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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

Sidenote Romanesque architecture


Romance poetry.]

[Sidenote: Beginnings of the drama.]

One of the earliest forms of Romance literature was that of popular poetry of an epic character, singing the deeds of Christian warriors. This was of French origin, coming in with French crusaders and the monks of Cluny. Two long poems of this class, both dealing with the life of the Cid, have been preserved. One, the _Poema_ (Poem), is believed to date from the middle of the twelfth century, while the other, the _Cr?nica_ (Chronicle), is probably of later origin. Both mix legend with fact, but the former is the less legendary. In the thirteenth century another type of poetry developed in Castile called _mester de clerec?a_ (office of the clergy), also bound up with French influences, but more erudite and formally correct and usually religious in subject-matter, a Spanish expression of European scholasticism. From the side of Aragon came the influence of southern France, in the lyrical and erotic poetry of the Proven?al troubadours. Galicia was much affected by these foreign impulses, due to the journeys of pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela, and developed a notable poetry of its own. In this period, too, the Castilian theatre had its origins, in the mystery plays of the church and in the popular performances of jugglers in the streets. Whereas the former were in the nature of a religious ceremony, the latter, which were ultimately to exercise the greater

influence, were of a secular character, usually satirical, and given to great liberty of expression.

[Sidenote: History and science.]

In historical literature there were two names of some note in this period. Rodrigo Jim?nez de Rada, archbishop of Toledo (1170-1247), reduced the early Spanish chronicles to a narrative form, embellished by erudite references which his classical knowledge enabled him to employ. He may be regarded as the father of Spanish historiography. Naturally, given the age, his works were not free from legends and errors, and do not display the critical spirit of modern times. Bishop Lucas of Tuy (died 1288), though far inferior to Jim?nez de Rada in both method and criticism, wrote a life of Saint Isidore and other works which enjoyed great popularity in the thirteenth century. In scientific literature there were no great names, for this was a period of study and the translation of Arabic and western European texts, rather than one of original composition.

[Sidenote: Romanesque architecture.]

[Sidenote: Early Gothic architecture.]

[Sidenote: Mud?jar architecture.]

[Sidenote: Sculpture, painting, and the lesser arts.]

Just as the Romance tongues replaced the Latin, so Romanesque architecture took the place

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