A Rome Away From Rome: Isidorus Hispalensis and Roman Astronomical Traditions in Medieval Spain
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In the past the works of Isidorus Hispalensis have been regarded as nothing more than a rehashing of the works of earlier ecclesiastical authors, with no direct reference to Roman sources. He has been called at best a compiler and at worst a plagiarist. However, a greater understanding of the historical context shows that it is likely that Isidorus Hispalensis was working directly from Roman sources. In addition, by studying the historical context within which Isidorus is writing, evidence of his originality is seen in his ability to cater specific works to his specific context. By outlining Rome’s presence in Spain from the very beginning, as well as the changing understanding of the barbarian invasions, I show through a study of the astronomical chapters of Isidorus Hispalensis’ De Natura Rerum that Roman traditions in Spain persisted well into the Visigothic period, and that Isidorus Hispalensis is a perfect symbol of the survival of Roman culture after the fall of the western Empire.