JIMÉNEZ DE RADA, Rodrigo Chronica del sancto rey don Fernando tercero

Medina del Campo, for Francisco del Canto, 1566


Folio. ff. 36, double column. Large Gothic letter, t-p in red and black within woodcut border of leaves and tendrils, and roundels with male heads, Philip II of Spain’s arms within; decorated initials and tailpieces. Very slight age browning, faint marginal stain to first couple of gatherings, occasional minor spots. A very good, well-margined copy in C19 maroon calf, bordered with vine leaves and grapes. Bookplate of Mary Macmillin Norton, the odd early annotation.

Very uncommon, good copy of the second edition of the Chronicle of the ‘noble and eminent deeds’ of King Ferdinand III (c.1199-1252), son of Alphonso IX of Léon and Berenguela de Castile. First published in 1516—upon the accession of Charles I, the first Habsburg on the Spanish throne—the work celebrated the consolidation and territorial expansion of the united crowns of Castile and Léon by the hand of the pious Ferdinand III, who joined the Order of St Francis and was canonised in 1671. The narrative begins in the C12, with the reign of Alfonso IX, and concludes with Ferdinand III’s death. Central to the ‘Chronica’ is Ferdinand’s conquest of Andalusia, with gory narratives of his battles against the Moors and the sieges of Córdoba and Seville. Written by Don Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada (1170-1247), Archbishop of Toledo, and terminated by Jofre de Loaysa, it was modernised in spelling and edited by Diego López de Cartagena, who also translated numerous Latin works into Castilian. It is one of the many successful medieval vernacular chronicles printed in Europe in the sixteenth century. These patriotic texts, addressed to the wider public, narrated the history of nations through the deeds of their kings, whilst functioning as dynastic ‘mirrors for princes’ for the ruling monarchs. As shown by the arms on the t-p, this edition was dedicated to Charles I’s son, Philip II. USTC records no surviving copies of the first edition of 1547.

No copies recorded in the US.USTC 337179; Quaritch, Bibliotheca Hispana, 1895, 513; Palau IV, 64941. Not in BL STC Sp.
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