Half a century has now passed since Emilio Cotorelo y Mori published in
the pages of the B.R.A.E. the first major study of the life and work of the XVIIth
century playwright, Juan Bautista Diamante.While undoubtedly an invaluable contribution to the subject, it was, however, by no means an exhaustive survey, and
indeed suffered in its biographical aspect from the omission of um/oral documents
of crucial importance. These documents, until now ignored, are of such a nature
that they make necessary, I believe, a complete reappraisal of all that pertains
to the dramatist the present study is in part an attempt to begin that process.
The edition of La Magdalena de Roma included here was begun in the belief
that the play represented an example of Diamante's religious drama. Evidence discovered in tho course of investigation, however, led me to doubt the play's authenticity, and further study has convinced me that La Magdalena de Roma is not in fact
the work of Diamento. I offer therefore in this dissertation two parts: the first
dealing as fully as possible with the life and origins of Diamante, with a briefer
section on his work; the second devoted to a critical edition of La Magdalena de
Roma. For the sake of brevity, I include in the text of Part I cross-references
to five appendices, A, B, C, D and E, containing (for the most part) hitherto unpublished material relating to the Diamante family .