Page 706. " entrusted to the brushes of Parrhasius, Timanthus and Apelles and to the chisels of Lysippus "
   Parrhasius was a Greek painter of great renown in the late fifth-century BC.  Legend has it that he won a contest of skill with his contemporary Zeuxis (See note to page 12) by painting a picture so lifelike it fooled even his opponent's highly-trained eye.

    Timanthes was a younger contemporary of both Zeuxis and Parrhasius, most famous for his rendering of Agamemnon sacrificing his daughter Iphigenia.  Apelles would rise to greater renown in the fourth-century BC, spawning a wealth of legends including the rumour that Alexander the Great once sat for a portrait by him.

   However it was contemporary sculptor Lysippos who was appointed the conqueror's personal sculptor and, according to some sources, was declared by Alexander to be the only artist worthy to depict him. 

Page 710. " as Troy was because of Helen, and Spain because of La Cava, although on better grounds "

   According to the pseudo-historical traditions of both Spanish and Arabic scholarship, the Moorish occupation of Iberia in the 8th century AD was made possible by the betrayal of a Christain leader commonly called 'Julian'.  The Count of Ceuta, a strategically important city on the African side of the Strait of Gibraltar which became a primary staging ground for the invasion, legend has it that his defection resulted from an affair between Roderic - the last Visigothic King of Hispania - and his young daughter.  In spite of the many complex  political forces behind the invasion, and regardless of whether or not she actually existed, the girl was thereafter immortalised in Spanish folklore as the archetypal wicked seductress 'La Cava'. 

Online edition of 9th-century historian Ibn Abd-el-Hakam's 'History of the Conquest of Spain', translated by John Harris Jones (1858)

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Page 715. " 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 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)