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Beatus of Liébana

Beatus of Liébana

Spanish saint and theologian
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Spanish saint and theologian
A.K.A. Beyo, San Beato de Liébana, Bieyo, Bieco, Sanctus Beatus Liebanensis, Beato de Liébana, Beato de Liévana, Sanctus Beatus, Beco, San Beato, Obeco
Countries Spain
Occupations Monk
Gender male
Death (Santo Toribio de Liébana, Camaleño, San Vicente de la Barquera, Cantabria)
Beatus of Liébana
The details

Saint Beatus of Liébana (c. 730 – c. 800) was a monk, theologian and geographer from the former Duchy of Cantabria and Kingdom of Asturias, in modern Cantabria, northern Spain, who worked and lived in the Picos de Europa mountains of the region of Liébana. He is best remembered today as the author of the Commentary on the Apocalypse.


Beatus was likely born and raised in Liébana, possibly from a poor family. As confessor to Queen Adosinda, wife of Silo of Asturias, and as teacher of Alcuin of York and Etherius of Osma, Beatus exercised wide influence.

He is best remembered today as the author of the Commentary on the Apocalypse, written in 776, then revised in 784 and again in 786. The Commentary was popular during the Middle Ages and survives in at least 34 manuscripts (usually called a beatus) from the 10th through the 16th centuries. Not all of the manuscripts are complete, and some exist only in fragmentary form. Twenty-six of these manuscripts are lavishly decorated in the Mozarabic, Romanesque, or Gothic style of illumination.

Beatus was a strong opponent of the Adoptionist Christology put forward by Elipandus, Bishop of Toledo and founder of the Adoptivi, and Bishop Felix of Urgell in the Iberian Peninsula. Elipandus and Felix declared that Jesus, in respect to his human nature, was the adopted son of God by God's grace, thus emphasizing the distinction between the divinity and the humanity of Christ. Beatus and other opponents of adoptionism, such as Alcuin and Paulinus II of Aquileia, feared that this view would so divide the person of the Savior that the reality of the incarnation would be lost. In addition, many theologians were concerned that this adoptionism was a new version of the Nestorianism advanced by Nestorius. This debate largely died with the deaths of the proponents.

Author and theologian

The Commentary on the Apocalypse is a work of erudition but without great originality, made up principally of compilations. Beatus includes long extracts from the texts of the Fathers of the Church and Doctors of the Church, especially Augustine of Hippo, Ambrose, Ticonius, Irenaeus, and Isidore of Seville. He adds to this the commentary on the Book of Daniel by Jerome.

The Beatus text was regarded as a symbol of Christian resistance to the Muslims who dominated much of the Iberian Peninsula (see al-Andalus) in the early Middle Ages.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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