"E El Señor De Galicia Era Del Linaje De Troya":El Victorial And The Cultural Memory Of Petrismo
Personal and political networks connecting the descendants of Pedro I of Castile and those of Petrista loyalists reemerged in Castile at the turn of the fifteenth century, as a consequence of the marriage of Pedro's granddaughter, Catalina of Lancaster, to Enrique III. This article considers two inserted tales in Gutierre Díaz de Games' El Victorial as attempts to negotiate the integration of Petrismo into Castilian courtly culture. Both tales ("Cuento de los reyes" and "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea") reveal an association between Petrismo, Troy, and Galicia that took shape in the years following the deposition and death of Pedro I and became an integral part of Petrista cultural memory. These connections are important not only for El Victorial, but also for the (as yet unwritten) cultural history of Petrismo, as well as for the history of Trojan matter in medieval Castile. [End Page 241]
Gutierre Díaz de Games's El Victorial is one of the most idiosyncratic works in fifteenth-century Castilian literature. A chivalric biography recounting the life of Pero Niño, count of Buelna, Díaz de Games's creation is also a treaty on chivalry that uses its avowed subject as an extended exemplum; a rich compilation of interpolated stories with historiographical and fictional topics; and a detailed, first-hand chronicle of a military expedition. This hybridity stems in part from El Victorial's combination of the interests of its commissioner, Pero Niño, and its author, Díaz de Games (Gómez Redondo 2350; Heusch; Rodríguez Velasco), which evolved during the work's protracted composition process.1 The result is a rich, imperfect, layered book that speaks to many of the main preoccupations of Castilian courtly culture during the first half of the fifteenth century. This essay will focus on the presence of one such preoccupation in El Victorial: the reemergence of Petrismo in the Castilian political and cultural landscape as a consequence of the integration of Catalina of Lancaster, Pedro I's granddaughter, into the Trastámara dynasty through her marriage to Enrique III.2
Petrismo, strictly understood as a legitimist movement in defense of the rights to the Castilian throne of Pedro I's heirs, spans the almost two decades starting with the king's murder at the hands of his half-brother –henceforth Enrique II– in 1369 and ending with the signing of the treaty of Bayonne in 1388. As a result of this treaty, Pedro's daughter, Constanza of Castile, and her husband John of Gaunt renounced their claim to the Castilian kingdom, marrying their daughter, Catalina of Lancaster, to the Trastámara heir, the future Enrique III. But in spite of the resolution of its most prominent claim, [End Page 242] Petrismo lived on throughout the fifteenth century and beyond as a political and cultural force whose aims were "la rehabilitación de la memoria del monarca, la condena de su asesinato, la protección de sus descendientes y la reivindicación de los derechos de sus herederos" (Valdaliso, "El exilio" 153); the last two elements apply as well to prominent Petristas and their own descendants. Catalina's position, first as the heir's spouse (1388-1390), then as queen consort (1390-1406), and finally and most importantly, as queen mother and regent (1406-1418), made it possible for Petrismo to slowly resurface at the Castilian royal court, returning from its earlier Portuguese and English exiles.3
The resurgence of Petrismo can be observed in the activation of personal networks that linked descendants of Pedro I, including Catalina of Lancaster, to one another and to those of the murdered king's supporters, allowing some of them to regain political and economic power (Cabrera Sánchez; Echevarría, Catalina 76-78; González de Fauve et al.; Valdaliso, "Las privadas" and "El exilio" 153). Catalina's presence also marks the moment in which alternative accounts of Pedro I's rule, some of which probably originated in the queen's court, started circulating in Castile (Conde; Gómez Redondo 1779-83).4 The fact that we only have second-hand traces and references to these Petrista works suggests, nonetheless, that attempts to revise the historiographical narrative established to legitimize Trastámara rule triggered significant resistance.
The "Cuento de los reyes", one of the many inserted tales that pepper Díaz de Games's work, is representative of the difficulties that scholars encounter in trying to access Petrista cultural production. This narrative offers an [End Page 243] account of the Castilian dynastic change written, according to El Victorial's author, at the behest of a Petrista, Pero Niño's grandfather.5 The tale starts with Alfonso XI's death and ends, not with Pedro I's murder at Montiel in 1369, but with the conquest of one of the most important bastions of Petrista resistance, Carmona, two years later. Despite Díaz de Games's claims, the "Cuento de los reyes" is, for the most part, a summarized version of the sections of Pero López de Ayala's chronicles recounting this period, whose implicit condemnation of King Pedro's actions becomes explicit in El Victorial's story (Beltrán, "Cuento" 438-40): to give but one example, Pedro's eventual defeat and death take place because "[a]quel rey tenía a Dios muy airado de la mala vida que avía vivido" (Díaz de Games 80). The tale combines this summary, and the ideological outlook that comes with it, with a number of elements that are independent from López de Ayala's works and adopt a Petrista point of view. But those elements do not amount to a full Petrista version of Pedro I's reign; instead, they may derive, in Rafael Beltrán's hypothesis, from "dispersas anotaciones, casi ilegibles borradores o sencillos recuerdos orales" ("Cuento" 457).
Even though the "Cuento de los reyes" does not provide direct and complete access to a Petrista source, it is immensely valuable to any consideration of the effects of Petrismo on Castilian culture. The interpolated tale demonstrates Díaz de Games's familiarity, not only with Petrista accounts of the events it retells, but also, I believe, with the broader world of what we may call Petrista cultural memory. By Petrista cultural memory I understand here the ensemble of mechanisms through which this particular sociocultural community constructed its relationship with its shared past, including, but not limited to, the production of historiography.6 Approaching the "Cuento [End Page 244] de los reyes" from this perspective makes it possible to detect previously unnoticed parallels between its Petrista sections and another of El Victorial's inserted stories, which on the surface bears no relation to Petrismo: the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea", an unconventional retelling of the life of Brutus, the mythic founder of Britain.
The following pages examine both the "Cuento de los reyes" and the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea" as tales that respond to the reemergence of Petrismo in Castilian courtly life. While they do so in vastly different ways, they both have in common their liberal use of Petrista cultural memory, and in particular of the symbolic geography of Petrismo. As I shall argue, the two stories reveal that an association between Petrismo, Troy, and Galicia that took form during the years after the death of King Pedro had, by the time Díaz de Games was writing El Victorial, become part of the Petrista cultural memory from which the writer was drawing. The acknowledgement of such an association is an important piece for the (as yet unwritten) cultural history of Petrismo, as well as for the development of Trojan matter in late medieval Castile.
Praising Petrismo in the "Cuento de los reyes"
The "Cuento de los reyes" appears towards the beginning of El Victorial, so that the "buelta de los reyes" (Díaz de Games 85) that it recounts may explain the relative obscurity of the Niño family (Beltrán, "Cuento" 449-50). As I mentioned above, the tale combines its summary of López de Ayala's chronicles with additional information that betrays a Petrista outlook. The two most conspicuous elements in this respect are of particular interest for my purposes: the portrait of Galician magnate Fernando de Castro and the retelling of the fall of Carmona.7 Both of them have in common, as we shall see, a very flattering representation of Petristas as the epitome of loyalty and bravery. Within El Victorial, this depiction works to establish loyalty to the king, even under adverse circumstances, as a central value, and one that Pero Niño would inherit from his Petrista grandfather (Gómez Redondo 2090-92); [End Page 245] but it also echoes what we can assume were Petrista accounts of these events. More importantly, the descriptions of Fernando de Castro and Carmona's siege both point to the association between Petrismo and Galicia, on the one hand, and Petrismo and Troy, on the other, that I would like to investigate.
Fernando Ruiz de Castro was one of the most prominent supporters of Pedro I during the war with Enrique of Trastámara, as well as one of the legitimist leaders who kept fighting against Enrique's rule after Pedro's death. He belonged to one of the oldest and most important noble families in Castile, which by the fourteenth century had come to dominate Galicia thanks to its vast territorial holdings and political influence, enjoying a powerful position at the Castilian royal court. After an early flirtation with the noblemen working against King Pedro during the first rumblings of the rebellion, Fernando de Castro played a crucial role in ensuring that Galicia remained loyal to the legitimate monarch, by whom he would be handsomely rewarded. Although captured by the Trastamaristas with King Pedro at the time of the latter's murder, he would escape to Portugal and continue the loyalist resistance in Galicia, eventually dying in his English exile (Pardo de Guevara y Valdés I, 162-84).
In the "Cuento de los reyes", Fernando de Castro takes on a much more prominent role than he did in López de Ayala's chronicles, serving as a living example of the quality that the tale wants to exalt: loyalty. We first meet him during the brief period in which he is working against Pedro, as one of the noblemen who hold the king captive in Toro. But when the monarch, who is trying to escape, confronts Castro and demands his allegiance, the latter dramatically declares, "con vós iré, e non vos dejaré fasta la muerte" (Díaz de Games 72).8 He later reappears next to King Pedro in Galicia, "que nunca dél se partió, segund lo ovo dicho", and we learn that, after Pedro departs Castile for Bayonne and leaves Fernando de Castro in Galicia, the magnate [End Page 246] "subía muchas vezes en alto púlpito, e predicava; amonestava a las gentes que tuviesen con su rey, e no le dexasen por otro señor" (77). Finally, he resists in Galicia after the king's death but is defeated there and goes into exile (82-83).9
Even though it is impossible to trace the exact origins of this portrait of Fernando de Castro, its depiction of the Galician nobleman clearly points to Petrista sources. For example, the characterization of the magnate as the epitome of loyalty is in line with his own self-fashioning, as reflected in the epitaph, now lost, which labeled Fernando de Castro "toda la lealtad de España" (Argote de Molina 108v). As for his "predication" in Galicia in favor of the king, it is also recognized in the privilegio, dated in June of 1366, whereby King Pedro makes him count of Trastámara, Lemos, and Sarria, explaining that:
vos [Fernando de Castro], como bono e leal que sodes, touiestes [mi] vos e venisteis vos para Galisia por mi mandado e fablastes con todos los prelados, e caualleros e escuderos, e con todos los de las villas e logares de Galisia, en manera que todos ellos touieron e tienen mi vos para mio serviçio.
The prominence of Fernando de Castro in the "Cuento de los reyes" gives pride of place to the strong association between Petrismo and Galicia that, as I will go on to explain, would continue to develop even after the magnate's death. His enhanced and emotionally satisfying role also shows Díaz de Games's familiarity with the Petrista memory of these events, developed through his contact with the Niño family and possibly other Petristas as well. This role is also echoed in the second element that I will examine, the siege of Carmona.
The retelling of Carmona's fall is given great weight by Díaz de Games, who closes the "Cuento de los reyes" with this episode, even though in chronological terms it is not the last event narrated in the story (Fernando de Castro's final defeat, for example, took place later). Pedro I had extensively fortified Carmona and sent there his sons (Díaz de Games 79) and, although [End Page 247] the tale does not mention it, his treasure. The Andalusian city became the site of a spectacular last stand by loyalists, led by Martín López de Córdoba, who resisted a two-year siege, from King Pedro's death in 1369 to 1371. The confrontation ended with the surrender of the Petristas, whose leaders were later executed in Seville despite the fact that Enrique II had promised to spare their lives.
The defining feature of Díaz de Games's retelling of Carmona's fall is admiration for the loyalty and bravery of the defenders. They are initially characterized as:
muy buenos hombres, e muchos, e bien armados, e en caval; que fizieron durante aquella cerca muy buenos fechos, muy notables e maravillosos …; que en cuanto allí estuvieron, nunca vez los de fuera quisieron pelea que la non fallasen.(84)
Their courage is then shown in military action, when in a daring attack on the Trastámara forces they put King Enrique himself in danger, and when they later repeal an attempt to enter Carmona during the night, using a ladder. Díaz de Games goes on to compare the defenders of Carmona to the Trojans at some length:
Dize aquí el autor que fueron estos tan buenos, e tan privados, e tan merescientes de fama, como fueron los troyanos en defender a Troya, salvo que estos estuvieron cercados no más de dos años, e los otros diez. Mas que los otros peleavan con esperança e esfuerço, que avían siempre gentes que los venían a ayudar, e les traían viandas. Mas estos, del día que allí entraron fasta en todo aquel tiempo, nunca ovieron refresco de gente ni viandas, que mucho les ayudase ni les escusase de pelear la vez que les viniese.(85)
The episode closes with a short but pointed reference to Enrique's lack of faith towards the leaders of Carmona when they finally surrender.10
This episode, which Beltrán has described as an "apéndice desproporcionado" [End Page 248] with respect to the rest of the "Cuento de los reyes" ("Cuento" 452), is carefully shaped so as to eliminate any information that could be unfavorable to Carmona's defenders ("Cuento" 436-38), but also offers an account richer in details than that of López de Ayala ("Cuento" 452). It is also interesting to note the absence of Martín López de Córdoba, which may respond to a desire to avoid the narrative redundancy that having another model of Petrista loyalty, in addition to Fernando de Castro, would have created. Be that as it may, the Petrista outlook and wealth of details seem to point, once again, towards Díaz de Games's use of Petrista sources for an episode whose combination of loyalist resistance and Trastámara treachery must have made it symbolically central for Petrismo.
What is more, I would like to propose that not only are the episode's outlook and its wealth of details attributable to Petrista origins, but comparing legitimist defenders to Trojans may also derive from a Petrista referential framework –despite the fact that El Victorial's author takes ownership of this comparison through his formulaic "Dize aquí el autor".11 It is true that the Trojan War had become the epitome of siege warfare, and in this sense it is only logical that Díaz de Games would have recourse to it when describing the Petrista resistance at Carmona. A relevant example in this respect is the Glosa castellana al regimiento de príncipes, where the glosses on the chapter about sieges summarize the Trojan War. But this instance is also significant in that the Glosa was created during Alfonso XI's reign for the education of Pedro while he was the heir to the kingdom. This is not an isolated case: as I shall explain in the next section, by the time El Victorial was created the Trojan legend had become closely tied to both Pedro and Petrismo.
All in all, the "Cuento de los reyes" not only demonstrates Díaz de Games's access to, and use of, Petrista versions of specific events relating to the Castilian civil war, but also his familiarity with a wider Petrista cultural memory in whose symbolic geography Galicia and Troy played an important part. The [End Page 249] similarly prominent role that both Galicia and the Trojan legend enjoy in the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea", yet another of El Victorial's interpolated stories, suggests that we should also approach that tale in relation to the cultural world of Petrismo. But before considering the Petrista undertones of the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea", it is necessary to understand a bit more about how the association between Petrismo, Galicia, and Troy that I have pointed out first developed during the tumultuous years of Pedro's reign and those immediately following his death. I will first consider the association between Petrismo and Galicia, and then that between Petrismo and Troy; finally, I will briefly explain the earlier connection between Galicia and Troy that served to strengthen those links.
Petrista Sites of Memory: Galicia and Troy
The relationship between Petrismo and Galicia is well established in a variety of historiographical sources dealing with the war between Pedro and Enrique, as well as the period of loyalist military action that followed the legitimate king's death and would only cease with the treaty of Bayonne.12 As I have mentioned in connection with the figure of Fernando de Castro in the "Cuento de los reyes", a majority of Galician noblemen and cities, led by this magnate, remained loyal to Pedro's side during the war.13 What is more, a significant number of them still refused Trastámara rule after Pedro's murder, and contacted Fernando I of Portugal, the preferred candidate to the throne of many Petristas, to ask for military help and pledge allegiance to him.14 The Portuguese king obliged and invaded Galicia in June of 1369, [End Page 250] although he soon had to withdraw so that he could respond to Enrique II's attack on Portugal. He would officially abandon his pursuit of the Castilian throne in the treaty of Alcoutim (1371), and pledge to expel Petrista exiles from his kingdom in that of Santarém (1373).
The expulsion of many Petristas from Portugal did not mean that Galicia stopped being central to their attempts to secure the Castilian throne. Petristas soon coalesced around Pedro's daughter and designated heir, Constanza, who in 1371 had married the English king's powerful son, John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster. And it was through Galicia, where he expected to find support, that Gaunt made his final and most successful attempt at invading Castile, arriving at A Coruña in the summer of 1386 (Russell 419-22). Proximity to Portugal, whose new king, João of Avis, encouraged and supported Gaunt in his venture, must have weighed in choosing this point of entry, but past Galician support of the Petrista cause was undoubtedly a major factor as well.15 It is therefore Galicia's geographical importance to Petristas that will translate, as we shall see, into its symbolic importance in the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea".
If the links between Petrismo and Galicia are well known, those between Petrismo and Trojan matter, manifest as they are in Díaz de Games's retelling of Carmona's siege, have only started to emerge in recent scholarship. Researchers have long been aware of the Trojan legend's significant presence at the court of Pedro's father, Alfonso XI, who commissioned the lavishly illuminated Crónica troyana de Alfonso XI.16 As a new king, Pedro found [End Page 251] himself the owner of this illustrated prose version of Benoît de Sainte-Maure's Roman de Troie, completed shortly after his father's death at the siege of Gibraltar (1350). What has only recently come to light, thanks to the work of Ricardo Pichel Gotérrez and Rosa Rodríguez Porto, is the fact that the monarch decided to commission a new, extended version of the Trojan narrative that would surpass his father's. Pedro's ambitious project would have outdone Alfonso's on textual terms, expanding the story with material taken from the General estoria (Pichel Gotérrez, "Aproximación"; "Tradición"); and also on a visual level, where it would have provided an even more extensive illustration program, focused on a different set of topics and preoccupations (Rodríguez Porto, "Thesaurum" 750-84).
Pedro's version of the Trojan story only ever existed in a draft form, put together in Seville sometime in the 1360s; the project was soon abandoned, in all probability as a result of the war between Pedro and his half-brother starting in 1366 (Rodríguez Porto, "Thesaurum" 747; Pichel Gotérrez, "A fortuna" 120).17 But this unfinished project was not lost: it reappears in the manuscript that we call the Historia troiana bilingüe, a hybrid codex that represents an attempt at restoring the badly damaged draft by completing its missing parts in Galician.18 The restoration was commissioned, as Pichel Gotérrez has convincingly argued, by a supporter of the Petrista cause, the Galician nobleman Nuno Freire de Andrade, and carried out while he was governor of the Petrista stronghold of A Coruña between 1369 and 1372 (Pichel Gotérrez, "A fortuna" 122).19 [End Page 252]
It is hard not to see this attempt at restoring Pedro's damaged Troy as a deliberate parallel to Nuno Freire de Andrade's work to restore Petrista rule.20 At the very least, Freire de Andrade's interest in Pedro's unfinished Troy confirms that this was a prized narrative not only for the king but also, as we might expect, for other members of the royal court. The actions of Freire de Andrade's brother, Fernán Pérez de Andrade, seem to confirm that conclusion, since he also commissioned his own version of the Trojan story, the Galician Crónica troiana.21 Pérez de Andrade, though initially a supporter of Pedro, had switched his allegiance to Enrique towards the end of the war. This may explain why, rather than following the version commissioned by Pedro, to which he probably had access, he preferred to secure a working copy of that commissioned by Alfonso XI and had it translated into Galician (Pichel Gotérrez, "A fortuna" 122-23). This attempt at recuperating the Trojan narrative by a Trastámara supporter suggests that Petrista connotations had come to taint at least some retellings of the Trojan legend, if not the legend itself.
Equally significant is the fact that Pérez de Andrade seemingly intended his Galician Historia troiana for reception within his own court. It is worth noting that the dynastic change coincides with a waning of interest in the matter of Troy at the Castilian royal courts of Enrique II, Juan I, and Enrique III, which –unlike those of the two previous monarchs– have not been connected to any renditions of the Trojan legend. Given the association between Trojan matter and the literary patronage of Pedro I and some Petristas,22 it may not be coincidental, nor entirely due to early humanist [End Page 253] influence, to see that interest reemerge at the court of Juan II, the first descendant of the murdered king to rule on his own right and someone educated under the direct supervision of his mother, Catalina of Lancaster.23 The comparison of the siege of Carmona to that of Troy in El Victorial takes on an added poignancy in the context I have laid out, since it would not only praise the doomed efforts of Petrista defenders but also point to the lost cultural word of Pedro's court, the same one that Nuno Freire de Andrade had tried to restore and appropriate.
The close ties between Galicia and Petrismo, on the one hand, and Troy and Petrismo, on the other, that I have outlined, were strengthened thanks to the additional bonds between the Trojan narrative and Galicia (and the Galician language). This connection preexisted Petrismo, but was undoubtedly reinforced by the cultural and political developments that I have sketched above. Classical texts that mention Galicia often note that its inhabitants claim a Greek origin, and some of them specify that veterans of the Trojan War (Amphilochus, Diomedes, or Teucros) traveled to or settled on the region; this textual tradition is subsequently picked up in a widely diffused medieval work, Isidore's Etymologiae (Carlos Villamarín 96-102; Casas Rigall 233-34; García y Bellido 109-11; 115-21). Furthermore, the earliest Iberian version of the Roman de Troie took the form of a Galician-Portuguese translation of the French poem, now lost, which is in fact the direct antecedent of the text found in the Crónica troyana de Alfonso XI, as well as of the Historia troyana polimétrica (Casas Rigall 217-38). Therefore, the versions commissioned by the Andrade brothers were, perhaps unknowingly, re-translating rather than simply translating into Galician.
By the first half of the fifteenth century, when Díaz de Games was composing the different parts of El Victorial, Petrismo had become symbolically linked to Galicia and Troy. It is therefore not surprising to see the "Cuento de [End Page 254] los reyes", drawing as it does from Petrista cultural memory, prominently feature a Galician Petrista character, Fernando de Castro (while erasing other important Petristas such as Martín López de Córdoba), and give pride of place to a comparison between Petristas and Trojans. Díaz de Games's choice of references, together with the fourteenth-century events that I have laid out, suggest that by this point Galicia and Troy had become Petrista sites of memory, that is, symbolic locations towards which remembrance gravitated for those connected, through experience or genealogy, with Pedro I and his supporters.24 This status meant that the mention of these symbolically charged places in an appropriate context had the potential to evoke the Petristas' shared past, as it is the case in the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea".
Uncovering Petrismo in the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea"
The "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea" is among the longest of the inserted stories in El Victorial. It provides an unorthodox retelling of the life of Brutus, the Trojan credited with the conquest, naming, and ruling of Britain in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia regum Britannia and its many successors. While retaining many key elements of the Brutus legend as it appeared in the Historia and other widely diffused texts, Díaz de Games's tale significantly deviates from them in pairing the Trojan hero with a Greek princess named Dorothea, a daughter of Helen and Menelaus born before her mother's abduction.25 Although there has been some speculation that El Victorial's author may have been following a now-lost version of the Brutus story, it seems more plausible that he was, as in the "Cuento de los reyes", creating his own on the basis of previously extant material (Díaz de Games 511-12).
The "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea" is the first of a group of English-themed [End Page 255] interpolations inserted in El Victorial at the beginning of the maritime campaigns that would take Pero Niño to England in the years 1405-06. The narrator introduces it as a way to explain why the English are "muy diversos en condiciones e desavenidos de todas las otras naciones" (Díaz de Games 183). Unsurprisingly, given this tenuous connection to the main narrative thread, the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea" displays signs of having been composed independently of El Victorial: markers of aural reception, absent from the book so far, start appearing in the text (Díaz de Games 186 n1; Gómez Redondo 3219-20); the style also departs from the rest of the work, imitating that of fourteenth-century short narratives (Díaz de Games 511).
The short romance would thus appear to be one of those previously composed works that, Carlos Heusch has argued, Díaz de Games inserted "con calzador" towards the end of El Victorial's composition process (318). In this respect, Sacramento Roselló-Martínez has hypothesized that the tale could have been originally destined to Catalina of Lancaster's court, during her time as a regent (55, 77). This context of reception aligns well with what we know about Gutierre Díaz de Games, who, as Beltrán has convincingly argued, was in all likelihood the same Gutierre Díaz, "escribano de cámara del rey", who is mentioned in Álvar García de Santa María's chronicle of Juan II's reign, and who appears to have been present at Catalina's court during the last stretch of her regency, from 1409 to 1418 (Beltrán, "Gutierre Díaz" 77).26
Although we still know very little about the cultural production connected to Catalina of Lancaster's court (Echevarría, "The Queen" 95), the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea" appears particularly appropriate for that audience. The tale sets up a referential network that echoes, from a fictional point of view, that of the novelized history in the "Cuento de los reyes", prominently featuring the narratives and places that we have seen connected to Petrismo in that tale and beyond. Not only did Díaz de Games choose to reshape an [End Page 256] offshoot of the Trojan legend, he also rewrote the one directly related to the mythical founding of England, Catalina's birthplace and the destination of many Petrista exiles. Perhaps even more significant in this respect is the prominent role of Galicia in the tale, which is entirely of Díaz de Games's making, and thus merits additional attention. I will explore the Petrista echoes of the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea" by briefly examining three of the tale's characters: Dorothea, an unnamed Galician knight of Trojan descent that serves Brutus, and Brutus himself. But in order to understand their role, it is first necessary to provide an overview of this story.
The "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea" starts with the traditional narrative about Brutus, a grandson of the Trojan Aeneas who accidentally kills his father and, as a consequence, has to go into exile, but it soon deviates from all known versions. Brutus becomes king of a people who live near the Nile, but is unable to make them follow his laws (Díaz de Games 184-85). After that, he goes to Greece, where he finds himself in the middle of a war between the children of Helen and Menelaus: Nestor, who has refused to give back his throne to Menelaus after the latter's return from the Trojan War, and Dorothea, who has welcomed her father and received a fourth of his kingdom in return. Nestor, who wants Dorothea's part of the kingdom for himself, seeks out Brutus's help to benefit from the hero's military prowess, but the Trojan ends up marrying Dorothea, which allows her to negotiate with Nestor so that he may drop his claim (185-98).
Feeling that he did not have the opportunity to earn his position, Brutus is dissatisfied with this resolution, so he leaves in pursuit of true military conquest. He first conquers Italy and then England, although the latter conquest proves unsuccessful when Brutus decides to start killing the giant men who inhabit the island and have his men marry the English women. The giants, quite understandably, rebel and Brutus becomes trapped in the middle of the island, fighting them (198-205). Meanwhile, Dorothea has kept busy since Brutus left: she has had a child by Brutus; defeated his brother Nestor in battle and, as a consequence, become queen of Greece; and prophesized Jesus Christ's birth. After sending an envoy in search of her husband, and finding out that he had gone to conquer England but not [End Page 257] whether he is dead or alive, she decides to go find him herself. Once in England, she is able to negotiate a peace with the giants and reunite with Brutus, thus allowing him to finish the conquest of what will from this moment on be called Britain (205-18).
This brief summary of the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea" should make clear the obvious parallel between the figure of Dorothea and that of Catalina of Lancaster, of which the Greek queen appears to be an extremely flattering mirror image.27 The defining feature of this character is her ability to create peace, most of the time through diplomacy and, if the situation requires it, by more forceful means: after marrying Brutus, she negotiates with his brother to avoid war, "veyendo el daño que de amas partes se podría recrecer" (Díaz de Games 197); she later defeats him on the battlefield but does not kill him; when she is on her way to look for Brutus, she makes attacking men from Africa flee thanks to her knowledge of mathematics and magic; she pacifies Galicia through diplomacy (on which more presently); and she negotiates an agreement with the English giants so that Brutus can finally complete his conquest.
Dorothea's political choices bring to mind of those of Catalina's, since the queen mother consistently advocated for diplomacy during her regency, in contrast with her co-regent Fernando's bellicosity.28 The self-fashioning of Pedro's granddaughter as a creator of peace went beyond the traditional responsibilities of queens as diplomats through their family connections: it also derived from her role as someone destined to heal the wounds left by the Castilian civil war. This is most clearly seen in her epitaph, which is careful not only to emphasize the genealogical bonds that justified Catalina's central place in Castilian politics (for example, as "hija … de la infanta doña Constanza, primogenita y heredera de los reynos de Castilla"), but also to claim that Catalina was someone "por la qual es paz y concordia puesta para [End Page 258] siempre" (Echevarría, Catalina 204). Dorothea also echoes the Castilian queen in this way, since, like Catalina's, her marriage represents the union of two bitterly opposed camps, in this case Greeks and Trojans.
In my brief summary of the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea", I have omitted the prominent role that Galicia and its lord play in the story. On his way from Italy to England, Brutus docks "al Farón, donde agora llaman La Coruña" and meets the lord of Galicia, a fellow Trojan who receives Brutus with great enthusiasm and decides to follow him to England, committing additional men and all of his ships for Brutus's expedition (Díaz de Games 202). During the conquest of England, the Galician knight proves to be invaluable to Brutus, who initially agrees with the giants to settle their conflict in single combat, so that if Brutus's champion wins, they will accept him as their lord. The Galician knight, who is as strong and tall as the giants, defeats and kills their leader, thus making Brutus king of England –at least until he decides to start killing off the male giants (203). Galicia reappears in the story when Dorothea's envoy arrives there retracing Brutus's steps, and learns that Galicians find themselves worried for their lord but without ships to go look for him, and attacked by their neighbors (210). When Dorothea decides to find Brutus herself, she also makes a stop in Galicia, where Galicians take her as their ruler. She quickly uses diplomacy to make peace with their neighbors, leaving a Trojan governor before departing for England (213). At the end of the tale, Brutus names the Galician knight "príncipe de una grand provinçia, e púsole nombre de las Galias, a que agora llaman Galicia: e es la que agora llaman Gales, en Anglia" (217).
Unlike Dorothea, the Galician lord is easily traceable to a character in the Brutus legend: Corineus, an extraordinarily large and strong Trojan exile settled on the Tyrrhenian coast, who also follows Brutus to England and fights a giant there (although the rule of England does not depend on the outcome of this fight), eventually receiving a sizable part of land, in this case Cornwall, which he names after himself (Díaz de Games 511; Montero Garrido 237-41). The reason why Díaz de Games would make this character [End Page 259] Galician has, nonetheless, eluded critics so far.29 Given the context that I have provided, I think it reasonable to posit that the figure of the Trojan-Galician knight echoes those of legitimists as they were remembered in Petrista circles –and as they appear in the parts of the "Cuento de los reyes" that draw, as I have shown, from Petrista cultural memory. The lord of Galicia remains steadily loyal to Brutus, as does Fernando de Castro to Pedro I in the "Cuento de los reyes", despite the fact that both are questionable leaders (even if not to the same extent), and he follows Brutus to England, leaving his own land and vassals in disarray, in a spatial movement evocative of the English exile of many Petristas (including Fernando de Castro, who died in English-held Bayonne).
The parallels that I have suggested do not mean that the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea" can or should be read as a roman à clef. Rather, as Ghislaine Fournès has put it, in this tale "le romanesque ser[t] de caisse de résonance à la narration historique" (27). The multivalence of Brutus's figure in this context makes it abundantly clear: against the Galician knight, he brings to mind Pedro I's failures of leadership; against Dorothea, he echoes Fernando de Antequera's bellicose leanings; and his marital union that brings together two opposing sides evokes that of Enrique III to Catalina of Lancaster. Overall, Brutus, a knight who is unable to become a successful ruler without the help of brainy Dorothea, seems to function as a repository for the many limitations of chivalric masculinity (Roselló-Martínez 78-92), which Díaz de Games is only too happy to critique in a book that purports to glorify it.30 But this critique would also have been particularly resonant in a context where Petrista networks were, to a great extent, an affair dominated by women (Valdaliso, "Las privadas"). [End Page 260]
Petrista Cultural Memory and the Cultural Memory of Petrismo
So far, I have argued that not only the "Cuento de los reyes" but also the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea" show Díaz de Games's familiarity with Petrista cultural memory. In addition to the positive portrait of Petristas offered in the first of those stories, this familiarity results in both tales' use of Galicia and Troy, which had become Petrista sites of memory, as key reference points. But the question remains, why does Díaz de Games make use of these elements in his narratives, especially since he does not seem to support one of the fundamental aims of Petristas, the rehabilitation of Pedro I's figure? I believe that what may be at work here is the process of transformation of Petrista cultural memory into the cultural memory of Petrismo –that is, the adoption of some aspects of Petrista cultural memory into the way in which Castilian courtly culture remembers Petrismo. In other words, both the "Cuento de los reyes" and the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea" attempt to negotiate the place of Petrismo in Castilian courtly culture without disrupting Trastámara legitimacy.
This problem must have been posed in a particularly urgent way at the court for which the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea" may have been created, that of Catalina of Lancaster during her regency. After all, it was at this point that the queen enjoyed a greater measure of power, even if she had to fight for every inch of it (Echevarría, Catalina 93-204). Whatever power Queen Catalina was able to exercise and distribute, she did so largely through a network of Petrista connections, of which her famous valida Leonor López de Córdoba remains the most prominent and controversial example (Valdaliso, "Las validas"). The "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea" appears to be quite flattering, as I have suggested, to Catalina of Lancaster and her Petrista entourage. But at the same time, the tale uses fiction as a deflection, deploying the cultural symbols of Petrismo and equivocally echoing Petrista historical characters without committing to a Petrista ideological stance –or, from another point of view, granting cultural but not political legitimacy to Petrismo.
These ideological contradictions come to the surface in the "Cuento de los reyes", whose easy fit within El Victorial's structure suggests that it may have [End Page 261] been composed later than the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea", when the book's project was already under way. The combination of a relentlessly negative image of Pedro I, deriving from the spirit, if not the letter, of López de Ayala's chronicles, with the heroic portrait of Petristas has attracted charges of ideological incoherence.31 But if we look at the "Cuento de los reyes" as still wrestling with the problem posed by the necessity of reintegrating not only Petristas but their memory into the fabric of Castilian courtly life, the apparent contradiction makes more sense: Díaz de Games is trying to have his cake and eat it too, by condemning King Pedro in line with Trastámara orthodoxy, while presenting Petristas as loyal knights and uniquely heroic victims of historical circumstances.32
It is beyond the scope of this essay to establish whether Díaz de Games's incorporation of key elements of Petrista cultural memory into a cultural memory of Petrismo is a unique occurrence or part of a wider effort. A sustained probe into the cultural production surrounding Catalina of Lancaster's court may yield interesting results in this respect, as perhaps would further attention to possible Petrista echoes in works dealing with the matter of Troy during the first few decades of the fifteenth century. If my hypothesis is correct, when Díaz de Games introduced his unnamed, Corineus-like knight saying, "E el señor de Galicia era del linaje de Troya" (202), he meant to activate deeply meaningful associations for Petristas. He also presented us with a testimony to the power of ancient stories like the Trojan legend to serve as cultural frameworks for remembrance millennia after their initial creation.33 [End Page 262]
1. On El Victorial's composition process, see Beltrán (Díaz de Games 473-84); Gómez Redondo 2356-60; and Heusch. The kernel of the book seems to have been the "relación de campaña" recounting Pero Niño's maritime campaigns of 1404-06 (probably put together by Díaz de Games himself, who accompanied Niño on these expeditions); Pero Niño commissioned his biography from Díaz de Games in the 1430s, after having obtained the county of Buelna. Heusch has convincingly argued that this version's main objective was to justify Niño's merits to his title through the narration of the campaigns (312-14). He believes that El Victorial went through yet another rewriting in the 1440s due to Pero Niño's changed political and personal circumstances, and it was in this stage when the framing reflection about chivalry and the interpolated stories were added to the work (314-17).
3. The return of Petristas was part of the negotiations of the treaty of Bayonne, and pardons were issued on the occasion of Catalina and Enrique's wedding (Echevarría, Catalina 46, 51). However, the reintegration of Petristas to the royal court seems to begin in earnest only with Enrique's majority (1393-1395), when the king decides to distance his family from major positions at the royal court (Echevarría, Catalina 71). For the Trastámara strategies towards Petristas before the treaty of Bayonne, see Valdaliso, "El control".
4. The culmination, so to speak, of this initial reappearance of Petrismo in Castile would only take place under Catalina's son, Juan II, with the transfer of Pedro I's remains to the convent of Santo Domingo el Real in Madrid, where prioress Constanza of Castile, Pedro's granddaughter, built a chapel and a tomb in his memory (Rábade Obradó).
5. "Este Cuento de los reyes he traído porque lo fallé ansí escrito de don Pero Fernández Niño, que fizo escrevir algunas cosas de las que pasaron en su tiempo" (Díaz de Games 85). Shortly after this, Díaz de Games explains, "Este don Pero Fernández fue siempre con el rey don Pedro fasta que murió. E después de su muerte, nunca quiso obedescer al rey don Enrique. Él e otros cavalleros fueron de aquella opinión, e salieron del reino. E aunque él no salió del reino, siempre duró e tovo en su intención, e puso sus travajos fasta que murió" (86).
6. For a similar definition, see Astrid Erll's characterization of cultural memory as "the sum total of all the processes (biological, medial, social) which are involved in the interplay of past and present within sociocultural contexts" (101).
7. The escape of King Pedro from Toro, in which Fernando de Castro plays a prominent role, and the siege of Carmona are also the two episodes singled out by Montero Garrido for their Petrista leanings (201-04).
8. The use of humor (Beltrán, "Cuento" 434) also enhances this first appearance of Fernando de Castro: Pedro says to him, when the nobleman agonizes about being a traitor if he lets the king go, "Vós, don Fernando, ¿a quién devedes mayor lealtad en Castilla que a mí? ¡En ora estó de vos dar con esta lança!" (Díaz de Games 72).
10. "E en fin de los dos años, [Carmona] diose al rey a pleitesía. E si el rey ge la tovo o no, non es mío de escrevir" (Díaz de Games 85). Montero Garrido (203-04) reads the last sentence as exculpating Enrique, but I agree with Beltrán, who interprets it as ironic and condemnatory ("Cuento" 437). For a comparison of this episode in López de Ayala and Díaz de Games, see Beltrán, "Cuento" 436-38, as well as his notes to this passage in El Victorial.
11. Deyermond takes this expression as referring back to the supposed writings commissioned by Pero Fernández Niño that Díaz de Games cites as the source of the "Cuento de los reyes" (171-72). However, the phrase seems to be used throughout El Victorial to indicate authorial intervention: see Beltrán's analysis in Díaz de Games 519-20.
12. The most significant sources in this respect are Pero López de Ayala's chronicles of Pedro I and Enrique II's reigns and Fernão Lopes's chronicle of Portuguese king Fernando I.
13. Pero López de Ayala names Galicia, under Fernando de Castro, as one of the few parts of the kingdom (and the only one larger than a city) that did not go over to Enrique after his self-proclamation as king in 1366 (cap. VIII; López de Ayala 320), although Russell suggests Ayala's account exaggerates the number of places that deserted King Pedro (51).
14. According to Portuguese chronicler Fernão Lopes, the cities of "Carmona, Çamora, Cidade Rrodrigo, Alcantara, Vallença d'Alcantara; e mais, de Galliza, a cidade de Tui, Padrom, a Rrocha, a Crunha, Salvaterra, Bayona, Alhariz, Millmanda, Arahujo, a cidade d'Ourense, a villa de Ribadaiva, e Lugo, [e] a cidade de Santiago, que sse deu mais tarde, e com certas condiçõoes", wrote to Fernando I of Portugal to tell him "que levantariam voz por elle, e que começasse entrar per Castella, e que lhe dariam as villas e o rreceberiam por senhor" (cap. XXV, Lopes 87; qtd by Valdaliso, "El control" 50). Fernando I claimed the Castilian throne as the great-grandson of Sancho IV.
15. Not only John of Gaunt but also the Castilian monarch, Juan I, recognized and feared Galicia's Petrista leanings. The duke of Lancaster had made an earlier attempt at invading Castile in 1381, disembarking in Portugal, but Juan I of Castile had feared at this point that the English would-be king might invade "traditionally legitimist Galicia", and by the time of the actual invasion of 1386 he had sent additional men to protect the Galician coast (Russell 306, 426).
16. San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Real Biblioteca del Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, MS h.I.6 (BETA manid 1561). The Crónica troyana's text (which exists in additional witnesses) has been edited by Claudia D'Ambruoso; Rosa Rodríguez Porto has masterfully studied this manuscript's visual program (see especially her "Courtliness" and "Thesaurum" II, 487-627). This is not, however, the only version of Trojan matter to be found at Alfonso's court: the Libro de Alexandre, which contains an extended Trojan episode, and a different version of the Roman de Troie that we call the Historia troyana polimétrica were also present there (Davis; Catalán 163-64; Peláez; Bautista 62-64).
18. Santander, Biblioteca de Menéndez Pelayo, MS 558 (BETA manid 1562; BITAGAP manid 1558). A full exploration and edition of this codex can be found in Pichel Gotérrez, "A Historia".
19. The Andrades were active in the Castilian royal court, probably as a result of their vassalage bonds to the Castros. They were actively involved in cultural patronage, including that of literature. Nuno Freire also had an extraordinarily successful career at the Portuguese royal court, where he became Master of the Order of Christ and Grand Chancellor (Pichel Gotérrez, "Nuno Freire").
20. In fact, I believe that the choice of Galician rather than Castilian to complete the manuscript's damaged parts might have been related to a desire to present it to Fernando I of Portugal, the Petrista candidate to the Castilian throne at the time.
21. Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional de España, MS 10233 (BITAGAP manid 1068), edited and studied by Ramón Lorenzo.
22. To these works we might be able to add the Castilian version of John Gower's Confessio amantis. This version translates an earlier Portuguese one, created at the royal court of Philippa of Lancaster (Catalina's sister) and João I of Avis (It is perhaps significant that King João had been under the tutelage of Nuno Freire de Andrade as a child; see Pichel Gotérrez, "Nuno Freire" 102-04 and 106-07). The origins of the Castilian version are less clear, but it was translated by a Juan de Huete; this fact might indicate a link to Catalina of Lancaster, since Huete was one of her Castilian possessions. The Castilian translator shows a heightened interested in the Trojan material, which he complements or changes with information from a popular compilation, the Sumas de historia troyana (Pascual-Argente, "La huella").
23. Juan de Mena translates the summarized Ilias latina for Juan II, and indicates in his prologue that the monarch was thinking about commissioning a translation of the full Homeric poem. The Trojan narrative also receives much attention on the part of key cultural figures of Juan II's reign, such as Íñigo López de Mendoza.
24. I follow here Ann Rigney's concept of sites of memory as material or immaterial locations where memorial activity converges. Sites of memory are thus "defined by the fact that they elicit intense attention on the part of those doing the remembering and thereby become a self-perpetuating vortex of symbolic investment" (18). Rigney's idea is a twist on Pierre Nora's insight that lieux de mémoire offer "un maximum de sens dans le minimum de signes" (38; qtd by Rigney 18).
26. Gutierre Díaz is mentioned as an ambassador of the two co-regents during the king's minority, Catalina and her brother-in-law Fernando, before the king of Granada between 1408 and 1409, and appears to have been present in the Castilian royal court between 1409 and 1419 (Beltrán, "Gutierre Díaz" 67-69).
27. Sacramento Roselló-Martínez suggested to me this parallel, which is also implicit in her reading of the story (78-92).
28. Echevarría's biography provides abundant examples of Catalina's "política pacifista" during her regency (Catalina 123), particularly with respect to the traditional Petrista allies, England and Portugal, but also towards Granada.
29. See, for example, Montero Garrido, who notes that Corineus's provenance had already been interpreted as southern Iberian, but never Galician (239-41).
30. In this way, the "Cuento de Bruto y Dorotea" perfectly aligns with Díaz de Games's positioning in the so-called "debate on arms and letters" (Heusch; Pascual-Argente, "Remembering Antiquity"; Rodríguez Velasco).
31. Montero Garrido believes that "[n]i admitiendo la diversidad de fuentes contradictorias podemos llegar a otra conclusión que no sea la incoherencia ideológica e histórica del cronista como causa básica de este auténtico embrollo" (204); Belrán also notes that the final episode about Carmona's fall is in ideological contradiction to the rest of the tale ("Cuento" 452).
32. This is, of course, very convenient for El Victorial's hero, given the fact that Pero Niño descends from Petristas on his father's side, but is also Enrique III's milk brother thanks to his mother.
33. I take the expression "cultural frameworks of remembrance", which purposefully echoes Maurice Halbwachs's "social framework" of memory, from Rigney (18).