Pilgrims from across Europe would brave bandits and pirates,
searing heat and limb-numbing cold, thirst, hunger, and rapacious
hoteliers to make it to the end of the Earth (Fisterra) to visit the tomb
of Saint James.  As a Christian pilgrimage destination, Santiago de
Compostela was rivaled only by Rome and Jerusalem.  Its popularity
lasted for centuries and continues to this day.  But more importantly,
the surprise discovery of the body of James in remote Galicia on the
Iberian peninsula had a profound effect upon the course of
European history.  It fueled the Christian holy war, the Reconquista,
that would some day drive Islam from the Iberian peninsula.

The lectures are richly illustrated with images, and course materials
include detailed lecture notes and an extensive syllabus including
maps and ground plans.


  1. Christianity vs Islam.  The Islamic tidal wave washed over the
    southern Mediterranean shores of the old Roman Empire and
    swept away in its wash the Visigothic kingdom in Spain.  The
    tide of the army of the Prophet seemed irreversible.
  2. The Discovery.  A brilliant star led to the discovery of the body
    of James the Apostle (Santiago) in a deserted Galician field.  
    As the Umayyads of Spain boasted the arm of the Prophet as
    their holy relic, the Christians now, too, had a talisman in their
    holy war.
  3. The Journey.  As Christians regained the peninsula, pilgrims
    from across Europe came to fight and pray traveling to and
    from Santiago de Compostela.  With pilgrims, priests, warriors,
    and merchants came new artistic styles and religious ideas
    that spread across Spain.  We will re-trace the steps of an
    actual pilgrimage from Paris to Santiago.
  4. The Church.  The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is
    adorned with some of the most sublime examples of
    Romanesque and Plateresque architecture and sculpture.  We
    will examine the church and the town in this last lecture.

Four lectures
213 DVD.  4 lectures on DVD $30.00.
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213 DVD:  4 lectures on DVD $30.00.
Related Programs:  
A History of Spain
The Crusades