I failed to make note yesterday that it was the OM’s and my 37th wedding anniversary. The OM was out of town at a conference, so no note was taken by us as well. However, thirty-seven years is nothing to sneeze at, and I’m sure we will raise a toast this weekend when all three children are in town.
Funnily enough, today is the wedding anniversary of those lovable Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella.
You recall that they were married with a clear prenuptial agreement on sharing power, and under the joint motto “tanto monta, monta tanto.”
Ferdinand and Isabella proved to be a powerful team. They incorporated a number of independent Spanish dominions into their kingdom and in 1478 introduced the Spanish Inquisition, “a powerful and brutal force of homogenization in Spanish society.” (That’s one way to put it.) In 1492, the reconquest of Granada from the Moors was completed, and the crown ordered all Spanish Jews to convert to Christianity or face expulsion from Spain. Four years later, Spanish Muslims were handed a similar order. When the Reformation began to penetrate into Spain, the relatively few Spanish Protestants were eliminated by the Inquisition. Foreigners suspected of promoting Protestant faiths within Spain met similarly “violent ends.” After 300 years (!) the Spanish Inquisition was reluctantly suppressed in 1808, restored in 1814, suppressed in 1820, restored in 1823, and finally suppressed permanently in 1834. (Encyclopedia Britannica)
In 1492, Christopher Columbus, sponsored by Isabella and Ferdinand, discovered the New World for Europe and claimed the rich, unspoiled territory for Spain. Ferdinand and Isabella’s subsequent decision to encourage vigorous colonial activity in the Americas led to a period of great prosperity and imperial supremacy for Spain. The Inquisition, of course, was introduced in the colonies. The tribunals in Mexico and Peru were particularly “harsh.”
You may think times are tough now, but, just think, you might have been born in 15th century Spain.
Makes me want to watch Captain From Castille (1947):
Or not. Well, I digress again. Daughter #2 arrives in town today! The idea of waiting ’til Christmas to see the wee babes was too heinous, so she planned this quick visit to tide her over.
Who can blame her? (I can’t wait to see her!)
*“They amount to the same” or “Equal opposites in balance”