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Escena: En el Imperio Romano.



general romano, converso


bandolero romano


labrador romano, pastor


emperador romano


príncipe romano, hijo de Constancio


príncipe romano, nombre fingido de Cloro

Constantino el Magno

nombre que le dio su madre a Cloro cuando nació; véase Cloro


labradora romana, pastora, Infanta, emperatriz, viuda (más tarde), madre de Cloro, conversa


princesa griega, conversa, traidora, hija de Maximino, cásase con Cloro

Isacio (Ifacio, reparto)

duque griego, traidor, primo de Irene


judío, viejo, preso, hebreo, converso


judío, preso


labrador romano, pastor, capitán, emperador, villano, converso, traidor


emperador griego, Monarca del Oriente


bandolero romano


gracioso, villano romano, labrador, alcalde, pastor, comisario, ministro


labradora romana


bandolero romano


judío, preso

P. anón.; una voz (dentro) (*32b; R III, *314a); un paje, (habla 38a, 322b; ¿otro habla 40b, 326a?); otros (*40a, acot.; *325a, acot.; hablan 44a; 331a); soldados (cuatro soldados, reparto), (hablan 44a, b; 331b, 332a); otros soldados (44b, acot. 2; *332a, acot.2; hablan 47a, 335b); una voz (dentro) (¿la misma? 45b, 333a; 59a, 354b); cantan (dentro) (*45b; *333b); cristianos (*45b, acot. 2; *333a, acot. 2; hablan dos 46a; 333b, 334a); soldados (47a, acot. 3; 335b, acot. 2; hablan cuatro 47a, b; 335b, 336a, b; 337a); soldados (48b, acot. 2; 338a, acot. 2; hablan 49b; 340b; un cristiano (49a, acot. 3; *339a, acot. 3; habla 49a, 339a); tres judíos (51b, acot. 3; *343a, acot. 3; hablan 51b, 52a; 343a, b; se llaman Judas, Leví y Zabulón); gente (*54b, acot.; *347b, acot.; no habla); criados, (*56b, acot. 2; *351b, acot. 1; no hablan).

 Los tres indios (reparto) serán los tres judíos. 


Some bandits -- Clodio, Melipo and Peloro -- are robbing Constantino, son of the emperor Constancio, and Andronio. After killing Constantino, they learn his true identity and take with them some letters and a picture of Irene, the Greek princess whom Constantino was on his way to marry. Meanwhile, two farmers, Cloro and Lisinio, are talking. Cloro knows nothing of his origin nor who his father is, but he feels he is more than just a peasant. As they converse about religion and read from the saints' lives, they hear a voice saying, "Lisinio and Constantino, Emperors." Each man interprets the message in his own way. Lisinio, feeling that his glory is to be found in the army, goes off to earn his place, while Cloro believes that his power will come somehow through his birthright. They agree that whatever one gains he will share with the other. Cloro soon meets the robbers, who notice that he looks just like the dead Constantino, and they persuade him to take Constantino's place. Irene, meanwhile, does not want to marry Constantino, whom she has not yet met, because she loves her cousin Isacio. Her father, Maximino, has arranged the marriage, however, and insists that she go through with it. Isacio advises Irene not to spurn Constantino but to pretend to like him, and, as a matter of fact, when Constantino (Cloro) comes she does find him attractive.


Andronio has brought Constancio to the place where his son was killed. There they encounter Constantino (Cloro), Maximino, Irene, Isacio, Mingo, Clodio, Peloro and Melipo. Constancio is taken aback at Cloro's resemblance to his son -- so much so that he thinks Constantino's spirit has come to dwell in Cloro. He tries to find out who Cloro is and finally, with threats of death by hanging, learns from Mingo that Cloro, posing as Constantino, has married Irene. Constancio is about to have Cloro put to death as an imposter when Elena appears and explains that Cloro is her son by Constancio, born before Constancio married another. Cloro is now to be called Constantino and is recognized as Emperor. He goes off to fight against Magencio, who has taken Rome and is trying to make himself Emperor. Meanwhile, Lisinio has become a captain and is leading the army against Magencio.

Cloro, now known as Constantino, accepts Christ and becomes a Christian, in spite of Irene's objections that he should not repudiate Jupiter and the gods. A cross appears and leads Cloro to victory against the pagan Magencio. Cloro meets Lisinio, and although they recognize each other, neither one says anything about it. Cloro is aware of Lisinio's true identity because he cannot read and thus is unable to sign his name to a paper Cloro gives him. Lisinio promises to get one hundred heads of Magencio's soldiers for Cloro. Poor Mingo is caught on the battlefield not knowing which are the enemy soldiers and always proclaiming himself for the wrong side in an effort to protect himself. He finally takes refuge in a cave where Lisinio is storing the heads he has cut off. Andronio, who had left Cloro in order to continue worshiping Jupiter rather than accepting Christ, is wounded in the battle and accepts Christ as he is dying. At last the war ends with Magencio's defeat, and Cloro wants to go to search for the true wooden cross in Jerusalem. Irene is angered by this impulse of his and leaves, saying he is no longer her husband. Elena, however, decides to go with him. Lisinio brings fifty heads on a standard for Cloro and is to return soon with fifty more. Cloro then fulfills his longstanding promise to share everything with Lisinio and gives him half of his empire. He extracts from Lisinio, however, two promises: to protect Christians and not persecute them and not to rise up in rebellion against him. Cloro and Elena then set out for Jerusalem to look for the cross.


Irene, whose love for Cloro has turned to hate because of religion, plots with Isacio to persuade Lisinio to kill Cloro by promising Lisinio that she will then marry him. In reality, however, they plan for Lisinio to be killed because of the murder so that Irene and Isacio can marry. Lisinio, meanwhile, is not happy sharing the crown and has begun to persecute Christians. When he hears Irene and Isacio's plan he agrees to go along with it. The three of them go to Jerusalem.

Elena is trying to get information as to the location of the cross. During this time the Jews are being persecuted, and three of them --Judas, Leví, and Zabulón -- are discussing the story that Christians tell that the cross is made of wood from the Tree of Life from the Garden of Eden. Mingo questions these Jews, then hides and hears them plot to make a cross to show Elena and Cloro instead of the real one. Mingo hurries to bring Elena to see what they are doing, but they explain by saying that they are making the cross because Mingo had ordered them to put crosses on their houses (which, in fact, he had). Elena and Mingo torture Judas, and he promises to take them to where the true cross is. Cloro, who still loves Irene, goes to sleep with her picture in his hand and dreams of her. When she, Isacio and Lisinio come to kill him, she feels love upon seeing him with her picture, and when he says her name and talks of her in his sleep, she cannot stand to see him killed, so she awakens him and tells him he is in danger. Cloro forgives all three for the offenses against him personally, but he has Lisinio killed for having offended God by persecuting Christians after having promised not to do so.  Judas leads Mingo and Elena to a place where the Jews say the cross is located. They summon Cloro and Irene, and after Cloro and Elena pray three crosses appear. Since they are unsure of which is the true one, Judas says that the real one should bring the dead back to life, so they bring Lisinio. The first two have no effect on him, but when Cloro puts the third one on Lisinio, the latter is restored to life. Lisinio now accepts Christ, as do Irene, who had already decided to become a Christian when she found Cloro again, and Judas. The play ends in praise of Christ and the Cross. Elena will build a great church for the Cross, and Lisinio plans a long penance to atone for his treachery.


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