The Episcopate in the Kingdom of León in the Twelfth Century

R. A. Fletcher

© R.A. Fletcher 1978
With Permission of Oxford University Press


Episcopal Acta

[87] The acta which have come down to us from the sees of León are few, and the incidence of survival is uneven. The lesser bishoprics have left us very few indeed: we have only one from Coria, two from Ciudad Rodrigo, seven from Orense, twelve from Tuy, thirteen from Mondoñedo. Some of the more important bishoprics have produced almost as few: there are only nine from Salamanca, ten from Astorga, and sixteen from Oviedo. The greatest see has left us, appropriately, the largest number of acta; we have fifty from Santiago de Compostela. Zamora and Lugo are close behind, with forty-eight and forty-five respectively, while from León there are thirty-six.(1) This paucity of documents is thrown into relief by comparison with the state of affairs in England. The acta of the bishops of Chichester between 1075 and 1207 run to over 150.(2) Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury has left us over 300.(3) Gilbert Foliot's acta, as bishop of Hereford and London, number 187,(4) Stephen Langton's as archbishop of Canterbury 143.(5) This shortage of acta from the Leonese sees is in itself interesting. Of course much material may have perished accidentally. Thus, for instance, the archives of the cathedral of Astorga were almost completely destroyed by fire in 1810. Again, Spanish care for records has been, and unfortunately too often still is, extraordinarily slovenly. Yet even when every allowance has been made it remains true that Leonese bishops, and indeed Spanish bishops generally, [88] did not produce the sheer volume of documents that marks the work of their contemporaries in twelfth-century England.(6)

A good many of the surviving acta have come down to us in cartulary or other copies. Only thirteen of the fifty acta from Compostela are originals. We have only three originals from Mondoñedo, only four from Orense, five from Tuy and six from Astorga. On the other hand, at least twenty-nine of León's thirty-six are originals; the same number of originals comes from Zamora; and at least thirty-four of Lugo's forty-five are originals. This shortage of original documents seriously diminishes the value of the lessons which can be learnt from a diplomatic and palaeographical study of the acta.

Where documents, especially original documents, are scarce, and where the basic task of studying their diplomatic has never before been attempted, it is notoriously hard to detect any but the most impudent forgeries. It may be that as an explorer in uncharted territory I have been too credulous of what I found there: further study alone will tell. We have no formularies to guide us from this period, and the reader who has made his way through the preceding chapter will know how pathetically little we know of these bishops and their doings. But we have to take the evidence as we find it. And we must try first of all to discover something about the human context in which these documents are produced.

The Bishop's Household

It is in the episcopal household that we must start. The Historia Compostellana at one point speaks of Diego Gelmírez as being accompanied on one of his journeys by his clerici, milites et famuli,(7) and this rough and ready classification, implied in many other passages of the Historia, provides us with a starting-point. His famuli and milites need not detain us. We hear enough about them to be sure that Leonese bishops, like their contemporaries elsewhere, had large lay contingents in their households. Our principal concern is with [89] the clerici. On the analogy with the experience of twelfth-century bishops in England we should expect to find that in the earlier part of the century the clerks of a bishop's 'household' were the archdeacons of his diocese, the canons and dignitaries of his cathedral, and any other clerks or chaplains of his own choice. The bishop, in short, transacted business in and with his cathedral chapter. Later on, we should expect to see the emergence of a compact group of trained clerks, professionals equipped to deal with a larger volume and a greater complexity of business, who formed a household distinct from the cathedral clergy; while the men who made up the latter body gradually disappeared from the witness-lists of the bishop's charters. It has been claimed that such an evolution may be detected in the Castilian bishopric of Palencia during the episcopate of Ramón, who occupied the see from 1148 to 1184.(8) Can we trace a similar process in León?

An account of an early episcopal familia is to be found in what Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada has to tell us about the young men whom Bernardo of Toledo brought to Spain in 1096-7.(9) It falls a little outside the geographical scope of this book, though several of these men succeeded to positions of importance in the Leonese church -- Jerónimo of Salamanca-Avila-Zamora, Bernardo of Zamora, Bernardo bishop of Sigüenza and archbishop of Compostela. To them we may add Geraldo archbishop of Braga; Maurice Bourdin, bishop of Coimbra, archbishop of Braga, and finally the Emperor Henry V's antipope Gregory VIII; Raimundo, bishop of Osma and archbishop of Toledo; and the three Pedros, bishops of Osma, Palencia and Segovia. All of these men became canons, dignitaries or archdeacons of the cathedral church of Toledo before their promotion to the episcopate. In no sense did they form a separate episcopal household.

Of far greater importance for our purposes is the material contained in the Historia Compostellana. When Diego Gelmírez acquired the see of Compostela in 1100 he at once took up the task of reorganizing the chapter which had been started by bishop Diego Peláez (1070-88). He established the [90] number of canons at seventy-two, and on 22 April 1102 he took their oaths of obedience to him. Their names are recorded in the Historia Compostellana, thus giving us a complete list of the canons of Compostela in the early years of the century.(10) Some of these men were inherited by Diego from his predecessors. The archdeacon Juan, for example, is presumably to be identified with Archdeacon Juan Rodríguez, traceable from 1087 onwards. He subscribed an episcopal act of 1101: we also find him, in the company of his bishop, at the royal court at Burgos in 1107. We hear no more of him after about 1108.(11) But several of these canons were men chosen by Diego himself, whose help he wanted in his schemes for the betterment of his church, and upon whose loyalty he hoped he could rely.(12) Some of them we have already met, like Nuño Alfonso who acquired the see of Mondoñedo in 1112, or Pedro Helias, who succeeded Diego at Compostela in 1143. We can discover something of several others, and it will be instructive to examine the careers of some of them.

Another who later acquired a bishopric was Hugo, bishop of Porto from 1113 to 1136. Perhaps a native of the town of Compostela, and certainly brought up with (secum) Diego Gelmírez, he was by 1102 a canon and capellanus of Compostela. Diego Gelmírez employed him on at least four occasions as an envoy to the papal curia, twice before he became bishop of Porto and twice afterwards. He was one of the authors of the Historia Compostellana. We know too that he accompanied Diego on his celebrated 'visitation' of the properties of the see of Compostela at Braga, when the relics of St. Fructuosus were removed to Santiago de Compostela.(13) Another among the canons who served Diego as an emissary to the popes was Pedro Fulco, who acted in this capacity on at least five and probably six occasions between 1119 and [91] 1135.(14) He evidently did his work well, for Diego granted him lands and a church 'in pheodum... quia ipse cardinalis in eius servitio et in itinere Romano multum et fideliter laboraverat', and Innocent II twice singled him out for praise.(15) Pedro Fulco evidently made a speciality of negotiating with the popes. But his master's relations with the curia were close, and several other canons of the original creation were used in the same task.(16) Both Hugo and Pedro Fulco appear in the subscription lists to Diego's acta, Hugo in 1115 and Pedro Fulco in 1122.(17)

Nuño Gelmírez, the bishop's brother, was a canon in 1102 and later became treasurer of the cathedral. He is also described as the bishop's clericus. He went on a mission to Paschal II in 1101, but his true bent seems to have been for secular business, for he appears frequently in the Historia in a military context. He subscribed an episcopal act of 1115.(18) Pedro Astruárez, a canon in 1102, subscribed acta of 1113, 1115 and 1122. Diego employed him on a fund-raising mission to Apulia and Sicily in 1124.(19) Pedro iudex of the 1102 list is probably identical with Pedro Daniéliz, who held that office between 1090 and at least 1122.(20) He subscribed acta of 1113, 1115 and 1122, and is probably to be identified with the Pedro iudex who was sent on a mission to Queen Urraca in 1119.(21)

This, however, is to speak only of those who were canons of Santiago de Compostela in 1102. There were others of Diego's closest familiares who entered the cathedral chapter later on. Geraldo, for example, does not appear as a member of the chapter until 1118, though it is probable that he had become a canon a few years earlier. He was a Frenchman, [92] very probably a native of Beauvais, and the most prolific of the authors of the Historia Compostellana. Diego employed him twice on missions to the papal curia, in 1118 and 1119, and he subscribed one of Diego's acta in 1122. The frankly and sometimes fanatically partisan attitude he adopted towards Diego in the Historia shows us, if proof were needed, that he was a trusted intimate of his master.(22)

It would be easy, though tedious, to multiply examples. These were the men who formed the 'household' of Diego Gelmírez. They subscribed his acta. They served on missions to popes and kings. They recorded his gesta for posterity. They led troops and garrisoned castles for him. Time and time again, as the Historia tells us, they provided him with counsel. And all the more important of them were canons, dignitaries or archdeacons of his cathedral church. There was no sharp distinction between household and cathedral chapter.

We know far more about the see of Compostela than we do about any other in the kingdom of León. But what evidence we do have suggests that similar arrangements prevailed elsewhere. In the Libro Gótico, the cathedral cartulary of Oviedo whose preparation was sponsored by Bishop Pelayo, Pope Paschal II is figured in one of the illustrations as handing the solemn privilege of exemption granted in 1105 to one Ivo magister.(23) (The name, which is extremely rare in Spanish documents, must indicate a Frenchman.) It can hardly be doubted that this man is identical with the archdeacon Ivo who appears in Oviedo documents of about the same date, and who subscribed an episcopal act of 1117.(24) Here we have the same combination as we found at Compostela -- an archdeacon who witnesses acta and is employed by his bishop on important missions to the papal curia. We find exactly the same combination at a rather later date. Archdeacon Tomás of León subscribed five of Bishop Juan's acta and one of Bishop Manrique's.(25) Manrique employed him on [93] a mission to the papal curia in 1181.(26)

It is only occasionally that we can discover how bishops communicated with distant popes and kings, whom they sent to conduct their negotiations for them. How did Pedro of Lugo get his papal privileges of 1123 and 1131?(27) He may have sent familiares. He may have gone in person -- though he can hardly have gone unaccompanied; and we have no record of his attendance at the councils, Lateran II and Rheims, which were being held when the bulls were issued. What we can say, however, is that the men who are likely to have performed this sort of task are also those whose names appear in the witness-lists to episcopal acta. A few examples will suffice. A charter of this same Bishop Pedro of Lugo, dated 19 March 1132,(28) is subscribed by four cathedral dignitaries, a capellanus (of the bishop?), omnes canonici, three prominent local layment, and omnes burgenses. An act of Bishop Pelayo of Mondoñedo, dated 1143, is subscribed by two dignitaries, three archdeacons, and a presbiter.(29) An act of Bishop Alo of Astorga of 10 April 1129 is witnessed by a cathedral dignitary and four archpriests.(30) The magnificent charter of Bishop Diego of León dated 8 January 1116 is subscribed by, among many others, the prior of the chapter, three archdeacons, and ceteri archidiaconi et canonici.(31) When Bishop Diego of Orense granted a fuero to the townsmen of Orense in about 1122, his charter was subscribed by five archdeacons, two priests and two other witnesses who were probably members of the chapter.(32) A grant made by Bishop Pelayo Menéndez of Tuy to the monastery of Oya in 1145 was witnessed by a cathedral dignitary, three archdeacons, three named canons and omnis conventus canonicorum, and seven important local laymen.(33)

[94] Enough has by now been said to show that throughout the kingdom of León during the first half of the century the bishop's household in the strict sense of the term did not exist. This is exactly what we should expect to find. Did a household in the stricter sense emerge in the second half of the century? Such evidence as there is suggests that such an evolution did not occur. Let us look first of all at the bishopric of Lugo. From two documents drawn up late in 1194 and early in 1195 we can piece together a list which is probably complete of the names of those who made up the cathedral chapter at that time.(34) An unusually informative private charter of 1213 furnishes us with the names of some at least of those who had been canons in 1194-5 and who were still living eighteen years later.(35) We have twenty-two acta from the diocese of Lugo for the period 1195-1216, for seventeen of which we have witness-lists. Study of these lists shows conclusively that members of the cathedral chapter were still witnessing the bishop's acta. Lope, precentor of the cathedral, who spanned the period, subscribed no less than twelve of them. Juan, a iudex, who may have died in 1214, subscribed eight. Juan the dean, who died between 1213 and 1216, subscribed six: one of the archdeacons, yet another Juan, four. Among the canons who were still alive in 1213 or later, Pelayo Baldouini witnessed five, Fernando Ovéquiz four, Juan Rolán three and Pelayo Sebastiani also three. Reginald., a canon who cannot be traced later than 1204, subscribed four. Of those who appear for the first time in the Lugo records after 1194-5, two archdeacons witnessed four acta each, and another witnessed three.

The same state of affairs is revealed by the records of the diocese of Zamora. In a document relating to the dispute over the metropolitan loyalties of Zamora we have a list of some of the canons of the cathedral towards the end of the century:(36)

[95] Isti sunt qui sciunt quando Zamorensis episcopus bone memorie Guilelmus fuit consecratus a Lucensi et cum Legionensi et Ovetensi episcopis, de mandato domni Iohannis Bracarensis archiepiscopi. Domnus Mames. Iohannes Didaci. Monio Longus. Martinus Constancius. Raimundus. archidiaconus domnus Stephanus. et Aldouinus. et magister Rodericus....
Now most of these men were frequent witnesses of episcopal acta in the period c.1180-c.1210. Mames, canon and later magister scolarum subscribed six; Juan Díaz, four; Munio Longus, five; Martín Constancius, three; Raimundo, only one; Archdeacon Esteban, at least eight; Aldouinus, three; Mr. Rodrigo, three. Another canon, Pedro García, not in the above list, subscribed six. Several more canons subscribed one or two acta.

From León, Bishop Juan (1139-81) has left us sixteen acta, all but one of which have witness-lists. Archdeacons were frequent witnesses. Archdeacon Arias subscribed nine out of the fifteen, Fernando and Hugo eight each, Tomás five (as we have already seen) and Gozelmo three, Martín and Albertino only one each. Equally frequent were the cathedral dignitaries and the ordinary canons. Mr. Enrique, the dean, subscribed nine. Pedro Gutiérrez, the precentor, subscribed three; his successor Albertino, five. Bermudo, who held the office of magister scolarum or cathedral chancellor, subscribed three. Mere canons are not easy to distinguish from laymen but there does seem, nearly always, to be a sprinkling of them in most of the witness-lists. What is true of Bishop Juan's acta is also true of those of his successor Manrique (1181-1205). Exactly the same sort of witness-lists are found, a mixture of archdeacons, dignitaries, canons, laymen and episcopal clerici, right up to, and beyond, the end of Manrique's episcopate. The point needs no demonstration in detail here, but may be readily appreciated by study of acta of July 1203 and January 1206.(37)

The abundant acta from the Compostela of Archbishop Pedro Suárez (1173-1206) tell the same tale. In one of 1194 we find the dean, the precentor, three archdeacons, five [96] cardinals, and no fewer than twenty-three of the canons.(38) In one of 1204, there appear the names of the dean, the precentor, an archdeacon, a cardinal and a canon.(39) In another of 1204 we find the dean, four archdeacons, the magister scolarum, a cardinal, a iudex, and four canons.(40)

It may be objected that the evidence cited hitherto does not adequately prove the argument being advanced, namely that there are no signs of any distinction between episcopal household and resident cathedral chapter. Why should a bishop having the right to collate to dignities and prebends not have regularly rewarded his own special servants with these offices and perquisites? After all, it was the cheapest means of payment available to a needy bishop. Even supposing, however, that we had far fuller resources of information available, it would still be difficult to show that what we are witnessing in these documents is the practice by which bishops rewarded servants with prebends, rather than the practice by which bishops availed themselves of the services of the chapter as a whole. With so little evidence to go on it is clearly out of the question to hope that the argument can be conclusive. A strong impression remains, however, that a distinct household organization, in the sense in which that phrase is used by students of contemporary English ecclesiastical institutions, is not something that one may confidently add to one's mental picture of a Leonese bishop of the later twelfth century.

Of course, bishops did have some advisers and servants who were distinct from their chapters. These men can sometimes be distinguished by their titles, especially when that is clericus or capellanus. The title magister is not necessarily indicative of a close connection with the bishop, though magistri were evidently sought after by bishops. We have already met Mr. Ivo at Oviedo and Mr. Tomás at León -- both of them archdeacons -- while just across the Castilian frontier Bishop Jaime of Avila commanded the services of magister [97] Johannes capellanus episcopi at the end of the century.(41) At Lugo, Bishop Pedro III referred to capellanus noster as early as 1120,(42) though without naming him, and a list may be drawn up of those who bore the title in that diocese during the century -- Fernando Bermúdez in the 1160s, Fernando González in 1170, Pedro Yáñez in 1196, Sancho Bermúdez in 1211-12 and García Eriz in 1211-16.(43) There were others also who were entitled merely capellanus, without the decisively proprietary word episcopi; Anaya in the 1120s, Juan Menéndez in the 1150s, and Pelayo in the 1190s.(44) At León, an act of 1133 was subscribed by Nuño, capellanus episcopalis curie, and the same document mentions Pedro levita episcopi.(45) At Salamanca, one Juan, capellanus episcopi Salamantini, subscribes a private charter of 1171.(46) It may be significant for our enquiry that on the whole it is rather rare for such men to subscribe episcopal acta. Bishops had their domestic chaplains, but when business was to be transacted it would seem that they turned to their archdeacons, dignitaries and canons. They did so throughout the century.

The Chancery

There is little evidence of elaborately organized episcopal chanceries in the kingdom of León. This should not surprise us, for the royal chancery was itself a rudimentary affair until well on into the reign of Alfonso VII. Alfonso VI had had notarii who wrote or dictated his charters. Under his daughter Urraca an official with the title of cancellarius makes an occasional appearance at their head. Alfonso VII continued his mother's practice from his accession in 1126 until 1135. In the latter year the chancellorship was given to Master Hugo, and it was he who was responsible for the standardization and fixing of diplomatic forms, for the introduction of new chancery practices such as the use of the seal, and for [98] the training of a team of clerks who perpetuated his influence after his own tenure of the office came to an end in 1151. Developments during the reigns of Fernando II and Alfonso IX grew naturally out of the reforms of Master Hugo, and it was not until the reign of Alfonso X that radical new departures in chancery practice occurred.

Little by little, the higher nobility of León-Castile followed the lead set by their rulers. The Galician count Suero Bermúdez had a notarius called Juan who drew up a document for him in 1119.(47) The Castilian count Manrique de Lara had a document written by his capellanus, Sebastian, in 1153; by 1156 he was employing one Sancho, who styled himself the count's cancellarius.(48) Were the bishops following suit?

Very occasionally, episcopal officials with the title of chancellor appear in our documents.(49) An act from the diocese of Oviedo, dated 19 January 1154, was subscribed by Pedro, chancellor of the bishop of Lugo.(50) The document does not survive in the original, and the possibility of scribal error should not be ruled out (e.g., cancellarius for capellanus). The title does not occur again among the Lugo acta. These considerations should put us on our guard. It is however quite possible that Pedro the chancellor is to be identified with the otherwise unknown Pedro who wrote four charters for the bishop between 1155 and 1171.(51) From the diocese of Astorga we have a reference in a very late copy. A royal charter dated 19 April 1157, surviving only in a cartulary copy of the eighteenth century, was subscribed by Facundus canonicus Astoricensis et chancellarius episcopi.(52) This man is surely to be identified with Facundus, canon of Astorga, the scribe of an episcopal act of 1154.(53) Once more, [99] this is the only occurrence of the title among the Astorgan acta.

The evidence from the diocese of Santiago de Compostela is a little fuller. An act of Archbishop Martín of 27 July 1158 carries the scribal subscription Pelagius de Vizu clericus iussu magistri Petri domni archiepiscopi cancellarii notuit et confirmavit.(54) A later act of Archbishop Martín, dated 19 December 1164, was subscribed by Magister Petrus diaconus domni archiepiscopi cancellarius.(55) An act of his successor Pedro Gudestéiz, of 12 February 1171, bears the subscription of Ego Petrus prepositus ecclesie beati Iacobi canonicus et domni archiepiscopi cancellarius.(56) The first two references seem to be to the same man; the third may be to another Pedro. Once more, none of these documents is original. Again, too, these three occurrences of the title are the only ones among the acta from Santiago de Compostela.

It is interesting to note that these were the three dioceses in which the episcopal seal first appears as a form of authentication for acta, and that it is from precisely this period, in the third quarter of the century, that the earliest seals survive. As we shall see, bishops adopted the use of the seal shortly after the royal chancery had done so, and possibly in imitation of it. Were they copying royal practice as well by giving a title to the man who had the custody of their seal? It is reasonable to assume that they were. What is surprising is that the title is not found again until well on into the thirteenth century.(57) It was a flash in the pan. Were the bishops in question simply experimenting with fancy titles? It may have been so.

The existence of an officer bearing the title of chancellor does not necessarily tell us anything about the drafting and writing of episcopal acta. We should look rather to men who can be associated with the production of a given text. There are various ways in which this may be done. Where we have a good crop of acta for any period of a few years, issued by [100] the same bishop, to different beneficiaries, but written by the same scribe, we may be confident that this is an episcopal scribe, working for an episcopal 'chancery'. One Pelayo wrote four charters for Bishop Juan of León in the period 1144-68: but his case is easy, for in one of them he describes himself as episcopi scriba.(58) Another Leonese scribe was Bermudo, who wrote four, possibly five, documents for the same bishop between 1153 and 1157.(59) Bermudo gives us no indication of any position he may have held in Bishop Juan's household; he may be identical with the Bermudo who was magister scolarum of the cathedral in 1165 and 1168,(60) so he was then certainly a member of the chapter, and may already have been a canon in the 1150s. A scribe named Juan wrote both for Bishop Juan and for his successor Manrique.(61) In the diocese of Lugo we have already come across the Pedro who wrote four charters for Bishop Juan between 1155 and 1171.(62) Our earliest two surviving acta from Zamora, dated 1133 and 1146 were written by one Pelayo.(63) Two later Zamoran acta, of 1182 and 1186, were written by Juan Facundi.(64) A scribe named Hilario wrote an act of Bishop Adán of Orense of 1173, and another of Bishop Alfonso in 1194.(65)

All too often, of course, the scribe's name occurs but once, and we can know nothing about him at all. Such for instance are the Julián who wrote once for Pelayo of Oviedo, the Pedro who wrote for Pelayo of Mondoñedo, the Nuño who wrote for Beltrán of Tuy.(66) And there are many others. [101] Sometimes, however, the scribes gave themselves some distinctive title which points to their association with the bishop's secretariat, as the Leonese scribe Pelayo, to whom we have just referred, called himself episcopi scriba. Thus for example we have Pedro notarius and Juan notarius in two acta from Astorga; Geraldo notarius in a Salamancan act; Felix notarius in one from Compostela.(67) But even these instances have to be treated with caution for, as we shall see, bishops sometimes employed notaries who were in the service of the urban concejo, whom we can but uncertainly, if at all, regard as episcopal servants, and we have no guarantee that the men just enumerated do not fall into that category.

We are on sure ground only when a connection specifically with the bishop is expressed. Arias Martínez, levita et notarius episcopi drew up one of the acts of Bishop Diego of León.(68) Pelayo Sebastiánez identifies himself as canonicus et diaconus, episcopi notarius at the foot of one of the acts of Rodrigo II of Lugo.(69) Without this unambiguous title, he drafted four other acta.(70) Ordoño Michaelez appears a little later as holder of the same office: he wrote eleven charters for Rodrigo II, in four of which he styles himself episcopi notarius.(71) Three Zamoran acta were drawn up for Bishop Martín by Miguel Rodriguez, notarius domni M. Zemorensis episcopi.(72) Our earliest surviving act from Compostela was written by Pedro abbas Termarum Contines et canonicus sancti Jacobi etiam et notarius domni Didaci presulis.(73) We find the same elsewhere. In the Castilian diocese of Palencia, to give but one example, Juan pontificis notarius wrote for Bishop Pedro in 1127.(74)

Occasionally, we have other evidence apart from the documents themselves to assist us. Diego Bodán, canon of [102] Compostela in 1102 and described as a clericus of Diego Gelmírez, was employed by the latter to draw up a chirograph in 1107-8.(75) Pedro Marcio wrote an act of Archbishop Pelayo of Compostela. He was one of the canons, and we know of him as the 'copyist' -- by which we should probably understand 'forger' -- of the notorious diploma of Ramiro I upon which rested the claims of Compostela to the votos de Santiago.(76)

What is striking about the material which has been quoted is that in several instances the bishops' scribes and notaries were members of the cathedral chapters. It may be suspected that this was so in many of the instances where the scribe is no more than a name. This is quite consistent with the arguments which have been advanced concerning the bishops' households. It may be worth pointing out that in the only source which has something to tell us about episcopal archives -- namely, the Historia Compostellana -- it is clear that there was no distinction between the records and valuables of the bishop and those of the chapter; all alike were kept together in the cathedral treasury.(77) It is difficult to believe that bishops had 'chanceries', in the sense of distinct establishments staffed by trained and professional officials, who worked in accordance with their own routines and habits and traditions.

We have, finally, some evidence for 'external' writing of episcopal acta, by the beneficiary or some other outside party. It was not unknown for the royal chancery to use the services of external scribes, even after the reforms of Master Hugo the chancellor. A grant by Queen Urraca to the monastery of Sahagún in 1116 was written by a monk of that house iussu abbatis; a charter of Alfonso VII for the church of Salamanca, dated 3 January 1136, was written by Arsenius, sancte Marie canonicus et episcopi B. capellanus; when Fernando II granted land to San Vicente de Oviedo in 1159 the [103] charter was drawn up by García, a monk of that house.(78) Two of our episcopal acta were certainly drafted by royal scribes and a third may have been. When Pelayo of Oviedo exchanged some land with Count Suero Bermúdez in 1117 the charter recording this was drawn up by Juan, a royal notary.(79) A grant by Archbishop Martín of Compostela to the monastery of Sobrado, dated 10 May 1165, was also drawn up by a royal notary.(80) Palaeographical considerations, and the character of the witness-lists, strongly suggest that a grant by Bishop Pelayo Menéndez of Tuy, of 1152, was also written by a royal scribe.(81) It is probable that these were drafted by royal scribes on the occasion of visits by bishops to the royal court -- yet another suggestion (it cannot be more than this) that bishops were not accompanied by a trained secretarial staff of their own.

Another practice is illuminated for us by an act from Tuy. Bishop Suero of Tuy came to an agreement with the monastery of Osera over disputed churches and tithes, the terms of which were committed to writing in a document dated 29 January 1213.(82) Now this was drawn up in Ribadabia -- apud burgum Ripe Avie in ecclesia sancti Genesii -- which is a good twenty-five miles from Tuy where the resident cathedral chapter, with its scribal resources, was of course situated. The scribe of the document, Nuño Menéndez, described himself as notarius burgi -- the (or a) town notary. The most probable explanation is that the bishop, lacking his own secretariat, called on the services of a professional scribe from Ribadabia hired for the occasion.

Of course any bishop (we might think) could be caught napping, without his clerks. But this is no isolated example. In the diocese of Compostela, four of the eight surviving acta of Pedro Suárez for which we know the name of the scribe [104] were drafted by Lope Arias, who described himself usually as notarius Compostellanus; once as notarius Compostellani concilii -- notary of the concejo of Compostela, i.e., of the town council -- and once as publicus notarius.(83) He also wrote, as we should expect, several private charters conveying land in the town of Santiago de Compostela.(84) He had a pupil, Pelayo Martínez, who copied an act drafted by his master, and also wrote private deeds.(85) Now the archbishop of Compostela was also lord of the town, so that the public notaries there were, in a sense, 'his' clerks. But clearly they were not members of an archiepiscopal 'chancery'. This may be an appropriate place to note that at least one of the other four acta which have scribal subscriptions was written by an external scribe.(86)

In the diocese of Lugo we have an even more remarkable illustration of the activities of a municipal scribe. Lugo was another town over which its bishop had the señorío. Fortunately for us, a considerable number of private deeds relating to sales, exchanges and leases of real property in and just outside the town has been preserved, and the vast majority of these, during the period c. 1170-1215, were drafted by one Román, Lucensis notarius.(87) He was also working for the chapter: he wrote a charter for Rodrigo I Menéndez while the latter was still dean of Lugo.(88) More to our purpose, he wrote six acta for the bishops during the period 1175-1210.(89) This was a period, as we have seen, when the bishops sometimes used notaries of their own. There seems to be no intelligible reason why some of their acts were drafted by their [105] own staff, some of them by the public notary of the town. It is at least clear that if they can be said to have had a 'chancery' of their own, they used its services only intermittently. But its very life may have been intermittent.

To sum up, we have little evidence that bishops had 'chanceries' in twelfth-century León. Such writing-offices as they may have had were not sophisticated organizations; they may have been extremely rudimentary. Bishops probably did not have occasion to do much writing. When they did have to produce acta, and had to cast about for scribes, they sometimes turned to 'external' scribes of one sort of another; frequently (and I am tempted to say 'usually') they looked to their cathedral chapters; sometimes they did have trained men of their own. Very occasionally these scribes gave themselves exotic titles, probably modelled on those used in the royal chancery. To those who are accustomed to the neat instruments produced in the chanceries of English bishops it will all sound rather primitive. We should be prepared for some of the documents that were produced to look a little odd.

The Documents : External Features

The diplomatic of these documents shows considerable variety. If they have anything in common, it is a certain archaism. The documents are characterized by solemn and cumbrous wording; by frequent use of the preliminary chrismon and arenga; by rambling sanctions, elaborate dating-clauses and lengthy witness-lists. Their script is usually a formal rather than a business-hand: the autograph subscription, the signum and the chirograph are more common forms of authentication than the seal. In all respects they rather resemble the 'diploma' than the 'writ' (to use these terms in a loose and general sense). Leonese bishops did not develop those terser instruments for making known their wishes which are so prominent a mark of government, whether secular or ecclesiastical, in other parts of Europe during the twelfth century.

The acta also show extensive borrowing by episcopal 'chanceries' of the forms and practices of the royal chancery of León-Castile. Nearly all the royal documents that survive from the twelfth-century are diplomas, elaborate in form and [106] beneficial in purpose. Kings were slow to adopt new diplomatic forms such as the written order (called by students of Spanish diplomatic the mandato) or the letter patent (carta abierta); as also to adopt new techniques like the use of the seal. Bishops followed kings pretty faithfully. This is a little surprising, seeing that it occurred at a time when episcopal chanceries in other parts of Europe were tending towards imitation of the forms and even the verbal rhythms of the papal chancery.

Signs of Authentication

It will be appropriate to begin with a brief consideration of the ways in which royal documents were authenticated. During the first half of the century the seal was almost certainly not used in the royal chancery of León-Castile, instruments being authenticated by signa, sometimes also by chirograph.(90) The earliest employment of the seal in the chancery of Alfonso VII which I have been able to trace occurs in 1146.(91) It was used sporadically during the remainder of his reign,(92) but did not displace the signum. Instead, signum and seal co-existed until the end of the period with which we are concerned, and indeed for some chancery products such as the privilegio rodado until the end of the Middle Ages. The signum adopted in the Leonese royal chancery from early in the reign of Fernando II was the rueda, a form derived at one remove (as we shall see) from the rota of the papal chancery.

Among the acta we have to reckon with four forms of authentication -- the autograph subscription, the signum, the [107] chirograph and the seal.(93) The first of these methods, though not common, occurs sporadically throughout the period under review, not only in the episcopal acta themselves but also in the private charters which bishops confirmed or witnessed. We have two excellent examples of the autograph subscription of Diego Gelmírez, in the privilegio del agua which he granted to the monastery of San Martín Pinario in 1122, and in a charter granted by Bermudo Pérez de Traba to the monastery of Sobrado in 1138.(94) More than eighty years later the archbishops of Santiago de Compostela were still on occasion employing the autograph subscription; Pedro Suárez de Deza used it in two acta of l204.(95) We also find it used now and then by the bishops of León, Orense, Salamanca, Tuy and Zamora.(96) This was not a Leonese peculiarity. The archbishops of Toledo, for instance, sometimes used it.(97)

The signum is so common that we may well call it the standard form of authentication in Leonese acta of the twelfth century, as it certainly was in royal documents. The antecedent of the signum was probably the sign of the cross drawn beside the name of the witnesses who subscribed documents. This, the simplest form of signum, was occasionally employed by the bishops of the twelfth century.(98) But signa of the period are commonly so elaborate and distinctive that it is more plausible to believe that they were thought of not as copies of or developments from some remote exemplar but simply as a guarantee against fraud and as a means of enhancing the solemnity of the instruments which they [108] authenticated. While there is immense variety in the forms of surviving signa, certain recurrent types can be distinguished. The most famous of these is the rota. This circular design had been used by the popes as an additional means of authenticating their solemn privileges from the pontificate of Leo IX, though it attained its final form only in that of Paschal II. It was copied in two areas of western Europe, in the royal chancery of Norman Sicily and in the kingdom of León-Castile. In the latter region it was adopted by Diego Gelmírez at Compostela; two other bishoprics, Mondoñedo and Lugo, followed suit; and it was finally taken up by the royal chancery where, as the rueda, it gave its name to the privilegio rodado.(99) This is, incidentally, one of the very few certain examples of borrowing by a bishop from the papal chancery and then by kings from an episcopal chancery. It has been argued that Diego Gelmírez adopted the rota only after he became an archbishop in 1120, and indeed the earliest original document which bears his rota is a private charter of 1125 which he confirmed.(100) But there is reliable evidence that he used it before 1120. His subscription of a royal charter of 31 March 1116 is accompanied by his rota: the document survives only in a copy of the late twelfth century, but Diego's title, placed inside the rota, is Didacus IIs episcopus -- not archiepiscopus.(101) He may have used it long before that, for it occurs in the same form in a royal charter of 1 April 1101, which survives in a notarial copy of the fifteenth century, and in another of 9 May 1112, surviving only in a cartulary copy of the seventeenth century.(102) It also appears in a private charter of 1105 and an act of 1115.(103) Some of his successors continued to use the rota to authenticate their documents. A few examples of its use by Bernardo survive, and several of its use by Martín. The latest surviving example [109] comes from the archiepiscopate of Pedro Suárez de Deza, and is dated 1174.(104)

From Compostela, use of the rota spread to Mondoñedo and to Lugo. Bishop Nuño Alfonso of Mondoñedo used it when subscribing an act of Diego Gelmírez in 1122 and a royal document of 1135.(105) In the diocese of Lugo it was used by bishops Guido and Juan, the latest example coming from 1175.(106) In the hands of Lugo scribes it sometimes departed from the papal form which it had retained in the dioceses of Compostela and Mondoñedo. No instance of the use of the rota in any diocese has survived from the last quarter of the twelfth century.

The rota, then, was not commonly used in episcopal chanceries, and four other recurrent types of signum may be distinguished. The most bizarre of these is that which may be called the 'Visigothic' type, for its elaborate convolutions were clearly derived from the signa which were used for the authentication of the charters of the ninth, tenth and eleventh centuries, the classic period of Visigothic cursive script. These in their turn would seem to have descended from the signa 'embellished with flourishes' which were employed in Spain in the seventh century.(107) The variety of the surviving signa of this type defies any attempt at generalization. One can say merely that the Visigothic signum was an abstract design which often included the letters of the bishop's name concealed among its wriggling lines or brought together in a clumsy monogram. It was a signum of this type which was used by Queen Urraca, and it is therefore no surprise to find it extensively employed by Pedro III, bishop of Lugo, who had been a royal clerk: he used it to authenticate his own acta and to confirm private charters.(108) His signum was not dissimilar to Urraca's but it may equally well have been derived [110] from that used by his predecessor and namesake, Pedro II, an example of which survives in a private charter of 1108.(109) A signum of this general type was used also by Archbishop Pedro Helias of Compostela.(110) Did he perhaps eschew the new-fangled rota because it had been associated with his opponent Diego Gelmírez?

A further type of signum may be called the quatrefoil type. Its design was simple; a rectangle enclosing the name of the bishop, each of whose sides bulged into convexity. The bulges were often pronounced, so that the design resembled four leaves or petals sprouting from the bishop's name. This type of signum was used only in the dioceses of León and Lugo, during the episcopates of the two bishops named Juan in the middle years of the century.(111) Yet another type may be called the pictorial type. A not uncommon form of this was the drawing of a hand grasping an episcopal crozier, usually placed after the bishop's subscription.(112) But other forms are also found. Bishop Pedro of Tuy, presumably in allusion to his namesake who was called to become a fisher of men, drew a fish after his subscription when witnessing a document of 1204.(113) Over in Navarre, Sancho de Larrosa, bishop of Pamplona from 1122 to 1142, drew a man's bearded head after some of his subscriptions.(114) Finally, the stylization of a common word would produce a signum. Martín I of Zamora elaborated the abbreviation ss., for subscripsi or subscribo, into the pattern [signum] which he used very frequently as a signum.(115)

Some form of signum, then, was extremely common in Leonese acta of the twelfth century. Yet the chirograph was about as common as the signum. Of six original acta from Astorga, four were authenticated by chirograph; twenty-three [111] out of thirty-one from León; three out of six from Salamanca; eight out of thirteen from Santiago de Compostela; and no fewer than twenty-six out of twenty-nine from Zamora. There is much variety, both in the letters employed and in the mode of application. The truncated letters may form the word chirographum; they may be the letters of the alphabet; they may compose some pious formula. They may run along the top of the text, or down one side. The chirograph may be polled or it may be indented; if the latter, the indentations may be sharp or they may be undulating.

The seal has been left to the last among the signs of authentication, because it appeared so late and spread so gradually in the episcopal 'chanceries' of the kingdom of León. The earliest episcopal seals from the kingdom of León-Castile come from the Castilian half of the kingdom. When Bishop Bernardo of Sigüenza introduced the Augustinian Rule for his cathedral chapter in 1144 the two copies of the document recording the detailed arrangements were sealed.(116) A later act of the same bishop, dated 1149, not long before his translation to Compostela, was also sealed.(117) In the primatial see of Toledo an act of Archbishop Raimundo of 1145 was authenticated by a seal.(118) Both Bernardo and Raimundo were Frenchmen, and were promoted from the circle round Archbishop Bernardo of Toledo. Bernardo of Sigüenza, as we saw in Chapter 2, had served in the royal chancery of Alfonso VII.

It is not until a date ten years after this first occurrence of sealing that we find, among our surviving documents, any evidence of the practice in the Leonese half of the kingdom. The following list shows the dates at which an episcopal seal first appears among the documents surviving from each diocese:

27 January 1154 Astorga (ES XVI, ap. xxviii, pp. 484-6).
27 March 1171 Lugo (AHN 1325E/25).
14 January 1174 Santiago de Compostela (AC Salamanca, nos. 61, 62; below, Appendix, nox. XV and XVI).
16 June 1181 Salamanca (AC Salamanca,  no. 78; below, Appendix, no. XVII).
6 February 1182 Zamora (AHN 3576/13).
4 July 1184 Orense, Oviedo (AC Burgos, no. 234).
8 March 1190 León (AC León, no. 1448)
13 June 1190 Mondoñedo (AHN cód. 63B, no. 108).
30 June 1200 Tuy (AHN 1796/4; below, Appendix, no. XXVI).

Even when we make due allowance for the scrappy and unsatisfactory nature of our evidence, the spread of the new device seems to have been slow.(119) Furthermore bishops, like kings, used sealing apparently at random after its first introduction; it did not displace other methods of authentication, but co-existed with them.

There is of course a possibility that Leonese bishops had used seals before the date of our first recorded seal, 1154, and that all examples of them have perished. On balance, the evidence is against this. No original episcopal act from the first half of the century bears traces of sealing. No reference is made by the compilers of cartularies to earlier seals, whereas they do on occasion refer to the sealing of later documents.(120) The earliest episcopal seal of which we know was affixed to a document which bears a date soon after the first evidence of sealing in the royal chancery and in two Castilian dioceses; so soon that it is tempting to guess that Leonese bishops were following examples set either by their Castilian [113] colleagues or by their ruler. As against this, we should set the earlier occurrences of the word sigillum. There are several of these in the Historia Compostellana. In 1122 Diego Gelmírez and Nuño Alfonso of Mondoñedo ratified the settlement of a dispute between them propriis sigillis; letters from the bishops were sent to Pope Calixtus II in 1123 uniuscuius que sigillo munitas; and in 1134 or 1135 Raimundo archbishop of Toledo concluded a letter to Diego Gelmírez with the words, 'Valete. Sigillo Scemorensis signavimus has litteras, quia non habebamus ibi nostrum'. But it would be rash to assume too readily that in the examples quoted(121) the word sigillum means what we should call a seal. It is more likely that it meant some sort of device -- e.g., a stencil with which to trace the rota -- to assist the scribe to draw the signum, and thus by extension the signum itself.(122) This can only have been the meaning of the word in the royal chancery of Queen Urraca. When she observed that her charter of 20 March 1124 to the church of Zamora was imperiali sigillo decoratam, she was referring to a signum, for she had no seal.(123)

If bishops, however hesitantly, adopted the use of the seal during the second half of the century, whose example were they following in doing so? The mode of application of episcopal seals was always that used in the royal chancery: no bishop's seal in twelfth-century León was applied directly to the face or dorse of the document, nor to parchment sur simple queue or sur double queue; all were pendent, from leather, silk or hempen cords. This is exactly how royal seals were affixed. (It is also, of course, how papal bullae were affixed.) On the other hand, royal and episcopal seals were different shapes. Royal seals were circular, episcopal seals were oval. The earliest traceable episcopal seal, from the diocese of Astorga in 1154, is now missing, but is illustrated in an eighteenth-century sketch by Flórez:(124) the style of the drawing is far removed in spirit from the twelfth century, but there can be no mistake about the oval shape of the seal. All [114] other episcopal seals which have been inspected are oval. The impressions of the seals of Raimundo of Toledo and Bernardo of Sigüenza are also missing, so we do not know what shape they were, but it may be presumed that they were oval. Certainly the seals were pendent, Bernardo's from tags of leather, Raimundo's from tags of red-and-blue-striped silk. The evidence is not very helpful. Leonese bishops may have been following royal practice. They may have been fired by the example of their Castilian colleagues. They may have adopted the use of the seal directly from beyond the Pyrenees. After all, of the four dioceses where such seals first appeared, two were on the pilgrim route (Astorga, Lugo), one was the goal of the pilgrims (Compostela) and the fourth was attracting foreign students to its schools (Salamanca).

Before we leave the topic of signs of authentication, one final point should be noticed -- the common employment of multiple authentications, i.e., of two or more of the methods that have been discussed, in the same document. We may indeed say that it is rather unusual for acta to be authenticated in only one way, as for example two Mondoñedan acts were by chirograph alone, one of Archbishop Martín of Compostela by a rota alone, two from Tuy only by seals and one from Orense only by autograph subscriptions.(125) Examples of double authentications can be found in nearly every diocese,(126) and examples of triple authentications are by no means rare.(127) What we should make of this curious feature of Spanish diplomatic -- for we find it also in the royal chancery, and among the Castilian sees(128) -- is not clear. One obvious comment is that this was a specially cumbrous way of producing documents; they could not have been issued with much despatch; but perhaps the total number of documents [115] issued was never large and speed in the transaction of business never a necessity.

Script and Format

Two changes were taking place in the twelfth century in the script of episcopal as of other documents: from Visigothic script to what Spanish palaeographers call francesa, i.e., that development from the Carolingian miniscule which had become the most common script written in western Europe by 1100, and which was in Spain particularly associated with the influx of Frenchmen which took place from c.1070; and within the forms of francesa from a formal or book-hand to a business or charter-hand. The speed with which these changes occurred has been somewhat overestimated by historians.

Visigothic script still had a long life before it in the year 1100, especially in the Asturias and Galicia, the most conservative regions of the kingdom of León. Royal documents in Visigothic script cease with the death of Queen Urraca, though some of the early ones of Alfonso VII retain traces of it, and a charter of his sister Doña Sancha dated as late as 1158 was written in Visigothic script.(129) Private charters in this script continue numerous in the second and third quarters of the century, and even in the last two decades documents can be found whose script is more Visigothic than francesa.(130) The fortunate survival at León of a private charter dated 1155 seems to show us the approximate date at which men began to experience difficulty in reading the older script.(131) At the foot of the document there is written out, in what seems to be a contemporary hand, the letters of the alphabet in francesa, and immediately below that the corresponding characters in Visigothic script. The charter itself is in Visigothic script; the alphabets were written by a different hand. Was a man accustomed to reading the francesa script trying to learn the Visigothic script in order to read this, or another, [116] document? So it would seem. At any rate, this dual alphabet was copied out at least sixty years after the alleged 'abolition' of the Visigothic script in western Spain.

So it is not at all surprising to find a few episcopal acta written in Visigothic script. We have only one original among the acta of Diego Gelmírez, dated 1122, and that is written in an unusually pure Visigothic script.(132) An early Lugo act, of 1119, is in the same script, though elements of francesa are already present.(133) The same is true of two early acta from Oviedo,(134) and of two from Mondoñedo;(135) even in the latest of these, of 1143, the intrusion of francesa has not seriously marred the fundamentally Visigothic character of the script. It is significant that these examples come from Galicia and the Asturias. We have several early originals from the see of León, and the script of all of them is francesa.(136)

About the second change, from a formal to a business hand, it is difficult to be precise. Far too little work has been as yet devoted to Spanish palaeography of this period; there is no settled body of definitions which the historian may use when he wants to attach a label to a particular script. One man's hasty or sloppy formal hand is another man's careful or elaborate business hand. We may, however, be clear on some points. The scribes of the royal chancery under Alfonso VII and Fernando II never developed a sophisticated charter hand such, for example, as is understood by those who use the term to describe the products of the Plantagenet or Capetian royal chanceries in the second half of the twelfth century. This is certainly also true of the 'chanceries' of the Leonese bishops. Episcopal scribes were however gradually moving towards the sort of business hand favoured by the royal scribes, and this movement produced a script betwixt book-hand and charter-hand which is the most typical hand among the acta from the second half of the century, when originals become reasonably abundant.(137)

[117] Despite this development and the pleasant, easy script to which it gave birth, the handwriting of Leonese acta remained far more formal than that of their English counterparts in the twelfth century. This could be demonstrated, short of prolonged study of the originals, only by the provision of photographic facsimiles, for which no place can be found in an essay of this nature. Scribes did not develop those tricks and dodges which would have enabled them to complete their task more quickly and more easily. Their hands were more often upright than sloping. Ligatures were of an elementary kind. They were sparing of abbreviations. These and other features may be seen in the act of Bishop Pedro III of Lugo reproduced below.(138) For its day, 1132, its script was quite advanced. There was not much change during the rest of the century. The acta of Bishop Martín of Zamora at the end of our period, business-like instruments though they were, were written in a script which would have been considered antiquated in the England of their day.

The same may be said of the general format of the documents. This tended to be lavish. Some of the early acta have an immensely spacious and extravagant format. In Diego Gelmírez's act of 1122, so frequently referred to already, there is a generous margin at the left-hand side and the text itself occupies only half the area of parchment. The opening words of the arenga are in spidery Visigothic majuscule. The subscriptions and signa are scattered haphazardly beneath the sprawling, leisurely autograph of the archbishop himself. And the document is big; 58 cm in breadth by 49 cm in depth. But it is by no means exceptional. Two early acta from León(139) are respectively 73 X 49 cm and 73 X 41 cm; in these two only about half the total area of the parchment is covered with the text, the remainder being reserved for the witnesses, whose names have, however, been disposed into some sort of order in columns. A document of 1159 drawn up for Fernando Curialis(140) is of precisely this large and splendid type. So are [118] some of Pedro Suárez's, from both ends of his long archiepiscopate.(141) The neat chirographs of Juan of León might seem to mark a new departure, with their narrow margins, small script and almost standard shape and size; but even these make generous provision for the witnesses and allow the scribe enough space to indulge his taste for fancy signa.(142) And the document with which he recorded his foundation of a house of canons at Carbajal yields little or nothing to those of his predecessor Diego for sheer extravagance.(143) Similarly the acta of Martín of Zamora, though generally sober and economical in format, are yet more generous of space than English acta.(144) Thus on the whole the acta are showy. This strengthens the impression that they were occasional rather than routine productions.

The Documents: Internal Features

Most of the surviving acta are cast either in the form of a diploma or in forms closely related to it. The supremacy of this form is the most striking diplomatic feature of the Leonese acta. To show what is understood by the term 'diploma' it will be best to set down in full an example of what we take to be the genre and then to examine its component parts in the light of other documents like it. In the spring of 1132 Bishop Pedro III of Lugo exchanged some land with one of the canons of his cathedral named Pedro Díaz. To record this transaction the bishop employed one Diego,(145) who drew up the document which follows and dated it 19 March 1132. This is what Diego wrote:

XPS. Quod ab ecclesie prelatis perhenniter institutum est atque canonice sancitum.eorum posteris nos convenit insinuare.scripturarum titulo inpresso. Eapropter ego Petrus.IIIS. dei gratia Lucensis ecclesie episcopus consilio et auctoritate / meorum canonicorum suffultus dignum duxi per presentis scripture seriem tibi Petro Didaz clerico et [119] canonico nostro conferre illas casas integras que fuerunt ospicium quondam peregrinorum que eciam sunt prope ecclesias sancte Marie et sancti Petri. / intra muros Lucensis civitatis site.ex una parte terminantur per casas que fuerunt de Garcia Cidiz et de Iohanne Ferrario ex alia vero per illas que fuerunt de Petro Ectaz et de Iohanne inde per viam que ducit ad ecclesiam. / Adicimus eciam tibi unum agellum qui est in suburbio civitatis circa viam et subtus que discurrit de castello prefate civitatis ad villam de Castineiras. et qui est inter ortum palacii et terram Pelagii Gondemariz.ab alia vero parte ubi ortus cano- / nice iacet terminatur per suos marcos subtus fontem positos. Has denique casas predicto modo descriptas et hunc agellum prefatis terminis circumventum.damus vobis ac semini vestro per huius nostre firmitatis scripturam pro aliis vestris / domibus bonis ac spaciosis que ad ecclesie sancte Marie parietes propagandos atque ad atria sunt valde necessarie. De iure igitur nostro et potestate amodo sublata.vestro sint dominio vestreque progeniei per henniter iniuncta et sit licitum vobis vendere / et donare pro velle vestro. Siquis autem huius nostre promulgacionis conscius eam temerariis vexacionibus conturbare voluerit.omnipotentis Dei malediccionem incurrat et nostre excomunicationi sub iaceat. atque insuper calumpniate rei duplo composito. Perpetue stabi / litatis rigorem obtineat scriptura hec. Facta est namque die sabbati X0IIII0. Kalendas. Aprilis. Era.M.CaLa.XXa. Ego Petrus episcopus iam dictus quod fieri iussi manibus propriis roboro et confirmo signo mei roboris inpresso. (Signum of Pedro III.).
(1st column)
Qui presto fuerunt
Iohannes testis
Pelagius testis
Froila testis
(3rd column)
Pelagius Iohannis conf.
Martinus tesorarius conf.
Anagia capellanus conf.
Omnes canonici conf.
(2nd column)
Iudex Pelagius conf.
Prior Guido conf.
Archidiaconus Rodrigus conf.
Primicerius Petrus conf.
(4th column)
Munio Pelaiz conf.
Veremudus Pelaiz conf.
Pelagius Petriz conf.
Omnes burgenses conf.
(5th column)
Didacus notuit.
This instrument(146) shows in its form certain general but striking similarities to the products of the royal chancery of León-Castile during the first half of the twelfth century. Pedro III had been a clerk in the chancery of Queen Urraca, [120] but this in itself is not sufficient to explain the similarities found, not only in this and other Lugo acta, but also in the acta of those bishops who had no close connections -- that we know of -- with the royal court and writing office. Nearly all documents emanating from the chanceries of Urraca and Alfonso VII were in diploma form. Little is known at present about the origins of this form, but it seems to have grown out of the forms of previous types of royal document in the course of the tenth and eleventh centuries.(147) Certainly by the end of the reign of Fernando I in 1065 the diploma was the accepted and normal form for all royal documents, so far as we can judge from surviving originals and copies. The form comprehended a number of variations, and continued to do so until well into the twelfth century; it was not until the advent of Master Hugo the chancellor in 1135 that forms became relatively more fixed.(148) Kings did not issue diplomas alone. Mandates of Alfonso VII survive in small numbers, none of them unfortunately in its original form.(149) Naturally, as being closely tied to the circumstances of the moment at which they were issued, they were not preserved with that care which was lavished on royal diplomas; many, therefore, may have perished. Yet one has the impression that government was not yet, to any great extent, a matter for writing; and that chancery practice, and not simply the ravages of time, mice, damp and neglect, is responsible for the fact that royal mandates do not become frequent before the reign of Alfonso IX.(150) Throughout the century the most characteristic royal instrument remained the diploma.

[121] While the Lugo act of 1132 is very like the royal charters of the early twelfth century, there are no similarities between it and contemporary papal documents -- no borrowings of phrase or rhythm such as Professor Cheney noted among English episcopal acta (though admittedly acta of a slightly later date).(151) Yet Lugo was a bishopric which enjoyed specially close relations with the papacy in the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries. Bishop Amor may have attended the council of Clermont in 1095; certainly he was appealing to Urban II at that time for the restitution of lands and rights allegedly filched from his see by the bishops of Oviedo, Mondoñedo and León. His successor Pedro II continued the suit during the pontificate of Paschal II. Pedro III himself acquired two solemn privileges, from Calixtus II and Innocent II, and continued to press the claims of his see during the legatine visit of cardinal Humbert in 1130.

The exchange which the act records seems to have been necessitated by Pedro III's building operations. (It provides, incidentally, important evidence for dating the construction of the cathedral of Lugo and makes necessary some revision of accepted ideas about its architectural history.) Our first reaction to a casual reading of the text might be that this is a curiously elaborate way of recording a property transaction which was not of the first importance. It is now time to turn to a consideration of the component parts of the instrument, and to compare them to similar parts of other acta produced in the twelfth century in the other dioceses of the kingdom of León. Among the lessons we shall learn from this analysis is that the Lugo document is not nearly so elaborate as some of the other surviving acta.(152)

The Invocation

The act opens with a pictorial invocation, the chrismon or [122] XP monogram. This form is not uncommon among the acta of the first half of the century,(153) but it gradually becomes less common, though here and there we find examples of its use almost up to the end of our period.(154) Far more common, though absent from the Lugo act, is the verbal invocation. Here as elsewhere we find great variety and within this variety a gradual movement from elaboration to simplicity. Invocations such as this are not unusual during the first half of the century:(155) 'In honore et nomine sancte Trinitatis, Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti amen, quem catholica fides personaliter unum Deum colit et trium essentialiter'. But throughout the century we find simpler ones, and these finally come to predominate. The most popular were, 'In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti amen'(156) or 'In nomine domini nostri Iesu Christi amen'(157) or simply 'In Dei nomine'.(158)

The 'Arenga'

In the Lugo act the chrismon is followed by a brief arenga. This form, again, is by no means unusual among the acta, though often it is a great deal more elaborate than it is in this instance. Here it takes the form of a short reflection upon the necessity of committing transactions to writing. This is parallelled in other episcopal acta,(159) but other forms are to be found. There occur, for example, pious sentiments of this sort:(160) 'Fundamentum aliud, ut ait apostolus, nemo potest ponere preter id quod positum est, quod est Christus Iesus'; or other sentiments less pious in tone:(161) 'Quicquid episcopus ad utilitatem ecclesie cum canonicorum consilio et bonorum hominum providencia disposuerit, huiusmodi dispositio firma [123] in posterum permanebit'. We also find exhortations on the desirability of almsgiving,(162) and observations on the duties of a bishop.(163) On several occasions we find an opening preamble which is not an arenga properly so-called, but a narratio explaining which course of events gave rise to the drawing-up of the document. This normally occurs in documents recording agreements between contending parties, a special class of document about which I shall have something to say shortly.(164)

The Title

Pedro III's title in the act of 1132 -- ego Petrus IIIS Dei gratia Lucensis ecclesia episcopus -- is couched in the form most common among the Leonese acta of the twelfth century. Bishops nearly always spoke of themselves in the first person singular and, though a little less frequently, qualified their names with the words Dei gratia. Use of the first person plural occurs, of course, where the bishop is speaking for others as well as for himself, but when this is not so its use is extremely rare; it is to be found only four times among the surviving acta, and in certainly one of these instances, and probably two others, the bishops were using formulae that had reached them from abroad.(165) There are some variants upon the customary Dei gratia... episcopus. Pelayo referred to himself as presul of Oviedo, Nuño of Mondoñedo called himself the indignus vicarius of his see, Juan of Lugo styled himself qualiscum que Lucensium minister, and Lope of Astorga in 1201 adopted the title, not uncommon in France, of minister humilis.(166) Diego Gelmírez once called himself [124] bishop divina disponente clementia.(167) We also find Dei nutu and Dei permissione.(168) But Dei gratia... episcopus remained the favourite form. When Diego Gelmírez exercised legatine powers he commonly added et S.R.E. legatus.

The Sanction

After invocation, arenga and title came the matter of the document, the dispositio. This in its turn is followed in our Lugo act by the final protocol -- sanction, corroboration, date, confirmation and witnesses. This is in no sense a standard order; confirmation may precede date, sanction may follow corroboration. But when all these elements are present they frequently come in this order.

In Pedro III's charter, the sanction is a double one. Those who infringe the terms of the act are to incur penalties both spiritual and temporal; the whole is expressed in reasonably moderate language. We can point to far more elaborate sanctions than this. Here, for example, is Bishop Esteban of Zamora in an act of 1164:(169)

Siquis autem hoc factum nostrum inrumpere temptaverit, tam de nostris quam de extraneis quisque ille fuerit sit maledictus et excommunicatus et a fide Christi separatus et cum Iuda proditore dampnatur et non videat que bona sunt in Ierusalem celeste neque pacem in Israel et pariat ipsa hereditate duplata vel triplata in tali vel meliori loco....
But most sanctions are a good deal simpler. Nearly all mention spiritual penalties; several combine spiritual with temporal;(170) a few have only the latter.(171)

The Corroboration

The form of words used shows some variety. The wording in bishop Pedro's act -- perpetua stabilitatis rigorem obtineat scriptura hec -- occurs not infrequently. In a grant by Suero of [125] Coria dated 1156 we find et hoc meum factum semper maneat firmum.(172) Diego Gelmírez's privilegio del agua of 1122 reads:(173) 'et hoc nostrum voluntarium beneficium incon (cussum) permaneat in secula seculorum (amen)'. Bishop Juan of León rounded off the fuero he granted to the settlers of Buenaventura in 1169 with the words et hec carta semper sit firma in omni tempore.(174) Bishop Alo of Astorga employed the formula et hoc testamentum plenum et firmum habeat roborem in an act of 1129.(175) Other variations could be listed. If any general tendency during the course of the century may be discerned it is for corroborations, like sanctions, to become a little shorter and simpler.

The Date

This is one of the most characteristic features of the Leonese acta, as it is of all Spanish documents produced during the twelfth century. Episcopal professions of obedience and the letters which bishops sent did not normally bear dates; but these apart, acta which are not dated are very scarce. Of the nine such which have survived, five are copies whose originals may have been dated, and a further one may be a copy.(176)

Elements used in the dating-clauses of Leonese acta may be classified into five types: dating by day, month and Spanish Era; by the name of the monarch; by the name of the bishop; by the name of dignitaries at the royal court; and by the names of local tenentes. The first of these methods is by far the most common, and Bishop Pedro's act of 1132 provides an example of it. There are minor variations upon it: sometimes only the year is found;(177) sometimes only the year and the month;(178) very occasionally, reckoning anno [126] domini is used, sometimes in conjunction with the Era,(179) and sometimes by itself.(180)

It was not at all uncommon for more than one of these elements to be used together. We have only one example of the employment of all five at once, in the extraordinarily complex dating-clause of Bishop Pedro of Astorga's general confirmation to the monastery of San Martín de Castañeda.(181) Several examples of the use of four elements have survived. Thus, for instance:(182)

Facta carta boni monis sub Era Ma.CaLXeaIa. et quodum VIII Kalendas Maii. Regnante imperatore Adefonso in Legione et in Toleto cum coniuge sua domna Rica. Poncio de Minerva turres Legionis tenente. Martino Nepzani in Legione villicante. Petro Christiano in Astoricensi sede episcopo. Petro Drago in eadem villa villicante.
As an instance of the use of three elements we have,(183) 'Facta carta Era Ma.CCa.XXXIIa. VIII Kalendas Augusti. Regnante rege Alfonso in Legione, Gallecia, Asturiis, Extrematura. Iohanne Fernandi tenente Limiam'. And there are many examples of the use of only two, as,(184) 'Facta scripti pagina in ERA Ma.Ca.LXea.VIa et quot II Nonas Iulii. Regnante rege Fernando in Legione et Galletia et rege Sancio in Toleto et Castella'. A few other dating elements appear, but infrequently. An act of bishop Vidal of Salamanca of 1187 refers to the pope of the time, presidente in sancta Romana ecclesia Urbano papa IlI.(185)Recent events of local importance were sometimes used to fix a date; a fuero granted by Bishop Esteban of Zamora was dated 1161, ipso anno quo populata est Ledesma et Civitas Rodrigo.(186) The indiction is very occasionally found,(187) the year of a bishop's episcopate a little more frequently.(188)

[127] More common than these later specialities, but even so by no means frequent, was the addition of the place of issue to the dating-clause. When this is found, it occurs usually with a preposition -- in Legione, apud Fradexas(189) -- or with the use of the locative -- Medine, Tude(190) -- though these usages are sometimes expanded; a judgement by Bishop Lope of Astorga was dated apud Astoricam in palacio epsicopi and one by Pedro Suárez of Compostela in sancta Cruce de Castrelo ubi erant multi congregati.(191) In adding the place of issue bishops may have been following the practice of the royal chancery whose scribes added it with fair regularity after the advent of Master Hugo in 1135.

The Confirmation

This form does not call for much comment. Bishop Pedro's confirmation in the act of 1132 is of a not unusual and fairly simple type. We may compare Bernardo of Zamora in a fuero granted in the following year, Ego Bernardus Zamorensis episcopus in hanc kartam que fieri iussi manus meas (sic) roboravi,(192) or Pelayo Menéndez of Tuy in 1152,(193) 'Ego Pelagius episcopus hoc scriptum quod cum canonicorum conventu tibi fratri tuo Petro fieri iussi in curia domini Adefonsi imperatoris proprio robore confirmo'. This is rather more elaborate. But some bishops went even further. Here is Diego of León in 1116;(194)

Ego Didacus Legionensis ecclesie gratia Dei episcopus hanc cartam testamenti quam fieri iussi et legi, hilari animo in ecclesia sancte Marie multis nobilibus Legionis adstantibus et videntibus manibus meis roboravi.
During the century the forms employed tended to become simpler, sometimes to disappear altogether. Ego Martinus [128] Zamorensis confirmo is how Martín of Zamora confirmed a number of his acta,(195) and this brevity was not unusual by his time.

The Witness-lists

Witness-lists were usual at the foot of beneficial documents. Sometimes they are introduced by the phrase Qui presentes fuerunt, but this is not common. The phrase used in Pedro of Lugo's charter of 1132, Qui presto fuerunt, is unique among the surviving acta. Witnesses sometimes preface their name with the word Ego, though this is not the case in the 1132 act. Their names are always in the nominative case, and are always followed by the word testis or confirmo or subscribo; of these, testis is the least common. The witnesses are normally listed in columns, but sometimes their names run straight across the parchment, sometimes they are scattered apparently at random. They vary greatly in number. There is a tendency for the number of witnesses to decline in the course of the century, though acta with long witness-lists were still being produced into the thirteenth century. Where there are scribal subscriptions it is more common for these to follow than to precede the witness-lists.

Acta which exhibit the diploma form in its fullness, like the document of 1132 which was the starting point of this discussion, never predominate at any period of the twelfth century. But we find a great many acta which have several, but not all, the characteristics of the diploma; thus for example there are diplomas without an arenga, without a corroboration, without a confirmation, with terse sanctions or dating-clauses, with short witness-lists. Their general similarity to the fully-developed diploma is such that, in order to avoid lengthy discussion and perplexing categorisation, they have been counted among the diplomas and some of the examples cited above have been picked from among them. The diploma, either in its developed form or in a modified form, was by far the most common instrument employed by Leonese bishops during the twelfth century.

Now this form is usually associated by students of [129] diplomatic with transactions of some solemnity. But what is striking about the Leonese acta is that the form was so often used for recording transactions which were far from solemn. We find it used, as we should expect, for general confirmations to religious houses and for fueros.(196) But we also find it employed for recording contracts of vassalage between a bishop and one of his men,(197) for recording sales of land,(198) for the recognizance of private debts,(199) and for the granting of licences to build churches.(200) The Leonese bishops were not adventurous. They did not try to devise new forms to meet new needs, but were content to trim what they had to say to the Procrustes' bed of the diploma. It is for this reason above all that the diplomatic of these instruments may be called archaic.

Is there, indeed, any evidence at all for experiment with new forms? Bishops certainly had other forms at their disposal, which they were prepared to use now and again, as occasion demanded. One of these was the notitia, or record of a lawsuit. This was introduced, usually without any of the customary opening protocol, by a preamble cast in the form of a narratio explaining why the dispute had arisen, and what course it had taken. The narratio moves insensibly into a dispositio setting out the steps which had been taken to effect a reconciliation between the contending parties, and the terms of that reconciliation. The final protocol is usually brief, but it is normal to find both date and witness-lists. This type of document was inherited by bishops from the past; a good many such survive from the tenth and eleventh centuries, and some of the twelfth-century examples have archaic features.(201) When Pelayo of Oviedo came to an agreement in 1104 with Count Fernando over two monasteria in the town [130] of Oviedo possession of which had been disputed between them, it was in a document of this sort that the terms were recorded.(202) Another instance can be found in the document recording the settlement between Nuño Alfonso of Mondoñedo and Count Rodrigo Vélaz in 1128.(203) Yet another is that ending the dispute between Bishop Arias of León and Count Rodrigo Martínez over lands that had belonged to Pedro Peláez.(204)

Professions of obedience constitute another class of documents which had a stereotyped form. Several are preserved in the Historia Compostellana, and many more in the Liber Fidei, the cathedral cartulary of Braga. A comparison between the oath sworn by the mysterious Pedro of Mondoñedo to Archbishop Maurice of Braga (c. 1109) and that sworn by Giraldo of Salamanca to Archbishop Diego Gelmírez of Compostela (1121) reveals identical forms.(205) Clearly, bishops and their metropolitans had access to a standard form of instrument, designed for a specific purpose, which they adopted and used. It had probably been introduced to western Spain by the French clergy who arrived towards the end of the eleventh century.

Much the same may be said of indulgences. There is sufficient general similarity between the two indulgences we have and those which survive from other parts of Latin Christendom to make us reasonably sure that bishops had access to a standard form, or a range of possible standard forms from which they might choose one that seemed fitting. Again, Juan of León's epistola formata of 1153 was just such a stereotyped form, though a highly unusual one for its date.(206) Canons of councils and the 'private' correspondence of the bishops naturally had their own forms too.

But to show that bishops knew of other types of document and that they sometimes used them does not take us much further. Of course they did. What we should really [131] like to know is whether they themselves experimented with new forms, whether they themselves made any attempt to escape from the heavy hand of the diploma. Some signs of experimentation there are, towards the end of the century. Let us take first of all the document in which Pedro Suárez of Compostela recorded his ruling in a dispute over diocesan boundaries between the sees of Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo in 1174.(207) Some of the features of the diploma are still there -- the multiple authentication (autograph subscription, chirograph, rota and seal) and the long witness-lists; this was, after all, an important ruling and the archbishop was acting as a papal judge-delegate. But others are conspicuous by their absence: there is no invocation, no sanction. Further features are there too, which are new and unusual. In the first place, the act is cast in epistolary form; the archbishop addresses himself to the dean and chapter of Salamanca and the prior and chapter of Ciudad Rodrigo, and greets them. Second, there are clear signs of the influence of the papal chancery. After the salutatio the arenga beginning Ex iniuncto parvitati is closely modelled on a form of arenga commonly used by the popes. The next sentence begins with an introductory Eapropter, which is another curial feature. The dating-clause, both in its form and in its position after the subscriptions, recalls the dating-clauses of papal solemn privileges. And an attempt is made, if not consistently maintained, to reproduce the rhythmic cursus of the papal chancery. Third, the language is simple and direct; there is none of the bombast or verbiage we so often find in the diploma.

This document does not stand alone. Some of its features are to be met with in other of Pedro Suárez's acta, for example, in the mandate of about 1188 by which he ordered the archdeacon, clergy and people of Plasencia to obey the bishop of Avila.(208) We find them also in an award by Bishop Pedro of Tuy of 1200:(209) there is the same epistolary form, the same reminiscences of curial phraseology (Quoniam in [131 presencia nostra, auctonitate qua fungimur), the same simplicity. A judgement by Manrique of León, dated 1182, shows some traces of papal influence; and he too used an epistolary form of address in some of his acta.(210) A Lugo act of 1202 betrays the same features.(211) The impetus behind these developments came, it may be suggested, from the Compostela of Pedro Suárez. I say this not merely because it is in one of his acts that the new tendencies appear for the first time. It is rather because it is likely that he had studied abroad and had thereby had opportunities to learn how bishops conducted their business elsewhere; because he enjoyed close relations with the papacy; and because he was an efficient administrator.

But Pedro Suárez had also been Fernando II's chancellor before he reached the episcopate as bishop of Salamanca, and this should remind us that bishops were still learning from kings as well as starting to learn from popes. (Since so many of them became bishops after service in the royal chancery, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that bishops continued to draw on their own previous experience as royal servants to assist them in their work as diocesans.) Towards the end of the reign of Fernando II the so-called carta abierta, or letter-patent, was developed by the royal chancery, and came to be widely used during the reign of his son Alfonso IX.(212) This form of document, normally beneficial in purpose, was characterized by the terseness of its phraseology and above all by the general notification with which (usually after a short invocation) its text opened -- Notum sit omnibus, or some variant upon this.(213) Bishops were not slow to follow suit. Pedro Suárez himself used it, for example in a grant to the church of Tuy in 1200.(214) It was employed very extensively by Bishop Martín of Zamora, who was a protégé of Pedro Suárez and enjoyed close relations with the royal court, [133] though there is no evidence that he had been employed in the Leonese chancery.(215) The new form can also be traced in the dioceses of León, Salamanca, Lugo and Oviedo.(216)

These examples come from the early years of the thirteenth century. It is clear that by this date bishops were beginning to experiment with new diplomatic instruments. But the contrast in forms should not be exaggerated. Bishops seem to have handled the new ones cautiously, sometimes clumsily, at first. And if these developments have been glanced at only cursorily, this is justified by the consideration that over the period as a whole the diploma reigned supreme, that its use persisted to the end of our period and beyond it.

A treatise could be written about the episcopal acta from the twelfth-century kingdom of León. The remarks in this chapter constitute only a sketch. They will have succeeded in their purpose if they have shown how deeply conservative the bishops were in these matters: how slow they were to develop their household organization; how sluggish and primitive were their secretarial arrangements; how tenacious were their scribes of old forms and old appearances. Administrative innovation is not everything. Historians commonly pay it more attention than it deserves. Perhaps this antique machinery sufficed to answer the bishops' administrative needs. But we have yet to examine what it was that bishops were trying to do.

Notes for Chapter Three

1. In the thesis upon which this book is based, Appendix II, pp. 385-426, there may be found a complete catalogue of the acta whose characteristics will be discussed in this chapter. It is too long to be included in the present work.

2. The Acta of the Bishops of Chichester, 1075-1207, ed. H. Mayr-Harting (Canterbury and York Society, vol. cxxx, 1962).

3. A. Saltman, Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury (London, 1956).

4. The Letters and Charters of Gilbert Foliot, ed. C.N.L. Brooke and A. Morey (Cambridge, 1967).

5. Acta Stephani Langton, ed. K. Major (Canterbury and York Society, vol. 1, 1950).

6. I am greatly indebted, in this chapter, to those who have worked on English acta, in particular to F.M. Stenton, 'Acta Episcoporum', Cambridge Historical Journal iii (1929), 1-14; to C.R. Cheney, English Bishops' Chanceries 1100-1250 (Manchester, 1950); and to the works mentioned in the four preceding notes.

7. HC p. 329.

8. D.W. Lomax, 'Don Ramón, bishop of Palencia (1148-84)', in Homenaje a Jaime Vicens Vives, ed. J. Maluquer de Motes I (Barcelona, 1965), 279-91.

9. Rodrigo, De Rebus Hispaniae, VI, 26-7.

10. HC pp.56-7.

11. For Juan Rodríguez, see LFH III, ap. iv, pp. 28-30; ap. xvi, pp. 52-3; ap. xxiii, pp. 70-3: HC p. 73. He had visited the papal curia in 1099, presumably at the bidding of Diego Gelmírez, who was then in charge of the vacant see of Compostela: Docs. Oviedo no. 121.

12. For his misgivings about their loyalty -- some of which were later proved all too correct -- see HC p. 55.

13. For Hugo, see HC pp. 28, 34, 39, 42, 56, 145, 202, 252, 280-1.

14. HC pp. 290, 394, 441-2, 490, 509.

15. HC pp. 441, 511, 567.

16. E.g. Archdeacon Geoffrey, four times between 1101 and 1110 (HC pp. 31, 44, 79, 84-5); Pelayo Díaz, sent in 1125-6 (HC p.441).

17. LFH III, ap. xxxiii, pp. 97-104; HC p. 378.

18. For Nuño Gelmírez, see HC pp, 30, 56, 66, 100-1, 105, 110, 111, 133, 169, 329, 330; LFH III, ap. xxxiii, pp. 97-104.

19. For Pedro Astruárez, see HC 56, 378, 401; LFH III, ap. xxxiii, pp. 97-104; AHRG, Documentos Particulares, San Payo de Antealtares, no. 27.

20. LFH III, ap. v. p. 33; AHN 5 12/9. His office carried responsibility for the administration of the town of Santiago de Compostela.

21. HC p. 279 (277).

22. For Geraldo, see HC pp. 214, 265, 274 (272), 297, 373, 378, 456, 462.

23. AC Oviedo, Libro Gótico, fol. 83r.

24. Docs. Oviedo, no. 138.

25. AC León nos. 1413, 1416, 1420, 1422, 1426, 1434. The first of these has been printed by C. Sánchez Albornoz, Estudios sobre las Instituciones Medievales Españolas (Mexico City, 1965), pp. 313-4; the last in AHDE xxv (1955), 92-3.

26. Referred to in AC León 1434 (see preceding note): 'pro expensis quas magister Thomas fecerat Rome'. Tomás is also called magister in private charters: AHN 1690/14, AC León 1419.

27. AC Lugo, leg.3, no. 2; Libro de Bulas Apostólicas, no. 1.

28. Printed below, pp. 118-9.

29. AC Mondoñedo, carpeta del siglo XII, unnumbered.

30. AHN cód. 1197B, fols. 253r-255r.

31. AC León no. 1362, indifferently edited ES XXXVI, ap. xlvi, pp. c-ciii.

32. AC Orense, Privilegios I/1, ptd. Colección de Fueros Municipales y Cartas Pueblas, ed. T. Múñoz y Romero (Madrid, 1847), I, 499-500.

33. AHN cód. 60 B, fols. 2r, 136r, ptd. ES XXII, ap. xi, pp. 269-70.

34. AHN 1334/7, ptd. ES XLI, ap. xxiii, pp. 341-3; AHN 124 1/4 and 1326A/14, ptd. ibid., ap. xxiv, pp. 344-8.

35. AHN 1326G/1.

36. AD Braga, Liber Fidei, no. 732, fol. 196v.

37. AC León no. 1428, ptd. below, Appendix no. XXX: AC León no. 1474, ptd. ES XXXVI, ap. lxi, pp. cxxxi-cxxxii.

38. AHN 1334/7, ptd. ES XLI, ap. xxiii, pp. 341-3.

39. AC Zamora, leg. 13, no. 9.

40. AC Tuy 10/21, ptd. below, Appendix, no. XXXII.

41. AHN 19/7.

42. AHN cód. 1043B, fols. 49r-50r and 50v, ptd. ES XLI, ap. ii, pp. 296-301.

43. AHN 1325 E/15, 19 bis; 1326A/23; 1326F/2, 12; 1326 G/11, 24; AHN cód. 417B, no. 80.

44. AHN 1325C/10; 1325D/8, 18, 20; 1325 H/16 bis; 1334/7.

45. AC León no. 1390, ptd. ES XXXVI, ap. liii, pp. cxi-cxiv.

46. AC Salamanca no. 71.

47. AHN 1325C/7.

48. AC Sigüenza, Particulares, no. 9, ptd. T. Minguella, Historia de la diócesis de Sigüenza y de sus obispos, (Madrid, 1910), I, ap. xxxvi; L. Sánchez Belda, 'En torno de Tres Diplomas de Alfonso VII', Hispania xi (1951), 47-61.

49. It is worth labouring the point that these men really are episcopal chancellors, and not cathedral chancellors in disguise: the latter title did not exist in the kingdom of León. Cf. below, ch. 4, p. 147.

50. Docs. Oviedo no. 163.

51. AHN 1325D/11 (ptd. ES XLI, ap. xi, pp. 316-318), 1325D/14, 1325E/18, 25.

52. AHN cód. 1197B, fols. 60r-62r.

53. AHD Astorga (at present displayed in the Museo de la Catedral), ptd. ES XVI, ap. xxviii, pp. 484-6.

54. AHN cód. 976B, fols. 14v-15r.

55. Ibid., fol. 15.

56. LFH IV, ap. xlv, pp. 111-14.

57. Cf. the diocese of Pamplona, where an episcopal chancellor makes a similar isolated appearance in an act of 1135: AC Pamplona, no. 180.

58. León, Archivo de San Isidoro, no. 98 (ptd. ES XXXVI, ap. liv, pp. cxv-cxviii); AC León nos. 1400, 1406, 1416.

59. AC León nos. 1405, 1408, 1415, 1387 (ptd. C. Sánchez Albornoz, Estudios sobre las Instituciones Medievales Españolas (Mexico City, 1965), pp. 308-12); AC León no. 1402, (ptd. Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research xlv (1972), 127-8).

60. AC León nos. 1413, 1416.

61. AC León nos. 1413, 1434.

62. See above, p. 98.

63. AC Zamora, Libro Negro, fol. 15v (ptd. below, Appendix, no. VII). leg. 13, no. 25 (ptd. AHDE vi (1929), 430-32).

64. AHN 3576/13; AC Zamora leg 13, no. 41.

65. AC Orense, Escrituras, XIV/44, 72.

66. Docs. Oviedo no. 146; AC Mondoñedo, carpeta del S.XII, unnumbered; AC Tuy 10/11.

67. AHN cód. 1197B, fols. 253r-255r; ibid. fols. 335r-338v; AC Salamanca no. 88; AHN 524/3.

68. AC León no. 1362 (ptd. ES XXXVI, ap. xlvi, pp. c-ciii).

69. AHN 1241/4 and 1326A/14 (ptd. ES XLI, ap. xxiv, pp. 344-8).

70. AHN 1325H/17; 1326A/1; 1326A/21 and 1506/5; 1326A/22

71. AHN 1326D/5, 12, 13, 15, 17, 22; 1326E/16; 1326F/12, 16; AHN cód. 417B, no. 80; AHN 1326G/11. These documents fall between 1202 and 1214.

72. AC Zamora leg. 13, nos. 10, 14; AC Zamora, Libro Blanco, fol. 166r.

73. Ptd. LFH III, ap. xvi, pp. 52-3; cf. also HC pp. 57, 108-9.

74. Salamanca, Biblioteca de la Universidad, MS. 1964, fol. 11r.

75. HC pp. 57, 66. See also M. Suárez and J. Campelo, La Compostelana (Santiago de Compostela, 1950), p. 73, n. 3.

76. LFH II, p. 137. On the forgery and its probable date see T.D. Kendrick, St. James in Spain (London, 1960), especially pp. 196-9.

77. E.g., HC pp. 187, 420, 488, 495.

78. AHN 893/16; AC Salamanca, no. 8; GRF p. 355. The Salamanca charter is not altogether trustworthy.

79. Docs. Oviedo, no. 137.

80. AHN 528/13. The foot of the parchments is now very ragged, but the words notarius regis can just be detected. The script and format are certainly those of the royal chancery.

81. AC Tuy 10/10 (ptd. below, Appendix, no. IX).

82. AHN 1512/13.

83. Santiago de Compostela, Biblioteca del Seminario, MS. 72. (This 'manuscript' is a bundle of original charters; the separate parchments are not numbered. This act is fragmentary, but the scribal subscription is clear.); AHN 1334/7 (ptd. ES XLI, ap. xxiii, pp. 341-3); ptd. LFH V, ap. v, pp. 15-17; AC Tuy 10/21 (ptd. below, Appendix, no. XXXII).

84. E.g., AHN 512/16, 17; 524/1.

85. AC Tuy 10/21 (ptd. below, Appendix, no. XXXII); AHN 512/19.

86. Santiago de Compostela, Archivo de la Universidad, Fondo de San Martín Pinario, Pergaminos Sueltos, no. 15.

87. They are scattered throughout AHN 1325E-1326G.

88. AHN 1325F/19 bis.

89. AHN 1325F/19; 1082/19 and 1326C/28; 1326D/17; 1326E/11; 498/11; 1326E/21.

90. For royal chirographs, see for example AC León no. 1019 (of 1148) and AHN 898/13 (1152). Photographs of the signa used by Queen Urraca may be found in A. Eitel, 'Rota und Rueda', Archiv für Urkundenforschung v (1914), 299-366; of those used by Alfonso VII in Rassow's standard work on the diplomatic of his documents, ibid., x-xi (1928-30).

91. R.A. Fletcher, 'Diplomatic and the Cid revisited: the seals and mandates of Alfonso VII', Journal of Medieval History ii (1976), 305-37.

92. E.g., British Library, Add. Ch. 71357 (4 June 1147); AHD Astorga, Cámara Episcopal, 1/7 (19 April 1150); AHN 1030/19, ptd. Rassow pp. 113-14 (4 December 1152); Madrid, Instituto de Valencia de Don Juan, B.A.2/3 (19 December 1153). The earliest use of the seal by a lay nobleman which is known to me occurs in a charter of Count Manrique de Lara dated 5 December 1153: AC Sigüenza, Particulares no. 9.

93. By 'autograph' subscription I mean the writing of his own name and title with his own hand by the bishop who passed the act in question; by signum, a written device which either replaces or accompanies the subscription of the bishop. A good many signa may be autograph, but certainty on this question is naturally elusive.

94. AHN 512/9 (ptd. below, Appendix, no. V); 526/7. The latter document bears also the autograph subscription of Guy, bishop of Lescar in south-western France.

95. AC Zamora, leg. 13, no. 9; AC Tuy, 10/21 (ptd. below, Appendix, no. XXXII).

96. AC León, nos. 1400, 1401; AC Orense, Escrituras XIV/72; AC Salamanca, nos. 88, 112; AC Tuy, 10/21; AC Zamora, leg. 12, no. 2 (ptd. below, Appendix no. XXIV).

97. The latest example known to me comes from 1214: AHN 3018/17 (= Sección de Sellos, 39/9).

98. E.g., by Arnaldo II of Astorga in 1174, by Manrique of León in 1182: AHN 3536/I, AC León, no. 1438.

99. These developments are surveyed by A. Eitel, 'Rota und Rueda', Archiv für Urkundenforschung v (1914), 299-336.

100. Santiago de Compostela, Biblioteca del Seminario, MS. 72.

101. AHN 1857/13.

102. AHN 1749/1; cód. 15B, fol. 80r.

103. Santiago de Compostela, Archivo de la Universidad, leg. 81, no. 74/19; LFH III, ap. xxxiii, at p. 102.

104. E.g., AHN 524/3, (Bernardo); AHN 1126/9 (Martín); AC Salamanca, no. 61 (Pedro Suárez: ptd. below, Appendix, no. XV).

105. AHN 512/9 (ptd. below, Appendix, no. v); 556/1.

106. Several of the Lugo examples are illustrated by Eitel in the article already cited. The latest one, Eitel's Abbild. no. 6 (p. 309) is now AHN 1325F/16 bis.

107. Cf. P.D. King, Law and Society in the Visigothic Kingdom (Cambridge, 1972), p. 104, n. 7.

108. E.g., AHN 1325C/4, 8, 9, 12, 15, 19, 21 bis. For the former, see below pp. 119, and illustration facing p. 118.

109. AHN 1325C/2.

110. León, Archivo de San Isidoro, no. 98; AHN 556/3.

111. E.g., AHN 896/16; AC León, nos. 1400, 1401; AHN 1325D/17, 18.

112. E.g., AC León, nos. 1381, 1383 (ptd. E. Valiña Sampedro, El Camino de Santiago (Salamanca, 1971), ap. 2, pp. 230-2); Docs. Oviedo, no. 147.

113. AC Tuy, 10/21 (ptd. below, Appendix, no. XXXII).

114. Pamplona, Archivo General de Navarra, Sección de Clero, Irache, Adiciones no. 7 (1136); AC Pamplona, no. 199 (1138).

115. E.g., AC Zamora, leg. 12, no. 3; leg. 13, no. 1; leg. 33, no.2.

116. AC Sigüenza, Particulares, nos. 4 and 5 (ptd. Minguella, Historia de la Diócesis de Sigüenza (Madrid, 1910), I, ap. xxiii, pp. 375-7). The impression of the seal does not survive.

117. AC Sigüenza, Particulares, no. 7 (ptd. ibid., ap. xxviii, p. 383). Here again, the impression does not survive.

118. AC Pamplona, no. 237 (ptd. P. Kehr, Papsturkunden in Navarra und Aragon, no. 50). Here once more the impression of the seal is missing. Mr. Robert, who drafted this document, may be identical with the English translator, Mr. Robert of Ketton.

119. And not just in León. In the documents I have consulted (and I should emphasize that I have made no systematic search among Castilian and Navarrese documents) episcopal seals first appear at Palencia in 1163, at Burgos and Pamplona in 1176 and at Avila in 1181.

120. See below, Appendix, no. XXXI, where the seventeenth-century copyist noted that this document of 1204 had been sealed.

121. HC pp. 377, 383, 565.

122. Dr. P. Chaplais first directed my attention to this possibility. See also P. Galindo Romeo, La Diplomática en la Historia Compostelana (Madrid, 1945), p. 21.

123. AC Zamora, Libro Negro, fols. 20v-21r.

124. ES XVI, p. 486.

125. AC Mondoñedo, carpeta del siglo XII, unnumbered (1128, 1143); AHN 528/13 (1165); AHN 1796/4, AC Orense, Privilegios 11/20 (both of 1200); AC Orense, Escrituras XIV/72 (1194).

126. E.g., Bishop Vidal of Salamanca's act of 1181 (ptd. below, Appendix, no XVII) was authenticated by chirograph and by seal.

127. E.g., Bishop Martín of Zamora's act of 1208 (ptd. below, Appendix, no. XXXIII) was authenticated by autograph subscriptions, chirograph and seals.

128. E.g., an act of Rodrigo Ximánez de Rada, archbishop of Toledo, of 1214, was authenticated by autograph subscriptions, chirograph and seals: AHN 3018/17 (= Sección de Sellos, 39/9).

129. L. García Calles, Doña Sancha, Hermana del Emperador (León, 1972), ap. no. 53, pp. 169-70. The scribe was from the Asturias.

130. E.g., AHN 1566/17 (1170), 529/17 (1172), 1082/16 (1187), 1325H/19 (1191), 1751/5 (1195), 1197/1 (1196).

131. León, Archivo de San Isidoro, no. 298.

132. AHN 512/9 (ptd. below, Appendix, no. V).

133. AHN 1325C/9 (ptd. below, Appendix, no. III).

134. Ptd. Docs. Oviedo, nos. 134, 135.

135. AC Mondoñedo, carpeta del siglo XII, unnumbered.

136. E.g., AC León, no. 1384 (ptd. below, Appendix, no. IV).

137. This development may most easily be studied in the acta surviving from the dioceses of León, Lugo and Zamora.

138. Facing p. 118.

139. AC León, nos. 1362, 1384 (the latter ptd. below, Appendix, no. IV).

140. AHN 1126/9; not of course strictly speaking an episcopal act, since Fernando did not style himself archbishop of Compostela until a few months later.

141. AC Salamanca, no. 61 (ptd. below, Appendix, no. XV); AC Zamora, leg. 13, no. 9.

142. E.g., AC León, nos. 1400, 1401.

143. León, Archivo de San Isidoro, no. 98.

144. E.g., AHN 35 76/16, where a good quarter of the parchment is unused.

145. Diego wrote at least three other documents for Bishop Pedro; A HN 1325C/18, 20, 22 (the second of these ptd. below, Appendix, no. VI). Nothing is known about him.

146. AHN 1325C/21 bis. Perhaps original, perhaps a closely contemporary copy. Written in a neat francesa on a parchment 52 cm X 20 cm. Authenticated by an episcopal signum of the 'Visigothic' type. See the photograph of this document facing p. 118.

147. This is my tentative conclusion from a comparison of the charters studied by L. Barrau-Dihigo in his 'Étude sur les actes des rois Asturiens (718-910)', Revue Hispanique xlvi (1919), 1-192 with those later documents which he had edited at an earlier date under the title 'Chartes royales léonaises 912-1037', Revue Hispanique x (1903), 350-454. The diplomatic of royal documents during the reigns of Fernando I and Alfonso VI needs expert study.

148. On the royal chancery in the reigns of Urraca and Alfonso VII see L. Sánchez Belda, 'La Cancillería Castellana durante el reinado de Doña Urraca', Estudios dedicados a R. Menéndez Pidal IV (1953), pp. 587-99, and above all P. Rassow, 'Die Urkunden Kaiser Alfons' VII von Spanien', Archiv für Urkundenforschung x (1928), 328-467.

149. I have discussed them in 'Diplomatic and the Cid revisited: the seals and mandates of Alfonso VII', Journal of Medieval History ii (1976), 305-37.

150. Alfonso IX's mandates are discussed in GAL vol. I, pp. 500-502.

151. C.R. Cheney, English Bishops' Chanceries 1100-1250 (Manchester, 1950), pp. 69-81.

152. In order to avoid unwieldy footnotes, I have in the pages which immediately follow cited only a small number of documents, limiting myself where possible to those which have been printed in reliable editions. Readers who will be satisfied only with fuller citations may refer to pp. 184-94 of the thesis on which this book is based: the mode of reference adopted there is explained in a footnote on p. 128, and the acta are catalogued in Appendix 2, pp. 385-426.

153. E.g., AC León, no. 1384; AHN 512/9; AC Zamora, Libro Negro, fol. 15v (all three ptd. below, Appendix, nos. IV, V, VII).

154. E.g., AC Orense, Escrituras XIV/72 (1194); AC Oviedo, carpeta 5, no. 4 (1203).

155. Ptd. Galicia Histórica, Colección Diplomática (Santiago de Compostela 1901), pp. 140-1. I have been unable to trace the MS.

156. E.g., AHN 3536/1 (1174); AC Zamora, Libro Negro, fol. 54 (1176); AHN 1481/18 (1205); AHN 1512/13 (1213).

157. E.g., AC Tuy 10/21 (ptd. below, Appendix, no. XXXII).

158. E.g., AC León, no. 1428 (ptd. below, Appendix, no. XXX).

159. E.g., AC Tuy, 10/10 (ptd. below, Appendix no. IX).

160. AC Tuy, 14/10 (ptd. ES XXII, ap. vi, pp. 260-61).

161. AHN 1325E/25.

162. E.g., AHD Astorga, Cartulario de Carracedo, fols. 58v-59v (ptd. below, Appendix no. XXXI).

163. E.g., AHN 5 12/9 (ptd. below, Appendix no. V).

164. See below, pp. 129-30.

165. Juan of León's epistola formata of 1153 was certainly a foreign form; see R.A. Fletcher, 'An Epistola Formata from León', Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research xlv (1972), 122-8. The indulgences issued by Lope of Astorga and Rabinato of Mondoñedo were probably foreign forms, the first is ptd. below, Appendix no. XXXI, and the second in 'La Colección Diplomática de Jubia', ed. S. Montero Días, Boletín de la Universidad de Santiago de Compostela vii (1935), no. CVI, p. 108. The fourth instance is AHN 1796/4 (ptd. below, Appendix no. XXVI), a document whose formulae show clear traces of papal diplomatic.

166. Ptd. Docs. Oviedo no. 134; AC Mondoñedo, carpeta del siglo XII, unnumbered; AHN 1325D/9; AC Orense, Privilegios II/21.

167. HC p. 176.

168. AC León, no. 1390 (ptd. ES XXXVI, ap. liii, pp. cxi-cxiv); AC Orense, Privilegios 1/13.

169. AC Zamora, leg. 13, no. 27. For another elaborate sanction, see AHN 512/9 (ptd. below, Appendix no. V).

170. E.g., AHD Astorga, Cámara Episcopal, I/11; AC Salamanca, no. 78 (both ptd. below, Appendix nos. X, XVII).

171. E.g., AHN 1325H/8 (ptd. below, Appendix no. XXI).

172. Ptd. Hispania Sacra xiii (1960), 399-400.

173. AHN 512/9 (ptd. below, Appendix no. V).

174. AC León no. 1320.

175. AHN cód. 1197B, fols. 253r-255r.

176. E.g., AHJ 18/4 (6) is a copy and the text is truncated; AC León no. 1410 may be a copy. Both are ptd. below, Appendix nos. VIII, XX. AC Zamora, leg. 33, no. 1 (ptd. D.W. Lomax, La Orden de Santiago (Madrid, 1965), ap. 5, p. 235) is an original bearing no date.

177. E.g., AC Zamora leg. 14, no. 26 (ptd. below, Appendix no. XXXIV).

178. E.g., Docs. Oviedo, nos. 146, 150, 151.

179. E.g., AC León, no. 1362 (ptd. ES XXXVI, ap. xlvi, pp. c-ciii).

180. E.g., LFHIV, ap. 1, pp. 122-4.

181. Ptd. ES XVI, ap. xxviii, pp. 484-6.

182. AC León, no. 1401; cf. AC Zamora, Libro Negro, fol. 15v (ptd. below, Appendix no. VII).

183. AC Orense, Escrituras XIV/72; cf. AHD Astorga, Cámara Episcopal I/11 (ptd. below, Appendix no. X).

184. AHN cód. 976B, fols. 14v-15r; cf. ibid., fol. 29r (ptd. below, Appendix no. XXII).

185. AC Salamanca, no. 94.

186. AC Zamora, Libro Negro, fol. 7r.

187. E.g., AC León, no. 1362 (ptd. ES XXXVI, ap. xlvi, pp. c-ciii).

188. E.g., AC Salamanca, nos. 61, 62 (ptd. below, Appendix nos. XV, XVI).

189. AHN 963/20; AC Zamora, leg. 14, no. 26 (both ptd. below, Appendix nos. XII, XXXIV).

190. AC Salamanca, no. 78; AHN 1796/4 (both ptd. below, Appendix, nos. XVII, XXVI).

191. AC Orense, Privilegios 11/21; AHN 1750/20.

192. AC Zamora, Libro Nego, fol. 15v (ptd. below, Appendix no. VII).

193. AC Tuy 10/10 (ptd. below, Appendix no. IX).

194. AC León, no. 1362 (ptd. ES XXVI, ap. xlvi, pp. c-ciii).

195. E.g., AC Zamora leg. 12, no. 2 (ptd. below, Appendix no. XXIV).

196. E.g., Pedro Cristiano's general confirmation to Castañeda (ptd. ES XVI, ap. xxviii, pp. 484-6); Bernardo of Zamora's fuero to the settlers of Fuentesauco (ptd. below, Appendix no. VII).

197. E.g., AHN 1326A/1 (Rodrigo II of Lugo, 1193).

198. AC Orense, Escrituras XIV/72 (Alfonso of Orense, 1194).

199. AC Zamora, leg. 13, no. 40 (Martin of Zamora, 1197).

200. AC Zamora, leg. 13, no. 26 (ptd. below, Appendix no. XIII).

201. One of these is the use of the word intentio, (where one might expect to find contentio) to mean 'a dispute', as in the phrase Orta fuit intentio; for an example, see below, Appendix no. VIII. The usage is quite common in documents of the eleventh century.

202. Ptd. C.M. Vigil, Asturias Monumental (Oviedo, 1887), pp. 85-6.

203. AC Mondoñedo, carpeta del siglo XII, unnumbered.

204. AC León, no. 1410 (ptd. below, Appendix no. VIII). The document is unusual in bearing no date.

205. AD Braga, Liber Fidei, fol. 151r, (ptd. below, Appendix no. I), HC p. 341.

206. For the documents referred to here, see above p. 123, n. 4.

207. AC Salamanca, no. 61 (ptd. below Appendix no. XV).

208. AHN 18/4 (6) (ptd. below, Appendix no. XX). The latter part of this document is missing.

209. AHN 1796/4 (ptd. below, Appendix no. XXVI).

210. AC León, nos. 1397, 1444.

211. AHN 1326D/3, (ptd. below Appendix no. XXVIII).

212. For discussion, see GRF pp. 236-7; GAL vol. I, pp. 498-500.

213. For examples, see GRF pp. 329-30 (no. 53); GAL nos. 21, 28, 29, 36, 44, 78, 90, 96, etc. It will be seen that the forms were as yet far from fixed.

214. AC Tuy 10/21, (ptd. below, Appendix no. XXXII).

215. E.g., AC Zamora leg. 13, no. 13; leg. 14. no. 26 (both ptd. below, Appendix nos. XXXIII, XXXIV).

216. E.g., AC León, no. 1474; AC Salamanca, no. 112; AHN 1326G/11, 24; AC Oviedo, carpeta 5, no. 4.