File(s) not publicly available

E06845: Hymn in honour of *Iustus and Pastor (schoolboys and martyrs of Complutum, Spain S00504) composed in Latin in Spain possibly in the 7th century.

online resource
posted on 12.10.2018, 00:00 by mszada
Hymnodia Hispanica, Hymn 146

The first two strophes are an invocation to God to inspire believers to sing praise to the saint. In the third the saints, Iustus and Pastor, are presented as brothers joined in martyrdom. The following strophes tell how Iustus and Pastor learn about persecutions and about the arrival of the emperor Datianus to the city. They leave the school and denounce themselves to the authorities (strophes 4–5). Datianus orders them to be beaten with clubs but the resolve of the two boys is not shaken (strophes 6-8). Enraged Datianus passes the death sentence on them (strophe 9) and they are martyred in the place called 'campus laudabilis' (the Praiseworthy Field) which is later a place where miracles occur (strophes 10–12). The story is consistent with the Martyrdom of Justus and Pastor ($E###).

(13) Iam tuorum passione freta gaude ciuitas
iure Complutensis, almo quo laueris sanguine,
et gemellis mox camenas redde uoto deuitas.

(14) 40 Hinc, Deus, te postulamus, ut precantes audias,
pelle morbos, solue uincla et relaxa crimina
atque inlesi futuram adpetamus patriam.

(15) Nominis tui amorem da tuis in seruulis,
temporale nil amemus, diligamus inuicem,
45 te sequamur, te canamus, te fruamur perpetim.

Gloria patri.

'(13) Rejoice now justly the city of Compludo leaning on the martyrdom of your [citizens] in whose nourishing blood may you be washed, offer due songs to these twin-born [saints].

(14) Hence, o God, we ask you to hear those who beg you, repel illnesses, loose bonds and free us from crimes and let us reach unscathed the future homeland.

(15) Give your servants love of Your Name so that we do not love anything temporal but rather love each other, follow You, sing praise to You and find delight in you for ever.

Glory to the Father.'

Text: Sánchez 2010, 539-542. Summary and translation M. Szada.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Iustus and Pastor, schoolboys and martyrs of Alcala, Spain : S00504

Saint Name in Source

Iustus et Pastor

Type of Evidence

Liturgical texts - Hymns Literary - Poems



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Iberian Peninsula

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

Osset Osset Osen (castrum) Osser castrum

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Service for the Saint

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Place of martyrdom of a saint

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle after death Healing diseases and disabilities

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives



The hymn, written in quantitative trochaic septenarii, was dated to the 7th century by Pérez de Urbell (1926, 219) on the basis of style (he notes the similarity to the poetry of Eugenius of Toledo). This dating is accepted by Castro Sanchez 2010, 840. The hymn is transmitted in the following manuscripts: Psalmi Cantica et Hymni, Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid, ms. 10001 (9th–11th c.); Officia et Missae, Archivo Catedral in Toledo, ms. 35.6 (9th–10th c.); Alia Officia Toletana, British Library, ms. 30845 (11th c.); and Psalmi Cantica et Hymni, British Library, ms. 30851 (11th c.). Pérez de Urbel's method of dating hymns: Josef Pérez de Urbel's method is based on two preliminary assumptions: a) that the bulk of the Hispanic liturgy was composed in the 7th century, the 'golden age' of the Hispanic Church, and that important intellectual figures of this period (Braulio of Saragossa, Isidore of Seville, Eugenius of Toledo, et al.) participated in its creation; b) that the liturgy was, nevertheless, still developing and changing in the period after the Arab invasion, and therefore, many texts which we find in 9th, 10th, and 11th century liturgical manuscripts might be of more recent date. Some hymns can be dated to the period after 711, for instance if they mention 'hagaric oppression' or if they are in honour of saints whose cult was imported later to Spain (they do not feature in earlier literary and epigraphic evidence, nor are attested in the oldest liturgical book from Hispania, the Orationale Visigothicum). It is more difficult to identify the hymns which are certainly from before 711. To this group Pérez de Urbell usually attributed hymns with a probable attribution to an author from the 7th century (like Braulio of Saragossa or Quiricius of Barcelona), and those which were stylistically close to the poetry of Eugenius of Toledo from the 7th century. Pérez de Urbell then compared two groups of the hymns and noticed the following: a) late hymns contain 'barbarisms' and solecisms, while early ones are written in correct classical Latin; b) late hymns are composed in rhythmic metres, early ones are frequently in the correct classical metres; that, up until the end of the 7th century, people still could compose in e.g. hexameters is confirmed by epigraphical evidence; these metric inscriptions disappear from the 8th century onwards; the 8th and 9th century authors who make attempts at writing in classical (quantitative) metres, always make mistakes; c) some rhythmical poetry could nevertheless be early; d) although both early and late hymns sometimes have rhymes, perfect rhymes occur only in late hymns. In the absence of any certain indications for dating, Pérez de Urbell assumed that a hymn is early if at least two requirements were met: the Latin is 'correct' and there are no perfect rhymes. He also considered early every hymn composed in a quantitative metre.


Edition: Castro Sánchez, J., Hymnodia hispanica (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 167; Turnhout: Brepols, 2010). Castro Sánchez, J., Hymnodia hispánica (Corpus Christianorum in Translation 19; Turnhout: Brepols, 2014). Spanish translation. Further reading: Blume, C., Die Mozarabischen Hymnen des alt-spanischen Ritus (Leipzig, 1897). Diaz y Diaz, M.C., Códices visigóticos en la monarquía leonesa (León: Centro de Estudios e Investigación "San Isidoro", 1983). Fábrega Grau, Á., Pasionario hispánico (Madrid, Barcelona: Atenas A.G., 1953). Férotin, M., Le Liber Mozarabicus sacramentorum et les manuscrits mozarabes (Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1912). Norberg, D., An Introduction to the Study of Medieval Latin Versification (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2004). Pérez de Urbel, J., "Origen de los himnos mozárabes," Bulletin Hispanique 28 (1926), 5-21, 113-139, 209-245, 305-320. Pinell, J. M., "Fragmentos de códices del antiguo Rito hispánico," Hispania Sacra 17 (1964), 195-229. Szövérffy, J., Iberian Latin Hymnody: Survey and Problems (Turnhout: Brepols, 1998).

Usage metrics