Tag Archives: Santiago Matamoros

Guest Essay: Santiago Matamoros by Alfred J. Andrea

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.

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Santiago Matamoros

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,”[1] 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.

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