The Chronicle of Spain

As portrayed by Ralph Truman in El Cid
Southey used the edition of La Cronica de Espana published in Valladolid in 1604 for his translation. It was first published in Zamora, based on a manuscript in the possession of Florian de Ocampo. He was Chronicler of the King of Castile and tried to preserve the original. But the printers mutilated it in their attempt to correct the archaic language. This first edition also had missing words and entire sentences on every page. Fortunately later scholars corrected this printed edition by comparing it with other manuscripts found in the libraries of other Spanish nobles. These manuscripts name the author as King Alfonso himself, and this is generally accepted to be the case for the first three sections. But the fourth part, which includes the account of the early exploits of the Cid, is considered to be of different authorship. It is a compilation from various manuscripts by an author who's comments indicate he was a contemporary of the events described. This fourth part ends with the death of King Fernando, Alfonso's father.

Texts via the Gutenberg Project
Commentary © Mark Wade, 2006.
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