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Juan de Mena

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Date of birth


Date of death


" Poet. His poems, full of classical knowledge, perfectly measured, represent one of the best examples of medieval Spanish poetry.

He was born in Cordoba around 1411. He was a protégé of the constable Álvaro de Luna and he travelled to Florence with Torquemada. He was a chronicler and secretary of Latin letters for John II of Castile. His main work is "Labyrinth of Fortune", also called "The Three Hundred", referring to the approximate number of his stanzas, one of the best examples of the allegorical-Dantesque trend that appeared in 15th century literature. He stands out because he uses arte mayor (12-syllable lines); and because of his sonorous rhythm, and eloquent and elaborate language. He wrote an adaptation of the "Iliad" in prose, which he called "Homero romanceado" and glossed "Coronación del marques de Santillana", a poem he wrote in honour of his friend Íñigo López de Mendoza. He died in Torrelaguna in 1456.

Essential works

  • Work of culture - Generic image

    Labyrinth of Fortune

    Juan de Mena sought to equal the classics of Latin literature.

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