Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Medieval Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Robert F. Berkhofer III

Second Advisor

Dr. James R. Palmitessa

Third Advisor

Dr. Pablo Pastrana-Pérez


Medieval, history, England, Castile, revolt

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Abstract Only

Restricted to Campus until



This thesis studies the rhetoric of revolt in the thirteenth century by comparing documents and chronicles from the Barons War against Henry III of England (1258-1265) and the revolt of the Castilian nobles against Alfonso X of Castile (1271-1273). By undertaking close readings of these Latin and Castilian texts, I uncover many similar approaches to writing revolt in two roughly contemporary and little-compared rebellions. The first comparison of the two briefs submitted by the rebelling English barons to Louis IX of France for arbitration in 1264 with the purported agreement between the Castilian nobles and Alfonso X presented to Enrique I of Navarre in 1273 yields a common emphasis on previous authority and custom and differing attitudes towards kings and rebels. The second comparison of the 1266 Dictum of Kenilworth and the charter generated from the 1273 assembly of Almagro reveals a shared royal emphasis on maintaining and asserting the king’s power and authority. Finally, the comparison between Matthew Paris’s Chronica Majora and its continuation with the Crónica de Alfonso X reveals a shared preference for vocabulary denoting the formal and hierarchical status of the nobles instead of terms evocative of their rebellious actions.