732 years since the birth of Don Juan Manuel
May 4, 2014 Hispania
Today I wanted to write something about one of the main writers of medieval Spanish narrative, Don Juan Manuel (1282-1348), for May 5 is the 732 anniversary of his birth at Castle Escalona in Toledo, in a family of the Spanish aristocracy (the son of a royal prince).
Speaking of Don Juan Manuel, author celebrated by Hispanic literature (especially for his work The Count Lucanor) is especially appropriate now for two reasons: the first is that it never hurts to remind the old classics of literature; the second is related to the functioning of the game Hispania: Saints and Warriors, as discussed in the following lines.
As a character of great contradictions, Juan Manuel attracts the attention of those who read and study him. He was a warrior and a writer. While he lived, he was inspired by the work of his uncle, King Alfonso X the Wise, showing a deep moral concern in his works. Hence his writings, which he cared for with passion, mostly dealt with issues related to ethics: the behaviour of the knight, the education of the princes, or religious topics. His cultural background was very wide, hence many of his stories narrate situations very different in nature and distant in place: many of them related to kings of England, French monasteries, deeds in the Holy Land… His reading is not complicated, and we also have websites, as CervantesVirtual, where the text is provided completely free and in a modernized version. There are also translations into English and French.
Regarding Hispania: Saints and Warriors, characters like Don Juan Manuel (or Averroes, who we saw in Nirdia few weeks ago) have an important role. It is not a secret that for Hispania: Saints and Warriors we are developing a system of science (as it is called in the games of this genre) truly revolutionary. We call it advancements and these are inserted into epochs. I will not give many more clues, but anticipate that the great writers, artists, philosophers, inventors… have a major role in the cultural and scientific developments of the kingdom during the game, and the player as a sovereign may interact with them.
And so, remembering a classic of Spanish literature, I leave promising that soon I’ll upload the latest installment of ‘The making of Hispania’s map’. The finished version is really cool!