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236ReviewsLa corónica 32.2, 2004 The Latin Chronicle of the Kings of Castile. Ed. and Trans. Joseph F O'Callaghan. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, Vol. 236. Tempe: Arizona State U, 2002. 174 pp. ISBN 0-86698-278-8 The Latin Chronicle of the Kings oj Castile documents what the historian Joseph O'Callaghan has elsewhere called an "age of revival", from the eleventh to the thirteenth century (305). It chronicles an era in which the Christian kingdoms of Iberia expanded their influence over the Peninsula, appropriating power and knowledge from a more highly advanced, but ultimately more factious Muslim civilization to the south, while at the same time establishing closer ties with Rome and monastic culture to the north. The only version of the work that we have survives without a title in MS 9/450 of the Biblioteca de la Real Academia de la Historia. Georges Cirot was the first to name the anonymous text in 1912. Two other thirteenth-century narratives cover this same period, not from the standpoint of Castilla, but of Iberia as a whole: Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada's Historia de rebus Hispanie, and the Chronicon mundi of Lucas, Bishop of Túy. The Latin Chronicle can be divided chronologically into three sections. It begins by recording early political and military developments such as the establishment of Castilian independence under Fernando I in 1035, the landmark conquests of Toledo and Almería, succession problems arising from the death of Alfonso I of Aragón, the invasion of the Almohads, followed by Alfonso VII's division of Castilla and León upon his death in 1 157 (1-16). The next section focuses on events in the life of Alfonso VIII, who took control of the kingdom in 1169 when his minority ended (17-67). In particular, it recounts the feuds with his uncles Fernando II of León and Sancho VI of Navarra, and with his cousin Alfonso IX of León; his disastrous encounter with the Almohads at Alarcos, and his effort to stake a claim to Gascony as part of his wife's dowry. This segment of the narrative closes with a moving account of the death of Alfonso VIII in 1214, following that of his oldest son, Fernando (59-61). The scope of the Latin Chronicle at this point widens to include such developments as the Albigensian heresy, the Fourth Lateran Council, and highlights from the Third and Fourth crusades (57, 62-7). These are presented not so much as faraway events, but in the context of a multilateral effort to unify and preserve the Church from internal as well as external threats - a global cause led at times by Iberians such as Pedro II of Aragon, who died at the hands of the Albigensians; or Cardinal Plegarius, who would direct an invasion of Eygpt in the Fifth Crusade . The chronicler, at the same time, omits events that twentieth-century La corónica 32.2 (Spring, 2004): 236-38 Reviews237 historiographers see as essential to the Castilian national story, such as the conquests of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, the "Cid". The last section of the narrative covers a shorter period of time, but in greater detail, from the succession problems brought about by the early death in 1217 of Alfonso VIII's younger son, Enrique I, to the successes of Fernando III, culminating in the fall of Córdoba in 1236 (68-144). O'Callaghan's edition, apart from offering the first English translation of the Latin Chronicle, consolidates and expands on notes made by earlier editors, provides an introduction to the text's historical background and authorship, and includes supplementary material such as maps and an updated bibliography. María Desamparados Cabanes Pecourt was among the first to work on dating the Latin Chronicle. She argued that its composition began after the 1224 assassination of 'Abd al-Wâhid alluded to in chapter 45 (10). O'Callaghan, pointing to the Latin Chronicle's year-to-year structure from the latter part ofAlfonso VIII's reign to the last chapter, reasons that it was "probably begun late in the reign ofAlfonso VIII" - that is, before 1214 (xxx...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4261
Print ISSN
0193-3892
Pages
pp. 236-238
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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