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This volume is both a continuation of the six already published titles in the series (2021-23) and an addition to the Concise Dictionary of Novel Medical and General Hebrew Terminology from the Middle Ages. It continues mapping the medical terminology features in medieval Hebrew medical woks in order to facilitate study of medical terms that do not appear in the existing dictionaries as well as identifying the medical terminology used by specific authors and translators in order to identify anonymous medical material. The terminology discussed in this volume has been derived from ten different sources, including translations from Ibn Sīnā’s K. al-Qānūnby Nathan ha-Meʾati, Zeraḥyah Ḥen, and two anonymous authors. Further it contains terminology from the Maʾamar ba-Haqqazah, an anonymous Hebrew translation of Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakariyyā al-Rāzī’s K. fī al-faṣd, as well as from an anonymous translation of Guy de Chauliacʼs Inventarium sive Chirurgia Magna.
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A Plural Peninsula embodies and upholds Professor Simon Barton’s influential scholarly legacy, eschewing rigid disciplinary boundaries. Focusing on textual, archaeological, visual and material culture, the sixteen studies in this volume offer new and important insights into the historical, socio-political and cultural dynamics characterising different, yet interconnected areas within Iberia and the Mediterranean. The structural themes of this volume --the creation and manipulation of historical, historiographical and emotional narratives; changes and continuity in patterns of exchange, cross-fertilisation and the recovery of tradition; and the management of conflict, crisis, power and authority-- are also particularly relevant for the postmedieval period, within and beyond Iberia.

Contributors are Janna Bianchini, Jerrilynn D. Dodds, Simon R. Doubleday, Ana Echevarría Arsuaga, Maribel Fierro, Antonella Liuzzo Scorpo, Fernando Luis Corral, Therese Martin, Iñaki Martín Viso, Amy G. Remensnyder, Maya Soifer Irish, -Teresa Tinsley, Sonia Vital Fernández, Alun Williams, Teresa Witcombe, and Jamie Wood.

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Abstract

For some years now, we have been witnessing politicians of all ideologies and nationalities trivializing the political, social and ideological processes associated to the Middle Ages. The messages launched from these positions of power have been often accepted without questioning their reliability. In Zamora (Spain), in a plenary session held on 24th June 2009, the City Council decided to change the name of the “Gate of Betrayal” of the city’s castle grounds to “Gate of Loyalty”. This action sought to vindicate the figure of Vellido Dolfos, now presented as the liberator of the city, rather than as a medieval traitor—which is how some medieval sources describe him. This name change has wider implications, as it alters the narrative of a significant episode in the medieval history of the kingdoms of León and Castile: the assassination of King Sancho II of Castile at the hands of the aforementioned Vellido Dolfos in 1072. Did the political party that suggested such a change provide an accurate historical argument? Was this an attempt to re-assess history, or was it, in reality, a crude political manoeuvre to gain political notoriety, albeit at local and regional levels? This paper will answer these questions by critically reviewing the existing evidence concerning Vellido Dolfos and his ‘myth’.

In: A Plural Peninsula: Studies in Honour of Professor Simon Barton
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Abstract

The Hispano-Latin chronicle known as the Chronica Adefonsi Imperatoris (translated by Simon Barton into English in The World of El Cid, co-edited with Richard Fletcher) was completed in c.1147, towards the end of the reign of Alfonso VII of León-Castile (r. 1126–1157). It consists of three books: the first two are in prose and the third, an unfinished poem in rhythmic hexameters, celebrates the success of the Castilian Christians and their allies in wresting the port city of Almería from Muslim hands. The text is anonymous, though clues within the narrative suggest a single strand of authorship and aspects related to the author’s identity. The chronicle is a eulogy written in praise of Alfonso VII’s military successes against competing Christian kingdoms in Iberia and Muslim al-Andalus. A striking feature of the author’s construction of history is his facility to incorporate biblical imagery into the language of conquest and in his depictions of the infidel. This is particularly apparent in the author’s use of animal-based imagery which indicates a derivation from a wide exegetical and classical corpus. This body of familiar metaphors will be studied comparatively, examining purpose and implications as well as style. The case of Iberia is particularly significant as it combines a long-standing and comparable use of such imagery in the wider Mediterranean with that which was also adopted in different parts of the medieval Latin West.

In: A Plural Peninsula: Studies in Honour of Professor Simon Barton

Abstract

As demonstrated by Simon Barton in his influential The Aristocracy in Twelfth-Century León and Castile, during the reign of Alfonso VII (r. 1126–1157), both the aristocracy and the monarchy sought to consolidate and reinforce their power in the Kingdom of León. Having newly ascended the throne, Alfonso VII was forced to negotiate with a powerful aristocracy, who resisted his actions, hence shifting the balance of power in the kingdom. Subsequently, the Leonese, Castilian, Asturian and Galician aristocracies staged rebellions against the king’s authority. While each rebellion had its own particular underlying reasons, they all shared several common elements. An overall analysis of these rebellions through contemporary chronicles and documentary sources reveals a common aspect related to the processes and strategies of political affirmation of the aristocratic groups: the aristocrats of this time were able to oppose the king’s policy when they believed that it harmed their interests. At the same time, they were able to establish other power relations that allowed them to prosper politically and socially. This study also reveals the political and institutional mechanisms that Alfonso VII put in place to consolidate his authority in the kingdom.

In: A Plural Peninsula: Studies in Honour of Professor Simon Barton

Abstract

Following the path of Simon Barton’s “Las mujeres nobles y el poder en los reinos de León y Castilla en el siglo XII: Un estudio preliminar,” published in Studia Historica. Historia medieval, this study will examine the ways in which two powerful Queens, Berenguela of Castile and her daughter-in-law Beatrice of Swabia, wielded power in the kingdom under Fernando III (r. 1217–1252). Obscured by Berenguela, queen on her own right, Beatrice has often been forgotten other than to justify her son Alfonso X’s claims to the Germanic Empire. An in-depth study of her role in the kingdom and her entourage helps understand how the functions of a regnant queen mother and those of a queen consort interacted in this peculiar period for Castilian queenship. Given that it was Berenguela herself who negotiated the marriage of Fernando III with Beatrice, as a continuation of a diplomatic game that started with her own engagement to Conrad, son of Emperor Frederick I, the choice of a German princess and the arrival of the Teutonic knights on her trail must have had a strong impact on the politics of the kingdom, and on the royal household.

In: A Plural Peninsula: Studies in Honour of Professor Simon Barton
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Abstract

According to a history of Medina written in the first half of the fourteenth century, in the year 557/1162 two Christians from the Iberian Peninsula attempted to steal the remains of the Prophet Muḥammad from his grave. In a later source, the culprit is presented as a Shīʿī. This paper seeks to explain how the story—full of colorful details—came into being, how it relates to other stories dealing with attempts at stealing the Prophet’s body and with Christian attacks on Muslim holy sites, and why in the earliest extant source the protagonists are Iberian Christians. This study demonstrates that to understand the central role given to Christian agents in such narratives one should consider how the Andalusīs, forced to migrate from their land because of Christian territorial advance in the Iberian Peninsula, tried—unsuccessfully—to influence the policies of rulers in the Mashriq (Islamic East) to save their homeland from Christian conquest.

Open Access
In: A Plural Peninsula: Studies in Honour of Professor Simon Barton

Abstract

Political and diplomatic exchanges are closely intertwined, framing and defining social dynamics and interactions between individuals, institutions, ethnic and political communities. As Simon Barton suggested in his last book, Conquerors, Brides, and Concubines, in medieval Mediterranean contexts, such as the Iberian Peninsula, interfaith liaisons were powerful tools of political and diplomatic negotiation, while also conveying broader cultural meanings. In this chapter, I argue that the rhetoric of emotion and trust functioned in a similarly multi-purposed way to define and shape political and diplomatic exchanges. Focusing on thirteenth-century Iberia, this study examines the centrality of trust in both political and social contexts, and how this unfolded in a variety of communicative acts, including expressing and managing emotions. The case study of James I of Aragon (r. 1213–1276) and his chronicle-autobiography, the Llibre dels fets, helps us reflect upon modes of political and diplomatic communication and how emotional language, gestures and performance were central to promoting and legitimising different types of connections and exchanges beyond geopolitical, linguistic and ethnic frontiers.

In: A Plural Peninsula: Studies in Honour of Professor Simon Barton

Abstract

This chapter explores Archbishop Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada’s competing agendas for the colonial world he sought to unite. He is known as the ardent promoter of the Crusade of Las Navas de Tolosa, and yet, among his many political goals was also the construction of a vision for his rapidly expanding colonial society that—by necessity—included Muslims and Jews submitted to his Christian king. Such tangled goals are echoed with particular force in cases of the conversion of mosques to churches, as revealed in the challenges and contradictions faced by Alfonso VI (r. 1072–1109) and Alfonso X (r. 1252–1284) in their own colonial endeavors. Architecture functions here as a locus of these unresolved agendas: Toledo’s Great Mosque turned transcultural cathedral; the church of San Román, with its collective identity, both triumphant and plural; and the city’s Gothic Cathedral, a building that functioned simultaneously as a sign of a fictive pure identity, and also as the vestigial marker of anxiety about shared languages of expression.

In: A Plural Peninsula: Studies in Honour of Professor Simon Barton

Abstract

This chapter argues that there were significant continuities in the types of Jewish officials who served the rulers of Islamic al-Andalus and Christian Castile between the tenth and the fourteenth centuries. Unlike much of the scholarship on this topic, which has viewed these continuities through the lens of the court Jews’ self-image, predicated on their intellectual accomplishments, the supposed nobility of their lineage, and their commitment to rabbinic orthodoxy, this chapter examines the identities of Jewish officials from the point of view of their royal employers. While the adherence to the intellectual values of adab (Andalusi court culture) remained a marker of elite identity within the Jewish communities throughout the period, rulers were far more interested in the Jewish officials’ effectiveness as treasurers and tax collectors. I suggest that this disjunction between their self-perception and the actual demands of courtly service was a constant in the experiences of Jewish officials in medieval Iberia. The exercise of fiscal power on behalf of the state formed the material foundation upon which Jewish administrators could build and develop their refined cultural sensibilities.

In: A Plural Peninsula: Studies in Honour of Professor Simon Barton