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Back to Burgos: Deciphering Secrets of Medieval Spain

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Burgos: Deciphering Secrets of Medieval Spain by University of Colorado System

12 ratings

About the Course

This advanced course focuses on two primary goals: (1) appraising how Jews, Christians, and Muslims shaped the history of medieval Spain and (2) mastering the craft of Spanish paleography, the skill of identifying Spanish handwriting in the 11th- through 15th-century manuscripts. Through the lens of the medieval history of Burgos, we dedicate 75% percent of our efforts to developing pragmatic expertise in the interpretation of Carolingian/French/Gothic handwriting. Specifically, the course explores how the royal Castilian city of Burgos influenced, and was influenced by, Jews, Christians, and Muslims. We closely evaluate the Spanish Christian Reconquest, the Plague and the 14th-century Castilian civil war, anti-Jewish pogroms, the emergence of elite conversos (Jewish converts to Christianity), and the role of the king and Roman Catholic Church in the creation of Catholic Spain. Through onsite interviews in archives and museums in Burgos, we experience the medieval city, artifacts, and manuscripts. While we teach using Spanish manuscripts, very little or no knowledge of the Spanish language is necessary to complete the course. Using an intensive array of paleography practices, exams, independent projects, and collaborative efforts, you will garner exceptional skills that you can apply to interpreting any medieval European handwriting. To demonstrate your mastery of paleography you will (1) create a 14th-15th-century alphabet, numeral, and abbreviation guide using manuscript images, and (2) transcribe one selection from a medieval manuscript....
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1 - 6 of 6 Reviews for Burgos: Deciphering Secrets of Medieval Spain


Dec 29, 2020

Very informative introduction to a VERY difficult subject. Good information regarding Moslems and Jews in medieval Spain.

By Graciela G

Sep 3, 2019

Wonderful in every way!!!!

By Joy S

Jan 12, 2019

A great deal of good information about the Jews in the city of Burgos.

By Roberto D

Sep 26, 2018

La temática global del curso es sumamente interesante. La relación de textos que contextualizan contenidos y documentos es de gran valor. Aprendí muchísimo sobre la tierra de mis ancestros. Sin embargo debo hacer la observación que la plataforma tiene muchísimas falencias. Hay enlaces que no conducen a ninguna parte, en ocasiones los envíos se pierden y hay que volver a realizarlos. En reiteradas ocasiones el sistema calificaba en forma arbitraria (asumiendo como errores respuestas claramente correctas) y lo mas preocupante: la total ausencia del catedrático en la plataforma. El proyecto es bonito, pero no es justo para ninguna persona (menos para quienes pagamos) sentirnos tan abandonados. Estoy meditando seriamente si tomo los cursos restantes, pero dependerá mucho de la atención que el desarrollador del curso le preste a sus alumnos. Y eso se certifica con referencias de los compañeros.

By Matthew P

Apr 29, 2021

I both loved and detested this course and I really think you should consider how it is structured. I signed up for it because I am walking the Camino Frances in stages. I finished in Burgos in 2019 and, knowing I would return in 2020, chose this course to learn more about the city and make my trip more fulfilling. In this respect, it was an excellent course. However, the manuscript element did not really interest me at all. I think the course should be redone as two courses with a certificate for each, one a culture course, and the other dealing with the manuscripts. Indeed, a culture course dealing with Burgos and another Camino city such as Leon would be amazing and very popular. Have a think about it!

By Jonathan G

Dec 30, 2019

I found this course tedious and pointless. Perhaps it's used to translate books, but nothing else