The Chronicles of Saint King Ferdinand III


Coronica del sancto rey don Fernando tercero deste nombre que gano a Seuilla y a Cordoua y a Iaen y a toda el Andaluzia, cuyo cuerpo esta en la santa iglesia de Seuilla (The chronicles of Saint King Ferdinand III, who conquered Seville and Córdoba and Jaén and the whole of Andalusia, and whose body rests in the Holy Church in Seville) was printed in Seville in 1516 by Jacobo Cromberger. It was a very popular work from the outset. Only two copies are known to exist: the one preserved, in perfect condition, in the library of the Complutense University and presented here, and one with a missing frontispiece owned by the Hispanic Society of New York. The book formally follows the old-fashioned style typical of Spanish printing of the beginning of the 16th century. However, its typography is among the most perfect to be produced in the Spain of that era. The front page, just above the title, shows a xylographic (woodcut) print of Saint Ferdinand III, King of León and Castile, on the throne and, in front of him, two knights and two clergymen, one of whom presents the book to one of the knights. The book is illustrated with xylographic prints that can be situated midway between the medieval and the Renaissance iconographies. Only seven of these prints, of a total of 27, are originals. The others are illustrations made for previous works, mostly chivalric romances. The author is not mentioned on the cover page, which led to many investigations by scholars in the 18th and 19th centuries. Nonetheless, and as is stated at the end of Chapter 28, it is well known that this work is a slightly amended translation of De rebus Hispaniae by the archbishop of Toledo, Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada (1170–1247). The last chapters were written under the sponsorship—although not with the direct involvement—of King Alfonso X and his son Sancho IV. At that time, the so-called Seguimiento del Toledano (Continuation of the Toledan) was added, together with another five initial chapters, with a summary of the reigns of Alfonso VIII and Henry I. When the narrative was completed and translated, the whole work came to form part of the Primera Crónica General de España (First general chronicle of Spain), from which, at a later stage, the present work was extracted and given its current title. Many copies of these chronicles were made, one of which, revered almost as a relic at the cathedral of Seville, and now missing, was the one restored by compiler Diego López de Cartagena, who prepared the edition by taking out the final part of the text, which had been added by the arranger. He also moved forward the chapter on the funeral of King Henry I, which, for chronological reasons, appeared after the early days of the rule of Saint Ferdinand. The Complutense University copy was previously owned by Santander-born historian Rafael Floranes (1743–1801). In the 19th century, the work became part of the library of Fernando Fernández de Velasco, from one of whose heirs Dr. Francisco Guerra—the last owner before the Complutense—obtained it.

Date Created

Publication Information

Jacobo Cromberger, Seville


Title in Original Language

Coronica del sancto rey don Fernando tercero deste nombre q gano a Seuilla y a Cordoua y a Iaen y a toda el andaluzia. Cuyo cuerpo esta en la santa yglesia de Seuilla

Type of Item

Physical Description

42 folios


  • Shelfmark: BH FG 2035

Last updated: March 30, 2016