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!