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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-18-06 01:32 PM
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A dumb question about Ferdinand of Castile
I'm reading The Dogs of God about Ferdinand and Isabelle or more properly Isabelle and Ferdinand of Spain. It says that Ferdinand considered himself to be "the Bat", A figure who would fight the anti-Christ, drive the Moors from Spain and Jerusalem and prepare the way for the return of the Messiah. My question is, is "the Bat" a direct translation, i.e. that this character really was referred to as a bat as in a small flying mammal, and if so, where did that come from?
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 09:47 AM
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1. never heard of that before...
both he and Isabella felt they were doing God's work and also helping themselves out to Spain and the spoils of the Moors...
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othermeans Donating Member (858 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:46 PM
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2. I think this might be the answer you might be looking for
bat kol of the Talmud, which, was a veritable voice made audible by God a miracle, in fact (commentary on Gen. xvi.).
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LibertyLover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-17-06 09:41 PM
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3. Interesting idea -
I had heard this about Ferdinand, but did not know about the bat kol. If you think about John the Baptist being a "voice crying in the wilderness" and a precursor of Jesus the Messiah, if Ferdinand considered himself someone who would fight the anti-Christ, he too would have been like a voice crying in the wilderness. How very neat.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-21-08 05:31 PM
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4. Somehow, nobody googled it.
"Bat" translates murcielago, which is the usual
Spanish word for the winged mammal that lives in caves

from pages 96-97,;query=murcielago#1
(I don't know if the link's good or not, or if you'll see

Christian eschatological doctrines or beliefs concerning
"the last days" enjoyed a particularly flourishing
tradition in the Iberian world: rooted in the appropriate
biblical texts and producing Spanish and Portuguese variants,
its last important manifestation occurred as late as 1896 in
the famous Brazilian rebellion, inspired by Sebastianism, of
Antonio the Councilor.[13] But its most outstanding feature
was that it was based on a mutation of the apocalyptic legend
of The Last Roman Emperor . The source of this West European
legend was the Greek apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius, written
in the seventh or early eighth century, although the Greek
text was itself a translation of a seventh-century Syriac
original, also attributed to a Methodius, but composed in
Mesopotamia. This apocalyptic legend was translated into
Latin in the late seventh or eighth century in Merovingian
Gaul, thus introducing into the West the belief that at the
end of days a king of the Greeks or Romans would defeat the
Muslims, conquer Jerusalem, and renounce his empire directly
to God at the hill of the skull, Golgotha. Subsequently a
tenth-century monk, Adso, rewrote the legend to fit an
eschatological French king, and between the thirteenth and
fifteenth centuries Germanic variations developed, so that by
the fifteenth century it was believed that Emperor Frederick
II, who died in Apulia in 1250, was still alive and hidden on
Mount Kyffhauser, awaiting to return and fulfil the millennial
prophesy.[14] But, in addition to the last World Emperor, the
figure of the Angelic Pope emerged toward the end of the
thirteenth century and came to reflect the aspirations of the
spiritual Franciscans. For the Spirituals Rome was identified
with the carnal Church, to be rejected by Christ at the end
of the sixth age. Rome was Babylon meretrix et impudica; illa
Babylon meretrix magna . At the end of days, therefore, the
World Emperor would be helped by the Angelic Pope.[15]

In Spain the legend of The Last World Emperor, suitably
influenced by Joachimite ideas and prophesies attributed to
St. Isidore of Seville, produced a messianic king and world
emperor, known variously as the Encubierto (the Hidden One),
the Murcilago  (the Bat), and the New David.[16] Moreover,
as was amply demonstrated in the highly influential
apocalyptic treatise of the Franciscan Fray Alemn, the
eschatological "events" underwent a marked process
of Hispanicization, for in Alemn's treatise the Antichrist
appears in Seville, the messianic armies
disembark "near Antioch, which is the port of
Cdiz," and a titanic battle ensues in Seville near the
present-day cathedral. Victorious, the messianic forces
proceed to take Granada; thereafter Jerusalem and the rest of
the world are conquered, and of course an Angelic Pope is
installed in Rome.[17]

Although the eschatological tradition was a long-standing
one, it was only from about 1470 onward that reality began to
match messianic expectations; as Milhou has demonstrated, an
avalanche of prophetic texts, commentaries, and ballads, and
even a letter of revelation which the Marquis of Cdiz, don
Rodrigo Ponce de Len, circulated to the great nobles of
Castile in 1486, identified Ferdinand the Catholic as the
Encubierto or Bat who would conquer the Holy House of
Jerusalem and the whole world.[18] Nor was Ferdinand averse
to believing all this. Pietro Martire thought in 1510 that
Ferdinand was obsessed with the conquest of Africa, and in
February of that year Ferdinand himself wrote in one of his
letters that "the conquest of Jerusalem belongs to Us
and We have the title of that kingdom."[19] Is it a
coincidence that Sor Mara de Santo Domingo's rise to fame
dated from 1509, or that from 1510 onward rey de Jerusaln
came to be included by Ferdinand among his other royal
titles?[20] In any case the dying Ferdinand would certainly
have understood all the implications of the divine message
which Sor Mara had sent him.

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