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Ginés Pérez de Hita

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Spanish writer, born at Murcia. Little is known of his life except that he lived during the second half of the sixteenth century, and probably took part in campaigns against the Moors in 1560 and following years. The work that has made him famous is his "Guerras civiles de Granada". It is in reality two separate works, dealing with events and persons separated in point of time by more than half a century. The first, when it was printed, contained the following note: "History of the Zegries and Abencerrages, Moorish bands of Granada ; of the civil war which occurred at Vega between the Christians and the Moors, and was won by King Ferdinand V; now newly published in an Arabic book, the author of which is a Moor named Aben-Hamin of Granada ; translated into Spanish by Ginés Pérez" (Zaragoza, 1595; Valencia, 1597). Not even the Arabic origin of this book is genuine nor is it a real history, but merely a novel founded upon fact. Pérez de Hita did not live when the Moors were in the height of their power in Granada, but, as he served in campaigns against the Moors, he was able to study their customs and ideas, and witness the remains of their glory. The second work deals with the Moorish uprising, and was published at Barcelona in 1619. This part passed through many editions, among which the later ones are that published in Madrid, 1833, and the one forming part (vol. III) of "La Biblioteca de Autores Españoles" of Rivadeneira. The first may be characterized as an historical novel, while the second may be called a history partaking of the nature of the novel. A striking peculiarity of Pérez de Hita is that he uses the language of today, and we look almost in vain for an archaic form. The phraseology is modern, and the diction is pure, terse, and sonorous.

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