A King Travels: Festive Traditions in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain

Princeton University Press
Free sample

A King Travels examines the scripting and performance of festivals in Spain between 1327 and 1620, offering an unprecedented look at the different types of festivals that were held in Iberia during this crucial period of European history. Bridging the gap between the medieval and early modern eras, Teofilo Ruiz focuses on the travels and festivities of Philip II, exploring the complex relationship between power and ceremony, and offering a vibrant portrait of Spain's cultural and political life.

Ruiz covers a range of festival categories: carnival, royal entries, tournaments, calendrical and noncalendrical celebrations, autos de fe, and Corpus Christi processions. He probes the ritual meanings of these events, paying special attention to the use of colors and symbols, and to the power relations articulated through these festive displays. Ruiz argues that the fluid and at times subversive character of medieval festivals gave way to highly formalized and hierarchical events reflecting a broader shift in how power was articulated in late medieval and early modern Spain. Yet Ruiz contends that these festivals, while they sought to buttress authority and instruct different social orders about hierarchies of power, also served as sites of contestation, dialogue, and resistance.



A King Travels sheds new light on Iberian festive traditions and their unique role in the centralizing state in early modern Castile.

Read more

About the author

Teofilo F. Ruiz is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His many books include The Terror of History: On the Uncertainties of Life in Western Civilization and From Heaven to Earth: The Reordering of Castilian Society, 1150-1350 (both Princeton).
Read more
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
Read more
Published on
Mar 25, 2012
Read more
Pages
376
Read more
ISBN
9781400842247
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
History / Europe / Medieval
History / Europe / Renaissance
History / Europe / Spain & Portugal
History / Modern / 16th Century
History / Modern / 17th Century
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Between the late twelfth century and the mid fourteenth, Castile saw a reordering of mental, spiritual, and physical space. Fresh ideas about sin and intercession coincided with new ways of representing the self and emerging perceptions of property as tangible. This radical shift in values or mentalités was most evident among certain social groups, including mercantile elites, affluent farmers, lower nobility, clerics, and literary figures--"middling sorts" whose outlooks and values were fast becoming normative.

Drawing on such primary documents as wills, legal codes, land transactions, litigation records, chronicles, and literary works, Teofilo Ruiz documents the transformation in how medieval Castilians thought about property and family at a time when economic innovations and an emerging mercantile sensibility were eroding the traditional relation between the two. He also identifies changes in how Castilians conceived of and acted on salvation and in the ways they related to their local communities and an emerging nation-state.


Ruiz interprets this reordering of mental and physical landscapes as part of what Le Goff has described as a transition "from heaven to earth," from spiritual and religious beliefs to the quasi-secular pursuits of merchants and scholars. Examining how specific groups of Castilians began to itemize the physical world, Ruiz sketches their new ideas about salvation, property, and themselves--and places this transformation within the broader history of cultural and social change in the West.

The epic story of the fall of the Inca Empire to Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in the aftermath of a bloody civil war, and the recent discovery of the lost guerrilla capital of the Incas, Vilcabamba, by three American explorers.

In 1532, the fifty-four-year-old Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro led a force of 167 men, including his four brothers, to the shores of Peru. Unbeknownst to the Spaniards, the Inca rulers of Peru had just fought a bloody civil war in which the emperor Atahualpa had defeated his brother Huascar. Pizarro and his men soon clashed with Atahualpa and a huge force of Inca warriors at the Battle of Cajamarca. Despite being outnumbered by more than two hundred to one, the Spaniards prevailed—due largely to their horses, their steel armor and swords, and their tactic of surprise. They captured and imprisoned Atahualpa. Although the Inca emperor paid an enormous ransom in gold, the Spaniards executed him anyway. The following year, the Spaniards seized the Inca capital of Cuzco, completing their conquest of the largest native empire the New World has ever known. Peru was now a Spanish colony, and the conquistadors were wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.

But the Incas did not submit willingly. A young Inca emperor, the brother of Atahualpa, soon led a massive rebellion against the Spaniards, inflicting heavy casualties and nearly wiping out the conquerors. Eventually, however, Pizarro and his men forced the emperor to abandon the Andes and flee to the Amazon. There, he established a hidden capital, called Vilcabamba—only recently rediscovered by a trio of colorful American explorers. Although the Incas fought a deadly, thirty-six-year-long guerrilla war, the Spanish ultimately captured the last Inca emperor and vanquished the native resistance.
This book reflects on Western humanity's efforts to escape from history and its terrors--from the existential condition and natural disasters to the endless succession of wars and other man-made catastrophes. Drawing on historical episodes ranging from antiquity to the recent past, and combining them with literary examples and personal reflections, Teofilo Ruiz explores the embrace of religious experiences, the pursuit of worldly success and pleasures, and the quest for beauty and knowledge as three primary responses to the individual and collective nightmares of history. The result is a profound meditation on how men and women in Western society sought (and still seek) to make meaning of the world and its disturbing history.

In chapters that range widely across Western history and culture, The Terror of History takes up religion, the material world, and the world of art and knowledge. "Religion and the World to Come" examines orthodox and heterodox forms of spirituality, apocalyptic movements, mysticism, supernatural beliefs, and many forms of esotericism, including magic, alchemy, astrology, and witchcraft. "The World of Matter and the Senses" considers material riches, festivals and carnivals, sports, sex, and utopian communities. Finally, "The Lure of Beauty and Knowledge" looks at cultural productions of all sorts, from art to scholarship.


Combining astonishing historical breadth with a personal and accessible narrative style, The Terror of History is a moving testimony to the incredibly diverse ways humans have sought to cope with their frightening history.

From the Straits of Gibraltar to Sicily, the European northern Mediterranean nations to the shores of North Africa, the western Mediterranean is a unique cultural and sociopolitical entity which has had a singular role in shaping today’s global society. The Western Mediterranean and the World is the fascinating story of the rise of that peculiar world and of its evolution from the end of the Western Roman Empire to the present. Uniquely, rather than present the history of the region as a strict chronological progression, the author takes a thematic approach, telling his story through a series of vignettes, case studies, and original accounts so as to provide a more immediate sense of what life in and around the Mediterranean was like from the end of the Roman Empire in the West to the present immigration crisis now unfolding in Mediterranean waters. Emphasizing the development of religion and language and the enduring synergies and struggles between Christian, Jews, and Muslims on both shores of the western sea, Dr. Ruiz connects the region to the larger world and locates the development of Mediterranean societies within a global context. Describes the move from religious and linguistic unity under Roman rule to the fragmented cultural landscape of today Explores the relationship of language, culture, and geography, focusing on the role of language formation and linguistic identity in the emergence of national communities Traces the movements of peoples across regions and their encounters with new geographical, cultural, and political realities Addresses the emergence of various political identities and how they developed into set patterns of political organization Emphasizes the theme of encounters as seen from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish perspectives

While it is sure to become a definitive text for university courses on Mediterranean history, The Western Mediterranean and the World will also have great appeal among scholars of the Mediterranean as well as general readers of history.

©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.