Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Literatura Cetrera De la Edad Media Y El Renacimiento Espanol

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Literatura Cetrera De la Edad Media Y El Renacimiento Espanol

Article excerpt

JosE Manuel Fradejas Rueda, Literatura cetrera de la Edad Mediay el Renacimiento espanol, Papers of the Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar 13 (London: Department of Hispanic Studies, Queen Mary and Westfield College, 1998). 91 pp. ISBN 0-904188-44-2. L (English pound)8.oo.

With twenty items of his own cited in his bibliography, medieval Hispanic hunting books are a field that Jose Manuel Fradejas Rueda has made his own. The focus of this brief but comprehensive survey is the literature of falconry, a subdivision of the literature of the hunt. He defines hunting literature in his introduction: `aquel escrito didactico referido a la caza y a sus auxiliares.' In contrast, `por libro de cetreria se entiende aquella obra en la que se describen las diversas aves de rapina y su entrenamiento y se detallan los cuidados y remedios que se le han de aplicar cuando enferman' (p. 41: this definition would have been better placed at the outset).

In ninety-one pages Fradejas covers some twenty-five texts from the thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries. The genre in Spanish starts and ends with translations: the thirteenth century is represented exclusively by translations, six from Latin sources well known elsewhere in Europe such as Dancus Rex, and one from Arabic, the Libro de los animales que ca.Zan of Moamin. (Moamin is missing from the otherwise excellent index.) There seems not to have been a Spanish version of Frederick II's Liber de arte venandi cum avibus, although the work is cited by Spanish authors.

Fradejas consistently acknowledges the lack of originality of the genre: comments such as `si hay una cosa practicamente ausente de la literatura venatoria, es la originalidad' (P. 3 1) are typical. …

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