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THE FOUNDATION OF REXOPOLIS

CHARACTERS
JOHN OF BICLARO, ABBOT
LIUVIGILD, KING
GOSVINTHA, QUEEN
HERMENEGILD, CROWN PRINCE
INGUDIS, HERMENEGILD’S WIFE,
FRANKISH PRINCESS
RECCARED, PRINCE

LIUVIGILD is sitting at the middle of the


stage, on the highest chair. He is wearing the
crown of Guarrazar‘s treasure, sceptre and
purple cloak. The rest of them, disguised as
Byzantine mosaic, are sitting down
following this order: at the right of the king,
HERMENEGILD and INGUDIS; at the left,
GOSVINTHA AND RECCARED. All of
them are quiet as statues. BÍCLARO comes.
When BICLARO names them, the statues
greet rising the right hand with majesty.

BICLARO.- Ladies and gentlemen, my


name is John, I'm the abbot of Biclarus. I'm
writing the chronicle of these years; for that
reason I have been invited by the king to his
camp. This autumn in 616 year of Hispanic
Age -or 578 as you usually date- is going to
be the first year in peace (without war) since
the king Liuvigild was crowned. The royal
family is getting together- as you can see-.
At the left of the king (LIUVIGIILD says
hello rising his hand),it is the Queen
Gosvintha (GOSVINTHA greets); At the
right of the king, what is, your left, is sitting
the crown prince Hermenegild
(HERMENEGILD greets) –although
between the Visigoths is very unusual to heir
the throne-, beside him his wife INGUDIS
(INGUDIS greets), who is also princess of
Frank-Merovingian. The last of them, on the
royal left, which is your right, the prince
Reccared (RECCARED greets), a clever boy
that shouldn’t play a bad role as monarch.
The royal family is having a conference, and
I, as a good clerk, I’m waiting for orders.

LIUVIGILD. - We are meeting to examine


the past and to plan the future, because “past
time and future time are both perhaps in
present time”1. My experience could lead

1
T. S. Eliot: Four Quartets, nº 1, first verse.

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you through future decisions. Please, ask me
what you want

RECCARED.- Your majesty, father, how


did you secure the French borders, beyond
the Pyrenees mountains?

LIUVGILD. - My brother Liuva remained in


Narbonne; he could have been king of the
whole Visigoths territories. Because Liuva
defended the kingdom's back, I’m sitting on
this throne. My brave brother scares the
Francs and thanks to him we could marry
Hermenegild with Ingudis.

HERMENEGILD. - Your majesty, father,


¿how did you to protect the Southern
border?

LIUVIGILD. - I have fought against


Byzantine troops for three summers. I have
taken over the rich metropolis of Cordoba.
My troops had a bath in the beaches of
Malaga and now Greek generals, really
scared, are hiding in Cartagena. The whole
Betis valley accepts me as the ruler and the
Byzantine governors prefer bribes to war.

RECCARED. - Your majesty, father, ¿how


did you to secure the Northern border?

LIUVIGILD. – I have fought against the


Cantabres and I have conquered their
capital, Amaya. I chased them to Saldania
and the west lands of Zamora. The Basques
are retained behind the mountains and I’m
thinking of founding a city named
Victoriacum which will control the Alavensi
planes.

HERMENEGILD. -Your majesty, father,


¿how did you to protect the Western border?

LIUVIGILD. – The kingdom of Suevi has


felt the strength of my arm. His king, Miro,
paid with much blood the daring of
attacking. He will not move for years.

INGUDIS.-Your majesty, father in law,


¿how will you manage the inner frontier, the
one which separates the Goth nation and the
Hispano-roman population?

LIUVIGILD.- That is a witty question. The


first thing I will do is to abolish the capital

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death which punishes mixed weddings
between Goth and Hispano-roman people
since king Alaric.

ALL OF THEM.- (Unanimously and


aloud).- That will make one nation from
two nations!

RECCARED.- Your Majesty It would be


necessary to revise the whole code.

LIUVIGILD.- I have begUn to do it, I count


on Biclaro`s help. When I have finished the
laws of the Breviaruius from Alaric will be
replaced by my Codex Revisus. It will be
just one law for the Kingdom and it will be
common to Visigoth population and the
Hispano-roman nation.

ALL OF THEM.- (At once and aloud).-


That will made one nation from two nations!

LIUVUGILD.- Abbot of Biclaro, my dear


counsel Do you think I have forgotten
anything else?

BICLARO.- You have improved the


Economy of the Kingdom, and we are going
to mint new coinage. How do we have to
design the King’s figure in the coins?

LIUVUGILD.- Design me sitting downt on


my throne, with sceptre and purple cloak
like the Roman Emperors. Since I conquered
their lands, I am whithin my rights to use
their symbols.

GOSVINTH.- My husband dressed up like a


Caesar? My previous husband, the late king,
Athanagildus, never dares do it

HERMENEGILD.- Queen and stepmother,


Father worths more than thousands of
Athanagildus!

GOSVINTH.- How do you dare...!?


...Impertinent!

LIUVIGILD.- Forget it and forgive my heir


son. Love is blinding him. There is another
issue that divides the Kingdom: religion.

GOSVINTA.- Goths are Arians. We will


impose Arianism.

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INGUDIS.- Franks are catholic, like Suevi
and Hispano-Roman. You won’t be able to
do it.

GOSVINTA.- (Standing up Authoritarian)


We will impose Arianism!

INGUDIS.- You won’t be able to do it. Old


religion is rooted in the people.

GOSVINTHA.- (Threatening) We will


impose Arianism!

INGUDIS AND HERMENEGILD.-


(Standing up) You won’t be able to do it.
Old religion is rooted on people, grows with
people, and goes up with people.

GOSVINTHA.- (Aloud) We will impose


Arianism! I'm the Queen!

(Standing and chained. Each character starts


when the last one says: “You wont be able to
do it”. Ends Biclaro)

INGUDIS.- You won’t be able to do it. Old


religion is rooted on people, grows with
people, goes up with people.

HERMENEGILD.- .................................
You won’t be able to do it. Old religion is
rooted on people, grows with people, goes
up with people.

BÍCLARO.- ...................................................
...................................... You won’t be able
to do it. Old religion is rooted on people,
grows with people, and goes up with people.

RECCARED.- Stop it!

LIUVUGILD.- Stop it! (The arguers sit


down and faced each other angry. After a
wile, the King goes on) I have thought... I
have thought of founding a new city

RECCARED.- Where?

LIUVIGLD.- Here.

ALL OF THEM.- (Unanimously and aloud)


Here? Next to the River Tajo?

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LIUVIGILD.- Its name will be Rexopolis,
the King’s city. It will have defensive walls,
a monumental door, and a palace with many
rooms, and offices and sections…

HERMENEGILD.- And stores and


warehouses and stalls….

INGUDIS .-And jewellery workshops that


will made beautiful gems…

LIUVIGILD.- It will have a commercial


area where merchants from Suevi,
Merovingian and Byzantine will come..

BICLARO.- And a pretty church…

GOSVINTA.- That will be Arian,


(HERMENGILD AND INGUDIS gazes her
resentfully)

BÍCLARO.- It would be nice to build an


aqueduct.

RECCARED.- And a garrison to defend it.

LIUVIGILD.- It will have both of them:


Rexopolis will protect Toledo in the Eastern
side and will control the ways all along this
strategic country.

HERMENEGILD.- It will be a model of


ruling…

RECCARED.- It will be a model of


urbanism…

INGUDIS.- It will be a beatuful and


splendid city.

LIUVIGILD.- It will be… It will be a


model of the other cities that I intend to
found.

ALL OF THEM .- (At once and aloud).-


That will make one nation from two nations!

HERMENEGILD.- Majesty, while you


founds that city, let me rule the South with
my wife.

LIUVUGILD.- That’s right, Go and rule my


lands as well as you can. I will spend some
time founding this city.

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(HERMENEGILDO and INGUDIS go to
the left side, stop right there and look at the
middle of stage)

BICLARO.- We will need architects.

LIUVIGILD.- They will come.

BICLARO .- The city will need a wide


territory…

RECCARED.- And to exploit new quarries

LIUVIGILD.- It will happen

BICLARO.- What are you looking,


Majesty?

LIUVIGILD.- The city… I can see the


city… (looking at the horizon) I see it… for
ages
(Stands looking at the horizon with a day-
dreaming face, covering his eyes with his
hand like a peak)

BICLARO.- (Does the same)


I can see it being developed over the
chronicles.
Living in legends.
Men‘s projects won’t be able to control the
future.
I see some dangers to threaten Recopolis.
I foresee destruction and sad abandonment
But, like Troy
This city will survive in legends and texts
Who live in legends live further than men.
(RECCARED and GOSVINHT stand up and
imitate the King’s and BICLARO’s gesture,
also HERMENEGILD AND INGUDIS)

ALL OF THEM.- (Unanimously and


aloud)).- That will make one nation from
two nations!

THE END

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