Sunday, May 19, 2024
Home Culture Roberto Corral wins the Edhasa for historical narratives with a novel about the Roman empress Gala Placídia culture

Roberto Corral wins the Edhasa for historical narratives with a novel about the Roman empress Gala Placídia culture

by News Room
0 comment

A novel about the 5th century Roman empress Gala Placidia, daughter of Theodosius I and married to the Visigoth king Ataulf, has won the Edhasa Historical Narrative Prize in its seventh edition, announced this Thursday in Barcelona. The author of Gala of Hispania, queen and slave is the Madrid writer Roberto Corral, 62 years old, who makes his debut in the historical novel genre. The prize is worth 10,000 euros. The jury highlights in its ruling that the book “is an agile, entertaining and documented story that reflects a time and the changing fortune, not only of the historical figure of Gala Placidia (392-450), but of everything that the Western Roman Empire. And he adds that “by providing fiction with exciting real events, he also vindicates the purity of feelings, human nature and also the figure of an extraordinary woman.”

The novel, which has prevailed over the 298 presented in this edition, has just been published by the Edhasa publishing house in its collection Historical Narratives. When collecting the award, Corral, who has placed himself under the influence of Robert Graves, highlighted that Gala Plácidia “had a life full of adventures and misfortunes and never lost her dignity.” Gala Placidia, who received the title of “the noblest girl” (the most noble girl), during her childhood, was captured by Alaric, the plunderer of Rome, and taken by the Visigoths to Gaul where his successor Ataulf married her to cement her relations with the emperor Honorius, the young woman’s half-brother. . Corral has recalled Gala Placidia’s connection to Barcelona (then Barcino), where she “was happy” and had a son by Ataulfo ​​who would die shortly after. The city’s Gala Placidia square, home to the popular Caspolino Attractions, with merry-go-rounds and bumper cars, is dedicated to her character. The editor Daniel Fernández has joked about the circumstance, pointing out that “Gala had an existence that was nothing placidity”. In the climate of joviality, someone has added that Gala Placidia’s life was “a merry-go-round” of emotions.

In 415 Ataulf was murdered at Barcino while taking a bath and Gala Placidia was taken captive by the rival faction. After negotiations with Honorius, the Roman noblewoman and Visigoth widow was returned to Rome and married Constantius III, with whom she had the future Valentinian III, becoming the mother of the emperor as well as daughter, sister and wife (and briefly queen of fact of Visigothic Hispania). In 421 she was proclaimed Augusta as the wife of Constantius. She later had to flee to Constantinople but returned and was regent of the Western Roman Empire on behalf of her son. She had to deal with the influence of General Flavius ​​Aetius, with the invasion of Attila and with the mess of the supposed marriage proposal of her daughter, Honoria, with the Hun leader.

Roberto Corral’s novel begins with the death of Gala Placidia (her famous mausoleum in Ravenna does not contain her tomb) and a faithful freedwoman telling a slave, so that she can write it down for posterity, the “true” story of the Roman noblewoman, his mistress. Corral, who has a degree in Art History and is professionally dedicated to teaching, began his literary career writing children’s books and is the author of two novels. The route of bones y The smell of the waves, finalist for the Nadal award. He has stated that she has taken a liking to historical novels and that he wants to continue in the genre. He has highlighted the interest not only of the character of Gala Placicia — “I don’t understand why there aren’t more books about her” — but of the entire turbulent 5th century, with the division of the empire, the threat of the barbarians and the crisis within the Christianity. He highlights in the novel that unlike other works of the genre related to Ancient Rome, it does not recreate the battles. “I like more to tell the intimate part and the feelings of the people of the time,” said Corral. The editor Fernández has pointed out that the novel, centered on three women, is full of “sorority” and will undoubtedly interest the female audience, which has grown a lot, he added, among readers of the genre.

Among the episodes in the novel are the rape of Gala Placidia, something that is not proven to have happened to her during her captivity. In any case, Corral has reflected that the scarcity of sources about the character’s life makes it possible to resort to fiction.

Leave a Comment