Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Burgos (Spain)

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Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Burgos (Spain)

Course Details

Cost

FREE

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  • On demand

Course Provider

edX online courses
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Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

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21575 reviews

Course Description

This history course delves into the medieval history of the city of Burgos, from its inception in 884 c.e. as the homeland of the Spanish Kingdom of Castile and Leon, until the completion of the Spanish Reconquista in 1492. We will study complicated legendary heroes like Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, “The Cid”, both a champion of the Christian Reconquista and a friend of Islamic rulers, who lays buried in the Cathedral of Burgos. Like the Cid, medieval Burgos presented two competing views for Spain’s future – one centered on overt Castilian supremacy and another more nuanced one that incorporated religious minorities, especially Jews and Jewish converts to Christianity (conversos), into every element of political, economic, and even religious life.

This course will investigate the disastrous impact of the Plague and how it led to the death of King Alfonso XI and the ruinous civil war between the half-brothers, Pedro “The Cruel” and Enriq...

This history course delves into the medieval history of the city of Burgos, from its inception in 884 c.e. as the homeland of the Spanish Kingdom of Castile and Leon, until the completion of the Spanish Reconquista in 1492. We will study complicated legendary heroes like Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, “The Cid”, both a champion of the Christian Reconquista and a friend of Islamic rulers, who lays buried in the Cathedral of Burgos. Like the Cid, medieval Burgos presented two competing views for Spain’s future – one centered on overt Castilian supremacy and another more nuanced one that incorporated religious minorities, especially Jews and Jewish converts to Christianity (conversos), into every element of political, economic, and even religious life.

This course will investigate the disastrous impact of the Plague and how it led to the death of King Alfonso XI and the ruinous civil war between the half-brothers, Pedro “The Cruel” and Enrique II of Trastamára. We will also appraise the collapse of the kingdom’s “Old Christian” nobility and the generation of new elite clans, some of whom hailed from Jewish ancestries. It was also the era of anti-Jewish pogroms, Christian fixations on “blood purity” and unsuccessful pleas for Christian harmony, and the last gasps of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim coexistence.

We will virtually-tour the Cathedral of Burgos, the Museum of Burgos, and what remains of the city’s medieval neighborhoods and structures. We will also study and transcribe intriguing vellum and paper manuscripts from the cathedral and municipal archives so that we discover new facets of this history.

No knowledge of Spanish is needed to participate in the course or in our transcription efforts.

Reviews 10/10 stars
7 Reviews for Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Burgos (Spain)

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Angel-Luis DOMÍNGUEZ profile image
Angel-Luis DOMÍNGUEZ profile image

Angel-Luis DOMÍNGUEZ

10/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 6 months ago
The excellent course entitled comes to my memory «Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Spain "carried out two years ago on the Coursera platform with the same teacher Roger L. Martínez Dávila, although resident at that time at the University of Colorado, which enabled us to gain access to the treasures of the Catederal of Plasencia. I can't wait to start to go into the secrets of Burgos and take to refresh my knowledge of history and remind them of Palaeography. Congratulations on this course that will surely delight of the students.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 8 months ago
Great course. The videos are very informative and subtitled. The single-graded in-course quizzes provide a frequent check-up for the learned content. The final transcribing projects are a team-effort. I'll certainly enroll in the next course of the Deciphering Secrets series as well. :-))
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10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 8 months ago
I highly recommend the Deciphering Secrets series and this course in particular! It's a mix of Spanish history, paleography, and modern scholarship studies and a great introduction to all three. The final project - transcribing late medieval/early modern documents from archives in Burgos - is a challenging but engaging way to pull all of what you've learned together. It does not trifle with busywork and you will be intermittently bemused, infuriated, and delighted that people in the past had the nerve to leave records for posterity using handwriting and abbreviations that require sincere effort to interpret half a millennium+ later. This course will give you the tools you need to minimize the pain and maximize the productivity and satisfaction that effort requires. Take it :)
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Donna Hanchett profile image
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Donna Hanchett

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 1 month ago
Anyone who is interested in history and likes to solve puzzles will Love this class. The course content recounts the unique history of Spain from its early beginnings up through the Middle Ages, and the 'Convivencia'. And then the fun begins! The teaching of the steps to deciphering hand-written documents from the 1400, or the paleography, gives a great satisfaction to anyone who can focus on letters, words, and phrases well enough to break some codes and transcribe them.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 4 months ago
If you like medieval history and language, and a challenge, you'll love this course. You learn how to decipher medieval documents within their historic timeframe, The lectures, readings, homework assignments and interactive quizzes are interesting and prepare you to do the 2 transcription projects, and by collaborating with other students online you can correct your work and expand your knowledge.
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Betsy Wintermute profile image
Betsy Wintermute profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
2 years, 4 months ago
This course taught by Dr. Roger Martinez-Davila opens a window into historical research. The background history builds a framework of understanding of the time when the documents we transcribed were written. The paleographic lessons trained the skills needed for the transcriptions. I will be looking forward to other MOOCs on this topic! Thank you for a valuable experience.
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Gloria Chiñas profile image
Gloria Chiñas profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
2 years, 4 months ago
This course is amazing¡¡¡. I learned much more than I expected, with the support of Professor Roger Martinez, our great teacher. I will be from now on waiting for the next course to learn a little more about the medieval history of Spain. Thank you.
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