The Latin Chronicle of the Kings of Castile

The Latin Chronicle of the Kings of Castile

The Latin Chronicle of the Kings of Castile

The Latin Chronicle of the Kings of Castile

Synopsis

O'Callaghan (emeritus, history, Fordham U.) provides undergraduates possessing little or no knowledge of Latin with an early 13th-century account of the affairs of the kingdom of Castile during the reigns of Alfonso VIII (1158- 1214) and Fernando III (1217-1252). The introduction includes an overview of early peninsular history and discussion of the salient characteristics of the , which is followed by the author's footnoted translation of the text. No subject index. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Excerpt

When I first offered a course in the history of medieval Spain to undergraduates at Fordham University more than forty years ago, I discovered that I had neither a textbook nor any collection of translated sources. As a consequence, I set out to remedy the situation by writing A History of Medieval Spain. I also translated some materials for use in my classes, and began a translation of The Latin Chronicle of the Kings of Castile. Other concerns distracted me from the latter task, which I took up again recently and finally completed. My purpose in translating this work is to provide undergraduates who have little or no knowledge of Latin with an early thirteenth-century account of the affairs of the kingdom of Castile during the reigns of Alfonso viii (1158–1214) and Fernando iii (1217–1252).

This was an important period in peninsular history because of the confrontation between Christian Spain and the Almohads, a Muslim sect from Morocco, who dominated Islamic Spain for nearly a century. the breakup of the Almohad empire enabled the Christian kings of Spain to conquer significant towns and their dependent territories. the Latin Chronicle relates the catastrophe of Alarcos in 1195, when Alfonso viii was thoroughly routed by the Almohads, and his extraordinary triumph over them at Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212. Moreover, the author, who appears to be the royal chancellor Juan, bishop first of Osma and then of Burgos, comments in detail on Fernando Ill’s campaigns against the Muslims, culminating in his conquest of Córdoba in 1236. At the same time the author speaks about extrapeninsular affairs such as the Albigensian Crusade, the Third and Fourth Crusades, and the Crusade of Emperor Frederick ii and his subsequent conflict with the papacy. in effect, The Latin Chronicle, besides being a major source for peninsular development in the late twelfth . . .

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