Antarctic Arms, by Juan de Miramontes ZuázolaJuan de Miramontes Zuázola
The epic poem Armas antárticas of Juan de Miramontes Zuázola, was written at the beginning of the seventeenth century, but did not see the light at his time. Only recently, in 2006, the researcher Paul Firbas, Director of our line of research on colonial epics, published, under the Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru, the first critical edition. The edition of Firbas is based on the original autograph manuscript of the poem which is in the Biblioteca Nacional de España and we present it below.
It is a poem of 1704 stanzas and twenty songs that reflects the uniqueness of epic poetry as a mechanism of expression of the complex stage of the early American colonial era. Thus, in the poem come together several of the characteristic elements of the Spanish epics translated to America. In these poems, the Armas Antárticas struggle to reestablish an order disturbed by idolatry, within the viceroyalty and by English heresy out, on the shores of the Virreynato. Perhaps this last point is one of the most innovative elements of the poem: it represents the continuous threat of English pirates on the coasts of the viceroyalty in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The poem shifts the context of European inter-imperial rivalry to the continent American: generating a link between Spain and its overseas possessions from the political, religious and moral perspective.