Hispanomedievalism

Oradores y defensores cover

My work in this area, including my book and my articles, has been focussed on fifteenth-century Castile.

This century saw the production of many important didactic and prose works including

  • Enrique de Villena's many treatises, including the Tratado de la consolación
  • Clemente Sanchez de Vercial's collection of exempla, the Libro de los exenplos por a.b.c.
  • Alfonso Martínez de Toledo's Arcipreste de Talavera, o Corbacho
  • Diego de Valera's chronicles and treatises, many on the themes of protocol and chivalry
  • Arte de bien morir

This was the era of the Spanish sentimental romances, including

  • Siervo libre de amor
  • Diego de San Pedro's Arnalte y Lucenda and Cárcel de Amor
  • Juan de Flores' Grisel y Mirabella and Grimalte y Gradisa

Major poets and works include

  • the many poetry collections, known as cancioneros, such as the Cancionero de Juan Alfonso de Baena
  • Íñigo López de Mendoza, Marqués de Santillana
  • Juan de Mena, who wrote the Laberinto de Fortuna
  • Gómez Manrique who wrote both poetry and plays, including the Representación del nacimiento de Nuestro Señor
  • Jorge Manrique, whose most famous work is the Coplas que fizo por la muerte de su padre

The chivalric romance Amadís de Gaula was reworked in the late fifteenth century by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, though it was not printed until 1508. Fernando de Rojas' Celestina brings to a close the literary achievements of this century. The first extant edition was printed in 1499 with the title Comedia de Calisto y Melibea. It was then expanded and reprinted as the Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea and later became known as Celestina.

Major historical events of the fifteenth century include:

  • 1406 - the infant Juan II becomes King of Castile. His mother, Catalina de Lancaster, and his uncle, Fernando de Antequera, share the regency.
  • 1445 - Juan II and his favourite, Álvaro de Luna win the battle of Olmedo
  • 1453 - Álvaro de Luna is executed
  • 1454 - Juan II dies and his son, Enrique IV, becomes King of Castile
  • 1465 - Enrique IV is deposed in effigy and civil war breaks out
  • 1469 - Ferdinand (of Aragón) marries Isabella (half-sister of Enrique IV and daughter of Juan II)
  • 1474 - Enrique IV dies and his half-sister Isabella becomes Queen Isabel I of Castile.
  • 1478 - the Inquisition is established
  • 1492 - the armies of Ferdinand and Isabella capture Granada, the Jews are expelled and Columbus arrives in America