We examine the Visigoths transition from Christian Arianism to Catholicism and the harsh treatment of the Jewish population. We explore Islamic governance and development of the medieval city of three faiths, with a special interest in its cultural achievements. We will study King Alfonso “The Wise” (1252-1284)’s efforts to characterize himself as the “king of three religions” via his legal codices, the creation of the Cantigas de Santa María, and his intellectual endeavor known as the Toledo School of Translators. We evaluate the robust Jewish and converso noble families of the city and appreciate their intellectual, religious, and economic contributions to Castilian life. We will bear witness to the rise of anti-Jewish blood purity statutes, the creation of the Inquisition, and the expulsion of the Jews. We also briefly introduce and study Spanish manuscripts from the municipal and cathedral archives to make new scholarly breakthroughs relating to the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interrelations.
No knowledge of Spanish is needed to participate in the course or in our transcription efforts.