By H. Salvador Martínez
A really groundbreaking publication, providing a portrait of Alfonso X, monarch and medieval highbrow par excellence, and the extreme cultural heritage of Spain at the moment.
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16 See the essays gathered in the beautiful volume, Alfonso X. Aportaciones de un rey castellano a la construcción de Europa, Coordinación M. Rodríguez Llopis, Murcia: Consejería de Cultura y Educación, 1997. the “alfonsine era” 15 his day. From 1256 on, his aspiration to the imperial title left its mark on many of Alfonso’s actions. ”17 As we shall see, it was precisely his political and social activity at all levels, national and international, legal and legislative, linguistic, and even in terms of environmental protection, that would end up costing him not only the imperial crown, but also that of his own kingdom.
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.
Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologica to the Summa of Trojan History, everything in all fields must be said with the largest number of sources, in great detail, and with the greatest number of words, everything gathered in massive tomes. Alfonso’s two great historiographic compilations, therefore, follow the fashion of his day, although according to don Juan Manuel, his uncle “very carefully ordered the Chronicle of Spain and he put everything down very correctly and with very solid arguments and the least number of words” (Crónica abreviada).
Alfonso X, the Learned by H. Salvador Martínez