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Rodrigo de Valdés: Poema heroyco hispano-latino panegyrico de la fundación, y grandezas de la muy noble, y leal ciudad de Lima

Series:

Neal A. Messer and Jerry M. Williams

Poema heroyco hispano-latino (1687), a national chronicle or “epic poem,” commemorates the founding and greatness of Lima, Peru. Its unique rhymed quatrains can be read in either Latin or Spanish with equal meaning, and its insightful marginal notes interpret the city’s cultural history. Rodrigo de Valdés (1609–1682) underscores the decadence of peninsular Spanish letters in contrast to the compositions of New World writers. The poem is a tribute to the superiority, versatility, and interchangeability of Spanish and Latin as instruments of power that led to Spain’s world dominance, and to Lima as the locus of marvels and a quasi biblical garden of delights.

Lima has occupied without exception a privileged space within the colonial situation, as a metaphorical sovereign of new-world experiences and potentialities. Influenced by the spirit of Baroque sensibilities and Creole pride in his patria, Valdés bequeathed to Lima a staged panegyric that served as King Charles II’s introduction to the bounty of his American colony. Valdés, acting as commentator, guides the reader through a journey that spans centuries of Peru’s illustrious history. Working within the classical tradition of laus urbis or the praise of cities, Valdés depicts America as a paradise found with Lima at its center.

In tracing the poem’s relationship to the genre of classical panegyrics, Neal A. Messer and Jerry M. Williams argue its literary merits and elucidate how it enriches the colonial family of Latin American texts. Republished for the first time, this critical edition introduces Valdés to students and scholars of Ibero-American letters.

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§. XXXIV. Maravillosa fábrica de la muralla del puerto del Callao, y fundación de Valdivia, obras ambas del excelentísimo Señor D. Pedro de Toledo y Leiva, marqués de Mancera, virrey del Perú. Dulce memoria de su digno hijo, el excelentísimo Señor D. Antonio de Toledo y Leiva, embajador de Venecia y general del Callao en tiempo del virreinato de su excelentísimo padre. Hácese memoria de un reparo que hizo a la muralla en la puerta real el excelentísimo Señor Conde de Alva.

Extract

§. XXXIV.Maravillosa fábrica de la Muralladel Puerto del Callao, y fundación deValdivia, obras ambas sobre todoencarecimiento grandes, dignas del real ánimodel Excelentísimo Señor D. Pedro deToledo y Leiva, marquès de Mancera,virrey del Perú.Reparo que hizo en la Puerta Real elExcelentísimo Señor Conde de Alva;dulce, y debido recuerdo delExcelentísimo Señor D. Antonio de Toledoy Leiva, embajador, que es de Venecia,y general que fue del Callao,cuando su Excelentísimo Padre hizola muralla de la cual se dijo, porcortesanía, y lisonja que no se habíahecho cosa más ociosa en el mundo;porque con el terror, que causa alos enemigos extranjeros,ninguno intentará asaltarla.

506

Triumphe Thetis, Io378 triumphe,

quando fortuna Cæſarea379

bellicosa te ſerena,

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