The Asturian kingdom provided the earliest organised\ud resistance in the Iberian peninsula to the Muslim invaders who overthrew the Visigothic state at the start of the 8th century. Information on the origins of the Asturian kingdom is regrettably sparse. Historians of the kingdom are totally reliant on a late 9th-century cycle of Asturian chronicles associated with the royal court, the most substantial of which is the Chronicle of Alfonso III. This work has survived in two fundamental recensions from the 10th century. Historians' gratitude for its existence is tinged with frustration at its readily apparent weaknesses, such as a chronological imprecision on events and an enigmatic brevity in the commentary.\ud \ud This thesis considers the 9th-century Asturian chronicles in\ud the context of their own time. In particular, it examines the Chronicle of Alfonso III not as a disappointing source which fails to yield to modern scholars the information they crave on this obscure period of early Spanish history, but, rather, as an expression of the aims of a medieval author and his copyists. The Chronicle was the product of scarce and valuable resources. Its author, within the limits of his literary ability and source of information, transmitted a message which interacted with the individual understanding of its intended audience. This shift of\ud emphasis in analysing the Chronicle of Alfonso III rests on the assumption that its original text may be recognised in the later recensions which used it, by addition or omission, as a vehicle for their own interests
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