Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Chronicle of the Cid   By:

Book cover

First Page:

E text prepared by Charles Aldarondo, Tiffany Vergon, Marvin A. Hodges, Charles Franks, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

CHRONICLE OF THE CID

Translated from the Spanish

BY ROBERT SOUTHEY

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY HENRY MORLEY LL.D.,

PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON

INTRODUCTION.

Robert Southey's "Chronicle of the Cid" is all translation from the Spanish, but is not translation from a single book. Its groundwork is that part of the Crónica General de España , the most ancient of the Prose Chronicles of Spain, in which adventures of the Cid are fully told. This old Chronicle was compiled in the reign of Alfonso the Wise, who was learned in the exact science of his time, and also a troubadour. Alfonso reigned between the years 1252 and 1284, and the Chronicle was written by the King himself, or under his immediate direction. It is in four parts. The first part extends from the Creation of the World to the occupation of Spain by the Visigoths, and is dull; the second part tells of the Goths in Spain and of the conquest of Spain by the Moors, and is less dull; the third part brings down the story of the nation to the reign of Ferdinand the Great, early in the eleventh century; and the fourth part continues it to the date of the accession of Alfonso himself in the year 1252. These latter parts are full of interest. Though in prose, they are based by a poet on heroic songs and national traditions of the struggle with the Moors, and the fourth part opens with an elaborate setting forth of the history of the great hero of mediaeval Spain, the Cid Campeador. The Cid is the King Arthur, or the Roland, of the Spaniards, less mythical, but not less interesting, with incidents of a real life seen through the warm haze of Southern imagination. King Alfonso, in his Chronicle, transformed ballads and fables of the Cid into a prose digest that was looked upon as history. Robert Southey translated this very distinct section of the Chronicle, not from the Crónica General itself, but from the Chronica del Cid , which, with small variation, was extracted from it, being one in substance with the history of the Cid in the fourth part of the General Chronicle, and he has enriched it. This he has done by going himself also to the Poem of the Cid and to the Ballads of the Cid, for incidents, descriptions, and turns of thought, to weave into the texture of the old prose Chronicle, brightening its tints, and adding new life to its scenes of Spanish chivalry.

"The Poem of the Cid," the earliest and best of the heroic songs of Spain, is a romance of history in more than three thousand lines, celebrating the achievements of the hero little more than fifty years after his death. Ruy Diaz, or Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, was born at Burgos about the year 1040, and died in the year 1099. He was called the Cid , because five Moorish Kings acknowledged him in one battle as their Seid , or Lord and Conqueror, and he was Campeador or Champion of his countrymen against the Moors. Thus he was styled The Lord Champion El Cid Campeador . The Cid died at the end of the eleventh century, and "The Poem of the Cid" was composed before the end of the twelfth. It was written after the year 1135, but before the year 1200.

The Cid is also the foremost hero of the ancient Spanish Ballads. The ballads invent or record more incidents of his life than are to be found in the Poem and the Chronicle; and of these Southey, in the translation here reprinted, has made frequent and skilful use. Thus it is from the Chronicle, the Poem, and the whole group of Ballads, as collated by an English poet with a fine relish for Spanish literature and a keen sense of the charm of old historical romance, that we get the translation from the Spanish which Southey published at the age of thirty four, in the year 1808, as "The Chronicle of the Cid."

Robert Southey was born at Bristol on the 12th of August, 1774... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books