SPAN247 - Chapter 6
DepartmentSpanish Language and Literature
Course CodeSPAN 247
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Chapter 6: Ecstasy and Agony
•San Lorenzo del Escorial (El Escorial) – royal crypt, library, collection of human
body parts. Symbol of counter-reformation. Built by Felipe, means “slag heap”.
Design based on martyr’s death (roasted alive on grill). Metaphor of empire:
control of the minutest detail. Has many religious relics, paintings, books.
•Felipe married Mary Tudor, inherited father’s hostility to France. Marriage was
part of basic Habsburg policy to encircle France. Everyone but English considered
him English king. Disliked his Catholicism, even though he restrained Mary’s
•Huge debt from Carlos’s reign. Even all the resources from the new world used to
pay off debts, not invested in economy.
•Felipe didn’t allow for Renaissance and Reformation ideas to take root in Spain.
Ban on foreign books and Spanish students traveling abroad. Missionary
objectives in Indies, many parallels between conquering Mexico and the Moors.
•Conquistador cruelty used to intimidate population, however Spanish judged to be
history’s most humane. “Black Legend” – historical & literary tradition of
smearing all Spanish things as evil, inferior, cruel. Black legend planted during
debates over Indian treatment by Bartolomé de las Casas (first priest in New
World) – unsupported claims.
•Felipe was very introverted, emotionless, disliked strong personalities. First
marriage to María had been happy, she died in childbirth, Mary Tudor = political
reasons. Felipe tried to micromanage a lot, had a statue with moveable limbs for
addressing crowds unworthy of his presence.
•Used Inquisition to increase power over bishops and regions. Process – 1. arrest
based on denuncia from two people. 2 – assumed guilt, try to obtain confession 3
– torture resorted to for confession
•1561: capital moved from Toledo to Madrid. Geographic centre, could be
moulded to Felipe’s tastes.
•Spain mostly rural, population of 9 million in total. Largest: Sevilla, Valladolid,
Granada, Toledo, Barcelona.
•Don Carlos, Felipe’s heir, was product of two cousins married and grandson of
Juana “loca”. Very erratic, uncontrollable, cruel behaviour. Locked in a fortress,
•Granadan Morisco revolt met with Spanish crackdown, fear of them joining with
Muslims from Barbary Coast across the sea. Heightened the type of evidence
people could prosecute others with heresy were: (Hebrew names, cooking with
oil, etc.). One had to be an OLD Christian.
•Turkey reached height of power under Suleiman the Magnificent, victory at
Djerba in 1560. Failed to take Malta. Suleiman died next year, his son was bad at
•Battle of Lepanto: off of Greek coast, Spanish/Italians had 208 warships, Turks
had 230. Resounding Christian victory.
•Don Juan of Austria, half-brother of Felipe, proposed going on to Constantinople
and North Africa, but Felipe refused. Felipe didn’t follow up because the Lower
Provinces (BeNeLux) were no longer his (due to father’s death), and he felt he
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