Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Historiography, prophecy, and literature: “Divina retribución” and its underlying ideological agenda
by Ward, Scott, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2009, 309; 3378391
Abstract (Summary)

The Divina retribución sobre la caída de España is an intricate and powerful panegyric to Isabel I and Fernando V of Castile, the future Catholic Monarchs, and an affirmation that their ascension to the throne was mandated by God, the culmination of a providential process almost a century in the making. First and foremost, the Divina retribución is a historiographic text. The author, the bachiller Palma, begins his tale with a description of the Castilian defeat at the hands of the Portuguese in the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385 and the subsequent intense disgrace felt in Castile. This is Palma's caída, fall. The "divine retribution" comes in 1476 when the Portuguese king, Alfonso V, invades Castile, is met by Fernando and is defeated. However, Palma's work is much more than a chronological telling of events. On the death of her predecessor and half brother Enrique IV, Isabel gained the throne by outmaneuvering the rightful heir, the king's daughter Juana, further exacerbating the divisions that already existed in the country. I explain how the bachiller Palma fuses the biblical and the historical to demonstrate that the history of Castile was prefigured in the Bible. Palma projects his vision into the future, predicting celestial greatness for Spain in the future reign of Fernando and Isabel's son, Prince Juan. The ultimate goal of Palma's undertaking is to legitimize Isabel and Fernando as the rightful rulers of Castile and to strengthen the power and authority of the monarchy. Beyond this analysis, I describe the development of medieval Spanish vernacular historiography, examine the historical context in which the Divina retribución was written, and explain the work's contribution to the strengthening of royal power. In addition, my examination of the codex and manuscript of the work has brought to light previously unstudied details that help us understand it further.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lopez-Morillas, Consuelo, Conde, Juan Carlos
Commitee: Impey, Olga T., Seidenspinner-Nunez, Dayle, Storey, Wayne
School: Indiana University
Department: Spanish
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Medieval literature, Romance literature, Medieval history
Keywords: Catholic monarchs, Codicology, Divina retribucion sobre la caida de Espana, Medieval mansucripts, Panagyric, Political propaganda, Spain
Publication Number: 3378391
ISBN: 9781109407099
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