Medieval Castile

From princess to queen to countess – meet Richeza

Today, dear peeps, we are going back to medieval times and to one of my favourite locations, Castile. Now, Castile in medieval times was a pretty harsh place, a country constantly at war against the Moors in a  determined effort to oust the infidel from the Iberian peninsula. The kings of Castile were mostly out […]

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Having drool-worthy hands does not keep you safe from false wives…

Today, I am dragging you all the way back to the tenth century, a time when Castile was ruled by a count, when more than half of the Iberian Peninsula was controlled by the Moors. This was the time of the great Muslim caliphate, of the splendour of Córdoba, Zaragoza and Sevilla under Muslim rule.

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Siblings, sieges and assassinations – nothing unusual in medieval Spain

Today, we are going to be spending some time with Sancho II of Castile. Not that his time will be all that long—at times, life (or in this case, siblings) conspire against you. Mind you, Sancho had himself to blame. Sancho’s story starts in Zamora, a fortified town on the river Duero that has been

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For the love of his queen – how a medieval king set his wife first

Sometimes, those medieval kings surprise you. Take, for example Sancho IV of Castile. Now, he has a few black marks against him, principally the fact that he usurped the throne, thereby stealing the crown from his young nephew, Alfonso de la Cerda. Sancho, of course, did not feel he had a choice: Castile needed an

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A surfeit of brothers doth a spicy soup make

Back in the good old days, men wanted sons. Well, OK: back in the really, really old good old days, mothers wanted daughters as most early societies seem to have been matrilineal—but that all changed when our nomadic ancestors settled down and started amassing belongings. Once you have things that belong to you, it becomes

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