The Shepherd Goes to War: Santo Domingo Revisited
Daas, Martha M.(Old Dominion University)
eHumanista: Volume 11, (2008)
The thirteenth century was witness to a revolution in personal piety and the Camino de Santiago represented this new age. Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages became not only a symbol of devotion, but also a powerful method of active participation in one’s own salvation. The importance of this burgeoning individualism is reflected by the miracle tales of a saint who is connected both spiritually and geographically to Santiago and his trail. Like the miracles attributed to the patron saint, the miracles of Santo Domingo de Silos, as they are interpreted by Gonzalo de Berceo, reflect this revolution in personal piety. In Berceo’s hagiography, Santo Domingo turns from intercessor and healer to liberator who actively seeks to reward those who demonstrate external practices of devotion. By the thirteenth century, the monastery San Millán de la Cogolla was one of the largest in Christian Spain.