Main Image (Above): Francisco Camilo, El Apóstol Santiago a caballo o Santiago Matamoros (1649), Prado Museum. Source: https://www.museodelprado.es/coleccion/obra-de-arte/el-apostol-santiago-a-caballo-o-santiago-matamoros/cc593ac0-b3bf-428d-90fa-87f9a7d80294 (accessed December 15, 2020.
The following essay is by Alfred J. Andrea, the former president of the World History Association, a mentor, and a noted medieval historian. In it, he provides background on Santiago Matamoros, the subject of the cover image of our forthcoming book Sanctified Violence: Holy War in World History.
This seventeenth-century painting, which graces the cover of the paperback version of Andrea and Holt, Sanctified Violence: Holy War in World History, deserves a bit of explanation. The title translates as “The Apostle Saint James on Horseback, or Saint James the Moor-slayer.” How, one rightly asks, did an apostle of Jesus, the same Jesus who preached “Blessed are the peacemakers,” get in the business of killing Moors? And what is that strange symbol on the white banner that he carries? Answers to those questions tells us quite a bit about the holy war known as the Spanish Reconquista and Spanish conquests in the Americas.Continue reading