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cita SPA España. Siglo XVII

Introduction | Tacitus and the Empire | Don Quixote and translation | Some other XVIIth century translations | Languages of the empire and translation | Conclusion | Research potential


Introducción  Introduction

In the English version of the book by Jose Antonio Maravall La cultura del Barroco (1975), the translator’s introduction begins: translating as a cultural activity is an implicit component in the baroque project. After all, translating depends on the existence of national cultures, national languages, and the capacity to distinguish between them. And while the baroque is, as Maravall documents, a phenomenon that all of western Europe experiences, it represents the moment when European nations anchor their respective national domains. In other words, what they have in common derives from what keeps them apart. (Cochran 1986: xxi).

Territorios Habsburgo, s. XVII
Habsburg dominions 1600-1700 (Spanish branch in red). 

If this were so, it would be enough to explain the failure of the Hispanic, or Catholic, Empire as a multicultural state and to question much of the argument on which Maravall's book is based, something that Américo Castro had already done with his controversial ideas about Spanish history, as the other introduction to this English version points out, relating Maravall with the French historiography of the Annales headed by Fernand Braudel (Godzich&Spadaccini 1986: xv).

The Catholic Habsburg monarchy, with political headquarters in Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries, is a multicultural State with diverse languages -such as the kingdom of Castile was before being engulfed by this monarchy-, the first modern State proper and, according to its name, with a global aspiration. In contrast, the French Bourbon monarchy, its direct rival, tries to impose in Europe its form of State as a national culture -more or less disguised as cosmopolitanism- based on a single language, contributing to a large extent to dismember the Hispanic monarchy, not without the aid and competition of the British monarchy, which is not a national culture per se, but the rival maritime empire of the Catholic empire undoing, at the same time, the hegemonic -and nationalist- French claim (Dandelet 2014). In the 18th century, Germany, on the French model, endows language-based nationalism with its theoretical foundations, from Herder to Kant and Wilhelm Humboldt.

No field shows all this better than translation, with no apparent relation to a supposed Baroque culture that, according to Maravall, consists on the strictest regulation of daily life by religious orthodoxy, something inseparable from absolute monarchies. According to Cochran (1986: xxiv): In the terms sketched out above, baroque culture is that culture put into operation to effect the transition from a discursive economy based on rhetoric to one based on history. Baroque culture as such never dispenses with its rhetorical base, with the elements of persuasion that constitute it, but, as Maravall shows, the "mass" element of its logic demands a different kind of rhetoric: baroque culture does not operate solely by means of persuasion in the older rhetorical sense — swaying the listeners by means of the finesse of one’s argumentation about an issue— but in the ideological sense —without the issue ever being mentioned.

With this, however, rhetoric just hides, returning in history, or in stories, filled with the rhetoric of power. History is teacher of life and light of truth, said Cicero, but the narrator of the first Don Quixote (1605, I, 9), ironically, goes further and makes it the mother of truth. Borges, in 1939, interprets it by saying, with more irony, that saying this in the 17th century is a mere rhetorical praise of History, but in the 20th century, when his Pierre Menard “writes” Don Quixote, it is an amazing idea: historical truth is not a investigation of reality, but its origin; it is not what happened, but what we judge to have happened. Borges' apparent boutade lead us back again to the non-Aristotelian rhetorical tradition that the 16th century and Cervantes recover.

At the same time, the history of translation cannot be just a mere description of bio-bibliographic records; it must be too, for instance, a comparative discourse on the texts that are translated and not translated here and there, and why, often ephemeral texts bounded in time and space. The clearest example in the 17th century are the translations of Tacitus, which serve to justify, when not to criticize, the imperial or absolute power of the European monarchies. This is what Álamos de Barrientos defends in his version of 1614 and what the Italian and French translators had already done.

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[título del epígrafe] Tacitus and the Empire

In the course of the 16th century the translations of Tacitus were prohibited in Spain, being considered detrimental for the peninsular subjects of the Catholic Empire. However, the Latin editions of Tacitus made by Justus Lipsius -who ended up justifying that Empire after criticizing it-, already translated into other European languages, made censorship change its opinion with Felipe III, along with acceptance of Giovanni Botero´s theory of the Reason of State (1589). The result was the publication, since 1613, of several translations into Spanish that are inseparable from their precedents in Italian  (Venice, 1544, anonymous translation; Giorgio Dati’s, Venice, 1563-; Bernardo Davanzati’s, "in vulgar Florentine", Florence, 1596 and 1600) and French (Among them: Étienne de la Planche’s, Paris, 1548; Ange Cappel’s, 1574; Claude Fauchet y Étienne de la Planche’s, Paris, Abel l’Angelier, 1582; Jean Baudoin’s, Paris, Jean Gesselin’s, 1610), probably used as intermediaries. Some other previous manuscripts in Spanish could be mentioned, such as Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas, who regrets Tacitus not being translated before, as it was more necessary in Spain than elsewhere. He translated Botero in 1592 (Dandelet 153-167). The main printed editions were:

- Las obras de Cornelio Tácito traducidas de latin en castellano por Emanuel Sueyro, Anwerp, Pedro Bellero, 1613. Reissued in Madrid, Viuda de Alonso Martín, a costa de Domingo Gonzalez, 1614; y Anwerp, Pedro and Juan Bellero, 1619.

- Tácito español ilustrado con aforismos, by Baltasar Álamos de Barrientos. Madrid, Luis Sánchez, 1614.

  • Los cinco primeros libros de los Anales,

    Madrid, Juan de la Cuesta, 1615, by Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas, who regrets Tacitus not being translated before, as it was more necessary in Spain than elsewhere. He translated Botero in 1592. See Dandelet 153-167).

    - Obras de Caio Cornelio Tacito, Douai, M[arc] Wyon, 1629, by Carlos Coloma.
Tácito 1 Tácito 2
Tácito by Emanuel Sueyro (1613) and by Baltasar Álamos de Barrientos (1614)

Besides, Adriano Politi published an Italian translation of Tacitus (Rome, 1603) that Girolamo Canini reworked in 1618 with Tacitus aphorisms translated by Alamos de Barrientos (Opere di G. Cornelio Tacito. Annali, Historie, Costumi de’Germani e Vita di Agricola, illustrate con... aforismi (Opere di G. Cornelio Tacito. Annali, Historie, Costumi de’Germani e Vita di Agricola, illustrate con... aforismi del Sig. D. Baldassar’ Alamo Varienti, trasportati dalla lingua castigliana nella toscana, da D. Girolamo Canini d’Anghiari. Venice, I Giunti, 1618), and in 1620 he added other translations that allowed the comparison between languages, the same as Johann Freinsheim did later (J. Freinsheim, Specimen paraphraseos cornelianae, primum C. Taciti fragmentum: hoc est tiberiani principatus quindecim annos compraehendens. Et cum versionibus linguarum quinque comparatum, Strasbourg 1641. See Martínez Bermejo, 28 ss.). The second edition of Canini (1620) included confronti, comparisons of the most controversial passages from the original text with the French translations by Claude Fauchet and Ètienne de la Planche, the Spanish translation by Alamos de Barrientos, the anonymous Italian and Giorgio Dati’s. There were more subsequent editions.

Martínez Bermejo (32) explains that the comparison between the French and Spanish versions complements the rivalry between the different Italian versions, some in Tuscan -the Siena dialect of Politi- and others in the Florentine dialect, such as Bernardo Davanzati’s (1596). In the 1644 edition including the Confronti Canini says that the comparison shows that Politi's translation is the best and above the foreign ones too; he adds that the different translations are useful to clarify difficult passages helping to improve in Italian, "with the help of those two sisters", what Tacitus meant in their dark or difficult Latin, the mother tongue of them.

Tierno Galván (1948, II) writes about tacitismo in Spain and points out that Alamos de Barrientos, in his version of Tacitus, quotes Sueyro's translation and praises it, adds aphorisms that synthesize or summarize the main ideas. He says that Alamos’ translation is exact and meticulous, putting in brackets those unavoidable extensions required by the least conciseness of Castilian prose. It is the type of translation opposed to the one that Nicolas Perrot d’Ablancourt will do in France shortly afterwards with his Tacitus (1640), already in the belles infidèles dominant fashion from 1625 to 1665, when there is again a great increase of translations in France after the shortage years of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries (Balliu 1995 15-27; Yllera 1992). Perrot translates in 1677 Africa by Luis de Mármol y Carvajal.

Tierno Galván (ibid.) also alludes to the Italians Botero, critic of Tacitus and favorable to the Hispanic monarchy, Boccalini, a tacitist opposed to that monarchy, and Malvezzi, a tacitist favorable to it, all of them readers of the editions of Tacitus by Justus Lipsius (Antwerp, 1574) and his commentaries. Lipsius judged the Catholic monarchy as tyranny while teaching in Germany and the Netherlands (Leiden), and then changed his posture, ending his days in Leuven (Leuwen), the Flemish Catholic University. Botero (Della ragion di stato, Venice, 1589), is contrary to Machiavelli and Tacitus. Antonio de Herrera follows and translates Botero (1592), then changes his position with respect to the Roman historian, and finally translates it (1615).

The Ragguagli (Notices) di Parnaso by Traiano Boccalini (Venice, 1612-13), were translated by Antonio Vázquez (1634), who censured the attacks on the Catholic monarchy and signed with a pseudonym (Perez de Sousa). The posthumous “notices" (Pietra del paragone politico, 1615) were never printed in Spanish, but very well known indeed. The existence of a handful of manuscripts containing unpublished translations attests it ( Gagliardi  2010 ; García Aguilar 2012).

The Marquis Virgilio Malvezzi, contrary to Machiavelli, asserts: "La maestá quando non é accompangnata con le forze pericola sempre" (Discorsi sopra Cornelio Tacito, Venice, 1635, p. 337). Francisco de Quevedo translated from Malvezzi El Rómulo and Balthasar Gracián praised it (Agudeza y arte de ingenio, 1648). Alvaro de Toledo translated his most important political work, Tarquinio il superbo (Barcelona, 1632), and Gregorio de Tapia y Salcedo translated another work by Malvezzi entitled Alcibiades, capitán y ciudadano ateniense (Madrid, 1668). He also wrote the Retratto del Privato político Christiano atratto dall'originale di alcune attioni del Conte Duca di San Lucar. Bologna, 1635, and another Retratto del Privado Christiano Político, deduced from the actions of the Count-Duke of Olivares, translated and published by Francisco de Balboa y Paz, in Naples (1635). See also HTE, Malvezzi.

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[título del epígrafe] Don Quixote and translation

Translation is a relevant subject in Don Quixote (Moreno 2003), a work written in the multicultural context of the Catholic monarchy of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Translators and translation alternate with the narrative voice at different levels, and the reading of the chapters in which they specially appear (I, 6, I, 9, II, 16 and II, 62) shows that translations of Classical, or difficult, languages remain the most valued (II, 62) -associated as they are to University education (II, 16)- along with translations of poetry, especially from Italian (I, 6 and II, 62). A different case is the undervalued type of translation exemplified by the fictitious Italian book that Don Quixote finds in a Barcelona printing press (II, 62); in the background, the presence of those who know and use Hebrew and Arabic (I, 9) and the echo of Basque (I, 8) -not yet a translation language- is pointed out.

More specifically, in I, 9 the book is presented hereinafter as the version on the story of Don Quixote made by a morisco from Toledo from an Arab manuscript whose credibility is questioned and in conflict with the classical, or Ciceronian, idea of History, which is paraphrased. Another language is alluded to, Hebrew, still known and used in Spain along with Arabic. Translations from Italian, Portuguese or Catalan, all of them languages of the Catholic monarchy, are mentioned in the scrutiny of the library of the protagonist (I, 6), and it is insinuated, in II, 62, when commenting on the Italian book Le bagatelle, that, except for some made in verse from works in verse, this is an easy task.

However, the Italian title Le bagatelle and its translation as Los juguetes could be an allusion to the translation of novelle, or Italian short stories, and to their nature of honest entertainment, as occurs with the title of the translation of Le Piacevoli notti ( 1550-55), by Giovan Francesco Straparola made by Francisco Truchado and entitled Honesto y agradable entretenimiento de damas y galanes (1581). Such as Muguruza (2016: 95) argues, if "novelas" and "ejemplares" refer to translations of Giraldi Cinzio and Bandello, Cervantes himself, in the prologue to his Novelas ejemplares (1613), also seems to refer to those of Straparola and Guicciardini when saying: “Mi intento ha sido poner en la plaza de nuestra república una mesa de trucos, donde cada uno pueda llegar á entretenerse sin daño de barras: digo, sin daño del alma ni del cuerpo, porque los ejercicios honestos y agradables ántes aprovechan que dañan.”

In addition, bagatella is, in Italian, “cosa di nulla”, childishness. Lope de Vega, in La gatomaquia (1634, Silva VI) will say: “Pero donde me llevan niñerías, / que en Italia se llaman bagatelas, / ingiriendo novelas / en tan funestos casos, / más dignos de Marinos y de Tasos”. Novela is "news", or entertaining story (Covarrubias, Tesoro, 1611: “un cuento bien compuesto o patraña para entretener los oyentes, como las novelas de Bocaccio”. The equivalence between "niñerías", or trifles, and "bagatellas" is already in the epigraph to chapter 62:  “Que trata de la aventura de la cabeza encantada, con otras niñerías que no pueden dejar de contarse”. The novelle of Mateo Bandello (1554) were translated from their abbreviated French version (Histoires tragiques, 1559) with the title of Historias trágicas y ejemplares (1585, 1589). The Dictionnaire de l'Académie française, t. 1 (1694) records historiette. s. f. diminutif. "Conte meslé de galanterie, ou d'autres choses de peu d' importance".

Seco (1990: 50-1) quotes Menéndez Pelayo (Orígenes de la novela, 1905), who downplays the translations of the novelle to measure the interest that existed in Spain in the language of Italy, and he attributes only a relative value to it, given the affirmation de Cervantes in the quoted prologue that he is the first to have written novelas (i.e. short novels) in Spanish, as the so many printed before are all translated; besides, Menéndez Pelayo points out that almost all of this translations are from the most famous novellieri: Boccaccio, Bandello, Giraldi Cinthio, Straparola and little else. He adds that these translations were as bad as those made from French novels in the 19th century. However, if they were bad it was, mainly, for being moralizing adaptations, rather than exemplary ones and the not translated were the most licentious or anticlerical, obviously not classifiable as bagatelle.

Fourteen translated editions of novellieri are known between 1580 and 1612. We note, from the 17th century: Bandello, Historias trágicas y ejemplares (Valladolid, 1603); Straparola, Primera parte del honesto entretenimiento de damas y galanes (Pamplona, 1612, colophon 1611); Straparola, Segunda parte del honesto y agradable entretenimiento de damas y galanes (Pamplona, 1612 (González Ramírez 2011: 1235). Just after the publication of Cervantes’s Novelas ejemplares (1613), the publishing of adapted translations of novelle finished, and the production in Spanish of different types of short novels collections began, usually with the “exemplary" in their title. Muguruza (2016: 94-5) relays on Blasco to explain that when Cervantes joins the terms "novela" and "ejemplar" he is linking Boccaccio's model with this translations’, as if a lure for readers, especially the moralized versions of Bandello's novelle that arrived in Spain through France; maybe to confuse censorship too, since Cervantes is already producing something else: he abandons morality and surpasses the model of the novelle as bagatelle -mere entertainment- creating a “juego de ingenio”, witty play, as “algún misterio tienen escondido, que las levanta” (some mystery they have hidden, that raises them up), says at the very end of the prologue. Maybe it is the critical rhetoric inside the stories baptized as "novels", or narrative novelties, in the “novelas ejemplares” of 1613, opposed to the guided rhetoric that underlies the translations of novelle up to Cervantes and many a short novel after him.

Torcuato Tasso

Such as Trujillo (2004: 196-7) explains, the translator of Le bagatelle -like the translator of novelle- summarizes and represents better than any other character the negative aspect of Cervantes literary ideal, since he just transfers, without wit or eloquence, and tries to make money by editing this books himself, keeping all the rights. He would represent all the anonymous translators and compilers of bagatelle, in opposition to authors who, like Cervantes, are already looking for silent readers of printed books, beyond the reading aloud or the theatrical audience. In this environment, it would be necessary to investigate in more detail the receiving public in relation to the kitsch component typical of the Baroque, according to Maravall (II, 3), differentiating between readers of short novels or between the audience of plays -already published for reading too-, a modern anticipation of mass culture and its cultural levels.

Moreover, in II, 62 don Quixote values above all the translations from Greek and Latin, but he also maintains that two verse translations into Spanish compete with its famous Italian originals: one is Cristóbal  Suárez de Figueroa’s translation of the pastoral drama Pastor Fido by Battista Guarini (1586), in two versions (Naples, 1602; Valencia, 1609). There is also a more complete translation, alternating different Castilian metrics, by Isabel Correa (Antwerp, 1694), with a prologue acknowledging her debt to Figueroa and to the French version of 1595 (Martín-Gaitero  1995); Correa, a native of Lisbon, belonged to the Jewish community of Amsterdam, while Emanuel Sueyro, in the service of the Catholic monarchy, had belonged to that of Antwerp. There are also adaptations or recreations of Pastor Fido for the court theater of Felipe IV, made by  Antonio de Solís, Antonio Coello, and Calderón de la Barca. The other translation praised by don Quixote is Juan de Jáuregui’s of Aminta -in blank verse-, the dramatic dialogue of Torquato Tasso (1573), also with two versions (Rome, 1607; Sevilla, 1618). In addition, Jáuregui translated Lucan's Farsalia in verse. Book III appeared in Rimas (1618) and the whole work was printed in 1684 (See Ruiz Casanova, 2018, 305). Tasso, in addition to the translation of Juan Sedeño of Jerusalem Liberated (Madrid, 1587; Barcelona, 1829), has another unpublished, made perhaps before, by Bartholomew Cairasco in a manuscript of about 1600. It was edited by Alejandro Cioranescu in 1967.

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[título del epígrafe] Some other 17th century translations

In 1604 Gonzalo de Oliva (1556-?) finished a new translation in octaves of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, which still remains unpublished. Diego Clemencín discovered it in 1833 and praised above Jerónimo de Urrea’s (1549). Furthermore, Juan de Tassis y Peralta, count of Villamediana, is the translator, with amplifications, of Gianbattista Marino's Fable of Europe (1628), as well as of some other sonnets that Marino, in turn, had reworked, or copied, from Lope de Vega. He also translated some sonnets by Camoens (Valdés  2004).

Quevedo también se dedicó a la traducción 
Quevedo was also a translator.

A particular case is Francisco de Quevedo, an eminent example of authorship, poetic imitation and various types of translation from very different languages, especially in paraphrastic versions that do not often allow to deduce his degree of knowledge of those languages. More research is welcome, since the documentary gaps on his life are numerous. He “translated" from Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Italian, French and Catalan, perhaps in some cases using intermediate translations (Ruiz Casanova 2018: 315-324).

If we stick to the Greek and Latin translations of other authors, Micó (2004 182-190) highlights Diego de Ágreda (Achiles Tatius 1617); Francisco de Herrera Maldonado (Lucian 1621, from the Latin?); Jerónimo Gómez de la Huerta (Plinius the Younger, 1624-1629); Alonso Ordóñez das Seijas y Tobar (Aristotle, Poetics 1626, from Latin or Italian? V. Patiño 2020), Pedro Fernández de Navarrete (Seneca 1627-1629); Gonzalo Correas (Epictetus 1630); Diego López (Valerius Máximus 1631, along with Virgil 1600, Persius and Juvenal 1642); Luis Tribaldos de Toledo (Pomponius Mela, Geographia, 1642) and Mateo Ibáñez de Segovia (Curcius Rufus 1699).

Regarding the translations of poets, Micó mentions those of Juan de Arjona (Estacio, Tebaide, around 1600, completed by Gregorio Morillo), Diego Mexía (Ovid, Heroids, 1608), Cristóbal de Mesa (Virgil, Aeneid, 1615; Eclogues and Georgics, 1618), Esteban Manuel de Villegas (Anacreon 1618 and Boetius’ Consolation 1665, highly praised), Rodrigo Fernández de Ribera (Martial, Ms 17524 BNE, after 1620), Fray Antonio de Moya (Virgil, 1660-1664) ; Urbano Campos (Horatius, 1682), and Juan Francisco de Enciso Monzón (Virgil, Aeneid, 1698). Among all of them stands out Francisco Faría, Claudiano's translator (Robo de Proserpina, Madrid, 1608, in octaves), in a language that anticipates Góngora’s -admirer of the Latin author- and serves as a bridge with Fernando de Herrera (Micó, 193- 4). Also notable is Luis Carrillo y Sotomayor, who partially translates Ovid's Remedia amoris into verse and Seneca's Book of the Brevity of Life, in prose. Both are in Obras póstumas (1613).

Ruiz Casanova (2018: 300-347) quotes many of these translations from Greek and Latin, referring to the more extensive list by Beardsley (1970), and mentions literary translations from Italian in the 16th and 17th centuries, specially the prologues and other paratexts with translation theories and the work of translating poets into verse, especially Quevedo and other translators such as the Valencian Vicente Mariner de Alagón, librarian in El Escorial, whose impressive translating work from many different languages, never printed, includes the translation of the Iliad in Latin verse and reverse translation. Ruiz Casanova also deals with the tacitists, from Sueyro (1612) and Álamos de Barrientos to Coloma, along with González de Salas, Diego López, Diego de Ágreda and others. Mariner is also the author of the probable first translation from Greek to Spanish of Aristotle's Rhetoric (Ms. autograph 9809 of the National Library, 1630) (Olmos: 2012). Regarding the rhetorical aspects of translation in the seventeenth century with support in the paratexts of Tacitus’ versions, see Isasi (1997).

Diego de Ágreda, already mentioned, translates Leucippus and Clitophon by Achiles Tatius (1617) from the Italian version by Francesco Coccio (Venice, 1547). Unprinted versions are that of José Pellicer, translator of the works of Tertulian (1639) and those of Tomás Tamayo de Vargas of Horatius’ Ars Poetica and the Tres discursos sobre el poema heroico (“Three discourses on the heroic poem” by Torquato Tasso, Manuscript of the early seventeenth century, Biblioteta Digital Hispánica). In addition, he is the author of Junta de libros, also unpublished, which contains numerous references to translations.

Nova Hispaniae descriptio. Jodocus Hondius  c. 1610

Nova Hispaniae descriptio. Jodocus Hondius  c. 1610 

Regarding the translation of classical texts, and despite what has been done so far since Menéndez Pelayo, much remains to be clarified about the frequency of second-hand translations of Greek and Latin texts and their dependence on Italian translations. Thus, for example, the first printed Spanish translation of Aristotle's Poetics by Alonso Ordoñez is not apparently made from the Greek, but rather from the Latin and Italian translations published in the 16th century by Alessandro Pazzi, Bernardo Segni, Lodovico Castelvetro and Alessandro Piccolomini (Patiño Loira 2020). The same occurs with the supposed first translation of the Rhetoric, preserved in a manuscript (Ms. Hamilton 47, 1621, Glasgow University Library) where is attributed, in a very doubtful way, to Pedro Simón Abril (Olmos 2012).

As for other types of translations, it is necessary to investigate more in other fields, especially in matters such as science or medicine, travel and exploration, lexicography and indigenous languages of America. A more general approach is that of the repertoires of Simón Díaz and Santoyo, or the various international conferences on the history of non-literary translation that the University of Valencia has been convening. We select the following translators from the 17th century (traductores del siglo XVII) in the aforementioned subjects: 

  • Aguilar Zúñiga, Esteban (1606-1681), Tártaros en China (translates a work in Latin by Martí Martinio / Martino Martini). Madrid: Ioseph Fernández, 1665.
  • Cansino, Jacob (1590-1666), Extremos y grandezas de Constantinopla. (translates from Hebrew a work by Rabí Moysen Almosnino. Madrid: Francisco Martínez, 1638.
  • Herrera Maldonado, Francisco (1584-?), Historia oriental de las peregrinaciones, Madrid: Viuda de Luis Sánchez, 1620 (from Peregrinação… by Fernão Mendes Pinto, Lisboa: Pedro Crasbeeck, 1614. Herrera also translated Jacopo Sannazaro’s De partu Virginis (1526) with the title Sannazaro español. Los tres libros del parto de la Virgen Nuestra Señora, 1616.
  • Jiménez, Francisco (1570-1620), Cuatro libros de la naturaleza y virtudes de las plantas y animales (translation with additions and commentary from a work in Latin by Francisco Hernández. México: Viuda de Diego López Daualos, 1615.
  • Kresa, Jacobo (1648-1715), Elementos geométricos de Euclides (Euclid’s Elements, books 1-6, 11-12 and commentary) with some selected theorems by Archimedes. Brussels, 1689.
  • Pérez, Miguel (1550?-1610), Theatro del mundo y de el tiempo. Translation from a work in Latin by Ioan Paulo Gallucio Salo[n]ese. Granada: Sebastian Muñoz, 1606.
  • Suárez de Figueroa, Cristóbal (1571-1644), Historia y an(u)al relación de las cosas que hicieron los padres de la Compañía de Jesús por las partes de Oriente, 1614. Translation from the work in Portuguese by Fernâo Guerreiro. Another translation is Plaza universal de todas ciencias y artes (Madrid: Luis Sánchez, 1615; Perpiñán: Luis Roure, 1629) from a work in Italian by Tomasso Garzoni.
  • Zumarán, Juan Angel, Tyrocinium gallicum, italicum et germanicum (Munich: Anna Berg, 1617), with te addition of Spanish (Guía de la Nobleza, Munich, 1621) and Latin (Thesaurus fundamentalis, quinque linguarum videlicet Latinæ, Hispanicæ, Galicæ, Italicæ & Germanicæ), Ingolstadt, 1626.

Finally, it is worth mentioning the books of epigrams by the Welsh neo-Latin poet John Owen, translated by Francisco de la Torre y Sevil with the title Las Agudezas (1674), as well as Enrico Davila's History of Civil Wars in France, translated from Italian by Basilio Varen de Soto (1675), the Memoirs of the chronicler Felipe de Comines, Lord of Argentan (1643), translated from the French by Juan Vitrian, chaplain of King Felipe IV, and the Filosofía Moral of Manuel Tesauro, translated from the Italian by Gómez de la Rocha Figueroa (Lisbon, 1682; Barcelona, 1692).

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[título del epígrafe] Languages of the empire and translation

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when Spain was primarily a geographic term -the Iberian Peninsula- and the Catholic monarchy included much of Italy and some other parts of a Europe with Latin as the language of culture yet, one must to consider not only the translations that are made and published in the Iberian context, but also those not made and not published, and why, depending on the source language. So it is also necessary to deep into the lines of research opened in the field of translation at a peninsular level by several studies on the interference between Castilian, Portuguese and Catalan. It would be necessary to study in more detail the translations that are made and are not made from those languages, or from Italian, due to linguistic proximity or because of the bilingualism, or multilingualism, of the possible recipients, as well as the influence of censorship and the importance of Latin in education, especially Jesuit education, along with other factors, such as the circulation of the original text, allophone creation -done in a language other than one's own-, self-translation, or author's translation, and allograph translation, when the author collaborates to a greater or lesser extent.


In the case of Castilian and Portuguese languages, the relationship is asymmetric because bilingualism is frequent in Portugal. So the dominant pattern is the circulation of works in Castilian, and outside Portugal the allophone creation, with Portuguese authors writing in Castilian or translating into Castilian, such as the aforementioned Manuel Leyva, the first translator of Tacitus ( 1613). Furthermore, in the 16th and 17th centuries the translation into Portuguese decreased, as Portuguese translators often used Castilian as the target language. Dasilva (2017 paragraph 8) quotes Teófilo Braga, for whom Camoens wrote in Castilian too because he knew it from the classic works that he had read in translations. The Portuguese Benito Caldeira (1580) and Enrique Garcés (1591) had translated his Os Lusíadas into verse, and then Manuel Faria e Sousa edited and paraphrased, one by one, the octaves of the Portuguese text with a lengthy commentary in Castilian (Madrid: Ivan Sánchez 1639). Other works by Dasilva on the concepts of self-translation, semi-self-translation and allographic translation could be used as a point of departure to go farther in the relationship between Iberian languages of any time.

Asymmetry is what exists also between the Iberian languages ​​and Italian in terms of translation, but not so much because of bilingualism as in terms of its cultural preeminence and kinship. The approach to Italy for political, cultural or religious reasons make translations of classical texts into Italian easily ​​understood without translation into the Iberian languages.

The anthology Flores de poetas ilustres by Pedro de Espinosa (Valladolid, 1605), shows a  broad Italian influence, as it contains imitations of Petrarca, Sannazaro, Ariosto, Bernardo and Torcuato Tasso, Pánfilo Sasso, Luigi Groto, Girolamo Parabosco and other authors, and El laurel de Apolo (1630) by Lope de Vega reviews a whole series of poets from all nations, but the number of Italians far exceeds all others and their influence extends to the New World, according to an epistle on the state of poetry in Mexico City addressed by Eugenio de Salazar to Hernando de Herrera, which says:

También Toscana envía las lindezas
de su lenguaje dulce a aqueste puesto
que en breve estará lleno de proezas.

(Seco 1990: 50-1)

(Tuscany also sends the niceties / from its sweet language to this post / that will shortly be full of feats).

As for the traditional manuscript transmission of lyric poetry, texts in Portuguese or Catalan are very often translated into Spanish, while the opposite does not usually happen.

As for the traditional manuscript transmission of lyric poetry, texts in Portuguese or Catalan are very often translated into Spanish, while the opposite does not usually happen.

A noteworthy case of translation in the 17th century is the pastoral romance in prose, with dialogues, Corte na aldeia (1619) by Francisco Rodrigues Lobo, with a Castilian version by Juan Bautista de Morales (1622). It is a kind of Portuguese courtesy manual which seems to derive from El Galateo español by Lucas Gracián Dantisco (1593), with the Italian precedent, Galateo, overo de 'costumi, by Giovanni Della Casa (Venice, 1558) -of which Gracián Dantisco made a selection adding “other stories and things” - translated by Domingo Becerra with the title Galateo, or treatise on customs (Venice, 1585). The four works -a courtesy manual from Italian to Spanish, from Spanish to Portuguese and from Portuguese to Spanish- are transmitted by adaptation or translation between 1582 and 1622.

According to Dasilva (2017 7-8) many Portuguese writers made clear that they chose Castilian as a vehicle because of this language hegemony, thus seeking a superior projection. Pedro Teixeira, in the introductory text «To the reader», which is in his Relaciones […] del origen, descendencia y sucession de los Reyes de Persia y de Hamus(Amberes, 1610), confesses that the first book of the work was already written in Portuguese when he changed his mind, on the advice of friends, and transferred it to Castilian with a second book, judging that this language was more communicable and his homeland received service for it, instead of offense.

António de Sousa Macedo, in the proem "To the King of Portugal" of his treatise Flores de España, excelencias de Portugal (Lisbon, 1631), apologizes for surrendering to Castilian: «Y perdonad si dexada la excelente lengua Portuguesa, escriuo en la Castellana, porque como my intento es pregonaros por el mundo todo, he vsado desta por mas vniuersal […]». In turn, Francisco Manuel de Melo, in a letter of 1634 to the writer Gaspar de Seyxas de Vasconcelos, will say something similar, as later in the "Prefácio à historia" (Portuguese translation of 1944) of his unpublished work D. Teodosio II (Ajuda library) where writes that he would have liked to write in Portuguese this biography of the father of D. João IV - first king of the Portuguese restoration (1640) - but that he was compelled to write it in Castilian by order of the portuguese king himself in reason for the resonance of this language. A special case is that of the aforementioned Faria e Sousa with Os Lusíadas (Madrid, 1639), who mentions two unpublished and still not found translations from the first quarter of the 17th century by Francisco Aguilar and Manuel Correia Montenegro (Dasilva 2015 2017: 12; Pérez-Abadín and Blanco González 2018: 5-6, 14).

On the other side of the peninsula, recent studies have revalued the handwritten transmission of Catalan Baroque lyric in dialogue with contemporary Castilian lyric, determining the level of influence or confluence between one and the other in poets such as Antoni Massanés, Vicent Garcia and Josep Blanch, who often use imitation and emulation, or recreation, with remarkable results. (Solervicens 2017).

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 [título del epígrafe] Conclusion

The decline of Habsburg Catholic monarchy and the rise of French Bourbon monarchy contributed to Italian and Spanish giving way to French throughout the seventeenth century and in the eighteenth century French texts, original or in translations, were imposed on the new Spanish Bourbon monarchy and originated, in turn, all kinds of second-hand translations that lasted until the twentieth century. Thus, for instance, the Latin rhetorical works by Quintiliano and Luis de Granada were translated into French in the second half of the seventeenth century and into Spanish in the 18th century through French, partially in the case of Quintilian’s, which already had Italian translation in the sixteenth century, that of Orazio Toscanella (Venice, 1566, with several later editions), the same as Vitruvius, not translated into Spanish until 1787. Dandelet (2014: 211, 236-7) mentions two translations into French, by Jean Martin (1547) and by Claude Perrault (1676), the architect of the Louvre, who dedicated it to Louis XIV.

Tierno Galván (1948: 910 ff.) mentions, among the tacitists, the works of Jean Bodin, or Bodino (1530-1596). The only Castilian version of his magnum opus, The Six Books of the Republic (1576) is Gaspar de Añastro Isunza’s (Turin, 1590), “catholicly amended“ and even so included in the Index librorum prohibitorum. It is the founding text of the absolute state, or French imperialism, against the Habsburgs Catholic monarchy, continued in other authors such as Antoine de Bandole (Les parallèles de César et de Henri IV, 1609) or Henri de Rohan (Le parfait capitain. Memoires, 1667), never translated (Dandelet 2014: ch. 4). Anthoine de Bandole is the pseudonym of Jean Baudoin (1590-1650), the first to make a French version of Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata (1626). He also translated the Novelas morales by Diego de Ágreda (1621) and Inca Garcilaso, among many others.

José Antonio González de Salas, a scholar friend of Quevedo to whom some translations of classical texts are attributed, observes as early as 1633 that it is France that can now be compared to Italy in the abundance and quality of translations (Ruiz Casanova 2017: 338). This includes the frequent grammars, dictionaries and vocabularies of Spanish published in France between 1597 and 1715 (Ruiz Casanova 2017: 345, with a note on bibliographic repertoires published between 1930 and 2004). A Spanish exile, Carlos García, published in bilingual form, on the occasion of the marriage between Anne of Austria and King Louis XIII, L'opposition et conjonction des deux grands luminaires de la terre (Paris: F. Huby 1617), reprinted many times and translated into several languages with the title Antipathie des François et des Espagnols (Rouen: Jacques Cailloues 1617). Ambrosio de Salazar, established in Rouen, was an interpreter for Louis XIII and worked a lot in the dissemination of Spanish literature in France, publishing collections of Spanish texts in bilingual edition such as Las Clavellinas de recreación (Oeillets de récréation, 1644). See Arredondo (1984: 202).

Translations into Spanish of French literary works are very scarce during the seventeenth century, especially of the literary texts of that time later considered classics in France. On the other hand, there are abundant adaptations of Spanish theater and French translations of Spanish novels from the end of the 16th century to the first decades of the 18th century, such as Yllera has shown by studying the prologues, making an extensive catalog and detailing the influence exerted on the French narrative. The prologues or paratexts, for the most part, fall upon the assumptions of free or unfaithful translation which predominates at that time in France. Spanish fiction, Yllera says, retained its prestige during the first half of the 18th century, giving way to the English novel.

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 potencial para la investigación Research potential 

It has already been suggested to research more in detail about the receiving public in connection with the kitsch component in Baroque (see Maravall), especially the readers of short novels or theatrical works, as a modern anticipation of mass cult levels.

Likewise, it would be desirable to have an exhaustive bibliography, just as Beardsley’s, of classical translations into Italian existing in Spanish libraries or those mentioned as existing that have been lost, or about the frequency of second-hand translations of Greek and Latin texts and their dependence on Italian translations, to establish why some authors were or not translated, whether there was or not a need to do so, such as with Quintilian, or a problem of censorship.

Vicente Mariner's unpublished work is another of the research deficiencies on translation studies of the seventeenth century, along with Quevedo's work and his degree of knowledge of the source languages, as well as the relationships, at the level of translation, between the Iberian languages, especially in the case of Portuguese since 1640.

In addition, much remains to be done in matters such as science or medicine, travel and exploration, lexicography and indigenous languages ​​of America.

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