Spain built up a world empire in the sixteenth century, by unifying its monarchy in the Iberian peninsula and Europe and conquering territories in the New World. Writers and thinkers recorded the progress of this empire with praise, but they also commented on ethical issues related to rule over other peoples and the impact of armed violence on the lives of soldiers and civilians. We will study these questions by reading important Spanish texts that describe the conduct and impact of wars of conquest and of civil unrest. Through a focus on writings that deal with warfare, this course offers an introduction to an important period in European history. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.