Urban Honor in Spain: The "Laus Urbas" from Antiquity through Humanism

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Urban Honor in Spain is an historical study of Spain and the writing technique of laus urbis (praise of the city) during the 15th century. The book begins by providing an overview of laus urbis was developed and codified in oratory and classical literary texts during the Greco-Roman period. The book then explores how this powerful technique re-emerged during the Middle Ages to become a powerful corpus that formed an early national culture by praising cities and nations. In Medieval and Renaissance Spain, laus urbis, provided a sense of local community to city and town dwellers in the indefinite and blurry political frontier of Iberia during the Reconquista. Notwithstanding its historical significance, the book contributes to Spanish literary studies a profound and original examination of the theoretical and cultural reasons behind the concept of praising the city.


This study is an example of historical erudition and literary analysis at its best, for the author relies on known, but very often on less-known, vernacular and Latin sources that played a significant role in shaping the intellectual and artistic outlook of those men of letters that wrote in verse or prose their praise of a city” – Prof. Ottavio Di Camillo, City University of New York-Graduate Center

“… Thorough, cautious approach, along with his remarkably clear and incisive style, renders [this book] not only an effective summary of a literary and rhetorical form which has been relatively little studied in the Iberian context, but also a significant contribution to both the urban and cultural history of late medieval and early modern Europe as a whole.”—Prof. James S. Amelang, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)

Table of Contents





Chapter 1: Ancient and Medieval Theory for the Praise of Cities

Chapter 2: Ancient Precedents to Medieval and Humanist Encomia of Cities

Chapter 3: Medieval Latin Encomia of Cities

Chapter 4: The Medieval Iberian Laus Hispaniae and Laus Urbis

Chapter 5: Vernacular Praise of City and Kingdom, 1300-1460

Chapter 6: The Early Humanist Laus Urbis and Its Adaptation in Spain




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