The novel starts on Good Friday, and Dionisia, the character that later is murdered, mentions Virgen de la Soledad as she walks to her house. The brotherhood of Soledad was founded on May 6, 1564 by devout believers who created a brotherhood with a deep spirit of piety and devotion. According to their rules, the procession took place on Good Friday at 6 p.m
Dionisia lived in Callejón de la Garrida, which nowadays is called Conocedores.
Antonio Galera flees from the guards and takes sanctuary in San Miguel. A sacred place, such as a church, in which fugitives formerly were immune to arrest (recognized by English law from the fourth to the seventeenth century). While the practice of churches offering sanctuary is still observed in the modern era, it no longer has any legal effect and is respected solely for the sake of tradition.
The parish priest of San Miguel is D Ramón Álvarez de Palma who founded the Jesus, Maria and Jose hospital for incurable women in Pollo Street in 1754.
Felisa, the seamstress, is murdered in Callejon de la Poca Sangre, which nowadays is called “Cuatro Juanes”.
Isabel Medina is found in Rincón Malillo near San Mateo. There is a legend about a gentleman, who was a infamous gambler, swordsman and drinker. After leaving one of his victims of his duels on the ground, he dared to challenge the Devil. After uttering the challenge, he felt pain in his right arm and a bleeding wound appeared. Frightened, he fled to his house in Calle Justicia. To ease his fears and regret, he instructed to erect a iron-wrought cross in Rincón Malillo. The legend tells that he spent long hours locked away at home and the wound from that night never healed.
The patron saint of Jerez is San Dionisio Aeropagita since it was on this day that Jerez was conquered by Alfonso X on October 9, 1264. Until that moment, the city was ruled by Ibn Abit.
On that day Adela, Pedro and Merceditas go to Plaza del Arenal to see the show called “Juegos de Cañas” based on medieval fights of knights.
The common element left with every murdered woman is a silver denarius. In the Roman currency
system, the dēnārius
was a small silver coin
first minted about 211 BC during the Second Punic War
. It became the most common coin
produced for circulation but was slowly debased
in weight and silver content until its replacement by the double denarius. The word dēnārius
is derived from the Latin dēnī
“containing ten”, as its value was 10 assēs
, although in the middle of the 2nd century BC it was recalibrated so that it was now worth sixteen assēs or four sēstertiī
. It is the origin of several modern words such as the currency name dinar
; it is also the origin for the common noun for money in Italian denaro
, in Portuguese dinheiro
and in Spanish dinero
. Its symbol is X̶; a letter x with stroke.
Thanks to Fray Gerónimo de Estrada, Pedro manages to find the meaning of the four coins. Fray Gerónimo de Estrada has a book by Enea Vico. Enea Vico
(29 January 1523 – 18 August 1567) was an Italian engraver. Vico was born in Parma
. He specialized in grotesque
engravings based on antique paintings.
The first denarius shows a wild boar and some inscriptions.
According to de Estrada, this coin belonged to the Hosidia family. The gens Hosidia was a family in Rome during the last century of the Republic, and into imperial times. The most illustrious of the gens, Gnaeus Hosidius Geta, obtained the consulship in AD 47. Gaius Hosidius Geta, brother of the consul of AD 47, he appears to have been triumvir monetalis
; a coin issued with his name depicts a boar.
We learn that the wild boar represents a legend. The Calydonian Boar
is one of the monsters of Greek mythology
that had to be overcome by heroes of the Olympian age. Sent by Artemis
to ravage the region of Calydon
because its king failed to honour her in his rites to the gods, it was killed in the Calydonian Hunt
, in which many male heroes took part, but also a powerful woman, Atalanta
, who won its hide by first wounding it with an arrow.
The second denarius represents two horsemen and a horse.
This second coin belongs to the Antestia family. The gens Antestia, sometimes Antistia, was a plebeian family at Rome; the name of Antestia is certainly older given the family coinage comparison and evolution. The first of the gens to achieve prominence was Sextus Antistius, tribune of the people in 422 BC.
The horsemen represent Castor and Pollux. In Greek
and Roman mythology
were twin brothers, together known as the Dioscuri
. Their mother was Leda
, but they had different fathers; Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus
, the king of Sparta, while Pollux was the divine son of Zeus
, who seduced Leda in the guise of a swan.
The third coin represents the Domitia family. Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus
(died 104 BC) was consul
in 122 BC.
In the year of his consulship he was sent against the Allobroges
in Gallia Transalpina
, under the pretext that they had received Rome’s enemy, Teutomalius
, king of the Salluvii
, and had laid waste to the territory of Rome’s allies, the Aedui
. Rome’s desire to create a secure land route to their provinces in Spain through Gaul was more likely its real reason for entering Gaul. He and Quintus Fabius Maximus Allobrogicus conquered the Allobroges and their ally, Bituitus
, king of the Arverni
, near Vindalium
, at the confluence of the Sulga
, winning the battle mainly through terror caused by war elephants
The fourth coin represent the Aemilia family. The gens Aemilia
, originally written Aimilia
, was one of the most ancient patrician
houses at Rome
. The Aemilii were probably one of the gentes maiores
, the most important of the patrician families.
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (born c. 89 or 88 BC, died late 13 or early 12 BC) was a Roman patrician who was triumvir with Octavian (the future Augustus) and Mark Antony, and the last Pontifex Maximus of the Roman Republic. Lepidus had previously been a close ally of Julius Caesar. Though he was an able military commander and proved a useful partisan of Caesar, Lepidus has always been portrayed as the weakest member of the triumvirate.
Marcus Aemilius Scaurus (born ca. 163 BC – died 89 BC) was a Roman consul in 115 BC and considered one of the most talented and influential politicians of the Republic.
The coin also represents the king Aretas on his knees beside a camel, offering a branch of submission to a Roman commander. Aretas III was king of the Nabataean kingdom from 87 to 62 BCE.
After the coins Pedro and D Antonio de Mesa manage to make the connection with the families’ coat of arms. The Enciso family is represented by a wild boar.
The coat of arms representing the Medina family shows a lion and crosses.
And the coat of arms of the Hinojosa family shows fennel.
And the coat of arms of the Arellano family represent the fleur de lis. This is the name of the man Pedro warns as his daughter is likely to be the next victim.
One of the last scenes is the ambush to the killer in Plaza Angustias. At the end of the Corredera Street, there was a cross erected in 1578 to the Virgin of Angustias. That cross later developed into an chapter in the sisteenth century. The space between the chapel and the end of Corredera Street was then known as the “llano” of Angustias. In 1725 the square starts to be fenced in, and the area is then called square. This is also where Pedro and Adela meet weekly when they first became acquainted.
Another important element is the black berlin that the killer used. A Berlin (or Berline) carriage was a type of covered four-wheeled travelling carriage with two interior seats.