1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ayala, Don Pedro Lopez de
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Ayala, Don Pedro Lopez de
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AYALA, DON PEDRO LOPEZ DE (1332-1407), Spanish statesman, historian and poet, was born at Vittoria in 1332. He first came into prominence at the court of Peter the Cruel, whose cause he finally deserted; he greatly distinguished himself in subsequent campaigns, during which he was twice made prisoner, by the Black Prince at Nájera (1367) and by the Portuguese at Aljubarrota (1385). A favourite of Henry II. and John I. of Castile, he was made grand chancellor of the realm by Henry III. in 1398. A brave officer and an able diplomat, Ayala was one of the most cultivated Spaniards of his time, at once historian, translator and poet. Of his many works the most important are his chronicles of the four kings of Castile during whose reigns he lived; they give a generally accurate account of scenes and events, most of which he had witnessed; he also wrote a long satirical and didactic poem, interesting as a picture of his personal experiences and of contemporary morality. The first part of his chronicle, covering only the reign of Peter the Cruel, was printed at Seville in 1495; the first complete edition was printed in 1779-1780 in the collection of Crónicas Españolas, under the auspices of the Spanish Royal Academy of History. Ayala died at Calahorra in 1407.
See Rafael Floranes, “Vida literaria de Pedro Lopez de Ayala,” in the Documentos inéditos para la historia de España, vols. xix. and xx.; F. W. Schirrmacher, “Über die Glaubwürdigkeit der Chronik Ayalas,” in Geschichte von Spanien (Berlin, 1902), vol. v. pp. 510-532.