News & Events
Professor Emerita Consuelo López-Morillas’s recently published El Corán de Toledo (2011), a critical edition of an important seventeeth-century Spanish translation of the Qur’ān, has received a highly positive review from the preeminent expatriate Spanish writer and intellectual Juan Goytisolo in “Babelia,” the literary supplement to El País (19 January 2013). Goytisolo describes El Corán de Toledo as an “excellent edition, with a well-documented and rigorous critical introduction.” His review, which praises the edition for providing scholars and students with access to the minority variety of Spanish spoken by the 17th century Morisco community, asserts that “above and beyond its historical and religious value, this critical edition…with its abundance of words at once familiar and strange, is a true gift for scholars of the language of Cervantes. In these times of crass marketing of culture, this humble advance in the terrain of non-commercial knowledge will not disappoint the inquisitive reader.”
El Corán de Toledo: Edición y estudio del manuscrito 235 de la Biblioteca de Castilla-La Mancha, Bibliotheca Arabo-Romanica et Islamica, 5 (Gijón: Trea, 2011), 605 pp.
In the spring of 1606, probably in the village of Villafeliche in Aragon, a pious Morisco asked “some good people” [una onrrada gente] to lend him their Qur’ān so that he could copy it. The original was a bilingual manuscript, in Arabic with a translation into Aljamiado, that is lost to us today. But the copyist, in transposing “only the Romance part” [solamente el romance dél] into Latin letters, left us one of the most significant monuments of Spanish Islam: the only complete version of the Qur’ān in Spanish that has survived from the Mudejar and Morisco periods.
This text, contained in ms. 235 of the Biblioteca de Castilla-La Mancha in Toledo, receives here its first scholarly edition and study. A lengthy introduction seeks to answer the most important questions raised by the Toledo volume: the origin and history of the codex, the possible identities of the original translator and the copyist, the links between this translation of the Qur’ān and other contemporary versions, the nature of its language, and its use of tafsīr or Qur’ānic exegesis from the Islamic tradition. The edited text has been compared scrupulously to the Arabic Qur’ān, noting omissions, discrepancies, and the interpolations that owe their existence to works of tafsīr. A glossary contributes to our knowledge of the language of the Moriscos. The volume makes accessible to the modern reader a treasure of late Spanish Islam.