Home > People & Projects > Centre for the Study of the Cantigas de Santa Maria

Project Details

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Project Name: 
Centre for the Study of the Cantigas de Santa Maria
Principal Investigator / Director: 
Stephen Parkinson
Oxford participants: 
Stephen Parkinson (Main Contact)
Other Participants: 
not specified
  • Division: Humanities
  • Unit: Medieval & Modern Languages Faculty
  • Sub-Unit: Portuguese
Start Date: 
End Date: 
Partner organizations (inside or outside Oxford): 
Universidade Nova, Lisbon
British Academy, John Fell Fund, Leverhulme Trust, Modern Humanities Research Association,
Subject Area: 
Modern Languages
Project Description: 

The Cantigas de Santa Maria (CSM), composed at the Court of King Alfonso X of Castile in the second half of the 13th century, are a vast repertory of poetry in medieval Galician. The 420 compositions include 353 narratives of miracles of the Blessed Virgin Mary - one of the largest such collections - as well as a large number of devotional and liturgical poems, almost all set to music, and many illustrated by miniatures divided into smaller panels. The CSM are thus more than a body of literature or a miracle collection, they are a cultural project of great importance for medieval literature, music, and art, and for the history of patronage. Alfonso X’s ‘Cantigas Project’ occupied most of his reign (1252-1284) and was seen by him as an important part of both his political survival and his personal salvation.
Four contemporary manuscripts survive: To (the Toledo MS, now in the Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid), T (the códice rico, in the Escorial Library, E (the códice de los músicos, also in the Escorial) and F (the Florence MS, in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Florence). They represent at least three different compilations or stages in the elaboration of the Cantigas Project: an early collection of 100 poems to which appendices were added (To); followed by a much expanded and highly ornamental collection of 400 (T+F) of which the second volume (F) was left in an incomplete and possibly disordered state; and a reference collection of 400 (E) with many imperfections and signs of hasty completion.
The Cantigas de Santa Maria database is designed to give access to a vast range of information relevant to the processes of collection, composition and compilation of the Cantigas de Santa Maria, including searchable databases. The database incorporates a fully searchable electronic version of Poncelet’s 'Index miraculorum B.V. Mariae quae saec. VI-XV latine conscripta sunt', and exhaustive listings of the contents of Latin and vernacular collections of Marian miracles.
A new critical edition of the entire corpus is now in preparation. The first block of 50 Individual texts are available via the website and database.

Other projects the participants have been involved in: 
ICT Methods: 
Data CaptureTextual Input
Data analysisText AnalysisCollating
- -Content analysis
Data structuring and enhancementClassifying and linkingRecord linkages structuring
Text EncodingText encoding - descriptive
- -Text encoding - presentational
Last updated: 
25/06/2015 16:24:21
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