Approaching the abbey he resolved to do as his favourite hero Amadis de Gaul did - keep a vigil all night before the Lady altar and then lay aside his worldly armour to put on that of Christ.
Another famous hero and centre of a 14th-century cycle of romance was Amadis of Gaul; its earliest form is Spanish, although the Portuguese have claimed it as a translation from their own language.
[[Amadis De Gaula]].
It is not even certain when the romance was first printed, for though the oldest known edition (a unique copy of which is in the British Museum) appeared at Saragossa in 1508, it is highly probable that Amadis was in print before this date: an edition is reported to have been issued at Seville in 1496.
As it exists in Spanish, Amadis de Gaula consists of four books, the last of which is generally believed to be by the regidor of Medina del Campo, Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo (whose name is given as Garci Ordonez de Montalvo in all editions of Amadis later than that of 1508, and as Garci Gutierrez de Montalvo in some editions of the Sergas de Esplandian).
Three books of Amadis de Gaula are mentioned by Pero Ferrus who was living in 1379, and there is evidence that the romance was current in Castile more than a quarter of a century earlier; but again there is no information as to the language in which they were written.
Pedro de Menezes (c. 1450), states that Amadis de Gaula was written by Vasco de Lobeira in the time of king Ferdinand of Portugal who died in 1383: as Vasco de Lobeira was knighted in 1385, it would follow that he wrote the elaborate romance in his earliest youth.
A further step was taken by the historian Joao de Barros, who maintained in an unpublished work dating between 1540 and 1550 that Vasco de Lobeira wrote Amadis de Gaula in Portuguese, and that his text was translated into Castilian; this is unsupported assertion.
Towards the end of the 16th century Miguel Leite Ferreira, son of the Portuguese poet, Antonio Ferreira, declared that the original manuscript of Amadis de Gaula was then in the Aveiro archives, and an Amadis de Gaula in Portuguese, which is alleged to have existed in the conde de Vimeiro's library as late as 1586, had vanished before 1726.
Nevertheless the passage in the Spanish text undeniably lends some support to the Portuguese claim, and recent critics have inclined to the belief that Amadis de Gaula was written by Joao de Lobeira, a Galician knight who frequented the Portuguese court between 1258 and 1285, and to whom are ascribed two fragments of a poem in the Colocci-Brancuti Canzoniere (Nos.
240 and 240 b), which reappears with some unimportant variants in Amadis de Gaula (book II, chapter 11).
The coincidence may be held to account in some measure for the traditional association of a Lobeira with the authorship of Amadis de Gaula; but, though curious, it warrants no definite conclusion being drawn from it.
There can, however, be no hesitation in accepting Cervantes' verdict on Amadis de Gaula as the "best of all the books of this kind that have ever been written."
Abteilung, pp. 216-226 and 440-442; Ludwig Braunfels, Kritischer Versuch fiber den Roman Amadis von Gallien (Leipzig, 1876); Theophilo Braga, Historia das novelas portuguezas de cavalleria (Porto, 1873), Curso de litteratura e arte portugueza (Lisboa, 1881), and Questoes de litteratura e arte portugueza (Lisboa,1885); Marcelino Menendez y Pelayo, Origenes de la novela (Madrid, 1905); Eugene Baret, De l'Amadis de Gaule et de son influence sur les me urs et la litterature au X VI e et au X VII e siecle (Paris, 1873).
Rich as its romanceiro is, its volume is far less than the Spanish, but the cancioneiros remain to prove that the early love songs of the whole Peninsula were written in Portuguese, while the primitive prose redaction of Amadis, the prototype of all romances of chivalry, was almost certainly made in Portugal, and a native of the same country produced in the Diana of Montemor (Montemayor) the masterpiece of the pastoral novel.
There exists a mid14th-century Historia do Santo Graal, and an unprinted Josep' ab Aramadia, while, though the MS. is lost, we have abundant evidence of the existence of a primitive Portuguese prose redaction of Amadis de Gaula anterior to the present Spanish text.