A Spanish saga of heretics, witches and saints ... Menendez Pelayo, Spain's leading intellectual figure in the 19th century, tells the glorious tale of how Spain's Catholicism heroically survived all attemps against her; and in beautiful prose too, here rendered into English for the first time. The present volume deals with the challenges early Christianity faced in Spain prior to the Middle Ages. Books 2 and 3(in preparation) bring the history up to the eve of the Reformation. The author's introduction to the first edition ends with a prayer: "May God give me the light of understanding and a humble firmness of will; may He steer and guide my pen to narrate without anger or bias the sad history of error among our peninsular people May He grant that this history may foster enlightenment and benefit, not scandal, to Christians everywhere." Few books of ecclesiastical history make for such a gripping read.