A medieval manuscript, which has been missing since the Spanish Civil War, has been found and returned to the town of Brihuega. The manuscript contains 13th-century laws for the town that were written by Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada.
The rediscovery of the manuscript was announced by Spain’s Guardia Civil (Civil Guard). In late 1938, the town of Brihuega was the site of a battle during the Spanish Civil War, and it was believed that the manuscript had been destroyed in a fire. Instead, one of the soldiers involved in the fighting apparently rescued and kept it, and his son wanted it to be returned to the town.
The Historical Heritage Section of the Guardia Civil worked with a Barcelona auction house to identify the manuscript, which is in a good state of conservation. The manuscript was written in the year 1242 and contains a fuero, a type of charter, outlining the laws and requirements of the town. They were signed by Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo (1208 – 1247), one of the most important religious and political figures of the Kingdom of Castile.
The manuscript is described as having more than seventy pages of parchment, protected by two thick walnut boards, that are bound with four strong strips of sheepskin. The writing is in different colours with interlocking ornaments typical of the manuscripts of that time.
The manuscript has now been handed over by the Guardia Civil to Luis Viejo Esteban, Mayor of Brihuega.
Top Image: Image of the manuscript courtesy Guardia Civil