The privileges in the "Album of the Kings": one of the most important historical documents in Spain

Tumbo A

Spain — 12th century

Tumbo A

Tumbo A

Spain — 12th century

  1. This historic manuscript, also known by the term *Album of Kings*, probably originated between 1129 and 1255

  2. 24 miniatures of the kings and monarchs of Asturias and León appear as prefixes to the respective texts

  3. They include privileges issued by kings, bishops, and other high-level personalities

Tumbo A

Tumbo A
Tumbo A
Tumbo A
Tumbo A
Tumbo A
Tumbo A
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

One of Spain’s most important historical documents, which is stored in the Cathedral of Santiago: the so-called Tumbo A. This manuscript, also known by the term Album of Kings, probably originated between 1129 and 1255. It contains important documents and privileges, issued by kings, bishops, and other high-ranking personalities. These important written records from medieval Spain are crowned with impressive miniatures: 24 portraits and pictures of the kings and monarchs of Asturias and León – from Alfonso II to Alfonso X – appear as prefixes to the respective texts. In this way, Tumbo A yields a marvelous and comprehensive overview of the developments of this exciting epoch in Spanish history!

Tumbo A

One of Spain’s most important historical documents, which is stored in the Cathedral of Santiago: the so-called Tumbo A. This manuscript, also known by the term Album of Kings, probably originated between 1129 and 1255. It contains important documents and privileges, issued by kings, bishops, and other high-ranking personalities. These important written records from medieval Spain are crowned with impressive miniatures: 24 portraits and pictures of the kings and monarchs of Asturias and León – from Alfonso II to Alfonso X – appear as prefixes to the respective texts. In this way, Tumbo A yields a marvelous and comprehensive overview of the developments of this exciting epoch in Spanish history!

Historical Foundations for the Archbishopric of Santiago

Tumbo A, known as the Album of Kings, is the first of the famous Santiago Tumbos, five volumes with copies of the privileges of the diocese of Santiago from the 9th to the 17th centuries. These manuscripts can still be found in the archive of the Cathedral of Santiago. Tumbo A is the oldest and most important manuscript in the collections at Santiago containing information about the 12th century. The Archbishopric of Santiago de Compostela was founded in the year 1120, and Archbishop Gélmirez wanted to have this justified and verified by the manuscript. Thus the Tumbo A contains important official documents and privileges, issued by kings and bishops. They are one of the most important sources for the study of medieval Spain.

Splendidly-Crowned Heads

The outstanding significance of this manuscript is still strengthened through the marvelous artistic décor of the codex. Altogether 29 miniatures adorn the Tumbo A, 24 pictures of kings among them. The manuscript gained its designation as the Album of Kings in this manner. The portraits of the monarchs of Asturias and León, from Alfonso II to Alfonso X, are put at the front of their respective documents. Among them can be found the portrait of King Ferdinand III of Castile, called the Saint. The King is depicted sitting between two columns, accompanied by heraldic symbols of his rule left and right. An artful frame surrounds the impressive composition, in which the King’s portrait is fittingly furnished with a lavish application of gold leaf. Ferdinand III, sitting on a stone throne, is presented with a facial expression as elegant as his garments. The scepter is in his left hand, his right index finger is raised in a declaratory gesture.

Grandiose Art and Great Significance

A miniaturist with the name Bernardo was responsible for such a costly manuscript. The pages of the book are additionally covered with gorgeous initials and feature the symbol of the scallop again and again. Precious materials – e.g. a gold background for some of the miniatures – attest to the significance of the codex both artistically and historically. Along with the Libro de los Testamentos de la Catedral de Oviedo, the Tumbo A is one of the most important documents from medieval Spain that has survived to this day!

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Tumbo A“

Tumbo A
Tumbo A
Tumbo A
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Tumbo A

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 2006
Binding
Hand sewn and bound in brown goat skin. Dry embossing on both sides with bronze fittings faithfully reproducing the original.
Commentary
1 volume
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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