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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

Of equal rank with Zurita was Ambrosio de Morales


[Sidenote:

Zurita and Morales and the advance in historical investigation and criticism.]

If these concepts as to historical content were not fully realized, those with regard to the methods of investigation and criticism found a worthy representation in the majority of the historians of the era. To be sure, some of the great writers, like Flori?n de Ocampo and Mariana, displayed too much credulity or a disposition to imagine events for which they lacked documentary proof. Furthermore, this was a thriving period of forgeries, when writers invented classical authors, chronicles, letters, and inscriptions with which to support their narratives. Still, the evil brought about the remedy; the necessity for criticism was so great that its application became customary. In addition, men sought documents, if only to disprove the forgeries, with the result that the employment of source material and the use of the sciences auxiliary to history were a factor in the works of the numerous great historians of the time. The highest representatives of the new sense of historical analysis were the official chroniclers of Charles I and Philip II. First in point of time was Flori?n de Ocampo, whose _Cr?nica general_ (General chronicle) was published in 1543. While giving too free rein to the imagination, his _Cr?nica_ had a fairly complete documental basis in some of its parts. Far superior was the _Anales de Arag?n_, or Annals of Aragon (1562-1580), of Jer?nimo ?urita, or

Zurita, which in its use of archive material was the greatest historical work of the sixteenth century. Of equal rank with Zurita was Ambrosio de Morales, the continuer of Ocampo, whose _Cr?nica_ was published in 1574-1575. Morales, who was a distinguished pal?ographist and arch?ologist, made a notable use of inscriptions, coins, manuscripts, ancient books, and other ancient evidences. While the influence of Gibbon (1737-1794) on historiography in these respects is not to be denied, it is only fair to point out the merits of his predecessors of the Spanish _siglo de oro_ in precisely those qualities for which the great Englishman has won such signal fame.

[Sidenote: The historian Mariana.]

[Sidenote: The bibliographer Nicol?s Antonio.]

[Sidenote: Historians of the Americas.]

The historian of this era who attained the greatest reputation, though far from equalling Vives and P?ez de Castro on the one hand or Zurita and Morales on the other, was the Jesuit Mariana. In 1592-1595 he published his history of Spain in Latin (_Historia de rebus Hispani?_), which he brought out in Castilian in 1601 under the title _Historia general de Espa?a_ (General history of Spain). This work, which is still one of the most widely read of all Spanish histories, was remarkable for its composition and style, in which respects it was superior to others of the period, though otherwise inferior to the best works of the time. It was intended to be popular, however, on which account it should not be judged too critically from the standpoint of technique. Mariana's history was an


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