and diadems of kings that have to be forged, chosen and joined together have been formed.
And so by the grace of the confirmation of the Catholic faith in its very beginning we see that the portents and miracles were shown more profusely with the help of Christ, and it is not the case that the miracles precede the faith or the faith yields to the miracles, as their effectiveness cannot be realized except through faith. Thus Moyses the holy lawgiver, worthy of the interchange of the divine discourse, was made great through faith. Thus Abraham, trusting in God, merited to be justified, as the scripture says: 'Abraham trusted God and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called the friend of God.'[xxiii] Thus the just live by faith and all the saints through faith 'have conquered the kingdoms, applied righteousness, obtained the promises, closed the mouths of the lions, extinguished the attack of the fire, put to flight the battle line of the sword, recovered from infirmity, and made strong in war.'[xxiv]
Do you see, oh whoever you may be who argue to the contrary, that all these are instruments of faith and subject to the pious religion as though in clientele servitude? So that from this now it behoves you to believe in truth that the martyrs become more excellent not through wonders and portents, but the integrity of faith and the constancy of profession, and the fact that they received death because of Christ is only to be admired in them. As Christ said: 'He who loses his life because of me, will find it in eternal life.' Indeed the root and foundation of all virtues is faith, which aids those who struggle, crowns those who overcome and remunerates certain people with the heavenly gift in the absence of signs. For there is nothing that is denied to sincere faith, because God demands nothing else from us except faith. This He loves, this He seeks, to this He promises and gives all things. 'Your faith,' He said, 'has made you saved.'[xxv] And 'Let him be faithful all the way to death, and I will give you the crown of life.'[xxvi] Therefore He has taken away nothing from faith, and He brings out nothing to be impossible to it.
And one should not place great faith in the signs of wonders that are generally worked by the disbelievers, as is written in Exodus: 'And the sorcerers did through incantations just like Moyses.'[xxvii] There has been sufficient discussion about this issue, as I think, in the work Memoriale Sanctorum.[xxviii] For whether the witnesses of God shine forth through miracles or settle the blessed struggle without wonders, it is of no interest, since the Heavenly Author only demands this from them: that all the way to the end, while not abandoning the constancy of their hope, they should complete the struggle in a manly way. Thus forever, united with the assembly of saints, they will exult in the perpetuity of salvation. Thus says the Lord: 'He who perseveres all the way to the end, this person will be saved.'
Our disposition had been surely plain, that while bringing forth the victories of the victors we should be devoted to compendious brevity, but obstructed by the door-bars of the insolent I have striven to give this Apologetic to the uncertain assertors, and indeed perhaps I have exceeded the manner of history beyond which I should have. It is against the depravities of these people one must come for a brief while, so that the faithful congregation may learn to love more with more ardent vows because it believes, provided it has discovered from the authority of the sacred law both the truth of the religion and the error of the impious innovation.
For they say that they suffered at the hands of men who revere God and the law and not at the sacrileges of idols, but rather they were killed after being invited to worship the true God, and so the martyrdoms of these people should not be revered as of the prior martyrs. So are these worshippers of falsehood to be believed to have in any way God and the law when they not only do not believe in the vital precepts of the evangelical institution that have been disseminated through the whole world, but also with all zeal of deviancy they bring great discrimination on those who profess those things, considering it detestable and unjust to believe that Christ is true God and true man?[xxix] But thus with wicked mockery they defame the fate of God everyday and everywhere they attack the right of the sacred religion and mock and curse it. Meanwhile they place the hope of credulity and its faith in the divinations of a wicked and demonic fellow, who seized by an evil spirit exercised the mystery of iniquity as a true precursor of the Antichrist and instituted for the people of perdition some law of innovation on account of his pleasure and by the instinct of demons. About the impiety of these people the blessed Paul the Apostle in the open oracles of prophecy by revelation of the Holy Spirit tells the Thessalonians: 'On account of the fact that they have not received the kindness of the truth that they should become saved, thus God sends to them the spirit of error so that they believe falsehood and judgement is passed on all who have not believed the truth but rather have agreed with iniquity in every enticement.'[xxx]
Thus also he tells the Romans: 'For the anger of God will be revealed from the sky over every impiety and injustice of those men, who hold back truth in injustice, because what has been known of God is manifest in them.'[xxxi] And: 'Although they had come to know God, they did not thus glorify God or give thanks, but they lapsed in their thoughts and their foolish heart has been darkened. For while they say that they are wise, they have become stupid, they who have turned the truth of God into falsehood and worshipped and served falsehood rather than the Creator, who is the blessed God forever. Because of that He has handed them over into false sense, so that they do those things that are unsuitable. He has also rendered them full of all iniquity, evil, fornication, greed, wickedness, full of envy, murders, fighting, trickery, malice, as whisperers, detractors, hateful to God, full of insults, proud, elated, inventors of bad things, not obeying parents, unwise, uncomposed, without affection, devoid of treaty, without mercy. Although they had come to know the justice of God, they did not understand that those who do such things are worthy of death: not only those who do, but also those who agree with those who do.'[xxxii]
So also the blessed Peter, the chief of the apostles, the strongest foundation of the Catholic church, when it was said to him by the Saviour himself: 'You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church.'[xxxiii] Thus he says in his letters: 'Brothers, we have a stronger prophetic word, to which you do well intending, as though a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day shines and the morning star rises in our hearts, as you understand this first, that every prophecy of scripture does not arise with its own interpretation. For not by human will has prophecy ever been brought, but rather the holy men of God have spoken with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Indeed there have also been false prophets among the people, as there were also among you lying masters, who secretly introduced the sect of perdition, and denying as lord the one who has bought them they will bring upon themselves quick perdition. And many will follow their luxuries, through whom the way of truth will be blasphemed and they will gain through traffic in greed with false words devised against you. For them the judgement has for a long time not ceased, and their perdition has not been sleeping.'[xxxiv]
Many of the most skilled people with me understand that all these things, as this blessed declaration of the apostles contains, not only apply to the same false prophet but also to those who accept him with reverence. And they do not think that we have built up such great things from the holy scriptures in vain against him and his followers. Indeed they see him as foretold in the proclamation of the sacred law and noted in the oracle of the true teaching master: 'Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.'[xxxv] Indeed they should dispute nothing about our reproach against him, whom (they said) they saw was attacked by the authority of so many fathers.
So in this place it does not seem absurd to me if I bring forth the testimony of the prior teachers about him, so that those who now insanely assert that he called to the law or truly worshipped God[xxxvi] will recognize better from their words how the men of the church at the time judged him, in what way they regarded that man in faith and profession, and how great and what kind of man was among our people.
When I was once stationed in the town of Pamplona and staying at the Legerensis monastery[xxxvii] and was reviewing all the volumes that were there for the sake of discovering unknown things, suddenly in a certain part of a certain small work I found this mini biography about the evil prophet without the name of the author.
'For there arose Mahomat[xxxviii] the arch-heretic the time of the emperor Heraclius, in the seventh year of his rule, in the era 656.[xxxix] In this time Isidorus the bishop of Hispalis[xl] became renowned in Catholic dogma and Sisebutus[xli] obtained the royal leadership in Toletum.[xlii] The church of the blessed Euphrasius[xliii] was built at the city of Iliturgis[xliv] over his mound. Also in Toletum the church of the blessed Leocadia was extended with a high peak through wonderful work on the orders of the aforementioned leader.[xlv] The aforementioned wicked prophet Mahomat obtained leadership for ten years.[xlvi] When these ended he died and was buried in hellfire. Indeed his beginnings were such as follows. When he was an orphan[xlvii] he became the subordinate of a certain widow.[xlviii] And while he was running about in business as a greedy money-lender, he began to take part assiduously in meetings of Christians, and, as he was the more astute son of darkness, he began to commit to memory several things from the collations of the Christians and to be wiser in all things among his uncouth Arabs. And indeed inflamed by the tinder of his libido he resolved to lie carnally[xlix] with his matrona through barbaric law.[l] And soon the spirit of error appeared to him in the form of a vulture and showed a golden mouth and said it was the angel Gabriel and commanded him to appear as a prophet among his people. And when he had become filled with the swelling of arrogance, he began to preach things unheard to uncouth animals and insinuated as though through reasoning that they should abandon the cult of idols and worship the corporeal[li] God in the skies. He ordered his believers to take arms and as though with a new zeal of faith instituted that they should butcher their adversaries with the sword. While judgement also hidden, God[lii] permitted them to cause harm, as He had once said through the prophet: 'Behold, I will raise over you the Chaldeans, a bitter and ferocious people, walking over the breadth of the earth, so that they may take possession of tabernacles that are not theirs, whose horses faster than the evening wolves and their face as the burning wind to test the faithful and reduce the land to desolation.'[liii] For first they killed the brother of the emperor,[liv] who held authority of that land, and on account of such great triumph of victory, having been rendered glorious, they founded the beginning of their kingdom at the city of Damascus in Syria.[lv]
Then the same false prophet composed psalms[lvi] in honour of animals that lack senses, indeed commemorating the red calf.[lvii] Also he composed the account of the spider's trap to capture flies,[lviii] and he also composed some speeches of the hoopoe[lix] and frog,[lx] so that the stench of one should belch from his mouth, and indeed the chattering of the other should not be silent from his lips. He arranged others also with his pen to the condiment of his error in honour of Joseph, Zacharia and even Mary the mother of the Lord.[lxi] And while he was perspiring in such great error of his prophecy, he desired the wife of a certain neighbour of his called Zeit[lxii] and subjected her to his libido.[lxiii] The husband of that woman was horrified as he perceived this and gave a pass to his prophet whom he was unable to contradict. Indeed he mandated for her to be noted in his law as though from the voice of the Lord: 'And since that woman had become displeasing in the eyes of Zeit and he had repudiated her, she has been joined to his prophet in marriage, which should serve as an example for the rest and should not be reckoned a sin for the future faithful who desire to do that.'[lxiv] After the deed of this such great crime the death of the soul and body of that man soon enough approached. As he sensed that death was hanging imminently over him, as he knew that in no way could he revive himself by his own power, he predicted that he would rise on the third day through the angel Gabriel who, as he himself claimed, had often been accustomed to appear to him in the form of a vulture.
And when he had handed his soul to hell, those agitated about the miracle that he had promised to them, ordered for his corpse to be guarded with vigorous vigil. And when they had seen him stinking on the third day and discerned he was not rising again in any way, they said that the angels were not present, because (so they said) they were terrified by the presence of his people. Therefore with a safe plan devised (so they thought), they left his corpse deprived of guarding. And indeed by angelic providence, dogs came upon its stench and devoured its side. When they found out about this deed, they gave the remainder of his body to the ground, and in order to avenge the injustice against him they have decreed to kill the dogs each year, so that those who have merited to undergo the worthy martyrdom for him here may have share with him in merit there. Indeed it turned out deservedly for him that the stomach of dogs should be filled by such a great prophet, who had not only handed his own soul but also the souls of many to hell. Indeed he committed many other crimes, which have not been written in this book. This only has been written, so that the readers may recognise what a great man this person was.'
Behold, with a people given to such tricks and a leader of such great impiety, most do not fear for them to be considered as coming under the name of the pious religion, as they claim that these new recruit soldiers of our times were killed by men who worship God and have the law. They claim this even as they are distinguished by no prudence, that they should at least notice with forethought that if the cult or law of such people is to be called true, certainly the strength of the Christian faith will be weakened.
And if- as must be professed in truth- the renown of the holy faith has penetrated the cross-roads of the whole world while travelling through all the nations of the earth, we trust that already no part of the world will be lacking in its light, particularly because the sound of the apostles went out into every land and their words into the ends of the world. And every other gospel, except that which the apostles handed to the peoples, we profess to be anathema rather than word, as the apostle says: 'If someone preaches any gospel to you besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.'[lxv] And the Truth bears witness to the disciples by its mouth saying: 'Many false prophets will arise and mislead many and will give great signs and portents, such that they will be led into error, if possible, even the elect.'[lxvi] And again: 'Do not believe every spirit, but test spirits if they are from God.'[lxvii] So consequently is it to be believed that a demonic one and filled with lie can bring forth the truth, that one filled with deceits can grant the law, that a perverse grove can bring forth good fruits? At the same time that wicked man, bringing forth evil from his evil store of heart and administering leadership of impiety to people lacking wisdom: both of them will run headlong into eternal chaos in order to pay the punishments. About this man and those like him the Lord speaks through Osea saying: 'They themselves have ruled and not from me. There had been leaders, and I did not recognise.'[lxviii]
In short among the rest of the authors of heresies after the ascension of the Lord, only this man of ill omen, founding a sect of new superstition by the instinct of the devil, broke off from the gathering of the holy church, disparaging the authority of the original law, rejecting the prophecies of the prophets, despising the truth of the holy Gospel and detesting the doctrine of the apostles. Insinuating ridicule rather than causes of necessary things through his same sect, he taught in a blasphemous tongue that Christ was the word of God and His spirit and indeed a great prophet, but indeed endowed with no power of deity, similar to Adam, not to God the Father an equal, who filled with the Holy Spirit on account of the merit of sanctity shone in miracles through the power of God, and stood out in signs and portents, but having no power from his own majesty and deity, but as a just man and clinging to God with pious servitude he merited to obtain many things from the Omnipotent through vows of supplication.
But also proclaiming other unheard crimes of vanity and after finding the invention of one altering its form, by which he was being visited and which transformed itself for the same man into the angel of light, he constructed temples in which his very evil dogma might be honoured, setting up in the ultimate site of idolatry a tower[lxix] with a pinnacle higher than the rest of the temples, so from this tower the decree of the sacrilegious fury might be announced to the peoples not allured by the poison of his wickedness. The priests of his impiety, taught by him, observe this today, such that in the manner of a little ass with their mouths and impure lips wide open, they do not emit their horrendous proclamation before their ears are shut up with both fingers: this they proclaim others must do, as though their very own prophet does not bear to hear some edict of crime.[lxx] While my grandfather Eulogius of divine memory was capturing by ear this bellow of impiety, they say that while fortifying beforehand his forehead with the continual sign of the cross he was accustomed to sing this psalm with wailing: 'God, who is like you? Do not be quiet or silent, God, because behold your enemies, oh Lord, have sounded and those who have hated you have raised the head.'[lxxi] But we soon as we hear the voice of the erroneous proclamation, we immediately pray: 'Save us, oh Lord, from the evil hearing both now and forever.' And again: 'May all who adore engravings and who glorify statues be confounded.'[lxxii]
Indeed whoever of the Catholics desires to get to know the insanity of this error, the madness of preaching and the precepts of this impious innovation, he will notice more evidently by scrutinising the worshippers of the same sect that they claim that they keep hold of the sacred and believe in affirmation the dogmas of their prophet not only in private but also open voices. Indeed he will find many things among certain people of our writers, who armed with the zeal of God raged with prudent pen against the impudent prophet himself. But also in that small work the Memoriale Sanctorum we partly laid out, refuted and turned over the errors of this sect.
It now remains, with the apologetics of the blessed done, that we should lay open something of their victories for the emulation of the Catholic people. Therefore the blessed presbyter Rudericus born from a certain Egabrensian village[lxxiii] attained in the same city the doctrine of sacred law and the priestly grade. This man had two brothers, but one of them held rightly to the faith of Christ, the other depraved in heathen error rejected the Catholic religion.[lxxiv] As the latter remained discording from the holy faith, so he was always moved by discording conflict for reasons of various matters with his Catholic brother. So on a certain night on a certain haphazard occasion, as they engaged in claims against each other and raged with disgraceful hatred against each other in turn, the holy priest intervened in the middle intending to calm the dispute. But as they were all already inflamed with excess fury, they berated the priest with blind indignation and more unwittingly rather than willingly they harassed him all the way to the verge of killing him. As he was very much exhausted by the onslaught, while he placed his broken limbs on a couch as he was devoid of vigour, that wicked brother placed him on a litter and had him led back and forth on the shoulders of carriers through villages and some neighbourhoods, and as a true imitator of the devil, composed in fraudulent machination a testimony of iniquity about the almost dead priest, saying: 'This presbyter brother of mine goaded by the visitation of God has chosen the cult of our faith and as you see, already in his last moments he did not want to depart from this world before it should become known to you.' And so travelling with him through various places he narrated these things and things similar to these slanderous words about him, while he himself did not know and indeed did not perceive what that unjust man was contriving against him. Indeed having got out of the troubles of weakness and reconstituted in strength after several days by the dispensation of God, when he came to know the deceptive contrivances of his wicked brother, by the example of the Lord, who deviated the trap of Herod in order to shape us,[lxxv] or as a non-deaf hearer of the holy Gospel, by which we are ordered to go into hiding from city to city in order to avoid persecution, he left his own home and brought himself somewhere in the countryside intending to serve Christ freely, as though he could avoid the temporal punishment. But for him the martyrdom that had been predestined from the creation of the world was being prepared for him, or as long as he cheated the wicked pursuer for a time by hiding himself, so also he was able to be absent from the eyes of the pious Saviour and his caller to the kingdom.
So at the same time governmental insanity[lxxvi] was heavily running rampant against us, such that at Córdoba, once Patricia, but now the most flourishing city of the Arab kingdom,[lxxvii] it destroyed several towers of basilicas, destroyed arches of churches and laid low the height of the pinnacle spires which used to be ornaments of signs to give a sign of canonical gathering on a daily basis for the Christian inhabitants. Then when the unjust descendant got to know the strong desire of his father that he should molest the church of God in whatever ways and strength he could, the dark offspring exercises with rather eager vow every effort of cruelty against the sons of light, and thinks it obtains less merit, unless it rages with utmost fury to destroy the faithful. Indeed the holy Truth had predicted this saying to his listeners: 'They will drive you from the synagogues and all who kill you will think that they are displaying obedience to God.'[lxxviii] And again: 'I have said these things to you, so that you may have peace in me, but in this world you will have burden.'[lxxix]
Therefore, while on account of the necessity of a familial matter the blessed priest had come down from the interior mountain of Cordoba (whither he had brought himself in order to hide) to the market-day, in which various sales were conducted, he was recognised on the way by his unjust brother. As he saw him bearing the stigmata of the pious religion, he brought him- even though he was not troubled amid the injustices- to the judge like a sought-out gift. In the presence of the judge, he accused him of apostasy from the Mahometian sect, which he had professed a short time ago with the intention that he would follow it in truth. Indeed the soldier of God, already endowed with the heavenly gift, did not turn his back to the adversaries as once upon a time, but rather endowed with great courage informed the judge that he had never been cut off from Christ, and had never once agreed with the perverse dogma, and he professed that he was not only Christian, but also a minister of Christ. The judge, thinking at first he could summon back the man with smooth addresses, said: 'You will be able to be honoured with the luxuries of things and the high office of dignities and evade the death sentence that hangs over you, if you reform yourself with the original vows and renewed eagerness and you believe that our prophet was sent by the Omnipotent in truth and you testify that Christ is not God.' To him the blessed priest said: 'I say, oh judge, bring forth these things to be observed by those, who given perhaps to your laws and immersed in your profane rites prefer to strive for temporal benefit rather than eternal honour. But we are those 'for whom living is Christ and dying is gain',[lxxx] following that one to whom that holy keyholder of the kingdom[lxxxi] said: 'Oh Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life,'[lxxxii] and followers of the one who advised his disciple in the prison saying: 'Blessed is the one who is not scandalised in me.' On what basis will we leave any cup of the everlasting fountain, in order to drink of water that is turbulent with the filth of falsehood and dirt of vices? Or with what vengeance must there be punishment for the insolence of the sons who reject the pious laws of their parents and seek the unjust companionship of worldly triumph?' The judge, moved with vehement fury by these words, ordered the martyr to be sent to the penitentiaries: 'Let him go away,' he said, 'with the custody of the damned, let the horrible caverns of the prisons receive the man to be softened, let him enjoy the consolation of those guilty of parricide and the thieves and let his temerity- deprived of all solace within or obstinate as it is- be squeezed out.'
The servant of God approached with cheerful face, exultant spirits, that cave of defendants, for he indeed knew that the one responsible for his salvation invoked everywhere was present and could not be absent from any site, the one whose domination penetrates every place, the one who also had given the faithful promise once to his followers by the mighty power of divinity, saying: 'Behold I am with you in all days until the consummation of the age.'[lxxxiii] These are, oh devil, the ill-boding laws of your savageness, these are the sought-out terrors. But it has been said to us: 'Do not fear those who kill a body, because they have nothing more they can do, but rather fear the one who can cause the loss of body and life and send them into Gehenna.'[lxxxiv] And again: 'They will hand you over in councils and they will whip you in their synagogues, and you will be led to governors and kings because of me in testimony before them and the Gentile peoples. But he who perseveres all the way to the end, this person will be saved.'[lxxxv] If therefore you can, come up against my life and overcome my spirit that is steadfast in its profession: you will see that I accomplish more through torments. And the more you rage, the more you will always fail and make me happier to reach glory.
Indeed Rudericus found in prison the blessed Salomon, whom the cruelty of the persecutors had banished to the same place a short while ago on account of profession of the name of Christ. Indeed he was also charged with a similar crime, on the grounds that he rejected the cult of the sacred religion and had adhered to the Mahometan sect at one point. Immediately they were bound by inseparable vow and administered to each other in turn the support of consolation and armed themselves to finish the struggle, deciding in common that rejecting the affectations of this world they should cling to God through pious servitude everyday. Both assented in agreement on fear of God, their limbs were softened through fasting, were worn out through vigils, were thinned out with blankets, were goaded by meditations, and were revived by prayers. And thus inflamed with a certain eagerness for the heavenly fatherland they desired to be dissolved and to be with Christ, hurrying to see his face, whom they served, for whose love they did not fear the disappearance of time and fled this life as though it were some huge crisis.
Therefore as the saints remained in the exercise of the heavenly duties and rendered the ceremonies of praises on a daily basis to the pious Saviour, they held that cave to be the greatest delights. Therefore the judge, led by the most unjust zeal, rebuked the prison guards with a fatal edict and ordered them to be torn apart from each other and he ordered with all the furies of his madness that they should not be illuminated with the grace of visitation by anyone. But you help yourself in no way, oh devil, when you think that the constancy of the saints can be worn out through this separation, those to whom the indissoluble vow of dying for Christ remains one and the same. For these blessed confessors, dissimilar in rank and nation, not unequal in kindness, although they have taken on the field of the struggle at different times, nonetheless inflamed with one and the same eagerness of faith they institute for the world the outstanding example of the blessed suffering.
Meanwhile not many days after the judge ordered them to be brought before his sight and immediately invited them to his rite and attempted to have them persuaded concerning abundances of things and dignity of honours: those whom before the creation of the world the holy divinity had ordained them as the elect and predestined in the adoption of the sons of God. Considering their persistence in the profession of God after a second and third exhortation, he decided that they should be punished by the king's degree. However, before they should go out to the public, prostrating themselves at the feet of the fellow prisoners they asked that they should be aided by continual acts of prayer, lest they should look backwards after being seized first by human temptation and be disturbed from the desire of seizing the standard of victory. Thus those conciliated by the kiss of peace, who had never been separated in quarrel, were all weeping out of joy and prayed for their own protection by the favours of the saints. And thus with the helpers driving on they leapt forth with keener vow, hurrying more quickly to the place where they should complete their suffering.
And when the hour of the decision was already pressing upon, again they were urged by the judge in a rather smooth way with the appearance of riches and sublime honours, which they would certainly enjoy if they should revert. The saints rejected the judge's offer as from the beginning, such that the most holy Rudericus invigorated by some animosity, as he was purified by the heavenly gift, responded to him boldly saying: 'How can you compel us, with the abandonment of piety, to deviate into deviancy, when we, instructed by the sacraments of the holy faith, lament with courage your ignorance, you whom we see as tainted by such great error? For thus we judge this deviant sect, that we would not even allow it to be adhered to by our dogs, let alone subject our very selves to its most fallacious fictions. Or why should we be delighted in abundances of things or dignity of perishable honours, when we are going to lose everything perhaps in the very moment of delight as death intervenes, while we have known that the wealth of the unutterable things remain with Christ our crowner? This wealth has not been seen by the eye and has not been heard by the ear, and ascends into the heart of man, promised as they are to his devotees. And so quickly unleash the vengeance of your cruelty against us, as you see we are in no way desisting from the confession of Christ all the way to death, both so that those things which are owed to the enemies of God accrue for you and the reward long deferred for us may quickly appear for us.'
From here, the wicked judge, raging with the keener shouts, brought forth the final opinion of his cruelty. He said to the guards: 'Hurry to cut off the necks of these public enemies[lxxxvi] and bring down the due punishment more quickly on the head of these despicable people.' And thus set over the riverbank they fortified themselves before hand with the sign of the cross and were thus laid low to the ground by the sword. Of them the first of the two to fall was the priest of God: the triumphant one leading the way entered heaven, because thus the judge wanted it to be, if by chance the mind of the blessed Salomon should be turned by the horror of the beheaded body. After various enticements of deceptions, confirming the man was constant and most brave, the judge ordered him to be butchered last with the vengeful sword. Nonetheless his head was not completely cut into and clung to his neck, so the sword brought a quicker death to the blessed Rudericus than to this Salomon.
But as the sly serpent cannot obstruct the souls as they enter the kingdoms of the heavens, it still arouses war against the dead bodies, as though it could overcome dead corpses, as there was no longer a spirit which could mock rather than feel the torments, or as though entering into war with the dead should be thought to be some title of victory. So that therefore the martyrs should share in the sufferings of Christ, the governor- armed by the devil with the instinct of ferocity, under whose wicked cruelty the Córduban dignity on the whole was then being severely vexed- ordered for the bodies drenched in the martyr blood to be nailed with the soles of the feet inverted[lxxxvii] and then to be buried in the river abyss. On the same night, bound as their bodies were by the huge burden of stones, they sank separately in the very vast water. The wretch was hoping to command the elements of the waves, which had known to obey the command of the Creator more excellently, that they should not only preserve the wealth of the martyrs entrusted to them from the beasts, but also should carry the limbs torn by the weight of the rocks with gentle rowing of waves to a place of rest.
In that time I the sinner Eulogius- who had a short while ago decided that the deeds of the blessed had to be elucidated by my pen, since the rumour of the completion of their suffering was running about everywhere, after fulfilling the solemnities of the masses and driven by a certain audacity- approached to see the bodies of these very people and I did not fear to draw nearer than the rest of the crowd of spectators.[lxxxviii] And my Saviour is witness, who is going to shatter this treatise, that I am not lying that those cut down corpses were glowing with such great beauty of decorum that you would believe they were going to speak straight away if they were asked by anyone.
Several also from the crowd of heathens came and took up pebbles of the river, which had been sprayed with the blood of the martyrs, and washing them in the waters cast them forth in the sea, lest they should be of benefit as relics to the Christians, though they did not know that it was no hurt to take away a part from these people, for whom the Lord had decreed to give the whole suffering. For the limbs entrusted to the hiding places of the seaweed and entrusted to the deep laps of the abysses, which they had undertaken both to have them hidden and have them ministered as food for the fish, are not only unable to be held back when they are forthwith called back by divine intervention to the abodes above, but also they are displayed unharmed to the shores by the rather gentle blowing with the back and forth alternation of the waves, even as they had been scattered. Indeed the head of the blessed priest had not clung to his neck, because the accomplice had torn off that head in one instance with one blow. And indeed both the head here, and the body there- tossed about and covered with gravel in one location- were found by the nearby inhabitants of a small village, where they had been exposed by the carrying waves.
Meanwhile, as the fame of the site of the rest of the saints exceeded a time of nearly twenty days and they gave no indication of appearing, suddenly by the relation of certain heathens[lxxxix] it was revealed to people who then reported this matter to a certain presbyter staying at the small village of Tertii, where the monastery of Saint Genesius had been founded. The same priest, driven by this news, hastened to have the blessed corpse to be brought back to his church. As he was coming back, he was met by a huge crowd of the faithful, as they were gasping to pay the honour owed to the greatest triumphant one, who did not despise to bear such things for his God as an example for the Catholics. And as the immeasurable darkness set in with the sunset and the blind night had changed the whole appearance of the world, the dark horror was driven out by the ministry of the people in the way with the manifold fire of lamps, in such a way that as the excess splendour illustrated all things, that night displayed that the day was emerging again. All were weeping for joy, grief was mixed with solemn religious dances and even as no gloom saddened the face, the pupil of the eye poured out pious lamentation.
And the venerable priest was present, accompanied by a column of fortunate clerics, as people hurried to take part in the funeral rites with such rather eager vows. Soon they approached the holy remains and the fortunate priest covered the head and softened the holy limbs with kisses. The retreat of the bedroom, where the priest had previously brought the blessed body, emitted a scent, with a wondrous odour of sweetness and they say that all the hard-floors of the small store room also, with the dust removed, emitted for some time the smell of the sweetest odour. All were amazed that the no putridness had taken for itself the unburied body, no pest had infected it, no decay had corrupted it, no rabid hunger of beasts or birds had mutilated it, and the intervening period of so many days that brings about degeneration had not changed the quality of the very body. And thus, by the charge of the priests and religious ones, as all brought the holy body from the priest's small store room to buried at the church, they gave the outstanding clamour of the heavenly hymns, the mouths of the faithful resounded in hymn with suitable song. All sounded the euphony of the divine song, the halls of the Lord were filed with the holy murmur of the psalms and happy praises, all performed the ode as though from one mouth. And as all resounded with the sweet din and the interior of the whole hall was shining with the long tinder of lights, and as the soldiery of the dwellers of heaven accompanied Christ the king to that spectacle, the participants in the funeral rites of the saints bowed.
So with the duty for the most holy Rudericus fulfilled, the intention of finding the corpse of the blessed Salomon became more ardent for all, because on the relation of many it was believed to have been transmitted by the impetus of the river to the sea. But this opinion had deterred the cautious attempt of the Christians more than the raging conspiracy of the governor, which had promised that the explorer of the remains would be punished with harsher laws. So as no sign of the hidden body was pressing on and all were moved by the hope of the benevolence of God, who has been accustomed to reveal the hidden things and hide the open things, some sort of prerogative power of divinity, which ordains, disposes and does all things that it wills in heaven and earth, in the sea and in the abysses, suddenly advised the aforementioned priest[xc] during rest in which site the body of the martyr lay hidden. And as the priest asked the one advising regarding the place of its hiding and wanted himself to be instructed as to what sign of exploration he had to hold, he said: 'In that bank of the river, which is next to the village of Nymphianus, there cast forth among the tamarisk bushes I enjoy a cheap tomb of muddy turf, far removed from visitors.'[xci] Sure of himself, that priest went forth to the place shown to him by divine intervention and found it just as it had been shown to him by revelation. Immediately this body- adorned with the greatest shows of reverence, and after he brought it to the village of Colubris- was buried with honours by the charge of the venerable priests of God in the basilica of the saints Cosmas and Damianus.[xcii] So the blessed martyrs completed their struggle on the third day before the Ides of March, era 895,[xciii] while God our Lord Jesus Christ reigns forever. Amen.
Behold my most venerable patrons, the soldiers of Christ, suitable witnesses, outstanding warriors, most potent victors, protectors of the Catholic flock, I come to oppose your detractors and resisting them by the vigour of my strength I have also ordained the deeds of your victories as an example for the faithful, so that it might both benefit those who desire to go to the kingdom and come upon me as expiation for the crimes, because I think these true things I have made available about you are not displeasing to you, but rather I have believed that all the things I have brought forth in this work will be by your cloaking pleasing to you and worthy of Christ. So I the sinner Eulogius beseech you, poor as I am in merits, little in sanctity and manifold in blame, that your worthy intercession should both grant me protection among the evil things of the world that fall upon us and display defence for me among the punishments of hell (which I fear very much for merits), in sanctifying me by the grace of this small work and making worthy that which I have sullied in my dirtiness. And if perhaps an error contrary to the faith has emerged in any part of the little book, I beseech you that the Lord spare me by your intervention, oh you to whom the innocence of my heart is not hidden, particularly as I am not unaware that the prudent in general can fall into lapse of tongue, when the mind does not manage the disposition of erring. With God supporting, the apologetic book of the sinner Eulogius for the deeds of the saints comes to an end.
[i] There is a recurrent theme of the author's self-deprecation in this work, such as when Eulogius describes himself as a sinner.
[ii] i.e. The entire spirit of this work is an apologetic in defence of the martyrs, but only part of it actually documents deeds of martyrs. If it had been called Deeds of the Martyrs, the title could have misled the reader into thinking the work was all about documenting such deeds when in fact it contains a broader argument of apologia for the martyrs.
[iii] In Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum, the text here reads dicavi ('I have dedicated') but this seems to be an error. It makes sense to correct to dicavit to concord with the subject of the clause: fidelis nostra devotio.
[iv] The reference is to Exodus 18:13 ff., when Jethro (Moses' father-in-law) advised Moses that he should not administer judgement to the people alone. Rather, Moses should appoint judges over the people and only have difficult cases referred to himself.
[v] The reference here is to 1 Kings 5, where it is related that King Hiram of Tyre helped Solomon in the building of the temple.
[vi] Numbers 22:28 ff., which relates how God made the donkey speak to Balaam.
[vii] Matthew 10:40-41.
[viii] Psalm 138:17.
[ix] Book of Wisdom 4:7, though note the Latin Vulgate text differs slightly and reads: iustus autem si morte praeoccupatus fuerit in refrigerio erit ('But if the just is seized with death before his time, he will be in rest').
[x] Psalm 115:15.
[xi] Matthew 10:22.
[xii] Matthew 10:39.
[xiii] Acts 14:21.
[xiv] i.e. Obtained the prize through a cunning and quick victory.
[xv] Luke 23:43.
[xvi] John 15:13.
[xvii] This should he compared with the parable of the workers in the vineyard in Matthew 20:1-16, in which the kingdom of heaven is likened to the vineyard owner who sent hirelings into a field and set a rate of pay at a denarius per day. At various points in the day, he found people idle in the marketplace and sent them to work in the vineyard. Those hired last only worked one hour, but at the end of the day they received a denarius just like those who began working earlier in the day. The point is not the amount of time worked but rather the nature of the intention.
[xviii] Matthew 19:30.
[xix] Matthew 8:11.
[xx] Mark 16:15-20.
[xxi] Original Latin: approprinquabit. The correct Latin form is approprinquavit (the former is properly in the future tense) but the b-v distinction has been blurred here.
[xxii] Matthew 10:7-8.
[xxiii] James 2:23.
[xxiv] Hebrews 11:33-34, though note the Latin rendering fugaverunt aciem gladii does not appear in modern translations, which have the sense of effugerunt aciem gladii ('have escaped the edge of the sword').
[xxv] Luke 7:50.
[xxvi] Revelation 2:10.
[xxvii] Exodus 7:11.
[xxviii] A work by Eulogius.
[xxix] Referring to Islam's denial of Christ's divinity.
[xxx] 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11.
[xxxi] Romans 1:18.
[xxxii] Romans 1:21-32.
[xxxiii] Matthew 16:18.
[xxxiv] 2 Peter 1:19-23.
[xxxv] Matthew 24:11.
[xxxvi] In Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum, the text reads qui nunc eum non sano sensu legem illum adduxisse aut Deum in veritate asseverant. It makes sense to correct eum to cum as the former creates a grammatical problem.
[xxxvii] Leyre in the Navarra region of northern Spain.
[xxxix] This should be compared with the Byzantine-Arabic Chronicle and the Mozarabic Chronicle, which trace the beginnings of an Arab revolt against the Byzantines to the seventh year of Heraclius' rule/era 656. Note that the era is a Spanish system of dating. In this case the corresponding year is 617/618 CE.
[xl] Isidore of Seville.
[xli] Sisebut, the Visigothic king of Spain.
[xliii] St. Euphrasius of Illiturgis, who promulgated the Christian faith in Spain during the first century CE.
[xliv] A town in southern Spain.
[xlv] i.e. On the orders of Sisebutus.
[xlvi] Cf. The Byzantine-Arabic Chronicle and the Mozarabic Chronicle.
[xlvii] This biographical detail matches Islamic traditions that hold that Muhammad became an orphan at a young age.
[xlviii] Referring to Khadija, who was Muhammad's first wife.
[xlix] The Latin verb is inire, which literally means 'to go into/enter' but is used in this context as a euphemism for sexual intercourse.
[l] i.e. He married his patroness Khadija, the apparent scandal being that he was her dependent.
[li] In Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum, the text reads corporeum. One approach has been to assume this is an error and correct it to incorporeum ('incorporeal'), which would give the text logical sense. However, in a paper discussing this biography of Muhammad, Kenneth Baxter Wolf draws on some other scholarly literature to note that corporeum could be a rendering of the Arabic epithet al-samad that is applied to God in the Qur'an (Sura 112), and could correspond to an earlier understanding of al-samad as 'the solid' rather than the more common translation of the epithet as 'the eternal' these days.
[lii] In Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum, this noun is put in the genitive case (Dei), but the sense demands a correction to the nominative case (Deus).
[liii] Habbakuk 1:6-9.
[liv] i.e. Theodorus, the brother of Heraclius.
[lv] This account seems to agree with the Byzantine-Arabic Chronicle and the Mozarabic Chronicle, which suggest that the Muslims conquered Damascus before Muhammad's death.
[lvi] By which the writer means Qur'anic suras.
[lvii] Appears to refer to Surat al-Baqara (Qur'an 2), the longest chapter in the Qur'an.
[lviii] Appears to refer to Surat al-Ankabout (Qur'an 29), though the spider's web is only mentioned once in that chapter.
[lix] This bird is mentioned in Qur'an 27:20 ff. in reference to a conversation it had with Solomon. There is also reference to the hoopoe in hadith literature, as Muhammad is reported to have forbidden the killing of hoopoes among other creatures.
[lx] The Qur'an contains only one direct mention of frogs in the context of the plagues sent against the Egyptians. There is also some hadith literature that mentions frogs and prohibits their killing.
[lxi] All of these figures are mentioned in the Qur'an. The Joseph mentioned in the Qur'an is not Mary's husband Joseph (who does not appear at all) but the Joseph of the Old Testament, after whom Sura 12 in the Qur'an is named.
[lxii] Zayd bin Haritha, who was the adopted son of Muhammad.
[lxiii] Referring to Zaynab bint Jahsh, who was the wife of Zayd and then became Muhammad's wife. A story related in some Islamic literature says that Muhammad once had the opportunity to behold Zaynab in her beauty, and thus desired her and expressed admiration of her beauty. This led to a rift between Zayd and Zaynab and so he desired to divorce her, but the Prophet told him to keep hold of his wife, as he feared disapproval if he were to marry Zaynab even if he secretly wished for Zayd to divorce her so he could marry her. But God allowed for the divorce of Zaynab by Zayd and her marriage to the Prophet in order to be an example for the believers who might wish to marry the divorced wives of their adopted sons (Qur'an 33:37).
[lxiv] Presented as a direct quotation of Qur'an 33:37. While the quotation as presented here is not all that precise, it accurately captures the verse's sense: namely, that the marriage of Zaynab to the Prophet should serve as an example for the believers regarding the marriage. Note also that the concept of adoption became effectively abolished in the Qur'an (Qur'an 33:4): namely, repudiation of the idea that adopted sons were somehow equivalent to real sons. The context for that revelation by some interpretations was that some criticised Muhammad on the grounds that he had married his son's wife.
[lxv] Galatians 1:9.
[lxvi] Matthew 24:11.
[lxvii] 1 John 4:1.
[lxviii] Hosea 8:4.
[lxix] Referring to the minaret of the mosque.
[lxx] In short, this is a disparaging reference to the Muslim call to prayer (adhan).
[lxxi] Psalm 82:2-3.
[lxxii] Psalm 96:7.
[lxxiii] Cabra, a town in the Córdoba area.
[lxxiv] The narrative implies that this brother of Rudericus converted to Islam.
[lxxv] Referring to the flight of Joseph to Egypt on the instigation of God who appeared to him in his sleep, thus saving the infant Jesus from Herod's plot.
[lxxvi] Referring to the governmental policies during the reign of Muhammad I, the amir of Córdoba at the time.
[lxxvii] Referring to the Emirate of Córdoba.
[lxxviii] John 16:2.
[lxxix] John 16:33.
[lxxx] Philippians 1:21.
[lxxxi] Referring to Peter.
[lxxxii] John 6:69.
[lxxxiii] Matthew 28:20.
[lxxxiv] Matthew 10:28.
[lxxxv] Matthew 10:17-20 and 22.
[lxxxvi] The Latin term here is perduellis ('public enemy'), suggesting the Muslim authorities viewed apostasy and blasphemy as embodying sedition against the state as well.
[lxxxvii] Reminiscent of the suffering of Christ.
[lxxxviii] That is, Eulogius is claiming to have attended the executions.
[lxxxix] Probably referring to some local Muslims.
[xc] Appears to be the same priest who retrieved the body of Rudericus.
[xci] The use of the first person here suggests it is the image of Salomon, sent by God and speaking to the priest.
[xcii] Christian saints of Arabian origin who were doctors by profession and were killed during the Diocletian persecution of Christians.
[xciii] This gives the precise date of the martyrdom of Rudericus and Salomon as 13 March 857 CE.