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Between León and the Levant: The Infanta Sancha’s Altar as Material Evidence for Medieval History

In: Medieval Encounters
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  • 1 Humboldt-UniversitätBerlin
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Abstract

In the Museo de la Real Colegiata de San Isidoro in León, Spain, an intriguing portable altar is on display. Its multicolored stone and long inscription detailing the material objects enshrined within invite an analysis of the artwork in terms of materiality and mobility. This article addresses the multiple questions raised by the altar, shifting away from a straightforward interpretation of patronage by Sancha of León-Castilla (ca. 1095–1159), whose name is inscribed on its face. Conceptualizing the altar as a multilayered object that can be placed within Sancha’s network of connections facilitates our understanding of this exotic artifact between León and the Levant.

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