Diego de Valera’s Crónica Abreviada
Essays in Medieval Studies, vol. 6 (1989)
The University of Illinois Library owns a copy of what must rank as one of the early best-sellers among printed Spanish books. It is the Crónica abreviada of Mosén Diego de Valera, steward (his Spanish title was maestresala) to the Catholic monarchs. The book was first issued in Seville in 1482 by Alonso del Puerto for Michael Dachauer and Garcia del Castillo. Since Lambert Palmart’s edition of the Obres o trobes en lahors de la verge Maria had appeared a scant eight years before, this represents one of the early examples of the printer’s art on the Peninsula; and it provides, in addition to the abbreviated chronicle, a concise summary of the Spaniards’ knowledge of world geography toward the end of the Middle Ages. It also offers some helpful evidence to refine our grammatical descriptions of late fifteenth-century Spanish.