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"La Thomasiada" [1667] de fray Diego Saenz Ovecuri: Presentacion y analisis de una epica colonial rescatada del olvido

Albert Jose Dionisio Badillo Luna, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


La Thomasiada of Fray Diego Sáenz Ovecuri [c.1610-1678] can easily be described as the lost literary jewel of Spanish Colonial Guatemala. The Basque born Dominican friar published in the City of Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala his epic masterpiece, La Thomasiada, in 1667. According to historical records, the book was the second to be published in the Kingdom of Guatemala. For more than three centuries, this epic poem has remained relatively unknown to the literary world. Fray Diego's work is truly representative of the Spanish Golden Age Baroque movement in the new colonies. ^ The author's purpose is to glorify his favorite saint, the thirteenth-century St. Thomas Aquinas. While narrating the life and accomplishments of Aquinas, the author employs one hundred and fifty metric forms to intone his love and admiration. Simultaneously using St. Thomas as a model of pedagogy, Ovecuri concentrates upon teaching how to compose verse through the imitation of exemplars. Further, he integrates into his text valuable information concerning classical mythology, Spanish history and Spanish Golden Age literary figures. Lastly, Ovecuri explores for the benefit of his students conflicting contemporary theories of poetry. My comprehensive study of Fray Diego and his work will provide the reader with an understanding of the life of a Dominican friar traveling to the new colonies to evangelize the indigenous in mid-seventeenth century. It will also reveal the greatness of his poetic skills, as well as his love for the teaching profession in a variety of subjects. ^

Subject Area

Literature, Latin American

Recommended Citation

Badillo Luna, Albert Jose Dionisio, ""La Thomasiada" [1667] de fray Diego Saenz Ovecuri: Presentacion y analisis de una epica colonial rescatada del olvido" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3199689.