There are no important changes from Juan II age to Enrique IV one.
    1.-  Pero Tafur tells in his Travels and Wanderings (1453-57) his visit, between 1436 and 1439, to Saint Places in Eastern Europe. He offers geographical and erudite news about the lands he sees.
    2.-  Didactic prose is represented by Mirror for Laymen (1447-1455), version of a latin text coming from England, for instruction of laymen in christianism. It keeps interesting exempla.
    3.-  Teresa de Cartagena, was born about 1420 from Pedro de Cartagena. She wrote Grove for illmen (1455-60), inspired in Consolations of Human Life by Pedro de Luna. She also composed an Admiration of God's Works.

Mirror for Laymen


Beginning of
Satire of Happy
and Unhappy Life
    4.-  Condestable Pedro de Portugal (1429-1466), devotes to his sister Queen Isabel the Satire of Happy and Unhappy Life (ca.1453), translated from a portuguese original. In this sentimental fiction the author regrets his love deseases. Three theological virtues and four cardinal ones compare the Queen to virtuous women of the past. Pity consolates the crying lover.

    5.-  This gener goes on in Sad Delectation (ca.1465), by the unknown catalan author F.A.D.C. ([Fra] Artal de Claramunt?), who would make allusions to aragonese politic in this age: a Lover sends a letter to a Godmother -and a Friend- for his Lady (Eº, Mª, Aº y Sª, in the text). When Eº departs to make war, Sª admits her love and her Godmother's advises. Scandal separates them: Eº goes to Barcelone and wanders through a lover's Hell, between judges and allegories that prove his loyalty. Suddenly, at home he learns that Sª has entered a convent.
Gloss for
Satire of Happy
and Unhappy Life

Gloss to
Proverbs by Seneca
    6.-  Marques de Santillana's Proverbs admited a second Gloss by Pero Diaz de Toledo (†1499), who also wrote a comment to Proverbs by Seneca.
   He translated the Book Called Fedron, first castilian version of the platonic text, and he composed a Dialogue and Reasoning after the Death of Marques de Santillana, that introduces speakers as Fernan Alvarez de Toledo and doctor Pero Diaz himself.

Gloss to proverbs



Sum of Politics
    7.-  Rodrigo Sanchez de Arevalo (Segovia, 1404-1470) was a disciple of Cartagena. He studied Laws in Salamanca and met Alonso de Madrigal. He also participated in Basilea Council and was Embassador of Juan II and Enrique IV. From 1457 he was bishop of Oviedo, Zamora, Calahorra and Palencia. Pablo II made him Gobernator of Sant Angelo in 1464.
   He wrote latin works from 1440, as De arte, disciplina et modo aliendi et erudiendi filios, pueros et juvenes (1453).
   His first castilian work, Sum of Politics (ca.1455), divided in two books with 18 and 16 considerations, shows the influence of Aristote's Politics and other works by the Stagirit. He exposes the best conditions for a city and its rulers.


Mirror of Human Life
   Garden of Princes (1456-57) deals in its three treatises, with the excelence of activities for rulers: arms, hunting and music.
   Castilian versions of his latin works were often printed: from Speculum humanae vitae (1467-68) we keep a Mirror of Human Life (Zaragoza, 1491). Its first book deals with states and arts and a second one with religious statements. Classical sources in the first one -as Petrarca- can be opposed to ecclesiastical ones in second book.
   His latin Compendiosa historia hispanica (1469-70) shows castilian gothicism.

Compendiosa historia hispanica



Universal Vocabulary
    8.-  Alfonso de Palencia (Soria, 1423-1491) was also a disciple of Cartagena. He wrote History as a chronist and was secretary for Enrique IV and a disciple of George Trapezuncio at Rome. He lived in Florence and, from 1456, in Seville, after relieving Juan de Mena of his post as Royal Chronist.
   He translated from latin his Battle between Dogs and Wolves (1457), probable homeric allusion to Enrique IV's politic: when imprudent wolf Harpaleo died after misleading militar discipline, wolves fight against dogs. Peace will restore equilibrium.

Fourth Decade


De Sinonymis Elegantibus
   Treatise on Perfection of Militar Triomph (1459) is an allegory: Exercice looks for Triomph helped by erudite Discretion who introduces him to captain Gloridoneo -maybe Alfonso the Magnanim-, close to Rome. Victorious the Captain, Triomph gives merit to Order, Exercise and Obedience, three possible advices to Enrique IV.
   Our author will contribute to the marriage of the future Catholic Monarchs in 1469.
   Between his latin works we appreciate his Gesta hispaniensia -or Decades-; a bilingual dictionary: the Universal Vocabulary (1490); De sinonymis elegantibus...

De Sinonymis Elegantibus


End of Valerius
on Scholastic Histories
    9.-  Diego Rodriguez de Almela (Murcia, 1426-1492) met in Burgos, ca. 1440, Alfonso de Cartagena. He wrote the Compilation of Santiago's Miracles .
   Valerio on Scholastic Histories (1462), imitates Valerius Maximus in nine books. It offers moral titles with biblical and national exempla. It was printed in 1487.
   His Battles (1488?) and specially, Historical Compendium (1462) complete his whole work, as well as a Treatise on War (1482) and other little works.

End of Valerius
on scholastic Histories

    10.-  We keep a History of Enrique IV by Diego Enriquez, source for Alonso de Palencia. Other chronicles are Deeds of Condestable don Miguel Lucas de Iranzo (h.1475) or Deeds of Maestre de Alcantara, don Alonso de Monroy (h.1480), by Alonso Maldonado, the History of Catholic Monarchs don Fernando and doña Isabel by Andres Bernaldez...


Dialogue De Vita Beata
   Partisan of Condestable de Iranzo, Pedro de Escavias (Andujar?, ca.1420-after 1482), served Enrique IV. He composed a Repertorio de príncipes de España (1470 and 1475), from preroman Spain to Enrique's death.
    11.-  The figure of converso Juan de Lucena (h.1430-1506), author of dialogue De vita beata (1463), seems attractive. It is based on a work by Bartholome Facio (ca.1445): Juan de Mena, Alfonso de Cartagena and Marques de Santillana -then died- talk about true good: in its first part, Bishop with Juan de Mena deals with short happiness in active life and with richness of kings and nobles. He glorifies humility and virtuous nobility against virtue from lineage.


Dialogue De Vita Beata
   In its second part, Marques de Santillana praises contemplative life and arts. Familiar to Pio II, Juan de Lucena denies happiness in clergymen. A third part judges incompatible pleasure and virtue, that should look at supreme good: God. They finished dealing with soul's immortality.
   Juan de Lucena decorates with classical exempla his natural and ciceronian prose.
   He devoted to Fernan Alvarez Zapata an Epistle inviting to Letters. Many of his works are now lost but we keep a short Treatise on Prizes.

Dialogue De Vita Beata


    12.-  Alfonso de Toledo, Bachellor in Laws, wrote an Inventionary (ca.1467), on inventors of things. Its first book shows ten tittles: letters, kings, laws, cities, marriage, feeding, clothes, arms, arts and medicine and astrology. Second one: on faith, prayer, alms, fastings, priests, sacrifices, feasts, martyres, temples and penitences, also in ten titles.
   A Mirror of Histories now lost, is attributed to him.




Goodness and Fortunes
    13.-  Lope Garcia de Salazar (Bilbao, 1399-1476), vizcaino rebellious to Juan II and Enrique IV, wrote a Chronicle of Vizcaya (1454).
   In prison he composed the Book of Goodness and Fortunes (1471-76), a History in 25 books from world's creation to his own age. Its sources -that include arthurian material- points to a Book of Infant don Pedro de Portugal, attributed to Gomez de Santisteban in 16th century editions.

Goodness and Fortunes


Book of
Marvels of the World
He could have used an also confused Book of Marvels derived from John of Mandeville, translated from 14th to 16th century in different versions.
    14.-  Alonso Nuñez de Toledo sent from Valencia a Victory ot the World (ca.1481) to doña Leonor de Ayala: he praises penitence, rejects greed and eulogizes alms and fastings showing exempla from classical and contemporary History.


Treatise on Friendship
    15.-  Two works by Hernan Nuñez (1428-1507), are adressed to Iñigo Lopez de Mendoza, grandson of the poet:
   a Treatise on Happiness and a Treatise on Friendship. The latter deals -in a latinzing style- with friendship, his ways, to whom should be offered, its fruit and benefit and when can it be broken. We can be surprised because of the amount of quotations on laws: Bartulus, Baldus and other ones.

Treatise on Happiness


Treatises by Alonso Ortiz
    16.-  Alonso Ortiz (†1503), born in Albacete, was a close friend of Cardinal Jimenez de Cisneros (1436-1517).
   His latin Treatise on Education of Prince don Juan, introduces Queen Isabel -of whom he was chaplain- speaking to a Cardinal. In this language he composed a Liber dialogorum.
   We underline his five castilian Treatises (Seville, 1493): Treatise on King's Wound; Consolatory Treatise to Princess of Portugal, on fortune and goodness; A Prayer to Kings in Latin and Romance; Two Messager Letters to the Kings and a Treatise against Lucena Protonotarium's Letter, in wich he praises Inquisition and attacks this writer. He also wrote a Mozarabic Mass-Book (1500) and a Breviarium (1502).

Cover and Ending


Story of
Grisel and Mirabella
    17.-  Historian of kings from 1476, Juan de Flores wrote an Unfinished Chronicle of Catholic Monarchs.
   His Triomph of Love (1470-87), deals with a polemic between Medea and Cupido that inverts men and women roles. Nothing will alter complaints of both sexs against Love.
   According to Story of Grisel and Mirabella (ca.1475-85), a scottish law would condemn to death the most guilty lover in their mutual passion. Princess Mirabella will be defended by Brazaida; Grisel by poet Torrellas: she is found guilty. Grisel dies for her but pain kills Mirabella. Brazaida revenges her, attracting Torrellas in order to kill him ruthless.

Story of
Grisel and Mirabella


Manuscript of
Grimalte and Gradissa
   Grimalte and Gradissa (before 1486), is based on Boccaccio. It deals with Grimalte's frustration when he tries to give back Pamphilus' love to Fiammetta who dies with pain. So, finished his process with Gradissa, he travels as a penitent to Asia to join a Pamphilus tortured by vision of damned Fiammetta.
   We also keep an anonymous Treatise on Loves and a work by Fernando de la Torre (1416-1475?): Book on Twenty Letters and Questions related with love.

Manuscript of
Grimalte and Gradissa



Arnalte and Lucenda

    18.-  The probable converso Diego de San Pedro (†1506?), server to Count of Urueña, was a master of this gener.
   His Treatise on Loves of Arnalte and Lucenda (1477-81) is devoted to maiden and "sentimental women": Belisa, sister of teban Arnalte, successed taking his letters to Lucenda, but she marries false Elierso, killed by Arnalte in a duel. When the latter will ask Lucenda as wife, her familiy will take her to a convent. 21 royal strophes praise Queen Isabel and almost 50 deal with Seven Pains of Our Lady.
   San Pedro's latinizing style is rich in complex and long phrases with verb in final position.

Arnalte and Lucenda


Prison of Love
   Also Prison of Love (1483-92) includes love or diplomatic letters, harangues and consolations, probably learnt from latin artes dictaminis:
   Macedonian Leriano, in an allegorical prison, gets from Author that Princess Laureola answers to his letters. Accused by jealous Persio, defeated by Author, she is condemned to death, but she is rescued by Leriano, who, rejected, let himself die praising women and drinking his lover's letters in a cup of water.
   From 1496 Prison will be printed together with the Continuation by Nicolas Nuñez: a dream in wich lovers justify themselves out of their model spirit. Book was attacked my moralists as Fray Juan de Dueñas -author of a Mirror of Sads Consolation- in his Mirror of Conscience.

Prison of Love


Repetition of Loves
and Art of Chess
    19.-  This gener will be continued by Luis de Lucena -probable son of Juan de Lucena- in his Repetition of Loves (1486-97), variant of a universitary lesson: contempted by his lover, Lucena offers a lesson or repetition, full of classical and medieval exempla on love's pains, on women imperfection and on virtue and man's merit: militar exercise.
   His Art of Chess was devoted to prince don Juan.

Art of Chess


    20.-  Contemporary to sentimental fiction, books of chivalry were developed, as Amadis de Gaula, whose origins will lead us -probably- to 14th century.
   Inspired in arthuric materials, a first version in three bookscould be remade by Vasco de Lobeira or Alfonso de Portugal. Our hero would be probably killed by his son Esplandian.
   We keep manuscript relics from book III.
   A complete version by Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo (†1505), ruler in Medina del Campo was printed in 1508. He added text to third book and composed a fourth one in arcaic style close to moralization.

Amadis de Gaula,
Zaragoza, 1508


Manuscript page of
Amadis de Gaula
from 15th century
   In first Book, Amadis, son of king Perion de Gaula, was saved by Gandales from a river. Gandalin will be his server and Unknown Urganda, his protector. Perion will made him knight.
   His brother Galaor kills giant Albadan. Amadis helps misfortuned Angriote de Estravaus and Grindalaya. Prisoner of Arcalaus the Magician, he is thought to be dead.
   King Lisuarte from Great Britain, father of Oriana, calls Courts. Amadis makes both free from Arcalaus. Dwarf Ardian announces that the hero loves Briolanja -also in Infante Alfonso de Portugal version-.

Manuscript Page of
Amadis de Gaula
from 15th century


Amadis de Gaula
   A second Book introduces Amadis as a loyal lover in Firm Island, though abandoned by jealous Oriana. He will make penitence, being called Beltenebros in Poor Rock. Mabilia reconciles the lovers.
   King Lisuarte is challenged by Famongomadan and king Cildadan's giants. Amadis triomphs and beats Ardan Canileo.
   A third Book deals with hatred between Amadis and Lisuarte. Oriana gives birth to Esplandian, brought up by hermit Nasciano and a female lion. Lisuarte is defied by king Aravigo. Perion, Floristan and Amadis, Knights of the Snakes will help him.

Page of
Amadis de Gaula


Third Book of
Amadis de Gaula
   Amadis, Knight of the Green Sword or of the Dwarf, fights in Bohemia against Romans. In Devil's Island he beats monster Endriago and honoured Constantinople's Emperor. Being called the Greek Knight, he sets Oriana free from Patin Emperor by attacking the boat where she sailed.
   In fourth Book we read a total war between romans, King Lisuarte, Amadis, Queen Briolanja, King Perion, Irish and Bohemian ones and, endly, Arcalaus and King Arabigo. Hermit Nasciano gets the peace, introducing Esplandian as the hero's son. Arcalaus and King Arabigo will be prisoners.

Portrait of Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo


Tristan de Leonis
   Amadis revenges Darioleta and keeps an adventure for Esplandian. King Lisuarte dissapears. Urganda makes Esplandian knight. He will search Lisuarte. Amadis becomes a Kingdom's Ruler.

    21.-  Many chevalresque stories are now remade: Infant Adramon, Knight Marsindo... or stories on heroes related with arthuric world: Baladro of Wise Merlin, Tristan de Leonis...

Picture from
Tristan de Leonis


Cover of
Clear Men from Castile,
printed in 1500
    22.-  Fernando del Pulgar (ca.1430-1492) was secretary for Catholic Monarchs and Embassador in France.
   His Clear Men from Spain (ed.1486), imitates Generations and Portraits. Its 26 titles show 24 castilian important persons, from King Enrique IV to Bishop of Cordoba, alluding to other nobles in the first reasonement to the Queen.

End of
Clear Men from Castile,
printed in 1500

   His sense of humour towards antique world exempla animates 33 Letters, written between 1474 and 1484. He praises Queen Isabel, defends nobility from virtue and avoids attacks because of posibles heresies.
   He wrote a Chronicle of Catholic Monarchs interrupted ca.1490. A Chronicle of Enrique IV and a History of Moor Kings of Granada are now lost .
   He composed a Gloss to Mingo Revulgo Verses (ca.1486), according to regiments for princes, full of erudition.
   He probably retired to Madrid ca.1487.

Manuscript  of
Clear Men from Castile:
Rodrigo de Villandrando


by Hernando de Talavera
    23.-  Fray Hernando de Talavera (1428-1507), came from a converso family. He was a humble colaborator and got sanitation of Public Finance and Royal Chancellery. He was also an adviser of the Queen. In 1486 he became Bishop of Avila and Archbishop of Granada until his death. He made a Religious Renewal, was a friend of Pedro de Osma and conciliated moors and conversos, in spite of suffering an Inquisitorial process.
   He composed a Catholic Refutation (ca.1480-87) against hebrew-sympathetics in Seville, a Short and Very Useful Doctrine about Everything a Christian should Know, a Confessional, a Gloss on Ave Maria and other treatises on religious instruction.

by Hernando de Talavera

    24.-  Fray Ambrosio Montesino (Cuenca, 1444?-1514) was a preacher and confessor of Catholic Monarchs -after succession of Hernando de Talavera- and Bishop of Sarda in Albany. He translated Vita Cristi (1499) by Dionise Cartuxan and wrote Meditations of Saint Augustine and a lost Breviarium Immaculatae Conceptionis Virginis Mariae.
   In St.Augustine style fray Alonso de Orozco wrote a Book of Confessions.
    25.-  In a luxurious codex is copied an anonymous Book of Variable Thoughts, dantesque vision framed by a poem praising the Queen. The poet tells the dialogue between a knight -maybe the King- and a peasant who protests against the many pains suffered by labourers like him in order to feed the others. Knight exposes the anguishes of those from his social level.

Vita Cristi by Ambrosio Montesino


Lamp of Spiritual Life
    26.-  Close to Calahorra seems born Pedro Ximenez de Prexano, author of a Confutatorium errorum contra claves Ecclesiae (1486), devoted to Bishop Carrillo, and a Lamp of Spiritual Life (Burgos, 1495) to Catholic Monarchs.
    27.-  Opposed to Diego de Valera in his ideas about nobility was Fernan Mexíia, born in Jaen, enemy of Lucas de Iranzo and 24 in his city.
   His True Nobiliario (1477) manuscript was completed in an incunabulum of 1492. In its first book nobility is seen as lineage and forefathers' richness. The second one refutes Bartulo's arguments and a third one deals with arms, lineages, banners and armures.

True Nobiliario


Ysopet from 1489
    28.-  Gnomic gener of exempla will survive until Golden Age:
   we keep a version on Esopo's Fables - Ysopet from 1478- and a remake of Calila and Dimna, worked on latin version by Juan de Capua (13th century): Exemplario against Lies in the World (1493), in wich Belilla and Dimna, ox Senesba and lion are part of the first exemplum before Sendebar philosopher's advises to King Disles. These are easier to understand than those of 13th century castilian version. We can find here the first appearance of the word novela meaning 'example'.

Exemplario against Lies
in the World
Zaragoza, Jorge Coci, 1531


Novela de Scala Çeli
   A variant on Sendebar can be found in Novella that Diego de Cañizares Declared and Translated from Latin into Romance from a Book Called Scala Çeli, latin version -this latter- by John de Gobio (1323-1330). Only four of its 15 tales are found in Sendebar. One on Virgil and one on Merlin are new for spanish literature. This work is remade in Book of Seven Sages of Rome (1530) and Sad Story of Prince Erasto (1573).
Novela de Scala Çeli


    29.-  A Leader for spanish Philology was Antonio de Nebrija (Seville, 1441-1522), chairman in Salamanca University. He got a renewal in latin studies after the several redactions of his Introductiones latinae (1481 and 1486).
   He saw relationship between language and authority in the prologue to Queen Isabel of his Castilian Grammar (1492), formally, the first spanish one. Nebrija also made language progress with his Latin-Spanish Dictionary (1492) and Spanish-Latin Dictionary (1495).
   Antiquities from Spain (1499) deals with archeological matters. That year he wrote Lexicon iuris civilis.

Antonio de Nebrija


Introductiones Latinae
   Latin works are De liberis educandis, Repetitiones (1515) and Quincuagenae (1516), about Rhetorics. Other castilian books are Rules on Castilian Orthography (1517) and Vernacular Elegances (1517-26).
Castilian Grammar,
Salamanca, 1492

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