'Impious Itineraries' is a seminar series retracing the routes of people and objects between the Iberian Peninsula and the British Isles in the early modern period. Organised by the Warburg Institute with the support of the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Gobierno de España.

Session 3: 'Itineraries of Objects'

Chair: Berta Cano-Echevarría (University of Valladolid & Warburg Institute)

'Horses on demand: exchanging diplomatic gifts between the Habsburgs and the Stuarts' - Óscar Ruiz Fernández (UTCB, Romania)

This talk explores the exchange of gifts between Spanish and English courts during Early Stuart period, especially focusing on the symbolism of horses as royal presents. Horses were animals with a remarkable importance as emblems of nobility and royalty since ancient times, among them, the purebred Spanish racing horse was the most desired breed by European aristocrats and monarchs, thus becoming an instrument at the service of the Spanish kings for their international policy. These appreciated gifts were easy to transport and played a very important role for European diplomacy and international relations in Europe during XVI-XVII centuries. The Spanish embassy to Stuart England was at the centre of this exchange between the Spanish Habsburgs and the Stuart dynasty, crucial for the keeping of the peace and friendship between these countries during the Thirty Years´ War (1618-1648).

'Real Biblioteca, El Escorial MS Q.II.6: The Travels of an English Manuscript' - R. F. Yeager (Emeritus, University of West Florida)

MS Q.II.6 in the Real Biblioteca at El Escorial is remarkable in many ways. Almost uniquely in that great collection, it was produced in England, in the early fourteenth century, and assuredly stands alone there for being written partially in Anglo-Norman—an as-yet unedited macaronic poem on the Virgin, alternatingly in French and Latin. The journeys of this manuscript prior to its arrival at El Escorial are both interesting and largely unexplained. The presentation will shed further light on the manuscript, on its travels, uses, and various owners, both in England and in Spain, during the roughly three hundred years between its making and its acquisition into the collection of the Real Biblioteca in the seventeenth century.