Portada de la Sala Capitular del Monasterio de Cañas (mitad del siglo XIII)




The thirteenth century was witness to a revolution in personal piety and the Camino de Santiago represented this new age. Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages became not only a symbol of devotion, but also a powerful method of active participation in one's own salvation.1 The importance of this burgeoning individualism is reflected by the miracle tales of a saint who is connected both spiritually and geographically to Santiago and his trail. Like the miracles attributed to the patron saint, the miracles of Santo Domingo de Silos, as they are interpreted by Gonzalo de Berceo, reflect this revolution in personal piety. In Berceo's hagiography, Santo Domingo turns from intercessor and healer to liberator who actively seeks to reward those who demonstrate external practices of devotion.

By the thirteenth century, the monastery San Millán de la Cogolla was one of the largest in Christian Spain. Fortuitously located near the pilgrimage trail to Santiago, the monastery most likely profited from the vast number of pilgrims who may have strayed off the trail. But the monastery's location was not the only reason for its popularity. Like the trail itself, the monastery claimed a relationship to important medieval personages and miracle tales. Gonzalo de Berceo's exciting stories of local saints could have easily provided a reason to visit the monastery with which they were associated. In his hagiographies of Santo Domingo, San Millán and Santa Oria, Berceo demonstrates an intimate relationship with the saints associated with his monastery. This relationship is part of the propaganda that has been attributed to the poet's works.

Although the life of Santo Domingo is not original to the poet, nor to his century, Berceo makes the text his own through the poetic re-creation of the saint's life. A cursory examination of poet's texts reveals the stylistic elements that characterize the Bercean text: its orality, written in the form of what Francisco Rico has called the "sermo humilis" (Rico 1985b, 143) the alexandrine verse with its predictable rhyme scheme, the use of epithets and legalisms, and, of course, the texts' general qualities of entertainment and didacticism. Medievalists who have dissected Berceo's works claim him either for the side of juglaría (entertainment) or for clerecía (religious didacticism).2 Regardless of the modal classification of Berceo's texts, there is no doubt that they reflect both the time and place of their creation and also the poet's attitude toward his community and his text.

The textual life of Santo Domingo is varied in its perspective and its goals. The Vita Dominici Exiliensis, written by Grimaldus, a monk of Silos, appeared around 1120. Within this text is an account of Domingo's life as a child, as a monk, and as an abbot. Although historians believe that this first section of Domingo's hagiography was penned by Grimaldus alone, the second and third sections of the Vita, which cover the thaumaturgy and subsequent growth of the saint's cult, boast as many as ten separate authors (Lappin 14).

Grimaldus's text follows the classic pattern of medieval hagiography. Jane Tibbets Schulenberg describes this structure in detail. The Vita starts with the saint's origins, discusses the adoption of the holy life, recounts the recognition of the saint's sanctity, catalogues the saint's virtues, as well as his or her miracles and prophesies, recounts the final illness and the premonitions (climax) surrounding the saint's death. The translatio that follows the death of the saint provides the opportunity to promote the saint and his or her cult. Tibbets Schulenberg indicates that "frequently the building of a new church, which provided a more magnificent setting for the saint's tomb, furnished the impetus for the translation of the saint's body and the writing of the vita" (40-41 and passim).

Hagiography is both a reflection of the desires of the Church and the desires of the community. As a religious propaganda tool, hagiography is a written justification of the saintliness of a saint. Without a vita, a saint is not a saint (Cazelles 2; Gómez Moreno in press). As a representation of the vox populi, hagiography emphasizes the wishes of a community that is devoted to a particular saint. Grimaldus's text may have justified the canonization of Domingo, but the Pope had not formally recognized the saint at the time Berceo was writing, which may have been one of the reasons for Berceo's interest in Domingo's life story.

The art of hagiography, as Brigitte Cazelles defines it, is the art of mediation:

Medieval hagiology is an authoritative discourse in that it orchestrates the communication between God and the ordinary Christian. Access to God is proportional to one's position in the hierarchy of the Christian community. Therefore hagiologic discourse tends to posit a synonymy between spiritual merit and social distinction. (2)

Cazelles's definition of medieval hagiography concurs with the medieval notion of the three orders as defined by Duby, which states that society supported a God-mandated hierarchy that must be obeyed. Berceo's text, however, is a product of the thirteenth century, one that is defined by a more egalitarian perspective on religious relationships. André Vauchez calls the thirteenth century a time of "spiritual emancipation of the laity" (1993, 142). It is difficult to determine whether this spiritual freedom propagated the defining characteristics of this revolution in piety or if the revolution spurred the spiritual freedom among the religious and the lay. What is certain, however, is that the thirteenth century allowed for a new age of religious behavior. The declarations of the Fourth Lateran Council reflected the concerns and the changes of its century. Uneasy about the widespread dissemination of religious power, the foundation of new religious orders was banned in 1215. The ideals of monasticism: poverty, asceticism, and withdrawal from the world, were not complementary activities to the more worldly Church. By the thirteenth century, thanks to, among others, the Franciscans who supported an active over a contemplative lifestyle, the laity were given the chance to work toward achieving a state of grace through various acts and rituals such as penance, participation in the Crusades, and pilgrimage.

The Fourth Lateran Council also made yearly confession compulsory for every Christian "thereby encouraging an already growing tendency toward examination of the conscience" (Le Goff 1988, 182). Le Goff writes that the sacraments were rearranged into a newly prioritized hierarchy in the thirteenth century, with confession and penitence at the top. Le Goff believes that this hierarchy "reflected the triumph of the morality of intentions" (1988, 182). Abelard of Paris expressed this idea of the morality of intentions in his doctrine of ethical autonomy (Ethics), which proclaimed that it was the intention of an act that made it good or bad (Tillich 171). The morality of intentions implies a degree of latitude in the Church's enforcement of its laws. Its encouragement of private penance allowed the faithful a greater chance to be accepted back into the fold, even after committing a serious crime against the faith.

A third element that encouraged active participation in religious ritual was the increase in mobility in the lives of the laity. Both the Crusades and pilgrimage became institutions in which the general population could seek spiritual equality. The Council encouraged participation in the Crusades, guaranteeing a "full remission of sins." The Crusades were touted as a solution to various problems plaguing Christendom. First, it provided an opportunity to channel the military and economic interests of the knights from increasing their hold on lands and people to a pious justification of violence and brutality. "This was the way," asserts Duby, "in which the knightly order was assigned a place within a system of values, a way of legitimating its privileges and justifying the position it occupied in the seigniorial relations of production" (157). Second, it allowed the Western Church a chance to promote unity between it and the Eastern Church (Thomson 107). Finally, it presented an opportunity for penitence for both the lower born and the monarchs alike.

Pilgrimage proved to be, even more than the Crusades, a phenomenon that allowed a kind of egalitarian community to form on the periphery of the hierarchical one. Although pilgrimage ultimately loses its original significance once it becomes an officially Church-sanctioned activity or a Church-mandated activity, its original intent allowed for "liminality for the laity" (Turners 11).

Victor and Edith Turner define liminality as one of the rites de passage of pilgrimage. The subject, who finds himself separated from everything that is familiar to him, becomes ambiguous: he loses any sense of social classification (11). The Turners argue that within monastic communities, that sense of liminality existed, but the laity had to rely upon pilgrimage to reach that same place. They write, "pilgrimage provides a carefully structured, highly valued route to a liminal world where the ideal is felt to be real, where the tainted social persona may be cleansed and renewed" (30). Within this liminal world, where the ideal may be real, where sacraments become real-world bonds between God and man, a heterodox community may form. In his book examining the pilgrim culture of the Camino de Santiago, Thomas Spaccarelli maintains that this heterodox community not only came into direct conflict with the hegemonic forces of the papacy, but, like mendicant orders and heretical sects, it also proclaimed itself closer in spirit to primitive Christianity, which in itself posed a threat to the medieval Church's hierarchical authority (26).

André Vauchez writes that in order to reach perfection, it was not enough to exemplify the highest moral virtues. Instead, a true imitatio Christi "encouraged the rise of saintliness among the laity" (1991, 31). This emphasis on active participation in one's own salvation is a topos that runs throughout Berceo's thirteenth century hagiography. Berceo's Vida displays all of the elements of a traditional hagiography but the poet adds his (now) recognizable style to the text, which includes localizing and juglarizing the miracles as well as choosing to call attention to certain miracles that maintain a specific agenda.

Berceo emphasizes the local by focusing on the importance of San Millán as Santo Domingo's mentor. The miracles that Berceo highlights are those that deal with liberation and exorcism, which accentuate the link between Domingo as monk and Domingo as hero. Berceo stresses the importance of participation of those saved in the miracles, and introduces the phenomenon of something I call internal myth-making, that is, the repetition of the story within the story, which gives the reader or listener the ability to live the experience. Mary Jane Kelley explains that the listeners "acquire the potential for participation in miracles and for becoming characters in stories themselves" (814).

Monasterio de Cañas (La Rioja - España)

The sections of the saint's early life and his ascension to abbot are similar to those sections in Grimaldus's Vita. However, Berceo introduces two elements into the first part of the hagiography: the emphasis on a written source text and a strong tie with Domingo's spiritual predecessor, San Millán. In describing Domingo's family Berceo writes:

El nomne de la madre dezir no lo sabría,
como non fue escripto, no lo devinaría,
mas ayan la su alma Dios e sancta María,
prosigamos el curso, tengamos nuestra vía. (1978, 8)

Berceo reinforces the historicity (or pseudo-historicity) of his texts by emphasizing the link between the Vida and its written source. This link allows the poet to claim textual authenticity. These claims demonstrate a belief that written sources were, at least for the poets of the time, inherently authoritative.

Early in the Vida, Berceo develops a tie between Domingo and San Millán that will appear throughout the text. Domingo, as pastor, finds himself in exalted company in stanzas 26-30, including David, Abel, San Millán, and even Christ himself. It is in stanza 27 that Berceo first mentions the Iberian saint:

Los sanctos patriarchas todos fueron pastores,

que de la lei vieja fueron contenedores;

aún como leemos e somos sabidores,

pastor fue sant Millán e otros confessores. (1978)

Berceo describes Domingo as a saintly shepherd who is comparable to San Millán and therefore deserves as much recognition. But Domingo is also an active saint, one who will break his vows of obedience to follow what he believes to be the true path. From the beginning, Berceo also emphasizes the similarities between Domingo and an epic hero, most notably, the Cid. The Saint is misunderstood, he is a victim of jealousy and he is exiled from his home. His ultimate success brings honor both to his original monastery, San Millán, and the monastery he founds at Silos.

Domingo's path to greatness begins with the bad intentions that surround him. After the king is affronted by Domingo's disobedience, he requests that the Abbot discipline his monk, which he does with alacrity:

El abbad non fue firme, fue aína cambiado,
era como creemos de embidia tocado;
ortogóli al rey que lo farié de grado,
nin fincarié en casa nin en el priorado.
Diz el reï: "Con esto seré vuestro pagado."

Lo que sancto Domingo avié ante asmado,

ya la iva urdiendo la tela el Peccado;

fo de la prioría que tenié despojado,

e fue a muy grand tuerto de la casa echado. (1978, 167-68)

The smallness of mind of both the King and the Abbot represent the lacunae that existed between the desires of the people and the desires of those at the top of the sacred and secular hierarchy. Like the Cid, who was depicted as a man of the people, thus misunderstood by the King, Domingo finds himself in exile. But it this exile that allows him to fulfill his destiny and become the spiritual leader for whom the monks of Saint Sebastian had prayed.

Appropriate to this heroic theme is Berceo's use of epic epithets throughout the text. In the first book of the hagiography, Berceo describes Domingo as "leal

escapulado" (1978, 86a), "el novel cavallero" (1978, 84a), el barón benedicto (1978, 105a), and "del Criador amigo" (1978, 151a). Berceo also depicts Domingo as a kind of secular leader. In stanza 125, he writes,

Beneíta la claustra que guía tal cabdiello,

beneíta la grey que ha tal pastorciello;

do ha tal castellero feliz es el castiello,

con tan buen portellero feliz es el portiello. (1978)

The connection to the epic hero of medieval Iberia is appropriate when we consider that Berceo emphasizes the Castilian identity of Domingo. This tie to geography begins with the comparisons with San Millán, but continues throughout the text with references to specific landmarks and locations. When the Saint dies and his remains are taken back to Silos, Berceo describes the trip in detail:

Travessaron el Duero, essa agua cabdal,

abueltas Duratón, Esgueva otro tal;

plegaron a Arlança, acerca del ostal,

non entrarién las gentes sin sivuelque corral. (1978, 272)

In the following stanza, Berceo describes the Saint as "el natural de Cannas / que nasció en bon punto (1978, 273ab), yet another tie to his homeland and to his hometown hero. Anthony Lappin calls Domingo a "home-grown saint." In his discussion of the growth of the Dominic cult in the thirteenth century, Lappin writes that Dominic is "a fitting subject for the first hagiography in a peninsular Romance"


The second book of the Vida relates the miracles that occurred while Domingo lived. These miracles have various elements in common, including local detail, folklore, participation of the miracles' recipients, and an emphasis on the commoner or layperson, which speaks volumes about the intended audience and Berceo's pastoral agenda. The first miracle tells of a woman who was paralyzed and had lost her mind. Instead of simply praying for aid, her family physically takes her to Silos:

Asmó que la levassen al sancto confessor,

al natural de Cannas, de Silos morador,

elli quand la vidiesse avrié d'ella dolor,

ganarli yé salud de Dios nuestro Sennor. (1978, 296)


After the woman is healed, she thanks Domingo for her health.


Cayóli a los piedes al confessor onrrado,

"Sennor -dixo- e padre, en buen punto fust nado;

entiendo bien que eres del Criador amado,

ca de los tus servicios mucho es El pagado. (1978, 309)

Domingo, "natural de Cannas" and "de Silos morador" is given the credit for this miracle. But Berceo emphasizes that the woman's family had to be part of the solution.

Other examples of participation come from those who seek aid via pilgrimage. In both the fifth and sixth miracles in this collection, it is the very act of pilgrimage to Silos that opens the door to Domingo's healing powers. In the fifth miracle, a Galician count who lost his sight makes a pilgrimage to Silos only after his other pilgrimages had failed:

Yendo de sant en sancto faciendo romerías,
contendiendo con menges, comprando las mengías,
avié mucho espeso en vanas maestrías,
tanto que serié pobre ante de pocos días. (1978, 389)

Domingo is so moved by the Count's plight that he heals him without delay. This miracle implies not only that pilgrimage is vital to salvation, but also that pilgrimage to Silos will always be rewarded. It is also interesting to note that Grimaldus calls this count Pedro Pelaez, but Berceo calls him Pelayo (1978, 388b).

In the sixth miracle, a nobleman is struck down with a fever that seemingly has no cure. Even prayer and medicine does nothing to end don García's suffering:

Oratión nin ieiunio no li valieron nada,

nin escantos nin menges nin cirio nin oblada;

por ninguna manera no'l trobavan entrada,

ninqua vidieron omnes cosa tan entecada. (1978, 403)

Santo Domingo hears of this terrible case and petitions the family to come to Silos to ask him for help. There is a mass pilgrimage to Silos of all of García's friends and family, and they are received by the Saint himself, who spends a considerable amount of time praying over the ill man. Finally, his prayers are answered and the man is saved:

Perseveró el padre sufriendo tales penas,
sobre Garci Munnoz tovo tales novenas;
era tan descarnado en estas quarentenas,
como que yaze preso luengament en cadenas.

Maguer era la gota contraria de sanar,

el confessor caboso óvola a sacar,

ca non quiso el campo élli desamparar

fasta que non salió ella a todo su pesar. (1978, 415-16)

The imagery is both religious and military. Domingo is a holy warrior who will battle all evils, both internal and external, to save those who work to save themselves.

The Saint as warrior is a theme that runs throughout the miracles of the second book, and also into the posthumous miracles of the third book. In miracle four of the second book, Domingo helps a man escape Arab captivity, and in miracle eight, he helps to recapture Arabs who have escaped Christian captivity. In Grimaldus's Vita, Dominic is well known for his ability to help captives, but Lappin points out that the ideological emphasis on religious conflict between the Arabs and the Christians was not present in the Latin hagiography (228). This theme is so important to the later Dominican tradition that it will become the main topic of the last book in the thirteenth century to be written about the saint, Los Miraculos Romangados.

In his Milagros, Berceo famously allows his fictional characters to assume real-life credibility, while in his hagiographies, his historical figures assume qualities of the fictional. Berceo's depictions of Santo Domingo are larger than life. In the first of the liberation miracles, the family of the captive goes to Silos to beg Santo Domingo to help them free their son. Domingo's prayers are answered and the captive is freed:

La oración del padre de la grand sanctidad
levóla a los cielos la sancta caridad;
plegó a las orejas del Rey de magestad,
escapó el captivo de la captividad. (1978, 368)

The irons that have kept the boy imprisoned open miraculously and he is able to escape. Although these irons are not brought to the shrine, the Domingo of the later liberation miracles will insist on the delivery of those iconic chains.

The saint's reputation grows to even greater heights after his death. The posthumous miracles that we find in the last book of Berceo's text have as their main themes liberation (both from the devil and from the Arabs), and the question of "fama." In the first miracle, a man is healed at Silos. When this news is reported "como suelen las nuevas por el mundo correr" (1978, 551a), others flock to the monastery for help, both physical and psychological.

The most famous of all the Dominic miracles is the story of Servandus or Serván, who was freed from Muslim-held Medinaceli, which was about 200 kilometers from Silos. Lappin writes that this story

transformed the cult of Dominic, enlarging Dominic's role and persona far beyond the figure of the saintly reforming abbot [...]. Servandus's story set Dominic on the road to be a saint with a national profile, fixing him in the mind of Castilians as the liberator of captives and, eventually, as a saint with a special role in the maintenance and protection of Castile itself. (171)

In Berceo's text, Serván is very poorly treated by the Arabs and prays nightly for God's aid. Domingo appears to the man in a white light and identifies himself as the friar Domingo. He helps him escape and asks only that he bring the chains to the monastery. These chains become the physical proof of Domingo's miraculous abilities. In fact, Serván's visit to the monastery coincides with the consecration of the church at Silos in 1088. This scene is an example both of Berceo's desire to bolster the importance of Domingo and also his technique of internal myth-making. As the Cardinal is making his way through the church, Serván makes a dramatic entrance:

Entró esti cativo de sus fierros cargado,
con pobre almesía e con pobre calçado,
con sus crines treçadas, de barba bien vellado,
fo caer al sepulcro del confessor onrado.

Sennor, -dixo- e padre, yo a ti lo gradesco,

en tierra de christianos yo por ti aparesco;

por ti exi de cárcel, sé que por ti guaresco,

como tú me mandesti, los fierros te ofresco. (1978, 669-70)

Berceo allows the Cardinal to become a witness to this miracle. By doing so, he has reinforced the sanctity of Domingo in the eyes of the Church hierarchy.

A third liberation miracle begins at stanza 700 with the tale of Pedro, a soldier who is captured while doing battle with the Arabs. The story of Pedro follows one of exorcism, another of Domingo's specialties. The liberation of the soldier from the Arabs is similar to the liberation of the woman from the devil. In fact, Berceo uses terminology that he often employs for the devil to describe the Arabs, like "renegado" and "traidor". The miracle follows a similar pattern: Pedro's relatives pray to Domingo, who now has an established reputation as a saint who specializes in the liberation of captives. When Domingo appears to Pedro he tells him that he has been sent from God because of the prayers of his family:

Dios grant merced me fizo por la su pïadat,

que me puso en guarda sobre la christiandat,

que saque los captivos de la captividat,

los que a El se claman de toda voluntat. (1978, 717)

Once Pedro is released, he spreads the news throughout the land:

Contólis su lazerio a essos toledanos,

cómo era essido de presón de paganos,

cómo se li cayeron los fierros todos sanos;

por poco no li ivan todos besar las manos.


Por toda Allend-Sierra e por Estremadura,

e por toda Castiella sonó esta mesura,

rendién al buen conféssor gracias a grant pressura,

teniése la frontera toda por más segura. (1978, 729-30)

Berceo's liberation miracles, like those of Santiago, alter the image of Domingo. The propaganda of the saint guarantees his participation in the battle against the Arabs.

Imagen de Santo Domingo de Silos en el Monasterio de Cañas

Domingo's miracle has not only improved his reputation throughout Castilla, but has made the frontier more secure. This line echoes a line in Berceo's Milagros, "por qui está más firme toda la christiandat" (2006, 98d). In the second miracle tale of this collection, Berceo gives credit directly to the Virgin Mary: as a consequence of her actions, all of Christendom is more secure. In the Vida, Berceo has given Domingo the credit, and therefore all of Castilla (and its borders) are more secure. Domingo's actions, like those of the Virgin, work toward a specific goal. This goal, stated or unstated, works toward the popularization of a local saint loyal both to his monasteries (Silos and San Millán) and to his region (Castilla).

Berceo's text anticipates this change in Domingo's fama. In lines 761ab he writes: "Sennor sancto Domingo, confessor acabado / temido de los moros, de christianos amado" (1978). Lappin writes that Dominic's role had transformed from envoy of Christ to the liberator of captives. Many churches in the frontier zone were dedicated to Dominic (177-79). This no-man's land provided an excellent space for the creation of a mythology.3 Philippe Walter explains that hagiographical legends responded to the need to embellish an obscure or dormant tradition, or to invent glorious markers for a religious community awaiting recognition (64-65), which seems to fit Berceo's dual agenda of propagating the importance of his monastery and endorsing the cult of Dominic.

Levi-Strauss wrote: "In spite of worthy and indispensable efforts to bring another moment in history alive and to possess it, a clairvoyant history should admit that it never completely escapes from the nature of myth" (cited in White 45). In his lively hagiography, Berceo allows Domingo to be a part of the historical landscape of Castilla. But hagiography is suspect in its claims of historical objectivity. Evelyn Birge Vitz writes that hagiography is a combination of oral (folkloric) and written traditions, but it is due to its written sources that hagiography claims to be historical (98). Although this claim to historical status is problematic, it allows us to analyze hagiography both on a factual level and on a mythological one.Like the epic hero, the hagiographic hero is a conflation of history and myth. Although this process of mythification of a historical figure may seem to muddy the historical waters, it actually does much for our understanding of the time in which the text was written. The elements that Berceo employs in the re-telling of Domingo's life aid in the creation of a larger-than-life figure who shares many characteristics with folkloric heroes and, at the same time, helps in the comprehension of the religious atmosphere of the thirteenth century.


Both pilgrimage and the frontier zone provide a liminal space that allows for the creation of the mythology of saints. The tales associated with Domingo share common themes with the mythology of Santiago, including pilgrimage and liberation. Both are what Dutton has called "caballeros de Dios" and products of the "Iglesia militante" (San Millan 179-82 et passim). The dualistic vision of the saints allows for imitatio and not just admiratio. Santiago is both Matamoros and Peregrino. Santo Domingo could be called 'Sacacautivos' or 'Sacademonios' and also 'Curador.' The thirteenth century is witness to a revolution in communal religion: the lay were encouraged to emulate the saints instead of simply worshiping them. And the saints who were most popular were those who did things: they slay dragons and liberated captives, they raised the dead and battled against non-believers. Santo Domingo emerges as the updated model of the active saint. He is humble when the situation calls for it, but he actively seeks out situations in which he can improve the lives of the faithful.

With the text Los Miraculos Romançados "se cierra la tradición literaria en el sentido estricto" (Anton 11). This shrine book was written in order to preserve Dominic's deeds at a time when, according to Lappin, there was still much anxiety surrounding the arrival of the Almorávides (275). But this book also marked the "end of the thaumaturgic power of the shrine" (Lappin 319). The text is filled with tales of liberation, including some that made their way into Arab lore. But the soldier of God is gone and in his place is the Saint who simply inspires or appears in a vision. What makes Berceo's Domingo so different is his familiar treatment of the Saint. Brian Dutton points out that "puesto que Berceo se limitaba a escribir las vidas de los santos emilianenses, podemos suponer, por ahora, que quería dar más publicidad a estos santos, y que los demás no le interesaban" (149). Dutton is correct is this assessment. Berceo's interests lay not in simply writing hagiographies, but in writing about those saints who were intimately related to the monastery. Berceo's Domingo reflects the trends of the thirteenth century, but he also reflects a time in which the faithful could claim a personal relationship with a saint. And it is this burgeoning individuality that allows Berceo to turn an already popular saint into a hero of the people.



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Turner, Victor, & Edith Turner. Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture. New York: Columbia University Press, 1978.

Vauchez, André. "Lay People's Sanctity in Western Europe." Eds. Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski & Timea Szell. Images of Sainthood in Medieval Europe. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991.

--- . The Spirituality of the Medieval West. Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1993.

Walter, Philippe. "Myth and Text in the Middle Ages: Folklore as Literary 'Source.'" Eds. Canadé Sautman, Diana Conchado, & Giuseppe Carlo Di Scipio. Telling Tales: Medieval Narratives and the Folk Tradition. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998. 59-75.

Weiss, Julian. The 'Mester de Clerecía.' Intellectuals and Ideologies in Thirteenth-Century Castile. London: Tamesis, 2006. White, Hayden. "The Historical Text as Literary Artifact." Eds. Robert Hughes Canary

& Henry Kozicki. The Writing of History. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1978. 41-62.




1. See the classical studies by Le Goff on medieval imagination and the birth of Purgatory for a reassessment of the role of the individual in his / her own salvation, as well as for a reorganization on Church doctrine in the 13th century regarding sins and salvation.

2. For 'mester de clerecía' see the seminal articles by Francisco Rico 1985a and b, Brian Dutton, ed. (Berceo 1967, 1978), Michael Gerli (Berceo 1988) and Gómez Moreno 1988. See also the recent monograph by Julian Weiss, and the review of essential bibliography on mester de clerecía on pages 125. For a new analysis of hagiography in medieval Spanish letters, see Gómez Moreno (in press).

3. "It has been argued that the number of exorcisms at Silos are a reflection of the suffering of the population, particularly women, due to the constant warfare of the frontier zone" (Derek Lomax, cited in Lappin 149).






The Shepherd Goes to War:

Santo Domingo Revisited

Martha M. Daas
Old Dominion University

eHumanista: Volume 11, 2008