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Compostela-Xunta de Galicia prize


Manuel Cecilio Díaz y Díaz, VII Prize Compostela-Xunta de Galicia



The Jury of the 7th. Compostela - Xunta de Galicia Prize, gathered in Santiago de Compostela on May 9, unanimously decided to award the university professor Manuel Díaz y Díaz, for being a prestigious researcher at international level who has devoted himself to the study of the Way to Santiago, possessing a very wide scientific production on Latin Philology and medieval studies. The Jury was composed by the Rectors of Santigo de Compostela (Spain), prof. Senén Barro; Lisboa, (Portugal) prof. Barata-Moura and Pécs, (Hungary) prof. Toth, on behalf of the Compostela Group of Universities; on behalf of the Regional Government of Galicia, the Regional Minister for Culture, Communication and Tourism, Mr. Jesús Pérez Varela and the Director General for Universities, José Eduardo López Pereira. Manuel Fraga, President of the Galician Regional Government, presided over the Jury and Elena Sánchez, Assistant to the Executive Secretariat of the Compostela Group, acted as secretary of the jury.


It is the first time that a Spanish citizen is awarded with the Compostela Prize, which was so far presented to Jacques Santer, Vaclav Havel, Helmuth Rilling, Cees Nooteboom, Carla Del Ponte and Alvaro Siza. The presentation of the Prize will take place during the General Assembly of the Group, to be held at Fribourg University from the 4th to the 6th September 2003.


Many candidacies were presented to the 7th Compostela Prize, among them the cinema director Pedro Almódovar; the professor of sociology Manuel Castells; the Assistant Director-General for Education of the UNESCO, Sir John Sagar Daniel; the Director General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Walter Fust; the university professor, Fernando Guirao Piñeyro; the former President of the Hungarian Republic, Árpád Gönz; the professor and President of the Fondation for a Global Ehic (Welethos), Hans Küng; the painter Antonio López García; the professor and founder of the Community of Saint Egidio, Andrea Riccardi and finally, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson.


Curriculum Vitae


Emeritus chairman by the University of Santiago de Compostela.


He was Chairman of Latin Philology at the Universities of Valencia, Salamanca and Santiago de Compostela.


Ever since the 50's decade, this researcher has devoted his career to the field of Latin Philology and medieval studies, having become one of the international referents in both areas of study, as is proved by the thirty seven doctoral thesis and the eight research projects that he has directed.


He has received numerous awards and distinctions, among which the most outstanding ones are the following:

  • Medalla al mérito docente by the Order Alfonso X the Wise.
  • Medalla de Plata de Galicia by the Xunta de Galicia.
  • Medalla de Oro al Mérito Cultural by the City of Santiago.
  • National award of Research in Humanities.


He was appointed Honorific Doctor by the Universities of Lisbon, Salamanca, Leon and Coimbra.


He has taught many courses and conferences at many European and American Universities.


He is one of the main promoters of the Jacobean Studies, taking part in multiple projects, publications, congresses and in the creation of research centres, all around Europe, for the study of the Way to Santiago and its influence in the construction of the European world.


His most outstanding works are, among others:


Libros y Librerías en la Rioja alto-medieval (Books and bookshops in High-Middle-Ages La Rioja), Logroño, 1979. Award by the Patronato del Milenario de la Lengua castellana.

  • Isidoro de Sevilla. Etimologías, introducción general (Isidore of Seville. Etymology, general introduction), Madrid, 1982.
  • Los antiguos Tumbos de Santiago (The Tumbs of Compostela) Santiago, 1985.
  • El Códice Calixtino de la Catedral de Santiago (The Codex Calixtinus of Santiago's Cathedral), Santiago, 1988.
  • Vie Chrétien et culture dans l'Espagne du VIIe au Xe siécles (Christian life and culture in Spain between the VII and the X centuries), London, 1992.
  • Edición faxsimil del manuscrito 609 del Libro de Horas de Fernando I de León (Facsimile edition of manuscript 609 of the Book of Hours by Fernando I of Leon), Santiago, 1995.