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blows as they exit the cave. Don Rodrigo orders the sealing of the cave’s entrance , in a futile attempt to erase the memory of what they have seen: “[Y] poniendo silencio sobre lo que avia visto, volvieron a cerrar la torre y cegar la puerta de la cueva con mucha tierra para que de un prodigio y mal agüero como éste no quedase memoria alguna en el mundo” (And imposing silence on what they had seen, they closed the door to the tower and covered the cave’s entrance with mounds of dirt, so that the world would have no memory of the prodigious omen). At the stroke of midnight, the structure of the ancient tower comes crushing down amid a terrible uproar. The king asks his advisers to ascertain the exact meaning of what they have seen: “[El Rey] mandó juntar hombres sabios, para determinar con certidumbre lo que signi‹cavan aquellas letras, y haviendo conferido, y estudiado sobre ellas, vinieron a declarer , que aquella vision, y estatua de bronce, signi‹cava el tiempo [. . .] El epita‹o en sus espaldas, que dize A arabes invoco, signi‹caba, que andando el tiempo España avia de ser conquistada de los Arabes” (25) ([The king] ordered to gather men of wisdom to establish with certainty the meaning of these symbols, and having conferred and after careful examination, they came to declare that the said vision of the bronze statue signi‹ed time [. . .] The epitaph on its back, which states, “I call upon the Arabs,” meant that with the passing of time, Spain would have to be conquered by the Arabs). While Lozano’s “orthodox” version of the events offers richer details and a certain atmospheric quality that may be connected with a baroque and/or protogothic sense of narrative suspense, the theologian’s key adjustment comes in the form of a critical omission. As we have seen, in Luna’s Historia verdadera, the prodigious statue that prophesies the Arabic conquest of Spain is explicitly identi‹ed—even certi‹ed—as an ef‹gy of time: time in the ›esh. Remarkably, thisessentialbitof informationnevermakesitintoLozano’srefurbishingof the story. To be sure, the enigmatic messages “A árabes invoco” and “Mi o‹cio hago” are still present in Lozano’s version, but the precise “identity” of the bronze statue on which the words are imprinted is never disclosed. The absence of a ‹nal declaration concerning the “identity” of the statue, along with the attribution of the prophesy of the destruction of Spain to the craft or science of the Egyptian Hercules, allows for a radical reinterpretation of the events: “A una manga o cabo de esta cueva, [. . .] como tan grande mágico, hizo labrar Hércules un palacio encantado, en el que puso ciertos lienzos y ‹guras con algunos caracteres, alcanzando por su ciencia que había de verse España destruída por aquella gente bárbara y extraña” (211) (In one of the cave’s galleries, [. . .] Hercules, the great sorcerer, built a bewitched palace, where he placed some canvases and ‹gures imprinted with certain Baroque Horrors 156 signs, prognosticating through his science that Spain would face certain destruction at the hands of a barbarous and foreign people). Not surprisingly, the great sorcerer’s prognostication of the destruction of Spain at the hands of foreign barbarians would have nothing to do with the progress of historical time in Lozano’s version of the legend. Instead, the theologian attributes the ancient prophesy of the Egyptian Hercules and its ful‹llment to the counterhistorical designs of the devil: “La experiencia nos enseña lo mucho que con arte del demonio alcanzan los nigrománticos” (211) (Experience shows how much these necromancers can do with the devil’s art). Brie›y stated, the sixteenth-century Morisco and the seventeenth-century theologian anchor their respective accounts of the tragic exploits of don Rodrigo on radically different views of the past, present, and future of Spain. Luna’s Historia verdadera explains the Muslim conquest of the declining Visigoth kingdom as a traumatic, but ultimately logical, event, which is fully coherent with the progress of history. By contrast, Lozano’s baroque tale works on the assumption that the nine centuries of Muslim presence on Iberian soil from 711 to 1492 and beyond (to the 1609–14 expulsion of the Moriscos) is nothing more than a parenthetical interruption of history’s linear progression. Lozano’s reframing of the legendary material in “properly Christian terms” allows for the closing of...


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