InstitutionUniversity of Toronto
My project is still very much in an early stage of conceptualization. As it stands now, I would like to create an interactive map that would permit the user to better conceptualize the ways in which, on the one hand, personal and cultural boundaries were constructed between peoples and communities within the medieval city of Valencia and, on the other hand, links between individuals and families were formed that served to consolidate factional influence within the city. Possible map functions to be included might include information as basic as delineations of the boundaries of the city's Jewish and Islamic quarters, as well as that of the city's red-light district, the bordell. Requiring more research, but also more interesting, I believe, would be additional functionalities that might map out the primary residences of the city's powerful, elite families in order to better illustrate the various alliances between aristocratic, patrician, and merchant that were an essential part of the factional violence of the Valencian bandositats. Through this, it is my hope that a better sense of the political endgames that underlay much of the bandositat violence might be better brought to light and a better sense might be gained of how the seemingly insensate street violence linked up to much larger political machinations as various families jockeyed for power.
I still have much to learn in this respect, but I believe that tools such as ARCview GIS will be essential, as well as other tools for handling documents and dealing with the larger issue of the complex webs of social relationships that one finds within the documents.
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