El Juego de los Dioses (Spanish Edition)

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No se conoce con claridad el simbolismo del juego. Did you know that Mayans used to play with ball games? Let me explain why:. The origin of this game in unknown, as well as the precise rules. The Ball game was a sacred experience to the Mayans, practised as a ritual event. The goal was obviously to beat the rival team, by getting a rubber ball through a hoop.

As in football nowadays, the ball could not be touched with their hands, nor their feet. As you can imagine, it was very difficult to play only using their hips, thighs and forearms. Once the ball went through the hoop, the game was over. Because of the hard balls they used, the players wore loincloths and leather arm and hip guards which can be seen in some Mayan and Aztec murals nowadays.

The symbolism of the game is not clearly known. Some scholars relate it to fertility, astronomy or cosmology, a fight between day and night, between this world and the underworld. The connection with war was so close that Mayans sometimes played a ballgame to solve conflicts.

Even the leader of the loser team was decapitated as human sacrifice in religious celebrations. Hi all! I have also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, and then worked as an English teacher in several schools and academies for several years. Last year was my first at university level. In addition, I work as a private tutor, teaching English and Spanish as a foreign language to students and adults.

I have published my first poetry book recently. Page Statue of Minerva. Page Justice holding her sword and scales. Page Apollo striking his lyre. Page Statue of Miguel de Cervantes. Circa , oil on canvas. Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice. Page Photograph of Jose Rizal. Page Sculpture of Prometheus Bound by Rizal. Baked clay. Page Bust of Fr. At his feet is the eagle, whose metallic plumage shimmers with various colors; thunderbolts, his terrible arms, lie on the floor. At his right is his wife, the jealous Juno, with a refulgent diadem and the peacock of vanity. At his left is the wise Pallas Minerva , his daughter and adviser, adorned with her helmet and awesome shield, crowned with green olive and gracefully bearing her heavy spear.

Forming a prominent contrast is Saturn sitting on his heels and staring at the beautiful group. Divine Apollo suavely strikes his lyre of gold and mother-of-pearl, dallying with the eight Muses daughters of Jupiter and Mnemosyne, goddess of memory , who are Calliope, muse of heroic poetry; Melpomene, muse of tragedy; Thalia, muse of comedy; Polyhymnia, muse of rhetoric; Erato, muse of lyric poetry; Euterpe, muse of song and music; Urania, muse of astronomy; and Clio, muse of history.

Completing that select circle are: Bellona, Alcides, and Momus. Behind Jupiter and Juno are Hebe and Ganymede. On the right side of Jupiter sits Justice on a throne, her attributes in her hands. Enter the ninth muse, Terpsichore, the muse of dance, followed by nymphs, naiads, and undines who, scattering flowers, dance to the lyres of Apollo and Erato and the flute of Euterpe. After the dance, they group themselves on either side of the stage. Enter Mercury. Neptune and his court cannot come; they fear to lose commands of the seas because of the boldness of men.

Vulcan is still at work on the thunderbolts you ordered him to make, with which to arm Olympus, and is finishing them now. As for Pluto Serve the nectar so the immortals may drink. Hebe and Ganymede obey. Enter Bacchus on foot and Silenus, riding on an ass, singing: He who wishes to live and to make diversions, let him abandon Minerva and tend my vines Is the conqueror of the Titans annoyed?

The gods are drinking nectar; so, anyone can express merriment as he pleases.

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But I see that my disciple has offended you, and you use this as an excuse Meanwhile, the gods have finished their nectar and have begun to chat among themselves. JUPITER: There was a time, great gods, when the proud sons of earth attempted to climb Olympus by piling mountain upon mountain, so they could wrest away my power. And there is no doubt at all that they would have succeeded if your arms and my terrible thunderbolts had not hurled them down to Tartarus, burying the others in the bowels of fiery Etna. This happy event do I wish to celebrate with all the pomp of the immortals, now that Earth, following its eternal course, has returned to that very same point in its orbit that it occupied then.

Thus I--the king of the gods--desire to begin this feast with a literary contest. The trumpet is of a metal known only to Vulcan, more precious than gold and silver; the lyre like that of Apollo, is of gold and mother-of-pearl, fashioned also by Vulcan, but its strings, wrought by the Muses, have no equal; and the crown woven by the Graces of the finest laurel growing in my immortal gardens, shines more brilliantly than all the crowns of the kings on earth.

These three prizes are of equal value; and who has most ably cultivated the letters and the virtues shall be the owner of these magnificent jewels. Show me, therefore, the mortal whom you deem worthy to receive them. JUNO: rising proudly Allow me, Jupiter, to speak first, since I am your wife and the mother of the most powerful gods.

No one better than me can present to you so perfect a mortal as the divine Homer. Who indeed would dare dispute his supremacy? For no work can compete with his Iliad, so brave and bold, and with his Odyssey, so reflective and prudent. Who has done more than him to keep the odorous incense of Arabia burning abundantly before our images as well as fat sacrificial offerings, whose delectable smoke, rising in capricious spirals, please us enough to placate our anger? Who, like him, has recounted the most sublime battles in more splendid verses?

He sang of divinity, of knowledge, of virtue, of bravery, of heroism and disaster, using all the notes of his lyre. It is he who deserves the prize, for I believe, as all Olympus believes, that nobody else has made himself so worthy of our esteem. And you, Jupiter, visible only to immortals, be lenient to my pleas. I pray you not to allow that he who sang of my son Aeneas should be vanquished by Homer. Remember the lyre of Virgil, which sang of our glories and made sweet even the laments of tragic love.

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His most sweet and melancholy verses stir the soul; he praised piety in the person of the son of Anchises: his battles are no less glorious those fought at the foot of the Trojan walls. Aeneas is greater and more virtuous than the irritable Achilles. In short, to mind, Virgil is far superior to the poet of Chios. Is it not true that he fulfills all the requirements laid down by your holy mind?

JUNO: enraged What! And why is the Roman poet to be preferred to the Greek? How can Virgil, a mere imitator, be greater than Homer? Since when has the copy been better than the original? In a disdainful tone Ah, beautiful Venus, I see you are mistaken and I am not surprised: for when the subject is not love, it's over your head. Besides, the heart and the passions never knew how to reason.

Abandon the argument, I beg you -- in the name of your innumerable lovers In spite of your excellent memory, which ever recalls the golden apple so unjustly denied your famous and never quite fully regarded charms, I see with disgust that you have forgotten the gross insults your favorite Homer hurled against us.

Let them say that you praise Virgil because … it is said, he behaved well with you; and that Juno defends Homer because he is the poet of vengeance; and that both of you are really merely trading caresses and compliments! There you sit, like a stunned fool listening to the trilogies at the Olympian feasts! JUNO: loudly Husband, why do you allow this deformed and ugly monster to insult us? Kick him out of Olympus, for his breath stinks!

The gods laugh. JUNO: paling and frowning, and darting lightning looks at everyone. By the Stygian lake! But enough of this, and let Minerva speak, whose opinion has always been mine since time immemorial. Another one like you, famous meddlers, who are always found where they should not be! MINERVA: pretending not to hear; removing her helmet to reveal her stern smooth brow, mansion of intelligence; and speaking in a clear silvery voice I beg you to hear me, mighty son of Saturn, who shakes Olympus with your terrible frown; and you, wise and venerated gods, who direct and govern mankind.

If by chance my arguments lack weight in your eyes, then refute them and weigh them on the scales of Justice. There is in ancient Hesperia, beyond the Pyrenees, a man whose fame has crossed, with the swiftness of a lightning flash, the space that separates the world of mortals from Olympus. Ignored and unknown, he became the toy of envy and vile passions, overwhelmed by disaster, the sad fate of great spirits. It seemed indeed that the world had extracted from Tartarus all its sufferings and torments and had heaped them on his unhappy person.

But, in spite of so many sufferings and injustices, he has not cared to return blow for blow, but, being too good and too great to be vengeful, he has rather sought to correct and educate his fellowmen, by creating an immortal work: his Don Quixote. I speak then of Cervantes, of this son of Spain, who is to be her pride but is now perishing in the most dreadful misery. If you ask me what obstacles he overcame, please listen to me for a moment and you shall know. The world found itself invaded by a kind of madness, dismal and frenzied, spread by the idiotic pens of feverish imaginations.

Bad taste prevailed and time was wasted in the reading of malicious books. Then there appeared this brilliant light to dispel the darkness of the intelligence; and as birds flee at the sight of the hunter or at the whistling of an arrow, so vanished with the errors, the bad taste and the absurd beliefs, sinking into the night of oblivion.

And while it is true that the singer of Ileum, in his sonorous verses, was the first to open the temple of the Muses and to celebrate the heroism of mortals and the wisdom of the immortals; while it is true that the swan of Mantua exalted the piousness of him who rescued the gods from the conflagration of his native land and who renounced the delights of Venus to obey your will -- you, Jupiter, greatest of all the gods -- and that the most delicate sentiments sprang from his lyre, his melancholy music transporting the mind to other realms; it is also no less certain that neither Homer nor Virgil reformed the manners of their age, as did Cervantes.

At his appearance, truth once more occupied her throne, announcing a new era to the world, and then corrupted. If you ask me about his beauties, though I know them well, I propose that you ask Apollo, supreme judge on the matter, if the author of Quixote has burned incense on his immortal altars. The Nine Sisters and I have read in the gardens of Parnassus this book of which the wise Minerva spoke.

Its merry style and pleasant rhythm sound in my ears like a sonorous fountain springing at the mouth of Umbrian cave. I beg you not to think me partisan because Cervantes dedicated to me many of his beautiful pages! If even in the extreme poverty that breeds the hunger, misery and woes that afflict the hapless, a humble son of mine has nevertheless been able to lift up to me his songs and to harmonize his accents, offering me a tribute more gorgeous and precious than my glittering chariot or my indomitable horses; if in a stinking dungeon, unhappy prison of a soul that yearns to fly, his well trained pen was able to pour forth torrents of dazzling poetry far sweeter and richer than the waters of the golden Pactolus, why, then, should we deny his superiority and not give him the victory as the greatest genius the universe has ever seen?

His Quixote is the favorite book of the Muses; and while with its humor it consoles the depressed and the melancholy and enlightens the ignorant, it is at the same time a history, the most faithful history of Spanish customs. I am, therefore, of the same opinion as the wise Pallas --and may the gods who do not share that opinion forgive me.

This do you remember well, ungrateful Apollo. And Virgil--has he not also been poor? Did he not live for a long time on a single loaf of bread, a gift of Caesar? The melancholy that breathes from his works--does it not tell enough of how much his sensitive and delicate heart must have suffered?

Could he have suffered less than the brilliant Homer or the gay Cervantes? But you must not forget that Cervantes was wounded, overpowered and taken captive on the inhospitable soil of Africa, where he drained to the dregs the chalice of bitterness living under the constant threat of death. Jupiter gestures that he agrees with Minerva.


MARS: rising and speaking with a voice of thunder and wrath No, by my spear! While a drop of immortal blood warms my veins, Cervantes shall not win!

Jupiter, I helped you one time; so listen to my reasons. Light and truth spring from his words. How indeed can we permit this man whose glory Time has respected and let Saturn speak out to see himself displaced by a one- armed upstart, the scorn of society? MARS: And if you, father of gods and men, doubt the force of my arguments, inquire of these others if there be any among then who would sustain his reasons with his arm!

He strides arrogantly to the center, defying all with a look and brandishing his sword. But, so I may not be called reckless, I wish to show you how wrong you are.

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If he abandoned the sword to take up the pen, it was by the will of the immortals and not to disparage you, as you may have imagined in your wild delirium. Speaking more gently Do not then be ungrateful, you whose generous heart is inaccessible to rancor and odious passions. Cervantes ridiculed knight errantry because it was no longer proper to his time.

Besides those are not the combats that do you honor, but battles in the open field, as you well know. Having spoken Minerva, like a lightning-loaded cloud approaching another over the center of the ocean when the sky darkens, slowly marches forward, clasping her formidable shield and lowering her spear, a terrible angel of destruction, of tranquil but terrifying look, the sound of her voice striking fear.

Bellona places herself beside Mars, ready to help him. On seeing this, Apollo drops his lyre and seizes his bow, draws an arrow from his golden quiver and, placing himself besides Minerva, pulls his bow, ready to shoot. Olympus, on the verge of collapse, shakes; the light of day darkens and the gods tremble. And you, Mars and Bellona, do not provoke celestial fury! I shall put an end this dispute. Justice shall weigh the books with strict impartiality; and what she decrees shall be followed in the world, while you shall accept her immutable judgment.

Justice descends from her throne and goes to the center, bearing impartial scales, on which Mercury places the Aenied and the Quixote. After oscillating for a long time, the needle finally points to the middle, indicating that the books have equal weights. Venus is shocked but keeps silent. Mercury removes the Aenied and replaces it with the Iliad. A smile appears on the lips of Juno, a smile that speedily vanishes when she sees the two scales bearing the Quixote and the Iliad rising and falling. Suspense grips everyone; no one speaks, no one breathes. A zephyr flies overhead and lands on the branch of a tree, to await the verdict of Destiny.

Bow your heads, then, and let us give the trumpet to Homer, the lyre to Virgil, and the laurel crown to Cervantes, while Fame shall publish in the world the verdict of Destiny, and Apollo shall intone a hymn to the new star that from now on shall shine in the sky of glory and occupy a seat in the temple of immortality. Praise to your name, splendid luminary, around who, in the days to come, shall revolve a thousand intellectuals, admirers of your glory! Hail, masterpiece of the land of the Almighty, pride of Spain! Most beautiful of the flowers that crown my brows, I salute you!

You shall eclipse the glories of antiquity; your name, written in letters of gold in the temple of immortality, shall be the despair of other geniuses! Mighty giant, you shall be invincible! Rising like a superb monument in the midst of your century, you shall draw all eyes. Your powerful arm shall vanquish your enemies as a hungry fire consumes dry straw.

Go, inspired Muses; gather fragrant myrtle, beauteous laurel and red roses, and weave immortal crowns for Cervantes.

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Pan and Silenus, and you fauns and merry satyrs, dance on the carpet of the dark forests, while the nereids, the naiads, the noisy undines and the playful nymphs, scattering a thousand fragrant flowers, embellish with their songs the solitude of the seas, the lakes, the water falls and the rivers, and agitate the clear surface of the fountains in their diverse games.

The Muses, nymphs, naiads, etc. Apollo and Erato play the lyre; Euterpe, the flute; Clio, the trumpet; and Calliope, the bugle. Meanwhile, the gods and goddesses arrange themselves on either side of the stage, which has been cleared of their thrones. Marcha Real is played and a second curtain opens, revealing an illuminated bust of Cervantes being crowned by one of the mortals.

At his right is his wife, the jealous Juno [the sister and wife of Jupiter, queen of the gods, and goddess of marriage: also known as the Greek Hera], with a refulgent diadem and the peacock of vanity. At his left is the wise Pallas [the goddess of wisdom, skills, and warfare; she is also known as Athena. In gracious mess reclines the lovely Venus [the goddess of love and beauty; also known as the Greek Aphrodite] on a bed of roses, crowned with fragrant myrtle, caressing Cupid [the god of love, son of Venus: usually represented as a winged boy with bow and arrow also known as the Greek Eros].

Delightful Apollo [the god of music, poetry, prophecy, and medicine, represented as exemplifying manly youth and beauty. Completing that select circle are Mars [the god of war; also known as the Greek Ares.

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Behind Jupiter and Juno are, Hebe [Note: the goddess of youth] and Ganymede [Note: a beautiful youth carried off by Zeus to be the cupbearer to the gods. An undine is a feminine water spirit who can acquire a soul by marrying and bearing a child to a human], who, scattering flowers, dance to the lyres of Apollo and Erato and the flute of Euterpe. Enter Mercury [the messenger of the gods, the god of commerce, manual skill, eloquence, cleverness, travel, and robbery: also known as the Greek Hermes].

Minerva, about to speak, is silenced by gesture of Jupiter, but expresses her disdain with a smile that alerts the delicate serenity of her shapely lips. Thus I--the king of the gods-- desire to begin this feast with a literary contest. Language: Spanish. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Sell on Amazon Start a Selling Account.

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