Parameters for image-map-2:{}
University of New Haven logo
Parameters for article:{}

María de Molina: A Queen of Indomitable Spirit

Release Date:
9/10/2012 9:00 PM
Body

A Queen's Courageous Struggle for Recognition in Medieval Spain

Maria de Molina, medieval Spain, history, features 

What:

The Friends of the UNH Library will host a presentation by Paulette Pepin on María de Molina struggle for the legitimization of her children as rulers of Castile on November 26.

Who:

Paulette Pepin is an Associate Professor of History who teaches primarily European history and courses in western civilization. This semester she is again teaching in the Honors Program as well as a new cross-college course, Tolerance in America, with Criminal Justice Professor, David Schroeder.

Paulette did her graduate work at Fordham University, under the director of her mentor, renowned historian of medieval Spain, Joseph F. O’Callaghan. The main focus of her current research is on María de Molina, queen and regent of the Kingdom of Castile-León (1284-1321), and her struggles to maintain the throne for her son, Fernando IV and her grandson, Alfonso XI. The culmination of her research will be a biography of this indomitable queen.

When:

Monday, November 26, 2 p.m.

Where:

Marvin K. Peterson Library, upper level

Details:

This presentation is the story of a nearly twenty year struggle in which María de Molina (1259-1321) fought courageously to obtain recognition of her marriage and the legitimization of her children as rulers of Castile. María was not only her husband, Sancho IV’s principal counselor and partner during his reign, but also as regent for her son, Fernando IV, and later her grandson, Alfonso XI, but she was also continuously faced with the challenge of stabilizing the kingdom and securing the throne by repulsing predatory nobles, sullen prelates, resolute townsmen, Moorish insurgents as well as foreign interlopers. In the midst of these persistent turbulences, María and Sancho had to confront one other major obstacle, the legitimization of their marriage and children. There were several factors that made Sancho and María’s marriage illegitimate under Church law. First the Church considered Sancho a bigamist because he had been betrothed earlier, the only marriage the Church recognized, and secondly, he and María were second cousins. Both of these impediments violated the canonical laws of affinity and consanguinity. What also complicated this problematical situation was the fact that María and Sancho had not obtained a papal dispensation before they wed. Therefore, until Sancho’s untimely death in 1295, they had battled tirelessly to secure papal approval. Then working alone for six years María finally was able to have her children legitimized by the Church, thus securing the Castilian throne for her son and grandson.

For more information: contact Hanko Dobi at hdobi@newhaven.edu

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. UNH enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.