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5 The Wisdom of Seneca: Humanism and the Jews

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses two works excerpted from Alfonso de Cartagena's translation of various Senecan and pseudo-Senecan texts, entitled simply Seneca, and recorded on folios 121-137, and verses of a profane, even bawdy, poem recorded on fol. 207v. It offers concrete material examples of the types of works, the art of memory mentions one might want to remember. Both these texts are known to have circulated among the intellectuals of the court of Juan II of Castile. The texts allow us to shift focus from the Crown of Aragon to several of the material and textual clues left by the aljamiado copyist/s point, to the fifteenth-century Trastamara courts of Castile. Both texts underscore the involvement of converso intellectuals in the nascent humanism of Iberia and in defining the major intellectual debates of fifteenth-century Castile.

Keywords: Alfonso de Cartagena; Castile; Crown of Aragon; humanism; Iberia; Seneca; Trastamara courts



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