Suero de Quiñones

Suero de Quiñones (c. 1409 – 11 July 1456), called El del Passo ("he of the pass"), was a knight and author born in the Kingdom of León (then part of the Crown of Castile). He gained fame by staging a pas d'armes at the river Órbigo.

Sculpture from the 16th-century sarcophagus of Suero de Quiñones by Pompeo Leoni

Suero was the son of Diego Fernández de Quiñones, called el Afortunado, who was beneficed by his uncle Pedro Suárez and named sole heir of his possessions. Diego married María de Toledo, who bore him ten children, Suero being the second. Suero fasted in honour of the Virgin Mary every Tuesday, wore an iron necklet every Thursday as a sign of devotion to his lady, and attended Mass daily.

From 10 July to 9 August 1434, Suero and ten of his companions encamped in a field beside the bridge over the Órbigo, in the northwest of Castile. They challenged each knight who wished to cross the bridge to a joust. This road was used by pilgrims from all over Europe on the way to the shrine at Santiago de Compostela, and at this time of the summer, many thousands would cross the bridge. Suero and his men swore to "break 300 lances" before moving on – the very definition of a pas d'armes.

The men fought for over a month, an account of which is left to us in great detail by town notary Don Luis Alonso Luengo who kept a detailed first-hand chronicle, later published as Libro del Passo honroso ("Book of the Passage of Honor"), bringing Suero and his men even wider fame in Europe.[1] After 166 battles Suero and his men were so injured they could not continue and declared the mission complete. Suero de Quiñones became legendary in Spanish history and was mentioned in Don Quixote, the 1605 satire on the sort of romantic chivalry out of touch with reality.

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Pedro Rodríguez de Lena (1930), A Critical Annotated Edition of El Passo Honroso de Suero de Quiñones, 1977 edition ISBN 84-7392-010-4

ReferencesEdit

  • Riquer, Martín de (1967). Caballeros andantes españoles. Madrid: Editorial Espasa-Calpe.