Anthony Pym


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Attempt at a chronology of Hispanic translation history


1495 Publication in Saragossa of Dichos y hechos de romanos y griegos, Hugo de Urriés's translation of Valerius Máximus Dicta fatique from Simon de Hedin's Latin version previously translated from French.

1502-17 Edition of the Complutensian Polyglot or Alcalá Bible, under Cardinal Cisneros. The first polyglot Bible to be printed.

1506 Castile has to import wheat for the first time.

1508 Foundation of the University of Alcalá.

1508 Publication of Amadís de Gaula. There will be thirty editions before 1587, twelve continuations, making a total of some 300 rewritings before 1608.

1509-11 Spain conquers Oran, Bugía (?) and Tripoli.

1509 Hernán Núñez translates Enea Silvio Piccolomini's History of Bohemia into Castilian.

1510 Francisco de Madrid's translation of Petrarca's De remediis is published in Valladolid.

1511 Hernando del Castillo's Cancionero general.

1511 Erasmus's Elogio de la locura is translated into Castilian. Cicneros invites him to the University of Alcalá, but Erasmus refuses: "Non placet Hispania".

1512 Spain annexes Navarra.

1512 The Laws of Burgos require that the conquistadores train the Indians in the Catholic faith and the Castilian tongue.

1513 Machiavelli writes Il principe.

1514 Cisneros begins his project to produce a Graeco-Latin Aristotle. The enterprise will be completed in Rome.

1515 Hernán Pérez de Oliva (d. 1531) writes a preface in Latin, using only Castilian cognates. Asserts the superiority of Castilian.

1516 Pero Fernández de Villegas, arcediano in Burgos, publishes a complete translation of Dante's Divina Commedia, pretending to improve the content and style.

1516 Erasmus translates the New Testament into Latin.

1517 Carlos I arrives in Spain.

1519 Hernán Núñez publishes Moschus in Greek with Latin interlinear version.

1520 Erasmus's Bible, in Greek, arrives in Spain. Is criticized by Diego López de Zúñiga.

1520 Hernán Cortés begins the conquest of Mexico.

1520c. An anonymous Castilian translation of the Divina Commedia.

1520-21 Uprising of the Comunidades in Spain.

1522 Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda translates Aristotle's Parva naturalia into Latin, published in Bologna.

1523 Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda translates Aristotle's De generatione et interita and De mundo into Latin, published in Rome.

1525 Victory of Carlos V in Pavia.

1526 Andrea Navagiero, Venetian ambassador to the court of Spain, convinces Juan Boscán to naturalise Italian poetic forms in Castilian.

1526 Alonso Fernández de Madrid, arcediano de Alcor, brother of Francisco de Madrid, translates Erasmus's Enchoridion (Enquiridion o manual el caballero cristiano) from Latin into Castilian, amplifying the text, omitting passages when thought necessary, and adopting a popular preaching tone not to be found in the original.

1527 Carlos V is victorious in Rome.

1527 General acceptance of Erasmian principles at Valladolid.

1528 Hernán Pérez de Oliva adapts Sophocles' Electra, probably from an intermediary Latin version, "to show that lofty ideas can be expressed in Castilian".

1529 Antonio de Guevara, a Franciscan bishop, writes Libro áureo de Marco Aurelio a pseudotranslation from an imaginary Greek manuscript.

1529 Sannazaro's Arcadia, written in 1504, is translated into Castilian by the canon López de Ayala, captain Diego de Salazar and the racionero Blasco de Gary.

1530 Carlos V receives the imperial crown from the pope.

1530 Appointment of the lecteurs royaux in Paris.

1530c. Martín Laso de Oropesa translates Lucan's La Farsalia, dedicated to don Pedro de Guevara: "à cabo de mill y quinientos años torna à hablar en la lengua que nacio".

1531 Juan Luis Vives, a Spanish converso in the Netherlands, writes De disciplinis libri xx, advocating use of the vernacular in schools and the education of women.

1532 Juan Luis Vives writes De Ratione Dicendi, claiming that in order to achieve equilibrium and equivalence a translation has to be free: the figures and patterns of one language should not be expressed in another.

1531 Conquest of Peru.

1533 Diego Gracian translates Plutarch's Apopthegmas from Greek, dedicated to the emperor. Claims to have followed the style and rhythm of the original, "porque la propiedad y maneras de hablar de la lengua Griega responde mucho mejor a la Castellana que a otra ninguna".

1534 Juan Boscán translates Baldassare Castiglione's Il libro del cortigiano (1528) into Castilian at the request of Garcilaso de la Vega. Dedicated to doña Gerónima Palova de Almogavar.

1535 Miguel Servet declares that Spaniards "care little for letters and print few books, preferring to import French ones."

1535c. Juan de Valdés, a follower of Erasmus, writes Diálogo de la lengua, criticizing Nebrija for adopting a Latinist and aristocratic view of Castilian. He probably left Spain in 1529, was in Rome in 1531 in the service of the pope. After 1535 he completed partial translations of the Bible: El salterio traducido el hebreo en romance castellano and El evangelio según san Mateo.

1535 Conquest of Tunis.

1536 Carlos V speaks Castilian with the pope in the Vatican.

1536 Beginnings of the Inquisition in Portugal.

1536 Fray Luis de Granada, said to have translated into French and English (?), is the probable translator of Thomas à Kempis's Imitacion de Christo.

1540 Death of Juan Luis Vives.

1540 Etienne Dolet writes his theory of translation.

1541 Antonio Barba translates Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda's De conuenientia militaris disciplinae (1535)

1542 The New Laws of the Indies.

1543 Publication of Juan Boscán's translation of Castiglione's Il Cortegiano.

1543 Francisco de Enzinas (also called Dryander, Duchesne, Van-Eick, Eichmann), under the influence of Luther and in permanent exile from Spain, publishes his Castilian translation of the New Testament in Antwerp. Aware that Carlos V had ordered all copies to be siezed, he dedicates the translation to the emperor and goes to Brussels to give him the first copy. The translator will soon be imprisoned in Brussels, although he will be allowed to escape the following year and will become professor of Greek at Cambridge, translating Plutarch and Lucian. His brother Jaime will be burnt at the stake in Rome in 1546.

1545 The Council of Trent proclaims use of the vernacular.

1545-63 Meetings of the Council of Trent, in opposition to Protestantism. The council will be dominated by Spanish Jesuits from 1551.

1548 Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda translates Aristotle's Politics into Latin, published in Paris.

1548 Publication in Alcalá de Henares of Morales, Diego Gracián's translation of Plutarch directly from the Greek.

1548 Publication in Medina del Camp of Libro llamado Arte de Amistad, Ángel Cornejo's translation of Cicero's De amicitia. Cornejo is a Cistertian friar. 'Los libros que desta sciencia de traduzir tengo o son para sabios o para necios.'

1549 Publication in Antwerp of Libros de Marco Tulio Cicerón en que se trata de los Officios, de la Amicicia y de la Senectud, translated by Francisco de Támara.

1549 Hierónimo de Urrea translates Ariosto into Castilian.

1550 Hernando de Alcocer translates he second part of Ariosto's Orlando.

1550-1556 Gonzalo Pérez translates the Odyssey into Castilian verse, using defective unrhymed hendecasyllables.

1551 Authorization of the universities of Lima and Mexico City.

1551 Spain's first list of prohibited books.

1553 Miguel Servet is burnt at the stake by order of Calvin for denying the trinity and the divinity of Christ.

1553 Publication of translation of Petrarca's Tratado de la excelencia de la vida solitaria by el licenciado Peña.

1554 The Spanish economy becomes unmanageable, resulting in famine and depopulation.

1554 Publication of Lazarillo de Tormes.

1555 Juan Pérez de Pineda leaves Seville for Geneva, where he publishes his Castilian translation of the New Testament and the Psalms of David. The work manages to enter Spain because the place of publication is printed as "Venecia". Pineda will be arrested and condemnd by the Inquisition in 1557. His work will be on the Index in 1559.

1556 Carlos V abdicates as emperor of the Imperium Romanum. Felipe II comes to the throne.

1561c. Fray Luis de León, aged 33, translates the Cantar de los Cantares.

1566 Andrés Laguna, a physician, translates Dioscoride's Materia medica into Castilian, with notes that occupy twice the space of the text. He is deeply involved in the Erasmian movement in Spain.

1557 Spain suspends payment of its debts.

1558-59 Felipe II imposes new laws meaning that the importing of books is illegal without a special licence; Spanish students are not allowed to study in foreign universities. Campaigns against Protestants in Valladolid and Seville.

1559 Beginnings of the Index of prohibited books. Spain will become increasingly isolated from the secularization and philosophical and scientific revolution of the 17th century.

1563 The El Escorial monastery is completed.

1565 Uprising of the Netherlands.

1567 Alfonso de Ulloa, in Venice, edits the Castilian translation of Petrarca's Sonnets and Songs by the Portuguese Jew Salomón Usque.

1568-70 Uprising of Moriscos in Granada.

1569 Casiodoro de Reina, a Protestant of Morisco origin, in Basel, publishes his Castilian translation of the complete Bible. He has spent four years on the translation. In 1564 Felipe II put a price on his head. Casiodoro de Reina's son Marcos will preach in French and German; his second son Agustín will translateworks of geography from Italian and Dutch into German and Latin. Neither will work in Castilian.

1571 Johannes Leizarraga translates the New Testament into Basque, along with a catechism, at the request of the Calvanist synod of Pau. He tries to create a common language based on Basque dialects and Latin.

1571 Victory over the Turks at Lepanto.

1571 Fray Luis de León is imprisoned, partly because of eroticism in his translation of the Song of Songs.

1572 Trials against four professors of Hebrew. Three of them are of Jewish origin: Luis de León, Gaspar de Grajal and Alonso Gudiel.

1574-75 Fray Luis, in prison, writes De los nombres de cristo, published in 1583.

1576 Fray Luis returns to his chair at Salamanca after five years as a prisoner of the Inquisition: "Dicebamus hesterna die..."

1577 Publication in Alcalá of Mateo Boyardo's Orlando Enamorado, translated by Francisco Garrido de Villena.

1579 Holland allows freedom of worship.

1580 Felipe II annexes Portugal.

1580c. Pedro Simón Abril translates Aristotles' Ethics, dedicated to Felipe II.

1585 Fray Luis publishes De los nombres de Cristo. Castilian is recognised to be as good as Latin.

1585-87 The English attack and sack Vigo and Cadiz.

1587 Juan de Sedeño translates Torcuato Tasso's Jerusalén Libertada.

1588 Defeat of the Invincible Armada.

1589 Pero Sánchez de Viana translates Ovid's Metamorphoses, wih a commentary making the classical myths accord with Christian beliefs.

1590 Inca Garcilaso translates the Diálogos de amor by the Spanish Jew León Hebreo, living in Italy.

1591 Publication in Madrid of Enrique Garcés's Castilian translation of Petrarca's Sonnets and Songs.

1596 Spain suspends payment of its debts.

1598 Francisco Tremado translates Petrarca's Rimas.

1598 Death of Felipe II.

1599 Mateo Alemán publishes Guzmán de Alfarache.

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