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History and the Historians of Medieval Spain$
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Peter Linehan

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198219453

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198219453.001.0001

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Oviedo to León

Oviedo to León

(p.128) 5 Oviedo to León
History and the Historians of Medieval Spain

Peter Linehan

Oxford University Press

Fernando I (1037–65) had begun his reign by having himself anointed at Leon cathedral, the Historia reports. There are two remarks to be made about this. One is that whereas imperial and royal anointings of the Carolingians and Anglo-Saxons were customarily staged on Sundays or major feast-days, 22 June 1038 was an ordinary Thursday of no particular consequence. The other is that the event was reported at all. Whether it was because the monastic historian was a Leonese patriot interested in enhancing Leon's reputation, or because he was not a bishop, his description of the occasion broke the 170-year long conspiracy of silence which Sampiro had instituted and his own contemporary Pelayo of Oviedo contrived to maintain. It therefore sheds a little light on the question of changing attitudes to past and present in mid-12th-century northern Spain.

Keywords:   Leon cathedral, anointing, Carolingians, Anglo-Saxons, Pelayo of Oviedo, northern Spain

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