Joan Perez de Lazarraga

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A page in Lazrraga's own handwriting

Joan Perez de Lazarraga, Lord of Larrea Tower (1548? — April 11, 1605) was a Basque writer, who was born and died in Larrea, Álava.

Lazarraga, the lord of Larrea, and a member of a family originating in Oñati. As a writer, he was one of the few Renaissance authors writing in Basque. In around 1567, he left a collection of written papers, together forming a pastoral novel titled Silbero, Silbia, Doristeo, and Sirena, in 21 copies.

In 2004, the manuscript was discovered in an antique shop in Madrid. It is one of very few Basque-language texts to have survived from the 16th century, and the oldest from the southern Basque Country. The Foral Government of Gipuzkoa purchased the text and made it available via the internet. Patri Urkizu prepared the first edition, titled "Dianea and Couplets." This first edition appeared as a collection of papers and was made quickly, without the necessary checks, so a group of Basque experts is preparing a better edition.

The find was very important for Basque linguistics, as it was a very important tool for clarifying the history of the Basque dialect of Álava and western Basque, presenting never-before documented forms and words.

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