Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

The pre-Pyrenees of Lleida in Late Antiquity: christianisation processes of a landscape in the Tarraconensis

Jordina Sales Carbonell, Natalia Salazar Ortiz


We try to perform a state of the question about the first christianisation occurred in the pre-Pyrenees of Lleida, where it has been detected a remarkable monastic activity which coincides in space and in time with a series of Late Antiquity religious sites. We analyse the probable relationship of these sites with the historical routes of transhumant livestock in this area and, at the same time, the possible link of these routes with rural monasticism and with the Episcopal sees of Ilerda and Vrgellum, both flanking the studied territory and strategically located at
the end of the westernmost transhumant axes of Catalonia (with Ilerda controlling winter pastures and Vrgellum the summer ones). We connect this fact to the enigmatic Vrgellum breakthrough in the political and territorial scene, since up to that moment, and as Roman nucleus, had not shown any significance or legal entity. Establishing these connections, we close a circle around transhumant livestock, which experienced a noticeable boom in Western Europe during Late Antiquity, as we know from various sources.

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