Toledo: Deciphering Secrets of Medieval Spain

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Descripción del Curso

Course Introduction and an Abbreviated History
We start with a course introduction and an abbreviated history of ancient and medieval roots of the city of Toledo. This includes an introduction to medieval Europe, the Byzantine Empire, and the Islamic word.. We also explore the Visigothic Kingdom that called the city of Toledo its capital.

Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Medieval Toledo Until 1212 CE
This week we study Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Medieval Toledo until 1212 CE. We will witness the Islamic conquest of Visigothic Spain, the formation of Islamic al-Andalus, the birth of the Christian Reconquest, and Toledo under the Umayyads and as an independent taifa ("party kingdom"). We will also explore Islamic architecture at the Museo de Santa Cruz as well as other local sites.

Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Medieval Toledo After 1212 CE
This week we study Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Medieval Toledo and in the broader Iberian Peninsula. We will evaluate the rule of Castilian King X "The Wise" and his legal codes and the Cantigas de Santa Maria. We will also visit the Museo Sefardi and consider how "cleanliness of blood" statutes impact recent converts to Christianity (conversos).

Introduction to Archives and Paleography
This week we begin with two visits to archives in Toledo -- the Archivo Municipal de Toledo and the Archivo Historico de la Nobleza (formerly the Archivo Historico Nacional-Seccion Nobleza). Subsequently, our manuscript studies begin with 13th through 19th century paleography (learning to read older forms of handwriting.)

The SILReST Paleography Method for 15th Century Manuscripts
This week we advance our paleographic training by studying and practicing using the SILReST Paleography Method for deciphering the most challenging manuscripts.

The Global Team at Work: Transcription & Interpretation Project
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 Toledo.

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