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INTRODUCTION ~ T. BRAULIO IS CONCEDED by all to have been the best . writer in Spain at the middle of the seventh century and second only to Isidore in all of Visigothic literature . The sources for the facts of his life are, in addition to his own works, some letters from Isidore, included in the present translation; some poems of his close associate Eugene II, later Bishop of Toledo;1 also a chapter in the biographical work On Famous Men by Ildefonse.2 The earliest full biography of Braulio was written in the thirteenth century, is full of fanciful stories composed for propaganda, and must be disregarded in a genuine historical account.3 Braulio was of an illustrious family, born probably about 585 to 590, most likely in Osma or Saragossa, though occasionally he shows a special knowledge of ecclesiastical customs in Gerona. It is known that his father, Gregory, was a bishop; hence, he may have been the Bishop of Osma of that name. Braulio had an older brother, John, born about 580, long a resident of Saragossa and bishop there from 619 until his death in 631. There was another brother, Fronimian, abbot of the monastery of St. Emilian in the Rioja. Braulio had a sister, Pomponia, who was an abbess, and a sister, Basilia, the wife of a nobleman. He refers to both of his brothers as his teachers and appears to have outlived all of his family with the possible exception of Fronimian. 1 F. Vollmer, ed., "Eugenii Toletani episcopi cannina," Mor/llil/ento Germaniae Historica, Auct. Ant. 14 (Berlin 1915) 229-91. 2 IIdephonsi episcopi Toletani De viris illustribus 12 (PL 96,195-206). 3 C. H. Lynch, Saint Braulio, Bishop of Saragossa (631 -651): His Life and Writings (Washington 1938) 7-8. 3 4 RRAULJO OF SARAGOSSA Braulio's first formal education may have been with his father, and it was apparently continued under his brother John, who by 610 was superior of the monastery of the Eighteen Martyrs near Saragossa. ''Yhile in his twenties, Braulio spent several years with Isidore in the religious school conducted by that famous savant in Seville. The close relation and affection between these two is indicated in letters of theirs which have been preserved. The exact date at which Braulio left Seville and returned to Saragossa to serve as archdeacon under his brother John is one of the points disputed by modern scholars, but I am inclined to follow almost completely the chronology set up by Msgr. C. H. Lynch, according to which Braulio left Seville in 619 or 620.4 He returned to Saragossa for the rest of his life; for, upon the death of John in 631, he was himself made bishop there, an office which he held nearly 20 years. His death is now placed in 651 and probably on March 26 of that year, since that is the date of his commemoration. Letters The Letters of Braulio, which now form the most important part of his literary testament, were late in coming to the knowledge of the general public. They survived in a single manuscript, no. 22 in the Capitular Library of Leon, written in Spain in the ninth century. Only the few letters exchanged between Isidore and Braulio (1-6 and 8) were known from Isidorian manuscripts. The Leon manuscript was copied by Carlos Espinos, archivist there from 1741 to 1777, and one of the copies went to Manuel Risco, who was continuing 4 Lynch, op. cit., is the only book in English on this Spanish writer. The more recent edition of the Letters of Braulio by Madoz has revealed that the earlier edition used by Lynch did not follow exactly the order of the letters in the manuscript, but, except for a few deĀ· tails, the reconstruction which Lynch set up may be used in its entirety. As frequent references will show, I have been constantly indebted to Msgr. Lynch's thorough and accurate scholarship. INTRODUCTION 5 Florez' series Espaiia Sagrada. Thus, the complete correspondence of Braulio had its first edition in that series.5 Risco changed the order of several of the letters to restore them, as he thought, to exact chronological order. Risco's edition was repeated in PL 80.655-700. A new critical edition made from the manuscript was published by J. Madoz,6 and it is, in general, the latter that is followed for the present translation. No complete translation of the Letters of Braulio has been published...


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