Chronicle of 754 (also called the Mozarabic Chronicle or
Continuatio Hispana) is a Latin-language history in 95 sections,
which was composed in 754 in a part of Spain under Arab rule. The
Chronicle contains the earliest reference in
Latin to "Europeans"
(europenses), whom it describes as having defeated the Saracens at the
battle of Tours in 732.
2 The work
Its compiler was an anonymous
Mozarab (Christian) chronicler, living
under Arab rule in some part of Iberia. Since the 16th century, it has
been attributed to an otherwise unknown bishop, Isidorus Pacensis but
this attribution is now widely accepted as being the result of
compounded errors. Henry Wace explained the origin and the phantom
history of "Isidorus Pacensis", an otherwise unattested bishop of Pax
Julia (modern Beja, Portugal).
There is also some disagreement about the place where the Chronicle
was written. Tailhan named Córdoba as the city of origin. Mommsen
was the first to champion Toledo. A recent study by Lopez Pereira
rejects both these in favour of an unidentified smaller city in
Chronicle of 754 covers the years 610 to 754, during which it
has few contemporary sources against which to check its veracity; some
consider it one of the best sources for post-
Visigothic history and
for the story of the
Moorish conquest of Spain and southern France; it
provided the basis for Roger Collins, The Arab Conquest of Spain,
711-797 (Blackwell, 1989), the first modern historian to utilise it so
thoroughly. It contains the most detailed account of the Battle of
The Chronicle is a continuation of an earlier history. It survives in
three manuscripts, of which the earliest, of the ninth century, is
divided between the
British Library and the Biblioteca de la Real
Academia de la Historia, Madrid. The other manuscripts are of the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
The Chronicle was first published in its entirety in Pamplona, 1615;
it was printed in Migne’s Patr. Lat., vol. 96, p. 1253 sqq. and
given a modern critical edition and translated into Spanish by José
Eduardo Lopez Pereira. An English translation by Kenneth Baxter
Wolf can be found in his volume Conquerors and Chroniclers of Early
Medieval Spain (Liverpool, 1990).
^ In some manuscripts the sections are apportioned into 13 chapters
and an appendix. See the edition of Lopez Pereira 2009.
^ According to Christys p. 2 it was the last
Latin chronicle written
Kwame Anthony Appiah
Kwame Anthony Appiah (2012), "Misunderstanding cultures: Islam and
the West", Philosophy and Social Criticism 38(4–5) 425–33.
^ Evert Van De Poll (2013), Europe and the Gospel: Past Influences,
Current Developments, Mission Challenges (Versita), p. 55.
^ In Smith & Wace 1880.
^ "Isidorus Pacensis" appears in error as bishop of
Badajos in Smith,
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) vol.
II, s.v. Isidorus, p. 627. Beja plays no role in the Chronicle, as
might be expected in a work issued from that city, as Reinhart Dozy
pointed out. Neither does Badajoz, because it did not exist at the
time of the chronicle; Bishop Prudencio Sandoval of Pamplona, who
first published the chronicle in its entirety in 1615, evidently
Pax Julia was Badajoz, since he refers to "Isidore, bishop of
Badajoz" in his title to the work, see Mommsen p. 333.
^ Tailhan seems to have been the first to reject Isidorus Pacensis as
author, but remarkably believed the Chronicle to be a rhymed epic such
as the Song of Roland.
^ p. 58-59.
^ It opens with the accession of
Heraclius in the East and gives, at
several removes, a thread of Byzantine history and the Islamic
conquest of Syria.
^ H.V. Livermore dismissed it as largely mythological, in The Origins
of Spain and Portugal (London: Allen & Unwin, 1971); Collins,
conversely, eschewed the later, mythologised Arabic accounts, for
which he has been criticised.
^ C.C. de Hartmann , "The textual transmission of the Mozarabic
Chronicle of 754" Early Medieval Europe 8.1, (March 1999:13-29). Two
of the manuscripts, though they bear no author's name, were asserted
by seventeenth-century scholars to bear the name of "Isidorus Pacensis
^ Firstly as Cronica mozarabe de 754 (Zaragoza, 1980); followed by a
Latin edition and translation, with numerous essays, in 2009
(see References below)
Ann Christys, Christians in Al-Andalus, 711–1000 (Routledge, 2002).
Reinhart Dozy, Recherches sur l'histoire et la littérature d'Espagne,
2nd ed. 1860.
J. Eduardo Lopez Pereira, Continuatio Isidoriana Hispana Cronica
Mozarabe de 754. Fuentes y Estudios de Historia Leonesa 127. León,
T. Mommsen, Continuatio Hispana anno DCCLIV. Monumenta Germaniae
Historica auctores antiquissimi XI, Chronica minora saec. IV, V, VI,
VII, vol. 2,. Berlin, 1894. Online.
William Smith and Henry Wace, A Dictionary of Christian Biography,
Literature, Sects and Doctrines (1880: vol. III, s.v. "Isidorus
Pacensis" pp 313f).
J. Tailhan, Anonyme de Cordoue. Chronique rimée des derniers rois