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E05731: Hymn in honour of *Faustus, Januarius, and Martialis (martyrs of Córdoba, S00497) composed in Latin in Spain, presumably in the 7th c.

online resource
posted on 2018-06-14, 00:00 authored by mszada
Hymnodia Hispanica, Hymn 122



The first three strophes encourage the people to praise the Trinity and give thanks for the martyrdom of Faustus, Ianuarius, and Martialis. The martyrs are tortured by fire and cruelly blinded (strophes 4–5; cf. Martyrdom of Faustus, Ianuarius and Martialis 4 and 7) but their injuries are miraculously healed (strophe 6). This provokes the anger of the ruler who condemned them (strophe 7). The martyrs patiently suffer all torments in hope of the reward from God and later are welcomed in heaven by the angels who put crowns on their heads (strophe 8–9).

(10) Adestote, sancti Dei, supplicanti populo
et petentibus prebete quesitum remedium,
30 regnum ut participentur uestro in consortio.

'(10) Give heed, o saints of God, to the begging people and provide the requested remedy to those who ask, so that they can join you in the Kingdom.'

Text: Castro Sánchez 2010, 452-454. Translation and summary: M. Szada.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Faustus, Ianuarius, and Martialis, martyrs of Córdoba, Spain : S00497

Saint Name in Source

Faustus, Ianuarius, Martialis

Type of Evidence

Liturgical texts - Hymns Literary - Poems


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Iberian Peninsula

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Osset Osset Osen (castrum) Osser castrum

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Chant and religious singing

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracles experienced by the saint Miracle at martyrdom and death


The hymn is written in trochaic septenerius. Diaz (1958, no. 355) and Szövérffy (1998, 34–35, 39) date it to the 7th century. It is preserved in two manuscripts: Psalmi Cantica et Hymni, Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, ms. 10001, from the 9th/11th c., and Psalmi, Cantica et Hymni, London, British Library, ms. 30851, from the 11th c. (with the lacuna in vv. 4–6; and with three additional strophes, one at the beginning and two at the end, see Blume 1897, 176, in critical appratus and Gilson 1905, 260–261). Pérez de Urbel's method of dating hymns: Josef Pérez de Urbel's method is based on two preliminary assumptions: a) that the bulk of the Hispanic liturgy was composed in the 7th century, the 'golden age' of the Hispanic Church, and that important intellectual figures of this period (Braulio of Saragossa, Isidore of Seville, Eugenius of Toledo, et al.) participated in its creation; b) that the liturgy was, nevertheless, still developing and changing in the period after the Arab invasion, and therefore, many texts which we find in 9th, 10th, and 11th century liturgical manuscripts might be of more recent date. Some hymns can be dated to the period after 711, for instance if they mention 'hagaric oppression' or if they are in honour of saints whose cult was imported later to Spain (they do not feature in earlier literary and epigraphic evidence, nor are attested in the oldest liturgical book from Hispania, the Orationale Visigothicum). It is more difficult to identify the hymns which are certainly from before 711. To this group Pérez de Urbell usually attributed hymns with a probable attribution to an author from the 7th century (like Braulio of Saragossa or Quiricius of Barcelona), and those which were stylistically close to the poetry of Eugenius of Toledo from the 7th century. Pérez de Urbell then compared two groups of the hymns and noticed the following: a) late hymns contain 'barbarisms' and solecisms, while early ones are written in correct classical Latin; b) late hymns are composed in rhythmic metres, early ones are frequently in the correct classical metres; that, up until the end of the 7th century, people still could compose in e.g. hexameters is confirmed by epigraphical evidence; these metric inscriptions disappear from the 8th century onwards; the 8th and 9th century authors who make attempts at writing in classical (quantitative) metres, always make mistakes; c) some rhythmical poetry could nevertheless be early; d) although both early and late hymns sometimes have rhymes, perfect rhymes occur only in late hymns. In the absence of any certain indications for dating, Pérez de Urbell assumed that a hymn is early if at least two requirements were met: the Latin is 'correct' and there are no perfect rhymes. He also considered early every hymn composed in a quantitative metre.


Edition: Castro Sánchez, J., Hymnodia hispanica (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 167; Turnhout: Brepols, 2010). Castro Sánchez, J., Hymnodia hispánica (Corpus Christianorum in Translation 19; Turnhout: Brepols, 2014). Spanish translation. Further reading: Blume, C., Die Mozarabischen Hymnen des alt-spanischen Ritus (Leipzig, 1897). Diaz y Diaz, M.C., Códices visigóticos en la monarquía leonesa (León: Centro de Estudios e Investigación "San Isidoro", 1983). Fábrega Grau, Á., Pasionario hispánico (Madrid, Barcelona: Atenas A.G., 1953). Férotin, M., Le Liber Mozarabicus sacramentorum et les manuscrits mozarabes (Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1912). Gilson, J.P., The Mozarabic Psalter (ms. British Museum Add. 30.851) (London, 1905). Norberg, D., An Introduction to the Study of Medieval Latin Versification (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2004). Pérez de Urbel, J., "Origen de los himnos mozárabes," Bulletin Hispanique 28 (1926), 5-21, 113-139, 209-245, 305-320. Pinell, J. M., "Fragmentos de códices del antiguo Rito hispánico," Hispania Sacra 17 (1964), 195-229. Szövérffy, J., Iberian Latin Hymnody: Survey and Problems (Turnhout: Brepols, 1998).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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