Alfonso X, the Learned by H. Salvador Martínez

By H. Salvador Martínez

A really groundbreaking e-book, offering a portrait of Alfonso X, monarch and medieval highbrow par excellence, and the extreme cultural background of Spain at the moment.

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F. O’Callaghan, “The Beginnings of the Cortes of León-Castile,” The American Historical Review, 74 (1969), pp. 1512–1513. 16 PCG, II, chap. 997, p. 677a. 17 PCG, II, chap. 997, p. 677a. 18 Freed from the commitment to the German prince, Berenguela, following her mother’s will and with the consent of her father, was finally able to marry Alfonso IX of León in 1197. It was a calculated political decision that Alfonso VIII had made nine years earlier (1188) during a visit the young king of León had paid him at Carrión de los Condes on the occasion of Berenguela’s marriage engagement to Conrad.

19 24 chapter one be solved with such a union. 20 As expected, the marriage brought peace to the kingdoms but also created a series of serious problems for the couple. At 17, Berenguela was very aware of the political significance of that marriage agreement. The king of León had already been married to Teresa of Portugal and, although their marriage had been officially annulled three years earlier by pope Celestine III (1191–1198) because of blood ties (they were first cousins), the royal couple continued having children, totaling three, two daughters and one son: Sancha, Fernando, and Dulce.

It is an absurd and chilling story that seems more like a fable, more inhumane than King Lear’s, which Alfonso himself had narrated in the General Estoria. Before closing this introduction, I would like to respond to a couple of objections that were raised during my research. Besides the contribution to the dissemination of culture among his subjects in the Castilian language, which was accessible to all, Alfonso was also interested in the political and social conditions and the spreading of culture to the rest of the Europe of his time.

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