Alfonso X, the Learned

A Biography


Recent publications about King Alfonso X have tended to focus on his role as monarch in the context of the institutions of the realm. This book, however, emphasizes the human dimension of this extraordinary figure. Drawing on King Alfonso’s own works and on extensive archival sources, both well-known and neglected, Salvador Martínez brings to life a king who valued the possession of knowledge above all earthly riches. The "Learned King" left a vast legacy of work, which would influence developments in both Spain and Europe, most significantly in the transfer of knowledge from the Arabs to the Christian West. With his intellectual curiosity and his pursuit of wisdom, Alfonso X is a towering figure at the origins of modernity.

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
H. Salvador Martínez, Ph.D. (1972) in Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, is Professor of Spanish and Medieval culture at New York University. He has published extensively on medieval and Renaissance literature and culture, including El 'Poema de Almería' y la épica románica (Gredos, 1975), La rebelión de los burgos (Tecnos, 1992) and Convivencia en la España del siglo XIII (Polifemo, 2006).
List of Illustrations
Colour Plates

Introduction: The "Alfonsine Era"
1. The Apprenticeship of a Great King
2. A Prince's Education
3. Alfonso King
4. The Quest for the Imperial Crown
5. Alfonso, King of the Romans
6. Gregory X and the End of Imperial Ambitions
7. Illness and Intellectual Pursuits
8. The Black Decade (1269-1279)
9. The Nobles' Rebellion
10. Desnaturación
11. The Problems of Succession
12. Don Sancho is Declared Successor
13. Deposition and Civil War
14. Don Sancho Seeks the Consolidation of Power: The Curse
15. The Last Wills of Alfonso X
Conclusion: In Praise of Knowledge

Index of Names
All those interested in Hispano-medievalism and biographies; as well as for specialists in intellectual and political history.
  • Collapse
  • Expand