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“Dum enim montis confinia gressibus calcant.
Ex improviso ingens dracho,
proprio digrediens ab antro
in sanctos Dei famulos ignes evomendo
quasi impetum facturus
evolat, exitium minando.”—But at the sign of the cross, "Dominici signum stigmatis ferre non valens,
ventris rumpitur medio.”1
In later legends, e. g. that of the Fleury MS., he becomes "immanissimus draco; qui omnes circum se positos pagos horrendo atque horribili flatus sui anhelitu exinaniverat omnes, extinxerat animantia ac deglutierat, et reliqua omnia protriverat." 2 Exactly as the serpent does in the Pyrenean folk-lore tale, "Le Serpent d'Issabit."3 There are many other miraculous incidents on which we cannot insist. In all the narratives the translation takes place immediately after the martyrdom. This, too, is the natural sense of the martyrologies of Usuard (d. 876) and Nokter (d. 912), though they do not absolutely prohibit a different meaning. In all versions of the legends the bodies are said to be buried "sub arcis marmoricis."
Over the crypt thus discovered we are told that Theodomir and Alfonso the Chaste built first a small church with mud walls; this, however, was shortly afterwards reconstructed by Alfonso III. in 899, out of materials "petras marmoreas," from the ruins of Eabeca, and of sculptured columns from Oporto. This church was, however, almost destroyed in a raid of Almanzor, 16th and 17th of 1 Recuerdos de un Viaje, p. 123.
2 Ibid. p. 130.
3 For a spirited poetical version of this legend see F. Soutras' Les Pyrenéennes, p. 279 (Paris, 1856). 4 Recuerdos de un Viaje, p. 61, notes.
August, 997; but the sepulchre remained intact. The present cathedral was begun by Diego Gelmirez, the first archbishop, in 1112, and the greater altar was constructed over the crypt and sepulchre which contained the relics. There was a dim tradition in the chapter that these last had been concealed at the time of Drake's attempt on Corunna, May, 1589;1 but this was not verified until the researches of the present archbishop.
This is, perhaps, the place to draw attention to some curious particulars about the legends and the shrine. These traditions and documents present old topographical names in a very curious stage. They are neither the old names of classical Spain, nor the still older native names, and still less the subsequently-formed modern ones. Thus the classical Iria Flavia, at which the miraculous ship deposited its precious burden, is called "Bisria" in one text of the Epistle of St. Leon, " Hyria " in the other; in the Fleury legend it is Birivus, in others Bisrivus, the modern name being El Padron. The mountain on which the dragon was killed is called Ilicinus ;" its more modern names are Mons Sacer, Monsagro. The spot on the estate on which the bodies were buried is called Liberum Donum, now Compostella. The owner of the estate is a lady
1 Monumentos Antiguos de la Iglesia Compostellana, por D. A. Lopez Fereiro y P. F. Fita, p. 57 (Madrid, 1883). Some previously inedited Spanish accounts of this expedition are given in Don Pedro Enriquez de Acevedo, Conde de Fuentes, por D. C. Fernandez Duro (Madrid, 1884), and Recuerdos, pp. 79, 80.
2 Recuerdos de un Viaje, pp. 26 and 69, notes. As an illustration of such changes, we may notice that, when it was forgotten who the Norman Walter was, his Somersetshire
called Lupa, and her house Luparia. Now, throughout the toponomy of northern Spain we often find the Latinists of the cartularies, etc., translating the old native name into the nearest Latin name of like sound which will give any signification, but without any regard to the original meaning. Thus, here Iria is a Basque word meaning simply the city, Iria Flavia; Flavia's town, or Flaviaville, as our transatlantic cousins might call it. But Iria Flavia is situated at the confluence of two rivers, the Sar and the Ullia, and the meaning of Iria was forgotten, so these Latinists called it Bisria, Bisrivus, the two rivers, or the two banks; and when this, too, was unintelligible, the town was called El Padron. Ilicinus probably conceals a Basque name; but Liberum Donum is again a strange Latin reading of a Celtic name, Libredon or dun, meaning hill fort. The subsequent name "Compostella," the field of the star, seems to be connected with the dreams of Charlemagne and of St. Felix de Lobio, and with the fact that in so many dialects the "Milky Way" is called the road or the bridge of St. James. We notice these points because they show at once that none of the Liturgical so-called Gothic hymns, in which the more modern names are found, can have been written in the times of the Goths.
There are, too, some curious remains of older worship in this story. The whole of this district of
town, Burgh Walter, became Bridgewater. Padron is perhaps Petronus, with reference to the rock which served the Apostle for an altar, or under which he was buried. Recuerdos, p. 29.
Galicia is full of Megalithic and other ancient constructions or ruins. Two of these near El Padron are dedicated to the memory of the Apostle.1 In all forms of the tradition appear the heathen temple and idol and the marble tombs. This last may have been suggested by traditions of the Greek Church. The mention of such monuments occur often in documents of the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries, describing lands given to the Church.3 The actual crypt opened in 1879 still retains the fragment of a Roman mosaic, with the Swastika Cross, and a fragment of a column, doubtless part of the Column of St. James, which supports the altar. The very altar itself is a relic of pagan times, and until effaced by Archbishop Don Juan de San Clemente, on the 15th of February, 1601, a Latin heathen inscription was still legible there. Fortunately, two copies of it are still extant.5 In
1 See the illustrations of these given on p. 28 of Recuerdos de un Viaje.
2 In the De Ortu et Obitu Patrum we have "Sepultus in Marmarica." Ecumenius says, “ ἐν πόλει τῆς Μαρμαρικῆς.” 3 In a donation of A.D. 916, "Inde ad petram scriptam quæ est in muro de citofacte. et per illa anta quæ stat in illo fontano de Villa Verde." Antas, according to Florez, are stones or rocks erected by nature. Again, “Per illo anterio de super illo Casal de Conchido, inde ad illa anta . . . inde ad illo Marco qui stet in illo arrogio." And in another of A.D. 995, "Juxta arrogium Mære et non procul a Monte Nave fractæ." España Sagrada, vol. xix. pp. 356, 384, etc.
4 Recuerdos, p. 63. The inscription on the column is—
5 Fita interprets these in a Celtic, Hübner in a Roman,
874, Alfonso III., with his queen Ximena, gave a magnificent cross, enriched with fifty-one gems, of which nineteen only remain. Among these gems were Greek and Roman cameos, an abraxas-gem, and two topazes, with Arabic inscriptions.1 It is strange how quickly and how far the fame and worship of Santiago spread. As we have seen, the name of Charlemagne is connected with it; and Galicia seems to have been known to the Northern Vikings only by the name of Jakobsland.
All the legends which we have hitherto examined speak of the translation of the corpse, or of the bones, of the Apostle immediately after his martyrdom at Jerusalem, of the landing at Iria and the discovery of his sepulchre at Liberum Donum or Compostella. Leaving aside later developments of these legends, there remains the theory advocated by De Tillemont and by Gams, who are startled by the difficulties of the more common traditions. After a quotation
sense. Fita's text, Recuerdos, pp. 61-143, gives two readings.
1 Arabic inscriptions are comparatively frequent on altars and church furniture in Spain. Cf. inter alia, The Industrial Arts in Spain, by Juan F. Riaño, pp. 11, 12, 13, 254 (Chapman and Hall, 1879).