Antonio Castillo Gómez1
Translated by Tim Gutteridge

Originally published as: Antonio Castillo Gómez, “No solo libros. Papeles efímeros en la sociedad hispana de la temprana Edad Moderna,” in La palabra escrita e impresa: libros, bibliotecas, coleccionistas y lectores en el mundo hispano y novohispano: in memoriam Víctor Infantes & Giuseppe Mazzocchi, eds. Juan-Carlos Conde and Clive Griffin (New York and Oxford: Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, 2020), 23-55.

Methodological Issues

On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, 1662, a procession wound its way through the streets of Valencia, the bitter controversy that the mystery had aroused in the first half of the century now a thing of the past.2 At the tail end of the procession was a handsome cart carrying a press, on which two officials were printing images of the Virgin Mary on marquilla3 paper.4 The same image, reduced in scale, was included on the flyleaf of Juan Bautista de Valda’s account of the feast. The Virgin is shown on her throne over the moon, trampling on a dragon representing guilt, and flanked by a pair of angels with laudatory scrolls. Below, to the right, is Pope Alexander VII, accompanied by several cardinals as he presents the Bishop of Valencia with the brief he had issued on 8 December 1661, defining the true meaning of the word “conception.” To the left are the jurors, representatives of the city, kneeling and wearing majestic cloaks. At the bottom, completing the scene, are the coats of arms of the king and of the city, held by angels.

The image was printed in various formats and media for a range of uses and recipients – on paper for a general audience, on taffeta for important people. It was also printed on heavy marca mayor5 paper, with the announcement of a literary contest, and these, “as the carriages progressed,” were affixed “to every corner by two ministers of the city, so that all were notified,” as was the custom at such celebrations.6

Material such as the images printed on this itinerant press constitute menudencias or ephemera, minor printed material used in everyday situations, without the same view to preservation as was the case for books. This has directly influenced both the haphazard nature of the conservation of such material and the relative scarcity of studies of it. Despite progress in both cataloging and analysis, such material is still frequently seen as a curiosity, while the majority of studies of the history of the book and of reading continue to focus on the development, use and appropriation of books, as if other types of print artifacts were of less significance.7

This is demonstrated by the fact that some of the categories used to classify such material do so on a negative basis, identifying it as “non-book printed materials”8 or simply “le non livre.”9 These definitions exhibit the fetishism that places the book not just in a superior but a hegemonic position, while downgrading manuscript material that performs the same function and has the same contents. In contrast with this approach, the terms “minor” or even “diverse” material, contrasted with “a culture that by convention we define as ‘high’ culture,”10 is much more appropriate, so long as it is not restricted to print menudencias. In my opinion, it makes little sense to study print products such as lists of events, bills, notices, edicts, announcements, almanacs, claims and legal petitions or Bulls and sums of indulgences in the category,11 while neglecting other contemporary documents of a similar tone because they were written or copied by hand.

Rather than disrupting the unity of the textual typology, handwritten and print material should be considered together, identifying the characteristics of each, studying their similarities and differences, and emphasizing their communicative function. I draw here on ideas put forward by Armando Petrucci, who taught us to think of written material as an overarching category, proposing that the history of written culture should study “the history of the production, the formal characteristics and social uses of writing and of written evidence in a given society, independently of the techniques and materials used.”12 One reason why this may not have happened is the scarcity of manuscript material when compared to the multiplicity of printed material, and the fact that it is often harder to locate. Another factor has been the dominance of typographical material in studies of the book and reading. This field of research could gain greatly from studying archival documents – not merely well-thumbed notarial protocols but also many other administrative or judicial records where, for a variety of reasons, the handwritten relatives of minor print material can be found.

The Valencian chronicler quoted at the start of this article identifies the typically close connection between the textual strategies adopted by the different manifestations of written culture, the audiences for each, and the concomitant ways each text is read and appropriated. A theorist avant la lettre, the author points to a series of events fundamental to the path followed by the history of the book and of reading since the 1980s. This paper will take a similar starting point in studying a series of ephemeral papers, manuscripts, and printed sheets, united by the fact that they were distributed in the street and read in a plurality of ways.

“May all be informed…”

Much of the abundant surviving minor material consists of legal texts, many of them issued by various authorities,13 in particular ephemera handwritten or printed on single sheets, sometimes on parchment.14 These were proclaimed publicly in streets and squares and affixed to doors, walls and some public spaces expressly created for this purpose.15 The lexicographer Sebastián de Covarrubias explicitly includes this form of publication in his definition of “edicts” in his Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española [Treasury of the Castilian and Spanish tongue] (1611): “Vulgarly, these are the letters fixed in public places, giving notice of something so that all may know of and understand it, and so that those interested or obliged to respond to such edicts may do so.”16

These types of texts were designed for temporary display in public, usually (but not always) written or composed on large sheets of paper, such as the marca mayor sheets used to announce the poetry competition celebrating the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin in Valencia in 1662. Although mechanical reproduction was soon to take over, edicts were still sometimes handwritten for distribution in a range of locations in the first half of the sixteenth century.17 This is shown by several examples issued by the rector and councilmen of the Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso in Alcalá de Henares, dating from the 1530s and 40s, referring to issues such as the provision of prebends in the Iglesia de los Santos Justo y Pastor and the lease of property (Image 1).18 They are likewise to be found at later dates, as evidenced by an edict issued on 7 September 1564 by Hugo de Velasco, provisor general of the Bishop of Cuenca, ordering compliance with the decrees of the Council of Trent.19

Image 1. Manuscript edict issued by the rector and councilmen of Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso, Alcalá de Henares, 9 April 1532: AHN, Universidades, leg. 754.

In terms of the diplomatic structure of this type of text, the header is either the title or the universal notification, which in contemporary and subsequent printed versions takes the form of formulas such as “Ara oiats tothom generalment queus notifiquen y fan saber de part…” [“May from now on all be notified and aware”] or “Tengan todos por públicos…” [“May all regard as public”].20 This is followed by the legal fact – expositio – and the consequent instruction – dispositio – concluding with the guarantee clauses, the data and the validating subscriptions. Instructions relating to public readings or temporary display of the document are recorded on the back where applicable.21 For instance, the Inquisition of Mexico on 30 April 1620 issued an edict ordering the confiscation of the Carmelite friar José de Velasco’s Vida y virtudes del venerable varón Francisco de Yepes [Life and Virtues of the Venerable Gentleman Francisco de Yepes] (Valladolid, Jerónimo Murillo, 1616), “any other printed or handwritten books touching in any way upon the life of the said Francisco de Yepes” (at the time a brother of San Juan de la Cruz), together with Friar Jorge de San José’s El solitario contemplativo y guía espiritual, sacada de diversos santos y padres espirituales [The Solitary Contemplative and Spiritual Guide, Drawn from Diverse Saints and Spiritual Fathers] (Lisbon, Jorge Rodrigues, 1617). The edict was read publicly at least eight times between May and August of that year, as recorded in the annotations on the reverse.22

Such printed edicts inherited the diplomatic structure of their handwritten forebears. Some even included handwritten signatures with the aim of reinforcing the legal validity and original character of each edict,23 although over time the more practical method of mechanical reproduction came to dominate.24 The advantages offered by typography were evident in the organization of the graphic space, the hierarchical use of capitals or larger font at the start of the text and at the beginning of new sections, the alternation between roman and italic type to improve the clarity and legibility of the text, and the incorporation of emblems and iconographic motifs in the header.

This is seen clearly in the edicts issued by the Pontifical Curia and other ecclesiastical bodies. Inquisitorial instructions were generally headed by the crest of the Holy Office – consisting of a central cross, a sword to the right and an olive branch to the left – and sometimes by an element alluding to the content. In the edict published by the Inquisition in Granada on 7 April 1640, punishing the blasphemy committed on the night of Maundy Thursday by those who had “written and affixed in some public parts of this city” certain defamatory bills against the “virginity and purity of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, Our Lady, with blasphemous, heretical, impious and sacrilegious words,”25 the image of the Virgin Mary is placed top right and the inquisitorial crest on the left (Image 2).

The text retains the diplomatic organization established in the manuscript tradition. It starts with the title “We the Inquisitors” in large font and introduced with a decorated initial. This is followed by a universal directio (“We inform each and every person of whatever estate and condition, ecclesiastical and secular, regular and exempt”), the dispositio or exposition of motives, the final guarantee clauses and the date and place of issue. This example has no printed signatures, though other similar documents do contain them. The clauses state the procedure of publication and execution of the edict:

And that it may come to the notice of all and none may claim ignorance, we instruct that our letters be read and published at the cathedral and parish churches and the monasteries of this city, on the first feast day at main mass at the time of the offertory and at another more convenient; and that some of these be fixed to the doors of the said churches and in the most public places of this city, where there are the greatest gatherings of people, and that no person shall dare to remove it, under threat of punishment.

Image 2. Edict of the Inquisition of Granada, ordering the confiscation of the defamatory libel published on Good Friday of 1640, questioning the virginity of Mary and defending the law of Moses, Granada, 7 April 1640: AHN. Inquisición, leg. 2628, exp. 26.

The power of this kind of printed material is equally demonstrated by the bitter conflict between the Jesuits and the Viceroy Juan de Palafox y Mendoza in New Spain in the seventeenth century. The details of the controversy have been the subject of numerous studies, but it is worth noting that the causes of this conflict lay in the habitual resistance of the Jesuits to any authority other than Rome. The confrontation broke out over various doctrinal issues and because the Jesuits rejected the Viceroy and Bishop of Puebla’s right to collect tithes and grant ministerial licenses. The people of Puebla played an active part in the conflict with the Viceroy and bishop: the churches, streets, squares and walls of the city became the main setting for the dispute.27 Edicts, Bulls, libels and satirical verses were all read in public, circulated throughout the city, and pinned up on walls.

The official texts included, among others, the announcement of Palafox’s excommunication on 12 June 1647, and the edict of the dean and chapter of the Cathedral of Puebla recognizing Jesuit licenses to hear confession and preach in the diocese, published on 19 July.28 Both documents typify the opportunities newly afforded by printing with respect to information and propaganda. Their formats retain the habitual usages of such documents, with adorned initials, the first line highlighted in capitals, clear typography, and clean, fully justified composition.

The justification for issuing the aforementioned Granada edict in print format repeated arguments that were common to other documents of this kind, stressing that printing ensured maximum visibility for the information it contained: “And having understood that it had been made public, we decided to have several edicts printed and read with punishments and censures so that anyone who might know anything, direct or indirect, touching upon the said bill should make it known.”29

The careful planning in manuscript and especially in print copies clearly indicates that their significance was more symbolic and political than administrative and legal,30 particularly in the case of edicts with a general scope. The public display of these documents not only legitimated the action of the corresponding institution but in certain cases was also a means of making visible the laws and provisions through which the political, social, and moral system was enforced. It could even be said that the writing acted as one of the disciplinary strategies deployed by power – a “mechanism of soft conditioning” in Antonio M. Hespanha’s definition.31 But they should not be analyzed solely as propaganda devices, as there were plenty of occasions on which such edicts were disobeyed or their publication was altered for some reason.32 In the case of the inquisitorial edicts, there were frequent disputes between the Inquisition and the ecclesiastical or civil authorities in each location relating to the position each should occupy in the ceremony of publication.33

Festive and Advertising Ephemera

In general terms, printed edicts followed the single column layout of their manuscript counterparts. Perhaps the greatest use of the advances offered by typography, however, was to be found in bills for festive poetry competitions, a common feature of the magnificent courtly festivals of the Baroque. These competitions were publicized by means of announcements that named the individual personage, saint, or event to be celebrated, and the theme, language, and meter of the poetic compositions.34 This is confirmed by the contest organized in Zaragoza in 1619 in honor of a Dominican resident, Friar Luis de Aliaga, following his appointment as Inquisitor General at the request of Cristóbal Gómez de Sandoval-Rojas y de la Cerda, Duke of Uceda, who had succeeded his father the Duke of Lerma as royal advisor to Philip III. On the bill, printed at the workshop of Juan de Lanaja, the initial text, composed in accordance with common typographical practice with a crest at the top and heading in large capital letters, foregrounded the links between the city and the Inquisitor and set out the characteristics of the poems to be written (Image 3).

The contents of the poems were meant to recognize and legitimize the Inquisition and, in particular, the founding role of the Queen of Aragon in the era of Ferdinand II, while resolutely silencing anything that might in any way recognize the role of Queen Isabella. The bill also stressed the religious order of the new Inquisitor General, emphasizing the importance of the Dominicans in the medieval creation of the Inquisition. Other poems were to praise the merits and virtues of Aliaga and the relationship with Ferdinand of Aragon, culminating with the city’s joy at the appointment of the Prior of the Convent of Santo Domingo. In accordance with usual practice, information regarding the procedure for submitting the verses, the deadline and the jury was included at the foot of the bill.35

Image 3. Bill announcing the poetry competition organized by the city and university of Zaragoza in homage to the Inquisitor General, Friar Luis de Aliaga, Zaragoza, Juan de Lanaja Quartanet, 1619: BNE, MS. 9572, fol. 7v.

This was the general design of bills of this sort, with some variations in the specific tone of sonnets, tercets, romances, liras and décimas,36 in the iconography such as crests, religious images, etc. included at the head, and the scrolls and typographical adornments. The structure and layout remained broadly similar, generally printing the competition description in a single column with centered headings and titles, or over two or three columns, in which case the introduction and the final information were fully justified.37

When assessing the likely reception of these announcements, it is important to note that many of them were printed in the vernacular, particularly when addressed to a broad audience. Some, however, alternated fragments in Latin and the vernacular, as was the case of the competition organized by the Council of Zaragoza in honor of Cardinal Jerónimo Xavierre, printed by Lorenzo de Robles in 1608.38

Alongside these printed bills, urban readers in the Early Modern period might encounter handwritten notices as late as the seventeenth century. One such was the notice relating to the sale of two plots of land at the juncture of Calle de Jesús and Calle de San Pedro with Calle de Atocha, in Madrid, a copy and draft of which were confiscated from the scribe Lope de Ceballos. His house and papers were inspected in the course of investigations instigated by the Sala de Alcaldes de Casa y Corte39 to identify the author of a lampoon of the Duke of Lerma distributed in the summer of 1608.40 The advertisement, written in humanistic script, tells readers where the plots are located: “In Calle de Jesús and Calle de San Pedro, which are adjacent and give on to Atocha, at the end”; the number and type: “For sale, two fenced plots”; and the reference of the seller: “Anyone wishing to buy them should speak to Juana Baptista, who lives nearby, in Nevares.”41

Manual composition was also used by teachers of writing and theater companies to compose their bills. It would be hard to think of a better way of showcasing professionalism and competence in the graphic arts than a carefully produced handwritten text, as recommended in treatises on writing: José de Casanova recommended “bills in large letters, which the masters produce with many loops and curls” in Arte de escribir todas formas de letras [Art of Writing all Forms of Letters] (1650).42 Alongside the European examples studied by Françoise Gasparri,43 one of the oldest known Spanish examples is an advertisement by Joan Prats, a master of reading, writing, counting and illumination, dating from around 1516, when he was working as a scribe in Barcelona.44 There are many more examples from the seventeenth century, reproduced in writing manuals45 and held in collections of calligraphic samples.46

In 1606, a dispute broke out between various writing masters resident in the capital and the newly arrived Francisco de Montalvo, accused of “displaying signs all over Madrid.”47 Such bills were usually displayed on the master’s house and at various points around the city, announcing his qualifications and the school’s location, normally his own residence. Juan de Espinosa, a late-sixteenth-century Madrid master of letters, displayed signs on his house door stating, “Reading and writing taught here.”48 The tone is the same as the more literary but less believable “Books printed here” which Don Quixote and Sancho Panza found on the door of the Barcelona printer where the Castilian translation of Le bagatele – an as yet unidentified Italian title – was printed.49

The closing decades of the sixteenth century and opening decades of the seventeenth century are also the period of a selection of comments on the bills used by theater companies, along with a small number of original copies identified to date.50 Agustín de Rojas attributed the creation of such texts to the writer of comedies Cosme de Oviedo,51 believed to have been born in Toledo around 1533.52 Various references from the 1590s demonstrate that such texts were in use both in New Spain and in Portugal,53 when López Pinciano noted their importance as a form of publicity: “but, in seeing the signs of Cisneros and Gálvez, I become desperate to hear them.”54 The student Girolamo da Sommaia, whose diary contains numerous references to plays performed in Salamanca, noted that on 8 May 1604 he saw a bill announcing El vencedor vencido [The Defeated Winner], Juan de Ochoa’s only known play,55 but when he got to the theater, he was disappointed by a change of program: “They displayed the bill of El vencedor vencido, but then performed Il Catalano [The Catalan] with the excuse that they did not know.”56 Theater regulations in Madrid in 1608 included a specific reference in section 6: “That in the bills it should be stated clearly the comedies to be performed each day and if for good reason they do not do so then this is to be reported to the gentleman of the Council under the said penalty.”57

Image 4. Theater bill for the company of Diego Vallejo and Juan Acacio for their performances in Seville at the festivals of Corpus Christi in 1619: ICAS-SAHP, Seville Municipal Archives, I, carp. 155, no. 290, fol. 2r.

The oldest known original, composed on a half-sheet measuring 310 x 415 mm, was produced for the “famous festivals” performed by the company of Diego Vallejo and Juan Acacio at Doña Elvira’s Seville courtyard at two p.m. on Wednesday 5 June 1619, as part of the Corpus Christi celebrations (Image 4).58 The second oldest, of similar size, was conserved as evidence for a dispute between two comedy authors. It concerns the 1631 performance of La despreciada querida [The Despised Darling], a new comedy by Lope de Vega, in the city of La Plata, now Sucre (Bolivia), in the territory of the Viceroyalty of Peru.59 The third oldest is a fragment used as a cover for the manuscript copy of the comedy Los mártires del Japón [The Martyrs of Japan], dated at Lisbon on 1 May 1637. This suggests that the performance, about the legendary knight Bernardo del Carpio, may have taken place around that date in the Pátio das Arcas in Lisbon, under the charge of Alonso de Paz.60 The fourth oldest was used for the same purpose and survives in three fragments in a manuscript copy of Juan Pérez de Montalbán’s comedy La puerta Macarena [The Macarena gate], dated 1677, belonging to the comedy author Félix Pascual. It may have been used by Pascual and his company for their performances in Seville, Carmona and Écija that year. All that can be read are the words “Thursday performance here.”61

All these bills were of very similar sizes and the most complete texts share a similar style, trumpeting the excellence and novelty of shows described as “famous” (Seville, 1619), “most famous” (La Plata, 1631) and “never before seen” (Lisbon, 1637). The handwritten bills gave the name of the company or the actors, the day and time of the performance in larger letters, and the courtyard where it would be performed. In Seville and Lisbon, the name of the company was emphasized in large letters written in red ocher, while the Bolivian example is entirely written in careful bastarda62 script. It has been argued that it made sense for theater companies to use handwritten rather than printed bills, since they changed their repertoire of comedies every five or six days.63 Yet printed bills had been predominant in London since 1587.64 There was also the option of printing a template bill with the details to be filled in for each performance, as the Flemish illusionist Juan Roge did for his 1655 tour of Seville, Granada, Cordoba and Madrid. The bill, printed on a half-sheet in Baltasar de Bolívar’s Granada workshop, described the show and included a blank footer following the phrase “Lodging at,” presumably to be completed with the place where he could be contacted in each city.65 Another example of printing is the quarto format bill used by Juan Ortiz of Seville, a master of sleight of hand and other skills, to announce his presence in Madrid from mid-August to mid-September 1695, offering to perform in private houses so long as he was contacted four hours in advance.66

Although such surviving fragments are extremely rare, when taken together with literary and other references and other announcements among the early-seventeenth-century papers of Lope de Ceballos, they point to the everyday nature of such texts as the modern city became a space for communication. Both institutions and private individuals understood that the best way of informing people and advertising goods and services was by way of handwritten or printed texts, generally composed for display in public wherever crowds gathered.

Libels and Lampoons

So far, we have looked at ephemeral papers which combined hand copying with mechanical reproduction, although in some spheres print technology gradually became dominant. However, manuscript material continued to dominate the abundant output of libels and lampoons, with the exception of political pamphlets during the most unstable periods67 including the reign of Phillip IV – in particular the “paper wars” sparked by the uprisings of Catalonia and Portugal68 – and the minority of Charles II, which saw Don Juan José of Austria confront the queen’s confessor Father Nittard and later her advisor Fernando de Valenzuela y Enciso.69 In the case of more localized protests or insults aimed at individuals, where material needed to be immediate, clandestine and anonymous, it was most commonly handwritten.

Lampoons and libels – forms of writing criminalized for their critical, dissident, heterodox or inflammatory content – led to immediate persecution with orders to take them down wherever they were displayed to be handed over to the relevant authorities.70 As a result, opportunities for study are directly linked to legal proceedings and contemporary records in various formats (newspapers, travel diaries, etc.), literary texts, or collections. Although such indirect sources do not allow for the analysis of material and graphic aspects, they do shed light on the social and cultural scope of such writing.

Covarrubias makes no distinction between libels (libelo) and lampoons (pasquín). He defines libels as “anonymous defamatory writings that are published or attached to columns and corners of public places or distributed in the streets and public places.” He adds that they were usually accompanied by the epithet famoso, “which may be either defamatory or dishonoring,” thereby avoiding confusion with “memorial or small book,” another meaning of the word libelo or libellus. The word pasquín (lampoon) takes its name from the well-known Roman Pasquino statue, to which were attached “defamatory libels, for which reason they came to be known as pasquines,” usually to the “prejudice of private individuals and those who govern and administer justice.”71 The name refers to the Roman custom of displaying burlesques on the statue on 25 April, Saint Mark’s Day. The term pasquín became a near synonym of satirical poetry, subsequently extended to libelos famosos.72 As the sixteenth century progressed, the terms sátira and libelo infamatorio (satire and defamatory libel) were used more or less interchangeably,73 although pasquines and satires were generally used to refer to texts critical of the authorities or of the dominant ideology and morality, while libels, frequently described as famoso or infamante (defamatory), tended to consist of insults to an individual’s honor and reputation.74

Legal proceedings usually refer to the overnight appearance of bills in urban spaces where the largest crowds gathered, such as squares, corners, church porticoes, and near the seats of power. In the Inquisition of New Spain’s 1602 proceedings against the bishop of Puebla’s servant Gabriel de Arratia, the libels are reported as being displayed in the “doorways of merchants.”75 In Madrid, it was customary to find them in Plaza de Palacio, Puerta de Guadalajara, Puerta del Sol and Plaza de la Cárcel de Corte.76 It was habitual practice to put them up late at night to evade the police rounds. For example, the libels distributed in Cartagena de Indias in September 1644 against the visitor Martín Real and the governor and judge Don Bernardino de Prado were posted on Saturday the 18th, “between nine and ten at night,”77 when a “form wrapped in a cape” was observed attaching a sheet of paper to the Puerta del Perdón [Door of Mercy] at the cathedral.78

Just as the place and time of publication were necessary conditions for a transgressive and criminalized form of writing, so the language and textual modalities used were important means of ensuring its effectiveness. As a result, the vernacular was generally used, with frequent recourse to poetic compositions such as satires, romances, sonnets, décimas, as well as dialogs and question-answer formats – all intended to facilitate memorization and transmission.79 Many libels and satires were not only displayed on walls but also sung in the streets, such as slogans and poems linked to the Immaculate Conception,80 or the libels against the visitor Martín Real, distributed as half-sheets written in two columns.81 Readers were guided in contextualizing and interpreting the message by items displayed alongside the bill itself, such as the horns, string of garlic, and goat spine attached to the door of the house of the mayor of Logroño, Don Pedro Beluti de Haro, on 18 September 1680. They were hung alongside a defamatory libel written on a quarto sheet of paper “in large, deformed letters” (Image 5).82

Image 5. Libel against Don Pedro Beluti de Haro, mayor of Logroño, 16 September 1680: AHN, Inquisición, leg. 26179, no. 6, fol. 6r.

This reflects the anonymous character of libels and lampoons, which used deformed or “disguised” writing to hide the author’s identity.83 However, some testimonies record that disguised handwriting was not always sufficient to maintain anonymity, such as the comments Cristóbal Téllez de Almazán, auditor licentiate at the Court of Manila, made about defamatory libels published against the Governor in 1599.84 Other testimonies noted the difficulty of identifying the authors of such materials, particularly in cities where the legal authorities were not as well represented as in Rome or Madrid. This argument was put forward by Bernardino de Prado Beltrán de Guevara, Magistrate of the Court of Santa Fe and Judge Commissioner in Cartagena de Indias, with respect to the libel against the governor, Melchor de Aguilera, that appeared in the city square overnight in April 1641.85

Some people did accept the consequences of their opinions by signing such documents. One of the most singular instances are the Irishman William Lamport’s libels against the inquisitors of Mexico. Becoming naturalized as Guillén Lombardo after his arrival in La Coruña in 1630, Lamport came into contact with the Count-Duke of Olivares, working for him as a spy on several missions. He traveled to Mexico in 1640 with the political ambition of taking over as viceroy from Diego López de Pacheco, removed by Olivares due to his relationship to the Duke of Bragança, the recently self-proclaimed king of Portugal. He failed in this objective and was arrested and imprisoned by the Inquisition on 26 October 1642. He stood accused of suspicious behavior, in particular using astrology and peyote to ascertain who would be the next viceroy, as well as certain Protestant propositions. He managed to escape prison on 26 December 1650, but was captured a few days later and was held in prison for nine years, eventually being burnt at the stake on 19 November 1659.86 Before his execution, he wrote several pieces criticizing the Inquisition including two libels, Pregón de los justos juicios de Dios [Proclamation of the Righteous Judgements of God] and Declaración de los justos juicios de Dios [Declaration of the Righteous Judgements of God].87 As was the custom, these were glued to the door of the Cathedral “with chewed bread” and were read and copied several times by the groups that gathered there.88

The preference for large letters, whether capital or lower case, can likewise be explained by the need for legibility in texts on public display. Agustín de Vidarte y Ancilla noted that the lampoon attached to the North Gate of the Alcázar of Madrid in July 1608, accusing the Duke of Lerma of treachery, was written “in large letters,” so that many people could read it before the gatekeeper removed it at seven in the morning.89 Another document noted that the three lampoons attached to the North Gate, the Guadalajara Gate, and the Court prison were written “with large, very legible letters,” on a half-sheet, occupying “four lines and little less than half,”90 as can be seen in the original.91

The symbiosis between written text and spoken word in the form of songs and jokes, common in cencerradas or public displays of mockery,92 could also match forms of humiliation targeting individuals, such as throwing ink or other liquids at them, hurling animal excrement at their property, setting up ridiculous statues of them, writing graffiti alluding to their supposed vices, and marking their houses and property with signs such as horns and sambenitos (i.e. penitential garments) if the accused was thought to be a new Christian.93

A similar function was performed by caricatures and mocking drawings in handwritten lampoons. Although originals are scarce, contemporary accounts describe “funny, painted lampoons” which “appeared overnight in all parts” of Madrid on 19 February 165794 or a redondilla95 attached to the gates of the Royal Palace in Madrid on 7 January 1669, with the arms of Spain painted “between two eagles, one white, the other black, clutching the lamb of Toisón in their talons, and beneath, the advisors in the form of hungry wolves.”96 Before these events, at the start of the Portuguese Restoration War in 1641, a satirical lampoon in Lisbon ridiculed Phillip IV and the Count-Duke as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza just as they were preparing to avenge Portugal’s declaration of independence (Image 6).97

However, this use of images in political disputes falls far short of the print output in other European countries and in the territories of the Spanish monarchy, for instance the intense anti-Spanish propaganda in Flanders during the Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648): the quantity of official material printed outside the Low Countries, particularly in Cologne, as well as defamatory pamphlets, fliers, songs and prints was so extensive that the conflict can be considered the first “paper war” in Europe.98

Image 6. Satirical lampoon of Phillip IV and the Count-Duke of Olivares, Lisbon, 1641: Hispanic Society of America, New York, HC397/97.

Lampoons used sophisticated communication strategies including overnight publication to reach a broad, socially diverse audience that included passers-by and groups that formed in squares and on street corners. This was quite different from the more select reception of printed propaganda, aimed primarily at literate and courtly circles. This increased the impact of the defamation, dissent, or blasphemy. As a result, street circulation was an aggravating factor when it came to censuring and condemning such texts: the proceedings initiated by the Inquisition in New Spain against Gabriel de Arratia in 1602 for criticizing the privileges of the Holy Office expressly noted that the offense was exacerbated by the fact that, “with signs of great delight, he walked in the said city of los Ángeles [i.e., Puebla] publishing the said libels in the squares and doorways of merchants, offering them to people who requested them of him.”99


The various handwritten and printed classes of text reviewed in this article shared the same or similar modes of publication. All were displayed in public where they would be widely seen and “come to the notice of all,” as was usually noted in the final part of the edicts.100 They were all aimed at broad audiences, though given documents might appeal to one group in particular. Due to the ephemeral nature and mode of distribution of this minor printed material, the analysis has focused on places and forms of publication rather than on reconstructing the trajectory of specific readers or particular reading experiences.

Unlike other texts, manuscripts and printed matter displayed on walls or tossed into the street led to reading experiences that were generally plural and accessible not just to the well-off and the literate, but also to others of humbler status and with lower levels of literacy. Every individual must have read and understood such texts differently, depending on their skill at deciphering the codes they used. On walls or distributed in the streets, urban ephemeral texts conveyed a wide variety of messages while also showing that written communication, then as now, went beyond books. In the words of Pedro Calderón de la Barca, “So, how should I know a book if that is what you ask, if I do not yet know how to read the poster for a comedy?”101

  1. Professor of History of Written Culture, University of Alcala, Spain.
  2. This paper is part of the research project Vox Populi. Spaces, Practices and Strategies of Visibility of Marginal Writing in the Early Modern and Modern Periods (PID2019–107881GB-I00), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MCI) and the State Research Agency (AEI).
  3. Medium-sized type of handmade paper, usually employed for drawing (translator’s note).
  4. This and other evidence of itinerant presses have been studied by Maria Gioia Tavoni, “Stampare in itinere. Il torchio al seguito,” in Mobilità dei mestieri del libro tra Quattrocento e Seicento. Convegno Internazionale, Rome, 14–16 March 2012, eds. Marco Santoro and Samanta Segatori (Pisa and Rome: Fabrizio Serra, 2013), 205–216; Alessandro Corubolo and Maria Gioia Tavoni, Torchi e stampa al seguito (Bologna: Pendragon, 2016), 60-62, for the reference to the print cart in Valencia.
  5. Type of handmade paper, usually employed in the production of maps and large books (translator’s note).
  6. Juan Bautista de Valda, Solenes fiestas que celebro Valencia a la Immacvlada Concepcion de la Virgen Maria por el svpremo decreto de N. S. S. Pontifice Alexandro VII (Valencia: Jerónimo Vilagrasa, 1663), 284-288.
  7. Antonio Castillo Gómez, “Outros textos, outras leituras. Divagações metodológicas en torno de efêmeros e papéis menores,” Livro. Revista do Núcleo de Estudos do Livro e da Edição 6 (2016), 391-404.
  8. Alan Clinton, Printed Ephemera. Collection, Organisation and Access (London: Clive Bingley, 1981), 66.
  9. Nicolas Petit, L’Éphémère, l’occasionnel et le non livre à la Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève (XVe–XVIIIe siècles), Corpus Iconographique de l’Histoire du Livre 3 (Paris: Klincksieck, 1997), 16.
  10. Maria Gioia Tavoni, “I ‘materiali minori’. Uno spazio per la storia del libro,” in Gli spazi del libro nell’Europa del XVIII secolo. Atti del convegno di Ravenna (15–16 December 1995), eds. Maria Gioia Tavoni and Françoise Waquet (Bologna: Pàtron, 1997), 104; Maria Gioia Tavoni, “I materiali minori e le carte del Paradiso in Piero Camporesi,” in Dalla bibliografia alla storia. Studi in onore di Ugo Rozzo, ed. Rudj Gorian (Udine: Forum, 2010), 293–314.
  11. See in this respect the studies in Andrew Pettegree, ed., Broadsheets. Single-Sheet Publishing in the First Age of Print (Leiden: Brill, 2017).
  12. Armando Petrucci, Prima lezione de paleografía (Rome and Bari: Laterza, 2002), VI.
  13. Mercedes Fernández Valladares, “Difundir la información oficial. Literatura gris y menudencias de la imprenta burgalesa al hilo de sucesos histórico-políticos del siglo XVI,” in Encuentro de civilizaciones (1500–1750). Informar, narrar, celebrar. Actas del Tercer Coloquio Internacional sobre Relaciones de Sucesos. Cagliari, 5–8 September 2001, eds. Antonio Paba and Gabriel Andrés Renales (Alcalá de Henares: University of Alcalá, 2003), 149–170; Isabel Castro Rojas, “Ordenar el universo de los signos. Bandos, pregones y espacio urbano en España y América durante la Edad Moderna,” LaborHistórico 2, no. 1 (2016), 16–29.
  14. Michèle Fogel, Les cérémonies de l’information dans la France du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle (Paris: Fayard, 1989), 105.
  15. “This shall be affixed to the guardhouses and gates of this city and other parts where convenient in order to be better noticed. And no one should dare to remove it or break it under the penalties stipulated by this same city,” in Bando de los jurados de Zaragoza ante la ocupación francesa del Principado de Cataluña (1640), Lisbon, National Archives of Torre do Tombo, Casa Cadaval, 19, fol. 360r. Another similar one on fol. 373r.
  16. Sebastián de Covarrubias, Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española, ed. Martín de Riquer (Barcelona: Altafulla, 2003), 492.
  17. See the diary of Gregorio Martín de Guijo, secretary of the Chapter of the Cathedral of Mexico City, with respect to the edict published in that city on 2 October 1650 establishing devotion to the Virgin of the Rosary: “they requested and at their cost had printed edicts and patents for distribution throughout the kingdom, so that each year everyone should pray the Rosary of fifteen mysteries, an hour kneeling, as stated in the edict included with this notebook.” Gregorio Martín de Guijo, Diario. 1648–1664, I, ed. Manuel Romero de Terreros (Mexico City: Porrúa, 1952), 128.
  18. Madrid, National Historical Archive (hereafter AHN), Universidades, legs. 754, 756, 762 and 764. See Antonio Castillo Gómez, Escrituras y escribientes. Prácticas de la cultura escrita en una ciudad del Renacimiento (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Gobierno de Canarias and Fundación de Enseñanza Superior a Distancia, 1997), 69–72 and id., Entre la pluma y la pared. Una historia social de la escritura en los siglos de Oro (Madrid: Akal, 2006), 212–213.
  19. Simancas, General Archive of Simancas (hereafter AGS), Patronato Real, leg. 21, doc. 203.
  20. Respectively: (1) “Crida” by don García de Toledo, Viceroy of Catalonia, to prevent the entry into the Principality of persons arriving from the Kingdoms of France and Valencia who might be infected with plague, undated, although it appears to have been published on 29 July 1559 (Barcelona: Library of Catalonia, hereafter BC), Fullets Bonsoms, 2370; (2) Announcement of excommunication of Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, Bishop of Puebla de los Ángeles and doctor Juan de Merlo, his provisor (Mexico City, 12 June 1647), Alcalá de Henares, Archive of Spain of the Company of Jesus (hereafter AESI-A), box 90, exp. 11. See also the testimony reproduced in Crides, pragmàtiques, edictes, cartes i ordres per a l’administració i govern de la ciutat i regne de València en el segle XVI, 2 vols., eds. Josep Lluís Canet and Diego Romero (Valencia: University of Valencia, 2002).
  21. For example, the university edict on the award of an ecclesiastical benefice to Doctor Diego de Naveros was affixed to the door of the Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso on 2 September 1534 and removed three days later (AHN, Universidades, leg. 764, no fol). Another referring to the provision of the vacant canonry of Doctor Fernando de Balbás was displayed from 26 January to 7 February 1532 (AHN, Universidades, leg. 754, no fol).
  22. Mexico City, General Archive of the Nation (hereafter AGN), Inquisition, vol. 486, first part, fol. 14v.
  23. Examples include the edict of the Inquisitors of Mexico ordering the confiscation of various books, cited above, and another from the same source ordering the capture of Guillén Lombardo and Diego Pinto Bravo, who had escaped from the secret prisons of the Holy Office, Mexico City, 26 December 1650, AGN, Inquisición, vol. 1497, fol. 18r.
  24. In these cases, it was not unusual to find, at the foot of the page, an authentication clause: “In accordance with the testimony I delivered to Sebastián de Huerta, secretary of His Majesty and of the Council of the Holy General Inquisition.” Edict on the prohibition and burning of books, Madrid, June 30, 1634: Madrid, Royal Academy of History (hereafter RAH), 9–3783 (4).
  25. AHN, Inquisición, leg. 2628, exp. 26.
  26. AHN, Inquisición, leg. 2628, exp. 26.
  27. Gregorio Bartolomé Martínez, Jaque mate al obispo virrey. Siglo y medio de sátiras y libelos contra don Juan de Palafox y Mendoza (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1991).
  28. AESI-A, box 90, exps. 33 and 44.
  29. AHN, Inquisición, leg. 3228, exp. 26, fol. 1r. On the printing of proclamations and edicts, see Xevi Camprubí, “Butlletes, fulls solts i altres menuderies. La contribució de la impremta al funcionament de la societat catalana moderna,” Manuscrits. Revista d’Història Moderna 34 (2016), 134–137.
  30. See Armando Petrucci, “Appunti per una premessa,” in Bononia manifesta. Catalogo dei bandi, editti, costituzioni e provvedimenti diversi, stampati nel XVI secolo per Bologna e il suo territorio, Biblioteca di Bibliografia Italiana, 142, ed. Zita Zanardi (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1996), v–xv.
  31. Antonio M. Hespanha, La gracia del derecho. Economía de la cultura en la Edad Moderna (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Constitucionales, 1993), 131.
  32. Antonio Castillo Gómez, “Writings on the Streets: Ephemeral Texts and Public Space in the Early Modern Hispanic World,” in Approaches to the History of Written Culture. A World Inscribed, eds. Martyn Lyons and Rita Marquilhas (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 73–96.
  33. See Bárbara Santiago Medina, “La publicación de edictos como fuente de conflictos. El tribunal de la Inquisición de Barcelona,” Pedralbes. Revista d’Història Moderna 28, no. 2 (2008) [Actes del VI Congrés d’Història Moderna de Catalunya, “La Catalunya diversa” (15–19 December 2008)]: 707–722.
  34. See Antonio Castillo Gómez, “‘Salió también, de la parte de la ciudad, un cartel impreso’. Usos expuestos del escrito en los certámenes del Siglo de Oro,” TECA. Testimonianze, Editoria, Cultura, Arte. Rivista Internazionale di Arte e di Storia della Scrittura, del Libro, della Lettura 0 (2011), 1–24.
  35. Certamen poetico qve la Avgvsta civdad de Zaragoza, con sv Vniversidad, de qvien es patrona, propone en el theatro de aquella a los ingenios españoles, en la promocion dignissima del Illustrissimo Señor don Fr. Luys Aliaga, Confessor de su Magestad y de su Consejo de Estado, a la presidencia y officio de Inquisidor General (Zaragoza: Juan de Lanaja Quartanet, 1619), Madrid, National Library of Spain (hereafter BNE), MS. 9572, fol. 7r.
  36. Liras are metric combinations that can be composed of five or six lines of variable length; décimas are compositions consisting of ten octosyllabic lines (translator’s note).
  37. BNE, MS. 9572, which contains a select collection of bills of this type.
  38. Caesar Avgvstanae Academiae, edictvm, ad literarivm certamen, in laetitiam Illustrussimi et Reverendissimi Domini D. Hieronymi Xabierre, ad sacram pvrpvram cooptati (Zaragoza: Lorenzo de Robles, 1608), BNE, MS. 9572, fol. 10r.
  39. Highest court of justice and administrative ruling in ancien régime Spain (translator’s note).
  40. Fernando Bouza, “Quién escribe dónde. Autoría y lucha política. Los pasquines del Alcázar (1608),” in Fernando Bouza, Papeles y opinión. Políticas de publicación en el Siglo de Oro, Monografías 33 (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 2008), 95–109. On the activities of the scribe Lope de Ceballos, see Antonio Castillo Gómez, “Cultura escrita y actividad escribanil en el Siglo de Oro,” in El nervio de la República. El oficio de escribano en el Siglo de Oro, eds. Enrique Villalba and Emilio Torné, Biblioteca Litterae 24 (Madrid: Calambur, 2010), 359–365, which also includes reproductions of the notice and draft (365).
  41. AHN, Consejos, leg. 36211, exp. 6, fol. 56r.
  42. José de Casanova, Primera parte del arte de escrivir todas formas de letras (Madrid: Diego Díaz de la Carrera, 1650), fol. 11r.
  43. Françoise Gasparri, “Note sur l’enseignement de l’écriture aux XVe–XVIe siècle. A propos d’un nouveau placard du XVIe siècle decouvert à la Bibliothèque Nationale,” Scrittura e Civiltà 2 (1978), 245–261.
  44. Josep Maria Madurell i Marimón, “Anuncio de una escuela y un documento pontificio,” Gutenberg Jahrbuch 39 (1964), 147–150; Josep Maria Madurell i Marimón and Jordi Rubió i Balaguer, Documentos para la historia de la imprenta y librería en Barcelona (1474–1553) (Barcelona: Gremios de Editores, de Libreros y de Maestros Impresores, 1955), 568 and 572.
  45. Casanova, Primera parte del arte de escrivir, fols. 24r and 53r.
  46. For example, Madrid, Students’ Residency MP35, R. 549, vol. 1, fols. xxiir, livr and lvir; R. 549, vol. 3, no. 33; R. 553, nos. 15 and 35; R. 632; and R. 635, which conserve, respectively, samples by Pedro de Aguirre, Pedro Díaz de Morante, José García de Moya and Vicente Salvador Martínez. Others are to be found in the National Library of Spain and in the Rodríguez-Moñino legacy of the Royal Academy of Spain. For the work of renowned calligraphers, the following are indispensable: Emilio Cotarelo y Mori, Diccionario biográfico y bibliográfico de calígrafos españoles, 2 vols. (Madrid: Tipografía de la “Revista de Archivos, Bibliotecas y Museos,” 1913–1916) [reprinted Madrid, Visor, 2004]; and Ana Martínez Pereira, Manuales de escritura de los Siglos de Oro. Repertorio crítico y analítico de obras manuscritas e impresas (Mérida: Editora Regional de Extremadura, 2006).
  47. Cotarelo y Mori, Diccionario biográfico y bibliográfico de calígrafos españoles, II, 38.
  48. Fernando J. Bouza Álvarez, Del escribano a la biblioteca. La civilización escrita europea en la alta Edad Moderna (Siglos XV-XVII), Historia Universal Moderna 5 (Madrid: Síntesis, 1992), 55. A new edition is now available: (Madrid: Akal, 2018), 76.
  49. Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quijote de la Mancha II, ed. Francisco Rico (Barcelona: Instituto Cervantes and Crítica, 1998), 1142.
  50. Hugo A. Rennert, The Spanish Stage in the Time of Lope de Vega (New York: Hispanic Society of America, 1909), 133–134; Mercedes de los Reyes Peña, “Los carteles de teatro en el Siglo de Oro,” Criticón 59 (1993), 99–118; Piedad Bolaños Donoso, “Actividad dramática en la Casa de Comedias de Écija. Hacia un ocaso que no llegó (1670–1679),” in Écija, ciudad barroca (I). Ciclo de conferencias (Écija: Ayuntamiento de Écija, 2005), 37–39; Mercedes de los Reyes Peña, “Nueva entrega sobre carteles de teatro áureo,” in El Siglo de Oro en escena. Homenaje a Marc Vitse, eds. Odette Gorsse and Frédéric Serralta (Toulouse: Presses Universitaires du Mirail and Consejería de Educación de la Embajada de España en Francia, 2006), 837–855; and more recently, by the same author, “A vueltas con los carteles del teatro en el Siglo de Oro,” Hipogrifo. Revista de Literatura y Cultura del Siglo de Oro 3, no. 1 (2015), 155–186.
  51. Agustín de Rojas, El viaje entretenido, ed. Jean-Pierre Ressot (Madrid: Castalia, 1995), 158.
  52. Agustín de la Granja, “Cosme, el que carteles puso. A propósito de un actor y su entorno,” in Homenaje al profesor Antonio Gallego Morell II, eds. Concha Argente del Castillo, Agustín de la Granja, Juan Martínez Marín and Antonio Sánchez Trigueros (Granada: Universidad de Granada, 1989), 100.
  53. Reyes Peña, “Los carteles de teatro,” 105–106.
  54. Alonso López Pinciano, Philosophia antigua poetica (1596), ed. Alfredo Carballo Picazo, Biblioteca de Antiguos Libros Hispánicos, Serie A, 19–21, I (Madrid: CSIC, 1973), 244.
  55. Cayetano Alberto de la Barrera y Leirado, Catálogo bibliográfico y biográfico del teatro antiguo español. Desde sus orígenes hasta mediados del siglo XVIII (Madrid: Imprenta y Estereotipia de M. Rivadeneyra, 1860) [reprinted London: Tamesis Books, 1968], 285-286.
  56. Girolamo da Sommaia, Diario de un estudiante de Salamanca. La crónica inédita de Girolamo da Sommaia, ed. and introduction by George Haley (Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca, 1997), 183.
  57. John E. Varey and Norman D. Shergold, Teatros y comedias en Madrid, 1600–1650. Estudio y documentos, Colección Tamesis, Series C, Fuentes para la historia del teatro en España 3 (London: Tamesis Books, 1971), 48; José María Díez Borque, Los espectáculos del teatro y de la fiesta en el Siglo de Oro español (Madrid: Laberinto, 2002), 26.
  58. Seville Municipal Archives, I, carp. 155, no. 290, fol. 2r. Cf. Rennert, The Spanish Stage, 133; Reyes Peña, “Los carteles de teatro,” 101–102, 110 (reproduction); id., “A vueltas con los carteles del teatro,” 158, 178 (reproduction).
  59. La Paz (Bolivia), National Archives and Library of Bolivia, EC, 1631/7. See also Reyes Peña, “Nueva entrega sobre carteles,” 838–839, 854 (reproduction); Reyes Peña, “A vueltas con los carteles del teatro,” 156 and 180 (reproduction).
  60. BNE, MS. 17365. Cf. Antonio Paz y Meliá, Catálogo de las piezas de teatro que se conservan en el Departamento de Manuscritos de la Biblioteca Nacional I, second edition (Madrid: Patronato de la Biblioteca Nacional, 1934–1989) [first edition: Madrid, Imprenta del Colegio Nacional de Sordomudos y de Ciegos, 1899], no. 2236; Rennert, The Spanish Stage, 134; Reyes Peña, “Los carteles de teatro,” 103, 114–115 (reproduction); Reyes Peña, “A vueltas con los carteles del teatro,” 156, 179–180 (reproduction).
  61. Juan Pérez de Montalbán, La puerta Macarena, comedia en tres actos. Primera parte, 1677 (BNE, MS. 16550). Cf. Bolaños Donoso, “Actividad dramática en la Casa de Comedias de Écija,” 37–39; Reyes Peña, “A vueltas con los carteles del teatro,” 157–158, 182 (reproduction). Accessible at the website Rutas del teatro en Andalucía, in the section dedicated to the Seville courtyard theatre of El Coliseo, responsibility of Piedad Bolaños, < rutasteatro/es/02_033.htm>.
  62. Type of handwriting inclined towards the right, with rounded curves (translator’s note).
  63. John E. Varey and Norman D. Shergold, Teatros y comedias en Madrid, 1651–1665. Estudio y documentos, Colección Tamesis, Series C, Fuentes para la historia del teatro en España 4 (London: Tamesis Books, 1973), 37; Reyes Peña, “Los carteles de teatro,” 110–111.
  64. Rennert, The Spanish Stage, 134; Tiffany Stern, “‘On each Wall and Corner Post’. Playbills, Title-pages, and Advertising in Early Modern London,” English Literary Renaissance 36, no. 1 (2006), 60–68, republished in id., Documents of Performance in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 38–47.
  65. AHN, Inquisición, leg. 94, exp. 15. Cf. also Reyes Peña, “Nueva entrega sobre carteles,” 849–850, 855 (reproduction); “A vueltas con los carteles del teatro,” 163, 181 (reproduction).
  66. AHN, Inquisición, MPD, 453. Like Juan Roge, he was interrogated by the Inquisition regarding his “skills and sleights of hand”: AHN, Inquisición, leg. 2500–6. See in this regard Fernando Bouza, “Decir – y oír decir – en el Siglo de Oro. Comunicación política de las casas de conversación a la República de las Letras,” in La vida cotidiana en el mundo hispánico (siglos XVI–XVIII), ed. Manuel Peña Díaz (Madrid: Abada, 2012), 349–350.
  67. Teófanes Egido López ed., Sátiras políticas de la España moderna (Madrid: Alianza, 1973); Mercedes Etreros, La sátira política en el siglo XVII (Madrid: Fundación Universitaria Española, 1983).
  68. Teófanes Egido López, “La sátira política, arma de la oposición a Olivares,” in La España del Conde Duque de Olivares. Encuentro internacional sobre la España del Conde Duque de Olivares celebrado en Toro los días 15–18 de septiembre de 1989, eds. Ángel García Sanz and John H. Elliott (Valladolid: Universidad de Valladolid, 1990), 339–372; Antoni Simon i Tarrés, Els orígens ideològics de la Revolució Catalana de 1640, Biblioteca “Abat Oliba” 210 (Barcelona: Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, 1999); Xavier Torres i Sans, La guerra dels Segadors (Vic: Eumo; Lleida: Pagès, 2006), 153–196; Fernando Bouza, “Propaganda, papeles y público barrocos. En torno a la publicística hispana durante la guerra de Restauração portuguesa de 1640 a 1668,” in Bouza, Papeles y opinión, 131–178; María Soledad Arredondo, Literatura y propaganda en tiempo de Quevedo. Guerras y plumas contra Francia, Cataluña y Portugal, Biblioteca Áurea Hispánica 67 (Madrid: Iberoamericana; Frankfurt am Main: Vervuert, 2011).
  69. Carlos Gómez-Centurión Jiménez, “La sátira política durante el reinado de Carlos II,” Cuadernos de Historia Moderna y Contemporánea 4 (1983), 11–34; Albrecht Graf von Kalnein, Juan José de Austria en la España de Carlos II. Historia de una regencia, trans. María José Poyato (Lleida: Milenio, 2001); Fernando Bouza, “Sin armas de noticias. Medios de cultura, público y poder monárquico de Carlos II a Felipe V,” in Bouza, Papeles y opinion, 179–209; Héloïse Hermant, Guerres de plumes. Publicité et cultures politiques dans l’Espagne du XVIIe siècle (Madrid: Casa de Velázquez, 2012).
  70. Antonio Castillo Gómez, “‘Être non seulement libelle mais aussi exposé au public’. Les inscriptions censurées au Siècle d’Or,” in Les voies du silence dans l’Espagne des Habsbourg, eds. Alexandra Merle and Araceli Guillaume-Alonso (Paris: Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 2013), 309–328; “Muros infames, palabras en la calle. Contestación religiosa y represión en el mundo hispánico,” in Palabras de injuria y expresiones de disenso. El lenguaje licencioso en Iberoamérica, eds. Claudia Carranza Vera and Rafael Castañeda García (San Luis Potosí: El Colegio de San Luis, 2016), 277–307.
  71. Covarrubias, Tesoro, 764, 855–856.
  72. Ottavia Niccoli, Rinascimento anticlericale. Infamia, propaganda e satira in Italia tra Quattro e Cinquecento (Rome and Bari: Laterza, 2005), 29–48. On the pasquinate, see also Valerio Marucci ed., Pasquinate del Cinque e Seicento, Omikron 32 (Rome: Salerno, 1988); Chiara Lastraioli, Pasquinate, grillate, pelate e altro Cinquecento librario minore, Cinquecento 19 (Rome: Vecchiarelli, 2012); Chrysa Damianaki and Angelo Romano eds., Pasquin, Lord of Satire, and his Disciples in 16th-Century Struggles for Religious and Political Reform / Pasquino, signore della satira, e la lotta dei suoi discepoli per la riforma religiosa e politica nel Cinquecento (London: The Warburg Institute; Rome, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2014).
  73. As was the case with the one written by Fulgencio de Vega y Vique, Familiar of the Inquisition in Mexico, in 1603: AHN, Inquisición, leg. 1734, exp. 25, fol. 1r.
  74. Fernando Bouza, Corre manuscrito. Una historia cultural del Siglo de Oro (Madrid: Marcial Pons, 2001), 109–135; Javier Ruiz Astiz, La fuerza de la palabra escrita. Amenazas e injurias en la Navarra del Antiguo Régimen (Pamplona: Universidad de Navarra, 2012).
  75. AGN, Inquisición, vol. 463, exp. 1, fol. 25v.
  76. AHN, Consejos, leg. 36211, exp. 2, fol. 19r, among others.
  77. AHN, Inquisición, leg. 16002, exp. 7, no. 2, fol. 5r.
  78. AHN, Inquisición, leg. 16013, exp. 35, no. 1, fol. 2r.
  79. José María Díez Borque, “Literatura en la calle. Prosa y poesía en las paredes. Pasquines del Siglo de Oro español (I),” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 72, no. 4 (1995), 365–383.
  80. Mercedes de los Reyes Peña, “Un pasquín anti-inmaculista en la Sevilla del primer tercio del siglo XVII,” in Sevilla y la literatura. Homenaje al profesor Francisco López Estrada en su 80 cumpleaños, eds. Rogelio Reyes Cano, Mercedes de los Reyes Peña and Klaus Wagner (Seville: Universidad de Sevilla, 2001), 133-160; Antonio Castillo Gómez, “Défense et critiques de l’Immaculée Conception. Écriture et événement dans la première moitié du XVIIe siècle,” in L’Écho de l’événement. Du Moyen Âge à l’époque contemporaine, eds. Christine Rivalan Guégo and Denis Rodrigues (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2011), 55–64.
  81. AHN, Inquisición, leg. 16013, exp. 35, no. 1, fol. 1v.
  82. AHN, Inquisición, leg. 26179, no. 6, fol. 6r.
  83. Natalia Silva Prada, “La escritura anónima. ¿Especie sediciosa o estrategia de comunicación política colonial?,” Andes. Antropología e Historia 16 (2005), 223-252.
  84. Letter dated at Manila, July 16, 1599 (Seville: General Archive of the Indies, hereafter AGI, Philippines, 18B, R. 9, no. 126).
  85. Letter from Bernardino de Prado Beltrán de Guevara to the King, Cartagena de Indias, October 30, 1641 (AGI: Santa Fe, 57, no. 76).
  86. The details of his life can be found in Javier Meza González, El laberinto de la mentira. Guillén de Lamporte y la Inquisición, second edition (Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Xochimilco, 2002); Fabio Troncarelli, El mito del “Zorro” y la Inquisición en México. La aventura de Guillén Lombardo (1615–1659), trans. Pau Oliva (Lleida: Milenio, 2003); Andrea Martínez Baracs, Don Guillén de Lampart, hijo de sus hazañas (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2012).
  87. AGN, Inquisición, vol. 1497, fols. 8r and 17r.
  88. AGN, Inquisición, vol. 1497, fol. 4r; AHN, Inquisición, leg. 1731, exp. 53, no. 24, fol. 149r.
  89. AHN, Consejos, leg. 36211, exp. 6, fol. 25r.
  90. BNE, MS. 12179, fol. 102r. Another draft of the text, followed by the copy of the lampoon, on fol. 75r.
  91. AHN, Consejos, leg. 36211, exp. 2, fol. 1r.
  92. Jesús María Usunáriz, “El lenguaje de la cencerrada. Burla, violencia y control en la comunidad,” in Aportaciones a la historia social del lenguaje. España, siglos XIV–XVIII, eds. Rocío García Bourrellier and Jesús María Usunáriz (Madrid: Iberoamericana; Frankfurt am Main: Vervuert, 2005), 235–260.
  93. Bouza, Corre manuscrito, 111; Javier Ruiz Astiz, Literatura subversiva. Libelos y pasquines en el Reino de Navarra (1512–1808), Pliegos Volanderos del GRISO 12 (Pamplona: Universidad de Navarra, 2008), 5–7; “Prácticas y mecanismos de exclusión social. Libelos y pasquines en Navarra (1550-1650),” Cuadernos de Historia Moderna, 35 (2010), 121–122.
  94. Jerónimo de Barrionuevo, Avisos de don Jerónimo de Barrionuevo (1654–1658) II, ed. Antonio Paz y Meliá, Biblioteca de Autores Españoles 222 (Madrid: Atlas, 1969), 59.
  95. A Spanish stanza form consisting of four trochaic lines, usually of eight syllables each, with a rhyme scheme of abba (translator’s note).
  96. BNE, MS. 2582, fol. 111r. There is another copy in London, British Library, Eg. 567, no. 33.
  97. New York, Hispanic Society of America, HC 397/97. Cf. John H. Elliott, El Conde-Duque de Olivares. El político en una época de decadencia, trans. Teófilo de Lozoya (Barcelona: Crítica, 1990), 601. This libel and the use of Cervantes’ characters, who were well known at the time, has been considered by Elias L. Rivers, “Don Quixote’s Fatherly Advice, and Olivares’s,” Cervantes 18, no. 2 (1998), 74–84; José Montero Reguera, “El Quijote en 1640. Historia, política y algo de literatura,” Edad de Oro 25 (2006), 437–446.
  98. Pieter Antoon Marie Geurts, De Nederlandse Opstand in de Pamfletten, 1566-1584, second edition (Utrecht: HES, 1978); Ingrid Schulze Schneider, La leyenda negra de España. Propaganda en la guerra de Flandes, 1566–1584 (Madrid: Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 2008); Julie Versele, “La diffusion et le contrôle des idées associées à la révolte des Pays-Bas,” in Alain Hugon and Alexandra Merle eds., Soulèvements, révoltes, révolutions dans l’empire des Habsbourg d’Espagne, XVIe–XVIIe siècle (Madrid: Casa de Velázquez, 2016), 139–160.
  99. AGN, Inquisición, vol. 463, exp. 1, fol. 25v.
  100. “And so that it may come to the notice of all, we command this edict to be displayed in the public parts of this town”: Edicto para que no se trabaje, venda ni comercie en esta villa los días de fiesta, promulgado por el licenciado Alonso Portillo y Cardos, chantre en la iglesia Colegial de Talavera, inquisidor ordinario y vicario de Madrid y su partido, Madrid, April 30, 1691: RAH, Jesuitas, 9-3576 (34).
  101. Pedro Calderón de la Barca, No hay burlas con el amor, ed. Ignacio Arellano (Pamplona: Universidad de Navarra, 1981), 218.

Cite: Antonio Castillo Gómez, “Not Just Books. Ephemeral Papers in Spanish Society in the Early Modern Period,” Lingua Franca, Issue 7 (2021),