Cide Hamete Benengeli

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Cide Hamete Benengeli is a fictional character, a Muslim historian created by Miguel de Cervantes in his novel Don Quixote.

Cide Hamete is Moorish; although he is not explicitly described this way, Cervantes says that he is "Arab and Manchegan": in other words, a Spanish Muslim Arab-speaker, and not a North African or an Ottoman.

Etymology[edit]

Many speculations have been made[by whom?] about the meaning of Benengeli's name. The first element, "Cide," as Don Quixote states, means "sir" in Arabic: it is a corruption of  سيد sīd.

"Hamete" is also the Castilian form of a proper Indo-European name of Hispanic Muslim origin. However, scholars do not agree en its exact equivalency in Arabic, as it could correspond to three very similar names. The Egyptian Hispanist Abd al-Aziz al-Ahwani makes it equivalent to حمادة H̣amādaAbd al-Rahman Badawi opts for حميد H̣āmid, while Mahmud Ali Makki affirms that is أحمد Aḥmad, more common name than those above.

El significado de «Benengeli» ha hecho correr más tinta. El primero en proponer una interpretación fue el arabista José Antonio Conde (m. en 1820), que lo interpretó como castellanización de ابن الأيل ibn al-ayyil, «hijo del ciervo», con la que Cervantes aludía de forma sutil a su propio apellido. De la misma opinión fue el cervantista Diego Clemencín y la siguió Abd al-Rahman Badawi.