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The apocalypse illustrated - from Santo Domingo de Silos

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This article wraps a bunch of interests into one fascinating package: the history of Spain during the Islamic conquista, the role of large monasteries in the north in maintaining and dispersing Christian texts, and the art of illustrated manuscripts.

It describes (and beautifully illustrates) the richly illuminated manuscripts of a commentary on the Book of Revelation that came from Santo Domingo de Silos, just South of Burgos, on the Lana. Also mentioned in the article is the Abbey of Santo Toribio de Liébana, on the Camino Liébanego, where the comnentary was originally written.

When we walk these caminos, we can see the buildings that have come down to us (intensively remodelled) from more than 1000 years ago - but this piece gives us a vision of what people were actually doing in thise buildings, how they viewed the world, and what they valued.

 
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mspath

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VN,
Thank you so very much for these two sets of extraordinary links. For the immediate future I shall read/regard a page each day and ponder.
 
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What a wonderful window into the struggles and fears of Spain during the early years of the pilgrimage to Santiago. I’ve never found the “slayer of Moors” depiction of St. James appealing (actually, it’s appalling in our day) but this article helps me put it into context.
Very helpful.
Thank you.
 

alexwalker

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Treasures. Thanks!
 

peregrina2000

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Staff member
Ok, a question for those who know more. This article describes Beatus as a person. But I thought it was the name given to the book itself. Because the first time I met @Rebekah Scott she took me to the church of San Miguel de la Escalada and brought with her a copy of the Beatus of San Miguel de la Escalada, a similarly illustrated volume on the Apocalypse.

From the article (which I was able to read only via the second link like others)

Beatus, whose name means “the blessed one,” lived and worked in northern Spain in highly turbulent times. In 711, two decades before his birth, Berber armies from North Africa brought the new faith of Islam into southern Spain. These Muslim forces rapidly toppled the local Christian Visigoth leaders.
 
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I have no idea, but perhaps the volume is referred to as a 'Beatus' because it's attributed to him? Here's what wikipedia has to say:
Commentary on the Apocalypse (Commentaria in Apocalypsin) is a book written in the eighth century by the Spanish monk and theologian Beatus of Liébana (730–785) and copied and illustrated in manuscript in works called "Beati" during the 10th and 11th centuries AD
 
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mspath

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Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
In graduate school 55+ years ago I attended courses by the great medieval art/architecture historian Meyer Schapiro. Several erudite lectures focused on the Spanish caminos. Included were his accounts of Silos manuscripts and architecture which he had visited in 1939 before the war.

Read/see more here
 
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In graduate school 55+ years ago I attended courses by the great medieval art/architecture historian Meyer Schapiro.
Lucky you! And now lucky us, that you can pass this on. Thank you, as always, @mspath!

Edit. Very tantilizing, to be able to read a single page. 😄
But what I got from that was a lot: that the Romanesque cloisters and the more Mozarabic Beatus illuminations were actually contemporaneous - and Shapiro's explanation for how the two very different styles came to be used there simutaneously.
 
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Lydia Gillen

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I was fascinated to see a picture of the lower cloister (Silos has a two story Cloister) The carvings all around this cloister are amazing. , also the painted ceiling. I try to visit Silos if I am either starting or ending in Burgos. It is about 65 klm south east of Burgos and there is one bus daily at 5.30pm. from Burgos and 8.00am from Silos. I usually stay 3 nights so that I have two full days. The tour of the cloister and Pharmacy are most interesting and the singing of the monks at Vespers and the other hours are beautiful. well worth a visit.
 
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