The Spanish National Library in Madrid is commemorating the figure known as ‘The Wise’, Alfonso X, King of Castile and Leon, with an exhibition of the original Alfonsine manuscripts from the Royal scriptorium.
The books played a crucial role in the reform project of Alfonso X’s kingdom. The king himself appeared as author of the Alfonsine books, contributing to the consolidation of a monarchy with kings who are vicars of God on earth and in which the monarch is a model of wisdom. The exhibition presents the five original Alfonsine codices (or done in his workshop) conserved by the Spanish National Library. In addition, visitors can admire luxury copies of other works commissioned by Alfonso the Wise. The king’s aim was to encompass knowledge of the past, the present, the future and the eternal life. For this reason, the exhibition is organised into four sections in accordance with this criteria: ‘History: the teachings of the past’, ‘The law: the organisation of the present’, ‘Science, the knowledge of the future’ and ‘Devotion to the Virgin: divine backing’.
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