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Edmon Low Library

Erik Ekman

Co-Author of "The Book of Illustrious Men of Castile"

February 6, 2023

Erik Ekman is Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Languages and Literatures. His research is on the use and adaptation of classical and biblical material among Castilian historians from the 13th to the 15th centuries.

The Book of Illustrious Men of Castile is a collection of twenty-four biographies of Castilian nobles and prelates from the fifteenth century published by the royal chronicler, Fernando del Pulgar, in 1486 and dedicated to Queen Isabel I of Castile. It is an important example of humanist historical writing that looked to classical literary forms and classical literature for examples of proper military and civic engagement in support of a new, more modern state. Pulgar’s biographical subjects were all recently deceased, and had gained fortunes, fame, and titles, mostly through military service. Their lives, as recounted by Pulgar, served as models of proper masculine conduct as Castile was engaged in The War of Granada, its final push to consolidate Christian control of the Iberian Peninsula. This English translation (with Samantha Mori, '16) and study will make the work available to a much wider audience.


Last Updated: 20 March 2023