The Arthurian Legend in the Literatures of the Spanish Peninsula

By William J. Entwistle | Go to book overview

VII
THE ARTHURIAN NOVELS IN CASTILE AND PORTUGAL: "VESPASIAN"1

FROM the press of Castilian and Portuguese romances which relate to the Holy Grail it is possible to detach two for separate consideration, the Vespasian and the Joseph; the one because its relevance to the Arthurian cycle is only momentary, and its introduction probably late, and the other because the disruption of manuscripts has isolated those which remain.

The old French poem of La Vengeance Nostre Seigneur, composed in the late twelfth or early thirteenth century, embraced two apocryphal traditions which were originally distinct. The Cura sanitaria Tiberii Cæsaris Augusti told how the True Image of Christ was successfully applied by St. Veronica and St. Clement to the malady of the Emperor Tiberius. In the Vindicta Salvatoris a monkish imagination was exercised in revenging Our Lord's martyrdom on the people of Judea, and as He had been sold for thirty

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1
EARLY EDITIONS: La Estoria del Noble Vespasiano, Toledo, Juan Vázquez, c. 1486 or 1490; Seville Pedro Brun, 1499; etc.; Estoria do muy nobre Vespasiano, emperador de Roma, Lisbon, Valentim de Moravia, 1496.

REPRINTS: F.-M. Esteves Pereira, Historia de Vespasiano, Lisbon, 1905 (ed. 1496); R. Fouché-Delbosc, in Revue Hispanique, xxi. (ed. of 1499); Bonilla, Libros de Caballerías, ii. An Aucto de la destruicion de Jerusalen is No. 30 of Rouanet Cólección de autos, etc., del siglo xvi., Madrid, 1901.

CRITICISM: K. Haebler, Bibliografia Ibérica del siglo xv., i. p. 327; ii. p. 186; F.-M. Esteves Pereira, op. cit., Intro.; cf. also W. Suchier, "Ueber das altfranzösische Gedicht von der Zerstörung Jerusalems", in Zeitschrift für rom. Phil., xxiv.

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