THE MANUSCRIPTS OF THE
CRÓNICA DE VEINTE REYES
At the present time, twelve manuscripts are known which contain all or part of the CVR. They vary considerably in length and in importance, but not so much in the details of the actual text of the chronicle. The manuscripts of the CVR were first identified, described, and classified into two main families by Pidal in Leyenda, pp. 406-08, 411-12. There, Pidal listed eight manuscripts and gave them their corresponding letters. They are N, J, X, N', Ll, K, L, N in the list below. To these he later added a ninth, B, when studying the PMC (see CMC, II, 504). Lang used three of the manuscripts in his study 'Contributions', but Babbitt was the next to consider all nine (see La CVR, pp. 164-66). Later, three more manuscripts of the chronicle came to light, and all twelve are described by Gómez Pérez in 'La Estoria de España alfonsí', pp. 515-20. One of these, M, is discussed briefly by Pidal in the additions to Leyenda, p. 572, and has recently been claimed as a new discovery and shown to be related to J, in a laborious if convincing study by Larry Collins, 'An Unknown Manuscript of the CVR'. Finally, there is a detailed description of the manuscripts, and a discussion of their relationships in Dyer, 'El PMC in the CVR', pp. 2-26.
Paper, 260 folios, numbered 1-245 in the original script. It begins:
En el nonbre de Dios. Aqui comiença la coronica de los nobles reyes de España e los sus notables fechos que fizieron, en la qual dicha coronica se contienen honze reyes de España e eso mesmo sse contienen los fechos muy famosos que fizieron el conde Ferrand Gonçalez e el Çid Ruy Diaz de Bivar (fol. 1r).
A fourteenth-century date, earlier rather than later, would seem right for the script. J. Zarco Cuevas, Catálogo, III, 18, describes it as 'letra gótica del siglo XIV'. The first folio is of vellum with a very richly decorated initial and surround on the recto, the predominant colour being gold. The reign of Fernando I begins on fol. 71, and the prosification of the PMC is in fols 114-62. The quality of the manuscript is excellent, with a clear, consistent script,