Biography of Armando Cotarelo y Valledor (1880-1950)

Scholar, historian and literary creator born in Vega de Ribadeo (today Vegadeo) on December 28, 1879, at the home of the illustrious don Emilio Cotarelo, who was the son. Although their homeland was Asturias from the administrative point of view, linguistic and culturally it belonged to Galicia; for this reason, Cotarelo always considered gallego.

He studied philosophy and letters in Madrid, where earned a doctorate. In 1904 he/she obtained by opposition Professor of Spanish language and literature at the University of Santiago, where he/she was also Professor of art theory. The arrival of Cotarelo such classrooms renovated thoroughly dead University life of Santiago and was a major revitalisation of Galician studies. In 1920 he/she was elected member of the Galician Academy and in 1923 he/she was appointed first President of the Institute of Galician studies; in 1929 he/she was elected member of the Royal Spanish Academy in representation of Galician letters. In 1939 was appointed Professor of Galician Philology at the Universidad Central de Madrid. In 1942 he/she joined the Royal Academy of history. To found the Institute of Spain, was nominated its Secretary General perpetual. In 1949 was a paralegal in courts by academic representation. This great scholar died in Madrid on December 8, 1950.

Armando Cotarelo more encyclopedic culture seemed typical of a man of the Renaissance that one of his time. He/She devoted himself to more different activities, and all left the mark of his genius. He/She was a poet, playwright and novelist in Galician and Castilian, philologist, scholar, historian and critic of art, archaeologist, astronomer, stage director, folklore collector, lecturer of great brilliance, deep knowledge of latin, etc. As a poet, it has not left any book published, although several of his plays are written in verse, and also is owed a libretto of opera. He/She collected the Cancioeiro da agulla, enxergado with doas do pobo.

Theatrical work

Perhaps the activity that has contributed most to perpetuate Cotarelo name in Galician letters has been the theatrical. Indeed, Cotarelo was an important propeller of the Galician Theatre in the twenties of this century, especially in University environments: several of his works were premiered by students of such classrooms; in them, the own Cotarelo acted as stage director and set designer.

Cotarelo Theatre continues the realistic path of the scene of his time, but with many hints of poetic drama. Even an unpublished work until 1992, "Once upon a time a King..." (the only entirely written in Castilian) is fully inserted into modernism. His dramatic works warns a great technical skill, perhaps born of his mastery of the Spanish classical theatre, undoubtedly very top of his contemporaries of the Galician scene. The careful psychological portrait of the characters and the enormous wealth of linguistic, so big that it has come to the end (which new Gongora) of being "translated" one of his plays to the current Galician, to make it more easily understood are also very prominent.

Is worth bringing the fine judgment of Filgueira Valverde (1984): "this theater fixo both polo dignidade e media cults use da fala galega, as best sermons for sua exaltation and defense." His comedies are: Trebon (1922), of environment ploughman; Sinxebra (1923), in Galician and Spanish, a sentimental comedy, whose action takes place in a country house; Lubicán (1924), in which realizes the persecution of women of village by man city; Host (1926), about the torment of Prisciliano; Beiramar (1931), drama of strong passions, of environment sailor; Mourenza (1931), of environment sailor; Finally, Ultreya, written in Spanish and Galician, is a libretto for opera, with music by Rodríguez-Losada, premiered in 1935, although it still remains unpublished; in the same way, Erase once a King... has remained unpublished until 1992.


Cotarelo wrote a memoir of a school of yesteryear which include two novels, both written in Spanish: Palladys Tyrones and teaches radia. The action takes place in Galicia during the Peninsular War against the Napoleonic troops. The Manor House (1923) is a bilingual, Castilian and Galician; Contos de Nadal, colleitos of pobo (1927) is a collection of short stories written in Galician.

Different scholarly work

Cotarelo had a great desire to cultivate knowledge far removed from their own, astronomy; in this area, is the author, among others, of the Treaty of the comets of father Casani (1703), the mystery of the star a Spanish clarifies it, the Andromeda Nebula and the wise King. Father José de Zaragoza and Astronomy of his time. About archaeology and Heraldry, wrote, among many other works, the following: A conjecture about the treasure of Castro Recouso. Galaico Blazon. Unpublished Roy Pérez, Alfonso XI ballestero seal. As an art critic, you should: the exhibition Rosales, catalogue of the exhibition of Galician art (1926); Finally, as a great historian that was published the following works: first of all, its fundamental critical and documented history of the life and actions of Alfonso III the great, last King of Asturias, awarded by the Royal Academy of history in 1916, but not published until 1933; other historiographical works are Fray Diego de Deza, biographical essay (1905), marriages of Ramiro I of Asturias (1922), biographical sketch of Marco Fabio Quintiliano (1942), an academic model: Don Martín Fernández de Navarrete in the Real Academia Española (1945) and many whose relationship would make endless this brief overview.

Philological work

Cotarelo was much devoted to Galician letters as to the Castilian. The first published the Songbook of Payo Gómez Charino, a celebrated cantiga from the wise King, Payo Gómez Charino, Admiral and poet, the cardinal don Rodrigo de Castro and his foundation of Monforte de Lemos, and many others, which showed its scholarship and love of Galicia. On the other hand, services to Spanish literature were very important, especially the cervantistas studies. The Cervantes Theatre, published in 1915, Berwick and Alba de la Real Academia Española, award is a magna work of 770 pages, which even today is essential reference for those who are studying the alcalaino theatre. Also of great merit are literary register of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1948), reader Cervantes (interesting study about cervantinas readings), feminine beauty in the works of Cervantes (1905), lost works of Cervantes, who have not lost (1947). In their study of Quevedo (1945) Theatre, Cotarelo helped banish several false attributions of hors d'oeuvres to don Francisco. His doctoral thesis was devoted to the Galician letters: A celebrated cantiga from the wise King. Sources and development of the legend of Sor Beatriz, mainly in Spanish literature.

Valentin Azcune



Modern editions of the works of Cotarelo:

COTARELO VALLEDOR, Armando. Historic theatre and mariñeiro. Edition, introduction and notes of Araceli Herrero Figueroa (La Coruña; Edicios do Castro, 1981).COTARELO VALLEDOR, Armando. Trebon. EDICOM, estudo e verson ao galego current of Ramón Raimunde (AGAL, 1984).COTARELO VALLEDOR, Armando. Alfonso III the great (Madrid; Isthmus, 1991.


CARBALLO CALERO, Ricardo. History Galician Literature contemporary, p. 625-627, (Vigo; Galaxy, 1975).Mayor, María Xosé CASTRO. Armando Cotarelo and the culture galega (La Coruña; Edicios do Castro, 1992).FILGUEIRA VALVERDE, José. "Don Armando Cotarelo and the Galician studies." In books of Galician studies, VI (1951), p. 5-21.FILGUEIRA VALVERDE, Xosé. "The centenary of Cotarelo Valledor." El Ideal gallego"January 6, VALVERDE, Xosé 1980.FILGUEIRA. Armando Cotarelo Valledor (1879-1950) (La Coruña; Real Academia Galega, 1984).