Vernacular chroniclers mention many other heroic minstrel narratives, now lost, but, as a result of the incorporation of these narratives into chronicles, themes and textual passages can be reconstructed. A major influence on prose was exercised by Arabic. Oriental learning entered Christian Spain with the capture of Toledo from the Muslims, and the city became a centre of translation from Oriental languages.
A romance of the Seven Sages, the Sendebar , was translated likewise through Arabic, with other collections of Eastern stories. A propitious intellectual atmosphere fomented the founding of universities, and under Alfonso X of Castile and Leon reigned —84 vernacular literature achieved prestige. Alfonso, in whose chancery Castilian replaced Latin, mandated translations and compilations aimed at fusing all knowledge—Classical, Oriental, Hebrew, and Christian—in the vernacular.
The Book of Count Lucanor and Patronio —which consists of 51 moral tales variously didactic, amusing, and practical—drew partly on Arabic, Oriental, and popular Spanish sources. Eustace, the Roman general miraculously converted to Christianity. It enthralled the popular imagination through the 16th century with its sentimental idealism, lyrical atmosphere, and supernatural adventure.
The result mingled eroticism with devotion and invited readers to interpret often-equivocal teachings. Ruiz handled alexandrine metre with new vigour and plasticity, interspersing religious, pastoral-farcical, amorous, and satirical lyrics of great metrical variety. More-exotic elements appeared in the Proverbios morales c. Gregory, and St. Numerous examples from medieval Spanish literature and folklore echoed the same themes e.
The early 15th century witnessed a renewal of poetry under Italian influence. The collection showed not merely the decadence of Galician-Portuguese troubadours but also the stirrings of more-intellectual poetry incorporating symbol, allegory , and Classical allusions in the treatment of moral, philosophical, and political themes.