Problems of Traditional Literature


a) To consider the essential concept of traditional literature: traditionalism (tradicionalidade).
b) To examine traditional literature through the study of the Pan-Hispanic ballad (romanceiro) (origins, persistency, transnationality).
c) To question the scope and limits of the knowledge about ancient ballad tradition.
d) To know the theoretical and methodological approaches to this tradition.
e) To analyse the Portuguese contributions to the Pan-Hispanic balladry.
e) To recognize and critically assess the adequate theoretical and methodological tools to the study of traditional literature.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Available soon


Weekly - 3 letivas + 1 tutorial

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





CATALÁN, Diego (1997). Arte poética del romancero oral, Parte 1a., Los textos abiertos de creación colectiva, Parte 2a., Memoria, invención, artificio, Madrid, Siglo Veinteiuno de España Editores.
DÍAZ-MAS, Paloma (2005). “El romancero hispánico: riqueza y variedad, tradición y innovación”, Romancero, Barcelona, Crítica, pp. 7-32.
DI STEFANO, Giuseppe (2010). Romancero, Madrid, Castalia.
MICHAËLIS DE VASCONCELOS, Carolina (1980). Estudos sobre o Romanceiro Peninsular. Romances Velhos em Portugal, Porto, Lello & Irmão – Editores.
RODRÍGUEZ MOÑINO, Antonio (1973, 1977-1978). Manual bibliográfico de Cancioneros y Romanceros (Impresos, s. XVI), 2 vols, (Impresos, s. XVII), 2 vols., Madrid, Castalia.
_____________________ (1997). Nuevo diccionario bibliográfico de pliegos sueltos poéticos (Siglo XVI), ed. corregida y actualizada por Arthur L.-F. Askins y Víctor Infantes, Madrid, Castalia.

Teaching method

The syllabus will be developed, on one hand, through lectures on the theories and criticism regarding traditional literature, especially the Pan-Hispanic balladry (romanceiro), and more particularly its ancient tradition. The practical component includes student participation encouraged by the provision of conceptual and literary texts. These activities will either be spontaneous or planned through the scheduling of oral presentations and the discussion of the research carried out by the students under tutorial supervision.

Evaluation method

The assessment contemplates this participation (20%), as well as the written presentation of a final research essay with 10 to 15 pages (50%) and its oral presentation followed by a discussion (30%).

Subject matter

1. Preamble: the concept of traditionalism (tradicionalidade)
2. The Pan-Hispanic ballad (romanceiro): genesis, history and diversity
2.1. The debate on the problem of its origins
2.2. Persistence over time and transcontinental diffusion
2.3. The heterogeneity of ballads
3. The old ballad tradition
3.1. Limits and possibilities of a memorial corpus
3.2. Versification and narrative
3.3. Analysis of its language, poetics and rhetoric
4. Presence in the works of Portuguese authors between the 15th and 17th century
4.1. The Romances Velhos em Portugal
4.2. The need for the review and development of critical studies on this presence
4.3. Evidences of a Portuguese memorial repertoire
5. Ancient Portuguese contributions to the traditional balladry (romanceiro)
5.1. Two traditionalized poems of known authorship
5.2. Two national themed ballads