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A tertulia (Spanish: [terˈtulja]; Galician: [teɾˈtulja]; Portuguese: tertúlia [tɨɾˈtuliɐ]; Catalan: tertúlia [tərˈtuɫiə]) is a social gathering with literary or artistic overtones, especially in Iberia or in Latin America. Tertulia also means an informal meeting of people to talk about current affairs, arts, etc. The word is originally Spanish (borrowed by Catalan and Portuguese), but it has only moderate currency in English, used mainly in describing Latin cultural contexts.

It is rather similar to a salon, but a typical tertulia in recent centuries has been a regularly scheduled event in a public place such as a bar, although some tertulias are held in more private spaces, such as someone's living room. Participants, known as contertulios, may share their recent creations such as poetry, short stories, other writings, and even artwork or songs. Usually but not always, the participants in a regularly scheduled tertulia are in some respects like-minded, with similar political or literary tastes.


Philip II of Spain, in the 16th century, was very interested in the ancient world and its cultures. Within his court, he employed polymaths such as Juan de Mal Lara to compose poetry to accompany artworks which enriched his various palaces. Of great interest to the king were the works of the Christian author Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus. Courtiers and academics would gather to discuss such works with their royal patron, and so tertulia emerged as a term for learned discussion.[1]

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External links[edit]

  1. ^ Etimología de Tertulia (in Spanish). Retrieved on 1 November 2015.