Within this dynamic process of analysis, we find a series of criteria, some already mentioned, but that can be extended with this perspective.
ARA OF SAN PAIO. It is the pagan title or tombstone that contained the original dedication of the mausoleum in the frontispiece or entrance of the same, reconverted in Christian ara for the worship of three highly venerated men who centralized the occupation of the mausoleum between the second half of the first century and beginnings of the century II. With this new use he remained in the upper room of the sepulchral edifice as a surface for worship, and remained there until the construction of the Romanesque cathedral in which, according to the Concord of Antealtares of 1077 between Abbot Fagildo and Bishop Diego Peláez, The redistribution of the apostolic cult before the construction of the cathedral implied a cession of lands and functions of the monastery, which yielded in return for certain privileges, besides the ara in question, which from then on they preserved in memory of the cult that had had until that date to your care.
At the moment a convent of cloistered nuns, it contains a museum of sacred art where the altar is exposed on its pillar as it was for centuries in the sepulchral edifice. The Ara had an original pagan inscription of which a copy is preserved and whose text may be connected with the legendary Queen Loupe of the Jacobean Tradition, who could accept the Apostle in the family mausoleum. The Text and the translation read as follows:
“D(is) M(anibus) S(acrum).
ATIA MOETA T(estamento)
TETLUM P(osuit) S(omno) A(eternali)
NEPTIS PI(entisimae) AN(n)O(rum) XVI
ET S(ibi) F(aciendum) C (uravit).
Consecrated to the Manes Gods
Atia Moeta, by testamentary disposition
She did this epitaph to eternal sleep
From Viria Moeta
His great granddaughter, 16 years old
And provided for his own burial.
SEPULCRAL MOSAIC. The archaeological stratigraphy applied to the enclosure of the Roman tomb edifice allows the recognition of a mosaic on a first floor of the edicule, removed and replaced by a second mosaic on a second floor. These are movements of internal ornamentation of the edictus, already Christianized, to extol the worship. This study recognizes the existence of an inalterable period of Archaeological Silence between the second half of the second century and the 9th century when Teodomiro discovered it, a period that guarantees the preservation of the sepulcral chamber and its contents. That is to say, what Teodomiro discovers was buried before the end of the second century, probably during the second half of the first century, and throughout the period of time up to the 9th century no other burial was carried out in the edicule, a fact relevant to considerations Later.
TOMB AND TOMBSTONE OF TEODOMIRO. As has already been mentioned, the discovery of Bishop Teodomiro’s burial, and particularly his laval or gravestone, testifies to the historical reality of the character and the importance of his Jacobean discovery. What Teodomiro discovered a few kilometers from its headquarters in Iria Flavia, had to be something for him of such relevance that made him move the de facto seat (not law) to the place where the tomb was found and that will generate the current Compostela.
It appeared inside a semi-enclosed enclosure half of the southern wall of the basilica of Alfonso III. It is a great stone of granite of 2.22 m. Long by 0.88 in head width and 0.72 in the feet, with rounded edges and decorated in its outline by a half cane. The inscription, as a singular fact, is engraved from head to toe. Also extraordinary is the cross that precedes it: it occupies the whole first field of the tombstone, it is processional and in the same way that the one that Alfonso II donated to San Salvador de Oviedo in the year 808 and the one that received the church of Santiago in the 874 of Alfonso III. The text reads:
IN HOC TUMULO REQUIESCIT
FAMULUS D (e) I THEODOMIRUS
HIRIENSE SEDIS EP (i) S (copus) QUI OBIIT
XIII K(a)L(en)D(a)S N(ovem)BR(I)s era DCCCLXXXVA
In this tomb rests
The servant of God Theodomus
Bishop of Iria’s see, who died
In the thirteenth Kalendas of November of the era DCCCLXXXV
Here we have Teodomiro, bishop of Iria, protagonist of the discovery of the Apostolic Sepulcher, of the construction of the first temple and of the beginning of the diffusion through Europe of the fame of this place, establishing itself as a focus of pilgrimage for Christianity as one of the most Saints of the world. This bishop keeps the secret of one of the most fascinating historical enigmas, as is the identification of the tomb of the Apostle Santiago, then accepted by all, in a place where no one could imagine it and that only exceptionally it was suggested that it was in Northwest Hispanic lands . The inscription brings to light the date unknown until then of his death: October 20, 847.
The gravestone was removed from its original placement; The recess bordering its lower face shows that it belonged to a sarcophagus. She found herself lying on a layer of debris; But in its vertical and to 80 cm of depth was a pit covered by another granite stone that contains the bones of a man of very advanced age. The condition of ossuary – not first grave – and the intentional link between the grave and the gravestone indicate that the bones must be those of Teodomiro. That the ossuary and the tombstone are centered in an enclosure after Almanzor, evokes the request of who in that «storm» took care of preserving and collecting remains of the venerated, surely the restoring bishop Pedro de Mezonzo.
MULTIPLE RELICATOR. The basilicas of Alfonso II (834) first, and Alfonso III (899) later, both arise with the purpose of containing the Roman edicule in its head, as will the cathedral itself. The works of the apse and the transept of the caredral began in 1070, but between the standstill of the works for some years and their resumption, the basilica of Alfonso III persists until 1112, when the Romanesque cathedral already covers a large section of the basilica, and then demolished, so that for more than 30 years we found a multiple architectural reliquary: one exterior conformed by the Romanesque cathedral of the twelfth century, another half that was the basilica astur of the 9th century, and a central one that was the roman sepulchral edicule of the first century. It is not a great demonstrative argument but a graphic criterion that admirably reflects the transmission in time of the knowledge of something that is guarded with great veneration.
The destruction of Compostela by ALMANZOR is another key moment that questions the integrity of the edículo and its content. The Andalusí caudillo, regent of the caliph Hisham II, besides Barcelona (985), Coimbra (987), Leon and Zamora (988), destroyed Santiago de Compostela in 997. Then Galicia was long liberated from the Muslim domination, included in the Astur-Leonés Kingdom. It was the prestige of Santiago, valued as a Christian Mecca, which led Almanzor to lead an expedition against Compostela, although the detonant was King Bermudo II’s refusal to pay tribute to the caliphate. The expedition had as its destination Compostela since its departure from Cordoba on July 3, 997, called by the Arab chroniclers the expedition of Shant Yaquib, going cavalry and its provisions by land, while infantry, weapons, ammunition and war machines Made by boat to Oporto. The forces regrouped, joined by Spanish and Lusitanian Christian counts who recognized their authority, and who from their strictly military vision did not pay attention to criteria of pro-reconquistador religious patronage.
After destroying Iria, they arrived at Compostela on August 10, finding an abandoned city of its inhabitants; The Muslims seized all their wealth and demolished the buildings, the walls, the basilica, and the churches and palaces. The Hispano-Muslim historian of Cordoba Ibn-Haygan wrote in the eleventh century that Santiago was as venerable as Mecca, and for a Muslim the burial of a saint is sacred. The Muslim historian Ibn Idari al-Marrakushi says that Almanzor put up a guard to enforce the tomb and the tomb edifice, preventing it from being profaned and receiving any damage, and the anonymous author of «Dikr bilad al-Andalus» And destroyed the temple, but did not touch the tomb. The coincidence between Arab and Christian chronicles in respect of the tomb is what gives historical value to the fact. Even some chronicle tells that Almanzor only found an old monk sitting next to the saint’s tomb. He asked, «Why are you there?» «To honor Santiago,» replied the monk, and the conqueror gave orders that they should leave him alone. Some Christian chronicle identifies the monk who spoke with Almanzor with San Pedro de Mezonzo, then prelate of Iria-Compostela, according to the account that Lopez Ferreiro recounts in his History of the S.A. Church of Santiago.
From Santiago and after plundering the region, Almanzor retired to Cordova with a rich riot, taking to the shoulders of Christians captive the bells of the Basilica and the leaves of wood of the door of the city to make with them ornaments for the mosque of Cordova (They will be returned after the taking of Códoba in 1236 by Fernando III the Saint). On his return, he also destroys the sanctuary of San Millán de la Cogolla (which was also proclaimed its anti-Muslim intervention), devastating some counties and towns, and taking Burgos (1000). The protective role of Santiago is ruined. If everything had been a fictitious montage, Almanzor would have finished with him as he ended the city. But there was an impulse that raised again the Jacobean Basilica on which it was considered tomb of the Apostle that had been respected, by a conviction not generated by a fever of reconquista nor by a religious fanaticism. What the Andalusian leader respected was neither the presumed prestige of the warrior of Clavijo nor the protector of the patron saint of Hispanic Christianity, but the cult of the Apostle Santiago who was guarded there. Abu Bark, Muhammad’s father-in-law and successor, said to his men (seventh century): «In the Christian countries you will find in your path pious men who serve God in the churches and in the monasteries: do not bother them or destroy their temples» , In tune with the words of the prophet: «Leave them alone and what they have consecrated.» The presence of the monk in the tomb of Santiago must have refreshed this to Almanzor, who displayed guard of protection.
The city of Santiago not only recovered its identity and structure, but also increased it, raising a basilica identical to that destroyed by Almanzor, and building soon afterwards the Romanesque cathedral that left the admiration of the Ceutian geographer Al Idrisi in his description of the temple of the The twelfth century and the pilgrimage paths that led to it.
Another important historical episode on the integrity of the remains of the Jacobean sepulcher, is starred by Archbishop DIEGO GELMIREZ. Once finished the cathedral, Gelmírez intends to eliminate the sepulchral edicule and replace it with a canopy that would allow an open cult to the cathedral. It will only succeed after overcoming a solid resistance from the Cabildo, which opposes its demolition as an apostolic work. After getting it what it does is to section the edicule that protrudes in the middle of the presbytery, leaving only the underground part. The consequence of this work is that it loses access to the sepulchral environment and the contact with the remains. Before making it a reality, Gelmírez lends itself to making a last donation of a skeletal rest, granted to the bishop of Pistoia in 1138, relic that will later have a great importance in the rediscovery of the remains. But over time this loss of contact will generate doubts about the existence of the remains.