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El debate sobre la caballería en el siglo XV. La tratadística caballeresca castellana en su marco europeo


This book is devoted to the study of the manuscript treatises on politics and chivalry produced during the 15th Century, with a special attention to one of the most interesting authors of the period, Diego de Valera. The book concludes with a long catalogue of primary sources related to the debate on chivalry during the late Middle Ages.

Rodríguez-Velasco, Jesus. El debate sobre la caballería en el siglo XV: la tratadística caballeresca castellana en su marco europeo. Valladolid: Junta de Castilla y León, 1996. Print.

The thesis of this book is that chivalry in the 15th Century was not a fading code of conduct, or a universal ethic; chivalry was, above all, a political debate with legal foundations and social consequences. In order to understand chivalry, one cannot study the general trends or common ideas shared by different codifications; if one wants to understand what chivalry was for 15th century politicians, intellectuals, writers, and knights, one needs to delve into the myriad treatises in manuscript form that populated intellectual networks, libraries, and exchanges across Europe in many languages.

Once in the business of establishing the catalogue of these manuscripts (which the book does in the final pages), one also needs to see the points of divergence among the different ideas on knighthood and politics. The result won’t be a lineal history, but an essay in the creation and history of certain political concepts.

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