A Note on a Possible Optic–Atmospheric Phenomenon in the Iberian Peninsula in the 13th Century


  • J. M. Vaquero Universidad de Extremadura
  • M. C. Gallego Universidad de Extremadura
  • J. A. García Universidad de Extremadura


Historical documents that provide information about climate are tools that must be used by climatologists in their studies about past climate. Nevertheless, these historical sources are difficult to find and must be interpreted with caution. In this aspect, the Iberian Peninsula is a privileged zone because important cultures have emerged in it. These cultures have left a rich historical and documentary heritage that has not been investigated yet from a climatic point of view. Another interesting aspect is related to the impact that meteorological phenomena caused in great historical events. We can point out some interesting examples as Mongol Invasions of Japan (Neumann, 1975), Crimean War (Lindgrén and Neumann, 1980), and the Battle of Trafalgar (Wheeler, 1985, 1987). This study is aimed at the analysis of a possible atmospheric phenomenon that happened in the Iberian Peninsula in the 13th Century. This claimed our attention from the beginning because of its similarity with Joshua's miracle, the atmospheric nature of which has been analyzed by Camuffo (1990a). This phenomenon was greatly discussed by some authors (Elomaa, 1990; Camuffo, 1990b). Moreover, the possible atmospheric phenomenon that we are going to analyse is related to an important historical event: the Christian conquest of Seville.