Episode 6- The Horse in Spanish Society and Conquest

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An association between horses and the medieval nobility is built into the Spanish language itself, and horses are frequently cited as a key factor in Spain’s conquest of the Americas. Yet what exactly was the role of the horse in Spanish warfare and society, and how did that role change over time? Kathryn Renton examines these questions in this episode of Historias, from the efforts the medieval Castilian kings to encourage horse ownership to the role of the horse not only in the American conquests but also in the European wars of the early-modern period. One common thread is clear among these wide-ranging topics: more than a military tool, the horse’s true importance lay in its role as a contested social symbol.

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