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]

Have you used this unit in the classroom (or elsewhere)? Please share your experience in the comments!

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]

Have you used this unit in the classroom (or elsewhere)? Please share your experience in the comments!

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)

Have you used this unit in the classroom (or elsewhere)? Please share your experience in the comments!

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]

Have you used this unit in the classroom (or elsewhere)? Please share your experience in the comments!

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]

Have you used this unit in the classroom (or elsewhere)? Please share your experience in the comments!

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]

Have you used this unit in the classroom (or elsewhere)? Please share your experience in the comments!

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]

Have you used this unit in the classroom (or elsewhere)? Please share your experience in the comments!

 

Isaac Cardoso, Las excelencias de los hebreos (Amsterdam 1679)

Las excelencias de los hebreos (Amsterdam 1679) is a treatise describing the positive characteristics (excelencias) of the Jewish people and a containing a refutation of common anti-Jewish calumnies (calunias) written by Isaac Cardoso (b. Fernando Cardoso, Trancoso, Portugal 1603 – d. Verona, Italy 1683). Excelencias is an apology or pro-Jewish treatise meant to educate its readers on Jewish history and practice, and to combat typical anti-Jewish ideas that were very widespread in Europe since the Middle Ages, and that persist to this day.

In this excerpt, the tenth and last of the calumnies leveled at leveled at Jews that he addresses in the work, Cardoso refutes the blood libel often aimed at aimed at Jewish communities living in majority Christian societies from the Middle ages to the present day. This is the accusation that Jews murder Christian children and use their blood to make the unleavened bread that is eaten ritually on the holiday of Pesach, or Passover.

As Cardoso explains in this text, these accusations are in contradiction to Jewish law, which forbids the consumption of blood of any sort, and condemns murder and human sacrifice in no uncertain terms. It is also worth pointing out that the accusation of drinking the blood and eating the flesh of a human sacrifice is structurally similar to the sacrament of communion, in which believing Catholics drink wine that according to the doctrine of transubstantiation has become the blood of Christ, and eat a wafer that according to the same doctrine has become his flesh. No such parallel is to be found, however, in Jewish ritual.

English version [doc]

Spanish version [doc]

Have you used this unit in the classroom (or elsewhere)? Please share your experience in the comments!

Don Juan Manuel, Conde Lucanor (ca. 1335)

Don Juan Manuel’s  Conde Lucanor (ca. 1335) is a frametale or collection of tales contained within another tale.

The fictional Count Lucanor’s advisor, Patronio, narrates to the Count a series of exemplary tales meant to teach the audience how to navigate to one’s advantage a number of political situations.

Here editors Savo and Cossío present a selection from Juan Manuel’s general prologue, along with tale number 31, about the Dean of the Cathedral of Santiago and Don Yllán, sorcerer of Toledo.

The English version has an introduction and notes in English, with the primary text in facing medieval Castilian/English translation. The Spanish version has an introduction and notes in Spanish, with the primary text in facing medieval Castilian and modern Spanish.

[Spanish version] [Engllish version]

Have you used this unit in the classroom (or elsewhere)? Please share your experience in the comments!