The project Estoria Digital was funded by a generous grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council: Dr. Aengus Ward, An electronic research environment and edition of the Estoria de Espanna of Alfonso X, King of Castile and León, AH/K000136/1, 2013-16, £559,267 and the Impact tools were developed as a result of AHRC award Dr. Aengus Ward, Alfonso el Sabio and the Estoria de Espanna: the past in the digital present, AH/N006658/1, 2016, £99,853. We would like to express our gratitude to the research council for the grant, without which such a large scale and ambitious project could not have been undertaken.

We would like to acknowledge the help and advice offered by a range of colleagues, some of whom must remain anonymous but whose comments improved immeasurably the project. In particular Dr. Bárbara Bordalejo was a font of invaluable support in the drafting phase and had sole responsibility for the vital technical apparatus. Katharina Freise and Sheena Robertson gave their time and expertise beyond the call of duty in the application phase, as did Emily Hargreaves for the Impact application. Debbie Jones and Afroze Zaidi-Jivraj also provided invaluable support.

We would like to acknowledge the generous support of a range of libraries and archives which facilitated our access to the manuscripts of the Estoria de Espanna. These are: Real Biblioteca del Monasterio de El Escorial, and in particular to José Luis del Valle Merino whose knowledge of the collections and enthusiasm for research is unmatched; the Biblioteca Nacional de España, and in particular to Carlos Alberdi, Gema Hernández Carralón, Mercedes Pasalodos Salgado, Pilar Egoscozábal and especially Cristina Guillén Bermejo from the Sala Cervantes; the Biblioteca de Menéndez Pelayo and its wonderful directors Rosa Fernández Lera and Andrés del Rey Sayagués; the Biblioteca de San Eloy and its director José Antonio López González who aided us in our quest for manuscript Ss; the Biblioteca General Histórica de la Universidad de Salamanca and its director Margarita Becedas-González and the James Ford Bell library at the University of Minnesota, and its curator Marguerite Ragnow. We owe a special debt of thanks to the staff of the Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural de España in Madrid for their restoration of manuscript T: Ana Ros, restorers Pilar Díaz Boj and Maria Sánchez Dominguez and the expert on binding Isabel Lozano de Gregori and also Laura Fernández, Vicedecana de Investigación, Relaciones Institucionales y Relaciones Internacionales de la Facultad de Geografía e Historia de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

We would also like to thank the librarians and staff at the central library and Cadbury Library of the University of Birmingham.

We owe an especial debt of gratitude to our Advisory Board of Professor Leonardo Funes, Dr. Francisco Bautista, Dr. Juan Carlos Conde López, Dr. Manolo Hijano Villegas, Dr. Virginie Dumanoir, and Dr. Geraldine Hazbun for their advice and help in access to archives.

Francisco Bautista was of particular help in all matters relating to manuscript Ss and in facilitating our negotiations with the Universidad de Salamanca. Juan Carlos Conde was instrumental in organising our colloquium at Magdalen College Oxford in November 2014.

Our colloquium in Sevilla could not have taken place without the untiring help of Blanca Garrido Martín and Javier González Gómez and the goodwill of Lola Pons.

Thanks also go to Georges Martin and Hélène Theulin Pardo (Paris Sorbonne), Marta López Izquierdo (Paris 8), Leonardo Funes (Buenos Aires), Amaia Arizaleta (Toulouse), Barry Taylor (British Library and AHGBI in Galway), Albert Lloret (IMC Kalamazoo), Emily Francomano (Georgetown), Francisco Bautista (Salamanca), Michelle Hamilton (Minnesota) and Rosa Vidal Doval and Rachel Scott (Queen Mary) for invitations to present details of the project as it evolved and as a result of which the edition will be much improved.

We would also like to recognise an enormous debt of gratitude to Inés Fernández-Ordóñez for her incomparable wisdom on the subject of the Estoria de Espanna and much more; but also for her help in our negotiations with Patrimonio Nacional. In the same vein, we would like to thank Rosa Rodríguez Porto, Pedro Sánchez-Prieto Borja and Alberto Montaner for their generosity and advice.

How to cite this edition

Citations for the whole of the Estoria de Espanna Digital should take the following form:


Aengus Ward ed., Estoria de Espanna Digital v.1.0 (Birmingham: University of Birmingham, 2016) <> [date accessed]


References containing a full list of transcribers are as follows:

Aengus Ward ed., Estoria de Espanna Digital Transcriptions and corrections by Fiona Maguire, Enrique Jerez Cabrero, Ricardo Pichel Gotérrez, Polly Duxfield, Christian Kusi Obodum, Marine Poirier, Aengus Ward, Bárbara Bordalejo, Nick Leonard, Avellana Ross, Silvia Yusta Fernández, v.1.0 (Birmingham: University of Birmingham, 2016) <> [date accessed]

Reference to the individual elements of the edition should be based on the numbering system established for all of the Estoria manuscripts and made as follows:


Aengus Ward ed., Estoria de Espanna Digital v.1.0 (Birmingham: University of Birmingham, 2016), Manuscript siglum: chapter number, sentence number <> [date accessed]

Thus, for example, a reference to the following sentence in E1

” Despues que hercules ouo tod esto fecho. ouo diez naues e metios en mar e passo daffrica a Espanna.”

which is the opening of Chapter 6 on folio 5r would read:

Aengus Ward ed., Estoria de Espanna Digital v.1.0 (Birmingham: University of Birmingham, 2016), E1: 6, 1 (5r) <> [15/12/2016]

Additionally, if required, the folio number and PCG references can be added in parenthesis. In the case of manuscript Ss, large sections of the text do not correspond with the divisions of the base text, so reference will have to be made by folio number only.

Versión primitiva – critical text

Similarly, reference to the critical text should read:

Aengus Ward ed., Estoria de Espanna Digital v.1.0 (Birmingham: University of Birmingham, 2016) edited text: 6, 1 <> [date accessed]

The folio number, which is relevant only to transcriptions, should not be included.

Versión primitiva – reader’s text

Aengus Ward ed., Estoria de Espanna Digital v.1.0 (Birmingham: University of Birmingham, 2016) reader’s text: 6, 1 <> [date accessed]

Alfonso el Sabio and his times

The life of Alfonso X covers the 63 years that run from 1221 to 1284, the very heart of the thirteenth century. Alfonso was King of Castile and Leon and elected to head the Holy Roman Empire; he was a legal reformer and promoter of science and culture. The impact of the political and intellectual activity of which he was the driver during the three decades of his reign was felt far beyond the frontiers of the Peninsula in a way that was unmatched for any medieval Iberian monarch either before or after, to the point that he became a key figure in the epoch of beginnings and endings that was thirteenth-century Christendom. A brief overview of his life and work cannot but leave the impression that Alfonso was at the core of all of the major developments left to us by that century.

In part, this chronological and individual centrality is a reflection of his genealogical centrality; for through his veins ran the blood of the major European dynasties of his day. The son of Fernando III and Beatrice of Swabia, his paternal line was intertwined with the royal houses of England and France (he was the great-grandson of Eleanor Plantaganet, wife of Alfonso VIII and his great aunt was Blanca, wife of Louis VIII); on the maternal side he was linked to both Roman and Byzantine imperial dynasties (through his great-grandfathers Frederick Barbarossa and Isaac II Angelos). Alfonso seems to have regarded his lineage as providential; this can be seen in the almost messianic dimension of his sense of responsibility and the energy with which he threw himself into his all-encompassing political and intellectual ambitions. Nowhere is this more clearly stated than in the passage of the Estoria de España in which the cloud that covered Spain at the birth of Christ is interpreted to mean that in the Peninsula «avié de nacer un príncep cristiano que serié señor de tod’el mundo, e valdrié más por él tod’el linage de los omnes, bien cuemo esclareció toda la tierra por la claridat d’aquella nuve en quanto ella duró».


In any case, although many analyses of Alfonso tend to separate artificially the characteristics of “Learned” and “King” (often accompanied by the topos that he was a giant of the former and unsuited to the exercise of the latter) it should be noted that Alfonso himself seems not to have regard these two facets as so easily divisible. On the contrary, he seems to have taken on his intellectual commitments as a direct consequence of his royal condition; a view confirmed by the oft-cited words of the Segunda Partida which state that «Acucioso debe seer el rey en aprender los saberes, ca por ellos entendrá las cosas de raíz e sabrá mejor obrar en ellas».


Little is known with any great certainty about his education and intellectual formation. A range of direct influences has been posited for his upbringing, amongst whom the Archbishop of Toledo Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada, the Dominican friar Pedro Gallego (subsequently bishop of Murcia, a city which Alfonso knew well), the masters of rhetoric Ponce de Provenza and Geoffrey de Everseley, the bishop Raimundo de Losana and the Italian jurist Jacobo de Junta stand out. To these possible influences must also be added the importance of early contact with his Jewish collaborator Judá ben Moisés ha-Cohen (a central figure in the later composition of works in astrology and magic), and the education he could conceivably have received in the madrassa of Murcia run by Ibn Abu Bakr al-Riquti, where, it has been suggested, the young Alfonso learned to use Arabic.

By the same token, it must be recognised that despite the personal stamp that Alfonso put on all of his projects, cultural as well as political, in many respects the king was the beneficiary of the initiatives of his father, years before his own ascension to the throne. Thus, such ideas as the restoration of the Imperium hispanicum and the fecho de allende, not to mention the rediscovery of Roman Law or the use of Galician in courtly poetry and Castilian in the chancellery documentation were already present in the court of Fernando.

Alfonso’s life can be divided almost equally between the periods of activity as prince (1221-1252) and king (1252-1284). It is noteworthy that both his political ideas and his intellectual vocation (which appears to have been present in him from an early age) hark back to his period as heir to the throne, as might be suggested by his central role in the conquest of Murcia (1243) and his patronage of the translation of the collection of Oriental wisdom known as Calila e Dimna (1251). That this reputation for intellectual capabilities accompanied him from before his years as king can be seen in the description of him as non ignarus Alfonso on the Atarazanas de Sevilla; an inscription made short weeks after his accession to the throne in 1252.

As king, Alfonso faced the challenge of extending the frontiers of his kingdom, something which he would have assumed to be a central part of his royal task. In this respect, Alfonso was battling on four fronts simultaneously: the increase of Casilian/Leonese hegemony among the other peninsular kingdoms, the completion of the conquest of the remaining Muslim territories in the Peninsula and the so-called fecho de allende and fecho del Imperio. The practical failure on all four political fronts has tinged the conclusions of subsequent accounts of his reign although the totalising aim of his projects is not often appreciated.

In the first of these Alfonso’s efforts were directed above all at the restoration of the Imperium hispanicum in the person of the Castilian/Leonese monarch, for which there existed a ready made precedent in the figure of another Alfonso, Alfonso VII. This aim (apparently inherited from his father) from an early stage conditioned Alfonso’s relations with the neighbouring kingdoms of Portugal, Navarre and Aragon and was marked by episodes of intervention and territorial aspiration in Portugal such as the “Algarve question” (Alfonso retained the Algarve in the list of his kingdoms even after his definitive renunciation to his claim in the treaty of Badajoz in 1267) on the one hand, and repeated attempts to annex Navarre (following the deaths of Teobaldo I in 1253, Teobaldo II in 1270 and Enrique I in 1274 on the other. For his part, Jaume I of Aragon always looked with some suspicion at the expansionary ambitions of his son-in-law (Alfonso married Jaume’s daughter Violante in 1246) although this did not stop the alliance between the two kings in time developing into friendship and mutual support. In sum, although Castilian/Leonese hegemony was never put in question during Alfonso’s reign, he was never to attain the specific title of Imperator Hispaniae.

With respect to the expansion of Christian territory on the Peninsula, Alfonso failed to advance much beyond what his father had already achieved. In the face of the spectacular advance of Castile/Leon during the lifetime of Fernando III (in which wide swathes of Andalucía -including Jaén, Córdoba and Sevilla- and the kingdom of Murcia had been won) Alfonso’s annexation of the kingdoms of Jerez and Niebla (1261) look rather live pyrrhic victories, especially in the context of the rebellion of the mudéjars, Alfonso’s perennially complex and ambiguous relationship with Granada and the successive invasions of the Banu Marin (1272, 1275 y 1277). In addition, the extension overseas of the peninsular crusade represented by the fecho de allende (which aimed to recover the African territories of the Visigoths and even to set the stage for a possible conquest of the Holy Land through the Magreb) also failed to reach the heights of Alfonso’s ambition as it was reduced to the temporary conquest of a few maritime strongholds at the beginning of his reign and the misfortunate sacking of the port of Salé in 1260. Two decades later, in 1279, the destruction of the Christian fleet before Algeciras put a definitive end to Alfonso’s overseas adventures.

But perhaps the greatest political failure associated with Alfonso is that of his frustrated aspirations to claim the title of Holy Roman Emperor. The king was candidate by virtue of his mother (Beatriz was a Staufen, and cousin of Fredrick II). But the overwhelming desire to be elected Romanorum Imperator ended by emptying the treasury of the kingdom and pushing the resources and patience of the powerful groups of his kingdom (nobility, Church and councils) to breaking point.

The story of Alfonso’s imperial dream began 1256, when an embassy from Pisa offered the role to the king, and it ended definitively in 1275 at the meeting between Alfonso and the pope at Beaucaire at which Gregory X finally rejected his candidature in favour of Rudolf of Habsburg who had already been proclaimed emperor. In between these dates there were almost twenty years of campaigning, the outlay of vast sums of money and intense international diplomacy which kept the king of Castile and Leon in the eye of all of Occidental Europe, but which also made him the object of ever more harsh criticism from the influential circles of his own kingdom, from whom, in repeated gatherings, he ceaselessly demanded the means to pursue his Imperial ambitions. And at the end of the process, if Alfonso’s fecho del Imperio was condemned to failure, this was due no small part to that fact that the king (Ghibelline by borth and conviction) never managed to acquire the support of the papacy; the one institution whose views on the matter truly counted.

If the fecho del Imperio undermined the economy of the kingdom (an economy which Alfonso had no hesitation in reforming through a series of mainly fiscal measures), it also conditioned the king’s internal policy. The demands for money were not well received by a nobility which was already up in arms at Alfonso’s reforms of foral law and fiscal policy. The ongoing conflict with the nobility, due in large measure to the central place accorded to the Crown in all of the Alfonsine political and intellectual projects, came to a head in 1272 when almost the entirety of the Castilian and Leonese nobility rose against the king, breaking their ties of vassalage with him and exiled themselves to Granada, thereby obliging Alfonso to reduce his aims of centralising royal power in a range of concessions to the nobles. Despite the subsequent return of the nobles, the shadow of the plot never left the kingdom, as seen in the judgments carried out against Alfonso’s own brother Fadrique and Simón Ruiz de los Cameros in 1277. All of this would eventually give rise to a conspiracy led by the second son of the king, the future Sancho IV. Sancho had been in conflict with Alfonso since 1275, when the death of his brother and heir to the throne Fernando de la Cerda left a succession crisis in Castile and Leon: Fernando had two sons, the Infantes de la Cerda, whose priority in the succession was defended by France -the Infantes’ mother Blanca was the daughter of St. Louis, but Sancho had shown his prowess in the difficult days of 1275 and had significant noble support. The conflict would eventually give rise to a civil war between 1282 and 1284 which set an aged and infirm Alfonso against Sancho and the majority of the realm, including Alfonso’s wife Violante. It is in this context of heightened political and personal tension that some of Alfonso’s more controversial decisions can be understood: the disinheritance and damning of Sancho; the collaboration with the Banu Marin in the civil war and the proposed clause in his will which conceived of the annexation by France of the kingdoms of Castile and Leon.

These and related episodes, alongside his reputation as an astrologer, contributed to the early creation of a black legend surrounding Alfonso; it was one that would be amplified with the passage of time by those with an interest in the blackening of his name (thus the famous legend of the blasphemy of Alfonso according to which he declared that if he had been with God at the Creation, he would have done it better) and by those who rushed to judgment, exemplified by the phrase of Eduardo Marquina, based on the views of padre Mariana: «De tanto mirar al cielo / se le cayó la corona». However, in the light of his own concept of kingship («Vicarios de Dios son los reyes») it is more correct to say that Alsonso never releaed his crown as he looked to the heavens, or better still that he received his crown with an eye to the heavens with a breadth of vision and knowledge that not all of his contemporaries (nor indeed those who have studied his reign) were able to appreciate. To reverse the words of the Poema de Mio Cid, «¡Dios, qué buen señor, si oviese buenos vasallos!».



Manuscripts of the Estoria de Espanna


Manuscripts of the Estoria de Espanna

Following the classification of Inés Fernández-Ordóñez, the extant manuscripts of the Estoria de Espanna are as follows. We provide detailed codicological descriptions of those manuscripts employed in the edition (highlighted below). Where images, and bibliographical data, are available online of any of these manuscripts, a link has been provided.

A:      BNE 8817 (Gallego-portugués) Images at Biblioteca Digital Hispánica

A’:     Universidad de Salamanca 2497 (gallego-portugués)

Ae:    BNE 643 (traducción de la versión gallego-portuguesa) Images at Biblioteca Digital Hispánica 

B:      Universidad de Salamanca 2022

C:      BNE 12837 (primera redacción, copy of E1)

Cah:   RAH Madrid 9/5651 (primera redacción, independent of E/Q)

Ce:    BNE 1526 Images at Biblioteca Digital Hispánica (Mss/1865)

Cf:     Universidad de Salamanca 2684 (mixed version)

Cs:     BNE 1865 (copy of C) Images at Biblioteca Digital Hispánica

E:      Comprised of E1 Escorial Y-I-2 and E2 Escorial X-I-4

Eg:    BNE17769 (versión primitiva derived from E)

Eh:    BNE 1487 (copy of E2) Images at Biblioteca Digital Hispánica

Ei:     BNE 1195 (copy of E1) Images at Biblioteca Digital Hispánica (catalogue erroneously describes manuscript author as Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada)

Ej:     RAH Madrid 11.13.3 (copy of E)

F:      Universidad de Salamanca 2628

G:      Escorial X-I-11 (primera redacción/en. de 1274/1289)

I:       BNE 10134 (copy of E2)

J:       BNE 1347 (1289/Cr.Cast) Images at Biblioteca Digital Hispánica

L:      BNE 1298 (vulgar/1274/versión críticaBiblioteca Digital Hispánica

Min:  University of Minnesota Z946.02/fC88I (Copy of E with CVR) Images at University of Minnesota.

N:      Palacio Real Madrid II/2063 (vulgar)

Nn:    Palacio Real Madrid II/1264 (vulgar)

O-F:  BNE 828 (primera redacción, E, más EfG) Images at Biblioteca Digital Hispánica (Mss/828)

Q:      BNE 5795 Biblioteca Digital Hispánica

Qq:    Escorial Z-III-3 (vulgar)

R:      Palacio Real II-2038 (primera redacción, E, CVR)

Ss:     Caja Duero Salamanca, Ms.40. Images in this edition

St:     Stockholm, Biblioteca Real, D.1262.a (vulgar)

T:      Biblioteca Menéndez y Pelayo M-550 Códice s.14, Texto primera redacción/ vulgar, 1274/89) Images in this edition.

To:    Biblioteca de Castilla-La Mancha 104 (vulgar)

U:      Universidad Complutense 158 ( frag., 1289, primitiva)

Uu:    BNE 645 (primera redacciónBiblioteca Digital Hispánica

V1:    BNE 1343 (primera redacción)   Images at Biblioteca Digital Hispánica

V2:    BNE 1277 (primera redacción, fragmentaria, 1289). Images at Biblioteca Digital Hispánica (Mss/1277)

Vv:    BNE 8213 (Tol Rom. más primera redacción) Images at Biblioteca Digital Hispánica (from folio 101r.)

X:      BNE 10213/10214 (primera redacción- C más frag.)

Xx:    BNE 7583 (fragmentaria/1289) Images at Biblioteca Digital Hispánica

Y:      Escorial Y-II-11 (primera redacción, 1274, primera redacción)

Z:      Escorial X-I-7 (primera redacción, 1274, primera redacción)



Codicological descriptions of the manuscripts employed in this edition


E1 Biblioteca del Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial Y-I-2

Manuscript E1 is the only extant codex of the Estoria which was composed in the court of Alfonso. The following brief descriptions made by Inés Fernández-Ordóñez (based on her own research and the detailed work of Diego Catalán) offer an overall picture of the manuscript:

E1 Biblioteca del Monasterio de San Lorenzo, El Escorial: manuscrito Y-I-2. Códice del siglo XIII procedente del scriptorium de Alfonso X. Base del primer volumen de la edición de la Primera Crónica General realizada por Menéndez Pidal (1906, 19552, 19773), contiene la primera redacción de la Estoria de España (hacia 1270-1274), de la que es el representante más cercano al arquetipo pese a no estar exento de pequeños errores de copia. Su texto comprende actualmente desde el prólogo hasta el fin del señorío de Pelayo (capítulo 565), aunque originalmente abarcaba hasta la mitad del reinado de Alfonso II (capítulo 616, página 350a10), antes de que se separaran de él los dos últimos cuadernos para formar el códice E2 a mediados del siglo XIV. Pese a la opinión tradicional de que todo el manuscrito era de la misma mano, en su transcripción intervinieron varios copistas (Catalán, 1997). Consta actualmente de 197 folios de pergamino (416 x 290 mm.), a dos columnas, aunque también le pertenecían los folios 2 a 17 del manuscrito E2 antes de que fuesen desgajados para constituir ese códice facticio. El fol. 197 fue añadido en el siglo XIV para copiar las 34 primeras líneas que habían sido raspadas del folio 197 original (actualmente fol. 2 de E2) a las que se añadió una nota. (PCG, página 320b8-11) remitiendo a E2. Ricamente iluminado, E1 incluye 6 miniaturas en los 7 primeros folios, además de iniciales miniadas en color con decoración fitomórfica y zoomórfica. En el resto del volumen se suceden las iniciales decoradas con rasgos caligráficos en rojo, azul y morado, y se reservó hueco para miniaturas al principio de los reinados. La iluminación no se terminó como revela la falta de algunos epígrafes y los espacios reservados para las miniaturas. Descripciones en Zarco (1926: II, 50-51), Menéndez Pidal (19552: LVII-LVIII), Gómez Pérez (1963: 268-269, n.º 12), todas ellas superadas por la de Catalán (1962: 440-441; 1997: 485-486). Las miniaturas han sido estudiadas por Domínguez (1980, 1989).[1]

In addition to these works, a number of others on the codex, most especially by Rosa Rodríguez Porto and Laura Fernández, but there remains no complete codicological description of the manuscript and its constitution.[2]

Physical description and text box:

The manuscript was examined by Aengus Ward in April 2016. As noted by Fernández-Ordóñez, it is a large codex (416 x 290 mm.) written in Gothic script on vellum. The text box is regular throughout, and can be seen quite clearly on many folios (e.g. 145r). Double vertical lines on the inner and outer edge of the text box are matched by three vertical lines in the centre to form two columns of the same width with ample margins. Horizontal lines run from the outer margin of the folio to the inner margin at lines 1, 26 and 50 – generally the last line in all of the folios. Rubrics are picked out in red and there are several illuminations, and many incomplete illuminations for which space has been left. Initials are generally decorated in alternating patterns of predominantly blue and red designs; typically between 4 and six lines high, although some are larger in places and others have not been realised.


No detailed study of the binding was possible in the time available.


Two loose leaves:

Two leaves of thick vellum begin the codex proper. It was not possible to see if they form a single quire, but it is possible that this is not the case and that they are two loose leaves sewn together as the second appears to be thinner than the first. The recto of the first folio contains a fragment of the chapter list for the chronicle in a later hand; the verso contains the famous image of Alfonso’s court –“lamentablemente dañada” in the words of Fernández (2010)- and has been the object of multiple studies. The second folio contains the prologue of the Estoria, written in the hand typical of the rest of the chronicle. It is also noticeable that the first folio is approximately 2cm wider than the second and that at one point the extreme edge of the first folio was folded back to make it fit with the remainder of the codex. The image has been rubbed (or perhaps deliberately erased) in places and the folio suffers from some wrinkling especially in the central section towards the fold. There are also numerous small holes, probably due to insect damage, especially in the lower margin of the folio.

The second folio suffers from many of the same small holes (especially in column b, lines 10-11 and in the bottom margin) but not all of them, which perhaps suggests that some of the insect damage occurred before the two folios were put together. This folio also suffered a tear, later repaired, in the region of 10 lines from the bottom of column b. The subsequent mark has been disguised with a decorative drawing. The red ink for this design appears to be the same as that which makes up the decorative initial on the verso side of the folio; if this is indeed the case, the damage must therefore have occurred at the time of composition. The folio is also slightly stained and the upper part of the right column is rubbed, mirroring similar damage on the opening of the next gathering.

The folio which contains the prologue has pilcrows picked out in alternating blue and red; the following quires use the pilcrow much more sparingly. The alternating red/blue initials of the kingdoms of Alfonso do not appear again; all of which may suggest that this folio was composed separately from the quires which immediately follow it. On the recto there is a later manicule indicating the phrase “y otrosi por la pereza que es el enemigo del saber” and on the verso there is a brief note is a much later hand.

Quire 1: octavo, fols. 3r-10v The quire contains multiple miniatures (v. Rodríguez Porto). Fernández-Ordóñez notes an abrupt change of hand in folio 8ra 21 (2010: 197) while also noting that the decoration of the quire is contant; perhaps suggesting that the scribe and decorators worked in parallel.
Quire 2: quarto, fols. 11r-14v This quire, a rare quarto in the chronicle, corresponds to the beginning of the “Estoria de los romanos”; the index to which it was probably designed to contain. Folio 11 (along with the first 7 lines of 12r) and 14v and the only parts of the quire which contain the 13th century text. The list of chapters ends in PCG 111 (Chapter XXX), which appears to be a textual boundary (Catalán: ref). Folios 12r-13v contain a list of chapters in a later hand. The text of the first of these chapters “De como el poder de los romanos entro en España” begins in folio 14v. A vertical catchword “alos otros” in contemproary hand appears at the foot of the folio in the right margin of the second column. Folios 12 and 13 are wider than 11 and 14 as they have not been guillotined.
Quire 3: octavo, fols. 15r-22v From the first column of this quire, the codex lacks miniatures. The first two lines are a continuation of 14v, but from this moment there appears to be a change of scribe as the tironian sign disappears completely (until folio 34r). Catchword (“todos cõta”) in the usual place; the equivalent word at the outset of 23r “contra” is not abbreviated
Quire 4: octavo, fols. 23r-30v The catchword (“cobdiciare[mos]”) has been guillotined. On folio 27r there is a manicule in the form of a sword on the bottom margin of the first column and 29r has various drawings in the right margin.
Quire 5: octavo, fols. 31r-38v Folio 34 contains various items of interest. 34r has a manicule at the foot of column b. The lines at 34va 15-16 are written over an erasure, and it is from this moment that the tironian sign reappears. The decorative initials in (and especially the “p” in column a) are larger than before. The words “por que” in faded ink appear at the lower parte of column a. The catchword on folio 38v (“De cuemo”) is written in red ink as it corresponds to the incipit of the rubric which begins folio 39r; which suggests a high degree of co-ordination between those responsable for the decorative and rubric writing and the scribes of the chronicle text – assuming they were not the same.
Quire 6: bifolium, fols. 39r-40v Although the quire is shorter than the rest, its material appearance is the same and it seems to be contemporaneous with the remainder of the chronicle and not a later addition. Almost the entirety of 40v is blank, with the exception of the first 3 lines and a catchword (“De las cõqistas”) in red ink (see 5 above).
Quire 7: octavo, fols. 41r-48v A complete quire which has all of the decorative initials completed and in which there are no spaces for miniatures. The catchword (“guerra”) appears in the usual place.
Quire 8: octavo, fols. 49r-56v This is the final quire corresponding to the first textual block described by Menéndez Pidal y Catalán. The catchword (“Po[npeyo?]”) appears in the usual place in red ink, although it has been guillotined.
Quire 9: quarto, fols. 57r-60v This quire appears to be incomplete, as from the first line of 58v there are no pilcrows -although the scribe had left space for them. The decorative initials are more extensive than previously was the case; however, the final two -on folio 60- are missing. The catchword (“pues q~ Iulio”) is in black ink, whereas the corresponding text on 61r is a rubric and therefore in red.
Quire 10: octavo, fols. 61r-68v In contrast to the previous quire (which may therefore be an exception to the general rule) decorative initials are in blue and red ink. The catchword (“Del Jmper[io]”, guillotined) is in black ink, as for quire 9.
Quire 11: octavo, fols. 69r-76v Perhaps through oversight, the red pilcrows in folios 69r and 76v (that is, the external sides of the outer bifolio) are missing, although the blue pilcrows are present. The alternating pattern of blue and red is also broken twice in 69v and 70r, perhaps suggesting that this quire was less carefully compiled that the others. The catchword (“Enel qrrto”) is in black ink and corresponds to the first line of the next chapter and not the rubric which starts the quire; this may indicate the rubric had not yet been placed there before the finalising of quire 11.
Quire 12: octavo, fols. 77r-84v Catchword in the usual position (“Qua[ndo]”), guillotined.
Quire 13: octavo, fols. 85r-92v This quire presents more marginal notes than the others: in 85v there is a comment on the Pantheon in Rome which “dizese agora S.M. Redõda”, and on 87r there is a note corresponding to a reference in the text to the birthplace of Trajan: “:. otros dize qd Pedriza dela Sierra açerca”. On folio 89r there are two manicules: one to highlight the merits of Trajan and another which points to the phrase “el sennorio nolo deue auer omne por linage. mas por merecimientos”. The catchword “E sant” appears in the usual place. Folio 92 has been damaged, though this was subsequently repaired. The foliation in Roman numerals on 88r (top right corner) repeats and as a result all of the subsequent Roman foliation is awry.
Quire 14: octavo, fols. 93r-100v The catchword “de lo rogar” appears in the usual place. In folio 96v “De lo del Segundo año” is written over an erasure.
Quire 15: octavo, fols.101r-108v. Until the beginning of folio 106r (that is, the first half of the quire) all of the rubrics beginning chaters are missing. This quire has numerous spaces left blank for illuminations. The catchword (“Dioclecian[o]”) has been guillotined.
Quire 16: octavo, fols.109r-116v. From this quire, a red line is used to mark (some) structural divisions in the text (e.g. end of 116va). The catchword (“en q~ uinies[se]”) has been guillotined.
Quire 17: octavo, fols.117r-124v There is a large (contemporary?) manicule in 117rb highlighting the phrase “enel nõbre de ihesu xpo que sabe las cosas q sõ uerdaderas te digo philosopho…” The catchword (“la podrie”) appears in the usual place.
Quire 18: octavo. fols.125r-132v. This quire contains the beginning of two major structural divisions in the text; la “Estoria delos vuandalos etc.” and the “Estoria delos godos”. The list of chapters in folios 126v/127r corresponds to the 21 internal chapter divisions that follow, and the rubrics in the text carry Roman numerals at their end. The character of the decoration appears to change somewhat in the quire, especially on the left margin of some of the folios. The catchword (“& valetiniano”) appears in the usual place, in red ink similar to that of the list of chapters.
Quire 19: octavo. fols.133r-140v. The list of chapters continues from the previous quire and ends in the first column of 133r; folios 133v-134v, immediately following the list, are left blank. In the same manner as the “Estoria de los vuandalos etc.” in quire 18, the first four chapters of the “Estoria delos godos” carry Roman numerals following the rubric; from the fifth chapter onwards the numerals do not appear, although space has been left for them. The catchword “en tiempo[o]” appears, guillotined, in the usual place.
Quire 20: octavo fols.141r-148v The catchword (“e tanto”) appears in the usual place.
Quire 21: octavo fols.149r-156v Almost the entirety of folio 152v has been left blank. It is unlikely that all of this space is for a miniature, although this is a textual frontier; the first year of the reign of Alaric begins at the start of folio 153r. According to Inés Fernández-Ordóñez there is a change of hand from folio 155v. The catchword “Athalarigo” appears in the usual place.
Quire 22: octavo fols.157r-164v Folio 164 suffered some damage, which was later repaired. The catchword “q ende” appears in the usual place.
Quire 23: octavo fols.165r-172v The external parte of folio 170 was damaged at one point, and this appears to have been repaired with a patch. There is a manicule in folio 171ra indicating the phrase “dixo a aquellos moros q estauan y con el q por agua serien saluos & aurien perdon de sus pecados”. The catchword “rio el papa” appears in the usual place.
Quire 24: octavo fols.173r-180v The catchword “non te” appears in the usual place.
Quire 25: octavo fols.181r-188v The catchword “prisol &” appears in the usual place.
Quire 26 octavo fols.189r-196v The catchword “grand” appears in the usual place.


E2 Biblioteca del Monasterio de San Lorenzo, El Escorial: manuscrito X-I-4.

The following description is based previous research as detailed below and on personal inspection by Enrique Jerez Cabrero, Ricardo Pichel Gotérrez and Aengus Ward in December 2015 and April 2016.

Physical description and text box:

E2 is a composite manuscript put together in the first half of the 14th century in the reign of Alfonso XI (before 1344), probably by Fernán Sánchez de Valladolid and which joins material from the last third of the 13th century and first and second quarters of the 14th century with the aim of completing the unfinished Alfonsine original. It is comprised of 359 folios of parchment (420 x 312 mm) in two columns. On folio 1r there is the famous Alfonsine miniature, representing a king with a sword in his hand and accompanied by two pages. On folio 2r there is a 14th century note referring back to manuscript E1. Between folios 2rb-17 (E2a) are the two 13th century quires which originally formed part of E1. Folios 18-22 (E2b) and 321-359 (E2f, which contains the Crónica particular de San Fernando) are in the same hand. Folios 23-198 (E2c, with a brief 14th century interpolation on folios 80-81 of the Leyenda de la condesa traidora) and 257-320 (E2e) provide the original text of the Versión amplificada de 1289 and were copied by the same late 13th century scribe. The final remaining section of the manuscript 200-256v (E2d), which transmits the narration of the Valencian doings of El Cid, was copied by a scribe in the second quarter of the 14th century and is notable for its rough blue and red initials.

The most complete description to date is in Fernández-Ordóñez, which we repeat here:

Códice facticio compuesto a mediados del siglo XIV en época de Alfonso XI (después de 1321 y antes de 1344), probablemente por Fernán Sánchez de Valladolid, empalmando materiales de diversas épocas, para dar continuación al incompleto manuscrito original del scriptorium de Alfonso X, E1, según ha demostrado Catalán pormenorizadamente y sin dejar lugar a la duda (1962, 1997). Base del segundo volumen de la edición pidalina de la Estoria de España (PCG), su despiece es el siguiente:

fol. 1r: Miniatura de tiempos de Alfonso XI representando a un rey con espada en mano, sentado en un trono y rodeado de dos pajes, y título en rojo (PCG, página 321).

fol. 2ra: Nota añadida en el siglo XIV remitiendo al volumen E1 (PCG, página 321a1-16).

fols. 2rb-17: E2a. Esta mano está constituida por los dos primeros cuadernos, que originalmente formaban parte del códice E1, del que fueron segregados para formar artificiosamente E2. Letra del siglo XIII idéntica a la empleada en E1 desde el fol. 155v en adelante. El texto copiado por esta mano comprende hasta mediados del reinado de Alfonso II (capítulo 616) y puede leerse desde PCG, página 321a20 a página 350a10.

fols. 18-22: E2b. Letra de mediados del siglo XIV, idéntica a E2f, de la que es contemporánea y en la que coincide en la iluminación de iniciales y peculiaridades gráficas. El texto transcrito por esta mano conserva el final del reinado de Alfonso II (PCG, página 350a10-358b37) y deriva de la primera redacción aunque incluye numerosos errores particulares.

fols. 23-79, 82-198vc: E2c. Manuscrito del siglo XIII que contiene el texto original de la Versión amplificada de 1289 desde Ramiro I hasta el año 25 de Alfonso VI (PCG, pp. 358b39-426a18 [fols. 23-79], pp. 429a39-565a29 [fols. 82-198]).

fols. 80-81: Mano de un corrector del siglo XIV que copió la Leyenda de la condesa traidora (PCG, capítulos 729-732, página 426a25-429a37) en los dos folios originalmente en blanco de E2c.

fols. 200-256vc: E2d. Mano de mediados del siglo XIV, iniciales toscas en rojo y azul, que transcribió un relato sobre la historia valenciana del Cid basado, primero, en la traducción alfonsí de Ibn Alqama, después, en una refundición del Poema de Mio Cid amañada en Cardeña, la Estoria caradignense del Cid. La creación de ese texto tuvo que ser anterior a principios del siglo XIV, ya que fue fuente de la Crónica abreviada y de la Crónica de Castilla. El relato puede leerse desde PCG, página 565b1 a página 643b7.

fols. 257-320: E2e El copista es el mismo que en E2c, del siglo XIII, y transcribe igualmente la Versión amplificada de 1289 desde el año 42 de Alfonso VI hasta comenzado el reinado de Fernando III (PCG, pp. 643b9-719a42).

fols. 321-359: E2f. Letra de mediados del siglo XIV, probablemente la misma que E2b, que transcribe la Crónica particular de San Fernando.

Consta de 359 folios de pergamino (420 x 312 mm.), a dos columnas. Un corrector del siglo XIV realizó diversas enmiendas e interpolaciones sobre E2c: aparte de pequeños retoques, interpoló la Leyenda de la condesa traidora en los fols. 80-81 (PCG, pp. 426a20-429a37), y añadió un párrafo en el fol. 101v (PCG, p. 453b17-29) y otro en el fol. 102r (página 454a27-37) para completar ciertos detalles de esa leyenda; además, completó la historia de los reyes de Aragón añadiendo sendas notas sobre Alfonso I el Batallador en el fol. 123r (página 476a50, nota), sobre Ramiro el Monje en el fol. 124v (página 477b50, nota), y sobre la conquista de Mallorca en el fol. 124r (página 480a21, nota). Dan noticia del manuscrito Menéndez Pidal (19713: 384), Zarco (1929: III, 2), Franklin (1938), Menéndez Pidal (19552: LVIII-LIX) y Gómez Pérez (1963: 268-269, n.º 12), descripciones que pueden juzgarse obsoletas tras las proporcionadas por Catalán, tanto desde el punto de vista codicológico como textual (1962: 441-442; 1997: 485-486).

The sections of the manuscript composed in the 13th century are the most regular. These sections are thought to be from the royal scriptorium, and therefore bear most similarity to E1. The text box is regular throughout, although the text is comprised of only 40 lines, and can be seen frequently (e.g. 263r). It does not appear to have the same mid-line ruling as E1, either horizontally or vertically. The rubrics are uniformly picked out in red and the pilcrows alternate in colour between red and blue. Chapter explicits are often also picked out in red. Many chapters begin with a space for an illumination but with the exception of the opening the 1289 section, none are complete. Initials on these chapters are also often missing although the illumination title is often present (see 77v/78r for all of this). The principal fourteenth century additions are less carefully composed; have rubrics in red, but less worked initials and only red pilcrows (where they are entered). The later stages also have 40 lines per column, but the number of lines varies elsewhere, even across columns in the case of folios 18-22.

Modern foliation has been added in the upper right corner of the folios; quires are numbered on the bottom left in Roman numerals.

Quire 1: Octavo 2r-9v The first of two quires detached from what is now E1 it is identical in form to these. Catchword: “autoridad” in the usual place. The erasures and addition to folio 2r which were made to ensure a fit with E1 have been closely studied by Fernández-Ordóñez.
Quire 2: Octavo 10r-17v Identical in format to Quire 1. Catchword “por tod”
Quire 3. 18r-22v This quire is the additional text added in the fourteenth century to bridge the gap between the end of E1orig and the beginning of the 1289 text. The last folio is left blank, and there is no catchword. It was not possible to examine the exact stitching/composition of the quire.
Quire 4: Octavo 23r-30v This quire is the opening of the 1289 text in a late 13th century hand. The opening illumination has been studied by Rodríguez Porto, and others. The hand is larger than for E1. A catchword “.&.vi” appears at the foot of the page, but in the middle of the folio; this is the standard position for the 1289 sections.
Quire 5: Octavo 31r-38v The second 1289 quire seems to have suffered significant insect damage in places. Catchword “.Andados.” in the usual place.
Quire 6: Octavo 39r-46v Catchword “.tello.” in the usual place. Major spaces have been left in the 2nd half of the quire for illuminations that were not realised and also for end of chapter rubrics.
Quire 7: Octavo 47r-54v Catchword “.pocos.” in the usual place.
Quire 8: Octavo 55r-62v Catchword “a” in the usual place.
Quire 9: Octavo 63r-70v Catchword “.uinie.” in the usual place.
Quire 10: Octavo 71r-78v No catchword.
Quire 11: 78r-85v Catchword “pieron” in the usual place. This gathering includes the two folios 80-81 written in a later hand but which are all part of same quire.
Quire 12: Octavo 86r-93v Catchword “este Rey” in the usual place. There has been an attempt to erase the rubric “Caplo delas mugieres q ouo este Rey don Ramiro” at the end of the column.
Quire 13: Octavo 94r-101v. No catchword. This final column of the quire is completed with note in another hand, similar to that of 80/81, and which supplies text missing from the end of the chapter.
Quire 14: Octavo 102r-109v: Catchword “.uez.” in the usual place. The quire numbering disappears at this point. A modern hand has corrected previous foliation. 120 110
Quire 15: Octavo 110r-117v Catchword “.nin.” in the usual place. 3 major spaces are left for end rubrics and illuminations in the second half of the quire.
Quire 16: Octavo 118r-125v Catchword “.Et con.” in the usual place. As with the previous quire, the second half of the gathering has (5) spaces for illuminations and unfilled columns corresponding to chapter breaks. There are also two major marginal notes here in an early hand, both of which concern kings of Aragon.
Quire 17: Octavo 126r-133v Catchword “desamparar” in the usual place. The central pages of the quire (129v/130r) are either blank or have missing illuminations.
Quire 18: Octavo 134r-141v Catchword “-xoles” in the usual place. As before, in the second half of the quire there is a missing illumination: 140v-141r.
Quire 19: Octavo 142r-149v Catchword “esto dixo” in the usual place.
Quire 20: Octavo 150r-157v Catchword “acordaron” in the usual place. The verso of the final folio of the quire is stained.
Quire 21: Octavo 158r-165v Catchword “aluar” in the usual place. The absence of space for illuminations in the chapter headings is almost certainly due to the subject matter -el Cid- and hence the absence of new reigns.
Quire 22: Octavo 166r-173v: Catchword “segudolos” in the usual place. The initials in this quire are very decorated, and like the pilcrows they reverse the red/blue colour scheme each time.
Quire 23: Octavo 174r-181v Catchword “de arteria” in the usual place: The Latin text in 176v/177r is picked out in red. 178rb has and erasure and the word “Roma” inserted in a later hand.
Quire 24: Octavo 182r-189v Catchword “.con.” in the usual place. 182ra has an erasure and “bie creemos” added in a later hand. 182v Latin text maintains the principle of red ink for Latin. A substantial addition in a contemporary hand has been made at the end of 189rb by extending the text box. This addition supplies omitted text and as constituted it fits perfectly into the sentence in question.
Quire 25: Octavo 190r-197v Catchword “cos” in the usual place.
Quire 26: Bifolium 198r-199v The second folio is blank, and the catchword “et tornosse todo” in the usual place but now at the very bottom of the folio. The 1289 text ends at the bottom of 198va and is completed by a later hand in all of b column. Folio 199 is entirely blank apart from the catchword but it is lined for writing. E2e, quire 35 below, begins with a rubric and new chapter and not the catchword text.
Quire 27: Octavo 200r-207v This quire opens the 14th century Cid material and is therefore materially different to the previous quire although the scribe has made an attempt to fit in with the style of the previous text. Pilcrows alternate in colour and initials also alternate in colour though not as well drawn. The catchword “que mi cid” is in the usual place mid-folio, adorned with a decorative surround, and is in red ink as befits red text following.
Quire 28: Octavo 208r-215v Catchword “la plitesia” in the usual place (“la pleytesia” expanded in next column).
Quire 29: Octavo 216r-223v. Catchword “mayor & la ” in the usual place.
Quire 30: Octavo 224r-231v Catchword “de carriõ” in the usual place.
Quire 31: Octavo 232r-239v Catchword “nos dize” in the usual place.
Quire 32: Octavo 240r-247v Catchword “nos podia” in the usual place.
Quire 33: Quarto 248r-251v The first of two quarto quires, this appears to have been configured to accommodate the insertion of the Cid material in the 1289 text. Catchword “Desq todo” in the usual place.
Quire 34: Quarto +1 252r-256v After end of Cid section, 256va, it is presumed that a folio was blank. The blank folio has been cut away leaving 252r orphaned, and sewn in separately to the quire.
Quire 35. 257r-262v Beginning of E2e, therefore a return to the 1289 text. Catchword “del Rey” at the foot of the folio but now below column b, unlike the previous 1289 practice. The gathering suffers from several deletions and also contains space for illuminations. The quire is shorter than others of the style, perhaps accommodated by the longer quire 36 that follows.
Quire 36 263r-272v The catchword “del Regnado” is in the usual place but in a later hand (?) and in different coloured ink. There is significant later marginalia throughout the quire, and the recto of the last folio of the gathering is almost completely blank.
Quire 37: Octavo 273r-280v Catchword “Batalla” in the usual place. The opening half of the quire has significant marginalia and also space for unrealised illuminations. Folio 273r has a modern note in blue ink at the bottom of scribal marginalia referring back to folio 271 in the previous quire, which itself has a scribal note on the same subject.
Quire 38: Octavo 281r-288v No catchword, though there is significant later marginal note on 288v. One unrealised illumination appears on 284v.
Quire 39: Octavo 289r-296v Catchword “a los otros” in the usual place. Folio 291v has extensive marginalia which as been subsequently truncated/guillotined; 289r also has scribal marginalia.
Quire 40: Octavo 297r-304v Catchword “to ante todos” in the usual place.
Quire 41: Octavo 305r-312v Catchword “sassen” in the usual place. Major space for illuminations has been left on folios 310v-311r.
Quire 42: Octavo 313r-320v Folio 315r/v is lined but not used; the text is interrupted before the burial of Enrique I and recommences after the lacuna on 316r with Fernando III and an unrealised illumination. The quire ends with a catchword “sancta” in the usual place, but as this is the end of the 1289 text it is not clear what would have come next; the 14th century addition follow in the next quire.
Quire 43: Octavo 321r-328v The beginning of the 14th century text corresponding to the Crónica Particular de San Fernando. The first rubric is written over an erasure, and there is a small space for an initial illumination. The initials are less well executed than in the 1289 text, although an attempt has been made to adorn them. There is no catchword.
Quire 44: Octavo 329r-336v No catchword. These folios have very different initials to those of the rest of E2 and the pilcrows appear only in red.
Quire 45: Octavo 337r-344v Catchword “algo” in the usual place just below text box.
Quire 46: Octavo 345r-352v Catchword “costubre era” in the usual place, although this appears to be a different hand.
Quire 47: Last quire of the chronicle; the final folio is a guard sheet.


 Q (BNE 5795)

Examined in person by Ricardo Pichel Gotérrez and Aengus Ward over the course of 2015/6.

Manuscript from the first half of the 14th century (probably the second quarter) composed of 178 folios on parchment (305 x 205 mm) in two columns, gathered in 18 quires, all of which are regular gatherings of five folios, with the exception of quire 11, which is missing the external bifolio (folios 100bis and 108bis). The codex is in good condition, with the possible exception of the external folios which are slightly worn and other local minor damage (small tears, water stains, small areas of faded ink etc.).

The manuscript has interfasicular catchwords and all of the quires are identified by Roman numerals. The alphabetic system of marks, which appear in the bottom external corner of the recto sides of folios is especially interesting as Q has up to five levels of identification of the order of quires (e.g. a, bb, ccc, dddd, aaaaa).

In contrast to T, ms. Q is extremely regular graphically, structurally and ornamentally; there appears to have been one calligrapher throughout. In addition to the decorative elements (rubrics are picked out in red), Q has pilcrows and initials with calligraphic decoration in red and blue. There are various marginal notes, of which three 15th century quintillas de amor a una dama are especially noteworthy (fol. 150v).

 T (Biblioteca de Menéndez Pelayo 550)

Examined in person by Ricardo Pichel Gotérrez over the course of 2016.

Manuscript traditionally dated at the end of the 14th and beginning of the 15th centuries, although examination of the hand and other codicological information suggests a dates in the second half of the 14th century. The codex is comprised of 203 folios of parchment (310 x 245 mm) in two columns, gathered in 23 quires. The majority of these are five-bifolio gatherings with the exception of 7, 9, 10 and 14 (octavo); 11 (three bifolios) and 1 and 23 (bifolia); 22 has five bifolia gathered with an additional folio at the end which is really part of 23. There are at least 4 folios missing: the external bifolium of el quire 10 (folios 110bis and 118bis) and an internal bifolium in quire 23 (folios 199bis and 201bis); this quire probably also is missing a further folio (201ter) which would be the right half of the external bifolium, and therefore the final folio of the manuscript.

Prior to the restoration carried out in the Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural Español in 2016, the manuscript was in a relatively poor state, particularly with regard to the binding which had been preserved to that point (the central and outer quires of the manuscript were completely detached) and to the state of the parchment (areas with faded and worn ink, wrinkling, local tears etc.). Throughout the codex, the external bifolium of certain quires had been reinforced in their internal side with short strips of parchment taken from a contemporary manuscript written in Latin.

The manuscript has regular interfasicular catchwords placed there by the two copyists who composed it. There are also visible in some quires intrafascicular catchwords, in a more cursive hand (possibly from the 15th century), which probably served as a guide for the sewing and re-binding of the volume. Curiously, some of these are counter-catchwords as they appear on the recto side of folios and reproduce the end of the previous verso.

There is no scribal foliation or pagination, with the sole exception of the final three quires (folios 184-201) where there is visible a post-medieval (possibly 16th century?) foliation en Roman numerals, placed on the front of the folios concerned and strangely running from the back forwards. Modern foliation is in pencil, however the numbers 69 and 100 are repeated (here numbered 69bis and 100bis respectively), which has led to an erroneous folio count of 201, when in fact the codex contains 203 folios.

The manuscript has some decoration on certain structural elements of the text (rubrics and pilcrows in red, initials in red and blue/purple). Especially notable is the ornamentation of large initial capitals in the second part of the manuscript (from 92 onwards); each section corresponding to a new reign begins with a sequence of alternating blue and red capitals with large initials adorned with calligraphic effects.

The codex has many corrections and marginal notes, both contemporary and post medieval. OF this, of particular note is the systematic scraping and erasure by a later reader of all of the cases of the word tuerto, which are then replaced by a range of other equivalents (mal, talante, daño, injuria, agravio, sin guisa, sin razon, etc.)

 Ss (Biblioteca de la Caja de Ahorros de Salamanca ms. 40)

Members of the Estoria Digital team were unable to examine this manuscript in person.

Manuscript composed in the 15th century and comprising 325 folios of paper (358×260 mm) in two columns. The first folio is missing The presence of rubrics, added in red by a later hand, is very irregular, as is the presence of decorative initials. The text was corrected and annotated widely by two further early hands using an exemplar of the versión primitiva.

Min (Biblioteca de la Universidad de Minnesota Z946.02/fC88I)

Manuscript examined in person by Aengus Ward, September 2016.

Manuscript from the beginning of the 15th century, initially comprised of 547 folios on paper (280 x 215 mm) in two columns. Acquired by the University of Minnesota in the early 1950s from Krauss booksellers, already in a very deteriorated condition. Rubrics are picked out in red and alternating red and coloured initials.

Fernández-Ordóñez’s description is as follows:

1-11v Tabla incompleta

1r-v Prefacio característico

1vb-498r Hermano de Z. Contiene la primera redacción hasta el comienzo del reinado de Alarico copiada de E1 (1v-301r; PCG 434). Omite lo que sigue, empalmando con el reinado de Atanagildo (301-307v; PCG 460) hasta el de Liuba donde se interrumpe por pérdida de numerosos folios. En esta sección coincide con la primera redacción, pero no con Z. Su texto se reanuda en Fruela I (436r; PCG 592) y ahora desciende de un modelo común a T, G y Z que deriva de la primera redacción sin los errores propios de E1 y al que Min sigue hasta el final del reinado de Alfonso IV (PCG 682). Ese prototipo copió de E2, VA1289, desde el reinado de Ramiro I hasta el año 1 de Alfonso III (460-467v; PCG 629-645).

498r-547v: cambia de prototipo, siguiendo a CVR desde el ultimo capítulo de Alfonso IV (PCG 682).


In fact the manuscript now comprises 482 unbound sides, thus 241 folios. Rubrics are frequently faded. Alternating colour initials are frequent though the manuscript but the characteristic small capitals to begin chapter text disappear in the lacuna between folios 307 and 436. Such binding as exists is a curious sewn binding. The leaves are all singular, perhaps because the binding has come apart. Some gatherings are still intact.


The initial folios comprise an index and are incomplete and in the wrong order -indeed it is not clear that this index corresponds directly to the text of the manuscript. Modern foliation on the foot of the opening pages is in the order folios are currently found and not in the original order. The opening of the chronicle proper is on the 12th folio of the codex and is the characteristic prologue, but it is preceded by another prologue which is not in E1 but which is an integral part of Min.

There are two modern folio numbers on the manuscript. The first of these begins with the chronicle proper and is marked as folio 1. The foliation gives us an idea of what is missing from the chronicle. The foliation suggests that the chronicle is complete up to 12v, corresponding to chapter 20/9. The next folio is numbered 42, and corresponds to chapter 71/6. Fol. 53v has a catchword, but folio 54 is missing and the next folio is numbered 55. The foliation also suggests that the following have also been lost: fols. 65-69, 75-77, 89-112, 158 (157v has catchwords) and 167-191. There is an error in foliation subsequently as 201 is repeated. Subsequently, 203-204 are missing, as are 214-215. The foliation then passes from 229-300, but this does not indicate missing folios but rather confusion between 229 and 299 on the part of the person who added the foliation as the text is continuous here. The foliation continues to 307 (corresponding to images 323-324) at which point the number leaps to 436, and it is at this point that the second foliation begins at number 295. The gap corresponds to chapter 488 (PCG 479) and the text resumes in chapter 603 (PCG 592).

Subsequently, the following folios are missing: 440-443, 447-448 (446 has a catchword), 458-459, 468-469, 479-489, 491-492, 503, 515 and 532.

One curiosity is the fragment which currently is placed between folios 121 and 123 (images 139/140). A review of the text in the top fragment, which is attached to the binding, reveals that it does indeed correspond to this position, and to the folio number of 122. However, the bottom, larger, fragment does not, and actually corresponds to text from the lacuna between 307 and 436. Furthermore, although the foliation is continuous, the existence of the folio number away from its accustomed place and the fact that there is a textual gap here (corresponding to 176/18-181/3) tells us that the foliation was placed here after this particular gap was made. Unlike other textual lacunae, which show a skip in the foliation, this tear was clearly present when the foliation was put there.

In the light of all of this, it is recommendable to use the image numbers from the Minnesota site as a consistent method of reference to the text of Min.

 Y (Escorial Y-II-11)

Manuscript examined in person by Enrique Jerez Cabrero in December 2015.

Manuscript composed in the 15th century and comprising 461 folios of paper (287 x 215 mm) in two columns. At least 8 folios have been lost (66, 167, 179, 199, 200, 305, 346, 435) in addition to those which have fallen from the end of the manuscript. Space has been reserved, but not filled, for initials and rubrics. Of particular note is the fact that the first 12 folios the text was copied translated into Catalan.




[1] Inés Fernández-Ordóñez, “La transmisión textual de la “Estoria de Espanna” y de las principales “Crónicas” de ella derivadas”, in Inés Fernández-Ordóñez (ed.) Alfonso el Sabio y las crónica de España, (Valladolid: Universidad de Valladolid, Centro para la Edición de los Clásicos Españoles, 2000), pp.219-260 (242).

[2] Rodriguez Porto, Fernandez


Dr. Aengus Ward 

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  • General editor of the Estoria Digital and responsible for editorial decisions.
  • Establishment of base text and numbering
  • Transcriptions and proofreading of transcriptions
  • Collation and establishment of edited text

Personal webpage (Birmingham)

I have been a lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages (Hispanic Studies) since 1994. I teach medieval Spanish literature and Spanish language and linguistics. My research interests lie in the fields of medieval Spanish history and historiography, textual editing, diachronic phonology and syntax.
The Estoria project emerges from my interest in medieval Iberian chronicles and my previous ventures into the world of textual editing. We aim to produce a digital edition of the Estoria de Espanna by the end of 2016, but we also hope to create a series of tools which will engage a wider audience with the history of Iberia and the superb medieval manuscripts that preserve the Estoria.


Dr. Fiona Maguire


Dr Maguire is a research fellow on the Estoria de Espanna Digital Project.

  • Initial conversion of E1 and E2 to xml
  • Technical aspects of transcription
  • Transcription of Ss and correction and proofing of various transcriptions
  • Impact and development of digital tools
  • Development of reader’s edition
  • Establishment of indices, maps and prosopographical tools



Dr. Enrique Jerez

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  • Transcription of manuscripts T and Q
  • Correction and proofing of transcriptions, especially Ss
  • Development of Impact tools: teaching materials and exhibitions

Dr Jerez joined the team in October 2014, as a research fellow. For nine years (1997-2006) he worked in the Biblioteca Nacional in Spain as part of the Golden Age Research Project led by Pablo Jauralde. His role involved cataloguing Castilian poetry manuscripts dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. He has been involved in research into textual criticism and the history of the historiography studied by Diego Catalán, with whom he worked closely for five years in the preparation of the monograph Rodericus romanzado (FRMP, 2005). He also completed his PhD thesis under the direction of Professor Catalán, on the topic of the ideological motivations and composition techniques of one of the principal Alfonsine sources, the Chronicon mundi by Lucas de Tuy. These days, Dr Jerez’s interests have widened to the study of narrative symbolism in medieval literature, and in particular the frontier between Legend and History.



Dr. Ricardo Pichel Gotérrez

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  • Transcription and correction of T (and others)
  • Development and general editing of the reader’s edition
  • Manuscript description
  • Archive liaison


Ricardo Pichel joined the team in April 2015 and remained in Birmingham as an Honorary Research Fellow until spring 2016 as part of his postdoctoral contract with the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. This was followed up by stays at King’s College London, the Hispanic Society of America (New York) and the University of California (as a research fellow for PhiloBiblon). A graduate of Galician and Hispanic Philology, he completed his PhD thesis (2013) on the edition and study of the fourteenth-century bilingual Historia troyana (BMP 558). He has taught at the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (2006-2009) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2011-2014). He is also a researcher for the Instituto da Lingua Galega, where he is involved in several research projects such as “Xelmírez. Corpus lingüístico da Galicia medieval” and “Biblioteca Dixital da Galicia medieval”. Furthermore he is the principal researcher of the Galician team within the International Network CHARTA. At present, he is working on the digital edition and study of several medieval texts (such as the Galician translations and versions of the General Estoria and the Estoria de Espanna, the Crónica de 1404 etc.) with a view to incorporating them into his postdoctoral project, the “Corpus de Textos Antigos de Galiza”.



Dr. Bárbara Bordalejo 


  • All aspects of technical details initially
  • Transcriptions
  • Development of transcription guidelines

Personal webpage
Barbara Bordalejo is a digital humanist and a textual scholar with a background in English Literature. She has published electronic editions of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Darwin’s Origin of Species and 15th Century Spanish Cancioneros. Her interests focus on textual criticism with particular emphasis in electronic editing and the use of computer methods to study texts, collation of large textual traditions, the history and future of the book and transmedia storytelling. She teaches digital literature and new media, English and American literature. She is a member of the executive of Global Outlook: Digital Humanites.


Zeth Green


  • Software development

Personal webpage
Personal webpage (Birmingham)

I am a developer and researcher working in the digital arts and humanities, primarily on electronic editions and tools concerning the New Testament and other ancient works. I am the software developer on the project.


Polly Duxfield


  • Transcription of E1 and Q
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Preparation of the reader’s edition
  • Development of transcription training
  • Index building
  • Conference administration

Personal webpage
I came to the Estoria Digital project through my background in sociolinguistics and as an ex-student of Aengus’s here at the University of Birmingham, where I completed both my BA and my MPhil. I spent my year abroad in Santiago de Compostela where I became interested in Galician sociolinguistics, which was the topic of my MPhil. After my masters I qualified as a teacher and taught first in a primary school, specialising in MFL, then at secondary schools in Worcestershire, teaching GCSE and A Level French and Spanish. My main academic interests lie in sociolinguistics, but participating in the EDIT project has allowed me to develop my interests in the use of crowdsourcing for digital transcription projects and textual editing using digital humanities.
Twitter: @pollyduxfield

Christian Kusi-Obodum 


  • Transcription of E1, T and Q
  • Development of transcription training
  • Preparation of the reader’s edition
  • Index building
  • Conference administration

I began working as part of the Estoria Digital programme at the start of 2014 as a Birmingham alumnus and having been taught by Aengus Ward. During my year abroad I studied in Lisbon and Oviedo, allowing me to experience the amazing cultural and linguistic variation in the Iberian Peninsula. After graduation I trained to be a French and Spanish teacher in Reading, and after a short time teaching English in Poland I returned to the University of Birmingham to help with the Estoria project. I am excited to be exploring historiography, especially in the case of medieval Iberia, the frontier por excelencia between Christendom and the Islamic world. I’m keen to develop skills in palaeography and textual editing, as it will bring manuscripts right into the modern age, offering new dynamics for historical analysis. Outside of work I enjoy creative writing, as well as challenging myself to hold my balance on a ‘slackline’, otherwise known as tightrope walking!



Marine Poirier 

Personal webpage (Rennes 2) 

I am currently a contractual doctoral student (‟allocataire-monitrice”) in Spanish linguistics at the University of Rennes 2 and research assistant on the Estoria Digital project in Birmingham. After a Master’s degree prepared at the Universities of Rennes and Salamanca with a dissertation on the Estoria (2011) and French agrégation (2012), I worked as a teacher at a secondary school in Rennes, teaching Spanish A level.For any further information, you can see my personal webpage above.


screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-17-05-24Lauren Brinsdon
Lauren joined us during the summer of 2016 during which time she worked on translating into English the materials created by Enrique for the impact project.






Estoria de Espanna Digital project main team
The project was led by principal investigator Dr. Aengus Ward of the University of Birmingham, UK. The research fellows on the project were Dr. Bárbara Bordalejo (senior research fellow, KU Leuven), Fiona Maguire (University of Birmingham), Dr. Enrique Jerez Cabrero (University of Birmingham) and Dr. Ricardo Pichel Gotérrez (postdoctoral research fellow, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela and Universidad de Alcalá). The doctoral students on the project were Christian Kusi-Obodum (University of Birmingham) and Polly Duxfield (University of Birmingham). The software developer was Zeth Green.

Advisory board
The advisory board for the project was made up of Professor Leonardo Funes (Universidad de Buenos Aires), Dr. Francisco Bautista (Universidad de Salamanca), Dr. Virginie Dumanoir (Université Rennes 2), Dr. Manual Hijano (Durham University), Dr. Geraldine Hazbun (University of Oxford) and Dr. Juan-Carlos Conde (University of Oxford).

Extended team
We were joined for periods of time of varying length by doctoral students Marine Poirier (Université Rennes 2, France), Alicia Montero Málaga (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain), and Javier Sebastián Moreno (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain). During the summer of 2016 we were joined by Lauren Brinsdon, an undergraduate student (University of Birmingham). We received considerable technical expertise from Professor Peter Robinson (University of Saskatchewan) and Xiaohan Zhang (University of Saskatchewan) regarding the transcription phase of the project. Michael Pidd (University of Sheffield) was the digital director of the impact project, linked to the main EDIT project. Nick Leonard was a crowdsourcer for the project, and was a particularly productive volunteer.

The most active volunteer transcribers for the project were:
Nick Leonard
Gustavo Riva
Avellana Ross
Silvia Yusta Fernández

Other volunteers who produced transcriptions or carried out transcriptions tasks for the project were:
Lauren Brinsdon
Iara Cardo
Carlos Darwing
José Fradejas
Emily Francomano
Leonardo Funes
Jordan Grantham
Juan Lacalle
Alicia Inés Málaga
Olga Mendez Gonzalez
Sé Mouthaan Ward
Irene Salvo García
Pablo Saracino



The majority of the transcriptions we prepared in order to make our digital edition were carried out by members of the Estoria de Espanna Digital project team. Some transcriptions, however, were done by crowdsourced volunteer transcribers. Around fifty people signed up to be crowdsourcers for the project, around seven of whom went on to become ‘active’, that is, did any transcribing for us that we could use in the preparation of the edition. This figure is consistent with what we could have predicted, based on research into crowdsourcing by Rose Holley. Of our seven crowdsourcers, and could be considered to be what Holley terms a ‘super volunteer’, i.e. someone who consistently achieves much more work than other volunteers and develops a longterm link to the project, sometimes staying with it for years.

Why did we use crowdsourcers?
Our aim in using transcriptions done by volunteers was never to remove the need for the in-house team of transcribers, and when we take into account the working hours involved in setting up the infrastructure, recruiting, training, moderating the work of crowdsourcers and feeding back to them it would actually have been quicker for us to do all of the transcriptions ourselves. Our aim was not to produce the transcriptions as quickly as possible, since at the level we were crowdsourcing this would just never have been the case – other, larger crowdsourcing projects such as Transcribe Bentham do primarily rely on the transcriptions of volunteers, but this was neither an option nor an objective for us. Instead, we used crowdsourcing as one of the ways in which we hoped to widen the impact of our project, to allow those not working in universities to take part in scholarly research and to have direct contact with and benefit from the research itself.

Who were our crowdsourcers?
Our crowdsourcers were a varied bunch: some were students, some undergraduate, some graduate, of topics related to our project, and some were working outside academia but had an interest in medieval studies, palaeography, transcription or other related themes. Our crowdsourcers came from many different countries, including Spain, Argentina and Australia. What they did have in common, however, was that they each had some kind of motivational factor to want to work for the project. For some this was a perceived direct benefit to their ongoing studies and for others this was the fulfilment of a ‘cognitive surplus’, to use Clay Shirky‘s term, which means they had a desire to learn, or to put their skills and experience to what they deemed to be a good use.

What did crowdsourcers do at the project?
Some crowdsourcers primarily did some of the ‘drudgery’ of creating a digital edition by doing tasks such as ensuring that the lines of text in the transcription matched the lines of text in the manuscript image, and inserting the correct line break tags. Although this may be perceived as ‘donkey work’ it was by no means unimportant: having tasks such as this completed enabled the in-house team to complete the rest of the transcription of that folio more quickly. Once they had mastered this skills, some transcribers chose to progress to more complex tasks such as inputting abbreviation tags and other XML encoding, according to our Transcription Guidelines. After careful training, moderation and feedback on our part, and a great deal of time, effort and hopefully enjoyment on his part, our one ‘super volunteer’ became an extremely accurate transcriber: by the time the transcription section of the preparation of the edition was completed, his folios were as accurate as those produced by the in-house transcription team.

How did we train the volunteer transcribers?
Crowdsourcers were initially trained through an online course produced by the PhD students on the project and using the online learning platform Canvas. Once they had completed their initial training, crowdsourcers were trained in an on-going style, through moderation of their transcriptions and diagnostic feedback given on a one-to-one basis designed to continue to motivate volunteers, to feed their cognitive surplus as they improved at the task, and to raise the accuracy of their transcriptions, making them more useful to use at the project.

Where can I read more about crowdsourcing at the Estoria de Espanna Digital project?
You can read more in Polly’s article on this topic, which is available here.

Happy feet and commas: Penguin criteria

Reader’s edition of the Estoria de Espanna (versión primitiva)

Criteria for graphic regularisation


The criteria for graphic regularisation and presentation in this edition are broadly based on the guidelines established for the edition of the General estoria co-ordinated by Pedro Sánchez-Prieto Borja (2009) and on the work of Inés Fernández-Ordóñez (2003, Estoria de España. Cuaderno de trabajo). The central aim is to offer readers a regularised version of the Estoria which complements the transcriptions of the witnesses and which grants easier access to the versión primitiva by means of a text which is more readily legible to twenty-first century users. To this end we have maintained graphic practices that reflect medieval phonology and syntax while regularising those forms which, for reasons of scribal practice or related phenomena do not correspond to the pronunciation, syntax or lexis of medieval Castilian.

  1. Graphs

The graphs i, j, y / u, v have been regularised according to their consonantal or vocalic value (gujsamientos > guisamientos, uieio > viejo, almuiuces > almujuces, vuandalos > uvandalos, guysa > guisa, foyr > foir). The graph y has been retained when it represents a semi-vowel (muy, reys) or semiconsonant (cayen, ueye > veye); when it represents the consonant /j/ (oyessen, yente) and in the case of the adverb and conjunction y. The graphs i / ie, ui / ue, etc. have been maintained in certain derived forms (castillo / castiello, moriron / murieron, cuyta / cueta). The graph b is retained in the context of vocalisation (çibdat > cibdat)

With respect to sibilants, we have regularised those graphs which represent the alveo-palatal consonant, thus c before palatal vowels (françeses > franceses, çiriales > ciriales) and ç before central and velar vowels (lancas > lanças, arcobispo > arçobispo, uencuda > vençuda); the graph sc/ is similarly regularised to c or ç following this rule (guaresçer > guarecer, flaquesçie > flaquecie, aluoroscaron > alvoroçaron, sciençia > ciencia), except in those cases in which the digraph corresponds to modern practice (desçendieron > descendieron, scitas); and finally the Latinate -tio(n) is regularised to –cio(n) in accordance with the contemporary pronunciation (persecution > persecucion, seruitio > servicio). The graphs which represent the voiced alveo-palatal sibilant have been regularised in accordance with the predominant use of g and j in the manuscripts: g before palatal vowels (linaje > linage, omenaie > omenage, ielos > gelos) and j before central and velar (puiar > pujar, meiores > mejores, iuez > juez); the graph gi is retained (mugier). x is maintained (enxeco, enxalçar), as is the medieval intervocalic distribution of s and ss (fuese, assaz).

The graphs n or nn with palatal nasal value have been regularised to ñ (pequeno > pequeño, sannudo > sañudo), but the original graph has been maintained when the pronunciation is doubtful (linaje / linnages > linage / liñages; conoçer / connosçer > conocer / coñocer); the digraph gn, which may have palatal value in some cases, has been maintained (lignaie > lignage). Implosive nasals have been regularised in accordance with modern usage (ynperio > imperio, empaz > en paz). With respect to the representation of lateral consonants, l and ll have been regularised according to their alveolar (allongados > alongados, sillabas > silabas) or palatal (luuia > lluvia, uales > valles) usage; however, certain phonetic variants such as ell, le(s)/lle(s) or mill have been maintained.

The graph qu with the phonetic value of /kw/ is here represented by cu (quarto > cuarto, pasqua > pascua, cinquenta > cincuenta, quamanna > cuamaña); when it is a learned form it is simplified to ca (numqua > nunca) or regularised to gua (antiqua > antigua). The graph g representing a stop followed by a palatal vowel /ge, gi/ is regularised to gu (gerra > guerra, gisa > guisa); the cluster gue with phonetic value /gwe/ is regularised with a dieresis (aguero > agüero, uerguenna > vergüeña).

The graph h is maintained is those cases in which the modern equivalent appears (hermano) and where there is an interrupted graphic tradition from the Latin equivalent (hueste); however non-etymological uses which have not remained in modern usage have been removed (huuiar > uviar, huso > uso). The use of h to separate vowels in hiatus has been maintained only in cases of the same vowel (arrehenes; retraher > retraer). The graph has also been maintained when it could represent an aspiration (albuhera, hardiment).

Double consonants have been simplified (abbades > abades, peccado > pecado, reffizo > refizo, appriessa > apriessa, egglesias > eglesias, commo > como, rreynado > reynado, onrrados > onrados, ssofrir > sofrir, mansso > manso, attendio > atendio), with the obvious exception of intervocalic rr and ss (acorro, prissol). Learned clusters in non-Latin contexts have also been simplified (philosopho > filosofo, thesoro > tesoro, patriarchas > patriarcas, scripturas > escrituras, sanctuario > santuario, fructo > fruto, assumpto > assunto, psalterio > salterio).

In onomastic elemets however (both toponyms and anthroponyms) regularisaiton has only been applied to the most based of graphic elements.

  1. Abbreviations

Abbreviations have been silently expanded, as these are clearly marked in the transcriptions. Those cases which could allow for more than one interpretation have been expanded following the usus scribendi of the manuscript in question (mucho / muncho, muger / mugier, alcalles / alcaldes). Abbreviations of Latin or Greek origin have been expanded in Castilian (sco > santo, xpo > Cristo), unless they appear in Latin contexts (sancto, Christo). The tironian sign is represented by e, with the same exception –that of sequences in Latin (et).

  1. Union and separation of words

Graphic segmentation of the text is based on lexicological and syntaxtic principles; these are aimed at uniting sequences which are separate in the manuscript but which constitute a single lexical unit and separating those single elements in the manuscript which constitute more than one word.

Enclisis of pronouns has not been marked (segudol, dendel, quel), but crasis of different vowels is marked with an apostrophe (contra’ll, fasta’l, d’otro, d’un, d’aqui, tod’el); while contraction of the same vowel is not marked (sobrell, del, entrell). Unstressed pronouns are regarded as enclitic and edited accordingly (segudolos, matogelos, comernos an), but, in accordance with tradition editorial policy, they are kept separate when then follow other grammatical elements (que gelos diessen, cuando les esto oyo), even when this may distort their phonetic and grammatical conherence.

Sequences of a preposition and another elements have been separated and joined following modern usage (delas > de las, enel > en el, deguisa > de guisa, acordoua > a Cordova). Adverbial, prepositional and verbal syntagms have been edited in such a way as to maintain the unity of lexical base and additional element where this seems clearly appropriate (a cerca / de cerca > acerca, decerca ‘cerca’, a luenne > alueñe, a priessa > apriessa, bien andança > bienandança, cada una > cadauna, de mas > demas ‘además’, de mientre > demientre, de souno / desso uno / de so uno > dessouno ‘conjuntamente’, en pos > empós, sobre nombre > sobrenombre, ya quanto > yacuanto ‘un poco’, etc.). For the same reason it was decided to unify adverbs ending in -mente (acuçiosa mente > acuciosamente, sola mientre > solamientre), relatives with the element quier (comoquier, quiquier, quequier, oquier) and numerals whose elements are not connected by a conjunction (veynte ocho > veynteocho, quatro çientos > cuatrocientos). By contrast, the separation of certain syntagms –some of which have a different use today- is preserved, thus: a demás ‘en exceso’, a derredor de (cf. adv. aderredor, enderredor), a dessora, al cabo (equivalent to a cabo, de cabo, en cabo), a menos ‘a excepción de’, a penas ‘difícilmente’, en cima de, de rezio, en fondon, por que (valor final, relativo o interrogativo; cf. porque, valor causal), si non ‘salvo, excepto’, tan bien, toda vía ‘siempre’.

  1. Majuscules and miniscules

In line with modern practice and the proposed punctuation norms, majusules and miniscules are employed to differentiate between proper nouns (principally onomastics) and common nouns. Titles in apposition are represented with miniscules (“sant Desiderio arçobispo de Lingonia”); whereas maajuscules are employed for nicknames, alises and indentifying ordinal numbers (“Costantino el Grand“, “Bonifaz el Tercero“). In the case of nomina sacra, majuscules are employed for those elements which replace the corresponding onomastic term (“el cuerpo de Nuestro Señor“, “a la onra de la Virgen“, “en defendimiento dessa Santa Tierra“).

  1. Punctuation

The objective of the punctuation system is to contribute to the legibility of the text whilst respecting, where possible, the signs provided by the verbal forms of the text. As medieval texts employ a range of different procedures, and in an effort to respect the organization of syntactic elements characteristic of medieval Castilian, punctuation marks are not always employed here according to modern usage. With this in mind, the following criteria are applied with the greatest possible level of coherence.

One of the most frequent medieval structures is that of Topico + Commentary; in order not to break the unity of this structure the two elements are not separated by commas (“Mas las yentes de la tierra cuando vieron el su grand atreviento e que sabien que no era emperador por consejo ni por mandamiento de los romanos, mataronlo luego cerca un logar que a nombre Mirsa”). When topicalization occurs within a subordinate clause, and unless the clause is lengthy and complicated, the typical medieval demarcation, that is, the repetition of the relative element, usually que, has been respected (“E cuemoquier que las estorias de los gentiles cuenten que este cavallero que a Juliano mato que fue de los de la otra parte, fallamos nos escrito en la vida de sant Basilio arçobispo de Cesarea que este cavallero fue sant Mercurio el martir”). Subordinate clauses which precede the main clause are separated by commas (“Pues que murio el rey Hueric, regno en los godos Gaderic”).

As parataxis is very common, commas have been employed to separate contrastive clauses introduced by the adversative conjunctions (“por ende dexa agora aqui la estoria de fablar de los godos e cuenta de los ugnos no por señorio que ellos oviessen en Espanna, ca nunca entraron en ella, mas por razon que fueron del linage de los godos de parte de las madres e por muchas batallas que ovieron con ellos”). On the other hand, the overwhelming presence of co-ordinating copula required punctuation criteria which do not clutter the text while at the same time allowing for legibility and also taking into account the structural value of e/et. The use of commas is therefore avoided in the presence of anaphoric elements within co-ordinate clauses (“e cometio de batalla castiellos dell imperio de Roma e fizo y mortandades e prisolos”, “E cerco Theuderedo la cibdat de Narbona e aquexola mucho con fambre e con luenga cerca”). By contrast, commas are employed when there are changes in the syntactic structure which presuppose any discursive break, for example when there is a change of subject (“E aquell año otrossi cerco Genserico rey de los uvandalos una cibdat de Africa que avie nombre Ipone, e era ende sant Agostin obispo”) or when the co-ordinated elements are not syntactically equivalent (“E el rey Athila (…) fue much espantado e ovo miedo de entrar en aquella batalla, e començo a demandar por adevinanças cuemol irie”). Commas are not employed to differentiate amongst the elements of enumerative sequences –which are typically separated by tironian signs (“e el primero era Giserico e el segundo Hugnerigo e el tercero Guntemando e el cuarto Trasamundo e el quinto Hillerigo”).

In the chronological formulae which begin many chapters, the principal dates mentioned in the text are separated by commas provided the syntactic complexity of the sentence allows for this (“En la era de cuatrocientos e sessenta e siete años, e cuando andava el regno de Gunderico en diziseys e el de Hermerico en veyntidos e ell imperio de Theodosio en dizinuef e el de Valentiniano en dos, e avino assi que el rey Gunderico…”). Titles in appostition are not separated by commas (“Thurismundo fijo del rey Theuderedo”), whereas identifying appositions have a comma added (“Novato, un preste de san Cebrian”).



Edición pingüina de la Estoria de Espanna (VP)

Criterios de presentación gráfica



Los criterios de presentación gráfica de esta edición se basan en gran medida en las pautas editoriales establecidas para la edición de la General estoria coordinada por Pedro Sánchez-Prieto Borja (2009) y en el trabajo de Inés Fernández-Ordóñez (2003, Estoria de España. Cuaderno de trabajo). El objetivo fundamental es ofrecer una versión regularizada del texto, complementaria a las trascripciones paleográficas de cada uno de los manuscritos, que permita acceder con mayor comodidad a un texto más legible de la Versión Primitiva.

Para ello se han mantenido las soluciones gráficas que reflejan la fonética y gramática antiguas, pero se han descartado aquellas variantes que por tradición culta o escrituraria no se corresponden con la pronunciación, sintaxis o léxico del español medieval.

  1. Grafías

Se regularizan las grafías i, j, y / u, v según su valor fonético (gujsamientos > guisamientos, uieio > viejo, almuiuces > almujuces, vuandalos > uvandalos, guysa > guisa, foyr > foir). La grafía y se mantiene cuando tiene valor semivocálico (muy, reys) o semiconsonántico (cayen, ueye > veye), cuando representa la consonante /j/ (oyessen, yente) y en el caso del adverbio y conjunción y. Se conserva la alternancia i / ie, ui / ue, etc. en ciertas formas flexivas y derivativas (castillo / castiello, moriron / murieron, cuyta / cueta). Se mantiene la grafía b en contexto de vocalización (çibdat > cibdat)

En cuanto a las sibilantes, se regularizan las grafías rerpresentantes de la consonante dentoalveolar sorda: c ante vocal palatal (françeses > franceses, çiriales > ciriales) y ç ante vocal central o velar (lancas > lanças, arcobispo > arçobispo, uencuda > vençuda); la grafía sc / se simplifica a c o ç de acuerdo con esta regla (guaresçer > guarecer, flaquesçie > flaquecie, aluoroscaron > alvoroçaron, sciençia > ciencia), salvo en casos en los que el dígrafo se corresponde con la solución moderna (desçendieron > descendieron, scitas); por último, la solución culta -tio(n) se regulariza a –cio(n) de acuerdo con la pronunciación acreditada de la época (persecution > persecucion, seruitio > servicio). Las grafías que representan la sibilante prepalatal sonora se regularizan de acuerdo con el uso predominante de g y j en el texto: g ante vocal palatal (linaje > linage, omenaie > omenage, ielos > gelos) y j ante vocal central o velar (puiar > pujar, meiores > mejores, iuez > juez); se mantiene la grafía gi, pese a que puede considerarse hipercaracterizadora (mugier). Por supuesto, se mantiene la grafía x (enxeco, enxalçar), así como el reparto original, en posición intervocálica, de s y ss (fuese, assaz).

Las grafías n o nn con valor de nasal palatal se regularizan a ñ (pequeno > pequeño, sannudo > sañudo), pero se conserva la grafía original cuando la pronunciación es dudosa (linaje / linnages > linage / liñages; conoçer / connosçer > conocer / coñocer); se conserva el dígrafo gn, que en algunos casos pueda tener valor palatal (lignaie > lignage). La nasal implosiva se regulariza según el uso actual (ynperio > imperio, empaz > en paz). En cuanto a la representación de la consonante lateral, se regulariza l y ll según su valor fonético alveolar (allongados > alongados, sillabas > silabas) o palatal (luuia > lluvia, uales > valles); en cambio, se mantienen ciertas variantes fonéticas como ell, le(s)/lle(s) o mill.

La grafía qu con valor /kw/ se representa como cu (quarto > cuarto, pasqua > pascua, cinquenta > cincuenta, quamanna > cuamaña); cuando es cultismo se simplifica a ca (numqua > nunca) o se regulariza a gua (antiqua > antigua). La grafía g seguida de vocal palatal con valor oclusivo /ge, gi/ se regulariza a gu (gerra > guerra, gisa > guisa); la secuencia gue con valor de /gwe/ se representa con la diéresis (aguero > agüero, uerguenna > vergüeña).

En cuanto a la grafía h, se mantiene en aquellos casos en los que hay continuidad con la grafía actual (hermano) o cuando no existe ruptura entre la tradición gráfica latina y la actual (hueste); en cambio, se elimina el uso antietimológico que no ha prosperado (huuiar > uviar, huso > uso). El uso demarcativo de la h para separar vocales en hiato se ha conservado únicamente cuando estas son homorgánicas (arrehenes; retraher > retraer). También se mantiene la grafía cuando pueda representar una solución aspirada (albuhera, hardiment).

Las grafías dobles se simplifican (abbades > abades, peccado > pecado, reffizo > refizo, appriessa > apriessa, egglesias > eglesias, commo > como, rreynado > reynado, onrrados > onrados, ssofrir > sofrir, mansso > manso, attendio > atendio), salvo, claro está, rr y ss en posición intervocálica (acorro, prissol). Los grupos cultos, en contextos no latinos, también se simplifican (philosopho > filosofo, thesoro > tesoro, patriarchas > patriarcas, scripturas > escrituras, sanctuario > santuario, fructo > fruto, assumpto > assunto, psalterio > salterio).

En los elementos omonásticos (topinimia y antroponimia) se ha limitado la intervención regularizadora (solo se han aplicado las pautas más elementales), debido al interés de preservar ciertas características gráficas originales, algunas de ellas de difícil interpretación.

  1. Abreviaturas

Se desarrollan las abreviaturas sin dejar constancia, puesto que ya aparecen consignadas en las transcripciones paleográficas. Las palabras que admiten más de una interpretación abreviativa son resueltas teniendo en cuenta la opción plena más frecuente en el texto (mucho / muncho, muger / mugier, alcalles / alcaldes). Los compendios latinos o de procedencia griega se resuelven en romance (sco > santo, xpo > Cristo), excepto en las secuencias latinas (sancto, Christo). El signo tironiano se representa como e, siempre y cuando el contexto no sea latino (et).

  1. Unión y separación de palabras

La segmentación gráfica del texto se ha abordado de acuerdo con criterios lexicológicos y gramaticales, procurando unir las secuencias separadas en el original pese a constituir una unidad léxica y separando ciertos elementos unidos en el manuscrito pero que en realidad conforman más de una palabra.

No se señala de modo especial la enclisis de los pronombres (segudol, dendel, quel), pero sí la crasis o contracción de vocales –heterorgánicas– en contacto, por medio de un apóstrofe (contra’ll, fasta’l, d’otro, d’un, d’aqui, tod’el); cuando se trata de la misma vocal no se señala la contracción (sobrell, del, entrell). Los pronombres átonos se editan como enclíticos del verbo (segudolos, matogelos, comernos an), pero se mantienen separados, según la pauta editorial tradicional, cuando siguen a otros elementos (que gelos diessen, cuando les esto oyo), pese a que esto puede distorsionar la entidad fónica y gramatical de los mismos.

Las secuencias compuestas por una preposición y otro elemento se separan o se unen de acuerdo con el empleo moderno (delas > de las, enel > en el, deguisa > de guisa, acordoua > a Cordova). En cuanto a las locuciones o sintagmas adverbiales, prepositivos o verbales, se procura mantener unidos a la base léxica los elementos cuya integración morfológica parece segura (a cerca / de cerca > acerca, decerca ‘cerca’, a luenne > alueñe, a priessa > apriessa, bien andança > bienandança, cada una > cadauna, de mas > demas ‘además’, de mientre > demientre, de souno / desso uno / de so uno > dessouno ‘conjuntamente’, en pos > empós, sobre nombre > sobrenombre, ya quanto > yacuanto ‘un poco’, etc.). Por la misma razón, se mantienen unidos los adverbios en -mente (acuçiosa mente > acuciosamente, sola mientre > solamientre), los relativos en que interviene quier (comoquier, quiquier, quequier, oquier) o los numerales cuando sus componentes no están conectados por conjunción (veynte ocho > veynteocho, quatro çientos > cuatrocientos). Se mantienen separados, en cambio, ciertos sintagmas y locuciones –algunos de ellos con un valor diferente al de hoy en día– como los siguientes: a demás ‘en exceso’, a derredor de (cf. adv. aderredor, enderredor), a dessora, al cabo (igual que a cabo, de cabo, en cabo), a menos ‘a excepción de’, a penas ‘difícilmente’, en cima de, de rezio, en fondon, por que (valor final, relativo o interrogativo; cf. porque, valor causal), si non ‘salvo, excepto’, tan bien, toda vía ‘siempre’.

  1. Uso de la mayúscula y de la minúscula

De acuerdo con la práctica moderna y la puntuación propuesta, el uso de la mayúscula y minúscula permite identificar los nombres propios (principalmente onomástica) de los comunes. Los títulos y dignidades en aposición se representan con minúscula (“sant Desiderio arçobispo de Lingonia”); en cambio, para los sobrenombres, apodos y ordinales identificativos se utiliza la mayúscula (“Costantino el Grand“, “Bonifaz el Tercero“). En el caso de los nomina sacra, se adopta la mayúscula en las locuciones que sustituyen el elemento antroponímico y toponímico correspondiente (“el cuerpo de Nuestro Señor“, “a la onra de la Virgen“, “en defendimiento dessa Santa Tierra“).

  1. Puntuación

El objetivo de este aspecto editorial es contribuir a la legibilidad del texto al tiempo que se respeta, en la medida de lo posible, los signos demarcativos que proporciona la forma verbal del texto. Debido a que la sintaxis medieval recurre a procedimientos diferentes de progresión discursiva, no siempre se introducen signos de puntuación de acuerdo al uso moderno con el fin de adecuarse lo máximo posible a la organización de constituyentes propia del español antiguo. Las pautas resumidas a continuación se procuran aplicar con la mayor coherencia posible.

Como es sabido, una de las estructuras medievales más recurrentes es la que da preferencia al orden Tópico + Comentario, por lo que, para no romper esta unidad oracional, se procura no separar con comas estos dos constituyentes (“Mas las yentes de la tierra cuando vieron el su grand atreviento e que sabien que no era emperador por consejo ni por mandamiento de los romanos, mataronlo luego cerca un logar que a nombre Mirsa”). Cuando la topicalización se produce dentro de una oración subordinada, procuramos respetar, salvo cuando la oración es muy extensa y compleja, el procedimiento demarcativo habitual en la lengua medieval; esto es, la repetición del elemento subordinante, normalmente, que (“E cuemoquier que las estorias de los gentiles cuenten que este cavallero que a Juliano mato que fue de los de la otra parte, fallamos nos escrito en la vida de sant Basilio arçobispo de Cesarea que este cavallero fue sant Mercurio el martir”). Las oraciones subordinadas antepuestas a la principal se delimitan, por lo general, con comas (“Pues que murio el rey Hueric, regno en los godos Gaderic”).

En cuanto a las relaciones paratácticas, se incluye, por lo general, la coma para separar las oraciones adversativas iniciadas por ca o mas (“por ende dexa agora aqui la estoria de fablar de los godos e cuenta de los ugnos no por señorio que ellos oviessen en Espanna, ca nunca entraron en ella, mas por razon que fueron del linage de los godos de parte de las madres e por muchas batallas que ovieron con ellos”). Por su parte, la profusión de coordinadas copulativas, característica de la sintaxis medieval, supone la ponderación de ciertas pautas de puntuación que, sin recargar el texto, favorezcan su legibilidad y tengan en cuenta el uso demarcativo de e/et. De esta manera, se procura evitar las comas cuando existen elementos anafóricos entre las oraciones coordinadas (“e cometio de batalla castiellos dell imperio de Roma e fizo y mortandades e prisolos”, “E cerco Theuderedo la cibdat de Narbona e aquexola mucho con fambre e con luenga cerca”). En cambio, sí se introduce cuando se producen modificaciones en la estructura sintáctica que suponen una cierta ruptura discursiva; por ejemplo, cuando hay un cambio de sujeto (“E aquell año otrossi cerco Genserico rey de los uvandalos una cibdat de Africa que avie nombre Ipone, e era ende sant Agostin obispo”) o cuando las entidades coordinadas no están en el mismo nivel sintáctico (“E el rey Athila (…) fue much espantado e ovo miedo de entrar en aquella batalla, e començo a demandar por adevinanças cuemol irie”). Por supuesto, no se deslindan con comas las secuencias enumerativas, habitualmente separadas por el signo tironiano (“e el primero era Giserico e el segundo Hugnerigo e el tercero Guntemando e el cuarto Trasamundo e el quinto Hillerigo”).

En las fórmulas cronológicas de encabezamiento de capítulo, se separan con comas las principales sincronías señaladas en el texto, siempre y cuando su complejidad sintáctica así lo aconseje (“En la era de cuatrocientos e sessenta e siete años, e cuando andava el regno de Gunderico en diziseys e el de Hermerico en veyntidos e ell imperio de Theodosio en dizinuef e el de Valentiniano en dos, e avino assi que el rey Gunderico…”). Los títulos en aposición no se separan con comas (“Thurismundo fijo del rey Theuderedo”), pero sí las aposiciones identificativas (“Novato, un preste de san Cebrian”).





About this edition

The Estoria de Espanna Digital: about this edition

  • What is the Estoria de Espanna?
  • Aims of the edition
  • Subject matter
  • Modes of presentation
  • Data access and preservation


    1. What is the Estoria de Espanna?


    The simple answer to this question is that the Estoria de Espanna is the chronicle of Spain composed by, or perhaps under the direction of, Alfonso X el Sabio, King of León and Castile, some time in the early 1270s (although work on the project had probably begun much earlier). It is the history of Spain from its legendary origins up to the death of Fernando III, el Santo –Alfonso’s own father- in 1252. It is the first (and perhaps greatest) history of Spain to be composed in the vernacular. It can (must?) be understood in the the political and social context of its time of composition- the period in the middle of Alfonso’s reign when the king retained the ambition to be declared Emperor. It might also be understood an element in Alfonso’s political and cultural ambitions in which it stood as a central part of an all-encompassing project which involved translations from a range of languages (not least Arabic) in a relentless effort to recast the very foundations of history, the law, science and literature and their place in the medieval kingdom. It was a pursuit of knowledge and understanding- and their role in contemporary society- which made of Alfonso’s court one of the most cultured and advanced of its day in Europe.

    It is also the Iberian medieval chronicle that has been best known to modern readers in the form of Ramón Menéndez Pidal’s edition, originally published in 1906 and re-printed in 1955 and 1977, bearing the title Primera crónica general.


    And yet, although all of this true, simple answers do not suffice, for none of it is quite accurate. There is not one Estoria de Espanna. Alfonso’s plan for a history of Spain which would cover all of its parts and frame the Peninsula as (amongst other things) the history of the legitimate lineage who ruled it from its origins to Alfonso’s own time, would never see the light of day. That it was never completed in the way Alfonso would have wished perhaps mirrors the fact that his own reign came to an end in similarly messy fashion. Just as Alfonso suffered the indignity of noble (and filial) rebellion in the final years of his life, as disaster piled upon disaster, so his vision of past collapsed into a series of competing and contrasting versions of history, particularly in the accounts of the two centuries prior to Alfonso’s accession to the throne of Castile and Leon.


    The reasons for what might be termed historiographical failure are multiple and have been analysed in a series of insightful works in recent years. However, these terms (“disaster”, “failure”) in themselves occlude a series of presuppositions about what a medieval text should be. The reader searching for Alfonso’s Estoria de Espanna will necessarily be disappointed, for that particular vision was never translated into textual reality. What remains- indeed, all that ever existed in concrete form- is the large number of manuscripts (only one of which is a product of Alfonso’s own taller) which, in one form or another, contain the text of what we think of as the Estoria de Espanna. For in truth, the Estoria de Espanna is the totality of the evidence we possess, direct and indirect, about the chronicle. And while it would almost certainly be impossible (at least for now) to present and analyse all of this evidence in one place, the arrival of digital tools make better failure at this noble aim a more enticing prospect than could have ever been the case in the days of editions in print.


    1. Aims of the edition – What this edition is, and what it is not.


    All of the above motivated the establishment of the present, digital, edition of the Estoria de Espanna, funded by a generous research grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The principal aims of the project which gives rise to the edition were:


    • to bring this important example of medieval historical writing to a wider audience, including those both in academia and the wider world who have no particular knowledge of Iberian history and chronicles;
    • to overcome the disadvantages of the printed text, what Leonardo Funes has termed the ‘book effect’, by providing collatable transcriptions of manuscripts of the principal versions of the Estoria (in subsequent phases transcriptions of all of the extant manuscripts will be added);
    • to demonstrate the importance of treating each manuscript on its merits and thereby permitting a better understanding of the dialectic relationship between manuscripts and their contexts of production and consumption;


    This edition launched in 2016 is intended to be a first step in the employment of digital tools for the presentation and analysis of the Estoria de Espanna, but also as a way of furthering our knowledge and understanding of how digital tools might usefully be employed in the study and dissemination of medieval prose. The research component of the edition therefore lies not only in the breadth of knowledge of the Estoria de Espanna that it provides, but also in the form of the edition- its attempt to push the barriers of what is possible with digital editions, at least where medieval Iberian prose is concerned. The underlying principle of the edition is therefore not that it is a replacement for the printed edition of Menéndez Pidal or the forthcoming Biblioteca Crítica equivalent, nor that it is a panacea for all of the ills, real or imagined, of textual editing, but rather that in form and content it should serve both as a statement of where our knowledge and understanding of the Estoria de Espanna currently reside and a point of departure to which additional knowledge (in the form of further manuscript transcriptions and collations) and tools can be added in the future, either in the context of this project or other which may seek to build upon it. The edition is launched then, in the full realization that it is not definitive –for the impossibility of such an aim is a part of its essence; it is, therefore, in the recent words of Patrick Sahle, a “process rather than a product”.

    As mentioned above, the digital edition of the Estoria de Espanna makes no claims for exhaustiveness, nor does it pretend to provide a text of the Estoria de Espanna commensurate with the principles of traditional textual criticism, most clearly explained in the works of Blecua and others; there is no single regularized text with a critical value judgment made in respect of variant readings. It does, however, aim to answer positively the fundamental questions of Sahle in the establishment of digital critical editions.[1]



    1. Subject matter of the edition


    As has been established by (principally) Diego Catalán and Inés Fernández-Ordóñez, the forty extant manuscripts represent at least two major versions of the Estoria de Espanna compiled in Alfonso’s lifetime, these are:


    • Estoria de Espanna, versión primitiva – the original chronicle composed around 1270
    • Estoria de Espanna, versión crítica – a fundamental re-write of the chronicle composed in Sevilla in 1282.


    In addition, we know that there were alternative redactions at different stages, both during and after Alfonso’s reign. The principal two are:


    • Estoria de Espanna, versión vulgar – a minor alternative version to the primitiva
    • Estoria de Espanna versión amplificada de 1289 – a re-write of most of the second half of the chronicle composed in the reign of Alfonso’s successor Sancho IV.


    Alongside these, there are chronicles and versions which were composed in later years, such as the Crónica de Castilla and the Crónica de 1344. These do not enter into the current edition. Finally, a versión enmendada de 1274 (another contemporary minor re-write) may also exist, although this is disputed by scholars.

    This textual complexity must, of course, be accounted for in any digital edition (which may, in its turn, help to clarify textual relations). The current edition therefore aims to present to the readership an appreciation of this textual complexity, in part to break away from the notion of there being a single Estoria de Espanna, and the use of digital tools permits this in a way which would not be possible in a printed edition – at least not to the same extent.


    But the Estoria de Espanna is not just a collection of versions composed at different moments, it is also the full set of textual evidence surviving (and indeed that for which we have indirect evidence). In this sense, any digital edition must also take account of the fact that there are 40 extant manuscripts of the chronicle (hyperlink to manuscript list and descriptions) and that these individual testimonies are not mere cannon fodder in the establishment of an ideal text (or version) but rather are valuable documents in their own right which may tell us something about Alfonso’s Estoria de Espanna but which also come to mean as a function of their own discursive (and extra-discursive) contexts.


    The digital edition must therefore attempt at least to account for all of these aspects of medieval textuality.


    Within the limits of what was possible in the period available, we chose five witnesses for the first phase of the edition (recognizing that the results may well be different as further witnesses are added). The rationale for the choice was that the philological studies of Fernández-Ordóñez and Catalán had revealed that amongst the extant codices these five best account for the full range of redactions of the Estoria de Espanna. These are:


    • E1: Escorial Y-I-2, 13th Primera redacción/versión primitiva
    • E2: Escorial X-I-4, 14 th Composite manuscript made up of:
      ff. 2rb-17, C.13 th primera redacción/version primitiva, cont. of E1;
      ff. 18-22, 80-81, 200-256, 321-359. C.14 th additions;
      ff. 23-79, 82-198vc, 257-320. C.13 th versión amplificada de 1289.
    • Q: BNE 5795, C.14 th primera redacción/versión vulgar
    • Ss: Caja Duero Salamanca 40, 15th. made up of:
      ff. 2-264a versión crítica, ff. 264va-325ra; Crónica de Castilla/Crónica particular de San Fernando.
    • T: Biblioteca de Menéndez y Pelayo M-550, 14 th made up of:
      ff. 1-25va: primera redacción/versión vulgar, ff. 25va-91vb: versión enmendada después de 1274, 92r-201v: primera redacción.


    As can be seen from the above outline, we have included the sole Alfonsine manuscript (E1 plus the opening gathering of E2) and allied to this we have included witnesses which represent as much of the versión primitiva as is possible, both in its regia and vulgar forms. We also include the sole complete witness of the versión crítica and the original 1289 manuscript text. We aim to link the transcriptions of these in ways useful to scholars and a more general readership alike, and also use them to provide the first stage in the establishment of a hypothesis of the versión primitiva. And where possible we also link these transcriptions and edited texts with images of the witnesses themselves.





    1. Modes of presentation


    We begin from principle that our edition emerges from the extant evidence and not from the postulated Alfonsine original; as a result, initially at least, the Estoria de Espanna Digital privileges and foregrounds transcriptions over the establishment of an edited text. This approach does not presuppose that such an edition is not a valid exercise –indeed, as future evidence is added in the form of other manuscripts, the materials provided here are prepared in such a way that an edition of this type would be possible. Given that we employ just 5 manuscripts of a possible 40, such an edited text would be so provisional at this stage as to make the exercise redundant. In any case, the approach we take is emphatically not the result of a negative fall back on to the next best option. Rather, since the use of digital tools allows us to privilege manuscript text in a way not possible in print, our data preparation and presentation aims to make a positive statement about the nature of medieval literate culture and the access of modern readers to it. That is, the edition we present here aims to place manuscript text at the centre of the study of medieval text, and, while we also recognize that the establishment of transcriptions also presupposes the exercise of editorial judgment (the norms for transcription are available here), we regard our edition as a first step in re-balancing modern notions of the relationship between text and testimony, at least where the Estoria de Espanna is concerned.


    To this end, our edition is comprised of the following elements, which are intended to complement each other; the edition allows the user to toggle between the different presentations.


    • The Estoria de Espanna by manuscript:

    A transcription of each of the 5 manuscripts chosen for the edition is here made available. These are both end in themselves and possible building blocks for future editions. They are presented in semi-palaeographic form (in which we partially mimic the manuscript forms) and in expanded form (in which the editors have attempted to expand all of the abbreviated manuscript forms).

    • The Estoria de Espanna by redaction/versión

    In addition to the transcriptions organised by manuscript, we also provide the text of the transcriptions corresponding to the redactions of the Estoria de Espanna – thus the user can access the transcriptions of the versión primitiva, the versión crítica and the versión de 1289. These are not editions (in the traditional sense) of the separate redactions, but rather a digital re-organization of the transcriptions to hand to allow the user to consult the evidence employed in the Estoria de Espanna Digital for these redactions.

    • A hypothesis of the versión primitiva:

    The versión primitiva is the closest one can get currently to the Alfonsine ideal of the Estoria de Espanna. However, as is widely recognized, this was never completed. Using the evidence available to us for this phase of the Estoria de Espanna Digital (that is, the text of the 5 manuscripts) we present here a hypothesis of those sections of the primitiva for which we have direct testimony (up to the marriage of Fernando I – PCG chapter 800). While we recognize that further indirect evidence may be available elsewhere, we take a conservative approach on presenting this. This text (the constitution of this is detailed in the methodology section) is drawn from E1, E2, T and a short fragment of ms. Y from El Escorial. We present this hypothesis in two forms:

    • A collated text of the primitiva (“critical text”) employing the sections of E1, E2, T and Y which correspond to the primitiva as base text with variant readings from the other witnesses presented in the footnotes, and,
    • A regularized transcription (“reader’s edition”) of the sections of E1, E2, T and Y which correspond to the primitiva.
    • The Estoria de Espanna by manuscript images:

    With the exception of E1 and E2, for which permission to publish images has not yet been attained, we provide images of the manuscripts of the Estoria de Espanna, linked to the transcriptions and redactions.


    [1] “Is there a full representation of the subject in question? Is it critical, and have the rules for processing been stated and substantiated? Is it scholarly and have the rules been applied rigorously and in transparent manner? Does it follow a digital paradigm and is it not printable without loss of content and functionality?”

  1. Data access and preservation


Zeth details on how the data is compiled, collated and preserved.


Creative Commons.




  • Preparation of the data
  • Transcription Guide
  • Presentation and rationale
  • Transcriptions
  • Critical text
  • Reader’s text


The Estoria de Espanna Digital is constructed in keeping with the view that an edition is only critical if it requires the exercise of editorial judgment expressed transparently, and digital if it has functionality that cannot be replicated on paper. Parallel to these expectations, editorial practice was very much informed, on the one hand, by the experience of previous projects- most notably the Froissart Online and the Canterbury Tales-, and, on the other, by a key principle often lost to digital projects and expressed recently by Paul Spence- namely that the editorial practice should seek to separate the preparation of data and its posterior presentation. Related to this, we were also very mindful of the need to avoid taking decisions about the preparation of data that would subsequently reduce their utility for later stages of this, or indeed other, projects. Unlike the procedure adapted by other projects, the Estoria Digital aimed for depth rather than breadth of data. Thus, instead of aiming to transcribe a large number of witnesses with minimal tagging and a high degree of regularization in the representation of manuscript text, we attempted to encode as much of the material information of a limited number of key manuscripts as time would allow. The richness of the resulting data would allow a higher degree of digital access to the Estoria while also facilitating the addition of further manuscript data in the same manner in possible future phases. The methodology developed in the edition consisted of the following phases.


Preparation of the data


In the initial phases of the project, team members transcribed the five witnesses employing TEI5-compliant xml. A set of transcription guidelines were developed, primarily by Dr. Bárbara Bordalejo, and refined in the course of the project (link to Guidelines). Transcriptions were prepared by the transcribers using the Textual Communities system at the University of Saskatchewan. This tool provided transcribers with the ability to work on transcriptions of individual folios whose images were accompanied by a transcription space. An automatic parser in the Textual Communities system ensured that only correctly expressed xml was entered into the system. Textual Communities also enabled the general editor to monitor progress across all of the witnesses simultaneously. Regular team meetings and virtual consultations ensured consistency of practice.


Base text, numbering system and textual division


In parallel to the first stage of the transcription it was necessary to establish a base text (to allow for collation of other manuscripts) with a numbering system. For a variety of reasons, the text of E1 and E2 was chosen as the base text for the initial phase of the edition. This, of course, has some implications for the status of the edition, nonetheless, it was decided that using these manuscripts was the only viable option at the outset. In subsequent phases, a notional base text can of course be derived from the base established here as further manuscripts are added. The process of establishing the numbering system (and transcribing E1 and E2) was greatly aided by the existence of the Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies transcriptions; we would like to express our gratitude to the HSMS for allowing us to use these to aid our own transcriptions. The numbering system employed the <div> tag for chapter level divisions, and the <ab> for sentence level divisions. These were inserted on the base text, that is, the text of E1 and E2, and so it might in consequence be objected that such divisions are not necessarily reflective of an Alfonsine Estoria. No full Alfonsine numbering was possible, for obvious reasons, but the regular punctuation system of E1 and, to a slightly lesser extent of the 1289 sections of E2, meant that we could have a high degree of confidence in the chapter and sentence-level numbering we imposed, as we attempted, where possible, to deploy <div> and <ab> tags which respected the textual organisation and punctuation of these codices. As any manner of dividing the text -both for the purposes of reference and for collation- would necessarily have a certain element of arbitrariness, it was felt that the system chosen was the best solution.

In addition, the numbering system, while not necessarily supplanting the reference system of the PCG, does have the virtue of allowing for equivalence across all witnesses as equivalent sections in the different witnesses all have the same numbers. It is hoped, then, that this numbering could become a standard form of reference for all witnesses of the Estoria. In passing, it might be mentioned that the <div> tags in E1 and E2 allow for full cross-reference to the PCG chapter numbers, so the PCG referencing system can also be employed as a back up.



The underlying principles which informed the transcription of the manuscript text are:


Graphic elements

We attempted to represent with Junicode characters something approaching the form of the individual characters produced by medieval scribes. However, as the Estoria transcriptions are graphic and not palaeographic, we did not seek to differentiate between different forms of the same letter; as a result the transcriber was required to use her or his judgment about shape of letters and give the best equivalent available. In addition, we followed the usus scribendi in each manuscript; our aim was to represent what is on the page, and not, at this preparation stage, express a view as to what a scribe might mean. Thus, for example, we respected the length of descenders in long “i” by transcribing it as “j” even in those cases in which “i” would be expected. The initial phase therefore sought to provide digital equivalents of medieval characters without a high degree of editorial intervention.


Where the transcribers (and editor) were of the view that a scribe employed an abbreviation, we employed appropriate Junicode symbols to represent the abbreviated character and the consequent xml tag to expand the abbreviation so as to indicate the editorial view as to what the abbreviation represented. (A full list is available in the Transcription Guide; the way these are represented in the various forms of edited text is properly the subject of the “presentation of data” section below.) In expanding, we again followed the usus scribendi. This inevitably led into one form of inconsistency – different expansions for what appears to be the same abbreviation in different parts of the same manuscript- but it also meant that scribal sections are internally consistent. As the materiality of manuscript text is a central part of this edition, the decision was taken to privilege where possible the scribal forms of the text and not to regularize, supply or correct any scribal forms.

Suppression marks and punctuation

In the same manner, although we represent all suppression marks, we do not attempt to differentiate between different forms of the same mark; thus, for example, we employ the standard hook ’ which represents the syllable “er” and “re” even if sometimes looks more like a macron in the manuscript. Although we recognize that this may reduce the immediate utility of our transcriptions for those interested in palaeographical issues, nonetheless the flexibility provided by digital searching tools, and the availability of (most of the) manuscript images should still permit a high degree of utility for most academic purposes. The same is true, to a slightly lesser extent given the smaller number of possible symbols, for punctuation. We have recognized the presence of punctuation marks, but without always attempting to replicate them exactly in the form of the Junicode characters employed. The way in which these are represented in the transcriptions is dealt with below.

Transcription Guide


The full detailed guide to transcription is available here, and also as a pdf.


Presentation of the data and rationale


In presenting the front end of the edition, we were guided by two central principles: (i) that the presentation of the Estoria Digital should, where possible, take full advantage of the possibilities offered by digital tools, and (ii) as stated above, that the presentation should emerge from, but not condition, the initial preparation of data. With this in mind, a number of strategic decisions were taken about the way in which the data should be available to the user, and these were necessarily different in the case of the three principal modes of access.



The transcriptions are presented in two ways: abbreviated and expanded. The former is relatively unproblematic, in that we mimic, where possible, the presence of suppression marks, and therefore the medieval script – within the limits referred to above. Thus the presence of such characters as e.g. ħ, ꝑ and macrons. The latter is rather more problematic as it involves a range of editorial judgments and gives the greatest room for innovation (and controversy) in the presentation.

It might be argued that in the expanded transcriptions, there is no need to signal that editorial operations have taken place since the user has readily available the abbreviated equivalent, and also the manuscript images. The approach taken, nonetheless, is to indicate discreetly but overtly the intervention of editors in the expanded transcriptions. In part, this is to avoid giving the impression to the reader that the text on the screen is devoid of all editorial action. The main reason it was decided to do this, however, is because the digital presentation of the text allows for this without cluttering up the transcription and making it difficult to read – we therefore were aware of the possibilities making a small contribution to pushing the boundaries in editing medieval texts.

Having decided that the expanded transcription should note editorial intervention, it remained to decide how this should be effected. The traditional mode of the employment of italics for all such editorial actions was discarded (i) because it was felt to be visually burdensome and (ii) because, in line with Paul Spence’s comments on the subject, blanket use of italics still requires the reader’s input to differentiate between different types of editorial actions.

The primary aim in designing a system of presentation for the expanded transcriptions was to provide a visual distinction between what is directly presented in the manuscript and what is inferred by the editor. This, and other editorial interventions, are marked by the use of different colours, rather than fonts or typefaces. The standard black characters (or red for rubrics) serve to indicate those characters which are present in the manuscript. We employ a faded version of the same colour to indicate those character which are inferred by the editor – usually as a result of the resolution of a suppression mark. Thus the opening of chapter 4 in manuscript Q (Folio 2v) reads as follows:


Where the suppression mark is separate to another character -such as in the case of a macron over vowels- only the inferred character is faded. In those cases in which the suppression mark forms a part of another character –as in the case of ħ, ꝑ and the hook representing ‘er’, then the whole syllable has been faded.

In those cases in which there has been scribal alteration, we encode by means of the <app> tag all of the possible readings.


The literal representation is picked out in teal, and the original underlying reading is available by means of a mouseover.


In the transcriptions, the basic physical features of the manuscript page (column breaks, line breaks etc.) have been respected and other bibliographical features (initials etc.) have been picked out in size and colour (though not always as an exact equivalent of the manuscript). Where the manuscript is damaged or there are lacunae, this is also marked visually.



Critical text


The critical text was prepared using a version of Peter Robinson’s CollateX developed by Cat Smith and Zeth Green in the Institute of Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing at the University of Birmingham and put into practice with the aid of Peter Robinson at the University of Saskatchewan.


Preparation of data:

The text is a hypothesis of the versión primitiva which employs as its base text those manuscript sections that provide us with the best evidence for the primitiva. The implication of only using direct evidence for the primitiva for the hypothesis is that the edition ends where manuscript T comes to a halt –chapter XX, equivalent to PCG 800- as the remaining text in the Estoria Digital (from E2 and Ss) is not directly derived from the versión primitiva.

The base text is thus made up of:

E1 folios 2r-197r, corresponding to chapters XX-XX (PCG ch. 1-565)

E2 folios 2r-17v, the gathering of E1 later added to E2, chapters XX-XX (PCG ch. 566-616)

E2 folios 18r-21v, corresponding to chapters XX-XX (PCG ch. 617-623)

Y: folios 372v-380vr, corresponding to chapters XX-XX (PCG ch. 624-645)

T: 128r-201v, corresponding to chapters XX-XX (PCG ch. 646-800)


The fragment from manuscript Y was used as neither E2 nor T has testimony directly drawn from the primitiva at this point. The resulting text is therefore a variant edition of the transcriptions of these sections from the manuscripts.

The manuscript witnesses were collated against these base text sections. The aim was to maintain only those variants which were considered to be stemmatically significant. Thus, all variation which was considered to be solely orthographic was regularized out. In the example below, the variants from manuscript Q in blocks 16 and 22 were therefore regularised. Toponyms and anthroponyms were considered to be an exception and were not regularised except in cases of variation in the shape of letters. The variants are therefore fundamentally those of alteration of word order, verb form or lexical choice.


As the object of the exercise is not to fix the Estoria, but rather to allow it breathe in its textual diversity, the adoption of these conservative principles of collation was considered necessary. IF it is indeed the case that, in the words of David Parker, the object of the exercise is the removal of “noise”, it is not quite clear that what constitutes that noise is the same in all editions. In the case of the Estoria, the absence of an authorized base text against which to collate, at least for now, meant that it was necessary to be quite circumspect in the regularization phase.



The presentation of the critical text follows the same principles as that of the transcriptions: the edition should take advantage of digital tools to present the Estoria in as reader-friendly a way as is possible without compromising the nature of the text. The following is the result of the collation made above:


In the critical text, since the edition is not formally tied to a single manuscript, we do not attempt to mimic manuscript layout; the text is presented in a single column, with footnotes containing the variants. As previously, the rubrics are picked out in red. We have attempted to reduce as much as possible the clutter on the page, so we have not used insertion marks beyond the traditional footnote number. A mouseover on the text indicated by the footnotes alters the colour of the fragment concerned and also that of the variant in the footnotes (block 10 from the collation is highlighted here). In recognition of the diversity of manuscript text, but also of the necessarily provisional nature of the edition, we have not sought to impose any regularization on the critical text; the orthography and punctuation remains that of the base text throughout. For similar reasons we do not replace base text readings with those of any variant judged to be better; this is an editorial operation which goes beyond the principles of the current edition.


Reader’s text


To accompany the critical text, and in recognition of the requirement from many users for a regularized and punctuated version of the Estoria, we also provide a version of the same base text of the primitiva but without any variant readings and presented in such a way as to facilitate reading for a modern readership. It should be noted that because this is based on a transcription, and not an edited text with preferred readings, it contains some manuscript readings which in a fully edited text would be considered defective. The full criteria used in establishing this regularized version are available here.