In Search of Paradise: Time and Eternity in Alfonso X’s Cantiga 103

The story told in Alfonso’s cantiga 103 is not original to his court writers. In fact, as has been made abundantly clear in several studies to date (Hans-Jörg [Aarne-Thomson] 471A (“The Monk and the Bird”),4 Wagner, and Röhrich 124-45), the cantiga story is a variation of a legend that had already existed for at least one hundred years before its inclusion in the Cantigas collection (the compilation of which took place during the years spanning from 1257 to 1283).