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Title: History as celebration : Castilian and Hispano-Latin epics and histories, 1080-1210
Author: West, Geoffrey Richard
ISNI:       0000 0001 3566 0840
Awarding Body: Queen Mary University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 1975
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This thesis attempts to situate three Hispano-Latin histories within the broader context of twelfth-century Spanish literature that includes chronicle writing and vernacular epic. The Introduction traces the development of Latin historiography in Leon from the ninth century, highlighting features still evident in the twelfth-century histories. It also describes the evolution of Spain's heroic age in Castile and contrasts this with the Reconquest aspirations of Lean. The one inspired epic poetry, the other a complementary form of celebratory literature: the heroic biography. Each history celebrated the deeds of one man: Rodrigo Diaz in the Historia Roderici, Alfonso V1 in the Historia Silence and Alfonso VII in the Chronica Adefonsi Imperatcris. The final section of the Introduction outlines the approach to these works, which focuses on form in relation to theme, on the significance of a heightened form of expression and on point of view. In the following three chapters, these aspects are examined in each work in relation to the portrayal of the central figure. Chapter II examines also the panegyrical Carmen Campidoctoris and concludes with a comparison of the attitudes of the poet of the Cantar de Mio Cid and the historian of the Historia Roderici to their subject-matter. The second part of Chapter III distinguishes between the Historic Silense and the Liber chronicerum of Pelayo with which it has been compared. Chapter IV includes a separate study of the verse section of the Chronica Adefonsi Irnperatoris, the Poem de Almeria, but the latter is seen as an integral part of the history. Chapter V draws together aspects of the preceding chapters, for it studies the Cronica Majerense c as a cross-section of twelfth-century Spanish literature, its material being drawn from chronicles, histories and heroic legends. Finally, the historical writings of the twelfth century are related to broadly defined categories of chronicle, biography and history. Chapter VI examines common stylistic features of the Latin works and of vernacular epic. The first part is devoted to linguistic features and distinctive forms of phraseology, the second to narrative motifs typical of the celebratory work. An appendix-to the chapter explores the function of several of these features in one genre: the Romance epic. The approach adopted in this final chapter coincides with that sustained throughout the thesis, 'which is to highlight similarities between histories and epic, while observing the basic' differences between the two genres.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Westfield College Research Studentship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Hispano-Latin history ; chronicle writing ; vernacular epic ; twelfth century Spanish literature