Published in Journal of Hispanic Philology 2.2 (Winter, 1978 ), 138.
Manuel C. Díaz y Díaz. De Isidoro al siglo XI. Ocho estudios sobre la vida literaria peninsular. Barcelona: El Albir, 1976. 320 pp.
Manuel Díaz studies in this volume a topic so little-known to Hispanists in general as to be almost arcane: Hispano-Latin literature, in particular that which preceded the Arab invasion. Despite the chastisements of María Rosa Lida (in La Garcineida de García de Toledo), Hispano-Latin literature is not widely studied, even less so that of the Visigothic period in which Díaz has specialized. The publication of a volume such as this shows that, like most other periods in history, there was an active cultural life in Visigothic times, of which Saint Isidore is the best known, but by no means the only, representative.
The volume contains eight studies, all of them published previously. They include both such a general introduction as La cultura de la España visigótica del siglo VII, previously published in Caratteri del secolo VII in Occidente (Spoleto, 1958), and such highly specific and technical studies as La transmisión textual del Biclarense, a study, first published in Analecta Sacra Tarrconensia, of the chronicle of the famous Juan de Bíclaro. Other articles deal with the literary activities of the bishops of Toledo, the influence of Saint Isidore in medieval Spain, Christian historiography from the Arabic invasion through the year 1000, and the hymns in honor of Santiago.
The collection has the defects which one often finds in collections of previously published articles. The rough chronological arrangement by topic does not give the articles the same logical progression that a monograph would have; though the title of the opening study, for example, suggests a general survey, mention without identification is made in it of many names with which the non-specialist will not be familiar. However, few neophytes will read the volume from cover to cover, and the awkwardness of arrangement of the articles is compensated for by the four indices: of geographical names, of persons, of topics, and of manuscripts.