The Learned King: The Reign of Alfonso X of Castile

The Learned King: The Reign of Alfonso X of Castile

The Learned King: The Reign of Alfonso X of Castile

The Learned King: The Reign of Alfonso X of Castile

Excerpt

Many years ago, while writing A History of Medieval Spain, I was attracted to the figure of Alfonso X and published an article on royal taxation and the cortes during his reign. Since then I have been drawn more and more deeply into the web of Alfonsine studies, especially through the agency of several good friends: Robert I. Burns, S.J., Robert A. MacDonald, John E. Keller, Maricel Presilla, and Manuel González Jiménez, with each of whom I have enjoyed many stimulating conversations on the Alfonsine Age.

Not only do I wish to thank each of them, but I must also express my gratitude to the many archivists in Spain who gave me access to their documentary collections. The American Council of Learned Societies and Fordham University provided essential financial support that enabled me to carry out my archival explorations and to devote important periods of time to the task of writing. I want to thank the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale of Florence for permission to reproduce the illustration from MS Banco Rari 20, and the Patrimonio Nacional de España and Edilán, S.A., for permission to include the illustrations from the facsimile edition of the Escorial manuscript of the Cantigas de Santa María. I am also indebted to my friend, Stan Benham, for his photographic work and to Margaret Pearce of the Clark University Cartographic Laboratory who prepared the maps.

Finally, I must also say that I have long taken great pleasure in the fact that Alfonso X and I, though our lives are separated by several centuries, share the same natal day, the feast of St. Clement, 23 November. Perhaps that connection, however tenuous it may be, has helped me better to understand the Learned King.

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