THE EPIC
 

 
    1.-  Nearly four thousand verses of "Canter de Mío Cid", two folios of "Canter de Roncesvalles" and more than a thousand verses of some "Mocedades de Rodrigo" is all we have conserved of the medieval Spanish epic. The majority of scholars consider there should be much more than the amount we have just indicated.
 
    The Spanish epic was spread around the 12th and 14th centuries by minstrels who recited anonymous poems. They were supported by learned authors or even clergymen, who adapted the old versions. The "Poem de Fernán González", written in cuaderna vía, supports this hypothesis.
 
    It is probable that the Spanish epic is derived from the French, without forgetting a possible Visigoth origin and a few traces of Arabic in its making. It is written in rhyming verse, grouped in series of different numbers of syllables - generally of seven or eight.
 
    They tell of the exploits of the exemplary peninsular heroes.
 

 

Cantar de Roncesvalles
folio 1 front

Cantar de Roncesvalles
folio 1 back

Cantar de Roncesvalles
folio 2 front

Cantar de Roncesvalles
folio 2 back

By clicking on the images you can see an extension of the pages accompanied by the first and only modernized version© of the complete epic poem, carried out exclusively for Spanish-Books.net, by D. Miguel Pérez Rosado, Doctor in Hispanic Philology.

 
    2.-  The Poem of the Cid is preserved in a 14th century manuscript, which seems to have copied another of 1207, transcribed by Pere Abbat.
 
    It is divided into three parts which tell of the Cid´s exile by Alfonso VI, caused by courtesan traitors rumors. After housing his wife and daughters in a monastery and receiving money from two Jews, the hero sets off with his troop towards Valencia, taking over territories from the Moors.

First page of
Cantar de Mío Cid

    After laying siege to Valencia, he took it and at the height of prosperity, he married his two daughters to two Leonese nobles, the infants of Carrión. These, on their return journey to Castile, insult and abandon their wives, believing them to be common. Collected by a relation of Cid´s, they are revenged by their father, who begs justice from the king. A duel, presided over by representatives and concerned parties of both groups, bestowed victory on Cid´s side. His daughters, now honored, married kings of Spain, improving the social position.

Last page of
Cantar de Mío Cid

 
     3.-  There exists the founded belief that lost medieval epic poems are found transformed in some of Romancers poems. They would be partial adaptations, the majority of which were collected in the 16th century. 

D.Miguel Pérez Rosado.
Ph. D. in Hispanic Philology.