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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Fall 2004

SPN 352 • Topics in Spanish and Spanish American Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46690 MWF
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
BEN 1.102

Course Description

In medieval Spain Jews, Christians and Muslims coexisted in the Iberian Peninsula for nearly eight hundred years under Muslim or Christian rule. These three cultures were in constant contact, although much of their intellectual and creative legacy remained separate. The purpose of this course is to examine written works that reflect the cultural currents of the period, especially as they shed light on the context of coexistence among Muslims, Christians and Jews. The course will examine some notable examples of cross-cultural influences in texts available today in Spanish (a few in English), such as the bilingual poems in Hebrew or Arabic (moaxaja) with a final couplet in romance (jarcha); Ibn Hazm’s treatise on Love, known in Spanish as El collar de la paloma; Moisés Sefardí’s (the convert Petrus Alfonsi) book of proverbs and exempla originally written in Latin as Disciplina clericalis, as well as his post-conversion treatise Dialogus contra judaeos; Rabbi Sem Tov de Carrión’s poem of proverbs Proverbios morales, which reflects Jewish cultural attitudes in a way thought pleasing to a Christian king. Also included will be selections from works of such celebrated figures such as Averroes, Maimonides, and Alfonso X, and additional textual witnesses to the official attitudes of rulers regarding the coexistence of these three cultures, their common efforts, their enmity, and their mutual tolerance.

Grading Policy

There will be regular writing exercises, a midterm exam, a final exam, and an oral report.


Essays from Creencias y culturas: cristianos, judíos y musulmanes en la España Medieval, eds. Carlos Carrete Parrondo, Alisa Meyuhas Gimio. Salamanca, 1998. Selections from Medieval Iberia: Readings from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources, ed. Olivia Remie Constable, U Penn, 1997. Xarchas (earliest 1040) Ibn Hazm, El collar de la paloma (before 1069) Moisés Sefardí (the convert Petrus Alfonsi), Disciplina Clericalis (c. 1110) Rabbi Moseh ben Maimon (Maimonides), “Epístola sobre la conversión forzosa” (c. 1162), “Epístola sobre la resurrección de los muertos” (c. 1191), ‘Sobre astrología’ (before 1200) Ibn Rushd (Averroes), “Almohad Creed” (c. 1183) Alfonso X, Libro de astronomía, Fuero real, Cantigas de Santa María, Estoria de España (c. 1280) Gonzalo de Berceo, Milagros de Nuestra Señora (c.1255) Juan Manuel, El conde Lucanor (c. 1330) Juan Ruiz, Libro de buen amor (c. 1343) Proverbios del sabio Salamón Rabbi Sem Tov de Carrión, Proverbios morales (c. 1360) Aljamiado poetry: Poema de Yúçuf, Coplas de Yóçef, Alhotba arrmada, Poema anónimo en alabanza de Mahoma, Loor de Mahoma.


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