Poems by Juan Latino

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Typographic rustic ISBN: 9788498162899

SKU: 9788498979190 Category: Tags: , , , ,

John Latin, who was also known as John of Sessa, was born in Ethiopia in 1518 to the son of a slave. According to the official version, he arrived in Granada when he was too young to serve in the house of the Duke of Sessa.
Because of his dependence and good relationship with the aristocrat, he received a higher education and entered the University of Granada, where he received his doctorate. The Duke, with whom he grew up since childhood, ended up manumitting him ─freeing─ as a slave.
He thus became the first black writer to see his work in print. It was in the year 1573, with Epigrams, dedicated to John of Austria after the battle of Lepanto. The impact of that new feat probably cemented his reputation nationally and gave way to much of his legend, to which some of the best feathers of the Golden Age contributed. (At the end of this edition we collect the praise that was dedicated to him by Lope de Vega, Jiménez de Enciso, Rodríguez de Ardilla, Juan de Arjona and Cervantes.)
Although teaching occupied an important part in the activity of Juan Latino, who is already known by the nickname of Latino, it is essential to stop at his creative facet as a translator and commentator of Greco-Latin classics, and as an author of works , some of them unfortunately disappeared. From this aspect are noteworthy those dedicated to Philip II, to the pontiff Pius V, to the deeds of John of Austria in the poem La Austriada, all written in Latin.
In the poems of La Austríada, Juan Latino, skillfully links two events that marked the beginning of a stage full of good omens for the Spanish empire and the prestige of Philip II:

  1. the triumph in battle and
  2. The birth of the emperor’s son, two months later.

Nº 2: To the city of Granada in praise of Seville:

Hispalis antiqua urbs penitus celeberrima Boetis
Conventus magnus, qui beat Hesperiam.
Accipit exilla leges, et iuxta sacrata
Tingitana vetus, gratification simul.
Urbibus excellis, opibus; Tunc fida relucet
Nobilitate vigens, fertilitate flaens.
Illius imperio subdis Granata superba
Ex iugo Mauri vi liberata sua.

Seville city is the most famous,
The old Audiencia of Andalusia,
Of whom Tingitana careful
Sacred and righteous laws he received.
It is in nobility and blissful loyalty,
In wealth and greatness great and cold;
To whose effort you owe, Granada,
The being of the rescued morisma.

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