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Archdiocese of Evora



Evora, Archdiocese of, in Portugal, raised to archiepiscopal rank in 1544, at which time it was given as suffragans Leiria and Portalegre; in 1570 and later were added Sylves, Ceuta, Congo, Santo Thome, Funchal, Cabo Verde, and Angra. In the Roman period Julius Caesar gave it the name of Liberalitas Julia; inscriptions and coins remain to prove its high rank among the municipalities of Roman Spain. Its bishop, Quintianus, was present at the Council of Elvira early in the fourth century. There exists no complete list of his successors for the next two centuries, though some are known from ancient diptychs. In 584 the Visigothic king, Leovirgild, incorporated with his state the Kingdom of the Suevi, to which Evora had hitherto belonged. From the sixth and seventh centuries there remain a few Christian inscriptions pertaining to Evora. In one of them has been interpolated the name of a Bishop Julian (December 1, 566); he is, however, inadmissible. Thenceforth the episcopal list is known from the reign of Reccared (586) to the Arab invasion (714), after which the succession is quite unknown for four centuries and a half, with the exception of the epitaph of a Bishop Daniel (January, 1100). Until the reconquest (1166) by Alfonso I of Portugal, Evora was suffragan to Merida. Under this king it became suffragan to Braga, despite the protests of the Archbishops of Compostella, administrators of Merida. In 1274, however, the latter succeeded in bringing Evora within their jurisdiction. Finally, it became suffragan to Lisbon from 1394 to 1544, when it was made an archbishopric. Its large and splendid cathedral has undergone many architectural changes. Among its illustrious prelates may be mentioned Enrique (1540-64, 1578-80), the founder of its university and King of Portugal (1578-80); Teutonio de Braganza (1570-1602); and the scholarly writers Alfonso de Portugal (1486-522) and Father Manuel de Cenaculo Villasboas (1802-14). Portuguese writers have maintained that the first bishop of Evora was St. Mantius, a Roman, and a disciple of Jesus Christ, sent by the Apostles into Spain as a missionary of the Gospel; from his genuine acts it appears that he was a devout Christian, put to death by the Jews after the fourth century. Spanish Jews, it is known, are mentioned in the fourth-century Council of Elvira (can. 49).

F. FITA








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