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Ausiàs March (Valencian pronunciation: [awziˈaz ˈmaɾk]; 1400 – March 3, 1459) was a medieval Valencian poet and knight from Gandia, Valencia. He is considered as one of the most important poets of the "Golden Century" (Segle d'or) of Valencian literature.

Ausiàs March
A 15th-century painting by Jacomart in the Church of Santa Maria in Xàtiva, once thought to portray Ausiàs March
A 15th-century painting by Jacomart in the Church of Santa Maria in Xàtiva, once thought to portray Ausiàs March
Beniarjó, Kingdom of Valencia (Crown of Aragon)
València, Kingdom of Valencia (Crown of Aragon)
OccupationPoet and knight
Notable worksPlena de Seny, Llir entre Cards, Amor, amor, Mon darrer bé, Oh, foll amor
Isabel Martorell (m. 1439–1441)
Joana Escorna (m. 1443–1450)


Not much is known of March's life. He was born in approximately 1400 to a Valencian noble family. His father, Pere March, was himself a poet and served at the court of the younger brother of King Alfonso IV, Peter. His uncle, Jaume March II, was also a poet. March was one of the two children of Pere's second wife, Lionor of Ripoll; he had a younger sister, Peirona.[1]

In 1413, the still-young March became head of his family—part of the Valencian petty nobility—upon the death of his father. From a very young age he took part in the expeditions that King Alfons el Magnànim carried out in the Mediterranean. After returning from these expeditions in 1427, he settled in Gandia. After his return, he would never again leave the region where he was born. March was twice married: first to Isabel Martorell (sister of the writer Joanot Martorell), and later to Joana Escorna.

In 1450, he moved from Gandia to Valencia. It was there that he died on March 3, 1459. While March himself was buried in his family's chapel at the Valencia Cathedral, his two wives and family are buried in the Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba.[2] Five illegitimate children but no legitimate heirs have been attributed to him.


March's tomb, in the Valencia Cathedral

Inheriting an easy fortune from his father, Pere March—the treasurer to the Duke of Gandia—and enjoying the powerful patronage of Charles of Viana, prince of Aragon, March was able to devote himself to poetical composition. He was an undisguised follower of Petrarch, carrying the imitation to such a point that he addressed his Cants d'amor (love songs) to a lady whom he professed to have seen first in church on Good Friday.[3] So far as the difference of language allows, he reproduced the rhythmical cadences of his model, but this should be qualified as the medieval tradition of locus communis requested this following. This is something Petrarch himself did and it need not to be stressed.[4] March is a very original and idiosyncratic poet. In the Cants de mort (death hymns) he touches a note of brooding sentiment peculiar to himself.[3] It can be said that he developed Petrarch's rhetoric and used it for more inner psychological meditations, as other major poets like Camões and Shakespeare would.

March was one of the first poets to use the local vernacular, Valencian, instead of the troubadour language, Occitan. His poems are marked by obscurity, a sometimes monotonous morbidity, and a conflicting battle between desire and morality, achieved at its apex in the great Cant Spiritual. He was fully entitled to the supremacy which he enjoyed among his contemporaries, and the success of his innovation no doubt encouraged Boscán to introduce the Italian metres into Castilian. His verses were transmitted in manuscript tradition until its first print edition in Valencian in 1543, but they had already become known through the Spanish translation in 1539.[3]

March's poetry has been set to music by Raimon, Joan Brudieu and other composers.[5]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Ausiàs March – L'autor" (in Catalan). Retrieved 19 March 2014.
  2. ^ Las Provincias. "Hallan en Sant Jeroni de Cotalba los restos de las dos esposas y el padre de Ausiàs March". Published 14 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "March, Auzias". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 688.
  4. ^ For a thorough treatment of imitatio, see Thomas M. Greene's The Light in Troy
  5. ^ Four settings by Brudieu: Fantasiant, Amor a mi descobre. Si fos Amor substança rahonable. Lir entre carts, lo meu voler se tempra. Plena de seny, donau-me una crosta. on CD accompanying book, Magraner, Charles. Fantasiant, Música y poesía para Ausiàs March CDM 0927, Valencia 2009


External linksEdit