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The Beginnings of Castilian Hegemony to 1369

Two courses are devoted to the medieval period. Span 701 (Beginnings of Castilian Hegemony to 1369) deals specifically with the early history and literature of Castile until a change of
Spring 2018 Spanish Graduate Course Descriptions 3 dynasty brings it to a close. Span 702 deals with the imposition of the Trastámara dynasty and its existence through the death of Fernando el Católico in 1516.

Span 701 traces the slow emergence of Castile in the thirteenth century as leader of a small number of kingdoms engaged in the slow re-imposition of Christian rule over Arabic Spain. Castile vies for power with the kingdoms of Leon, Asturias, Navarre, Aragon, and Portugal. We read texts with an eye to this history.

We begin by studying the jarchas and the golden age of Jewish poetry as phenomena that just preceded and were coterminous with Castilian expansion beyond Toledo (Cantar de Mio Cid) and the inordinate influence of the monasteries that bordered the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. The works of Gonzalo de Berceo (among them Milagros de Nuestra Señora) are the best-known products of these institutions, although the influence of the mester de clerecía affects the epic (Poema de Fernán González)
and prose (Alfonso X, Estoria de España, Grande e General Estoria, Cantigas de Santa María,
etc.) of the period.
The eclipse of the monasteries as centers of cultural power in the fourteenth century is coterminous with Juan Ruiz’s Libro de buen amor and don Juan Manuel’s El conde Lucanor and
the Libro de las armas, which show beginning traces of the individualism that is increasingly going to affect the literature of Spain. The influence of Italy is not palpable until the early fifteenth century.

Alfonso X: Primera Crónica, General Estoria, Partidas y Espéculo, Lapidario, Testamentos, Cantigas
Anon. Cantar de Mio Cid
Berceo. Milagros de Nuestra Señora
Anon. Poema de Fernán González
Don Juan Manuel: Segundo prólogo, Libro de las armas, Libro del caballero y el escudero
Juan Ruiz, Arcipreste de Hita: Libro de buen amor


Previously Offered:

Fall 2016