The Legend of Bernardo del Carpio 16: Modern Adaptations

Section 1

Sobrabre y Aragon

According to the history of Sobrarbe (an utterly fictitious history of Aragon fabricated in the early Renaissance), after Charlemagne destroyed Pamplona, the Navarrese rebelled. King Fortunio of Sobarbe (r. 803-815), married the daughter of Galindo Aznar, allied with Alfonso against Charlemagne and Marsil, and fought in the Battle of Roncesvalles in 809, when Roland and the Peers were slain.1

1Franklin, Albert B. “A Study of the Origins of the Legend of Bernardo Del Carpio.” Hispanic Review 5, no. 4 (1937): 286-303. doi:10.2307/469961. p. 294-295.

Section 2:

History

1500’s historians took Bernardo as factual, except Ambrosio de Morales. Even he, however, though denying the bulk of the legends around him, admitted he was probably a real person. Pedro Mantuano, in 1611, was the first to deny all reality to the hero, though a few Spanish patriots held out for him until the end of the eighteenth century.

Section 3:

Chapbooks

Historia fiel y verdadera del valienta Bernardo del Carpio was the name of a chapbook circulating through the 1800s, by Manuel José Martín

The Portuguese Alejandro Caetano Gomes Flaviense wrote the Verdadeira Terciera Parte da Historia de Carlos-Magno em que se esvreven as gloriosas açoes e victorias de Bernardo del Carpio. É de como venceo em batallha os Doze Pares de França, con algunas particularidades dos Principes de Hispanha, seus povoadores è Reis preimeiros, in 1745, “for diversion during winter nights.” The book begins with the Creation of the World, the Deluge, the Tower of Babel, and the kings of Spain from the oldest legends down to Don Ramiro of Leon and his children Alfonso and Jimena. Bernardo is dubbed a knight by Sultan Orimandro of Persia, and has many extravagant adventures of Gomes’ own invention. After defeating Roldan in a duel, he returns to Spain, but is summoned therefrom to save the Pope from the invading Lombards. After his victory at Roncesvalles, he conquers the Moors of Catalonia and Aragon and kills Don Bueso (who in this book is Duke of Guyana, for some reason). Bernardo is buried at Aguilar de Camóo, and Gomes identifies him with Bernard of Septimania.2

Pelayo Ch. XXXI. He explains that Part One was the Portuguese translation of Nicolas de Piamonte’s Fierabras, by Jerónimo Moreira de Carvalho, who added Part Two out of his own head.

Section 4

Miscellaneous Adaptations, Literary

Lope de Vega’s Mocedades de Roldan includes a scene at the end when the Spanish ambassador to Charles’ court, admiring the young Roland, says that he will be a worthy rival to Alfonso’s nephew Bernardo del Carpio someday.

Alvaro Cubillo, El Conde de Saldaña, 1660. A reworking of Lope’s Mocedades, tightens the play up slightly, and omits such scenes as the lying-in of the Princess. Cubillo also wrote a sequel, Hechos de Bernardo, about Roncesvalles, which is devoid of merit.

Joaquín Francisco Pacheco, Bernardo, 1848. Spanish play. Based on Cubillo, with random changes of his own, and makes Bernardo the hero of the entirely unrelated legend that the Christians were obliged to pay a hundred damsels a year in tribute to the Moors until a hero put a stop to it.

Ventura Ruiz Aguilera and Francisco Zea, Bernardo de Saldaña, also 1848. “A historical drama.”

Henry F. Harrington: Bernardo del Carpio. An Historical Tragedy in Five Acts. English.

John Finnamore, Carpio: A Tragedy in Five Acts, 1875, English play.

George Washington Montgomery: Bernardo del Carpio: Novela Histórica, Caballeresca Original. Spanish novel.

Javier González Zaldumbide: El Señor del Carpio. 2008. Spanish historical fiction novel.

Section 5

Miscellaneous Adaptations, Popular

In San Lucas de Colán, Piura, Peru, the festivities of Our Lady of Mercy in early October feature a pageant in which Bernardo del Carpio fights the Moors. See here.

In the Philippines, Bernardo Carpio (who is either the same as the Spanish hero or else simply named after him) ends his career of extraordinary feats by being trapped between two mountains. His story has been retold in countless ballads, songs, and comic books, in innumerable versions. He is a giant, or simply an ordinary man with extraordinary strength. He is the son of Sancho and Jimena, or simply named after him. At any rate, he is the hero and protector of the Filipinos, until the Spanish hire a wizard to trap him in the mountains of Montalban (in the Philippines, now called Rodriguez, Rizal), where his attempts to escape cause earthquakes.

Let thus much suffice for the legend of Bernardo del Carpio.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.