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By David Rojinsky

This quantity lines a family tree of the numerous conceptions and services of alphabetic writing in Hispanic cultures of the pre-modern and early colonial sessions. The old junctures chosen are these at which the written observe (in grammatical, historic and criminal discourse) assumed elevated ideological value for bolstering other forms of 'imperial' energy. In influence, Companion to Empire posits a constellation of ancient eventualities, instead of a unique legendary beginning within which the alliance among writing and imperium can be discerned. The corpus of fundamental texts thought of within the quantity derives from works via foundational figures within the heritage of pre-modern language theories (Isidore of Seville, Alfonso X the clever, Antonio de Nebrija) and from these pointed out with the early transatlantic enlargement of alphabetic writing (Peter Martyr D'Anghiera, Bernardino de Sahagún, Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán). by means of examining those canonical texts opposed to the grain, the writer avoids the totalizing gesture of histories of the language, and in its place focuses upon the connection among status written languages, the production of a 'literate mentality' and the necessity to consolidate imperium on each side of the Atlantic. Companion to Empire will therefore be of curiosity to these adopting a 'post-philological' method of Hispanic reports, in addition to these drawn to medieval and transatlantic imperium reports.

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Additional resources for Companion to Empire: A Genealogy of the Written Word in Spain and New Spain, c.550 - 1550. (Foro Hispanico)

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In the specific case of Visigothic Spain, the coexistence of historical rupture and continuity manifests itself in the fact that, while the Visigothic monarchy embraced the use of imperial imagery to consolidate its power base, it was doing so to assert its complete independence from the imperial claims over Spain still held by the Eastern Empire (Hillgarth 1985; Barnwell 1997; Valverde Castro 2000). It is also worth noting the parallels here between propagandistic histories which underscored the ‘imperial’ legacy of Visigothic 46 Companion to Empire Hispania and other manifestations of that same legacy which were promoted by Visigothic kings.

It is also worth noting the parallels here between propagandistic histories which underscored the ‘imperial’ legacy of Visigothic 46 Companion to Empire Hispania and other manifestations of that same legacy which were promoted by Visigothic kings. 12 In effect, the Visigothic monarchy asserted its political independence from the Eastern Empire by imitating the ancient Roman Empire of the west, and, rather paradoxically, by re-inventing Hispania as an alternative Byzantium in the west (Hillgarth 1985a [1966]: 498).

13 The intention was obviously to underscore the fact that the Goths had successfully repelled and ousted the imperial troops from the Eastern Empire who had re-conquered southern Spain under Justinian, and hence, as an assertion of supreme ‘dominion’ or ‘authority’ equal to that claimed by the Eastern forces and reminiscent of that wielded by ancient Rome (Valverde Castro 2000: 155). Rather disconcertingly, however, following the Byzantine historiographical method of his predecessors, Isidore of Seville dates each entry of his chronicle deferentially according to the respective reigns of the eastern emperors, while simultaneously referring to the eastern imperial forces – the enemies of the Goths – as Romani.

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