The Task of the Cleric: Cartography, Translation, and Economics in Thirteenth-Century Iberia
Composed in early thirteenth-century Iberia, the Libro de Alexandre was Spain’s first vernacular version of the Romance of Alexander and the first poem in the corpus now known as the mester de clerecía. These learned works, written by clergy and connected with both school and court, were also tools for the articulation of sovereignty in an era of prolonged military and political expansion.
In The Task of the Cleric, Simone Pinet considers the composition of the Libro de Alexandre in the context of cartography, political economy, and translation. Her discussion sheds light on how clerics perceived themselves and on the connections between literature and these other activities. Drawing on an extensive collection of early cartographic materials, much of it rarely considered in conjunction with the romance, Pinet offers an original and insightful view of the mester de clerecía and the changing role of knowledge and the clergy in thirteenth-century Iberia.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 232 pages
- Illustrations: 31
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.8in x 9.3in
‘By opening new doors and establishing new frames, the author’s comparative approach yields a thought provoking and convincing results.’
Choice, vol 54:04:2016
‘It is essential reading for a core audience of Hispano-medievalists. It will also be of interest to all medievalists and general readers concerned with exploring sensibilities and modes of literary production at the height of the crusading age.’
Renaissance Quarterly vol 70:04:2017
"[Pinet’s] work is an exceptional contribution to the field because of its creative, original approach and lucid analysis. Pinet’s The Task of the Cleric will engage scholars in different ways, stimulating new critical thinking about the tasks that shaped the cleric’s activity in the thirteenth century."
Isidro J. Rivera, The University of Kansas
University of Toronto Quarterly, vol 87 3, Summer 2018
“The Task of the Cleric certainly redefines the "task" (mester) beyond the cultural and literary confines it had lived until now. It's a great book, very elegant, and tremendously useful for scholars and students alike.”
Jesús R. Velasco, Chair of the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Columbia University
“Simone Pinet breathes new life into the reading and interpretation of several canonical texts in medieval Castillan by engaging with seminal scholars in new and imaginative ways. Her book makes an important contribution to how we understand the construction of medieval manuscripts.”
Jean Dangler, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Tulane University
Author InformationSimone Pinet is a professor of Spanish and Medieval Studies in the Department of Romance Studies at Cornell University.
Table of contents
1. The Cleric’s Compass
2. Bricks and Mortar
3. Coins on the Desk
Subjects and Courses