jueves, 1 de octubre de 2015

The Way of St. James

One night a monk named Pelagius glimpsed a light in an area of the bishopric of Iria-Flavia (NW Spain). The monk communicated his vision to his superior, Bishop Teodomiro, discovering a cave in the right place inside which came a marble ark where the mortal remains of St. James were found. The Apostle James was the first evangelizer of the Iberian Peninsula. Following his martyrdom and death in Jerusalem, his disciples Athanasius and Theodore moved his remains to the Galician coast, aboard a boat, and there buried the body.

The discovery was made on July 25 of the year 814 and the Asturian monarch, Alfonso II of Asturias, moved on pilgrimage to the place and ordered to build a small basilica and a Benedictine monastery. The little village began to grow into Compostela (whose name derives, according to the medieval tradition, the Latin language "Campus Stellae"). In the year 899 more basilica was consecrated, ordered by King Alfonso III of Asturias.

The discovery of the relics of St. James spread throughout Europe, where the cult of relics was becoming an obsession, like the need to find a binder that served to expel all evil looming over Europe, especially Islam. No wonder the Apostle James "will collaborate" on numerous occasions with the Christian kings in the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula and their armies will fight, courageous, shouting "James and Close Spain".

The first pilgrimages took place between the faithful of the different kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. During the tenth century, Sancho the Great (King of Navarre), made a number of improvements in the route linking the Kingdom of Navarre with the population of Compostela, in order to provide greater security to the pilgrims. Among these improvements, we find the construction of the first hospices and monasteries. This stage will end up with the dreaded raids of Almansor, who came to attack the city of Compostela and stole the bells of the Cathedral of St. James, to take them to Cordoba, loaded on the shoulders of Christian captives.

Later in the tenth century, they are recorded the first French pilgrims. Then, as you could speak of a real Way of St. James, consisting of the so-called French Way. Two entrances, from Canfranc and Roncesvalles, come together in Puente de la Reina, a town that was named after bridge built for the pilgrims to cross the river Arqa. From this village, one path continues across the north of the Iberian Peninsula to its final stage in Finisterre.

In the year 951, it appears registered the first international pilgrimage, registered by the monk Gomez (Abbey of St Martin of Albelda) and carried out by Gottschalk, bishop of Puy. In the eleventh century, the heyday of the Jacobean pilgrimages from all over the known world occurs. The success of the pilgrimages we look at the numerous hospices, hospitals, monasteries and abbeys that launches the Order of Cluny, providing greater "comfort" to the pilgrim. Other promoters of pilgrimages will be the Bishop Diego Gelmírez who managed, in 1095, Pope Urban II moved the episcopal see from Iria-Flavia to Compostela, with category of "Apostolic See" like Rome. Compostela, Rome and Jerusalem become the three most important places of pilgrimage for all Christendom.

The insecurity remained one of the main problems of the pilgrimage, so the Military Order of St. James was created. The objective of this military order was to defend pilgrims from the many dangers that lurked in the way, especially the bandits.

The pilgrims of the same region, departed in groups to defend themselves from dangers, making the trip in a time when the weather was more favorable. Before starting the pilgrimage, they entrusted their assets to a monastery whose abbot gave the pilgrim, his cane, a pumpkin (to carry water), a rosary and a purse. The trip lasted as long as the peregrine wanted. To encourage pilgrimages, pilgrims were exempted from paying tolls, and protected from the rapacity of mayors, gentlemen, waiters and thieves. The pilgrim was respected and protected both by society and by the authorities.

The role of the Way of St. James, was instrumental in the kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula and Europe, because through it, there was a fluid cultural, spiritual, economic, artistic and political exchange between the different areas passing this way. The Romanesque and Gothic art penetrated in the Iberian Peninsula, through the Way of St. James. Even immigrants from Europe who settled in Spain (called Franks) came through the Way of St. James.

miércoles, 10 de junio de 2015

Giants (Spanish Folk)

Festive giants are large figures representing kings, nobles or people with traditional clothing of the Spanish Middle Ages. They are a very prominent element in most towns in Catalonia (Northeastern Spain).


During the late Middle Ages,, in court festivals of various European countries began to adopt the custom of including anthropomorphic dolls, made from wood and cardboard, large designed to hide a man inside. This man, holding them in armor or wooden easel, made the doll dance to the sound of a melody. In the fourteenth century, these dancing figures were incorporated into the procession of Corpus Christi.

In Catalonia, the tradition appears in Barcelona and begins to spread to Valencia and Mallorca. The female figure "giant woman" appears in the sixteenth century.

During the nineteenth century, towns and cities discovered, giants, an expression of local identity. With the arrival of democracy, these figures became a symbol of cultural identity. In 1984, the Association of Groups of Giants of Catalonia is created.

Types of Giants:

  • Giants of Arenys de Mar. In this population are the Giants: St. Elmo and Carmen (a fisherman and a fishwife)
  • Giants Barcelona. In this city are the giants: King Jaime I "The Conqueror" and Queen Violante of Hungary.
  • Bellvís Giants of. In this population are the Giants: Pedro de Bellvís, Lord Bellvís and Ermesinda Moncada, Lady Moncada.
  • Giants of Palamos. In this population are the giants: King Pedro III "the Great" and Queen Constance of Sicily.

Nous vestits de les rèpliques dels gegants nous.

sábado, 25 de abril de 2015

Eleanor of Spain. Princess of Asturias.

(Madrid, October 31, 2005) She is the current heir to the throne of Spain. She is the eldest daughter of the current kings of Spain.

She was born on October 31, 2005 at the Ruber International Clinic in Madrid, as eldest daughter of the then Prince of Asturias, Felipe de Borbon and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano. She is called to be the fourth starter since Queen Isabel "the Catholic", but for now She is the princess of Asturias and is the learner as such.

She receives the honor of HRH, from the moment of her birth. Since the ascension to the throne of her father, June 19, 2014, She ranks first in line to the throne of Spain, ahead of her younger sister, the Infanta Sofía, aunts and cousins. Leonor is thus the first woman to hold the title of Princess of Asturias since 1904, the year of the death of Princess Maria de las Mercedes, sister of the late King Alphonse XIII.

The name of Eleanor was very common in the Spanish monarchy, especially in the Middle Ages when several princesses and queens consort of Castile received this name. In the Kingdom of Navarra, Eleanor of Trastamara held the title of Queen of Navarre, as Eleanor I, between January and February 1479.

From 2023, when she reaches the age of majority, she will swear the Spanish Constitution and receive her first military training with the Spanish Armed Forces.


From the moment of her birth, she held the dignity of Infanta of Spain, and from the abdication of his grandfather, she holds historical titles of the different kingdoms that formed the current Spain:

- Princess of Asturias, as heir to the Kingdom of Castile.
- Princess of Gerona, Duchess of Montblanc, Countess of Cervera and Lady of Balaguer, as heir to the Kingdom of Aragon.
- Princess of Viana, as heir to the kingdom of Navarre.

Its full title is: Her Royal Highness, Princess Eleanor of Asturias, Gerona and Viana, Duchess of Montblanc, Countess of Cervera and Lady of Balaguer.

martes, 24 de marzo de 2015

Merry Christmas Grandma Carmen.

There was once an old woman named Carmen. She was 98 years old and for years that loneliness was her only companion since she was a widow and her children had migrated to other cities in search of work. Carmen, just received visits of Mary, the sister of her daughter in law who helped with housework and offered her all the love her children and grandchildren could no longer give him, because rarely have time to visit her and spend some time with her. Her grandchildren were always busy and usually at Christmas had commitments, much more important than going to visit an old lady who was thousands of miles away.

One Christmas Eve, she was sitting at the dinner table, with a blanket wrapped around his legs, warming with a brazier that was right under the table. It was a pleasant winter day, low dark sun filtering through the window, dimly illuminating the room. Despite being a sunny day, it was too cold.

The Christmas holidays had arrived, Carmen (or mom Carmen) watched the comings and goings of people traveling on the cobbled streets of the small town where she lived. The streets were decorated with colored lights, forming the Christmas figures: holly, fir, sledding ... People walked the streets covering their coats, scarves and hats, chatting and preparing holiday shopping. Carmen absorbed, watched all this bustle from her window while gently stirring a big bowl of thick hot chocolate, accompanied by pasta rolled in sugar. She was giving excessive treat for her health, but the pleasure of that cup of chocolate replacing the emptiness of her heart. With the first sip of his coffee, my grandmother closed her eyes, reveling in the feeling of wellbeing that invaded his body and mitigated her sadness. She opened her eyes and looked out the window, she noticed something different in the air.

There were wooden carts circulating through the cobbled streets, led by mules and ponies. The houses were made from clay, stone and plaster and were plastered with lime. People were dressed in old clothes. Children played in the street with snow, made snowballs and threw them at each other. Carmen was impressed. She rose from her chair and walked outside.

In the distance, she saw some children playing in the street and one of them shouted:

- Carmen, come and play with us!

My great- grandmother recognized those girls. Puzzled, she looked at her body. Everything about her had changed, now looked like a girl of 8 years.She had stepped back in time! The girl who called her was her older sister Francesca. A great joy and overflowing joy invaded her infant body. Without thinking, she ran to her sister, and started playing with snow. There were Incarnation, Isabel, Rosario and Sorrows, her little sister (3 years) tried unsuccessfully to keep up with all those girls twice her age.

Carmen, fatigued by the game, sat on the steps of a portal. After a few minutes, the great oak door opened and heard a sweet voice say:

- Dear Carmen, call your sisters. I have prepared a snack: a big bowl of hot chocolate and pastries. Come and rest a while.

Carmen stunned, acknowledged that sweet and beautiful voice in his heart.It was her mother! She turned her head and saw her. The tears wet her face. She had preserved in her memory the image of her mother as was seeing at the time. A tall, thin woman with white skin immaculately dressed in black with a large white apron tied to her, greasy and chocolate drops waist. She had dark, shiny and silky hair in a bun and a very tender and loving smile.

My great- grandmother called her sisters and took Sorrows in her arms. She could not stop kissing her and pamper her. Sorrows knew her match her with emotional hugs and sweet kisses. She returned to taste those delicious snacks that prepared her mother.

Her mother reminded them that it was Christmas Eve and that night estrenarían their new wool coats, which she had woven with care, and their new shoes, and that they would be ready to stroll through the streets of the town asking for the bonus and singing songs .

This Christmas Eve, Carmen returned to dinner with her parents and sisters. On the table was a large pot with broth and several plates of sardines, sausages, bacon and black pudding, a carafe of red wine and a loaf of bread. Everyone enjoyed the meal and waited, anxious, the arrival of dessert: those shortbread that her mother always prepared with such care and affection.

After dinner, came her friends and neighbors who will sing Christmas songs and playing the friction drums and tambourines, entered the house to find Carmen and her sisters. They took shelter in their new coats and shoes, grabbed their friction drums, and excited, took to the streets in search of donations from their neighbors.

That night, people were very generous and collected all kinds of sweets, shortbread and nougat. In each household were offered a sweet exchange for listening to a Christmas song. After spending all night singing, my great- grandmother and her friends were distributed and collected, tired, went each to his house. My great- grandmother closed her eyes. Sleep overtook her at the time. A feeling of being invaded her tired body and her old but beautiful soul.

My great- grandmother does not reawakened. She fell asleep forever, in that chair by the large window in the dining room. When I was little, she always told me that her childhood was the most valuable treasure of her life, her mind struggled for years to remember those moments of past happiness with her family and remember those people who was always in her heart . Her long life ended as she always wanted as a child, being happy, remembering those years in which nothing scared him, without war, without loneliness, without sadness. She was happy and dreamed.

Merry Christmas Great Grandmother!

lunes, 23 de marzo de 2015

Berengaria of Navarre. Queen consort of England.

(Navarra, 1165 - France, 1230) was Queen consort of England, Duchess of Normandy and countess of Anjou.

She was the eldest daughter of King Sancho VI of Navarre and Queen Sancha of Castile. When King Richard the Lionheart (Richard Plantagenet), king of England, on his way to Palestine towards the Third Crusade. Berengaria (which was promised to the king secretly) joined him in the city of Messina, Italy.

On May 14, 1191, Berengaria and Richard were married at St. George's Chapel in Limassol, Cyprus. She never knew England, because from 1191-1192, the queen lived in Acre (Palestine) while her husband was fighting the Saracens. Later, they returned to Europe separately from 1192-1194 (period in which King Richard was imprisoned in Germany), she lived in Poitiers (France), contributing to the achievement of the ransom demanded by the German emperor to free her husband (in fact, the brother of Queen, prince Ferdinand of Navarre, was one of the hostages offered to secure the part of the rescue was payable). Between 1195 and 1196, Berengaria and Richard met again and resumed their living together. Thus, both projected the construction of a residence in the County of Anjou, but frequent disputes between Richard and King Philip Augustus of France's returned to definitively separate.

After the death of King Richard (1199), fallen during a siege, Berengaria initiated a dispute with her brother in law, John Lackland (John Plantagenet), the successor to her husband on the throne of England, for their refusal to comply testamentary dispositions established by Richard for his wife.

Thanks to the intervention of the Popes Innocent III and Honorius III, Berengaria was rewarded for her widow fighting of the hand of King Henry III of England, as his father (John Lackland) never got to meet the agreements made. In 1204, King Philip Augustus of France awarded her the Lordship of Le Mans, in exchange for their rights to Norman towns of Falaise and Domfront. She lived there until her death in 1230.

Anecdotes and curiosities of the Romans.

- For the Romans, mistletoe was a symbol of peace, why is used at Christmas.

- After pruning the branches of trees, women who wished become pregnant were whipped.

- The Priestesses of Venus exercised sacred prostitution in honor of this goddess. Over time, the name of the goddess came to refer to women engaged in prostitution.

- Prostitution was considered a social good.

- The verb fornicate comes from the fornices, which were the rooms where prostitutes received their customers.

- The Leno (current pimp) was in charge of maintaining order and charged a fee for the service of the prostitute.

- For the Romans there were 3 types of prostitutes: the prostitute (the woman who wants it) that is the woman handing over her body to whom she wishes. The Pala (the woman who has no choice) that accepts anyone who can pay the price demanded, and útlimo, the Meretrix (the woman who is enriched) it is the woman who makes a living freely.

- Each prostitute had, at the entrance to his room, a drawing to which reference was made sexual ability.

- The fellatio was considered the most disgusting habit that a customer could ask for. It was the most expensive service due to lack of hygiene of some customers.

- Prostitutes and women licentious habits, should wear a short tunic for distinguishing them from other women.

- The Statio Cunnulinguiorum were where gigolos offering to perform oral sex on women.

- Roman women, when they wanted to avoid becoming pregnant, sought castrated lovers.

- The mint was considered an aphrodisiac. In wartime cultivation and infusions are prohibited to avoid weakening the soldiers.

- The worst crime a woman could commit was adultery. The householder could repudiate her if he caught her committing such an act and make her execute after conducting a trial.

- Women, especially noblewomen, paid large sums to spend the night with a gladiator and even put some condition that the gladiators were not washing after the fight.

- If, on the wedding night the husband was not able to deflower his wife, she must consummate intercourse with a wooden statue of the god Priapus. This god was represented with a large erect phallus.

- That, during the wedding night, no energy was missing husband, mother of the bride put a jar of honey next to the marriage bed.

- Roman women preferred their eyebrows join on their nose. To achieve this effect, including a mixture of ant eggs and dry flies were applied.

- On December 25 coincided with the feast of the winter solstice and the feast of various Roman and Germanic gods. On the night of 24 to 25 December, the Romans celebrated the Birth of the Unconquered.

Medieval hospitals.

The health organization in Spain was, during the Middle Ages, one of the largest in the Western world. Hospitals covered as a spider web, the entire territory of the Iberian Peninsula, with a large number of centers, including shelters, charitable homes and hospitals. As a result of mergers of several establishments in large populations, or abandonment and destruction, today many of these centers are abandoned or have been completely demolished. However, we are indebted to these charities who knew mitigate the effects of the great plagues of the Middle Ages, plus famines and wars.

Hunger, leprosy and the Black Death were the great executioners of western European society. Neither the feudal lord; neither bourgeois, the servant, the artisan and peasant possessed protection against the threatening presence of evil, and Spain was no exception. Before the development of these diseases, creating a minimum of hospital facilities was agreed.

From the eleventh century, made mass pilgrimages to shrines, monasteries were overwhelmed by such an influx of people to the point of having to care at all times of day, pilgrims, which prevented the normal development of monastic life. The solution came with the founding of hospitals (in this case the hospital is a place where hospitality is practiced). Institutions often dependent on a monastery. The brotherhoods of pilgrims were also institutions that most encouraged the creation of these beneficial buildings.

The medieval hospital fulfill three basic functions: hospice for beggars, hostel for pilgrims and hospital for the sick. Moreover, these centers also became humanitarian shelters for abandoned children, dramatic social situation that was very worrying as a result of epidemics, famine and war.

In Catalonia, the hospital organization covering the areas of greatest transit of the Spanish geography, from the Mediterranean to Aragon, from the Ebro River to Occitania. Thus, these hospitals appear erected in the main towns (Barcelona, ​​Lleida, Tarragona, Tortosa, Vic, Reus and Manresa), on routes frequented comunicació (Cervera, Calaf, Olesa de Bonesvalls, Solsona ...) the edge of the inner pilgrimage routes (who deviated from the main pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela, in the Pyrenees), hospitals created in the mountain passes, the result of altruistic action of religious orders. These centers can be classified into two groups:

- Due to its location: city, country, road of pilgrimage.
- For its purpose: leprosarium, hostel, specific treatment for fever, leprosy, ergotism or St. Anthony's Fire.

The concept of hostel, refers to that at nightfall, the city closed their doors, leaving foreign hikers in need of shelter around or in the worst case, having to sleep in the open. To this end, were created some buildings that adequately fulfilled their dual mission, hospital and hostel.

From the twelfth century to the fifteenth century was experienced in Spain, a real fever construction of hospitals. This was driven mainly by the terrible epidemics that plagued Christianity and deep social inequalities. Furthermore, from the outset, the space problems were a constant in the life of the hospital.

domingo, 22 de marzo de 2015

St. Catherine of Siena or the first case of anorexia.

Catherine Benincasa, better known as Catherine of Sienna was a Catholic saint. The Holy See recognized as co-patron of Europe and Itala and Doctor of the Church.

Daughter number 25, a total of 25 children (Her sister Giovanna, the daughter number 24, lived a few months), Jacob Benincasa, dyer, and Lapa Piacenti, daughter of a local poet.

She belonged to a family of lower-middle class basically composed of notaries, who between a revolution and another ruled the Republic of Siena.

His siblings nicknamed her Euphrosyne. Catherine had a formal education has always showed a predilection for solitude and prayer and, still a child, she was devoted to mortification and vowed chastity. At age 12, her parents began planning unnoticed marriage, but Catherine reacted by cutting her hair and shutting with a black veil over her head. In order to persuade her, her parents forced her to perform strenuous housework, however, Catalina's locked itself even more convinced of her religious vocation. Only an unusual event, a dove perched on the head of Catherine, as she prayed, convinced Jacob sincere vocation of his daughter.

At 18, she took the habit of the Third Order of the Dominicans. She was subjected to long periods of sackcloth and fasting, fed only during the Eucharist.

Surely, in the carnival of 1366, she lived what he described in his letters as "a mystical marriage" with Jesus, in the Basilica of St. Sunday of Siena, having different visions like Christ on his throne with St. Peter and St. Paul, after which she started to get sick more (remember that she practiced long fasts and, therefore, was anorexic) and demonstrate, yet again, her love for the poor. That same year his father died, and in Siena, a coup was launched.

In 1370, she received a series of visions of hell, purgatory and heaven, after which she heard a voice ordering him out of retirement and into public life. She began corresponding with men and women from all walks of life, corresponding with the main authorities of the territories of Italy, praying for peace between the republics of Italy and the Pope back to Rome from Avignon.

During the Plague, in the year 1374, Catalina succor the sick, without showing tired in no time. A year later, in Pisa, she received the invisible stigmata, so she felt the pain but not the wounds were seen externally.

Two years later, she was sent to Avignon as ambassador of the Republic of Florence, in order to reconcile the Papal States and the Pope. The impression made Catherine to Pope, it meant returning to Rome a year later.

In Rome, she affirmed her loyalty to the Holy See. She responded to the leading questions of some scholars and bishops, confusing her interrogators. She reconciled to the Florentines with Pope Urban VI, the successor of Pope Gregory XI, hanging, the July 18, 1378, an olive branch in the Papal Palace, as a symbol of peace.

After this, she retired to the deep loneliness, but there cleared the Schism. She supported Pope Urban VI, who summoned her to Rome, where she lived until his death on 29 April 1380, at the age of 33 years as a result of anorexia. She was buried in the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome, her skull was buried in the Basilica of St. Sunday of Sienna and her foot is buried in Venice.

viernes, 20 de marzo de 2015

Aslaug, Queen of Scandinavia.

She was a Viking queen who appears in the Völsunga Saga, Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok and the Edda Saga.

She was the daughter of legendary Sigurd, the murderer of dragons, and Brunilda warrior. But she grew up with her grandfather Heimer, father of Brunilda. Heimer was seen with the responsibility of ensuring the safety of her granddaughter, and built a harp large enough to hide the girl inside. So were both traveling with Aslaug hidden inside the harp.

Both reached Lidesnes, Norway, where they spent the night on the farm Ake and Grima. Ake thought he saw the harp a vessel containing a valuable treasure and he told Grima. She convinced her husband to murder Heimer while sleeping. But when they opened the harp, found a girl and then adopted it as if she were their own daughter, putting the nickname of Kraka.

One day, while the princess was taking a bath, was discovered by the Vikings Warriors of Lodbrok Ragnar, who were near the river baking bread. Confused by the beauty of Aslaug, warriors left to burn the bread, and when Ragnar asked for explanations, they told him of the beautiful girl. Ragnar sent to fetch her, no matter if she was dressed or naked, hungry or sated, together or alone. Aslaug stood before him wearing a mesh, eating an onion and accompanied by a dog. Ragnar was impressed by her beauty and married her. They had 5 children:

- Ivar Ragnarsson. The Boneless. Warrior.
- Ragnarsson Bjorn. Iron Arm. King of Sweden.
- Hvtsark Ragnarsson. The in White Shirt. Warrior.
- Rognvald Ragnarsson. King of Jutland.
- Sigurd Ragnarsson. Snake Eye. King of Zealand, Scania, Halland, the Danish Islands and Viken.

When Ragnar went to visit King Osten Beli of Sweden, it persuaded him to repudiate Aslaug, and marry the Swedish Princess Ingeborg. Upon his return, Aslaug was informed about plans for her husband and reproached his daring, rebelling her noble origin. To prove that she was the daughter of Sigurd the dragon murderer, told her that she would give birth to a child who would have a snake in one eye. This son was Sigurd. When Osten knew of the change of mind of Ragnar, rebelled but died on the battlefield, fighting against the children of Aslaug.

Resultado de imagen de aslaug

Celtic women.

Celtic women lived in a system of equal rights and duties as men. From birth, both sexes were reared together, getting the same cultural and spiritual education, sharing their games as well as apprenticeships and they were equally brave at the time of entering the battlefield.

Among the rights, then the Roman and Christian law took care to ban (and censored) were:

- The right to choose her husband, no one could impose a wedding. The Celtic laws included the renewal of the marriage contract a year of marrying the couple.

- The woman had the right to divorce, with equitable distribution of goods. Keeping each spouse and distributing their own goods which have increased during the marriage.

- Divorce was not something shameful or frowned upon by the rest of society and concubinage.

- There was a "friendship thighs" which was that women could freely choose a man to her liking, for sex openly without thereby incur any liability on the part of one or the other. Without this imply any judgment by the rest of the clan or tribe.

- The woman managed its assets could trade and could take legal reasons if necessary.

- Women had the duty and the right to receive an equitable education for men. Women, like men, could come to practice medicine and, according to their ability and dedication, reached Druidesses ranges, poets, legislators, educators, family heads, traders, fighting and weapons instructors, obtaining the seniority of "Wise Woman".

- The Celtic women had great dignity, were tireless, cheerful, willful workers, because this was part of their tradition, like having a great strength to work in the fields, herd cattle and the rigor of the struggle.

- They had the virtue of acting like beasts to adversity or obligations, then become seductive "lovely mermaids" when love, break or holiday parties.

- Flirty quintessential Women were obsessed with personal cleanliness and aesthetics. They were experts in developing various cosmetics to color their pale faces. They had special care in choosing and designing their clothes, which they made themselves and adorned with precious stones, gold and bronze. They were excessive, like men, wearing jewelry, necklaces, bracelets, rings and hair ornaments.

Resultado de imagen de mujer celta

jueves, 19 de marzo de 2015

The Iberian woman.

Historical context.

The Iberian culture embraces a set of pre-Roman civilizations that share a lot of ways, although there are regional differences, as the territorial occupation of this civilization covers a wide territory. This culture is closely related to colonization from the eastern Mediterranean, ie the interaction with Greek and Punic. In relation to women, in the iconography Iberian influences are seen in fashion, both in costumes and jewelry and hairstyles.

Stand out for their originality, headdresses and hairstyles, of Eastern and Greek influence but, moreover, original. Strabo have a reference in this regard: "In other places, women are combed with a rounded comb the back of the neck and tied at the head portion of the ears, which decreases gradually in height and width ". In veils, shawls and dresses also Eastern and Greek influence is evident. There are outfits with frills, fringes and borders. Among the gems are belts, necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings.

How was the life of the Iberian women?

Strabo says of the Iberian women:

"Women work the land and give birth in the same field, under a tree, and then continue working."

"The husband is the one who gives the dowry to the woman, and it is women who inherit and choose wives for their brothers".

Social context.

Some women flaunted an elevated position as priestesses, occupying a role as intermediaries between gods and men, so the Iberian ladies have been witnesses of that relationship (eg, the Lady of Elche or Dame Offeror). Sacred prostitution was practiced and found evidence of some sanctuaries.

The Iberian woman is closely related to the supernatural world of magic, of mystery, of the non-rational.

The situation of the Iberian woman depends on her social class. If she belongs to the aristocracy, she enjoys extensive powers as deduced from the regalia of their graves competing in wealth with men. The Iberian woman appears, in religious ceremonies, on an equal footing with men, or even at a higher level when it represents the Goddess (eg, the Lady of Elche or the Lady of Baza). It is even possible that the priesthood was composed entirely of women.

Most women worked with men in the care field and livestock and, in many cases, she takes over completely from the field, cattle and children, since the Iberian society was very bellicose and the confrontations between different villages were frequent. The Iberian woman looks after the family and the village while the man is fighting in the war.

Despite the positive assessment of women in the Iberian world, she makes a sedentary function, protector of the family, and is the man who moves, which embodies the individualization and power.

Women belonging to a higher social class, whose clearest example is the priestesses, had valuables and occupied a privileged position in society. Some women practiced sacred prostitution, a form of prostitution with special consideration to society.

According to Strabo: women farmed and cared for the children while men went to war and did all productive work. Women exercising craft work, woven wool and linen, while men specialized in the manufacture of swords.


It was an ancient Greek and Roman colony at the southern end of the Gulf of Roses (Catalonia), in the present municipality of the Scale and south of San Martin de Ampurias. It extends from the ancient gorge of the Fluvia river until Ter River, which flows into the Playa del Riego del Molino, at Scale. Currently the land is owned by the Government of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia and are part of an archaeological park. In the complex there is the old Convent of St. Mary of Gracia, rebuilt in 1910 AD.

The city, partially excavated, can be divided into 4 located parts around a natural harbor, the first Greek city (situated on a small island called Paliapolis), the Greek city located on land (called Neapolis), the Roman city and the Iberian city (Indika).

The town was fortified in the center of this are the agora (the main square). The streets were irregular and were adapted to natural uneven terrain. Beside the agora was a Stoa (building for commercial transactions). The city had several temples dedicated to Zeus, Serapis and Asclepius.

The Roman city was surrounded by a wall of concrete (formwork made from lime on 2 giant stones). Had a great forum, with several temples and shops and a Grandos public restrooms. Just outside the city wall there was an amphitheater and a gym. In the south of the city found several areas of industrial, related to metallurgy.

From the ninth century BC, at the end of the Bronze Age, the indigenous people of this region of Catalonia lived in the hills jutting wetlands. One of these villages was in the area that is now Saint Martin de Ampurias.

In the seventh century BC, the town already had trade relations with the Etruscans, Phoenicians and Greeks, circa 580 BC, Greek merchants of Marseilles, founded Emporion on the hill of Saint Martín, and by mid-fourth century BC occupied the mainland (Neapolis). Initially, the city depended Marseille but, around 500 BC, the city was already independent. The city, surrounded by a wall and an inner wall that separated the Greek city and the Iberian city, was developed by a business which covered the entire Mediterranean. His influence on indigenous gave rise to the Iberian culture.

In 218 BC, during the Second Punic War, landed a Roman army commanded by Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio, with the aim of cutting the rear, toward the Carthaginian army of Hannibal. With this fact the Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula began.

In the year 197 BC, during the Great Indian Revolt, Indigenous city remained neutral. That same year, Cato the "Censor", set up camp and made it the center for fighting the Iberian resistance to the occupation. The military camp was transformed into a Roman city in the first century BC. At the time of Emperor Augustus, the Greek and Roman cities were united under the name of Municipium Emporiae. As other Roman cities were becoming important as Barcino, Gerunda or Tarraco, Emporion was losing its splendor.

A half century III AD, both Neapolis as the Roman city were already abandoned and the population is concentrated in Saint Martin de Ampurias, who was bishop during the Visigoth period (Diocese of Ampurias). The Neapolis was used as a cemetery, and a basilica was built.

After the Muslim conquest, came the Carolingian conquest in the eighth century AD and, under the rule of the Franks, the city was the capital of the County of Empúries. In 859 AD, the city was sacked by a Norman expedition and this was the reason for its ruin and destroyed by Muslims during a raffia, the Count moved the capital to another city. Since then, Emporion was a small fishing village in the sixteenth century, founded the population of the scale.

The Temple of Aesculapius.

By the second century BC several religious buildings that could be identified with a Asklepeion were built. This was a therapeutic and religious center dedicated to Aesculapius.

Resultado de imagen de emporionThe exhibition consisted of three temples, near cisterns, a well and a fortified building: a building where patients experienced the sacred dream from which priests and religious established therapeutic treatment, dedicated to the god Asclepius. As regards the tanks, was where the necessary water is stored to perform purification rituals to which the patient was subjected. The open pit contained the sacred snakes.

The temple of Serapis.

In the third century BC, the inhabitants of the city decided to build a fortified place. Later, during the first half of the first century BC, it was transformed to be built in it a Doric temple dedicated to the god Serapis. The existence of this temple we know the importance it had in Emporion, during the Republican and Hellenistic periods, cults from the Eastern Mediterranean, probably by the arrival of traders from the East who took the existence of a port city outward, to settle and form a commercial and cultural empire of great influence.

The Necropolis.

The necropolis of this city has more than 1000 years old in a long period that goes from the seventh century BC to the Middle Ages. In the complex there are 4 types of necropolis: Greco-indigenous, Republican necropolis, the necropolis of high empire and the necropolis of the Lower Empire.