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A Prince's Education

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Chapter Summary

The education of the most learned king of the Middle Ages has been a topic that has intrigued all Alfonso X scholars. This chapter mentions one fundamental aspect of Alfonso X's education: the learning of languages which allowed him to carry out his cultural project and make it available to all of his subjects. It also briefly talks about his extraordinary knowledge and understanding of Judeo-Muslim culture. Commenting in his General Estoria on the didactic content of a famous rhetoric manual, he describes the process of learning in great detail. The most important activities of Alfonso during his intellectual and military apprenticeship period were indeed accompanying his father on military campaigns against the Moors in the South and hunting parties. When Alfonso reached the throne, he was an intellectually mature man, with extensive political, scientific, historical, literary, military, and practical training, despite the opinions of his detractors to the contrary.

Keywords: Alfonso; Education; General Estoria; Judeo-Muslim culture; Middle Ages



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