The replacement of the widespread hispano-mozarabic rite to be substituted by the Roman liturgy at the instigation of the reform papacy – the ‘liturgical turn’ – was one of the most significant religious changes in the Christian Kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. It produced remarkable transformations in ecclesiastical structures and political shifts by consolidating the monarchical power and its alliance with a Rome-centered church. Papal legates were selected to interfere with the kings and other authorities; they had the commission to alter the local conditions in the interests of the papacy. The present paper will examine some stages of this procedure in the kingdoms of Aragon and Leon-Castilla from the pontificates of Alexander II and Gregory VII up to Urban II.
In the early 1060s a copy of Gregory the Great’s ‘Moralia in Iob’ was created in central Italy and exported to Bamberg Cathedral. Of large format and decorated with ‘early geometrical’ initials, the manuscript is a polemical expression of the early Gregorian Reform. This paper focuses on two profane images: one a scale-bearer, the other holding a snake and a budding staff. Possessing no apparent esoteric signification, they simply are naïve copies from Carolingian astronomical-computistical exemplars. Much of the manuscript’s other iconography, however, was deliberately planned. Various individuals painted Job, his wife, and his friends, in a variety of permutations. These images served as an admonition to the manuscript’s clerical audience to refrain from simoniac and carnal behavior.
According to legend, John the Baptist was killed by an Irishman, the druid Mog Ruith. Chroniclers reported that in 1096 Irish people feared destruction by God unless they undertook serious penance. Mog Ruith’s crime was used as the catalyst for this national apocalyptic event, which resulted in extensive changes to Irish ecclesiastical governance. I reassess the Irish political background to the ‘apocalypse’, and consider the influence of letters from Archbishops of Canterbury urging reform in Ireland. Thus I illuminate a defining moment in Ireland’s relationship with western Christendom. I conclude by briefly discussing the broader use of pre-Christian ‘superstition’ to effect major societal change.