Between the late twelfth century and the mid fourteenth, Castile saw a reordering of mental, spiritual, and physical space. Fresh ideas about sin and intercession coincided with new ways of representing the self and emerging perceptions of property as tangible. This radical shift in values or mentalités was most evident among certain social groups, including mercantile elites, affluent farmers, lower nobility, clerics, and literary figures"middling sorts" whose outlooks and values were fast becoming normative.
Drawing on such primary documents as wills, legal codes, land transactions, litigation records, chronicles, and literary works, Teofilo Ruiz documents the transformation in how medieval Castilians thought about property and family at a time when economic innovations and an emerging mercantile sensibility were eroding the traditional relation between the two. He also identifies changes in how Castilians conceived of and acted on salvation and in the ways they related to their local communities and an emerging nation-state.
Ruiz interprets this reordering of mental and physical landscapes as part of what Le Goff has described as a transition "from heaven to earth," from spiritual and religious beliefs to the quasi-secular pursuits of merchants and scholars. Examining how specific groups of Castilians began to itemize the physical world, Ruiz sketches their new ideas about salvation, property, and themselvesand places this transformation within the broader history of cultural and social change in the West.
|Publisher:||Princeton University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Teofilo F. Ruiz is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he chairs the history department. He is the author of several books, including A Social History of Spain, 1400-1600.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments ix
From Heaven to Earth 1
A Taste for the New: Commerce, Property, and Language 12
The Evidence of Wills 37
Property: Wills and the Law in Medieval Castile 54
Itemizing the World: Boundaries, Consolidation of Property, and Rights of Way 67
Family and Property: Lineages and Primogeniture 87
Heavenly Concerns: Charity and Salvation 110
Toward a New Concept of Power: Unsacred Monarchy 133
What People are Saying About This
This marvelous book asks large questions of vital importance to all the humanities and social sciences. Professor Ruiz has produced an eloquent and intellectually elegant work of tremendous range.
David Nirenberg, The Johns Hopkins University
This book describes changes in the material world and in attitudes toward the spiritual world that took place in medieval Castilechanges that resulted from a shift in values toward a more practical, quantitative, and secular point of view. No one knows this material with the effortless intimacy Ruiz demonstrates. His scholarship is impeccable, and his argument is presented in a compelling and attractive manner.
Paul Freedman, Yale University
"This marvelous book asks large questions of vital importance to all the humanities and social sciences. Professor Ruiz has produced an eloquent and intellectually elegant work of tremendous range. "David Nirenberg, The Johns Hopkins University