In the late ninth century, a series of chronicles from the Christian kingdom of Asturias staked a claim on Visigothic identity, and thus ancestral legitimacy to rule in Iberia, for Asturias and its kings. Connecting Pelayo, the first king of the Asturian kingdom, to the last Visigothic kings and crafting his image as an ideal Goth and Christian was essential to this process. Informed by scholarship on “borderlands” and boundary-making, this article demonstrates how the chroniclers renegotiated the parameters of Gothic identity to impose the idea of a strict border between legitimate and illegitimate, good Catholic and heretic, and loyalty and disloyalty. In doing so, they provided Pelayo with a layered and flexible Gothic-Christian-Asturian identity.
Erica Buchberger (2023) Crafting the image of Pelayo: identity and state-building in early medieval Asturian chronicles, Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies, 15:3, 405-426, https://doi.org/10.1080/17546559.2023.2236598
Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies
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