Pero López de Ayala’s Rimado de Palacio (c. 1385 – c. 1403): Candid Perceptions of Jewish Power around the Violence of 1391

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The anti-Jewish revolts of 1391 are traditionally blamed on the hateful preacher Ferrán Martínez. This narrative was promoted by the Chancellor of Castile, Pero López de Ayala (1332–1407), in the early passages of his chronicle of the child King Enrique III. However, López de Ayala’s Rimado de Palacio offers more insightful perspectives on these events. Read as a historical source, the Rimado adds nuance to the notion of the monarchy’s alliance with its Jewries, whilst unearthing courtly anxieties against Jewish power. Ayala blends the ingredients of mirrors of princes, contempt for the world, satire, mester de clerecía, and moralistic glosses of Patristic and Biblical matter, taking inspiration from classicism, Roman historiography and philosophy, Christian Scholasticism, and an incipient Spanish Humanism in the vernacular. Against the backdrop of 1391, López de Ayala’s work pre-empts an approach to political Judaism that will define the frictions of the fifteenth century.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalCAS Working Paper Series
Issue number1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Feb 2023

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