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The Trastamara Dynasty: 1369 to 1504/1516

This course studies the final century and a half of an independent Castile under the new Trastámara dynasty (1369-1516). Its 147 years of rule saw the creation of a new nobility that slowly began to assimilate the influence of Italy and the Low Countries. It also witnessed the establishment of the printing press, the Inquisition, the promotion of a common language, the expulsion of the Jews, the end of the Reconquest, and the change in human perspective announced by the voyage of Colón. The reign of the last of the Trastámaras, Isabel la Católica (1474-1504) and Fernando de Aragón (1474-1516), in particular, is a period of transition between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance during which a collection of independent principalities began to coalesce into the Spanish nation.

The reign of the Trastámaras also witnessed the beginnings of autobiographic and biographic literature (Memorias and the psychological novel, Cárcel de amor); the establishment of the chivalric ideology (Laberinto, Coplas, Doctrinal, Amadís); the impact of the printing press (from “cancioneros” to the Cancionero general); and the burgeoning of political satire (Coplas de la panadera, Coplas del Provincial, Coplas de Mingo Revulgo, Carajicomedia).

The course ends with the introduction of a more well-rounded humanism under the transformation of the medieval concept of the world that follows the publication of Celestina in 1492 and the writing of Colón’s Diario de abordo that same year. These texts are all foundational for an adequate understanding of the Golden Age and Colonial literature.

We will track these changes through a variety of texts provided on the website for the course:

  • Leonor López de Córdoba, Memorias
  • Selections of the Cancionero de Baena, the Cancionero general, and Cancionero de burlas (selections)
  • Juan de Mena, Laberinto de Fortuna
  • Íñigo López de Mendoza, marqués de Santillana, Serranillas, Doctrinal, Sonetos
  • Jorge Manrique, Coplas por la muerte de su padre, poesía
  • , Coplas de la panadera, Coplas del Provincial, Coplas de Mingo Revulgo, Carajicomedia
  • Diego de San Pedro, Cárcel de amor
  • Fernando de Rojas, La Celestina
  • Cristóbal Colón, Diario de abordo
  • Garci Ordóñez de Montalvo, Amadis de Gaula
    Luis Milán, El cortesano (selections).

Previously Offered:

Fall 2017, Fall 2020