ʿAlī ibn Ḥazm, Risāla fī rithāʼ madīnat Qurṭuba (A Treatise on Lamenting the City of Cordova) (Cordova, 1031)

This unit contains an English translation of an Arabic treatise composed by ʿAlī ibn Ḥazm (d. 1063) to lament the capital of the province of Córdoba, a city in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. This treatise was composed during the civil war (fitna) that started in 1009 and ended in 1031 with the collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba. The importance of this treatise is that, in addition to being written by the well-known Andalusian philosopher, theologian, jurist, historian and poet Ibn Ḥazm, it depicts the devastated city of Cordova during a critical period in the history of the Muslim-ruled Iberian Peninsula.

This unit includes two sections: the first one consists of a brief introduction to the historical context of the treatise and its composer, in general, and the civil war (1009-1031), in particular. The second section of the unit includes an English or Spanish translation of the treatise in addition to the original Arabic text, and a short bibliography. Types of courses where the unit might be useful: Literature, history of medieval Spain, al-Andalus, Maghreb, translation, elegies, Arabic poetry.

[English version]

[Spanish version]

 

María de Zayas, Novelas amorosas y ejemplares, “La fuerza del amor” (1637)

María de Zayas, Novelas amorosas y ejemplares, “La fuerza del amor” (1637)

Pedagogical edition/translation of María de Zayas y Sotomayor’s story “The Power of Love” from her collection ‘Amorous and Exemplary Novels’ (Zaragoza, 1637).

Contains short introduction in English, English translation of Zayas’ text, notes, and short bibliography.

[English version] [Spanish version]

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Juan Latino, “On the Birth of Untroubled Times” (De natali serenissimi) (1572)

Juan Latino, “On the Birth of Untroubled Times” (De natali serenissimi) (1572)

This unit draws attention to the remarkable publication debut of Juan Latino, Europe’s first known Black poet. In 1572 he published an epic poem in Latin hexameters to commemorate Spain’s victory in the Battle of Lepanto (1571). While this poem celebrates the naval victory and praises the Spanish king, Philip II, its presents Juan Latino’s own claim to lasting fame as a poet. Here too, Latino asserts that his unique stature as a Black poet makes him the ideal poet to celebrate an internationally important naval victory. He also denounces color prejudice directed at Blacks in the Spanish court as counterproductive to the king’s goals of extending his rule to overseas territories.

The bilingual unit offered here includes the original Latin verse, accompanied by an English translation, with an English introduction, explanatory notes, and short bibliography by Elizabeth Wright. It will be useful for classes on Spanish literature, early modern Spanish history, literature of the African diaspora, and courses that examine the contributions of Blacks in Renaissance literature.

[English version] [Spanish version]

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Conversos and Identity (poems of Comendador Román and Antón de Montoro, excerpts from Andrés Bernáldez’s Memorias and the Libro de Alborayque (late 15th century)

Conversos and Identity (poems of Comendador Román and Antón de Montoro, excerpts from Andrés Bernáldez’s Memorias and the Libro de Alborayque (late 15th century)

This is a pedagogical edition of the medieval Castilian texts with English introduction, translation, notes, and bibliography by Ana Gómez Bravo, of a series of excerpts of late fifteenth-century texts related to the cultural practices (perceived and actual) of judeo-conversos, or Jews who have converted to Christianity.

It includes an introduction providing historical and cultural context, selections of the anti-converso verse of Diego Román (d. ca. 1490), poetry of converso poet Antón de Montoro (d. 1483), and excerpts from historian Andrés Bernáldez’s (d. 1513) Memorias and the anonymous anti-converso treatise Libro del Alborayque or Book of Alborayque.

This unit is part of Open Iberia/América, an online, open-access teaching anthology of texts from the premodern Hispanic world. https://openiberiaamerica.hcommons.org/ This file is the .rtf formatted English version, with introduction and notes in English, and the text in facing medieval Castilian/English translation.

[English version] [[Spanish version]

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Ferrán Martínez’s speech at the Tribunal del Alcázar in Seville, 19 February, 1388

Ferrán Martínez’s speech at the Tribunal del Alcázar in Seville, 19 February, 1388

This unit contains a brief introduction (English), edition of the original Castilian text with facing English translation and notes, and a short bibliography.

The text is the first English translation from the medieval Castilian of Ferrán Martínez’s speech at the royal court in Seville in 1388. Martínez was a canon at the Cathedral Chapter and the archdeacon of Écija, who was later held responsible for the attack on the Jews of Seville in June 1391. The Jewish community initiated a lawsuit against the archdeacon in an attempt to stop Martínez’s virulently anti-Jewish preaching. The proceedings took place over the course of two days, 11 and 19 February, before the gates of the royal Alcázar.

The text picks up the narrative at the end of the first day and continues with the events of the second day, when the archdeacon delivered a speech in his own defense. Since none of his sermons have survived, the speech provides a rare glimpse into Martínez’s inflammatory rhetoric. Its consequences were tragic: in the summer of 1391, anti-Jewish violence spread from Seville to other parts of Spain, leading to thousands of forced conversions and deaths.

Types of courses where the text might be useful: History (medieval, Jewish, Iberian, anti-Semitism), Religious Studies, Jewish Studies, Sephardic Studies, Hispanic Languages and Literatures. It might also be useful to scholars in affiliated fields who do not necessarily focus on medieval Iberia.

[English version] [Spanish version]

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Ramon Muntaner, Crònica (Valencia, ca. 1330) on the Catalan vengeance (1305-1307)

Ramon Muntaner, Crònica (Valencia, ca. 1330) on the Catalan vengeance (1305-1307)

This is a pedagogical edition of a section of Ramon Muntaner’s Crònica (Valencia, ca. 1330) relating the events leading up to the so-called ‘Catalan vengeance,’ in which the Catalan company who had been invited by the Byzantine Emperor to defend Constantinople were deceived, massacred, and then launched a bloody counterattack that earned them control of a large territory in the Eastern Mediterranean. Edition of Catalan text, introduction, and translations into English and Spanish by Vicente Lledó-Guillem (2019)

(English version) (Spanish version)

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Siete Infantes de Lara (Castile, ca. 1280)

Siete Infantes de Lara (Castile, ca. 1280)

Pedagogical edition, with short introduction, notes, and bibliography (in two versions with original text in medieval Castilian and facing translation in English and Modern Spanish) of the ‘Siete Infantes de Lara’ a reconstruction of a late medieval Castilian epic poem detailing the exploits of the dispute between the Lara and Velázquez families in the early 11th century. Introduction, notes, edition of medieval Castilian, and translation into English and Spanish by Peter Mahoney (2019). This version contains the medieval Castilian text with Spanish modernization, and introduction, notes, and bibliography in Spanish.

[Spanish version] [English version]

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Alfonso X, General estoria, Actaeon (ca. 1280) 

Alfonso X, General estoria, Actaeon (ca. 1280)

A pedagogical edition, with short introduction, notes, and bibliography for further reading, of the section of Alfonso X’s universal history “General estoria’ (ca. 1280) dealing with the figure of Actaeon, hero of Thebes. Edition and translation into English by Erik Ekman (2019).

[Spanish version] [English version]

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Sendebar (1253)

This unit contains a selection of texts from the Sendebar (1253), one of the most famous and widespread collections of exemplary literature in the Middle Ages, with versions in Arabic, Syriac, Farsi, Greek, Hebrew, and Spanish.

The importance of this work lies in the fact that, together with the Calila and Dimna, it was the first collection of Eastern tales to make it into the Iberian Peninsula, bringing with it a new way of organizing the plot around a narrative frame which gave meaning to each separate tale. The selection includes the three tales from the second day of the trial: the first is narrated by the woman, who claims that the Prince tried to rape her; the other two are narrated by one of the king’s counselors, who tries to convince the king to keep calm (first tale) and that all women are deceitful (second tale).

Types of courses where the text might be useful: History, literature, and culture of medieval Spain, al-Andalus, Maghreb, Translation, Tales.

[Spanish version] [English version]

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Fernando de Rojas, Celestina (1499)

This bilingual unit contains a brief introduction to the Spanish masterpiece Celestina, or The Tragicomedy of Calisto and Melibea, and a fragment from a dialogue in Act VII adapted for modern readers with notes, and a short bibliography.

Celestina deals with love, the decline of nobility, prostitution, witchcraft, money, death, and laughter. It also includes several medical beliefs that especially affect women´s health. Not surprisingly, it is one of those few works that has been continually read since its appearance in 1499, although it has often been accompanied by controversy and, at times, censorship. Today, Celestina remains as a groundbreaking creation, often seen as a piece that marks the transition in Iberia from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

Types of courses where the text might be useful: History, literature, and culture of medieval and early modern Spain; birth of novel; gender literature; history of medicine.

[English version] [Spanish version]

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