James I of Aragon: inside the mind of a medieval king

In the 13th century, James I of Aragon did something almost unique for a medieval ruler: he wrote an autobiography. Rowena Cockett outlines five lessons that the king's memoirs teach us about what it meant to wield power, wage wars and venerate God in the Middle Ages

James I of Aragon, depicted in a 15th-century portrait. A king dubbed 'the Conqueror' invested enormous energy in projecting an image of power and authority. But behind the facade lay an insecure ruler who feared failure. (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

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