1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. External characteristics
  5. Internal characteristics
  6. Conclusions
  7. Appendix

The work presented here aims to share the methods and possibilities for studying manuscript sources that are preserved in a fragmentary state by using a concrete example: an early medieval charter of Galician origin which has survived to the present day in a very deteriorated condition. Despite the difficulties its analysis entails, one cannot dismiss this type of evidence because one never knows what information fragmentary documents might be able to offer us in relation to both their author and documentary content. Thus, in the following pages, it is shown how we can establish the charter's approximate chronology, its origin and message by examining its script and diplomatic structure, and by studying the text that still survives in the fragment.


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. External characteristics
  5. Internal characteristics
  6. Conclusions
  7. Appendix

Some months ago, I had the opportunity to examine a new early medieval charter written in Visigothic cursive script, which is currently privately owned. Its state of preservation is very poor1 and it lacks a great part of the text, so it was not surprising to learn that it was still unpublished. According to the present owner, it is possible that the charter comes from a centre near Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, the city where she had acquired it from an antiquarian bookshop. We do not know how this manuscript came to be in the possession of private individuals or, in turn, of an antique dealer,2 although every researcher working with early medieval sources from the Iberian Peninsula knows well the greatly scattered nature of Spanish ecclesiastical holdings,3 the result of violent conflicts and, above all, the confiscations of the nineteenth century (1836–7).4

Unfortunately, among the early medieval Spanish holdings, one finds a great number of manuscripts that have reached the present day in a bad state of preservation, and it has become normal to discard them when preparing documentary corpora by institution, script style or geographical area (centre of production), because of the difficulty of studying them and exploiting the information that can in principle be obtained from them. The trend of collecting and studying fragments of codices is relatively new, but has already proven its usefulness and importance on various occasions, given the interest these sources bear on the history of the book and of culture.5 The study of charter fragments has attracted less attention, however, with the exception of documents related to the monarchy or those in which the acts of foundation of cathedrals and monasteries are recorded, due fundamentally to their legal nature. The texts contained in charters are, for the most part, donations, exchanges and acquisitions of lands, transfers and agreements that follow the typical formulaic structure of the medieval period,6 and are therefore, compared to codex fragments, not particularly interesting. But they can be of crucial importance to the reconstruction of the history of the institutions directly or indirectly involved in the transactions, as well as the history of written culture. Recovering a fragment of a charter can contribute new information on both the territories directly controlled by one monastery or another, allowing us to define its jurisdiction, and on the persons mentioned in its contents, telling us about the abbots or other contemporary people of interest. Similarly, having a new piece of written evidence, in turn brings us knowledge of a new scribe, and can provide us – through the study of the characteristics of his script, language and style – with references to the centres of production and schools in operation in a given time and place. Indeed, looking into the reason for the document's fragmentary state, whether it is a matter of willing destruction or not,7 and when this deterioration took place, can reveal interesting details about its cultural context as well as the circumstances through which the archive passed in which it was kept for centuries. Therefore, unless a fragment turns out to be illegible and is useless from the historical, palaeographical, codicographical, linguistic or archival point(s) of view, we cannot neglect to study it.

In the specific case of the charter that concerns us here, its Galician provenance and Visigothic script make its study all the more important. We know as Visigothic script the written Latin used between the eighth and thirteenth centuries in the territories that had once constituted the former Visigothic kingdom. Once its basic formal characteristics had been established (forms, morphology, system of abbreviation, evolution, etc.) and its possible origin (genetic, chronological and geographical) had been discussed, the studies published on Visigothic script have, since the end of the last century, focused principally on delving into analysis of its regional graphic features.8 The study of this aspect is very important in making it possible to identify the geographic position of all those sources which, analysed in isolation, we cannot securely ascribe to a specific production centre, like codices without a colophon or fragments. We can compare a document's graphic features with those of sources that we can date and locate geographically, like charters, to construct a complete context which allows us to continue to study this kind of script, its evolution and cultural setting.9

The first two regional forms of Visigothic script to be identified were the Mozarabic and the Astur-Leonese, at the end of the nineteenth century, soon followed by the Portuguese, Catalan and Septimanian or Narbonese.10 However, despite the great volume of early medieval documentation preserved by the old Kingdom of Galicia – the majority of it unpublished – the close examination of sources of Galician origin written in this kind of script is still in progress.11 As a result, the idea has been maintained that this documentation does not offer anything worthy of a proper study which would allow us to separate this nucleus as independent from the Astur-Leonese, in which it has traditionally been included. Thus studying this charter, situating it in its historic-cultural, geographical and chronological context, allows us to make progress in the definition of the territorial characteristics of this script.

To recap, the initial information we have on this fragment is as follows:

  • (i) 
    a potential geographical location (the modern province of La Coruña in the north-west of Galicia), which serves as a starting point even if it is not one hundred per cent reliable;
  • (ii) 
    and a time-frame delimited – since no date has been preserved in the charter – by the graphic style of the script, Visigothic cursive, which in the geographical setting discussed, ranges from the end of the ninth century to the end of the twelfth.12

Following the standard methodology for this type of manuscript source,13 with the intention of more securely identifying the most likely production centre or institution of origin and trying to delimit its chronology, this article analyses first the document's external characteristics, and then passes to its internal features (the text and script).

External characteristics

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. External characteristics
  5. Internal characteristics
  6. Conclusions
  7. Appendix

The fragment of the charter (Fig. 1) measures no more than 285 mm in length by 177 mm across, which corresponds to a section of the left-hand side of the parchment, since we can read the end of the verbal invocation in the first line of the document. The superior margin of 25 mm was preserved intact, and therein are inscribed the enlarged letters or Visigothic elongata typical of this type of script, and above all typical for the first line of a document and intended to bring solemnity to it. The thirteen lines of text, all that the original contained,14 occupy half the length preserved, leaving the rest for the signatures and lists of confirmers and witnesses, as is usual. The script is set out without a rule, observing a tight interlineal spacing of around 5 mm invaded by the ascenders and descenders characteristic of the Visigothic cursive lettering style.


Figure 1. Private collection. Fragment, 285 x 177 mm

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The parchment is of a brownish colour, like the ink (which is darker); it is of good quality, fine and well worked.

As has already been said, the state of preservation is bad. As well as being only a fragment of the original document, the remaining segment bears some tears that affect the text, marks from having been folded (both vertically and horizontally), and we also observe that the ink is worn away in the column of confirmers, which makes this part practically unreadable.

A larger sheet of paper was glued to the parchment's back15 at the end of the eighteenth century16 to try to halt its deterioration and help preserve it. Upon this sheet we can see slight damage by purple fungus, which is very common in early medieval documentation written in this type of script, for example in the documents from the collection of San Martín Pinario in the Archivo Histórico Diocesano de Santiago de Compostela (AHDS).

We also note that, among the signatures found in the lower part of the fragmentary charter, we can distinguish three signa corresponding to three of the document's confirmers. None is autograph, as is normal in medieval documentation from the north-west of the Peninsula. The first (Fig. 2) belongs to the signature of the abbot Recamundo, the second (Fig. 3) appears to belong to one Pelayo Gundisalviz, and the third and last (Fig. 4), which would correspond to the first column of confirmers, remains anonymous owing to a tear in the parchment.


Figure 2. Recamundo's signum

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Figure 3. Pelayo's signum

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Figure 4. Anonymous signum

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The style of these signa is very similar, adopting in all three cases a cruciform surrounded by a four-petalled flower,17 which was common in the Asturian-Leonese region from the tenth century to the second half of the eleventh.18 We also note how, in the first case, the name of the confirmer is added to the sign in majuscule, very probably as a reflection of his social status.19

Internal characteristics

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. External characteristics
  5. Internal characteristics
  6. Conclusions
  7. Appendix

Having studied the external characteristics of the fragment, we move on to inspect its internal characteristics; that is to say, the graphic features of the script and the actual text in the document.

The surviving text and analysis of its content

To aid the linguistic and stylistic analysis of the text, presented below is a palaeographical version of the charter and the corresponding critical edition. The criteria20 that followed in the first case are intended to give the utmost respect to the text so that it is presented just as it is preserved in the charter. That is to say, without normalizing the use of majuscule and minuscule letters, without differentiating the use of the letter u with a vocalic or consonantal value, without correcting the punctuation or the gaps between words, but (in cursive) writing out the abbreviations in full. In the second case, the critical edition, these modifications are indeed included. Missing text is marked by means of brackets and ellipsis or brackets and an exact indication of a tear and, when possible, some parts have been reconstructed from their context.

Palaeographic version

[…] finienda secula amen . Ego marina gudesteiz . do u[obis] […] /2 […] [M]arie· semper uirgjni · et sanctis apostolis petro et paulo ceterisque sanctis · quorum rel[iquie] […] /3 […] monachis presentibus et futuris Ibidem deo subnorma beati patris benedic[ti] […] /4 […] . prope eam · Ineodem [terr]itorio do uobis prefatam ecclesiam cum omnibus bonis […] /5 […]o usque [roto] . per omnes suos terminos et loca . antiqua . Quo […] /6 […]t illas anuas ficxas · et per uadum ubi Iacet Ipsa petra scrip[ta] […] /7 […] [a]dIllum marcum qui stat In bauca ealanesa circo [roto]ama manim […] /8 […] suis . et testatjonibus et exitibus et regressibus et quartam de toto […] /9 […]sus . per ipsum riuulum de agrela contra mallou · et […] /10 […] Carnotha . cum suo filio kaIado . et filiam de louesendo . nomine maria . […] /11 […] [s]ecula cuncta . Habeatis possideatis · donetis · uendatis · et omne […] /12 […] [e]xcom[uni]ca[tus] · et a fide· Christi separatus . et pariat regje parti · Cm· […] /13 […]a III . /14 Recamundus abbas confirmat et [signum RECAMUNGUS] /15 Pelagius gundisaluus confirmat [signum] /16 Petrus confirmat /17 qui pre[sentes fuerunt] /18 petrus testes /19 Iohannis testes /20 arias testes /21 pelagius testes /22 munio testes //

Critical edition

[…] finienda secula, amen. Ego Marina Gudesteiz do v[obis] […] [M]arie semper virgini et sanctis apostolis Petro et Paulo ceterisque sanctis quorum rel[iquie] […] monachis presentibus et futuris ibidem Deo sub norma beati patris Benedic[ti] […] prope eam in eodem [terr]itorio, do vobis prefatam ecclesiam cum omnibus bonis […]o usque [tear] per omnes suos terminos et loca antiqua. Quo […]t illas anuas ficxas et per vadum ubi iacet ipsa petra scrip[ta] […] [a]d illum marcum qui stat in bauca ealanesa, circo [tear]ama Manim […] suis et testationibus et exitibus et regressibus et quartam de toto […]sus per ipsum rivulum de Agrela contra Mallou et […] Carnotha, cum suo filio Kaiado et filiam de Lovesendo nomine Maria […] [s]ecula cuncta. Habeatis, possideatis, donetis, vendatis et omne […] [e]xcom[uni]ca[tus] et a fide Christi separatus et pariat regie parti Cm […]a III.

Recamundus abbas, confirmat et [monogrammatic signum: RECAMUNGUS]. Pelagius Gundisalvus, confirmat [signum]. Petrus, confirmat.

[in column] Qui pre[sentes fuerunt]: Petrus, testes.- Iohannis, testes.- Arias, testes.- Pelagius, testes.- Munio, testes.

As has been noted, the charter comprises thirteen lines of text, plus the signatures. In the first line, the end of the verbal invocation (… finienda secula, amen), the intitulatio (ego Marina Gudesteiz) and part of the dispositio (do) have survived, but only a few words remain of the rest of the traditional segments of an early medieval charter.21

The initial protocol (invocatio+intitulatio+directio) is completed by the directio, wherein the recipient is addressed and the action recorded, which has partially survived here. We know that the charter records a donation (do) and that it is normal in this kind of charter that the grantor and the recipient appear again among the signatures, but these are not complete. Due to the present state of the document, the abbot Recamundo appears as the first confirmer, but it is certain that there would have been more signatures to his left, because it is not very likely that he was the recipient. All the same, we know that the recipient would have been a member, and would act as a representative, of a Benedictine monastic institution since this is directly referenced in the third line (monachis … sub norma beati patris Benedicti). The Regula Benedicti was already known in Galicia in the eighth century, though, as Andrade writes, ‘the complete Benedictinization of Galician monasticism was a slow and complex process which cannot have been complete before the middle of the twelfth century’.22 Prior to that period we have very few credible examples in the evidence preserved of monasteries under this rule in the diocese of Compostela (in the province of La Coruña):23 San Benito del Campo (Benedictine from its foundation in 985),24 San Payo de Antealtares (founded in the first third of the ninth century and already under the Benedictine Rule in 1077),25 San Isidro de Callobre (founded in 1088 sub norma regule sancti Benedicti),26 and San Martín Pinario (Benedictine circa 1100 at the latest).27

Regarding the body of the document (expositio+dispositio+sanctio and corroboratio), the expositio is not preserved either, though we can assume that it would have been pro remedio anima, as was the norm. In line 4 it states do uobis prefatam ecclesiam (according to line 8, et quartam de toto, it appears that it was actually a quarter of the church that was donated), but we do not know which church is meant. Two toponyms in the text are very useful in identifying its location: Mallou (line 9) and Carnotha (line 10), both of which correspond to places today situated on the west coast of the province of La Coruña, in the region of Muros.28 When we take into account the statement in eodem territorio (line 4), connecting the church given to the diocesan territory of the monastery that received the donation, we find ourselves in the diocese of Iria (Santiago de Compostela). The sanctio is found between lines 11 and 12, its beginning and end preserved.

Finally, of the last protocol only the last numerals of the date (III) are preserved, along with some of the signatures of the confirmers and witnesses that would have originally appeared in the document and those already mentioned. Through study of the document's surviving text, therefore, we can practically complete its summary: Marina Gudestéiz gives a monastery that follows the Benedictine Rule the fourth part of a church in the territory of Carnota, in the province of La Coruña.

From this starting point, we go on to verify if other documents survive which feature the grantor Marina Gudestéiz, seeking references in the anthroponymic indexes drawn from the existing diplomatic collections of early medieval documentation from the province of La Coruña. There is one publication that encompasses all these sources,29 and there we find a reference that seems to correspond to our charter, gathered from the Forum Indicum in which a short summary of the documents of each institution was written down:


Donation made by Marina Gudestéiz to the monastery of San Payo (of Antealtares) of this church [Santa Comba] and of the house of Piñeiro near the aforementioned church.


 Cited in: (a) AHDS, Clero, legajo 816, Índice de foros III, p. 216. Ancient signature: mazo 10, pieza 3a. Era 1102. (b) Ibid., legajo 825, Índice de foros XI, p. 153. Ancient signature: mazo 1, pieza 10. Era 1100.

The grantor is the same woman and the church she gives also matches the geographical area established, even if there is no mention of the house of Piñeiro in our document. San Payo de Antealtares could certainly be the Benedictine monastery alluded to in the document, provided that, as noted, we consider the charter to be later than 1077. I have also searched for information about the abbot Recamundo, hoping to place him chronologically within the history of the abbots (abadologio) of a specific monastery,30 and about Pelayo Gundisalviz, the only anthroponyms other than the grantor about whom we might possibly obtain more specific information; but have not come across a single reference.

It is thus very possible that our charter is the one that has been listed until now as lost, but we still lack one important piece of information, which has yet to be determined – its chronology – since, according to the textual features noted above, as well as the graphic features of its script, which will be discussed below, it does not fit with an original charter of the mid-eleventh century (1062–4).

Before going on, let us return briefly to the beginning of this article. The vicissitudes of the archive of the monastery of Antealtares could explain our charter's poor state of preservation. At the end of the fifteenth century, Antealtares and the monasteries and priories dependent on it were annexed to the monastery of San Martín Pinario, also in Santiago de Compostela, which was already attached to the Congregation of Valladolid.31 The archive had to be reorganized to incorporate the documentation from Antealtares into the San Martín holdings.32 In this way, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the documents were gathered into bundles and the Archivo abreviado produced with their summaries, and a century later the cataloguing was completed with their division by drawers and the production of indexes, among them the Forum Indicum, now kept in the Archivo Histórico Universitario de Santiago (AHUS), whence comes the reference to the document we are working with. Therefore, in 1798, when this index was created, our charter – if it is the one referred to in this manuscript – was not in perfect condition, though better than it is today, given that its summary is more specific than anything we can draw up. According to the notices preserved, the greatest damage to the archive holdings of Pinario took place after the confiscation in the liberal uprising of 1846,33 so it is very likely that it was then that our document was torn and went astray, passing into private hands.34

Graphic analysis

As has been said, the graphic style of this document's script is the Visigothic cursive used in Galicia between the end of the ninth century and the end of the twelfth. The scribe, the physical author of this document, used a very careful calligraphic script without any slope, executed quickly but painstakingly, which shows his good training. We can without doubt ascribe him to a cathedral school, probably to the same diocesan seat of Compostela. The body of the letters is taller than it is wide, of fine stroke and without marked contrast. As is normal in this type of script, the shape of the ascenders and descenders is emphasized (thicker in the approach stroke), both of which on occasion reach more than three times the size of the body of the letter and interfere with one another in the interlinear space.

The formal characteristics of the script correspond roughly to the norm for this graphic type,35 however there is a strong influence of rounded Visigothic as much as of Caroline script, the new supranational script which progressively replaced the Visigothic in Galicia from the end of the eleventh century.36 Thus, if we analyse the alphabet used (Fig. 5), we highlight the forms of the upright a, and d, h, r and u with the stroke extended below the line and turned to the left in some cases, a double-eyed g, an o with a connecting stroke, an x similar to the Greek psi, and the characteristic fi ligature (Fig. 6), all of which are letter forms of the cursive variety, whereas the open f belongs to the rounded form, as does the o without a connecting stroke, and the u with a final stroke above the line of writing. But, where the external graphic influences are felt most is, as usual in Galicia, in the system of abbreviation (Fig. 7). Regarding the general signs of abbreviation, while the scribe uses the typical sign resembling a treble clef after b to indicate the final -us or the cursive forms of per and qui, he also uses a semicircle to indicate -us after b or i and for -ue after q, as well as the forms of pre and ter which were already typical of continental script. We also note influences of the rounded form on the abbreviation of apostol(us) and influences more consistent with Caroline script for con, nomen, uobis and circo and quo with the letter superimposed.


Figure 6. Ligatures and connections

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Figure 7. System of abbreviation

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Everything seems to indicate that we have before us an original charter from the end of the eleventh century, and if we compare the graphic features of this scribe with those of the original documentary holdings preserved by the monasteries of Antealtares and Pinario for this chronology, we confirm that the early influence of Caroline script is constant – on the Visigothic cursive37 graphic style as much as the rounded,38 and, above all, on the system of abbreviation. Therefore, either the date preserved according to the reference in the Forum Indicum is correct and the charter is a later copy, which would explain both the graphic characteristics of its script and, for example, the reference to Antealtares as a Benedictine monastery when it was not yet ruled by the Regula Benedicti39 or, more likely, the dating is incorrect and our document is original but from the last quarter of the eleventh century, after 1077.

When I examined the Antealtares collection of early medieval charters kept in the holdings of San Martín Pinario in the Archivo Histórico Diocesano de Santiago de Compostela,40 in a very bad state of preservation and unpublished for the most part, seeking possible references to anthroponyms or toponyms that would permit us to assign a date to our charter with more precision, I found another document catalogued with the following summary:


Charter of donation in which Marina Gudestéiz gives the church of Santa Columba [Comba] of Carnota and the house of Pienarios [Piñeiro] with everything that belongs to it, which is in the region of Portomarcos.

 AHDS, San Martiño, 79, 11. Ancient signature: caja 55, n° 31; mazo 10 pieza 3.

As we have seen, both the summary of this document and its documentary tradition perfectly match the reference to the lost document that appears in the Forum Indicum and, after confirming the text of this new charter, despite its fragmentary state, the catalogue's reference definitely corresponds to it.41 So then, where does our charter fit? We recall that in this cataloguing at the end of the eighteenth century, two notes were made: Forum Indicum III, p. 216 (era 1102) and Forum Indicum XI, p. 153 (era 1100), which correspond to two different charters, not to a single one, considered lost, as previously thought.42 In both cases Marina Gudestéiz gives a church in Carnota to the monastery of Antealtares. The first charter, which is under analysis here, would record the donation to Antealtares, whilst the second, currently in the archive and dated two years later, would confirm the previous donation of the church and record that of the villa of Piñeiro.

But, turning once again to this new, second, document, there is another aspect of great interest that has allowed us to complete one of the other objectives proposed at the beginning of the article: to establish a chronology for our charter. After completing the detailed graphic analysis of its script, it was proven to be of the same (anonymous) hand as the document that is the focus here. In addition, although this other document has not retained its date either, it does permit us to establish an approximate date, bearing in mind the confirmers who still appear among the signatures: Raimundus co[mmite] totius Gallezie senior [et dominus] and Urraka eius con[iuge] filia regis,43 Petrus Froylaz comes,44 Leovegildus abbas sancti Martini,45 Pelagius Gudesteiz iudex,46 Petrus Danieliz iudex,47 Petrus Astruariz.48 In this way, based principally on the chronological period in which Raimundo and Urraca were entitled as counts of Galicia, and Leovigildo was made abbot of the monastery of San Martín Pinario, we can situate this document and, by extension, its scribe, to the period 1094–1105, thus correcting the estimated date given to the charter in the archive's catalogue (1064). Bearing in mind these dates and the lack of graphic evolution between the two examples by the same hand, which could correspond perfectly to a difference of two years, this dating allows us also to modify the date of our charter, since its script seems, with sufficient certainty, to be contemporary.


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. External characteristics
  5. Internal characteristics
  6. Conclusions
  7. Appendix

Throughout this article we have studied a charter in a very bad state of preservation, of whose chronology, content and geographical origin we initially knew nothing. The fact that the text preserved to the present could be read with ease, combined with recent advances in the study of the graphic form of the Visigothic script in which it is written, and the scarcity of published early medieval holdings from the old Kingdom of Galicia, motivated us to try to provide more information on this document. Thus, in the first place, we studied the charter's external characteristics, obtaining two interesting clues: a similarity with the early medieval holdings of the Archivo Histórico Diocesano de Santiago de Compostela (San Martiño), paying attention to the sheet of paper stuck to its back and the fungal damage it showed to reinforce it, and the correspondence of design of the signa used in the surviving signatures with a chronology that extended from the tenth century to the second half of the eleventh. The study of the charter's internal characteristics, diplomatic structure and the surviving text permitted us to work out the type of document we were dealing with (donation) and its addressee (the monastery of San Payo de Antealtares, Santiago de Compostela), the geographic area (Carnota), its chronology post quem (1077) and present a first summary. Thanks to the study of its script and to the consultation of surviving contemporary sources, we were able to identify another charter written by the same hand which allowed us to refine the chronology securely to the years between 1094 and 1105, to recover a document that was thought lost (AHDS, San Martiño, 79.11), and return to the monastery of Antealtares49 a new one – ours – of which there was no mention.

As we have seen, the study of fragmentary manuscript sources is laborious, but can give good results if one applies an interdisciplinary methodology combining archival, semiologic, diplomatic, historic and palaeographic methods. I hope that this article and the sharing of the analytical process and study in which is it based, which the specialist researcher is used to keeping to himself, has highlighted the importance of working with these documents and the need for their revision and restoration as part of the peninsula's rich written patrimony from the medieval period.


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. External characteristics
  5. Internal characteristics
  6. Conclusions
  7. Appendix

Final presentation of the documents


[1094–1105] [PREVIOUSLY LOST]

Marina Gudestéiz gives to the monastery of San Payo de Antealtares the fourth part of the church of Santa Comba de Carnota.

  1. Private collection. Fragment 285 x 177mm. Visigothic cursive script with strong Caroline influence in the system of abbreviation.
  2. AHUS, Clero, legajo 825, Índice de foros XI, p. 153. Ancient signature: mazo 1, pieza 10. Era 1100.


[1096–1105] [PREVIOUSLY LOST]

Marina Gudestéiz gives to the monastery of San Payo de Antealtares the church of Santa Comba de Carnota and the house of Piñeiro, near this church.

  1. AHDS, San Martiño, 79, 11. Ancient signature: caja 55, n° 31. Fragment 345 x 371mm. Visigothic cursive script with strong Caroline influence in the system of abbreviation.
  2. AHUS, Clero, legajo 816, Índice de foros III, p. 216. Ancient signature: mazo 10, pieza 3. Era 1102.

    REG.: (a) Lucas Álvarez, Archivo, p. 658, n° 15. (b) Sáez, González de la Peña, La Coruña, vol. 2, p. 74, n° 158.

  1. 1

    On the destruction of written patrimony, see: S. Jiménez Gómez, Guía para el estudio de la Edad Media Gallega (1100–1480) (Santiago de Compostela, 1973), pp. 96, 118; Maria J. Azevedo Santos, Da visigótica à carolina. A escrita em Portugal de 882 a 1172 (Lisbon, 1994), pp. 2631; A.J. Ribeiro Guerra, Os diplomas privados em Portugal dos séculos IX al XII (Lisbon, 2003), pp. 2829 (especially n. 6); J. Tacón Clavaín, ‘Los desastres en archivos y bibliotecas: causas y efectos, protección y recuperación’, Documentos de trabajo Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Biblioteca Histórica (2010–13).

  2. 2

    Another Galician manuscript (twelfth to thirteenth century), partly written in the same type of script, which passed from an (unknown) individual to an antiquarian bookshop and which is now kept in a public archive, is the Cartulary of the monastery of San Xoan de Caaverio (La Coruña), ms. 3567 in the Biblioteca de Catalunya (Barcelona). See: A. Castro Correa and R. Pichel Gotérrez, ‘El Cartulario de Caaveiro y el proceso de cartularización en Galicia. Nueva documentación altomedieval sobre el monasterio de San Xoán de Caaveiro’, Cátedra: Revista Eumesa de estudios 18 (2011), pp. 229284.

  3. 3

    We are not only referring to codices, but also to charters. By way of example, let us refer to the case of the charter of Monforte de Lemos (Lugo) from the year 1115, written in a beautiful rounded Visigothic script, now part of the Norwegian Schøyen Collection (ms. 590/51).

  4. 4

    See: Jiménez Gómez, Guía; G. Martínez Díez, ‘Códices visigóticos del monasterio de Cardeña’, Boletín de la Institución Fernán González 218.1 (1999), pp. 3344; A. Caballero García, ‘Desamortización y patrimonio documental: un ejemplo de tratamiento de archivos en el siglo XIX’, Signo. Revista de Historia de la Cultura Escrita 15 (2005), pp. 77117.

  5. 5

    See: J. Alturo Perucho, ‘La aportación del estudio de los fragmentos y membra disiecta de códices a la historia del libro y de la cultura’, Studia in codicum fragmenta (Bellaterra, 1999), pp. 1140. On the methodology of studying the manuscript book, see: J. Alturo Perucho, ‘Métodos y posibilidades de estudio en historia del libro, con especial atención al códice gótico hispano’, Signo. Revista de Historia de la Cultura Escrita 2 (1995), pp. 133170.

  6. 6

    Compare with: A. Floriano Cumbreño, Curso general de paleografía, y paleografía y diplomática españolas. Texto (Oviedo, 1946).

  7. 7

    If it be deliberate, we must ask ourselves why the document ceased to be legally valid. We recall how in the peak period of diplomatic codex and cartulary production (the twelfth and thirteenth centuries), the charters copied into these new volumes were usually discarded unless they were originals of special importance because of their content (because they were royal documents, for example). The intentional destruction of a codex, which we can study through its preserved fragments, can reveal very interesting information relating to reading tastes, religious changes (from the Visigothic to the Roman rite), the expansion of the printing press, etc.

  8. 8

    On the state of affairs, see: J. Alturo Perucho, ‘La escritura visigótica. Estado de la cuestión’, Archiv für Diplomatik 50 (2004), pp. 347386.

  9. 9

    A. Millares Carlo, Los códices visigóticos de la catedral toledana. Cuestiones cronológicas y de procedencia, Discurso en la Real Academia de la Historia (Madrid, 1935), p. 18.

  10. 10

    See: J. Alturo Perucho , M. Torras Cortina and A. Castro Correa (eds), La escritura visigótica en la Península Ibérica: nuevas aportaciones, Actas de la Jornada Internacional organizada por el Seminari de Paleografia, Codicologia i Diplomàtica de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 26 mayo 2010 (Bellaterra, 2012).

  11. 11

    A. Castro Correa, ‘La escritura visigótica en Galicia. I. Diócesis lucense’, Ph.D. thesis, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (2012).

  12. 12

    See: A. Castro Correa, Colección diplomática altomedieval de Galicia I: documentación editada en escritura visigótica (662–1234) (A Coruña, 2011).

  13. 13

    Castro Correa, La escritura visigótica, pp. IV; idem, ‘Digital Tools Applied to the Study of Visigothic Script’, Methods and Means for Digital Analysis of Ancient and Medieval Texts and Manuscripts (Workshop), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 2–3 April 2012 (Turnhout, 2013 in press).

  14. 14

    The closing of the text is preserved in the last line with the end of the date (III).

  15. 15

    This paper protrudes slightly from the superior part of the parchment and upon it we find noted Cerca ter[ritorio] [-6-]. The line is hidden, with the exception of the letters [-?-]affas, which we can read through a partial tear, written in a courtly script. There is no other text here which could indicate where the charter comes from, as can be found in many other cases.

  16. 16

    C. Sáez and Maria V. González de la Peña, La Coruña. Fondo antiguo (788–1065) (Alcalá de Henares, 2003–4), vol. 1, p. 11.

  17. 17

    A. Giry, Manuel de diplomatique (Paris, 1925).

  18. 18

    Castro Correa, La escritura visigótica, appendix 1, pp. 753765.

  19. 19

    See: C. Mendo Carmona, ‘La suscripción altomedieval’, Signo. Revista de Cultura Escrita 4 (1997), pp. 207229.

  20. 20

    On this subject, see: E. Sáez and C. Sáez, Colección diplomática del monasterio de Celanova (842–1230) (Alcalá de Henares, 1996), vol. 1, pp. 1931.

  21. 21

    See: Floriano Cumbreño, Curso general, pp. 382403.

  22. 22

    J.M. Andrade Cernadas, El monacato benedictino y la sociedad de la Galicia medieval (siglos X al XIII) (A Coruña, 1997), p. 237 (translated from the Spanish); see also pp. 42, 46.

  23. 23

    In other dioceses we note San Salvador de Villafrío (Lugo) from c.1075 (Andrade Cernadas, Monacato, p. 41), San Salvador de Samos (Lugo) in 1080 (ibid., p. 44) and San Salvador de Celanova (Orense) in 1139 (ibid., p. 44).

  24. 24

    Andrade Cernadas, Monacato, pp. 33, 36.

  25. 25

    Andrade Cernadas, Monacato, pp. 34, 40.

  26. 26

    Andrade Cernadas, Monacato, p. 42.

  27. 27

    Andrade Cernadas, Monacato, pp. 4546.

  28. 28

    One is inclined to take Carnotha as a toponym since it was not the norm to add complementary toponyms to the cognomen until after the twelfth century (see: Floriano Cumbreño, Curso general, p. 391). Nevertheless, it should be noted that, taking into account the date assigned to the text, this denomination could allude to the ancient territory of Carnota as an entity of supralocal importance and not to the locality of the same name which still exists. The text also mentions a bauca ealanesa (line 7) which I think is best understood as a microtoponym, bauca being an epithet, rather than the toponym Bauca, which could be Bouza or As Bouzas (the population on the outskirts of Mallou?). Also mentioned is rivulum de Agrela for which I have found no possible location. See: Inventario Toponímico da Galicia Medieval (ITGM) <>; Sistema de Información Xeográfica de Parcelas Agrícolas (SIXPAC) <>.

  29. 29

    Sáez; González de la Peña, La Coruña, vol. 2, p. 74, no. 158. For the rest of the early medieval Galician documentation, see: Castro Correa, Colección diplomática, and the database Corpus Documentale Latinum Gallaeciae (CODOLGA) accessible at <>.

  30. 30

    I looked over the abadologio or history of the abbots of Antealtares, without finding any references to any Abbot Recamundo. See: A. López Ferreiro, ‘Apuntes históricos sobre el monasterio de San Pelayo de Antealtares de la ciudad de Santiago’, Compostellanum 5.2 (1960), pp. 140–5. I extended my search by consulting the database CODOLGA, without success. As is noted in all the articles and monographs based on Galician manuscript evidence, the volume of documentation from this kingdom still unpublished is very high. By way of example, only 20% of the total preserved for the diocese of Lugo has been published. In consequence, there are many abadalogios yet to be completed, so finding a match for this Abbot Recamundo, whose patronymic is not listed, is for the time being a fruitless task. We can only suppose that he was a member of a congregation near Antealtares, or one that belonged to the territory of Carnota, or was related in some way to the grantor of the document or its executors.

  31. 31

    M. Lucas Álvarez, El archivo del monasterio de San Martiño de Fóra o Pinario de Santiago de Compostela (La Coruña, 1999), p. 11.

  32. 32

    Just like other monasteries that were also annexed to San Martín Pinario around this time (Lucas Álvarez, Archivo, p. 16).

  33. 33

    See: H. Ferreiro Delgado, ‘Contexto histórico-político de Galicia en la primera mitad del siglo XIX’, Revista de estudios políticos 212 (1977), pp. 327348.

  34. 34

    An official report, dated 23 April 1846, and written as a result of the revolutionary movement, the final episode of which took place at the monastery itself, states: ‘ “At the branch office of National Assets they discovered the door open and the first door of the entrance destroyed … on the second floor they noticed that the communicating doorway leading to the rooms of the aforementioned office, where the archives of the abolished religious community and various ecclesiastic corporations were located, had been forced with great blows … They discovered great quantities of books and files belonging to said religious communities and corporations lying on the floor in the most chaotic way imaginable, torn from their board and parchment covers, the sheets of different documents mixed up with one another and the majority torn, among them pieces of parchment from choral books. They also found them in equal disorder in the windows … some of the volumes were placed on top of others and formed a kind of wall, which was recognized as serving as a parapet for the force defending itself there … it was equally noted that many papers may have been burned from the remains they had found on the floor … in the hall that had been the library … they found piled on beds a considerable amount of documents from the abovementioned archives of the abolished Inquisition, unbound, the sheets torn and half missing …” What remains of the archive was gathered together and moved to various institutions between 1867 and 1946, until they came finally to be integrated into the Sección Clero or Clerical Section of the Archivo Histórico Universitario de Santiago de Compostela.’ From Lucas Álvarez, Archivo, pp. 30–1, 34–5, 37–8 (translated from the Spanish).

  35. 35

    See: A. Millares Carlo, Tratado de Paleografía Española (Madrid, 1983), pp. 8398; Castro Correa, La escritura visigótica, pp. 57225, 421–559.

  36. 36

    In the case of the diocese of Lugo, the earliest surviving charter written in Caroline dates from 1113 (Archivo Histórico Nacional de Madrid, Sección Clero, Lugo, Catedral, carp. 1325C, no. 4. See also: Castro Correa, La escritura visigótica, p. 698). The Way of St James made Santiago de Compostela more open to Europe than the rest of Galicia in the early medieval period, which is why one finds this graphic style attested in this centre earlier than elsewhere.

  37. 37

    AHDS, San Martiño, 79.13. Signatura antigua: caja 55, no. 5 (1069).

  38. 38

    AHDS, San Martiño, 79.14. Signatura antigua: caja 56, no. 2 (1070).

  39. 39

    It could be a mistake made by a transcriber, who was thinking of the present reality when making the copy, forgetting that this was not the case at the time of the original draft.

  40. 40

    Very little original early medieval documentation is preserved in the archive of the monastery of San Payo de Antealtares. We do have, however, published copies in other archives that have reached us through the Tumbo of the monastery of Toxosoutos (Archivo Histórico Nacional de Madrid, Códices, L. 1002) and Tumbo C of the Cathedral of Santiago (Archivo de la Catedral de Santiago). The unpublished documentation is shared between the Archivo Histórico Diocesano de Santiago (San Martín holdings) which I have inspected, the Archivo Histórico Universitario de Santiago, the Archivo Histórico del Reino de Galicia (La Coruña) and the Archivo Histórico Nacional de Madrid (Sección Clero). The total number of documents relating to Antealtares, both originals and copies from the eleventh to the thirteenth century, comes to only 53. See: María M. Buján Rodríguez, Catálogo archivístico del Monasterio de Benedictinas de San Payo de Ante-Altares (Santiago de Compostela, 1996); Andrade Cernadas, Monacato, pp. 1314.

  41. 41

    In the body of the document: eclesia mee … vocitata sancta Columba … in territorio Carnota, cum integra villa de Pignario (line 4). In the signatures: Ego Marina […] et Deo dicata, in hac scriptu[ra] […].

  42. 42

    See n. 29, above.

  43. 43

    The marriage of Raimundo de Borgoña and the future Queen Urraca took place in 1090. In 1093 her father, Alfonso VI, divided Galicia into two counties with the river Miño as a natural frontier, granting the part to the north of the river to this marriage (the County of Galicia) and the south, between the Miño and the Duero, which would produce the Kingdom of Portugal, to his other daughter, Teresa, and her husband Enrique de Borgoña. See: María C. Pallares and E. Portela, La reina Urraca (San Sebastián, 2006), pp. 2933.

  44. 44

    Attested by the documentation integrated into the Corpus Documentale Latinum Gallaeciae (CODOLGA) <> between 1095 and 1101.

  45. 45

    Leovigildo was abbot of the monastery of San Martín Pinario between 1094 and 1105. See: E. Zaragoza Pascual, ‘Abadologio del monasterio de San Martín Pinario (898–1835)’, Compostellanum 39.1 (1994), pp. 209240, especially pp. 214–15.

  46. 46

    Attested by the documentation integrated into the Corpus Documentale Latinum Gallaeciae (CODOLGA) <> c.1105.

  47. 47

    Corpus Documentale Latinum Gallaeciae (CODOLGA), c.1097.

  48. 48

    Corpus Documentale Latinum Gallaeciae (CODOLGA), c.1090.

  49. 49

    When I finished the study of this charter and sent it to the owner, she expressed her desire to restore it as soon as possible to its rightful place, Antealtares. Thus I hope that it can soon form part of the holdings of this monastery and that all those interested in early medieval Galicia can consult it.