Rather to my surprise I found a website online dedicated to the 6th century writer Martin of Braga, best known for a work De ira which is based on Seneca’s
lost work of the same title.
The site is run by Angus Graham and is here. (Update 2017: link repointed to Archive.org) He also scanned a bunch of Latin texts, from the edition of Barlow (mirrored at the Bibliotheca Augustana page), and these are available in zip form, together with a Word document translation of De correctione rusticorum (in file BRAGARUSE.DOC).
It was the latter for which I was looking, because it witnesses to some unusual paganism in what is now Portugal in his period. The translation, made in 2001, is very smooth and I make no bones about giving some relevant sections here:
 Then the devil and his agents, demons who had been cast down from heaven, seeing man in ignorance abandoning God his creator and led astray by created things, began to reveal themselves in different forms, speaking to man and demanding things of him, and in the lofty mountains and leafy forests he made offerings, considering them to be gods. They gave themselves the names of evil men who spent their lives in all manner of sin and wickedness. The one called himself Jupiter, who was a magician and whose incestuous adultery was so great that he took his own sister as wife, whose name was Juno; he corrupted his daughters, Minerva and Venus, shamefully committing incest even with his grand-daughters and all his family. Another of these demons called himself Mars, who was the cause of strife and discord. Yet another of these demons preferred the name of Mercury, and he was the inventor of all theft and crafty deceit; to him greedy men render sacrifice as if he was a god of profit, throwing down heaps of precious stones at crossroads. Another of these demons, having given himself the name of Saturn and living in all cruelty, even devoured his own children. Yet another of these demons pretended to be Venus, who was a slut. Not only did she commit countless adulteries, but she was even her own father, Jupiter’s, slut, and Mars, her brother’s.
 This is the sort of degenerate men there were in those days, who common people ignorantly honoured for their wicked inventions, whose names were assumed in this way by demons so that men would worship them as gods and offer them sacrifices and imitate the deeds of those whose names they invoked. Those demons even persuaded men to build temples to them and to place there images and statues of wicked men and to set up altars, at which the blood not just of animals but even of men was shed for them. But besides this, many of these devils who were banished from heaven hold sway over the rivers, the springs and the forests, and ignorant men worship them and make sacrifices to them as if they were gods. And in the sea they are called Neptune, in the rivers Lamia, in the springs Nymphs, in the forests Diana, and they are all no more than evil demons and spirits who harm and harass unfaithful men who do not know how to defend themselves with the sign of the cross. Yet they cannot do harm without the permission of God, for men have angered God and do not believe with all their heart in Christ’s faith, and are so doubting that they give the names of these demons to each day of the week, calling these days by the names of Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn, where these created no days, but were wicked and evil men among the Greeks.
 … What folly it therefore is that man, baptised in the faith of Christ, does not honour the Lord’s day, but says to honour the days of Jupiter, and Mercury, and Venus and Saturn, who have no days of their own, but rather were adulterers and sorcerers and were wicked and who died evilly in their own land! Yet as we have said, it is with these kind of names that foolish men show veneration and honour to demons.
 In the same way the error was insinuated among the ignorant and simple that the year should begin on the calends of January, which is altogether fictitious. For as holy scripture tells us, the first year began at the equinox of the eighth of the calends of April. As we may read: ‘and God divided the light from the darkness’. Since in all true division there is equalness, so on the eighth of the calends of April the day has as many hours as does the night. And so it is false that the year should begin on the calends of January.
 With what anguish should we speak of that foolish error of observing the day of the moth and the mouse, and is it right to say that a Christian may worship the moth and the mouse in place of God? …
 … So why do some of you who have renounced the devil and his angels, his worship and his evil deeds then go back to worshipping the devil? For lighting candles by rocks, by trees, by springs and at crossroads – what is this other than worshipping the devil? Celebrating the feast of Vulcan and the calends, decking tables, laying laurel wreaths, placing the right foot first, throwing food and wine over the hearth-log, casting bread into the spring, what else is this but worshipping the devil? Women that invoke Minerva at their looms, that choose the day of Venus to get married, and that regard a particular day as auspicious for travel – what else is this but worshipping the devil? Making spells with herbs to do injury and thereat invoking the names of demons – what else is this but worshipping the devil? And there are many more things that would take too long to tell. …
 … How unjust and shameful it is that those who are pagans and ignorant of Christian faith should worship the idols of demons, should observe the day of Jupiter or some other demon, and refrain from toil even though these demons neither have nor have they created any day. And we, who worship the true God and believe that the Son of God was resurrected from the dead, should so poorly revere the day of His resurrection, that is Sunday!
Again we see the idea of not working on Thursday present among the ignorant folk whom Martin evangelised, and various kinds of superstition.
It is tempting to think here of Thor, rather than Jupiter, for this was a German society in this period, not a classical one. But of course this can only be speculation. The gods specified earlier are certainly the Olympians, but Martin’s concern seems mainly to be to break the link between the days of the week and paganism, rather than any fear of these gods being worshipped now. The observances are much more petty.
Martin is very careful to remind his hearers that none of the demons have any power when confronted with the sign of the cross. This is not an abstract treatise, but a real problem and a real solution demanded. Those who do not follow Christ will always fall into superstition.
Somebody needs to collect all the testimonia for late paganism. Until this is done no individual piece of data can be more than interesting.
UPDATE (2017): I find that the Angus Graham site vanished in 2016. The link above is to the Wayback Machine at Archive.org.
UPDATE: I think that I will append the page contents. This information should not be allowed to vanish from the web.
Martin of Braga: Opera omniaMartin, abbot of Dume, bishop of Braga, saint, died in 579 (feast day 20 March). Later in the middle ages, his works were sometimes attributed to Seneca. His Formula vitae honestae (= De quattuor virtutibus) was especially widespread.
Texts presented here are taken from ed. Claude W. Barlow, Martini Episcopi Bracarensis Opera Omnia, Papers and Monographs of the American Academy in Rome, XII, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1950. This publication is now out of copyright. You have here the bare text: I do not include Barlow’s rich critical apparatus or his thorough and enlightening discussion.
There is a recent edition of the De correctione rusticorum giving the Latin text, a Spanish translation, and a discussion: José Eduardo López Pereira, Cultura, Relixión e Supersticións na Galicia Sueva: Martiño de Braga ‘De correctione rusticorum’, Monografías 39, La Coruña, Universidade da Coruña, 1996 (ISBN 84-89694-08-7).
The text De Pascha is included by Barlow; more recent scholarship has questioned its place in Martin’s canon because of its occasional manichaean and priscillian content. The minutes of the two councils of Braga may very well not have come from Martin’s pen; however, he played a sufficiently prominent role at them that they should certainly be considered as reflecting his acta if not his opera.
Back to Albertano.
Back to texts.
Pro repellenda iactantia
(Barlow, pp. 65-69)
Item de superbia
(Barlow, pp. 69-73)
(Barlow, pp. 74-79)
Councils and canons:
First council of Braga
(Barlow, pp. 105-115)
Second council of Braga
(Barlow, pp. 116-123)
Canons of St. Martin
(Barlow, pp. 123-144)
Sententiae Patrum Aegyptiorum
(Barlow, pp. 30-51)
(Barlow, pp. 150-158)
De correctione rusticorum
(Barlow, pp. 183-203)
• My own English translation is included in the Opera *.zip file.
Formula vitae honestae
(Barlow, pp. 236-250)
De trina mersione
(Barlow, pp. 256-258)
(Barlow, pp. 270-275)
(Barlow, pp. 282-283)
Original sources for his life
(Barlow, pp. 288-304)
You can download Martin’s Opera (141k *.zip file) by clicking here.