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Christian-Muslim Frontiers in Early Medieval Spain

Christian-Muslim Frontiers in Early Medieval Spain

By Ann Christys

Bulletin of International Medieval Research, Vol.5 (1999)

Introduction: Most histories of medieval Spain include a series of maps showing the position of the frontier between the Christian north and al-Andalus at a given moment in the Reconquest of the peninsula from the Muslims. The Christians who found themselves living on the ‘wrong’ side of this frontier after 711 are poorly represented in the history of early medieval Spain, since they were of little interest to the scholars writing in Arabic whose narratives form the bulk of the evidence for al-Andalus. Yet we have a number of texts written by, or attributed to, Andalusi Christians during this period. Most were written in Latin, although as Arabic became the dominant literary medium, some Latin sources were translated into Arabic. The Latin texts incldue two eighth-century chronicles, the works of Eulogius and Alvarus, who were closely linked with the voluntary martyrdom of some fifty Christians in Cordoba in the 850s and the Passions of two lesser-known martyrs, Pelagius and Argentea, who died a century later.

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