Poems MSS / layout Miracles Keywords Poncelet Bibliography Search
View bibliography
Author: Cueto, Leopoldo Augusto de, Marqués de Valmar
Title: Las ’Cantigas de Santa Maria’ de Alfonso el Sabio
Date: 1889
Publication details: 2 vols. Madrid: Real Academia Española, 1889. Part of the first vol. was issued separately, in a smaller format, as Estudio histórico, crítico y filosófico sobre las 'Cantigas' del Rey D. Alfonso el Sabio (Madrid: ptd Tip. de Sucesores de Rivadeneyra, 1897). 395 pp.
Snow ID:
Commentary: Snow 1977, no. 49: "Many years in preparation, the Academy edition, prepared by Valmar with the assistance of many others, is the true beginning of modern scholarship on the CSM (excepting the music, for which see Ribera, 1922). The transcription is of Escurial MS J.b.2: it occupies the latter part of vol. I and the bulk of vol. II and is paginated continuously despite this break. Variants are noted from the Toledo codex (now in the BN) and from Escurial T.j.1, but not from the Florence MS, which had only recently been reported (see Teza, 1887). There are some colour plates dispersed throughout, and vol. II ends with a vast glossary which is occasionally inaccurate. Vol. I contains eight chapters of study on various aspects of the cantigas: prior history of CSM scholarship; the codices; themes; sources; Alfonso and his era; language of the CSM; versification; and, finally, the character and personality of the poet monarch Alfonso. These chapters, especially 1, 2, 4, and 5, offer very interesting reading, in particular for their able defense of Alfonso as a poet of no small literary worth. The scholarship, given its distance in time from us and the tools with which it had to create this achievement, is very solid indeed, and it is still the point of departure for all serious modern studies, many of which have modified Valmar's judgments slightly. Less successful are, I think, the chapters on themes, versification and Alfonso's character. They are vague and tentative, but should be read (one digression in chapter 8 - on Dante's disapproval of Alfonso - is fascinating, even if it is not, as V. supposed, Alfonso X to whom Dante makes reference).rnFollowing these chapters there is a section with Castilian prose summaries of the CSM (cxxviii pp.). These are thematically arranged and have very useful bibliographical notes on the locations of analogous legends and tales (supplied by P. Meyer, A. Mussafia, T. Braga, F. Fita, E. Monaci, E. Teza, and A. D'Ancona, inter alios). The editing of the text is very conservative, apart from liberal use of accents. It served well until Anglés (1943) and, most importantly, Mettmann (1959-64) edited the CSM anew."
Associated Poems: 2178
Online source: