- Amadis de Gaula
infobox Book |
name = Amadis of Gaul
title_orig = Amadis de Gaula
image_caption = Alleged Author- Enrique de Castilla Senador
Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo(printed version)
language = Castilian
publisher = First release - 1304
release_date = 1508
"Amadis de Gaula" (original
Castilian Spanishversion) (English: "Amadis of Gaul", Spanish: "Amadís de Gaula") is a landmark work among the knight-errantry tales which were in vogue in 16th century Iberian Peninsula, and formed the earliest reading of many Renaissanceand Baroquewriters.
The first known printed edition was published in
Zaragozain 1508, by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo(or Garci Ordóñez de Montalvo). It was published in four books in Castilian, but its origins are unclear: The narrative comes from Portugal, originates in the late post-Arthurian genre and had certainly been read as early as the 14th century by the chancellor Pero López de Ayalaas well as his contemporary Pero Ferrús.
Montalvo himself confesses to have amended the first three volumes, and to be the author of the fourth. Additionally, in the Portuguese "Chronicle" of
Gomes Eannes de Azurara(1454), the writing of "Amadis" is attributed to Vasco de Lobeira, who was dubbed knightafter the battle of Aljubarrota(1385). However, it seems that in fact the work was a product of João de Lobeira, not the troubadourVasco de Lobeira, and that rather than originating with him it was the revision of an earlier work from the beginning of the 14th century.
In his introduction to the text, Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo explains that he has edited the first three books of a text in circulation since the fourteenth century. Montalvo also admits to adding a fourth as yet unpublished book as well as adding a continuation (
Las sergas de Esplandián), which he claims was found in a buried chest in Constantinopleand transported to Spain by a Hungarian merchant (the famous motif of the found manuscript).
Characters and plot
The story narrates the star-crossed love of King Perión of
Gauland Elisena of England, resulting in the secret birth of Amadís. Abandoned at birth on a barge in England, the child is raised by the knight Gandales in Scotlandand investigates his origins through fantastic adventures.
He is persecuted by the wizard Arcalaús, but protected by Urganda la Desconocida (Urganda the Unknown or Unrecognized), an ambiguous priestess with magical powers and a talent for prophecy. Knighted by his father King Perión, Amadís overcomes the challenges of the enchanted Insola Firme (a sort of peninsula), including passing through the Arch of Faithful Lovers.
Despite Amadis' celebrated fidelity, his childhood sweetheart,
Oriana, heiress to the throne of Great Britain, becomes jealous of a rival princess and sends a letter to chastize Amadís. The knight (later famously parodied in " Don Quixote"), changes his name to Beltenebros and indulges in a long period of madness on the isolated Peña Pobre.
He recovers his senses only when Oriana sends her maid to retrieve him. He then helps Oriana's father, Lisuarte, repel invaders. A short time later he and Oriana scandalously consummate their love. Their son Esplandián is the result of this one illicit meeting.
Rodríguez de Montalvo asserts that in the "original" "Amadís", Esplandián eventually kills his father for this offense against his mother's honor; however, Montalvo amends this defect and resolves their conflict peaceably.
Oriana and Amadís defer their marriage for many years due to enmity between Amadís and Oriana's father Lisuarte. Amadís absents himself from Britain for at least ten years, masquerading as "The Knight of the Green Sword". He travels as far as Constantinople and secures the favor of the child-princess Leonorina, who will become Esplandián's wife. His most famous adventure during this time of exile is the battle with the giant Endriago, a monster born of incest who exhales a poisonous reek and whose body is covered in scales.
As a knight, Amadís is
courteous, gentle, sensitive and a devout Christian. Unlike most literary heroes of his time (French and German, for example) Amadís is a handsome man who would cry if refused by his lady, but is invincible in battle and usually emerges drenched in his own and his opponent's blood.
Called also "Amadís sin Tiempo" (Amadis without Time) by his mother (in allusion to the fact that being conceived outside marriage she would have to abandon him and he would probably die), he is the most representative Iberian hero of chivalric Romance. His adventures ran to four volumes, probably the most popular such tales of their time. The books show a complete idealization and simplification of knight-errantry. Even servants are hardly heard of, but there are many princesses, ladies and kings. Knights and damsels in distress are found everywhere. The book's style is reasonably modern, but lacks dialogue and the character's impressions, mostly describing the action.
The book's style was praised by the usually demanding
Juan de Valdés, although he considered that from time to time it was too low or too high a style. The language is characterized by a certain "Latinizing" influence in its syntax, especially the tendency to place the verbat the end of the sentence; as well as other such details, such as the use of the present participle, which bring "Amadís" into line with the allegorical style of the 15th century.
Nevertheless, there is a breach of style when Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo presents the fourth book. It becomes dull and solemn reflecting the nature of the intruding writer. The first three books are inspired in deeds and feats by knights errant, dating back to the XIII century, while the fourth book emerges as a less brilliant attachment of the XVI century. The very pristine style of the "Amadis" can be perceived in the few original famous pages analyzed by Antonio Rodriguez Moñino: It is lively and straight to the facts of war and love, with brief dialogs, all quite elegant and amusing. "Amadís of Gaul" is frequently referenced in the satirical classic "Don Quixote", written by
Miguel de Cervantesin the early 17th century. The character Don Quixote idolizes Amadís, and often compares his hero's adventures to his own.
Historically, "Amadís" was very influential amongst the Spanish
conquistadores. Bernal Diaz del Castillomentioned the wonders of "Amadís" upon witnessing the wonders of the New World - and such place names as California come directly from the work.
As mentioned above, the origin of Amadís and his adventures is disputed. A Spanish writer, Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, edited and published the first printed edition (and earliest extant version) in three volumes in 1508. While the fourth volume is generally regarded as Rodríguez de Montalvo's own work, he claimed to be publishing earlier sources and it is generally accepted that the first three volumes derive from a previous manuscript or oral tradition. Montalvo's claims have recently been supported by Antonio Rodríguez Moñino's finding of four 15th century manuscript fragments (ca. 1420). The name "Esplandián" is clearly visible in one of these. The fragments belong to the collection of the
Bancroft Libraryat the University of California, Berkeley.
A Portuguese origin is most widely accepted but "Amadís" has also been claimed by the Spanish, French and Italians. Also, the action seems, from the names of characters and places, to be supposed to be set primarily in England, and it is usually accepted that the name "Gaula" is related to "
Wales". The plot ranges across the continent to Romaniaand Constantinople, and in the continuations as far as the Holy Landand the Cyclades. However, the romance's geography cannot be mapped onto the "real" Europe: it contains just as many fantastic places as real ones.
Recently, a new theory of the work's authorship has been proposed by Santiago Sevilla (see talk page), claiming that the
Infante Enrique of Castilewas the original writer of the epic. Enrique of Castille lived for four years at the court of Edward I of England, who was married to his sister, queen Eleanor of Castile. According to this theory, the character Lisuarte is Edward, Oriana is Eleanor of England, the maid of Denmark is in fact the Maid of Norway, and Amadis is modelled after Simon de Montfort, the heroic French earl of Leicester. Furthermore, Esplandian could be his infamous warrior son, Guy de Montfort, count of Mola, Brian de Monjaste is in fact Enrique of Castile himself, and the battle against the Arabic king is the Battle of Beneventoagainst King Manfred of Sicily, who had a host of Arabian light cavalry and Arab archers. The historical Enrique of Castile wandered, as knight errant and poet, to wage wars in Tunis, Naples and Sicily where he fought in those Battles of Benevento and Tagliacozzo, and became a prisoner of the Pope and Charles d'Anjou in Canosa di Puglia, and Castel del Monte, from 1268 to 1291, where he would have reputedly written a good part of Amadis, before returning to Spain to become Regent of Castile, before his death in 1304. According to the author of this theory, it would have been inconvenient for Enrique of Castille, due to his high office, to declare his authorship, but the work bears his marks as a poet and troubadour.
Despite the various theories of the work's origins, Rodríguez de Montalvo's Spanish version, as the only complete edition known, is considered definitive, and it was the one who made the character widely known on a European scale.
equels and Translations
"Amadís of Gaul's" popularity was such that in the decades following its publication, dozens of
sequels of sometimes minor quality were published in Spanish, Italian and German, together with a number of other imitative works. Montalvo himself cashed in with the continuation "Las sergas de Esplandián" (Book V), and the sequel-specialist Feliciano de Silva(also the author of "Second Celestina") added four more books including Amadis of Greece(Book IX). Miguel de Cervanteswrote " Don Quixote" as a parody of the resulting genre. Cervantes and his protagonist Quixote, however, hold the original "Amadís" in very high esteem.
The later books increasingly use techniques and incidents borrowed from the ancient Greek novel (Heliodorus,
Longusand Achilles Tatius) and the pastoralnovel from Italy and Spain ( Jacopo Sannazaroand Jorge de Montemayor).
The Spanish volumes, with their authors and the names of their main characters:
* Books I-IV : 1508 (Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo) : Amadís de Gaula.
* Book V : 1510 (Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo) : Esplandián
* Book VI : 1510 (Páez de Ribera) - this volume was universally maligned
* Book VII : 1514 (
Feliciano de Silva) : Lisuarte de Grecia
* Book VIII : 1526 (Juan Díaz) - Diaz had Amadis die in this volume which was much criticized
* Book IX : 1530 (Feliciano de Silva) : Amadis de Grecia (
Amadis of Greece)
* Book X : 1532 (Feliciano de Silva) : Florisel de Niquea
* Book XI : 1535 & 1551 (Feliciano de Silva) : Rogel de Grecia
* Book XII : 1546 (Pedro de Luján) : Silves de la Selva
The Italian Continuation:
* Books XIII-XVIII (Mambrino Roseo da Fabriano)
The German Continuation:
* Books XIX-XXI : 1594-5
In Germany and England, "Amadís" was known chiefly through its French translations, and in England the cycle was generally referred to by its French title "Amadis de Gaule". The French translations did not follow the Spanish book divisions exactly, and the entire cycle in the French version extends to 24 volumes.
French translations, with their translators:
* Book I : 1540 (
Nicolas de Herberay des Essarts)
* Book II : 1541 (Nicolas de Herberay des Essarts)
* Book III : 1542 (Nicolas de Herberay des Essarts)
* Book IV : 1543 (Nicolas de Herberay des Essarts)
* Book V : 1544 (Nicolas de Herberay des Essarts)
* (Spanish book VI was rejected as apocrophal)
* Book VI : 1545 (Nicolas de Herberay des Essarts) (actually Spanish Book VII)
* (Spanish Book VIII was rejected because it told of the death of Amadis)
* Book VII : 1546 (Nicolas de Herberay des Essarts) (actually Spanish Book IXa)
* Book VIII : 1548 (Nicolas de Herberay des Essarts) (actually Spanish Book IXb)
* Book IX : 1551 (Giles Boileau & Claude Colet) (actually Spanish Book Xa)
* Book X : 1552 (Jacques Gohory) (actually Spanish Book Xb)
* Book XI : 1554 (Jacques Gohory) (actually Spanish Book XIa)
* Book XII : 1556 (Guillaume Aubert) (actually Spanish Book XIb)
* Book XIII : 1571 (Jacques Gohory) (actually Spanish Book XIIa)
* Book XIV : 1574 (Antoine Tyron) (actually Spanish Book XIIb)
* Books XV - XXI : 1576-1581
* Books XXII-XXIV : after 1594
In Portugal, and other parts of Iberia, the Amadis cycle also launched other adventure series, such as:
* "Palmerin d'Oliva" - original anonymous text in Castilian: 1511
* "Primaleon of Greece, son of Palmerin d'Oliva" - original anonymous text in Castilian: 1512
* "Palmeirim de Inglaterra" ("Palmeirim of England") - original Portuguese text by Francisco de Morais Cabral : c.1544 (published 1567)
* "Dom Duardos" - original Portuguese text by
* "Dom Clarisel de Bretanha" - original Portuguese text by
* "Crónica do Imperador Clarimundo" ("Chronicle of Emperor Clarimund") - original Portuguese text by
João de Barros
* "Sagramor" - original Portuguese text by
Subject of the last opera by
Johann Christian Bach.
* O'Connor, John J. "Amadis de Gaule and its influence on Elizabethan Literature." New Brunswick (New Jersey): Rutgers University Press, 1970. ISBN 0-8135-0622-0
* Simonin, Michel, ed. "Dictionnaire des lettres françaises - Le XVIe siècle." Paris: Fayard, 2001. ISBN 2-253-05663-4
* Vaganay, Hugues, ed. "Le Premier livre d'Amadis de Gaule." New Edition by Yves Giraud. Paris: Nizet, 1986. ISBN 2-86503-002-4
* [http://www.liceus.com/cgi-bin/ac/pu/santiago_sevilla_genesis_amadis_gaula.asp "Génesis del Amadís de Gaula" by Santiago Sevilla]
* [http://www.liceus.com/cgi-bin/ac/pu/santiago_sevilla_amadis_verdadero_autor.asp "Amadis de Gaula: Su verdadero autor es Don Enrique de Castilla..." by Santiago Sevilla]
* - an opera
* [http://purl.pt/921/1/ Amadis de Gaula] - images of a 1526 edition of the original Spanish text
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Look at other dictionaries:
Amadis von Gaula — [Gaula: Wales, nicht Gallien], Held eines in ganz Europa verbreiteten Ritterromans, dessen Urform vor 1325 vielleicht in Portugal entstand und dessen entscheidende Redaktion durch den Spanier Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo erfolgte, der drei… … Universal-Lexikon
Amadís de Gaula — es una obra maestra de la literatura fantástica en castellano y el más famoso de los llamados libros de caballerías, que hicieron furor a lo largo del siglo XVI en España como lectura primeriza de toda una generación de escritores renacentistas y … Enciclopedia Universal
Amadís de Gaula — Primera edición del Amadís de Gaula de Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, impreso en Zaragoza por Jorge Coci (1508). El Amadís de Gaula es una obra maestra de la litera … Wikipedia Español
Amadis de Gaula — Erstausgabe von 1508. Universität Berkeley, Kalifornien … Deutsch Wikipedia
Amadis de Gaule — édition espagnole de 1533 Auteur Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo Genre … Wikipédia en Français
Amadís de Grecia — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Amadís de Grecia es un libro de caballerías español, noveno de la serie iniciada por el Amadís de Gaula. Su autor fue Feliciano de Silva (fallecido en 1554), el escritor favorito de Don Quijote de la Mancha.… … Wikipedia Español
amadis — ⇒AMADIS, subst. masc. A. Fam. (par référence au célèbre Amadis des Gaules). ,,Homme d un caractère chevaleresque (Ac. Compl. 1842); homme séduisant : • Le barbier rase bien le héros, quoiqu il tremble; Puis, une loque est là pour tous ceux qui… … Encyclopédie Universelle
Amadis of Greece — ( Amadís de Grecia ) is a tale of knight errantry written by Feliciano de Silva, a “sequel specialist” who continued the adventures of Amadis de Gaula in this ninth installment. Its full title is Noveno libro de Amadís de Gaula, crónica del muy… … Wikipedia
Amadís de Grecia — es un libro de caballerías, noveno de la serie iniciada por el Amadís de Gaula, publicado en Cuenca en 1530 por Feliciano de Silva, con el título de Nono libro de Amadís de Gaula, que es la corónica del muy valiente y esforzado príncipe y… … Enciclopedia Universal
Amadis (Lully) — Amadis or Amadis de Gaule (Amadis of Gaul) is a tragédie en musique in a prologue and five acts by Jean Baptiste Lully to a libretto by Philippe Quinault based on Nicolas Herberay des Essarts adaptation of Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo s Amadis de… … Wikipedia