Ramón Menéndez Pidal

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Ramón Menéndez Pidal

Ramón Menéndez Pidal (Spanish pronunciation: [raˈmon meˈnendeθ piˈðal]; 13 March 1869 - 14 November 1968) was a Spanish philologist and historian. He worked extensively on the history of the Spanish language and Spanish folklore and folk poetry. One of his main topics was the history and legend of The Cid.

He was born in A Coruña (Galicia), Spain. His father, Juan Menéndez Fernández, was a lawyer and a magistrate, originally from Asturias. His mother was Ramona Pidal, also an Asturian. His older brother, Juan Menéndez Pidal, whom he outlived by more than fifty years, was also a literary scholar of folk poetry, expert in the poesía popular of Asturias. Another older brother, Luis Menéndez Pidal was a notable realist painter.

He studied at the University of Madrid. In 1899 he obtained the chair in Romance studies in the same university, an appointment that he held until his retirement in 1939. In 1900 he married Maria Goyri, who in 1896 became the first Spanish woman to receive a degree in Philosophy and later, in 1909, became the first woman to attain a non-medical doctorate at a Spanish university. They spent their honeymoon retracing the geographic locales of the Poem of the Cid (Cantar de Mio Cid).

Menéndez Pidal was elected to the Spanish Royal Academy (Real Academia Española) in 1901, and in 1925 its director. However, he resigned this position in 1939 as a protest to the political climate in Spain at the time, under the Republic. During the Spanish Civil War he was exiled to France, Cuba and the United States.

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