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Back to Toledo: Deciphering Secrets of Medieval Spain

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

14 ratings

About the Course

This course evaluates the medieval history of Toledo from the era of the Visigoth Kingdom (6th-8th centuries) through its Islamic period (8th to 11th centuries) and into its reintegration into Christian Spain (after 1085 c.e.) In particular, we take note of the cultural and religious transformations that characterized the city with a special effort to understand how many peoples and religions came to settle and live amongst one another. We will virtually-tour the Islamic and Christian structures of the Museo de Santa Cruz, Iglesia de San Román, Sinagoga del Tránsito, Mezquita de Bab al-Mardum, Archivo Municipal de Toledo, and the Archivo Historico de la Nobleza. We examine the Visigoths transition from Christian Arianism to Catholicism and the harsh treatment of the Jewish population. We explore Islamic governance and development of the medieval city of three faiths, with a special interest in its cultural achievements. We will study King Alfonso “The Wise” (1252-1284)’s efforts to characterize himself as the “king of three religions” via his legal codices, the creation of the Cantigas de Santa María, and his intellectual endeavor known as the Toledo School of Translators. We evaluate the robust Jewish and converso noble families of the city and appreciate their intellectual, religious, and economic contributions to Castilian life. We will bear witness to the rise of anti-Jewish blood purity statutes, the creation of the Inquisition, and the expulsion of the Jews. We also briefly introduce and study Spanish manuscripts from the municipal and cathedral archives to make new scholarly breakthroughs relating to the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interrelations. No knowledge of Spanish is needed to participate in the course or in our transcription efforts....
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1 - 6 of 6 Reviews for Toledo: Deciphering Secrets of Medieval Spain

By Julie E D

Jan 30, 2021

The teachers and the materials in support of the lectures are excellent! it was so much material . I know very little about the history of Spain, but I love to learn about it. I loved the videos and presentations. The handbooks are excellent. I felt I did not learn enough on 15th century Spanish paleography. I guess I could handle 13th century and 19th century a lot faster. I passed the course but I want to spend nore time going over the 15th century manual. I would love to be able to help with the optional project, but I am not ready yet!

Thanks Dr Martinez-Davila and thanks to all the experts, museum Directors that taught us so beautifully! Viva Spain! Julie Dawson

By Omar E G

May 29, 2020

First of all, I would like to thank Prof. Roger Martinez for this fruitful course. In fact, I am working on legal translation and the practical part concerning palaeography was of great importance for me. Also, I touched a sense of objectivity in exposing and discussing historical facts. It's true that I can differ with you in some historical issues but generally speaking the material provided is objective.

Thank you indeed, looking forward to collaborating with you in the future.

Best regards

Omar EL GHAZI from Morocco

By Maximiliano E

Jan 16, 2021

Amzing course!

By Karen K

Aug 1, 2020

I was not able to complete the course. The script of the manuscript that I downloaded for intermediate /13th century paleography was so small as to be completely illegible even with a magnifying glass. I took a similar course taught by Professor Martinez a few years ago -i think it was the first one -Deciphering Medieval Manuscripts -Plasencia Spain- and it was a much better course -. i was successful in transcribing the manuscripts and felt a great sense of satisfaction afterwards. I felt like I was actually contributing to a larger project. Sincerely Karen kay

By Joy S

Jan 19, 2019

About half the course was of no use to me: instead of being about the history of Toledo it got into Spanish paleography. So I'm not doing the last 2 weeks.


Mar 15, 2023

Bad professor

Badly posted the questions

You don't learn anything trying to deciphering the old palaeography. I paid $49 to learn about the secrets of medieval Toledo. I didn't learn much