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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

And finally by way of supplement by the Partidas

codes of the Roman emperor Justinian,--so

much so that the _Partidas_ amounted to an encyclopedia of these two sources of law, both of which were Roman in origin and very different from the customs, Visigothic and otherwise, at that time prevailing in Castile. Whether Alfonso intended that the _Partidas_ should become the general law, or merely that it should serve as an encyclopedia, it was not promulgated in his day, and there were many later laws directly contradicting it. Nevertheless, it constantly gained ground, favored especially by lawyers and university men (both of which elements were strong partisans of the Roman law), being used as a book of reference and as a text-book. Finally the current in its favor became so strong that so far as it was not inconsistent with certain specified compilations it was declared to be law in the reign of Alfonso XI by the important ordinance of the _Cortes_ of Alcal? (1348). This set forth that the decisions of that _Cortes_ should be the principal fountain of Castilian law, followed in order of precedence by the _Fuero Real_, the other municipal charters, and finally by way of supplement by the _Partidas_, which was not to be enforced in such parts as it contradicted the privileges of the nobility, for these also were confirmed. Despite this lowly position of the _Partidas_ and despite the vast quantity of later laws which took precedence of the above-mentioned hierarchy of sources, the ultimate victory of Alfonso's code was assured from the time of its official promulgation.
Without any statute to that effect it gradually became recognized, not as a mere supplementary source, but as the principal law of the land. Reformations of its text were undertaken to make it conform with the necessities of later times, but in substance the ideas of the original remained.

[Sidenote: Leading factors in ecclesiastical history.]

[Sidenote: Papal intervention in the Castilian church.]

[Sidenote: Wealth of the church.]

[Sidenote: Pilgrimages.]

Next to the state the church was the most powerful and influential factor in Castile. This period was one of serious internal disturbance in the Castilian church and of relaxation in discipline. Despite the efforts of the popes and some Castilian prelates, the practice of _barragan?a_ continued. There also occurred such incidents as competitions in beauty between the nuns of Seville and Toledo, such instances of lack of discipline as the armed resistance of the dean of Sig?enza to the pope's appointee as bishop, such turbulent intervention in politics as that of the bishops of Seville and Toledo in the time of Henry IV, and such cases of strife and violence as the attack of the monks of Mel?n on those of Armenteira, and that of the bishop of Mondo?edo on the Cistercians of Meyra. The disorder was enhanced owing to the appearance of the Great Schism in the church at large, in which Spanish countries were particularly interested, since several of the popes and anti-popes were of Spanish blood. On the other hand, the popes intervened more than ever in the affairs of the Castilian church. The ideas of Gregory VII of the supremacy of the papacy over temporal rulers did not fail to produce results in Castile. In the _Partidas_ of the absolutist Alfonso X it was recognized that one legitimate way of acquiring the crown was by a grant of the pope, and that the latter might also absolve Castilian subjects from obedience to the king in certain cases. The election of bishops, normally the act of the cathedral canons, provoked many disputes between the kings and the popes, for the latter frequently intervened to impose their candidate, or even to make direct appointments, while the former claimed that no election was valid until it had their approval. One of the most unpopular

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