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Deciphering Strategies: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Burgos (Spain)
Substantial Open On the internet Training course on edx.org
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About this Movie

This is a tour of some of the highlights of medieval Burgos (Spain). It features the music of the Texas Early Songs Project and stylized visuals and video organized by Dr. Roger L. Martinez-Davila.

About the Training course

This background class delves into the medieval background of the metropolis of Burgos, from its inception in 884 c.e. as the homeland of the Spanish Kingdom of Castile and Leon, until finally the completion of the Spanish Reconquista in 1492. We will analyze challenging legendary heroes like Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, “The Cid”, the two a winner of the Christian Reconquista and a close friend of Islamic rulers, who lays buried in the Cathedral of Burgos. Like the Cid, medieval Burgos offered two competing views for Spain’s potential – one centered on overt Castilian supremacy and yet another additional nuanced one that included religious minorities, in particular Jews and Jewish converts to Christianity (conversos), into every single aspect of political, financial, and even religious lifestyle.

This class will investigate the disastrous impact of the Plague and how it led to the loss of life of King Alfonso XI and the ruinous civil war in between the fifty percent-brothers, Pedro “The Cruel” and Enrique II of Trastamára. We will also appraise the collapse of the kingdom’s “Old Christian” nobility and the generation of new elite clans, some of whom hailed from Jewish ancestries. It was also the era of anti-Jewish pogroms, Christian fixations on “blood purity” and unsuccessful pleas for Christian harmony, and the very last gasps of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim coexistence.

We will just about-tour the Cathedral of Burgos, the Museum of Burgos, and what remains of the city’s medieval neighborhoods and constructions. We will also analyze and transcribe intriguing vellum and paper manuscripts from the cathedral and municipal archives so that we find new sides of this background.

No knowledge of Spanish is needed to participate in the class or in our transcription efforts.

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