La moza de cántaro


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Alexander the Great

Fourth-century B.C. king of Macedon, conqueror of Egypt, the Middle East, and modern-day India. Before his death at age 32 he cemented his reputation as the world's greatest conqueror.

Don Alvaro de Luna

Don Alvaro de Luna was born in 1388 and became a Spanish courtier. He became a Constable of Castile in 1423 and then became the grand master of the order of Santiago. He was then executed in Valldolid because he fell to spanish conspiracy. He is also known for literary works including the Libro de las claras e virtuosas mugeres.

Amadís de Gaula

Amadís de Gaula is the protagonist of the eponymous Iberian chivalric romance. Amadís is the son of King Perión and Elisena. Elisena gives him up because she cannot care of him, and sends him down a river right after his birth. He later grows up and falls in love with Oriana, the daughter of King Lisuarte of Great Britain. The character was an emblem of faithful love in Golden Age Spain. Amadís takes on the alias Beltenebros after being rejected by Oriana, during the time when he suffers love-madness at Peña Pobre. Upon their reconciliation, he hides his identity until he can be reconciled to her father Lisuarte as well.


Apelles was a famous Greek painter during the time of Phillip of Macedon and Alexander. He spent the greater part of his life in the Macedonian court.


In Greco-Roman mythology, the Titan responsible for supporting the world on his shoulders.

El Cid

El Cid (1040-1099) is a national hero of Spain. He was a great warrior who fought moors and Spainards. He conquered Valencia and held it until his death, which defied his two enemies. He is best known as the hero of the eponymous epic, written in the late twelfth century.


Cupid is the Roman God of love, equivalent to Greek Eros. He is said to be the son of Venus and sometimes depicted as a blind child with a bow and arrows. In the well-known myth of Cupid and Psyche, popularized by Apuleius, Cupid is an adult who conceals himself from his human bride Psyche.


The Spanish word for the Christian God. A frequent feature in oaths and exclamations in Lope's plays.


Durandarte is one of the tweleve knights who fought with Roland at Roncesvalles. He requested that his heart be extracted upon his death and given to his lady Belerma. He is also known in the Spanish ballad tradition. His most famous appearance occurs in Don Quixote Part II, where he appears trapped in a living death, his heart missing, in a tomb alongside his aging lover Belerma.

Don Fadrique de Toledo

Don Fadrique de Toldeo was the son of Duke of Alba, who was a great solider and was one of Spain's naval commanders. In 1625, he destroyed the Dutch in Gibraltar and in 1634 was put in prison by Count-Duke Olivares.

Felipe II de España

Felipe III de España (reign 1598-1621), known as Philip the Pious, was the king of Spain and Portugal. He belonged to the Hapsburg dynasty.

Felipe IV de España

King Phillip the Fourth of Spain (1605-1655) of the Hapsburg dynasty ruled Spain and Porgutal from 1621-1655. He was married to Isabel de Bourbon, daughter of Henry IV, king of France. During his reign, the Spanish empire was at its zenith. At the time of La moza de cántaro, Felipe IV was prince of Spain.


The Biblical Holofernes was a Babylonian general murdered by Judith when he let her in for a feast. He became intoxicated on wine and she cut his head off and took it with her.

Isabel de Bourbon

Isabel de Bourbon (1436-1465) was the eldest daughter of Henry IV of France. She became the wife of Phillip the IV, serving as queen of Portugal and Spain.


The Biblical Judith was determined to free all of the children of Israel during the war against Babylon. She went to general Holofernes's camp and he treated her kindly and granted her a feast when she arrived. When he was intoxicated on wine, she cut off his head and carried it back with her to her town. Judith is an emblem of feminine courage and intelligence.


Mars is the Roman God of War, equivalent to the Greek Aries.


The Mayans are indigenous people who lived in many cities in Mexico as well as Guatemala. The word maya comes from the ancient people of Yucatán of Mayapan, the last capital of the Mayan Kingdom in the Post-Classic Period. Maya people speak quiche and yucatec. They were among the indigenous peoples early modern Spaniards encountered in the Americas.


The nine muses in Greco-Roman myth are the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (memory). They serve as patronesses of the arts. Their names are Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Euterpe (flutes and lyric poetry), Thalia (comedy and pastoral poetry), Melpomene (tragedy), Terpsichore (dance), Erato (love poetry), Polyhymnia (sacred poetry), Urania (astronomy), and they inhabit the mythical Mt. Parnassus. The word muse can also designate an artist's inspiration for their pieces whether it be a painting, a sculpture or some other form of an art. Women writers are sometimes (condescendingly) referred to as the "tenth muse."


Minor nature goddesses in the Greco-Roman tradition associated with forests and bodies of water. They frequently appear in poetic works in Golden Age Spain as representations of nature.

Order of Santiago

An order of knights founded c. 1160 who took as their patron Santiago (St. James), the patron saint of Spain, known as the matamoros or moor-killer. They had a crusading ethos and controlled significant property in Spain.

Pedro I de Castilla

Pedro I de Castilla (1334-1369), known both as The Cruel and The Just, was the last monarch of the house of Ivrea in Castile. He warred against Aragon and the French and allied with England. He lost his throne and his life in a civil war against his half-brother Enrique, later Enrique I Trastámara. Legend has it that during the last campaign Enrique invited Pedro to his war tent, fought him hand to hand, and slew him with a knife.


The figure Phyillis from Greek mythology features in Ovid's Heroides and Metamorphoses. She is disappointed that her lover Demophoon did not return at the time they were supposed to get married and took her own life. Ovid writes that after death she was changed into an almond tree without leaves. Filis or Fili is a frequent pseudonym used for women in Golden Age Spanish poetry.

Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, duque de Medina Sidonia

Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, seventh duke of Medina Sidonia (1550-1615) participated in the Spanish Armada and the Sack of Cádiz. In Moza de Cántaro he is said to be a relative of Doña María.


The Sirens are mytholoical monsters best known from Homer's Odyssey, half fish and half woman. They are said to lure sailors to their island with singing and kill them when they reach the shore.


The Biblical Susana is the wife of Joachim. Two men suprised her one day in her bath and claimed that they found her with a young man who was not her husband. She was condemened to death but on her way to her exeuction, Daniel intervened and proved that the men were lying about her alleged affair.


Goddess of Love, Roman equivalent to the Greek Goddess Aphrodite. Venus had many more capibilities than Aphrodite. She was also the Goddess of victory, fertility, and prositution.