Footnotes and Commentary

1 These events were described (from a pro-Roman point of view) by Cassius Dio (A. D. ca. 163 - 235) in The Roman History, Trans. Ian Scott-Kilvert. Penguin Books, NY, NY (1987), pp. 148 - 149:

(Date: 25 B.C.): "Augustus was planning an expedition to invade Britain, since the inhabitants were unwilling to come to terms, but his scheme was checked by the revolt of the Salassi, and by an outbreak of hostilities in the territory of the Cantabri and the Astures. The Salassi live at the foot of the Alps, as I have mentioned earlier; the two other tribes inhabit the most impregnable region in the Iberian side of the Pyrenees and also the plain that lies below.

Augustus opened hostilities against the Astures and the Cantabri simultaneously and led the campaign himself. However, these tribes would neither surrender, because they felt confident in the strength of their mountain fastness, nor would they come to close quarters, since they were outnumbered by the Romans and most of their troops were javelin-throwers. Their tactics caused Augustus many difficulties, since whenever he moved his troops in any direction, they continually forestalled him by occupying the higher ground in advance and ambushing his troops in the valleys and woods, and in this way they reduced the campaign to an impasse. Augustus fell ill from the fatigue and anxiety caused by these conditions and retired to Tarraco, where he remained in weak health. Gaius Antistius took charge of the operation and scored many successes. This was not because he was a better general than Augustus, but because the barbarians despised him, and so engaged in pitched battles with the Romans and were defeated. In this way Antistius captured a number of places, and later Titus Carisius occupies Lancia, the principal fortress of the Astures, after it had been abandoned, and captured many others."

(Date: 24 B.C., p. 151) "As soon as Augustus had quitted Spain, where he had left behind Lucius Aemilius as governor, the Cantabri and the Astures rose in rebellion."

(Date: 22 B.C., pp. 159-160) "In the same year, war again broke out with the Cantabri and the Astures."

2 The Cantabrians were even more fearsome than the Asturians, They did not reach an acommodation with the Romans, preferring mass suicide instead. One tribe of the Cantabrian federation was renowned in the ancient world for their traditional drink: the blood of horses. (The Asturians and Cantabrians were much fond of horses, which were trained to maneuver in the mountains, making them -- according to observers -- appear as skillful as mountain goats.) Both groups were renowned for their ferocity, which was proverbial in the ancient world: There are stories of Asturians and Cantabrians who rather than being captured preferred to jump into flames or jump off cliffs. One man, being led in chains to a Roman officer for interrogation plunged his head against a rock, killing himself by cracking his skull. (This story, however, may have taken place in Numantia, the Celtiberian capital that resisted a Roman siege for 22 years.) Mothers were seen killing even their infant children rather than let them fall into Roman hands. A child following his father's order took a sword and massacred his parents and siblings, all of whom were in chains. And while enduring crucifixion, Asturians and Cantabrians could be heard intoning their war cries and war songs.

3 The Roman conquest of Gaul took nine years. By contrast, the Romans took over 200 years to control Spain.

4 The doors of the Temple of Janus were opened during times of war. This was only the fourth time in history of Rome that the doors were closed, (1) during the reign of King Numa, (2) when the First Punic War ended, (3) in 29 B.C. at the end of the Civil Wars, and (4) in this instance (25 B.C.), during which Marcus Vinicius led an expedition against the Germans. According to Cassius Dio (op cit.) p. 149: `After these military successes, Augustus closed the precinct of Janus"

5 This same quote is offered by Gibbons in his The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. Hispania was the richest of all the Roman provinces. Gaius Julius Caesar was able to pay off all his debts and return to Rome a rich man after serving a single term as governor there. The Asturians appear to be among the first of the barbarian people in Spain to have engaged in mining and in the search for gold. According to Pliny, they were famous for their wealth. This may be the reason why ancient authors attribute to them a reputation for avarice.

6 The Vandals (of inglorious memory) invaded first, ravaged the land and remained in southern Spain for over 20 years until forced by the later Visigothic invaders to leave for North Africa (in A. D. 428), leaving behind as their only legacy their name on the last area of the peninsula that they occupied, Andalucia < Vandalucia. The Alans and Suevi (derived from the word Swede) entered shortly after the Vandals (some sources say at the same time) and settled in Galicia along with some Vandal contingents who did not head south and instead continued with them. While in Galicia, they were subjugated by the Visigoths in 585 A.D. Some say that the Suevi was a confederation of the Alan and Alemanni Germanic tribes. The Visigoths were known as the "Prudent Goths" and were perhaps the most Romanized of the Germans.

The conquest of Spain was made under the Visigothic King Eurico (died 486). Over the years, the conquerors were absorbed. Latin (in its high and vulgar forms) became the language of the invading peoples. It is useful to remember that Gaul was renamed France after the invasion of the Franks. but Hispania did not turn into Gothia.

The Goths (who as all the invading Germanic tribes were Aryans and not Catholic) had an administrative organization that had a basic flaw: Theirs was an elected monarchy, so any group of disgruntled nobles could depose the king by force. Because of this, between 414 and 711 there were 32 Gothic kings of Spain. Many were murdered, and one, Wamba, was kidnapped during his sleep and awoke deposed of office.

7 Saracen comes from the term "sons of Sarah", as the Arabs came to call themselves, claiming descendancy from Sarah, the wife of Abraham, and not from her slave.

8 Cova (Spanish cueva) is the Latin word for cave

9 As will be noted later, Pelayo adopted a Cross as his new standard, and gave his old standard, the crowned lion rampart, to the Ron family.

10 In Spain, the children of the King are called Infantes (only the heir to the throne is called Prince, specifically, Prince of Asturias).

11 The Catholic Monarchs (King Fernando and Queen Isabél) belonged to the House of Trastámara (i.e., the Trastámara Dynasty), which was founded when Enrique el Fraticida (King Enrique I, The Fratricide) adopted the name of that castle as his surname.

12 Antonio de Ron, an attorney from Lugo, Galicia, Spain, and one of the grandsons of Estanislao de Ron y Caballero.

13 lit. "A este son comen los de Ron."

14 Passage is difficult to translate. The implication is that (some) houses of Spain have received prestige by having married the daughters of the House of Ron.

15 Lit., Treces de la Orden de Santiago. Meaning is uncertain to me.

16 Lit. de horca y cuchillo. This implies that the Ron family had the jurisdictional authority to confer the death penalty. If this is indeed the case, it would be quite unusual, as most Lords of Northern Spain had to refer cases to the king when the death penalty was a possibility.
17 Lit. Presenta. Context unclear to me. Possibly either: "They are presented with the benefits of ..." or, less likely, "They present (i.e., offer) the benefits of ..."
18 Lit. los más genealogistas. Presumably "those most versed in genealogy."
19 "Eternal Truths".
20 "Those of RON always eat upon hearing this sound. Note that son can mean sound or song. Note also that it is intriguing that the word "ron" means "song" in Hebrew.
21 Because the Señorios of northern Spain (especially during the early days of the reconquest of Spain from the moors, say, before 1100) were depopulated, the Señores of the time resorted to granting special privileges in order to attract settlers -- commoners referred to as colonos, or colonists. Because of the dearth of settlers and the dangers of living on the front lines of the war, these special privileges, or fueros, each negotiated separately and set down in writing, were often generous. Like the Señores, the colonos retained their rights in perpetuity, but unlike the Señores, they were often allowed to subdivide their holdings between their children and were able to sublet their holdings to third parties, thus allowing them in later centuries to become absentee landlords. This gave the descendants of the colonos great advantage in later centuries when land became scarce and the rents payment required of them to the Señores, fixed centuries before, was relatively insignificant as compared to the new higher value of the land. The Señores retained administrative and judicial powers within the Señorios, but often (apparently with the exception of some Señores like the Rones) crimes which incurred the death penalty had to be referred to the king.

By 1800, the Señores of northern Spain became a "working nobility". It is ironic that in the liberalization movement of the 1800's it was this working nobility and not the so-called "peasants" that lobbied for and obtained the elimination of the Señorio legal entity, shedding their title, but allowing them greater control over the land, including the right to subdivide it between their heirs.

22 Presumably the following (sixteenth) century, during the Spanish war with Italy in the 1520s.
23 (This sentence is too convoluted for me to properly decipher. It could actually mean the opposite.)
24 The term solariego is given here as "ancestral names and names of manors".

25 Meaning uncertain.
26 Ricos-hombres:: A title granted by the king, later equated to Grande de España = Grandee.

27 These donations (which are often referred to in this book) were legal writings on parchment (usually in Latin), and were called by the Latin term "diploma".

28 Saint Benedict.

29 Grandee.

30 This fragment is difficult to understand.

31 When the Arabs invaded, King Rodrigo was far away, campaigning against the Basques. He heard of the event and led a forced march to meet the invaders.

32 "Don Rodrigo went against Tarik without waiting for the companies of Galicia, Asturias, Viscaya, and Basques , only with the companies of Castille and Septa. He had 80,000 Christian, and almost all of them without weapons [presumably, this means that they carried clubs and other improvised equipment, not formal weapons such as swords and armor], only a few of them had slings....the companies of Galicia, Asturias, Viscaya, and Basques were walking and returned to defend the towns, and all these companies amounted to 30,000 men and later joined PELAYO."

33 And I, Servando, coego [colleague of, joined?] Ourenes, Master of Dreytos (?) and of Holy Theology and of logic, [descendant?] of Nuñez and Ferrando and of the good King Chindasvinto, when Bishop Filmeira died, the coegos [colleagues] of the Sede of Saint Martin and Saint Mary made me Bishop."

34 "In Ourentes, year of Our Savior 739 == Servandus Ferrandez, under Christ's name - EPS Auriensi == Gardingus scribe and notary.

35 "Lord of many lands."

36 "And he had his fortress in Paço [Pesoz?] and as a standard two bows [de Asma de Chantada] with all the land out to the Douro and Minho [rivers] under his command."

37 The future King Pelayo was therefore a nephew of Orbita Ferrandez; Orbita Ferrandez's son Toribio Ferrandez was therefore a first cousin of Pelayo.

38 "Witiza wounded Fabila with a club, and hurt him very badly on the head, and Duke Fabila died from that wound, for the love of his wife, who was very beautiful, and that is why he wounded him."

39 King of the Goths. Reigned 642-653. King Chindasvinto, who was the father of Fabila, was killed by Witiza .

40 para ir en romeria, lit. "going on pilgrimage". According to Michener (Iberia), those who visited Jerusalem where known as Palmers (because they brought palm tree leaves as souvenirs of their journey; those who traveled for religious reasons to Rome where known as Romeros; those to traveled to the tomb of Saint James where known as Pilgrims. This more specific terminology may have been used at a later time, however. As a current connotation implies, this term may have simply meant "going on a pilgrimage" without indicating where, which is supported by the following section of the sentence which specifies that Pelayo actually visited Jerusalem.

41 "Fearing Witiza, Don Pelayo went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and after Witiza was buried he returned to Spain."

42 Count Julián is the Latinized version of his name. He is also called Ulban and Ulian.

43 "which was done with treachery, as he was not granted the Archbishopric of Toledo"

44 Romans, i.e., the descendants of the Romans in Spain.

45 King Witiza died about 710 A. D.. He is said to have been first deposed, in 708. His cousin, Rodrigo, succeeded him. Witiza (also called Vitiza) kept creating trouble for Rodrigo after he was deposed.

46 Some authors maintain that Rodrigo raped Florinda, later known as La Cava.

47 "Don Rodrigo liked Count Don Julián much and (also) the Countess Fandina , who was very beautiful, and Don Rodrigo made sin with her and had her at his command; and specifically with one of their daughters called Cava Florinda who was beautiful in the extreme the king persuaded her to be his lover, and not content with what he had with her mother, he delighted himself with her and had with her a son who was brought up in Evora of Lusitania called Alverico."

48 According to some stories, Rodrigo was abandoned at the height of the Battle by Bishop Oppas and Sisberto (= Sisebut, the son of Witiza?) who were in command of the flanks of his army.

49 "King Rodrigo foresaw wonders for this day."

50 Shortly after the battle, Tarik called in new troops from Africa to take advantage of the situation. They landed quickly thereafter.

51 "And that son of Muza was a man of very good word, and very strong, and of a good mind, and he achieved greatness, for there was in Spain no village, nor castle, nor farmstead that did not obey him and that did not fear him...except those who left and took refuge in the mountains of Asturias."

52 Chronica del Rey Sabio, i.e., the Chronicles of Alfonso X.

53 "The noblemen and hidalgos fell into captivity, the princes and great men who went are ashamed and have been insulted, and good combatants were lost in the extreme, those who used to be free now turned into servants...

54 Those of us who fled were about two thousand, and it was in such a disordered and shouting manner that each one only cared about himself, and many of these had been men of discipline...And Don Pelayo also left this battle with me and with other Presbyters who fled to Galicia, and he likes the Gallegos much and he is part Gallego from one side...Don Pelayo was a hard-working man, good-looking, of long face, large eyes of the color of vela (?), of long hair, brown beard, well formed legs, long arms, his fingers were a little long, and he only had a damaged little finger of his left hand after having injured it on a trip to Africa where he went after the perdition of Spain."

This is curious: As far as I can tell, it claims that Pelayo went to Africa after Spain was lost. The only trip mentioned above is a pilgrimage to Jerusalem before Spain was invaded. Unless, of course, the author's mention of the perdition of Spain refers to the ascension of Rodrigo to the throne.

55 "he talked to the Knights of Noble Houses whom he appreciated very much...and of these 140 Houses joined him, and they went to help [him] as they did, and from Galicia the knights went, leaving behind only old men and youths...and after DON PELAYO talked to all the Noble men, he went to Asturias...and PELAYO stayed in Galicia three months to do these things in secret and prepared everything so that when they received notice they could head towards whatever place they would be needed."

56 And the counsel [returned] was that they should name a King in a forum: The Navarese and Basques, and those of the Mountains of Arbe and Jaca, and of all the Pyrenees in memory of the tyrannies of the evildoers Witiza and Rodrigo brought forth written laws and rights made in Sobrarbe many [boos?]. And later the Gallegos and Asturians took them (?), and after that DON PELAYO gave a speech to all, and after having listened to everything, they all tried to name a leader to guide them, and they elected as their King and their Captain DON PELAYO, and lifted him on his shield as was the custom. And they wrote the laws (rights) on a sheet of lead, and they swore to uphold them. And Prior Don Urban we named Bishop over us, and we were anointed with Chrism, and after the anointing the knights armed themselves as did many noblemen of Galicia and other parts; and this happened 713 years after the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Some wish to add two years to that date, but Don Pedro has stated that this should not be judged to be, as this was said by Don Servando who was an eye-witness. And later GUADIOSA, his wife, daughter of Count TRASAMUNDO FERRANDEZ, Count of the Patrimonies of Galicia was proclaimed Queen. And after being proclaimed King of all Spain, he raised his flag."

57 "And then he ordered people from Cordoba to catch PELAYO"

58 Hispalense = of Seville. When King Witiza was deposed, his two sons, Ebba and Sisebut, took refuge with their uncle Oppas, Bishop (some say Archbishop) of Sevilla. It should come as no surprise that the established Gothic nobility reached an early accommodation with the invading Arabs. The Arabs conquered Spain in what amounted to a speculative adventure. They were few in number and furthermore, accustomed during their conquests to leaving the "Peoples of the Book" (as Christians and Jews were referred) to live as they wanted, as long as a tribute was paid, a tax which was waived if they converted to Islam, this being one reason why the Arabs were not too anxious to convert the locals. After the ravages and tyranny of the last Gothic Kings, the people considered the Arabs as benevolent conquerors. All, of course, save the Asturians, Basques and other Northern Spaniards who had not bent to the Goths, and the Galicians, who still recalled that their Suevian Kingdom had been independent of them. Another exception was Teodomiro, who resisted the Arabs in South-Eastern Iberia and whom the Arabs granted a degree of autonomy to settle the issue.

59 "People and soldiers of Alcamán numbered 188,000 and Christians 9,000 soldiers."

60 "that this he knew how to do"

61 See footnote 1.

62 "Don Pelayo strongly exhorted his men although many were disarmed and dying of fear, seeing against them so many Moors and Julian Christians and other renegades and part-Arabs that it inspired horror. DON PELAYO spread his people around the surrounding parts, remaining only with 2,000 well-armed Galicians, Asturians, and mountain men in the cave of Mount Ausava, which had been given the name Santa Maria de Covadonga, all provided with provisions. Servando says that PELAYO remained in Covadonga with only 500 men of Galicia and Asturias, and the rest he send up [the mountain]... The Moors arrived at Cova (the cave) skirting the mountain, and when they saw them appear tried to prevent the damage that could occur by sending Don Oppas (who was quite clever) and he gave them a speech and reasoned with DON PELAYO and the knights of Cova with [sotis raçoes? = giving many reasons?] that they should surrender for they could not avoid being killed or falling prisoners, for the Arabs had brought an army of 180,000 Moors, and called them crazy and many other insults, and he called upon the Bishop of Iria Flavia of Padrón and myself, Don Servando, in a thousand different ways that we should preach to PELAYO to desist such madness."

63 "DON PELAYO adored the Sacred Signal and cut from an oak tree another Cross which he took as his standard."

64 Note that this implies that the ancient Roman counting system is being used, i.e., before Medieval scribes began using "IV" for the number 4. The Romans used IIII for 4 and VIIII for 9 (instead of the "subtractive position" IV and IX) because it greatly simplified calculations: To add a series of numbers, with the unmodified Roman counting system, all one had to do was bunch all the numeral together. Lacking positional significance, the aggregation of numerals was its sum. The aggregation could be simplified by converting groups of numerals into a higher value numerals (e.g., converting XXXXX into a single L; IIIII into a single V), but this was a cleanup exercise. The early Christian scribes, unhindered by the demands of commerce (where such a useful feature would be appreciated) mistakenly assumed that the sole reason of why the Romans used IIII was because IV would constitute blasphemy, noting that "IV" was the first two letters of the name "Jupiter" (IVPITER). They adopted a positionally-significant numerical system based on Roman numerals which made calculations hideous.

65 "Where Our Lord made a miracle (it is written on the margin) and Don Boer saw the Holy Cross not withstanding all the missiles that were being thrown against them, they went against them and killed them, and they ventured from the cave and went against the Moors and killed 20,000 of them, and the others who were in the mountain fled to the Liebaniense field where the Deva River flows [e no pago Cousegada?] the river took all of them, and on this day God made two miracles. Alcaman was killed and Oppas was made prisoner with Torisio (another renegade Bishop who accompanied him) and by advice of two knights they concluded that such malevolent men should be tied behind four horses, and in such manner they died [e ca unh levou coarto?], and they threw them off a cliff with the horses, and in this manner the traitors paid [for their deeds], although the Saintly Bishop Don Lovesindo de Silva (who was the Bishop of Iria) a man of great knowledge, did not want them treated in this manner. Many died fleeing. Munuza was killed [no pago Alabiense?]. This last battle took place in the year 713."

66 Count Julian was most possibly a Berber.

67 The Spaniards give the meaning of "The Wicked" to the term "La Caba".

68 This the locale where Augustus quartered the Seventh Legion (called Legio Septima Gemina) to keep the Astures "pacified". The name of the town which rose from that settlement evolved into León in memory of that legion.

69 The contemporary Arabs probably did not consider this defeat as disastrous as this makes it sound. One must remember that the Arabs were thinking big. Mopping up operations in the Iberian Peninsula was a nuisance, as they were hoping to conquer all of Europe, an ambition which was finally destroyed with Charles Martel's victory at Poitiers. They left Pelayo alone, and he put the years to good use, creating a kingdom, building an army, and making a name for himself throughout the peninsula as a threat to the Arabs, which kept the hopes of the occupied Christians alive by using the victory at the Christian hermit's sanctuary of Covadonga as proof that after the takeover of Spain God had not abandoned the Christians.

70 Note that Arabic has no "p" sound, so the "P" in Pelayo was substituted for the phonetically-related "b".

71 Interestingly, RUMI is the Arabic term for both Roman and Christian, which shows how Christianity had permeated the Roman empire by the time of its collapse.

72 One additional item that punctuates Pelayo's lack of association with the Goths is his name. Pelayo = Pelagius, which is actually a Latin and not a Gothic name. In contrast, Pelayo's son-in-law Alfonso (who accompanied him and later became king) does bear a Gothic name: Alfonso < all (royal) + funs (prepared), or alternatively, < hathus (battle) + funs (prepared). Curiously, Alvarez (a surname so frequently found amongst the Rones, who are supposed to be of Asturian stock) is also of Gothic origin < all (royal) + wars (warned, forewarned) + ez, the ubiquitous Spanish patronymic suffix, which is pre-Roman in origin . Our current "war" came from the Germanic "werra", from whence comes the Spanish "guerra" (and the very Spanish term "guerrilla"), which supplanted the Latin "bellum".

73 "This Señorio, according to a drawn (written, issued, made) document, belonged to a Lady called MARCIA NUNEZ who was of the Marcelos, from [the branch] that Saint Marcelo and his sister Primitiva Marcelo (wife of Saint Segundo) descended. She was married to a knight called FERRANDO, who was [named] Regulo of Galicia by the Emperors, and [who] had many lands at his command. He was Lord of the Paços (places of?) Arcos de Asma (Chantada) and received the faith from the Apostle Santiago (Saint James) when he n'os seus Paços [came to these parts?] and was one of his disciples...of the Paços [places?] and lineages of Galicia and its knights that I, Servando, unworthy Bishop of Orense, write faithfully and truthfully of what I found, was taken from the Histories, Pepés [papers?] and tombstones: and that Don Pedro sóo o poño (by his own hand [wrote]?) as was related by the Holy Bishop Don Servando, who wrote about it 23 years after the perdition of Spain: They are as follows:"

74 And from this man descends by the female line PELAYO and the Gothic King Chindasvinto, and the Aryan Suevian King Teodomiro, and other knights, and Saint Rosendo, and those of Arias who descend from these FERRANDEZ and Saint Fagondo and Primitiva: They have as a standard three red bands on a gold field and a flying, two-headed eagle, and a sun, and five stars, and a castle, and a lion, and a Tau Greek letter as a sign of Christianity. They are amongst the ancients of Spain and Galicia."
75 "In Our Lady of Cobas de Arsacia there are many figures and the coat-of-arms of the Marcelos, which is a Lion and a sheep and five Tau letters in the shape of a Cross."

76 "These arms and escutcheon, are of the House of Mon. I won them with my strength and with my strength I'll defend them."

77 After the death of Pelayo, the crown went to his son Fabila, who soon thereafter was killed by a bear while hunting in the mountains. The crown then went to Alfonso I, the husband of Pelayo's daughter. After the death of King Alfonso I, Mauregato, an illegitimate son of Alfonso I and a Moorish woman took the throne and kept it until he was killed in 788, all the time paying the Arabs tribute. His uncle, Bermudo who was a Deacon then became king, but shortly thereafter retired to a monastery, leaving the throne to Alfonso II, called El Casto (The Chaste) because of a monastic vow that he had taken.

78 And this battle took place in the year of Our Lord 741, two leagues from Corunna and one from Betanzos. And for this feat of valor they took five leaves of a fig tree as an emblem and after this feat and knightly deed they surnamed themselves Figueiroa as in that field there were many fig green trees, and dropped the emblem of FERRANDEZ consisting of a [soar?] of bows which is very ancient and of a disciple of Santiago called FERRANDO. At this time FERRANDO PEREZ was still alive, and he was of the House of the Suevi [e toudo ó d'as Mariñas?]."

79 Ferrando and Ildara had another son called Sorred Ferrandez, who killed the Infante Leyica, son of Duke Don Fabila, and because of this death he [afaixase = suffered in?] pain, and King Don Witiza pardoned him and had him marry Teresa, the sister of the dead Infante, and he was Captain of the people of Lugo battling with King Pelayo and he called himself Sorred and had a son called Sancho Sorred who married Munia Nunez and had Dia Sanchez Sorred."

80 "The brothers that Arias Perez had and the inheritances that they received from their father RODRIGO ALVAREZ and from SANCHA DE ESTRADA his wife: Pero Alvarez received that of Noreña; Ordoño Alvarez the ownership of [the lands] in Gijón; Arias Perez received las Omañas; Juan Diaz Nava; ALVAR DIAZ the RON CASTLE and its surroundings; Alfonso that in Carvallo and Cibea and all the land of Cangas; Avina received that of Navia and Doña Ines received Alzada and that of Obirgo, Quiñones was divided in equal parts, manguer [although?] their uncle Alvar Pérez de los tulló [took it?].

81 House of Refuge.
82 This incident is described in lurid detail in the Chronicles of Froissart.

83 Paymaster.


85 "hanging and knife", which indicates that they had the right and jurisdiction to punish even by conferring the death penalty. See previous footnote on this term in the RON Section.

86 Reales Cartas Ejecutorias.

87 Coto = enclosed ground.

88 Solar = ancestral house.

89 This passage is extremely interesting, for things are very different nowadays. Until the 1200's the Church only confirmed and blessed a marriage, instead of actually performing the marriage. People married themselves, often without a priest present, as marriage was considered a private affair between two families. While this was in all probability an extramarital affair that resulted in two daughters that the king had to "recognize" as his own (as the epitaph which follows seems to indicate), it could have been possible given the customs of the time that a private marriage took place, and that they king ran into trouble when he asked the Pope to confirm it.

90 This donation is made while Tineo is held by Lord Enrique and his mother-in-law Lady Ximena."

91 Raymond of Toulose.

92 Raymond of Burgundy.

93 This must be an error, as the date of the death of Alfonso VII is given as 1159 a couple of paragraphs before.

94 The passage is confusing: It is uncertain whether Pedro Fernandez' wife was Elvira Martinez de Miranda or Geloira Martinez de Miranda. Could they be the same person?

95 You've got to be kidding!

96 Order of Saint John.

97 vega = well-irrigated and fertile bottom land.

98 Behetria = a population center whose's inhabitants had the right of selecting whomever they wanted to be their Lord.

99 Luctuosa = the right that certain lords had to retain a valuable item (presumably of their choosing) from the inheritances of their subjects.

100 Yantar = an ancient tribute consisting of foodstuffs. From the Latin jantare = to eat.

101 Merino = Magistrate.

102 penas de camara = the jurisdictional authority that some judges have to impose fines that would go to the national treasury as penalty.

103 fanega = a unit of grain measure equivalent to about 1.6 bushels.

104 There are instances of IVAN in many Spanish documents. This was not the Russian name, but was actually a written, Latinized rendering of JUAN. Latin had no letters "J" nor "U", using "I" and "V" instead.

105 Apresentacion: meaning uncertain.

106 sacada = territory cut off from a province.

107 vínculo = tie, bond; law: entail.

108 Bienes libres. Meaning uncertain.

109 This is an excellent example of the custom of having the son take the father's name as first surname: BERNALDO XIMENEZ -> XIMENO BERNALDO -> SUERO XIMENEZ.

110 This is the same Don Enrique who became King after killing his brother, King Don Pedro (The Cruel).

111 `After God, the House of Quirós."

112 Saint Francis of Assisi.

113 agnation = kingship through the male or father's side.

114 This word is illegible in my copy.

115 "Crime against the majesty of God and humanity or crime against nature."

116 Renounced presumably if she did not get married.

117 This appears to be a humorous slang describing the confusion which exists in courts.

118 This is true poetic justice: He was disinherited by his father, won part of the estate in a long lawsuit, but his line ended and what he gained returned to the line chosen by his father.

119 This paragraph is convoluted, but DOÑA ANA DE BALBOA is the mother of both of ALVARO PEREZ DE VALCARCE and of Count of Ayala.

120 "which primarily corresponded to him..." In Hispanic usage, surnames are ordered in the following manner: (1) father's surname; (2) mother's maiden surname; (3) father's mother maiden surname; (4) mother's mother maiden surname, etc. taken out as far as one wishes or can be determined. DON ANTONIO DE RON Y VALCARCE's parents were LICENCIADO DON FRANCISCO DE VALCARCE Y BALBOA and DOÑA ALDONZA DE RON Y ARMESTO. ( Licenciado, by the way, is the title of a university degree.) His proper name would be: Don Antonio VALCARCE DE RON Y BALBOA ARMESTO. In order to comply with the requirements of the RON E IBIAS Mayorazgo, he had to swap the order of the VALCARCE and RON surnames, using RON first. This may seem trite, but it is actually extremely significant: The primary surname remains primary, while the surnames following it get shifted downwards in order with each succeeding generation. By requiring that the RON surname was used first, DON LOPE NUÑEZ DE RON guaranteed that the RON surname would not die off.

121 Oidor, lit. listener. A Magistrate or Judge.

122 Unclear: He may have been Treasurer of the Council of Castilla, President of the Council of Castilla, or both.

123 Carrera de Indias.

124 Straights of Magellan.

125 This is an interesting item. This book was first published in 1930, that is 106 years after the mother of the author was born. I have noted long generations in the Ron family, e.g., when my last daughter was born, my grandfather (were he alive) would have been 110 years old.

126 Note that the author of this book also declined to attach his name to the work, although it is well known that he wrote it. Contrary to my ancestors, I have attached my name to this translation, having decided to resist my personal pride of such humility. Those who do the least claim the most.

127 This passage and the paragraph following it is given as a single paragraph. It is unclear without more knowledge of the issues and cited documents than the passages offer.

128 "Most knowledgeable gentleman."

129 Albalá = Royal Grant or Royal Charter.

130 S. D. M. - meaning unknown.

131 This is obviously a misprint. Maybe it was in 1788.

132 Cartagena de Indias = the present-day city of Cartagena, in Colombia.

133 Don Antonio de Ron Bernaldo de Quiros was the second son of Don Alonso Nuñez de Ron, and as such never was Lord of Ron. The inheritances mentioned here are separate from the RON E IBIAS mayorazgo. The first brother, Miguel, was the inheritor of the mayorazgo, but he died without issue, so it went to the third brother, Don Francisco de Ron , mentioned here.

134 This and the following paragraph has echoes of the attack at Roncesvalles, and reminds us of the classic mountain attacks that these region were famous for. It typically involved waiting for the enemy above a constrained mountain pass, strategically cutting off parts of the army from each other by causing rock slides, and then overwhelming a trapped contingent before the rest of the enemy could do anything about it. When things really worked well, as they did in Covadonga, a whole army could be destroyed in this way.

135 To condense this passage, I have adopted the vocabulary used by the author. Thus, second granson = great-grandson; third grandson = great-great-grandson, etc.

136 Original italics. Presumably a quote. Unreferenced.

137 He was the third child of Miguel Antonio de Ron Valcarce Ibias y Quirós and Felipa Antonia Menéndez de Luarca.

138 Teniente Vicario General translated as Assistant Vicar General.

139 Literary Battalion.

140 About 200 years have elapsed here. Either the date is incorrect, or the Infante Adelgastro has to be a more remote ancestor than just "grandfather". The "grandfather" term may have been used as a contraction.

141 This quote was in Old Castillian.

142 "Water, Castle and a prisoner lion, these are the arms of Caballero."
143 Mary Magdalen.

144 This would imply that the House of Caballero has maintained this patronage for 1,200 years.

145 Saint Dominic, i.e., Dominicans.

146 Primary Professor.

147 Meaning uncertain.
148 Estanislao de Ron y Caballero married Saturnina González Pardo. They had 12 children: Alfredo, Esperanza, Antonio, Luis, Eduardo, Guillermo, Dolores, Elvira, María, Fernando, Enrique, and José.

Antonio de Ron Flórez-Valdés, one of the 45 grandchildren of Estanislao, wrote this book.