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Medieval Spain. Information sources.

NOTE: See also the files: cl-Moorish-msg, Basques-msg, cl-Spain-msg, fd-Spain-msg, Guisados1-art, paella-msg.

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at:
I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.
The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.
Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).
Thank you,

Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous

Stefan at


From: kellogg at (C. Kevin Kellogg)


Subject: Re: Please help with sources on Spanish Knights circa 1100 AD

Date: 29 Sep 1997 19:48:01 GMT

Organization: San Diego State University
Lcraven (Lcraven at wrote:

: I have just recently joined the SCA and would like to model my persona as

: a Spanish knight circa 1100 AD. Can anyone help point me in some

: directions for armor photos and history of names? I have checked the

: search engines, but they proved to be more frustrating than anything else.

: Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

There are some medieval Spanish texts available at>. A list of given names from

the court of King Alfonso VI of Leon-Castilla, dating between 1050 and 1109

can be found at

spanish11m.html>. The Osprey Men-at-Arms book _El Cid and the Reconquista_

can be ordered at .

The Lay of the Cid is available at

OMACL/Cid>. An interesting text titled Conspiracy in Sotonera, written in

1058, about a war between Aragon and Zaragoza, can be read at>. An article

on Aragonese historiography in the 11th and 12th centuries can be found

at .

These links will, hopefully, get you started.
Avenel Kellough

From: randallg at (randall)


Subject: Re: Please help with sources on Spanish Knights circa 1100 AD

Date: Mon, 29 Sep 1997 18:15:13 GMT
On 28 Sep 1997 14:04:39 GMT, "Lcraven" wrote:
> I have just recently joined the SCA and would like to model my persona as

>a Spanish knight circa 1100 AD. Can anyone help point me in some

>directions for armor photos and history of names? I have checked the

>search engines, but they proved to be more frustrating than anything else.

>Any help would be appreciated. Thanks


>L. Cancio

>lcraven at
Why not post the message on a MedHistory list, and see what comes up?

A list (including one dealing in medieval Iberia) of lists is listed

One list to which you may want to subscribeis
MEDIBER, whose list server is : liststar at
Or check out:

for some interesting links. For Iberia itself, there is the American

Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain, with a web site at

Ramons lo Montalbanes

From: clevin at (Craig Levin)


Subject: Re: Please help with sources on Spanish Knights circa 1100 AD

Date: 1 Oct 1997 00:31:27 GMT

Organization: Ripco Internet, Chicago

Lcraven wrote:

>I have just recently joined the SCA and would like to model my persona as

>a Spanish knight circa 1100 AD. Can anyone help point me in some

>directions for armor photos and history of names? I have checked the

>search engines, but they proved to be more frustrating than anything else.

>Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

You are indeed fortunate, as you've chosen a persona who's

roughly contemporary to Ruy Diaz de Bivar, El Cid Campeador. The

Cantar de Mio Cid is in translation with a facing Spanish text.

It's available at Border's, for I saw it there today. The poem is

roughly historical-all of the individuals existed, though the

events weren't necessarily as the poet described them. Also, there's

a discussion of Spanish chivalrous literature in Prestage's

Chivalry, though that's hard to find, save at large libraries.

It's got a few photos of mediaeval illuminations of Spanish


Unless you go to the Orb ( or the

Labyrinth (, there's very

little out there that's reliable that's not at Arval's site or

the SCA site. Books are still your best source, and will be for

some time to come.
Dom Pedro de Alcazar

Barony of Storvik, Atlantia

Pursuivant and Junior Minion


clevin at

Craig Levin


From: bq676 at (Kristine E. Maitland)

Subject: Re: Need help for Spanish military personna born 1564:resources?

Organization: Toronto Free-Net

Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 12:59:58 GMT
Bona dies, tutti!
Late sixteenth century Spanish adventurer, eh? Ever think of heading for

the Philippines?...For an interesting perspective on Spanish history, you

might want to check this book out (sorry, library humour):
William Henry Scott. _Slavery in the Spanish Philippines_. Manilla:

De La Salle Press, 1991.

I happened on this book while working on my black history bibliography.

It's an AMAZING read, a must for anyone doing late period Spanish

adventurer or for anyone interested in South Asian history (in period).
Did I mention that you can read the whole thing in a hour? Definitely a

two thumbs up from this researcher.[Hey, I didn't know that blacks were

being shipped to the Philippines in the period. Learn something new

every day]




Inez Rosanera Kristine Maitland

cortigiana,cantana, pariole branch assistant, lyricist, critic

Barony of Septentria Toronto, Ontario

Principality ofEaldormere Canada

From: Stephen Bloch

Date: Fri, 6 Jun 1997 11:36:16 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - 1.) Authenticity/Documentation 2.) Spain

Joan Garner wrote:

> As I have been increasingly entranced lately by medieval Spanish

> music (I sing & play harp), I would like to learn more about

> the related food. Can anyone suggest a book, website or other

> source of recipes? Although a beginner to period cookery, I have

> worked professionally as a cook, so it doesn't have to be TOO

> simple-minded.
One place to look is Cariadoc's _Miscellany_, which contains a lot of

recipes from Arabo-Andalusian sources (as well as those from English,

French, German, and Persian sources). Volume II of Cariadoc's

_Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks_ contains a complete

translation of the 13th-century Arabo-Andalusian cookbook. I wrote a

T.I. article about meatless dishes from this cookbook several years ago;

it's on the Web at "".
If you're more interested in Christian Spain, probably the best sources

are Catalan rather than "Spanish" proper: the 14th-century _Libre de

Sent Sovi_ and the late-15th or early-16th c. _Libre del Coch_. We did

a feast in February mostly from these two sources; see the Web page

"" for menu

and example recipes.

mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

Stephen Bloch

sbloch at

Math/CS Dept, Adelphi University

From: David Korup


To: lesterw at

Subject: Re: Islamic Spain

Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 15:13:28 GMT

Lester Williams wrote:

> I am looking for illuminations from islamic spain. Does anyone know

> of sources from that region? I have many fine Persian, Turkish and

> Indian illuminations, but only three from Spain.


> Blodwen

Shalom Alechem from Daveed Shumel ben Rachon...I wish to direct your

attention to two web sites that may prove helpful. The first is is Chaiya bat Avraham

Toledano's site. She is a Spanish Jewess whose site has links to other

wonderful places. Her site is also equally wonderful and informative.

She sets a standard that is well focuses and thought provoking. The

other site is the Internet Medieval Sourcebook:

Alechem Shalom

From: Elaine Ragland


Subject: Re: Islamic Spain

Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 13:09:09 -0400

Organization: Columbia University

On Tue, 28 Apr 1998, Lester Williams wrote:

> I am looking for illuminations from islamic spain. Does anyone know

> of sources from that region? I have many fine Persian, Turkish and

> Indian illuminations, but only three from Spain. Any suggestions will

> be appreciated!


> Blodwen
The Metropolitan Museum did a large show several years ago called "Al

Andalus." There should be illustrations in the catalog. I don't know if

the catalog is still in print (although I think it is), but any good

university library with an art history program should have a copy.

I remember going to the exhibit. The Islamic wing did a sister show with

Islamic Spanish books, but unfortunately there was no catalog. Beautiful

illustrations, but the light was so dim that it took a great deal of study

(and eye damage) to see details.

Elaine Ragland

aka Melanie de la Tour

From: mromero106 at (MRomero106)


Subject: Re: Islamic Spain

Date: 01 May 1998 06:30:15 GMT

The art showing mentioned was also placed into a book that includes some of the

history of the cities and artwork that came from them. It is titled

AL-ANDALUS:The art of Islamic Spain. Unfortunately it is now out of print but

I have found it in at least two libraries and it is a source of illuminations

as well as many other items created in Moorish Spain.
Naquiib Zaid

Subject: ANST - Fw: LAS CANTIGAS DE SANTA MARIA 13th Century Spain

Date: Wed, 06 May 98 09:27:47 MST

From: "Cadwynn MacDonald"

To: "ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG"
Thought I would pass this along for anyone interested in 13th Century

Spain, or for the archives. I have no personal knowledge of this tape

or the Company....
-----Original Message-----


To: mac-tire at

Date: Wednesday, May 06, 1998 2:31 AM


>An Historical Mirror from 13th Century Spain


>A 30 minute video documentary on las Cantigas de Santa Maria

>or Canticles of Saint Mary, an illuminated manuscript

>produced in Spain during the 13th-century by

>the Castilian King Alfonso X, el Sabio or the Learned.


>Combining images, music and poetry from the illuminated manuscripts

>with short on-camera interviews with American specialists,

>the documentary focuses on the music, art and history present in

>this monumental work of the Spanish Middle Ages.


>Music interpretations by

>LiveOak and Ensemble Alcatraz



>With the participation of

>Dr. John E. Keller

>Dr. Connie L. Scarborough

>Dr. Joseph F. O'Callaghan

>Dr. Maricel E. Presilla

>Dr. Israel J. Katz



>Written, produced and directed by Jordi Torrent



>available for purchase

>print this form


>mail checks or purchase orders with the order form to:

>DUENDE PICTURES - 42 Bond Street - New York, NY 10012

>phone (212) 254 7636 - fax (212) 982 5523 - duendepix at



>Position______________________ PRICE $35 USD per copy


>Department___________________ Qty________Total________

>Address_______________________ plus handling___________

>______________________________ Grand Total $___________


>State____________Zip code______ Handling and Shipping:$5 per copy

>Telephone_____________________ in the USA; $15 for overseas orders



Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 16:29:16 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D."

Subject: RE: SC - European vs. Middle Eastern-addendum to OT
> From: Shari Burnham[SMTP:pndarvis at]


> My younger sister would

> like a Spanish persona, more of an earlier period between 1000-1200, but have

> a hard time finding reading materials on Spain in that time period that would

> not go over her head (she is 15) because of the PhD work behind them. Can

> anyone recommend books, articles, etc, especially on living, that she could

> use. i have heard some discussion on cookbooks that actually cross reference

> customs on this list, and since remembering that Spain was partially

> islamic, wondered about where to take a look?
I would start with Cariadoc's Miscellany, accessible at:

In Search of the Cid by S. Cissold is available for about $8 from Barnes and

Noble. It has some interesting historical background.

Other books you might look for are R. Fletcher, The Quest for El Cid, and D.

Nicolle, El Cid and the Reconquest, 1050 - 1492.

The following I would try to get through the library due to expense. These

are more scholarly and may prove boring to the younger reader, another

reason for letting the library find them.
Thomas F. Glick, From Muslim Fortress to Christian Castle
Joseph F. O'Callaghan, A History of Medieval Spain
Simon Barton, Aristocracy in 12th Century Leon and Castile
Bernard F. Reilly, The Medieval Spains

From: Simone89 at

Date sent: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 11:14:37 EST

Subject: Fwd: Muslim-Crusader Treaties

To: atlantia at
I thought this was pretty fascinating.

> LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16 (AScribe News) -- Two UCLA medieval

>scholars working in the Royal Archives in Barcelona have

>identified two unique Muslim-Crusader treaties dating from

>the wars between Islam and Christendom.


> The two tattered, blotted documents -- one parchment, the

>other paper, written in black ink that has oxidized to brown

>-- are the only Christian-Islamic surrender treaties from

>the crusader period to survive in their original interlinear

>bilingual form.


> "The discovery of the treaties represents one of the most

>important archival finds of the century for students of the

>Middle Ages," said Robert I. Burns, a senior history

>professor at UCLA who reconstructed the documents with

>historian Paul E. Chevedden. "All three cultures of

>medieval Spain -- Muslim, Christian and Jewish -- played a

>part in the drafting of these international agreements, and

>their ratification signaled a new stage in the evolution of

>Spain's multicultural society that would have dramatic

>effects both in Europe and in the Americas."


> "The Arabic texts of these documents are extremely

>important," said Chevedden. "Other than these two texts,

>there is little documentation in Arabic for crusader-era

>Muslim society or for Muslim-Christian interaction in Spain

>in its original artifact form."


> Burns and Chevedden have published a full-length study of

>the documents in their new book, "Negotiating Cultures:

>Bilingual Surrender Treaties in Muslim-Crusader Spain Under

>James the Conqueror" (E.J. Brill).


> The full meaning of these battered and deteriorated

>documents emerged only from a minute reconstruction of the

>bilingual texts by Burns and Chevedden. Both treaties were

>part of an epic struggle to subdue Eastern Islamic Spain by

>King James the First, "The Conqueror" (1213-1276), ruler of

>federated Aragon and Catalonia.


> Of the many surrender agreements negotiated by James

>during 50 crusading years (1225-1276), only the two studied

>by Burns and Chevedden survive in their original bilingual



> "These treaties not only depict how peace emerged from

>war, but how a major multicultural society developed in the

>Kingdom of Valencia," said Burns. "This region formed a

>crucible for the convergence of cultures in the medieval

>Mediterranean world," Burns noted, "and the mingling of

>Muslim, Christian and Jewish cultures would define Spain and

>would color Spain's actions and institutions in the New



> Though representing different political-military episodes

>in the same long crusade, the treaties were separated from

>each other by less than a year during the mid-1240s.


> "A kaleidoscope of contexts affected each of the

>treaties," said Burns, "and provides enough drama for a

>Hollywood epic. The exhilarating backdrop to these

>documents comprises the dizzying changes that issued from

>the collapse of Islamic Spain; the bitter rivalry of Castile

>and Aragon; the struggle for southern France involving

>marriage maneuvers and the attempted abduction of the

>heiress of Provence; papal embassies to the Mongols; a

>crusade to the Holy Land that King James aborted for the

>love of a lady; a queen shunned in the royal chambers but

>esteemed at the negotiating table; the daring ambush of the

>king by his Muslim nemesis; and the final end of the great

>crusader of Christendom and the legendary champion of

>Islamic Spain in the same year."


> The first treaty -- the surrender of the city of Jativa

>to King James in 1244 -- had mysteriously disappeared during

>the Middle Ages. In 1991, archivist Alberto Torra recovered

>it in the archives of the realms of Aragon-Catalonia in

>Barcelona among "problem" manuscripts that had not been

>deciphered. The director of the Royal Archives, Rafael

>Conde y Delgado de Molina, alerted Burns and Chevedden about

>its discovery, and the UCLA scholars edited the text and

>minutely reconstructed its context.


> The second treaty -- the surrender of a Muslim

>warrior-ruler called al-Azraq to King James and his son in

>1245 -- was known mostly to local historians and as an

>isolated oddity, until Burns and Chevedden recently created

>a critical edition of it with commentary.


> In research on both treaties, Burns investigated the

>historical context of the documents and analyzed the

>Latinate texts of the treaties. Chevedden, an Arabist and

>Middle Eastern historian at UCLA's Center for Near Eastern

>Studies, edited and interpreted the Arabic texts.


> The Arabic text of the Jativa treaty alternates with

>lines of a Latin text, and the Arabic of the al-Azraq

>document is interwoven among lines in Romance text.

>Curiously, however, the Arabic and the Latinate texts of the

>treaties are not direct translations of each other. The

>Arabic texts of the two agreements selected the elements of

>each accord that were most crucial to the Muslims, while the

>Latinate texts similarly emphasized those points basic to

>the Christians' interest.


> "The Arabic texts of the treaties approach the two

>agreements in quite a different spirit than do the Latinate

>texts," said Chevedden. "The interlinear arrangement of the

>documents allows a view of the opposing political

>psychologies of the two adversaries and reveals two very

>different understandings of their shared agreement."


> The confluence of cultures in Spain can also be seen in

>the treaties. As Chevedden pointed out, "The Arabic

>secretariat of the Christian chancery, which was staffed by

>Jews, drafted the Arabic texts of both treaties, so that

>these documents embody the convergence of the three cultures

>of medieval Spain: Muslim, Christian and Jewish."


> Both treaties exhibit unusual terms. Unlike a

>conventional surrender agreement in which a victor dictates

>to an enfeebled enemy, the "defeated" parties of these

>treaties were bargaining from a position of strength and

>retained substantial negotiating assets.


> "In 1244, Jativa surrendered on a qualified basis and

>salvaged considerable powers of autonomy," said Chevedden.

>"The thirty-three surviving provisions of the Jativa treaty

>reveal that King James was in no position to dictate terms,

>but was compelled to offer incentives to entice the Jativans

>to surrender."


> "The exemptions, privileges and rights that were

>safeguarded by the treaty attest to the capacity of the

>Jativans to preserve their identity and institutions even as

>the integrity of their society was threatened by political

>domination," said Chevedden. "The treaty maintained the

>city's ruling family in power and left its population, its

>defenses and its army all intact."


> The al-Azraq treaty demonstrates that a surrender

>agreement can also mask covert action.


> "In 1245, al-Azraq cunningly played at surrender with

>King James in order to gain necessary time to launch an

>Islamic counter-crusade," said Burns. "The 'great war' that

>erupted two years after al-Azraq's 'capitulation' drew the

>attention of wider Christendom and required a full-fledged

>papal crusade and a ten-year campaign before the king was

>able to achieve victory."


> A faculty research grant from UCLA and grants from the

>Institute of Medieval Mediterranean Spain at Los Angeles and

>from Iberia Airlines enabled the authors to examine the

>treaties in the crown archives at Barcelona. The

>Spectronics Corporation of Westbury, N.Y., contributed two

>Spectroline magnifying ultraviolet lamps to assist tracking

>trace amounts of fluorescence in the badly ruined Jativa

>treaty. The Program for Cultural Cooperation between

>Spain's Ministry of Education and Culture and United States

>Universities provided financial assistance for the

>publication of "Negotiating Cultures."


> "For the history of both Islamic and Christian Spain, the

>recovery of these treaties is a major event," said Burns.

>"This discovery may have special significance for our own

>day, when some twelve million Muslims now reside within

>Europe, with more arriving daily, so that the Muslim

>presence and multiculturalism as in King James' day is once

>again, over seven centuries later, deeply marking today's

Bryan S. McDaniel SCA aka Kestrel of Wales

Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2003 02:20:17 -0400

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann"

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Online facsimiles (mostly in Spanish)

To: Cooks within the SCA

Someone on the Medieval Spain list shared some links to online sources of

historic documents. One of these is the BIBLIOTECA VIRTUAL

DIOSCORIDES, which comtains hundreds of facsimile documents, mostly in

Spanish, though there are a handful in other languages. They are pre-1900

books related to medicine and health, but there are quite a few of interest to

us cooks. In Spanish, there are herbals and pharmaceutical manuals,

there's a facsimile of Alonso de Hererra's 1513 agricultural manual, and a

1572 health manual, which I think is about to become my new translation

For the Italophiles, there's a facsimile of Scappi's Opera*spi/g?SEARCH=DIOSCORIDES

Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 00:43:59 -0700

From: Greg Lindahl

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Online facsimiles (mostly in Spanish)

To: Cooks within the SCA

On Sun, Sep 28, 2003 at 02:20:17AM -0400, Robin Carroll-Mann wrote:

> Someone on the Medieval Spain list shared some links to online sources

> of historic documents. One of these is the BIBLIOTECA VIRTUAL


Majorly spiffy. If you look at:
I have a link to a list sorted by date -- it's labeled "Books at the

Universidad Complutense, Madrid". It turns out that there are 1,157

pre-1600 texts! Wow. I'd love to hear about ones of particular interest.
-- greg

Date: Wed, 06 Apr 2005 02:02:08 -0700

From: "Laura C. Minnick"

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Grade school Spanish

To: Cooks within the SCA

Medieval Spain was a wonderful place to live, where Muslims, Christen and Jews debated and created a real multicultural melting pot!

It was muslims architects working over the whole Peninsule, Jewish Maimonides discussing with the Arabic Averroes. At that time Cordoba and Sevilla were the biggest cities in Europe and they had a rich bath culture, very similar to which the Romans had in the Empire. It was a time of exchange, but it was also a time of clashes and encounters between Christen and Muslims. It was the time of El Cid, Spains most renowed Christen hero and of the sultans in Baghdad being jealous of their Spanish bethren.

That really depends on *when*, and *where*, Ana. Those areas under Muslim

rule, earlier on, yes, were rich in diversity- very like Sicily. But things

changed as the Christian Spaniards pushed the Muslims south. And some of

the pogroms led by Spanish Christians against the Jews compare to those in

Germany and Russia at their height of anti-Semitism. (Isabella threw the

last Jews out of the country in 1492.) Toledo fell to Alfonso in... 1081,

IIRC. By the middle of the 13th century, most of the peninsula was in

Christian hands, and in 1252, all the Muslims held was Granada.

And in Cordova, the Christians BURNT a library of more than a million

volumes, many of them the only copies of Greek and Latin texts. They

destroyed the University, were some of the finest doctors in Europe were

trained. They also sacked a city that had an efficient water and sewer

system, safe, lighted streets, and even hanging plants cared for by the


(Yeah, I can forgive many things, but burning a library is right out.)

Date: Wed, 06 Apr 2005 18:05:19 -0400

From: wildecelery at

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Spain and Dance

To: sca-cooks at

> 2. Dance, with a focus on the difference

> between the Celtic-influenced

> jota and the Middle-Eastern influenced flamenco

> (Which also has some celtic-like elements)
Middle-Eastern influenced flamenco? The flamenco

is a modern decendent of the Renaissance dance

called the Canario. I know of no Middle-Eastern

dances that are stamping related. Perhaps you

could tell me where you found this information?

As a beginning Spanish teacher, I had the priviledge of watching the

Renaldo Rincon dance company perform. They did several versions of the

Jota...noting that its roots are in the northern regions of Spain

(heavily influenced by the celts and the celtiberos [there may be

another word for this in English, but it's stuck in my head in Spanish

at the moment])

The also performed several Flamenco pieces. As the school was in the

immigrant magnate city for the state, I had a particular student in my

class who was of Kurdish, Turkish, and Iraqi descent. As we discussed

the dance presentation in class, she got very excited, yet quiet.

After class, she came up to talk to me, knowing that I was a beginning

student of Middle Eastern dance at the time... though the "stamp" if

not found in often in Middle Eastern (though it is found in some Gypsy

or Romani dance), some of the hip motions are very similar (for

instance what is called in modern Middle Eastern the Maya{aka make the

Mc Donald's sign with your hips} ) Also...the castanets are very

similar to zils or finger symbols. {side note, there are some Stamp

-like moves found in Turkish dance...though not used in the purcussive

style found in flamenco}
It's not information that I have written anywhere specific...perhaps

something that I should look into more in depth...


Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 16:44:18 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Spain and Dance

To: Cooks within the SCA
When I first joined the SCA in 1974, the Baroness

of Angels was Mistress Ximena Aubel de Cambria.

She and her sister, Viscountess Arabella Lyon de

Rohese had SCA personas from Spain, but,

mundanely, were of Castillian Spanish heritage.

[Their parents fled Spain in the 1930's.]

When they were young ladies, they had been

professional flamenco dancers in Jose Greco's

dance troup. They were very thoroughly

knowledgeable in the history and lore of

flamanco dancing. They told me that the

two major roots of flamenco dance were Spanish

court dances, like the Canario, and gypsy or

Rom dancing. If a move or two has similarities

to a move or two in Middle Eastern dancing, it

is because it may have been picked up in the

many travels of the Rom. While there is a

thread-like link between the two, I would

not call it a root. And I definitely would

not call flamenco dancing "Middle-Eastern

As for castanets being related to zills or

finger cymbals, again you are not entirely

correct. Both can be traced to pre-historic

times all over the world. Similar sound makers

can be found in Ancient Egypt, Greece, China,

the Ukraine, and Spain, this does not mean that

they influenced one to the other. The only

relationship they have is that they are rhythmic

noise makers held with one in each hand. With

zills, you have a [usually] metal cymbol attached

to a finger and another to the thumb. With

castanets, you have wooden, stone or shell

clappers attached together with a cord and

held between the fingers and the palm.


Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2005 10:51:36 -0400

From: wildecelery at

Subject: Sca-cooks] Spanish Lessons

To: sca-cooks at
I did some checking around and found a few websites with some more

information on the history of flamenco and some discussion of the

Moorish and Gypsy influences.

From: clevin at (Craig Levin)


Subject: Re: mozarabic references

Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 19:07:38 +0000 (UTC)
Deke wrote:

> I have started doing some online research on the Mozarabic people of

>Spain in order to provide a backround for my personna. I have found

>many discussions on the Mozarabic by various groups and numerous web

>sites also, but I want to find book references and any links/books that

>have illustrations and illuminations done by the Mozarabic.

> In a previous discussion (1998) on the soc.history.medieval group,

>titled "When Did Medieval Warfare End?", a H.D.Miller writes:

> "The culture did change over time as various groups of immigrants entered the

> area, but it always retained it's Arab core, with even the non-Muslim

> minorities adopting Arab customs and names (There was a Bishop of Seville

> named 'Ubayd Allah ibn Qasim--'Ubayd Allah means "Servant of Allah.""


>Does anyone have a reference for this? Also does anyone know of a

>website/book that shows naming practices for this culture? I would

>greatly appreciate any help.

Although I'm more interested in Renaissance Portugal, please

consider a look at my website of Iberian resources at:
For names, I would strongly suggest a look at the Laurel website for names, at:

I especially suggest "Andalusian Names: Arabs in Spain", "Jewish

Names in the World of Medieval Islam", and "Jewish Women's Names

in an Arab Context: Names from the Geniza of Cairo".


clevin at

Craig Levin Librarians Rule: Oook!

Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 13:28:35 EDT

From: Stanza693 at

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Bread Labor

To: sca-cooks at
On SCA-Cooks, volume 18, issue 70, Johnnae wrote:

> And certainly on in remote areas, small holdings and in earlier times, it might

> have been common for a family to raise grain, mill it at home and then bake it

> on bakestone or under the ashes in some fashion (lacking the larger

> bakeovens), but was this practice that generally common by

> the 14th-16th centuries?

I don't know. I always keep my eyes open for sources about living and

cooking in those time periods since that is when Constanza lived

(1469-1519) in Castile. However, ...
The kingdom of Castile was more inclined toward city/town structure from my

understanding. Teofilo F. Ruiz in his book, "Spanish Society 1400-1600" writes

on page 40-41 that "Inflation (provoked in part by the influx of silver from

America and the increasingly heavier taxes which the Spanish Crown imposed

primarily on Castilian peasants to pay for wars in central Europe and the Low

Countries), droughts and devastating plagues throughout most of the sixteenth

century radically affected those who worked and lived on the land, and drove many fairly propserous farmers into poverty. This led (again, mostly in Castile) to a large migration from the countryside to city."
Then again, (just to add to my own confusion), Ruiz makes this statement

about the southern portion of Castile where Constanza would have been living

(Modern Huelva is in Andalusia, but medieval Huelva was recaptured much earlier so would have been in Castile): p.15 "Moreover, after the mid-thirteenth century and the expulsion of the Muslims from western Andalusia (1260s), the

region became the site for latifundia in Spain. Large estates dominated the

landscape, and its numerous landless peasants, a true rural proletariat, provided the conditions for social conflict (see Chapter 2)." So, perhaps, I need to stop reading about town life and concentrate more on estate life. Either way, finding information on Spain can occasionally prove challenging.
I won't get many details from this source, though. While this book does

examine the diets of the rich vs. the poor, it does not look at where/how the

foods were obtained.
> I note your source is for 1100-1300. Does this

> source apply to larger households and estates?

I have always understood this source to relate to town dwellers rather than

the larger estates. Dillard's introduction states: "Settlements evolved early

to consist of a fortified urban core (the villa, cuerpo de la villa) around a

castle stronghold and a large, sometimes extensive outlying rural landscape

(the alfoz or te'rmino) of common lands, waste and scattered dependent

villages." A few sentences later he states, "This book is about the pioneering women who migrated to brand-new settlements and their daughters who inhabited the flourishing towns of Leo'n and Castile during the last two centuries of the

medieval Reconquest, roughly between the capture of Toledo in 1085

and the last quarter of the thirteenth century."

I don't know if that is a fault of mine in the reading of it or not, but

unless he specifically states that he is discussing the castle life, I read his

statements as pertaining to the smaller, individual family groups that would be

found in the urban area. In the portion of the book I cited yesterday, since

he talks about the grain from the "family plot outside the walls", I assume he

is not talking about a larger estate.

> Certainly manors and estates had divisions of labor and trade statutes

> defined who baked what and at what regulated cost? The Assizes for

> bread come into existence in England in the 13th century.
I will bow to your superior knowledge on that front. I have begun to

concentrate solely on Spain in an attempt to further my own persona development. I know very little other than absolute basics about other cultures.

> I suppose the question is Can the person wishing to do the project

> whereby they raise, mill and bake the grain be able to research and

> prove

> that their persona in that chosen period would have done such a thing?

> Acquiring the heirloom varieties of grain, the land, appropriate

> agricultural implements, the appropriate milling

> stones, learning the techniques, assembling and building the bake

> oven, etc. might take a number of years. As Olwen used to remind us...

> let's hope they take pictures as they progess...


> Johnnae

A sus ordenes,

Constanza Marina de Huelva

Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 20:36:21 -0600

From: "Terry Decker"

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Precious stones to ward off evils

To: "Cooks within the SCA"

> Spaniards had Moorish, Muslim, Jewish and Italian contacts but not

> direct contacts with the orient.


> Suey
Henry III of Castile sent Ruy Gonzales de Clavijo as an ambassador to the

court of Timur (Tamerlane) in 1403. While at the court in Samarkand, he

encountered travelers from Cathay. Clavijo returned to Spain in 1406.

While Spain may not have had many direct contacts with the Orient

before the 16th Century, absolute non-contact is not the case.


Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 22:30:14 -0400

From: Robin Carroll-Mann

To: Cooks within the SCA ,

Medieval_Spain at, Order of the Laurel - Restricted


Subject: [Sca-cooks] A "new" source of 16th century Spanish recipes
Apologies for cross-posting.  Warning: ALL of the links and materials

referenced in this email are in Spanish.

I was following a link and stumbled across mention of a 16th c.

Spanish culinary manuscript that I'd never heard of.  Apparently, the

only copy in the world is in the Austrian National Library, but in

2009, the government of the Spanish region of Navarre published a

limited-edition facsimile.  The book is  "Regalo de la vida humana" by

Juan Valles, who was Treasurer General of the Kingdom of Navarre.

It's one of those Renaissance compendiums of recipes, including

medicines, cosmetics, and perfumes, as well as culinary recipes.  Of

the 7 "books" that compose the manuscript, the last 4 contain culinary

recipes.  Here's a link to a long, detailed article (IN SPANISH) by

the scholar who edited and annotated the facsimile:

I've only skimmed the article, but it makes me long for a copy of my

own.  The manuscript has many recipes for sausages, over 30 for

various fritters; there are sauces, meat pies, preserves, escabeches,

pottages, confections... it's a wonder I'm not drooling on my

Many of the recipes are apparently taken from other period sources,

such as de Nola, Granado, Scappi, and Miguel de Baeza, but there

appears to be enough "new" material that I'd really love to see it.  I

found a book dealer who's selling the facsimile for a mere 100 euros.


Anyway, it looks very interesting.  And before anyone asks, feel free

to share the information anywhere it might be relevant.

Brighid ni Chiarain

Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 22:55:56 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway

To: Cooks within the SCA

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] A "new" source of 16th century Spanish

On Aug 26, 2010, at 10:30 PM, Robin Carroll-Mann wrote: The book is   

<<< "Regalo de la vida humana" by Juan Valles, who was Treasurer General of the Kingdom of Navarre. >>>
It's only listed as being at the University of Chicago so far.

From: Thomas von Holthausen

Date: August 31, 2010 1:09:04 PM CDT


Subject: [CALONTIR] Medieval Spain
Below are books on Medieval Spain recently listed on the Got Medieval web site.
For those who wrote asking for recommendations of books to read to familiarize yourself with medieval Spanish history, here are a few** recommended to me by people who know a lot more about it than I do to tide you over:
For a general survey, see:
A History of Medieval Spain , by Joseph O'Callaghan

The Medieval Spains (Cambridge Medieval Textbooks) , by Bernard F. Reilly

For a bit of cultural history, either of Maria Rosa Menocal's books will do:
The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain , or

The Arts of Intimacy: Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Making of Castilian Culture , written with Jerrilynn D. Dodds and Abigail Krasner Balbale.

For the Arab conquest itself:
The Arab Conquest of Spain: 710-797 (A History of Spain) , by Roger Collins
And for the book most conservative respondents have referenced in emails to me:
Moorish Spain , by Richard Fletcher***


Herr Thomas von Holthausen

Barony of Three Rivers, Calontir

From: Amanda

Date: August 31, 2010 8:07:19 PM CDT


Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Medieval Spain - La Reconquista

La Reconquista is the correct term if you are using Spanish. Perhaps in English you can call it the Christian Conquest, but in Spain and Spanish history this period which started just a couple of years after the Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula is correctly called La Reconquista.

Its meaning in English is probably more like the retaking or the taking back of lands you previously owned.

As the Iberian Peninsula was all owned by European folks, the Muslims conquered it which in Spanish would be La Conquista Musulmana de Espana.

From 712 onward starts the struggle of the conquered regions to expel the Muslims from their territories, therefore they are conquering what was once theirs, hence Reconquista.

I also should point out that in Spanish this is not named La Reconquista Cristiana, but only La Reconquista, if you are of the mind that the Visigoths were not all Christians.


From: Historical Recreation in the Kingdom of Calontir [mailto:CALONTIR at] On Behalf Of Jessica Ackerman
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 1:25 PM
Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Medieval Spain

There are a few of us around… Tho my persona is actually based right around la Conquista Cristiana (I have a hard time with the *re* part of “reconquista”). I am also interested in la Convivencia and may play around with her great-great-great-great aunt at some point.

~Alexandra Vazquez de Granada

aka Shandra

From: Historical Recreation in the Kingdom of Calontir [mailto:CALONTIR at] On Behalf Of Melisende de la Roche de Lionne
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 1:15 PM
Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Medieval Spain

I would love to see more medieval Spanish personas, especially during the period of la Convivencia....

From: Brad Moore

Date: August 31, 2010 9:35:28 PM CDT


Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Medieval Spain
I had a grad course in Medieval Spanish Literature last term, and our first book was Ornament of the World; its a fantastic overview, and its a fun read.

The Rise and Fall of Paradise by Elmer Bendiner is also worth looking at.

Another good one, albeit for later period personae: Hispanic Costume, 1480-1530 by Ruth Anderson is a fantastic resource for costumers, whether portraying Eurocentric or Moorish clothing (which as you will find in this book was a shifting and changing thing).

From: Dorcas or Jean

Date: April 19, 2011 12:01:59 PM CDT


Subject: [CALONTIR] a book review of especial interest to Jewish personae
Okay, my persona isn't Jewish, and I want this book.
Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza

by Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole
Also, this bard wants another book mentioned in the review: The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492

From: Anabela de Granada

Date: September 22, 2011 11:57:53 AM CDT


Subject: [CALONTIR] Normans vs Al_Andalusians
Here are some articles to help inspire you on the theme of the Crystal Mynes event, Layali al-wuqud (Night of Bonfires).
For those Normans & Anglo-Normans who think they will be left out of Al_Andalus:
Norman and Anglo-Norman Participation in the Iberian Reconquista c.1018 –

c.1248 - This thesis covers the Norman and Anglo-Norman contribution to the Iberian Reconquista from the early eleventh to the mid-thirteenth centuries.

From: Mathurin Kerbusso

Date: November 15, 2011 3:19:31 PM CST


Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] 12th Century Spain

<<< In fact, much of the Arabic influence we see in the middle ages that's

been attributed to the Crusades is thought by some to have originated from

the Muslim conquest of Spain. ~Melisende >>>
In Europe at large, the Crusades probably had a larger effect on lifestyle

-- food, clothing, etc. Muslim Spain had a larger effect on knowledge --

mathematics, medicine, astronomy, philosophy, etc. -- as the Reconquista

brought the vast libraries of Al Andalus to European scholars for the

first time. Europe had Aristotle from Arabic sources.



"Non nobis solum"

To: Gleann Abhann (mail list)

Subject: Met book - Art of Medieval Spain - available for download

Posted by: "Brad Moore" mamluk at mamluk

Date: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:44 pm ((PDT))

Reposting from another list:
The Met in NYC has just posted a free downloadable PDF of their out-of-print book "The Art of Medieval Spain".

Brad Moore

Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2015 13:23:59 -0400


To: sca-cooks at

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Fiscal accounts of Catalonia under the early

count-kings (1151 - 1213)
All kinds of food references here for anyone interested in Catalonia:
Fiscal accounts of Catalonia under the early count-kings (1151 - 1213)

Jim Chevallier

Directory: files -> CULTURES
CULTURES -> Note: See also the files: n-drink-ves-msg, n-drink-trad-art, Norse-food-art, n-calenders-art, Norse-games-art, books-Norse-msg, Norse-women-bib, Vikg-n-Irelnd-art, n-furniture-lnks
CULTURES -> Wales-lnks – 10/26/03
CULTURES -> Note: See also the files: cl-Byzantine-msg, Byzant-Cerem-art, me-feasts-msg, me-dance-msg, commerce-msg, Balkans-msg, Turkey-msg, fd-Byzantine-msg
CULTURES -> Mongols Nomads or Barbarians
CULTURES -> Gypsy-tmeline-art- 3/1/03 "Timeline of the Roma" by Sayidda Rakli Zada Orlenda
CULTURES -> Note: See also the files: Jews-msg, Byzantine-msg, Byzant-Cerem-art, Palestine-msg, crusades-msg, The-Crusades-lnks, Islam-msg, pilgrimages-msg
CULTURES -> Note: See also the files: Germany-msg, mercenaries-msg, SwissGuard-msg, p-armor-msg, fd-Germany-msg, cl-Germany-msg, mercenaries-msg
CULTURES -> Note: See also the files: mercenaries-msg, Italy-msg, popes-msg, rosaries-msg, relics-msg, saints-msg
CULTURES -> Congo-art 4/3/00
CULTURES -> Note: See also the files: Norse-msg, Italy-msg, France-msg, England-msg, fd-Normans-msg, Bayeux-Tap-msg, 12c-normans-bib

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