Teofilo F. Ruiz
University of California at Los Angeles
Ph.D., Princeton University
Teofilo F. Ruiz is a Professor of History and Chair of the department at the University of California at Los Angeles. A student of Joseph R. Strayer, Dr. Ruiz received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1974…
In 1492, there was no such country as "Spain," and no language called "Spanish."
The biggest event of the year, in the region that would become Spain, was the surrender of the last Muslim stronghold, Granada.
The Edict of Expulsion gave Jews three months to either convert to Christianity or leave the Kingdom of Castile and the Crown of Aragon.
In other words, there is "another" 1492, one that is more complete, and more complex, than the one most of us know.
This 12-lecture course uses 1492 as a focal point to follow events that enabled Spain to become a country, and then an empire. It examines centuries of developments that led up to that pivotal date in Spanish history, and analyzes the consequences of the events that took place in 1492, for both Spain and the New World.
A Year That Symbolizes Spanish History
Presented by Professor Teofilo F. Ruiz, a foremost authority on Spanish history and an award-winning teacher and author, this course paints a portrait of 1492 as the centerpiece of the transformation of Spanish society by tying together several key themes:
The rise of Castile as the strongest of the Spanish realms, and the reforms of Ferdinand and Isabella. The Catholic monarchs built a popular and stable monarchy in Castile—through such measures as new taxes, control of the military, and reform of the Church—that enabled Spain to emerge as the most powerful nation in Europe.
The end of pluralism. For centuries, the Iberian Peninsula had been a multicultural mix of Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Beginning with the Christian victory over Muslim forces at Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212, and continuing with such developments as the conquest of Granada and the Edict of Expulsion, both in 1492, Muslims and Jews were either forced to convert to Christianity or sent into exile.
The world of Christopher Columbus. Developments such as the recovery of classical knowledge of geography and astronomy, and new knowledge of maps and the use of the compass and astrolabe, enabled Columbus to set sail confidently across the Ocean Sea (Atlantic). Columbus's discoveries gave Spain a foothold in the Caribbean that it used to test colonial institutions, and to explore and conquer Mexico and Central America.
1492 from "Below": The Experience of Muslims, Jews, and Native Americans
Today, we associate 1492 with a sense of wonder and discovery. But a major theme of this course is to look at history not only from "above"—in terms of a victorious Castilian and Christian society—but from below, from the perspective of the defeated, the outsiders, those seen as "other." For many who were alive then, 1492 inspired only despair and terror.
Professor Ruiz conveys a palpable sense of the experiences of Muslims and Jews as they faced the choice of renouncing their religious beliefs or leaving lands that they had called home for centuries. This discussion touches on such topics as the Muslim sense that their civilization was ultimately doomed after the defeat by Christian forces at Toledo in 1085, and the confusion felt by Conversos—Jewish converts to Christianity—who tried to mix elements of Judaism with their new religion, and became prime targets of the Inquisition.
You will see how Castilian attitudes toward "others" were exported to the New World. Spanish accounts of native peoples were ambivalent. They praised the natives' simplicity and seeming closeness to God, but labeled them with the same stereotypes that had been applied to Muslims and Jews, and questioned whether they were truly human.
Throughout, these lectures are an opportunity to understand the events of 1492 as they were perceived by people of the time, and to correct misconceptions that linger today. For example, you will learn why Columbus's voyages were not seen as the greatest of his time, that he and his fellow Europeans did not believe the earth was flat, and that his first voyage did not produce doubts and fear among those who sailed with him.
This 1492, the "other" 1492, will greatly expand and often revise your understanding of one of history's greatest dates.
My other posts
After the New Testament - The Writings of the Apostolic Fathers
Discovery of Ancient Civilizations - Brian Fagan
Govind Sreenivasan - Europe And The Wars Of Religion
Great Ancient Civilizations Of Asia Minor - Kenneth Harl
Great Figures of the Old Testament Amy-Jill Levine
Great World Religions - Christianity Robert Oden
History of Ancient Egypt - Bob Brier
History Of Science - Antiquity To 1700 - Lawrence Principe
Kenneth W. Harl - The World of Byzantium
King Arthur And Chivalry Bonnie Wheeler
Louis Markos The Life and Writings of CS Lewis
Michael Sugrue - Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues
Philosophy and Religion in the West - Phillip Cary
The Apostle Paul Luke Timothy Johnson
The Bible and Western Culture
The Foundations of Western Civilization - Thomas F. X. Noble
The Terror of History - Mystics, Heretics, and Witches in the Western Tradition
Phillip Cary - Luther - Gospel Law And Reformation
Ancient Near Eastern Mythology - Shalom Goldman
Rome and The Barbarians - Kenneth W. Harl
Practical Philosophy - Greco-Roman Moralists
History Of Ancient Rome Garrett G Fagan
James Hall - Philosophy Of Religion
Bob Brier - Great Pharaohs Of Ancient Egypt
Plato's Republic - David Roochnik
Americas Religious History - Patrick N Allitt
Patrick Allitt - Victorian Britain
David Roochnik - Introduction To Greek Philosophy
The High Middle Ages - Professor Philip Daileadeк
Kenneth Bartlett - Italian Renaissance
Jeremy Adams - Thomas Aquinas, The Angelic Doctor
History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts - Robert Bucholz
William Cook - Francis of Assisi
Philip Daileader - The Early Middle Ages
Gary W Gallagher - American Civil War
History of the United States Part 1,2,3 Allen C. Guelzo
Teofilo Ruiz - Medieval Europe
History of Russia - From Peter the Great to Gorbachev - Mark Steinberg
The Odyssey Of Homer - Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
The Iliad Of Homer - Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
Herodotus, The Father Of History - Elizabeth Vandiver