Alfonso X, the Learned: A Biography

Alfonso X, the Learned: A Biography

By H. Salvador Martínez. Translated by Odile Cisneros

Brill, 2010
ISBN: 978 90 04 18147 2

Publisher’s Synopsis: Recent publications about King Alfonso X have tended to focus on his role as monarch in the context of the institutions of the realm. This book, however, emphasizes the human dimension of this extraordinary figure. Drawing on King Alfonso’s own works and on extensive archival sources, both well-known and neglected, Salvador Martínez brings to life a king who valued the possession of knowledge above all earthly riches. The ‘Learned King’ left a vast legacy of work, which would influence developments in both Spain and Europe, most significantly in the transfer of knowledge from the Arabs to the Christian West. With his intellectual curiosity and his pursuit of wisdom, Alfonso X is a towering figure at the origins of modernity.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The ‘Alfonsine Era’

1. The Apprenticeship of a Great King

2. A Prince’s Education

3. Alfonso King

4. The Quest for the Imperial Crown

5. Alfonso, King of the Romans

6. Gregory X and the End of Imperial Ambitions

7. Illness and Intellectual Pursuits

8. The Black Decade (1269-1279)

9. The Nobles’ Rebellion

10. Desnaturación

11. The Problems of Succession

12. Don Sancho is Declared Successor

13. Deposition and Civil War

14. Don Sancho Seeks the Consolidation of Power: The Curse

15. The Last Wills of Alfonso X

Conclusion: In Praise of Knowledge

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