Week 1

Week 1: Thursday, October 8, 2020
Iberia

Spain has an advantage within the history of the European community of having a national and geographical unit that match almost perfectly. The one little piece that has drifted in and out of the Iberian unity is Portugal. The Celts came all the way to the Atlantic in the pre-Roman period. The Romans discovered and colonized Iberia in the third century BC and turned Iberian/HIspania into the most profitable of all the Roman colonies. During Fall Quarter, we will study Celtic, Roman and Visigothic Spain. The Islamic invasion of Spain from the North African coast in 711 sets the stage for our Winter Quarter: Muslims in Spain, Jews in Spain and the Reconquista: Christians taking back Spain. Spring Quarter is devoted to Renaissance Spain (Ferdinand and Isabella) and early modern Spain.
For more detail notice this from Wikipedia: "The English word "Iberia" was adapted from the Ancient Greek word for Iberia used by the Greek geographers to refer to what is known today in English as the Iberian Peninsula. At that time the name did not describe a single political entity or a distinct population of people. Strabo's Iberia was delineated from KeltikÄ“ by the Pyrenees and included the entire land mass south-west (he named it "west") of there. The Ancient Greeks discovered Iberia by voyaging westward. Hecataeus of Miletus was the first known to use the term around 500 BC. Herodotus of Halicarnassus says of the Phocaeans that "it was they who made the Greeks acquainted with Iberia." The Roman historian Polybius identifies Iberia as the Mediterranean side as far south as Gibraltar, with the Atlantic side having no name. Elsewhere he says that Saguntum is "on the seaward foot of the range of hills connecting Iberia and Celtiberia." Strabo refers to the Carretanians as people "of the Iberian stock" living in the Pyrenees, who are to be distinguished from either Celts or Celtiberians. When the Romans encountered the Greek geographers they used Iberia poetically and spoke of the Iberi, the population of Iberia. First mention was in 200 BC by the poet Quintus Ennius. The Romans had already had independent experience with the peoples on the peninsula during the long conflict with Carthage. The Roman geographers and other prose writers from the time of the late Roman Republic called the entire peninsula Hispania. As they became politically interested in the former territories of Carthage the Romans came to use Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior for "near" and "far Spain". Even at that time large sections of it were Lusitania (Portugal south of Douro river and Extremadura in western Spain), Gallaecia (Northern Portugal and Galicia in Spain), Celtiberia (central Spain), Baetica (Andalusia), Cantabria (northwest Spain) and the Vascones (Basques). Strabo says that the Romans use Hispania and Iberia synonymously, and distance them as near and far. He was living in a time when the peninsula was divided into Roman provinces, some belonging "to the people and the Senate" and some to "the Roman emperor." Baetia was distinguished by being the only one belonging "to the people." Whatever language may have been spoken on the peninsula soon gave way to Latin, except for Basque, protected by the Pyrenees."
REQUIRED READING

About the reading. We have an excellent one volume simple history of Spain from beginning to the present. The Mark Williams book is exactly what we search for here at the Institute: reasonable price, good clear printing. But unfortunately it is now out of print so we all need to search around and get ourselves a good used copy OR settle for Kindle version. I just checked and there are a number on amazon used at about 25$. That is not outrageous but over that skip it. Barnes and Noble also have some. And there are other online sources. Also we have about 5 copies at the Institute bookstore so if you want to stop by during the daytime, just call our office at 408 864 4060 ask them if they are open and whether there are still Mark Williams books in bookshop.

 

Mark Williams,

The Story of Spain: The Dramatic History of Europe's Most Fascinating Country,

Golden Era Books; 2nd edition (August 1, 2009),

ISBN 0970696930

Product Description:

The book is a popular history of Spain and the Spanish Empire from prehistoric times to the present day. It provides description and analysis of political, social, economic and cultural events over the centuries, which together shaped the history of this distinctive country. The book offers 60 illustrations and maps, including 16 pages of color photographs, as well as lists of historic places to visit at the end of each chapter. There is a dynastic chart, suggested readings, and index.

Review:

". . . the dramatic historical pageant of Spain . . . engages the reader from first page to last." -- Midwest Book Review, January 2000

". . . written in a style that clearly allows the reader to grasp the intricacies of Spain’s historical elements." -- Spain 21 Magazine, Spring 2001

"A vivid account of the country's origins and development as a nation..." -- David Baird, Lookout Magazine

"By far the best introduction for students in English to Spain's history and culture..." -- Paul Smith, Professor Emeritus, Department of Spanish, U.C.L.A.

"For a readable and thorough but not over-long account of Spanish history, The Story of Spain is hard to beat." -- Lonely Planet guide to Spain, 2002 edition

"The title of this work prepares us for what it is: a history of Spain..." --Ruth Bennett, CUNY, Hispania Magazine

GREAT CITIES OF SPAIN

During our year together studying the history of Spain, we will visit various cities of Spain during part two of some of our evenings. Here is a list of the cities that we will visit.

FALL:
Week 5, Mérida
Week 6, Taragona
Week 7, Sevilla
Week 9, Santiago de Compostella
WINTER:
Week 13, Córdoba
Week 14, Burgos
Week 15, Toledo
Week 19, Barcelona
SPRING:
Week 21, León
Week 22, Zaragoza
Week 23, Segovia
Week 29, El Escorial
Week 30, Ávila

IberiaRailsHi

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Week 2: Thursday, October 15, 2020
The Celts in Spain

PART ONE: LECTURE

The Celts were an ancient people who flourished in central Europe during the millenium preceding the conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar. He fought the Gauls. The Gauls were just one variation on Celts. The Celts descended from the same Indo-European invaders who settled in Greece and Italy and gave to the whole Mediterranean world Indo-European based languages. Latin in Italy and Greek in Greece are both Indo-European languages. The two best documented sites for ancient Celti culture is La Tene on the north side of Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland, and Hallstatt, in Upper Austria in the Salzkammergut of Austria. The Celts spread all over Europe including Spain. The presence of the Celts in Spain is attested by a number of Roman historians. Archaeologically, the Spanish Celts were part of the Hallstatt culture in what is now north-central Spain. The term Celtiberi appears in accounts of the Roman historians Diodorus Siculus, Appian and Martial who recognized intermarriage between Celts and native pre-Celtic Spanish Iberians after a period of continuous warfare. The fact that Spain has this ancient Celtic past is important since it unites Spain with other European nations such as France, Germany, and Britain, alll sharing these international Celtic roots.

REQUIRED READING

Simon James,

The World of the Celts,

Thames & Hudson paperback (October 1, 2005),

ISBN 0500279985

Product Description:

"Richly illustrated sheds a strong light on the art and life of a gifted people."—Houston Chronicle. Warlike, flamboyant, courageous, ”the ancient Celts had a fearsome reputation. For five hundred years they dominated the lands north of the Alps, before being largely absorbed into the Roman Empire. But Celtic culture survived and achieved a glorious flowering in the post-Roman, early Christian era. Today Celtic influence can be found in arts and crafts, in legends, in place names, and even in languages. In this generously illustrated introduction to the world of the Celts, Simon James charts their way of life from farming to feasting, their wars, their gods, and their superb craftsmanship in metal, wood, and stone. He covers the neglected subject of Celtic life under Roman rule, particularly in Gaul and Britain, and the continuing traditions in Ireland after AD 400, when a Celtic renaissance gave birth to heroic tales, masterpieces of enameled metalwork, and renowned illuminated manuscripts. Over 300 illustrations, 59 in color

About the Author: Simon James is Senior Lecturer in the School of Archaeological Studies at the University of Leicester and an authority on the Roman military.

PART TWO: PICTURES

Celtic Art

3

Week 3: Thursday, October 22, 2020
The Carthaginians in Spain

Carthage was a colony of the parent Phoenician civilization that grew up in present day Lebanon, parallel to the ancient Hebrews in Israel. The child outgrew the parent, and by 200 B.C. Carthage was one of the most important cities in the Mediterranean and was developing into an important challenger to Roman domination of the Mediterranean sea. One secret to the extraordinary success of Carthage was its location. The city sat on a promontory overlooking the vital Straits of Sicily that close to a width of about one hundred miles between the Tunisian coast and the coast of Sicily. Control of this sea passage grants any civilization that possesses it, control of all east-west movement in the Mediterranean. This is something every military strategist from Scipio to Eisenhower has understood. The danger of Carthage to Rome dramatically increased as the Carthaginians crossed the Mediterranean and moved into Spain. It was in Spain that the two great Mediterranean powers clashed.

 

Wikipedia: "Carthage (Latin: Carthago or Karthago, from the Phoenician Qart-ḥadašt meaning New City implying it was a 'new Tyre' (Lebanon) is a major urban center that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC. It is currently a suburb of Tunis, Tunisia, with a population (2004 Census) of 20,715. The first civilization that developed within the city's sphere of influence is referred to as Punic (a form of the word "Phoenician") or Carthaginian. The city of Carthage is located on the eastern side of Lake Tunis across from the Centrex of Tunis. According to Roman legend it was founded in 814 BC by Phoenician colonists from Tyre under the leadership of Elissa (Queen Dido). It became a large and rich city and thus a major power in the Mediterranean. The resulting rivalry with Syracuse and Rome was accompanied by several wars with respective invasions of each other's homeland. Hannibal's invasion of Italy in the Second Punic War culminated in the Carthaginian victory at Cannae and led to a serious threat to the continuation of Roman rule over Italy; however, Carthage emerged from the conflict at its historical weakest after Hannibal's defeat at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. After the Third Punic War, the city was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC. However, the Romans refounded Carthage, which became the Empire's fourth most important city and the capital of the short-lived Vandal kingdom. It remained one of the most important Roman cities until the Muslim conquest when it was destroyed a second time in 698 AD."

RECOMMENDED READING

Richard Miles,

Carthage Must Be Destroyed,

Viking Adult (July 21, 2011),

ISBN 0670022667

Product Description:

An epic history of a doomed civilization and a lost empire. The devastating struggle to the death between the Carthaginians and the Romans was one of the defining dramas of the ancient world. In an epic series of land and sea battles, both sides came close to victory before the Carthaginians finally succumbed and their capital city, history, and culture were almost utterly erased. Drawing on a wealth of new archaeological research, Richard Miles vividly brings to life this lost empire-from its origins among the Phoenician settlements of Lebanon to its apotheosis as the greatest sea power in the Mediterranean. And at the heart of the history of Carthage lies the extraordinary figure of Hannibal-the scourge of Rome and one of the greatest military leaders, but a man who also unwittingly led his people to catastrophe. The first full-scale history of Carthage in decades, Carthage Must Be Destroyed reintroduces modern readers to the larger-than-life historical players and the ancient glory of this almost forgotten civilization. About the Author Richard Miles teaches ancient history at the University of Sydney and is a Fellow-Commoner of Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. He has written widely on Punic, Roman, and Vandal North Africa and has directed archaeological excavations in Carthage and Rome. He lives in Sydney, Australia.

We particularly want to call to your attention the new biography of Hannibal by our own Institute Lecturer Patrick Hunt from Stanford University. It is a great book with all of Prof. Hunt's knowledge about Hannibal especially all of his first-hand experience with Hannibal's trek over the Alps into Italy. Prof. Hunt has traced every step of the journey.

Patrick N. Hunt,

Hannibal,

Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (July 11, 2017),

ISBN 1439102171

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Week 4: Thursday, October 29, 2020
Hannibal

LECTURE

Often regarded as the greatest military tactician and strategist in European history, Hannibal would later be considered one of the greatest generals of antiquity, together with Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Scipio, and Pyrrhus of Epirus. Plutarch states that, when questioned by Scipio as to who was the greatest general, Hannibal is said to have replied either Alexander or Pyrrhus, then himself, or, according to another version of the event, Pyrrhus, Scipio, then himself. Military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge once famously called Hannibal the "father of strategy", because his greatest enemy, Rome, came to adopt elements of his military tactics in its own strategic arsenal. This praise has earned him a strong reputation in the modern world, and he was regarded as a great strategist by men like Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington.

 

RECOMMENDED READING

We have two great books about Hannibal, one by our very good friend Patrick Hunt from Stanford who has been investigating the route that Hannibal took into Italy for many years. Every year, Patrick takes a group of Stanford students with him to northern Italy and they go to work on their archaeological project to find traces of the Hannibal trip through the Alps. It is a great story both of Hannibal and of Patrick's work with these students. National Geographic is following the project and writing about it. Patrick's new book is great. David Durham has written a good book too especially about Carthage versus Rome. They are both worth reading.

Patrick N. Hunt,

Hannibal,

Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (July 11, 2017),

ISBN 1439102171

 

David Anthony Durham,

The Pride of Carthage,

Anchor (January 3, 2006),

ISBN 0385722494

From Publishers Weekly Starred Review:

Known for his novels of African-American life in 19th-century America (Gabriel's Story; Walk Through Darkness), Durham leaps continents and centuries to tell the epic story of Hannibal and his march on Rome in this heady, richly textured novel. After Hannibal assumes command of the Carthaginian army in Spain and conquers the Roman city of Saguntum, Carthage refuses to accept Rome's demand that it abandon the city, precipitating the Second Punic War. In 218 B.C., Hannibal begins his daring march toward Rome, leading an army of upward of 100,000 - complete with elephants and cavalry—over the Pyrenees, across the Rhone and through the snowcapped Alps. Ill prepared for the frigid weather, pummeled by avalanches and harassed by Celtic tribes, the army arrives in Italy reduced to perhaps 30,000. Against all odds, Hannibal brings his soldiers through the tortuous marshes of the Arno, and traps and massacres a large Roman force at Lake Trasimene and again at Cannae. The novel's grand sweep is balanced by intimate portraits of Hannibal, his family, his allies and his enemies, as well as by the stories of two humble characters: Imco Vaca, a soldier, and Aradna, a camp follower, who meet and fall in love as the saga moves inexorably toward an account of the beheading of Hannibal's brother and Hannibal's eventual defeat at the gates of Rome. Durham weaves abundant psychological, military and political detail into this vivid account of one of the most romanticized periods of history. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

hannib10

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Week 5: Thursday, November 5, 2020
Romans in Spain

LECTURE

In the contest with Carthage, Rome won. And one important part of the Mediterranean world that now opened to Roman domination was Spain. The Romans called it Hispania. The Roman era in Spanish history endured for more than six hundred years: from 218 B. C. to the fall of Rome itself in the 400's. During those six hundred years the roads, the aquaducts, the bridges, the cities themselves were all transformed by the new Roman conquerers so that our present-day Spain is still, to some extent, a reflection of Roman Spain. Spain was also the ultimate test of Julius Caesar and his leadership in the emerging Roman Empire.

RECOMMENDED READING

This is the best book on the subject in English.  There are used copies of this high quality paperback at about $20.00 and up.

John S. Richardson,

The Romans in Spain,

Wiley-Blackwell (November 19, 1998),

ISBN 063120931X

 

If you have never read Caesar's book about the conquest of Gaul, you will find it extremely interesting, especially about the Celts (Gauls) and if you have read it before you might want to pull it down from your Institute bookshelf and look it over again.

Julius Caesar,

The Conquest of Gaul,

Penguin,

ISBN 0140444335

About Julius Caesar, the best biography available is the recent, well done biography by Christian Meier. It is a big book but up to date and a great introduction to this extraordinary person.

Christian Meier,

Caesar,

Harper Collins,

ISBN 046500895X

PART TWO: Mérida

A visit to Mérida, one of the best preserved sites of Roman ruins in Spain.

6

Week 6: Thursday, November 12, 2020
From Scipio Africanus to Marcus Aurelius

PART ONE: LECTURE

From the Third Century BC, Rome was caught up in the Iberian peninsula. The success of Carthaginian Spain raised the possibility of the whole of the western Mediterranean becoming a Carthaginian lake.  And this Rome could not tolerate. So between 300 BC and 200 BC, Carthage and her colonies in Spain became the number one foreign policy issue for the Roman Republic. Scipio Africanus is the most important person in this duel.  He beats Carthage at the final battle of Zama outside of Carthage in 202 BC. Spain became the most important province in the growing state of Rome. And Spaniards  became powerful and important in the capital. Trajan (53-117) and Hadrian ( 76-138 ) were both Spaniards and are the first of a number of important non-Italian emperors. The rise of Trajan and his chosen succesor Hadrian marks an era of successful imperial leadership during which each emperor adopted his successor and brought about one hundred years of relatively peaceful Roman imperial leadership. Trajan came to power due to his military acumen and the fact that the troops respected him. He came from southern Spain, Italica in the present Andalusia. His reign is a high mark of Spanish influence in the empire. It reveals the nature of the empire in the year 100 A.D. as one of truly international federation of nations. But it also marks the decline of real representative government. This is the era of Emperors. The Senate is now less important.

RECOMMENDED READING

Anthony Everitt is one of the most popular writers among Insitute readers.  His biographies of Cicero and Augustus are excellent.  Here he writes about the Spanish Emperor Hadrian.

Anthony Everitt,

Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome,

Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 14, 2010),

ISBN 0812978145

From Publishers Weekly:

The author of biographies of Augustus and Cicero, British scholar Everitt now combines academic expertise with lively prose in a satisfying account of the emperor who ruled Rome from 117 to 138 C.E., the man Everitt says has a good claim to have been the most successful of Rome's leaders. As a youth, Hadrian became the protege and adopted ward of future emperor Trajan. (Homosexual emperors, including Hadrian, often adopted a successor, a procedure that worked better than letting pugnacious generals fight it out.) After suppressing the Jewish revolt that had begun under Trajan, Hadrian abandoned several of his predecessor's conquests as indefensible. Traveling the empire, he shored up its defenses, which included building Hadrian's Wall in England and another across Germany. Nearing the end of a prosperous, mostly peaceful reign, he adopted two men who also ruled successfully: Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. Everitt presents the Roman Empire, in what he calls tempestuous and thrilling times, as an almost ungovernable collection of polyglot nations dominated by ambitious, frequently bloodthirsty and unscrupulous men. Readers will wonder how Rome lasted so long, but they will enjoy this skillful portrait of a good leader during its last golden age. 2 maps. (Sept. 8) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

"Excellent . . . highly recommended . . . a skillfully analyzed and well-researched narrative." Library Journal

"One gets a clear and compelling sense of Hadrian's times." --”The New Yorker

PART TWO: Taragona

Among the many Spanish sites of importance in Roman Spain, Taragona preserves some of the most interesting: a great Roman Theater and a Roman Circus, Roman Forum, and spectacular Roman Acquaduct. You will enjoy Taragona.

Altafulla-Tarragona-Spain-008

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Week 7: Thursday, November 19, 2020
Visigoths in Spain

PART ONE: LECTURE

As the Roman Empire disintegrated during the 400's provinces all over the world that had been ruled from Rome were now open to conquest by roving peoples moving across the map of Europe in search of a safe haven. Often these moving communities consisted of hundreds of thousands of travelers on the move. One such people were the Visigoths. The Visigoths were a smaller division of the larger Gothic people that had swept in from Germany as Rome collapsed. The Romanized Visigoths first emerged as a distinct people during the 4th century, initially in the Balkans, where they participated in several wars with Rome. A Visigothic army under Alaric I eventually moved into Italy and famously sacked Rome in 410. Then they moved on. First north into France and then west into Spain.

Here is a general background on the Visigoths from Wikipedia:

The Visigothic Kingdom was a Western European power in the 5th to 7th centuries, created in Gaul when the Romans lost their control of their empire. In response to the invasion of Roman Hispania of 409 by the Vandals, Alans and Suevi, Honorius, the emperor in the West, enlisted the aid of the Visigoths to regain control of the territory. In 418, Honorius rewarded his Visigothic federates by giving them land in Gallia Aquitania on which to settle. This was probably done under hospitalitas, the rules for billeting army soldiers. The settlement formed the nucleus of the future Visigothic kingdom that would eventually expand across the Pyrenees and onto the Iberian peninsula. The Visigoths' second great king, Euric, unified the various quarreling factions among the Visigoths and, in 475, forced the Roman government to grant them full independence. At his death, the Visigoths were the most powerful of the successor states to the Western Roman Empire. The Visigoths also became the dominant power in the Iberian Peninsula, quickly crushing the Alans and forcing the Vandals into north Africa. By 500, the Visigothic Kingdom, centred at Toulouse, controlled Aquitania and Gallia Narbonensis and most of Hispania with the exception of the Suevic kingdom in the northwest and small areas controlled by the Basques and Cantabrians. However, in 507, the Franks under Clovis I defeated the Visigoths in the Vouillé and wrested control of Aquitaine. King Alaric II was killed in battle. After Alaric's death, Visigothic nobles spirited his heir, the child-king Amalaric, first to Narbonne, which was the last Gothic outpost in Gaul, and further across the Pyrenees into Hispania. The center of Visigothic rule shifted first to Barcelona, then inland and south to Toledo. From 511 to 526, the Visigoths were ruled by Theodoric the Great of the Ostrogoths as de jure regent for the young Amalaric. The last Arian Visigothic king, Liuvigild, conquered the Suevic kingdom in 585 and most of the northern regions (Cantabria) in 574 The kingdom survived until 711, when King Roderic (Rodrigo) was killed while opposing an invasion from the south by the Umayyad Muslims in the Battle of Guadalete on July 19. This marked the beginning of the Muslim conquest of Hispania in which most of the peninsula came under Islamic rule by 718. A Visigothic nobleman, Pelayo, is credited with beginning the Christian Reconquista of Iberia in 718, when he defeated the Umayyads in battle and established the Kingdom of Asturias in the northern part of the peninsula. Other Visigoths, refusing to adopt the Muslim faith or live under their rule, fled north to the kingdom of the Franks, and Visigoths played key roles in the empire of Charlemagne a few generations later. During their long reign in Spain, the Visigoths were responsible for the only new cities founded in Western Europe between the 5th and 8th centuries. It is certain (through contemporary Spanish accounts) that they founded four: Reccopolis, Victoriacum, Luceo, and Olite.

REQUIRED READING

Excerpts from The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville provided to you in a PDF file emailed to you.

Reading Isidore offers us an insight into the Visigothic era of Spain. Isidore was the most influential Christian in Spain from the collapse of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the Reconquista. We will provide you with pages from the Etymologies for the required reading. The excerpts are taken from the text in this week's recommended reading.

RECOMMENDED READING

Barney, Lewis, Beach, Berghof (translators),

The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville,

Cambridge University Press (May 24, 2010),

ISBN 0521145910

PART TWO: PICTURES

Visigothic Art in Spain

THANKSGIVING NEXT WEEK. WE TAKE OFF THE WHOLE WEEK

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Week 8: Thursday, December 3, 2020
Isidore of Seville

PART ONE: LECTURE

The life of San Isidro de Sevilla (560-636) gives us a unique insight into Spain in those centuries just before the Islamic conquest of 711. St Isidore was born in Cartagena (named for Carthage), to Severianus and Theodora, members of an influential family who were instrumental in the political-religious maneuverering that converted the Visigothic kings from Arianism to Catholicism. The Catholic Church celebrates him and all his siblings as known saints. The story of his leadership in Seville reveals the nature of Christianity in Spain during the centuries between the fall of Rome and the conquest of the Islamic armies in 711.

Isidore was the author of a great encyclopedia of all knowledge of all things in his day called the Etymologies or Origins. It was one of the most influential books of the ancient world. It was a compendium of all that was known at the time, brought together into this encyclopedia that men of the ancient world could easily understand. Isidore's influence in history therefore derives both from his actual leadership in Spain as well as his influence as an author. Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article on the Etymologies.

Wikipedia:

Isidore was the first Christian writer to attempt the task of compiling for his co-religionists a summa of universal knowledge, in the form of his most important work, the Etymologiae It is also known by classicists as the Origines (the standard abbreviation being Orig.). This encyclopedia - the first such Christian epitome - formed a huge compilation of 448 chapters in 20 volumes. In it, as Isidore entered his own terse digest of Roman handbooks, miscellanies and compendia, he continued the trend towards abridgements and summaries that had characterised Roman learning in Late Antiquity. In the process, many fragments of classical learning are preserved which otherwise would have been hopelessly lost; "in fact, in the majority of his works, including the Origines, he contributes little more than the mortar which connects excerpts from other authors, as if he was aware of his deficiencies and had more confidence in the stilus maiorum than his own" his translator Katherine Nell MacFarlane remarks; on the other hand, some of these fragments were lost in the first place because Isidore's work was so highly regarded - Braulio called it quecunque fere sciri debentur, "practically everything that it is necessary to know" - that it superseded the use of many individual works of the classics themselves, which were not recopied and have therefore been lost: "all secular knowledge that was of use to the Christian scholar had been winnowed out and contained in one handy volume; the scholar need search no further". The fame of this work imparted a new impetus to encyclopedic writing, which bore abundant fruit in the subsequent centuries of the Middle Ages. It was the most popular compendium in medieval libraries. It was printed in at least 10 editions between 1470 and 1530, showing Isidore's continued popularity in the Renaissance. Until the 12th century brought translations from Arabic sources, Isidore transmitted what western Europeans remembered of the works of Aristotle and other Greeks, although he understood only a limited amount of Greek. The Etymologiae was much copied, particularly into medieval bestiaries.

RECOMMENDED READING

Barney, Lewis, Beach, Berghof (translators),

The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville,

Cambridge University Press (May 24, 2010),

ISBN 0521145910

PART TWO: PICTURES

Images of Isidore and his work.

9

Week 9: Thursday, December 10, 2020
Apostle James in Spain

PART ONE: LECTURE

Saint James is the Patron Saint of Spain and according to legend, his remains are held in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Spain). The traditional pilgrimage to the grave of the saint, known as the "Way of St. James", has been the most popular pilgrimage for Western European Catholics from the early Middle Ages onwards. 125,141 pilgrims registered in 2008 as having completed the final 100 km walk (200 km by bicycle) to Santiago to qualify for a Compostela.[4] When 25 July falls on a Sunday, it is a "Jubilee" year, and a special east door is opened for entrance into the Santiago Cathedral. Jubilee years fall every 6, 5, 6, and 11 years. In the 2004 Jubilee year, 179,944,[5] pilgrims received a Compostela. In the Jubilee years of 2010 and 2011, the number of pilgrims is expected to exceed this figure. The feast day of St James is celebrated on 25 July on the liturgical calendars of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and certain Protestant churches.

The story of James is a mix of New Testament precision and less precise myths and stories of travels and preaching. The most important story for Spain is the account of James' time spent in Spain. And his miraculous reappearance and burial in Santiago de Compostela.

RECOMMENDED READING:

Kevin A. Codd,

To the Field of Stars: A Pilgrim's Journey to Santiago de Compostela,

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (March 18, 2008),

ISBN 0802825923

Review:

"In this wonderful book Father Codd brilliantly captures for us the essence of pilgrimage. He is a candid and engaging guide to the physical realities involved. More than that, though, he reveals the interior journey, equally difficult and equally rewarding. It is a spiritual and emotional trek on which pilgrims are confronted with their own broken humanity and come face to face with the God they seek. I am grateful Father Codd has allowed us to be part of such a marvelous discovery." -- Martin Sheen

Product Description:

Pilgrimage is a strange notion to our modern, practical minds. How many of us have sought on foot a distant holy place in order to draw nearer to God? Yet the pilgrimage experience is growing these days in various parts of the world. Looking for a way to take stock of his life, American priest Kevin Codd set out in July 2003 on a pilgrimage that would change his life. To the Field of Stars tells the fascinating story of his unusual spiritual and physical journey on foot across Spain to Santiago de Compostela, the traditional burial place of the apostle James the Greater. Each brief chapter chronicling Codd's thirty-five-day trek is dedicated to one or two days on the road. Codd shares tales of other pilgrims, his own changes of perspective, and his challenges and triumphs along the way -- all told with a disarming candor. Seen through the eyes of a Catholic priest who honors the religious worldview that originally gave rise to these medieval odysseys, "pilgrimage" comes to life and takes on new meaning in these pages.

PART TWO: Santiago de Compostela

A photographic journey to Santiago de Compostela.

2santiago_de_compostela

10

Week 10: Thursday, December 17, 2020
The Year 700 A.D.

PART ONE: LECTURE

In the year of 700 A.D., Europe and Spain were on the threshold of a dramatic new historical era that would be driven by the Islamic invasion that was about to come surging cross the Mediterranean at Gibraltar. This new group of peoples who would come from various north African communities carrying the new religion of Islam would challenge the whole structure of Christian Spain and would push beyond Spain deep into France. During the first century of the Islamic presence in Spain, it often seemed that this new Islamic empire was unstoppable and that eventually it would spread to all of Europe. Then during the eighth century, a new political force in European politics emerged from France: the Carolingians. This Germano-French dynasty with its roots in Burgundy and the Rhine valley organized the larger French territory and stopped the Islamic surge, first at Poitiers, later in Spain itself and along the border lands.

CHRISTMAS VACATION

no classes
Week of Dec 21
Week of Dec 28

Classes Begin

Week of Monday Jan 4, 2021.

All

Week 1: Thu., Oct. 8, 2020
Iberia

Spain has an advantage within the history of the European community of having a national and geographical unit that match almost perfectly. The one little piece that has drifted in and out of the Iberian unity is Portugal. The Celts came all the way to the Atlantic in the pre-Roman period. The Romans discovered and colonized Iberia in the third century BC and turned Iberian/HIspania into the most profitable of all the Roman colonies. During Fall Quarter, we will study Celtic, Roman and Visigothic Spain. The Islamic invasion of Spain from the North African coast in 711 sets the stage for our Winter Quarter: Muslims in Spain, Jews in Spain and the Reconquista: Christians taking back Spain. Spring Quarter is devoted to Renaissance Spain (Ferdinand and Isabella) and early modern Spain.
For more detail notice this from Wikipedia: "The English word "Iberia" was adapted from the Ancient Greek word for Iberia used by the Greek geographers to refer to what is known today in English as the Iberian Peninsula. At that time the name did not describe a single political entity or a distinct population of people. Strabo's Iberia was delineated from KeltikÄ“ by the Pyrenees and included the entire land mass south-west (he named it "west") of there. The Ancient Greeks discovered Iberia by voyaging westward. Hecataeus of Miletus was the first known to use the term around 500 BC. Herodotus of Halicarnassus says of the Phocaeans that "it was they who made the Greeks acquainted with Iberia." The Roman historian Polybius identifies Iberia as the Mediterranean side as far south as Gibraltar, with the Atlantic side having no name. Elsewhere he says that Saguntum is "on the seaward foot of the range of hills connecting Iberia and Celtiberia." Strabo refers to the Carretanians as people "of the Iberian stock" living in the Pyrenees, who are to be distinguished from either Celts or Celtiberians. When the Romans encountered the Greek geographers they used Iberia poetically and spoke of the Iberi, the population of Iberia. First mention was in 200 BC by the poet Quintus Ennius. The Romans had already had independent experience with the peoples on the peninsula during the long conflict with Carthage. The Roman geographers and other prose writers from the time of the late Roman Republic called the entire peninsula Hispania. As they became politically interested in the former territories of Carthage the Romans came to use Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior for "near" and "far Spain". Even at that time large sections of it were Lusitania (Portugal south of Douro river and Extremadura in western Spain), Gallaecia (Northern Portugal and Galicia in Spain), Celtiberia (central Spain), Baetica (Andalusia), Cantabria (northwest Spain) and the Vascones (Basques). Strabo says that the Romans use Hispania and Iberia synonymously, and distance them as near and far. He was living in a time when the peninsula was divided into Roman provinces, some belonging "to the people and the Senate" and some to "the Roman emperor." Baetia was distinguished by being the only one belonging "to the people." Whatever language may have been spoken on the peninsula soon gave way to Latin, except for Basque, protected by the Pyrenees."
REQUIRED READING

About the reading. We have an excellent one volume simple history of Spain from beginning to the present. The Mark Williams book is exactly what we search for here at the Institute: reasonable price, good clear printing. But unfortunately it is now out of print so we all need to search around and get ourselves a good used copy OR settle for Kindle version. I just checked and there are a number on amazon used at about 25$. That is not outrageous but over that skip it. Barnes and Noble also have some. And there are other online sources. Also we have about 5 copies at the Institute bookstore so if you want to stop by during the daytime, just call our office at 408 864 4060 ask them if they are open and whether there are still Mark Williams books in bookshop.

 

Mark Williams,

The Story of Spain: The Dramatic History of Europe's Most Fascinating Country,

Golden Era Books; 2nd edition (August 1, 2009),

ISBN 0970696930

Product Description:

The book is a popular history of Spain and the Spanish Empire from prehistoric times to the present day. It provides description and analysis of political, social, economic and cultural events over the centuries, which together shaped the history of this distinctive country. The book offers 60 illustrations and maps, including 16 pages of color photographs, as well as lists of historic places to visit at the end of each chapter. There is a dynastic chart, suggested readings, and index.

Review:

". . . the dramatic historical pageant of Spain . . . engages the reader from first page to last." -- Midwest Book Review, January 2000

". . . written in a style that clearly allows the reader to grasp the intricacies of Spain’s historical elements." -- Spain 21 Magazine, Spring 2001

"A vivid account of the country's origins and development as a nation..." -- David Baird, Lookout Magazine

"By far the best introduction for students in English to Spain's history and culture..." -- Paul Smith, Professor Emeritus, Department of Spanish, U.C.L.A.

"For a readable and thorough but not over-long account of Spanish history, The Story of Spain is hard to beat." -- Lonely Planet guide to Spain, 2002 edition

"The title of this work prepares us for what it is: a history of Spain..." --Ruth Bennett, CUNY, Hispania Magazine

GREAT CITIES OF SPAIN

During our year together studying the history of Spain, we will visit various cities of Spain during part two of some of our evenings. Here is a list of the cities that we will visit.

FALL:
Week 5, Mérida
Week 6, Taragona
Week 7, Sevilla
Week 9, Santiago de Compostella
WINTER:
Week 13, Córdoba
Week 14, Burgos
Week 15, Toledo
Week 19, Barcelona
SPRING:
Week 21, León
Week 22, Zaragoza
Week 23, Segovia
Week 29, El Escorial
Week 30, Ávila

IberiaRailsHi

Week 2: Thu., Oct. 15, 2020
The Celts in Spain

PART ONE: LECTURE

The Celts were an ancient people who flourished in central Europe during the millenium preceding the conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar. He fought the Gauls. The Gauls were just one variation on Celts. The Celts descended from the same Indo-European invaders who settled in Greece and Italy and gave to the whole Mediterranean world Indo-European based languages. Latin in Italy and Greek in Greece are both Indo-European languages. The two best documented sites for ancient Celti culture is La Tene on the north side of Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland, and Hallstatt, in Upper Austria in the Salzkammergut of Austria. The Celts spread all over Europe including Spain. The presence of the Celts in Spain is attested by a number of Roman historians. Archaeologically, the Spanish Celts were part of the Hallstatt culture in what is now north-central Spain. The term Celtiberi appears in accounts of the Roman historians Diodorus Siculus, Appian and Martial who recognized intermarriage between Celts and native pre-Celtic Spanish Iberians after a period of continuous warfare. The fact that Spain has this ancient Celtic past is important since it unites Spain with other European nations such as France, Germany, and Britain, alll sharing these international Celtic roots.

REQUIRED READING

Simon James,

The World of the Celts,

Thames & Hudson paperback (October 1, 2005),

ISBN 0500279985

Product Description:

"Richly illustrated sheds a strong light on the art and life of a gifted people."—Houston Chronicle. Warlike, flamboyant, courageous, ”the ancient Celts had a fearsome reputation. For five hundred years they dominated the lands north of the Alps, before being largely absorbed into the Roman Empire. But Celtic culture survived and achieved a glorious flowering in the post-Roman, early Christian era. Today Celtic influence can be found in arts and crafts, in legends, in place names, and even in languages. In this generously illustrated introduction to the world of the Celts, Simon James charts their way of life from farming to feasting, their wars, their gods, and their superb craftsmanship in metal, wood, and stone. He covers the neglected subject of Celtic life under Roman rule, particularly in Gaul and Britain, and the continuing traditions in Ireland after AD 400, when a Celtic renaissance gave birth to heroic tales, masterpieces of enameled metalwork, and renowned illuminated manuscripts. Over 300 illustrations, 59 in color

About the Author: Simon James is Senior Lecturer in the School of Archaeological Studies at the University of Leicester and an authority on the Roman military.

PART TWO: PICTURES

Celtic Art

Week 3: Thu., Oct. 22, 2020
The Carthaginians in Spain

Carthage was a colony of the parent Phoenician civilization that grew up in present day Lebanon, parallel to the ancient Hebrews in Israel. The child outgrew the parent, and by 200 B.C. Carthage was one of the most important cities in the Mediterranean and was developing into an important challenger to Roman domination of the Mediterranean sea. One secret to the extraordinary success of Carthage was its location. The city sat on a promontory overlooking the vital Straits of Sicily that close to a width of about one hundred miles between the Tunisian coast and the coast of Sicily. Control of this sea passage grants any civilization that possesses it, control of all east-west movement in the Mediterranean. This is something every military strategist from Scipio to Eisenhower has understood. The danger of Carthage to Rome dramatically increased as the Carthaginians crossed the Mediterranean and moved into Spain. It was in Spain that the two great Mediterranean powers clashed.

 

Wikipedia: "Carthage (Latin: Carthago or Karthago, from the Phoenician Qart-ḥadašt meaning New City implying it was a 'new Tyre' (Lebanon) is a major urban center that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC. It is currently a suburb of Tunis, Tunisia, with a population (2004 Census) of 20,715. The first civilization that developed within the city's sphere of influence is referred to as Punic (a form of the word "Phoenician") or Carthaginian. The city of Carthage is located on the eastern side of Lake Tunis across from the Centrex of Tunis. According to Roman legend it was founded in 814 BC by Phoenician colonists from Tyre under the leadership of Elissa (Queen Dido). It became a large and rich city and thus a major power in the Mediterranean. The resulting rivalry with Syracuse and Rome was accompanied by several wars with respective invasions of each other's homeland. Hannibal's invasion of Italy in the Second Punic War culminated in the Carthaginian victory at Cannae and led to a serious threat to the continuation of Roman rule over Italy; however, Carthage emerged from the conflict at its historical weakest after Hannibal's defeat at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. After the Third Punic War, the city was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC. However, the Romans refounded Carthage, which became the Empire's fourth most important city and the capital of the short-lived Vandal kingdom. It remained one of the most important Roman cities until the Muslim conquest when it was destroyed a second time in 698 AD."

RECOMMENDED READING

Richard Miles,

Carthage Must Be Destroyed,

Viking Adult (July 21, 2011),

ISBN 0670022667

Product Description:

An epic history of a doomed civilization and a lost empire. The devastating struggle to the death between the Carthaginians and the Romans was one of the defining dramas of the ancient world. In an epic series of land and sea battles, both sides came close to victory before the Carthaginians finally succumbed and their capital city, history, and culture were almost utterly erased. Drawing on a wealth of new archaeological research, Richard Miles vividly brings to life this lost empire-from its origins among the Phoenician settlements of Lebanon to its apotheosis as the greatest sea power in the Mediterranean. And at the heart of the history of Carthage lies the extraordinary figure of Hannibal-the scourge of Rome and one of the greatest military leaders, but a man who also unwittingly led his people to catastrophe. The first full-scale history of Carthage in decades, Carthage Must Be Destroyed reintroduces modern readers to the larger-than-life historical players and the ancient glory of this almost forgotten civilization. About the Author Richard Miles teaches ancient history at the University of Sydney and is a Fellow-Commoner of Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. He has written widely on Punic, Roman, and Vandal North Africa and has directed archaeological excavations in Carthage and Rome. He lives in Sydney, Australia.

We particularly want to call to your attention the new biography of Hannibal by our own Institute Lecturer Patrick Hunt from Stanford University. It is a great book with all of Prof. Hunt's knowledge about Hannibal especially all of his first-hand experience with Hannibal's trek over the Alps into Italy. Prof. Hunt has traced every step of the journey.

Patrick N. Hunt,

Hannibal,

Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (July 11, 2017),

ISBN 1439102171

Week 4: Thu., Oct. 29, 2020
Hannibal

LECTURE

Often regarded as the greatest military tactician and strategist in European history, Hannibal would later be considered one of the greatest generals of antiquity, together with Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Scipio, and Pyrrhus of Epirus. Plutarch states that, when questioned by Scipio as to who was the greatest general, Hannibal is said to have replied either Alexander or Pyrrhus, then himself, or, according to another version of the event, Pyrrhus, Scipio, then himself. Military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge once famously called Hannibal the "father of strategy", because his greatest enemy, Rome, came to adopt elements of his military tactics in its own strategic arsenal. This praise has earned him a strong reputation in the modern world, and he was regarded as a great strategist by men like Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington.

 

RECOMMENDED READING

We have two great books about Hannibal, one by our very good friend Patrick Hunt from Stanford who has been investigating the route that Hannibal took into Italy for many years. Every year, Patrick takes a group of Stanford students with him to northern Italy and they go to work on their archaeological project to find traces of the Hannibal trip through the Alps. It is a great story both of Hannibal and of Patrick's work with these students. National Geographic is following the project and writing about it. Patrick's new book is great. David Durham has written a good book too especially about Carthage versus Rome. They are both worth reading.

Patrick N. Hunt,

Hannibal,

Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (July 11, 2017),

ISBN 1439102171

 

David Anthony Durham,

The Pride of Carthage,

Anchor (January 3, 2006),

ISBN 0385722494

From Publishers Weekly Starred Review:

Known for his novels of African-American life in 19th-century America (Gabriel's Story; Walk Through Darkness), Durham leaps continents and centuries to tell the epic story of Hannibal and his march on Rome in this heady, richly textured novel. After Hannibal assumes command of the Carthaginian army in Spain and conquers the Roman city of Saguntum, Carthage refuses to accept Rome's demand that it abandon the city, precipitating the Second Punic War. In 218 B.C., Hannibal begins his daring march toward Rome, leading an army of upward of 100,000 - complete with elephants and cavalry—over the Pyrenees, across the Rhone and through the snowcapped Alps. Ill prepared for the frigid weather, pummeled by avalanches and harassed by Celtic tribes, the army arrives in Italy reduced to perhaps 30,000. Against all odds, Hannibal brings his soldiers through the tortuous marshes of the Arno, and traps and massacres a large Roman force at Lake Trasimene and again at Cannae. The novel's grand sweep is balanced by intimate portraits of Hannibal, his family, his allies and his enemies, as well as by the stories of two humble characters: Imco Vaca, a soldier, and Aradna, a camp follower, who meet and fall in love as the saga moves inexorably toward an account of the beheading of Hannibal's brother and Hannibal's eventual defeat at the gates of Rome. Durham weaves abundant psychological, military and political detail into this vivid account of one of the most romanticized periods of history. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

hannib10

Week 5: Thu., Nov. 5, 2020
Romans in Spain

LECTURE

In the contest with Carthage, Rome won. And one important part of the Mediterranean world that now opened to Roman domination was Spain. The Romans called it Hispania. The Roman era in Spanish history endured for more than six hundred years: from 218 B. C. to the fall of Rome itself in the 400's. During those six hundred years the roads, the aquaducts, the bridges, the cities themselves were all transformed by the new Roman conquerers so that our present-day Spain is still, to some extent, a reflection of Roman Spain. Spain was also the ultimate test of Julius Caesar and his leadership in the emerging Roman Empire.

RECOMMENDED READING

This is the best book on the subject in English.  There are used copies of this high quality paperback at about $20.00 and up.

John S. Richardson,

The Romans in Spain,

Wiley-Blackwell (November 19, 1998),

ISBN 063120931X

 

If you have never read Caesar's book about the conquest of Gaul, you will find it extremely interesting, especially about the Celts (Gauls) and if you have read it before you might want to pull it down from your Institute bookshelf and look it over again.

Julius Caesar,

The Conquest of Gaul,

Penguin,

ISBN 0140444335

About Julius Caesar, the best biography available is the recent, well done biography by Christian Meier. It is a big book but up to date and a great introduction to this extraordinary person.

Christian Meier,

Caesar,

Harper Collins,

ISBN 046500895X

PART TWO: Mérida

A visit to Mérida, one of the best preserved sites of Roman ruins in Spain.

Week 6: Thu., Nov. 12, 2020
From Scipio Africanus to Marcus Aurelius

PART ONE: LECTURE

From the Third Century BC, Rome was caught up in the Iberian peninsula. The success of Carthaginian Spain raised the possibility of the whole of the western Mediterranean becoming a Carthaginian lake.  And this Rome could not tolerate. So between 300 BC and 200 BC, Carthage and her colonies in Spain became the number one foreign policy issue for the Roman Republic. Scipio Africanus is the most important person in this duel.  He beats Carthage at the final battle of Zama outside of Carthage in 202 BC. Spain became the most important province in the growing state of Rome. And Spaniards  became powerful and important in the capital. Trajan (53-117) and Hadrian ( 76-138 ) were both Spaniards and are the first of a number of important non-Italian emperors. The rise of Trajan and his chosen succesor Hadrian marks an era of successful imperial leadership during which each emperor adopted his successor and brought about one hundred years of relatively peaceful Roman imperial leadership. Trajan came to power due to his military acumen and the fact that the troops respected him. He came from southern Spain, Italica in the present Andalusia. His reign is a high mark of Spanish influence in the empire. It reveals the nature of the empire in the year 100 A.D. as one of truly international federation of nations. But it also marks the decline of real representative government. This is the era of Emperors. The Senate is now less important.

RECOMMENDED READING

Anthony Everitt is one of the most popular writers among Insitute readers.  His biographies of Cicero and Augustus are excellent.  Here he writes about the Spanish Emperor Hadrian.

Anthony Everitt,

Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome,

Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 14, 2010),

ISBN 0812978145

From Publishers Weekly:

The author of biographies of Augustus and Cicero, British scholar Everitt now combines academic expertise with lively prose in a satisfying account of the emperor who ruled Rome from 117 to 138 C.E., the man Everitt says has a good claim to have been the most successful of Rome's leaders. As a youth, Hadrian became the protege and adopted ward of future emperor Trajan. (Homosexual emperors, including Hadrian, often adopted a successor, a procedure that worked better than letting pugnacious generals fight it out.) After suppressing the Jewish revolt that had begun under Trajan, Hadrian abandoned several of his predecessor's conquests as indefensible. Traveling the empire, he shored up its defenses, which included building Hadrian's Wall in England and another across Germany. Nearing the end of a prosperous, mostly peaceful reign, he adopted two men who also ruled successfully: Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. Everitt presents the Roman Empire, in what he calls tempestuous and thrilling times, as an almost ungovernable collection of polyglot nations dominated by ambitious, frequently bloodthirsty and unscrupulous men. Readers will wonder how Rome lasted so long, but they will enjoy this skillful portrait of a good leader during its last golden age. 2 maps. (Sept. 8) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

"Excellent . . . highly recommended . . . a skillfully analyzed and well-researched narrative." Library Journal

"One gets a clear and compelling sense of Hadrian's times." --”The New Yorker

PART TWO: Taragona

Among the many Spanish sites of importance in Roman Spain, Taragona preserves some of the most interesting: a great Roman Theater and a Roman Circus, Roman Forum, and spectacular Roman Acquaduct. You will enjoy Taragona.

Altafulla-Tarragona-Spain-008

Week 7: Thu., Nov. 19, 2020
Visigoths in Spain

PART ONE: LECTURE

As the Roman Empire disintegrated during the 400's provinces all over the world that had been ruled from Rome were now open to conquest by roving peoples moving across the map of Europe in search of a safe haven. Often these moving communities consisted of hundreds of thousands of travelers on the move. One such people were the Visigoths. The Visigoths were a smaller division of the larger Gothic people that had swept in from Germany as Rome collapsed. The Romanized Visigoths first emerged as a distinct people during the 4th century, initially in the Balkans, where they participated in several wars with Rome. A Visigothic army under Alaric I eventually moved into Italy and famously sacked Rome in 410. Then they moved on. First north into France and then west into Spain.

Here is a general background on the Visigoths from Wikipedia:

The Visigothic Kingdom was a Western European power in the 5th to 7th centuries, created in Gaul when the Romans lost their control of their empire. In response to the invasion of Roman Hispania of 409 by the Vandals, Alans and Suevi, Honorius, the emperor in the West, enlisted the aid of the Visigoths to regain control of the territory. In 418, Honorius rewarded his Visigothic federates by giving them land in Gallia Aquitania on which to settle. This was probably done under hospitalitas, the rules for billeting army soldiers. The settlement formed the nucleus of the future Visigothic kingdom that would eventually expand across the Pyrenees and onto the Iberian peninsula. The Visigoths' second great king, Euric, unified the various quarreling factions among the Visigoths and, in 475, forced the Roman government to grant them full independence. At his death, the Visigoths were the most powerful of the successor states to the Western Roman Empire. The Visigoths also became the dominant power in the Iberian Peninsula, quickly crushing the Alans and forcing the Vandals into north Africa. By 500, the Visigothic Kingdom, centred at Toulouse, controlled Aquitania and Gallia Narbonensis and most of Hispania with the exception of the Suevic kingdom in the northwest and small areas controlled by the Basques and Cantabrians. However, in 507, the Franks under Clovis I defeated the Visigoths in the Vouillé and wrested control of Aquitaine. King Alaric II was killed in battle. After Alaric's death, Visigothic nobles spirited his heir, the child-king Amalaric, first to Narbonne, which was the last Gothic outpost in Gaul, and further across the Pyrenees into Hispania. The center of Visigothic rule shifted first to Barcelona, then inland and south to Toledo. From 511 to 526, the Visigoths were ruled by Theodoric the Great of the Ostrogoths as de jure regent for the young Amalaric. The last Arian Visigothic king, Liuvigild, conquered the Suevic kingdom in 585 and most of the northern regions (Cantabria) in 574 The kingdom survived until 711, when King Roderic (Rodrigo) was killed while opposing an invasion from the south by the Umayyad Muslims in the Battle of Guadalete on July 19. This marked the beginning of the Muslim conquest of Hispania in which most of the peninsula came under Islamic rule by 718. A Visigothic nobleman, Pelayo, is credited with beginning the Christian Reconquista of Iberia in 718, when he defeated the Umayyads in battle and established the Kingdom of Asturias in the northern part of the peninsula. Other Visigoths, refusing to adopt the Muslim faith or live under their rule, fled north to the kingdom of the Franks, and Visigoths played key roles in the empire of Charlemagne a few generations later. During their long reign in Spain, the Visigoths were responsible for the only new cities founded in Western Europe between the 5th and 8th centuries. It is certain (through contemporary Spanish accounts) that they founded four: Reccopolis, Victoriacum, Luceo, and Olite.

REQUIRED READING

Excerpts from The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville provided to you in a PDF file emailed to you.

Reading Isidore offers us an insight into the Visigothic era of Spain. Isidore was the most influential Christian in Spain from the collapse of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the Reconquista. We will provide you with pages from the Etymologies for the required reading. The excerpts are taken from the text in this week's recommended reading.

RECOMMENDED READING

Barney, Lewis, Beach, Berghof (translators),

The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville,

Cambridge University Press (May 24, 2010),

ISBN 0521145910

PART TWO: PICTURES

Visigothic Art in Spain

THANKSGIVING NEXT WEEK. WE TAKE OFF THE WHOLE WEEK

Week 8: Thu., Dec. 3, 2020
Isidore of Seville

PART ONE: LECTURE

The life of San Isidro de Sevilla (560-636) gives us a unique insight into Spain in those centuries just before the Islamic conquest of 711. St Isidore was born in Cartagena (named for Carthage), to Severianus and Theodora, members of an influential family who were instrumental in the political-religious maneuverering that converted the Visigothic kings from Arianism to Catholicism. The Catholic Church celebrates him and all his siblings as known saints. The story of his leadership in Seville reveals the nature of Christianity in Spain during the centuries between the fall of Rome and the conquest of the Islamic armies in 711.

Isidore was the author of a great encyclopedia of all knowledge of all things in his day called the Etymologies or Origins. It was one of the most influential books of the ancient world. It was a compendium of all that was known at the time, brought together into this encyclopedia that men of the ancient world could easily understand. Isidore's influence in history therefore derives both from his actual leadership in Spain as well as his influence as an author. Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article on the Etymologies.

Wikipedia:

Isidore was the first Christian writer to attempt the task of compiling for his co-religionists a summa of universal knowledge, in the form of his most important work, the Etymologiae It is also known by classicists as the Origines (the standard abbreviation being Orig.). This encyclopedia - the first such Christian epitome - formed a huge compilation of 448 chapters in 20 volumes. In it, as Isidore entered his own terse digest of Roman handbooks, miscellanies and compendia, he continued the trend towards abridgements and summaries that had characterised Roman learning in Late Antiquity. In the process, many fragments of classical learning are preserved which otherwise would have been hopelessly lost; "in fact, in the majority of his works, including the Origines, he contributes little more than the mortar which connects excerpts from other authors, as if he was aware of his deficiencies and had more confidence in the stilus maiorum than his own" his translator Katherine Nell MacFarlane remarks; on the other hand, some of these fragments were lost in the first place because Isidore's work was so highly regarded - Braulio called it quecunque fere sciri debentur, "practically everything that it is necessary to know" - that it superseded the use of many individual works of the classics themselves, which were not recopied and have therefore been lost: "all secular knowledge that was of use to the Christian scholar had been winnowed out and contained in one handy volume; the scholar need search no further". The fame of this work imparted a new impetus to encyclopedic writing, which bore abundant fruit in the subsequent centuries of the Middle Ages. It was the most popular compendium in medieval libraries. It was printed in at least 10 editions between 1470 and 1530, showing Isidore's continued popularity in the Renaissance. Until the 12th century brought translations from Arabic sources, Isidore transmitted what western Europeans remembered of the works of Aristotle and other Greeks, although he understood only a limited amount of Greek. The Etymologiae was much copied, particularly into medieval bestiaries.

RECOMMENDED READING

Barney, Lewis, Beach, Berghof (translators),

The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville,

Cambridge University Press (May 24, 2010),

ISBN 0521145910

PART TWO: PICTURES

Images of Isidore and his work.

Week 9: Thu., Dec. 10, 2020
Apostle James in Spain

PART ONE: LECTURE

Saint James is the Patron Saint of Spain and according to legend, his remains are held in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Spain). The traditional pilgrimage to the grave of the saint, known as the "Way of St. James", has been the most popular pilgrimage for Western European Catholics from the early Middle Ages onwards. 125,141 pilgrims registered in 2008 as having completed the final 100 km walk (200 km by bicycle) to Santiago to qualify for a Compostela.[4] When 25 July falls on a Sunday, it is a "Jubilee" year, and a special east door is opened for entrance into the Santiago Cathedral. Jubilee years fall every 6, 5, 6, and 11 years. In the 2004 Jubilee year, 179,944,[5] pilgrims received a Compostela. In the Jubilee years of 2010 and 2011, the number of pilgrims is expected to exceed this figure. The feast day of St James is celebrated on 25 July on the liturgical calendars of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and certain Protestant churches.

The story of James is a mix of New Testament precision and less precise myths and stories of travels and preaching. The most important story for Spain is the account of James' time spent in Spain. And his miraculous reappearance and burial in Santiago de Compostela.

RECOMMENDED READING:

Kevin A. Codd,

To the Field of Stars: A Pilgrim's Journey to Santiago de Compostela,

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (March 18, 2008),

ISBN 0802825923

Review:

"In this wonderful book Father Codd brilliantly captures for us the essence of pilgrimage. He is a candid and engaging guide to the physical realities involved. More than that, though, he reveals the interior journey, equally difficult and equally rewarding. It is a spiritual and emotional trek on which pilgrims are confronted with their own broken humanity and come face to face with the God they seek. I am grateful Father Codd has allowed us to be part of such a marvelous discovery." -- Martin Sheen

Product Description:

Pilgrimage is a strange notion to our modern, practical minds. How many of us have sought on foot a distant holy place in order to draw nearer to God? Yet the pilgrimage experience is growing these days in various parts of the world. Looking for a way to take stock of his life, American priest Kevin Codd set out in July 2003 on a pilgrimage that would change his life. To the Field of Stars tells the fascinating story of his unusual spiritual and physical journey on foot across Spain to Santiago de Compostela, the traditional burial place of the apostle James the Greater. Each brief chapter chronicling Codd's thirty-five-day trek is dedicated to one or two days on the road. Codd shares tales of other pilgrims, his own changes of perspective, and his challenges and triumphs along the way -- all told with a disarming candor. Seen through the eyes of a Catholic priest who honors the religious worldview that originally gave rise to these medieval odysseys, "pilgrimage" comes to life and takes on new meaning in these pages.

PART TWO: Santiago de Compostela

A photographic journey to Santiago de Compostela.

2santiago_de_compostela

Week 10: Thu., Dec. 17, 2020
The Year 700 A.D.

PART ONE: LECTURE

In the year of 700 A.D., Europe and Spain were on the threshold of a dramatic new historical era that would be driven by the Islamic invasion that was about to come surging cross the Mediterranean at Gibraltar. This new group of peoples who would come from various north African communities carrying the new religion of Islam would challenge the whole structure of Christian Spain and would push beyond Spain deep into France. During the first century of the Islamic presence in Spain, it often seemed that this new Islamic empire was unstoppable and that eventually it would spread to all of Europe. Then during the eighth century, a new political force in European politics emerged from France: the Carolingians. This Germano-French dynasty with its roots in Burgundy and the Rhine valley organized the larger French territory and stopped the Islamic surge, first at Poitiers, later in Spain itself and along the border lands.

CHRISTMAS VACATION

no classes
Week of Dec 21
Week of Dec 28

Classes Begin

Week of Monday Jan 4, 2021.