EL CABALLERO DEL ZIFAR PDFAugust 20, 2020
In my last post about the Libro del caballero Zifar (‘The Book of the Knight Zifar’), I discussed the how the work’s prologue, which tells the tale of. La Chanson de Roldán es un poema épico de varios cientos de versos, escrito a finales del siglo XI, en francés antiguo, de carácter anónimo aunque fue. This article analyzes the political discourses on chivalry and gender in Libro del Caballero Zifar and provides textual evidence in support of the.
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Another way to link the prologue to the adventures of Zifar is to look at both of them of examples of translation: Here we can read Syriac as Arabic, for the two were often seen as interchangeable at the time. Most agree that it was not itself a translation from Arabic, but was written in Castilian. If the work is not a translation from Arabic, why does the author use so many proper nouns and place names that appear to have been adapted from or invented in imitation of Arabic?
Why the performance of translation? In short, relics and texts were arms and currency e a pan-Mediterranean struggle for military, spiritual, and economic supremacy between Latin Christendom and Cabzllero.
Many popular narratives of the time respond to this struggle. The knights of Arthurian tradition, so popular throughout Western Europe at the time, were the fictional avatars of the Crusading orders.
In one important strain of that tradition, the quest is to recuperate a sacred relic from the East, namely the Holy Grail. This tale type has become central to Western Narrative: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. However, this being Castile, the East is also the West. Arabic had a completely different meaning and value in Castile in than it would in, for example, Canterbury.
Castilian kings and nobles, having vanquished their Andalusi neighbors to the south, were great consumers the material and intellectual culture of Andalusi subjects, and conspicuous consumption of the prestigious Andalusi textiles, architecture, and information technology was the norm.
In their eyes, they were the Blue Bloods, and the Castilians were the arrivistes. These Mozarabs of Toledo were mostly culturally assimilated to the Castilian mainstream by the mid-thirteenth century.
They practiced the Roman and no longer the Mozarabic rite, and were Castlilian speakers. However, vaballero continued to use Arabic as a notarial language well into the fourteenth century, and Arabic was very much a part of their cultural history, and their group identity.
They were often subordinated to bishops from places like France and Italy sent to Toledo by the Pope with the consent of the King. The French order of Cluniac monks, very influential in Castile, represented an additional caballreo to Mozarabic power in the region. The Mozarabic legacy ek under siege.
All of these zitar of the dell for the Mediterranean come together in the Libro del caballero Zifar: The lives of Eastern Saints, the zifzr of the Western knights errant whose mission is to restore the relics of said saints to the West, the dream of a Christian East promised to the Crusaders and of a Christian West promised by the Castilians, and the struggle of the last Arab Christian community of the West to maintain their identity in the former Capital of Visigothic Hispania.
This post was written in conjunction with a paper for the Modern Language Association Convention in Chicago. This lecture is dedicated to the memories of two recently deceased teachers and colleagues, Prof. Samuel Armistead and Prof.
Tonight I am going to talk about the role of literature in cultural exchange in one interesting —but not unique— cultural moment in a part of the world that was at once of the cultural capitals of the Islamic world and a very important religious center of Western Christianity. Tonight I would like to take you back before all of this, to a time when Europe had yet to set its sights on the Dwl World, before modern nation states and national languages and national cultures.
Like much of the world, the lands that are now Spain and Portugal were always a crossroads of different ethnic and linguistic groups. The people who are now known as the Basques migrated there during the mists of prehistory.
The Romans pacified the Peninsula during the third to second centuries BCE, giving it cwballero name Hispania, and its Romance languages, several of which are still spoken today. Visigoths came over the Pyrenees daballero the disintegration of Roman political power and installed themselves in Toledo, where they eel over Hispania for over two centuries. Fromthere would be Muslim kings parts of the Peninsula until Boabdil, King of Granada, lays his arms at the feet of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabel the Zidar in From a European perspective, this period of Muslim political dominance is what most distinguishes the history and culture of the Iberian Peninsula.
Al-Andalus was a unique case in Western European history. cabwllero
Caballwro else in Western Europe was Islam the state religion and Arabic the state language for significant periods of time. Consequently, there is nowhere else in Western Europe, until very recently, where Muslims, Jews, and Christians, lived and worked together under a political system that espoused —but did not always adhere to— a doctrine of religious tolerance.
This is a unique fact in the history of Western Europe. The only other case is that of Islamic Sicily, which was a far shorter time period and which left a very interesting, but ultimately shallower historical footprint.
I want to be very clear that I am not talking about a Golden Age of Tolerance here. Laws are one thing and people are another.
We do not always respect doctrine. There was sectarian violence in al-Andalus, and the protections granted to Christian and Cabqllero religious minorities were a far ziffar from what we would expect in a modern democracy.
They were not considered the equals of their Muslim counterparts. They paid a poll tax and were barred from occupying certain positions in government.
However, they enjoyed the right to practice their religions, to organize and govern their own affairs autonomously, caballfro they did not offend Islam or Muslims in doing so.
This legacy of tolerance, while no utopia, was a significant historical fact and that made the examples I am about to discuss possible, at a time when religious minorities elsewhere in Western Europe fared considerably worse on the whole.
The Andalusi capital, Cordoba, in the tenth century boasted lit streets, public baths, and vast libraries when Germany and France were in the depths of what we like to call the Dark Ages. To be sure, this was not the daily reality of all Andalusis, but when we talk about al-Andalus we should think of fifteenth-century Florence in terms of wealth and cultural refinement. The city of Cordova in the tenth century was home to the court of the Umayyad Caliphs and the most populous, most technologically advanced, and wealthiest city in Western Europe.
It was also a city where Classical Arabic was the official language of government and of state religion, of the literary establishment and of high culture.
But it was not the only language spoken or written by Andalusis. Jews prayed and wrote in Hebrew in addition to Classical Arabic. So the linguistic reality in al-Andalus at this time is one of widespread bilingualism both in spoken and in written language. Andalusi poet singing, from Bayad wa-Riyad13th century, one of three surviving illustrated manuscripts from al-Andalus. Our first example is drawn the poetry of the court, and represents a striking innovation in the kind of songs that Andalusi poets recited and sang.
Poetry was political propaganda, it was a means to celebrate or revile public figures, it was a way to celebrate a victory or commemorate an important event. Poets created political and social capital in the images and catchy but authoritative phrases they coined.
People repeated and recited the most memorable lines in daily discussion and in public and private gatherings. More than just a rarefied art form that one studied in school or that a select group of elite read quietly to themselves, poetry was more like a high-profile medium that traveled from mouth to mouth rather than from smartphone to smartphone.
Until the tenth century, when a poet performed a composition at court he recited it in a singsong voice, in metered monorrhyme lines; that is, every line in the poem ended in the same syllable. There may have been some musical accompaniment but poems were not sung to a melody, they were declaimed, recited.
According to tradition, in the middle of the tenth century, a blind poet named Muqaddam from the town of Cabra near Cordova, made a simple yet radical innovation in Classical Arabic poetry: This was nothing short of revolutionary, a shocking innovation in Arabic poetic tradition. The effect was something like hearing a Shakespeare sonnet sung to the tune of a Shakira tune, and then hearing a verse from the Shakira tune at the end, at which point you realize that the sonnet has not just the same tune, but the same theme, and rhymes with the popular song.
His song ma li-l-muwallah is a festive bachanal set to popular music. This recording is a modern reconstruction by the Altramar Medieval Music Ensemble from their album titled Iberian Garden. Singers in the Arab world still sing muwashshahat in Classical Arabic, most notably the iconic Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum. The classical Andalusi musical style still has large audiences in the cities of North Africa, many of which have their own Andalusi orchestras such as this one pictured in Tangiers, Morocco.
Nonetheless, the Andalusi muwashshah was an innovation built on cultural exchange, on crossing boundaries. By brining colloquial Arabic and Andalusi Romance language and popular melodies into the arts of the court, the poets of al-Andalus transformed both the popular lyrics they used as the basis for their learned compositions as well as the idea of what it meant to perform poetry at court. Jewish Andalusi poets carried this exchange a step further by adapting the new poetry into Hebrew.
This, too represented a bold innovation in Hebrew poetic tradition on more than one count. First, it opened up Hebrew poetry to a vast range of ideas, imagery, thematic material, and technique that were previously the province of Arabic. They wrote Hebrew poetry using the language of the Hebrew Bible describing the themes and images of the Classical Arabic poetic tradition. The beloveds described in terms of gazelles or fawns, the lush descriptions of gardens, the metaphors drawn from desert life of the pre-Islamic Arabic poets all of this they recast in biblical Hebrew, sometimes in entire phrases lifted directly from the prophets, the psalms, the narratives of genesis and kings, and especially the Song of Songs or Song of Solomon.
These were also set to Andalusi classical arrangements, and to this day there are artists such as Rabbi Haim Louk who continue to interpret the Andalusi Sephardic tradition.
Here is a short clip from his recent arrangement of a piyyut or devotional poem by the eleventh century poet Solomon ibn Gabirol. Rabbi Louk has set the poem to the tune of a very popular qasida made popular by the Moroccan singer Abdesedek Chekara, who lived in the twentieth century. Soon after the time of the poets Moses ibn Ezra and Ibn Zuhr, the balance of power on the Iberian Peninsula began to tilt in the direction of the Christian states in the north.
Bodegas Zifar1 – Caballero Zifar
Some fifty years later the Caliphate disintegrated, leaving in its wake a collection of petty Muslim kingdoms that competed with each other and with the Christian states to the north for dominance. The Christian kings of Leon and Castile pressed their advantage and by they had conquered Toledo, the former capital of the Visigothic kingdom.
However, it would be another century and a half before the tide turned decisively in favor of the Christians. Historians view battle of Navas de Tolosa in the key date after which at least retroactively the writing was on the wall for al-Andalus.
Alfonso X portrayed in a manuscript of his Cantigas de Santa Maria. Not coincidentally it was around this same time that Christians in Western Europe began to compose serious literary works in the various Romance languages they spoke, carving out space once occupied by their classical language, Latin.
This was happening in neighboring countries as well, where increased commerce and the proliferation of universities spurred literary innovations that eventually gave Western Europe its Chaucers and Dantes. In Spain, however, Christian authors worked in the shadow of the considerable intellectual legacy of al-Andalus long after the balance of power on the Peninsula had turned in their favor.
You can still see his legacy in the city seal of LA. However, he was even more famous for having conquered the two most important cities in the south of the Peninsula, Cordova and Seville, in the middle of the thirteenth century. After Ferdinand completed his considerable military conquests, all that was left of the great al-Andalus was the small Kingdom of Granada in the south, which was reduced to the status of client state to Castile and Leon, and remained a harassed tributary state until its eventual defeat in by the Catholic Monarchs Isabel the Catholic and Fernando of Aragon.
Alfonso was the architect of a massive literary project that accomplished two important goals. The first was to establish and exalt Castilian as a literary language, displacing Latin as the most prestigious, most important language of learning at court. He commissioned an impressive corpus of works on law, science, official history, and philosophy, and statecraft that, in the space of a single generation, established Castilian as a prestigious literary language when Italian and French were just getting off the ground as such.
One of the ways Alfonso accomplished this was through translations of Arabic works directly into Castilian. Alfonso employed a team of scholars who translated scores of crucial works of science, philosophy, and wisdom literature into Castilian from Arabic.
Libro del cavallero Zifar
This wl only a part of the Castilian vogue for all things Andalusi. The victorious Christian court consumed Andalusi textiles, music, architecture, and material culture with an enthusiasm rivaled only by its hunger for Andalusi learning. This transfer of Andalusi intellectual culture to the Castilian court was a forerunner of the European Renaissance, a flowering of Greek science and learning delivered by the conduit of Andalusi civilization.