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By Carolina Carl

In 1045, the northern Iberian Bishopric of Calahorra used to be introduced again into being through Garc?­a III of Navarre at the frontline of his increasing frontiers with Castile. at the loss of life of its 8th post-restoration bishop in 1190, all or a part of the territory of this, by way of then unmistakably Castilian, see had replaced fingers not less than seven instances among Navarre, Aragon, and Leon-Castile/Castile, as those emergent Christian kingdoms competed furiously over the Riojan frontier area that it occupied. This publication, the 1st to supply a close exploration of 11th and 12th century Calahorra, examines the connection among the extraordinary volatility of Calahorras political scenario and the peculiarities of the sees political and institutional improvement in the course of its first a hundred forty five years as a restored Iberian bishopric.

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62. 229. 202, 210, 229–30, & 242. 80 In these circumstances, Santa María de Nájera abruptly lost the political centrality it had so briefly enjoyed, and, towards the end of the 1050’s, Gómez once again transferred his episcopal base. By the mid-eleventh-century San Martín de Albelda, like San Millán de la Cogolla, already boasted a long and prestigious history as an important monastic foundation and protagonist of the socio-economic consolidation of the Christian re-conquest of the Rioja. 84 Like San Millán de la Cogolla, therefore, San Martín de Albelda’s political, economic, and religious regional dominance, as well as its ties to the bishops of the Rioja, were well established facts by the time Gómez became Bishop of Calahorra in 1045.

The most obvious of these were reflected in the brutal efficiency with which Alfonso VI of Leon-Castile responded to Calahorra’s loyalty to Navarre by crushing the power of both its institutions and its bishops after his conquest of the Rioja in 1076, which will be discussed in the next chapter. Calahorra’s weakness in the face of Alfonso VI’s frontal assault of the late 1070’s was to a large extent determined by the uncharacteristically undeveloped state of its diocesan institutions. Ironically, this absence of institutional consolidation was directly related to the see’s centrality to the politics of Navarre’s frontier during Gómez’s episcopate.

This situation had two very different implications for the see’s development, both of which affected the Bishoric of Calahorra in ways that long outlasted Gómez’s own episcopate. The first concerns the unparalleled political and strategic significance of Gómez’s frontier diocese to the Crown of Navarre between 1045 and 1054, a period in which the promotion and defence of the Rioja and Navarrese-controlled Old Castile consistently dominated the Navarrese royal agenda. Calahorra’s centrality to the political concerns of Garcia III of Navarre ensured for the riojan see a level of royal patronage, in the endowment of Santa María la Real de Nájera, that it would never again attain, and the massive, if temporary, extension of its diocesan limits through its assimilation of the Diocese of Valpuesta.

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