Gonzalo de Berceo GONZALO DE BERCEO


Gonzalo de Berceo is the first known name in spanish poetry. He wrote almost his whole work in cuaderna via and he is the only identified poet from the mester de clerecia in XIII century.

He was born in Berceo (High Rioja) and studied in San Millan de la Cogolla’s monastery. He was a deacon in 1221 and a secular clerk in 1228. In 1237 he got to be a priest and signed a document as a witness in 1246. Because of that we can learn that he was born about 1196-98. He probably died in the half of the century, before 1264.

Sometimes he has been related to Bishop don Tello, a fellow of Alfonso VIII and promoter of Palencia’s General Study, sometimes he has been taken as a notary of abbot Juan Sanchez. Both hypothesis lack of solid proofs.

His works can be classified in a) hagiographies (lives of saints), as Life of Saint Millan of la Cogolla, Life of Saint Domingo of Silos, Saint Lorenzo´s Martyrdom, and Poem of Saint Oria, b) Poems to Virgin Mary, as Miracles by Our Lady, Praises of Our Lady, and Mourning by the Virgin and c) others, like Sacrifice of the Mass, Signs that will Appear Before the Final Judgement and three Hymns.

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