« Minucius Felix, Marcus Miro Modestus »

Miro

Miro (Mirio, Mirus), king of the Suevi in Spain, 570–583.

Authorities.—Greg. Tur. Hist. Franc. v. 42, vi. 43; Joannes Bicl. ap. Esp. Sagr. v. 377, 380, 383; Isid. Hist. Suev. ib. 506; Acts of the second council of Braga; Tejada y Ramiro, Colecc. de Lan. de la Igl. Esp. ii. 620; Formula Honestae Vitae, by Martin of Braga; Pref. Esp. Sagr. xv. 383.

Miro represents a period in the history of the Suevian kingdom of Gallicia, when, having renounced the Arianism imposed upon them in the 5th cent. by their then existing relations to the Visigoths, the Suevi entered into alliance with the Franks on the one hand and probably the Eastern empire on the other, with the view of checking the power of the Arian West-Gothic king LEOVIGILD, which at the beginning of Miro's reign threatened the absorption of the Suevian state in the kingdom of Toledo, a result actually achieved two years after Miro's death. The known facts of his reign, which although few in number are often contradictorily given by the authorities, are as follows. In 572 the second council of Braga, a kind of supplementary council to the more important gathering of 561 [MARTINUS (2)] was held, and the king is specially mentioned as contributing to its assembly. In the same year Miro conducted an expedition against the Ruccones in Cantabria, one of the restless Basque tribes, with whom Suevi and Goths alike were perpetually at war. Four years later Miro's great West-Gothic contemporary Leovigild appeared on the borders of Gallicia. Miro sued for peace, and obtained it for a short time. In 580 the Catholic rebellion of HERMENIGILD against his father Leovigild broke out, and the rebellious son became the centre of Frankish, Suevian, and Byzantine policy in the peninsula. In 580 we hear of envoys sent by Miro to Guntchramn of Burgundy, Leovigild's worst enemy, and intercepted and detained on the way by Leovigild's ally, Chilperic of Soissons. In 583 Miro set out from Gallicia at the head of an army destined to raise the siege of Seville, then closely invested by Leovigild. He was met on the way by Leovigild, and, according to Gregory of Tours, who is evidently best informed on the matter, withdrew homewards, and died shortly after from the effects of the bad air and water of S. Spain. The two Spanish sources, Joannes Biclarensis and Isidore, say that he died before Seville, and describe him as assisting Leovigild in the siege of the town. On the reconciliation of these conflicting accounts, cf. Dahn, Könige der Germanen, vi. 571; and Görres, Kritische Untersuch. über den Aufstand und das Martyrium der Westgoth. Königssohnes Hermenigald, in Zeitschrift für Hist. Theol. 1873, I. Miro's relations to Martin of Braga, the Catholic leader and organizer of Gallicia during his reign and that of his father, seem to have been intimate and friendly. Martin's principal work, Formula Vitae Honestae, is dedicated to him, and the Exhortatio Humilitatis, printed among Martin's works, is also probably addressed to him (Esp. Sagr. xv. Appendix).

[M.A.W.]

« Minucius Felix, Marcus Miro Modestus »
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