Burgos: Deciphering Secrets of Medieval Spain

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  • Course Introduction, an Abbreviated History, and 13th Century Manuscripts
    • This week we examine why we should study the history of the medieval city of Burgos – its oversized impact on Spain -- and begin our examination of 13th-century manuscripts and paleography (how to read older forms of handwriting).
  • Reconquista, Museum Artifacts, Religious Diversity, and 11th-13th Century Manuscripts
    • This week we evaluate the convoluted Spanish Christian Reconquest (Reconquista) and explore the complicated Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar “El Cid”. We view Christian and Muslim artifacts preserved at the provincial Museo de Burgos, study the Jewish and Muslim communities of the Burgos, and investigate 11th- and 13th- century manuscripts.
  • 14th Century Tragedy, Jewish and Christian Museum Artifacts, and Continuing 11th Century Manuscripts
    • This week we delve into the Castilian crisis of the 14th-century -- the arrival of the Black Death (Plague), an intensive civil war, and rampant anti-Jewish violence. We explore the creation of a new Spanish identity -- the conversos -- Jewish converts to Christianity. Via virtual field trips, we visit medieval Burgos and return to the Museo de Burgos. We continue our investigation of 11th-century manuscripts, working hard to perfect our paleography skills.
  • The End of Coexistence in Spain, 15th Century Manuscripts, and the SILREST Paleography Method
    • This week we witness the end of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim coexistence in medieval Spain with the formation a united Catholic Spain under Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand. To advance our paleographic expertise, we examine 15th-century manuscripts pertain to elites’ lives and the Cathedral of Plasencia. Moreover, we study and practice using the SILReST Paleography Method for deciphering the most challenging manuscripts.
  • Deciphering Secrets: 14th-15th Century Independent and Collaborative Projects
    • During this class, not only will you be mastering your paleography skills, but we will also begin our work as Global Citizen Scholars as we, first, work collectively and, second, independently to transcribe a collection of medieval manuscripts pertaining to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim life in Burgos.