This year the theme of the conference is Navas de Tolosa, the pitched battle between Castilian and decisive for the Muslim forces in 1212, which traditionally has been thought of as decisive in terms of what very loosely used to be termed “the Reconquista”.
The year has witnessed a series of celebrations not least on the actual anniversary on the 16th of July when local and regional politicians together with representatives from the church as well as Muslim Andalucía met in order to commemorate the event, which in its own time was considered ground-breaking. Up to the celebrations there was also a scientific conference focusing on the actual history of the battle and its political ramifications.
The “Jornadas” are however focusing on another dimension: the life and mentalities of people living in the Iberian Peninsula at this time (1170 – 1250). More specifically, focus is on the different Christian kingdoms of the period and their relationships to each other, the contrast between them and the Islamic world represented by the Almohad Empire and al-Andalus, the role of the papacy and finally that of the Military Orders. But focus is also on the poetic and artistic developments, which were the result of the battle, which effectively opened the borders for migration and multicultural mingling at a new level.
The Iberian Peninsula at the time of Navas de Tolosa
VII Hispano-Portuguese Medieval History. Baeza