Medieval Iberia: Eight Centuries of Contact Between Christians, Muslims, and Jews (HISTORY 311K)
The course will approach medieval Iberia on the basis of fresh knowledge. An enduring cliché identifies medieval Iberia with contemporary Spain. Medieval Iberia consisted of several kingdoms: Al-Andalus, Portugal, Navarre, Castile, and the Crown of Aragon, itself a coalition of sovereignties including Catalonia, Aragon, Valencia, and Mallorca, each with its own laws, institutions and currencies. Moreover, medieval Iberia was neither a stage of permanent religious war --the Reconquista-- nor a haven of peace and tolerance among the three great religions that coexisted in the peninsula: Christians, Muslims and Jews. The historical reality is always more complex than the myths and platitudes that prevail in popularizing views of the past. And though the myths will be examined, as well as major historiographical disputes, the objective of the course is to study the interaction between the various Iberian societies, from conflict (conquest, colonization, destruction, captivity, slavery, forced conversion, persecution of dissidents) to coexistence. Instructor: Antoni Furió.