" they took the farmer Wamba to be King of Spain, and from among brocades, entertainments and riches they took King Rodrigo to be eaten by snakes"

Wamba was the Visigothic king of what would later become Spain during the late 7th-century.  According to one variation on a familiar regal legend the humble, aging farmer was singled out as the dead king's replacement when his dry old staff miraculously sprouted fresh green leaves - a suggestive symbol of the renewal his reign would bring. 


Rodrigo was King Roderic, whose fall during the Moorish invasion marked the end of Visigothic power in Iberia (see above).  Sancho repeats one of the many myths surrounding his demise in his assertion that the king was taken "from among brocades, entertainments and riches...to be eaten by snakes".  Doña Rodríguez repeats the gruesome elaboration of Pedro de Corral's fantastical 15th-century Cronica Sarracina, which has a penitent Roderic entomb himself with a serpent which proceeds to devour his wayward genitals.


Online edition of Charles Morris' Historical Tales: The Good King Wamba (1908)