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E02434: The Latin canons of the Second Council of Saragossa (northwestern Iberia) in 592 order that relics found in formerly Arian churches should be tested by fire.

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posted on 01.03.2017, 00:00 by CSLA Admin
Council of Saragossa (AD 592)

Canon 2

Statuit sancta synodus ut reliquiae in quibuscumque locis de Arrianam haeresem inventae fuerint prolate a sacerdotibus, in quorum ecclesias repperiuntur, pontificibus praesentatae igne probentur, quod si a quibuslibet occu[ta]tae fuerint et deteguntur a sacrosanctae ecclesiae coetu segregentur.

Canon 2

'The holy council decided that relics found in any places of the Arian heresy shall be taken by priests in whose churches they were discovered and presented to the bishops (pontifices) [in order to] prove them by fire. If any persons are hiding and concealing them, they shall be separated from the congregation of the Church.'

Text: Vives 1963, 154. Translation M. Szada.


Evidence ID




Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Iberian Peninsula

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Saragossa Osset Osset Osen (castrum) Osser castrum

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Rejection, Condemnation, Scepticism

Destruction/hostile attempts to prevent veneration of relics

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy

Cult Activities - Relics

Unspecified relic Other activities with relics


The provincial synod of the province of Tarraconensis was held in Saragossa in 592 (the seventh year of the reign of king Reccared is mentioned in Canon 1). It was presided over by the metropolitan bishop of the province, Artemius.


The canon was issued at the council held three years after the official conversion of the Visigothic Kingdom to Nicene Christianity from Arianism at the Third Council of Toledo in 589. Canon 9 of this Third Council of Toledo mentioned the appropriation of the formerly Arian basilicas by the Catholics, but more detailed instructions were given only by the Second Council of Saragossa. It ordered in Canon 2 that Arian relics be tested by fire, and in Canon 3 that basilicas originally built and consecrated by the Arians should be consecrated anew.


Edition: J. Vives, Concilios visigóticos e hispano-romanos (Barcelona/Madrid 1963). Edition and Spanish translation. Further reading: F.-M. Beltrán Torreiro, "El II Concilio de Zaragoza (592) y las últimas repercusiones de la crisis arriana en la Hispania visigoda", Espacio, tiempo y forma. Serie III, Historia medieval 3 (1990), 41-48. J. Orlandis, and D. Ramos-Lissón, Historia de los concilios de la España romana y visigoda, Pamplona 1986.

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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity