[v] Visitors to Eastern Spain and students of Spanish have on several occasions asked me to recommend a book from which they could learn the facts of Aragonese history without the trouble of extracting them from some general history of the Spanish peninsula. Except for the admirable outline study given in R.B. Merriman's Rise of the Spanish Empire (New York and London, 1918), there appears to be no separate history of Aragon and Catalonia in English and this book is an attempt to fill the gap.
It is, of course, impossible to deal with the history of Aragon without continual reference to that of other Spanish provinces or kingdoms, and it may be argued that the history of such a country as medieval Spain ought not to be treated sectionally.
On the other hand, there is a contrast between Aragonese and Castilian history in medieval times which is not always sufficiently emphasized by general histories of Spain. While Castile and Leon were occupied with domestic quarrels and with the task of reconquering their country from the Moors, Aragon and Catalonia were able to extend their dominions overseas, thanks to the energy and ability of a succession of rulers who can compare favourably with the representatives of any other royal house in Western Europe during medieval times. While Castilian history is too often a dreary waste of selfish intrigue and incompetency, Aragonese history is a record of expansion and adventure.
This fact is of much importance for the later history of the united kingdoms by reason of its effects upon Spanish thought and literature.
It was from the Aragonese side that French and Italian influences entered Spain in greater volume and with greater force than at any other point of ingress. In this respect, the history of Aragon can be treated as a unity in itself.
In the case of geographical names I have used the Spanish [vi] forms in preference to English or Catalan forms.
In the case of proper names I have used the forms most likely to be familiar to English readers and much inconsistency has been the result; it seems pedantic to write "Jaime" or "Jacme" instead of James; on the other band, I have retained "Pedro," as this form is widely accepted in English works.
The Catalan "Pere," though more logically applied to a Catalan sovereign, strikes the English reader as unfamiliar, and "Peter the Great " is too strongly suggestive of Russia.
I can only hope that these inconsistencies will not make identification difficult.
The bibliography has no pretensions to completeness; I have mentioned only the works which I have found most useful; I am particularly indebted to the various writings of Sr. R. Menéndez Pidal and to the histories of Zurita, Schmidt, Balaguer, Bofarull and Altamira.
I have to thank Professor W.J. Entwistle, of Oxford, for many valuable corrections and suggestions, and also Professor E. Allison Peers, of Liverpool, for much useful advice. Mr. F.A. Kirkpatrick, Reader in Spanish in this University, and Dr. J.W. Barker have kindly read the proofs, and with them I have to thank Mr. A.R. Clack of this College for the Index.
ST. CATHARINE'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, June, 1933.
This work was originally published by Methuan Publishing Ltd. in 1933.
Pagination of the original edition is indicated set off in brackets, as in .
If you want to extend your information on Aragon you can begin crossing another interesting route is the Mudejar, Patrimony of the Humanity, also you can extend your cultural knowledge on Aragon examining its municipal and institutional heraldry without forgetting, of course, some of its emblematics figures as Saint George Pattern of Aragon also book of Aragon.
The information will not be complete without a stroll by its three provinces: Zaragoza, Teruel and Huesca and his shines, with shutdown in some of its spectacular landscapes like Ordesa, the Moncayo or by opposition the Ebro.
Fauna | Flora | Geology | Fungi |
Tourism | Mudejar | Goya | Alphabetical Index | Thematic
Preface: A Hisstory Aragon and Catalonia. Books.
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