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A History of Spain
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Situated at the edges of the “known world,” Spain was a land coveted by Phoenicians and Greeks both for its strategic location and vast mineral reserves. It was not, however, until the arrival of the Romans (3rd c. BC) that any foreign power sought domination of the entire peninsula. Hispania, despite the burdens of conquest, would ultimately give Imperial Rome some of its greatest emperors (Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and Theodosius) and a number of renowned writers (Seneca, Martial). Under the Visigoths the jeweler’s art reached new heights and the horseshoe arch made its appearance in western architecture. But when Islamic armies overran the Iberian peninsula in the eighth century AD, it seemed that the land was all but lost to Christian civilization. A small but determined resistance spread from the remote mountains of northern Spain and, after more than seven centuries, finally managed to subdue the last Moslem kingdom, the fabled Caliphate of Granada. In that same year, 1492, Spain launched upon a global venture that would bring her a world-wide empire.
Spanish history is replete with characters and events of fable and legend: Pelayo, El Cid, Cervantes, the Inquisition, al-Andalus, Columbus, Francisco Franco, Alfonso El Sabio, El Greco, the Reconquista, Ferdinand and Isabel. In these lectures we will examine the course of Spanish history from the arrival of the Romans to the end of the Spanish Civil War. Special emphasis will be given to Spain’s archaeological and historical sites.
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"A History of Spain”
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