SPANISH MEDIEVAL PROSE
 


Instruction for Princes
   Spanish Medieval prose comes from different circumstances. Among the most important one we can enumerate the foundation of Studia and Universities, Cathedral churchs, Chancelleries in courts, or Church renovations, specially, those accomplished after fourth Council of Letran (1215).
 
   This prose comes from latin oratio soluta. We must realize that the word 'prosa' in 13th century could also designate a form of what we now call verse.
 
   Spanish prose is originated from the necessity of finding a way of communicating between christians -identified with latin culture-, arabs and hebrews -both experts in the former's language- and french immigrants who enjoyed privileges that the kings offered to them. It also comes from the aim of spreading traditional knowledge and preaching religion to people who had almost forgotten their latin.

Castilian Fuero Juzgo
written in 13th century


Prologue to
Book of Knight Çifar
   From its beginnings literary prose is led by free translations or romance versions of culturally prestigious texts as Bible and latin -greek at the end of Middle Age- arabic and hebrew classics from their original language or from romance -often french- versions.
 
   Nobility also begins to pay attention to these texts never confined to clergymen.

Page of
Alba Bible

Boethius Consolation
of Philosophy
   Spread of classics will be progressive: some treatises by Seneca from 13th century; Boethius at 14th's one and Cicero, with other writers, during 15th. Greek texts are still bad known at this century, but spanish readers knew masterpieces as those by the most important italian poets: Dante and Petrarca.
Decades by Titus Livius

Synodal of Aguilafuente
   Neither bounding of books nor paper as a popular surface for writting enjoyed the transcendence of printing in history of books.
 
   We assume that the first spanish printed book was made in the seventh decade of 15th century: Synodal of Aguilafuente (Segovia, 1472) is prior to Trovas to Virgin Mary (Valencia, 1474). Soon, up to 1500, readers would buy the masterpieces of classic literature in printed books that we call incunabula.

Trovas to Virgin Mary
(Valencia, 1474)

 

Prison of Love
   We find a problem when we try to identify the works in spanish literature: many of them are remakes of prior open texts and variations between them are difficult to stay up, to the point that we doubt whether we find different works or different versions of the same one. That is common to chronicles, books of travels, gnomic literature, romanesque tales... as Amadís. Editions of these works go beyond the limit of the three centuries of our medieval literature.
Book of seven
Sages in Rome
SPANISH MEDIEVAL PROSE:

D.Miguel Pérez Rosado.
Doctor en Filología