Settling a 13th-century Theological Debate?

UF professor publishes first-ever medieval graphic history.

Nina Caputo, an associate professor in history, collaborated with illustrator Liz Clarke to create the first medieval graphic history. The fourth in a series of graphic histories published by Oxford University Press, Debating Truth: The Barcelona Disputation of 1263, uses this novel approach to present a medieval public debate about the Messiah from both Jewish and Christian perspectives. “A theological disputation in comic form might seem improbable,” remarks Caputo, but she is confident that it will be effective. Students who saw the book in an early test-run in a colleague’s class expressed excitement about this innovative way to learn about history. The storyline comes from the historical records of the disputation between Rabbi Moses ben Nahman and Friar Paul, a convert from Judaism to Christianity. Caputo, who wrote the text, worked closely with Clarke to make the captivating graphic representations of people and places historically accurate as well. The images shown here demonstrate how comics will bring history to life for students. The volume also contains translations of historical documents, historical essays, and bibliography and questions for further study.