The Task of the Cleric: Cartography, Translation, and Economics in Thirteenth-Century Iberia

The Task of the Cleric: Cartography, Translation, and Economics in Thirteenth-Century Iberia

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Simone Pinet
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2016
World Rights
232 Pages 31 Images
ISBN 9781442649934
Published May 2016
Online discount: 25%
 $65.00    $48.75
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442621824
Published Jun 2016
Online discount: 25%
Full purchase $65.00

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.

Simone Pinet is a professor of Spanish and Medieval Studies in the Department of Romance Studies at Cornell University.


1. The Cleric’s Compass

2. Bricks and Mortar

3. Coins on the Desk



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

‘By opening new doors and establishing new frames, the author’s comparative approach yields a thought provoking and convincing results.’

E.H. Friedman, Choice, vol 54:04:2016