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Evidence for St. James, or lack of evidence?

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#1
Since my eating my own book is at stake and since I seem to have open an interesting can of worms on another thread, almost as satisfying as that on Spanish pilgrim Forums, I thought this might be a better place to transfer the discussion.
Major Spanish writers writing from 4th century to the 8th century, who should have made mention of St. James, quite pointedly do not. Even St. Jerome makes no mention while writing of Spain. Gregory of Tours (late 6th century) says nothing about St. James in Spain even though his writings include extensive material about holy places and shrines. Neither did Pope Innocencio. Saint Julian, Archbishop of Toledo claimed in his work, The Sixth Age, that James had never evangelised in Spain but suggests that he remained in Jerusalem spreading the Good News under St. James the Less. None of the Visigothic writers, and that includes St. Isidoro, allowed the saint´s presence in Spain at all, and Isidoro actually questioned the idea. And if we want to bring this further "up to date": Pope Clement VIII in the 1500's actually obliterated all previous refernces to St. James' evangelising in Hispania. And note, here we are only talking about preaching, not even about actual entombment. Even if the mythological stories (rudderless stone boats, blown "on the winds of providence", wild bulls and dragons, miracles springing disciples from prison etc.) are to believed, at best, James may - if he came at all - have made 9 converts. Nine. And according to the stories he was made most unwelcome anyway. Why would his disciples bring him back here to be buried where he and his message were virtually unknown and he wasn´t even welcome!
The fact is that by the 9th and 10th century, Spain was overrun with the Moors who were united in their faith and had Mohammed as their figurehead. Spain was a loose group of rival kingdoms. I can´t even say "associated": they were frequently at odds with one another, what, that is, was left of Hispania. Spain didn´t even exist until the late 15th century. In the early 11th century, especially, a figurehead was needed. Remains had been found in Galicia in the very early 800´s. Oddly, they were given no real importance by the Visigoths for quite some time, even though a small monastery and church was erected on the spot where the remains were found. But after a while, it was thought in certain power circles that maybe those remains might provide the very figurehead needed to "Cierre España": the battle cry.
I, following Regius Prof. Henry Chadwick and others (and actually local sensibilities: Priscillian is far from unknown in Galicia) have continued the idea that the remains might have been those of Priscillian, who had a vast following in Galicia and the north of Spain, right into the south part of Gaul in the last part of the 4th century. Despite all Roman Catholic attempts to stamp it out, Priscllianism remained a dominant force in Arian Suevi-held Spain for over 60 years following Priscillian´s execution on the grounds of "heresy" (in 385).
We do not know whose bones are there. I do not know if they are Priscillian´s. But I do not believe they are those of St. James.
Much more on my website and in the interview wth PilgrimsPlaza here on the Forum. But don´t take my word for it. Google almost anything on line not taken directly from the Catholic Encyclopaedia (1905) and you´ll find a lot of people agree with me in a lot of languages.
Tracy Saunders
http://pilgrimagetoheresy.com
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#3
It obviously mattered greatly in the 11th and 12th centuries ... not so much today!!
In those days, it would cost the community more money to buy a piece of the 'true cross' than it did to build the church to house it - and no church could be consecrated without at least one relic.

In the 7th c St. Aldhelm abbot of Malmesbury, a Latin poet and ecclesiastical writer, mentions St James in a poem "as the first fruits of the gospel, St James through his preaching converted the hispanic peoples.."

One book says that the tradition of St James in Spain was preserved in the 5th - 7th c being found in the writings of St Isidore of Seville's De Ortu et Obitu Patrum, written in about 630, mentions that James had evangelized the west of Spain and that the hymn, O Dei Verbum, dating from about 785, acclaimed the apostle as the evengelizer and patron of Christian Spain.

The Breviarum Apostolorum - or Breviary of the Apostles - was the first to claim that James had preached in Hispania.

The burial place was identified as Arca Marmórica - a marble chest or sarcophagus.

Read more:

http://www.csj.org.uk/2000-years.htm
http://www.seacex.com/documentos/09_san ... edents.pdf
 
#4
jeff001 said:
Does it really make any difference whose remains are or are not buried at Santiago?
of course; it's fundamental! The whole point of pilgrimage is that it's a journey to a holy place, and the places are made holy through the association with holy men and women. Remove that association and the pilgrimage becomes pointless. The whole point of Santiago is the association with Sant Iago. Remove Sant Iago from Santiago, and what are you left with?
 

sillydoll

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#5
A grande randonnée???
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
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#6
"Remove Sant Iago from Santiago and what are you left with?"
Compostela.
Perhaps a more open field of Stars?
 
#7
I must confess to having some sympathy's with Jeff's position in this redundant debate - whilst I understand Peter's point entirely, we can't do a DNA test on the bones to prove they are St James' or anyone else's - so we believe them to be the bones of St James and given that it can't be proved does it really matter if they are symbols or reality?

Meanwhile the pilgrims keep walking to Santiago...
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#8
The name "Compostela did not exist in the 2nd quarter of the 11th Century (the time of Alfonso III).
The popular etymology of the name "Compostela" is that it comes from Latin campus stellae, i.e. "field of stars", making Santiago de Compostela "St. James in the Field of Stars".
Another etymology is Compositum, i.e. "The well founded",
And yet another is Composita Tella, meaning "burial ground".
 

jeff001

Active Member
#9
My point is that, to me at least, the journey is more important than the destination. And if the journey isn't worth it to you unless the "actual" bones of St. James are there you might as well stay at home.
 
#10
Whether St James is or is not at rest there is of lessor importance than whether one believes he is-or is not. For my part, I am quite happy to believe that he is.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#11
On Archicompostela.org the Santiago de Compostela Archdiosces has this to say about the 'way' and the 'goal'.

The most important thing here is the Goal, not the Way. Jacobean Pilgrims do not go on pilgrimage for the sake of the Way. Through the Way they do get to the Tomb of Saint James "the Great".
Their sacrifice and suffering while journeying to Compostela are living symbols. It consists in revealing their solidarity and compromise to the Good News of Jesus, which echoes from the Apostle's Tomb: "The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1,15).
Thus, the Way is just a means, a road the pilgrim walks along.
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#13
OK....a thought experiment.
Suppose, just suppose, that the person who was actually buried in the cathedral taught and practised a more "pure" form of Christianity that was adopted by the Roman church in the late 4th century. Historically, we know that the Roman church agreed on only certain material being included in the NT. From the Council of Nicea and others onwards, the rest was deemed apocrypha, and later, it was dangerous to want to read it. If you could, of course. For those who couldn´t, well, we had the deacons, the priests, the bishops, and the Vicar of Rome to "interpret" it for us. But I digress....back to Compostela.
Suppose, just suppose, that the Jesus we encounter in the NT is only the Jesus that we are allowed to believe in simply because the stories we grew up with tell us so. (Bethlehem, Nazareth etc.) Now, just suppose, just for a minute, there were other stories, stories that were suppressed, stories that were forbidden, stories that were hidden away by monks in Egypt for fear of persecution and possible death. Now, just suppose, those stories somehow, somehow made their way to a Roman civilian in Spain in the late 4th century. A man from a noble house, a layman, wordly and erudite who wanted to know more than was good for him. Let´s suppose that man, having read that material, decided to proselytise it believing it to be the real message of Jesus the Christ. A man who came to insist on a simple way of life, a vegetarian diet, celibacy for the "elect" of his followers. In short, a man following Essene precepts the like of which research has shown was most certainly that practised by Jesus himself! Read Barbara Theirring´s higly disturbing Jesus the Man. Theirring was crucially involved with the deciphering of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Now let's execute that man because he refuses to tow the line, because his views are considered "heresy" by the church. Executed perhaps because he had the good sense to know (as did the Romans themselves - Constantine adopted Christianity alright, but in practice remained a follower of Sol Invictus which is why you celebrate Christmas at the end of December!) that to win over the hearts and minds of the people you do not destroy their old beliefs: you gently bring them around to seeing just how closely they resemble your own. (Easter is the name of a pagan goddess of fertility for heaven´s sake!)
Was this a holy man. A Holy Man? If so, and we are making a pilgrimage to his grave not St. James´, are we doing ourselves any unjustice at all?
Priscillian of Avila was just such a man.
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#14
"OK....a thought experiment.
Suppose, just suppose, that the person who was actually buried in the cathedral taught and practised a more "pure" form of Christianity that was adopted by the Roman church in the late 4th century."

Edit by Priscillian:
...that is supposed to read "than" was adopted by the Roman Church. It makes a bit of a difference...
How do I edit my posts, anyway!!
Tracy Saunders
http://pilgrimagetoheresy.com
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#15
Tracy-to edit your own post: you will see above your own post an 'edit' option if you click on that it brings up the original which you can then edit and re-post.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#16
In defence of pilgrimage St Jerome (who also wrote about Priscilian's execution) said:
“We do not worship, we do not adore for fear that we should bow down to the creature rather than to the Creator, but we venerate the relics of the martyrs in order the better to adore Him whose martyrs they are.”
What delicious vindication if it really is Prisicilian's skeleton in the tomb at Compostela! He must've been smiling in his grave all these years: what he couldn't achieve in life, he achieved ten-fold in death.
RIP
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#17
And suppose the User Manual for life is revised more often than every 2,000 years? And suppose it covers more humans than a few million in the Mediterranean region, or even many millions in the Euro-centric world?

There may be very little of importance to be learned in the minutiae of parsed history. You can't get the same story from twenty people who witness a crime. Will a detailed study of one of their mistaken versions really lead to the "truth?"

I have examined the objects and features of the history along the Camino for hours, and then gotten more of what I really want from the pilgrimage in a ten minute talk with a fellow pilgrim.
 
#19
"Remove Sant Iago from Santiago, and what are you left with?" (Peter)

Left? Story, tradition and Legend.

And, don't forget that centuries before Sant Iago tradition, people went to the Finis Terrae.

Santiago gave people a reason to walk to the west, when christian soldiers were fighting against arab forces. To settle there, to confirm it were christian lands, and it were safe.

I'm really sorry with all of you, to many long messages in this line for my poor english knowledge.

Buen Camino, always to the west, by the campus stellae, even to the Finis Terrae.

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

jl

Veteran Member
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#20
Hello Javier,

Congratulations on your English skills. Don't worry - you do very well. I have what I consider is a good command of English and yet I struggle to follow some of the long posts - so you are not alone. Keep up the good work, as you have much of value to add!

regards, Janet
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#22
Javier: Muchas gracias para tu responsa. Believe me I couldn´t have done better in Spanish and I have been here for 12 years! There are plans for Pilgrimage to Heresy to be published in Spanish from the Editorial Algaida. When all is confirmed I´ll post the details aqui. Mientras you might be interested in the following links as they are in Spanish and English and subtitled in many other languages as well. They will tell you un poco mas de Priscillianismo:
http://video.godsdirectcontact.net/down ... 17_703.wmv

http://video.godsdirectcontact.net/down ... 24_710.wmv

http://video.godsdirectcontact.net/down ... 31_717.wmv
Un Saludo Xacobeo,
Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
 

gyro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos: Frances, Ingles, Portugues, de Norte
Via(s): de la Plata, Mozarabe
#23
Dear Priscillian (and hello everybody else),
What an interesting discussion thread: many thanks for posting your thoughts to us.

Your suggestion that the present veneration of St James stemmed, at least in part, from the Galician veneration of Priscillian is very interesting. It is certainly worth researching further.

I have no particular fear of discovering that the bones of the historical St James do not lie in Galicia. I feel that, with matters of faith, geography and history should be valued as important components. I also believe that historical research, if worthy of the name, could only produce a maturer, more considered faith and knowledge of the divine.

So thank you -and thanks to the other contributors - for this discussion. I look forward to reading more on this subject.
Kind regards
Gyro
 
#24
gyro said:
... Your suggestion that the present veneration of St James stemmed, at least in part, from the Galician veneration of Priscillian is very interesting. It is certainly worth researching further....

As far as I know, Priscillian is buried in the place of Os Martores, very near of Valga, in the Camino Portugues.

He was born in Galicia, because in IV century Astorga was belonging to Galicia.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

gyro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos: Frances, Ingles, Portugues, de Norte
Via(s): de la Plata, Mozarabe
#25
Javier Martin said:
As far as I know, Priscillian is buried in the place of Os Martores, very near of Valga, in the Camino Portugues.
He was born in Galicia, because in IV century Astorga was belonging to Galicia.
Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
Y usted, peregrino.

Thank you for telling us that.
I am planning to tackle the Camino Portugues next April, so this looks an opportunity for a little research on the way.
Kind regards
Gyro
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#27
Thank you Javier (muchas gracias peregrino), and Gyro, and all of you for keeping this post alive!
Os Martores, eh? I would love to know where you got this information from for obvious reasons. Please post or PM me. I am planning to walk the Camino Portugues myself, probably next June. I had planned to walk in April but am called to speak at a conference on Gnosticism in Canada where the keynote speaker is Elaine Pagels of The Gnostic Gospels and how can I refuse?
In the meantime, I thought you might be interested in the following 3 part TV interview about Priscillian with a bit of me in each segment. You don´t have to be vegetarian (or even a "Priscillianist"!) to enjoy it, so "keep tuned". It´s very informative about Priscillianism, in Spanish and English (the me bits) and subtitled in 14 languages!

http://video.godsdirectcontact.net/down ... 17_703.wmv

http://video.godsdirectcontact.net/down ... 24_710.wmv

http://video.godsdirectcontact.net/down ... 31_717.wmv

My other "bit" of news is that Pilgrimage to Heresy has been officially accepted by Editoriales Algaida, a division of the very prestigeous ANAYA publishing group here in Spain. They are going to arrange for translation and I would imagine that the book will be available in Spanish by the middle of next year. Next stop is the Frankfurt Bookfair, so wish me luck! I´ve had loads of interest and encouragement from Pilgrims from all over, even those who don´t agree with me, and that´s fine: I have always said that the Camino has a way of showing you your own destination and believe me, I have never intended to any kind of "expert" on Priscillianism. What is often overlooked is that most of the book is about ordinary pilgrims like the rest of us, trying to figure out why they are there: blisters and all!
It´s very good news for Priscillian, a much misunderstood man (and me! Probably also misunderstood!)
"Watch this space"!
Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
 
#29
Priscillian said:
... Os Martores, eh? I would love to know where you got this information from for obvious reasons. Please post or PM me....
Priscillian, can I copy/paste something in Spanish? A bit long, but very interesting to read it. About Priscilian:

... Esta hipótesis que propone que los restos de la Tumba de Compostela no son los del Apóstol Santiago sino los de PRISCILIANO y dos de sus seguidores, merece mención especial. La hipótesis es antigua, pero surge formalmente en la época en que se acometen las excavaciones del subsuelo de la catedral, es decir, últimos años del siglo XIX. Es esgrimida por algunos historiadores y hagiógrafos, alcanzando cierto éxito y difusión, debido más al terreno abonado por las circunstancias mencionadas que a sus aportaciones y argumentos.

La hipótesis de Prisciliano en Compostela es totalmente gratuita, hoy demostrada inviable y falsa, pero que algunos autores les gusta recrear. Ya otros se habían expresado en contra de la veracidad en la titularidad apostólica del sepulcro compostelano. Ahora se trata de atribuirle un nuevo destinatario.

Las últimos empeños surgen impregnadas de nacionalismo galego convirtiendo a Prisciliano en prototipo del panteón celta y del espíritu más genuino del alma gallega. Contradictoria propuesta en una época en que Galicia no era más celta que el resto de la península ibérica, en que una época que no existe lo gallego como hoy se entiende, ni como espíritu ni como acervo cultural ni como idioma. Prisciliano, designado obispo de Ávila, hablaba y se expresaba en latín, y no se puede asegurar su origen geográfico. Si la tesis priscilianista es en su origen insostenible, enfundada de este planteamiento nacionalista resulta irrisoria.

Los orígenes de Prisciliano son desconocidos. Se le suele considerar español, pero algunas fuentes sitúan su origen en Menfis, Egipto. La fecha de nacimiento es tan imprecisa que se sitúa entre el 300 y el 345. Hay predominancia en aceptar que su origen está en Galicia, pero hay que precisar que Galicia en esa época incluía la Galicia actual, Asturias, parte de León y norte de Portugal. Es decir, Prisciliano podría haber sido considerado tanto como gallego, también portugués, asturiano o leonés, además de egipcio o norteafricano. Es una precisión importante, porque la tesis priscilianista argumenta su origen de nacimiento como justificación de que sus restos fueran traídos a Galicia después de su ajusticiamiento en Tréveris, y en base a este dato impreciso, recrea una supuesta "translatio" de los restos de Prisciliano y sus seguidores desde la ciudad alemana de Tréveris (Trier), siguiendo el curso del río Mosela y del Rin hasta el mar del norte, para descender por el paso de Calais y el canal de la Mancha hasta llegar a la ría de Arosa y remontar el rio Ulla precisamente hasta Padrón. Lo que a Santiago se le niega a Prisciliano se le regala.

Prisciliano lleva su doctrina por España, Lusitania, sur de Galia, Italia y norte de África, y a su muerte el priscilianismo se hace especialmente fuerte en Galicia en donde se le considera un mártir y se le rinde culto. Pero nada puede saberse del lugar donde se trajeron sus restos, que pudo ser en distintos puntos de la península e incluso en África del norte, que era en esa época refugio de herejes.

El Priscilianismo es una doctrina gnóstica y maniquea que proclama el ascetismo, la pobreza, la castidad y la abstinencia, pero con el contrasentido que muchos adeptos eran mujeres con las que es fama que mantenían los priscilianistas relaciones no del todo platónicas ni edificantes. Sulpicio Severo, historiador eclesiástico contemporáneo a Prisciliano, nos lo pinta como un noble rico, inquieto, culto, atractivo y persuasivo, de gran formación y virtud, pero con el decantado defecto de la vanidad, hinchada con el falso y profano arte de la magia. Su doctrina extravagante e iluminada, con sus antecedentes de mago y su aceptación de mujeres en la vida ascética colectiva, le valieron la condena en el concilio de Zaragoza (380), pero Prisciliano se hace fuerte y se hace nombrar obispo de Ávila con ayuda de sus seguidores influyentes y adinerados, decididos a aprovechar todas las circunstancias en beneficio de sus fines sectarios, logrando para Prisciliano una posición fuerte, e incluso la persecución de sus detractores. Impulsado por su soberbia y sus éxitos, su actitud fue provocativa y polemizante, lo que terminará por llevarle a una situación desfavorable. Es acusado ante la sede de Burdeos de hereje, de magia, y de atentar contra las costumbres por la presencia de mujeres en el grupo, pero Prisciliano, para su mal, recusa la autoridad de Burdeos y apela al poder civil del emperador con sede en Tréveris, donde, desoyendo las peticiones de San Martín de Tours y de Ambrosio de Milán, el Emperador de Occidente Máximo condena a la decapitación a Prisciliano y varios de los seguidores que le acompañaban en su reclamación.

Las opiniones sobre el final de Prisciliano se agrupa en dos posiciones, los que piensan que fue víctima de su hostilidad con su detractor Idacio, y los que opinan que fue víctima de su condición de mago, rigurosamente penado por la ley romana como delito civil. La historia de Prisciliano parece más bien la de una ambiciosa revolución ideológica que crea discrepancias muy encontradas entre seguidores y detractores en una desenfrenada escalada, y su final, un tanto injusto y desproporcionado, más que un martirio parece el desafortunado desenlace de quien desde la soberbia y el exceso de confianza en su fuerza tienta la suerte demasiado.

Se ha mencionado la prueba del Carbono 14 como prueba absoluta para datar la edad de los restos óseos y resolver el conflicto de la identidad de los restos compostelanos, pero hay que decir que el valor de esta prueba es solo limitada porque solo nos da la edad cronológica de los restos, pero nunca la identidad de los mismos lo cual sería una información absolutamente insatisfactoria. Sin ser contrario a la realización de la prueba, debe meditarse muy bien su realización, pues su resultado podría ser nada concluyente y sí en cambio podría levantar muchas e innecesarias elucubraciones y hacer más perjuicio que beneficio.

Las posibles opciones de localización de la tumba de Prisciliano son mucho más abiertas que las del Apóstol Santiago, y parece claro que la localización en Compostela es imposible. Primero porque los restos compostelanos son los de tres esqueletos de varones, mientras que Prisciliano y los compañeros fueron siete y de ellos una mujer, trasladados a España sin duda alguna cinco, probablemente todos. Además porque el sepulcro central, atribuido desde siempre al Apóstol fue cubierto con un mosaico de mármol del siglo II, es decir que a la muerte de Prisciliano el sepulcro de Compostela existía ya, y llevaba dos siglo cerrado y adornado con el mencionado mosaico.

En cuanto a la localización de la tumba de Prisciliano se proponen varias. Se ha mencionado la cripta de la iglesia de Santa Eulalia, en Bóveda (cerca de Lugo). También las inmediaciones de Astorga, donde durante mucho tiempo gobernaron obispos partidarios del priscilianismo, y quizás su lugar de nacimiento. Una opción sugerente es la propuesta por Guerra Campos en la comarca de los Celeni, al sur del Ulla y de Iria, un emplazamiento cuya nombre primitivo fue Os Mártores (clara insinuación a unos mártires), perteneciente a la parroquia de San Miguel de Valga, donde hay una ermita dedicada a San Mamed, la iglesia de Setecoros, que podría ser una referencia a los siete mártires priscilianistas, y en cuyo interior han aparecido sarcófagos antropoideos tallados en piedra que parecen del siglo IV, y perteneciendo a la antigua diócesis de Aquæ Celenes (Caldas de Reis), vinculada en el siglo V al priscilianismo.

Los defensores de teorías abiertamente antijacobeas, parece ver en torno a Santiago de Compostela una superconfabulación multidisciplinar, un complot suprahistórico, en que las datos documentales favorables a Santiago carecen de rigor o son falsificaciones, la necesidad y la oportunidad de unas reliquias de primer orden será motivo suficiente para que se alineen en un mismo bando monjes, prelados, reyes, políticos, militares, hombres de ciencia, y las actitudes y documentos de gentes de distintos momentos históricos, son o interesados, o falsos, o equivocados, o manipulados. Sin embargo se crean otras hipótesis, como la de Prisciliano, con unos argumentos más fantásticos que los de la Tradición Jacobea...


This text has been written by Alberto Solana, spanish pilgrim, and I think you were discussing about with him several months ago in a spanish forum.

I hope it's useful for you,

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#30
Javier Martin said:
Esta hipótesis que propone que los restos de la Tumba de Compostela no son los del Apóstol Santiago sino los de PRISCILIANO y dos de sus seguidores...

La hipótesis de Prisciliano en Compostela es totalmente gratuita, hoy demostrada inviable y falsa, pero que algunos autores les gusta recrear...

Las últimos empeños surgen impregnadas de nacionalismo galego convirtiendo a Prisciliano en prototipo del panteón celta y del espíritu más genuino del alma gallega...

This text has been written by Alberto Solana, spanish pilgrim...
Javier, this is very interesting. Is it possible to give a fuller reference for this? Who is Solana, and is this a published author who gives full sources? Clearly, the idea of Priscillian being buried in Compostela is not new, and even the acknowledged expert on the Early Church, Henry Chadwick (died June 2008, RIP) suggested thirty years ago that he was sympathetic to the 'speculative possibility' of this. No more could be said by that man who was the real expert in the period concerned.

What you quote here about the imperative of the needs of Gallegan cultural identity is possibly misplaced, in that Priscillian was Roman not Gallegan, but while his cult had no particular geographical attachment to Galicia, it certainly retained an attraction in the folk religion of succeeding centuries. The sources - as with everything in this period - are meagre and open to wide interpretation.

It is possible, however, that local adherents of the suppressed heresy (which was given an added boost, out of all proportion to its original popularity, after the strangely complicated political/judicial murder of Priscillian) were indeed buried in the place where his remains were thought to be. Excavations were done in the necropolis below the cathedral as recently as the 1940s and 1950s, but no graffiti or inscriptions are available to explain the site.

If we are invited to play the game of 'speculative possibilities' - and the possibilities are many with the sparse documentation of the period - then it can work both ways. Suppose that the high card of a local occult heretic's remains was 'trumped' by the skillful play of a higher and more universal card: the remains of an apostle? What a brilliant move that would have been, and quite in keeping with practice elsewhere, all over Europe, where Christian sites were often built over former pagan centres of worship.

If you could source your earlier post, that would be helpful. Thank you.

Gareth
 

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#31
Dear Javier and Gareth,
I have only had a minute to look over your posts and will need more time to translate and comment. One thing that I must point out once again is that Pilgrimage to Heresy is a novel, outlining Priscillian as I have seen him in my imagination as a man (with many thanks to Henry Chadwick and I am sad to read that he has passed - I didn´t know). In many ways that has been overlooked: read the book and you will see pilgrims such as yourselves -that is the core of the novel: pilgrims like you on their own journey of discovery. The Priscillian story if you will is an adjunct, a substory to the novel and I have, I admit, taken certain liberties with it mostly because so little of Priscillian´s lifestory remains: we know very little about Priscillian; we have not been allowed to learn more than what the Catholic Encyclopedia outlines, and that was mostly based on Severus who was antagonistic to Priscillian and the Priscillianists. But we do know about what he taught, and he had many followers, most of whom, as you know, were in Galicia. Why he would have attracted such a following is a case in point: he must have been an impressive and charismatic man claiming a philosophy which was being actively supressed at the time. This is the man I have tried to "flesh out" in fictional terms.
The novel stands as it does and I am unlikely to amend it to include other possibilities for the Santiago tomb. Although in the next book I am going to find out more about controversies surrounding the actual building of the cathedral, as I have already written here. (More fiction!) But, I still feel strongly that we have been mislead by the church to believe that there is only one possibility just as much as I stand on my position that the New Testament is merely the tip of the Christian Iceberg, as writers such as Elaine Pagels and Karen King have been at pains to point out. We can, now, at least read them (and Pilgrimage to Heresy if we wish to) and make our own minds up.
This, more than any insistance on any "myth" whether it be Priscillian or St. James has always been my intention in writing Pilgrimage to Heresy, and this I stand by. I am a novelist, not a theologian nor a "purist".
Long live the controversy for it can only invite conversation and debate...such as this one.
TS
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
 

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#32
What has always fascinated me is that old Jimmy's bones were hastily hidden away in 1589 - from a possible heinous attack by that scoundrel Frances Drake - and then forgotten for almost 300 years!!
The relics weren't found until 1879 and it took a papal bull (no pun intended) to verify them as genuine in order to silence sceptics!
Oh well ... such is history.
 
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#33
Priscillian said:
we have not been allowed to learn more than what the Catholic Encyclopedia outlines
The first point here is that you mention the Chadwick book* on Priscillian - and indeed other sources - in earlier posts but now you make this baffling claim that we are 'not allowed to learn more': a statement that is far from correct, as the Catholic Encyclopedia is only one source among a great many. Chadwick, best known for writing the standard reference book for the student of the Early Church, was an Anglican yet given full access when writing his Priscillian book to all the materials here in the Roman libraries, as any academic would be, yourself included. There is a wealth of material here, all open to inspection and aided by the highest concentration of ecclesiastical professors in the world, you can an usually find expert advice near at hand to steer you towards the documents. Early Church history research seems to work quite well here in Rome, Tracy. All the stuff is here on the shelves: take a look at it.

As it happens, Henry Chadwick himself was mentioned yesterday in the welcoming speech for a visiting ecumenical study group of church leaders who are here in Rome for the week, as he is remembered here as a figure who was keen to foster dialogue and agreement between churches with differences of style but broadly in agreement on what constitutes the faith. Much of this agreement is rooted in a common understanding of Scripture and the Fathers of the Church and the struggle to identify what made Christianity different from competing philosophies and cults. There would be just as much rejection of the gnostic errors of Priscillian by Lutherans, Methodists and Baptists as there would be in Chadwick's Anglicanism or indeed the Orthodox churches. It is fashionable to single out the Catholic church as the unique obstacle to enlightened debate, and the mad ideas of the Dan Brown conspiracy school of church history have an irrational momentum, moving out of the pages of fiction to enter the popular imagination as alternative history!

Your idea of a conspiracy of silence begs the question: what is it we do not know about Priscillian that you think we need to know and are not being told? Certainly, there is an intriguing question about the relics of St James in Compostela, with only competing folk tradition remaining, and little archaeological proof to take us in any direction. On the other hand, in the matter of historical events concerning Priscillian, I don't find any problem with access to the material in the conspiratorial way you suggest. Certainly, you are dealing with a period of history in which there is less paper evidence than later centuries. (That is a frustration I share when trying to pursue my interest in Syrian eremitical developments in Umbria in the 6th century: it is a period where information is sparse; and it would be equally absurd for me to claim the documents are being squirreled away in the Vatican by some anti-Syrian conspiratorial clique as it is for you to say that the Catholic church suppresses information about Priscillian!)

I understand you have a novel to sell, but surely you can do that without getting carried away with your own hype and making these unsupported statements about the way the church conspires to hide information? As it is very clear, to anyone who cares to observe it, the education of the laity in the Catholic church in recent times has included widely available programmes that include the study of the Early Church - with all its various charismatic movements, including the one which fascinates you - and I can't see what you think is being hidden away! In fact, the real contrast is with the gnostic charismatic cult leaders like Priscillian who held power over people by encouraging the belief that only adepts such as himself had the answers**, whereas the Church teaches that salvation is a free gift of God's love, available to all who will receive it. This is the message of the Apostles, one of whom according to tradition and venerated by millions through the centuries, is buried in Compostela.

Gareth

*Chadwick, Henry, Priscillian of Avila: The Occult and the Charismatic in the Early Church, Oxford, Clarendon Press (1976).

**One of the charges against Priscillian was Nicolaitism, which makes individual Christians dependent and accountable to man, and tempts the leaders to exalt themselves, instead of God. It is a problem identified in the book of Revelation (2:6 & 2:15). For a clear presentation of Nicolaitism see Kevin George's essay at http://culturalgenesis.org/Conquering%20the%20Laity.pdf
 
#34
Gareth Thomas said:
Who is Solana, and is this a published author who gives full sources?
He is an spanish pilgrim who has studied many sources, books, and worked about during some time. My knowledge is not enoug to discuss about it, I'm afraid ...

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 
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Anonymous

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#35
Javier Martin said:
He is an spanish pilgrim who has studied many sources, books, and worked about during some time.
Bueno: pues gracias para su contesta. Pero si encuentras mas, puedes mandarme lo que puedes en un mensaje privada en este sitio. Al momento estoy preparando. Luego - si hay bastante informacion sobre este tema en las bibliotecas aqui en Roma - quiero presentar un argumento bastante bueno, de buena calidad academica, contra las propagandas gnosticas que encontramos aqui, que presentan una fantasia romantica como fue la verdadera historia. Cuando uno dice mentiras contra la iglesia, siempre hay que contestarlos. Historicamente, en este argumento entre el mundo gnostico y la iglesia, que ahora no es nada mas que un juego por una minoridad - gracias a Dios - la filosofia gnostica siempre se queda escondida. Las ideas de la iglesia estan abiertos a todos, con su historia - no siempre buena, pero historia, parte del desarollo de nuestra cultura: con filosofia y verdadera religion. No es una fantasia pseudo-spiritual.

Cuando abrimos la historia gnostica y miramos con inteligencia, se puede ver que las ideas no sienten bien con el edificio bueno de la iglesia y el desarollo de filosofia Greco-Romana que es la verdadera base de nuestra cultura cristiana. Ademas, se puede decir que estas ideas gnosticas son verdaderamente del demonio. Literalmente. El Dios de los cristianos es el enemigo del mundo gnostico. Entonces, no es un juego cuando unos hablan de alternativos 'santos' en Compostela: si eres cristiano, esto es serioso. Entonces tenemos que examinar estas ideas gnosticas con inteligencia. Veremos que estas ideas de Compostela como centro de un culto anticristiano presentan una 'agenda' muy interesante, porque esto viene exactamente en el momento historico en que crece el numero de jovenes peregrinos extranjeros al Camino de Santiago, Apostol y Patron de Espana; pero muchos no saben nada de la tradicion. Ademas, las iglesias son cerradas; los curas son pocos; las paroquias no tienen bastante gente catolica que pueden ayudar los peregrinos a comprender las tradiciones autenticas jacobeas.

Entonces, los gnosticos vienen con ideas romanticas, muy 'spirituales', y presentan su producto en el mercado: ideas gnosticas rebajadas!

Pero cuidado. No es juego.

Gareth

(English translation of the above.)

Good, and thank you for your response. But if you find out any more please send me what you know in a private message on this forum. At the moment I am preparing. Later, if I can find enough information here in the libraries in Rome, I hope to present some argument, in a form that will be academically sound, against the gnostic propaganda that you find presented here, which is purely romantic fantasy but presented as history. When some people speak falsehoods against the church, there is always a need to contest them. Historically, in this argument between the gnostic world and the church - which is no longer more than a game played by a minority, thank God - the gnostic philosophy always remains hidden. The ideas of the church are open to all, with its history -not always good, but nevertheless history - part of the development of our culture: with a true philosophical base and properly grounded religion. It is not a pseudo-spiritual fantasy.

When we open the gnostic history and look at it with intelligence, we can see that the ideas do not sit well with the development of the church and Graeco-Roman thought that is the true base of our Christian culture. More than this, we can say that these gnostic ideas are by definition demonic. Literally. The gnostic world makes the God of the Christians the enemy: Yahweh is the 'false god' to their alternative god. Consequently, this is not a game of comparing alternative saints in Compostela: if you are Christian, this is serious. Consequently we must examine these gnostic ideas intelligently. The presentation of Compostela as an anti-Christian gnostic centre, as the place of an alternative cult, presents us with an interesting 'agenda', because this is precisely a historical moment of great popularity among young foreign pilgrims of the Way of St James, Apostle and Patron of Spain; but most of them know little of the tradition. In addition, the churches are closed, the priests are fewer in number, and the parishes along the way have few parishioners who can help the pilgrims find their way into authentic Jacobean tradition.

Hence, the gnostics come along to present their romantic, very 'spiritual' ideas and present them as a product in the market place. Gnostic ideas at sale price!

But beware. This is not a game.

Gareth
 
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#36
Here is a translation (via Babelfish) of Gareth's post, in case anyone else needs it!

Removed at Gareth's request as he has now posted a translation himself!
 
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#37
While I was at it I thought I'd get a translation (Babelfish again)for Javier's long quotation too. I know these translations are rather rough, so if anyone wants to improve them please do!


This hypothesis that proposes that the rest of Tumba de Compostela are not those of the Santiago Apostle but those of PRISCILIANO and two of their followers, deserves special mention. The hypothesis is old, but it arises formally at the time at which the excavations of the subsoil of the cathedral, that is to say, last years of century XIX are undertaken. It is used by some historians and hagiógrafos, reaching certain success and diffusion, which had more to the land paid by the circumstances mentioned that to his contributions and arguments. The hypothesis of Prisciliano in Compostela totally gratuitous, is today demonstrated nonviable and false, but that some authors they like to recreate. Others had already been expressed against the veracity in the apostolic ownership of the compostelano tomb. Now one is to give a new adressee to him. The last persistence arises impregnated from nationalism galego turning to Prisciliano into prototype of the pantheon celta and the most genuine spirit of the Galician soul. Propose contradictory at a time at which more Galicia was not celta than the rest of the Iberian Peninsula, in which a time that does not exist Gallego as today is understood, neither like spirit nor like cultural heap nor like language. Prisciliano, designated bishop of Avila, spoke and it was expressed in Latin, and its geographic origin cannot be assured. If the priscilianista thesis is in their untenable origin, contained from this nationalistic exposition it is derisory. The origins of Prisciliano are not known. To him usually one considers Spanish, but some sources locate their origin in Menfis, Egypt. The date of birth is so vague that it is placed between the 300 and the 345. There is predominance in accepting that its origin is in Galicia, but is necessary to need that Galicia at that time included present Galicia, Asturias, part of Leon and north of Portugal. That is to say, Prisciliano could be considered so much as Galician, Portuguese, Asturian or also leonine, besides Egyptian or North African. It is an important precision, because the priscilianista thesis argues their origin of birth like justification of which their rest were brought to Galicia after their execution in Tréveris, and on the basis of this vague data, it recreates supposed " translatio" of the rest of Prisciliano and their followers from the German city of Tréveris (Trier), following the course of the Mosela river and the Rhine to the North Sea, to descend by the passage from Calais and the English Channel to arriving laugh at it of Arosa and to indeed overcome the river Ulla to Register. What to Santiago one refuses to him to Prisciliano gives to him. Prisciliano takes its doctrine by Spain, Lusitania, the south of Galia, Italy and North Africa, and to its death the priscilianismo is made especially hard in Galicia where a martyr considers itself him and she surrenders to him cultured. But nothing can be known of the place where their rest were engaged in, that even could be in different points from the peninsula and in Africa of the north, that was at that time refuge of herejes. The Priscilianismo is a gnóstica and maniquea doctrine that proclaims the asceticism, the poverty, the abstention and abstinence, but with the contrasentido one that many followers were women with whom it is fame that maintained the priscilianistas platonic nor not absolutely edifying relations. Severe Sulpicio, contemporary ecclesiastical historian to Prisciliano, us the dot like rich, anxious, cultured, attractive and persuasive a nobleman, of great formation and virtue, but with the praised/poured off defect of the vanity, fan with the false and profane art of the magic. Their outlandish and illuminated doctrine, with their antecedents of magician and their acceptance of women in the collective ascetic life, was worth the sentence to him in the council of Saragossa (380), but Prisciliano becomes strong and it is made appoint bishop of Avila with the help of his influential and wealthy followers, decided to take advantage of all the circumstances to the benefit of his sectarian aims, obtaining for Prisciliano a fortified position, and even the persecution of his detractors. Impelled by its pride and its successes, its attitude was provocative and polemizante, which will finish taking to an unfavorable situation. It is accused before soothes of Bordeaux of hereje, magic, and to attempt against the customs by the presence of women in the group, but Prisciliano, for its evil, challenges the authority of Bordeaux and appeals to the civil power of the emperor with soothes in Tréveris, where, desoyendo requests of San Martin de Tours and Ambrosio of Milan, the Emperor of the West Maximum sentence to the decapitation to Prisciliano and several of the followers who accompanied to him in their claim. The opinions on the end of Prisciliano are grouped in two positions, those that think that she was victim of his hostility with his Idacio detractor, and those that think that she was victim of his condition of magician, rigorously suffered by the Roman law like civil crime. The history of Prisciliano rather seems the one of an ambitious ideological revolution that very creates discrepancies found between followers and detractors in a wild scaling, and its end, somewhat unjust and out of proportion, more than a martyrdom it seems the unfortunate outcome of that from the pride and the excess of confidence in its force touches the luck too much. The test of Carbon 14 like absolute test has been mentioned to date the age from the bony rest and to solve the conflict of the identity of the compostelanos rest, but it is necessary to say that the value of this test only is limited because only it gives the chronological age us of the rest, but never the identity of the same which would be an absolutely unsatisfactory information. Without being in opposition to the accomplishment of the test, its accomplishment must meditate very well, because its result could be nothing conclusive and yes however it could raise many and unnecessary lucubrations and make more damage than benefit. The possible options of location of the tomb of Prisciliano much more are abiertas that those of the Santiago Apostle, and seems clear that the location in Compostela is impossible. First because the compostelanos rest are those of three skeletons of men, whereas Prisciliano and the companions were seven and of them a woman, transferred Spain doubtless five, probably all. In addition because the central tomb, attributed from always to the Apostle was covered with a marble mosaic of century II, that is to say that to the death of Prisciliano the tomb of Compostela existed already, and it took two century closed and adorned with the mosaic mentioned one. As far as the location of the tomb of Prisciliano several set out. Cripta of the church of Santa Eulalia has been mentioned, in Vault (near Lugo). Also the environs of Astorga, where during long time they governed in favor bishops of the priscilianismo, and perhaps its birthplace. A suggestive option is the proposal by War Fields in the region of the Celeni, to the south of the Ulla and of Iria, a location whose primitive name was You Mártores (clear hint to martyrs), pertaining to the parish of San Miguel de Valga, where there is a hermitage dedicated to San Mamed, the church of Setecoros, that could be a reference to the seven priscilianistas martyrs, and in whose interior they have appeared antropoideos stone coffins carved which they seem of century IV, and belonging to the old diocese of Aquæ Celenes (Calda de Reis), tie in century V to the priscilianismo. The defenders of abiertamente antijacobeas theories, it seems to see around Santiago de Compostela a multidisciplinary superconspiracy, an suprahistorical plot, in which the favorable documentary data to Santiago lack strictly speaking or are falsifications, the necessity and the opportunity of relics of first order will be sufficient reason so that monks, prelates, kings, politicians, the military, men of science, and the attitudes and documents of people of different historical moments align themselves in a same side, or is interested, or false, or mistaken, or manipulated. Nevertheless other hypotheses are created, like the one of Prisciliano, with arguments more fantastic than those of the Jacobea Tradition…
 
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#38
Bridget and Peter said:
While I was at it I thought I'd get a translation (Babelfish again)for Javier's long quotation too. I know these translations are rather rough
Yes, very rough... It is hardly useful really. If anyone is really interested in this history, it is probably useful to look at Fletcher: http://libro.uca.edu/sjc/sjc.htm It doesn't really support my traditionalist view; in fact it gives encouragement to the "opposition", but it is very sound academically and it is worth examination if you are taking these matters seriously.

I am coming to the conclusion - reluctantly but quite honestly - that any attempt to establish a connection between St James the Elder and Compostela (or even Spain in general) is highly problematic. After a conversation with a significant source today in Rome, I am convinced that any attempt to find documentary evidence would be futile: better people than me have attempted it in the past and failed.

In some Early Church documents referring to St Paul's journeys, the phrase "to the limits of the west" is interpreted as Paul's westward journey as far as "the Pillars of Hercules" (Gibraltar). So references to Finisterre as the westernmost point in Europe are possibly based on a loose geographical interpretation of the "end of the world" in this way, and the Straits of Gibraltar count as the "end of the world" every inch as much as Finisterre.

In the documents of the Early Church there is far more evidence concerning the role of James the Younger, and the shadowy figure of James the Great is very difficult to trace. For my part, the end of the road was today, when I asked a very eminent authority on the Early Church here in Rome whether there was any possibility that the question of St James and the Compostela connection could ever be proved, and he said with a smile, "No, but it is a lovely story and it cannot be disproved, so leave it to rest."

The ecclesiastical, political and military reasons for promoting Compostela - regardless of spiritual and religious tradition - become compelling the more you examine the history. In the end, you have to accept that this is a very open question. But the fact remains that hundreds of thousands of pilgrims walked this road to Compostela to pay homage to St James as a real (i.e. historical) witness of the Christ event. Nothing can change that, place him geographically at the end of his life where you will!

I can now count myself as one who has walked from his home country to the shrine of St James, over three months of often arduous travel. It will undoubtedly remain one of the most salient experiences of my life, however many years I remain on this earth, and I will always remember that I walked those fifteen hundred miles as a Christian journey of meditation and renewal.

Whatever the ecclesiastical politics, the dimly remembered squabbles of ancient power politics, and all the rest of it; here on this road to Santiago de Compostela is a truth that we can discover for ourselves that connects with our Christian journey. If there is no such inner journey, outwardly expressed, we are perhaps engaged in some other project than 'pilgrimage'.

Gareth
 

sillydoll

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#39
As a non-Christian, non-theist 'pilgrim' it does not matter to me whether the tomb in the crypt contains the remains of James the Greater, Priscilliano, or any historical figure.

One does not have to be a polytheist worshiper of Ra or Hathor to feel the power of pilgrimage to ancient temples in Egypt. Nor does one have to be a Buddhist to appreciate and feel the spirituality of ancient Buddhist shrines.

Gareth said: "If there is no such inner journey, outwardly expressed, we are perhaps engaged in some other project than 'pilgrimage'."

My favourite spiritual writer said it better:

"The geographic pilgrimage is the symbolic acting out of an inner journey. The inner journey is the interpolation of the meanings and signs of the outer pilgrimage. One can have one without the other. It is best to have both." ~Thomas Merton. 1964
 
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Anonymous

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#40
sillydoll said:
My favourite spiritual writer said it better
He would certainly put everything much better than me, every time: I would never expect to compete with TM!

And while you're reminding us of the contemplative life in the United States, Sil, please take time please, everyone, to pray for the Camaldolese hermit monks in California whose monastery is currently surrounded by forest fires. (The monks themselves have been evacuated.)

Gareth
 

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#41
Gareth, you are also a very eloquent writer.
I will pray for the Camaldolese hermit monks and their home.

At one time I was a Lutheran (had to be baptized in order to be married in the Lutheran church).
It is interesting what Luther had to say about pilgrimage, saints - including Sant'Iago.

If I run to Saint James , that is his shrine in Compostella in Spain, or to Grimmental [a Saxon pilgrimage locale], if I go into a monastery, or seek God somewhere else, I will not find him. When the sectarian spirits preach that just as monastic life, invocation of the saints, the mass, and pilgrimages are nothing, and likewise baptism and the Lord’s supper are nothing, they miss the mark by far. For there is a big difference between that which God has ordained and established and that which human beings have set up. Indeed, you are to believe that God’s ordinances and what he has set up, revere them and hold them in great honor, as he said to Moses, too [Exod. 15:17].
 
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#42
Referring to Jonathan Sumption's book, Pilgrimage, this morning, for another purpose altogether, I was struck by a quotation that seems relevant to the current discussion. He was talking about the Irish pilgrims of the 7 and 8 centuries and their habit of aimless wandering, without specific destination.

'Be exiles for God's sake' urged one of them, 'and go not only to Jerusalem but everywhere, for God himself is everywhere'.

and "a marginal annotation in an Irish hymn-book informs us that 'going to Rome involves great effort and little reward, for the King whom you seek there you will not find unless you bring him with you'."

p. 96, Sumption, J., Pilgrimage,1975, Faber and Faber
 
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#43
sillydoll said:
is interesting what Luther had to say about pilgrimage
Indeed, it is always interesting to see what Luther said about many things. Of the dozens of things he nailed to that door, the church only condemned three of them, so he didn't do too badly... 8)

Gareth
 

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#44
Dear Gareth et al,
Some wonderful discussion on this thread and I am sorry I have had so little time lately to participate.
First of all: Gareth...I really am enjoying your posts on this topic. For one thing it gives me much to think about, and that I am very much disposed to do. And visiting the Archives? That sounds like an invitation? I would be delighted to come to the Vatican to do some research but it would not be so much on Priscillian but later issues pertaining to Galicia and Asturias and to the controversy surrounding Bishops Pelaez and Gelmirez. From there to the Cathars....and...what fun!
Second: As I have repeated elsewhere, my "hypothesis" such as it is (and I must remind you that Pilgrimage to Heresy is fiction and has never been offered as anything else) is that St. James is most unlikely to be the occupant of the tomb. As your contact says: the proof is in the Via Negativa: neither of us can prove that St. James or Priscillian is not buried there, but neither can we prove it. Carbon dating would be able to point out the difference three centuries brings. Why is the church so resistant to this? Just to retain a "lovely story"? The political/theological upheaval it would cause were it to be demonstrated beyond doubt that the remains were not 1st century would be enough to further endanger an already toppling church. Best as you were (and clearly others) told to let it be. Not very helpful information from a vast repository of spiritual and historical information...especially when we have the modern day scientific capability to find out the truth of events so long ago.
Quote from Gareth: I am coming to the conclusion - reluctantly but quite honestly - that any attempt to establish a connection between St James the Elder and Compostela (or even Spain in general) is highly problematic. After a conversation with a significant source today in Rome, I am convinced that any attempt to find documentary evidence would be futile: better people than me have attempted it in the past and failed.

Why do you think that might be? Would love to talk with your Significant Source".

Circumstantial evidence has shown that there is the remains of a late 3rd century cemetery with graves angled towards the east as was the tradition of the Priscillianists. Indeed, many remains at the same time that Priscillian was executed and for almost 100 years after. By that time, all obvious traces of Priscillianism had been extinguished or absorbed into the mainstreamPor casualidad?
And once more I have to say that there is virtually nothing to tie St. James to Galicia except legend
(stone boats and miracles are all very well but...) Whereas, we do know that Priscillian had a vast (and unwanted by the Roman Church) following in Galicia etc. I would be more than willing to accept other possible burial sites were it not for Henry Chadwick and others.
What I am questioning - and spending a lot of time now in researching for the next book is exactly who decided that the Santiago myth would benefit the uniting of Spain against the Moors (you can refer to the Priscillian Myth if you like; really I won´t mind) and exactly how that fiction became so completely accepted. You see, I have no doubt that the Vatican today has very little available to the general researcher which would validate even the most remote thesis of Priscillian and Compostela. What I am interested in now is records from the 6th to 12th centuries concerning the downfall of Diego Pelaez and the rise of Diego Gelmirez, who, by all accounts was an egotistical and dangerous man who attempted to establish his own "papacy" in Compostela. If you can find any of these I would be most greatful. What we do have about the late 4th century stems mostly from Severus who was not overly sympathetic towards Priscillian or the Priscillianists. Anything else has been carefully and intentionally wiped clean as far as I can see. Were it not for the discovery of the Wutzburg Tractates we would have next to nothing at all. And even if not, I am sure there may be records which are not available for general consumption. Which "forensic expert", for instance, was sent to make a scientific pronouncement on the remains found by Pelayo, and whom did he serve; or, for that matter in the late 1800's? Or in 1956? Why not now? Let´s settle the matter once and for all.
But then we have to remember the vast expense it would cost....the disastrous consequences: of changing all those road signs and souvenirs (not to mention Forums) to Prisciliano de Compostela....of course...what did you think I meant? :wink:
Tracy Saunders
P.S. I am in full agreement with Sil when she says:
As a non-Christian, non-theist 'pilgrim' it does not matter to me whether the tomb in the crypt contains the remains of James the Greater, Priscilliano, or any historical figure.
I myself have been twice to Lourdes and felt that power there too. I didn´t have to believe in the Immaculate Conception to do so.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#45
Priscillian said:
I myself have been twice to Lourdes and felt that power there too. I didn´t have to believe in the Immaculate Conception to do so.
In that throw-away remark from the end of your post today - All Saints Day - it is interesting that Catholic doctrine is problematic for you: “I didn´t have to believe in the Immaculate Conception”… Indeed you didn’t.

Neither did the Church believe it for several hundred years after Duns Scotus revealed the logical thinking that made that doctrine inevitable. Then, just a couple of years ago in his Regensburg address, Pope Benedict XVI made a major criticism of that same theologian, to the point where the Scotists are now forced to defend him, in the continuing debate on faith and reason in the postmodern world. This is the kind of development that reminds us that Christian tradition – whatever you think about it - goes hand-in-hand with rational argument and changing ideas in the real world, with each new age producing philosophical ideas which test the edifice and sometimes enrich it. This is a living and continuing process, rather than the dead books and shabby conspiracies that seem to depress you so much!

But in addition to a thriving intellectual tradition, we must remember there is another side, and this is of greater importance: the faith of the Church. You say, “The political/theological upheaval it would cause were it to be demonstrated beyond doubt that the remains were not 1st century would be enough to further endanger an already toppling church.” Oh dear, Tracy; your wishful thinking about a “toppling church” is a bit of a give-away! But more than this, your way of putting it shows clearly that you think the Church stands or falls on a few historical arguments. You therefore completely miss the meaning of two thousand years of witness to the Incarnation. In the end, while the tools of rational thought and historical enquiry are essential, and always have been; it is the faith of the Church, and the belief in the Resurrection which is the central pillar of the Church. All else, compared with that - including little local disputes about bones - is pretty small beer.

While it is interesting to examine the question of whose bones may be in Compostela, the pilgrimage does not depend upon the outcome of archaeological enquiry. Clearly it would seem unlikely that any real authority can be found for claiming that St James is buried in Compostela, and maybe that should not be surprising: numerous Catholic sources have said this for years. You can try to de-throne and debunk the place of the Patron Saint of Spain as much as you like (although it may seem bad manners, as a guest in that country, for you to do so... :wink: ) but it is unlikely you will ever find more than a handful of pilgrims who are motivated to walk hundreds of miles to visit the tomb of a heretic. On the other hand, the faithful who today celebrate All Saints Day will always regard Santiago de Compostela as a place to revere Saint James, because he will be forever associated with that place by tradition.

There is a place for rational enquiry, sound historical evidence, innovative archaeological interpretation, philosophical debate and indeed the re-interpretation of old folk tales about local heroes. Whether adding to the mixture by introducing new fictions is a useful part of the process is open to question. As you remind us every time, you are indeed engaged in fiction here, but it is the grey area between marketing your fiction and marketing your transparent anti-ecclesial agenda which invites debate, and indeed rebuttal.

Gareth
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#46
How can I disagree with such an eloquent argument! Gareth: The very LAST thing I want to do is to tread on your Faith, or those of the members of the Catholic Church as it stands today, and I apologise most profoundly if I have caused any offense.
Quote: Oh dear, Tracy; your wishful thinking about a “toppling church” is a bit of a give-away! But more than this, your way of putting it shows clearly that you think the Church stands or falls on a few historical arguments. You therefore completely miss the meaning of two thousand years of witness to the Incarnation. In the end, while the tools of rational thought and historical enquiry are essential, and always have been; it is the faith of the Church, and the belief in the Resurrection which is the central pillar of the Church. All else, compared with that - including little local disputes about bones - is pretty small beer.
Wishful thinking? No, here I must disagree and vehemently. No, I would not want to see the Catholic (or any church for that matter) "toppled". And you are quite right to say that the pilgrimage in and of itself is the most important part of walking, so far and so long. But you have to admit that many pilgrims do not belong to your church, I for one. And while I would not consider myself a "non-theist" as Sil does, I would like to have the opportunity to approach God in my own way and without intermediaries: this I do, and so do my main protagonists in the book, and both they and I gain much from it. Heresy - hairesis - means choice. There are those of us who find no difficulty being Christians while not accepting main tenets such as the bodily incarnation, the Trinity, and so on. It is that I am protecting and defending: as did, I believe, Priscillian of Avila.
Send me your address by PM and I will happily send you a copy. You can tear out the "Priscillian" bits if you like - feed them to the pigeons in St. Peter's Square. But do please read the rest: the doubts and fears and ultimate joys of the pilgrims as they wend their way towards Compostela: Santiago de Compostela, without whom they would not be there at all. Their joy that is the joy of achieving that goal, however they perceive it when they get there. That was my intention initially, and I stand by it - such a shame that one aspect of the novel has been taken out of the originally intended context.
Anyway, in many ways I do envy you; I applaud your faith and commitment both on the Way and off of it.
Best Wishes,
Tracy Saunders http://pilgrimagetoheresy.com/p2h_1.pdf

P.S. Here above, for anyone who would like to know a bit more about Priscillian´s brand of Choice is a link to a PDF of the transcript of a recent interview. (In English and Spanish and with subtitles in 14 languages.) Forum member Geert Bakker took on the task of transcribing and did it beautifully and I thank him. There is little of me, and a lot about Priscillianism. It is a fascinating - dare I say - alternative? Could we now not include a little of it within the Catholic church? As you have said many theologians, and many of them Catholic, have cast doubts on what the early church fathers told us we must believe. 375 CE is a long time ago... We have never been in possession of The Truth - would that we had: on second thoughts, as a philosopher, perhaps not? But we are educated and literate, and humans are questioning beings: let them decide for themselves. Archaeology and history may have nothing to do with it, I agree. But even Faith may come by other roads than the Roman Catholic Doctrine which is, after all, thousands of years old. Did they hold the Truth in their hands any more than we?
P.P.S. Spain has another Patron Saint. Her name is Teresa. So is mine!
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
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#47
Just a final end-note to Ivar and the other moderators. Perhaps now would be the time to close this thread? Gareth and others and myself (and others) have put together good arguments, heartfully written to discuss this issue, but maybe it is time to move on to other things unless any of the Forum members would like it to continue. In which case, I suggest a new thread.
I may take up Gareth´s "invitation": indeed I would very much like to meet him and the people he is working with, but the argument/topic seems to have come full circle, and the ride has been wonderful and enlightening. Now, maybe we should all get back to blisters (wrap your feet!).
Hope to meet some of you next June when I hope to walk from Oporto: sorry more research for book two about Diego Pelaez and the building of the Cathedral - and hopefully just as controversial!
Buen Camino Todos!
Tracy
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#48
Priscillian said:
Heresy - hairesis - means choice. There are those of us who find no difficulty being Christians while not accepting main tenets such as the bodily incarnation, the Trinity, and so on.
I won't check your etymology: I'll believe you. Choice is at the very centre. Indeed there was a choice in the Garden of Eden. And the wrong choice was made. However, you have to accept (and there is no choice!) you cannot be Christian while denying bodily Incarnation. As a novelist, you do not need me to tell you that plot is important. Incarnation is Christianity. That is the plot. 'Being Christian' yet not accepting 'main tenets'...? Sorry, you lost the plot, and very clearly.

Don't hurry your appeal to Ivar to 'close' this thread: we have just reached the point, I think where people who previously thought it irrelevant may begin to find it very interesting! Christianity without Incarnation? Do tell us more.

Gareth
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#49
Priscillian said:
Perhaps now would be the time to close this thread?
No. Perhaps now would be a time to say this thread has come of age! Pilgrimage is a journey to a destination. When the journey gets tough, and the blinding sleet gets in our eyes as we walk across the ridge from O Cebreiro, we don't say 'close the thread and let's go home'; but we sensibly think of cutting our stage short and heading to the nearest refugio. Regroup, get the soup on the stove, and think about our approach. If you have an argument, get it together. We will be patient. At the moment, you have lost it. Christianity with no Incarnation is absurd, so revise that and come back with something better considered. We'll wait.

Gareth
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#50
Gareth, perhaps what we need - for those who are interested in religions - is a new Forum? This thread would have been cut short ages ago on any other camino forum but, Ivar being the laid back moderator that he is, has trusted his members to post in a responsible way and not stray too far from the mandate of the forum - ie: pilgrimage routes to Santiago.

My tuppence worth - if this was 2000 years ago, Gareth would be a Pharisee and Tracy would be a Sadducee (and I would be a follower of Protagoras!)

The Sadducees maintained that the only way for truly pious behavior was to live according to the commandments in the written Law (Protestant thinking).
The Pharisees, on the other hand, taught that the written Law had been given to the Jews and that they were free to interpret the Law. After all, the world had changed since the days of Moses. As a consequence, the Pharisees said that the 'written Torah' was to be supplemented with 'the oral Torah', the interpretation of the written Law by the Pharisee teachers, the rabbis (Catholic thought).
The Pharisees (Christians) believed in the resurrection of the dead and in angels. The Sadducees did not believe in either.
The historian Flavius Josephus states that the Sadducees did not believe in Fate (humanism?)
Now for the Pharisees, they say that some actions, but not all, are the work of Fate, and some of them are in our own power, and that they are liable to Fate, but are not caused by Fate. And for the Sadducees, they take away Fate, and say that there is no such thing, and that the events of human affairs are not at its disposal; but they suppose that all our actions are in our own power, so that we are ourselves the causes of what is good, and receive what is evil from our own folly
.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#51
sillydoll said:
Gareth, perhaps what we need - for those who are interested in religions - is a new Forum?
Of course, it is a quite normal and - these days - quite common strategy in many walks of life when an argument has been lost in its substantial points to simply say, "Well, what does it matter anyway?" and walk off. If it is of no interest, then so be it. Look at some other thread, Sil. As it happens, the debate has been conducted in very polite terms - as Tracy herself has said in recent posts. When a particular point of view appears wrong, you argue against it with a counter-view.

If such a discussion is too difficult or too heated (and neither Tracy or I have started using derogatory language such as calling each other Sadducees or Pharisees!) it would be best to leave it. It is a pity that you see things in such a pessimistic way. The argument was interesting and lively to Tracy and to me, clearly. If you are speaking for the majority and it is of no interest at all, and Ivar is simply being 'polite' in not pulling it, my silence from here on will please many people!

So this is indeed the last post on the matter, as I find the language you have introduced into it, Sil, quite unnecessary.

Goodbye Tracy: I think it was a well conducted discussion on your part.

Gareth
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#52
WOW!! Gareth - derogatory language!! What are you on about??

I said: "If this was 2000 years ago, you would be the Pharisee" - like Paul ("I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee" (Acts 23:6 KJV) and Tracy would be the Sadducee.
A Pharisee was an esteemed and respected student and defender of the law; and was considered to be a careful seeker of righteousness through the law. (Something like you on this forum!)

I made the comparison based on my understanding of biblical history.
The Sadducees believed that only the laws of Moses were authoritative.
The Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead, and in angels and spirits; while the Sadducees rejected such beliefs (Acts 23:6-10)

No insults intended to either of you. Please forgive me, both of you, if you took this the wrong way. (I think we all have a bit of Pharisee/Sadducee complex in us at times.)
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#53
"Not you, not I, can learn the inmost secret:
The eternal Cypher proves too hard to break.
Behind God's Curtain voices babble of us
But when it parts, where then shall we two be?"
Omar Khayyam
 
Camino(s) past & future
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La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
#54
Oh dear - I've just read through the last few posts and, finding things to agree with in each, feel very sad that after what I agree has been an impressively polite debate there has been such a painful reaction.

Priscillian said:
I would like to have the opportunity to approach God in my own way and without intermediaries.
Yes, this is a human right, I think (without looking them up!) and this forum is nothing if not respectful of human rights.

Gareth Thomas said:
Incarnation is Christianity. That is the plot. 'Being Christian' yet not accepting 'main tenets'...?
Yes, as a Christian (but not a catholic) I agree that Christianity is Incarnation. However, this forum has members who have many different faith (or non-faith) positions so I recognise their right to express that - and the right of others to ask them to explain further.

sillydoll said:
My tuppence worth
Sil has a right to post her tuppence worth. It was a comparison that had not occurred to me. I did not think it was derogatory to anyone.

Gareth Thomas said:
If it is of no interest, then so be it.
Yes, obviously different threads attract different posters. Or attract posters with a different point of view from others. One has to accept that.

omar504 said:
"Not you, not I, can learn the inmost secret:
The eternal Cypher proves too hard to break.
Behind God's Curtain voices babble of us
But when it parts, where then shall we two be?"
Omar Khayyam
Wow - that's amazing Omar. So very apt. Of course God is behind the curtain to us, too big, too ..., too too... even with the all the insights of all the churches over all the years. ( And yes , I do believe in the Incarnation as I said before!)

I was going to join in earlier and ask if the thread could continue, as it was interesting, and although there were diametrically opposed opinions all seemed polite and cool. But perhaps that was unrealistic. We make ourselves so vulnerable when we post on topics so close to our hearts.

Maybe now is the time for everyone to retire out of the blizzard and seek shelter and hot soup. After a rest, and perhaps a binding up of wounds, I do so hope everybody will get back on the road, looking forward to the next stage of the journey, wiser about how to face the next challenge.

God bless

Bridget
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#55
I hope the air has cleared on this topic. It seems like there was no bad intentions, and that apologies have been given if things have been taken the wrong way.

I like to be as much "hands off" as possible in regards to conversations/discussions that goes on in the forum. As long as it is related to the Pilgrimage to Santiago, it goes. This way, we can get many different views on many different topics related to the camino. This might be related to "what shoes are the best to use", "tent or no tent" or "evidence or lack of evidence". If there are a difference of opinion on things (and there will always be), my hope is that we can still get along and sort things out.

Both Gareth and Sil are veteran pilgrims with a lot of experience to share. I hope both of them will continue to share their knowledge, I know many of our members have learned a lot from them.

Good night from just outside Santiago,
Ivar
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#56
ivar said:
This way, we can get many different views on many different topics related to the camino. This might be related to "what shoes are the best to use", "tent or no tent" or "evidence or lack of evidence".
Absolutely! And in fact this topic has been one of the most popularly visited topics on the Forum. I am pleased Ivar that you have said quite clearly in your comments that this topic was quite naturally one which was of interest on this Forum. When a self-proclaimed 'heretic' and someone who defends a traditional Catholic view of the pilgrimage can remain in dialogue, that is a sign of broad appeal! The fact that I had conceded to Tracy the point about lack of evidence - after I had explored the historical sources, trying to find at least something to boost my position! - was an indication of my openness, I would have thought. And I had no doubt about her sincerity.

Just to set the record straight, I have no bad feelings about the way the topic has ended: we had mainly concluded the matter anyway. I just think that the rather forceful statement from Sil that the topic did not belong on this Forum - because it was 'religious' - was disappointing. I certainly would not wish to continue contributing to it if the Forum was being intellectually policed in that manner. Your own approach to managing the Forum, Ivar, is very welcoming indeed, and long may it continue!

Gareth,
Assisi, 10th November 2008
"Pax et Bonum"
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#57
Removed by Priscillian for further consideration. Watch this space :wink:

(A short while later...)
Yep! I was right after all:
Consider the incarnation. Christians believe that God the Son became a real human being with a real human body. But this view was repulsive to some Gnostic Christians. While some believed that the divine Christ temporarily assumed a human body (perhaps from the time of the descent of the Holy Spirit), they did not think this state was permanent. And others denied that Jesus had a physical body at all. They believed that Jesus only appeared to be human. In reality, they claimed that he was a completely spiritual being. This was especially true after his resurrection, which Gnostics generally held to be a purely spiritual (and not physical) event.

The Gnostic view of the afterlife was similar. After death, Gnostics believed, they would be reunited with God in the spiritual realm. They had no desire for the resurrection of the body. The body was merely a casing from which they would gratefully escape at death.

(see http://www.gnosis.org if you would like to learn more)

The Priscillianists were to all intents and purposes, Gnostics, so we can assume that this would have been their understanding.

Heresy....? By definition, but perhaps not by common understanding. But then years ago they would have sent me to the stake. Perhaps they will...perhaps they did? (But then that would lead to the question of reincarnation and I don´t think either Gareth or I want to go there!!)
Tracy
Thanks for all the wonderful posts in this thread. I'll look in from time to time, but now I really do have another book to get on with.
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
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#58
You know something? This is kinda fun after all.
Quote: From Gareth
(and neither Tracy or I have started using derogatory language such as calling each other Sadducees or Pharisees!)
Mama Mia...Gareth and I AGREE on something!
I'd be more likely to be an Essene actually, though all that enforced celebacy doesn´t exactly appeal.
(Sorry Priscillianists!)
Tracy

P.S. Lovely bit of Omar, Omar. Here´s another from a much less interesting character:

"You cannot know the thing in itself" Emmanuel Kant
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#59
Priscillian said:
You know something? This is kinda fun after all.
No it isn't. :D

Priscillian said:
I'd be more likely to be an Essene actually, though all that enforced celebacy doesn´t exactly appeal.
The idea that the monastic tradition developed from the Essenes is a theory no longer sustainable, and it has long been shown that tracing monastic tradition to pre-Christian times in that way is something begun by an American Lutheran called Voobis at aschool in Chicago. He was anxious to distance monastic practice from true Christian life. The Qumran community may have had a quasi-monastic element, but it is now quite clear that there were families with children too.

Good luck with the book Tracy. If you want any questions examined in the libraries of Rome, let me know. If you're gonna be a heretic, you may as well be a fully informed heretic. :roll:

Gareth
(Back in Rome after two glorious days in Assisi in the mist and quiet of the off season.)
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
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#60
This topic attracted almost 3000 viewers before I decided to close it last November. Now with the Spanish publication of Peregrinos de la Herejía I am looking into it in much more detail on my blog right now so do have a look. Your comments are very welcome (even you Gareth :wink: )
TS
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#61
Greetings from the City of my Dreams: so happy to be in Compostela once again. It is always amazing to me that I feel so at home here. Even the smells are familiar!
Do please check my messages on the "Live from the Camino" thread while I am walking the Camino Portuguese. I will be updating my blog with reports from the Camino and in between, I'll be looking at more history of the "Way of St. James". The more I learn, the more intriguing it becomes.
Also, will be in Santiago the last week of July for the celebrations. Hope to meet some of you there.
Ivar.......?

Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
ww.editorialboveda.com (en español)
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
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#62
I did go to Os Martiros, a lovely spot, and there is no doubt in my mind that this place may have been connected with Priscillian and Priscillianism. The burials there date well into the time of the Sueves when Priscillianism was tolerated as being close to their own Arianism. But, the church there in my opinion is less likely to be Priscillian's resting place than Compostela. I learned while in Santiago that fragments of marble, imported from Alexandria, may have covered the original Roman structure there. There are some pieces of it in the Museo das Peregrinaciones. If so, this tie to Egypt is very interesting indeed. It would also place the tomb as later than the 1st or 2nd century. Still, we don't know and are unlikely to find out definitively. But it sure is fun trying!
In the meantime, I have finally got my internet access after 6 months without, and I have a lot of serious work - mostly related to the next book - to catch up with; so reluctantly I won't be able to post much here on the Forum, though will certainly visit whenever I can.
If anyone is interested in the direction my research is taking I shall be continuing along the "...or lack of evidence" track on my blog now that I am no longer a "walking pilgrim" and have become a historical one again. Do please visit, and comment if you wish to...
Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#63
Priscillian said:
This topic attracted almost 3000 viewers before I decided to close it last November. Now with the Spanish publication of Peregrinos de la Herejía I am looking into it in much more detail on my blog right now so do have a look. Your comments are very welcome (even you Gareth :wink: )

Well, thank you very much! I´m now in Moratinos with Reb, and looking after the place when she goes away for a few days. Why anyone would care about my opinion at all, I really don´t know. As a Catholic in a college in Rome, supposedly at the centre of things, it is a source of total astonishment to me that you (or anyone) would care about my opinion, so I thank you very much! (It is generally assumed in the Catholic church that if you have no position of political influence, then your opinion is totally valueless. So I do thank you for your invitation to express a comment. :? )

If I ever chose to, I might express a very devastating opinion of the Catholic church - as many others also trying to work within it might do - but these matters are best kept within the family and the family members can happily murder each other. :wink:

Outside of all that nonsense, however, I still regard all your Priscillian stuff as an even greater nonsense. A serious critical regard is something we should all encourage, and when anybody descends into nice easy versions of history we should pull them up sharpish!

Gareth
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
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#64
Hey Gareth,
Nice to know they let you out for a while.... ! You know that my Priscillian "nonsense" is only so because it reflects the aspect of choice in the Gnostic faith, rather than the orthodoxy of Irenaus and Tertullian. What we have comes through the Roman filter, so not surprisingly some of it isn't very sympathetic to my bishop. Catch 22.
Hope the leg gets better soon, and if you need to read a good book, Amazon will delivery to Rebekah's door, or perhaps even the Vatican! :lol:

P.S. When in Avila a few years ago, I was told by a priest there in answer to my very naive question about Priscillian, that no such person ever existed.
Catholic blinkers, or simply ignorance? Either way it was a downright porky pie. :oops:
Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 
#65
Priscillian said:
.... When in Avila a few years ago, I was told by a priest there in answer to my very naive question about Priscillian, that no such person ever existed.....
Tracy ... You know Priscilian did exist.

Here you have the "theory" from my and your friend, Alberto Solana, from Madrid, Spain. First the "google translation", after that the original in Spanish:


This hypothesis that the remains of the Tomb of Compostela are not those of St. James but of Prisciliano and two of his followers, deserves special mention. The hypothesis is old, but formally arises at the time that they attack the underground excavations of the cathedral, ie last years of the nineteenth century. It is wielded by some historians and biographers, achieving some success and dissemination, more fertile ground because of the circumstances referred to their contributions and arguments.

The hypothesis in Compostela Prisciliano for free, today proved unworkable and false, but some writers like to recreate. Others had already spoken out against the veracity of ownership of the grave apostolic Compostela. Now this is a new recipient attribute.

The latest efforts come impregnated galego nationalism in making prototype Prisciliano Celtic pantheon and spirit truest soul of Galicia. Contradictory proposal at a time when Celtic Galicia was more than the rest of the Iberian Peninsula, where there is a time that the Galician as now understood, not as a spirit or such as language or cultural heritage. Prisciliano, appointed bishop of Avila, spoke and expressed in Latin, and can not be assured their geographical origin. If the thesis is originally Priscillianists unsustainable, this approach nationalist holster is laughable.

Prisciliano The origins are unknown. Spanish is generally regarded, but some sources place its origin in Memphis, Egypt. The birth date is so vague that is between 300 and 345. There is predominance in accepting that it originated in Galicia, but it should be noted that Galicia at that time included the current Galicia, Asturias, León and part of northern Portugal. That is, Prisciliano could have been considered both Galician, also Portuguese, Asturian or Leonese, plus Egyptian or North African. This clarification is important, because the thesis argues Priscillianists birth origin of proving that his remains be brought to Galicia after his assassination in Trier, and based on this information inaccurate, recreates an alleged "translatio" of the remains of Prisciliano and his followers from the German city of Trier (Trier), following the course of the Moselle and the Rhine to the North Sea, to go down the Pas de Calais and the Channel Tunnel to reach and climb Arosa Ulla river just to Padron. What is denied to Santiago Priscillian gives you.

Prisciliano bears his doctrine in Spain, Lusitania, southern Gaul, Italy and North Africa, and his death on Priscillianism is especially strong in Galicia where it is considered a martyr and he worships. But nothing can be known from where her remains were brought, he could be in different parts of the peninsula and even in North Africa, who was at that time refuge for heretics.

The Priscillianism is a Gnostic and Manichaean doctrine that proclaims asceticism, poverty, chastity and abstinence, but with the nonsense that many supporters were women with whom it is known that kept the Priscillianists not entirely platonic relationships or uplifting. Sulpicius Severus, Prisciliano contemporary church historian, depicts him as a wealthy nobleman, restless, educated, attractive and persuasive, and training of great virtue, but the notorious absence of vanity, swollen with the false and profane art of magic . His doctrine extravagant and illuminated, with its background of wizard and his acceptance of women in the collective ascetic life, earned him the condemnation at the Council of Saragossa (380), but Prisciliano becomes strong and gets himself appointed bishop of Avila with the help of influential and wealthy supporters, determined to take full benefit of their circumstances for sectarian purposes, winning Prisciliano a strong position, and even persecution of its opponents. Driven by his arrogance and his successes, his attitude was provocative and unerring polemics, which will finally cause a disadvantage. It accused to the seat of Bordeaux as a heretic, magic, and of violating the customs by the presence of women in the group, but Prisciliano, for evil, challenges the authority of Bordeaux and appeals to the civil power of the emperor-based Trier where, ignoring the requests of St. Martin of Tours and Ambrose of Milan, Emperor of the West with a maximum sentence to beheading Priscillian and several followers who accompanied him in his complaint.

Opinions on the end of Prisciliano is grouped into two positions, those who think he was the victim of his hostility to his detractor Idacio, and those who think he was the victim of its status as a magician, severely punished by Roman law as a civil offense. The story seems rather Prisciliano an ambitious ideological revolution that creates very found discrepancies between supporters and detractors in a wild climb, and its end, a somewhat unfair and disproportionate, rather than a martyrdom seems the unfortunate outcome of who has the arrogance and overconfidence in his power tempt fate too.

Test has been mentioned as carbon-14 dating absolute proof for the age of skeletal remains and solve the conflict in the identity of the remains of Santiago de Compostela, but you have to say that the value of this test is only limited as only gives the age chronology of the remains, but not the identity of the same information which would be an entirely unsatisfactory. Without being contrary to the achievement of proof, we must think very well their implementation, as its result could be inconclusive and it in turn might raise a lot of unnecessary speculations and do more harm than good.

The possible options for locating the grave of Prisciliano are much more open than those of St. James, and it seems clear that the location in Compostela is impossible. First because the remains are those of Compostela three skeletons of men, while Prisciliano and peers were seven and one woman, moved to Spain certainly five, probably all. Furthermore, because the central tomb, attributed to the Apostle was always covered with a marble mosaic of the second century, ie the death of the shrine of Compostela Prisciliano longer existed, and had two closed-century and adorned with the above mosaic.

Regarding the location of the tomb of Prisciliano proposes a number. We have mentioned the crypt of the church of Santa Eulalia, Vault (about Lugo). Also near Astorga, which long ruled in favor of Priscillianism bishops, and perhaps his place of birth. An alternative suggestion is that proposed by Guerra Campos in the region of the Celenia, south of Ulla and Iria, a site whose original name was Martor Os (clear hint about martyrs) belonging to the parish of San Miguel de Valga, where there is a chapel dedicated to San Mamed, Setecoros church, which could be a reference to the seven martyrs Priscillianists, and inside of which have appeared anthropoid sarcophagi carved in stone that appear in the fourth century, and belonging to the former diocese of Aqua Celene (Caldas de Reis), linked to the V century Priscillianism.

Openly advocates antijacobeas theories, seem to see around Santiago de Compostela a multidisciplinary superconfabulación a supra-historical plot, in which documentary evidence favorable to Santiago lack rigor or are forgeries, the need and opportunity of a first-class relics will reason enough to line up on one side monks, bishops, kings, politicians, soldiers, scientists, and attitudes and documents of people from different historical moments, are either concerned or false, or wrong, or handled. But other scenarios are created, such as Prisciliano, with some fantastic arguments that the Jacobean tradition.



Esta hipótesis que propone que los restos de la Tumba de Compostela no son los del Apóstol Santiago sino los de PRISCILIANO y dos de sus seguidores, merece mención especial. La hipótesis es antigua, pero surge formalmente en la época en que se acometen las excavaciones del subsuelo de la catedral, es decir, últimos años del siglo XIX. Es esgrimida por algunos historiadores y hagiógrafos, alcanzando cierto éxito y difusión, debido más al terreno abonado por las circunstancias mencionadas que a sus aportaciones y argumentos.

La hipótesis de Prisciliano en Compostela es totalmente gratuita, hoy demostrada inviable y falsa, pero que algunos autores les gusta recrear. Ya otros se habían expresado en contra de la veracidad en la titularidad apostólica del sepulcro compostelano. Ahora se trata de atribuirle un nuevo destinatario.

Las últimos empeños surgen impregnadas de nacionalismo galego convirtiendo a Prisciliano en prototipo del panteón celta y del espíritu más genuino del alma gallega. Contradictoria propuesta en una época en que Galicia no era más celta que el resto de la península ibérica, en que una época que no existe lo gallego como hoy se entiende, ni como espíritu ni como acervo cultural ni como idioma. Prisciliano, designado obispo de Ávila, hablaba y se expresaba en latín, y no se puede asegurar su origen geográfico. Si la tesis priscilianista es en su origen insostenible, enfundada de este planteamiento nacionalista resulta irrisoria.

Los orígenes de Prisciliano son desconocidos. Se le suele considerar español, pero algunas fuentes sitúan su origen en Menfis, Egipto. La fecha de nacimiento es tan imprecisa que se sitúa entre el 300 y el 345. Hay predominancia en aceptar que su origen está en Galicia, pero hay que precisar que Galicia en esa época incluía la Galicia actual, Asturias, parte de León y norte de Portugal. Es decir, Prisciliano podría haber sido considerado tanto como gallego, también portugués, asturiano o leonés, además de egipcio o norteafricano. Es una precisión importante, porque la tesis priscilianista argumenta su origen de nacimiento como justificación de que sus restos fueran traídos a Galicia después de su ajusticiamiento en Tréveris, y en base a este dato impreciso, recrea una supuesta "translatio" de los restos de Prisciliano y sus seguidores desde la ciudad alemana de Tréveris (Trier), siguiendo el curso del río Mosela y del Rin hasta el mar del norte, para descender por el paso de Calais y el canal de la Mancha hasta llegar a la ría de Arosa y remontar el rio Ulla precisamente hasta Padrón. Lo que a Santiago se le niega a Prisciliano se le regala.

Prisciliano lleva su doctrina por España, Lusitania, sur de Galia, Italia y norte de África, y a su muerte el priscilianismo se hace especialmente fuerte en Galicia en donde se le considera un mártir y se le rinde culto. Pero nada puede saberse del lugar donde se trajeron sus restos, que pudo ser en distintos puntos de la península e incluso en África del norte, que era en esa época refugio de herejes.

El Priscilianismo es una doctrina gnóstica y maniquea que proclama el ascetismo, la pobreza, la castidad y la abstinencia, pero con el contrasentido que muchos adeptos eran mujeres con las que es fama que mantenían los priscilianistas relaciones no del todo platónicas ni edificantes. Sulpicio Severo, historiador eclesiástico contemporáneo a Prisciliano, nos lo pinta como un noble rico, inquieto, culto, atractivo y persuasivo, de gran formación y virtud, pero con el decantado defecto de la vanidad, hinchada con el falso y profano arte de la magia. Su doctrina extravagante e iluminada, con sus antecedentes de mago y su aceptación de mujeres en la vida ascética colectiva, le valieron la condena en el concilio de Zaragoza (380), pero Prisciliano se hace fuerte y se hace nombrar obispo de Ávila con ayuda de sus seguidores influyentes y adinerados, decididos a aprovechar todas las circunstancias en beneficio de sus fines sectarios, logrando para Prisciliano una posición fuerte, e incluso la persecución de sus detractores. Impulsado por su soberbia y sus éxitos, su actitud fue provocativa y polemizante, lo que terminará por llevarle a una situación desfavorable. Es acusado ante la sede de Burdeos de hereje, de magia, y de atentar contra las costumbres por la presencia de mujeres en el grupo, pero Prisciliano, para su mal, recusa la autoridad de Burdeos y apela al poder civil del emperador con sede en Tréveris, donde, desoyendo las peticiones de San Martín de Tours y de Ambrosio de Milán, el Emperador de Occidente Máximo condena a la decapitación a Prisciliano y varios de los seguidores que le acompañaban en su reclamación.

Las opiniones sobre el final de Prisciliano se agrupa en dos posiciones, los que piensan que fue víctima de su hostilidad con su detractor Idacio, y los que opinan que fue víctima de su condición de mago, rigurosamente penado por la ley romana como delito civil. La historia de Prisciliano parece más bien la de una ambiciosa revolución ideológica que crea discrepancias muy encontradas entre seguidores y detractores en una desenfrenada escalada, y su final, un tanto injusto y desproporcionado, más que un martirio parece el desafortunado desenlace de quien desde la soberbia y el exceso de confianza en su fuerza tienta la suerte demasiado.

Se ha mencionado la prueba del Carbono 14 como prueba absoluta para datar la edad de los restos óseos y resolver el conflicto de la identidad de los restos compostelanos, pero hay que decir que el valor de esta prueba es solo limitada porque solo nos da la edad cronológica de los restos, pero nunca la identidad de los mismos lo cual sería una información absolutamente insatisfactoria. Sin ser contrario a la realización de la prueba, debe meditarse muy bien su realización, pues su resultado podría ser nada concluyente y sí en cambio podría levantar muchas e innecesarias elucubraciones y hacer más perjuicio que beneficio.

Las posibles opciones de localización de la tumba de Prisciliano son mucho más abiertas que las del Apóstol Santiago, y parece claro que la localización en Compostela es imposible. Primero porque los restos compostelanos son los de tres esqueletos de varones, mientras que Prisciliano y los compañeros fueron siete y de ellos una mujer, trasladados a España sin duda alguna cinco, probablemente todos. Además porque el sepulcro central, atribuido desde siempre al Apóstol fue cubierto con un mosaico de mármol del siglo II, es decir que a la muerte de Prisciliano el sepulcro de Compostela existía ya, y llevaba dos siglo cerrado y adornado con el mencionado mosaico.

En cuanto a la localización de la tumba de Prisciliano se proponen varias. Se ha mencionado la cripta de la iglesia de Santa Eulalia, en Bóveda (cerca de Lugo). También las inmediaciones de Astorga, donde durante mucho tiempo gobernaron obispos partidarios del priscilianismo, y quizás su lugar de nacimiento. Una opción sugerente es la propuesta por Guerra Campos en la comarca de los Celeni, al sur del Ulla y de Iria, un emplazamiento cuya nombre primitivo fue Os Mártores (clara insinuación a unos mártires), perteneciente a la parroquia de San Miguel de Valga, donde hay una ermita dedicada a San Mamed, la iglesia de Setecoros, que podría ser una referencia a los siete mártires priscilianistas, y en cuyo interior han aparecido sarcófagos antropoideos tallados en piedra que parecen del siglo IV, y perteneciendo a la antigua diócesis de Aquæ Celenes (Caldas de Reis), vinculada en el siglo V al priscilianismo.

Los defensores de teorías abiertamente antijacobeas, parece ver en torno a Santiago de Compostela una superconfabulación multidisciplinar, un complot suprahistórico, en que las datos documentales favorables a Santiago carecen de rigor o son falsificaciones, la necesidad y la oportunidad de unas reliquias de primer orden será motivo suficiente para que se alineen en un mismo bando monjes, prelados, reyes, políticos, militares, hombres de ciencia, y las actitudes y documentos de gentes de distintos momentos históricos, son o interesados, o falsos, o equivocados, o manipulados. Sin embargo se crean otras hipótesis, como la de Prisciliano, con unos argumentos más fantásticos que los de la Tradición Jacobea.



Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#66
Thanks Javier,
Alberto knows a lot about this and I welcome his input, as I very much welcome yours here (though I found the Spanish a lot more easy to ready than the English!). :lol:

Quote: re the possibility of Carbon 14 dating

"...its result could be inconclusive and it in turn might raise a lot of unnecessary speculations and do more harm than good. "

Questions:
1/ When is speculation about something which is by no means certain ever "unncessary"?
2/ Who might be harmed by learning the truth? In this case are the remains 4th century or 1st century. Makes a bit of a difference don't you think?

The speculation that Priscillian would have been buried with those with whom he was beheaded is just that: a speculation. We know only that Priscillian himself was brought "home" to Galicia. The others who were executed along with him were, for the most part, from the south of Gaul. Hence there would have been no reason to bring them to the north west of Spain. Sulpicius Severus is just as notably silent on this as he is on other things Priscillianist. And he is a "hostile witness". Were it not for the Würtzburg Tactates, discovered in 1885 we would have had cause to think that Priscillian was as evil as he has been painted. But what really was "magic" in those days? Would you consider praying barefoot in a farmer's field magic? Priscillian died for such "magic" as this while trying to marry pagan ways with Christianity. Constantine did it too: interesting that the birth and death of Mithras - the soldiers' god - should so neatly co-oincide with those of Jesus. Constantine got away with it. Priscillian did not.

Also, we should not make the mistake of thinking that there were only 8 Priscillianists! Gallicia was so Priscillianist as to be called "infested" with heresy. Pontecesures and the area close by was called "Infesta". Whether there is any connection I have yet to ascertain. Certainly there is a lot of tradition which links this area (and Iria Flavia/Padron and Caldas - which was known to the Romans) to the Priscillian story.

Finally, in the Museo das Peregrinaciones there are fragments of marble, from Alexandria. They date from the fourth century, and they were coverings for the sepulchre of "St. James".
Hmmm

Add to this the fact that there are burials dating from the 1st century beneath and surrounding the present cathedral but that these are notably pagan, that is until the end of the 4th century (when Priscillian was decapitated in Trier - and his body brought back later) when the graves become Christian and there are many of them. It is almost as though many people wanted to be buried close to some special and holy figure. And why would it have been St. James? Gallicia, in fact most of the north of Spain and even as far as south as Lusitania (Priscillian was bishop of Avila remember) and even into Gaul and parts of northern Italy, was Priscillianist! Althoug the Sueves did accept Catholicism it was Visigothic: the Roman church had no foothold in Spain until the 11th century! These graves face east in Priscillianist fashion and last until the middle of the 6th century, when the Arianism of the Sueves (notably not Roman but closer to Priscillianism) was replaced by Catholicism, although even then, the Visigothic rite remained until the time of Diego Pelaez, bishop of Santiago at the initial stages of the building of the cathedral.

Now why would James, a Jew proselytising the words of his master Jesus, be buried in a pagan burial ground?

Why would the supulchre be ordered sealed by Pope Leon XIII, never to be reopened again in 1879?
The "proof" that the figure is Saint James was that a fragment of skull sent to Italy by Bishop Diego Gelmirez matched that of the skull (one of) found. But that only proves that the two may once have been one. It begs the question (Diego Gelmirez' assumption - and certainly the acceptance and promotion of the Cult of Santiago did him no harm at all) whether the skull was that of St. James or.....?

Finally, the excavations of the 40's and 50's may have looked impressive at the time, but first they did not involve the remains in the sepulchre (sealed, you see - or so I have been told by three notable authorities in Santiago), second, according to several sources, they were not as thorough as they could be, and poorly documented (Fletcher, Reilly etc.) and, we must not forget the times in which they were done. I don't have to remind you that Santiago IS Spain. Nor who was dictator in the country at that time. Let's face it: if Franco can fix the Eurovision Song Contest (fact!) he's hardly likely to be amenable to the idea that Santiago might not be there. Naturally, any evidence to the contrary is not likely to get much of a hearing.

True, Carbon 14 testing will give an accurate date but not the identity of the person contained within the sepulchre. But there is a vast span time between the mid first century and the late 4th.
The time that Leon the pope ordered the sepulchre sealed just about followed the declaration of Papal Infallibility. If Leon XIII said it was St. James...It was St. James. ¡y ya está! Not much hope of any movement in that direction...

I don't know if Santiago is buried in the tomb, but all my research so far tends to point away from it. When I was giving interviews in Galicia, I half expected to be burnt in the Praca de Obradoiro for suggesting that it might be Priscillian not James! Nothing could be further from the truth. I was received very sympathetically, and by people who know much more than I do about the history of Compostela. Priscillian's memory never died in Galicia and many people will say categorically that it is he buried in the cathedral. It isn't just my imagination!

On my blog I am picking up where I left off in June before I walked the Camino Portuguese: illustrating how there was nothing mentioned by any of those people we would expect to mention it (Isidore, Julian) about St. James being buried in Galicia, not until the 8th century when the assumption is made, that if he preached in Spain (did he?) that he must be buried here. (The story is he made 9 converts at the most.) Hence, we might posit that Theodemir and Alfonso the Chaste were almost - to use a 21st century term - "pre-programmed" to make that assumtion. And just about the right time to rid the north west of the Mohammedans too!
Hmmm...

If anyone would like to learn more about the growth of the Cult of St. James, do please join me on my blog at http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
as I publish some of my findings and research as preparation for my next novel "Compostela".

Tracy Saunders
(who doesn't give up so easily!)
P.S. I went to Os Martores. I am willing to consider this as a possible place for Priscillian to be buried. But such an important person would have had some sort of mausoleum dedicated to him and there is no evidence of one there. Also, most of the graves are later - in Sueve/Visigothic times. This area was so completely Priscillianist that anyone who stood up to the Romans after Priscillian was decapitated and Priscillianists were witch hunted (literally in this case?) by the Romans could have been considered a martyr. Many, many Priscillianists were killed and their properties confiscated. The closest graves to the church are of two adults and a child, or so I was told by the nice lady with the key.
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#67
Since this question attracted so much interest when I posted it originally, it occurred to me that members and visitors who did not have an opportunity to join the discussion might be interested in doing so now at the beginning of Xacobeo.

This week and next I am recapping the evidence on my blog at http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com

The accompanying photos will be from my Camino of last year from Porto to Santiago, a wonderful walk full of surprises and amazing people: this is also on the blog back in July and August for anyone who would like to read it.

As I have said all along, whether St. James' remains lie in the Cathedral or not, the Camino is an unforgetable experience with many pilgrims now choosing to continue on to Fisterre - a custom which predates the Cult of Santiago by a couple of thousand years, or more! Forum members such as Javier and Ivar are working hard on re-opening routes from Madrid and many other places which were not walkable when I did my first Camino in 1999.

I hope that we can also re-open dialogue here as this was one of the most read topics in recent years.
Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
 
#68
Do we have to suffer this controversy yet again? I suggest the perpetrator should start her own forum and leave this one alone. By the way, much of her contribution appears to be blatant and free publicity. Is that what this forum is for?
Laurie
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
#69
Priscillian said:
Consider the incarnation. Christians believe that God the Son became a real human being with a real human body. But this view was repulsive to some Gnostic Christians. While some believed that the divine Christ temporarily assumed a human body (perhaps from the time of the descent of the Holy Spirit), they did not think this state was permanent. And others denied that Jesus had a physical body at all. They believed that Jesus only appeared to be human. In reality, they claimed that he was a completely spiritual being. This was especially true after his resurrection, which Gnostics generally held to be a purely spiritual (and not physical) event.


One line in one Christmas Carol that I refuse to sing reflects the above way of thinking:-
"veiled in flesh the Godhead see..." from Hark the Herald Angels sing. I am sure that it was not intended by the author (not sure that that particular verse is by Charles Wesley). I simply substitute the word 'robed' instead of 'veiled'!
After walking in the steps of so many pilgrims on the Camino Primitivo, I just cannot accept the split thinking between body and spirit! Surely the use of all our senses in the appreciation of the creation around us on The Way: the feelings of tiredness and frailty, of joy and euphoria,the wounds both to body and spirit - emphasise the unity of the human creature?
Without the Incarnation, there would be no St. James, and no Camino - probably no Priscillian either!

blessings
Terry
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#70
laurie said:
Do we have to suffer this controversy yet again? I suggest the perpetrator should start her own forum and leave this one alone. By the way, much of her contribution appears to be blatant and free publicity. Is that what this forum is for?
Laurie
Laurie,
With respect, I have been actively posting on this forum for almost two years now, contributing to many discussions, initiating others. And while, yes, some of my posts are concerned with a topic that I find of particular relevance (and so do over 3000 people who have visited this post) many more are of general pilgrim influence: although bedbugs and sandals vs. shoes I leave to others.

Before I originally joined this forum,there was not one posting concerning Priscillian; yet ask around among the cogniscenti in Santiago and you will receive a knowing smile at the mention of his name. This forum concerns the Camino. It is not the official website of the Cathedral. I have tried to present an alternative view without treading on people's toes and I think I have gained the respect of many here, even those whose views are diametrically opposed.

As for "blatant and free publicity" if you look closer on this forum you will notice that much is publicised, form sandals to albergues, from rucksacks to restaurants. Why should I not promote something which contains many valuable ideas for pilgrims - and if you take a closer look you will see that mine is also in every way a spiritual and practical guide. The only difference is that I spent two years researching and writing it: a lot of very hard and painstaking work about a subject very near and dear to my heart: The Camino.

If the topic generates viewers, it will survive and new pilgrims will learn something to their interest. If it doesn't, then it doesn't. I have no intention in posting further as I have said pretty much all I have had to say (this post excepted). I am sure there are many other topics here which are more to your liking. No-one is forcing you to visit this one.
Sincerely,
Tracy Saunders who rather objects to the moniker "Perpetrator"
 

MichaelB10398

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
#71
One need hardly suffer the edits of another; simply choose not to read them and move on with a smile. Preiscillian has been here for a long time and I concur that she has gained the respect of others. However, I would also say that we respect all editors regardless of their ideas, religions, philosophies, etc. Please remember that the Camino is open to all from the devout orthodox Christian to the heretic, to the non-Christian, and atheist alike.

If the Camino calls people eventually respond. I choose to have faith that each is in the care of our Father in Heaven and He beckons them to come unto Him. At the moment, their present situation is not similar to your own, but give Him time and may we all end up kneeling at His feet.

Let us be sources of peace in this world grown far too chaotic.
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#72
Do take a look at:
http://services.surinenglish.com/virtual/290110/

I am not sure how well this link will work. I am pretty useless at these things. But this is an article I wrote recently concerning the Camino in general and this topic in particular for the rather large and widely read newspaper Sur in English (the English version of Diario Sur) which circulates from Valencia through to Cadiz.
The article also promotes a certain Camino Forum..... :wink:

If the link isn't working, try:
http://www.surinenglish.com/print-edition/
Jan 29 to Feb 4 pages 38 and 39

Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
( Sneak peak of Chapter One of Compostela online now at http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com )
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#73
An Unholy Theft...!

Some stories are too good to keep to yourself.
I've been so busy lately writing "Compostela" that I haven't had much time to post. In fact, on the few times I have been able to spare a few minutitos there seem to have been few new posts.

No doubt the weather has had a lot to do with it. The idea of pilgrimage seems far away for many of us, me included. Here on the so-called Costa del Sol, we have had FOUR times the usual rainfall since just befrore Christmas. Where before sunny days were expected as the norm, this year, a day without rain has been a cause for (optimistic) celebration. But none have lasted. When I have told people here that I would love to move to Galicia, they turn up their noses and remark on the weather. If Santiago has had as much rain as we have in the last four months I would actually be surprised.
One more excuse to uproot myself one of these days...

Anyway, in the course of my research I came across this story. They just don't make Bishops like this these days!
Whad'ya do when your own relics might be a little...um...suspect? Well, you appropriate (such a nice word) someone else's (the Spanish word is "trasladado"). Simple!
Do read on....

An Unholy Theft
It’s been a long journey to get to this point since I began this history of the Cult of Santiago. I've taken a few detours and met many characters along the road. Now it’s time to take the way south, to Braga in what is now Portugal.

And to my favourite Diego Gelmirez story…

Churches are a network, or perhaps more accurately a hierarchy. A cathedral church will have certain properties, or "sufragens". The church of St. Fructuosus on the outskirts of Braga was just such a one.

It had been built by the saint himself and harboured his relics. However, the church had been granted to the Church of Santiago in 883, in the time of Alfonso III shortly before the consecration of the second cathedral in Compostela. Fructuosus held the same place in the hearts of the people of Braga as Santiago was to do in Compostela. There was no question though, I have to add, of the authenticity of THIS saint’s remains. Fructuosus surrounded himself after his death with his church and with his followers and believers. And they were many.

Diego Gelmirez, however, knew that to cultivate a Cult, if you will pardon the pun, one needs relics. He already had those of “St. James” (and he was about to make sure that the world knew it), but when it comes to relics, well you can never have too many can you? Diego had already visited Braga in 1092 and knew the monetary, um... spiritual attraction of the earthly remains of San Fructuosus. It was time, reasoned our bishop, to pay a visit to Braga and its bishop, Giraldo.

And so Diego conceived “a cunning plan”

El Pio Latrocinio
The Historia Compostelana calls it, innocently,
El Pio Latrocinio: “To Purify with Sacred Rights", but by any other name it was out and out theft!

Imagine this:

On the pretext of visiting various church holdings in and around the area, Diego and two of his canons, Diego and Hugo – who was one of the authors of the Historia Compostela – paid a visit to Giraldo, Bishop, the guardian of the saint’s shrine and the man responsible for the diocese of Braga. Needless to day, there were more in Gelmirez’ retinue than just the bishop and the canons and one author suggests that a few stone cutters may have been thrown in for good company...and an extra mule or two. Diego Gelmirez was received with cordiality and welcomed as a brother in Christ...

For several days Diego enjoyed the hospitality of the diocese, dining with his host in great splendour. Meanwhile, little by little, his partners in crime were removing the remains of not only San Fructuosus but also San Silvestre, San Cucufate and Santa Susana – who now is the co-patron of Santiago de Compostela along with San Roque (note: not Santiago who is the Patron of Spain)! Oh, and the head of St. Victor. Well, why not? While they were at it they also lifted several items thought to have been touched by Jesus Christ himself. It seemed they first worked on one church and the next night shifted their attentions to the next, and so on.

We can learn a great deal about Diego the man when we consider his “reasons” for this unholy theft: they were “not being taken care of properly”.

Yes indeed. Diego said that these would be better taken care of in the Cathedral of Santiago. The trouble was he said no such thing to San Giraldo. In fact he said nothing to him at all about the relics. He just made off with them! By night!

Needless to say, Diego didn’t stick around too long after the deed was done but rushed back to the safe side of the Miño at Tuy as fast as he could. The Historia Compostela tells us in glowing imagery what Diego did when he was approaching Compostela. Being the consummate showman that he was, just southwest of the city near Milladoiro, Diego took off his shoes (and so of course did everyone else) and walked barefoot in Triumph into his city, bearing the relics in great splendour. He was welcomed with great joy from the people of the city - the HC tells us in glowing terms - knowing that with this added protection to the city which could only become the greatest site of pilgrimage (read business) in the known world (well almost but who is counting?). You’ve just gotta love it!

It was, of course, a moral outrage even though “legally” Diego had a right to “translate” (love this word from translatio!) the relics wherever he wanted and for whatever reason.

Giraldo wrote to the Pope. Urban wrote to Diego telling him to give his brother his toys back at once!

Diego ignored him.

Such is our hero.
__________________________________

Meanwhile if you would like a “sneak peak” at the prologue of “Compostela” do check out my website at http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com/compo ... n_progress

Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#74
Now that all the Xunta Hoopla is underway and the number of foreign pilgrims is in excess of the number of Spanish ones yet again, I thought I might bring this post back to new members' attention.
Yes, I hear one or two of you say: "Not again", but sometimes polemics have to be repeated before they are heard. It's all very well doing the hug the saint, get the Compostela thing, but maybe your own personal Camino (and I've walked almost 2000 klms now on various routes) is worth more than a fairy story and you deserve to know about an alternative candidate for the silver casket who deserves a lot more attention than he has been given outside of his native Spain. I am speaking of Priscillian of Avila. His message is so contemporary as to be almost - excuse me - "New Age".

In a recent poll conducted by the very popular Spanish magazine Muy Historia (a division of Muy Interesante one of the top mags here), 77% of readers who responded said that they did not believe that St. James had ever preached in Spain, as opposed to 23% who said he was buried in Compostela. I myself wrote to them to say that I thought the poll question was unbalanced, that is, not having preached here as opposed to not being buried here are not balanced alternatives, but despite having my book featured that month no reply was forthcoming.

Regular members will know that there is almost no evidence of St. James' being buried in Compostela, although there may be some slight conjecture that he was in Spain, but made at most 9 converts and went back to Jerusalem where he was beheaded. His body most likely remained in Judea or was taken to Egypt. I and others have written extensively on this issue in this and other threads over the past 3 years.

Does any of this matter? I am anticipating the reponse because as far as the wonder of the Pilgrimage is concerned I believe it is to the Self and no matter how much the church may claim that it ends at Compostela, the number of pilgrims continuing on to Finisterre would indicate that the Camino, as such, still follows the Ruta de las Estrellas. The destination is the route itself, and most agree with me. If the Camino didn't exist, I think that we would - at this stage in our spiritual evolution - have had to invent one.

I am still trying to find answers to the following questions as I write Compostela, the sequel:
1/ What is the significance of the pink marble "tomb" you can see dimly lit behind the grille (almost now opposite the Holy Door as you enter)? No-one in the archives wants to say much about it.
2/ What on earth happened to Archbishop Diego Gelmirez' body after he died? How can you be the most famous of all the bishops of Compostela, build a church, tyrannise just about everyone for 40 years - and then just disappear? (Like Kaiser Sosje?) Where is he buried?

Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#76
Ah Piligrimin,
And just as I came back to say that I thought I had unmasked you too!
Your words are truly music to my eyes, most especially since I had two visitors to my blogsite today who left their "Holy See" Vatican City footprints...
Watson! The Game's Afoot! :D
Tracy
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 
#77
I think this is a very interesting thread. I surely don't know if Priscillian or Saint James is in the cathedral. But I am sure that the cathedral is a holy place. So, we are going to walk there in September from Porto. And we will pray there to Saint James and I am sure that he will hear us, wherever his earthly remains are.

Peace to all

June and Chris
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#78
I think that your point is well made. Faith needs no geographical "end point" and as you say, your prayers will be heard no matter where St. James or any other saint's earthly remains may rest.
And you will love the walk from Porto. I did it last year and met many really wonderful people. The countryside is gentle and especially beautiful.
Buen Camino, June and Chris
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#79
I attended a Romeria in Os Martores this year and though some of those I spoke with had heard of Priscillianists in the area, none thought that he would have been buried there. The church was originally dedicated to the Roman god, Mercury, and then was used by the Sueves and the Visigoths, before the present day church was erected and later re-dedicated to San Mamede and The Virgin of Guadalupe. There have been many martyrs in the history of the church and perhaps these particular martyrs might have been followers of Priscillian, even Priscillianists who continued in their beliefs after being driven "underground" (though they were largely tolerated by the Sueves as they were followers of Arius and the beliefs were not totally dissimilar).

This year on my long drive following the various Caminos from Sevilla to Porto to Finisterre to Somport, I met up with a number of people who have become "fixtures": authorities on the Camino; some of them well-known and well-respected hospitalero/as with a family record of helping pilgrims. All but one of these people said that Priscillian's burial place was likely the "original" endpoint of the post-pagan "pilgrimages", (before the "Inventio" of the discovery of St. James) and of these all said it was likely to be Priscillian's remains in the crypt in the cathedral in Compostela.

Do we know? No

Will we ever? Not unless the church allows DNA testing and even that would only establish a century. (And they are not likely to do that, are they?)

Does it matter? No, and Yes. For pilgrims today it is of no importance for the most part. The Way is the Destination and I am very much in agreement with this, as I am in the growing movement amongst pilgrims who have completed the journey many times, and some new ones too, which says Mas Camino y Menos Compostela (more Camino and less Compostela - indicating less church control). They will receive their Compostela for saying that they were journeying for "Religious/Spiritual" reasons (and this will go on record to show that 93% of pilgrims made their pilgrimage for Religious Reasons.) Someone said to me, very cynically - a Spanish catholic - that he wondered how many Compostelas would be handed out if the pilgrim had to say the Catholic Creed! But since you are supposed to go to mass, that, I guess, counts.

And yes? What an irony if all those weary footsteps ove the past 1000 years have been to the grave of a known "heretic", the first Christian to be executed by Christians themselves on religious grounds. I have written much on this subject and all is here for you if you look back over this post. Priscillian was no "heretic" unless you mean someone who chose to follow a private route to God through the reading of the scriptures - including banned apocrypha - and the scorning of the hierarchy of deacons, priests, bishops newly established to control the catholic masses...no pun intended. He was certainly no "witch". Witchcraft in those days could have meant as little as praying barefoot in a farmer's field, or refusing to accept the host in church because for the Priscillianists this was considered a form of blasphemy, or refusing to worhip the cross because it was a later Roman addition to Christianity (the early Christians hated the cross and identified themselves with the fish). The Cathars - another group of sad and persecuted "heretics" who had much in common with the Priscillianists - also hated the cross as a symbol and theirs was instead the dove (and the white rose of the Troubadors - next book after this one...).

When I first began to research Pilgrimage to Heresy, 8 years ago, there was almost nothing on line that hadn't been taken wholesale from the Catholic Encyclopaedia, and that from Sulpicius Severus the biographer of St. Martin (who, by the way, was horrified at the treatment that the Priscillianists received). Not surprisingly, it wasn't very complimentary, not very open-minded. Certainly not very reflective of the way that today's pilgrims think about the Camino and their reasons for walking it.
Things have changed.
I invite you: go ahead and Google "Priscillian of Avila". You will be astonished at the man you will find.

One well worth trekking 800 klms to pay your respects to.
Tracy Saunders

P.S. In a poll recently in a well-respected and much read Spanish magazine (Muy Interesante), 78% of respondents said that they didn't believe that St. James had ever preached in Spain. Now, I am not sure that I would go that far, but it is interesting that even the Spanish (post Franco who had a lot to gain by maintaining the St. James myth) don't seem to have a lot of belief in the story of their own Patron Saint!

So if St. James isn't buried there...who is?

http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#80
I haven't had a lot of time to post lately as I am well into writing Compostela the second book in the Camino Chronicles series. But today I discovered something that I am surprised I have never come across before. I thought I would lioke to share it as this post has attracted more readers than almost anything else on this forum.
It concerns the "Seven Apostles" sent to proseletyse in Spain by Saints Peter and Paul. St. James is not mentioned, but it could help to unravel a bit more truth from fiction. We don't know, of course, who is buried in the Cathedral in Compostela. I have followed the view of many historians and writers (especially Gallego ones) who claim that the tomb contains the remains of Priscillian, Bishop of Avila. There are burials all around the cathedral and under it dating from the late 4th century. Christian burials in a time where the story of James was unknown, yet the whole of Gallicia was Priscillianist. And we do know that his own followers did bring his body back to Galicia from Trier after he was decapitated. Certainly there is nothing in any of the literature prior to the 12th century Codex Calixtinus about St. James having been buried in Compostela. Not even the Historia Compostela mentions it except in passing! The Codex is generally thought to be of dubious authenticity and was written to authenticate an economically valuable myth. But here in fact we do have another story.
Rather than re-tell it here, if you go to this link you can learn more. Interesting stuff if you are interested in the history of the Camino.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Apostolic_Men

Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#81
I've decided to bring this one out of its mothballed obscurity because the "Relics" thread has generated such interest, and not a little controversity and hot collars!

As of today (August 27th) this thread has had over 7,000 readers. There is some pretty lively discussion going on here too, but never does it get out of hand (the battle between Gareth and I is now legendary, and we have become good friends!)
If you are interested in the history of Galicia, Priscillian, St. James, the Cathedral, the Camino, you might learn some things here you never expected to know.
Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#82
LOTS of water under this particular bridge. And on re-reading some great poxts too. Pilgrims Plaza and Gareth...I miss you...
Just posted on my blog tonight to celebrate publication of Book Two in The Camino Chonicles and four years work. It won´t be to everyone´s taste or beliefs but those of you who have an open mind about your Camino... I very much welcome you!

BUT... If you wanna see the pic, you gotta go to the site...!
www,pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com


BLOG POST 30 08 2012: Pilgrimage to Heresy.
"It is ridiculously late (or early depending on your perspective) and I have finally gotten around to posting the announcement of my new book entitled St James´Rooster. I am a night owl. It's when I write.

Who, what, where, when and why?

Without Archbishop Diego Gelmirez de Compostela your Camino most likely would have not taken place, neither would you be planning it: Rome, maybe. Jerusalem, perhaps. Or maybe you would be headed out to hike in the foothills of the Himalayas or the Appalacian Way, or the Bruce Trail, or ... well the world is a big one.

But this curious, almost "secular" "pilgrimage" we call El Camino de Santiago? No, without Diego Gelmirez, that would have been lost in the mists of antiquity and obscurity for want of "proof". You would never have heard of it.

There isn't any, proof that is, you see. Between the time of James´execution in Jerusalem and the so-called "discovery" of "his tomb" (the Spanish word is "<i>inventio") </i>not one single historian or churchman spoke of any possibility of his having been buried in Spain and a few not un-notables said he had never preached here at all! And when you think about it, why would the body of a saint who - if indeed he was ever here (and formerly in the Greek it was thought to be St Paul who might have visited Spain) - made at most nine converts then went back to Jerusalem where he met his ultimate fate.

Stone boat etc.? Why bring his body back to a Pagan land? The burials around the tomb are 4th century - the time of Priscillian - not first!

Anyway to the 12th century: Diego and his "spin doctors", the authors of the Historia Compostelana gave us that proof. And fascinating reading it is too. But not a word is true.

Much has been made of the theft last year of the Codex Calixtinus and its recovery (thank Heaven and the Guardia Civil) this year. What is little known too is that this also was written at the behest of Diego Gelmirez and was (falsely) called after Pope Calixtinus who would never have set eyes on it as he died well before it was begun. Likewise, the Historia Compostelana was written to secure a name in history for St James, Compostela and perhaps not least for Diego himself who brought this little known town into international fame as the "final resting place of the remains of St. James". The rest of it - lacking written evidence - he had made up! It took more than 20 years of persuasion to get the Pope to admit that an apostle of Jesus may have been buried there (to gain what was termed Apostolic Status, something no Pope in more than 200 year had been prepared to do) and even then (in 1122) needed a Pope who was kin to the king's son-in-law who just happened to have been Diego´s benefactor but hey: this was the Middle Ages!

And the Matamoros story? Historians doubt that this battle ever too place but if it did it was King Ordoño and not Ramiro who fought it and that several years later. The spin doctors got this one quite wrong, but I am sure it served well enough when the Moors were at the gate, and they were not far off.

St James´Rooster is the story of this man: Bishop, then with much persuasion, Archbishop Diego Gelmirez, a monster, a genius, a misunderstood reformer but one who always turned up on the winning side, somehow. And perhaps the self-intended architect of an obvious fraud. We don´t know. Does it matter? Maybe not... But his story has been all but lost in English and it deserves to be retold. I started researching him with the idea that I woud dislike him intensely and I ended up with a sincere respect for the man.

What remains a puxzzle is what happened to him after he died? What happened to the last two years of the Historia Compostelana? This is MUCH more interesting that the Codex Calixtinus...lost or found! How come, ater 40 years as bishop and even more as the most powerful man in the kingdom, could he havejust...disappeared...PPFFFF!
Like Kaiser Sjose?

Where is he buried?
Nobody knows...

If you are a fan of Pilgrimage to Heresy (or if you have yet to discover the real person whose remains lie in the cathedral in Compostela) you will welcome the return of Felix and his lady, Laura in this mew book.Laura returns to do her doctorate at the University of Santiago but all is not well. Felix finds himself on the Camino again - this time the Portuguese.

Armchair pilgrim or planning, about to walk or walking, or an "alumnus"of the Camino: Believe me... this is not like your Brierly, but it is a story you won´t forget.

PS: Just for you...first few chapters will be serialised starting September 1st."
.
 
#83
Priscillian said:
LOTS of water under this particular bridge. And on re-reading some great posts too. Pilgrims Plaza and Gareth...I miss you....
Yesss... Tracy, I miss you and Gareth too! Please come to my sacred mountain in November!?
Those were the days back in early 2008. We were [and still are] very serious about our subjects but had great fun too building them with each other's help and support.
Now, nearly 4½ years and 12.000 views later, still nobody has reported looking in the same mirror [in the same way] in the Pórtico de la Gloria, solving The Santiago Enigma. Amazing...
Lots of fun AND success with you present and future books and pilgrimages!
Brassa!
Geerτ
PILGRIMSPLAZA
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#84
Buddhists say, 'it is the journey that is important, not the destination."
If we pilgrims start worrying about the integrity of the destination, old Jimmy in Compostela, the head of John the Baptist in St Jean de Angely, Veronica's Veil or the Sudarium, then we'll have to extend this concern to the many hundreds of other shrines in Europe, and eventually all the way back to the Holy Land.
Who cares? In my opinion, the majority of people don't care if these are fairy tales, legends, someone's hallucinations or carefully executed fabrications!
"The road is made by walking" - and the roads that were laid down in the middle ages are still followed today, not because we believe the stories that an apostle lies in a tomb or a cloth with Mary's milk is housed in a reliquary, but because millions of people did believe and they tramped out the paths to the many shrines in Europe. We are following in their footsteps - and laying down our own for others to follow.
What difference does it make if you believe the stories or not? The Evidence, or lack of evidence for St James was covered by Richard Fletcher in Saint James's Catapult : The Life and Times of Diego Gelmírez of Santiago de Compostela. Richard, and your book, makes for an interesting story for historians but it won't impact in any way on the Camino as we know it today.
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#86
It actually does make a lot of difference to a lot of people in Santiago de Compostela, Sil!!! :wink:
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#87
You can´t keep a good story down ... though officially you might give it a damn good try lasting over a thousand years...
Time to bring this back to this year´s pilgrims I think:

Who is REALLY buried in Compostela? He may not be the saint called upon to massacre thousands. In fact his 1700 year old message may be be far more contemporary that you might think.
But don´t ask the good folks at the Cathedral, they have been indoctrinated in only one answer and even if they question it (and they must, surely?) what end would it achieve?
Don´t ask the "functionarios" at City Hall: Galicia needs your money. Sad thing is that the most likely candidate for that beautiful silver casket allowed women to not only speak but teach; sad thing is that he recognised that excesses were counter to Jesus' message; sad thing is that he found the grandiosity of churches unnecessary preferring to meet in the homes of those with like-minded beliefs, or in caves or the open hillside in times of danger and threat from the establishment (as did the Cathars 8 and 9 centuries later); sad thing was that the more he fought for what he believed in the farther enmeshed in the newly formed Catholic net of Conformity be became.

What happened to him? Not finding justice amongst the Catholic bishops he went to plead his case before the new emperor who handed him over to torturers and his accusers. His immediate followers suffered the same fate, including a woman: Eucrotia. Three years later his decapitated body was brought back to Galicia where it was buried with great reverence. For many years after, Priscillianist Christians travelled from far and wide to be buried near to their master. Those graves below the cathedral are 4th century, not 1st! In the first century, Compostela was dedicated to Jupiter, a pagan and Roman god! The Santiago story was invented to impress the illiterate. We no longer have to accept it without question... but many do because they have never had the opportunity to learn of a historical alternative...a gateway to a "saint" who never could have been - reviled by the Catholic Church for crimes never commited, wrenched out during the agony of torture.
There is not one prof in the Faculty of History in Compostela who will give you any time about the St James' Myth. That was born out of one bishop's desire to be an archbishop and carve out a destination rivaling Rome at a time when pilgrimage to Jerusalem was out of the question. That man had enough power to challenge a queen, and under his protection was her son. He even had the first "armada" in Spain!
There is proof in the Museo das Peregrinaciones that the mausoleum "discoved" by Pelayo under stars and celestial music was 4th century, not first..... But who wants to hear about someone who didn´t kill 5000 Moors at the Battle of Clavijo - a battle which never even took place? And then there is the delightful Santiago Matalosindios who assisted the Conquistadores to slaughter any who didn´t immediately convert. Nice, eh?
Those aspects of St James are historical facts, I am sorry to say, and so would he be and the Jesus he followed. If he can be manipulated to that end in that way at those times, how do you think he is being used today in times of spiritual and financial "crisis"? How do you think he was used a thousand years ago?
DON´T believe everything they tell you. http://www.pìlgrimagetoheresy.com
(PS This isn't a sales promotion. Anyone who calls this "advertising" is openly trying to deny the until recently hidden story of the how the Camino came to be. I have spent years researching the history of the Camino and it ain't Brierley I can tell you that! If you read any of my books on Kindle and disagree with my reasoning on historic grounds I will happily buy you another book there of up to $1 more). There: money where mouth is..... and believe me there is no financial interest in writing ANYTHING of this kind! It has to be said and that is all there is to it.
"Don´t Believe Everything They Tell You"
TS
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#88
I know that you are a great supporter of Arius, but does it really matter who is enshrined at Santiago. The journey is an internal process, the casket only a symbol. All externals are only symbols, the reality is the process within the human that leads to the connection with 'other' which Christians name God.

But surely we have to be careful that our bias doesn't lead us into untruths.

Arius tortured to death? I don't think he was. Athanasius, who was alive at the time doesn't think so, nor does he think his body was shipped anywhere, but buried locally to where he died.

He is also biased of course, but he was contemporary

an extract from the Letter of Athanasius to a fellow religious on the Death of Arius

“I was not at Constantinople when he died; but Macarius, the presbyter, was there, and from him I learnt all the circumstances. The emperor Constantine was induced by Eusebius and his party to send for Arius. Upon his arrival, the emperor asked him whether he held the faith of the Catholic church. Arius then swore that his faith was orthodox, and presented a written summary of his belief; concealing, however, the reasons of his ejection from the Church by the bishop Alexander, and making a dishonest use of the language of Holy Scripture.
When, therefore, he had declared upon oath that he did not hold the errors for which he had been expelled from the Church by Alexander, Constantine dismissed him, saying, ‘If thy faith is orthodox, thou hast well sworn; but if thy faith is impious and yet thou hast sworn, let God from heaven judge thee.’ When he quitted the emperor, the partisans of Eusebius, with their usual violence, desired to conduct him into the church; but Alexander, of blessed memory, bishop of Constantinople, refused his permission, alleging that the inventor of the heresy ought not to be admitted into communion.

Then at last the partisans of Eusebius pronounced the threat: ‘As, against your will, we succeeded in prevailing on the emperor to send for Arius, so now, even if you forbid it, shall Arius join in communion with us in this church to-morrow.’ It was on Saturday that they said this.
The bishop Alexander, deeply grieved at what he had heard, went into the church and poured forth his lamentations, raising his hands in supplication to God, and throwing himself on his face on the pavement in the sanctuary, prayed.
Macarius went in with him, prayed with him, and heard his prayers. He asked one of two things. ‘If Arius,’ said he, ‘is to be joined to the Church to-morrow, let me Thy servant depart, and do not destroy the pious with the impious. If Thou wilt spare Thy Church, and I know that Thou dost spare her, look upon the words of the followers of Eusebius, and give not over Thy heritage to destruction and to shame. Remove Arius, lest if he come into the Church, heresy seem to come in with him, and impiety be hereafter deemed piety.’ Having thus prayed, the bishop left the church deeply anxious, and then a horrible and extraordinary catastrophe ensued.
The followers of Eusebius had launched out into threats, while the bishop had recourse to prayer. Arius, emboldened by the protection of his party, delivered many trifling and foolish speeches, when he was suddenly compelled by a call of nature to retire, and immediately, as it is written, ‘falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst,’ and gave up the ghost, being deprived at once both of communion and of life.
This, then, was the end of Arius.
The followers of Eusebius were covered with shame, and buried him whose belief they shared.
The blessed Alexander completed the celebration, rejoicing with the Church in piety and orthodoxy, praying with all the brethren and greatly glorifying God. This was not because he rejoiced at the death of Arius—God forbid; for ‘it is appointed unto all men once to die’ but because the event plainly transcended any human condemnation.
For the Lord Himself passing judgment upon the menaces of the followers of Eusebius, and the prayer of Alexander, condemned the Arian heresy, and shewed that it was unworthy of being received into the communion of the Church; thus manifesting to all that, even if it received the countenance and support of the emperor, and of all men, yet by truth itself it stood condemned.”


To me it seems that he was poisoned. He was one of a very long line of non-trinitarians. How different the world would be had the non-trinitarians succeeded.
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#89
Dear David,
Thank you for your long post concerning Arius and the Arian "heresy". Unfortunately, I was speaking of Priscillian who was not an Arian (although the Sueves who followed him chronologically in Gallicia were). Priscillian WAS tortured and this body WAS
brought back to Galicia. Documented fact, as is the dating for those many graves which were found surrounding the burial site dating from the late 4th century to the mid 7th, graves facing east as was the Priscillianist practice. Anything before that date was Roman pagan, or after Sueve/early Visigoth.
No bias, but historical accuracy, which is more than any of the proponents of the St James myth can claim.
No, for most pilgrims these days, it makes no never mind who is buried in the cathedral and I am on public record (often) for saying so. But there is a difference between one's beliefs or disbeliefs or simple lack of interest when it comes to a 1700 year old cover up. Galicians, by and large, acknowledge Priscillian as the most likely occupant of the sepulchre in Compostela. Maybe we should listen to them before censoring their beliefs in more or less the same way that Priscillian's belief wee censored by the first official Roman Catholics: because they were inconvenient and lacking in power potential.
Un Saludo Xacobeo
Tracy Saunders, Costa da Morte, Galicia
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#90
So sorry Tracy - I must be getting old :oops: ! - and you having Prisciilian as your forum name!
For some reason I thought you were writing of Arius, mainly, I think, because I was writing about Arius at home - of course, Priscillian, the poor man. :|

As for myths - well good luck there, the world lives by myths, as you know.

A genuine question for you though, do you know if the skeleton at Santiago shows a decapitation?
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#91
Supposedly so, or the St James' suggestion would not hold. We are unlikely to ever know though because the last time that the casket was opened it was sealed with papal orders never to be opened again. Maybe this new pope Francis I will relax that restriction as he seems to be intending to do with so many. I do hope so because i truly believe that the Camino would not suffer in any way were it to be demonstrated that it is an early martyr - for causes that we would actually applaud him today - who really is the occupant of that sepulcre. If the Catholic Church is to survive its needs to allow itself not only to be open to scrutiny but to recognise that this is not necessarily a bad thing for those who wish to be Catholics but also wish to have some of those "mysteries" open to explanation and or interpretation given that - unlike in previous centuries - today´s Catholic is intelligent and literate.
Priscillian was no "witch" and if he was a "heretic" it was because he chose his own way. "Hairesis", the Greek work undermining our word heretic means CHOICE. Priscillian (like so many others) unfortunately chose choice when it was not an option but a direct threat tp the newly chosen official religion.
 

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