Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

The Latin Chronicle of the Kings of Castile

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

The Latin Chronicle of the Kings of Castile

Article excerpt

The Latin Chronicle of the Kings of Castile. Translated with an introduction and notes by Joseph F. O'Callaghan. [Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, Volume 236.] (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Arizona State University. 2002. Pp. xlii, 150. $24.00.)

This annotated translation of a little-known chronicle of the thirteenth century was produced by Professor O'Callaghan to provide undergraduate students, effectively unable to read Latin, with a roughly contemporary account of the reigns of Kings Alfonso VIII (1158-1214) and Fernando III (1217-1252) of Castile. To supplement the account itself, he has provided no less than three political maps of Iberia and three genealogical tables of major actors of the times. He has also supplied fourteen pages of his own introduction to the political history of Castile in the central Middle Ages, and to the manuscript tradition, the authorship, and the date of the chronicle.

Though cautious, after his fashion, O'Callaghan largely agrees with prior scholarship that the author of this anonymous chronicle was juan, chancellor of Castile from 1217, then bishop of Osma (1231-1240), and finally bishop of Burgos (1240-1246), and that he may well have begun to compose his account at the behest of King Alfonso VIII himself. Juan's chronicle ends with Fernando III's capture of Cordoba from the Muslims in 1236, though the point is made that the account of this latter (pp. 132-144 in this printing) may have been a continuation provided by another author.

This chronicle survives in but a single, late fifteenth-century manuscript of the Royal Academy of Madrid and in a single copy of that manuscript made in the late eighteenth century and now in the British Library. It has been given a critical edition only very recently by Luis Charlo Brea (ed. …

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