Numancia, similarly features allegorical figures but, in contrast to Los tratos de Argel, it does not shy away from pathos as scenes of mass destruction and collective suicide serve as prelude to a resolution in which the last Numantian
youth left alive throws himself from a high tower at the prospect of being captured.
One way of approaching the problematic nature of these pieces is to consider the key roles played in each by certain malevolent intruders: the gaping hellmouth that threatens Philip II in El Greco's painting; the ominously diabolical Aminadab who lurks in the final stanza of San Juan's poem; and the disruptive devil that ruins the Numantian sacrificial ceremony in act two of Cervantes's play.
Moreover, an early scene in La Numancia involves a suspiciously named Milvio, who tells us that another young Numantian had died of "mal gobierno" (v.409) a pun meaning 'bad diet' but also 'bad government.' Cervantes is here conducting a national Eucharist on par with El Greco's Alegoria de la Liga Santa, with the added parallel of an allusion to Constantine's victory at the Milvian Bridge.
Chapter three moves on to Raphael's paintings in the Stanza d'Eliodoro to discuss Numancia's allusions to historical conflicts: Rome against the Numantian "barbarians," the emperor against the pope (in the Sack of Rome by Habsburg troops), and Catholics against Lutherans.
De Armas' chapter on Lucan and "necromantic" imitation is one of the strongest, reflecting upon the scene of pagan necromancy in which the besieged Numantians receive an enigmatic prediction of their impending self-destruction.
In this text, the Numantians
defend their city against the besieging Romans and display their hardiness and valor through a collective suicide that leaves the Roman general Cipion with neither conquered city (the Numantians
destroy all their possessions) nor glorious military victory.
Salas Viu which emphasized the obvious parallels between the resistance of the Numantians
and that of the Republican Loyalists:
(8) Scott followed Wordsworth in comparing the modern Iberians with the ancient Numantians
who had resisted Rome in the second century BC (stanza XI).
Examining La Numanica through the philosophical and political lenses of Max Horkheimer, Edmund Burke, and Immanual Kant, Checa argues that Cervantes's play stages Horkheimer's concept of "subjective reason" such that the Numantians
' sublimely heroic suicide forces them to betray their own social values.
(9) Concuerdo con Paul Lewis-Smith cuando interpreta que aqui Cipion "feigns to believe that it is the Numantians
who have acted in error" (19).
While studying these aspects, I rely on the likely assumption that Cervantes used as sources well-known historical accounts of the conflict between the Numantians
and the Romans, such as Esteban de Garibay's Compendio historial (1571) and Ambrosio de Morales's Coronica general de Espaca (1574), as well as romances, particularly those published by Juan de Timoneda in Rosa gentil (1573), and classical works too.