Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Gregory B. Kaplan

Committee Members

Álvaro Ayo, Núria Cruz-Cámara, Thomas E. Burman


The Legend of Rodrigo and Florinda is used to explain the causes for the successful Muslim invasion of Spain. My dissertation discusses six medieval versions of this legend, three Muslim and three Christian. I trace variations in blame to identify the different strata of society that are described as the corrosive catalysts for the Visigoths' divine punishment. I also analyze each source's presentation of the Visigothic prior to the invasion and examine how they assess the fracture of Spain into smaller kingdoms after the invasion. Identifying the Muslim invasion as a form of divine chastisement inherently includes the idea that once the Christians return to orthodoxy, control of Hispania will be returned to them. This implied rhetoric plays an important but neglected role in the centuries long appeal for Spanish unity and a return to the integral kingdom of the Visigoths.

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