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History. his decision, which was obviously dictated by the in- Amidst these triumphs, his mild though vigorous go- France and

terests of the Holy See, was more favourable to its verninent secured the love and admiration of his own Germany. Fron future pretensions of a dispensing power over the tem- subjects, and the respect and awe of surrounding

From poral Thrones of the earth, than to the general cause of nations. His reign established the fortunes of his dy476. Royal and hereditary right. He pronounced in favour nasty; and his death opens a new era in the meridian

476. of Pepin: That having considered the whole circum- grandeur of the Carlovingian Empire.*

štances of the case, he was satisfied that he who held 768. the reigns of government should also bear the title of

768. Under the King. This judgment was received by the Frankish

His death. Papal sanc- Nobles as a sufficient release from their oath of alle- During the three centuries embraced in the present tion,

giance to the last Royal descendant of Clovis; and the Chapter, the Annals of Italy and of the Frankish Mo- 768.

sacred authority of the Church removed every scruple narchy, if for the most part uninteresting in their im951.

from the minds of a devout people against the depo mediate character, and often disgusting in their details, SPAIN.

sition of the Merovingian line. The feeble Chil- are at least diversified by the quick series of conquest Extinction of the Mero. deric III. was consigned to a Monastery; Pepin was and revolution, and important in their permanent in- 476. vingian dy placed on his Throne by the acclamations of a National fluence upon the general polity and aspect of European nasty. Assembly of the Franks; and to give the more solem- Society. For they illustrate the gradual consolidation

nity to his coronation and sanctity to his person, a of the Barbarian, upon the ruins of the Roman, insti- 755.
Papal Legate anointed and consecrated him after the tutions; the rise of the Papal power; and the formation
manner of the Kings of Israel. This was the first of the great Frankish or Carlovingian Empire, which
very memorable adoption, in the Barbarian Kingrloms, at length overshadowed the West, and prepared the
of a ceremony which has ever since been preserved at establishment of the Feudal system. The vicissitudes
the coronation of the French Sovereigns, and imitated of the Ostrogothic, the Lombard, and the Fraukish

in all the other Monarchies of modern Europe.* nations in Italy, France, and Germany, are accordingly Kieign of With what interest the first of the Carlovingian too various in themselves and too complicated in their Pepia, the Sovereigns redeemed his obligations to the Roman results to have been embraced and dismissed in a sinvingian

See, and repaid the services of Zachary to his suc- gle view: but the fortunes of the Visigothic race in King. cessor Stephen, we have already seen in the Italian Spain during the same period are contained, and inay Monarchy

Annals. The continued bad faith of Astolplio the be sufficiently expressed, in one great event, which of the Visi751. Lombard King, his impatience at the disgraceful Treaty suddenly overthrew their monotonous dominion. Our goths,

which Pepin had forced upon him, and his renewed op- retrospect to their Annals from the Vth to the VIIIth

pression of the Papacy, roused the powerful Monarch century, from the settlement of their Monarchy in 768 of the Franks, at the supplication of Stephen, agaiu to Spain until its subversion by the Saracen conquest of

cross the Alps for the deliverance of Rome. His second the Peninsula—will, therefore, naturally be as rapid as

expedition was equally triumphant with the first, and our materials for the subject are meagre, valueless, and His trium. distinguished by a severer chastisement of the Lombard uncircumstantial

. phant expe- and a more important aggrandizement of the Papal ditions into

When Odoacer completed the destruction of the Its state al Italy. power. He easily drove the restless but comparatively Western Empire, the Visigothic Throne was filled by the Fall of

the Western impotent Monarch of the Lombards from his recent Euric, the grandson of the great Alaric. The new

Empire. 754. conquests; besieged him in his Capital of Pavja; and Sovereign of Rome is declared to have propitiated

compelled him, as the humiliating atonement for bis his friendship by formally resigning to him the Provinces

aggravated attacks upon the Holy See, to relinquish of Gaul and Spain,t which were neither left for the 756. the Provinces forming the Exarchate of Ravenna, which imaginary reversion of the Imperial authority to bestow, He wrests

he had so lately torn from the Greek Empire. These nor for the real power of Odoacer to withhold. At the Exar. fruits of his expedition, the French King formally be- that juncture, indeed, the Visigothic Monarchy had chate from stowed upon the successors of St. Peter; and the me- attained the meridian point of its grandeur and strength. the Lom

morable donation of Pepin, which, in the nomencla- From his Capital of Toulouse, Euric reigned with a Reign of bard Monarchy, ture of modern Geography, comprehends the Province paramount or immediate authority over the whole of Euric in

France and and bestows of Romagna and the March of Ancona, is the authentic Spain and the greater part of Gaul. In the hands of it on the foundation of the Papal Sovereignty over those States.


an active, warlike, and powerful Prince, the Visigothic Holy See.

The all-powerful interference of Pepin in the Papal sceptre proinised to extend over the greater part of

cause foreboded the approaching subjugation of Italy to Europe, when the accident of Euric's premature death His death. 756.

the Frankish sceptre; and the subsequent success of that and the succession of his infant son Alaric, revealed the
Monarch in other undertakings, equally prepared the first symptom of decay in the vigour of his Monarchy 485.
extended supremacy of his Empire. On its Eastern and the energies of his nation. The long minority of
frontiers he quelled and severely punished the revolt of Alaric, the hatred of the Catholic Provincials of Gaul
the tributary Saxons and Sclavonians; and, on the for their Arian masters, and the dissensions among the
West and South he consolidated his immediate omi- Goths themselves, threw the cause of their Monarchy
nion by re-annexing the great dependent Province of into a very unequal balance against the arms and the
Aquitaine, and compelling the Duke of Bavaria to machinations of Clovis. It has already been shown Loss of
swear the allegiance of a subject, to the French Crown. that the defeat and death of Alaric delivered the Visi- Aquitaine.

gothic dominions in Gaul an easy prey to the Catholic
Contin. Fredegarii, c. 110–117. Eginhartus, Annales ab King of the Franks ;I and that the powerful interpo-

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507. initio ad A. D. 750. The Annals of Eginhart, the Secretary, son-inlaw, and biographer of Charlemagne, (if, indeed, they are really his

* Contin. Fredegarii, c. 117–130. Eginhartus, Annales, a. v. production,) commence with the reign of Pepin.

756-768. † Anastasius, in vitů Stephani III, as before quoted. Eginhartus, Procopius, De Bello Gothico, lib. i. c. 12. Annales, ad a. D. 756, &c.

Vide supra, p. 286.

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the Mor


History. sition of Theodoric the Great alone saved a little rem- though far less interesting than that of the Frankish Spain.

nant of their possessions to the North of the Pyre: and Lombard Kingdoms which expanded into the FeuFrom nees, and perhaps the whole Kingdom of Spain itself, dal system, may seem to demand a passing notice. Its from subjection to the sword of Clovis.*

chief distinction from them was in the still greater in476. After this loss of the great Province of Aquitaine, fluence arrogated by the Clergy in temporal affairs.

476. the Visigothic Monarchy may, in a general sense, be The Visigothic Prelates are admitted iu some degree to

said to have been restricted to Spain, and its seat of have deserved this superior power.* While the Pre755.

755. Government was transferred from Toulouse to Toledo. lates of the Frankish Empire had degenerated into We have seen that, by the marriage of one of his fighting and hunting Barbarians, the Visigothic Bishops

daughters with Alaric, Theodoric the Great had become respected themselves and were respected by the Public; The seat of

the natural protector of the Visigothic Crown, and the and the regular discipline which they maintained in sarchy

guardian of his infant grandson, Amalaric. While the their Church had some beneficial though imperfect transferred Regency of Theodoric united the two kindred nations effects upon the peace of the Kingdom. The spiritual to Spun. of the Gothic stock, History has scarcely preserved a Convocation, or National Council

, of the Clergy appear [mmense trace of the domestic fortunes of the Spanish Kingdom; to have had a concurrent power with the Nobles and great power of the 576.

nor, when the death of that great Monarch again sepa- functionaries of the State, if not also the initiative voice, Clergy.
rated the Annals of the two nations in Italy and Spain in temporal legislation; and many salutary laws of the
and bequeathed the Visigothic sceptre to Amalaric,f Visigothic Code owed their enactment to this mixture
does the subsequent reign of that Prince present any- of Barbarian freedom and Ecclesiastical policy in the
thing worthy of arresting our attention.

General Assembly of the Noble and Episcopal Orders. Costerest This obscure and unimportant character of the Visi- The electiun to the Crown, and the subsequent control bng charac- gothic Annals extends over their whole duration of the Royal administration, were vested in the united ter of the From the accession of Amalaric to the overthrow of the choice of the Bishops and Palatines, and preserved in Fagothic Monarchy in the person of its last Sovereign Roderic, the privileges of a powerful Aristocracy; and, after the

we are required to survey a dreary waste of nearly two failure of the Royal line of Alaric, the succession was
centuries, barren alike in events either of intrinsic in- still limited to the pure and noble blood of the Goths.t
terest or foreign value. Through the thick darkness We may add a fact to this summary which has escaped
which shrouds all this period, we may indeed faintly, the great authority from whom we are borrowing, that,
discern the confusion and crimes of Barbarian revolu- though revolution, cruelty, and anarchy disturbed the
tions; the disorders of a Regal succession, which was series of the Visigothic, perhaps as thickly as of the
rather elective in the noble blood of the Goths thau Merovingian Kings, the unity of the State was never
absolutely hereditary; endless Civil wars and disputed broken by the mischievous custom of Regal partitions ;
pretensions to the Throne ; the usual assassinationis and and the laws and the internal polity of the Spanish
atrocities which defiled all the Palaces of Europe with Monarchy were on the whole far more equable and
blood and violence during the same Ages; and, above uniform, and probably better administered, than those
all, the fierce bigotry of Religious persecution, which of the Frankish Empire. I
even already seemed to have fore-marked the Penin- To this favourable exercise of Ecclesiastical influence Religious
sula for its chosen and durable theatre. But these must be darkly contrasted the horrid spectacle of the persecution
domestic vicissitudes of the Visigothic Monarchy exer- Religious persecution, which it was employed to ex-
cised no influence upon the contemporary affairs of cite and aggravate. The Visigoths, at the epoch of
other nations, and are totally undeserving of record in their conquest of the Peninsula, and for above a cen-
themselves. Isolated from the rest of the world by the tury afterwards, like most of the Barbarian nations,
Pyrenean barrier and the Ocean, the Visigoths, after professed the Arian Heresy; the descendants of the Arianism of
they were confined to their Spanish settlements and the Roman Provincials of Spain adhered to the Orthodox the Visi-
narrow March of Septimania, appear for two hundred Creed; and this diversity of Religion was sufficient to goths,
years to have maintained little intercourse with the other produce and perpetuale ihe worst excesses of a furious
people of Europe. The Principality of the Suevi in bigotry. The cruelties to which the Arian Bishops

Gallicia, which had long survived the first shock of stimulated their Monarchs against the subject Carho580. the Visigothic arms, was not entirely subjugated and lics, the sudden conversiou of the Visigothic Court

incorporated into the Monarchy by Leovogild, until near and Clergy to the oppressed Faith, and the proscription
the close of the Vlth century; and, about thirty years to which the Arian opinions were in turn exposed, are
later, Sisebert, another of the most able and warlike of events belonging rather tu Ecclesiastical than Poli-
the Visigothic Kings, by tearing from the Eastern Em-tical History. Two circumstances, however, in the
pire the few maritime possessions which it had hitherto Annals of the l'isigothic Church deserve mention in
preserved in Spain on the Mediterranean and Ocean, this place for their connection with the temporal affairs

completed the consolidation of the Monarchy. At of the Monarchy. In the reign of Leovogild, the Re- Reign of Consolidate this epochthe beginning of the VIIth century, the ligious divisions of the State produced a furious Civil Leovogild. is of the dominion of the Visigothic Sovereigns of Spain had

war, in which the rebels were led by his own son, Herpower in attained its greatest height; it embraced the whole menegild. That young Prince had espoused a daughter

Peninsula, with the Gaulish frontier, and even ex- of one of the Merovingian Kings; and the shameful vio-
tended in the opposite direction beyond the Pillars of lence to which the Religious constancy of his Catholic
Hercules over some part of Mauritania. I
The Civil Constitution of the Visigothic Monarchy,

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• Gibbon, vol. vi. p. 376.

f Ibid.
supra, p. 287.

At least all this may fairly be inferred from the spirit of careful
Isidor. Chron. Goth. p. 721.

legislation which breathes through the Visigothic Code (published in 1 Mariana, Hist. de Rebus Hispaniæ, lib. vi. c. 1-6.

the Benedictine Collection, Recueil des Hist. dc.) already quoted.

a. 1. D.

611. Conil Consti tolga of the Mozarchy.

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History. bride was exposed, by the bigotry of his stepmother, active auxiliaries of the Saracens in the overthrow of Spain.

was followed by his own conversion from Arianism the Gothic Monarchy of Spain.* From and revolt against the Royal and paternal authority. That memorable event, however, was immediately

The disaffected Catholics supported his cause; and it produced or precipitated by intestine disunion among 476.

476. was not until after a long and sanguinary struggle the Visigoths themselves; and the Mohammedan con

that their rebellion was subdued. Hermenegild himself quest of the Peninsula was first invited by the treason A. D.

fell into the hands of his parent, and his repeated trea- of a Christian Chieftain. At the opening of the eighth 755.

755. sons justly forfeited his claim to the mercy with which century, the successors of Mohammed had extended Conversion

Fall of the and revolt of he was at first treated : though even his aggravated the empire of their Religion and nation to the Western Visigothic his son Her- guilt can scarcely excuse the ultimate and unnatural limits of Africa; and the victorious career of Mousa, power. menegild. severity of a father, who pronounced the alternative of the Lieutenant of the Caliph Walid, was only arrested

his son's death or return to the Arian profession. He by the walls of the Visigothic fortress of Ceuta, in 578.

sealed the sincerity of his conversion to the Catholic Mauritania, and the bravery of its Governor, Count
Faith with his blood; and the Romish Church has ca- Julian. The motives which suddenly converted the

Its probable A. D.

nonized his memory, and perpetuated one of her gloomi- gallant defence of that Nobleman into a traitorous alli534.

est legends in the martyrdoin of St. Hermenegild.* ance with the infidel enemy, are involved in much real Martyrdom of Herme

This shocking tragedy clouded the glory and happi- obscurity; and a suspicious tale of Romance † is all negild. piness of a reign, which had otherwise been distin- that remains to supply the want of better Historical

A. D. guished as the brightest in the Annals of the Visigothic materials for the barbarous annals of a troubled and 585. Monarchy of Spain. But, by what must appear an

calamitous epoch. It was the dishonour of Count Conversion unaccountable change of opinion, unless we attribute Julian's daughter by his Sovereign Roderic, according of the Visi- a strong revulsion of popular sympathy to the fate and to the legend, which provoked the treason and suggested goths.

the cause of Hermenegild, the Arian Clergy and nation the fatal revenge of the Chieftain. But this story is

within a few years voluntarily adopted the Creed which scarcely sustained by the few authentic facts of the Recared, they had strenuously proscribed. Recared, the brother Saracen conquest which have descended to us ; and the the first Ca- of the martyr, had embraced the same Faith: but with distracted state of the Visigothic Monarchy, which at Intestine tholic King. more timidity, or prudence, or filial reverence, he the time was torn by the feuds of the Clergy and Nobles, dissensioel,

avoided to disturb the last days, and perhaps to aggra- and divided in allegiance between the reigning Sove586.

vate the remorse, of his unhappy parent; and it was reign and the sons of the last King, Witika, may jus.
not until Leovogild had sunk into the grave, that the tify the suspicion, that the introduction of the Saracens
new King avowed himself a Catholic, and invited his was less the work of one man and the vengeance of his
people to share his conversion. Notwithstanding a private wrongs, than the desperate project of an am-
conspiracy and a partial revolt, which he quelled, bitious and broken faction.
Recared at once succeeded in his purpose ; a general The crimes of Witika had provoked the revolt of his Reign of
Council of the Arian Prelates and Nobles yielded to his subjects; and on his deposition, Roderic, the represen- Roderic.
exhortations; and the mass of the Visigothic nation tative of one of the most illustrious Houses of the Gothic
strangely hastened to ahjure in one hour the Heresy to lineage, had been raised to the Throne. In the inso-
which they had clung for two centuries.*

lence of his Regal fortunes, Roderic might forget the Persecution The second circumstance to which we have referred, practice of former virtue, the duties of his office, and of the Jews. in the connection between the Ecclesiastical and Polić the fate of his licentious predecessor. He is accused

tical Annals of the Visigoths, was the persecution of the of having wasted his talents in debauchery: it is ouly 612.

Jews. That unhappy race had settled in great num- certain that, whether through his vices, or their restless

bers in Spain long before the epoch of the Visigothic turbulence and factious spirit, a portion of the Gothic 710.

conquests; and the wealth which their industry had Clergy and Nobles had become disaffected and estranged Disaffection
gradually accumulated seems to have offered the first from his Government. Encouraged by this temper of of the No-
temptation to oppress and ruin them. The Canons of the Aristocracy, the sons of Witika secretly asserted their bles.
the Visigothic Councils, during almost the whole of the title to the Crown; their uncle Oppas, the Ecclesias-
VIIth century, are filled with traces of the spoliation, tical Primate of the Kingdom, favoured their preten-
the turtures, and the misery of every kind, by which sions ; and it is probable that Count Julian had en-
the Jews were punished for the exercise, and compelled tered into the same cause, and incurred the disgrace
to the abjuration, of their Faith; and these merciless and danger of an abortive conspiracy. But, whatever
enactments but too closely anticipated, if they did not were his political fears and disgusts, or his private
first suggest, the detestable spirit of the more modern injuries, the station which the Count occupied in the
Inquisition. By Sisebert, near an hundred thousand of Monarchy gave him but too ready a means for the
the Jews were compelled, on pain of death, to receive accomplishment of his policy or vengeance.

His exten-
the sacrament of Baptism; Chintilla, one of his succes- sive domains, his high rank, and his numerous re-
sors, decreed the banishment of the whole race; and it tainers made nim a powerful leader ; and the govern-
was only a refinement of avarice and cruelty that re- ment both of the Southern Provinces of the Kingdom
scinded the sentence, to detain the victims of repeated and its African dependencies enabled him to betray the
confiscation and persecution within the grasp of their keys of the Peninsula to the formidable enemies who Treason of
tyrants. The political effects of Persecution are in all were already at its gates. To the Lieutenant of the Count Ju-
Ages nearly the same; and the detestation which the Caliph, he exposed the wealth and the weakness of his lian.
Jews cherished against their Christian oppressors,
naturally impelled them to become the secret but • Mariana, lib. vi. c. 1-18. passim.

† Mariana has laboured hard (lib. vi. c. 21.) to weave the Romance

of Count Julian's daughter Cava into the thread of genuine History: • Mariana, Hist. de Rebus Hisp. lib. v. c. 12-14, + Ibid, lib. v. c. 14, 15.

but he quotes no contemporary evidence ; nor, in fact, does any exist for this legend of, probably, some much subsequent creation.

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History. Country: the slothful vices or unpopular government overran the whole length of the Peninsula from South Spain.

of the King ; the disaffection of the Nobles; and the to North, and extended the Musulman conquests from From corruption of a people, who, in the long disuse of arms the rock of Gibraltar to the bay of Biscay. So rapid From 4. D. and the temptations to luxurious indulgence, had utterly was the career of Tarik that, when Mousa, whose

degenerated from the energy and prowess of the old jealousy was unworthily excited by the glory which his 476. Gothic character.

officer had acquired, hastened to supplant him by Fired with ambition at the prospect of so splendid landing with a fresh army in Spain, there remained 755.

755. and easy a conquest, Mousa delayed only for the per- little more for him to accomplish than the reduction of Frasica of

Conquest of the Saracens.

mission of the Caliph to undertake the enterprise; and the cities which had lain out of the route of his precur, the Penin

an experimental descent of a few hundred Mohammed- sor. Of these, Seville and Merida alone resisted with sula by the 710.

ans on the Spanish coast having sufficiently confirmed obstinacy before they submitted to the common lot of Saracens.
the report of the traitor, and proved the defenceless capitulation; and in less than three years from their first
condition of the Kingdom, a more serious invasion descent, the Arabians had securely established the long 713.
was repeated in the following summer. In transports dominion of their race and their Religion in Spain.
provided by the Gothic Count, and at the head of only The fate of the mass of the subjugated nation, and Fate of the
seven thousand Arabians and Moors, (or Africans,) the settlement of the Musulman conquerors in their conquered
Tarik, an intrepid Saracen, crossed the strait between new possessions, will each claim a brief notice, and population.
the ancient Pillars of Hercules, and pitched his first may be comprehended in the same rapid view. After
camp in Spain, on the rock which owes its modern the first excesses of warfare were over, the Saracens
appellation of Gibraltar * to his name. Conducted by treated their new subjects with remarkable lenity: the
Count Julian and his followers, and reinforced from Christians were permitted to enjoy the undisturbed ex-
Africa, the Saracens were rapidly successful ; and the ercise of their Religion and laws; the tribute which the
defeat of a Gothic army under Edico, roused Roderic conquerors imposed, did not, except where the resist- Toleration
himself from his dream of indolent security to the ance had been obstinate, exceed the usual taxes of the granted to,
opposite error of a presumptuous rashness. His sum- Visigothic Kings; and there can be no doubt that the and tribvie
mons to the national defence was obeyed by the general fertility and wealth of the Spanish Provinces, imposed
Nobles and Clergy of the Gothic Monarchy at the head and the prosperity, happiness, and numbers of the people, upon, the

of near one hundred thousand followers: but the num- were largely improved and multiplied under the bene-
bers of this disorderly host, unpractised in arms and ficent rule of their Arabian Lords. The toleration,
divided by treason, were feebly opposed to the firm which was only permitted to the Christians, was mea-

Favour array of twenty thousand veteran Arabians and Moors, sured with a more abundant and cordial spirit to the shown to the breathing a common spirit of fanaticism, and flushed Jewish population of Spain. That oppressed and Jews. with the promise of an opulent realm.

persecuted race had hailed the Saracen invasion as the Battle of The temerity of the Gothic King staked the fortune glad signal of deliverance and revenge. They had, Xeres.

of the Monarchy on a single battle ; and on the banks both in secret, and afterwards more openly, rendered

of the Gaudalete, near the town of Xeres, the Christian the conquerors most important services during the

and Mohammedan armies met in the memorable and prosecution of the enterprise ; and they were rewarded
sanguinary encounter, which was to deliver the fairest by the gratitude of the Mohammedans with almost
portion of Spain to the dominion of the Arabs for eight every immunity and privilege which they could possibly
hundred years. Notwithstanding the decay of their na- desire. Throughout the Middle Ages, the Jews enjoyed
tional vigour, and the evils of their disunion, the Goths in the Moorish Provinces of Spain the happiest seats
still fought with some remains of a spirit worthy of their any where permitted to them; and the bonds of fidelity
ancient renown; and the event was for several days ad- and protection between them and their Musulman mas-
verse to the Saracens, until the treachery of the Archbishop ters remained unbroken until the final ruin of the
Oppas, who, with his nephews, suddenly drew off his Arabian Monarchies.
troops from the Christian line and charged his asto- The alliance between the invaders and the traitorous Faith kept
nished countrymen, spread dismay through their ranks, faction of the Goths, which had introduced them into with the

Christian and produced irretrievable disorder, a general flight, the Kingdom, was probably less sincere : but it does

traitors. Death of and a treinendous carnage. Roderic himself escaped from not appear that the Saracens violated their faith even Borerie.

the field only to perish in the waters of the Guadil- towards the instruments whose baseness they must have
quivir;t his fall involved the immediate ruin of the despised. Of the fate of Count Julian himself, indeed,
Monarchy; and the long series of the Visigothic Kings History has preserved no authentic trace; and the
of Spain ierminates with his death.

natural hope that he did not escape the retribution
Before the panic-stricken and disunited Christians which his crime had deserved, has been indulged only
had leisure to collect their scattered strength, or reco- in the romantic creations of a Poetical justice. But it
ver their broken spirit from the fatal field of Xeres, is known that the sons of Witika were invested by the
Tarik had rapidly advanced to the Gothic Capital of Saracens in their private and patrimonial estates; even

Toledo; received the submission of its inhabitants; their subsequent family disputes were equitably adjusted otal sub and, by seizing that seat of the Monarchy, prevented before the impartial tribunal of the Caliphs; and the vers won of any attempt to fill the vacant Throne. The surrender of Gothic origin of their descendants was gradually minthe Viniging the Capital was imitated hy every city in the Saracen gled, by intermarriage, with the noblest blood of Arabia. thic she

line of mareh ; and in a few months Tarik triumphantly But it was not possible that the violence of con- Settlement Gevel Tarik, or the mountain of Tarik--be ancient Mount Christian population.

quest could equally respect the rights of the whole of the Ara. Caipe.

The numerous bodies of the bians and | Such, in opposition to the romantic imaginings of the Spanish

victoriolis 'Saracens, who seated themselves in the Moors. writers, is the unvarnished relation of Roderic's death in the best

Peninsula, until, by colonization or conversion, they Arabina Historians, Biblioth. Arabico-Hispana, vol. ii. p. 327. overspread ihe Spanish Provinces with a Musulman

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History. people, must originally have been established in their Leon and Castile. Tradition has justly consecrated the Spais.

lands at the expense of Christian proprietors; and invincible constancy and patriotism of the handful of From though the manner in which the spoliation was con- brave men, who, amidst the wreck of their national From

ducted is not recorded, it cannot be doubted that many fortunes, still disdained a base submission to the Sara-
of the Goths must have been violently dispossessed of cen yoke ; and who chose rather to assert, at the point

their lands. It may be conjectured that the confiscated of their good swords, a life of poverty and freedom in
estates of those numerous adherents of the unfortunate the barren mountains of Asturias, than to share the

A. D. 755.

755. Roderic, who had fallen in the defence of their Country, wealthy servitude of their degenerate Countrymen. But or who preferred an honourable resistance or exile to an Pelayo and his followers were, it is probable, in the ignominious submission beneath the Infidel yoke, afforded outset, enabled chiefly to inaintain their independence a great means of provision for the Saracen colonists. by the obscurity of their retreat and the neglect of the But the nunbers of the original conquerors were per- conquerors. Seven years elapsed between the battle of petually reinforced by hordes of fresh adventurers from Xeres and the date assigned by the Spanish Chronithe various regions of Asia and Africa who arrived under clers to the first encounter between the Sar cens and the command of the successive Lieutenants of the Ca- the Asturian Christians; and even the story of the liphs; and the distinction of their races in the Spanish expedition despatched by the Caliph's Lieutenant, Cities and Provinces was long cherished by the pride Alakor, against their reviving State, and of the tremenof their descendants. The Asiatic bands of Palestine, dous overthrow given by Pelayo to his numerous army of Emesa, and of Damascus, were seated at Medina- in the mountains, is disfigured and exaggerated by the Sidonia, at Seville, and at Cordova ; the Gothic Capi- Monkish Legends, into the miraculous destruction of tal of Toledo was occupied, and the central Provinces one hundred thousand of the Infidels. were thinly overspread, with Tribes of Persian and If we credit, in any degree, the magnitude of this and Favoured Arabian birth ; and the beautiful region of Grenada, a subsequent defeat which Pelayo is declared to have by the dis

; the longest preserved and the most precious gem in the inflicted on the Saracens,

must seem very inconsist- sensions of

the Arabs. Spanish Empire of the Arabs, was assigned to a nu- ent with the sagacious policy which tempered the fanamerous colony, who boasted a peculiar descent from the ticism of the Mohammedans in those Ages, that they purest and noblest blood of their native deserts. The should have turned aside from the task of reducing an crowd of ricans, who had followed the standards of enemy already so dangerous in the heart of their Mousa and his successors from Mauritania and Egypt, Spanish Empire, to undertake the more distant and arwere scattered over the surface of the Peninsula, and duous conquest of France. It is far more probable that might be distinguished on its opposite shores, in the the shock which their power sustained from the arms of Provinces of Portugal and in Murcia: but, by a curi. Charles Martel in that disastrous expedition, the deous caprice of fortune, the Moors of Africa, the pro- clining vigour of the Caliphate itself, and the dissensions selytes, the subjects, and the inferior companions of among the Spanish Arabians, which immediately prethe Saracens, have been suffered to embrace in their ceded its triple division in Asia, Africa, and Spain, all familiar name the whole Arabian population of Spain.* conspired to favour the silent and neglected growth of

The subsequent Annals of Spain under the dominion the Christian State in the Asturias: which in its origin of the Arabians belong, accordiug to our plan, rather to could scarcely have sustained an open and regular

the Mohammedan than the Christian division of Poli- struggle against the individed force of the Saracen Silent revi- tical History. But the slow revival of a Christian Mo- conquerors. We have little knowledge of the interval Germ of the val of the narchy in the Peninsula is a portion of our present condition of the North of Spain in that dark and trou- Christian Christian

subject. After the fall of the Gothic Kingdom, great blous era: but it was perhaps the same dissensions Kingdoms Monarchy

of Aragon numbers of the inhabitants from the Eastern Provinces in Asturias :

of the Moorish Governors, that cherished the first germs

and Naunder Pe- fled into France: but a few of the hardier spirits, who of two other free Christian States in the Pyrenean layo. embraced the nobler alternative of resistance, had re- mountains, which afterwards swelled into the Kingdoms

tired into the lofty mountains of Asturias ; and a small of Aragon and Navarre. The increase of the Asturian Alfonso I., 718. inland district in the most inaccessible part of those State is more distinctly marked. After the interme- King of As

natural fastnesses, became the cradle of the modern diate rule of Favila, the sword or sceptre of Pelayo turias. A. D. Monarchy of Spain. Pelagius, or Pelayo, a Goth of descended to his son-in-law, Alfonso I., the real foun734.

739. noble, or perhaps even of Royal blood, who is said to der, perhaps, of the Asturian Monarchy; who, availing have rallied the poor remnant of the national army himself of the internal distractions of the Moors, broke after the battle of Xeres, became the leader of these from his mountains into Gallicia, reconquered that

758. fugitives in the North, and the founder of a new Chris- Province, and consolidated the strength and compact- Triple divitian Kingdom : but nothing can be more obscure and ness of his Kingdom. It was during his reign that sion of the uncertain than the first foundation of the little State Spain, by the dismemberment of the great Saracen Caliphate. which was gradually to expand into the Monarchy of Empire, afforded the splendid seat for an independent Abdalrat

Caliphate, and the revival of an Ommiadan dynasty in man, first

Caliph of the West, under Abdalrahman : but at this epoch we The original, or at least earliest, authorities for the History of the

Spain. Saracen conquest of Spain, are contaiued in the Arabic writers, copied

may conveniently postpone both the Christian and into the Bibliotheca Arabico-Hispana of Casiri, vol. ii. passim from

Mahommedan Annals of the Peninsula, for a future 755. p. 31 to 331 ; and in the Chronicles of King Alphonso III. of Leon, consideration.* (Pagi, Critica, vol. iii.) and of Roderic of Toledo, ad c. 9. See also the more modern text of Mariana. Hist. de Rebus Hispaniæ, lib vi.

* The revival of the Christian Monarchy, and the Arabian Annals c. 19.ad fin. Amung our English Historians the subject has been adorned

of Spain from the conquest to the triple division of the Caliphate, hy the labours of Sibbon, c. 51; and of Mills, History of Muham

must be gleaned from Roderic Toletan, Hist. Arab. c. X.-xviii. medanism, 2d Edit. p. 109–116, an elegant specimen of learning Chron. Alphonsi Regis, et Bib. Arab. Hisp. ub. suprà ; and Mariana, and condensation.

lib. vii. c. 1, 2.


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