Epic and Chronicle: The Poema de Mio Cid and the Craonica de Veinte Reyes

By Brian Powell | Go to book overview

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

There are a number of items included in the Bibliography following this note, which were published or came to my attention after the completion of the main text and the footnotes to it. The most important of these are discussed briefly below, with reference to the parts of this work to which they are most relevant. They are identified in abbreviated form, fuller details being found in the Bibliography.

Chapter 1, I, A. Maria Eugenia Lacarra, in El PMC, produces further evidence in favour of the date of 1207 for the composition of the PMC. However, Rafael Lapesa, in 'Sobre el CMC', declares objections to some of the arguments previously proposed in favour of that date. The date of 1207, or shortly before, still seems to me to be the likely date of composition of the poem.

Chapter 1, I, B. Lacarra, in El PMC, and David Hook, in 'On Certain Correspondences', both add substantial evidence in support of the contention that the author of the PMC had specialized legal knowledge. Lacarra goes much further in arguing that he could have been a legal expert attached to the household of the important noble family, the Laras. She suggests that the poem was written specifically to praise the Cid as ancestor of the Lara family, and to run down the Cid's enemies as ancestors of the powerful rival family, the Castros. The lack of any overt genealogical references in the PMC seems to me to cast some doubt on her case. It is certainly not proven.

Two articles discuss the possibility of the influence of classical Latin texts on the PMC. David Hook, in 'Pedro Bermúdez and the Cid's Standard', suggests that there is a source in Caesar's De Bello Gallico for the episode recounted in PMC, lines 704-11, while admitting the possibility of independent invention of the tale by the poet. Louis Chalon, in 'Le Poète du CMC', offers a detailed rebuttal of Colin Smith's arguments in favour of the use of Sallust as a source by the author of the poem, proposing instead that that episode was independently invented. The importance of parallels with the French epic is more firmly established. David Hook, in 'The Opening Laisse of the PMC', notes similarities between the beginning of the PMC and part of Garin Le Loheren. He also records differences between them, concluding that use of the French work as a direct source is possible, but not certain. Other articles demonstrate parallels between French epic and the PMC, and conclude that the latter has been strongly influenced, without arguing for the use of specific texts as sources. Kenneth Adams, in 'Possible French Influence on the Use of the Historic Present', P. E. Russell, in 'El PMC como documento de información caminera' and 'La oración de doña Jimena', cite such similarities in use of verbs, in itineraries, and in Jimena's long prayer, but the differences that exist are listed, too, emphasizing the individuality of the Spanish text. I would argue that the influence of French epic which is demonstrable in the PMC worked primarily through a Spanish epic tradition. Of course, the author of the poem may have known French and may have heard or read French works, but I

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