Representation and Interpretation of Historical Characters in Cervantes's Numancia: Jugurtha and Viriatus

Kahn, Aaron (2007) Representation and Interpretation of Historical Characters in Cervantes's Numancia: Jugurtha and Viriatus. Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 84 (5). pp. 573-87. ISSN 1475-3839

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Abstract

While a great number of scholars have addressed Miguel de Cervantes's dramatisation of the historical fall of Numancia to Scipio Aemilianus's (185–129 BC) Roman army in 133 BC, Golden Age studies lack a thorough investigation of his portrayal of the individual historical characters in his play La destrucción de Numancia (c. 1583). Scipio was the most prominent historical figure present, but the portrayal of the characters Jugurta and Bariato has been virtually ignored by scholarship in relation to their historical counterparts. An analysis of Jugurtha (c. 155–104 BC; King of Numidia (118–106 BC)) and Viriatus (d. 139 BC) in comparison with Cervantes's characters reveals that he intentionally manipulated the historical information available to him in order covertly to criticise Spain's imperial policies. Rome defeated both these historical figures with unjust military tactics and deceit, thus paralleling them with the collective plight of the Numantians.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > Sussex Centre for Language Studies
Depositing User: Aaron Kahn
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:12
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2012 08:43
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30220
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