John F. Schwaller schwallr at
Wed Nov 19 21:35:33 UTC 2003

At 03:01 PM 11/19/2003, you wrote:
>At the time of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, did the term "caballero"
>only refer to someone who rode a horse, or did it refer as it does in
>modern Spanish to a gentleman?

It meant both.  There is a long discourse I read from a nobleman in late
16th cen. Spain decrying the lamentable state of the Spanish nobility.  He
was much aghast that they rode around in carriages, and that many young
gentlemen had lost the ability to ride a hose.  How could they, he went on,
be gentlemen (caballeros) if they no longer rode or owned a horse (caballo)?

In fact in order to be a member of one of the Spanish orders of nobility,
Santiago, Calatrava, and Alcantar, one had to demonstrate that he could
ride a horse.  Members, furthermore, were prohibited from riding in
carriages, without express royal license to do so.

John F. Schwaller
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean
315 Behmler Hall
University of Minnesota, Morris
600 E 4th Street
Morris, MN  56267
FAX 320-589-6399
schwallr at

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