Omar Paton was one of the last Castilian Muslims to complete the hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. He undertook the journey from his home city of Ávila (Castile), departing in 1491. Upon his return from the East, Paton depicted the experiences and emotions he lived during his long and dangerous pious expedition in his Memoir of the Journey to and from Mecca.
This bilingual unit contains a brief introduction to the Memoria with notes and a short bibliography in Spanish and English versions. Both contain an edition of an excerpt of the original aljamiado text relating Patón’s experiences in Alexandria, Damascus, and Jerusalem, accompanied by a Spanish modernization or English translation for use in classes with either language as the language of instruction.
Types of courses where the text might be useful: Spanish literature, Spanish history, Islamic studies, Mediterranean Studies
The Danza general de la muerte (Dance of Death) (late 14th-century) is a rhymed dialogue in Castilian in which death personified greets one victim after another. It is the earliest of 3 extant Castilian versions of the Dance of Death, which was popular across Europe in the Middle Ages. The Dance of Deathgives expression to the premodern view that death is inevitable regardless of social class or religious affiliation. The Castilian version reflects the realities of medieval Iberian society, and death’s victims include Christians, Muslims and Jews. The work shows people from the highest positions, the emperor and the pope for example, to the lowest, the friar and parish priest. The figure of Death as depicted in this work may be a reflection of the multi-faith society of premodern Iberia. Death is not described in detail, but it is nowhere described as a skeleton, as it is often depicted in other European dances of death. Death has elements associated with the angels of death from the Jewish and Muslim traditions.
This unit contains an edition of the medieval Castilian text, accompanied by an introduction and notes in both Spanish and English versions:
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.
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.