It is long overdue to acknowledge and thank the amazing group of Portuguese “Petristas” at Universidade de Lisboa – Covadonga Valdaliso, Francisco Diaz Marcilla and Manuela Santos Silva -who organized so diligently the conference Debuerit habere Regnum. Mid October in Lisbon is not a bad recipe for the success of any event, this one congregated during three days, scholars from Portugal, England and Spain sharing thought provoking contributions on the process of deposing and proclaiming kings in the Middle Ages. Keynote speakers included Maria João Branco (U. Nova de Lisboa)…read more
Is there ever a Right Excuse for War?
Justifying Military Intervention in the Castile of Pedro I
by Lorena Bolaños
The American presidential debates these past few weeks have not only been painful to watch at times, but also surprisingly apropos of my current, medieval readings on Pedro I of Castile. From the Republican candidate’s denials of ever being in favor of the US intervention in Iraq, to Clinton’s regrets for having supported the war, theirs is a recent example of a conversation that dates back centuries: foreign military intervention and its often more difficult aftermath. In the case of fourteenth-century Castile, the struggle for the crown between Pedro I,…read more
My recent interest in Pedro was prompted by research into Toledo cathedral’s extensive inventories, including one long and detailed (but unpublished and unstudied) inventory that was first put together in April 1400, and much amended thereafter. It includes two entries that describe precious objects supposedly donated by Pedro I, and although they resemble a few objects recorded in later inventories – some of them still in the Toledan treasury – I’m not convinced that I have been able to identify them. I’m interested to know where they came from and…read more