The Cluniac Priories of Galicia and Portugal: Their Acquisition and Administration 1075-ca.1230

The Cluniac Priories of Galicia and Portugal: Their Acquisition and Administration 1075-ca.1230

Bishko, Charles Julian

THE LIBRARY OF IBERIAN RESOURCES ONLINE: Spanish and Portuguese Monastic History 600-1300 (Published originally in Studia Monastica 7 (1965)) 


One major consequence of the numerous errors and confusions that still impede valid assessment of the nature and historical significance of Cluniac expansion in the Iberian Peninsula has been the common failure to recognize the sharply regional distribution of the Burgundian abbey’s trans-Pyrenean possessions. When we eventually possess a trustworthy geography of the Luso-Hispanic priories, subpriories, patrimonies and cotos, it is bound to become even more apparent than it is at present that the great majority of these lay in three principal areas — the Rioja Alta, the Tierra de Campos (i. e., the diocese of Palencia) and the Galaico-Portuguese West. The reasons for this neglected but unmistakable pattern of Cluniac territorial concentration in medieval Iberia have yet to be seriously investigated; but in the first two instances it is reasonably clear that they derive in large part from the intimate alliance forged between Cluny and the Leonese Empire of Hispania under the king-emperors Fernando I and Alfonso VI, as the key initial cessions demonstrate: Santa María de Nájera [306] (1079), the nucleus of the far-flung Riojan network of holdings, and San Isidro de Dueñas (1073), which played a somewhat similar role in the Tierra de Campos prior to the rise of San Zoil de Carrión de los Conde

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