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For the purposes of the new edition, every poem has been assigned a unique short title. The original short titles, taken eclectically from a number of sources, are retained as alternative short titles.
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CSM Number : 99
Short name: The Moors who Tried to Destroy an Image of the Virgin Alternative: Saracens Cannot Deface Mary-Image
Incipit: Muito se deven tẽer/ por gentes de mal recado
Refrain: Muito sse deven tẽer/ por gentes de mal recado/ os que mal cuidan fazer/ aa de que Deus foi nado.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: unspecified Protagonist(s): a Moorish army

Some Moors captured a Christian city.

They entered a church and began to destroy the altar and all of the images.

They saw a particularly beautiful one and tried to smash it.

The Virgin prevented them from breaking the image and it bore no signs of damage.

The Moors thought that they were going to die there.

They realised that God was punishing them for desecrating the church.

Metrical data
Stanza: 7 7 7 7' 7 7' Refrain: 7 7' 7 7'
No. of Stanzas: 7
Rhyme scheme: ABAB | aaabab Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
T99, E99
Poncelet reference
Pauci admodum anni sunt quod Sarazeni a Babylonis imp. (1199)
iconoclasts, image (of Virgin Mary), images (other), Muslims/Moors, warfare
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
Miracle Collection
Saracens Cannot Deface Mary-Image Vincent de Beauvais
Saracens Cannot Deface Mary-Image William of Malmesbury
Saracens Cannot Deface Mary-Image Adgar
(London, BL, Egerton 612)
Saracens Cannot Deface Mary-Image Johannes Herolt
Saracens Cannot Deface Mary-Image Anglo-Norman Miracles of the Virgin
(London, BL, Royal 20 B XIV, fols 102v-169)
The Cantigas, or ’Songs of Praise of St. Mary’
Burns, Robert I.
La guerra en Andalucía: Aproximaciones a la retórica visual de las Cantigas de Santa María
Corti, Francisco
El arte mayor de Juan de Mena
Hanssen, Friedrich
Shields of faith: apotropaic images of the Virgin in Alfonso X\'s Cantigas de Santa María
Jackson, Deirdre Elizabeth
Alfonso X el Sabio y la pintura sobre tabla
Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier