- Alfonso X
- (1221–1284)King of Castile and patron of the arts and sciences, Alfonso X, called El Sabio (the Wise, or the Learned), was also a significant lyric poet and composer in his own right, and in that role is best known as the author of some 400 songs in praise of the Virgin.Alfonso was the son of Fernando III and Beatrice of Swabia. As a young man he seems to have been well trained in military pursuits and educated in the arts and sciences. He ascended to the throne of Castile and Leon on the death of his father in 1252. Alfonso married Violante, the daughter of King Jaime I of Aragon, with whom he shared an interest in the reconquest of Muslim Spain: Early in his reign he fought a number of Moorish wars and conquered Cadiz in 1262. Meanwhile, he had been elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1254, but the election was disputed and he was never crowned. Generally a weak sovereign, his indecision concerning his succession after his first son Fernando died in 1275 led to diplomatic problems with Aragon and France, and to open revolt at home when his second son, Sancho, led a rebellion in Alfonso’s final years, ultimately seizing the throne when Alfonso died in 1284.Far more successful were Alfonso’s efforts to make his court the intellectual and cultural center of Iberia. Calling himself the King of the Three Religions, Alfonso drew to his court Christian, Jewish, and Muslim scholars to work on a program of compilation, translation, and literary creation designed, in part, to encourage the use of the vernacular in learning and in poetry. He sponsored the scholarly production of compilations in various areas. His Las siete partidas was an anthology of legal practices going back to Roman times, begun with the hope of standardizing such practices—a hope not realized until the following century. In history, two great collections were begun under Alfonso’s patronage: One, the Crónica general, is a vernacular history of Spain up to the 13th century; the other, the Grande e general estoria, is a vast history of the world up to the time of the Virgin Mary’s parents. In science, Alfonso’s court made significant contributions to the study of astronomy and astrology, with three important works translated or adapted from Arabic sources by Jewish scholars—one of these, a text of astronomic tables, was a standard reference in Europe for hundreds of years.In addition, Alfonso’s court was famous for his literary contributions, for the king was both a generous literary patron and was himself a poet of some distinction. Many poets had left the repressive court of the Portuguese king Alfonso III (whose long feud with Alfonso X ended when the Portuguese king married Alfonso X’s illegitimate daughter—a union that produced another poetking, DINIS). Thus the Castilian court became the center of Galician-Portuguese poetry, and Alfonso X himself, moved by their lyric productions, chose the Galician-Portuguese tongue as the vehicle for his own verses.Alfonso’s best-known work is a collection of 422 Cantigas de Santa Maria or songs in praise of the Virgin Mary. Generally these take the form of brief narratives relating miracles wrought by the Blessed Virgin’s intercession. In Cantiga VII, for example, an abbess who has slipped in her vows finds herself pregnant and is summoned to appear before the bishop. But Mary is miraculously able to save the nun:But the lady without delayBegan to call the Mother of God;And, as from one who was dreaming,Saint Mary had the child takenAnd sent for rearing to Saxony.(Keller 1962, 304)Alfonso wrote five other religious poems concerning the life of Christ, in addition to some 45 secular lyrics. A few of these are love poems but most are political lyrics. Of the secular poems, the best known is Non me posso pagar tanto, in which he expresses a desire to leave behind the pressures of his world and take to sea as a merchant—a sentiment that any monarch might have felt occasionally, but perhaps would have been particularly fitting during Alfonso’s turbulent final years:Rather, I wish to travel aloneAnd go like a merchantIn search of a landWhere I cannot feel the stingOf the black or the spotted scorpion.(Jensen 1992, 8.3, ll. 48–52)Bibliography■ Burns, Robert I., ed. Emperor of Culture: Alfonso X the Learned of Castile and his Thirteenth-Century Renaissance. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990.■ Jensen, Frede, ed. and trans. Medieval Galician-Portuguese Poetry: An Anthology. Garland Library of Medieval Literature 87. New York and London: Garland, 1992.■ Keller, John Esten. Alfonso X: El Sabio. New York: Twayne, 1967.■ ———,trans. “Cantigas VII.” In An Anthology ofMedieval Lyrics, edited by Angel Flores, 303–305. New York:Modern Library, 1962.
Encyclopedia of medieval literature. 2013.
Look at other dictionaries:
Alfonso — (Italian and Spanish), Alfons (Catalan and German), Afonso (Portuguese), Affonso (Ancient Portuguese), Alphonse (Italian, French and English), Alphons (Dutch), or Alphonso (English and Filipino) is a masculine name, originally from the Gothic… … Wikipedia
Alfonso — X el Sabio Origen Germano Género … Wikipedia Español
Alfonso — bezeichnet: Alfons, die italienische bzw. spanische Variante dieses Vornamens Alfonso (Cavite), eine Stadtgemeinde in der Provinz Cavite, Philippinen Alfonso (* 1972), spanischer Fußballspieler Alfonso Ribeiro (* 1971), US amerikanischer… … Deutsch Wikipedia
ALFONSO° — ALFONSO°, name of many Spanish sovereigns. Of special significance in Jewish history were the following: Kings of Aragon ALFONSO I (1104–34; the Battler ). After capturing Tudela from the Moors in 1114, he permitted Jews who had fled during the… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Alfonso I — (Alfonso Henriques), 1109? 85, first king of Portugal 1139 85. * * * ▪ duke of Ferrara, 1505 34 born July 21, 1476, Ferrara, Duchy of Ferrara died Oct. 31, 1534, Ferrara duke of Ferrara from 1505, a noted Renaissance prince of the House of… … Universalium
Alfonso I — can refer to: *Afonso I of Portugal, (1094 1195) (Afonso Henriques) *Afonso I Mvemba a Nzinga of Kongo, (1456 1543) the first Christian king of the Kingdom of Kongo and one of the first Black Africans of whom we have written documents in a… … Wikipedia
Alfonso I — puede referise a: Alfonso I, rey de Asturias (739 757). Alfonso I, el Batallador, rey de Aragón y de Navarra (1104 1134). Alfonso I de Mallorca, Nápoles y Sicilia, rey de Aragón, Mallorca, Sicilia y Nápoles (1396 1458). Alfonso I, rey de Portugal … Wikipedia Español
Alfonso I — es el nombre de los siguientes monarcas: ● Alfonso I de Asturias, el Católico (o también Alonso I de Asturias). Rey de Asturias (739 757). ● Alfonso I de Aragón, el Batallador. Rey de Aragón y de Navarra (1104 1134). ● Alfonso V de Aragón fue… … Enciclopedia Universal
Alfonso II — may refer to: *Alfonso II of Asturias (791 842) *Alfonso II of Aragon (1152 1196) *Afonso II of Portugal (1185 1223), the Fat *Alfonso, Count of Poitou (died 1271), jure uxoris Alfonso II, Count of Toulouse *Alfonso II of Naples (1448 1495)… … Wikipedia
Alfonso VI — ha sido el nombre de los siguientes reyes: ● Alfonso VI de Portugal (1643 1667) segundo rey de la Casa de Braganza ● Alfonso VI de Castilla (1065 1109) * * * llamado Alfonso el Valiente (antes de jun. 1040–1109, Toledo, Castilla). Rey de León… … Enciclopedia Universal
Alfonso VI — (Толедо,Испания) Категория отеля: 4 звездочный отель Адрес: General Moscardo, 2, 45001 То … Каталог отелей