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PENINSULA The Attitude towards Muslims in Fifteenth Century Spain

TEXTS AND STUDIES ~¡ 94(460)"04/14"

m~ - ECHEVARR fort
(MIP) 782378000002






Acknowledgcmcnts ......................... .......... ................ ... ... .. ... .. .. .... VII

Abbrcviations .. . .. . .. .... ..... . .. .. ... .. ......... .... .. ... .. . .. ... .. .. .. . .. .. . .. .. . .. .. . .. . 1x

Introduction .............. ... ... ............ ...... ................ .... ..................... .

Chapter Onc The Political Approach to Muslims,
1430- 1470 .......................... .... ............................ ........................ 7
Chaptcr Two Thc Intcllcctual Approach I: T he Authors .... 28
Pedro de la Cavallería .... ... .... ..... ... .. .. .... ..... ........... ...... .. ..... .. 28
Juan de Segovia ...................................... .............................. 34
Juan de Torquemada ..... ............................... ...... .................. 41
Alonso de Espina .... .. ... .. .. ... .. .. .. ... . .. . .. .. .. . .. . .. .. ... .. .. .... .. .. . .. .. .. . 47
Chapter Three The Intellectual Approach II:
A Stylc for a Public ................................... .......................... .. ... 56
a) Sermons .. .. ........ .......... ...... ... .. . .. ... .... .. .. ... ... .. .. .. . .. ... ..... .. ... ... 63
b) Disputes .......... ............. ................... ... .. .................... ........... 68
e) Letters ..... ....................... ......... ......... .. ... ............................. 72
d) Reports .. .. .. . .. .. .. .... .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . .. .... .. . .. ..... .. .. .. .. .. ..... .. ... ... .. .. 78
e) Treatises ....... .... ... ... .. .. ....... ..... ...... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .. 80
Chapter Four Tradítion and Polemics: Sources for
Fifteenth-Century Authors . .. ..... .. .. . .. .... .. .. ...... ..... .. .. ... ... .. ... .. ... .. 83
Bible and !(oran .. .. ..... .. .. ... .. .. .. ... .. . .. . .. .. .. .. ... .. ... . .. .. ... . .. .. . .. ... .. 86
Polcmics in Lítcraturc: A Summary ...... .. ..... .. .......... .... .. .. . .. 90
Librarics: An Approach to Diffusion .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .... .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. 96
Chaptcr Fivc Contra En-ores Machometi . . . .. ... .. ......... ...... ..... ... 1O1
Structurc of the Treatises .. .. .. .. ... .. ... ......... ....... .. .... .. .... ....... ... 1Ol
Vocabulary . .. .. ... . .. .. .. . .. . .. .. ... .. .. .. . .. .. .... . .. .. .. . .. . .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. ... .. .. .. l 03
Symbolism . .. .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. ... .. .. .. . .. .. .. . .. ... ..... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. ... .... l 06
Chronicles in Polemics ...... ........................... .......... ... .. ... ... .. .. 113
Characters for Polemics ........................................................ 122
a) MuJ:iammad's biography .. .. .... .......... ...... .. .. .. .... .. .. .... .. .. 122
b) Muslim kings and hcrocs ...... ............... .................. :.... ... 129
e) Christian saínts ............ ...... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... ......... ... .. 131
- - - - - - - - - · - - - --···-······-···-··


d) Christian kings ................ .... ................... ..... ..... .......... ... 132
e) Christian heroes ....................... .... ......... ...... ............... ... 134
Chapter Six Islam in the Treatises ........................................ 137
Language and Rcligion .. ... ... .. .. . .. .. ... .. .. .. .. ... .. . .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 13 7
On the Concordance and Discordance of Islam,
This book is a revision of my Ph.D. thcsis. It would not have been
Christianity and Judaism ............. ..... ..... ......... .......... ....... ..... 142
possible without the financia! support of thc University of Edinburgh
a) Christian doctrine .... .. ........... .................... ..... .. .. .. .......... 145
Faculty of Arts, which provided the funds for the core of my research,
b) Islamic doctrine ............................................................ 150
and thc scholarship from the Instituto de Cooperación con el Mundo
c) Other aspects of controversy .. ................ ... .. .. .... .. . .. ...... 163
Arabe in Madrid, which cnabled me to conduct more research in
d) Muslims, Heretics and Jews ........................................ 164
the Bibliothcque Nationale de Paris. 1 wish to thank them specially
Chapter Seven The Religious Argument: T olerance and far believing in my work.
AccuJturation .. . .. .. . .. ...... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. . .. ... .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... ... .. 171 1 am also very grateful to the History Departmcnt at the University
"The Spirit of the Laws" ................................................ ,..... 171 of Edinburgh because they were always very hclpful and ready to
Acculturation Mechanisms within Society .... .. .... .... ...... ...... 182 discuss any matter. Also to Prof. M. J. Víguera Molins, Dr. M. C.
Conversion and Integration .... .... ................. ..... ........... ......... 186 Quintanilla Raso and Prof M. A. Ladero Quesada, who were .!DY h'.;l:~is..
The End of Muslim Powcr .... .... .............. ..... ... ... .... .. .. ... .. ... . 196 in Spain d~ring these years. And my great thanks to Dr. -K.i[ C.
Gerbet for introducing me to the immcnsc catalogue in the Bibliotheque
Conclusion ... .. . .. . .. ... .. .. ... .. ... .. ... .. .. .. ... ..... .. .. .. ... .. . .. ... ... .. .. ... .... .. .. .. 209 Nationale in París: none of my research thcrc would have been pos-
Chronology ................................................................................ 213 sible without her.
Appcndix 1: Sources of Fifteenth-century Treatises ................ 217 1 also want to mention Mr. A. Rose-Miller and Mrs. Thisbe Burns,
Appcndix II: External Structure of Fifteenth-century who were as patient as to read and revise my English text, and Mr.
Treatiscs .................................................................................. 220 R. Wood, with whom 1 havc sharcd very interesting thoughts about
Bibliography ........... ..... ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .......... .... ...... ... .. .. ........... .. 235 Espina and his world. Dr. G. Wicgers and Dr. A. Meyuhas Gínio
111dex ........................................................... .......... ..................... 247 kindly cliscussed the results of their own rcscarch with me and made
valuable suggestions. My friends J. M. Rodríguez, F. Luis, .J. M.
Mendoza, S. Johnstone, E. Massold, E. Llndeke, A. Ariza, E. Aparicio,
E. Cortés, and M. Torre-Enciso were always a great support both
providing ideas or discussíng them- or just as great company in
librarics! My spccial gratitude to the librarians of the Monastery of
Sta. María de la Vid in Burgos, Biblioteca Felíx María Pareja
(I.C.M.A.) and the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas in Madrid,
who always made my work so pleasant- and my dcsire that both
National Libraries of Madrid and Paris and the Cathcdral of Burgo
de Osma will improve their services.
Finally, 1 would like to thank my two supervisors, Prof Angus
I. K. MacKay and Mr. Allan Hood, for their continuous attentíon,
recommendations and patience. I hope their efforts were not in vain.

ACA Barcelona, Archivo de la Corona de Aragón

AHN Madrid, Archivo Histórico Nacional
AHDE Anuario de Historia del Derecho Español
AVCIH1V1A Actas del V Coloquio lntemacional de Historia Medieval de
BNM Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional
BNP París, Bibliotheque Natíonalc
BRAH Boletín de la Real Academia de la Hist01ia
BRABLB Boletín de la Real Academia de Buenas Letras de Barcelona
Cath. Catherinc of I~ancaster's Ordinanccs ( 1412)
CE Contra enores petfidi j\!f.achometi by Juan de Torquemada
CHE Cuadmws de Histmia de España
CSIC Madrid, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Disputatio Di.sputatio contra sarracenos et Alchoranwn by Ricoldo de
DM De mittendo gladio . . ., by Juan de Scgovia
Ese. El Escorial (Madrid), Monastery Library
F'F Fortalitium Fidei by Alonso de la Espina
Ms. Manuscript
PL Patrología Latina
RAH lVIadrid, Real Academia de la Historia
RUC Revista de la Complutense
s.d. sine data (no date)
Sent. Scntcnce of Medina del Campo (1465)
zc <.,elus Christi contra sarracenos . .. , by Pedro de la Cavallcría

The perception Christian writcrs in the Iberian Península had of the

Muslim community surrow1ding them, both within the ·Christian tcr-
ritories and in neighbouring Granada, is one of the most interesting
aspccts of the last ycars of the Reconquest. In spite of the large
number of studies devotcd to the fall of Granada in 1492, few schol-
ars have analysed the approach to the "Muslim matter" in the years
befare it. And it is precisely the period betwccn 1450 and 1470 which
provides the due to understanding the political thought of Isabel
and Femando.
A process had started with the conquest of Toledo in 1085 1 which
marked the change from a "total" Arabic religious culture coexisting
with two rrÍicro-culturcs (Jewish and Mozarab), to a "total" Christian
religious culture gradually imposing itself on the other two. Legal
sanction of the process carne with Alfonso X's Seven Parts, 2 which
established the framework for all future royal legislation dcaling with
socio-rcligious issues.
The parallel development of 1\!Iendicant ordcrs and their preach-
ing methods helpcd to consider Islam not just an enemy in crusadc,
but also an intcllectual adversary to be defeated by arguments. The
Iberian Península was a good place to test their theories, for it offered
thc perfect situation far preachers to practice their skills. They could
try both Muslims living under Christian rule (Mudejars) and the
Muslim kingdom of Granada, where they could travel providcd with
safe-conducts. A list of famous names tried- and failed-to achicve the
conversion of Andalusian Muslims.
By the fiftccnth centmy, the conquest of Granada was thought to
be inevitable and imminent, for thc first time in ccnturies. The facts
which had brought about this feeling in the Peninsular kingdoms
were Castilian self-awareness, after a long list of military successes,
and the imperialist claims of Aragon in the Mediterranean, which

1 Epalza, M. de: "Historia medieval de la Península: tres culturas o tres reli-

giones", pp. l 00-1 Ol.

2 Highfield, R.: "Christian, Jews and Muslims ... " Studies in Church History (1978),

pp. 123-'124.

had led to the reduction of Granadan territory; and thc expectations idea of the atmosphcre at the court as wcll as the aims of the clergy.
of thc clergy and the revival of crusading interests all over Europe Although Lavajo has considcrcd theological material more oqjective
due to the Ottomans' advance. Iberian authors werc at the vanguard than chroniclcs, we agree with Barkai in thinking exactly the opposite.
of thcir contemporaries when it carne to considering these argumcnts Both rcflcct the difference between popular practices in the fronticr
in their works. and ecclesiastical theo1y, as well as a particular knowlcdgc of Islamic
A new conception of the relationship between both religions startcd society in the Iberian Península. Unfortunatcly, thc rcpeated calls
with Juan de Segovia and 'Isa ibn Djabir and thcír translation of for a comparative study of local documcnts and litcrary sources 7 are
the Koran. Cabanela's pionccr work3 opened new roads in research impossible to satisfy duc to thc dispersion of primary sources.
which have not been complctcly explored. Norman Daniel followed This book has focused on the information contained in religious
with his extensive research on the formation of a corpus of European trcatiscs, chronicles and royal legislation (cortú, }iteras reales and the
ideas about Islam from the twelfth to the fourteenth century.'1 Although Seven Parts). The next step would be comparing this with local faeros
his method was sornewhat descriptivc, his references and bibliogra- and contemporary documents.
phy are still csscntial. Southern' had an even more general view of The period between 1430 and 1470 in the Península was trouble-
the pcnctration of the Islamic problem in European minds and the some: civil war extended to all the kingdoms except Portugal and social
response it gencrated in tlrree pcriods: 700- 1100, 1100-1400 and groups were uncasy. Religious minorities often suffered from such a
1400 onwards. His approach was severely criticized, but it was still state of affairs. On the other hand, the Ottomans had conquered a
another step forward in the analysis of thc European perception of grcat dcal of the Islamic territories and advanced over Byzantium.
Islam in the Middle Ages. Thc final defeat of Constantinople- which had bcen forcsccn but
Many works havc continued this trcnd. To mentían but a fcw not avoided by Christian rulers-gave place to ncw attempts at cru-
which have been vcry helpful for my own approach, there are Epalza's sades launched by the pope.
life work on the views of both sidcs using Arabic sources; R. l. Burns Four authors show how facts influenced ecclesiastical literature,
and his studics of the transition of Muslim to Christian power in which had alrcady a well-established backgrnund in which to search
the kingdom of Valencia; R. Barkai's approach to chronicles in search far arguments to move Euro pean rulers to defeat Islam. The extra-
of rnirror-images of the two cultures, Lavajo's study of Raimundo ordinary importance of Juan de Segovia's ideas concerning Islam
Martí's Summa contra Alchoranum, Wieger's monograph about 'Isa ibn and his privileged place in the Catholic Church makes it worth mcn-
Djabir and Cardaillac's work on Morisco polcmícs (see bibliography). tioníng him in a special place. A lecturcr at thc Univcrsity of Sala-
However, most of thesc authors have faíled to go as far as the manca and a member of the conciliarist party in thc schism, at the
fiftcenth century in their rcview of Christian views on Muslims. The end of bis political life he undcrtook the huge task of translating the
evolution of Iberian socicty throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth Koran for polernical purposes and devising a method to convert
centuries requires ncw approaches far this period. The study of ccclc- Muslims peacefully. He wrote to the most important scholars of his
siastical literature as a manifestation of a "frontier church" 6 gives an time, starting with the Pope Pius 11, and was the first person to co-
operate with a Muslim alfaqui in an attempt to approach thc two
Cabanelas, D.: Juan de Segovia y el problema islámico. Madrid 1952.
religions to one another.
Daniel, N.: Nam and the West. 17ie Mak:ing ef an Image. Edinburgh 1960/0xford
·f Pedro de la Cavalleria was a different case; his origins wcrc a re-
1992. nowncd converso farnily in Aragon. He was himself counselor to King
" Southern, R. W.: Westem uiews of Islam .. ., p. 13.
" According to R. l. Rurns, "The Significance of thc Frontier in the Middle
Agcs" lvledieval Frontier Soáeties, p. 326: "How lhcn wa~ it a frontier church? In thrcc
ways. First it was consciously the custodian here of the Europe-widc crusade spirit, reactive acculturation hardens its cultural patterns until the effect is stressful and
deliberatdy transforming its material surroundings to make little atolls in the sea absurd. [. .. ] Thirdly, the king used Church personnel and institutions, as the most
o[ Jviuslims. Secondly, it was itself dominated by reactive acculturation. An cnviron- accessible of his rnajor resources, far the transformation of his conqucst."
ment can be acculturated as much by reacting as by conforming. A comrnunity in 7
Ladero, M.. A.: "Los mudéjares en los reinos de la Corona de Castilla'', p. 20.

Juan II and an important member of the town council of Saragossa. The corc of the book starts with the style of the treatises, the lan-
His treatisc :(,elus Christi contra Iudaeos, Sarracenos, etc., was a defence of guage chosen to commwlicate with the possible rcaders, the symbol-
thc Christian faith against Jcws, but he also included a summary of ism and images uscd to attract their attention and thc way chronicles
general points about Islam. werc used as examples to imposc a particular view of the invasion
The fame as a preacher of Enrique IV's confessor made him write of Christian territories by Saracens.
a t:reatise about the dangers produced by the cnemics of Christian Religious and legal arguments tricd to use controversy and laws
faith. Alonso de Espina started his Fortalitium Fidei around 1459. It to place Jcws, Muslims and Christians in differcnt sphercs of every-
would bccome one of the favourite manuals of the Inquisition in the day life while self-awareness grew on thc Christian side. As it seemed
following century. that the end of Muslim powcr would not come as soon as expected,
Finally, Cardinal Juan de Torqucmada was engagcd by Pius II in Christians had to be guided in ordcr to preserve their faith and iden-
the fight against Islam through a minor work entitlcd Contra errores tity. The dogmas of the Church had to be explained as much as
peifidi lvlachomeb.·. It was the main argument he uscd to address thc possiblc, and treatises became a manual for sermons. Meanwhilc,
European princcs at the Council of Mantua in Pius II's attempt to Muslims andJews had to be kept from sharing too many habits with
start a crusadc against the Ottomans in 1459. Christians in case they might engage in proselitism.
All the authors wrote their works between 1450 and 1461, a very Conversion as a way of assimilation was the ncxt step in the writ-
short span of time considering the history of Islamo-Christian relations. ers' minds, beforc they could declare the last crusade against Muslim
The theory that thís book tries to provc is that historical events had powcr, which would finish with the end of the world and the tri-
an important role in the revival of the polcmic genre against Islam. umph of Christian faith. Eschatological litcrature had sorne part in
The length and singular approach of Espina's work determines its the writers' training techniques, and subsequently appeared to a grcater
central part in the argument. The number of manuscripts, incunabula or lesser dcgree in their works.
and translations of the .Fortalitium during the sixtccnth century gives The interpretation of these sourccs shows a new conception of
an idea of the widespread interest it aroused. world history widening to a new view of the Christian-Muslim relation-
The authors' di.fferent personal circumstances and purposes made ship which, in due time, favoured the conquest of the last remains
thcm choose di.fferent audicnces and styles to address them: sermons, of Muslim power in the Península (Granada) and the obstruction of
rhetorical letters, treatiscs and reports will be analysed to demonstrate Turkish advancc.
their relation with the public . and · the cxpected effect they would I have tried consistently to solvc the difficulty of managing different
have on society. The sources used to compose them wcre both his- languages during thc preparation of the text. First, I shall never refer
torical and . theological: . Bible and Koran shared thc first place in to Spain, because at that time the Iberian Península was divided into
quotations, and their accuracy will be discussed at lcngth. Dependence severa! kingdoms: Castilc, Navarre, Aragon, Portugal and Granada.
on authorities was important because it guaranteed the quality of a As the subject I am conccrned with deals mainly with the history
book. Oral sources are mentioned in ali the books by Iberian authors. 8 of ideas, it will be quite frequent to find referenccs to ali thc Christian
Obviously, in a country where coexistence had been practised for kingdoms on one side, for their experience and reactions facing ·Islam
centuríes, it is logical that any author who wanted to write about are very similar, in which case they will be refcrred to as lberian
Islam would try to contact an accurate sourcc, i.e., a l\/Iuslim, to Península, lbe1ian or Peninsular.
provide sorne practical details. A brief history of polemics and a I will refer to Muslim or Saracen, Islam, Islamic religi,on for. any equiva-
search in fifteenth-century libraries will complete the background lents, although the various names used for them are 'commented
from which the authors took theír information. upon in chapter 6. The di:fferencc between law and religion was sel-
dom made in the fiftccnth century, so both will appear as synonyms.
Ff, fol. 132v;Juan de Segovia, Prologue to the Koran, fol. 190r (cif. Cabanelas,D.: Wherc Ch1istian, Christianiry or Christendom is uscd, it must be under-
Juan de Segovia y el problema islámico, p. 289). stood to involve the Roman Latín Church in general.

Where several copies of the treatises can be found, unless other-

wisc statcd, I have preferred to work with the oldest extant manu-
script or cdition. The fact that they are usually carefully decorated CHAPTER ONE
works, ordcrcd by a patron, makes them the best revised, accurate
transcriptions. THE POLITICAL APPROACH TO MUSLlMS, 1430- 1470
Names and placenames are used as follows: the authors will be
called Segovia, Cavalleria, Espina and Torquemada to simplify.
Spanish namcs will be used for Iberian kings and queens to distin- Thc pcriod between 1430 and 14 70 is defincd by the confrontation
guish them from European rulers; also for Iberian authors and char- of European Christcndom and Islam on either side of thcir tcrritory:
actcrs, except those who may have a well lmown English translation. to thc East, the advancc of the Turks, while in the West thc crusade
In any case, the particle de (of) indícating either the fathcr's surnamc that would later drive thc Muslims from the Iberian Península had not
or place of origin will remain in Spanish. Ali other names will appear yet finishcd. As a result of this, the "frontier" 1 situation extended to
in their English form. Thc samc applies to legal, institutional and both sides of Christendom. War in the East became continua! whereas
other specific terms: where a proper translation in English has not on the Western borders small fronti~.r~_§.kinnishes combincd with peace
be en found because thc tcrm refers to a particular Peninsular fact, trcaties in exchangc for tribut~; --to Christian monarchies, showing a
the Spanish word is kept (i.c., conversos). Transliterations from Arabic diffcrcnt way of undcrstandíng crusades. Western rulers who were
are avoided whcre thcre is an English or Spanish word to use, as more intcrested in crusades had family bonds among them and sim-
this · is not thc work of a ·linguist, and introducing more languages ilar intcrcsts regarding maritime, territorial and political expansion.
into the tcxt and notes would makc them more confusing. Whilc France .and England were cngaged in the Hundred Y cars
Punctuation has been introduccd in the Latin and old Castilian War,,{Dukc Philip the Good of Burgundy (1396- 1467) used crusadc
texts to make them more understandable. Double consonants in Latín as an""ínstrumcnt to avoid Frcnch dominationjProbably the influence
have been avoided because such was the usage in most of the fifteenth- ofJ;i,t~ füther, .capturr:d
. . . .. ...
in Nicopolis,
. .. .... .
was anothcr important
reason to
century Iberian works. make the duke compromise in such a venture. Twot;;.mbassics of Bur- (
gundian nobles sent to the East in 1421 and 1432, respectivcly, and \7
thc arguments of a Byzantine embassy in 1442 induced Philip the
Good to joín the Popc's appeal to thc crusade. The creation of the
{ Qrder of the Golden Flecce, bis marriagc to lsaP..~LgfJ?.!;u:.tugal----a
fnm defender of crusader p9J~cies-and his support of literary works
about Islam, crusade-añd~hivalry revealcd his intercst in this matter.
As regards practice, although Philip the Good has been accused
of being hasty, he is undoubtcdly the one European rulcr--except
the Iberian kings-who spent large amounts of money on war against

Literature in English about this subjcct is particularly abundan~. For instance,
see Burns, R. I.: "The Significance of the Fronticr in the Middlc Ages", in 1\1edieval
Frontier Societ:ies; MacKay, A. I. K.: La España de la E'dad M.edia, desde la .fi'ontera hasta
el imperio; and in other contexts Dufourq, Ch. E.: "Chréticns et musulrnans durant
les derniers siecles du Moyen Agc", Anuario de Estudios J\1edievales, 10; Ladero Quesada,
JvL A.: Granada, histmia de un país islámico and Housley, N.: "Frontiqr Socicties and
Crusading in the Late Middle Ages" in 1\íedite1mnean Histmical Review.

Islam.(.!:Je sent his Portugucsc-built fleet to Rhodes in 1441.i~Johelp failure because the emperor decided to rcmain at the Austrian front-
the H~spitallers to raisc the siege ~the islancf ;;;:a:"a:ft~·;-- ~pending worried as he was by thc situation in Hungary- and sent his lcgates,
sorne time raiding the North African coast, it joined the army, sail- among whom was Eneas Silvius Piccolomini, whom we shall later
ing to the help of Constantinople (1444). Its lack of furthcr purposc encountcr. After several spccches about the danger caused to Christcn-
lcd the fleet to remain in the Meditcrrancan, sacking Genoesc ships dom by thc capture of Byzantium, the legates dccided to postponc
and causing much pro test. 2 preparations far the crusade until the following autumn, after cele-
Philip continued his contacts with other European leaders by scnd- brating anothcr dict in Frankfurt open to every Christian ruler--not
ing his lcgatcs to Alfonso V of Aragon. He also tried to reach a long- just to the German princes.
standing pcacc bctwccn Charles VII of France and Henry IV of There were negotiations with Rome, France and, especially, with
England and, by means of buying the city ·of__Q~9a, tricd to supply Aragon and Portugal, whom Philip trusted wciuld support him, given
¡1his fleet with a Mediterranean port. His biographer, Richard Vaughan, the scarce interest shown by the Germans. Although this second dict
-'Suggests that all these measures were caused by him having heard that proved to be much more successful in terms of thc number of legates,
Muhammad II was planning an attack on Constantinople. 3 During the crusader ideal had already bcen substituted by other issues, so
the annual chapter of the Order of the Golden Flcecc inJY(1;:msc{May it was difficult to urge the princes to vote the nccessary subsidies.
1451) he announced his plan to JJrrQ~rtake a crusadc. He was supported lN"icholas V's death intcrrupted the proccss.
-by the Order's- Chancellor Jean Gc~maTii~-bishop of Chalon-sur- From all this it follows that the intervention of the papacy was
Sa6ne, who had just preached to the knights attending the meeting an essential condition far crusader policies at both fronts of the -
on the same subject. Embassies werc sent to France, England, Austria, Mediterranean. However, in 1434 Christendom had been dividcd
Hungary and Italy. Atmospherc in the court, according to Germain, once more by schism at the Council of Basle, where the legates try-
was optimistic. Unfortunately the I~Y,Q!t which .arp,se in Gaunt post- ing to salve !}1e concilia~i,~.t~s~y_~ .at the same time as satisfying polit-
poned crusader plans indefinitely. ----------··--- ical interests, only 'jiist--~anaged to clect Felix V as new Pope. This
Philip of Burgundy was one of the first European rulers to rcact situation did not favour crusader intcrcsts at all. A good example
[to Constantinople's fall: he organized the -~n~lJJ;.,! in Lillc known as was the arrival of an embassy frorn King Duarte of Portugal to ask ,,.
l/'The Feast of the Pheasant". There he promiscd to take the s.ross for a crusader bull far Africa, which rcmained _unre_plied.6 In 1437
z..,, . . . . ..
Emperor John VIII and the Patriarch of Co~·;t~Ú~~ple had to
"':""'·~·-··~ ··~ ---··-··· ·· ··-~
only if at least one other ruler should take It with h1m"-----a cautious
arid uncompromising gesture. 4 More than two hundred nobles swore choose between the conciliarists or asking far Eugenius IV's help.
to follow hlln, Despite the encouraging letter sent by John Capistrano Finally the latter prevailcd and the reunification of the Latin and ,.
on ' 19 Match 1454 to encourage the expedition, it is difficult to Greek churches took place in Florence in July 1439.
prove the duke's sincerity. His contemporarics interpreted this whole As for the conciliarists, they continued to sec the crusade as an
ceremony more as aLslisplay of gallantry in the context of courtly excuse to provide money and prestige to the papacy. Even Eneas
lJ;::hivalric ideals. 5 And it should nevcr be forgotten that by these public Silvius Piccolomini- later to become Pope Pius II, who started his
manifestations the duke attracted a number of knights to his court, own crusadc as we shall see- shared this point of view. The prob-
many of them of French origin, who formed a real army surrounding lems posed by Visconti in Milan and thc open question of thc suc-
him against the King of France. cession to the thronc of Hungary postponcd preparations again, but
In any case, Dukc Philip attended the Diet of Regensburg (April /h; 1442 Eugenius IV appointed Carc!fnal Ccsarini as .his legatc in
1454) after starting preparations far his departure. The Diet was a \~astern Europe to organize a crusad<~J A more settled political situ-
ation induced the parties to think about malcing the Turks withdraw
from the siege of Constantinople. 7
Houslcy, N.: The La.l't Crnsades, pp. 92- 93.
Vaughan, R.: Philip the Good, p. 296.
+ Housley, N.: The Last Cmsades, p. 101. 6 Antelo, A.: "El ideal de cruzada en la Edad Media peninsular'', p. 39.
Aubenas, R.: L'Égfüe a la Renaissance, p. 34. 7
Housley, N .: Tlze Last Crusades, p. 85.
:-:~~ .
The solution to the schism carne with Fclix V's abdication on Pope against thc will of the Italian cardinals on 8 April 145.?.·:"'His
7 April 1449, giving way to Nicholas V's pontificate. Despite his op- first purpose, according to his investiture speech, was trying to reclaim
position to the crusadc of Adrianopolis, thus favouring the florentines, Constantinople and to cradicate Islam from the Holy Land, recov-
Nicholas V rcsumed crusader policies. After having sought help ering Jcrusalem as wcll. 12
repcatedly through several embassics, Constantinoplc fcll to the Turks. A ncw bull followed on May 1455, announcing the departurc of
Thc ncws reached Rome from different sourccs. The general fccl- crusaders on the following ycar. Instead of calling all the princcs
ing both of cardinals and humanísts was that once the "New Rome" together, thc Pope preferrcd to contact each of them separately.
were conquered, thc Turks would try to reach the "Old" one in Thus l,he sent Cardinal .Carvajal. to Germany and Central Europe,
order to plundcr its trcasures and to discover the tombs of their Cardi~·lir Alain to France and thc best Franciscan preachers- like
ancestors, thc Trojans. 8 Since then, the Curia tried to show the nced John Capistrano, Jacques de la Marche, Robert de Lccce or Antonino
of ~ common war, pressing the European powers concerned, such de Montefalcone- all around Europe. Most sermons commcnted the
as enice and Hungar:x:) Still, disunity prevailed as this passage from text of the bull, showing the Turks to be a divine punishmcnt to the
Cardinal Piccolomini's memoii:~ serves to illustrate: sins of Christendom. A part of the Roman treasure was sold, pro-
cessions and prayers were ordcred for the first Sundays of the month. 13
Christcndom has no head whom ali may obey. Neithcr the supreme
ponti:ff nor the emperor is given his due. Thcre is no revererice, no Calixtus III's strategy was cncouraging the rcsistence ª1llong the
obedience. Llke characters in fiction, figures in a painting, so do we Hungariap.s and in Albania whilc a naval attack was organ'ized from
look upon the Pope and the emperor. Every city-state has its own the West. This time the rulers sccm to have reacted: Alfonso V of
ruler. There are as many princes as houses. [...] What order will there Aragon agreed to takc the cross at thc same time as Philip the Good,
be in the army? What military discipline? What obedicncc? Who will surrounded each by their vassals in two great cercmonies. So did
feed so many people? Who will understand the different languages?
Fredcrick III and Alfonso V of Portugal. However, thcy were late:
[...] If you lead a fcw rrien against thc Turks you are casily defeatcd.
If you lead many, you are confounded! 9 Belgrade had been delivcrcd by the common front built up by John
Capistrano and John Hunyadi commanding a combined force of
Ultimately the joint projcct of Aragon, Serbia, Hungary and V cnicc Hungarians, Austrians, Gcrmans, Polish, Dalmatians and Bosnians.
made the Pope issuc thc bull "Etsi ccclesia Christi" 1º on thc 30 Unfortunatcly, both died in thc plague of 1456 leaving the army
September 1453. A !cague was formed the next year including Vcnicc, without its leadcrs. The Pope's flcct just delivered Lcmnos, Samothrace
1/Milan, F1orcncc. and Aragon, known. as the League of Lodi\ But and Thasos, dcfcated the Turks in Mytilene in August 145 7 and
1\[~petians: withdrew. soon after signing a commercial agrecmé;;:t with sackcd the coasts of Cilicia, Syria and Egypt. Calixtus issued a com-
} the Turks which served as scandal for the rest of Christendom.
mcmorative medal with the device "I have been chosen for the
l . Both Nicholas V and Calixtus Jrr had tried to persuade Castile dcstruction of the enemies of the faith'', 1'f but by the time of his
to join thc crusadc in the East, but it was Alfonso V of Aragon who death he had not .11.~h~.cyedJüs targ~t.
wanted to assume leadership, making the most of the fact that Calixtus The election of Pius U (3 September 1458) was a total change of
was Aragonese and had been his son's tutor. As for Castile, legate pcrsonality as head of thc Church. He was preceded by bis grcat
LRodrigo Sánchez de Arévalo got Calixtus III to change his target expericnce in diplomacy duc to the number of missions he had per-
and issuc a crusader buil against Gr¡mada in thc same terms as the formcd for his predecessors in most of the European courts. Once
oncs intended for the Holy Land. 11\ Calixtus had been appointed more, according to his own words, of ali his purposes none was
dearer to him than rousing Christians against the Turks ánd declaring
8.Ibidem, pp. 99-101.
Trans. by Setton, K. M.: 171e Papary and the Levant, H, p. 153.
Sobrequés, S.: "Sobre el ideal de cruzada . .. ", p. 237. Thc document is in 12
Cif. Aubenas, R.: ojJ. cit., p. 39.
A.C.A., R. 2700, f. 39- 40. 13 Schwoebel, R .: The Shadow ef lhe Crescent, p. 45.
Tate, R. B.: E'nsqyos sobre la historiogrqfia peninsular del siglo XV; p. 107. 1
• Ihidem, p. 38.

war upon them. 15 So two months after his investiture he summoned thc situation was qui et. Thcn, both V cnicc and Hungary decided to
'\ the Christian rulers to Mantua in order to hold a conference about join the enterprise, Venicc so as to takc possesíon of :Morea and the
L~rusade, in which cardinal Torqucmada played a fundamental role. latter due to the capture of Bosnia by Sultan Mu}:iammad. Most of
"' initiative was a new approach to the problem, since it was no the Italian city-states thought it was better if Venicc cncountcrcd the
longer a reduced meeting of princes, nor a council whcre crusade Turks on its own. The King of France refused to go, but Philip of
was just onc more mattcr to discuss. The Pope's dcparturc from Burgundy signcd an agreement which bound him, for three years.
Rome worried both its inhabitants, who feared another schism, and {Thc crusader bull was issucd on 22 October 146,,~j But once more
even sorne cardinals, but Pius had chosen Mantua because it was it was impossible to sGLsa.\l, for Louís XI of France warned Philip
an intermediate point for ali those summoncd and he remained firm. of Burgundy that leaving his land at such time would leave it open , 4

The situation in Italy seemed quiet, so the Pope was full of hope, to an English attack, which they could not afford. Philip was casily
but he was very disappointed by the princes, who had chosen to persuaded and gave his apologies to the Pope, who was by thcn in
send legates instead of coming personally to the council. 16 The sit- Ancqua waiting for the other rulers to join him. rn He died there on
uation in Europe was di:fficult: on the one hand, Frederick Ill was 1'4.August l '.!,§1f.
Í not ready to let the Hungarian crown escape fro~ his hands, claimed His successor Paul II continued thc trend of proclaiming his wish "
j b~ .Mathias Corvinus, supportcd by the. Pae.~~yj On the ot~er, ~e to fight the Turks, and decided to pay thc expenses with the income of
1Qng of France would not cooperate until he saw thc Ang~vm clarm the alum commerce from T olfa, which had becn reccntly discovered
sorted out in Naples/ Therefore, only the rulers of small .c'ó'üñtfies and ' ·expÍ~it~ci''i'hree cardinals were appointed to managc thc resourccs,
.... --::...

fin danger of being conquered would arrive from J:~~pirns;" Cyprus, which they had to send to Hungary and to Scanderbeg in Albania.
)Rhodes, Trebizond, Bosnia and Hungary to the East; from thc Wcst, In the Diet of Nurcmbcrg (1466) Western rulers refused to cooper-
' Philip of Burgundy, Francesco Sforza of Milan and Venice offered ate. Scanderbcg managcd to pay for the war out of his own resources
their help only if another ruler would lead them first. Two more but, when he died; Albania was casily invaded. After the fall of
diets were proposed to discuss the details of the enterpriscY Cardinal Necroponte (12 July 14 70) all the attempts to hold the Turks back
Besariort was appointed legate for Germany, the Empcror as leader failed. ... -··· '.,....
of the crusader army, and a plenary indulgence was dcclared for the Meanwhile, the three most important kingdoms in thc Ibcrian
1lext thfec years; Italians wcrc to pay a thirthieth and the Jews a Península had devclopcd their own ideas about the encounter with
tWetitieth in tax. Islam and had tried to put them into practice. They had three
< Although the general rcsl1lts ofthe Diet werc unsatisfying, thc cliffcrent targcts (although somctimcs thcy are not clearly separated):
:Pope: dccided to travcl to Siena in January 1460, hoping that his Portugal directed its efforts towards Africa, Aragon defended its Medí-)
offer to lead the crusadc would encourage the princes. UntiL 1463 terranean positions against the Turks and Castile opposed Granada- )
although it also tried to settle in the North of Africa. ·
The unsuccessful embassy of Duarte I of Portugal (1433 ..·1438) to
Pius II: 1\1emoirs ef a Renaissance Pope, pp. 91 - 93. Basle had its origin in the question of where to direct the Portuguese
About Mantua, see Aubenas, R.: op. cit., pp. 50 ff.; Weber, E.: Croisade d'hier,
djihiid d'azgourd'hui, pp. 294- 303; Enríquez del Castillo, D.: Crónica de Enrique rv, pp.
crusader efforts. Juan II of Castilc (1406-1454-) and his royal favourite
165- 166 and Pius II: op. cit., pp. 94- 144. Pius U receivcd the Castilian cmbassadors Alvaro de Luna had askcd him to consider the possibility of joining
Sánchez de Arévalo and Alonso ele Palenzuela, hoping Enrique IV to send his thcm in a campaign against Granada, while{.puarte's brothers Enrique
legates to Mantua in a letter of 27 February 1459, but he was deceived whcn he
saw that only these samc legates were scnt to the council (Trame, R. H.: op. eit., and Fcrnandq tried to persuade him to continuc thc expansion in
pp. 98- 103). North Africa. / The court was clivided: the general feeling was that
Convoked on the bull of 21 January 1460. Cf. Benito Ruano, E. : "Granada . •- ....... $

o Constantinopla", appendixes 1- 8. Rodriguez de Arévalo wrote his comrnentaries

on this bull: Apparatus .1i11e commenti siljJer bulla cruciatae indictae per papam Pium contra 18 Trame, R. H.: op. cit., p . 120 mentions the speech Sánchez de Arévalo had
jJerfidos Turchos, cf. Trame, R. H .: op. cit. , p. 118. to rcad bcforc the Pope and his court before leaving for Dalmatia.

the African enterprise was too expensive for the rcalm, whcreas thc ( 1438- 1481).. Iri 145 7 there had bcen k~,~ns for the conqucst of.~':l_fi._
capture of new places would be uselcss if there wcre no military as vvitnesséd by a document condemning thc Jew David Malom for
power to keep them. Moreover, the campaign against Granada was warning the Nfoors about a Portuguese ship examining the conditions
a holy war which would )ring the same_pre~0:ge far the nobility and for attacking the African coastlan_d- as was usual in this cases, like
the army and had the suppo;t of Prince Pedro, the Earls of Arraiolos thc conquest of Arzila in 1470. trangier was the most convenient
and Barcclós and even Pope Eugenius. However, due to prcssure on place for severa! reasons: it was ~tfí~ . biggest commcrcial port in the
the side of the Princes Enrique and Fernando, their opinion prcvailcd {Maghrcb, which would providc ; -- base to supply Ceuta and future
- and special subsidies for Ceuta were approvcd between 1432 and expeditions, and would expedite the {ccove.ry _qf Prinec Fernando's
1437. 19 c;,0rpse. Rumours of an attack on Cc{i1.a· by the King of Fez, thc
As he didn't receive an answer from the pope in Basle, Prince ~-eed-· f¿r at least a 25.000 soldier force to conquer the city and a
Fernando, chancellor of the Ordcr of Avis, tried to obtain more pcrmanent garrison to be lcft there and at thc same time in Ceuta,
bcnefits from his brothcr with the thrcat that he would go to serve dissuaded Alfonso V from his original idea. Al-qa~r al-Saghir (Alca-
as a mcrccnary in Europc. Mcanwhile the Duchess of Burgundy, 20 zarquivir in Spanish sources) was closer to Ceuta, was also a corsair
sistcr to thc Portugucse princcs, asked Enrique to :fight against Francc port to be destroyed, a rich arca whích produced cattle and grain
under her husband so that thcy could afterwards travel to J erusalem far Granada, and would enable thc construction of a flcct to control
together; . Seeing the confusion surrounding him, Duarte I finally the maritimc traffic in the area ..J Al-qa~r al-Saghfr surrendcrcd after j'
~ decided ·to call . a crusade against l),ngi!;;L as thc only alternativc to a two-day fight in 1458. The kiiig added a nickname to his othcr !,.,
stop. the füght of Portuguese nobility. He ordcred prince Enrique to titles: "the J\frican", whilc he issued the usual charts for the popu-
~ write a report to justify bis expansionist ideas. The reasons for the lation of the land. 21 Thc Castilian chronicler Alonso de Palencia
expansion ·.plans . as reported by chronicler Azuara were the search stated that the king's main purpose was bis own glory. Nevertheless
for truth and certainty above all, secondly commerce; the third, to he praised the courage of thc Portuguese troops who managed to
assess Muslim military capacitics, the fourth, and essential rcason repcl the King of Fez's counter-attack soon after thc fall of the city. 22
was to try to find Christian rulcrs beyond the known bordcrs who The capacity shown by the Portugucsc fleet when dcvotcd to a
could support thcir campaigns against Islam and, finally, the conver- national issue shows to what extent Christian leaders werc unwilling
sion of pagans. 2ºª It scems that Duarte lalso took into considcration to eompromise in common European cntcrprises, which in thcory
thatEnriquc's last will lcft his properties to the crown princc in case would have provcd cvcn more suecessful, although it would have
he diedin the expedition. The army left from Lis bon and Porto in been certainly more cxpensive to send a Portuguese fleet to fight in
'~!~7~:~¡~: ~!~~~~~ª:u~af:~~·~ri~ce Fef!!<ll1q() V\lªS illiP~()ned Constantinople than paying for a campaign in the North of Afi:iea.
The Portuguese success was unknown to Calixtus III and Alfonso V
Although, as has been said, Portugal subscribed to the crusader of Aragon, who had both died that summer before having achieved
plans of the papacy- wbich never matcrialized- the Turkish threat their Eastern crusade. Alfonso V of Portugal maintaincd his policies
spreading on the other side of the Meditcrrancan was none of their 1in scarch of supplies for bis African scttlcments. He sacked the ter- !
concern, or at least . less important than the African expansion as a fl ritory
around Tangier in 1463, Anafe (Casablanca) in 1469, and in)
"national" business. Prince Enrique remained true to his principles r471 he again considered invading Tangicr to keep it, although he
despite his defeat, and he shared them with bis nephew Alfonso V lmew he did not havc cnough troops. His intcrcsts then diverged to
Arzila, which was conqucrcd. 21
<-~"~--- ..-__ ,.~··

Verissimo, J.: op. át., pp. 40 If.
Espina mentions Isabel of Burgundy in relation wíth the African crusade, Cif. 21
Verissimo, .J.: op. cit., pp. 83- 85.
Mcyuhas Ginio, A.: La farteresse, p. 42. 22
Palencia, A.: Crónica de Enrique IV, I, p. 112.
ºª Antelo, A.: op. cit., pp. 39-40. 23
Verissimo, J.: op. cit., pp. 85-·87.

Regardlcss of the fact that a Castilian dynasty had been cnthroned (remensas) who had to be declared free before they would baclc down
in Aragon, directing its interests towards the neighbouring country in 1455, and thc attack and further distruction of the moorish quarter
rather than its own, Aragon was undoubtedly the most compromising in Valencia by Christian craftsmen, who werc ordered to rebuild the .
Peninsular kingdom rcgarding Eastern issues, due to 'ii~"·-;:;(i~~ercial neighbourhood.26 Fínally, in 1456 the king took the cross at the same {.,
influence throughout the Mediterranean. Thc lack of a direct frontier time as Philip of Burgundy. '
with Granada had weakened the need to fight Islam inside thc Iberian According to Alonso de Palencia, Calixtus III scnt a lctter to
Península. Dcspite geographical distance, the Turks thcn rernaíned Alfonso V telling him how a Roman holy woman had prophesized
the main anxiety of Alfonso V of Aragon (1416--1458) as far as cru- that the sultan would be captured under his mandate, so he had
sading policies were concerned, except for his commercial advances hastened to warn the king of thc glory he would attaín should he
in Tunis. For a start, he launched an cxpedition in 1432 against the lead the expedition against Greece in thc Chtirch's name.27 Alfonso
island of Djerba-thc objcct of several Aragonese attacks from much informed his council of his devotion to the Christian cause and
earlier- , but he failed to conquer it. On thc other hand, his com- promiscd fifteen gallcys to join the Christian fleet. However, his
mercial agreements with Tunis were of no value due to piracy. 24· Italian eontacts with Piccinino and interna! unrest in Aragon made
Between 1444 and 1452 Alfonso signed a number of treaties with him dclay his expedition until 145 7, when he would attcnd together
the- Byzantine cmperor, Brancowitz thc Serbian, Scanderbeg from with his nephew the Portugilesc King, this time with 400 gal~cys ancl
Albania, . and Dcmetrius Paleologus of Morea, and he planned to 50.000 men.!J:Ie died in 1458 with ..b,~~.. Y.JJ)mÍse··unfu:l:fille9:.J
join togethcr in a single treaty Byzantium, the Negus of Ethiopia, The long absence of Alfonso V from Aragon- he used to stay in
the Emperor ofTrebizond and-as he called him- "the Great Khan" Naples- had affected the interna! balance of the kingdom. His impe-
of Chirta. In May 1453, as danger grew greater for Constantinople, rialist policies in the Mediterranean, supportcd by Catalan fieets, had
Alfonso V sent his ambassador Luis Despuig to Rome to propose proved to be quite unproductive and had somctimes harmecl Catalan
the union of the Italian city-statcs in a peace lcague- which favoured interests. When thc cxperienced Juan II (1458- 14 79) king
Alfonso .rather than thc republics- in ordcr to undertake the defense he had to <leal first with the <?PE?.~Í.!Í.?.1.1:)~~d .1?Y his son Prince Carlos
of the city immediatcly. While Nicholas V considered the offer, Con- de Viana. The revolt had a clcar social base and its effccts wcre so
stantinople fell, not withstanding another embassy from Alfonso V outstanding that even the Church bccame divíded: most of thc bishops
to accelerate pteparatíons under the threatthat anything which might supported the king, but thc low clcrgy stood for the prince until his
happei1. would be attríbuted to the Pope's inactivíty. Unfortunatcly cleath. Civil war ravage,c!._Jh.g _counti;yJrom 1462 to 1472, leaving
Juan II few oppor~iae~ to bec¿ffi~"interestcd in fighting the Muslims.

he · ne:xt ncws hcard by Alfonso was the death of his consul in Con-
staritincipl.e ;Juan de la Vía; and his s~f>}éets ..~h~·"h.adb~~rf"defencling ;Following the usual pof-cy of Castilian affairs,ljyan II abandoned
he porL25 • ·. /G,enoa's naval blockag~ and refused to get involved in Italian or
~' The next plan . of the Aragonese monarch was an alliance with "E.astern issues despite repeated appeals from the Pope and Juan's
Hungary; Venice and Serbia, which a bull ratiliecl in 1453, as we have nephcw Fcrrantc of Naplcs.
mentioned, and which was the origín of the Leaguc of Lodi. Alfonso Castilc was lcss committecl than any other kingdom in the wars
V hoped to Icad the crusade, gíven his good relationship with Calixtus against MuJ:iammad II, because all its efforts were coneentrated on
III, but the appointment by the king of condottiere Piccinino as com- its frontiers. From 1412 to 1430, truccs with Granada had been
mandcr clid ·not satisfy the Pope. Meanwhile, Alfonso had to face signed, although constable Álvaro de Luna took advantage of the
other problcms in his realm: the opposition of Catalan parties who
refused to vote crusader subsidies, the revolt of thc servant-peasants
Sobrcqués, S.: ojJ. cit., pp. 241-242; Hillgarth,J N.: op. cit., p. 13.1 and Dánvila
y Collado, M.: "La expulsión ... ", pp. 34-37 . About thc probletns caused by
• Hillgarth, J. N.: Tlze Kingdoms, pp. 306; 315- 316. Piccinino bctwccn Calixtus III and Alfonso V, sce also Pius JI: op. cit., pp. 74-77.
Sobrcqués, S.: oj1. cit., pp. 234-235. 27
Palencia, A.: op. cit., I, p. 111.

Nluslims' divisions "to imitate Alfonso Xl's success in channclling as his friends Juan Pachcco, marquis of Villcna, his brother Pedro
the rebellious energy of Castile's nobility into holy war". 28 Juan II Girón, Miguel Lucas de Iranzo and Beltrán de la Cucva. 29
of Castile (1406- 1454) proposed to Duarte of Portugal that he partici- \ In thc sccond year of his rcign, Enrique IV, undcr pressure from
pate, as has been said, but he refused. The intercst of the papacy \the
nobility, started a series of four campaigns against Granada.....30.,...""'/
was obvious: thc prcaching of indulgenccs was always followed by The conquest of the small kingdom would be extremely difficult and
taxes on the clcrgy and still more indulgences. In 1431 the discred- expensive, as demonstrated by Ladero Quesada, 31 so Enrique prcfr:rred
ited G?.ª1;1iamcnt (Corles) had a meeting to vote subsidies. Following policies which would "bring maximum bcnefits from a mínimum of
this, thc victory of La Higueruela, though rninor compared to othcr cost and effort". 32 From 1455 to 1458 Castilian troops were kcpt undcr
Christian successes, was the rnost important battlc of the period. Thc control, avoiding long sicgcs at fortificd places and using thc destruc-
Castilian advance was stopped by the intemal factions in the Castilian tion of crops as an cconomic weapon. Skirmishes on thc part of the
court, specifically an attcmpt to murder the Constable, which made knights trying .,!º show ()[ t1.dr (l~ilitie~ werc frequent but, in general,
diplomacy was preferred to the conq~est of fortresses, which would

him retreat from thc battlcficld. When thc surrender was acccptcd
(1439), the most fcrtilc arcas of Ronda and Málaga were in Christian give the nobles too much power and would encourage revenge from
hands. the Muslims.
Thc struggle for power within thc frontiers of Castilc hindered Tenancy of castles had been onc of thc first objectives of war until
thc rcsumption of campaigns against thc Muslims until Enrique N thcn, in ordcr to kecp the borders safe. A grcat numbcr of gricvanccs
became king in 1454. The year bcfore, the most important man in in thc Cortes about thc low paymcnt for thc castcllans and thc ruincd
the kingdorn had fallen, causing commotion in thc court and impress- statc of many of the building-s givcs an idea of thc monarchy's lack
ing foreigners; even cardinal Piccolomini was shockcd. If for Europe of carc when war was not imminent. 33
1453 had been the year of thc capture of Constantinople, for Castile The difficulty of providing funds for the war voted by a reluctant
it was the year of the public cxecution of Álvaro de Luna, accused parliament caused the king to seek another way of fighting against
of treason againstJuan II. The chronicler Alonso de Palencia dcvoted Granada: he got the . Muslim lcadcrs of the diffcrent factions in thc ¡
sorne pages of his Decades to the events which took place in Constan- Islamic realm to work against thc Nasrid dynasty on behalf of Cast_i~.~)~
tinople and their consequences, complaining that they had divcrtcd War became thus a phcnomcnon "of fronticr", as dcfincd by Burns. 34
Europcan attention from the fall of Luna, which he considcrcd vital. Thc embe~dcmentgf~rusadc sul:J.s.iqies was one of thc most frequent
The Marquis of Santillana was encouraged by chroniclcr Pére;-··;r~ lc«:~sailo~s against En;{qile 'fv·in tb.e -fust years of his reign. The
Guzmán to write sorne Italianate poems appealing for thc crusade Castilian ambassador Rodrigo Sánchez de Arévalo achieved for Castile
against thc Turks.
Soon after his favourite's death, Juan Il died too, and his son
Phillips, W.: Enrique IV and the Crisis .. ., pp. 46-47.
Enrique IV (1454- 1475) succeded. He began his rcign as a rich man, 30
Enríqucz del Castillo, D.: Crónica de Enrique IV, pp. 146- 147 describes the corles
for to his possessions as Princc of Asturias-sincc he had no heir yet- at Cuéllar and reproduces thc nobility's argumcnts cxposcd by thc Marquis of
__1 he added the royal holdings, increased reccntly by {sonfiscation of Santillana.
thc Constable's propcrtie~J Thc absence of support from among his
Ladero Quesada, M. A.: Caslilla }' la conquista del reino de Granada, p. 202.
' Phillips, W.: op. cit., p. 54.
family and Castilian nobility made Enrique scck new assistants for 33
This subjcct was discussed in the following meetings of the Gortes, as appears
thc governmcnt. His rule started confirming his father's officials in in thcir proceedings: Ocaña, 1422, p. 42; Palcnzucla, 1425, pp. 62, 76·-·7;7; Valladolid,
1451, pp. 62 l ·-622; Ocaña, 1469, p . 80 l. In Cortes de los antiguas reinos de León)' de
1 t.·heir posts. Thcn he tried to crcate new grandes from the lower ranks Caslilla, Madrid, 1861, vol. III. .
• Burns, .R. l.: "The Significancc of thc Fronticr in thc Middc Agcs", p. 326.
lin the nobility, in an effort to dilute the powcr of the aristocracy.
For more informarion, sce Mata Carriazo, J. de: "La vida en la frontera .de Granada",
'Following this systcm, he surroundcd himsclf with new allics such I Congreso de Hittoria de Andalucía J.l[edieval. Also Pino, .J. L. del: "Las <¡ampañas mi-
litares castellanas ... ", V Coloquio de Historia Medieval de Andalucía, p. 673 about the
Hillgarth, J. N.: op. cit., p. 315. econornic aspccts.

the recognition of the Granadan campaigns as a parallel crusade to Enrique IV's policies towards Granada have inspired differing opin-
the one taking part in thc Near East, declining their help on this ions and have often been misundcrstood. Many nobles did not agrce
front. After sustaíning thís argument at the council of Mantua, thc with the .!!n;P.ted. war..!h~. kingp[()J?().s~~' as it kept them frorn e1;illect-
same privileges were granted for thc crusades at both cnds of the ing new land for thcir younge~ 'son:s and from military prestige.{'\t\'._hat
Mediterranean, while the Crown was authorised to receive an income is quite certain is that the econQJJÚ.G..-.W.ªLfavoured by the Kin:g·
i from the sale of indulgences. With these funds, a permanent mili- beyond the military concepts of his tin.?c~.J Thosc mcrnbers of the clergy
) tary force of 3.000 lances and 20.000 foot soldiers was established.
who were imbued with a spirit of intolcrancc could not understand
}' Calixtus III issued anothcr bull granting Enrique the position of any approach to Muslims except through conquest or conversion.37
·' Master of thc Order of Santiago for fiftecn years and that of Alcántara Arnong contemporary chroniclcrs, Alonso de Palencia was the first to
·- for ten years, with the capacity to control all their incomes and criticize Enrique as an "cnemy of the faith, passionate towards the
armies. ~5 The king was supposed to turn against the Turks as soon Moors" who damagcd his soldiers, deprived the Christians of their
as the Muslims were driven out from the Iberian Pcninsula. Unfortu- goods and incomes to malee the Saracens rich, refused to attack the
) nately, ~.?~~ ~~.~~~J~!}q~_,.Y,Y~E~. sfür9rtt_~_!o buy thc support of Beltrán infidels and was followed by a group of Moors (his body-guard) "whose
¡de la Cueva, Alonso de Fonseca, archbishop of Seville, and other plunder, rape, coercion and inhuman rage against our people, crudely
1newcomers. extended through the realm,' cannot be described". 38 Thís evidence
Calixtus III was so delighted with the idea of a Península free from clashes with the explanation given by Enríquez del Castillo for his
Islamic power that. he alsolg¡:ante.q indulgcnce to any crusaders who refusal to a1low individual or small-group skirmishes:
died on their journey to G;anada, ' and ·t~- -the faithful who gavc 200
Quando los moros salian a dar escaramuc;:a, jamás el rrey <lava logar
maravedis in Castile or three flmins in Aragon. All thc indulgences a ello, porque como hera piadoso y no cruel, más amigo de la vida
granted to churches, monasteries or individuals werc ~!!P~~,S:.<".~~g. de los suyos que derramador de su sangre, dec;:ía que pues la vida de
The treasurers wcrc supposed to gívc the money to the bishops under los hombres no tenía prec;:io, ni avía equivalenc;:ia para ella, que hcra
penalty of excommunication, and the latter straight to the King. The muy grand yerro consentir aventuralla y por eso no le plac;:ía que salie-
\crusade would have four years' validity frorn the date of the bull sen los suyos a escaramuz31·, ni se diesen batallas, ni convates, y quanto
f.~22 April 1455). In 1456 a new indulgence was preached to bring quiera que en las tales entradas se gastava gran suma de dineros, que-
ria más espender sus thesoros que dañando los henemigos poco a poco,
Íñ'more funds in the next four years, but again in 145 7 there was que ver muertos ni estragos de sus gentes. 39
another, this time applied to the deceased, a new and unpreccdented
device, Finally; he anathematized whoever posed any obstacle to the For a foreigner such asJorg von Ehingen, on the other hand, Castilian
king in bis pursuit of the crusade. {Enriq~~,.+9ok._Jhe-l\f.QSS on the 25 campaigns were comparatively hard. The King had not only prepared
February .L4.:2Z...&.-Pd was sent a bless~e(f;-~~urd ;~¿ a hat by the Pope,
as had be en traditional befo re the beginning of a crusade. 36 All the Phillips, W.: op. cil., p. 56.
Palencia, A. de: op. cit., I, p. 170. Dctailcd dcscriptions of the campaigns and
Jchronicles without exception refer to thc ..~?.E gf.~ran.~~~ . ~s the main
reactions of the king regarcling thc Muslims can be found in vol. I, pp. 70- 73,
'Jcvent of these four years, although the account 'Of 'md1vidual deeds 103-108, 114, 133- 139; about truces, p. 145; thc cmbassy to the Pope to negotiate
'lea ves few. pages for the dcvelopment of the campaigns as a whole. tenths far thc war against the Turks, p . 157.
"Because he was pious and not cruel, more a friend of the lifc of his men than
The size of the army is another favourite subject, as well as the kind the spiller of their blood, he said that [...] thc lifc of men had no price or equiv-
of weapons used, but rcfcrences do not look very accurate. alent, and il was a great error to risk them, and for this reason it did not please
him that his men went out on skirmishes [...] and in such expcditions a large
amount of money was spent; he wished [.. .] rather to spend his treasures in dam-
aging thc cncmy little by littlc than to see his people dead." Enríqucz del Castillo, D.:
Phillips, W.: op. cit., pp. 56- 57. About Sánchcz de Arévalo's role, sec Tate, op. cit., p. 152. On thc campaign, pp. 149 --154. Thc same positive scope is found
R. B.: k11sqyos sobre la hislo1iografia peninsular . .. , p. 107. in the Compendiosa historia hispánica by Rodrigo Sánchez de Arévaloi Trame has
Enríquez del Castillo, D.: o/J. cit., pp. 156-157. Cf. Goñi Gaztambide,J: Esiudio describcd thc chapter about Enrique IV's victories as "an cxlravagant praise", cf.
de la bula de cruzada ... , pp. 358- 366. Trame, .R. H.: op. cil., p. 117.
himself "actively" b.u t also gathered an army of 70.000 soldiers "such to Ceuta to havc an interview with l\!larinid legates.+i What Bishko
as had ncvcr been seen befare by any Christian man". He was wcll fails to explain is why the nobility should fccl such j!.__!:__~E~.9-ldI)n t~e
imprcssed by the knights of the Order of Santiago, and describcd first years of his government, for a king who had confirmed all the~r
the capture of villages and towns as well as thc death of infidels. privilegcs, sincc historians agree that they were at first pleas~d at h1s
His description of a siege underlines the munher of good Christian coronation and that thc starting point of friction was prcc1sely the
soldiers who might die in a heavy combat--and therefore the impos- war against Granada.
sibility of maintaining this kind of war for a long time. But Enrique According to Phillips, thcse years of war were in many ways a
also uscd the tactics of his ancestors: "vVe then passed by Granada grcat success. Castilian forces had sccured strategic positions such as
through the kingdom, and destroyed and burnt and slew where we Archidona and Gibraltar. The frontier was more secure and Granada
could, so that nothing remained standing as we passed, for everything had lost part of its former economical and political powcr. Enrique's
".Y.a.:s..Jªid.:waste" ..¡{) This does not look likc the action of a feeble king. success might have bcen greatcr had he only been able to proceed
Historiography based on these chronicles has taken either side: with his strategy, but the state of the realm prevcnted him from engag-
among those who follow Enríquez del Castillo is the chronicler Bleda ing in policics to the South. Final conquest by the Reyes Católicos
who, in the seventeenth century, speaks of Enrique IV's intelligent took advantage of Enrique's advanccs, but added immense expenses
.strategy and of his !ove for his subjects ,which led himf.t.o avoid skir- in mcn and funds during the war and compromised an enormous
l~ishes in preference to economic W<l;d In any case, thc King was amount of land for the aristocracy as payment far their support.

decply touched by the g~_ªth 9LGarci Laso dela.Vega in a skirmish Maybe . Phillips' version is too benevolent regardíng Enrique I~,
he had forbidden- a point which Palencia denics- -, ··5¿- ~uch so that but in thc light of the cvents taking place in Castile sincc 1459, it
he took his revcngc through further crop devastation in the surround- is obvious that neither time or resources could be devoted to harass-
ing valleys and thc capture of Jimena. Campaigns were abandoncd ing Muslim Granadans and it was more practica! to keep theU:: sub-
due to instability inside both Castilc and Granada. The latter also dued and quict. On the other hand, for Fernando and Isabel it was
reduced the number of razzias against Christian towns. 41 Fernández more convenient to employ the rebellious nobility and the troops
y González insists on the King's positive attitude, as he was the one gathered in thcir war againstJuana la Beltraneja in a common enter-
who asked Nicholas V for a cmsader bull and called the Cortes at prisc far from the borders of Castilc and Aragón. If we assume that
Cuéllar despite the nobility's opposition. But the decisive moment \ the Islamophile accusations of 1467 werc ~ ~olitical ~anoeuvre, the
was the submission of the Granadan king to Enrique IV as a vassal. 42 \campaigns of~~~-,?-~ .-~EJ?-C.a1: ª~ -~ p~9p_~g;;i.nd1sti.\ _l':~!sq:;ins~, ~avourable
MacKay ressumes the accusations against Enrique for his Islamophile ·~to a r'lew··king with enough resources to get mvolved m 1t, to seek
tendencies madc in 1467 and sees his attitude as an element of bis Rome's supp~rt whilc "diplomatically" avoiding the ap~e~ for the,,..
pro-Islamic policies which were strongly rejected by the nobility, the crusade in the East, a way of acquiring goods and tcrntones for a
clergy and historian Alonso de Palencia, as shall later be discussed.'13 ne"v nobility in expansion and a display of his power befare Granada
Bishko insists on the influence of the nobility from a different view- to grant their tribute.,-a good sourcc of income far the crown-~nd
point: their attitude made Enrique IV decide against a purely military keep the borders quiet during his rcign. If things wcnt wrong. dunng
strategy bccause thcy prcvented large scale operations. Later on, the the following years, ~lame cannot be P.JJLtotally on the Kmg nor
nobles charged him with secret contacts with the enemy to escape on the nobility. Prob:~hly the formcr was too splendid with this friends
resposibilities. Enrique only confirmcd their suspicions when he crossed and the latter exccssive in their individualism and their · claims.

•0 ·ne Dial)' qf ]oig uon flrtin/;en, pp. 37-38.

H Blcda, B. J.: Crónica de los moros de füjJaiia, pp. 562- 566. .¡.¡ Bishko, C. J.: "Spanish and Portuguese Reco°:que~t_. . .",p. H7¡ ~nrí1~1e7. del
• Fernández y Gonzálcz, F.: Ertado social y político . . ., pp. 193 - l91· . Castillo, D.: op. cit., pp. 208-209 gives another vers1011 of an cncounter m Gibraltar
.:< M acKay, A. !.: "The Balad and the Frontier ... ", p. 28 . For the opinion of with the King of Portugal.
the clergy, see Millcr, T .: Henry IV of Castile, p. 93. 4 '.• Phillips, W.: oj1. cit., pp. 55 56.

Nevertheless, therc wcre no further attempts of royal campaigns solve the economíc crisis. Howcvcr, Enrique could count on the sup-
due, in the first place, to Aragonese pressure. Enrique IV tried to port of the pcople. It is intcrcsting to consider here the first point
support his nephew Carlos de Viana and at the samc time to keep of these daíms, which later formed part of the Sentence of Medina
peace with Juan JI divcrting his interest from Castilian politics. The del Campo (16 January 1465). It deals with the situation of infidels
Catalans acknowledgcd his importance by offcring Enrique to be at thc court. The commission asked for- or rather ordcrcd-.,--Muslims
their lord, but his lack of decission made him lose such opportunity. and Jcws to be ejected from the realm and their confiscatcd prop-
England, Genoa and Venice asked for a Castilian alliancc which erties to be used to rescue Christian captives in Muslim lands. 50 The
alrcady existcd with France and Portugal. Local cfforts had their conflíct of the Moorish guarcl, main victim of the mcasures taken
outcome in thel_s;apture of Gibraltar and Archidon~ conquered by after the Sentence of Medina, shoulcl be unclerstood within a broader
the combincd effort of urban militias and local nobi'lity of the area- context. Literally,
the Poncc de León and the Guzmanes. It is true that the King, once
II. Otrosi: por quanto en las peticiones propuestas por los dichos per-
finishcd the wars promoted by the Crown, lcft the initiativc to thosc lados e caballeros e ricos-ornes fue suplicado al dicho señor rey que
who had particular interests in the frontier. 4 r> The conquest of thcsc apartase de si los moros que trae en su guarda, porque sus subditos
two towns caused a good impression in Rome and helpcd to solvc e naturales estan dello muy escandalizados, e asimismo porque los
lhe uneasiness caused b~ thc r?luctancy of Peninsular clcrgy to pay dichos moros dis que fizieron muchas sinrazones, e que a su altcsa
¡í,P1ºre taxes for the Turk1sh busmess. 47 In the same year (1460), rela- ploguiese de los mandar apartar de si e punir e castigar, sobre lo qua!
fablamos con el dicho señor rey, e a su señoría plugo que cerca de
u tions between Christians and conversos suffered from a series of riots
lo contenido en este capitulo sea proveido como comple al servicio de
in Córdoba, which made the vicar-general of the J eronimites ask the Dios e suyo e bien publico de sus regnos. Por ende nos, acatando el
king for authorisation for a general inquisition in thc kingdom, which servicio de Dios e ensalzamiento de su santa fe, e por que la famil-
he obtained.'rn This was the first in Castile and started precisely in iaridad e compañia con los dichos moros es muy defendida en dere-
Toledo, birthplace of many well-known conversos. cho e por leyes reales, e la participación con ellos es muy peligrosa e
dapnosa, e por emendar los dapnos e inconvinientes que de lo con-
Around 1464 the atmosphcre at the Castilian court was more and
trario se pueden seguir, ordenamos e declaramos que! dicho señor rey
more tense. The struggle betwccn the old families and the ncw nobles de aqui a cinquenta días primeros siguientes eche e aparte de si e de
reached its peal{, leacling the country to thc verge of civil war, just su compañia e casa e corte a todos los dichos moros que trae en su
what Enrique IV had tried so hard to avoid. The succession to the guarda asi de a caballo como de a pie, e que agora nin en algund
throne bccame the excuse for the dívision of the partics. Enrique tiempo non los torne nin traya otros para la dicha su casa e guarda:
IV rriet the League creatcd by the nobility twice that winter to try e _ordenamos e declaramos que los moros de los sobredichos que foc-
sen mudejares, se vayan en dicho tiempo a las morcrias e casas e log-
to negociate; A commission was established to decide the structure
ares donde son vecinos e naturales, e que de aqui adelante el dicho
of the kingdom's futurc government and a manifesto was issued with señor rey non les de racion nin quitacion nin dadiva nin merced nin
all their demancls. 49 apostamiento a ellos nin a los otros, nin ellos la resciban de su seño-
The line of argument of the manifesto proposcd the outlines of ría nin de otro por el: e los moros que son del regno de Granada e
oligarchical control of the country, accusing thc King of inability to de otras partes, ordenamos e mandamos que si los tales moros son
libres, salgan en el dicho tiempo de los regnos e señoríos del rey nues-
tro señor e non esten nin tornen a ellos: e los que son esclavos del
~ Tate, B.: op. cit., p. 107. dicho señor rey, en el dicho tiempo los envien a las fronteras de los
H Valcra, D.: Nlemorial de diversas ha¿añas, p. 26. Rodrigo Sánchez de Arévalo lec- moros, para que por ellos se saquen cristianos de los que estan cap-
turcd befare Pius II about the conquest of Gibraltar. He showed interest in includ-
ing Castile in his gco-ethnical descripLion of the world, so he ordered Sánchez ele tivos quantos mas por ellos se puedan sacar, e los envien de tal ma-
Arévalo to write his Libellus de situ et descriptione Hispaniae, cf. Trame, R. H.: op. cit., nera que dentro del dicho tiempo salgan fuera del regno, lo qual se
p . 115.
+n Sigüenza, J. de: Historia de la orden de San Jerónimo, pp. 366-367. About the
conflicts in Córdoba, see also Valcra, D.: op. cit. , p. 78. Paz y Mcliá, A.: El cronista Alonso de Palencia, pp. 60- 69; Memorias de Don Emique
' Enríquez del CasLillo, D.: op. cit., p. 222. IV de Castilla, pp. 327-· 331·.

faga e compla de aqui a los dichos cinquenta días. E si los dichos fwas inherited from Juan II, who had tumed to thcm when his cousin \
moros e qualquier dellos non saliere füera de los dichos regnos desde lJuan of Navarre (later Juan II of Aragón) took, him prisoncrJ ThcsJ
el dia que esto füerc publicado en la corte del dicho señor rey fasta knights, including sorne Muslim servants of Alvaro de Lúna and
los dichos cinquenta dias primeros siguientes, o despues de idos se
Alonso Pérez de Vivero rcmaincd loyal to the king. 54 Enrique IV con-
volvieren en cualquier manera, ordenamos e declaramos que qual-
quiera persona los pueda tomar e captivar por esclavos, e si se defen- jtin~('.g _to i:ely Q!1... 12is fathc1)_g11ard_and, the country being close to
dieren que los pueda matar sin pena alguna, e esa misma pena ayan 'a-éivil war, it would b~- i:é;i.sonabT~ ·-to assume that his enemies would
los moros mudejares e otros moros qualesquiera si en algund tiempo try to deprive him of his best rnilitary support. 55
vinieren a vivir o andovieren en la guerra e guarda de casa del dicho The extensive use of Alonso de Palcncia's chronicle by contem-
señor rey. 51 porary historians has favoured the nobility's version: writtcn aftcr thc
The tolerant attitude towards Muslims had finished in Castile and dethroncmcnt of Ávila, which he had to justify,{falencia56 givcs cxtra-
Hillgarthó 2 thinks this clause is a concession to the clergy. My own ordinary importancc to thc accusations of he..!J;:.S.y addressed to the J
view is that it goes further. MacKay states the importance of this king, quoting how the Master of Calatrava and the Marquis of Villena
issuc in its hcading thc list of complaints, but he admits it is not the had been induced by him to convert to Islam! However Alonso de
main problcm in Castilian politics, nor that all the nobility were 'tEspina, despite being confessor to the King, ncvcr mcntioned this point-
unitcd on this point. Both Enrique's Islamophile tendencics and the i.n his J<ortalitium, but on the contrary, he praiscd Enrique's efforts
ihterruption of the war against Granada were propaganda for the against Muslims. 571It is also strange to see the King accuscd only of

1 :aus~ of the nobilityJ~trictly. s?eaking, thc King's attitude ~ow~rds being Islamophilc whcn the Jewish-converso problem was in its apogcc.
LMuslims and Jews día not difier much from thc uses of hls time, The outcome of what has bccn cxposed was thelc;!issol1,gio.nofthe
. ~d his personal convictions should not be doubted. His quick approval ~n:Land the return of its mcmbcrs to their places of origin.
of the project of an inquisition proposed by the J eronimite Alonso From the Sentence of Medina (1467) until the King's death (1474)
de Oropesa, his religious foundations in Segovia, fü.~s support of the chron.iclers focus almost exclusively on the problcm of succession and
{5onventual Franciscans, -~nd the .e~istence of. two p~o~ed .confessors civil war. The scarce references to be found about Muslims were
show that he was a pract1smg Chrisuan. What is certam isUus fondness thc claims at the Cortes in Ocaña for the money obtained frorn the
of Mudejm:...dcCQ.~;;i,tion and habits in his palaces. Acculturation was infidcls to revcrt to thc liberation of captives, and an intcrview of
cvidcnt in this atmosphcrc according to the wi'h;Csscs, ambassadors Enrique with chicf Alquirc;:otc frorn Málaga, who .pgs;!.4..hl!:P ~91!1Plªge
súch as Philippe de Commynes or Leo of Rozmital. On thc othcr hand, and prornised his help against Granada. 1n Enrique IV could hardly
th.esc travell.érs rnight have been heavily imprcssed by customs which keep reign, and ruled from 1468 to 1474, when he died. The reign
di:ffcred greatly from the ones in their own countrics-regardlcss of of the Reyes Católicos ..1!13~;1-"k,~,., e ...l:""! with Enrique IV's Muslim
them being Islamic. The accounts of Rozmital and his companions politics, as they startcd a strong offensivc, both diplomatic and mil-
are full of contradictions and diffcr from Ehingen's, "vho was a Slav itary, against the remaíns of Granada. But that is another story.
used to travel through Muslim territorics, and who does not mention
any reason for surprise in Enrique IV's court. 53
The particular(ieaction against thc Muslim guard( in thc context
of the accusations against Enrique had a politiéii.'Cj);;:J;'ose. The guard

~ A.G.S., Q}iitaciones de Corte, leg. l.
Transl. l\IIacKay, A.: "Thc Balad and the Fronticr ... ", pp. 29-30. > See my article "Los elches en la guardia de Juan II y Enrique IV ele Castilla",
~onger study of the events can be found in Hillgarth, J. N.: op. cit., pp. 234 V! Simposio internacional de Mudi;jarismo, pp. 4 21 - 4 2 7.
ff.; Plulhps, W.: op. cit., pp. 75 ff. and MacKay, A.: ILJ. España de la Edad Media, pp. ''" Palencia, A. de: op. cit., p. 16 7.
219- 221. FF, f. 170r- v.
Phillips, W.: op. cit., pp. 81 - 89. ''
Enríquez del Castillo, D.: op. cit., p. 325.
_______ ...........·- -·························-··-···- - - - - - - - - -


This was an educatcd Jewish family, well-known in Saragossa,

which produced a numbcr of members who had stood out cithcr in
civil offices or in the study of Scriptures. For instance, Vidal de la
Cavallería (1370- ?), a disciple of Sclomó de Piera, was famous for his
THE INTELLECTUAL APPROACH I: Hebrew translations and knew thc Latín classics, Christian philosophy
THE AUTHORS and poct1y.
Howcver, in 1412 someth:ing happened that would mark their
family life forever: the dispute of Tortosa. This attempt to put an -"·
The social origins and education of thc authors who <leal with the end to the problem of Jews and conversos in Aragon was promoted
subject of Muslims in thc Ibcrian Península are essential to understand by Saint Vincent :Ferrer, Fernando 1 of Aragon (1410-1416) andPope
their points of vicw. The common dcment to sorne of them is the Bcncdict XIII. A massive catechesis was planned to be attended by
University of Salamanca and the centres of intellectual life surrounding the most important members of the Jewish community. The organ-
it: Franciscan and Dorrúnican convcnts in Salamanca and Valladolid. izers would dcmonstratc that Jesus possessed ali the messianic fea-
But the Church, in its university and local levels, is not the only tures promised by the Scriptures. The aljamas of Aragon were invited
one to take part in this matter. The íntcrnal relationships within to send their best masters to Tortosa on the 15 January 1413. ln-
each Mendícant Order and the branches of ecclesiastical power in doctrination bceame a real disputation, which was to last onc wholc
the courts of the European kingdoms and in Rome also affect these ycar. Qyl~y rabbis and celebritics converted, Vidal and B~nafós de )
writers ... Both Pedro de la Cavallería and 'Isa ibn Djabir, born in a la Cavallería among themt_ King Fernando had several requrremcnts, ·
family of conversos and Muslims respectively, are in contact with these but he had also made a good offer. Convcrsion should be pacific and
spheres of infiuence.
the important pcrsons should be followed by their synagogue~l In
exchange, they would obtain royal protection and thcy would réinain
in their offices- forbidden to Jews in theory-both in thc royal court
Pedro de La Cavallería and in the city hall. Only a branch of the Cavallcrias remained loyal

The figure of Pedro de la Cavallería, who lived during the reign of

to their formcr relígion, keeping their surname Ben Labi. l
The polerrúc of Tortosa also had an important effe·cf on anti-
Alfonso V of Aragon, can be considcred separately from the other J cwish propaganda. It inaugurated a literary trend which praised
authors; despite writing in the same chronological period. He is also new-converts, followed by Alonso de Espina who referred to Pedro
th~ only,: l~an among them. His family took its surname from its Alfonso as an cxamplc of true conversion which must be followed. 3
r~iationship ;¡_tli~"a military order- probably thc T emplars-since thc By thc time Pedro was born, the conversion of his family had
twclfth ccntury. In thc thirteenth century sorne members hcld the been achievcd. His brothcr Bonafós, baptised as Fernando because
office of batlíe 1 of the city of Saragossa, which they enjoyed for gcn- the lcing had been his godfathcr, had married the Christian Leonor)
erations. As from 1340, they wcrc protected by the Ordcr of Saint de la Cabra. The only details we have about Pedro's early life are
John and received thcir rents from thc royal trcasurc. 2 Thc subscqucnt his own words in the introduction to his :{,elus Christi:
evolution of this family provides an interesting case of how condi-
tions of coexistence worked during the fiftccnth-century. Tamen a mea tenera aetate, iussu fidclissimorum parentum meorum,
sic in quadruplici lingua fui eruditus Latina, Caldea, Arabica et Hebraea,
ut sacri canonis Bibliae studio me mancípavcrim et in servitutem Dei
The batlle o[ the Catalan-Aragonese kingdom was a judge whose competences
included ali the territory of a particular town and its lands, where he would judge
surrounded by his own eourt and with severa! officcrs under his authority.
Ct:: Enryclopediajudaica, vol. V, "Cavallería". See also Vendrell, F.: "Aportaciones
documentales para el estudio .. .", !>~farad (1943), pp. 115- 154. 3
Meyuhas Ginio, A.: La forleresse, p. 72.

me redegerim; ut a tenera mea aetate (gratia Dei) desiderio desider- semitism which affected Aragon and Valcncia8 around 1455, causing '\
averim aclhaerere Christo Iesu: et aequando scripturam Hebraicam the buming of the city's Muslim quarter, Pedro decided to ask a group
cum Latina, noverim caecitatem ludaicam: et habens cum ludais et of citizens for a testimony stating that his origins and those of his
Sarracenis multas disputationes, novi eorum caecitatem validis rationibus family were irreproaehablc regarding the purity of his Christian faith.
superatam. 4
The legal document was shrewdly written, given that the witnesses
Thesc notes eonfirm the trend towards an incrcase in the number could not deny openly that Fernando/Bonafós de la Cavallería had ¡
of children going to collegc in the fifteenth ccntury, as stated by sev- been brought upas aJew. 9 Thc generation who had seen him con- '"
era! authors. It became more common to find people who had riscn vert was still alive. The witnesses, who affirmed that they knew
/from the lower groups of society through the study of law .a.nd the Fernando, gave their testimony out of friendship or to benefit from
ltciences, who were employed in civil affairs. This new intellcctuat Pedro's position. Thcy wcre D. LopeJiménez de Urrea, Lord of Rueda;
class also open to the higher ranks of conversos. It p;~ved to be D . .Juan de Villalpando, D. Pedro Perez de Embún, Fríar Juan Bon-
o11é~f the main factors for assímilation and, latcr, one of the favourite filla of the Order of Santiago, D. Juan Gareés de Marcilla, D. Juan
targets for the anti-converso theoreticians. Cavallcría's contacts with Fernández de Heredia, D. Juan de Caseda, D. Juan de Francia,
jurors and councillors gave a more legal basis to the religious knowl- D. Juan de Gurrca and D. Juan de Murillo. Howcver, the proof of '¡
edge he had already acquircd. However, the chapters he devoted to the falschood of this statement was written by Fernando himself, who !
Islam within his work lackcd the same depth. confessed his origins together with his former Jewish name 10 in 1414. '.>
·. . . His first public appearance was as eounsellor to Alfonso V of His greatest triumph and confirmation of his religious rchabilita-
{ Aragon and commissioner for Queen Maria in the cortes of 1\ifonzón tion was the admission of Fernando to the guild of Saint Vinccnt
~nd Alcañiz (1436- 1437). In 1438 he and his family received severa! Martyr of the Racioneros de la Jvfensa at the see in Saragossa. We shall
-privileges from the king. He was appointed maestre racional of Aragon sec how sorne guilds admittcd even Muslims in their numbers, better
and fiscal attorney (procurador fiscal) far the King. As part of his work still if it was a famous converso likc Cavallería. 11 By that time he had
as a renowned lawyer he took part in the publication of the obser- already foundcd the. chapel of thc Holy Spirit in thc Town Hall.
vances and customs of Aragon by the juror (Justicia de Aragon) Martín Probably Pedro, as maestre racional (cquivalent to the Castilian contador "
Díez de Aux. 5 Mqyor), would have joined the same guild sooner or latcr, but his
Pedro started to write a book against Judaism, in his own words name is not in the capbreu of 1515, ordercd by the prior Pedro de
to defend and spread thc faith ofJesus Christ, as he knew what Sesse. 12
answers should be given to Jews and Muslims. He addressed in par- This behaviour, apparently in accordance with sound prineiples,
tic:ular those who had sccn him participate in disputes and who had clashcs with the testimony of one of the witnesses at the Cavallerias'
told him to his facc that the law of Moses and Islam were easier to tria! by the Inquisition around 1480. A Jewish wcavcr reported then
believe. 6 His Tractatus z:,elus Christi contra iudaeos, sarracenos et infideles was that at the time of the plague, when Pedro de la Cavallería and his
finished in 1450. In the following years his family continued to family had moved to the house thcy had in one Aragoncse village,
inerease its propcrtics. 7 Pedro uscd to visit his house and enjoy the Saturday meal with wine
At that moment and probably simultaneously to the wave of anti- and hamin; he answercd to the prayer ovcr the food, he spokc in

• ZC, t: 2r-v.
0 Sobrequés, S.: op. cit., pp. 241 - 242; Dánvila y Collado, M.: La. .expulsión de los
Latassa, F.: Bibliotecas antigua y nueva de escritores aragoneses, p. 312. The .Justicia de moriscos españoles, pp. 34-37.
9 Baer, Y. : Historia de los judíos en la España cristiana, p. 528.
Aragón was a lord who ensurcd the observancc of ancient customs and judged the
litigations betwecn the King and the nobles. He was also an interpretcr of tbc coun- JO Serrano y Sanz, lVI.: op. cit., pp. 189- 191. The document clated l3 May 1414

try's codes for lite. used to be in the Archivo de Protocolos de Zaragoza.

ZC, f. 2r- v. See chapter 7.
Serrano y Sanz, M.: Orígenes de la dominación española .. ., pp. 191 192. Latassa, F.: op. cit., p. 314.

Hebrcw to the host and he discussed thc Torah. When asked about purity of faith. Thc conftict continued until the Cerdáns surrendered
his conversion, he said: to the city of Saragossa.
The second version comes from his famous contemporary chron-
Calla, loco, y qué podía subir estando judío de rabí en suso? Agora iclcr Alonso de Palencia, who said he had met him in 1468, when
so jurado en cap, y por un cnforadillo U esús de Nazareth] agora me
fazen tanta honra, y mando y vicdo toda la ciudat de Aragon ... he was commissioned to arrange the dowry for thc marriage betwccn
quién me quita a mí que si yo quiero ayunar el Quipur y tener vuestras Isabel of Castile and Fernando of Aragon:
pascuas y todo, quién me lo veda a rrú que no lo faga? Quando era
Prometió el principe cumplir sumisamente cuanto se le ordenaba [. ..]
judío, en el sabado no osava yr fasta ahí, y agora fago lo que me quiero. i:i
torció el camino para Valencia y allí, no sin dificultad, rescató el collar
In this light, bis conversion and his work ;::,etus Christi seem more an y reunió el dinero, que se nos entregó a mí y a Pedro de la Cavalleria,
attempt to lead a double life, escaping from the control the Jews íntegro ciudadano de Zaragoza, para que llevásemos uno y otro al
arzobispo de Toledo, a la sazón residente en Alcalá. 16
were suffering even in their prívate lives. His scrvices to the Jewish
community might have been important in the position he was hold- Zurita adds that on 9 May 1469 King Juan II sent Cavallería and
ing, but unfortunately there are no records of these activitics for his the moncy of the dowiy from Saragossa to the Archbishop of Toledo,
correligionaries. accompanied by Alonso de .Palencia, servant to the Archbisbop. He
Pedro de la Cavallería made bis will on tbe 22 December 1458, also had to perform a diplomatic mission: talking to the Earl of
according to his wifc, 1'1 but the date of his deatb remains unclear. Tendilla :Qiego López de Mendoza to ensure his loyalty to the Arago-
The first version, recorded by Menéndez Pidal, 15 rcfers to the strug- nese prince's party. 17 This version was accepted by other chroniclers
gles following thc division of Aragon into factions around 1465. As and historians from the fifteenth century, such as Diego de Valera
batlle of Saragossa, Cavallería was involved in a case of expropria- who could have heard it from Alonso de Palencia himself, Vicens
tiori of Juan Ximénez de Cerdán's houses. Tbis knigbt had killed a Vives and Latassa, but Serrano 10 thinks it could have been his son,
neighbour from Villanueva whom he had found cutting wood in the which seems doubtfül.
forests of El Castellar. After the expropríation, the answcr of thc Assuming it was the same Pedro de la Cavallería, the whole episode
Cerdáns was to plot Pedro de la Cavallería's murder, wbich accord- started when he was sent to Alcalá with Alonso de Palencia from
ing to this version would bave happened on the 26 October 1465. Gerona, besieged by thc Angevines, to guarantee that the princess
The people of Saragossa rioted, led by the first jurat of the city, would fulfil the agrcements of Ocaña and at the same time to be
Jimeno Gordo. Thcy took the city flag and brought it to the cburcb sure of the acccptance of other nobles. He was carrying a certain
ófSaitit Mary the · Great with 300 knights and 4.000 foot soldiers. amount of money far Alonso Carrillo, Archbishop of Toledo, on the
Thé tüwn council started a lawsuit against the murderers, supported condition tbat the princess would soon be in the city. She was there
by Juan de Híjar, Artal de Aragon, Lope Jiménez de Urrea, Juan on the 30 May, so that the two messengers could give her the moncy
Fernández de. Hcredia, Felipe Galcerán de Castro, Juan de Villalpando and a nccklace. The marriage took place, to the great anger of
and other people from Huesca, Barbastro and Daroca. Sorne of them Enrique IV, who had not becn consulted as law required. The life
we have already met as consignatories of Cavallería's statement of of Pedro de la Cavallería, of wbom we have no more records left,
doses with a link to thc following generation, which would rule the •
country during thc last years of the century.
"Be quiet, you fool! And how far could I have gone being a Jew other than
a rabhi? Now I am the leading head-juror, and through a lortured man (Jesus} now
they honour me so much, and I command and ovcrsee all the city of Saragossa. ***
[.. .] Who bothers me if 1 want to fast in Quippur and celebrate your Easter and
evcrything? Who prevents me from doing so? When I was a Jew, 1 <lid not dare
do as much on Saturday, and now I do as I wish." Cf.: Serrano y Sanz, M.: ojJ. cit.,
Palencia, A.: ojJ. cit., I, p. 27; Valera, D.: 1\l[emo1ial, pp . 158-16,0.
p. 192.
Zurita, J.: Anales de la Corona dr. Aragón, XV, p. 603.
Latassa, F.: op. cit., p. 193.
Cf: Vícens Vives, J.: Juan I1 de Aragón, p. 317; Latassa, F.: op. cit., p. 31'.1;
Cf: Suárez Fernándcz, L.: Los 1í-astámara . . ., pp. 449-450. Serrano y Sanz, M.: op. cit., p. 192.

Juan de Segovia achievcments throughout thc Iberian universities at the .bcginning of(.
the sixtcenth century. ·
Juan Alfonso González was born in Segovia in 1393. One of his Another distinction which should be taken into consideration were
first memories, as he wrote to his friend bishop Jean Germain, was the scholars who remained teaching at university and those who
the number of Muslims he could find in his native city. Brought up moved to a royal court or to Rome, where they were well appreciatcd.
in this mixture of cultures, his ecclesiastical studies probably started All these factors are important to study the influcncc of Humanism
around 1407. If he followed the usual career, he might havc bcen in their styles and in the use of Latin versus vernacular languages,
Bachelor in Arts by 1413 and in theology around 1418, moving thcn as well as to understand their ways of approaching the problems of
to a chair. their time, including their perception of religious minorities and the
His first years were linked to the University of Salamanca, where stcps towards their assimilation. Their common cultural baggage was
he had studied and to whom he donated his library at bis death. the study of liberal arts and theology; their distinct focus on humanist-
f In 1421 he was commissioncd to obtain from Martin V a ncw con- philological or historieal matters was provided by their personal cxpe-
zstitution for thc Univcrsity. Then he became procurador de los negocios riences and the development of their careers in the Church. In that
e cabsas de la universidad, where he taught from 1418 to 1433, in threc
diiferent chairs. His prestige was such that he was given severaj}.~~.::',~~
case, Jua~ de Sc~ovia's .approach as both a seholar at. univcrsity ª?d J
later a cliplom;:ttic c;:trdinal of the C~urch, ha~..f1()thmg to do with
.g[_ab~~~.-without losing his position. 19 a forme~-memher-ofa'je~sl'l comri:türiityaiiArabbi like Pedro de la
A study of the Iberian universitics shows a small number of four- Cavalleria or an Observant Franciscan who worked as a mass preacher)
} te.enth-cent.ury .es·t.abli~hments-Salama~c~ a~d V allado~id .in¡..Castile, such as Alonso de Espina, with sorne inftuence in the Castilian royal/
(Ysbon and Co1mbra rn Portugal and Lenda m Cataloma- ,t devoted court.
to the study of law until /JP.ey incorporated theology charrs in the Salamanca and thc other famous lberian universities provided edu-
-fifteenth centuryJ Ncw centres did not appear. __yntiLanOlund ..1-500,~? .. cated ¡priests for employment in the higher ranks of Vatican diplo-
Particularly in Salamanca, thc fifteenth ce~t~ry was a period of cx- m~9'.J ~s is shown ~y the~on~ list of Castilians vyho .w~rked f~r the
pansion in numbers, studies and prestige. The Collcgc of Saint Bartho- popes m Rome dunng the m1d-fifteenth century_J It is mterestmg to
" lomcw was founded by bishop Diego de Ana.ya, bcing home to thc see what particular kind of jobs they performed: there were cardi-
most rcnowned theologians of Basle and Constance, among them nals such as Alonso Carrillo, Juan de Torquemada,.Juan de Casanova,)
Al1aya hi~selfall.d bishop Alonso ele Madrigal "el Tostado" of Ávila. Juan de Cervantes, Domingo Ram, Antonio de la Cerda andjuan de·
...·..·Humani~m had already spreacl and two kinds of graduates could Mella. Juan de Segovia and Juan Rodríguez de la Cámara or del
!>e clistinguished at university arid associated eccclesiastical institutions. Padrón were serving cardinal Cervantes. There was a great number
The philologists were strongly inftuenced by the Italian Humanism of Ibcrians at the..Rota. From 1428, Juan de Segovia was referendary
through the study of Latin-and less important, Greek and sup- to the Pops,.A(~:E!.hassado.r.'t ,we find Alfonso García de Covarrubias,
ported a new style of educatio/ based on the Later-Roman canon Juan de Óarvajal, the bishop of Granada, .Friar Gonzalo de Balboa,
rather .than the medieval onc¿On the other side, thcologians and his- Velasco de Cuéllar and Francisco de Toledo. In the Curia, Friar
torians still upheld the scholastic style and thc providential history. Lopc de Olmedo, the rcstorer of thc Jeronimitcs;--Añ"d~t;·-,¿~-- E~~obar;
They surrendered when thc linguists succeeded in cxtending their Cosme de Montserrat was Calixtus III's confessor, and Rodrigo
Sánchez de Arevalo, thc castcllan of Saint Angc~~j Sccre!<i.ries .~.?.. _0 e.
Pgp.e- were Fernando Díaz de Toledo-who was doetoi' m deerees
The details of Juan de Scgnvia's lite are taken from thc cxcellent biography
Juan de Segovia J' el problema islámico, written by Dario Cabanelas and publíshed in ¡nd had wOrKed as doctor and major-·chaplain of King Juan II of
Madrid 1952, unless otherwise stated. Castile-, and Andres de Gazull, former secretary to the King of
See Hillgarlh, .J. N.: op. cit., pp. 183 ff Aragon. The masters of the Sacred l)alace were usually Dominicans;

between 1417 and 1470, they wcrc Juan de Casanova, Juan Sánchez, met again at the Dict of Nuremberg in 1440 to discuss conciliarist
Juan de Torquemada and Jacobo Gil. 2 1 It is not surprising that proposals. From then onwards, thcy were to engage in an interest-j
Ibcrian influence was noticed in the Latín Church affairs. ing correspondence23 and Segovia would help the Italian car?inal to
Juan de Segovia's skills soon impresscd the high officers of thc find the manuscripts he needed for his works about Islar~J In his
..,.Roman Curia and he was soon called on to j_~~_],gg):~n diplomacy . .. turn, Nicholas of Cusa sent Juan de Segovia a dedicated copy of his
His life from then onwards was that of á-t~~veller: in i4-2'r'lie ' w3:'~- · De paceJidei and stood firm in his position of pacific debate, opposing
in Rome, where the patriarch of Constantinople asked him to get Islam even when Pius II startcd preparing the next crusade.
hold of a Koran for hi~.,,.-(¡{ 1428, he travelled to Castilc as refer- The same happencd with Jcan Germain, bishop of Cha16n-sur-
cndary to the Pope to obtaín from Jq_an II thc payment of thc tithe Saóne, whom he had met in Baslc. Germain was son of a modest
for a crusade against the Hussit~,.,,f~ 1430 he was questioning the family from Cluny, wherc he was born around 1400. He was brought
Muslims in Córdoba and on the fallowing year he tried to have a up in the court of Burgundy, wherc Philip the Good appointed him
religious debate with sorne members of Prince Yusuf ibn al-Mawl's to be his counscllor in 1429, after J_:¡g!2i~g.Jris Theology ~octorate
guard. He finally managed to arrange the dispute of Medina del in París, in 1425. He was <lean of the Sainte Chapelle in Dijüñ;·"and
Campo with a Granadan ambassador, of which he was very proud. later bishop of Nevers. We havc already cxamined his role as chan-
On his retum to Romc, Juan de Segovia acted again as a com- cellor of the Order of the Goldcn fleece from 1430.21 His Débat du
UJiissioner for the University of Salamanca. His diplomatic missions creslien et du sarrazin was translated to Latín on command of the Duke
resulted in a number of privileges being bestowed upon him: he was of Burgundy and had already reached Juan de Segovia when he
appointed canon in Palencia and Toledo, archdeacon in Villaviciosa began writing his treatiscs against Islam. 25 He had obtained the infor-
and in the cathedral of Oviedo. Then he was elected the represen- mation from a Carmelite theologian who travclled from Burgundy
~ative of the University befare the Council of Basle (1437).22 This to Ayton in July 1455, who had referred to two treatises, a long one
council was the meeting point far all members of the ecclesiastical in five books and a briefer one dedicatcd to Philip the Good. At
higher ranks who would later deal váth the problem of Islam: Juan the same time as he was asking for the books, Segovia sent Germain
de Segovia, Juan de T orquemada, Eneas Silvius Piccolomini, Nicholas his method of conciliation with Islam, together with an oral mcs-
of Cusa and Jean Germain . .Juan de Segovia travelled together with sage. Other documents and lettcrs followcd to justify his position,
Juan de Torquemada befare the arrival of their superior, archbishop but Germain answercd rudely in a refutation and nevcr wrote to
Alonso Carrillo. When the conciliarist party declared the primacy of him again.
kh$ council over pope Eugenius IV, Juan de Segovia joined them, /ti.s far cardinal Piccolomíni, his lettcrs extend from their first meet-
~though rejecting the app~iptment of a new pope (Felix V, elected ing in 1440 at Basle until thc date of Juan de Segovia's deat1!_Jwhen
on thc 5 November l 439)j His work during the council involved Piccolomíni hcard about the peaceful rriethod sustaincd by the Castilian
another defence of the constitutions of the University of Salamanca cardinal in Rome, he asked for his writings. Later l:ic would recom-
and the debate about Virgin Mary's immaculate coneeption, a subject mend Juan de Segovia the publication of his whole work, advice for
in which he agreed with Juan de Torquemada. Ultimately he had which the latter would always be grateful. 26
to accept the election of Felix V, apologize and, after being fargiven, In fact, Juan de Scgovia's intercst in Islam began approximately
he received the cardinalate.
Communication among the Castilian cardinals and their European
~" About Nicholas of Cusa, see Anawati, G. C.: Nicolas de Cues ei le probteme de
counterparts continued over a large span of time, no mattcr what l'Islam. Correspondcnce between Cusa and Juan de Segovia has been publishcd by
their side was in the schism. Juan de Segovia and Nicholas of Cusa Cabanelas, D .: op. cit., pp. 303- 349.
2• Sec bibliography in Lacazc, Y.: "Un réprcsentant de la polémiquc antimusul-

mane au xv•m• sieclc. J ean Germain, éveque de Ncvers et de Chalon sur Saonc",
Position des theses soutenus a l'École de Charles, P arís 1958, pp. 67- 75.
Gómez Cancdo, L.: Don Juan de Caroqjal, pp. 8- M .
About the council, see Delarouelle, E. et al.: L'église au temps du grande schisme . . ., 25
Cabanclas, D.: op. cit., pp. 90, 180- 223, 231.
pp. 203-295 and Sacrorum Conciliorwn nove et amplissima collectio, v. XXXII . 2fi Gómer. Canedo, L.: op. cit., pp . 234·--236.

around the time of his participation in the Council of Basle. There He decided to .J~ti.n:_to__thc- priory·óf>Ayton, in Say()y, where he )
he could see a Latin translation of the Koran brought from Constan- devoted himself to writing a history ofthe 'Góun.d l .of Basle, crcated w
tinople by the Dominican John of Ragusio, 27 which he had copied. a fine library and became fully involved in thc study of the Islamic
When he was sent to Germany as ambassador to ask for the emperor's problem. When he rcalised the mistakcs made in the translations of
support for the conciliarist party, he managed to obtain a second the Koran into Latin which were available to him, he decided to
copy-this time in Arabic- from the library of a German monastery. invite ,'Isa ibn Djabir to make a new translation. According to 'Isa's
Unfortunately, his mission was not successful, for the German clergy biographcr Wíegers, he. was born around 1420 and there are no
refuscd to accept his appointment as a cardinal. His opponents in more traces of him after 1462. Most of the dctails which have rcached
the debates were our old friends Nicholas of Cusa and Juan de us about his life wcrc provided by Juan de Scgovia himself. He had
Carvajal, and ~on they were joincd by Piccolomini and Empcror just married in 1456 when he was called to Ayton, so he was eager
JFrederick III/forquemada was onc of the most ferv.ent writers in to return to Segovia as soon as possiblc and he proposecl his brother
¿~efensc of the papacy, as well as the Castilian Rodrigo Sánchcz de to substitutc. him: He proba~ly ~eld t~c offices of alcald~ and Ja~h (
Arévalo. Fortunatcly, their ecclesiological discussions did not prevent of the MudcJar a!Jama at Scgovia- mcluding the tasks of rec1ter (muqn') ')
an intcllectual exchange among these mcn. The correspondence be- and teacher of Koranic studics. Wiegers thinks he bclonged to thc '
tween Juan de Segovia, Nicholas of Cusa and Eneas Silvius Piccolomini sufi guild (tartqa) of the slziidhil'is, as confirmcd by his masterwork the
shows a degrec of affection as, for instance, Cusa wrote: Breviario sunní, a compilation of thc laws and observances of the Sunna
(1462). In the colophon of one of the manuscripts of the Breviario he
. ... Rcverendissime in Christo pater, domine et amice singularissime: post
. . rec.ortnrí.ciid~tiónem~ recepi littéras vestras, michi utique gratissimas, quas was mentioned as thc mziftí mayor de los moros de Castilla, a title imply-
legi ét relég1, et de multis maximam recepi complacentiam· in primis ing a kind of hierarchy and his acknow1edgment by the community.
qui~ nexu~ veteris ínter nos amicitie, non tantum vidi int~grum, sed He also appears in sorne prívate documcnts and in one inscription
potms glutmo compactum, quod iocundissime intellexi, maxime autem placed in thc alcazar of Scgovia, always acting as thc .h~~c_:Lc:f t.lie
huius ostensio michi patuit quando secrctiora michi primum revelastis Mudejar community. 29 ...
et, ut paucis utar, hec stet scntentis: noset essc et mancrc semper amicos
affcctibus atque operibus id ipsum attcstantibus. 23
·rñ ~¡;y casc,-wliá:t.
;~ are concerned with here is 'Isa ibn Djabir's
J~ollaboration in th. e . t·r·a· n. s.1a.tion . work of his. .fellow~-cílizéli~Jüaff··· ae
When Fe1ix V abdicated in 1449, Juan de Segovia's career changed. ~cgovia. He staycd in Ayt9!!_foLJifour months __ (Decembcr 1455 to
He was ordered to retract from his conciliarist ideas and acknowl- M~rch 1456fC.Iveñ:.h!f,kowledge--ürAra15ic; ·castilian and probably
1edge Nicholas V, but this did not involve bcing accepted back into Aragonese, and precisely because he was a reciter of the Koran, he
ft?c Cllria. His Roman carcer was finished, so he resigned his priv- was the ideal person to . ur1g('!:J:"~" this huge task. The translation
"ileges in Leon in exchangc for a pcnsion for life. As consolation he would be made in the p~~est stYie -offüc "Sthoolof Translators of
was given the honorary sces of Saint Paul Trois Chateaux (Arles, Toledo founded by Alfonso X: the Koran would be copied ancl tran-
1450), Savoy and Caesarca in 1453. Following the fall of Constantinople slated ínto Castilian to be then translated again into Latin by Juan
in that year, he wrote a letter to cardinal Cervantes about the way de Segovia with 'Isa's advice. Thc Muslim writer added sorne comments
to convert thc Saracens by indoctrination. on Muf.iammad's genealogy and life, and probably sorne notes to
help understand the most difficult suras. Unfortunately no copy of
this arduous work is left. They worked twelve hours a day. 30 At such
Cusa, N. of: De /1ace fidei, p. XLVIIl.
"Rev~rend Father in Christ, Sir and v_ery singular friend: [. . .) l received your arate, influences must have been mutual, andJuan de Segovia's con- /
letters, whi~h w~re most pleasant to me, wh1ch I read and read again, and I received tact with a practising Muslim helped hím to incrcase his knowledge )'
a .grcat ~at1sfact10n from many of them . Firstly, bccause 1 saw the bond of the old
fnend~h1p bet~veen us no.t only ii;tact l~ut even fi:m!y glued together. [...) Wc are
and w1ll rcmam always fnends as 1s testJfied by aftections and works". Cabanclas, D.: ~~· Wiegers, G. : J¡/amic Literature in Spanish and A!jamiado, pp. 142-147.
op. cit., p. 311. 3
° Cabanelas, D.: op. cit., p. 142.

on Islam, as he wrote to a friend in 1458 about thcir habits of food Juan de Torquemada
and fasting.31 Later, Juan de Segovia sent 'Isa a short treatise c:xplaining
Christian faith; on his turn, 'Isa ibn Djabir mentíoned his journey Just likc Alonso de Espina- but this time fully justified----Juan de
to Ayton when he bcgan his Breviario in 1462, which suggcsts that T orquemada has be en attributed a converso origin. Therc are two quo-
the two works wcre related to each other. tations which may prove it. Fernando del Pulgar says that "sus abue-
According to Harvey32 it was Segovia who suggested 'Isa ibn Djabir los fueron del linaje de los judíos convertidos a nuestra sancta fe
that it was possible-and cven convenient--for the Castilian Muslim catholica". 35 Also a manuscript of Pablo de Santa 1\!Iaría's Scrutinium
community, whose knowledge of Arabic was fading, to limit the use scripturarum includcs a note on famous conversos which mentions the
of Arabic as a cult language for practica! reasons. And this dcspite {Cardinal of Saint Sixtus and his treatise for the conversion of the
the difficulties involvcd, obvious to a Muslim juror. Once he had over- Greeks ' Armenians , Bohemians and hcrctics:36 It shuld
o not b e iorgot-

come his s_1:!fl:?.ríse;·· 'Isa ibn Djabir realised the possibilities of stich: 'á ten that this Juan de Torquemada was ur:,~~-c of the famo~~...~~_g1:_1isitor
. t'ranslii:l;;;, and decided to compile the Sunna in Spanish. Wiegers Tomás. """" ~.. ··
differs from Harvey's opinion, for he has found a reference to the ·---'·":Hi;'-~rigins can be traced back to Lope Alfonso (d. Burgos, c. 1376),
interest shown in the translation by the repartidores of Scgovia. 33 If we knighted by Alfonso XI. He was buried with his wife Juana de Tovar
assume this to be true, the fact that Christians encouraged 'Isa to in the church of Saint Eulalia of Torquemada, one of his properties
makc a Spanish rendering of Islamic laws says much about religious ncar Palencia. His grandsonJuan was born in Valladolid in 1388 and
exchange-undoubtedly for economic reasons also in this case. resigned a11· his rights to the family's propcrties to become a Dominican
Back to Juan de Segovia, by 145 7 his health was deteriorating so in the convent of Saint Paul in Valladolid, werc he was brought up.37
quickly that he ·bound and catalogued all his books to give them to The spirit of the Dominican arder had insisted much on thc irnpor-
the University of Salamanca. He died on 24 May 1458. The judge- tance of learning as a way of preaehing salvation. Saint Dominic
ment made about him by Eneas S. Piccolomíni in his Cosmographia continually encouraged his friars to study and to use debate as an
lshows the respect he earned among his contemporaries: intellectual exercise, first in his fight against the Albigensians and
later as a teaching method. Due to their settlement in university
Juan de Segovia, a Spaniard leamed in customs and doctrine, who
tan he compared in doctrine to the highest mastcrs in Theology, cities, the order cnrolled quite a number of students and professors,
(received the dignity of.cardi~~ _f!9.~--.Amageus, .who called himself specially in Paris and Bologna,38 a characteristic which the Iberian
Pope, and after consent:J.Iig to JOlil Nicholas Max1mus Pontifex, after foundations would share as well. The system developed with the cre-
he resigned the title of cardinal, he was the principal of the church ation of studia provincialia and studia generalia, to provide for all levels
•... of Caesarea. Secluded .in a small monastery on a very high, hidden of education.
mouritain" having called from Spain a master in the Arabic language,
From 1405 the organization of the Dominican collegcs changed.
i:hey túinslat¡;_9._.i,i;ito our language the book called al-Koran in which
Mu}:iammad the pseudo-prophet's miseries and ravings are contained, Provinces could have one or more grammar-schools but never more
and he exposed Iris incompetences with true and clever reasons and than one college of arts, one in philosophy and one of theology in )
arguments. 3'1 ___
each vicariate,,. ,_ .
_ , . - ~--
Their geographical diffusion was parallel with and

:10 "His grandparents were of the lincage of the Jews who were converted to our
holy Catholic faith". Pulgar, F. del: Claros varones de Castilla, p. 99. ,
36 Thc manuscript was in the former collectíon of the cathedral of Toledo. Cf.:

López Martínez, N .: Los judaíz:,antes castellanos . . ., p. 389.

Ms. Vat. Lat. 2928, f. 197 v. Cf. Wiegers, G.: op. cil., p. 150. 37 Quétif, l.: Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum, l, p. 837 . . .
Harvey, L. P.: lslamic Spain, p. 83. 38 Hinnebusch, W . A: A History oJ tlze Dominican Order, p. 19. About the order m
Wiegers, G.: op. cit., pp. 148 . -149. Castile, see Beltrán de Hcrcdia, V.: "The Ileginnings of the Dominican Reform in
+ Cf. Cusa, N. de: op. cit., p. XLVI. Castilc'', in Spain in the Fjfteenth Century, pp. l 47-220.

rivalled the influcnce of thc universitics, becoming mixed such as sivc popes. This cxplains why his literary production was so diversified:
whcn thc univcrsities gave the friars their degrees, or in those {sjties f the Bohcmian-Hussitc issue, communion with the Greek Church, or
whcre thc Dominicans managed thc university's faculty of theology.J,. the controversy about Mary's virginity are only sorne examples. The
In Salamanca the situation was more complicated, for Franciscans dissolution and removal of the council to Florence and Ferrara kept
l and Dominicans faced a ncwly created, independent faculty of thc- him from suffering at Eugcnius IV's deposition. When Felix V was
¿ ology. In general, the education received by the Dominicans-and clccted pope in 1439, Eugenius IV scnt Torquemada together with
ny sorne Franciscans also ----in this network of collegcs 39 explains well Pierre de Meaux, .Jean Frarn;ois de Liste and the Bishop of Spoleto,
enough why they were chosen for the highcst ranks as we have seen to cxhort Charles VII of France to sign a peacc treaty with thc Kíng
during thc fifteenth century. Torquemada would be no exception. of England, so that both could engage in the fight against thc Turks.'1'1
All his biographers agree upon his ~u~~':~9i-~g-~!_~~-~~$~~~e, which He sharcd his intcrcst, probably not by chance, with Philip of
¡made him ch osen to accompany Luis de Valladolid to Constancc in Burgundy and the chanccllor of the Order of the Goldcn Flcecc,
l..!_4 17 as ambassadors of King Juan II of Castile. 40 Luis de Valladolid bishop Jean Germain, whose Exhortation a Charles VII pour alter autremer
was then trying to turn thc convcnt of Saint Paul into a scientific could be given to the king at thc sarnc time. Juan de Torquemada
rival to the faculty of thcology of the Univcrsity of Salamanca, as rcccíved there the news that he had bccn made cardinal of Saint 4
already was thc Franciscan college.! He obtained permission from the Sixtus. Thc othcr airo of the delegation was to persuade the French
king to found in Saint Paul a double collcge inspired in the College monarch to support Eugenius IV as pope against Fclix V, represented -
of Saint .Jacques in Pa,_!:!§1,._where Torquemada was sent to finish his by Juan d~ Segovia, who was defeated. 45 Then he wcnt to Siena whcrc
trairiiffg·:-affer' - 'th_e_}~~~rney to Constancc.'11 There he obtained his his arguments turned against Alfonso "el Tostado", Bishop of Avila.
liccntia in the spring of 1423 or 1424, and a master in thcology thc The defeat of the Turks in Varna was, despite the refusal of Francc
next year. Sorne authors say that he taught theology and canon law to participate in the crusade, onc of the best pieces of news received
at the college, but there is no cvidence-42 for a long time concerning crusadc. Almost at the same time 'Abd
Back to Castile, he was appointed prior of his casa mater of Valladolid, Allah, Bishop of Edessa, returned to thc Roman Church under the
¡and later of Saint Petcr Martyr in Toledo.H But the time of his namc of Ignatius, Patriarch of Syria. Juan de Torquemada was re-
Q "'o:ffices in Castile was almost over. In 1431 Eugenius iy__ ~illl.e.dJüm quired by thc commission which examined him. Once finishcd, he
' to , ~e..;,~s Master of the Sacred Apostolic"'Pi:iiace --~~d soon after was asked to writc a ncw formulation of the creed far thc Syrians,
/ne was appointcd papal theologian at . thc Council of Basle~ which which was translatcd into Arabic. 46
he hdped to prepare. -- In 1449, Juan de Torqucmada had to turn his sights again to the
From this moment, Torquemada bccame the "voicc" of thc Iberian Peninsula where riots had ariscn against the conversos in Toledo
pontificatc to be heard at ali important assemblies, for which he prc- and Ciudad Real. Far the most part, historians have stressed the
parcd speeches on the most varicd subjects ordercd by the succes- continuity between the famous pogroms of 1391 and this revolt, with
the difference that they substitute the initial target- the Jews- with
a new social group formed by New Christians of Jewish descent,

9 Hillgarth, J. N.: op. cit., pp. 183 ft
uscd by Alvaro de Luna as tax-collectors. According to Bcínart this
'1 º Touron, A. : Histoire des lwmmes illustres . .. , III, pp. 396--397.
Torquemada, .J.: 1í·atado contra madianitas, p. 10, is the first violcnt oppositíon to the infiltration of conversos in thc
' The di1Terent dates come from historians of the Dominican order as opposcd Christian societyY The rcbcls, mostly urban workmen, issucd a statutc
to the charters of the college in Paris: Quétif, I.: op. cit., p. 837 and Touron, A:
ojJ. cit., p. 398 sustain lhe 15/3/1423 whereas Dcnifle, H. - Chatelain, A E.:
G7tartulaiium Universitatis Parisiensis, IV, Paris 1897, p. 428 and Lópcz Martíncz in
his cdition of Tratado contra madianitas defcncl the 3/3/ 1424·. On the other side, Latín +l Touron, A.: op. cit., p. 403.
Ms. 5494 in the National Library of Paris statcs thc date of his master: 6 February -K• Moroni, G.: Dizionarw di erudizione . . ., p. 4; Quétif, l.: op. cit., p. 838.
1425, cf. Touron, A.: oj1. cit., p. 398. -IG Touron, A.: op. cit., p. 411.
Pulgar, F. del: ojJ. cit., p. 100. 47 Bcinart, H.: Cmwersos on Tn'al, II, p. 8.

accusing conversos of practising Jewish cults and asking them to be bishop of Lcon or Seville, contrary to the wishes of Enrique IV. It
banned from public offices. The conversos' contacts in important Cas- was impossible, so he had to agree to appoint him Bishop of Albano
tilian families stoppcd the statute and involved the King and the Pope and later of Palestrina. It was finally Pius II who gave him an Iberian
in their defensc. The appeal to thc King led to a trial where the see, that of Orense and Mondoñedo,'19 in 1460. Befare that, Torque-
Seven Parts, local by-laws and practical aspects wcre discussed. mada had published his Commentaiies to Gratian's Decretum and worked
As for Nicholas V, the rebels leaded by Pedro Sarmiento sent him on the canonization of Saint Vincent Ferrcr. The case was so lengthy
the statute hoping to obtain his approval. They did not count on that Calixtus III díed befare signing the bull. 50
him passing this matter on to Juan de Torquemada, both duc to its Once at the head of the Church, Pius II callcd a council in
doctrinal nature and the cardinal's origins and his personal implica- Maniua, as has already been mentioned. Torquemada was onc of
tion in such an issuc (as he also carne from a converso family). It is the supporters of the enterprise. He lcft Rome with the Pope on the
obvious that ncither Torquemada nor other persons of the rank of 18 February 1459. While they werc waiting for the legates in Mantua,
the Santa Marías, the Bishop of Burgos Alfonso de Cartagena or Pius II ordered him to write a work about Mul).ammad's errors and
Fernán Díaz de Toledo, counsellor to the King, wanted to lose their his sect, with a double purpose. Firstly, practical, as a reference dur-
offices. Torquemada had his own sources of information through the ing the sessions of the council; on a longer tcrm, for those Christians
dean of thc cathedral of Toledo, who had already sought his advice. who lived as subjects or slaves of the Turks. Juan de Torquemada
The Cardinal of Saint Sixtus hastened to write a Tractatus contra madi- himself states how he wrote Contra errores peifidi Machometi in a hurry,
anitas et ismaelitas (1450),48 where he defends the nobility of Jews and not so much to tell Mul).ammad's history as to demonstrate that his
attacks his enemies throughout history- including the Castilian rebels faith contained the mistal{es of all thc heretics. 51
who had issued the statute. It is interesting to see how ardently the Despite the troubled course of the eouncil, Pius II surprised the
Jcws were defended by a man who would prove so harsh regarding audience with a three-hour-long speech, encouraging them to fight
Muslims. But it should not be forgotten that, if the kindness of thc against thc Muslims by all means available. Cardinal Bessarion an-
conversos could be inferrcd by their being descended from "the chosen swcred on bchalf of thc Curia calling ali the princcs to imrnediate
people of God", they were also baptised, with all the saving gracc that action. Afl:erwards, thc lcgates of the countries in danger rcvived the
might involve, as Torquemada outlined. The result of this polcmic, horrors of a Turkish invasion. In the end, the Pope offered a special
so .interesting compared to the oncs about Muslims, was a bull favour- indulgence far those who would pay for their fight in Morca for one
ing the conversos on the 24 September 1449. year--only 300 men were ready to go. The council voted for the
< In1451, Juan de Torquemada attended the general chapter of crusade, but the only specific compromisc was that of the German
his arder in Rome, ·Three years later he visited Castile in order to emperor, who promised to send 32.000 soldiers and 10.000 knights.
promote thc reformation and foundation of Dominican houses. Another Several measures were taken to put these decisions into practice, as
reason was, most probably, to warn the King about Pope Nicholas was explained in chapter one, and Pius II left for Siena (January
V's plans about the Turks. Juan II could not promise much help, 1460) in the company of his loyal Torquemada. He was to engagc
due to thc disastrous statc of affairs in the realm: general disorders, again in a doctrinal issue which had to do with the fight against the
the recent death of Alvaro de Luna and, ultimatcly, the King's own enemies of faith.
death at the end of the year. Befare travelling back to Rome, Juan de Since 1448 there had bcen another pending matter for the
Torquemada had the opportunity to greet the new king, Enrique IV. pontificate: the Hussites. George Podiebrad, King of the Bohemians
In 1455 it was Nicholas V who dicd, but Torquemada's influence had already received several embassies about this problem. Juan de
on the fallowing Pope, Calixtus III, did not change. He was appointed
commandatory abbot of Subiaco and Calixtus tried to mal{e him
+9 Moroni, G.: op. cit., pp . 4 -5. Touron, A.: op. cit., p. 427.
Touron, A.: ojJ. cit., p. 4·28.
18 1
' Edited by Nicolás López Martíncz. See bibliography. ' CE, pp. 3- 8.

Torquemada was in charge of writing a short treatise--··!$ymbolum pro was wrongly managed and there are a number of letters lcft com-
formatione manichaeorum-·for the indoctrination of three Bohemian plaining to his subordinates during that year.·57 He died in Rome on
prinees, Georg Kueinie, Stqjsav Turtkovic anc;l Radovan Viencínic. 26 Septcmbcr 1468, in the convent of Saint Mary on Minerva.
Although thc initial prqject was summarising the Bogomilc crrors to
reject them one by one, Torquemada's ignorance of thc Bohcmian ***
languagc limited his work to thc explanation of fifty truths about the
Christian faith. Apart frorn the information he was able to gather
in Rome, he only mcntions one clirect sourcc: "information received Alonso de Espina
from sorne native clerks in Rome''. 52 All pacific efforts were in vain,
so on the 12 April 1464 there was a lawsuit against Podiebrad, in- Friar Alonso de Espina has also received the attentíon of a great
structed by T orquemada, Nicholas of Cusa and Bernardo Erdi, bishop number of scholars, although most of his biography is a list of con-
of Spolcto. 53 The meeting between thc two of them was fruitful, as jectures without documentary proof.5n A fine example of the vagueness
whcn Nicholas of Cusa wrote his Cribratio Alc/zoranis, he mentioned originated by authors who havc tricd to rebuild his lifc after the suc-
Torquemada's Contra erroris Machometi, written in 1459. cess of his work is the suggestion that he could be a convcrt from V
Meanwhile, Juan de Torquemada's links with Castile had been Judaism, a fact which Netanyahu has proved to be_f_aj_s!'._:59 Criticism 1
scarce. They can be rcsumed in his support of prior Juan de Gumiel, has deduced that he quoted Hebrew and Arabic transla-
who had worked with him in the reformation of sorne Dominican tion, which would provc his ignorance of Hcbrew and Arabic, and
houses since 1445. When Gumiel decided to extend the reformation therefore of Judaism.
to other orders; encouraged by the King, the Cistercian abbots claimcd The most approximatc date given for his birth was 1412, m
their rights in Rome, where Torquemada had to plead for him. 5+ Palencia. Go What is certain is that he professed in the convent of)
In spite of his poor health-he was ill with gout-and his limited Saint Francis in Valladolid, and his public life startcd properly in}
resources, Torquemada managed to invest 2.000 gold coins in cap- Salamanca, where he was director of studies for the famous convent
tives's ransoms in 1460. As Pius II had decided to lead the erusade of Saint Francis. This institution had becn founded outside thc walls
in 1463, he offered as much cconomic support as he could: the of the city in 1231 by Prince .Fadrique, Alfonso X's brother, to be
maintenance of a hundred armcd foot soldiers during one year, which a studium with forty doctors and masters. Betwcen 1339 and 1441
would cost 4.000 coins. U1timately, his sacrifiee was not necessary a reformation separated it from the University, whose faculty of the-
due to the Pope's death and the end of the expedition. 55 ology they had managed until then.
,Jn 1467 he resigncd the see of Orense, as well as ali his other priv-
ileges56 and was assigncd a pension on thc income of the Bcnedictine
monastery of San Facundo (Sahagún, León). Unfortunatcly his income 57 Beltrán de Heredia,V.: op. cit., pp. 220, 227, 24 1.
50 Thc most imporlant authors who give more or lcss accurate information about
Alonso de Espina are: Bibliografía eclesiástica completa de E\fmña, Madrid 1848- 52;
Torquemada, J. de: ~mbolum ... , pp. 19-·2 l. San Antonio, J de: Biblioteca Universa Francircana, Madrid 1732- 33; v\laddingo, L.:
''~ Anawati, G. C.: op. cit., p. l53. Annales minmwn, Lyon 16,rn; Sbaralea, J.: Biblioteca histórico-bibliográfica ... , Ro me 1908;
'f Beltrán de Heredia, V.: "Colección de documentos ... ", Archivum Fratrum Praedic- Kamen, H.: 77ze Spaizish lnquisition, London 1965. The latest works about thc friar
alorum, pp. 21 1-2 19. are two books by Dr. Alisa M. Ginio, from the Univcrsity of Tel-Aviv: fo.fartaleza
lbidem, pp. 227 , 2'~ l. de la fe . en los corifmes de Occidente: Alonso de Espina, autor del Forlalilium , Fidei, Fon tes
Quélif, I.: op. cit,, p. 838; Moroni, G.: ojJ. cil., p. 4. According to Eubel (cf. ludaeorum Regni Castellae (Salamanca, forthcoming) and La Forteresse de la Foi: la
Beltrán de Heredia, V.: op. cit., p. 219), the Cardinal had in Spain the following secs: uision du monde d'Alonso de Espina, moine espagnol, Paris 1998.
Cádiz from 27.July 1440 to 13 July 1442; Orense from 11 July 1442 to 10 November ''9 Netanyahu, B.: "Alonso de Espina, \Vas He a New Christian?", .pp. 107·-165.
1445; León from 31 July 1460 to 16 Scptember 1'164; Orense from 26 January Go García Hernando, .J.: "El problema judío en fray Alonso de Espina", Ertudios
l 46S to 8 June 1466. A complete list of his publishcd works is available in Quetif's segovianos (1961 ), quoting ano lhcr Franciscan who lived in thc convenl of Santa Cruz
article. in Valladolid. The reference may be crroncous.

On thc other hand, waves of rcformation reached the Order as of.Juan II to persuade Alvaro de Luna- once bis best friend, whom
well. Thc Villacrccian reformation rejectcd scholastic theology as a he had now condemned..-·to havc an cdifying death instead of using
way to serve God. Their spirit, closer to the devotio rnodema, <lid not the oceasion far a political dcmonstration. Espina was thc ideal person
require university training. They prefcrred studia linkcd to several to persuade him without questioning thc death sentence. 65 The friar
convents under the rule of local priors. This was the case of Salamanca, could well use this situation for his own benefit later.
where theological education was in charge of the friars until it was Meyuhas Ginio believes--influenced by the Jewish school inter-
transferred to the University and the convent was free to educate preting Espina in the light of the lnquisition- that the Franciscan
only its friars. Probably Alonso de Espina was brought up in thc same "was devoid of all feclings of compassion and merey towards human ,.
institution whcre he was later director. kind". 66 Such an asscrtion seems excessive if we tal;;.e into account
The second of June 1453 marks an important changc in Espina's what Espina himsclf wrote about Alvaro de Luna in his Fortalitiwn:
life. The episode of his meeting with Álvaro de Luna on his way to
Et cum cssc vir tantc potcntie ab omrúbus tamen suis relictus fuit,
the gallows is recorded by all contemporary chroniclcs, so much so quia tamen in tanta pressura ad Dominum accessit corde contrito et
that it has darkened other aspccts of his life. Espina must have been humiliato et pedibus meis, licet indignis, se per gencralcm confcssionem
living by then either in thc convent of El Abrojo or in Saint Francis, totius vite sue inclinavit. Credo ipsum secundum signa que vidi mis-
within the boundaries of Valladolid. 61 The Constablc was travelling ericordiam Dei consecutwn . fuisse. Quia scriptum est: <In quacunque
from . his prison in the castle of Portillo to Valladolid, in order to be hora ingcmucrit pcccator omnium iniquitatum eius non recordabor>. 67
executed. In 1454 Alonso was again in Valladolid preaching his Se7mones del
Thc sequence of events common to the Crónica de Juan II, 62 the nombre de Jesús. His attempt at such a popular genre of sermon at
Crónica de Álvaro de Luna by his squire .Gonzalo Chacón, and that by the end of the Middle Ages is due, according to his own testimony-
Alonso de Palcncia, 63 is told as"f'ü'[¿-;s~ on his way through Tudela, to the miracle of finding twenty-four stones engraved with the name
the group taking the Constable met certain friars from El Abrojo, of Christ in a wcll. Soon after this he faced the Jewish problem for
" among them master Alonso de Espina. The friars warned Álvaro de the first time, when he tried to have a Jew condemncd for the death
Luna that he must get prepared for dcath and wcnt with him to of a child at thc High Court (Chancillería) of Valladolid. 60 On bcing
Valladolid, where they rcmained consoling him all night. When he unsucccsfol, he accused thc judges to be influenced by "others of -
was taken to the scaffolding, the friars rcmained by his side. theír kind'', i.e., conversos.
Several explanations have bcen attempted for this meeting. Gonzalo It is important to determine Alonso de Espina's place in the royal
Chacón only mal;;.es a judgcmcnt about Espina: "a great and famous court to find out what kind of public he addressed in his sermons
learned man and master in theology". Suárez Fernández suggested
that both men could havc been friends, 64 but Round maintains a
and treatises. It has generally been said that he was confes~or to¡
King Enrique IV, but the office belonged to Lope de Barnentos, 7
more complicated thcory. According to the writcr, the meeting of Bishop of Cuenca, from 1434. He remained in office at least until
the well-known preacher and the Constable had been a manocuvre 1455, as far as the records show. 69 Howcver, taking into account

Thc convent o[ El Abrojo, founded in 1415 on thc lands given by ÁJvar Díaz
de Villacreces to the Franciscan Pedro de Vilacrcccs belonged lo the Franciscan Gs Round, N.: 77ie Greatcst Atan Uncrowned, p. 209.
province o[ La Concepción, divided in 1447. In turn, thc rmc at Valladolid was 66
Meyuhas Ginio, /\.: La forteresse, p. 94. ·
dependcnt on Palencia, in the Castilian province. See González Dávila, G.: Teatra ljl "And being such a powcrful man, he was abancloncd by ali his [mcn] in thc

metrapalitana de las iglesias ... , I, pp. 619···643; McKcndrick, G.: 171e F'ranciscan Order, cnd, so undcr such pressure he tumed to Gocl with a humble heart, ancl he bowecl
p. 120; for more information about the situation of the Franciscan convents, scc clown over my unworthy feet for the general confession o[ the sins of his whole
Castro, M. de: Crónica de la provinciafi·anciscana de Santiago, Madrid 1972. life. I think, according to thc signs I saw, that he achieved God's merey ... " FF,
Crónica de ]uan JI, p. 683. f. 170v. Also in Meyuhas Ginio, A.: La forteresse, p. 49.
Palencia, A. de: ap. cit., p. 4-8. 6
° FF, f. 14lv.
Suárcz Fcmández, L.: Los Trastámam . . ., p. 211. 6H A.G.S., Quitaciones de Corte, kg. 4, pp . 6- 9. His succcssor was friar Pedro

""'-that Juan II commandcd Espina to confess Álvaro de Luna, one En este tiempo hobo grande ayuntamiento en Segovia de frailes de
San Francisco, los unos oservantes y los otros claustrales, y los oser-
could assumc that he would ask for sorne kind of reward; if so, why vantes dccian que los claustrales no guardaban la orden de San Francisco,
not entcr thc prince's service? He could havc continued there when y que suplicaban al rey que les diese el moncstcrio que alli estaba;
the princc was proclaimed king. Assuming his office of confessor to sobre lo qual hobo muy grandes alteraciones; e ayudo mucho a los
the king, Round thinks that thc meeting with Luna would havc oservantes el maestro fray Alonso del Espina, que era hombre muy
aroused in Espina "a taste for controvcrsy and thc eonviction of bcing letrado y gran predicador, y era oservante y confesor del rey, y con
todo eso los claustrales daban por si tantas razones que no se pudo
specially qualificd and called by God to give advice to the public
vien determinar quales tuviesen mayor razon; y el rey, deseando con-
authorities", 70 quoting Monsalvo about the friars being "eomrnitted cordarlos, y no queriendo amenguar a los unos ni a los otros, delibero
to thc production or rcproduction of certain ideological messages". dexar a los claustrales en su moncstcrio, como lo habian poseido de
Alonso de Espina's taste for controversy is obvious, but can be attrib- muchos tiempos aca, y mando edificar de nuevo fuera de la i;:ibdad 1
uted more to his education than to this particular cvcnt in his life. un monesterio muy notable de la advocación de San Antonio, el qua!
Considering the changes of residence of thc royal court, it would not dio a los oservantes, y le dio muy ricos ornamentos y todas las cosas
necesarias al culto divino. 72
be strange for a king to have several confcssors in the cities whcrc
he stayed. Alonso de Espina might be one of them when the King The historian Diego de Colmenares, born in Segovia, gíves more
visited Valladolid, Segovia or Salamanca. information about this convent, built ovcr a Mudcjar palace of.
Alonso de Espina sharcd the prcaching style of Mendicant Orders. Enrique IV. The vicar and the friars lived thcrc alonc until the nuns
In thc fiftccnth century, thc struggle between factions of Spirituals and from Santa Clara moved thcre in 1488. 73 The result of the struggles
-Conventuals within the Francisean Order had givcn place to a new in the Franciscan Ordcr was the absorption of Villacrecians and the
conflict in Castile. The support of laics had helpcd thc Observants- reformation of thc Conventuals achieved by Cardinal Cisneros, him-
succesors to the Spirituals, they had their first indcpcndcnt chaptcr sclf an Observant.
in Castile in 1447-to expand and obtain spccial privileges from thc As far as Espina is concerned, the convents where he lived show
pontificate, providing themselves with a scparatc administrative and that he belonged to the Obscrvant or Villacrecian paiiics, and this •
juridical structure. 71 Moreover, in 1418 thcrc was another break among must have strongly marked his thcorics. The gcographical extension
-the eonventuals: Pedro de Villacreces obtaincd a privilege from thc of the reformation hclps to trace his steps in Castilc: the reformed
Pope giving his custody a particular autonomy regarding the main convents were placed mostly in Northern Castile around Valladolid,
branch of Conventuals. He had thc support of the Castilian nobility, Salamanca and Scgovia, in the lands of patrons from the Trastamaran
which encouraged their expansion throughout the realm. Their ideal nobility, namcly the Velascos in Burgos and tl1e Manriques de Lara , _
was strict obscrvancc of poverty, the practice of ascetism, contem- in Palencia. The wandering life of the Mendicants helpcd thcm to
plative life, regular fasts and strict silence. set up in the countryside, wherc they founded the houses of La
f The Villacrccians and the Observants shared objectives but hacl Salceda, La Aguilera and El Abrojo,7'1 both visitcd by Espina. In •
~distinct polícies. By thc end of the century the Conventuals wcrc the thosc places where finding clerks to fi.11 in thc parishcs was difficult,
losers, whcrcas the Observants had íncreasecl in numbcrs, patrons spccial licences were given to thc Franciscans to preach in isolated
and prcstigc. At that moment, there is a refercncc in Valera's chron- villages and hamlets, whcrc they were sometímes denounced for
iclc rcfcrring to the problcms posed in 1455:
Valcra, D. de: ojJ. cit., pp. 9- 10.
Colmenares, D.: !Jist01ia de la ciudad de Segovia, II, p. 34. Also in the records
de Villacastín, from thc Obscrvant convcnt of Saint Peter in Scgovi.a, lcg. 4, pp. in A.G.S., Casa Real, obras y bosques, leg. 4-6, f. 258-270, 330, 336-337.
· :tvicKcndrick, G.: ojJ. cit., pp. 10 -· 12, 17. Sce also Trcmaux-Crouzct, A.: "Francis-
455- 456.
Round, N.: "1\lonso de Espina and Pero Díaz de ·raledo", p. 2. See also canisme des villes et franciscanismc du champs dans J'Espagne du Bas M.oyen Age",
Meyuhas Ginio, A.: La farteresse, p. 86. en Les EsjJagnes médiévales, asj;ects économiques el sociaux, Nice 1983, pp. 53- 67, ancl
McKcndrick, G.: op. cit., p. 61. :tvicyuhas Ginio, A.: La .forteresse, p. 55.

vagr,_m,1c:y. ..'. 5 Meanwhile, the Conventuals used to be callcd by local a poder del rey mas de cíen quentos, de los quales muy poca parte
·a~thorities to preach in towns. In order to avoid accusations, Villa- se gasto en la guerra de los moros; de lo qual todos los grandes del
crecians had their own system of control: each member of the Order rey no fueron mucho turbados. 78
could move to another convcnt only if he had the assent of all the This task marked another step in Alonso de Espina's career, in a
comrnunity. Thus, Mcyuhas Ginio's attempt to justify Alonso de Espina's period whcn crusadc prcaching had turned out to be an almost
travcls by his rigid, inflexible character is vcry far frorn the truth. 76 financia! rnattcr, for the prcachers werc at the same time collcctors. 79
Thc lirnits of the Francísean provinces of La Concepción, Santiago Anyway, nothing proves that preaching thc crusadc supposed an
and Old Castile are also those of Alonso de Espina's journeys. increase of power in the hands of Espina. But his influence in the
Another positive aspcct of Espina's stay at court would have been royal eourt can be measured by the fact that he was ablc to attack
the chance to mcet important personalities in the ecclesiastical hier- the King openly for his use of crusade funds.
archy of thc time. From the Fortalitium we know that he had sorne By 145 7, the plague affcctcd the arca around Valladolid. Round
rclation with the bishop of Lugo, García de Vaamonde; of Palencia, infcrs that Espina would preach scrmons on this subject. He also
Pedro de Castilla, and thc Bishop of Salamanca. Furthcrmorc, Bishop spcaks of a fccling of frustration due to thc rcligious policies in the
Pedro de Osma was the first to command an illuminated copy of realm which can be seen in Espina's asserts aboutJews. Thc Fo1talitium
his work, as early as 1468. These contacts cnhance Espina's fame as would share the same spirit, as "an appeal to Christian society to
a preacher just as much as the cooperation between Mendicants and aeknowedge their enemies' evil". He began to write around 1459,
ecclesiastical authorities in matters of faith. 77 after his en:counter in Medina del Campo with sorne Benedictine
Calixtus Ill's first crusade bull for the Península was issued on the monks who told him about thc cxpulsion of the Jews in France. 30
very day of his coronation in April 1456. It contains the earliest ref- Given the immensc amount of work rcquired, it probably took him
erence to Santiago in a papal bull. He declared indulgcnces could full-timc dcdication until 1461.
be applied to the souls in Purgatory. Espina was chosen to prcach Missionary zcal directcd against Muslims and hostility towards Jews
-the crusadc bull on 2 Fcbruary 145 7 in Palencia: and conversos was a main feature of Franciscan ideology, although it
Y ansi fecho, el rey se partio para Segovia, y fue a tener la Pascua might as well be considered "a sign of the times". Its origins are
de Navidad a la c;iudad de Palencia, donde le fue trayda la bula de with the beginning of Franciscan history, when they were inspired to
la Cruzada para bivos e muertos, que el Papa Calisto 111 le embio, martyrdom for the faith, encouraged by the tale of Francis's embassy
la qual rescibio con grande acatamiento y reverencia; y predicola fray to the sultan of Egypt and the Franciscan martyrs of Morocco who
Alonso del Espina, hombre muy notable y de onesta vida y gran pred- were killed when trying to preach against Mu}:iammad. This feeling,
icador. El qual dixo al rey que debía mucho acatar quan señalada
· gr<lcia avía rescebido del sancto padre, que jamas se fallaria avcr sido together with the trcnd in Castilian society on the eve of the last
dada semejante yndu]gencia; pero que debía mirar el cargo con que conquests of Muslim territories in the Ibcrian Península, built up
se la clava, que no podia despender de los maravedís de aquella cosa Alonso de Espina's mind. It is precisely at this point that historians
alguna, salvo en la guerra de los moros, ecebto el mantenimiento de show rnost intransigence, specially those ofJewish origin. McKendrick
los predicadores e cogedores, sin caer en dcscomunion mayor, de la defines corrcctly the Franciscan point of view when she says that
qual no podia ser absuelto sin personalmente requerir la Sede Apostolica,
"messianism led the Franciscans to dcvelop a particular type of
lo qual se afirmaba el rey ser muy mal guardado. Fue tan grande el
dinero que por virtud desta bula de cruzada se ovo para el rey durante approach to the problem of conversion. In contrast to the Dorninicans,
el tiempo de los quatro años en ella contenidos, que se afirmava por and later the Jesuits, who both favourcd a "gradualist" approach to
los thesoreros e recebtores dellas que, pagadas sus despensas, vinieron conversion, the Franciscans wcre much more confrontatidnal". 81

'" Valera, D. de: op. cit., p. 41.

McKendrick, G.: op. cit., pp. 51 ..52; Hillgarth, J. N.: op. cít., p. 107. 7
~ Houslcy, N.: "fl1e Later Crusades, p. 405.
~ Meyuhas Ginio, A.: Lafi1rteresse, p. 93. 0
° Cf:: Esposito, lVI.: "Notas sobre el F01talitiumfidei .. .",p. 515.
McKcndrick, G.: op. cit., p. 134. 81
McKendrick, G.: op. cit., p. GI .

This is the context in which the letter written by Alonso de Espina where he was lodged. Thcre he was visited by the, who asked
in 1461 should be placed. After attending two chapters of the Bishop Alonso de Cartagcna to pay him a visit and find out if he
Observants, one in Salamanca82 and another one in Madrid, he had been given certain herbs. The bishop obeyed and was in attcnd-
-wrote the general of the Jcronimite order, Alonso de Oropcsa, about ance at Espina's death. Ali thc witnesses in the trial affrrmed that it
the disorders of thc realm. He sígned as the King's confcssor, 83 and was "public knowlcdge" that the friar had been murdered by arder ..
shows thc samc intentions which moved him to writc the Fortalitium. of Diego Arias. In view of this account, Espina might have díed after
The King gave his approval willingly to thc joint proposal of an writing thc letter in 1461, for it is the only ycar when a Francíscan
inquisition in the realm. Soon after, Friar Remando de la Plaza and meeting about the inquisition and the royal court coincide in Madrid.
master Espina insisted that they had got proof of the circumcision However, the episode of Friar Hernando de la Plaza has been datcd
of 100 conversos. The king asked for the proofs in arder to prosecute in 1463, so then the murdcr would be delayed by sorne ycars.
those guilty. 8+ Nobody could provide them, so the case was s;t!I.l.~n:;.e.ded. Wc hear news about Alonso de Espina until 1495, but considering
There is no writtcn record about Espina after that until thc prosc- what has bcen said there must be serious doubts about its validity. 87
-cution and trial of thc Arias Dávila family in 1486. One of the crimcs Meyuhas Ginio 00 bclieves 1464 to be thc date of his death, due to~·
Diego Arias Dávila was tricd for was preciscly Alonso de Espina's sorne corrcctions made in the Fortalitium. Howcvcr, those corrections
• murdcr. The testimonies of several witnesscs give an idea of the con- were only made at thc time of the first printing of the work (c. 1480),
spiration between Diego and Shemaya Lubel, the personal physician whereas they do not exist in the 1467 manuscript. The death of
of the King from 1456 to 1466. ns The reason for the murder, accord- Diego Arias Dávila in 1466 is a teiminus ante quem, but otherwisc 1461 •
ing to the first witness who .had heard it from a friar of Saint Anthony, to 1464 can be accepted as thc pcriod when the author's dcath took
had been that one of the royal controllers of financc (contador mqyor), place.
Diego Arias, wantcd to get rid of such a tough opposition against
conversos and Jcws who were under hís protection.
lt seems that since thc Jews did not wear their badges according
to the canons of the councils, Espina and other friars had proposed
that Christians should wear crosses or badgcs with the name of Christ
scwn to thcir clothes. At that point, the court was in Madrid and
Diego Arias was said to have called upan the Conventuals to oppose
the Obscrvants Jed by Espina, about how the inquisition should be
arranged to facilitate things for conversos. Alonso de Espina reccived
Diego Arias's invitation to his housc--one wonders how he could
87 List of inaccurate information about Espina:
accept .an invitation in such conditions- an.d when he rcturncd, he
1479: at Lhc Junta de Alcala to condemn Pedro de Osma. Menéndez Pelayo already
was feeling ill. He was taken to the convent of Saint Dominic,86 said it was not him (Historia de los heterodoxos españoles, I, p. 556). Preaching
of the "Sermons on our faith" ¡¡t l'vlcdina del Campo.
l 485: rcvision o[ thc Fortalitium.
vVaddingo, L.: Annales minorum, V, p. 498. l 487: .lnquisitor in Barcelona. Pedro Carbonell (fol. 11 1r), working in the Royal
'Sigüenza, J.: Hirtoria de la orden de San .Jerónimo, pp. 363- 364. Archives in Barcelona refrrs to him as a Dominican ·-is it possible that there
o; Enr:íqucz del Castillo, D.: op. cit., p. 61. Cf.: Meyuhas Ginio, A.: La fi1rleresse, are two diffcrcnt Alfonso d'Espina?
p. 130. 1491: bishop of Termopilas and assistant of Juan Arias, bishop of Ovicdo. Bishop
!15 Carrete Parrando, C. (ccL): 1'ontes iudaeornm regni Castellae, IV, pp. 33, 72, 79·-80, o[ Tripoli according to other authors. Othcrs havc him dead .in this year.
1'15· M6. In 1461 the royal court was in Madrid from Septembcr to Deccmbcr, 1492: consccration of thc church of Esperanza in Medina del Rioseco. Signature
cf. 'J'orres Fontes, .J.: Itinerario de Enrique IV. of capitulations with the Franciscans of St. Francis of Palencia.
The convent, now disappcarcd, was foundcd in the outskirts of Madrid, by 1495: Builcüng of thc altar to the Concepcion, in St. Francis of Palencia. Buried
the Valnadú gate. Cf.: Montero Vallejo, M.: El Madrid medieval, Madrid 1987, pp. there.
lll- 112, 165- 167. 88 See l\!l.eyuhas Ginio, A.: La jiJrferene, pp. 88- 93.

lections was, as D' Avray stated, that it could be translated into any
vernacular. Also, the average preaching friars were much bettcr
CHAPTER THREE trained to mal(e use of this material..--·-even in Latin- than thcy
had ever been before. This madc preaching a common factor in all
THE INTELLECTUAL APPROACH II: of Westei:n Christian Europc, but at the same time it constitutes a
A STYLE FOR A PUBLIC problem for the historian, who has to conjecture the diffcrences in
effectiveness betwcen the communication madc in vernacular and its
rendering in Latin. 2
Acculturation is determined by intcrcultural roles and forms of com- The faet that a Latín rendition is, out of necessity, addressed to
munication which produce a highly selective pattcrning of contacts. In a Latinist audience would confine its diffusion to educated nobles
other words, the ways in which thc donor culture shows itself to the
rccipicnt naturally affects the way in which cultural elements will be
and prclates-i.e. the political establishment of mid-fifteenth-century
adopted. 1 Iberia·~", but the influence of the Mcndicant sermon teehniques pro-
vided by the social extraction of most of the authors, is fclt in the
This is a study of thc intcraction between cultures by means of com- language and contcnts, which are simpler and sccm aimcd at a wider
munication. Whcther it be through oral or writtcn communication, audience. 3
the pcrception of Islam was something sharcd and manifested at dif- There is, however, a curious statement by thc Jewish translator
fcrcnt lcvcls. Although we are working mainly with literary production, of.thc BiblC into Spanish far the Master of Alcantara, in 1424: "The
it is worth considering oral sources as far as they have reached us, to Latín scicnce and language is so much expanded in Castile, that the
sce .ho"'7 the authors decided to approach a particular public and the knights and the squires and the citizens have left pure Castilian, and
reasons why they chose such a channel. have mingled with it plenty of Latin, so much so that Latin has
The first thing to take into account when choosing a particular become Castilian."'1 However, this testimony is difficult to believe,
style had to be thc audiencc. Furthermore, when dcaling with thc unless Moshe ben Arragel referred to the atmosphcre in the court,
audience, the first problcm was what language should be chosen: where Humanist ideas were beginning to cxpand, and where a more
Latin or vernacular. If the encounter with the publie was supposed Latinized Castilian might have been spokcn. But it is impossible, given
to be face to face, vernacular was always the choice. If we are deal- the dubious Latin of educated nobles Iikc the Marqtús of Santillana,
ing with a book, the reasons for the use of one or the other are that it should have undergone such a development.
usually explained in the preface. Moreovcr, historiography during the fourteenth century and thc
In thc case of sermons, the author himself usually copied dovvn first half of the fifteenth used vcrnacular, beeause they either ignored,
his own either before of after they wcrc delivered, in whichever lan- or did not want to use, the Latín language. The first possibility is
guage was more helpful: vernacular if it was just notes for himself, more likely, since it is rccorded that they read the Classics in trans-
or Latín if a compilation was expected. The most remarkable case lations. This was thc case for bishop Alonso de Santa María, although
was that of St. Vineent Ferrer, whose more than two hundred and bis fellow-countryman, Sánchez de Arcvalo, used more Latin than
eighty sermons were written word by word by the theologians and Spanish, probably due to his residing in Rome and the faet that
jurists who were part of his rctinue, both in Latín and Catalan. many of his works were eommandcd by the Pope or his interna-
These drafts (reportationes) were later cleaned up as models for other tional circle. 5
sermons, leaving the quotations from the Bible incomplete.
The advantage of Latín as the language for model sermon col-
~ D'Avray, D. L.: 7he Preaching ef thr. Hiars, pp. 21 , 95.
Me Kendrick, G.: The Franciscan Order . .. , pp. 121··- 125.
' Glick, T. F. & Pi-Sunyer, O.: "Acculturatíon as an Explanatory Concept in + Tate, B.: Ensayos sobre la historiogrqfia jieninsular, p. 289.
Spanish History", Comparative Studies in Soáe!J and History, 11 ( 1969), p. 151. Ibídem, pp. 70- 74.

In this context, it must rcmain clcar that thc Latin used in the coulcl act on thís ground through scrmons and confcssions, a twofold
ecclesiastical environment outside ltaly was still "Medieval" Latin, technique they mastcred. Unfortunatcly, this approach was bascd on
as opposcd to the Humanist Latín which was already in fashion oral communication and thcrcfore has left few records.
in Petrarch's country. Someone in contact with the Curia, such as Among them, there are sorne royal licences to preach to Jews and
Segovia, rnight occasionally worry about his style- as he docs in a Muslims in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Although they
letter to Cardinal Piccolomini"- , but that was not the general trcnd. do not refer specifically to the period studied here, they were con-
Píccolornini himself, once Pope Pius U, wrote a letter to the Sultan sidered interesting enough to quote them because the atmosphcrc in
Muhammad II which was "a modcl of Rcnaissance cloquence, com- which they were issued corresponded in the kingdom of Aragon-
bining a felicítous style with a carcfully structurcd argument, in which Catalonia, to a similar approach to Islam in thc kingdom of Castile
its author achicvcd a rare synthesis of orthodox doctrine and human- onc century latcr. Licences were either collcctivc··-·-given to bishops
istic values [. . . although] it is too much of an acadernic cxcrcise to or Mendicants- or given to a particular missionary. From 1243
be convincing". 7 (Statute of Jaime II) the new converts were obliged to gather for
Paradoxically, Latin was usually considered when wider diffusion popular preaching. Another letter followed, forbidding the J ews to
throughout Europe was intcnded. Therefore, a translation of Germain's be taken out of their ncighbourhoods to listen. Preaching and dis-
work from F'rench into Latín was ordered by the Duke of Burgundy, putation were openly supported by the King, but social unrest tended
and Segovia's project to translatc thc Koran not only into Spanish, to be avoided: in 1279 prcachers wcre told to kcep the number of
but also into Latín, was intended to make it availablc to other learned Christians ·around them low, in order not to provokc their audiences.
men who did not know Spanish.8 Elsewhere, there was the case of Thc measurcs be carne tighter when in 1291 both J ews and Saracens
Alfonso V of Aragon's letter of defiance to the sultan, written-or at wcrc obligcd to answer and discuss ali kinds of doctrinal texts, ques-
least recorded--- in Catalan but sent with his ambassador the Marquis tions and objections posed by the clergy, and to argue about the lit-
of Ferrara, who would probably have delivered the messagc through erary fragments which were pointed out to them. Moreover, recent
an interpreter. 9 Although the letter has been preserved in Catalan, it converts were granted safe-conducts to travel around the country
was probably written in Latin, because it was dictated at the Napolitan preaching to Muslírns and J cws. 10
court, and usually Aragonese international correspondence was issued The same pressurc was cxcrted on Granadan Muslims aftcr the
in that language. conquest of the city: thc royal legatc, J\ilartín García, prcachcd sorne
The style chosen to deliver the informatíon about Muslims varied, of his sermons "coram agarcnis", probably to Iviudejars who were
depending on the expected audiencc and thc subsequent action in- oblíged to attcnd, hoping for their conversion. It docs not mean that
tended by the priest. From now on, it must be assumed that the
clergy was generally going to dcliver this messagc . Itínerancy was 10
Riera i Sans, J.: "Les llicencies reíais per predicar als jueus i als sarrains (segles
one of the ways of reaching the public who would not normally XIII-XIV)" Calls, 2, pp. 113-132. The ~afc- conducl to thc Saraccn convcrtJaume
Pcrc was givcn in Valencia, 25 June 1308: "Nos Jacobus [... ] per presentem car-
come into contact with thc elite. Books were the othcr means of tam nostram constituimus et reccpimus sub [proteclione] el guidatico speciali fidclcm
reaching the more educatcd audience. Usually both were intended nostrum Jacobum Pctri, qui pcr sacre regencracionis baptismum de sarracenorurn
to complement each other: the masses who rnight be reached by the secta ad fidem nostram catholicam est conversus, ita quod nullus cuiuscumque dig-
nitatis, condicionis seu status cxistat, auclcat vcl prcsumat clictum Jacobum Pctr:i et
prcachers were more helpless to face the attacks of a new rcligion/ bona sua et res capen:, inpcdire, detinere vel aliquatenus gravare aut molestare seu
culture in a land of forced contacts such as the Península. Thc friars bona sua pignerare ve] occupare culpa, crimine vel delictis alienis, immo ipsum cum
rebus et bonis suis possit libere pcr tcrram nostram ire et fidcm Christi sarracenís
et judcis cum sibi oportunum füerit predicare. Quicumque aut.em contra hoc nostrum
guidaticum et proteccionem venire prcsumpserit, iram et inclignacionem nostram et
Cabanelas, D.: ]uan de Segovia y el problema islámico, p . 240. penam quingentorum aureorum se noverit absquc remedio aliquo íncursurum, dapno
Schwocbel, R .: 1he Slwdow ef the Crescent, p. 66. illato primitus integre restítuto. Data Valencie seplimus kalendas iulii anno predicto.
° Cabanelas, D .: ojJ. cit., p. 138. Petrus Marcii mandato regio facto per Johanncm [. ..) capcllanum domine rc¡.,r:ine."
\> Sobrequés, S.: "Sobre el ideal ele cruzada ... " Hispania (1952), pp . 247- 249. (A.O.A. Gane. Regia 205, f J74v.)

thc sermons referred to Islam or to these people, as sorne of them cativerio por razon que se enbuclven en grandes pecados, e desesperan
were exclusively Christian, apologetic and proselitist. 11 de la misericordia de Dios, como Cayn que mato a su hermano Habel
[...] e por razon de mengua de su entendimiento, que no saben la
The attraction of Christians towards Islam was soon felt by thc-
ley de los christianos ni la de los moros, a quien engaño Mahomat,
ologians and was the origin of a rough controversy. Christian condem- e ellos toman plazer en engañar los christianos e sacar de su ley.
nation of Islam was categorical becausc cultural attraction reached Veyendo yo esto, ove dolor de las animas de nuestros christianos,
not only youth but even the political leaders, causing widespread que veya perderse por no saber ni conosccr la verdad; e por ende
scandal. 1 ~ This situation was not confined to the first contacts with confiando en la misericordia de Dios e atreviendome en la su merced,
Islam in the Península, but repeated itself at regular intcrvals, depend- e en lo que dixo en el Evangelio: non temades los que an poder sola-
mente de matar los cuerpos; mas temed a Dios que a poder sobre los
ing on socio-cultural factors and on political relations between Muslims cuerpos e sobre las animas, traslade del latin en romanc;c llanamente,
and Christians within thc territory. The phenomcnon arose again in no por rimas ni por concordanc;as, por razon que los rimadores sue-
the fifteenth ccntury in Castile, as has already bcen explained in the len añadir o menguar la verdad, la historia de Mahomat asi como
section dcaling with the opposition to Enrique IV. We will come falle escripta en los nuestros libros, que fueron escriptos por algunos
across further aspects of this Islamophilia versus crusadcr mentality de nuestros sabios, que fueron en el tiempo que comern;o Mahomat,
y ademas de lo que se contiene en dicha historia, escrivi algunas otras
in futurc chapters.
cosas que me dixeron algunos moros, cuydando alabar su ley, e que
In this context, it is not surprising to find that most of thc works falle escriptas en los libros de los moros. E despues escrivi algunas
devoted to Islam in the fifteenth century are addrcssed to Christians, cosas de lo que falle cscripto en los Evangelios, e en las epístolas, e
and do not have as thcir main aim the conversion of Muslirns. As en libros autenticos, que se leen en la Santa Iglesia. 1 ~'
Cahen noted, "the purpose was to reinforcc W cstern Christians in
Cavallcria states in his preface that his aim is to convert the J ews
their combativc will. The purpose was to reinforce in their beliefs
and the Muslims to thc Christian faith. Coming from a converted
those Christians from Islamic states, who were sensitive to the seduc-
family, his work is understood to be a refutation of bis former reli-
tion and pressure of the Enemy. In one word, the purposc was to
gion, in the same style as Anselmo Turmeda, a Catalan convert to
retain thc doubtful, to avoid convcrsions to the profit of Islam as
Islam, wrote his Tubfa. 16 Both works are more of a justification for
wdl as provoke the conversion of Muslims." 13 The reason for cach
thc conversion and a proof of commitmcnt to the new faith than a
author to write is made explicit at the beginning of each treatise,
real attempt to convert the mernbers of thcir former religion.
after a prayer to seek God's approval and inspiration. AI1 these ded-
More intellectual efforts, such as Torquemada's small treatise or
ications might seem rnerely commonplace, but the slight differences
Segovia's translation of the Koran, certainly had a more restricted
among them refer to distinct realities in the authors' own back-
audience: thc Pope, thc prelatcs around him, and othcr members of
grounds, which might be intercsting to analyse.
the Church circles. When thc authors were as well 1mown in the Euro-
A precursor to the fiftecnth-century writcrs, St. Pedro Pascual, H
pean courts as Segovia, copies or translations of their works might
who shared the life and concerns of the captives in Granada, focuses
be commanded. Far example, Segovia's Contra legem Mahumet:i was well
on the needs of this group:
known at the Burgundian court. 17 Cusa's Cribrat:io Alchoranis had the
... no quiero que el pecador muera en sus malos pecados, mas que same public: he addressed his treatisc, which he had written "moved
se convierta, e que viva, e por ende veyendo yo que muchos en este ·

uscd to travcl to Granada with a safe-conduct to visit thc captives, until he him-
self was imprisoncd on thc charge of trying to convert Muslims. Even then he was
Ribera, J.: La polémica hispano-musulmana ... , p. XXXIX. given a lícence to preach to the Christians in Granada. Atl:er refosing to be res-
Moubarac, J.: L,Islam et le dialogue islamo-chrétien, pp. 272- 278. cucd, he was executed for bis works against Islam, after 1299.
Cahen, CI.: "Compte rendu critique sur Norman Daniel: blam and the West." 1
~ Ibídem, I, pp. 2- 3.
Revue Historique, 227, p. 230. Cavalleria, P.: .<,elus C!tristi, f. 2r-·-v. Also Epalza, M.: La Tul¡fa, autobiogrefia y
On his life and works, see Armengol, P.: Obras de San Pedro Pascual . .. He was jJolémica i1isliana, p. 152.
born in Valencia and became a Mercedary. Appolnted bishop of Jaen in 1294, he Cabanelas, D.: 0/1. cit., p. 195.

by the zcal of his faith", 13 to the Popc---it is interesting to scc m A tous vrais cathoJiques fideles et loiaux cristiens de tous estas, salut.
this dcdication the samc words as in Cavalleria's. Autant qu'en la fragilité de ma ?crsonnc en cst, sachent touts, qu~ la
On thc wider Europcan scene, Jean Germain chosc other members principale cause de mon cntrepnnse en ceste euvrc prcs:nt qu y n est
mic petite quant a son eftect, si a este par singulier desir de la vraye
of the Christian community as his addressees: thc numerous pilgrims
foy augmenter et donner en rcverence entendible, autant ~uz simp~cs
and travellers who went to the Holy Land and "often returned full lais commc auz clcrcs lettrez, donnant confusibles les erromques opm-
of scruples [...] and due to thcir lack of knowledge, they think or ions J·udayques et sarrazines et a ycculz esclarcir aucuns poins, arti-
utter reproaches against the holy Christian faith, not knowing thc ' cy aprcz declarez corrune y1 a pa. 21
eles et argumens,
truth of the things which have happencd." 19 He wantcd to provc to
By this time, the Inquisition had alrcady started in Castile, but still
them that there had becn Christian communities in those territorics
no contcmporary rnentioned Espina as one of the introductors of
befare, and that rnany continued to rcsist although sorne had con-
such an institution in thc kingdom. 22 His book was never intended to
vcrtcd to Islam bccause of their lust. The only irrefutable fact of the
become a manual for inquisitors, as it has bccn considered lately, but
Christian wars against Islam proved to be a will to defeat the ene-
was rather the continuation of a controversia! trcnd which can be
mies of the faith .
traccd back to five centuries bcforehand. Its use may have changed
From a more local perspectivc, Alonso de Espina hopcd to rcach
latcr, due to Espina's clear. classification of religious disscnsion, but
public opinion in general, if not directly through his book, combin-
thc risk of reading history backwards is too great at this point.
ing his prcaching work and diffusion through other members of the
Whcn studying ali these writers, wc find different methods of
clergy. All through his trcatise, he refers to the differcnt social groups
communication for their thoughts about Islam: sermons, disputes,
who might be in contact with pagans. His fourth book is also a
reports, lcttcrs and trcatises. Each of them has its own characteristics
warning "to prove [...] what Saraccns can do against our strength
and was chosen at a particular moment in thcír careers. The follow-
in faith." The emphasis given to thc third book has made sorne his-
ing table can help us to understand at a glancc why it was so:
torians think that the whole work was intended to alert the influential
circles at the court and the Church about thc convenos issue, 20 but
examining thc rcst of the books, the conclusion is that Espina tricd Communication Audience Style Aims
to approach socicty in general, through the cducated elite, to warn Christian laity. Oral with gestures; Tcach and provoke
them of severa! threats to Christian faith which had ariscn ovcr the "exempla".
previous few years and must have been prcsent in evcryone's minds_
Dispute Christian laity & Scholastic & Convcrsion of non-
Obviously, thc length of the book devoted to the J ews rcveals what non-Christians. dialectic "exempla". Christians.
was the most urgent problem in the eyes of Espina but, if he had
wal1ted to rcmark upan that alone, he would not havc undertaken the Lcttcr Collective or Rhetoric. Provoke dccisions or
unique. Personal Use of reports & rhetorical cxcrciscs.
huge task of gathering all the information for the rcst of the books. or official use. treatises.
The prcface to the first Frcnch translation of thc book reveals the
same intcntions: Rcport Interna! use of Scholastic, lnformation &
clergy. structured discussion.

Trcatise Clergy ancl Mixture of scrmon, Explanation for

sometimes rulcrs. dispute & scholastic. applic¡ttion to
Anawati, G.: Nicolas de Cues .. ., p. 153. practica! life.
Germain, J.: Le livre du creslien et du sarrasin. BNP, :tvis. Franc;:ais 69, f. 1v:

"souvent rctuurnent plains de scrupules et mal ediffiez et par deffault de cognois-

sancc pensent ou clicnt reprouches contrc la sancte foy chrestiennc ignorans la verite
des ch oses advcnues .... "
Beinart, H.: Conversos on bial, p. J l. Also Meyuhas Ginio, A.: La farteresse, pp. 21
Espina, A.: Lafin·tere.1·se de lafai. BNP Ms. Franc;:ais 20067 (c. M80), [ Ir.
207 ·215. 22
Meyuhas Ginio, 1\.: !..a fo1teresse, p. l 18.

a) Sermons public preaching in fashion in fiftecnth-century Iberia, they could

even be directed at non-Christians who were expected to convert.
In medieval socictics, it was difficult to draw the linc bctween oral Sometimes the two stylcs wcrc combined, i.e., for the feast of the
and written communication due to the high lcvcls of illiteracy. This Franciscan martyrs, thc sermon would certainly deal with attitudes
barrier mcans that a historian must perccivc the disparity between toward Islam.
the cultural importance of the contents of a speech and its diffusion in The preachers had different collections of "tools" far building up
its own time. 22ª It was to guarantee this diffusion that sermon-collections a scrmon: thc distinctio, list of different senses of Scriptural terms;
were made. They can be traced as far as the treatises, far the ideas compilations of exempla, fables or examplcs to explain the doctrinal
which con:figured both wcrc very much the same; far cxamplc, what themy in an easier way; and concordances of the Bible, for finding
Cavalleria wrote was no more than the continuation of an oral tra- a number of Scriptural passages in which a given subject or word
dition in the Aragonese area. 23 occurs. 27
Sermons were usually delivered by priests, defined by Espina as The exempla were basic for the development of sermons, as they
"armourcd knights offaith, living a saintly life and strong as lions". 24 would later be for preaching literature. They can be defined as "a
But former Jews and Muslims who had recently converted were also brief tale, taken to be true, inserted in a specch to persuade an audi-
requested to preach in front of their former correligionaries, to the cncc with a salvific lesson", ·according to Bremond. 28 This definition
latter's great disgust. In these cases, thc friars took a close look to can be discussed by the inclusion of other variations of tales which
mal'e sure that the converts did not exceed the tcachings of the were also · used as exempla. Classifications of types of sermon are
Catholic Church. 25 divided according to origin (Jcwish and Paleo-Christian traditions,
The aim of a sermon was usually to present a doctrine arranged pagan-classic tales and modern or medieval); depending on the naturc
in patterns, sorne of which we shall analyse bricfty. Scriptural and of the inforrnation provided (written or oral traditions, writtcn stories
Patristic authorities were used as a theological support, but usually being more authoritative); according to the nature of the characters
no basic doctrinal questions were posed, something which was left (supernatural, human or animal) and depending on their structure
for thc longcr treatises directed to more specialised audiences. Although and style. A more general classification by Lccoy de la Marche makes
the structurc of sermon-col)_ections was usually liturgical, following the following divisions:
the calendar, there was a particular genre directed "ad status", to a) History or legends, including chronicles, hagiography and thc
differcnt groups of roen. Thesc are less numcrous, but central to our historical books in thc Bible.
subject, far as well as addrcssing mernbers of religious orders, mer- b) Contemporary evcnts or anecdotes, which provide very uscful
chants or wives, they dealt with crusaders26 and, in the case of the information about daily life and customs.
c) Fables from popular tradition.
fü Ladero, M. A.: "Comunicación y propaganda de creencias ... " R.Ulvf. (1981),
d) Moralia from the bestiaries. 29
p. 193.
This tradition is dcscribed in Riera i Sans, J.: "Les llicencies reials per The influence of universities gave birth around thc thirteenth cen-
predicar ... " Calls (1987), pp. 113- 143. tury to a more intellectualised way of prcaching, called by histmians
the "scholastic popular preaching", 3º which retained the structure of
' FF, f l lr. See also Meyuhas Ginio, A.: Lajorteresse, pp. 104·-!05.
Riern I Sans, J.: op. cit., p. 121.
D'Avray, D. L.: op. cit., p. 80. An example of this type of collcctions is thc university scholastic discussion, while using simpler material of the
BNP Ms. Lat. 17509, f. 93r-· 102r, containing thc sermons of Jacques de Vitry on
crusading. Also, the Ordinalio de predicalione Sancti Crucis in Angliae (c. 1216) which,
after some theoretical generalities, devoted its final scction to "The call of thc men
to the cross", with a series of exempla from the forrner crusades. The structure of
Ibidem, pp. 72- 75. More can be rcad about sermon structure in Longerc, J.:
t~c sermon is a speech with one main message repeatcd in a variety of ways, and La predica/ion médiévale, Paris, 1983. '
with formulas repeated to call the attention of the public. Cfr. Tyermann, Ch.:
ª Brémond, C. et al.: L'exemplum, p. 38.
England and the Crusades, 1095-1588 Chicago, 1988, pp. 163- 165. Also Maier, C.T.: Ibidem, p. 39.
Preaching the Crusades, pp. 111- 122. D'Avray, D. L.: op. cit., p. 167.

aforemcntioncd collections to finish thc speeeh. Howcvcr, the habit songs, voice inflections and onomatopaeic sounds. The way Vincent
of structuring each sermon systcmaticaJly cannot be attributed solcly Ferrcr used anachronism and localisms is quite striking; for exam-
to scholastic influences. They were used dilferently in preaching than plc, he made Mary Magdalen call .J esus bisbe (bishop in Catalan and
in lectures and treatises. The logical chain (question/ authorities' dis- Valencian dialect) instead of rabbi. Once, he referred to the same
cussion/solution) whieh was the basis of the scholastic system, was Mary as the lady of a barony, centre of a love-court in the troubaclour
not fülly developed in the sermon nor, as we have mentioned, did style. 35 Undoubtedly, this dircct stylc made Biblical tcxts much more
it raise fundamental doctrinal questions. This partial use of scholas- immediate to the public. Fcrrcr's eapacity to speak for three hours
ticism had the advantage of avoiding the problems of orthodoxy was widcly known by people who listened to him. Squares had to
which might have been raised in the academic environment. It was be prepared in the towns to receive thc masses he moved. It is not
too dangerous for an average edueatcd theologian to enter too dccply surprising that sorne of the roughest riots against the .Jewish com-
into sueh matters as the Trinity, the Incarnation or the Eueharist in munities were moved by such a powcrful speal{er.
front of a varied lay audienee. 31 Unfortunatcly, none of the sermons left by Espina dcal with the
After the thirteenth eentury, the world of exempla was enriched problem of Islam36 and his sermon in Palencia whcn he preached
with new sources. Pedro Alfonso's translation of thc Disciplina clericalis the crusadc bull has becn preserved only in thc part where it refers
was uscd to broaden the genre with Eastern tales, with thc hclp of to political affairs. The earlíest examples studied on the subject of
the dialogue style. 32 At thc end of thc Middle Ages, exempla wcre Islam wcre delivercd after the fall of Granada by master Martín
fully incorporated into literary culture, and widely used by authors García, 37 oí1e of qucen Isabel's eonfessors. In 1500 he received a let-
who aimed at the conversion ofJews and Muslims. The fact that ter from the monarchs asking him to move to Granada to instruct
the exemplum was used to impress the audience and to move them the Muslims in the Christian faith so that they could be converted.
with more adequate vocabulary, while being more easily rcmembered Since he was one of the few mcmbers of the clergy who could speak
than authority or reasoning, made it a precious weapon for conversion. 33 Arabic, his cooperation vVas vital. 38
The structure used for sermons in the Peninsula was dctailed in
Franccsc Eiximenis's Ars praedicandi populo. The introduction, spccifying 35
Sermon 48, delivered in Valencia in 1413. Publishccl in Barcelona, 1927.
thc feast of the day and a subject chosen from thc Bible, was fol- G. Thc only collection left is a copy of his scrmons on the Eucharist, in Burgo
lowed by a Hail Mary. Once thc public had becn brought into the de Osma Cathcclral, M s. 26.
Born in Caspe around 1441, he learned to rcacl and write while working as
subjee1:, an introduct:io thmnati.s was dclivered, repeating the verse which a shepherd. He ran away to Saragossa, where he was admítted to study at the
was going to be commcnted upon wíth a brief literal explanation CathedraJ, ancl later he obtainccl a grant to study in thc Spanish School of St.
Clcmcnt in Bologna (14-76- 1480). Once a master, he returned to Saragossa and
al1cl · a short practical application. Thc divisio thematis was the core of was appointed a canon in the cathcclral. He studied thc Bible in Hebrew and
the speech, and each one of its parts had to be confirmed by an Chaldcan, thc Talmud, ami he also learned Arabic. His first sermons wcre deliv-
authority. 34 The matter was divided into eonditions, propositions or crccl in "autos de fe". In 1437, he preachccl before Fernando and Isabel in Saragossa,
achieving thc appointment of royal preacher and confessor to the Queen. He was
just numbered, and memorized in rhymes to make it easier. The also madc a juclge to investigate the dcath of his former master lhe bishop Pedro
end of the sermon was often omitted and left up to thc preaeher. de Arbues. In 14·93 he would add thc title of reformer of nuns. He was a good
The techniques for approaching the audience more closcly included friend of Cardinal Cisncros. In 1492 he was general inquisitor for Saragossa and
Tarazona, until 1510, when he was dcclared general inquisilor for thc whole king-
the use of the second person singular to address thcm, gestures, dom of Aragon. In l 500 he lcft for Granada, in a special mission commandcd by
the monarchs. In 1515, King Fernando would obtain for him Lhc . bishopric of
Barcelona, but he gave it up lo retire to Caspe, where he Lranslated bis sermons
Ibídem, pp. 170 - 184. into Latin bcfore he died in 1521. Ribera Florit, J.: La polémica hispanomusulmana en
Brémond, C. et al.: 0¡1. cit., pp. 51-52. los sennones . .. , pp. XXIII-XXXIX.
33 38
Ibidem, p. 81. The letter, datccl 4 April 1500, saicl: "Maestre Martin Garcia, ya sabeys como
+ Eiximenis's piece is taken from Riquer, IVI. de et alii: 0/1. cit., p. 402. The neecl todos los moros de la ciudad de Granada se convirtieron a nuestra santa fe catholica;
of authoritics, from Richard of Thctforcl's Ars jJraedicandi, cfr. D'Avray, D. L.: porque muy pocos dellos saben entender hablar sino arabigo y por no haver per-
ojJ. cit., p. 194. sonas de yglesia que sepan el arabigo, no pueden los dichos convert.idos ser bien,.••. , , , ..


. :

Martín García was well aware of the difficulties he would encountcr fond of public arguments, as was repeatedly noted by fiftccnth-century
in his task, so he madc surc he had the appropriate sources: he writers. At first, disputes were only oral, but during the period befare
ordered Juan de Andrés to translate thc Koran and six books of the the end of the Reconquest, they were described in books. New laws
Sunna into Aragonese, while he engaged in the writing of his ser- obliged the Muslims to attend to them in all Christian kingdoms.
mons. There are one hundred and fifty-five of these Jcft, of which Disputes intensified with the establishment of Franciscan and
thirty-five are expressly dcvotcd to Muslims. 39 Their structure cor- Dominican houses in the Península and the Levant from the thirteenth
responded to Eiximenis's, except that the divisio thematis incorporatcd - eentury, when the preparation of preachers and missionaries was
passages of Jewish and Islamic texts, and at the end he exhorted the greatly improvcd. AH means were authorised for them to engage in
infidels to convert to Christianity. Together with the quotations from polemics with Muslims in an intellectual crusade to convert thcm. As
thc Koran and the Sunna, he gave others from the books of such a result, Dominicans under Raimundo de Penyafort founded sehools
famous authors as al-GhazalI, Ibn Srna, Ibn Rushd, al-Mas'üdi, Ibn to teach Janguages and thcology; canon law cxempted missionarics
Abr-Zayd's Risala and the biography of the prophet by Ibn 1-?J:iaq. from the prohibition against sharing roof and table with Saracens and
His scheme was simple. He dealt, subject aftcr subject, with ali thc J ews,'11 and Christian rulers evcn managed to obtain concessions for
main dogmas of Islam: Koran versus Biblc, God, the angels, Jesus, Muslim subjects of Muslim lords to convert openly to Christianity.42 In
Mary, MuJ:iammad and the pillars of Islam. He started by men- the thirteenth ccntury, the intervention of Menclieant Orders made dis-
tioning thc suras involved, and immediately afterwards the gloss or putes seem thc bcst way to eonvey the idea of holy war, an image whieh
commentary, followed by a discussion and refutation, which would was also adopted by thc Jewish and Muslim antagonists, who insisted
finally lead to an appeal to conversion. In fact, Martín García's on the knowledge, tenacity and heroism of their own partieipants. 43
approach was the closest to a dispute, save that there was no spccífic One of these disputes took place in Murcia between Ibn Rash1q,
contender. son of a notary and poet1 and a monk who has been identified either
as Garci Petri, arehdeaeon in Moroeco, or as Raimundo Martí,
author of the Pugi.o Fidei. The subjcct was the impossibility of imi-
b) Disputes tating the Koran, and the story was told by Ibn Rashrq himself in
A.rabie. He notcd that a group of priests had arrived in Murcia, sent
The Koran forbade disputes against other religions about the dog- by the kíng to study Islamic seiences and to translate thcm into their
mas of Islam [suras 4: 143; 5:56; 9:29; 60: 13]. In practice, Muslim own language. The purpose of this was to start discussions with thc
leaders realized that this method was necessary in their rclations With weakest Muslims in arder to convert them using polemics, as a way
Christians and Jews. Daniel suggests severa] reasons: fear of rea- of "bcing payed by the king and appreciated by their correligionaries".H
sÓn combined with faith, the desire of Islamic govcrnments to avoid When the protagonist went to the madrasa to attcnd a trial between
trouble and a contempt far Christianity on thc part of scholars and a Christian and a Muslim, one of thc priests askcd him to stay for
jurists. 4° Far whatever reason it might be, l\!Iuslims were not very a discussion on the impossibility of imitating the Koran. The Muslim
managed to continue the argument until he recited a verse that per-
suaded the Christians of the futility of their conversation. This dispute
instruidos en las cosas de nuestra te, y ay mucha necesidad especialmente agora en
los comienzos que no hay en aquella ciudad personas de iglesia que sepan arabigo,
para instruir a los dichos nuevamente convertidos. Y porque sabernos que vos sabeys
arabigo y que con vuestras letras y predicacion y buen ejemplo podreys mucho
aprovecharles, por ende nos vos rogarnos y encargamos que pues vedes quanto en Kedar, B.: Crusade and mission, p . 137.
ello sera servido nuestro Señor, queraís disponeros a venir a estar algun tiempo a That happencd in 1228- 29, when Fernando III of Castile obtained a conces-
la dicha ciudad para aprovechar en lo susodicho ... " (A.C.A., Reg. Cancilleria sion frorn the Almohad al-Ma'mun, who desperately needcd Castilian aid. lbn AbI
3614, f. 105v). Zar: Rawd al-Qjrtas, Cfr. Kedar, B.: op. cit., p. 138; Sánchez Albornoz,, C.: La España
Nurnbcrs 5, 14-39, 68-69, 86, 90, 106, 125, 127, 130, 138 of the edition in musulmana, II, Madrid, 1973, p. 40 l. ·
the Library of the Central University, Barcelona. ·
Gabro'is, A.: Les sources hebraíques médiévales, p. 48.
Daniel, N.: Islam and the West, p. 127. +i Granja, F. de la: "Una polémica religiosa en Murcia.... " Al-Andalus, 31, p. 67.

has been relatcd, in its style and protagonists, to the tcxt Vocabulista Segovia's second dispute in Medina del Campo with the Granadan
in Arabico, thc authorship of which is still undcr discussion. 45 ambassador on the subjccts of the Trinity and J esus's divinity was not
This new, agressive scope produced thc wadike metaphor which very fruitful although, in his account, he insisted on his success in per-
was sharcd by treatises, and which we will analyse later on. Raimundo suading his antagonist about sorne Christian dogmas. An ínsufficient
Llull, following this tendcncy, proposcd the organization of public knowlcdge of Christianity was his alleged reason for justifying the
disputes to Frederick III of Sicily in his De Participatione Christianorum fact that thc Muslim did not convcrt. It did not secm to bothcr him
et Saracenorum (1312).'16 One wonders why he never proposcd the samc too much, and as soon as he retircd to Ayton, he started writing
to a Peninsular king. about these expcricnccs. 49
Religious controversy in the vernacular languages had been prac- There are very fcw cxtant texts about open disputes between
tised in the Iberian Península for a long time, thc bcst-known example Christians and Muslims in the Peninsula. Onc of the most peculiar
being thc Dispute of Tortosa, conducted by St. Vincent :Ferrer in is thc aljamiado version of thc Desputa de la Unidad or de los kiistiYanos
1412. They were equivalcnt, on a popular lcvel, to the theological (Dispute on the Unity), copicd in Castilian by 'Ali al-Garibo. 50 The
works written to defcnd thc Christian faith. Polcmic literaturc assumcd main figure of the legend attributed to Ibn <Abbas -·- onc of thc first
that the opponent was there to be defcatcd,47 but that was not as companions of thc Prophet-, was "Paul, the Jew", i.e. thc Apostlc.
easy when he was faced openly. Gradually, the opponcnt was increas- The choice of this character to discuss the usual matters of thc
ingly considered as someone to be converted rather than defeated. Trinity and the divinity of Christ demonstrates how many concep-
But still, for an intellectual like Segovia; disputes wcrc a way of get- tions of the nature of a dispute existed within Peninsular society.
ting to. know the adversary, as part of a wider plan for conversion These encounters could eithcr be prepared by the ecclesiastical
which was not limited to the person with whom he argued. His first authorities in accordance with thc secular powers, or else be started
dispute took place in 1431 with Prince Yüsuf of Granada, who had by a certain individual. The former wcre used as an instrumcnt for
flcd to the Castilian court. His attempts to engage the princc or onc mass-convcrsion and, after the fall of Granada, they would bccomc
of his companions in a thcological discussion were in vain, but he more and more similar to public sermons, since no opponcnts wcrc
rcached sorne practica! conclusions: allowcd. The main difference was that, whilc sermons did not <leal
with basic dogmas-·as has alrcady been mentioned-, disputes were
No se ha de temer que los predicadores musulmanes quieran enseñar,
argüir o sermonear entre los christianos cuando ellos mismos prohiben planncd to teach and discuss these very dogmas. The appointment
bajo severísimas penas que ninguno de los nuestros hable sobre la ley of a competent and orthodox thcologian to conduct the dispute was
·. de Mahoma en tierras del Islam.[...] Rogué entonces al jefe musul- thcn imperative .
.. mán que mandaba su escolta me permitiese disputar con alguno de
sus sabios; pero el me respondió que ninguno se atrevería a hablar en
tierra de cristianos. 48 ·19 Cabanelas, D.: op. cit., pp. 103-·· 107. The original text tells thc encounter with
the Granadan ambassador as follows: "'I'al ignorancia quedó patente en la discusión
que sostuve en :Medina del Campo con el embajador del rey ele Granada, el cual
+s Lavajo, J.: Cristianismo e islamismo na Península lbe1ica, II, pp. 480- 483. Vocabulista vituperaba a los cristianos por comer a su Dios y absolver de los pecados contra
in Arabico (13th ccntury). Cod. 217, Biblioteca Ricarcliana, Florence. el cometidos; pero luego que escucho mis palabras acerca del extremo ultimarnente
Llull, R.: De Participatione Chri.stia12orum et Saracenorum in Opera Latina, XVI, aludido, quedó estupefacto y prorrumpió en esta exclamación: 'Por Dios, no hay
p. 246: "Dum sic Raimundus considerabat, proposuit venire ad nobilissimum virtuo- nadie entre los cristianos que sepa explicar esto sino tú.' l'vfas yo le respondí que,
sissimum dominum Fredericum, regem Trinacriae, ut ipsc, cum sit fans dcvotionis, aun sin salir de aquel mismo poblado, se podrían encontrar veinte yersonas que
ordinet cum altissimo et potcntissimo rege Tunicii, quod christiani bene litterati et supiesen exponerlo de igual modo. Entonces conocí, por este y otros casos, cuán
lingua arabica habituati vadant Tunicium ad ostendendum veritatem de fide, et grande es la ignorancia ele los musulmanes, quienes, por desconocer· la verdadera
quod saraceni bene litterati veniant ad regnum Siciliac disputatum cum sapientibus exposición de nuestra fe, aborrecen y vilipendian a los cristianos." Froin Nls. 7-6-14,
christianis de fide eorum. Et fortc per talem modum posset essc pax inter chris- Biblioteca Colombina, Sevilla, [ l 9v, and his letter to Nicholas of Cusa, Salamanca
tianos et saracenos, habcndo talem modo pcr universum mundum, non quod chris- Univcrsity, Ms. 55, f. 138. Cfr. Carclaillac, L.: op. cit., pp. 326-327. :
tiani vadant ad destruendum saracenos, nec saraceni christianos." ''º '1.11ere are severa! copies from the fourteenth to the fiftcenth century in Madrid:
<f7 Cardaillac, L.: J\1ori.scos y c1istianos . .. , p. 324. R.A.H. Mss. V7, Tl2, V6; Biblioteca Nacional, Ms. 4944. Cfr. Cardaillac, L.: ojJ. cit.,
· ° Cfr. lbidem, pp. 332 ··333.
pp. 149- 150.

c) Letters dictaminis) and of public speaking (ars arengandi)". 54 To what extent this
is true far thc matter we are dealing with shall be seen immediately.
Polemic letters were a really popular gcnre in Europe from the thir- Thc use of scriptural quotations cxtending to both privatc and
teenth century onwards. Epistolary style was an easy and convenient official correspondence hampered the style of the texts. It was used
way of making someonc aware of the Muslim qucstion. There are as a way to "update thc past and adapt it to the circumstances in
a number of Iberian cxamples of these letters in thc fifteenth century, which the correspondents were living". 55 Diffusion varicd according
all of them sharing thc qualification of "quasi-public" literary docu- to the personality of the correspondents, but in general the first step
mcnts. 5 1 Their historical and literary aspects are so intermingled that was delivery through messengers who took thc letter, together with
nonc of them can be studied without considcring the others. On the an oral messagc, to its first addrcsscc, in our case usually a ruler or
other hand, almost any material could be turned into a letter and a mcmber of a religious community. The contents would latcr be
be regarded as such, as long as it confarmed to a frw literary rules. spread through the usual mcans (prcaching, decrces, etc.) if it was
Letters were also closely related to oral messages, which had been thought to be suitable.
their origin, so it is easy to find that the documcnt is incomplete As far Islam, the first letters known on the subject wcre written
without an oral explanation by an ambassador or messengcr. Thc around the elcventh century., when thc idea of convcrsion as the
concept of a letter as a semw absentium (a speech to someone who is way to assimilatc the Saracens was entering thc minds of Christian
far away) opened the way to the genre far many works that would thinkers. Of course the popes, as lcadcrs of Christendom, were sup-
not be written in letter form today. 52 Sorne of them were scen as a poscd to b~ the first to attempt the approach to Muslim rcligious
continuation of a dispute, and so used dialogue as the background leaders, and Gregory Vil did so when he wrote to al-Na~r of Bidjaya.
far their style, while confarming to the epistolary rules. In fact, it is Written more in the trcatisc style, the letter from the monk of France
possible to speak about one stylc, changing the medium or channel to al-Muqtadir of Saragossa (1078) has been thoroughly studied56
of communication. as the first examplc of this kind of literature on Iberian soil. Why
The general scheme laid clown in the artes dictaminis was respected the subject did not attract much attention in thc Península is some-
in the fifteenth-century letters devoted to the Muslim issue, no matter thing which still has to be studied, but the fact is that most of the
whether thcy were privatc or official. According to Haskins, 53 "there letters asking far the conversion of Muslim rulcrs were written abroad.
should be five parts arranged in a logical sequence. After the salutation Probably duc to geographical and cultural distance, the other Europcan
[...] carne the exordium, consisting of sorne c01:nmonplace gcnerality, countries wcrc less aware of the unlil{elihood of conversion from
a proverb or a scriptural quotation, and designed to place thc reader Islam by these means. Mcanwhile, Alexander UI sent an Instructio
in the proper state of mind in order to grant the request which fal- fidei to the Sultan of Iconum, Innocent III sent two lettcrs to the
lowed. Then carne thc statement of the particular purpose of the rulcrs of Aleppo (1119) and Morocco (1211)57 and the prcacher of
letter (the narration), ending in a petition which was usually in the the Fifth Crusade Olivcr of Cologne invited Sultan al-Kamil to con-
form of a deduction from the major and minor prerniscs laid clown vcrt while he thankcd him for his behaviour towards the defeated
in the exordium and narration, and finally the phrases of the conclu- crusaders. 58
sion." By the end of the Middle Ages, the cpistolary gcnre was seen
as a rcsult of "the tradition of the associated arts of lctter-writing (ars
Constable, G.: op. cit., p. 39.
Gabro1s, A: op. cit., p. 49. •
Dunlop, D. M.: "A Christian Mission to Muslim Spain", Al-Andalus, 17, pp.
Constable, G.: Letters and Letter-collections, p. 11. They are defined as quasi-public 259- 310, and Turlci, A.: "La leltre du rnoine de France .. .", Al-Andalus, 31, pp.
because of their view to futurc collection or publication. 73 ·· 153. Thc original in Arabic is in the library of the monastery of El Escorial,
lbidem, p. 14. Arabic Collection, Ms. R.F. 538111.12. '
Haskins, C. H.: "The Life of Medieval Students as Illustrated by their Letters'', 7
'' P .L. 214, cols. 544-545; 216, col. 434.
Studies in Medieval Culture (Oxford, l 929), pp. 2-3. 58 Sce Kcdar, B.: Crusade and Mirsion, pp. 132-- 133.

Two examples of lcttcrs regarding crusades in the fiftecnth cen- pea.ce treaty with the King of England as thc Pope had requestcd. 62
tury are to be found. Alfonso V of Aragon's defiance of the Ottoman However, Charles VII did not take any notice of thcse suggestions,
sultan, Mu}:tammad II, 59 after the fall of Constantinople was not only and still forbade the duke several times to go on crusade lcaving his
a manifestation of chivalric ideals, but a link with other crusader flank facing England undefended.
policies in the Mediterranean. St. Louis had also sent a similar letter The kingdom of Aragon offcrs two intcrcsting examples of letters
to Sultan Aiyüb 60 before his crusade in 1248. Alfonso's lettcr-dated on practica! issues regarding thc Muslim community. The frrst con-
30th Scptember 1453-can be considcred as a complcment to the sidered the problcm of Berber corsary raids on the Valencian coast,
crusader bull issued by the Pope. Through it, the king was claiming hclped by local Muslims. The danger moved Francesc Eiximenis to
the role uf champion of the faith for the next expected crusade. The writc a letter to the city eouncil at the end of the fourteenth century
letter is structured in thrce parts after the address: frrst, the so called rcquesting them to forbid any public praise in the name of Mu}:iammad
khan was accused of his earlier conquest of Constantinople and his unless they wanted to incur God's anger. The use of weapons by
intention to go further against Rhodes and Rome. He was then Muslims was to be forbidden so that thcy would not be able to help
warned to defend himself- a warning followed by invocations to God their fellow-1\!Iuslims. 63 Howevcr, thc dcvastation in the arca did not
and the Virgin Mary. Finally, a crusade was announced, to be pre- stop and, in 1451, the council appealed to Alfonso V at Naples,
parcd ovcr thrcc years, evcntually reaching thc whole of thc Ottomans' afraid of the armcd Mudejars who were ready to overtal<e the realm
land. Thc answer to thc lctter was expected through the ambassador, following their prophecíes. Obviously, the council was exaggerating,
thc Marquis of Ferrara. as López de Coca demonstrated in his study of the contents of the
The other letter is Jcan Gcrmain's Exhortation far Charles VII to go lctter, but it is clear proof of how the feelings against Muslims wcre
Ove1·seas (also called Le discours du VC!J1age d'oultremer au tres victorieux roi progressively building up. 64
Charles VII) presented to the king by the bishop himself in 1459, In Castile, the Franciscan friar, Alonso de 1\!Iclla, addressed a letter
when he was trying to arrange a peace-treaty between France and to King Juan II around 1443 trying to cxplain his rclations with the
England so that his lord, Philip of Burgundy, would be able to go heretics of Durango 65 (Viscaya) and justify his füght to Granada. The
on crusade. 6 i He had already performed such a mission bcfore the first aspect has provokcd much interest among Church historians,G 6
king in 1451. The Exhortation is an example of the short treatise- but Mella's opinions about Muslims have been totally neglected. After
shape letters. It is divided into two parts, the first dealing with the stating his mistrust regarding the way Christian doctrine was taught
troublesome state of Christendom in the East, and the seeond with by thc authorities and explaining his viewpoint using numerous quo-
possible remedies. The suggestions range from using the powcr of tations from the Bible, he went on:
the sultans of Damascus and Acre to assume the aid from convertcd
Mamluks. Sorne favourable events werc to help achieve the final
defeat of the Turks: the end of the schism within the Church, polit-
ical peace in thc realm and the cooperation of native populations G
Germain, J.: Exlwrtationa Charles VII . .. , fols. 3r- 23r.
in the East. Thc space left for the final request, which was the real Eiximenis, F.: Regi.ment de la Cosa Publica. Ecl. by lVI. Sanchis Guamcr (Valencia,
aim of the letter, was comparativcly small. The Duke of Burgundy 1972), f[ II--V. Cfr. Lopez de Coca, J. E.: "Los mud~jares valencianos ... ", En la
E1j1afia Medieval ( 1982), pp. 652 653.
asked the king his lord to send him on the crusade and to sign a 64
Ibidem, p. 653.
" The heresy of thc Free Spirit in Durango proclaimed the common posscssion
of goocls, the rejection of marriagc, thc rcjcction of Christ's prcsencc in the Eucharist
Publishcd in Sobrequés, S.: "El Ideal de Cruzada ... ", I-líspania (1952), pp. and the belief that !he time of the Holy Spirit had already come to the earth. They
249-250. were dispersed arouncl 1440: Alonso de Mella escaped to Granada, and a numbcr
Richard, J.: "La polilique orientalc de St. Louis. La croisadc de 1248", Les of heretics were burnt in Vallaclolicl and Santo Domingo de la Calzada.
relations entre L'01ient et l'Occident au A11.!Jen Age, p. 204. The article of Cabanclas, D.: "Un franciscano heterodoxo ... ", Abfodalus, 15,
See abovc. For a summary of the contenls of thc lctter, see Schwoebel, R.: pp. 233·· 250 prov:ides all the bibliogTaphy on thc subjcct, as well as thc foil text
1he shadow Qf th.e crescent, pp. 107-· l 08. of -the letfrr.

Proptcr omncs supraclictas causas, o domine, stantcs nos supra clicti become interested in Islam. 68 Scgovia wrote his lctters ín the stylc
in dicto regno, et diligentcr pcrscrutantcs et examinantes fidem quam of small treatiscs to inform his fricnds of his method of achicving a
Sarraccni tenent et credunt, reperimus clictos sarracenos non esse
infideles, sicut illuc clicitur, quinymmo rcperimus eos csse catholicos et single world rcligion- of course, this would be the Roman Church-
fideles et credentes in solum vcrum Deum, creatorem celi et terrae, whilc he mcntioned sorne anecdotes about his work against Islam,
· quem cum tanta fide, timore, humilitatc, rcvcrcntia et devotione ado- one of these being the debates mentioned in the paragraph on dis-
rant et honorant in omnibus suis factis et clictis. Et placeret Deo quod putes. As the study of the letters was made by Cabanelas,G9 together
illi qui clicunt se christianos timerent eum, crcdcrent, adorarent et hon- with their publication, no more will be said about their externa]
orarent cum tanta reverentia et timore. Item reperimus clictos sarra-
cenos crecientes et confitentes omnia sancta facta et dicta Ihesu Christi,
quem multo amplius quam christiani, in suis verbis et factis honorant, Thc Iast group of letters which shall be examincd hcrc werc circu-
credentes de ipso quod secundum rationem potest et debet creditum latcd in Rcnaissance Europe regarding the Turks. Almost any public
esse. Rcpcrimus etiam eos clispositos audirc et auscultare omne illud gathcring was an ideal occasion to deliver an exhortatio waging war
quod secundum rationem potest vcrificari; secundum quas ratíones in against the Turks: it was just another approach to the problem, in
eis rcpertas vcraciter cognoscimus Deum non esse duntaxat Deum the "new" rhetoric style. Francesco Filelfo, once a young student in
christianorum, sed esse Deum omnium illorum qui recte credunt in
eum, et per digna opera adimplent mandata sua. 67 Constantinople, followcd his . embassy to Murad II by writing an
appeal for Charles VIl to go to Mantua, and several others for suc-
The use of the Franciscan's approach to Islam in a letter of appeal ccssivc Popes to start a crusade. Unfortunately, his work in favour
to the king as the highcst authority who could forgivc Mella in a of a holy v~ar was unsuccessful enough to force him to write a 1et-
matter of local hcresy is very interesting. Díd Mella hope that an ter in which he regretted the situation. 70
attempt to convert Muslims- even by association, due to his syncretist The most important manifestation of this style carne from the
ideology- would regain him the sympathy of the king, and therefore Pope himself. Pius ll's letter has been considered by sorne as an
a safeconduct to return to his country? Thc fact that he was killed example of the willingncss of thc Renaissance papacy to ncgociatc
by the same Muslims whose religious conduct he praised might sug- with the Turks and cncmics of thc Latín Christian princcs. Other
gcst hís nced to return to Castile, so that could have been the reason scholars prefcr to sce it as the expression of thc aims of an orthodox
for the 1etter as well. Cabanelas's article speaks of Mella's attraction Roman rcfonnation programme based on Christian humanism. Finally,
to Islam. It is not at all obvious. Mella merely says thc Muslíms somconc defined it as "a temperate, cosmopolitan and rational response
were ready to listen and believe whatever reason could prove, and to the challenge of Islam, a moment of vision which was to be fol-
that theír God and the Christian one were the same, a thought lowed again by ignorance". 71 Probably the ideas of Segovia and Cusa
which might be relatcd to the heresy he preachcd in Durango. But had sorne influence on the Pope whcn he started the letter after the
Islam involved much more than this: the Prophet's acknowledgement council of Mantua. It is vcry unlil<ely that he belicvcd in the conversion
and a change of morals and customs which Mella was not ready to of the sultan, who is shown as the most benevolcnt king. But the
accept- otherwisc, his appeal to the king for his return to C:astile position in which he was left by the Christian rulers during and after
would be out of place. the council cxplains his offer to accept the conquest of Byzantium
The prívate correspondence between Juan de Segovia and the in exchange for a conversion to Christianity. On the other hand,
members of thc Roman Curia and bishop Jean Germain has already thc fact that he was still thinking of a crusade could give the letter
been mentioncd. The difficulties of finding information about Islam,
translators from Arabic, and translations of the Koran havc simílar-
ities with the situation of Peter the V cnerable when he startcd to 60
See the edition of bis works in P.L. 189, cols. 661-662.
Cabanelas, D.: 0¡1. cit., pp. 303-349.
Schwoebcl, R.: "Coexistence, Conversion ancl lhe Crusade ... ", 'Studies in the
Renaissance, l 2, p. 180.
Cod. Vat. Lat. 2923, [ 183r- v. Cfr. ibidem, p. 250. 71
Schwoebel, R.: Die Shadow ef the Crescenl, p. 65.

the same meaning as the one from Alfonso V just mentioned. This prcparing his spccch for the start of the council of 1\llantua and far
time it is the Pope, as hcad of the Christian troops, who addrcsscs his Europa. The cardinals chosen were both Castilian. This might
the sultan to warn and defy him. Although he shared Segovia and lcad to the conclusion that Castilians, because of the particular situ-
Cusa's ideas concerning the concordance between certain parts of ation in their homeland, were thought to be the best adv:isors when
Christian and falamic doctrine, his crusading feeling was also expressed: dealing with Islam.
if thc sultan <lid not convert, thc Pope was perfectly entitled and Torquemada's Contra p1incipales erroris peifidi Nlachometi was written
justified to start a holy war against him. 72 That is thc only way to in a huny following the Pope's order in 1459, while thc Curia was
explain why he chosc thc cpistolary form, since thc Turkish qucstion in Mantua waiting for thc princes' ambassadors. It must have been
was a common fcaturc in all his other works (the Commentaríes, De finished by thc bcginning of the Council because Pius's introductory
captione urbis Constantinopolitane, the Europa, etc.), and he could not be spcech was based on it. He rnust have also used thc information
so naive as to think that the sultan would change his religion. provided in it for his letter to Mul;i.arnmad II and his references to
the Muslims in his other works. This would explain why Torquemada's
treatise had such small diffusion compared to other contemporary
d) Reports sources.
To complemcnt this information, Pius II requcstcd Rodrigo Sánchez
What we havc callcd rcports is really a subdiv:ision of the prosc de Arévalo in 1462 to provide him with a geographical and historical
dedicated to Islam. According to their purposes and a less carcful account of Spain. There is only one copy left of the Libeflus de situ
style, they can be classified either as a step towards chronicles or as et desc1iptione Hispaniae, de regum et regnorum ortu et succesu, et de claríoríbus
a phase befare the theological treatises. In the first case, reports are bellis et gestis in ea occurrentihus, in Padua, and again the lack of diffusion
used as a quick way of spreading the ncws about the situation in can be explained by its use as a mere referen ce book for othcr
the East. Secondly, theological reports wcre used as a reference for works. 75 Arévalo says that it was composed in 1463, after the fall of
the composition of letters, treatiscs and other majar literary works. Gibraltar, which is the last historical cvcnt to be rnentioncd. De situ
The accounts of the evcnts in thc East have bcen callcd "instant et desciiptione Hispaniae is very similar to thc samc author's Histoiia
histories" by Housley, but as they appcarcd after thc first sicgc of Hispanica. The structurc of thc work is a linear tale of política! events,
Rhodes in 1480, they fa.11 outsidc the time scopc of this book. n without many comments or other notes. It contained one introduction
Befare them, the same role was pcrformed by lctters from the reli- and fourtcen chapters, the first three devoted to geography and the
gious leaders and ambassadors of Latín countries in Byzantium . rcst to thc hist01y of Castile, with special emphasis on the times after
.·· .• On the other hand, reports werc ordered by important Pcter thc Cruel. The most interesting to our purposes is the thirteenth
figures in the Roman Church to provide enough up-to-date information chapter, conceived as a praise of Enrique N's carnpaigns and victories
on Islam for their subscqucnt literary works. An early example is over the Moors. 76 Pius II relied on this data for his Commentaries.
William of Tripoli's De Statu Saracenorum. Grcgory X's bull "Dudum The reports scherne is bascd on scholasticism in a broad sense.
super generalis" (11 March 1273) had askcd far "reports for the ()Jtaestio and disputatio are used as a technique to approach the sub-
council of Lyon'', and William answered bccause he "had perceived ject of Islam, but bccausc therc is no opponent, dialogue is avoided.
that your [thc Pope's] enlightened faith wants to know who are the Therefore, questions and answers are ali managed by the author
Saracens and what thcir book says about Christian faith". H 1\!Iore
specifically, Pius II asked for two of thcse reports whcn he was
Trame, R . H.: op. cit., p. l 1.5. Note 33 specifies: "Padua, Capitular Library,
Cod. A 4.5 R 2, fols. 55r- 67r. Thís work is listed in the catafogue of l 4.68 as Libellus
Pius II: Lettera a Maometto JI, pp. 11 O II iussu pajme Pii ab eodem episcopo editus de brevi hi.rtmia rerum Húpanarum el de laudihus dic-
See Housley, N.: op. cit., p. 388. tae regionis."
Lavajo, J.: op. cit., I, p. 36.5. 76
Trame, R . H.: op. cit., pp. 11.5-117.

himself, although the structure is very much the same: the problcm programme by Raimundo de Penyafort. At the time whcn he was
ís introduced by means of various authorities (sometimes the Koran, most worricd about the conversion of infidels and coordination of
the Sunna and other commentaries; at other times practica! issues preaching activities within the Dominican Order, he ordered two
rcgarding Islamic ritcs). The author thcn replies givíng the reasons for treatiscs to this end. First, he addrcsscd Thomas Aquinas to ordcr
his response-in this case, he basically counter-attacks with Christian a book in the stylc of the univcrsity context in Paris, i.e., a book
sources and corrects the arguments accordingly. 77 intcndcd for missionary use but at university leve!. The Summa contra
gentiles was dirccted towards a learned public, but did not cntirely
meet the needs of the Dominican preachers in the thirteenth century.
e) Treatúes This made Pcnyafort look for someone who was in the centre of the
action. In order to achicve a work which could be used by mission-
This last style brings together ali the aforementioned in a mingling aries in thc Iberian Pcninsula and North Africa, by the "studia lingua-
of influences and motifs. It is ha:rd to distinguish how much of rum" and the infidcls thernselves, he addressed one of thc most leamed
it has encompassed. Cornpared to scrmons, treatiscs reveal "how as membcrs of the Order in the ficlds involved. Raimundo Martí undcr-
lay-reading increased, the simpler message dedaimed in church passed took thc huge task of writíng his Summae contra Alclwranum against
eventually to the hand-book of the home." 78 And converscly, thcy Islam, the Capistrum Judaeoru~ and the Pugio Fidei against .Judaism.80
provided raw material for thc composition of serrnons: excmpla, doc- The contrast with letters can be apprcciatcd in Ricoldo de Monte-
trine, . . . Both sermons and treatises show the rhetorical rnodel in crocc's work while his lettcrs we:re more practical, his polemic treatises
use at university and Mcndicant schools, making the scrmon a gloss were much more theoretical, and adaptcd from an Iberian original. 81
of the Scriptures and the treatise a comment on different Christian The samc trend can be observed in fiftcenth-century writcrs.
sources. The written rendcring of both disputes and treatises started as early
From the twclfth century onwards, most of the polemic treatises as the clcventh century, with the Epistle ef al-Kindi. Thc best-known
adopted the style of Summae on the Christian side, while Muslims case in the fifteenth century is Jcan Germain's Débat du crestien et du
preferred the genre of Responsae to particular questions, in the same sarrazin, 82 based on the latter. Despite adding a more doctrinal base,
spirit as Jews. Sorne polemic works from Córdoba :responded to this treatise did not contribute anything new to the knowledge of
attacks from the Christians in Toledo, including legal solutions. The Islam. 83 Threc more treatiscs by the samc author followed: Adversus
structure of the latter was usually divided into four parts:
···. l. Christian beliefs in Trinity, Incarnation and Christ. 00
Lavajo, J.: op. cit., U, pp. H8-450 .
2: The Scriptures and Muharnmad's prophetic mission.
Daniel, N.: Tize Arabs and Medieval Europe, pp. 216-217.
"~ Bibliotheque Nationale de París, Ms. Franc. 948, declicatccl to Duke Philip of
3. Muhammad's mira.eles and prophecics confirmcd the latter. Burgundy.
4. Christian cult and practices were as false as Christian dogmas. 79 11
~ The miniatures oJTer thcir particular approach, although using the same rcp-
resentati.ons as were in fashion at thc time in the Europcan courts. The Duke him-
Onc of the rnost revcaling examples of the use of different authors sclf appears in thc first rniniature rccciving the manuscript from the author, surrounded
and stylcs for a single purpose was thc elaboration of a preaching by the knights of the Golden fleece. At the beginning of Book One ([ 11 v), the
two knight5 who participate in the dispute appear bcforc the sultan on his Gothic
throne, while a bishop- · rcprcsenting Gcrmain- is copying thc argLiment. Both
Muslims are depicted as Turks, whcrcas the Christian knight is dressed in the
For more about scholastic style, see Marenbon, J.: Later 111/edieval Philosophy Burgunclian fashion. The scene is repeated at thc bc¡,rinning of the Sccond Book
(1150- 1350). An lnlroductirm, London, 1987, and Bazan, B. C. et alii: Les questions (f. 28v). Thcrc are two more illustrations (f. l 4v), the only oncs to represcnt
disputées et les questions quodlibetiques dans les jacultés de tlzéologie, de droit et de médecine, Turn- l\!Iul).ammad in ali thc manuscripts cxamined. In the first one, he is handling two
hout, 1985, although they do not specify the stcp from "quaestio" and "clisputatio" camels, going on a caravan. In the second eme, he arrives at Bahira's hermitagc
to this kind of litcrature very clearly. amidst forests-instead of an oasis-- , to be instructed. Mul.1ammad is 'easily to be
Owst, G. R.: Preaching in Medieval England, p. 280. recogniscd by his dark skin, a featurc associated with devilish powers. \Vhen the
Epalw, l\ll.: "Notes pour une histoire des polémiques .. .", Arabica (1971), pp. character óf thc book changes in the third part, which turns out to be; an apology
103-105. of Christianity (see Appcndix III), the iconography of thc miniatures also changes.

Turcarum Alcoranum, Adversus klahometanos et fideles, and De saracenorum

legis falsitate tractatus, all of which are lost. 84 The chaptcrs of the Débal
coincide with the gcogrnphical points mentioned in Germain's Exhmtatio CHAPTER FOUR
to Charles VII, showing once more the links between the two gcnres.
But the treatise was written as an explanation of Christian faith, whilc TRADITION AND POLEMICS: SOURCES FOR
Espina's was written as a study of Islam to ease the way for thosc FIFTEENTH-CENTURY AUTHORS
who wanted to fight it. The difference in scope says a lot about the
different situations in which the authors were living.
Another writer who used disputes as a background for his expo- Thc first problem posed by a list of refcrcnccs such as the onc offered
sition of a method for universal pcacc was Nicholas of Cusa. B5 His in appendix III is the question of originality in the Middle Ages.
De pace fidei is a discussion among characters of all nationalities and Dependence on authorities was important because it guaranteed the
religions, to unify one single rcligion with different rites. His approach quality of a book. Although in the fifteenth century sorne place had
is so peaceful that he <loes not condemn anybody- not even Mu}.tam- been lcft for creation in litcrature, the genres rclated to theology kcpt
macl- whereas he adrnits that Muslims would be able to live with the use of authorities as a guarantee for orthodoxy. Of course, thc
the others just by changing sorne of their customs. first source to be used was the Bible and its commentaries. And be-
The fact that trcatiscs were intended for a more cducatcd audience- cause the subject involved was Islam, the Koran and the collections
clergy and nobility -- -dircctly caused Latín to be the languagc chosen, of hadith were uscd by the authors who lmew them. Howcver, this
and the stylc to be a mixture of sermons and thc scholastic. Why lmowledge was rcdueed to second-hand information or to sorne spe-
the Ibcrian authors- with the cxccption of Pedro Alfonso- gencrally cialists who had been ablc to have sorne contact with Muslirns.
failed to use dialogue in their trcatises is explained by the nature of Oral sources are mentioned in all the books by Iberian authors. 1
their work, conceived more as a summa than as an admonition, although lt may be assumed that, in a country whcrc coexistence had bccn
the latter was usually eontained at sorne point vvithin the book. practiscd for eenturics, any author who wanted to write about Islam
The next chapters will explain better than any simple classification would try to contact an accurate source, i.e., a Muslim, to provide
the use and structure of treatises on Islam. Sincc thcy are just vehi- sorne practica! cletails, apart from thc topics included in formcr trea-
cles for expressing ideas on Muslims, this introduction should not be tiscs. Only in a case where the treatise had to be written too quickly
extended any furthcr. and far away from the Peninsula- ·-such as happened to Torquemada's
Contra errores Mac/wmeti- did the author avoid the use of direct wit-
nesses and stuck to other ccclesiastical authors. In the case of Juan
de Segovia, as we have scen, the fact that <Jsa ibn Djabir was a
faqfh favourcd the accuracy of interpretation of Islarnic doctrine.
Whilc Alonso de Espina has been accuscd of "lack of originality"
rcgarding the subject of the inquisition/ he has also been blarned
for thc freedom with which he prescnted his conclusions. The use
of scholasticism as reference did not mean his work was unoriginal
whcn it comes to analysing its structure and final display. The same
can be said of .Juan de Segovia and Juan de Torquernada.
Christ appears for the first time sending his Apostles to prcach around thc world.
In !he foreground, Gcnnain is again represenLcd writing his book (f: l 12v). Finally,
in the Fourth Book, the Pope ancl the Patriarch of the Eastern Church are assem-
bled with a council of bishops ancl cardinals (f. 184r). . FF, f 1:32v; Juan de Scgovia: Prologue to the Koran, f l 90r (ed. Cabantlas, p. 289).
M See Schwoebel, R.: The Shadow qf lhe Crescent, pp. 107- l 08. Meyuhas Ginio, A.: "Reves de croisade ... " Revue de l'Histoire des Religions,
IJ5 Anawatí, G. C.: .Nir.olas de Cues et le j1robleme de l'!slam, p. 145. CCXXI2; p. 150; Laforleresse, pp. 96, 109, 207.

Besides, there is the author's view to be considered. There was He admitted using sorne texts from Aristotle collected by other
no need to be original. The main objective was to providc as much scholars, as an cxample of scientific cooperation. Thcre were also
information as possible, taken from as many sources as were avail- contacts betwcen Raimundo Martí'1 and Thomas Aquinas while they
able at the time: thc same concept which originated the summae. Jean were writing their Ií·actatus contra Machometum and the Summa contra
Gcrmain spccifies such a trend in bis foreword to the Livre du crestien gentiles, around the same time, especially due to Thomas's ignorancc
et du sarrasin: of Arabic.
Different kinds of authors used diffcrcnt sources. A distinction can
Considerees les choses dessus dictes [je] me suis travaille de extraire
de plusieurs doctcurs et saiges ce qui m'a semble prouffitable et bien be made betwecn those who werc intcrested in Islam for its own
servant au reboutement de la dicte secte et a sexaussement de nostre sake5- although a religious intcrcst was usually in the background-
sancte foy et especialement des extraiz del Alchorant faiz par reverends and those who approachcd it with reference to Christianity and thc
docteurs Pierre Venerable jadiz abbe de Cluny, Pierre Alfonsc de la impact Islam had on Christians. The choice of a theological argument
nation des Espaignes et saint Thomas d'Aquin en ung sien petit livre was conditioned by the religious definition of thc two territorics:
contre heresie de Mahumet et autres tant des sains appostres, martirs,
Europe and the Ncar East were idcntified with Christianity and Islam.
confcsseurs, illustres hommes que de hystoires anciennes consignant les
arrestz, diffinitions et sentences publiqucmenl donnees par les sou- The fact that most of the authors belonged to the second trend,
verains du monde, des principaulx poins de nostre foy comme pourra those who wcre not intercsted in Islam itself, meant that they did
apparoir par epistres et actes publiques farz el escrips sur se et aucunes not try to approach every k.ind of Muslim source, but simply the
foiz par remonstrances et manuductions de raisons humaines. 3 more basic emes. Thereforc, the number of Islamic authors quoted
The textgoes on to say that he is not trying to explain faith through in thc list of references is very small and completely leaves aside the
reason, but as he sees there is no way to make the sect disappear, world of Muslim philosophers and thc qucstion of the transmission
he believes it is time to dcfend thc Church against Islamic attacks of Greek philosophy through Arabic translations. A very definite line
by means of rational argumcnts, which other more intclligcnt doctors was drawn between these two fields and theology.
will complete. He appeals to thc Pope to correct him, and to the Kmg. It is important to bear in mind that many references could be
He insists in a second foreword in the need to put togcthcr prívate made sccond-hand. This happened with Espina's quotations frorn
works, summae and collections of sentences in onc single volume so Jewish post-biblical studics6 and often had to do with the ignorance
they can be consulted altogether: of a ccrtain language. T orquemada uscd thc work of his fellow-
Dominican Raimundo Martí, and it is likcly that his quotations from
Et car les dictes sentences et diifmítions sont escriptcs en divers volumcs Maimonides and Avicenna (lbn Sina) carne from this sourcc. 7 One
difficiles a trouver et extraire tant par deffault de livres, negligence of the main reasons for mistakes rcgarding Islamic doctrine was erro-
d'entendre a lecture diceulx, l'ignorance de plusieurs et occupations
des choses mondaines et aussí que les diz actes et díffinitions ne sont neous translation from Arabic sources. J\fistal<es were widespread and
trouvez mis par ordre pourquoy a grande difficulte pevent les zcla- readily acknowlcdged, but sorne of them led to important misunder-
teurs de la sanctc foy chrestiennc avoir plaine cognoissance des choses standings.
dessus dictes, a la consolacion diceulx et confusion de cnnemis de notre
foy, j'embrasseray ce dit oeuvre.
On the othcr hand, within the Order of Preachers (and probably the 4
Lavajo, .J.: Cristianismo e islamismo na Peninsula lbelica, II, p. 64 7.
same could be said about the Franciscans), communal spirit worked ' Daniel, N.: The Arabs and Medieval Europe, p. 248.
Mcyuhas Ginio, A.: La jorteresse, p. 69.
in a rcmarkablc way over individual interests. Scholars exchangcd 7
Chapter two of the CE was copied from Martí's Traclalus contra Nlachometum,
their rcferences and methods, as Vincent de Bcauvais explaincd. which quotes l\IIaimonides. On the other hand, Ibn Slna's De scientia divina or
J\!Jetap!rysics was menlioned in Marlí's Explanatio symbolum apostolornm. Given Martí's
expertíse in Senútic languages, it was almost obliged to use him as source when
these languages were involved, and certainly Torquemada would Iind his writings
Germain, J.: Le li1fre du crestien et du sairasin, ( 2r- v. easily in any uf Lhe convents of his Order. '

A widesprcad cxample was the accusation that Muslims were idol- enccs in the Fortalitium, usually when Espina needed a particular use
aters, somcthing the Koran strongly condemned, and was complc- for a word. Given that Meyuhas Ginio used the Nuremberg edition
mcntary to Islamic accusations that Christians wcrc idolaters because (1494) 13 instead of the 1463 manuscript, it cannot be accepted as a
of their use of statues. The confusion started when J ohn Damascene general conclusion that quotations from the Bible madc by Espina
translated the call to prayer as "Alla wa Koubar", understanding "koubar" were inaccurate. In fact, thcrc had been a total rcvision with changcs
as "Aphroditc's star'', i.e., the planet Venus. Connecting the word in between by somconc othcr than thc author.
with the name of the Ka'aba at Mccca ("Khaber"), he assumcd thc Much more difficult to study is thc author's acquaintance with the
stone to be a earved head of Aphroditc, and thercfore, Muslims were Koran. The problems concerning its first translation ordered by Peter
declared idolaters. Further evidcncc exists in the translation of sura the Venerable have been set out by D'Alverny in her famous article
112 by Nicetas Byzantios: "Say He is one God, God the everlasting". "Deux traductions latines du Coran au Moyen Age". 14 Of the two
Thc last word was translatcd into Greek as "holosphairos" (wholly spher- translations, the one by Robcrt Ketton modified the Arabic syntax
ical), and later as "holosphyros" (made of beaten metal), thus an idoP to make it more undcrstandablc, while Mark of Toledo tried a word-
These examplcs wcre mentioned in thc Península in thc lndiculus by-word translation taking good to kccp thc original namcs of
luminosus of Alvaro de Córdoba (d. 861), which associatcd Aphroditc/ thc suras, omittcd by Robert. 15 The defects of this translation con-
Venus to thc Ka'aba. 9 A little latcr, thc epistle from the monk of ditioncd thc work of ali th~ writers who approached Islam using
Francc to the King of Saragossa claimed that "thc magicians served Koranic arguments. In the fifteenth century these were, as has been
their fircs, the Dualists their Light and Darkness, and the Arabs their said, Nicholas of Cusa, .Juan de Torquemada, Alonso de Espina,
idols and images" . 10 In this context the word "Arabs" might refer Denys the Carthusian and .Juan de Segovia. 1G When the latter found
to the inhabitants of the Arabian Península befare the expansion of out how imperfect the translation was, he decided to start a ncw
Islam, in which case thc statement is justified. Within the Latín rendering advised by an Arabic cxpcrt, as has bccn cxplaincd in
European tradition, Hrotsvita (c. 1000) dcpicted the Saraccns as poly- chapter h.YO. Onc of the major mistakcs in Kctton's vcrsion was the
theists who adored idols made of marble and gold in her Lije ef way in which he numbered the suras, which madc correlations
Pelagi,us. 11 But thc most famous are thc verses in the Chanson de Roland difficult: in the Fortalitium ali the suras are one number ahead, while
which refer to the Muslims being idolaters. In thc Península, Bishop if tl1ey are mcntioned by their name, the quotation is correct, prov-
Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada stressed Kurayshites' i'dolaf:l)I befare Muham- ing Espina's use of second-hand Koranic versions. 17 There was another
mad imposed his sect through battlc, both terms cqually despised by translation ordered by King Pedro III of Aragon, known though
Christians as expression of a barbarie nature, but at least more accu- Juan de Segovia's request of a Spanish vernacular translation to be
ratc in terms of historyY sent to him. 1ª
Juan de Segovia was the greatest Christian collcctor of Koranic
manuscripts in thc fiftccnth century, moved by his idea that argu-
Bible and Koran ing against Islam without a proper doctrinal basis distorted the povver
of argumcnt. Thereby, Muslims would think the same confusion was
Quotations from thc Bible should havc been perfcctly accuratc
throughout the trcatiscs, but Meyuhas Ginio found sorne minar differ- i:i Meyuhas Ginio, A.: "Rcves de eroisade ... ", p. 146; La Jorteresse, p. 9.
'"' D'Alverny, .M. T.: "Deux traductions latines du Coran au Moyen ,Age'', Archives
d'histoíre doctrina/e et littéraíre du Ml!)•en Age, XVI ( 194-8), pp. 69· 131.
Beckingham, C. F.: "Misconceptions of Islam" in Between Islam and C/zriste11dom, 15
Al! these problems are furthcr discussed in D?AJverny, IvL T. and V<rjda, G.:
p. 607, "Marc de Tolcdc, traducteur d'Ibn Tumart'', al-ilndalus, 16 (1951).
Lavajo, J.: op. cit., p. 125. 16
Cabanelas, D.: op. cit., pp. 129 130.
Dunlop, D. M.: "A Christian Mission to IVluslim Spain", al-Andalus, 17, p. 280. 17
At least, he used Ricoldo de Montecroce's Rej1robatio Alchnranir. His quotations
Kedar, B.: Crusade and iVIissio11, p. 10. gavc the namc of the suras but not the number.
Jiménez de Rada, R.: Historia arabwn, pp. 244-245. 16
Cabanelas, D.: op. cit., p, 129.

used to teach them Christian doctrine. This moved them to search respond to the Christians, who already had translations which formed
for the bcst versions of the Koran in Arabic and Latin available the basis of anti-Islamic polemics. 24 This explains the appcarancc of
throughout Europe. In 1437, he found an average vcrsion in Germany the aijamiado translation. Sorne of the Morisco Koran manuscripts
and had it copied. He lent Cusa a copy of the Collectio Toletana when only preserve sorne of the suras, ususally the shortest, which were
he left the council of Basle, assuring bis help to find three more vol- more usefül for prayer, although only recitation of the Arabic version
umcs in Northern European libraries: Rore (Bavaria), Cologne and was considered valid as a prayer. 25
Roermond (The Netherlands). The last copy-brought from Constan- The Koran was quoted, but preconceptions about it considerably
tinople- camc from the Dominican library in Basle, and was iden- changed the way in which it was used. First of ali, the Koran became
tical to the onc he already owned, but written in a better handscript. an object of ridicule because it was unfamiliar to Christian writers
In Ayton, in 1455, he received an important fund of Arabic, Latín and thcy did not approach it free of prejudice. On the other hand,
and Castilian books, but no Koran amongst them. This contradic- they were unable to realizc that the same method they used could
tion is justified by the refusal of Peninsular Muslims to copy or read be turned against them and thcir Scriptures. 26 Generally, authors did
thc Koran for Christians. 19 Despite these difficulties, Juan de Segovia not distinguish between the Koran and Tradition, even if they Jmcw
managed to huy a Koran in Arabic in Granada, which he gave to thc di.fference. Moreover, any referencc to the Koran was introduced
the University of Salamanca. 20 His great work was the bilingual trans- with the sentence: "Mul:iarn'mad said in bis Koran ... " 27 instead of
lation of the Koran, now lost, together with 'Isa ibn Djabir. 21 It was "God said ... ", which was the phrase used by Muslims. This detail
a rendering word by word into Castilian, with explanations written was important, bccause it involved questioning thc basic doctrine of
by the Muslim. Afterwards, Juan de Scgovia <lid the samc from revclation: for thc Muslims the Koran was God's revelation, while
Castilian into Latin. The manuscript was prepared as an Arabic/ for thc Christians it was just Mul).ammad's invcntion. Alonso de
Spanish text with interlinear Latin, written in thirty-three booklets, Espina even accused Mul:iammad's successors of having forged it. 28
which resulted in 198 pages as a whole. Upan his death, it also went The Koran was often taken as a collection of commandmcnts prc-
to Salamanca, where Espina could have consultcd it. As a matter pared by Mul:iammad far his pcoplc. 29 The revelations on which the
of fact, Juan de Segovia's method was very mu ch the same as Llull's, Prophet relied were discredited as drcams, specially using the _Liber
considcring their interest in languages. Whercas Llull tried to solve Scalae Machometi as a parallel to the Koran, 30 ignoring the fact that
the problem by creating schools of Arabic, Juan de Segovia was for Muslims the two books had a di.fferent status.
more realistic and chose to translate into vcrnacular for a more wide- Another problem arose when Christian writers realized that Islam
spread diffusion. Master Martín García, 22 in turn, used quotations rejected previous revelation as contained in thc Bible, while they
from the translation ordcred by himself from his canon, a formcr accepted that God had revealed hirnself to Mases and Jesus as
faqzh from Játiva mosque. 23 prophcts. Starting from this point, Islam <lid not accept thc Biblc as
In the sixteenth ccntury, under the taqrya, the Moriscos necded a a basis for controvcrsy, since its message had been changcd. But
translation of the Koran both to maintain their rcligion and to since Islam acccptcd Judaism and Christianity as former revclations
which ought to be superceded by Mul;ammad's, and moreover; since
Ibidem, pp. 137 ·-138.
io Ibidem, p. 156. 2•1Chejne, A. G.: Islam and lhe T1Vest, the lv/oriscos, p. 52.
Vcmct, J.: "Traducciones moriscas del Corán", p. 46. 25
Cardaillac, L.: op. cit., p . 194.
Martín García prcached in Arabic to thc Muslims of Granada as from 1500. "' Daniel, N.: Islam and the West, p. 75.
In that city he mct Juan de Andrés, a convcrt faqfh from Játiva, who gave him an 27 References such as this occur all throughout the texts of thc authors concerncd,

enormous amount of information about the Koran and the Sunna. Martín García so r havc omrnitcd the number of thc pages for simplicity.
was a General Inquisilor for Aragón and Catalonia, and finally Bishop of Barcelona. 28
FF, f. 121r-v.
His sermons were published in 1517. Cf Cardaillac, L.: ojJ. cit., p . 317. 29
Daniel, N.: Islam and the West, pp. 33-35 .
lbidem, p. 195. ~° FF, f. 12lv.

Islam acccptcd Christ as God's messcnger, Christian writers were of acculturation in the ninth century. Mul;iammad's first biographics
aware of thc danger of syncretism. took information from the Grcck Fathers to build a series of leg-
Reactions form Christian authors varied. Thc answer of Ricoldo cnds to show thc Prophet's evil nature. Álvaro de Córdoba's Liber
de l\!Iontccroce was in the form of another qucstion: how could .Jews apologeticum quoted an carlier biography brought to Pamplona by the
and Christians, who hated each other so much, agree to corrupt onc monk Eulogius (845-- 48) and referred to in a letter frorn Bishop .Juan
tcxt? Pedro Pascual, Bishop of .Jaén, though that as thc Koran of Scville. They mention thc Prophet's wcdding with Khadfdja, his
acccpted Christ and his doctrine, and thc sayings of thc Prophets, death followed by Iris being caten by dogs and his condemnation in
it accepted a doctrine contrary to its own, which meant l\!Iuslims hell; thcy identified him with thc Beast and established the first tra-
should recognize the Christian canon of Scriptures. 31 The Koran also ditions about his decadent morality. 34 Although the apologetic tone
praised Christ and thc Apostles, which meant that if Christ was a used by these authors responded to a vcry particular situation of the
good, just guide, so the men who adhcred to him could not be evil. l\!Iozarabs, all of thcsc tapies discusscd in their works were encom-
Ali this elaborate thcory attemptcd to state that the Koran "vali- passed by fifteenth-century authors. Espina and Torqucrnada also
datcd Scripture, while the inconsistency between the two rcligions foliowcd their ideas in the fragrncnts where thcy discussed messianic
invalidated thc Koran". As for Peter the Venerable, his view was imagcs. .
that Scripturcs had to be acccpted or rejccted complctcly, 32 and it Among thc ninth-century Islamic polemicists, only al-Hashimf and
was unbearable that Muslims should use names of characters in the 'Abd al-Masll:i ibn Isl;aq al-Kindf werc well known to the Peninsular
Sacred Scripture without accepting thc canon. There were even a writers th1:ough thc translation attachcd to the Collectio Toletana. Both
number of attempts to determine which parts of the Scripture Islam werc officers in Caliph al-1\!Ia'mün's court. Al-Hashirnf was 'the sul-
could accept. The general conclusion of all this debate was that tan's cousin and carne from the Prophet's family. He was thc first
Christian writers totaliy ignored the Islamic interpretation of thc to addrcss his Christian friend asking him to join Islam. Tartar35 is
Koranic text. sure of thc author's Muslim origín for a numbcr of different reasons:
the way in which he referred to Mu}:iammad, bis conviction about
the value of Islam, the munber of Koranic texts he mentioned and
Polemics in Literature: A Summary quotations from the Bible, which did not conform with the books
accepted by Christians or Jews.
It is impossible to try to rcvicw here the whole field of religious The Nestorian al-Kind! answered by justifying Christian doctrines
polernics between Christendom and Islam. Neither is it possible to and attacking MuJ:iammad's claims to prophethood. He also introduced
depict a pattern in the choice of sourccs for polemics by Christian sorne arguments al-Hashimf had failed to mentían, such as the forging
authors: there were no fixed criteria. This summary is focused on of thc Bible by Christians and Jews. Through this argument, thc
the use that fifteenth-century writers made of former works on and text has bcen dated between 819 and 825. Included in Vincent de
from Islam. 33 In the cases where they were not familiar with Arabic--· Beauvais's Speculum historiale,~6 this work was used as rcference through-
i.e., Alonso de Espina andJuan de Torquemada·· --, dependcnce on pre- out the Middlc Ages, and was the basis for Jean Gcrmain's Débat du
vious works, either trcatiscs or translation of sources, was unavoidable. crestien el du sanasin.
The first polemics in the Iberian Península rose with thc first signs
:¡.¡ Lavajo, J.: op. cit., p. 112. See Díaz y Díaz, M.C.: "Los textos antimahemetanos
más antiguos en céídices españoles," Archives d'histoire doctrinale et littérai're du 1\liqyen
Daniel, N.: Islam and the J!Vest, p. 51. Age, 3 7 (1970), pp. 149- 168.
Cf Lavajo, j.: op. cit., p. 283. 3
-' Tartar, G.: Dialogue islamo-c!trétien sous le calij1!ie al-1'tla'mún. Paris; 1985.
Because of the reslrictccl information available on Islarnic trealiscs in the fifteenth 36
Vincent ele Beauvais: S/1eculum hirto1iale, chapters 41 - 67. The Latin translations
century, this list will have more Christian authors. For more information about of the Epistle are conlained in the following manuscripts: París, National Library,
lslarnic polemics, see the works by Cardaillac, Chejne and Moubarac rnentioned in Mss. Latin 3'.~93, 3649, 606,l; Rome, Biblioteca Vaticana, Cod. Vat. Lat. 4072;
the bibliography. Oxford, Corpus Christi College, !Vis. LH4.

Ibn l:Jazm (d. 1064) turned the polcmic method upside-down whcn creating real monstcrs". 40 His main source was the Collectio Toletana
he decided to use the collation of the four Gospels to show the and Petcr thc Venerable's Contra sectam sive haeresim saracenorum. More
diffcrences between them, and then turned to compare the Christian will be said about the arguments he used in the next chapter.
and the Jewish Old Testamcnts to deny Christ's divinity. Such an Thc other favourite source far Christian polemics against Islam
approach against Islam was adopted by Christians only in the tw-elfth was the Liber scalae Machometi, translated from the Arabic Kitab al-
century, whcn the Koran was translated for Peter the Venerable. Mi 'rarfj around 1264. Apart from the "official translation" made in
Thereafter, criticism of scriptural texts became one of thc methods Alfonso X's court by the Jewish doctor Abraham de Toledo and
far dealing with polemics. 37 Buenaventura de Siena, there were two other versions circulating in
Around 1100 the Jewish convert Pedro Alfonso (farmerly Moses the Península in the thirteenth century: one contained in Rodrigo
Sefardí) introduced in his Dialogus a wholc titulus to debate and refute Jiméncz de Rada's Historia arabum and another in a rnanuscript from
Islam, using two characters-· Moyses and Pedro, his farmer Jewish Uncastillo (Aragón). By the time Alonso de Espina, Juan de Torque-
self and his new Christian personality··-to discuss Islamic doctrine. mada and Pius II used it for thcir works, anothcr version had become
There he explained why he had converted to Christianity and not the most popular in Roman circles: thc one by Ricoldo de Monteeroce.
to Islam. He seems to be the only Christian to quote the Islamic The reason why sight details change in ali the versions might be the
tradition of Amon and Moab, Lot's sons, who created the sanctuary use of diffcrcnt A.rabie texts~ or perhaps the circulation of the same
at Mccca far thcir idols. Howcver, he cannot explain Mu}:lammad's manuscript, translated by different people for each author. 41
reactions towards the worship of idols in the Ka'aba enclosure. 3n The Liher scalae was part of the Islamic tradition used more to
Another dialogue, the Disputatio Abutalib sarraceni et Samuelis iudaei, was ridicule Islamic beliefs than because the authors really thought it was
translated by Alfonso Bucnhombre bctween 1339 and 1340 in París. a basic text in Islamíc rcligious literature. 42 Being in the first person
Later, thís Dominican who spoke Arabic went to Cyprus and was singular, i.e., from IVIul).ammad's lips, it was considcrcd to be written
appointed Bishop of Morocco. in the same style as the Koran, which used thc same dircct farm.
Playing with the Koran in thc same way as Ibn l:Jazm, Raimundo Thc Liber scalae was not chosen because it provided accurate infarma-
Marti hoped to demonstrate thc vcracity of the Scriptures. Assuming tion, but bccause it could be easily discussed. Obviously, the attempt
that the Koran accepted Christ and the Apostles, he chose them as to rationalizc a schatological text such as the Mi'radj did not help to
a guarantee far the Gospel, making a new interprctation of thc Biblc's understand it in the light of Christian religion. On the other hand, as
characters. 39 Islam insisted on Mulfammad's inability to perform miracles, this tcxt
Around 1200 Alain de Lille's Contra paganos saw the light. The was unacceptable within a pseudo-hagiographical context, becoming
reason why this book ís vcry important as regards our subject is that even more clifficult to understand far thc Christian rcader. Mul:tammad's
his conception of the whole work is very similar to Espina's. The
book is entitlcd (¿uadripartita editio magistri Alani contra hereticos, valdenses, 40
D'Alvcrny, M. ·r.: "1\lain de Lille et !'Islam", in Islam et chretiens du Midi, pp.
iudeos et paganos. Its division is the same as thc Fortalitium fidei's except 301 - 302.
that Lille ncver wrote about witches and demons. The author's inten- 'H Sce CE, pp. 42- 44; FF, t: 121v-124v. About the Ji.her scalae, the most impor-
tant studies published are the pioneer Asín Palacios, M.: La escatología musulmana J'
tions are also the samc: to defrnd the Christian faith by reason la Divina Comedia, Madrid 1907 /London l 926; Cerulli, E.: JI Libro della sea/a e la ques-
against the new hcrctics and "the spread of old doctrines which ti.rme delle fanti arabo-espagnole della Divina Comedw, Rome 1949, and by the same author,
attacked Christian faith without using divine nor human reason, thus Nuove ricerche sul Libro della scala e la conoscenza dell'lslam in Occidenle, Vatican 1972.
Therc is an eclition by Muñoz Sendino, J.: La escala de A1ahoma, Madri~ 1949. A new
version has appeared in French as Le Lívre de l'échelle de iVIahomel, ed. by G. Besson
Pedro ~onso: Dialogi, PL 157, cols. 597-606. The commcnt in D'Alverny, & M. Brossard-Dandrc, Paris l 991; and a Spanish transla tion as Lihro de la escala
M. T. and Va;1da, G.: "l\.farc de Tolcdc, traducteur d'Ibn Tumart'', al-Andalus, pp. de ivlalwma, cd. M. J. Viguera l\tiolins, Madrid 1996. I dealt with the subject more
120···121 <loes not give a good explanation of the problcm. deeply in my article "El l\tli'radj en la literatura castellana del siglo XV", Mediaevalia,
Chejne, A. G.: op. cit., p. 80. 5·-6 (1994), pp. 231 - 246.
39 42
Daniel, N.: Islam and the West, p. 4·9. Daniel, N.: lrlam and the vVest, p. 233.

ascent to the seven heavens is used by Espina under the heading it was copied or translated from an Arabic source, or one of his for-
"About the foundations of Mul;tammad's law", and is a clcar example mer works in Arabic, is not known.'15
of deformation of Islamic thought to demonstrate the evil contained Llull's most succcsful method of attacking the Koran was to reduce
in it. After a nocturnal pilgrimage to Jerusalem (isri¡J) mentioned in it to a common object instcad of considering it "the miracle" of Islam.
the Koran 17, MuQ.ammad was taken to the seven heavens by Gabriel He would produce a work in the style of the Koran which showed
by the ladder mentioned in the Latín title for the book. There, he his admiration for the sacred text. The subject chosen was also a
mct angels and prophets until he finally entcrcd God's sanctuary. dear onc to Islam: the names of God. This was thc origin of thc
God h:imself sh:owed h:is pleasure in meeting MuQ.ammad, and promised Cent noms de Deu,46 a book which was not quotcd by other Christian
h:im the salvation of his people if they fulfilled his commandments authors, but whose method was thc most revolutionary in the context
(the pillars of Islam). It would appcar, thcn, that Alonso de Espina of polemics. Primar:ily, bccause it did not despise the Koran from
did not hcsitate to attributc to this book the same rank as the Koran, the beginning nor did it start by questioning its divine origin- some-
an idea which would horrify any Muslim then and now. thing the Muslims would never tolerate- and secondly, bccause it
The difference between European and Peninsular writcrs was that tricd to assimilate the Muslim way of reasoning regarding religion,
Muslims were present in the everyday life of th:e latter. Therefore, instead of just writing an apology of Christianity.
no chronicler or theologian writing about crusadcs in the Holy Land Finally, Llull's Liber de partici,patione christianorum et saracenorum was
ever produced treatises such as the Spanish ones. When William of an attempt to demonstratc by means of ph:ilosophy how many things
Trípoli, a Dominican in the convent of Acre, wrote bis De statu sara- the two religions had in common referring to the main subjects of
cenorum around 1273, bis purpose was more informative than polem- the polemic: Trinity and Incarnation. He had just returned from the
ical. Thc book was adresscd to Latín Christians, not to Muslims.'13 council of Vienne, whose resolutions were establish:ing thc necd for
The circumstances surrounding its writing were related to Gregory thc clergy to learn languages and considering the state of continu-
X and his desire to lmow about Islam. The optimistic friar was per- ous war between the knights of Saint J ohn and Islam. He thought
suadcd that the end of Islamic power was close, as thc 'Abbasid that a peaceful method involving discussion of doctrines would prove
caliphate decayed in Bagdad (1258). The natural conclusion for Islam to be successful in granting peace, and so he wrote his treatise dcd-
was conversion to Ch:ristianity, and the third part of his book was icated to Frederick of Sicily.
precisely an attempt to bring together both rcligions by making the We havc mentioned Pedro Pascual before, a Mercedarian who
Bible a so urce for the Koran. 44 became Bishop of Jaén in 1294. He adopted such a critical style in
Within th:e same tradition, Raimundo Llull's Book ef the Heathen his trcatises against Islam, which he wrote whilc he was a prisoner in
and the . Three Wise Men (c. 1270) mirrored Abelard's Dialogus inter Granada, that even other Christian authors considercd h:im excessive.
philosophum, iudaeum et christianum in being more objective than apolo- Pedro Pascual used to travcl to Granada with a safe-conduct to visit
getic. Thc three characters tried to prove the truth against each the captives until he was imprisoned. He managed to preserve his
other, for the pagan to convert to one of them. Whilc the Jcw and licence to preach to the Christians within the city, but finally was
the Muslim exposed the differences among their fellow-bclicvers, the killed aceused of proselytism among the Muslims in 1299. His trea-
Christian had enough with the simple explanation of h:is doctrine. tise was quite hard and biased.
Worth noting is the fact that, at the end of thc book, each contender There is no figure in the fourteenth century to be compared with
excused himself in case he had offended any of the others. Although thesc polcmicists, before thc trcnd towards Islam in litcrature started
the book seems to have been written in Catalan, Llull said that he to deviate towards violence. From all this, it follows that the origins
had written it "in the way of th:e Arabic Book ef the Heathen". Wheth:er
See the introcluction of Llul, R.: Le tivre du gentil . .. París 1966..
•:< Kedar, B.: op. cit., pp. 14-5- 116.
+~ See Cardaillac, L.: op. cit., p. 314. Aboul the namcs of God in Islam, see Ibn
H Lavajo, J.: op. cit., pp. 364- 368. al-'Arabf: El secreto de los nombres de DioJ, ed. by Pablo Beneito, Murcia 1997.

of the argumcnts uscd by Alonso de Espina, Juan de Torqucmada, either to their knowledge of Arabic, their collaboration with Muslims
Juan de Scgovia and Pedro de la Cavallcría must be traced back to or thcir use of more or less reliable witnesses. The rest were reduced
this evolution of the polerrúcs about Islam. Historical circumstanccs to encyclopaedic cfforts to summarize already-known information.
and thc preferences of each author dctcrrrúned tl1e more or less bel- Starting with the fiftccnth-ccntury authors' "library-history", Caval-
licosc message of their works. A complete list summarizing all the lería's Zelus Christi was diffused in thc arca of influence of the Catalan-
sources hereby discussed can be found in appendix II. Aragoncsc monarchy. The manuscript was copied for the convcnt of
San Pere de les Pu elles in 14 75. The fact that a minor convent had
a copy proves a certain diffusion beyond the high clergy or citizens
Libraries: A n Approach to Diffasion of Saragossa. The book was also published in Venice (1592), coin-
ciding with the converso issue, and in Rome {1606). Both editions
AJthough the difficulties in tracing the "library-history'' of the treatises wcrc acquired by pcoplc in Spaín and the one now in the Biblioteca de
on Islam is great, the results provide sorne useful information. The Catalunya was owned by the Inquisition tribunal based in the city.
Spanish manuscripts from the Collegc of Navarre in París (founded Unfortunatcly, Torquemada's Contra errores was not widely diffuscd
in 1304) were distributed among thc most important librarics in the until it was published after 1508 in Paris and in 1606 in Romc. Thc
cityY The Collectio Toletana manuscripts in the National Library of manuscript was kept in the Vatican Library until thc Morisco issue
París and the Vatican Library are bound together with the Liber caused a revision of ali the information available about Islam, and
scalae Machometi helping to attribute the latter to Mul;iammad him- helped these short treatises to come to light.
self, a great mistake found in all the treatises which mention it. 48 Not even Juan de Segovia's De mittendo gladiis deserved much atten-
Other copies also contained the Prophet's gcnealogy and Alfonso tion, despite ali thc corrcspondcnce devoted to it by famous figures
Buenhombrc's Disputatio Abutalib sarraceni et Samuelis iudaei, a transla- in thc Curia. When Pius II's gcncration of prelates died, the manu-
tion of thc Epistle ef al-Kindz. 49 Juan de Segovia himself owned a copy scripts of his mcthod rcmaincd in the cccl~siastical libraries (the ex-
of Hermann of Carinthia's works which contained more or less the tant copy being in the cathedral of Seville). But in any case Juan de
samc texts. The last striking coincídencc is the binding together of Segovia was probably the man who did most far the knowlcdge of
Buenhombre's Disputatio with Cavallería's Zelus Christi in a fifteenth- Islam. The transfer of his library to the University of Salamanca is
century manuscript from the Royal Library in Naplcs, which was one of the richest testimonies of his work. 51 The first scction, formed
later transferred to the Royal Library in Blois and finally to thc by thirty-seven parchment manuscripts, included three related to
National Library in Paris. 50 Thesc associations help to explain why Islam: a late version of De mittendo gladiis which mentioned the dispute
there had been no great advance in the use of Arabic sources in with the Granadan ambassador, the Koran translated by Robert Ketton,
polerrúc treatises since the twelfth century. Only authors such as Martí, and a copy of the De mittendo gladiis whích was probably the one
Llull, Montecroce, Juan de Segovia or Alonso de Espina, who incor- studied by Francisco Sancho in 1565 to make a copy far the Inquisition
porated sorne new first-hand information, can be considered as taking (once again, the reviva! of old trcatiscs to face the Morisco problem).
a step forward in literature on Islam. And this advance was due Among the books regarding faith there is Jcan de Rocquetailladc's
Nova expositio or Commentum super prophetia C!Jrilli eremitae presbyteri simul
cum commento Joachimi. 52 Given the sources quotcd by Espina, it is
From the College of Navarre, the National Library of Paris owns 124 mss.; very likcly that his refutation of Mul;iammad's prophcthood might be
L'Arsenal, 102 and the Mazarino, 130. The total amount was approximately 1272
manuscripts, making one of the most important libraries in Paris before dissolution.
taken from this source. In section four, "books devotcd to preaching'',
From Martin, H.: Catalogue des manuscrits de la Bibliotheque de !'Arsenal, Paris 1899.
4-0 FF, f 12 Lv; CE, f. 7r. The manuscripts are BNP, Latin Ms. 6064· and Ms.
Vat. Lat. 4·072 respectively, both dated in thc fourteenth century with notes from 51
Hernández Montes, B.: Biblioteca de Juan de Segovia, on the manusoripts 210- 211
the ftftccnth. of thc Univcrsity of Salamanca Library, dated 1457. Thc books are arrangcd by
BNP Mss. Latin 3649, 14503; Bibliotheque de !'Arsenal, Ms. Latin 1162. subject-hcadings.
5 1 52
r BNP, Ms. Latin 3352. Ibídem, pp. 99, 253.

therc is another copy of the Koran by Ketton and a compílation of The last extant manuscript was ordered by Bishop John of J\!Iagdeburg
Víncent Ferrer's sermons, sorne of them dclivcrcd in Salamanca at the and finished around 14 71.
time when Juan de Segovía was a studcnt thcrc. Finally, among the In the samc ycar the first edition of the Fortalitium appeared and,
books on Scriptural commentarics, thcre was one including Mul.1am- from then on, others carne out in Lyon and Nuremberg. 57 Thc
mad 's genealogy, lifc and successors: it has been identified as a copy incunabula and their traces can nowadays be found in the most
of Hermann of Carinthia's De generatione Mahumet and probably a vcr- uncxpected of Spanish libraries: the monastery of La Vid (Burgos)
sion of thc Chronica mendosa saracenorum, both of them in the Collectio owns a copy of the Nuremberg edition (1495) which was bought by
Toletana, and given to him by Nícholas of Cusa. 53 its Premonstratensian founders. 58 In 1621, the monastery of Sanjuan
Section eight of the subject classification íncludes thc books "refer- de Corias (Ovicdo) had recordecl a volumc of thc Fortalitium (1587). 59
ring to the refutation of MuQ.ammad's sect", given by special vvill The inventory of the library belonging to Luis ·de Acuña, Bishop of
"so that such a great multitude of souls redccmcd by Christ should Burgos (d. 1495), a famous patron of the arts, also ínclucles a copy
not perish due to ignorance". 54 This legacy is most interesting: firstly, of the Fortalitium. 60 Thcsc catalogues prove the cliffusion of Espina's
the Koran translated by Juan de Scgovia and cisa ibn Djabir togethcr work among the clergy, no matter if it was regular or secular, directed
with sorne commentarics: thc Summarium psalmorum, a brief explana- at ímportant bishops or tiny monasteries. However, it has bcen ímpos-
tion of thc suras started by cisa ibn Djabir while still in Spain and sible to find a copy of his book in any noble library of the time,
which he ended in Ayton, an exposition of Islamic doctrine in thir- which means that his intended public would ncver get hold of thc
teen articles, a note on the abrogations and sorne information about informatiori he províded except through members of the ecclesiasti-
1!lul;iammad. Unfortunately no eopy has been found of Segovia's two cal status.
treatises Errores legis Nlahumeti excerpti de libro legis ipsius, Alchoran nominato Translations ínto Frcnch started to be made at the cnd of the
(1455) and the treatise he wrote for cisa ibn Djabir. There were also fifteenth century by a ccrtain Pierre Richart, called L'Oisclct, a priest
a copy of thc trcatisc by San Pedro Pascual, which is criticised, a from Marques (France): there are two manuscripts of this version, in
demonstration of Christ's divinity, an answer to cisa ibn Djabir's letter París and Bern, and several others of a French translation without
and anothcr Koran written in Arabic- probably in Granada55- which
might be thc onc used by clsa ibn Djabir to translate in Ayton. It is
the Napoleonic wars. Scc Antolín, G .: Catálogo de los códices latinos de la Real Bibliot.eca
striking to see how indebted Espina was to this collcction of manu- de El Escorial, Madrid 1923.
scripts. It is enough to compare the list of his sources with thesc: most 57
Ali the editions are mcntioned in Palau y Dulcet, A.: J'{anual del librero hispano-
of thcm are mentioned, or else quoted without a proper re.fercnce. americano, vol. 5, undcr the heading Espina. Also in Rcinhardt, K. & Santiago-
Otero, H.: Biblioteca bíblica ibé1ica medieval, pp. 63-64, but it is incomplete.
The author who enjoyed a broader audicnce was by far Alonso 58
See Vallejo Pencdo, J. J.: "Catálogo de los incunables de la biblioteca del
de Espina, and not only in the Peninsula but throughout Europc. monasterio de La Vid", Religión y cultura (1988), pp. 609- 629. The only engrav:ing
The Latín version of the Fortalitium was copied for Bishop Pedro de of this eclition is placed beforc the incipit of the first book. The motif is the gen-
eral fight against thc enemies of faith, as is found in the main manuscripts. Thc
Osma as early as 14·69. This bishop ordered a great number of manu- beardcd l\!Iuslims are depicted wcaring a cap in the Morisco fashion and a long-
scripts for the library of bis see, arnong them Raimundo J\!Iartí's Pugi,o sleeved tunic. His wcapons are a scimilar and a halbcrcl. Obviously, the picturc
fidei, copíed in approximatcly thc same period as thc Fortalitium by includes elemcnts of the Turkish inílucnce typical of the last years of the fiftccnth
ccntury. Bcsides this miniaturc, there are marginal notes made by a rcader--prob-
a parish priest of Sígüenza (Guadalajara). There is anothcr mention ably a Premonstratcnsian. The ones corrcsponding to the Saracens' war slart in
in the general indcx for thc library of El Escorial at thc cnd of the 1vfol)arnmacl's genealogy, wiLh somc references to banners carried by his ancestors
and drawn in the margin of page 323. Thc ncxt illustration corresponds to thc
sixteenth century, but unfortunately the manuscript has disappeared. 56 episode of Lhc dcaning of l\!luhammad's hcart, ancl its weighing by angcls; there
are scaks with a heart on eme of the plates (p. 324).
Inventario de los fandos . . . de San Juan de Cmias, Ovicclo 1621 . Madrid, AHN,
Jbidem, p. 26'.1. [ 45r.
~ lbidem, pp . 34- 35, 107. 60
Lópcz Martínez, N .: "La biblioteca de Don Luis de Acuña en 1496", Hispania
Ibidem, pp. 108 113. ( 1960), p. 81. The invcntory is dated 19 Dcccmbcr 1496, when his possessions wcrc
sG It is recordcd a~ ms. LE. la. It probably disappearcd during the plunder in transferred to his son Diego (Archive of the Cathedral, Burgos 39/2, [ 425v- 429r).

mentioning the author. 61 The clue to bis succcss is givcn by the re-
mains of the fifteenth-century German translation preserved in Stuttgart,
a summary of thc ninth consideration on the expulsion of the Jews. CHAPTER FIVE
Obviously, as soon as thc conqucst of Granada was over, nobody was
intercsted in the defeat of Muslims in the Península except its own CONTRA ERRORES NIACHOME11 . ..
inhabitants. The editions in clifferent languages continued to be pub-
lished as a guideline for the Inquisition. This was thc rcason for the
widespread interest the book deserved for more than two ccnturies Structure ef the Treatises
after its writing.
There is a grcat difference bctween what can be considered the
extcrnal structure of fifteenth-century treatises shown in appendix II,
and the internal cohcsion of doctrinal, historical sources and series
of excmpla used to illustrate the general schemc. The contents of
the books are never balanccd. For a start, the spacc devoted to Islam
varíes depcnding on the typc· of work. Juan de Segovia's is a short
treatise (tra.datulus, opusculum) and Islam is the subject in itsclf. Cavallería's
Z,elus Christi ís dcdicated in the first place to Jcws, so Islam is refuted
in just one chaptcr, although it is mentioned in several othcrs. The
case of Juan de Torqucmada is similar to that of Juan de Segovia,
Nicholas of Cusa and, in a clifferent way, Jean Germain. Espina's is
thereforc one of the last type of works dcfined, being a summa against
all the encmies of the Church. The book devoted to Islam is neither
the longcst (which is the onc aboutJudaism) nor the shortest (the one
about witchcs) and is placed fourth, probably following the arder of
Alain de Lille's Qyadripartitus. If it wcre for its importance for Peninsular
clcrgy, it would have been placed befare the book on hcrctics.
The group of writers studied herc are heavily indebted to their
predccessors, starting from the ninth century. However, developmcnt
of methods and concepts and changes in the historical situation make
their treatises resemble much more thc works produced after the
thirteenth century. For general structures, the most important sources
were Ricoldo de Montecroce's Reprobatio Alchorani, Alain de Lllle's
Qyadripartitus, Raimundo Martí's Tractatus contra Machometum, and for
Jcan Germain thc di:fferent dialogues mentioned in previous chapters.
Thc information takcn from the chronicles will be discussed later
in this chapter, but ít <loes not constitute a part of the external struc-
turc because it did not help to organise, but rather to illustratc,
specific points.
Usually the authors had the same basic scheme: first of ali, sorne
See Reinhardt, K. & Santiago-Otero, H.: op. cit., p. 64. kind of introduction helped to pose the question of Islam. Next, a

list of IVIuJ:i.ammad's errors and thcir refutation, which could somc- to discuss its clauscs onc by one, Espina included in his fifth consider-
timcs be found following each individual error. Finally, the last chap- ation the whole argumcnt about the twelve articles of faith.
ters summarized the authors' aims, togcther with the proposcd solution In the field of morals, thc discussion was focused on thrcc oppo-
to the problem which, no matter how or when, was thc defeat of sitions: Christ versus MuJ:iammad, Biblc versus Koran and Christians
the Saracens and triwnph of the Christian faith. Thc length of this versus Muslims.:i Generally, fifteenth-ccntury authors did not try to
last part, which is the core of thc books, varíes according to the follow Islamic doctrine through Islamic sources because of the lan-
definition of thc plan of action: Espina and Juan de Segovia are guagc, so it was easier for them to organizc the matter according
much more determincd about what measures should be taken against to Christian dogmas, although this led to a numbcr of deformations
Islam, whilc T orquemada is more succinct, for he is mcrely sum- of Islamic traditions. Evcn one of the best-informcd writers) Raimundo
marizing the Pope's appeal to the crusade-in only onc chapter. Martí, had problems in dealing with thc concept of Paradisc, marriagc,
Subjects for Islamo-Christian polemics havc already been studied adultery) repudiation and sodomy, which were unconceivable for
from thc theological point of view in cxtensivc works. 1 Juan de Sego- Christians.
via, Cavallería, Espina and Torquemada share the same arguments;
their only innovation is presentation and connections. Discussion of
Christian doctrine at times followcd a catcchetical programme, and · Vocabulary
at times took the form of a refutation of the most important Islamic
objections to Catholic faith. In sorne cases thesc matters coincided The terms ·used for Islam and Muslims are one of the easier systems
with Byzantine objcctions-to the cult of imagcs, for example- , or to measure the degree of rejection a particular author felt against
with the rcasons given by herctics to leave the Roman Church. Usually that religion. The best classification of anti-Islamic terms has been
the argument was twofold. Faith and morals were thc main areas macle by Lavajo, 4 referring to the works of ninth-century polemicists.
of conftict. 2 In matters of faith, the explanation of the Creed was Although much earlier in time, many of thcse names remained in
one of thc most successful tapies. While the rest of the authors chose use until the fifi:eenth century. For Muslims, thc most common denom-
inations wcrc Chaldcans, Saracens, Hagarens or Ishmaclitcs, Arabs)
Moors, Infidcls, Pagans or just the Enemies. Islam was considcrcd

F~r .ª study s:t~ject by ~ubjcct? see Masson, D.: A1on~théisme coranique el monotlzé-
a heresy, a sect, a false religion, a supcrstition, an error, an invention
zsm~ ~zhlzque: doctnnes compares, Pans 1976, and thc class1c Peters, F. E.: ]udaism, of the devil, a deadly poison, an iniquitous law, a sacrilege, a forgery,
Clznstzam!y and Islam. 17w classical texts and llteir interpretation, Princcton 1990. Among etc. All of these names were used to providc the reader with stereo-
the boo.ks devoted to this aspcct, the compilation of articles by Baker, D.: Relations
hetween E'ast and 'West in ihe Jl!liddle ilges, Edinburgh 197 3; Bouamama, A.: La littéra- typed images which introduced new argumcnts, but it is interesting
ture polémique. musulmane co~tre le C'l~'li~nisme depuis ses on'¡[ines jusqu'au XIII' siecle, Argel to note that most of these words were takcn from the Bible. These
1988; Carda1llac, 1:-·: kfonscos y cnstzanos, un enfi-entamiento polémico (1492-1640), Paris anachronisms reduced the understanding of sects and interna! fighting
1977 /transl. Maclnd 1979, for the sixtcenth century; thc classic Daniel, N.: Islam
and tlze West, Edinburgh 1960/ 1993; about Byzantinc polemics, see Khoury, A.-T.: betwcen the different groups of Muslims. Thc unity of Islam was
Polémique byzantine contre !'Islam (Vlfl-XIII' siecles), Leiden 1972; Moubarac, Y.: L'Islam thus cmphasizcd, although the chronicles referred to interna! struggks
et le dialogue islamo-clzrétien, Beirut 1972--73, and Sweetman, J. vV.: Irlam and Christian
17zeology: ~ stz1cfy ef the interprnlation rj' theological ideas in the two reli,gions, London 1947.
in the Pcninsula. 5 In thc contcxt of lberian literaturc, thc mcanmgs
Other arncles are: Anawati, G. C.: "Polémique, apologie et dialogue islamo-chretien. can be cstablishcd as follows:
Positions classiques médiévales et positions contcmporaincs" Ew;leJ docete, 22 (1969),
pp. 375 -4..52; Epalz.a, M. de: "Notes pour une histoirc des polémiques anti-chretiennes
da~s. ~'Occiden~ musulman" A.rab1:ca. Revue d'Études Arabes, 18-1 (1971 ), pp. 99 -- 106.
l he followmg argument 1s based on the work about the nature of preaching
by D'Avray, D. L.: The Preac!tiug qf the Friars, pp. 82- 85, referring to Richard :iLaw~jo, J.: op. cit., l, p. 130.
vVethcringsetfs summa "Qy.i bene /Jresunt". The plan of this work, conceived as a •
Ibidem, I, pp. 120-121; 203- 205.
manual, corresponds to th(~ list of subjccts to be preachcd, showing once more the 5
Richard, B.: "L'Islam et les musuhnans chcz les chronic¡ueurs castillans", Hesperis-
close links between preaching and treatises. Tamuda ( 197 1), p. 120.

"Chaldean", taken from thc Biblical name of the tri bes which "Moor" (mauri) was used for the Berbers from North Africa since
inhabited the regían later known as Arabia, appcars in the Chronicle the Chronicle qf 7 41. It was currently used in documcnts from evcry
ef AljOnso !JI (c. 880). Christian kingdom in the Península, as opposcd to thc líterary
- "Saracen" dcsignatcs a member of thc rival religion. To becomc "Saracen". 11
a Saracen mcant to become a Muslim. Saint Jerome had wrongly - "Barbarian" was an influcncc from classical authors used in the
used the etymology of "sons of Sarah" in his In Ezechielem. Since Chronicle ef Alfonso VII 12
then, ecclesiastical literature always uscd the name and urged chron- - "Mudejar" was a localism from thc Arabic muda4jcijan, meaning
iclers to do so. However, it was more accurate according to tradítion tributary, vassal. It is found in documents to designate Muslim vas-
to use the name "agaren", meaning "son of agar", since the Arabs sals of Christian kings in the Península from thc fifteenth ccntury on-
wcrc believed to come from the clan of Abraham's slave agar. Obvi- wards.13 Its use as a pcjorativc, marginal term is not real, despítc the
ously, descent from a slavc was considered pcjorative in the eyes of opinion of sorne experts. In my opinion it is just a word suited to
Christians, who claimed to dcscend from Sarah's legitimate branch. a particular social fact which necdcd acknowledgement in language.
As Ishmael was outside thc Covenant so were thc Saracens, according Epic songs show a number of diffcrent ways to call individual
to Bede. 6 Muslims: sorne have Christian names, such as Felix; others are taken
Another suggcsted etymology is the Arabic sharqfyzn, rneaning "the from the Bible or classical mythology, and appointed according to
Orientals". 7 In the Chronicle efAljOnso III, the term had gaincd a pejo- the fcatures of the character for, while a Muslim was a pagan, he
rative scnse in the description of Islamic triumphs. Thc Chronicle qf was not ne.ccssarily cvil; sometimes Arabic names are found, more
AljOmo VII (twelfth century) used "Saracen" as the general namc for or less changcd whcn translated into Latin or vernacular languages. M
all Muslims in the Iberian Península, while differentiating their ethnic Alonso de Espina uscd real Arabic names, for he was relying on
origins by means of other Biblical names: the pcople from Córdoba historical sources, but again thcy change according to Peninsular Ara-
wcrc Amorrheans, Almoravids wcre Moabites, and Andalusians were bic (which had its own pronunciation) and to their translation into
Hagarens or Ishmaclites. It is difficult to find such precision in other Latin. Lí However, they are usually understandable. A worse render-
sources, at least in Europcan ones. 8 ing is observed in the editions of the Fortalitium rnade outside the
- "Ishmaelite" also had a Biblical origin: thc sons of Ishrnael. 9 Península. Sorne examples are: "Avdalla" for cAbd Allah; "Gibla Tarif"
- "Arab" is uscd for an cthnic and linguistic entity. The Arabs for Djabal Tariq (Gibraltar); "Abderramen" for cAbd al-Ra}:iman, 16
were the pre-Islamic inhabitants of the Arabian Península. By cxten- etc. Phonctically ali can be considcred correct according to medieval
sion, it was applicd to Muslims living in the same region, and their spelling. Thc rcst of thc authors only speak of Mu}:iammad, so thcre
descendants cstablished in the Iberian arca. It was also uscd for thc are no furthcr difficultics.
groups of population who kept Arabíc as their language in the Iberian
kingdoms whíle it was being replaced by vernacular Romance. It
was used in this sense by Pedro Alfonso. 10
Cf Barkai, R.: op. cit., p. 21; Cagigas, I. de las: Los mudefjares, p. 63.
Barkai, R.: op. cit., p. 144.
Kcdar, B.: op. cit., p. 91. In provcnc;al, "sarrasine" was used for a non-modest 13
Cagigas, I. de las: Los mudijares, p. 59.
woman-perhaps bccause that is how Christian women who acccptcd living with 14 Vernet, J.: "El conocimiento del Islam ... " BRABLB (1965 ·66), p. 353.
Muslims werc called. See Simon, O.: Li sarrasin dins la literaturo prouvens:alo, Toulon For a study on A.rabie words in Spanish, see Terés, K: "AntropOnfmia hispano-
1974. árabe (reflejada por las fuentes latino-romances)", Anaquel de estudios árabes, I (1990),
Barkai, R.: Cristianos y musulmanes en la España medieval, p. 31., II (1991) and III (1992); Corriente, F.: JÍrabe andalusíy lenguas romances, Madrid 1992;
Southern R. W.: Western Views qf Islam, p. 14. Ferrando, I.: El dialecto andalusí de la 1Harca kledia. Los documentos toledanos de los siglos
Ibidem, p. 144. XII y XIII, Zaragoza 1995.
JO Cf. Kedar, B.: op. cit., p. 91. 16
See FF, f 142rv, 144r, etc.

0Jmbolism According to the cxplanation of the prisoner in thc tower, the foun-
dations were his faith; thc four pillars above, his undcrstanding, his
The use of symbolism and commonplaccs is one of the intcllcctual rcason, his memory and his will; the three images which crowned
weapons mastered by ecclcsiastical writcrs. In fact, it was ncccssary thc tower were Sadness, Distrcss and Effort, whosc strcngth were
to ensurc understanding by social groups who werc lcss familiar with the chains which tied the man; an caglc, meaning his mind, stood
theological vocabulary. Among the clergy, rhetorical cxcrcises contrib- over a capital and finally, the staircasc was the Anguish which led
utcd to enhancing prose, and werc considered a proof of authority. the prisoncr to his state. The metaphor continues describing each
Our authors would, therefore, makc an extensive use of these "intel- detail in the scene leading to the tale of thc prisoner's love story. 20
lectual weapons". In a context such as the Iberian Península in thc Indeed the fortress was a commonplace in Castilian medieval lit-
fifteenth century, the most effective symbol was doubtless thc use of crature. Therefore, it is not surprising that Espina chose this symbol
military figures. Historians agrce in attributing a belligcrent mood to writc about the enemies of the Christian faith. In the first manu-
to ali thcse authors. 17 And indced, it was in the air. script of the Fmtalitium from the cathedral of Burgo de Osma, 21 ordcrcd
The first to use this stylc was Raimundo Martí in 1278, when he by Bishop Pedro de Montoya (1454-7 5) among a great collection of
callcd his treatisc against Jews Pugi.o fidei, the "daggcr of the faith". books signed by his chaplaín and secretary García of San Esteban
Thc sword of the divine word was a motif already included in Biblical de Gormaz, the miniaturcs rcprcsent this idea once and again. 'The
texts and broadly used in ecclesiastical literature. Martí wrotc thc miniatures are not signcd and have been attributed to the l\!laster
Pugi,o on command from his superior in the convent of Smnt Catherinc a
of Osma, Jeronimite monk callcd Spinosa. 22 Art historians have
of Barcelona, who himself had received the order from thc highest
prelates. Other figures involvcd were King Jaime I of Aragon and
Raimundo de Penyafort, former general of the Dominican Order. Diego de San Pedro: Obras, pp. 118- 125 .
In the Frcnch vcrsion of the National Library of Paris, Ms. Frarn;:. 20067,
For all of them, thc Pugi.o meant a dagger to allow preachers and dated 1480, the motifo are vt~ry much thc same as in thc Latin versíon. On the
defendcrs of the Christian faith to cut "thc bread of the divine word" first pagc thcrc is a coat of arms from the Housc of Burgundy, with the Goldcn
for thc Jcws, at thc samc time as thcy "stranglcd their impiety and Fleece and the device "Plus cst en vous". The main sccnc is agaín the fortress of
faith housing the Pope and prelates, while women detend it with spears from the
killcd their fury against Christ". Thc title might have been suggcsted windows. Around thc towcr, several figures with courtly and more popular robes
by thc patrons of the work themselves, as a dagger to defend and also have lances. 'l'here are heretics, anti-popes and bishops, but no Jews or Muslims,
promote Christian faith while destroying non-orthodox doctrines. As or even dcvils. A landscape in the Renaissance stylc provides the background. A
frame of vegetation finishes thc page. The same scheme is repeated for each book,
no enemy was considered more dangerous and inevitable thanJudaism, changing sorne slight details, such as the attitude of women in the windows, the
that should be the target for Martí. On the other hand, the dagger figures within thc decorativc frame and the characters around ít, which depend on
thc part of the work. Saracens werc reprcscnted according to a simplification of
should penetrate deeply into the sccrets of thc adversary to neutralize
patterns common to most Northern European ma~uscripts of the time .. Around t.he
his attacks on the Christian faith. 18 tower there are still sorne bishops, onc of whom 1s threatcned by a Saracen w1th
Chivalric ideals had their place among rcligious thcory, especially a lance. He is wearing a long robe, and a Turkish turban . To thc left are two
Christian ladics and a lord, and to the right four more laclies look at two men
in a territory where war against Sa:raccns was thc background for fighting, one of them a Saracen, dressed as thc one described bcfore, and the oth~r
any chivalric action. As a result, the fiftecnth century was a time an armourcd knight with a turban. These characteristics are shared by the men m
when military symbolism ftourished in literature. 19 And not only in the vegetable frame. Saraccns wcrc rcpresented according to a simplificatíon of pat-
tcrns common to most Northem European manuscripts of the fiftcenth ccntury.
polemics: Diego de San Pedro defined his Cárcel de amor (The Prison Whereas in thc Ibcrian Península their features varied from the Christian ones,
of Love) as a fortified towcr with threc corners and a high stair. these looked rather as courticrs in disguisc. The text contributcd to. díflerentiate
what Europc understood for "IVluslims"-Turks--, as opposite to the lberian image -
Northern Africans. It rnust he notcd that illumination in Germain's Débat is more
Ribera Florit, J.: op. cit., p. XIX. adjusted to the general contents, and more balanced in that cvcry book . has just
JO Lavajo, J.: op. cit., II, pp. 446··1147. one miniature. The same pattern is followed by the French version of the Fortalitiwn
rn I have omitted refercnccs to carlier writcrs to make the argument more easy- kept in the Bibliothcquc du Roi in Ilrusscls. . . , .
going, but military alkgory can be lraccd back as far as the Pryclwmac/zia written i
f,,/lS edades del hombre: libros J' documentos en la Iglesia de Castilla y Leon, Valladolid
hy Prudentius (348-41 O A.D.), and ccrtainly to St. Auguslinc's Ciry of God. 1990, p. 384.

considcred them within the Hispano-Flemish Humanistic style, 23 suggested in Alfonso X's Setenario, law 1OS, where it says: "Item, as
although they have survivals from the Gothic International period. well as temporal armours were cstablished for the defense of flesh,
However, the miniatures are still urrfinished, i.e., still sketches without spiritual oncs were devised for defending from the dcvil". 26 The fol-
any colour in most cases, and lacking dctails. lowing books <leal with hcretícs, Jews, Muslims and witches. Thcrc
Only one part of thc manuscript is illuminated, save the initials are only three illuminated eapitals and onc illustration depicting the
at the beginning of cach new book and a splcndid miniature in thc topos of the dissecration of the Holy Host in the book dcvoted to
incipit, which can be de:fincd as an illustration "in the broad scnse", 24 Jews, as well as thc opening pagc dcpícting the coat of arms of Bishop
based on the general contents of thc book. It depicts the fortress of Pedro de Osma, and a figure of Mary.27
faith defended by angels and Christian knights against an army of Most of thc illustrations corrcspond to book IV, devotcd to :Niuslims,
Muslims, the heretics who are undermining the foundations, Jews in although it is di.fficult to say why. Illustrations should have the dou-
chains who try to persuade thcm by words, and dcvils and witchcs ble fonction of underlining the value of sorne passages of the book
who surround the fortrcss everywhere. Inside the castle, the Christian and complete the mcaning of the tcxt. Takíng the whole work, the
army is ready to defcnd it, the Pope in the centre surroundcd by book about Jews seems to be more valuable to Espina than the one
prelatcs and kings. On thc highest tower, which bears the inscrip- about Muslims, so the relative importance of the subject is not the
tion "Tower of strength facing the cnemy", Jcsus commands a host answer. That book IV is dominated by its ninth considcration, a tale
of angels who are fighting a parallel war against demons. The cross of onc hund,red and fifty-eight battles fought bctwccn the two rcli-
of the Order of Santiago is drawn on all the shields. gions, including 90% of the miniatures illustrating the original man-
Outside the castle, the "crusader king" is :fighting the Muslim army uscript g.ives sorne cluc. Most of them are sccnes of war, and according
on horseback, together with bis knights. The bearded Saracens run to what has remained, room was left to :fill in at the places where
away below. There are three small devils on the scene, claiming illuminations were intended, so the layout of this manuscript was
their influence on thc :fighters: "Saraccns are mine'', the one below carefully designed. Probably the use of chronicles and illustrations as
the central scene is saying. On the fortress thcre is another device: exempla was the reason to illustrate only this part of the book, as
"We confess that Jesus Christ is truly God and a true man". The shall be explained
whole scene is an allegorical illustration of the four books in the J can Germain, in his Exhortation a Charles VII pour aller autremer uscd
Fortalitium. Therefore, it has a didactic-moral function, even more so Psalm 14 7 as an appeal to the militan! Church betrothed by Christ
if we think that it is the only non-profane illustration in the book. in the cross, to bccome a triumphant Church through victory over
According to the de:finition at the beginning of the Fortalitium, thc Islam, the maín cause for unrcst in the known world. Peacc reigned
five books into which it is divided are thc towers of its "fortrcss of before MuJ:¡ammad's arrival- -and here he elaborates a geographical
the faith". The first book25 givcs more details about the armour study of all the regions where the Christian Church had :flourished-
which Christians must wear to fight their enemics: ít consistcd of but aftcr him, Islam swung the balance. A long legendary chronícle
several virtues, such as continencc, justicc, the example of the saints, of French military triumphs over thc Saracens starts at this point,
the shield of faith, the galley of hope, etc. Likewise, preachers should parallcl to Islamic misdeeds through the centmies. The names of
use their own armour, which was precisely thc word of God they Charlemagne, Geoffiey of Bouillon, Clovis, the king of Cyprus, Prester
had to teach. And they should have thc couragc of a lion, a famous J ohn and Saint Louis were an example for Charles VII to follow
characteristic for every hcro in epic narrative. This idea was already on the path of crusade, befare the Turks conquered Constahtinople. 28
In his other work, the Dialogue du crestien et su sarrasin, Germain
Domínguez Bordona, J.: Miniatura, pp. 191- 197. See also by the samc author
"Diccionario de iluminadores españoles", BRAH, 140 (1957), pp. 49- l 70. . ~e; Alfonso X: Setenario, pp. 260--263.
·t Smeyers, M.: La miniature, p. 49. 27
FF, f. 9r, 26r, 38v, 55r, 72r, 108r.
FF, f l lr. 211
Germain, J.: E ...hortation a Charles VII, f 3r-- l 2r.

interpreted the Acts of the Apostles in the same light. Book Ill symbolized by thc scven heads of the Bcast·----were defeatcd by
describes the "conquests" made by the Apostles in the manner of ncw Eraclius and how, later on, MuQ.ammad appeared as the Antichrist
Alcxanders. They are "laúghts" who perform "chivalric duties and feats" in his place. Thosc two figures were identified throughout thc whole
for thc Christian monarchy, or scnators in thc Roman tradition. exegetical medieval tradition, in thc commentaries to the Apocalypse,
Anothcr military symbol uscd by Espina was thc reference to 13. Howcvcr, the explanation of the Beast's features might difler
Mul:,iammad's predecessors carrying banners or standards, in the according to the author's purpose: for sorne it representcd the seven
chapter devoted to his origins. Banners were associated with war, as capital sins; for others, it rcpresented temporal power, as in this case.
symbols of battle and victory, and thus would be understood by any- The tradition of idcntifying the Beast and the Antichrist can be
body familiar to the ideas of crusade and war. The "soldiery of traced back to St. Gregory, who was mcntioncd as their main source
Christ" (miliá'a Christi) had a corresponding "banncr of Christ" (vexillwn by ali medieval polemicists, starting with Álv~ro and Eulogio de
Christi), namcly, thc cross, the symbol of the passíon and rcdemption, Córdoba in thc !ndiculus de adventu de Enoclz et Eliae, contained in the
the sign of Christ's victory (vexillum crucis), which was latcr used to Corpus Nfozarabicorum.33 Espina's interpretation can be seen as a mixture
mean the cross sewn onto thc clothcs of the crusaders. 29 Lil<.cwise, of thc images created by Beato de Liébana and Joachim de Fiore.
Isma.<Il, Nizar and Mul;iammad himsclf had their own banners with Based on Beato are the heads representing thc kings and the horns
three inscriptions: "haughtiness of life", "vanity of the world" and as thcir kingdoms, but sorne part of the original and more complcx
"lust", representing evil. 30 Actually, Espina was also referring to a image was lost. The multiforrn devil incarnatcd in the form of ani-
habit of the Islamíc world where, from the earliest times, the Prophet mals and monstcrs which was onc of thc favourite symbols of oppre-
or the caliphs bcstowed holy banners upon their generals at the sion for the l'VIozarabs did not appear in fifteenth-century trcatises,
bcginning of a war. Gcnerally Arabs tíed thcir flags to a staff only nor did thc idcntifieation of thc Dragan (Apocalypse, 12) with Satan
befare battlc. 31 and thc Scrpent. 34 Sorne dctails have been changed, likc thc division
In thc account of wars of the Fortalitium, banners also had a specíal of the kings into two groups, the last three being the ultimate ene-
place, connected to Saint James's apparitions. They had been uscd mics whom the Antichóst must fight. Another proccss of simplification
by the Church from the clevcnth century in processions, they wcre made the ten horns- ·--which in theory bclonged to the fourth Bcast,
mentioned in Church inventaries, etc., but there was still a distinction: symbol of the fourth cmpire of Rome-be transfcrred to the Bcast
church banners were long staves turning into crosses at the end with in general, 35 as wcll as their sense of temporal power. The Beast was
small cloths hanging from transverse bars overhead, differing from thus deprived of its eschatological meaning to become part of a polit-
war banners in which the flag was afüxed directly to thc staff. Kings ical and providcntial plan of history, within the context of Espina's
asked the Pope for banners of the saint befare going to war, as was interests.
the case of the vexillum Sancti Petri. They were rcligious symbols, The perccption of Muslims within the history of salvation coincides
pledges of divine protection and victory. 32 On thc contrary, those with Joachim de Fiore. Thcir role as persecutors of Christians and
carried by Mul:,iammad and those of his kinship meant a plcdgc to precursors of the Antichrist was exemplífied by thc figures represented
the devil. by thc Beast's heads: Hcrod, Nero, Constantine or Arian, Chosroes
Another favouritc image is the ídentification of Mul:iammad with or thc Saracens, the King of Babylon, Saladin or the Turks and the
the Beast of thc Apocalypse. Based on Alfonso X's Primera crónica Antichrist. 36 Continuing to simplify, Espina preferred to use only the
general, the text tells how Emperor Chosroes and síx vassal kings--
Emmerson, R. K.: Antichrist in the A1iddle A,~es, p. 22.
Cf.: Lav::i,jo, J.: op. cit., p. 137. See PL, vol. 121, cols. 513-555.
Erdmann, C.: 171e Origin ef ilie Idea qf Crusade, Princeton 1935/ 1977, pp. 35- 37. 35
See Delcor, M.: A1ito )' tradición en la literatura apocalíptica, p. 49. For Lhe expla-
° FF,
f. l 16v. nation of this metaphor in the Cmpus Jlíozarabicorum, see Lavajo, J.: :op. cit., pp.
Erdmann, C.: op. cit., pp. 42, 51. 136 ·138.
Ibidem, p . 53. Beato de Liébana: Commentarius in Apoca!Jipsin, p. 23 . Daniel 7, 7- -2t1.

Bcast's fourth hcad, i.c., Chosroes or, dcpending on the context, a k:ing, he called himsclf a prophet, simulating his holyness. He was
1\!Iul;tammad, accorcling to Innocent III's bull "De negotio Tcrrae so violent in his doctrine that after being taught by a Nestorian
Sanctae": monk, he had dcceived the Arabs with his pretended law, by means
of incrediblc miracles. He persecuted Christians with careful schcmes,
Et quidem omnes pene Saraccnorum provincias usque post tempora
such as forbidding his disciples to dispute their law and to study phi-
bcati Regorti Christiani populí posscdcrunt; sed ex tune quidam perdi-
tionis filius Machometus pseudopropheta surrexit, qui per saecularcs losophy. 1\!Ioreover, he started preaching to common people so that
illcccbras et voluptatcs carnales multas a veritate seduxit; cuius perfidia he could claim to be a prophct without opposition, and he made
etsi usque ad hace tempora invaluerit, confidimus tamen in Domino, his law lustful to attract more believers. His claim of being God's
qui iam fecit nobiscum signum in bonum, quod finis huius Bcstiae prophet, his false miraclcs and epilepsy made him a great deceiver.
appropinquat, cuíus numerus secundum Apocalypsin Joannis 9 intra But he was also a cruel tyrant because he made his disciples live
sexcenta sexaginta sex clauditur, ex quibus iam pene sexcenti sunt anni
completi. º7
according to his example- that of the Beast- undcr penalty of death.
Whcn he said they must believc in God and his mcssenger, he was
The identification of the year of Muf:iammad's death was a Spanish asking his people to believe in thc Bcast. 39
product, for in the first text where it appears, the Liber apologeticus Resides the inaccuracies contained in the text, explained by the
marryrum, it is dated in the Spanish era (38 years less than the Christian effort to ridicule the Prophct, there is a difference between Espina
era). Probably, Espina's most interesting contribution is the calcula- and Torquemada: whilc the Fortalitium starts with l\lluJ:¡ammad's
tion of thís number as 666, this time using thc Christian era: based chronologicaI biography and then introduces the description of the
on thc tcxt of the Apocalypse and considering that according to the Beast according to the Apocalypse, Torquemada, probably due to
Speculum historia/e of Vincent de Beauvais (1254), Mul;iammad only lived lack of time and the structure of his work, bcgins dircctly with the
for sixty-three years, he concludcs that six hundred and sixty-six is identification with the Beast, explaining fcwcr and usually more
the munber of years that clapsed from the moment when Our Lord deformed cpisodes of the Prophct's biography.
becarne man to the end of Mul;.ammad's life. Beato de Liébana had
provided the meaning of the Greek equivalent to DCLXVI (antemos
arnoyme leytan). After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Espina could C/zronicles in Polemics
elaborate the rest of the calculations. 38
For the same purpose- the identification of Mul).ammad with As has previously been explained, the collectíons of cxcmpla were
thc Beast- Torquemada cpose a simpler scheme. Follovving Jacques introduced from scrmons into preaching líterature. Considering the
de Vitry's History ef the Eastern Church, he tried to provc through different sourccs from which these exempla wcrc takcn -,,-fables, every-
Mul;.ammad's biography that his lust was the sign of hís being the day life, legcnds, hagiography, history--- it is not surprising to see how
Bcast. His fiftccn wives and two concubines confirmcd his doubious Iberian historical sources becamc part of the treatises. This happens
moral principlcs. His ambition made him climb in social status as a trend in Iberian books such as the Valerio de las historias, a col-
through tradc and marriage but, as he could not manage to bccome lectíon of exempla related to Spanish history. A great part of it
(Book I, title V) is devotcd to war against 1\!luslims. Thc book was
"Ancl certainly Christian peoples owned almost ali thc Saracen provinccs con- first published in 14-87 by the royal chaplain Diego Rodríguez de
tínuously until after the times of thc holy Regortius. But since then was born a Almcla.
ccrtain son of destructíon, the pseudo-prophet Mul)ammad, who seduced many
v\Tycliff's Opus evangelicum (1384) used wars against Islam ;to explain
away from Truth by mcans of secular entícements and lustful plcasures. His perfidy
has grown continuously until our times. Ncvcrthclcss, we trust God, who has already violence in the W cstern world. Ali those wars had thcir origin in
given us sorne good sign that the end of this Beast ís approaching; and its number sin, being a clear dcmonstration of thc nccd to rcform the Church.
according to thc Apocalypse ofJohn is limited to síx hundrcd and sixty-six, of which
almost six hundred years have bccn complctecl." PL, vol. 216, co. 818.
FF, f. l l 7r- v. CE, pp. 10- 15.

Howcvcr, in his De fide catholica he defended thc notion that every- orthodox caliphs. The struggles for power in the Near East are omit-
body could be saved, cvcn Saracens, if thcy appcalcd to Christ befare ted, except to mention that thcrc were two caliphs, in Egypt and
death. Thc cxplanation of Islam in a context of schism was a product al-Andalus, no doubt influenccd by the propaganda circulating in
of the excesses of ecclesiastical institutions, including the papacy. It the Peninsula ever sincc <Abd al-Ra}:iman III and the stories from
is rernarkable that almost every medieval author conceived Islam as the crusades. That is also the reason why Saladdin is mentioned sev-
a punishment for sin- whoever the sinner might be. era! times, whilc no other sultan is. The rcst of thc chapter deals
The use of these sources in fifteenth-century polcmical literature with the peoplcs who did not acccpt Islam in Eastern Europc and
responds to thc following features: in general, thcy are historical those who, bcing pagans, <lid: Turks, beduins, cte., with a very bricf
examplcs, takcn from chronicles or hagiography; thcir origin is nor- account of their geographical situation and their cultures. Evcn the
mally medieval Christian tradition, with an cxccption such as the differences in the way of praying taken frorn Christian prcdecesors
Liber scalae from Arabic litcraturc. Thc inforrnation comes from writ- are noted. The work rcveals sorne first-hand informatíon which no
ten sources rather than oral, although sorne part of it might be thc doubt Vitry was ablc to obtain during his travels.
author,s own. 40 It is hard to agrcc with Lavajo, who considers thc- On the othcr hand, considerations VIII and IX are closely related,
ological works "more serene and better informed"41 than historical the former bcing an account of wars between Christians and l\!Iuslims
.ones. Ta.king the case of fifteenth-century Iberian writers, the more «by means of arguments" and thc latter "by means of physical
historical sourccs thcy use, the more accurate thc work is. Usually wcapons". In the structurc of the book, the function of thcsc n-vo
when thcological thought is counterbalanced by historical facts, not- chapters is to introduce thc reader to the most important argument,
withstanding thcir intcrpretation and situation in differcnt contexts, explained in three considerations: the reason why Muslims occupy
rejection of Islam is less harsh. the Holy Land, what should be imposed on them whcn they became
Of all the writers studied herc, Espina is the only one to use mate- subjects of a Christian ruler and finally, how and when the end of
rial from chronicles ali through his work. In the Fortalilium fidei this their power would come so that thcy would serve under the Christians.
is particularly noticeable in consideration IV, entirely devoted to the In this aspcct the scheme respccts the use of exempla in sermons,
criticism of Mu}:iammad's ascent to heaven as told in the Liber scalae for starting from an anecdotc, in this case the secular triumphs in
and reproduced in Alfonso X's Primera crónica general. Considcrations battlc, the author reachcs a general conclusion: the end of Muslim
VI and VII refer to Mu}:iarnmad's death according to the same powcr in the Península and the rest of the world. And in cvery single
chronicle. Thc story of the first caliphs carne from Jacques de Vitry's battle he recounts thcrc is a particular moral conclusion to learn from,
Liber de rebus et statu Yerre Orientalium. Finally, consideration IX is so consideration IX can be taken as a collcction of cxempla in itself.
devoted to thc wars and triumphs of Christians and Muslims in the Only Jean Germain used historical rcfcrcnccs for the same purposc
Península, the Holy Land and Constantinople. 42 as Espina, although he did not kccp the structure of a chroniclc. He
The information takcn from J acques de Vitry for considcration also preferrcd to use episodes of sacred history rather than accounts
VII is a vcry interesting anthropological tcxt, and it is surprising to of specific battles, and was particularly fond of mentioning the geo-
find it in a book such as the Fortalitium is said to be. Again this is graphical distribution of saints and relics to support his cxplanation
a proof of Espina's rclativc objectivity whcn it carne to something of thc devclopment of Christian communities. 44
more historical than rcligious.+ 3 MuJ:iammad's succession is told in a Espina's use of chroniclcs is directly related to his social back-
somewhat unorganised way, only mcntioning <Al:r out of the four ground and his position at the Castilian court. Since thesc; particular
groups wcre the ones to mal(e decisions about Islamic affairs in the
Península, his work can be read as a manifcstation of the prevailing
Sénac, Ph.: L'image de l'autre, pp. l 1H· 1'12.
~1 Lavajo, J.: op. cit., p. 24 7.
FF, f. 12lv- 125r, 14lr- 17lr. + I See Le livre du crestien' .. , [, 399r-4 l 9v and the Exhortation a Charles Vil . .. ,
B FF, f. 134r· 135v. f. 6r- 15v.

trends. The conclusion is appalling: crusadc was the only way to beards, as was ordcred for Mudejars, although through the frescoes
expcll thc Saracens from the Peninsula. Howcvcr, thc rcligious per- in the Alhambra we know that by thís time many of them did shave.
sonality of the author conditioned his views on the possibility of The use of Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada's Historia Arabum (c. 1200)
coexistence-always under Christian domination. Consequently, the mcant thc incorporation of a numbcr of Mozarab legends bascd on
book can be read in another direction, as a way to work on thc Arabic oral tradition. 46 The rcst of the sources come from the Mester
minds of high clergy, nobles and the king himsclf, to make them de Clerecía, a famous school of Iberian ecclesiastical wrítcrs active
fulfil their military duties while preachers would coopcratc with their in the thirteenth century. Espina used Gonzalo de Bercco's Life ef
own m1ss10n. San Allillán de la Cogolla (c. 1250); the Poema de Fernán González (c. 1252),
Thc structure of considcratíon IX is simple: after Alfonso X's an epic tale about the first independcnt Castilian count, having an
Primera crónica general (c. 1278), Espina develops a tale of one hundrcd important symbolic meaning; and the Poema del Cid (c. 1207), to fill
and fifty-eight battles which could be either Christian or Muslim tri- thc blanks of the Crónica general. For the period between Alfonso X's
umphs, but always leacling to a final defeat of the latter. The "longing death and Espina's own life, he chose mostly royal chronicles or
far authentic material"45 had led Alfonso X to encourage the transla- poems such as Alfonso XI's; in any case the sources which he would
tion and use of Arabic material by means of the vcry famous school certainly find in any ccclesiastical library. The problem posed by the
of translators he founded in Toledo. Thc fact that only this part of intermingling of European books containing crusader traditions-
the Fortalitium is illuminated suggests a continuation of schemcs of such as Jacqucs de Vitry's- was that they were not a good excrcisc
decoration linked to certain categorics of books, which remained the in pcrccption, but rather a grcat imaginative development combined
same when the book was copied into others. Alfonso X's Crónica gen- with, information gathercd from Byzantine traclition. 47
eral might be one of these type-books, and therefore the illumination Each chapter of thc Fortalitium is arranged around sorne key-:figures
of the Fortalitium must be related to one of the versions of the chronicle, or legends, which are grouped in "sagas" or collections of traclitions.
given that it is its main source. And interestingly cnough in a book At the same time, the distribution of miniaturcs is linked to the
about Islam, Mul).ammad is represented not once. explanation of the most important battles or miracles. Although most
When analyscd carefully, there are scvcral features in the Fortalitium of them are profane, according to a subject classification, there are
illustrations which differ from the Alfonsinc miniatures. Starting with sorne which encompass a religious theme. Sorne of them are chosen
banners, the half-moon standard <lid not appear in thirteenth-century as type-subjects,411 and thus repeated throughout the narrative.
illuminations. The Arabic lcttcrs written on sorne of them were real Thc first series starts with the wars against the Byzantinc empire
sentences in the Cantigas, whercas the ones in fifteenth-century draw- until the greatest cxpansion of Islam was reachcd (9 wars). Wars
ings were just imitations. Fashion had developed on both sides: against the Visígoths for the conqucst of thc Península are used as
Christian armour varied from Fernán González's haubcrk to the backgrormd for thc beginning of Christian counter-attack. The com-
tournament armour in the aforementioned first miniature. Helmets bined front of the Carolingians in Catalonia (15 wars) and the bat-
also ranged from mere basinets or conic-helmcts to thc Moorish- tle of Covadonga in Asturias give way to the core of the Reconquest
fashioned round steel-caps, and the more elaborate chivalric helmets under Alfonso III King of León and his successors (28 wars). This
with worked vizors. Finally, landscapes had changed, introducing cas- part corresponds to the most impressive miniatures built up in frames
tles in the Renaíssance taste rather than real bulwarks for defcnce. or mcdallions, linked to miracles like the building of thc first church
There are also sorne common featurcs such as the double-lobcd of Saint James, and also to a nurnber of figurcs in the central margins
shields (adargas) of the Muslim army, introduced by the Almohads, including King Alfonso III on his horsc (wars n. 50-·-·52). These wars
and their habit of wearing long robes instead of foil armour. Thc
weapon par excellence was javelins. Muslims were always depicted with 46
. Daniel, N.: 77ie Arabs and lvledieval Europe, p. 94.
Southcrn, R. W.: op. cit., pp. 30- 31.
Daniel, N .: The Arabs and JVIedieoal Eumpe, p. 93. 48
Smeyers, M.: op. cit., p. 48.

are intcrrupted by a raid in Rome and the parallel story of the epic Jamcs's Jubilce (war n. 148). These are combíned with the advance
hero Bernardo del Carpio. The climax is rcachcd with thc wars of of the Banü 1\!Iarin from North Africa and the rcsistance and capture
Fernán Gonzálcz of Castile and his son against the Chamberlain of the south of the Península around Granada (1 O wars). The last
Muryammad ibn Abi cAmir al-Man~ür, also depicted in several minia- three battles are devoted to the Turkish advancc towards Constan-
tures. Thc Castilian lcgcnd of the seven Infantes de Lara descrvcd tinople and the Portuguese conquests in North Africa. The last largc
as much as twelve wars. There followed the feats of Fernando 1, image is that of the Turks' defeat at Belgrade (war n. 15 7): whilc a
Alfonso VI and Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar "El Cid" (30 wars) showing miracle occurs, the Christian army, in armour clifferent from that
the national feeling of the author as much as his rcligious aims. This uscd in the Ibcrian Península, fights thc Turks. Thesc are wearing
series is the most heavily illustrated. Therc are sevcral small figures in J anissaries caps, dcscribed by the sourccs as somcwhat ridiculous as
the margins dcpicting El Cid, King Femando III and King Alfonso VI compared to Andalusian fashion. 50
(wars n. 76, 78, 87-89, 90-91, 106-109) as well as large sccnes Omissions are as important as mentions. First, only Leonese and
about thc conquest of Valencia by El Cid. He is showed fighting Castilian kings were included, except Jaime I of Aragon, Charlemagne
thc King of Morocco and thirty Muslim princes while the city is of France and Sancho of Navarre, due to the need to stress Castilian
besieged by sea. The next scene shows the same place aftcr El Cid's claims to be the oldest monarchy in thc Península, directly linkcd
death. The garrison is emptying the city and the 1\!Iuslim princes líe to the Visigothíc kingd9m. Also thc gaps in the text of thc Crónica
dead beneath the walls while their army is disbandcd. It is interest- general are not only intended for brcvity, but also to avoid most
ing to see that thc Moroccans are dressed diffcrcntly from Andalusian Islamic triuinphs and to leave aside internal strugglcs among Christian
Muslims (wars n. 107-111). princes, a fact which could be highly discouraging when trying to
On the intcrnational scene the kcy-cpisode of this period is thc persuade these leaders to engage in wars "of religion".
First Crusade (6 wars), illustrated by the capture of Antioch by Espina did not attempt an exhaustive journey through ali the Penin-
Raymond of Toulousc (also rcprcscnted by a saint holding a holy sular Reconquest, but rathcr a collection of cdifying battles to movc
lance in a small miniature in war 99) and the fall ofJerusalem before opinions. However, sorne wcll-known battles are missing in his account,
Geoffrey of Bouillon (wars n. 99- 100). Continuing with thc Rcconquest probably due to thcir cxcessive "worldlincss", i.c., the absence of any
in the Península, the next seventeen wars include the battles of miraculous tradition to attach to them, which madc thcm useless in
Alarcos and Navas de Tolosa. The latter was won by Alfonso VIII thc context of rcligion.
with the help of an angel and is definitely a subjcct for anothcr large Two tcndcncics can be appreciated in the Forlalitium: a providencial
miniature (war n. 121). As for the Second Crusade (3 wars) and view of history and a nationalistic and patriotic feeling which informed
SaintLouis's crusades (7 battles), there are scvcral unlmown Christian the wholc argument. The moral identity of Europe was preserved
soldiers in the margins of different battlcs (wars n. 66, 119-120). 49 by a fiercely determined orthodoxy and religion had become thc
. When the information contained in the Crónica general is finishcd, expression of that sense of idcntity, 51 being the basis of nationalistic
the chapters become shorter and more confusing. Dating disappears ideas in the Península, and identifying the cncmy with the Saraccn.
or is wrong, and there is seldom more than one reference to cach God-providence had a dircct participation in war, according to the
reign, compared to the amount of battlcs concentrated in the periods text. The fall of the Visigothic kingdom and that of Eraclius's cmpire
of Fernán Gonzálcz or Alfonso VI. After the destruction of the T em- were caused by the sins of their rulers. Mu}:iammad was an instrument
plars, there is a short account of thc battles fought by Alfonso XI of God's punishmcnt, but that did not mean that God had left his
(8 wars) including the capture of Algcciras, depicted in a bíg minia- people abandoned or that the power of Islam would be eternal. Even
ture due to the fact that thc battle was won on the ycar of Saint Muslim authors uscd to see Christian history in this way: Mul,iarnmad

G Ali these episodes starting from war n. 16 are lakcn, cither complete or sum- ''º Bunes, M. A.: La imagen de los musulmanes . .. , p. 25.5.
marized, from Alfonso X: P1imera crónica general, I, 567-1009. 51
Daniel, N.: Islam and the West, p. 299. Meyuhas Gínio, A.: Laforteresse, p. 151.

al-Qays1 thought that thc Christian defeats at Algcciras and Almería awarcncss which greatly affected ali works bascd to sorne cxtent on
were a punishmcnt for the expulsíon of the Ordcr of Templars frorn chronicles or story-telling. It is the case of Alfonso García de Santa
Castile, far they acted as protectors of Muslirns. 52 María (d. 1456), conveno bishop of Burgos. His Anacephaleosis shows
Miracles werc God's more direct way of intervention. These werc how traditions were remodelled for conternporary situations in Castile,
perforrned mainly by Saint James, patron-saint of Castile; Saint more than in Aragon or Portuga1:5 ~ The nced to establish the older
Isidore, Saint l\llillán or by other holy figures such as abbots, bishops or superior origins of the Castilian monarchy through mythology and
or angcls. The fighting was between two religious communities, not historical sources is clcarly rclatcd to thc self-awareness developed
only between ethnic or social groups, so this invasion of the sacred by Castilian socicty regarding the rest of the Peninsular kingdoms,
is justified in the opposition of Christ and Muhammad and Christians cspecially with respcct to Granada. While Alfonso García used royal
. '
against Muslims--even the feeling of Euro pe against the N car East gcncalogy, Alonso de Espina preferred the old way of uniting Castile
disappears when the Peninsular case is discusscd. It would be hard against "thc enemy" and referred to fighting against Islam as the
to establish a difference between thc way Castilians-not so much link bctwccn the Visigothic power and the Castilian rulers. Internal
the Catalans and the Aragonese- dcalt with Europeans in chronicles affairs of the kingdom were omitted, and legitimacy was never ques-
and the way they did with Muslims. Both Europeans and Muslims tioned except by the sword. ·Royal chroniclcrs likc Palencia were re-
werc foreign to them and their interests and intcrvention from markable in this natíonalistic trend, and Rodrigo Sánchez de Arévalo
' .
France, though easy to dcmand, was not always welcome. 53 In fact, planned his Compendiosa historia hisj1anica in thc samc spirit. Identification
from Alfonso Vl's reign, Castilian conscíousness grew as anti-Frankish of enemies of the faith vvith encmics of the people or the country
feeling <lid, and was openly manifested in the chronicles. Latcr on, was a very helpful dcvice. 56 Howcver, in general, all warriors wcrc
the Aragonese would fulfil the same role as the French. called Christíans without making too much of which kingdom thcy
In the thirtcenth centmy, new val u es emerged su ch as the notion bclonged to; thc unity of t11e Peninsular kingdoms was ncvcr men-
that death for the realm or for the faith was better than slavery. tioned as a condition for Christian triumph. 57
Crusader ideals started to have sorne infiuence on Peninsular thought, Popular awareness of their historical past was manifosted in a very
and Castilians startcd to dream of hcgemony, to such an extent that intcresting way during the two-month siege of Simancas, in ~ 465.
any externa! cooperation against Muslims was considered dangerous Thc soldicrs dccided to stage a parody of the dcthroncmcnt at Avila.
for the interests of the realm. This was specially so regarding Carol- The statue representing Archbishop Carrillo was named after Don
ingian campaigns in the Peninsula and, to a lesser extent, when other Oppas, the traitor brother of Don Julián who, according to tradition,
Peninsular monarchies were involvcd. 54 Regarding Islam, Jiménez de helped the Iviuslims in their first incursion in to the Península. 58
Rada's Historia arabum was a better exarnple of coexistence than his The parallel suggested bctwccn thc two churchmen helping to bring
De rebus Hispaniae, duc to his use of Arabic sources. But still he found clown monarchy, Don Oppas the Visigoth and Carrillo the Castilian>
it difficult to trust the Saracens, whom his contemporaries thought shows a special identification of fifteenth-century Castilians with their
were ready to betray both in treaties and battle. ancestors, and their acquaintance with epics as a source of histori-
A special patriotic feeling can be obscrved in all fifteenth-century cal information.
prose writers including theologians, and is usually related to the use
of local sources for their books. Castilc had bccn creating a self-

Tate, R. B.: Ensqyos sobre hisloriogrefía jJenin.mlar, pp. 56- 67.
Richard, B.: op. cit., p. 122.
Cardaillac, L.: op. cit., pp. 15 1-· l 52. 57
Barkai, R.: of!. cit., p. 51. ·
Lavajo, J.: op. cit., pp. 240 ff.
5 ·1 Bark. R . : op. cit.,
. pp. 212-213.
Enríqucz del Castillo, D.: op. cit. , pp. 242- 243. Ct: Phillips, W. D.: op. cit., pp.
98- 99.

Characters far Polemícs ascetic prophets; he even married his own son's former wife. But
thesc were not the only things to be considered for condemnation.
The most important were his lack of qualities such as clevation of
a) lvlu~ammad's biograph:J1 spirit and contemplation, and his attcmpt to lic for God's sake.
Long ago, Southern realiscd that Christian authors preferred to lcarn However, in their attempts to reject JVIu}:iamrnad's claims to prophet-
about 1\/Iu}:iammad from "thc meagrc Latin sourcc" rathcr than from hood, Christian authors did not refcr to a litcrary genre callcd "thc
the Koran or Islamic bibliographical compilations about the life of proofs of prophecy", which was started throughout the Arabic world
thc Prophct. His apprcciation was that "thcy wcrc flceing from the in the clcvcnth century by Abü Nu<aim al-IsfühanI and al-Baihakü.
embrace of Islam". 59 Thercfore, the transmission of Mul)ammad's The genre consisted of pseudo-biographies of thc Prophet relating
lifc by European authors was heavily conditioncd by Christian \i\Tcstern the miraclcs which made him acknawledged by animals and humans
notions: a spccial emphasis was given to his low birth in a family of as God's messengcr. Bibliography about the Prophct was of course
idolaters; his social improvcments first through trade and plunder, 60 abundant another classical work of special importance in the Península,
then by marriagc, which cven brought him a crown; and bis cultural the Kitab al-ShijaJ Ji ta'rff hukuk al-Nlustafa (Thc book of remedy to
training which, according to sorne authors, included not only magic, show the rights of God"s messenger), written by the qa(l.f 'Iyad, a
but also the Trivium and Quadrivium. 6 1 Gradually, Islamic biogra- maliki theologian who actcd as judge in Ceuta and Granada, was so
phcrs were taken into consideration, after the linguistíc approach of wcll considered that it was used as a talisman. 65 This kind of lslamic
the thirteenth century. The Christians took from the Arab writers literature proved that Mul)ammad was spcaking in thc name of God
the emphasis on MuJ:iammad's dcscent. 62 It secms again that Ibcrian through miracles, although scholars do not agrce on thc exact impor-
authors were more fa.miliar with traditions rcgardíng Mul:iammad's tance of miracles in the making of a prophct in Islam. Prediction
lifc than other European ones, spccially thosc who had no contacts was not considered, for it only referrcd to the Day of Judgcment and
with thc Holy Land. thereforc, was impossible to chcck. 66
Whilc polemics referrcd to dogmatic qucstions su ch as the mys- Among the lies Mu}:iammad was accussed of uttering was his claim
tery of the Trinity and thc like, debate was fruitful. When Christian to be the last prophet, after whom no other would come, nor any
authors rejectcd Mul,iammad's claim to prophethood, thcy started a prophecy be made. Also, thc Prophet's identification with thc Paraclete
new trend which would prove dangerous for religious dialogue. Thcir was severcly condemned by Christian writers, as was his identification
mistake was to attempt to validatc Islam according to Christian stand- with other prophecies from the Old Tcstament. Nor could they
ards, and to understand .i\!Iul,iammad wíthin a theological tradition accept that his name was written on God's throne: firstly, because
far from his own.63 Both Raimundo Martí and Ricoldo de Montccroce, that would give Paradise and the throne a corporeal naturc which
quoted by T orquemada and Cavallería, stated that a real prophet thc Christian fathers were not ready to accept; secondly, because
had to mcet several requirements which wcre not at ali clear for therc was no way for JV1ul).ammad to be sure about such a prcmise.
.i\!Iu.Q_ammad. Several anecdotes demonstratcd that he was lustful: he The othcr signs which wcrc supposed to demonstratc thc e:xistcnce
claimed to have the sexual powcr of forty men;64 he married several of a prophet were goodness and virtuc, the ability to work miraclcs
times contravcníng thc Christian idea of cclibacy and the model of and the quality of thc law he preached: it had to be "holy and good,
lcading nations to the worship of the one God, and men to holincss
of lifc and concord and peace". Nonc of these wcrc satisfied by
Southcrn, R . W .: op. cit., p. 26.
CE, pp. 11- 12.
ni D aniel, N.: The Arabs and Medieval Europe, pp. 233 and ff. See Wolf; K. B.: "Thc
Earlicst Latin Lives of Mul;iammad", in Conversion and continui[Y, pp. 89-101. 6~ Schimmel, A. 1L And Mu(wmmad is his messenger, p. 33.
Daniel, N.: Islam and t!ze West, p. 79. GG Jomier, S.: "La noción de profeta en el Islam", Documentación aji·oasiática ( 1.972),
Khoury, J\.-Th.: "Les théologiens chretiens ... ", Penpectives de la catholicíté, 25, pp. 5- 6. . . '
pp. 84--86. 67 Th e refercnce is to John 16, 7-14. Mul:i.ammad also dauned that the Prophets
CE, p. 11. of the Old T cstament had announccd him: ZC, [ 7lv, 138v, 141v.

MuJ:iammad according to Christians. 6ª However the Sanusi;yya, in thc Espina. Thus, confusion is thc overall imprcssion when analysing the
late l\!Iiddle Agcs, quoted the samc qualities for the Prophet: "the biographies VlrrÍttcn by Espina and Torquemada. Cavallcría's references
Prophet has four necessary attributes: he must be truthful and trust- are only to sorne short episodes, so his cannot be considered a proper
worthy; he has definitely to proclaim the Divine word and has to be biography.
sagacious and intelligent. It is ímpossiblc that he should lic, be faith- The legend of Balµra-Sergius condcnscd the manifestation ofJcwish
less or treacherous, should conceal the divine messagc or be stupid. and Christian infl.uences on thc Prophet and the society of his cpoch.
One possible trait is that he may be subject to accidental human wcak- BaJ:iira, a wandering monk in Arabic tradition, became Sergius, a
ncsses". 69 Thc final proof was the success of Islam-its expansion. Ncstorian monk who had bccn expelled from Christendom. 72 On his
In particular, the question of working miracles, which was considered flight to Arabia, thc Prophet learnt about Judaism, and either with
essential as a refutation, <lid not carn general agreement. Despite the or without sorne collcagues- depending on the tradition--·, he "cor-
efforts of MuJ:iammad and thc Koran to prove that miraclcs wcre rupted" the neighbouring tribes. When MuJ:iammad travelled with his
not necessary for his mission, both within Islam and Christendom uncle's caravans, he met Sergius and bccame his pupil. For Christian
this aspcct was strcsscd. Torquemada refcrred to thc miracle "of thc writers, that was the reason for thc amount of Biblical information
broken moon" as part of MuJ:iammad's magic powers. Espina pre- contained in the Koran. The idea underlying such a legend was that
ferred the pscudo-miracle of the dovc and the bull to prove that his Arabia was an area subject to outside influence because it was unruly
doctrine was based on tricks. In both cases, they were agreeíng with and on the edge of the known world. The most complicated exam-
Islamic orthodox doctrine, which said that MuJ:iammad's only miracle ple of accúlturation in this background is containcd in the Contrarietas
was the rendering of the Koran. 70 elfolica- and later transferred to Espina by means of Ricoldo ·de
Thc last attack was against the very foundation of Islam, thc Montecrocc--where 1tiu):iammad was said to be taught by Bal:iira,
shahiida, which was uscd as the formula to submit to Islam. When Seleam thc Jcw and the Pcrsian Salon. 73 The story was omíttcd by
MuJ:iammad asked his followers to bclicve in God and his messenger, Eulogius's biography of Mul}.ammad and did not appear in Iberian
he was asking for the aknowledgemcnt of his mission. According to tradition until the Collectio Toletana was diffused in the Peninsula.
Christian writcrs, such acknowledgcment should be denied for ali Instead, the authors from Córdoba used the myth of Mul:.iammad
"the mage " .74 Th e same ep1t . h et was use d ior
.e Scotto and Gerbert
the other rcasons mentioned throughout his biogTaphy.
Since sources for Mul,iammad's life were more easily acccssible in d' Aurillac, who entcred the legend of the Península as being famous
Latin, thc accuracy of fifteenth-century writers relied vcry much on for the learning and practice of magic arts on a large scale. Seville
their predecessors. Raimundo Martí, who could rcad Arabic, had was considered as the centre for divination, while Toledo and Córdoba
used the Sfra rasul Allah writtcn by lVluJ::iammad ibn in thc were associated with the teaching of mathematics, astronomy, astrology,
eighth century and the collections of traditions, specially the ones medicine and alchemy. 75 In the words of Daniel, "the misrcpresen-
compiled by Mu):iammad ibn Isma.'ll al-Bukhari and Muslim ibn tation of the Prophet as a mage may be an unconscious recognition
al-Hadjdjadj al-QushayrI. But sorne polemical texts such as Saint of thc grcater learning of the Arabs". 76 The Crónica general cxpressed
Eulogius's Liber apologeticus marryrum, which is full of misconceptions, this idea-as did Espina in the article about the authorship of
were considered accurate sources in medieval tcrms. The Byzantine MuJ::iammad's sect----in the story of a Jcwish astronomer. He was a
author Theophanes wrote another version in his Chronographia, used good friend of Mul:iammad's father 'Abd Allah, and himself a learncd
by Lucas de Tuy, 71 and aftenvards by Alfonso X and Alonso de man, expert in Jcwish and Christian laws. When the time carne for

Ga Cf.: Daniel, N.: Islam and tlze West, pp. 70- 71, referrcd to Montecrocc's Disputalio, CE, p. 14.
ch. 8. Daniel, N.: The Arabs and kfedieval Eumpe, p. 242.
Y Schimmel, A. M.: op. cit., pp. 52, 57-58.
Lavajo, J.: op. cit., I, p. 300. ·
CE, pp. 18---19; FF, f. l 19r, L20r-v; ZC, { L40r. The story of thc dovc was D 'Alver;ny, M. T.: "Marc de Tolede .. .", al-Andalus (1951), pp. 1 !8- 119. Also
Garrosa Resma, A.: ;\/fagi,aJ• superstición en la literatura caslellana .. ., pp. 33-37 .
fir;~ used ~y Frances~ Eíximenis, cf. Cerulli, E.: Nuove ricerche ... , p . 21. 76
Lavajo, J.: op. cit., I, p. 180. Daniel, N.: The Jlrabs and J\!ledieval Europe, p. 94.
.....,,..,,.,....,.,......,.,.------------------·- -·- ·


Mul;iammad's birth, the Jew interpreted hís destiny according to the bclíeved him. The story was compiled by Vincent de Bcauvais, greatly
stars and announced it to hís parents. Later on, he testified about successful in European polcmics, quoted by Torqucmada and used
thc hcart of Mu}:iammad being washcd and weighed by two angcls, by Espina to explain why J\!Iul;tammad's lifc was monstruous. 80
a tradition takcn from the collection by J\lluslim, 77 although trans- But by means of the marriage, Mul;iammad had also become a
formed to build up two different storics. Pcrhaps the figure of thc secular leader. The arabs considered Khurasan to be the key province
Jew can be identified as thc sourcc of thc tradition, eithcr Anas ibn of the <Abbasid territory: whoevcr controlled it, controlled the caliphate.
Mal:ik or Abü Darr, misundcrstod by Christian writers. When Abü According to Jiménez de Rada, Mu}:l.ammad was offered the throne
Talib assumed the custody of the orphan, the same Jewish astronomer and govcrnment of Syria after his marriage. 81 Since the tradition was
"taught him natural sciences and the law of Jews and Christians. introduced into Christian literaturc afrer thc cleventh ccntury, the
From thc knowlcdgc he acquired, he took ali those things which he Prophet's lordship of Khurasan is one of the most interesting anachro-
latcr included in that evil sect he created, ordained for the ruin of nisms in his biography.
the souls believing in it".78 But whíle Khadi'dja was considered a matter of state, the Prophct's
But thís was not enough with respect to the origins of Islam, so other wives were a matter of lust and cause for scandal. Christian
both the Crónica general and the Fortalitium insist on Muhammad's writers saw this personal defect as the reason for Islamic polygamy,
training in the desert not by one, but by a couple of monks: thc heretic for Mul;iammad had to ask God for revelations to justify his desire
John and the Nestorian Sergius. Such a recurrent reference is ímportant for Maryam, 32 the daughtcr of one of the Arabic rulers, and Zaynab,
in the criticism it implies of Mul;iammad's doctrine being unoriginal- thc wife of his adopted son. At least, that was the interpretation of
thus not rcvcalcd by God- but rather a forgery of already-established St. John Damascene, quotcd by Ricoldo in a more elaboratc way
doctrines which made him a heretic. As Daniel stated, "Latins wcre as a justification of adultery. But in general, thc point of morality
not always, but oftcn, well-informed about the history of various was as important as the fact of God sending revelations in response
Christian heresies, and thcir chronology makes Islam thc culmination to political, social and family problems, somethíng which Christian
and often the sum of ali the hercsies, an argument sometimcs worked authors were not at all used to. 83 J\!Ioreovcr, MuQ.ammad dared to
out in detail". 79 However, it was diffi.cult to rcgard Islam as a heresy, change God's messagc according to his own desires. Polygamy was
beca.use .M:Ul;tammad was thc first herctic to claím that he had received bound to be dangerous beca.use it cncouragcd lust.
a revelatíon from God which was not contained in the Bible. The The concept of religious and secular leadership togethcr, in the
fact that writers considered his followers in a group apart from way Mul;tammad and thc cahphs claimcd it, was quite strangc to
heretics means an acknowledgement of the difference, which was not Christian cyes. Although thc struggle between pope and empcror had
yet clear by the time of John Crisostomos. bccn going on for several ccnturies, none of them claimed to be a
The next step in the Prophet's career was bis marriage to Khadidja, prophet and a secular leader, a messenger of God and a conqueror
lady of Corozan (Khurasan), based on the sura 93. Christian writers of cmpires at thc same time. That was certainly anothcr matter for
cnhanced thc fact that Khadiqja was one of the first bclievers. Women criticism. The closcst any fifteenth-century writer got to it was Tor-
were known to be easier to deceive than men according to medieval quemada's accusation that when J\!Iul:iammad was unable to pro-
standards, and this negative image was implied in this cpisode. It claím himself a kíng, he pretended to be a prophet, because it was
was too late whcn she discovered that her husband had epileptic easier to deceive peoplc claiming that he had received rcvelation
fits. He explained them as a result of Gabricl's apparition, and she
° FF, f. l 18v; CE, p. 12; about epilepsy, p . 18. Ct: Daniel, N.: Islam and the
West, p. 27.
Muslim ibn al-Hadjdjadj: Sa(zih j\¡[uslim . . ., ed. by A. Hamid Siddiqf, Lahore ~1 Daniel, N .: Tlze Arabs and },;Jedieval Europe, p. 232. 'fhc story was collcctcd by
1976- 78, vol. 1, p. 103. Hugh of Fleury (c. 1091- 1124) and rctaken by Vinccnl de B cauvai~.
FF, t: 99v . .Jiménez de Rada: Hútoria arabum, p. 243. 82
CE, p. 13.
Daniel, N .: 1he Arabs and A'fedieval Europe, p. 242. H:l R.icoido de Montecroce: DisfJUlatio, f. 84r. Cf. Schimmcl, A. Ivl.: op. cit., p . 52.

from God. 34 For Muslims, it was the other way round: the messagc subito dcdit animam dyabolo magistro suo, discipuli autem sui clilígcntcr
of Christ, focused on the spiritual and humility, sccmed too weak servaverunt corpus expectando quod resurgeret die tercia ut dictum
cst. Sed postquam ipsi viderunt quod non resurgebat ut prcclixcrat et
and incompletc for thc last prophct. A successful onc would doubt-
fetorem eius tolerare non posscnt, relicto cotporc inhumato, maxima
less use force if compcllcd to, especially if it helped to expand God's pars discessit et post XI díes mortis eius venit predictus díscipulus eius
mcssage. 85 Albimor ut vidcrct quomodo iaccbat et secundum quod narrat Luchas
Alonso de Espina used another curious passage of the Crónica general: Tudensis in cronica sua invenit corpus a canibus comcstum corrosis
the legend of l\llul;tammad and Saint Isidore of Seville, 86 which secms ossibus. Tune Albimor collectis ossihus sepelivit in civitate quadam
to be original from the Iberian background. It tells how a certain quae dícitur arabice Medina Raziel. Sic ergo qui inter eos prudenciores
füerunt, dcprehensa seductoris falsitate omnia quaecunque dixerat falsa
Mul;tammad crossed the sea towards Visigothic Spain in the last year et irrita extimantes, consídcrantcs ctiam quomodo índignam vitam
of Recaredus's reign to preach his doctrine in Córdoba. Saint Isidore, cligna marte terminasset, ah eius lege discesserunt. 87
who was just on his way back from Rome, ordered his mcn to catch
him. But MuJ:iammad was warned by the devil and managed to The main point to be deduced from this passage is the withdrawal
escape back to the East, whcre he continucd his conquests. It is well of believers from Islam. All thc biography of thc Prophct, and espe-
worth noting that ali the characters in the story were contemporaries: cially this chapter, are intcnded for that purposc: to demonstrate
Isidore died in 636, MuJ:iammad in 632 and the last Visigothic kíng lVIuJ:iammad's falschood and· achieve conversions. However, the way
called Recaredus did so in 621, so whoever wrote the story was at the subject is introduced, without concessions to the figure of the
least accurate as far as dates are concerned. However the tradition Prophet, is absolutely unsuitable for any Muslim to read or listen
remains obscure. to. Thc approach was too harsh, and had to be intended only to
The Prophet's death had to be the final proof of his evil life and reach Christians who were ready to accept an antithesis of thc figure
habits. His false announcement of resurrection was obviously a counter- of Christ.
image of Christ's, and it had to be conveniently cxploitcd. So was
the legend of his bones being gnawed by dogs, or by worms. Espina b) Muslim kings and heroes
was so keen on using ít that he made a wholc chapter of it, the
shortcst in the book: Despite the religious intcntion of the treatise, the Fortalitium provides
good informatíon on what should have been the main lines of gen-
Sexta consideracio huius libri est de morte Machometi, dignum enim eral knowledge of Ibcrian history. The only objection to its method
fuerat ut fnús eius ostenderet qualis ipse fuerat in vita et doctrina.
is its excessive dcpendence on Alfonso X's Crónica general and the lack
Unde cum implerentur decem anni regni sui ab illo scilicet anno quo
fuit elevatus in regem in Damasco computando, quidam discipulus eius of infonnation from later chronicles. This hiatus is particularly notice-
cuius nomen Albimor voluit experiri si resurgcrct Machometus díe ter- able for thc history of al-Andalus, precisely when it becomes more
cia a morte ad vitam sicut ipse preclixerat. Dixeram enim quod postquam confusíng.
decem anni sui regni essent impleti, quod dcbcbat mori et rcsurgere Wars against Islam ran through a period of seven centuries, and
tercia díe cotpusquc suum ca díe deferendum ad celum, et ideo quod ali kinds of governors, caliphs and sultans are mentioncd in the
non traderent sepulture. Quare predictus discipulus eius destemperato
quodam veneno tradidit ci ad bibendum occultissime. Machometus
book-·-since again we are only refcrring to thc F01talitiumfidei-from
autem statim ut bibit mutatus est omnis color eius, et ideo intellexit everywhere in the Islamic world: the Iberian Península, Northern
quod mors sua appropinquaverat, et dixit illis sarracenis qui ibi erant Africa, Egypt, Syria and the Turkish empire. In general, their dig-
cum eo quod per aquam salvarentur et veniam invenirent. Quo dicto nities were correctly establishcd. For the governors of al-Andalus,
Espina used the term dux, which corresponds to their military function.
M Jiménez de Rada, R.: op. cit., p. 245.
CE, p. 13.
86 87
FF, f. l 18r; Primera crónica general, l, 478. Quoted by Cerulli, E.: Nuove ricerche . .. , FF, 134r. Thc tcxt is copied from the P1imera crónica general, l, 494 and Lucas
pp. 261- 263. de Tuy, Chronicon mundi.

For Mu<awiyya (661-680), he used rex, as synonimous for caliph. He by Christian chronicles towards the oppositc group, the Muslims, as
kept using this title for the caliph of Córdoba, togcther with amfr al- much in the context of rcligious beliefs as about thc history of l\lluslim
muminzn, deformed into "amiramamolin", following thc propaganda communities, is much greater than that shown by Muslim chroniclcrs
of <Abd al-Ral:iman 111 against thc Egytian Fatirnid rulcrs who were about Christian socícty" .9 1 Although the chronicles are mostly dcvoted
trying to superscdc the <Abbasids. Y et the author stressed thc to their ovvn Christian history, thcy also refer to these other aspects
that the caliph was the hcad of the believers only ín al-Andalus. of Peninsular life. In theology books, this tendency was emphasized
Mul:rnmmad ibn Ahí e.Amir, al-Mansü.r, was mentioned as ''the most and produccd a definite bias, which is to be seen particularly in the
powerful among the Saracens below cAbd al-Ral:iman", 38 but no figures of Muslim herocs; for instance, all the praiscs attributed to
other title was attributed to him. For the period of the Taifa rulers, al-Mansür by the Crónica general were omittcd in the Fortalitium.
Espina chose to call them reges again, but when thc Almoravids and Although Espina cannot avoid the presence of Muslíms in his work,
Almohads succcssively conquered al-Andalus, he added to the same their only qualitics must be the warlikc ones. Even then, refercnces
name of "king" (rex) of Morocco the dignity of "amiramamolin" of are so short that they just act as countcr-heroes as regards Christian
Western Islam. figures.
A digrcssion on thc crusades shows Espina's interest in introduc-
ing sorne of the chivalric Arabic heroes: Nür al-Dfn was called prínceps
e) Christian saints
Damasci and Damascenorum rex, 89 while Saladin was just mentioned
as a warrior. The term "sultan of Babylon'' was incorrcctly used for Spanish Christendom was not satisfied with a heavcnly warrior pro-
the Mamluks, whereas the contemporary Banü Marfn from North tector-such as, for example, the angcl Gabriel- , but they made him
Africa and the Nasrids from Granada were all identified as reges. dcscend to earth, giving him the role of a contender in the fighting.
Here is the great differcnce between this area of Christcndom and
Finally, Mul;ammad II was acknowledgcd as the greater imperator Islam. Allah, who is a fighting God, stays in the abstract. His help is
Turcorum. 90 given from heaven by mcans of an emanation, but St. James comes
Thís líst of digníties is not fortuitous: it shows Espina's acquain- from on High, kills the Muslims with his own sword and offers the
tancc with thc differcnt political situations within the Islamic world, triumph to the Christians. 92
and is not simply bascd on prcvious sources. Details such as mention-
This paragraph summarizes perfectly thc imprcssion left by Castilian
ing the families who ruled important border areas "de facto'' befare
chronicles dealing with war against thc Muslims. Particularly that of
thc division of the Andalusian caliphate-for instancc, the Banü Mar-
Alfonso X (Espina's main sourcc for the historical chapters), which
wan in Badajoz or the Banü Qasf in Calatayud-depict the variety
used miracles systcmatically to support a newly created self-awarcness. 93
of situatiohs which were noticeable to the Christian kingdoms. A
Saint James was "helped" by other saints, namely the patrons of the
number of military chiefs were also mentioned throughout the account,
most important monastcrícs in the realm: Saint l\!Iillán, Saint Isidore,
and although many rulers are omitted, the oncs who were actually
and the hosts of angels who fought the l\!Iuslims undcr the holy ban-
mentioned in the text were correctly placed within their environment.
ners. Furthcrmore, onc of the ways to distínguish war against thc
The only licence in this matter was the figure of Bramante, the
Saraccns from fighting other peoples such as the Normans, is Saint
A.rabie ruler of al-Andalus according to the Carolíngian epic cyclc.
Jamcs's intervention as the "nacional" patron-saint. 94 Warrior saints
Carolingian epics were only mentioned at the point of the tale of
appcar in the elevcnth century, and Saint James's actions occur
Charlemagne's love for Galiana, Bramantc's daughter.
mostly after the twelfth, whcn thc patriotic feeling was growing
Barkai comes to the point when he states that "the intcrest shown
Barkai, R.: op. cit., pp. 284--285.
88 92
FF, f. 148v. !bidem, p. 115.
89 ~~ Jbidem, p. 241.
FF, f. 163v.
° FF, f. 170v. 9
• Ibídem, p. 49.
' . ' .. ... , -·-- ----· ~--------~-- ...¡


greater. He was the favomite where battlcs wcrc conccrncd, while realm and, in this context, usually the loss of lands ín hands of the
the other saints uscd to have advisory roles. Gradually, Saint Isidorc's infidels. The ímagc of "Catholic kings" who followcd God's command-
figure took sorne traces from Saint James's myth and becamc a ments and were consecrated by the Church, was basic in a provi-
Moor-killcr too. dential c:xplanation of history and, viceversa, this kind of history was
Thc episodes in the Fortalitium where saints appcar are related to used for theological purposes.
the most significant Christian kings and hcrocs, for examplc Alfonso Two figures have thc role of evil kings who perrnit the e:xpansion
III, who built the church of Santiago. Or Fernán González, the of Islam over Christendom through their sins: the empcror Eraclius
patron of thc monastcry of San Pedro de Arlanza and a key-figure and the Vísigothic king Rodrigo, who had surrounded thcmselves with
of Castilian independencc, who was visited by two saints, San Pelayo sinful courtiers and advisors. The "very Christian" French kings were
and SaintJames. Or El Cid and Fernando III, two legendary figures able to dcfeat the Muslims, first in Poitiers and latcr in Catalonia, due
of thc Reconquest, related to several saints such as Lazarus, Saint to their closeness to the Church and their support of its reformation.
James and Saint Isidore; Ra.ymond de Toulouse, linkcd to thc retrieval In the Pcninsula, the great myth of Covadonga and the beginníng
of the Holy Lance; Alfonso VII who rebuilt Saint Isidore's church of the reconquest was told without much enthusiasm, leaving greatcr
in León; Alfonso VIII, the víctor of Navas de Tolosa in 1212 and emphasis for the figures of the Asturian kings who favoured thc
finally John Vayvoda, during the wars against the Turks in 1457, church of Saint James. Alfonso I, called "the Catholic" and Alfonso
the most recent accotmt of a miracle which savcd the city of Belgrade.95 III, "thc Chas te", started a series of "most Christian" kings who had
The function of miracles within this narrative was to ensure God's to defeat the Saracens with thc help of the saint. They are impor-
support of the Christian army. Supernatural intervcntion was one tant in thc context of Castilian sclf-awareness, both because of their
part of divine providence acting throughout history. Just as failure chronicles, which provide the first nationalistic view of the Peninsular
was a consequence of sin, the apparition of saints and angels in bat- Reconquest, 98 and because of their interest as regards the church of
tles was a way of showing God's choice of a particular :individual. saint James, in Santiago, as the base for this enterprise.
The concept of war "for the defence of faith" is essential for an There are also mentions of those kings who "did nothing impor-
understanding of this choice of charactcrs. The enemy-lslam-was tant aga:inst the Saracens" 99 and therefore were omitted from the
attacking not only a political powcr, but a religious community, so text. This sentencc is opposed to the othcr favourite onc "he returned
it had to be fought by divine forces. The vexillum fidei appears as the to his city with great riches and honour", 100 attachcd to every victorious
banner of saints, in opposition to Mu1:_iammad's (see above). General- king at the end of a famous battle .
ization in theological sources means involving all the differcnt kinds .The idea of sorne kind of decadcnce aftcr Alfonso Vrs death, fos-
of warriors on the frontier in a · single entcrprise: expansion and tcred by fcmale succcssion and internal strugglcs, helped to make
fighting thc enemy of Christ. 96 · · this king another figure of war against Islam. His capture of the
Visigothic capital, Toledo, was an important achievement which
d) Christian kings helped to crcate this tradition. Finally, thc chivalric love for the
daughter of his friend, al-Ma'mun of Toledo, added legendary clc-
Monarchy represented the nation, and kings personified its image. ments to the story.
A king in the Península was the head of resistance against Islam, It is remarkable that, after Alfonso XI, little mention is made of
who represented "an invader of the land". 97 An evil monarch deserved Castilian kings compared to thc former part of the text. This is due
punishment, which usually :involved thc loss of his authority over his

FF, wars numbcrs 49, 62 ·-65, 76, 81, 83, 139, 99, 114, 121, 157. Sce also 98 There is a good study of the image of Muslíms in these kings' .chroniclcs in
Meyuhas Ginio, A: La, forteresse, pp. 155-158. Barkai, R.: op. cit., pp. 27- 54.
García, F.: "La conquista en la cronística castellana ... " , pp. 57, 61. 99
FF, f. 144v.
Barkai, R.: op. cit., p. 144. wo FF, f. l 45v 1T.

to the state of civil war and fighting among the five Peninsular king- Crónica generaL. Considering the nmnber of elements combined in thc
doms which is characterístic of the Late 1\lliddlc Ages. Thís situation text, one of the richest is the story of Count Fcrnán González fighting
stopped Christian kings from making war against the infidcl. Thcol- al-Mansü.r in the battlcs of Lara and Hacinas, 102 taken from the
ogians had to acknowledge thc fact, and it is to their eflort to change Poema de Fernán González writtcn in the thirteenth century by a monk
the target of these wars that we owe the treatises studied in this of San Pedro de Arlanza. Thercforc, historical facts wcrc lcss impor-
bool;. Thanks to Espina's personal cxperience, at lcast his opinions tant than hagiographical needs. Thc lack of criticism from Espina is
on Alvaro de Luna and Enrique IV remain. The former we have due to thc acceptance of an authority such as the Crónica general and
alrcady secn; about the latter, Espina seems to be more keen than the fact that an account like this worked perfoctly well for his purposc.
many of his contcmporaries: The main inaccuracy was to make al-Mansü.r (940- 1002) fight
Et successit prcclicto rege lohanni in regno filius cius Heinricus quartus against Fernán Gonzálcz (d. 970), whereas he confronted Fernán's
qui nunc regnat, decimo octavo rcx Castellc et utí nam felicíter ad son García Fernández (938-·995) and his grandson Sancho García
Dei gloriam regnet et utilitatem rei publice. Hic primo regni sui anno, (d. 1017). But according to the Poema it was the Count himself who,
cum excrcitu suo magno intravit terram saracenorum et obtinuit virilitcr aftcr the capture of the castle of Carazo, faced al-Mansür and his
villam que clicitur Ximena et destruxit Stiponam. Habuit etiam bul- great army from all the Islamic nations. Parallels with thc situation
Iam cruciate contra saracenos et continuavit guerram quatuor annis,
of the Visigothic kingdom start when Fcmán asked his loyal men
in quibus non modicum saraceni sunt fame afilicti. In signum etiam
voluntatis expugnationis regni Granate cepit devisam malo granatornm whether thcy should attack such a great force. His vassal Gonzalo
. per ornamento armorum rcgalium. Quid crit Deus novit cuius est Díaz tried to restrain him from war, but Fcrnán argued resolutely,
causam et finem bellorum agnoscere, multa enim impedimenta offeruntur as if his council ought to listen to him, rather than gíve him advice.
spccialiter clivisio militum in regno contra ipsum propter que iam hoc This attitude parallels Don Julián's advice to King Rodrigo, the last
anno sexagesimo plus timetur guerra in regno quam contra infideles,
of the Visigoths. 103
quod Deus sua pietate avertere clignetur. 101
Next morning, when the Count wcnt hunting, a boar brought him
Espina was right, but unfortunatcly God did not stop war in Castile, to thc doors of a small hermitage -·· -San Pedro de Arlanza- where
and the conquest of Granada could not be resumed until the re1gn he was rcceived by the monk Pelayo. The hermit told thc count
of Isabel ami Fernando. that he was to win over the Muslims. Back with his mcn, thc count
harangucd them, and the battle started, aftcr sorne signs from Heaven.
e) Christ1:an heroes Ali the charactcrs mcntioned in this account were famous in epics,
which makes thc vcracity of this battle even more questionable. After
These individual heroes incarnate Espina's views of human virtues, the triumph, Fernán led an army of people from Castile and the
in this case with respect to war against the Muslims. They come kingdom of León to fight al-Mansür again outsidc Burgos.
from the most popular epic romances, such as Charlemagne, Bemaldo The next encounter was in the same area, near Hacinas. Befare
del Carpio, Fcrnán González and El Cid. They were all favourite thc battle, the count found out that his friend thc monk was dead,
characters of the mester de clerecía, the clerical school which produced and wcnt to his hermitage to pray. The three ways of forctclling
the best examples of thc epic genrc in thc Península. Its mcmbers extant in cpic texts appear also in this context of hagiographic lcg-
used to writc hagiographic, legendary works involving thcir own ends: auguries, omen-dreams and messagcs from heavcn t<N abound
monasteries and famous heroes and saints. in thc parts takcn from the Crónica general. In this context, anothcr
To understand how all the characters work together in a given
context, it is worth analysing a sample of Espina's adaptation of the
FF, f. 148v-·15lr. Based on the Poema de Fernán González, verses 191 - 282,
38l··569; Primera crónica general, l, 689-691 , 698 · 700.
101 Poema, p . 90.
FF, f l 70r- v. 104
Garrosa Resina, 1vl: op. cit., p. 46.

apparition announccd God's help in the combat. Thc count harangued

his men once more, and the battlc was a complete success. St. James
fought for the Christians, leading a celestial army. CIMPTER SIX
El Cid playcd the role of a link betwccn Christians and ]\lfos-
lims, due to his uneasy relationship with Alfonso VI and his policy ISLAM IN THE TREATISES:
of alliances with sorne of thc Taifa kings, until the arrival of thc RELIGIOUS AND LEGAL ASPECTS
Almoravids. However, his figure in Espina's account is that of thc
perfect Christian knight who fights for his king and his faith despite
everything. In general, historical facts are not classified chronologi- When two societies are at war, or confidently expcct to be at war,
cally in this part of the work: a great part of thc Cantar de Rodrigo y thcy must mutually be aware of whatever separates them, especially
el rey Fernando, an epic poem about thc kníght and his king, is mixed in belief, in the practices of daily lifc and in the events of past and
contemporary history which they share. Therc is likely to be a tendency
with historical facts and the Cantares referring to Fernando's sons, to exaggerate or invent clifferences. A society would have to be remarl->.-
Sancho and Alfonso VI. It must be noted that there is no rcfcrence ably tolerant to rccogníse the virtues, and malee allowance for thc faults
to the "Oath (Jura) of Santa Gadea", where El Cid madc Alfonso of their enemies' leaders. 1
swear that he had taken no part in his brother's death.
There is no outstanding hero in the Late Middle Agcs according
to the text. From the thirtccnth century, kings started to assume the Language and Relzgjon
role of dcfenders of the faith and representatives of their people.
War had also changcd, and instead of being based on personal feats, Arabic is not just the language of an ethníc group in lberian territory,
was a question of organised arrnies. Besidcs, war against the Muslims but the language of a religious community and, even more important,
was only waged when the king was powerful, for his was the capacity the language of revelation in Islam. Thc Koran itself says that it
to concentrate troops. The rest of the time the Peninsular kíngdoms was transmitted in pure Arabic (suras 12,2; 13,37; 20,112/113; 26,195;
were fighting internal wars, so there was no room for religious ones. 41,2/3; 44,58; 41,44). According to Blacherc, the language of reve-
lation was the standard version of pre-Islamic poetry, with other
neologisms. 2 Latcr on, Muslim scholars stated that thc languagc uscd
in the Koran was thc purcst variety of Arabic. Christian criticism of
this statement started quite soon in thc Península: Alvaro de Córdoba
attacked the Koran for its confusing style, regardless of the fact that
the same objection could be applied to the Bible. 3 It was precisely
the repetitive style of Koranic Arabic-sentcnces such as "may He be
praised", "there is no god but God", etc.- and the use of such words
as coitus that made Ricoldo de Montecroce assume its human origin. 4
The strictness of Koraníc Arabic and the fact that it was the only
tangue admissible for religious communícation in Islam <lid not go
unnoticed by Christian writers, surprised becausc, on the contrary,

Daniel, N.: Islam and the West, p. 246.
Cf. Vemet, J. (ed.): El Coran, p . XXVIII; Watt, W. M. & Bell, R.: Introduction
to the Qgr'an, p. B7.
Daniel, N.: 'flie Cultural Banie1~ p. 155.
Daniel, N.: Islam and the JVest, p. 58.

their Scriptures had bccn vvritten both in Hebrew and Greek, and lcarn from the example of Toledo, conqucrcd by Alfonso VI in 1085.
their Latín version was accepted for ali purposcs. Espina and Torque- Whcn Christians arrived to settle there, Muslims had been so over-
mada coincided in pointing out thc importancc of Arabic for Islam: whelmcd that thcy progressively lost their languagc: "And if a Muslim
loses his Arabic language, really he will lose his rite and, moreover,
Itcm dicit se essc gcneralem Prophetam, et tamen dicit, quod Alcoranus
est datus sibi Arabice, et quod nescit aliam linguam nisi Arabicam. 5 the loss of all thc sacrcd words and their merit". 10
Geographic distribution of thc use of Arabic in the fiftccnth ccntury
Several chapters wcre devoted in thc treatises to what they thought traditionally considered Valencia and Aragon as thc Arabic-spcaking
was l\!lu]:iammad's claim that the Koran had bccn revealed by God arcas, while Castile had lost this language for Romance. Howcver,
in Arabic. Thc discussion of the Prophet's litcracy as a proof of rev- matters were not so simple. As early as 1363, there were no transla-
clation and transmission of the Koran, which was also taking place tors at the court in Aragon, so the sultan of Egypt was asked to send
within Islam, was related to the problem. 6 Espina went fürthcr, draw- his own together with his correspondence. It scems that in the South
ing sorne conclusions from Montecroce's argument: it was due to his of Valencia, Arabic was still spoken. Boswell argues that knowledge
Persian, Jewish and Ncstorian teachers that Muhammad thought of "poor Arabic" by Muslims in Aragon and Catalonia mcant a high
about prcaching in Arabic. l\!Ioreover, how could Muhammad pretend degree of acculturation and a grcat shock if they evcr thought to cmi-
to be scnt to the wholc world if he only preached in Arabic? 7 grate to other Islamic countries. 11 On the other hand, García Arenal
Connecting Arabic to religion conditioned thc early development infers frorn the documents she studicd in Navarre and Aragon that
of Islam and its acceptance outside Arabia. In a place such as the names and · place-names reveal the survival of Arabic in the area. 12
Iberian Península, at a time when Islam was losing territory, it was For Housley, 11 Mudejars in Aragon may ncvcr have masteredArabic,
an important factor either of survival or, on the contrary, had it dis- whercas Valencia was the place where the sons of noble Arabic fam-
appeared, of assimilation to Christian culture. For instancc, Longás ilies on thc Mcditcrranean coast used to learn this language. There
considers it onc of the causes for rejection of conversion among the seems to be a contradiction in this assertion, sincc what would the
Moriscos in the sixteenth century. Quoting the theologist Guerra de nobles need Arabic for, if ít was not spoken at all in their lands?
Lorca, who published his Catecheses mystagogycae jJro advenis ex secta Moreover, Aragonese scholars still had abridged compílations of fiqh
mahometana ad parochos et potestates in 1586, Longás divides l\!Iuslirns in Arabic in the frfteenth century, which proves a permancncc of thc
into four types, whcrc thc dcgree of knowledge of Arabic is one of language at least in the learned groups of society.
the basic clements. 8 Even thc Inquisition considercd speaking Arabic In Castile, 'lsa ibn Djabir explained thc need to expound the
as a sign of confrontation. 9 meaning of the Koran in alj'amiado for those who did not understand
Muslims themsclvcs were aware of the importance of thcir lan- Arabic. At the same time, ajewish translator complained because the
guage as a sign of idcntity (such as Hebrew had bccn for Jews). Whcn Arabic uscd in sorne aijamas, which he was askcd to understand and
the thcologist Al:imad ibn Ya]:iya al-Wansharisi wrote a fatwa far his translatc, was poor and full of mistakes. 14 Al-vVanshar1s1 explicítly men-
fellow-Muslirns in the Península in 1484, he warned thcm not to tioned Avila as a place wherc contact with Christians had led to the
changc their customs or language for Christian ones. Thcy should loss of Arabic language, which produccd the decline of rcligious faith. 15

"He also said that he was the universal Prophet, and yet he also saicl that the 1
° Cf Sabbagh, L.: "La religion des marisques ... ", p. 48.
Koran was given to him in Arabic, and that he kncw no language but Arabic." 11
Boswcll, J.: Tlze Royal Treasure, pp. 384, 398. .
CE, p. 41 and with only two variations, in FF, f. l 20v, both copied from Ricoldo 12
García Arenal, M.: "Los mudéjares en el reino de Navarra y en la corona de
De 1\IIontccroce's Disputatio. Aragon", p. 178.
G Sce a brief but interesting summa:ry of the impmtance of Arabic as religious 13
Housley, N.: oj1. cit., pp. 99- 100; 107.
language in Wiegers, G.: op. cit., pp. 31-37 . M See the interesting study by Gutwirth, E.: "HispanoJewish Attitudes to the
FF, f. 12lr. Moors in the Fiftecnth Cenlury." Sefarad (1989), pp. 237- 262. Scc also Chejne, A. G.:
Longás, P. : La vida religiosa de los nunúcos, pp. LXIV- LXV. islam and the West .. ., p. 38, although he rcfcrs to lhe Morisco issue rathcr than
Ruiz, T. F.: "La Inquisicion medieval y la moderna: paralelos y contrastes", thc time before the conquest of Granada.
p. 359. 15 ·~ .: . ...
\i\'icgcrs, G.: op. cit., p . 206.
rt ~
\ ,· h.

In fact, Avila's moreda was one of the biggcst in the Peninsula, so peculiar form of Arabic which was far from the standard one. 20 Their
thc phenomenon could have happcned in cither of two ways: eíthcr policy to become the refugc for every Muslim from the Northern
acculturation could be stronger or elsc such a number of Muslims Christian kingdoms rcsulted in a revival of literature and scicnccs-
together werc able to avoid influences more easily. For Harvey, 16 and therefore, of Arabic--during the last part of the century, as part
actions talen by Castilian l\!Iuslims at the time prove that relaxation of the siege mentality which has been mentioned in the introduction.
was far from being true--although it could sccm so to somebody Thcre is the related problem of the Moriscos, who wcrc well aware
living outside the Península taking external evidcnce into account. of this issuc, which was capital in the hostile environment of their time.
On thc contrary, rigorism expanded as soon as Christian leadership It directly influenced their lack of cducatíon and rcligious leaders,
startcd exerting pressure on Muslim communities. who were vital for thcir survival as a religiously~dcfincd community.
It is difficult to surnmarize the state of Arabic knowledgc in view Their most usual complaint was about the emigration of scholars to
of such varicd opinions. From part of thc evidence it is clear that Granada or othcr parts of the Islamic world, leaving them without
the Mudejar cornmunity had endured a process of loss of Arabic as guídancc, whílc the ones who chose to remain in the Península had
their daily languagc of comunication. But it was still used in the reli- lost their schools and their own sacrcd language. 21
gious contcxt. The lack of rcligious leadcrs and social status did not Aljamiado literature was the imperfcct answer to thesc worries.
mean complete repression, and Mudejars were allowed sorne libertícs When the process of "Latinizatíon" bccamc too cvidcnt, Arabic schol-
such as basic education, institutions (aijama, mosque) and sorne contacts ars decided to adopt thís script to cnsure thc kind of sacredness that
with Granadan and North African scholars who could help to preserve language confers on a particular Scripture. In doing so, they also
their cultural foundations. Howcver, the decline of literary production tried to keep thc literal meaning of the Koran and its commentaries
has been poínted out by modcrn scholars, as well as the vanishing unchanged. And finally, the chance of Christians being able to under-
of thc figure called adib, the learned literate of earlier times. 17 Never- stand thcir books was definitely reduced, so they must have felt safcr
thcless, Wiegcrs makes an interestíng study of the texts written by than if they had translated their books into Iberian vernaculars in
Mudejarsrn from 1240 to 1456 which provcs that thc works for the their own script. Another explanation far thc use of the Arabic alpha-
intcrnal use of the communíty were thc least important until the bet was that they had becn rcfuscd a Latin cducation, so they <lid
mid-fifteenth century. Morcover, the authors still used Arabic script not know how to wríte in Latín characters, although thcy knew how
in most of them togethcr wíth Latín script. What can be affirmed to speak in the vernacular. Finally, in a land where the three commu-
is that Romance was uscd in texts sometímes connected wíth rcligíous nities had endurcd "long-standing interaction at all levels, it was not
discussions, such as a poem from the Cancionero de Baena (1445-·1453) uncommon to use Arabic script for wríting Hebrew and Romance,
devoted to the .problem of free will and predestination. 19 Hebrcw script for writing Arabic and Romance, or Latin script for
As for the kingdom of Granada, it seems that traditional bilingual- wríting A rabie". 22
ism was lost in the thirteenth century as a reaction agaínst Castilian One of the signs of assimilatíon which can be traced through lan-
advance. There are few proofs of this in the argument of F. Corriente, guage is the combination of Arabíc namcs with Christian oncs, and
except for Ibn Khaldün's statement that, due to contamination from the progressive change to simple Christian forms. In thc fourtcenth cen-
Iberian vcrnacular languages, fourteenth-century Granadans spoke a tury, the process was still bcginning, so we find in Catalan documents
one Mahomat Alfoll, another Mahomat Ballistarius ("thc crossbow-
man"), l\!Iahoma Tintorer ("the tanner"), or "a certain Lopello de
Harvey, L.: hlamic Spain, p. 63.
Chejne, A. G.: op. cit., pp. 32-33. 2u Cf Burns, R. I.: lvluslims, Christians and }ews in the Crusader Kingdom ef Valencia,
Wíegers, G.: op. cit., pp. 47- 68. pp. 177--178.
Cancionero de Juan Alfanso de Baena (ed. J. M. Azáceta), Madrid 1966, vol. 3, pp. .
Ch~jne, A. G .: op. cit., p. 19.
1038- 1048. Cf. ihidem, p. 61. 22
Jhidem, pp. 37, 41.

In fact, Avila's morena was one of the bigg·est in the Península, so peculiar form of Arabic which was far from the standard one. 20 Their
the phenomenon could havc happencd in either of two ways: either policy to become the refuge for cvcry Muslim from the Northcrn
acculturation could be stronger or clse such a numbcr of Muslims Christian kingdoms resultcd in a revival of literature and scicnces-
togcthcr were ablc to avoid influences more easily. For Harvcy, 16 and therefore, of Arabic- -during the last part of the century, as part
actions taken by Castilian Muslims at the time provc that relaxation of the siege mentality which has been mentioned in thc introduction.
was far from being true-although it could seem so to somebody There is the rclated problem of the Moriscos, who were well aware
living outsidc the Península taking externa! cvidence into account. of this issue, which was capital in the hostile environmcnt of their time.
On the contrary, rigorism cxpanded as soon as Christian leadership It dircctly influenced their lack of cducation and rcligious leaders,
started cxerting prcssurc on Muslim communities. who were vital for their survival as a religiously~defined community.
It is difficult to summarizc the state of Arabic knowlcdgc in vicw Their most usual complaint was about the emigration of scholars to
of such varied opinions. From part of the evidencc it is clear that Granada or other parts of the Islamic world, leaving them without
the Mudejar community had endured a process of loss of Arabic as guidance, while thc ones who chose to remain in the Península had
their daily language of comunication. But it was still used in the reli- lost thcir schools and their own sacred languagc. 21
gious context. The lack of religious lcaders and social status did not Aljamiado literature was the imperfcct answcr to these worries.
mean complete repression, and Mudejars were allowed sorne liberties When the process of "Latinization" bccamc too evident, Arabic schol-
such as basic education, institutions (ayama, mosque) and sorne contacts ars dccíded to adopt this script to ensure the kind of sacredness that
with Granadan and North African scholars who could help to preserve language confers on a particular Scripture. In doing so, thcy also
their culturalfoundations. However, the decline of literary production tried to keep the literal meaning of the Koran and its commcntaries
has been pointed out by modern scholars, as well as the vanishing unchanged. And finally, the chance of Christians being able to under-
of the figure called adib, the learned literate of earlier times.17 Never- stand their books was definitely reduced, so they must havc fclt safer
thelcss, Wiegers malees an interesting study of the texts written by than if thcy had translated their books into Ibcrian vcrnaculars in
Mudejars 18 from 1240 to 1456 which proves that the works for the thcir own script. Another explanation for thc use of thc Arabic alpha-
intcrnal use of the cornmunity were the least important until the bet was that they had been rcfused a Latín education, so they <lid
mid-fifteenth century. Moreover, thc authors still used Arabic script not lmow how to write in Latín characters, although they knew how
in most of thcm together with Latín script. What can be affirmed to speak in the vernacular. Finally, in a land where the three commu-
is that Romance was used in texts sometimes connected with religious nities had endured "long-standing interaction at ali levels, it was not
discussions, such as a poem from the Cancionero de Baena (1445- 1453) uncommon to use Arabic script for writing Hebrew and Romance,
devoted to the problem of free will and predcstination. 19 Hebrew script for writing Arabic and Romance, or Latín script for
As for the kingdom of Granada, it seerns that traditional bilingual- writing Arabic". 22
ism was lost in the thirteenth ccntury as a reaction against Castilian Onc of thc signs of assimilatíon which can be traccd through lan-
advance. There are few proofs of this in the argument of F. Corriente, guage is thc combination of Arabic namcs with Christian ones, and
except for Ibn Khaldun's statement that, due to contamination from thc progressive change to simple Christian forms. In the fourteenth cen-
Iberian vernacular languages, fourteenth-ccntury Granadans spoke a tury, the process was still bcginning, so we find in Catalan documcnts
one Mahomat Alfoll, anothcr Mahomat Ballistarius ("the crossbow-
man"), Mahoma Tintorer ("the tanner"), or "a certain ~opello de
Harvey, L.: Islamic Spain, p. 63.
Chejne, A. G.: op. cit., pp. 32- 33. 2
° Cf Burns, R. I.: lvluslims, Christians and J ews in the Crnsader Kingdom ef Valencia ,
Wiegers, G.: op. cit., pp. 47- 68. pp. 177-·· 178.
Cancionero de Juan Alfonso de Baena (ed. J. M. Azáceta), Madrid 1966, vol. 3, pp. 21
Cht:jne, A. G.: op. cit., p. 19.
1038-1048. Cf ibídem, p. 61. 22
Jbidem, pp. 37, 41.

Serrha, called in the l\!Iuslim way Abraham". 23 In the fifteenth cen- corpus of Islarnic doctrine-ar more properly, ''vvhat 1\!Iuslims were
tury, the proccss had increascd. Thc mcmbers ofJuan II and Enrique believed to believe"-was formed in Europe around the twelfth cen-
N's royal guards in Castile changed thcir names in thc sccond gcner- tury. However, it was not general knowledge, as is shown by the
ation, recorded around 1440- although this might be duc to baptism. ignorance of epic genre authors, 2n whose updating never matched
In many of the documcnts, the Arabic namcs were also mcntioned. 24 that of religious writcrs. Thc objcct of polemic was not understanding,
According to Molénat, the transformation of names was linked to but comparison in order to show superiority. 29 Usually, rnisunderstand-
thc difficulties of Castilian clerks in writing l\!Iudejar surnames fol- ings arosc from thc ignorancc of Islamic sources or from delibcrate
lowing thc Arabic lineage-based system (e.g. Mul:iammad ibn Yusuf). deformation of these same sources. When thc subject was history,
M. A. Ladero25 has rejected this argument on the basis that scveral more accuracy could be expected, but in rcligious aspects thc infor-
clerks from Toledo and Granada did write thesc Arabic surnames mation was transformed to suit a particular purposc. Ncvcrtheless,
correctly. It seems that he is right, according to the documents in it is important to take into account that both chroniclcs and reli-
most of the Spanish archives. But Molénat is also right when he gious works considered it essential to transmit as much information
says that many of thcse surnames were substituted by refcrences to about the Islamic world as possible, even if it was not accurate
jobs or geographical origins of the Mudcjars. enough. 30
It is impossible to define the importancc of Arabic for Christian/ In thc Pcninsula, it is more likely that this corpus started to be
Muslim rclatíons at the point where rescarch is nowadays. When formed arm~nd the ninth century, and passed through several stagcs
Arabic scholars agree on what was exactly the degrcc of acculturation depending on the degree of mutual acceptance conditioncd by political
suffered by Muslims in their language, the documents will be examined and social events. Epalza thinks that Arabic polemics rather started in
from a different viewpoint. Far thc moment, it is enough to conclude the eleventh century, when Ibn I:fazm wrote his Kitab al-Fisal about
that theological writers knew that Arabic was very much the basis rcligions and sects. By thcn, rcligion had been somehow politicised
of Islamic religion. They perceivcd that their attacks on the Koran and had become a part of the definition of the powers ruling the
had to be based on this point more than others, for the Mudejar Ibcrían Península. Thc originality of Ibn I:fazm is that he did not
community was progressively understanding Arabic as a ritual lan- reply to a Christian attack, as happcncd with most of the Islamic
guage, and it was, thercforc, weaker as a sign of identity. Forbiddance treatiscs, but he startcd on his own initiative. His method of analysing
of public proclamations in Arabic was thc ncxt stcp to ban public Biblical tcxts to show their contradictions was later used by polcmi-
cult, as vvill be seen shortly. cists on both sides. But it also showed a new conccrn far thc incrcas-
ing power of the Christian kingdoms, manifested in thc intellectual
field. 31 His feeling had its counterpart on the Christian side in the
On the Concordance and Discordance ef Islam, Christianiry and Judaism rise of a self-awareness, which inspired texts like the eleventh con-
sideration of the Ji'ortalitium, about "what Saracens must comply with
The fundamental question is, exactly what Christian authors kncw when living under Christian rule".
about Islam in thc rnid-fiftccnth century. 26 Daniel2 7 thinks that the Now, the state of this corpus in thc l 450's has been divided into
two fields for easier comprchcnsion. l\!fost commentaries approach
Boswell, J.: ojJ. cit., p. 383.
doctrinal matters taking Christian doctrine as the reference> so "what
2+ Echcvarria, A.: "Los elches en la guardia de Juan II y Enrique IV de Castilla", l\!Iuslims wcrc thought to believe" has to be undcrstood within thc
pp. 424-425.
25 Scc Ladero Quesada, M. A: "Los mud~jares en los Reinos de la Corona de

Castilla", p. 17.
2 r; References to the FortalíliumJ Zelus Christi, Contra errores, Ricoldo de iVIontecroce's
Scc Vcrnct, J.: "El conocimiento del Islam ... ", BRABLI3 (1965··66), p. 35'.1.
DiJputatio and De mittendo gladio are so frequent in this chapter that I have choscn
Cardaillac, L.: op. cit., p. 354. :
to givc thc pagc-numbers in brackcts wherever necessary, instead of boring thc Barkai, R.: Cristianos)' mu.mlmanes ... , p. 285.
reader with continuous scarch in notes. Epalá, iVI. de: "Notes pour une histoire des polémiqucs .. ." Arahica (1971 ),
Daniel, N.: Tlze Cultural Barriei~ p. 158. pp . 99-1 Ol. Also by the same author, La Tu(zfa . . ., p . 67 .

contcxt of "what Christians in fact believed". The other possible to rcalize that Christendom only exísted in a small part of the world,
approach considered "what Muslims were thought to believe, or and thc Church's message could not reach the unbclicvcrs because
rather, practice" in itsclf, and severe criticism was attached after no adcquatc instruments were used. He tried to classify severa! kinds
Islamic doctrine was expounded. Although it is difficult to draw a of beliefs to refute them, and his use of the Koran and Muslim
clcar line between both ficlds, it will be probably easier to follow philosophers was a step towards comprehension which, unfortunately,
this pattern, as Alonso de Espina did. To discuss Christian dogmas, was not continued. 35 Both views influenced each other, but the one
he chose the structure of thc Apostles' Creed, as Martí and the con- analysed in this chapter is the scientific-theological onc specially.
vert Alfonso de Valladolid had done befare, whcreas for Islamíc doc-
trine he probably used the Breviario Sunni, and he dcvoted still another
a) Chrútian doctrine
chapter to thc concordance and discordance of Islam and Christianity.
One interesting aspect is how Christian and Muslim controversy Discussion had to start with the basis of Christianity: thc exístence
inftucnced each other. Ibn I:Iazm's criticísm of the Bible was soon of one eternal God, who was at the same time a Trinity. Islamic
applicd to the Koran. At thc same time, this crossed-criticism obliged doctrine had rejected this unnatural principle on the grounds that
each rcligion to revise and cxplain its dogmas and practíces, so as it was opposed to monotheism and God's unity. Torquemada saw
to justify them. From St. Anselm to Raimundo Llull, Christian polemic this issue as MuJ:i.ammad's máin error, so he devoted chapters seven
tried to analyse rationally the most incomprehensible dogmas, includ- to eleven of his treatise to thc discussion of the Christian dogma,
ing the Trinity, and its cfforts were continued all through the Middle thc relationship betwccn thc three persons and thc problem of Christ's
Ages. 32 It was supposed to be the simplest mcthod: as the writer was incarnation [CE, 114 . -138; FF, l 38r-v].
in posession of the Truth, only by expounding it reasonably would Scarccly anybody in the Christian field tricd to approach the unity
it be accepted by any intelligent adversary. Mul;.ammad's prohibition of God as Islam conceived it. 36 It was admitted that Muhammad
of debate and discussion of questions of faith was understood as a agrecd with Christian and Jewish traditions in worshipping God as
way to avoid this kind of persuasion. 33 the creator of the world. However, his role as a Father was not at
The use of Ibn I:Iazm's method of Biblical criticism by Muslim and all clear [FF, 125r- vJ. Ji'or Muslims, Christ's divine generation was
its counterpart, Koranic criticism, by Christians, provided a number impossible according to natural standards, for God would never de-
of subjects for .polcmics. The main difference in the use of revealed scend to corruption represented by human fiesh. In their turn, Chris-
sourccs was that, whereas Islam acceptcd Moses's Torah and Jcsus' tians responded by dcnying God's corporcal fcatures as describcd by
NewTestament as former rcvelations to their own, the other two reli- Mul).ammad in the J\!li'riiqj [CE, l 2 l ·- 126].
gions never accepted those revelations which had come after thcirs. The third pcrson was thc most difficult to define. In Islam, the
Thc other characteristic of polemics which must always be borne mcntion of the Paraclete in the New Testament was undcrstood as a
in mind is the clivision into two levcls of knowledge of the othcr's prophccy about Mul;iammad. The nature of the Spirit was also differ-
religion. One is a more or less accuratc popular view. The other is ent for Islam, which considered Him God's breath, sent to Christ's
a learned approach, that of the authors of polemic treatises, who disciples and messengers regarclless of their role in salvation history
knew the Scriptures and tlleological texts. 3'f When they wrotc polemics [FF, 130v]. Islamic agreement about his participation in the concep-
they ncver used arguments prepared for Muslims, so their mission- tion of Jesus Christ as Prophet made it difficult for Christian authors
ary purpose often failed. Christian faith was defended too obviously, to reject the only idea of the Holy Spirit in Islam.
and communication was made impossiblc. Bacon was one of the first Why, then, was incarnation so difficult to accept for Islam? In thc
first place, be cause God could not havc a wife, and al so be cause
: Cardaillac, L.: 0/1. cit., p. 232.
33 35
Ibidem, pp. 331-333. Southcm, R. W.: Western views on Islam, p. 57.
Ibidem, p. 208. :iti Epalza, M.: ]esus otage, pp. 37 ... 41.

God himsclf could not bccome suqject to dcath and share othcr eternal: was he thcn the eternal God or just someone who was chosen
human qualitics [ZC, 4-5; FF, 126v- 129r]. But this also qucstioned by God? Could Christ be placed in a particular country in a partic-
God's omnipotencc, a favourítc subject for ali three creeds, Judaism, ular time? Was Christ thc eternal God ora crcatcd man (from John
Christianity and Islam. 5,26; 31- 32; Matthew 26,39; Mark 13,32; 10,45)?'1ll Thesc questions
The image of Jesus in the doublc role of Messiah and second per- were known and analysed by Christians with carc, bccause the slightest
son of the Trinity had bcen developcd through the contacts and dis- deviation would entail a condemnation by the Church.
putes among the three rcligions "of thc Book". According to Epalza, Raimundo Llull was the first theologian to attcmpt an explana-
it was Christian insistence on his person which provoked thc reaction tíon of the incarnation and the Trinity using Aristotle's philosophy.
ofJews and Muslims and thc definition of his role in these two faiths. 37 He argucd that it was ímpossíblc for God not to be incarnated, and
While Christians considered him the Son of God, .Jews thought he thereforc that incarnatcd God could not be ollier than Jesus. His
was an impostor and l\/Iuslims only admitted that he was God's mes- philosophical explanation of thc Trinity involved the three principles
scnger and a great prophet (FF, 126r- v; 138r]. Living in Christian of life: active, passive and reciprocal. 41
or Muslim surroundings would make a great cliffercncc to the views Jesus's birth and early life conferred sanctity on him, for he was
defended: the more prcssurized Muslims felt, the more they would God's chosen messenger, according to Ibn al-<Arabf. Thc rcst of his
resort to this subject far polemics. life, although impossible to compare to 1\llul;iammad's adult life, was
Jcsus was perceived by Islam as a creature of God, thc foundcr sccn frorn the same prophctic pcrspcctive. Even if he was not the
of Christíanity and a gTeat prophet, with as important a political son of God,' an important Prophct could by 110 means die 011 a cross.
role as l\/Iul:iammad himself had. ~ 8 Líkewisc, for Christians, Mul:iammad Thercforc, thc Koran taught that thc pcrson who had died in the
was the foundcr of Islam and a historical pcrspective was basic for Golgota was not Jcsus, but somebody elsc in his place. In the samc
the understanding of his doctrine. Christians werc well aware of the way, resurrection lost its meaning if crucifixion ,,vas not accepted,
strong prophetic elcments contained in Islam. Mul:iammad assumed and redemption as defined by Christian tradition was qucstioncd.
sorne of Chrisf s features with a negative hue, such as a reference to Such an interpretation of Christ's life and messagc had to be strongly
l\/Iu"Q.ammad's resurrection, which he had never foresccn [FF, l 34r]. rcjccted by all the Christian authors [ZC, 13 7v; CE, 102-109; FF,
On the other hand, the figure of Jesus was simplified and adapted l 29r- l 30r, l 38r].
to favour Christian eonvcrsion to Islam. As prophets wcrc the main In a simpler way, those wcrc also thc main subjects in Friar Diego
figures in this religion after Mul:;iammad, Christ was given that ilnagc, de Valencia's Disputa entre un moro filósefo y Gonzalo J\llarante sobre la
bcing thus profoundly islamized. It was in this context that J esus Trinidad y la Encarnación (Dispute bctwccn a Moorish Philosopher and
necded to lose his divinity and his place in salvation according to Gonzalo Morantc about Trinity and Incarnation). 42 The debate took
Christian standards. ~ 9 place bctwccn courtly poets and a Muslim, who was introduced as
Al-Tabarf asked severa! questions about Christ in his Kitab al-din a mu)adhdhin. Discussion about the Trinity was based on thc infinity
wa-l-dawla, rnost of them rcgarding the transmission of his message of God's love. Severa! other questions, such as how can a human
and his divine character: was .Jesus right whcn he described himself? soul be judged by God, how to be sure if Christ was thc samc as
Why do Christians then question sorne of his words? Can God the Prophets had prophesied and why had he come in his particular his-
Creator become subject to illness and dcath? If the Christian Creed torical time, were posed in the form of a catechetical questionnaire.
were right, God would havc created Christ, so Christ would not be Real dialogue was avoided, because the whole treatise was written

For the importance ofJcsus in Morisco polcmics due to their life in a Christian
environment, see Cardaillac, L.: op. cit., pp. 43, 233-250. ·
Epalza, M.: Jesus otage, pp. 206 ·· 2 l 7; Cardaillac, L.: op. cit., pp. 258- 259.
:in Epalza, M.: Jesus olage, pp. 130 137; 155. ' Cardaillac, L.: 0¡1. cit., pp. 314--315. '
39 42
Cf. Anawati, G. C.: "Polémique, apologic et dialogue islamo-chrctiens ... ", lloma, Biblioteca Casatanense, Ms. 1022, f. 97r- J02v. Cf Vázqucz Janeiro, l.:
pp. 833842. Tratados cdstellanos sobre la predestinación . . ., pp. 161 -- 172.

in thc third pcrson, and thc :Niuslim's part was cut whenevcr the Jesus's virginal conccption, whcrc both rcligions agrccd, was discussed
author considcrcd it appropriate. on the grounds of the conccption by the Holy Spirit or "divine breath"
Muslims demonstratcd total ignorance of the concept of original [CE, 57-69, 78-90, 219- 220; ZC, 130v; FF, 126r--- 127v, 137v].
sin: why would God creatc man with a sin? Why should man commit Torquemada emphasized the fact that Nfary could not possibly have
sin if he were good from the beginning? Tbis contradiction implied such an impure tbing as menstruation, nor was she accuscd by her
that God had created evil, somcthing which Christian authors could neighbours of commiting adultery-in fact, this question is suggestcd
not admit [CE, 126- 129]. Nor could thcy acccpt hazard or predcsti- by Luke, 2. Thc story of her giving birth under a palm-trec and being
nation in history, justified by God leaving crcation to go its own consoled by Jesus was rcjccted on the grounds that Christ could not
way (CE, 130- 133]. The Koran teaches that man was created out have spoken at that time, thus making his first miraclc, becausc the
of a clot of blood or a drop of fluid, and this statement was also New Testament states that he performcd none beforc thc wcdding
discussed by Torquemada [suras 16:4, 22:5, 32:8, 35: 11, 40:67, 66:6; at Cana [Koran 5:109- 117; 19:16- 34; CE, 214-219; ZC, 140r].
CE, 165- 176]. Finally, thc Islamic version of other creatures--angels, Only one Christian writer, William of Trípoli, analyzed accurately
dcmons and dj1nns- was sevcrcly criticized, especially where it says the Koranic version of the figures of Jesus and Mary . 4 ~
that cvcn thc lattcr could be savcd through thc Koran [sura 46:28-31; Finally, it was against the Church as the image of Jesus on earth
CE, 154- 165]. that thc attacks of Islam were clirected. As an institution, it was
Bcing a prophctic-based religion, Islam statcd that God guided rejected on the grounds that it had spoiledjesus's mcssagc by a work
men in their path towards bim through guides sent from heaven, of centuries.· The Gospcl had bccn misinterpreted, delcting ali ref-
whose arrival was a privileged time in history. Their mission was to erences to Mul;iammad, which Muslims understood were implied in
bring men God's commandments and advice. Believers had thc oblig- scveral verses. Certain texts in the Koran insist on the idea that the
ation to obey them in ordcr to please God. 43 Although Islam admitted Bible had been corrupted by Jews and Christians throughout history
all the prophets in the Bible, classified in different ranks, their sto- [Koran 5:52,70; 7:72; 57:27]. Muslim theologians developed this
ries were also different in thc Koran, a main point being that Noah, thought into a number of stages, from total corruption of the texts,
Abraham, Nfoses and bis successors were Saracens. The building of as belicved by Ibn I:Jazm, to softer condemnation. Still, they sought
a Meccan sanctuary by Abraham was dcnicd [CE, 41]: both Christians referen ces to M.ul:iarnmad within these same Scripturcs which thcy
and Muslims claimed to descend from him, but thc formcr insisted considered corrupt, likc thc convcrt al-Tabarf in bis Book about Religi,on
on being thc lcgiti.mate branch. Thc wholc family trcc was traced and the State (Kitab al-din wa-l-dawlii).'16 At the end of thc Middlc Agcs
sincc this idea appeared in De generatione JV!achometi, and was also used there were two theories on this subjcct: cither the Christians had
in the Fortalitium [l l 6v]. Islam answered by attempting a rchabilita- modi:fied the sense of the texts, or else they had changed them physi-
tion of thc figure of Ishmael, by him the object of Abraham's cally. This left room for the Islamic interprctation of certain chosen
sacrificc. Only aftcr this episode took place was Isaac's birth announced parts of the Bible, as did al-Ghazzail. From thc tcnth century onwards,
to Abraham [CE, 220-223; FF, 12lr]. 44 thc theory of a change in the general sense was accepted, probably
The Virgin Mary was chosen as another favourite controversia! duc to Christian and Jewish polemics.47 Christian vvriters maintained
topic, since Islam had partly accepted the importance of her role in that the Bible could not be forged and corruptcd at the same time
the history of salvation. First, the Koran was accused of confusing by Christians and Jcws, given their hatred for each othcr and thc
Mary with Mariam, Moses's sister [Koran, 3:30- 33; ZC, 139v]. Evcn diffcrent views they had about their sacrecl Scripturcs [CE, . 115- 121;
ZC, 137v, 140r- 141r].
Jomier, S.: "La noción de profeta en el Islam" Documentación Afro-asiática (1972),
p. l. ~:.
For a longer explanation, see Daniel, N.: Islam and the f!l.Test, pp. l 93 ff.
44 46
Cardaillac, L.: op. cit., p. 57. For thc argumcnt of jewish prophets not beíng Epalza, M.: Jesus ota,ge, pp. 14 7, 164, 169.
Saracens, sce .Montecrocc, R .: Disputatio, t: 84v. +7 Epalza, M.: La Tu[ifa _.. , p. 109, quotíng I. Goldzíher.

If Christians claimed that the existence of four versions by four historic-apocalyptic images49 were sorne of the objections [FF, 119r-v].
Evangelists was one of the proofs that the Gospels had becn inspired They also refuted the possibility that revelation carne as an answer
by God to several people in diffcrent places, the same point was the to actual human problems. ~ 0
proof for Muslims that the Gospels had bccn intcrpreted and changed Thc other big question about the validity of the Koran was abroga-
by the authors. Such was the feeling of Ibn I:Iazm, whcn he compared tion. No Christian could accept a Scripture which l\!lul,iammad him-
thc Torah and thc Christian rendering of the Bible, and the four self had dcclared to havc false passages, according to Tradition.
Gospcls among thcmsclves. 48 Espina quotcd from l\!lontccrocc that only three thousand words were
Anothcr qucstion of prestige was pointed out by Muslim thcologians: true in the Koran out of twclvc thousand contained in the book
after its foundation, the Church had been divided into several sects [FF, l 19vJ. This would make God a liar, for he changed his mind
and creeds, a fact which dcprived it of legitimacy and cohercnce. from one revelation to another [FF, 120r]. 51 Also, the idea that a num-
On the other hand, Sacramcnts were strange to Muslim eyes because bcr of Muslim scholars had worked to arrangc the Koran- probably
thcy ínvolved the figure of a pricst bctwecn God and man. Thór a refcrcncc to its compilation- was the excuse to assumc that it was
valuc for salvation disappeared since the rcsurrection of Jesus, thc inspired by thc dcvil [FF, 121 r-v].
Son of God, was not accepted [FF, 130v ··l3lr]. Thc most characteristic approach was that of Nicholas of Cusa in
This list of misconceptions of Christianity could be made much his Cribratio Alchorani, where he tried to read the text ín a Christian
l~nger, quoting a largc part of the treatises, where suqjects tend to way, finding ín the Koran traces of Christian beliefs. If something
be repeated in different places. This would be too long and tedious were true, it was necessarily taken from thc Gospel, whereas ali that
but, probably, this overview is enough to realize what points Christian was false was due to Muhammad's evil, sincc l\!Iu}:iammad did not
authors did discuss out of Muslim criticism of Christian sources. scek God's glory, but his own:12
Whereas quotations from the Biblc are abundant, those from thc Sccts within Islam wcrc not acknowledged, nor wcrc law schools,
Koran seldom appear, exccpt in thosc chapters quotcd from very probably becausc thc most important in the Península was only the
spccíal authors like William of Trípoli or Ricoldo de l\!Iontecrocc. malikite. N cvcrthelcss, MuQ.ammad and his followers were compared
Thesc commentarics were combined with the arguments takcn from to the sects which had spread from Christendom, namely Sabelians,
Islamic doctrine itself, based on the Koran, and the Tradition. Manicheans, Arians, etc. [FF, 119r]. But, on the other hand, the
Koranic statement that everybody could be saved within his own
b) lslamic doctrine . belief (Koran 2:4, regarding Jews and Christians) was severely critic-
izcd as a dangerous error which encouraged sectarianism. Torquemada
Ali the treatiscs studied dcal with two aspects of religious controvcrsy: reactcd by arguing that nobody could be saved but thc just, and no
that which concerns thcoretical questions, and criticism of religious man is just but he who belicves in the true God. Thcrc is only onc
practices connected with daily lifc. Usually, thcrc is no clear differcn- true faith which must be bclicvcd as a whole; ali the othcrs are false
ciation; for example, Christian authors can show thcir contempt for and thcrcfore do not grant salvation-such is the case of Islam,
Islamic sexual practices, but ncvcr realizc how similar Christian prac- which is not rcasonable [CE, 145- 154].
tice was in fact, despite condcmnation of ccrtain attitudcs by thc The point of Islam was to serve as a warning to prepare believers
Church (namely, in the case of concubines). for thc Last Day. Judaism, Islam and Christianity had placed the
F'irstly, the uniqueness of thc Koranic style was qucstioned [ZC, same emphasis on this eschatological aim [FF, 131r-l32r]. However,
130v; FF, 124v; CE, chaptcr 4], bccause it could not stand corripar-
ison with true Revelation, i.c., thc Biblc, in thc eyes of Christian
theologians. Its metaphors, the discontinuity of suras, and the lack of •19 . s .: op. cit.. , p. 6.
Daniel, N.: 11·/am and tlw West, p. 274. Scc .Niontccroce, R.: Disputatio, f. 80v.
~· 1 Montecroce, R.: Disp11tatio, f. 8lv, 84v.
~ 11 Cardaillac, L.: op. cit., p. 345. Sec also Montccroc(:, R.: Disputatio, [ 79v. 52
Anawati, G. C.: Nicolas de Cues et le jJrobleme de rlslam, p. 171.

Christians could not accept that Christ would not be the Judge, and a garden of delights-- , as opposed to the spiritual joys promised by
that he would stand befare the tribunal as did cvcry man [CE, 110-· Christian tradition. The criticism on this subject had been thc samc
115]. Faith--manifested in thc scntcncc "I confcss that thcre is Onc from the beginnings of Islam, and topics were repeated combining
God and Mul,iammad is his messcnger"-··· -was dcfinitely not enough philosophical explanations with constructions. Although
far salvation [ZC, 13lr; FF, 120v], as the Fathers of the Church the sccond part of the Liber Scalae cxplaincd in seventeen titles the
had stated long befare. physical appearance of Paradise, Espina did not use it as a dialectical
Although both religions saw history as a path to Paradise or con- weapon . It is strangc to think that any Christian writer would omit
demnation, thcre was another difforence in orientation: what Christians such a proof of Mu}:lammad's depravation, but other authors likc
saw as providcnce, was regarded by l\!luslims as fate. This madc Daniel have also notcd that the Koran itself was the main source
Torqucmada compare Mul;ammad to Dcmocritus and Epicureus. for this argument. 53
Things without providencc- understood as a divine arder governing Christian authors in the Península took good care to be infarmcd
creation-would not e.xist, and would not have any reason to be about the current religious practices of Muslims within the territory.
created [CE, 130- 133]. Espina goes as far as saying that he had bcen informed by some-
Creation as presented in the Koran was not acceptable for Christian body who had bcen in Granada shortly befare [FF, 132v]. This
theologians. For a start, the word "creation" meant making something implies a ccrtain acknowledgement of sincere devotion in Muslims,
out of nothing. The Koran spoke about things made out of othcrs, which every author who had lived in Islamic countries had realised.
like the sky, which was made up of smoke coming from steam, or Usually th~se writers who livcd without any contact with thc Muslim
the sun and the moon madc of the samc light exccpt that Gabriel population tended to be more critical towards Islamic rítcs.
had touchcd the moon and made it darkcr [CE, 174-1 76]. The Monotheistic religions are usually exclusive regarding salvation. Islam
qucstion became more diffi.cult whcn analising whether Adam's soul is mainly an acknowledgement of God and future life, and confession
was a portion of God's, or if cvery human soul had been madc out of this belief was considered enough to be saved, although the five
of a single original souL These are complex philosophical qucstions, pillars of Islam would provide the basis far a holy life. Likewise, for
but Torquemada merely mcntions them [CE, 169-174], and Espina Christians, baptism and the other sacraments wcrc the way to Paradise
does not even try. It seems that the question of angels and demons [CE, 145-154]. Thc abscnce of sacraments and priests in Islam made
attracted much more attention, so Torquemada devoted six chapters it difficult far both rcligions to compare their rituals. But even where
of his treatise to this suqject [CE, 154-168]. He dísagreed on thc a minister was needed-like thc Friday sermon in mosqucs- it was
following: angels could not be corporeal, made of firc, but spiritual, difficult to explain the character of such a person within Islam. A
as the Church had consídered them sínce thc third ccntury. They number of prejudices also played an important role in thc discussion.
could not possibly commit sin, nor could they die befare the day of Recitation of the shahada was widcly knovvn and considered use-
Judgement, for they werc pure souls and they wcre needed to hold lcss for salvation. The only means to achicve it was real lmowledge
God's throne in heaven. According to thc Koran, ·angels were unaware of God, which could not be provided by Islam [CE, 145-154]. The
of the names of things bcfore Adam namcd them, which is quite un- long discussion which had taken place within the Christian Church
acceptablc for T orquemada. But the worst was to accept that angels itself about faith not bcing enough for salvation, was brought into
had been askcd to pay homagc to Adam as God's favourite crea- the Islamic controvcrsy. And the Koran itself and its commentators
ture. This was absolutely impossiblc taken that angels stand betwccn had alrcady emphasizcd this acknowledgement of an only God and
God and man, so it would be Adam who should honour them. his Prophet as the first condition to attain salvation. However, Espina
The last, but strongest, criticism related to the end of the world not sccm to be much worricd about the shahada in itsclf, síncc
was that of Paradise as dcscribcd by Mul,iammad [CE, 187-207;
ZC, 13lr, 138r; FF, 119v, 13lv·-132r, 139r; Disputatio, 8lr]. Al1 thc
authors wcrc deeply struck by the physical nature of this Paradise·-- 53
Daniel, N.: lrlam and the West, p. 172.

he <lid not devote a single page of commentary to it-leaving it in thc same habits. % Espina added the famous rccommendation of mak-
favour of the argument about thc call to prayer. ing ablutions with sand where water was not availablc. It seems that
From now on, we shall be following thc Fortalitium in ils list of he realized thc differcnce between washing before praycr and Christian
Islamic precepts. Strictly spcaking, Espina's first mistake was to attrib- haptism, although he givcs both the same namc:
utc thcse precepts to MuJ:iammad, instead of the Koran-- --it was just "The baptism of Saraccns only consists of an ablution of the body
a classical error in Christian treatises. Another particularity is the arder members after their becoming dirty due to sexual intercourse or eat-
used by the Franciscan, suggesting a l\lluslim source which has not ing, as appears in the Koran" _57
been located yet, or perhaps the information brought by sorne clerk Christian writers often tllought that Muslims saw ablution as a
travelling in Muslim lands, who followed sura 2, The Cow. substitutc for confrssion- which never existcd in Islam. The line was
According to Tradition, ~aliit (praycr), was first pcrformed by Adam, drawn from the need for ritual purity aftcr sexual intercourse and
and later rcvcalcd to David, Solomon, Jacob and Jonah, one for befare praying, which in Christianity required confüssion befare mass
each time of thc day:14 The Liber scalae refers to Mul.rnmmad's ascent [FF, 139v].
to heavcn as the origin of the five Islamic prayers, first ordered to Ali public manifestation of Islam had be en forbiddcn in the IV
be fifty by God, and then reduced thanks to Moses's interccssion. Lateran Council. 58 Being a public proclamation of the Prophet, thc
But Christians seldom knew what Islamic prayers consisted of Sorne call to prayer was considered as much a social as a religious ritual,
polemicists compared thcm to the monastic hours; they knew about which inv<?lved the participation in praycr of a whole community
the reading of the Koran and repetition of verses, but none mentioncd settled in a neighbourhood as opposed to thc Christian community
raka,iit or other gestures which might havc surpriscd them. living sidc by sidc. It was also considered a rcproach to Christians
Preliminary ablutions wcrc traditionally accepted as a means for and an act of solidarity against them, so it led to a number of laws
externa! cleansing, but they wcre considered unsuitable for providing from Christian rulcrs. In 1311, thc call to praycr was forbidden in
ritual purity. Washing was seldom mentioned in relation to prayer, Aragon and punished with the dcath penalty, except in thc Moorish
nor was thc distinction made between different types of ablution quarters. But an oral agreement with the king was reachcd in 135 7
(ghusl, wuef,ü, . ..). Thc fact that both employed water made Christians in cxchange for payment. This was again suspended by the bishop two
suppose that Muslims used ablutions for the remission of sins- --like ycars later. 59 New Castilian legislation on this matter was issued by
baptism-....... , and that was the most criticized aspect of ablutions Cathcrine of Lancaster in 1433, but it was ncver fully implemented.
becausc water was unable to clean internal faults. 5·5 Most important Churches and mosques became the symbol of two religions facing
of all, it could never rcplace baptism [FF, l 32r]-which, paradoxically, each othcr, thc samc as bells as opposed to thc mu'adhdhin. For many
also used water to wash the interior of man. Christian chroniclcrs, mosques were ancient Christian churches which
Francesc Eiximenis related Islamic tastc for water and baths to l\lluslims had transformcd, whcrcas for Muslims, bcing dcprived of
the Jews, the cult of thc Moon and Venus, both of whom inspired their mosques entailed an offcncc on the part of Christians. No mat-
eroticism. This commonplacc had bccn uscd since the bcginning of ter from what sidc of the conflict, churches/mosqucs werc thc first
controversy between Islam and Christianity and continucd to meet target in conquest and razzias. 60 When MuJ:iarnmad forbade thc use
with success well after thc fiftccnth ccntury. Eiximenis also noted of bells just to differ from Christians-so it was said-the latter con-
that Muslims used to wash thcmsclvcs very often, wore broad robes sidered it an outrage. As soon as their prccminence was a fact, they
to help this practice and uscd to drink a lot of water at Mu}.iammacl's
commandment, to the outragc of Christians, who did not practice 56
Epalza, M. de: "Un logos cristia ... " J\!facel ·lania Joan Ji'uster, p. 64.
FF, [ 132r: "Baptisma vero saracenorum solum se cxtendit ad ablucionem
membrorum proptcr inmundiciam corum ex coytu vel egestione, ut patet- in Alcorano."
Longás, P.: op. cit., p. 31. 58
See Fernández y González, F.: Estado social ... , pp. 376- 377.
For a longcr discussion on the subject, see Daniel, N .: 11"/am and the T1Vest, pp. 59
Boswell, J: The Rf!Yal 7i-easure, p. 264.
235-237. Bunes !barra, IvI. A.: La imagen de los musulmanes . . ., pp. 218-219.

answercd by stopping the call to prayer [FF, l 32r], to thc great Pilgrimage to IVIecca was considered from severa! viewpoints. The
annoyance of Muslim communities. They soon found new ways, which convert Pedro Alfonso had transmitted the Arabic traditions about
are mentioned in inquisition records, such as playing the bugle. 61 the cult of idols at the Meccan sanctuary, which were reproduced by
While the obligation of almsgiving (zakiit) was not usually criticized, Espina to criticise Muhammad for having accepted them at <Umar's
fasting and prohibitcd food were often mentíoncd in trcatises. Alonso qucstioning [FF, l 32v]. On the wholc, Espina's discussion was quite
de Espina rcfcrred to as thc month when the Koran de- accurate as far as Islamic sources are conccrned. Circumambulation
scended from heaven, and dcscribcd thc dctails of fasting [FF, 132r]. and lapidation were rituals known to Christian clergy, who could not
He kncw about the exemptions admittcd for the ill, those on pilgrim- fully undcrstand thc new meaning of these pagan customs.
age and pregnant women, but nevertheless criticized the idea of fast- Another aim of pilgrimagc was the visit to the Prophet's shrine-
ing during the day and eating at night, as was traditional in Christian or rather the place where his body was supposcd to be buried.
writers, because it <lid not convey the idea of self-renunciation and Neither Torquemada or Espina, and cven less Pedro de la Cavalleria
sacrifice required for fasting. About the aforemcntioncd thrce precepts, mcntioned this possibility. Since the expansion of Islam, local pilgrim-
Torquemada only madc one comment: age had increased and was both easier for people living in such a
distant corner as the Iberian Península, and more difficult for the
VI/e werc taught to fast, pray and give alms infinitely long befo re the authorities to control. Moveinent of vast numbcrs of people with a
amazing sect of thls Mul]anunad. Stop> stop wanting to sce Mul;lammad
religious cause within thc boundaries of Christendom attractcd too
as thc first master in thosc things, in which he is worth no more than
being the last disciple . . . [CE, 34]. much atterition. Although Pope Clement forbade it, kings were more
tolerant within their realms, like Pedro the Great of Aragon, vvho
His criticism focused on accusing Mu}:tammad of encouraging the allowed pilgrimages to the shrines of IVIuslim saints in Godalesc and
Arabs' lust by trying to constrain them during the day while allowing forbade the practice of charging them to cnter the mosque to pray. 63
thcm complete freedom at night [CE, 34; FF, l 32r]. Howcver, when Aragonese Muslims were forbidden to travel to other
Following Ramac;lan, Espina described the festival of Breaking JVIuslim countries, they were refused thc opportunity to visit Mecca,
Fast (cld al-Fitr) compared to Jewish Passover because both followed making the king's "tolerant" measure just a way to control his subjects.
the moon calendar [FF, l 32r- v]. Two traditions wcrc quoted for Another díssuasíve weapon imposed by Pedro was to forbid Muslims
the origins of the Festival: the feast was institutcd by Mul;ammad from outsidc the city to eat meat from the Moorish quarter, thus
to cornmemorate Abraham>s sacrifice of a ram instead of hís son; it making them fast.
also celebrated the night when the Koran descended from Hcaven. Violence was rejected by Christian authors as being opposed to
More practica! issues were described, based on the celebrations Christ's message of love. A prophet was not supposed to encourage took place in thc kingdom of Granada: the night of the Feast, the use of weapons to attain the enemy's conversion, 64 and the Koran
the king used to sacrificc a ram and takc it to the queen. If shc saw was quoted as saying that, were it God's will to convert somebody
the animal befare its death, it was sccn as a good augury for thc to Islam, it would be done without wcapons [FF, l 20r, l 33r]. On
following ycar. After that, thc king and his knights went jousting and the other hand, rfjihiid was considered as onc of the means used by
playing al-tabla (with lances), a custom which has been recorded by Mu}:iammad to attract followers to his cause. No Arabic expert in
contemporary Muslim chroniclers. 62 theology (if this existed in pre-Islamic times) could accept bis doc-
trine at first, but he succeeded by persuading simple peoplc who
Longás, P.: op. cit., p. 54.
The gamcs took place in the two main squares in Granada (al-Ramla and al-
Tawwabin) and within the precincts of the Alhambra. There wcrc also bullfights,
beast-fights, horse raccs and jousts with Christians from the valley. The gamc mcn- religiosas en el Reino de Granada." 1Hücelá11ea de Estudios Arabes y Hebraicos XIV-XV,
tíoned by Espina (al-tabla in Arabic, cañas in Spanish) consisted of a hanged target pp. 90- 91.
which was attacked with lances. The chroniclers who mcntion these entertainments
Boswcll, J.: op. cit., p. 263.
were lbn al-Khatlb and al-Maqqarl. See Al-Abbadf, M.: "Las fiestas profanas y Montecrocc, R.: Disputatio, f. 86r.

were ready to follow him in his enterprise as a way to conquer the equality of human beings, he considers men should not be allowed
closest territories and impose their tyranny ovcr thcm [CE, 246]. polygamy unless women were granted the same right. Nforeover,
As a result, misundcrstanding of thc spirit of djíhad was a fcature love is not possible among many people, and in the same way many
common to all religious writcrs. Thc information, transmittcd again wives cannot be loved equaliy. In the order of creation, love helps
by Pedro Alfonso, that MuQ.ammad had ordered his followcrs "to to distinguish man from the beasts, who chose several females; polyg-
rob, make prisoners, kili the adversaries of God, and to persecutc amy is a step backwards in this construction.
thcm in every way" [FF, l 32v] was taken out of context-the strugglc Alonso de Espina contributcs by justifying the early examples of
against pagan tribcs in the Arabian Península. Thc cxtcnsion of this polygamy containcd in the Old Tcstamcnt. In this case, it was a
commandmcnt to Christians ignored the dhímma institution, the re- licence given to the prophets, who in any case did not enjoy it as
spect duc to the peoplc of the Book, and was therefore absolutely a way to appease their lust, as MuQ.ammad clid-[FF, 133r; CE, 186].
un-Islamíc. Still more emphasis was made on the repucliation [FF, l 33r; CE,
Holy war was considercd an incorrect way of introducing Islam 79---183] and readmission of wives, which was generally considered
to the world, an expression of MuQ.ammad's evil and a punislunent adultcry if the wifc had marricd another person in between. Apart
for the sins of Christians [ZC, l 37r]. According to Cavalleria, Muslims from increasing thc numbcr of "legal wives" in sorne cases, it was
could not claim that success rneant divine approval because then any not recommended either for -the education of children nor ce1iainty
defeat would involve God's abandon, especially aftcr the pagan of parenthood.
Tartars had triumphed over them. He failed to scc that Christians Torquemada made yet another distinction betwccn polygamy and
often used thc same reasoning for their own victories. Howcver, concubinage. Criticism of the latter was even harder, given that it
Nfontecrocc quoted MuQ.ammad as saying that his power would last had becn ordered only for carnal pleasure. No Christian writer tried
as long as his military triumphs. 65 to analysc possiblc motives for the establishment of such an institu-
Food prohibitions did not deservc much comment except a simple tion within the Arabic tribal systcm at the origins of Islam. Although
comparison to J ewish habits, and thc statcment that Christians wcre Torquemada might seem quite openmindcd for his time, his opinions
permitted ali kinds of food [CE, 34, 207- 213; ZC, 138r; FF, l 19v]. were decidedly opposed to the Islamic vicw.
It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that thc favourite sub- Law forbade sexual intercourse between Mudcjars and Christians,
ject was marriage and all the legislation derived from it in both the even with Christian prostitutes because, due to baptism, "they had
Koran and Tradition [CE, 176- 187; DM, ch. IX]. Clcrgy used to bccome the wives of Christ". The death penalty was the punishment
compare Christian and Islamic theory on this subjcct, disrcgarding established in Alfonso X's Partl:das, and a whole range of possibilities
the fact that concubínage and aclultery were common within both soci- listed in Aragonesc laws: firc, drowning, slavery, etc. The Ordinance
eties, only differing in that Islam aliowed sevcral wives instcad of of 1412 maintaíned the spirit of these laws, although it was not so
one, giving them thc title of "official" wives, with ali their rights, specific. Thc same was applied to marriagc between Christians and
apart from concubincs. Criticism of polygamy quoting the New Testa~ Muslims, except for sexual intercourse with Mudcjar women, whosc
ment was thc mcthod chosen by Espina to approach the matter [FF, situation was the most unprotected. The consequencc was endogamy
139v]. Fortunatcly, restrictions concerning relatives were well notcd within the Mud~jar community which was at the samc time thc key
[FF, 133r]. to their feeling of iclentity. 66
Torquemada startcd by a long considcration about why polygamy There was a whole series of law-codes concerning sexual inter-
is unlawful [CE, 176--179]: first of all, it is against I Gen. 2: "They course between both religions in every Peninsular kingdom. Theologians
were two in onc flesh", and thcrcforc against natural law. The next did not consider all these measurcs in their arguments: they left them
reasons sccm quite advanccd for his time. Based on thc principle of
Ladero Quesada, M. A.: "Los mudéjares de Castilla en la Baja Edad Media",
r;;, Daniel, N.: Islam and the T1Vest, p. 129; IVIontccroce, R.: Disputatio, f. 86r. p. 375. For Aragón, see Boswcll, J.: 17ie Rr!JaÍ 1í·easure, p. 344.

to politic al lcadcrs. Inste ad thcy referred to the theoretical bases for Christians versus sitting on the floor (Muslims), eating with or
which could be applied to intolerance. l\!lixture at this level was con- without napkins, holding sardines from their tails versus holding them
sidcrcd dangerous, and influence on weak members of society- from their heads to place them on the fire, and so on. It is quite
womcn and children-was emphasized. Membcrs of sociccy with less peculiar that a theologian of his rank would descend to commcnt
power were penalized for unions which thc powerful could afford. upon such trivial affairs, but thcy do provide a new clue to understand-
If the crime was adultery or fornication among l\IIuslims, forgivcness ing that unease social rclations were starting to creatc among the
was granted through payment. 67 Christian community. This feeling can be more worrying than simple
Llnked to the supposed lust of Arab people was the belief that religious thcorctical controversy for the cocxistencc of three social and
the Koran encouraged sodomy, when it <lid precisely the oppositc religious communities.
[FF, l l 9v- l 20v; CE, 186]. Ricoldo de Montecrocc was the first to Continuing with social legislation, \·ve fmd the following three pre-
analyse the problem in depth. He considered sodomy as one of the cepts taken from Koran 2:178-182. The first one speal{s of retalia-
grcat contradictions in the Koran, because it was admitted and con- tion as the penalcy for murdcr, lapidation for adultery and whípping
demned in the same sura. Still, he was awarc that Islam rejectcd it. 63 for fornication as comparcd to Moscs's law [FF, l 33v]. The second
In fact, "sodornitc" was considered a grcat insult, which was punishcd onc, about inhcritance, was strange to Peninsular writers. Islamic law
with eighcy whips according to the Breviario Sunni. 69 made fcmalcs inherit half the portion of a man, whcrcas Christian
Friday obscrvance was at first linked to the cult of Venus [CE, 34; laws conceded equal parts to both. The same occurred with regard
ZC, 138r; FF, 132r, 133v] in the context of the accusations of idol- to witnesses: in Islamic law, a male witness prevails over female tes-
atry madc by the Christian Fathcrs. Later on, othcr rcasons were timonies. No further comment is made about these issues, or formal
given for this choice, such as Friday being the day whcn Mu}:iarnmad explanation is given of why thcsc principles of social legislation should
was crowned king, according to the legend of his marriage to Khadidja, be included in a chapter on rcligious precepts-probably the distinc-
lady of Corozan. Better informed theologians pointcd to Mu]:iammad's tion was not as precise for thc writcrs as it is nowadays.
dcsire of distinction from Christian observancc of Sunday andJewish The prohibition of wine always posed the samc problem to Christian
observance of thc Sabbath. thcologians: how could Mul:iammad promisc a Paradise with rivers
The question of thc dircction of thc qibla, which had already been of winc if he considered it so dangerous? The answcr to this paradox
discussed within the. Islamic world, was connected to Friday observance was ncver found, but many discussions followed. Sorne writers took
and prayer. Espina says it should look to the South, whcre Mecca the prohibition to involve grapes and non-alcoholic wine [FF, 133v].
was orientated from the Península. It is interesting to sce that he did Several popular traditions were introduced into theological reason-
not realize that, takcn from other geographical points, the direction ing, such as the story of angels Aroth and Maroth [FF, 119v] told in
of prayer would coincide with the Jewish one (West) or the Christian the hadith, who got drunk in ordcr to posscs a woman. This account
one (East). Once again, Mu}:iammad's efforts to be different from the made Torquemada exclaim that such a conduct was in no way pro-
two older rcligions would be the cause for his commandment-he per of angels but rathcr of demons. The cardinal again differenciatcd be-
still forgcts it is really a Koranic commandment, and not Mu}:iammad's tvvcen drinking and being drunk-which could in fact be considered
[FF, 133v]. a sin. The best reason he could give for Mu}:iammad's strictness was
But the best part of the argument is when he takes l\IIu}:i.ammad's that the Prophet was trying to preserve peace within his community:
desirc for diíference to everyday habits such as sitting at the table Arabs livcd in a hot area, where drinking strong wine would make
thcm drunk casily, causing disturbances and murders. Given that
l\IIul:iammad was a tyrant, he probably feared his men would then
G Ibidem, pp. 344--345.
Daniel, N.: Islam and the West, p. 143. rise against him [CE, 207-213]. This is doubtless the most imagina-
Gayangos, P. de: Tratados de legislaúón musulmana, p. 386. tive argument read on this subject.

The mattcr of disputes was classical in polcmic litcrature. Christian e) Other a.~jJects qf controverS)1
thcologians could hardly undcrstand why 1\ifuslims were forbiddcn to
Just as sorne aspects of Islamic belief were unclear for Christian the-
cngagc in rcligious discussion exccpt if thcir religion lacked enough
ologians, thcre were others in Christian faith which Muslims could
basis to be defended in a public argumcnt. Juan de Segovia was one of
not understand. One of thc oldcst issues was the argument about
the defenders of such a rnethod, as we have seen in chapter 2 [Dlvl,
adoration of images, takcn from Byzantine iconoclasm [ZC, 123v--l 24;
ch. IV], and Nicholas of Cusa was ready to follow. Although Espina
CE, 138- 143; FF, 139v·-l 40r]. For a start, Islam did not conceive the
and 'Torquemada did not explicitly defend the samc position, given
diflerence betwccn adoring a statue and adoring somcthing beyond
their preaching skills thcy had to support thc argument [FF, l 33v].
it: both wcrc considered idolatry. The second point was adoring
Circumcision was one of Espina's dcarcst subjects, for it linked
imagcs of thc Virgin and the saints, i.c., rcprcscntations other than
Islam andJudaism, i.e., thc crrors of thc old and the newest laws, an
God's, which were only permittcd in thc Roman Church.
unnatural ritual which had becn supcrccded by Christ and his N ew
Fifteenth-century writcrs had enough references to this problcm
Testament [FF, 134r, 136~137v; DM, ch. XII; CE, 133- 138]. His
but, for a start, the Koran did not refer to it in the verses quotcd
action was both theoretical and practical, for he accuscd sorne converws
by Torquemada. Espina extended the argument to Jews- Moses's
befare the king of practising the ritual in secret. 70
law prohibíted human representation. But the final cxplanation was
The first recrimination to be made was that Muslims prcserved
that, while making images of idols was forbidden, the matter was
this practice dcspitc it bcing recommended only by the Sunna-·--··and
settlcd whcn the images were God's, in ordcr to hclp believers to
not by thc Koran itself Two traditions were mentioned: the first
rcmcmber Him. In relation to this discussion, the Cross was rejectcd
onc, which was broadly acccptcd, was that Mul_iammad had becn
as an object of devotion, mainly because Muslims did not acccpt
circumcised in his mother's womb. This was rejected on the grounds
J esus's crucifixion, and thcy did not see how two pieces of wood
that no such sign had been announced to the Prophct's mother-
could be adored. 72
in a clear comparison to lvlary's annunciation. The sccond had him
Despite Mul_iammad's efforts to eradicate miracles as a sign of
circumcised by Gabriel once he was born, while he was having a
prophethood, thcy were clear proof of this state for Islamic popular
bath. Islamic answer to the question of why thcy did continuc the
faith. Miracles could be performed by anyone chosen by God for a
Jewish practicc was that they were fulfilling Abraham's law, and this
particular mission, and were nota sign of God's particular preference.
gave Espina anothcr controversia! subject to discuss, always bascd on
But anyonc with an important mission would be likcly to have the
scriptural argumcnts. Thc last response was taken back to the origins
powcr to pcrform miracles. In this schcmc, miracles did not prove
oflslam, when many supportcrs carne from the Jewish tribes in thc
that Christ was the Son of God. Yet, Jesus was accepted as the great-
Arabian Pcninsula. Circumcision was in this context an attempt to
est miracle-mal(er after Mul;tammad.
assimilatc these new converts to Islam, as major ablution was thought
Christian writers used the list of false miracles attributed to Muham-
to have been when the first Christians became Muslims [FF, 136vJ. 0

mad provided by thc Syrian Apology to ridicule the Prophct [FF,

This is the most interesting and accurate piece of the argument.
l 19v-120v; CE, 43], forgetting that he had already warned Muslirns
Muslirns felt the need to counterattack at this point, and 'Isa ibn
about believing in miracles. According to Eiximenis, rcfutation of
Djabir recommended a modilication of the typc of circumcision in
miracles was vital to refute Islam?~ On the othcr hand, for Islamic
the Breviarw Sunni, in order to maintain that it had not been practiscd. 71
writers like Ibn al-Samad al-Khazrajf of Cordoba, miracles which
had to do with saints and lvlary-such as thc story of St. Ildephonse's
cloak, given to him by the Virgin hcrself----, were unacceptable. 74
Enriqucz D,d ~astifü~, D.: Crónica de Enrique IV, p. 206: " . . . vino alli [Madrid]
el maestro del Espm~ y fray Femando de la Plaza con otros religiosos a notificar
al rey co~no :n sus remos avia grande heregia de algunos que judaizaban, guardando .
Epalza, M .: ] esus otage, p . 225.
los ntos JUda1cos_, y c_o:i .nombre de christianos retaxaban sus hijos, suplicandole que 7
See Daniel, N.: !l·Lam aud !he ft11esf., p. 74·. Also Epalza, M. de: "Un logos
mandase hacer mqrns1c1on sobre ello para que füesen castigados." crcstia .. .", p. 71.
71 Wiegers, G.: Islamic Literature ... , pp. 105- 106. 74
Epalza, ivl. : ]esus olage, pp. 184; 215-216.

d) Nfuslims) Heretfrs and ]ews quod adhuc demones salvabuntur. Sexto dicit quod quando Deus misit
pro eo Gabrielcm, quod ipse ivit ad Deum et Deus imposuít ei manus
Polemics against Judaism and Islam were usually considered together et tantam frigiditatem scnsit ex tactu manus Dei super humeros eius
and used by the same authors in defence of Christian faith. Thc evi- quod fr:igiditas pervenit usquc ad medulam spine dorsi et in hoc con-
dent relation among the thrcc rcligions "of the Book" was perceived venit cum Acromofortis qui ponunt Deum corporcum. Septimo dicit
by most of their members. It made polemic at once desirable and Spiritum Sanctum esse creaturam et in hoc convenit cum Macedonio.
Octavo dicit quod aliqui angeli facti sunt dcmones quia nolucrunt ado-
difficult. l\!Iatters such as common dcsccnt from Abraham or thc rare Adam et in hoc omnino neminem imitatur. Nono ponit quod
monastic movcmcnt were recognized as points in common. 75 ultima hominis bcatitudo est in comcdendo et luxuriando et in vestibus
From its origins, Islam was considered a sect born out of a mixture precíosis et in ortis irriguis et in hoc convenit cum Cherinto herctico et
of Christianity and Judaism. In the beginning, Byzantine polemicists cum quibusdam paganis. Decimo ponit in capitulo de Mensa quod fami-
insisted on considering it a heresy. Following this trend, Islam was lia sua nichil omnino valet nisi complcat legcm et Evvangelium et lib-
rum sibi revclatum, scilicet Alchoranum, et sic docuit gentes iudayzare,
compared to several hercsies until its contents were better known.
et ideo docuit circumcisionem esse tenendam et in hoc convcnit cum
A classification was complex to work out, so the terms used for Vieme herctico. Undecimo docuit indifferenter accipcrc uxores alienum
Mul;i.ammad ranged from "hcrctic" to "schismatic",76 as schism becamc et in hoc videtur conveniri cum nicholaytis hereticis. Duodecimo docuit
apparent in the late medieval Church. It is worth noting that thc- licitum csse plures uxores habere contra Apostolum Prima Corinthiorum,
ologians undcrstood Islam in the light of what was happening within septimum, et contra constitucionem perfectam legis naturc: "Erunt duo
thc Church in thcir particular time: first, the confrontation of here- in carne una." (Gen., 2). Et in hoc convenit cum Nazareis hereticis lici-
tum pónentibus in nova lege articulum de pluraritate uxoris. Tredecimo
sics; later, the rupture of schism. But still Nicolas of Cusa thought
docuit uti lotionibus pro baptismatibus in remissionem peccatorum con-
Islam to be a revival of Nestorianism, after his knowledge of Byzantine tra Apostolum ad Ephesios, 4: "Una fides, unum baptisma", et in hoc
polemics. 77 convenit cum novacianis et donatistis hcrcticis baptisma reycrantibus.
Espina and Torquemada themselves devoted chapters taken from Quartodccímo docuit licita esse sodomiam tam cum masculo quam
Ricoldo de l\!Iontecroce to the comparison of Islam with other sccts cum femina ut patct in Alchorano capitulo de Vaca, et in hoc convenit
cum sodomitis hereticis, licet sarraceni palientur hoc quibusdam honestis
or heresies:
exposicionibus. 711
Secundus pasus ostendit errores legis Machometi. Undc omnium antiquo-
rum feccs quas dyabolus sparsim seminaverat, simul in JVIachometo
et eius lege recolexít ac renovavit. Ipse namque cum Sabclio negavit 78
"On the error.; of Mul:tammad's law. The second step shows the errors of
trinitatem personarum in divinis. Secundo docuit Christum esse puram Mul;ammad's law. vVhencc all the old dregs which the devil had disseminatcd were
creaturam cum Arria. Unde et Sergius monachus qui fuit magistcr collected and renewed by him in Mul~ammad and his law. For he denied with
Machometi ut dictum est, fuit hereticus arrianus. Tercio aserit quod Sabellius the Trinity of persons ín God. Second, he taught that Christ was a plain
iudei non occiderunt Christum sed qucndam ci similem et in hoc con- crcature, like Aríus. vVhence Sergius the monk, who was MUI:iammad's tcacher, as
venit cum Manichco. Quarto dicit quod Deus transtulit Christum ad has been said, was an Arian heretic. Third, he said that the Jews did not kili Christ
se sed apparebit circa fmcm mundi et occidct Antichristum et pastea but someonc resembling Him, ancl in that he agrccd with Manicheus. Fourth, he
said that God called Christ to Him but He would appear at the end of the world
faciet eum Dcus mori. Et quia negavit Christi passionem negat omnia
and kíll the Antichrist, and aftcrwards God wíll make Him dic. And becausc he
sacramenta Ecclesie quae a passione Christi sumpsserunt efficaciam, et denicd Christ's Passion, he clenied ali the Sacraments of the Church which assumed
in hoc convenit cum donatistis hereticis. Quinto dicit quod demones their efficacy from Christ's Passion, and in this he agreed with the Donatist heretics.
possunt salvari per Alchoranum et quod ipsi audito Alcorano multi ex Fifih, he said that the demons could be saved by thc Koran and that, once they
eis facti sunt sarraceni et in hoc aliqualiter imitatur Origenem qui dixit hacl hcard the Koran, many of them bccame Saracens, and in this he imitated
Origen to sorne cxtcnt, who said that even the devils would be saved. Sixth, he
said that whcn God sent Gabriel to him, he travdled to God and God laid his
hands upon him, and he felt such a coldness from the touch of God's hands on
Moubarac, Y.: L'hlam et le dialogue islamo-chretien, pp. 263· 267. his shoulders that the cold carne to his spinal marrow, and in this he agreed with
Daniel, N.: Islam and the West, p. 192. Acromoforts, who male God corporeal. Sevcnth, he said that the Holy Ghost was
Anawati, G. C.: op. cit., p. 157. a crcature ancl in this he agreed with Maccdonius. Eighth, he saíd that sorne angels

However, Espina tried to explain why IVfol;iammad was really a schis- spokc cach other's language 81 and used to share their lodgings, rathcr
matic and not a hereti.c. There were four conditions to cstablish hercsy, than Christian ones, which was quite reasonable given the rarified
which Islam fulfilled. The main argument to .dcny thc qualification atmosphere existing in the Península around and aftcr 1391. 82
of hcrctic was that the Prophet did not confess Islam to be a Christian In general, .J ews and IVIuslims wcre dealt with togcther in religious
scct, but on the contrary, he always introduccd it as something com- and legal works, thcir rcligi.ons wcre dcscribcd in association and a
pletely different from its supposed origins (Christianity and .Judaism). common remcdy was sought for their attacks against the Church.
In addition to this, he was mistaken in most part of the doctrine, Litcrary stylcs ranged from theological treatises to didactic dialogues
inste ad of dcnying certain points while agreeing with thc rcst. 79 likc Llull's Libre del gentil e los tres savis, where a dispute among a Jcw,
When Peter the Venerable was VVTiting his works opposing Islam, a Christian and a l\tfuslim is used to try to persuade a pagan philoso-
he had already seen it as a possible danger in the place of Manicheism. pher to convert to one of thc thrcc rcligions. ·
Alain de Lille shared thís concept of Islam. In De fide catholica contra VVe have seen before how most of the Islamic doctrine was discussed
hereticos sui temporis, it was mcntioned together with the Albigensians, as compared to thc Jcwish law. It is obvious that both have points
thc Waldensians and thc Jcws, but in a much shorter way. 80 Only in comrnon and diffcrences, but Christian writers used to stress the
after the Mendicant approach <lid Islam start to be seen as a sepa- formcr. Onc of the first characteristics attributed to them was their
rate religion which <lid not have its roots in Christianity, although foundation by the devil, and the popular belief that their members
it had been influenced by hereti.cs through Mul;iammad. looked like demons-this thought was even taken to iconography.
Within the Franciscan approach, a very intercsting opinion is Demonization of the encmy was more important in Christian than
Francesc Eiximenis's. Coming from a mixed socicty in Valencia, Eixi- Muslim sources. The deformative tcchnique was influenced by Apoc-
menis was sure of Mul:iammad's imítation ofJudaism and its precepts- alyptical literature. 33 Hillgarth thinks, rightly in rny vicw, that "moors
circumcision, food prohibition-and about thc good relationship might occasionally be cquatcd in popular spccch with devils or in
cxisting between Jcws and IVIuslims in his homeland. Not only <lid legend with sorccrcrs, but there was no general anti-Niuslim feeling
they love each other better than they did Christians, but they also to compare with that against the Jews [... ], whose nature was to
be evil. " 8'1
Thc rclation between the Jews and the diabolic existed in the minds
wcrc made demons bccause thcy didn't want to adore Adam, and in this he imi-
of both the elite and commoners. That is the reason why Alonso de
tated nobody. Ninth, he stated that the ultimatc human bealitude is eating, having Espina could have chosen to íncludc dcmons in his treatise relating
intercoursc and precious clothes and watcrcd gardens, and in this he agreed with them somehow to Jews and Muslims, a trace of originality in his time. 85
thc hcretic Cherintus and with other pagans. Tenlh, he asserted in thc chaptcr of
the .Table Sprcacl that his family was worth nothing if they did not comply with the According to the Fortaütium, Adam had sired to two raccs - Jews and
Law, thc Gospels and the Book rcvcaled to him-namely the Koran-· and so he demons--through two diffcrent wives; on thc othcr hand, Mul;iammad's
taught the peoplc to behave like Jews, and also taught that circumcision should be ancestors had carricd thc dcvil's banners as idolatcrs and the Koran
made, and in this he agreed with Vierne the heretic. Elcvcnth, he taught to take
indiscriminately the wivcs of othcrs, and in this he is secn to agree with thc Nicolaite had come frorn the devil himself. The link was established through
heretics. Twelfth, he taught that having sevcral wives was pcrmitted, against the the .Jewish astronomcr who prophesized Muhammad's birth.
Apostle, and against the perfect constitution of natural law: 'They shall be two in
onc flesh'. And in this he agreed with the Nazaritc heretics who allowecl in their
new law an articlc about [havingl severa! wivcs. Thirteenth, he prescribed the use There are a numbcr of documents from Castilian aljamas to prove this rela-
of ablutions instead of baptism for the rcmission of sins, against the Apostle: 'One tionship in the mid-füteenth century. Onc of thc most interesting articlcs cm this
faith, one baptism', and in this he agreed with thc Novatist and Donatist hcretics subject is Gunvirth, E.: "Hispano:Jcwish attitudes to thc Moors." :)rjarad, XLIX
who repeat baptism. Fourteenth, he taught that sodomy was ailowed both with men (1989), pp. 237 262. .
or women, as stated in the Koran, chaptcr of the Cow, and in this he agrccd with Epalza, M.: " Un logos crcstia ... ", p. 65.
thc Sodomíte heretics, although the Saracens conccal this with sorne honest argu- n:i Barkai, R.: op. cit., p. 290.
· Hillgarth, J.: op. cit., p. 127. Prof. Meyuhas Ginio also agrees, in La.forleresse,
ments." FF, f. l 19r; Montecroce, R. : Disputatio, f. 78v.
FF, Lyon 14ll7, f. 28r. pp. 152-153.
80 5
Sec Southern, R.: op. cit., p. 39 and Daniel, N.: Islam and the Mlest, pp. 188--189. H Ruiz, T. F.: "La Inquisición medieval y la moderna . .. ", pp. Ci4-65 .

\iVhat werc thc vicws of our four authors on thc Jcwish problem ment of Moscs's law, thc origins of Judaism, the blindncss of Jews
comparcd to the Islamic issuc? A bricf outline of their position will who dcnied thc arrival of the Messiah, etc. The ideas were better
hclp to undcrstand why Espina is thc only author who tries to conceal cxplaincd duc to the deeper knowledge of jeV11Ísh somces and Christian
both problems at the same time, although with different solutions. polemists that Espina had. The style of chapters 7 to 12 can be
Juan de Segovia was more interested in holy war and preaching compared to the core of the argument against Saracens. Classification
methods than in the socio-religious problem posed by the marginal prevails when dealing with seventeen cruelties commited by Jcws, four
communities. His rcferences to Jews only occur whcn Moses and expulsions from different tcrritorics throughout history, ten miracles
Abraham's laws are discussed related to the use Islam made of them, which should conduce Jews to conversion, and six steps in Jewish fool-
and in chapter XIV, whcrc he stated thcrc was no hope of salvation ishness. Thcsc chapters can be considered a counterpart to the hun-
for pagans and Jews within their own rcligions. He must havc left dred and fifty-cight battles of the De Bello Saracenorum, in an attempt
Jcws aside because the hope of converting them had vanished long to show .the way to Christian triumph: chapters 11 and 12 describe
since, and they opposed not armed resistence but economical power the obligations of Jews while living under Christian power and their
to Christian ambitions. place at the end of the ·world, whcn they will submit completely to
Pedro de la Cavalleria planned his work as a refutation of Jews Christians.
and Muslims togcther, but the balance was lost in favour of the Thesc parallclisms in stnicture are combined with intcrcsting de-
Jews. By declaring Moses's law superceded by Christ, he wished to tails within thc text. The Jews' cruelties87 startcd when thcy opcncd
attack both religions at the same time, gíven that Saracens saw thcm- the gatcs óf Toledo to the Muslims at the collapsc of thc Visigoth king-
selves as the continuators of Abraham's law. The whole argumcnt dom in the Península. A number of cases from Francc, Germany, Italy
about the Messiah and the demonstration of the Trinity were devised and Castile were then reported: poison, human sacrifices, children's
to persuade both at the samc time and establish the basis for thc murders, torture, destruction of churches, all from 1183 to 1457. Sorne
commentary of the Koran which would follow. of them were excerpted from chronícles, and others were attributed
Juan de Torquemada did not mentionjews specifically in his Contra to witnesses or inquisitors (bishop Alfonso de Vivero of Salamanca,
errores, firstly because t11e subject was too far away from his practica! Alonso de Espina himself).
aim to direct a crusade against the Turks. He had already dcalt with Conccrning thc four expulsions, 88 thosc from the Holy Land,
conversos, which was a much more immediate problcm far him, bcing England and France led the way to Sisebute's dccree (616) imposing
of converso origin. He was not living too clase to thc J ewish issuc, and conversion or migration. Those Jews who had flcd to the Frankish
popes had no jurisdiction over the community, so his interests werc kingdoms or the North of Africa entered the Pcninsula again with
much more concentratcd. the Muslim invaders in 714-here we find the two peoples together
Finally, Espina was cvcn more intcrcstcd in J udaism than he was once more. Was Espina providing historical antecedents to suggest
in Islam, so it is at his work we should look far common interprc- that expulsion would be the best way to get rid of the problem of
tations of thc problem. Dcspite the fact that Jews were an unsolved ass:imilation? Conversion through miracles could be a way out for
problem for Christendom which provided no model for dealing with those chosen by God to remain. Meanwhilc, he had to think of sorne
Muslims, 86 sorne of Espina's plans wcre applicable to both groups, ways to favour pcaccful Iifc wherever several religíous communitics
as shall be secn. líved side by side. 89
The purely thcological argumcnt follows the same pattern as the Jews and Muslims should be admitted to livc alongsidc Christians
book on Muslims: scriptural commentarics to demonstrate the fulfil-

FF, Lyon 1'187, f. 75r- 79v.
im Ibídem, f. 87r- 90r.
Harvcy, L. P.: op. cit., p. 64. 89
On this subject, see Mcyuhas Gínio, A.: La forteresse, pp. 132- 149.

in the name of charity, so that the catholic faith would be confirmed,

divine justice could be shown-they were charged with Christ's
death-, in memory of Jesus's passion, so it can nevcr be forgotten, CHAPTER SEVEN
and in order to fulfil thc prophecies of the Day ofJudgement. 90 How
this situation could be arranged in arder to cause as little damagc to THE RELIGIOUS ARGUMENT:
thc Christian faith as possiblc, is thc subject of the following section. TOLERANCE AND ACCULTURATION

wne Spirit ef tlze Laws)'

Laws can be read in an extcnsive way, which tells a gTeat <leal about
how people conceivcd theír civilization. At the same time, they can
help to build sorne sort of picture of nearby communities. Clerical
writers were well aware of this, and they included- even copicd word
for word- lcgal texts within theír treatiscs. In a society whcrc religious
and laic principles were mixed, it is necessary to study both aspects
togethcr. Likewíse, royal legislation sharcd a place with ccclesiastical
regulations and recommcndations.
It must be taken into account that, before the end of the fifteenth
century, a Christian statc was not supposed to be exclusively Christian.'
But for Muslims, living under non-Muslim authorities was not con-
sidered in their laws. The loss of political power was a difficult issue
in a structure whose head, the caliph, was both a religious and a
secular lcadcr. Theoretically, the advancc of Christian powcr in the
Península should have resulted in emigTation or conversion,2 but the
coexisting habits created throughout thc Middlc Agcs slowed clown
the trend, despite the recommcndations of foreign affaquis such as
al-Wansharfsf or AJ:imad ibn Abü Djumü ca. 3
Closely related to thc loss of Arabic as their distinctive language
was the decline of aljamas as the cell of Islamic communitary organi-
zation. The aljama had been established for five particular purposcs:
to acknowledge de facto Christian authority while preserving an interna!

Harvcy, L. P.: op. cit., p. 64.
2 Epalza, l\11. de: "Les morisqucs, vus ... ", p. 38.
'.l Although al-Wansharlshí recommended emigration, AJ:¡mad b. Abu Djumü'a
(fl. 1503), who had himself fied to Oran from Almagro, was awarc of the practical
problems of living under Christians and the alternative emigration to 1VIuslím tcrri-
tories, and was much more sympathctic lo his fcllow-:Niuslims. See Cantincau, J.:
"Lcttrc clu moufti d 'Oran aux musulmans cl'Andalousic." Journal A.riati.que (1927),
° FF, Lyon 1487, f. 9lv. pp. l- 17.

indcpcndencc for the religious community, keeping thcir own laws Title XXV of the Seventh Part dcalt with Muslims spccifically.
and bclicfs; to collect taxes for the government; as a support against What strikcs the readcr is that thesc laws referrcd to conversion
Christians' abuses and in order to work to rctrieve political power. ·~ rather than to the Muslim community. Conversion to Islam was suit-
At :first, the need of Christian monarchs to use the manpower pro- ably punished whereas conversion to Christianity was cncouraged,
vided by a/jamas was dccisivc for the concession of a certain degree as in thc Aragoncse fiteros. 8 Matters related to daily life were sccn to
of autonomy. 5 Still, in the fiftcenth ccntury each one had a judge in local laws only. The rest of the subjects mentioned in this Part
to look after Muslim procedures, according to their own laws compiled were in one way or another rclated to rcligion.
by l\/Iuhammad al-Shartosi at the beginning of thc ccntury. When For instancc, its first point has a twofold interpretation. Literally,
rcligious leaders disappeared, a void was creatcd and they startcd to it forbids Muslim ownership of the mosques built in Castilian terri-
lose power. The chance was taken by local govcmments and lords, tory. Thcse were thc Kjng's, and he could offer thcm to whoever he
who imposed their will on these unprotcctcd subjects, to the point wanted, At first sight, it looks lil(e a grcat advance on the ''Reconquista"
that King Enrique IV considered the appointment of an alcalde de las feeling. However, the situation was more complcx. Since three centuries
aljamas to dcfcnd their rights, although it was first done undcr Juan II.6 bcfore, the most worrying problem among the Islamie Kjngdoms
, Redusion in m01-erias was not really compulsory, but a trcnd favoured in the Península was the lacl< of a defincd leadership. Party-kings
by Muslims themselves. Whether they were a factor of prescrvation and local rulcrs used to take up differcnt positions when faccd with
of Arabic language can be questioned, for they were well within city- Christian Cf1:emies, precisely at the time when they should have been
lifc and they held most of the trading and building activities, so the united. This basic structural problem became more acutc towards
vcrnacular was vital to their transactions with Christians. There are the fiftcenth century, when Mudejar groups tended not to have politi-
many studies about single morerías in different cities,7 but so far no cal lcaders. The decline of Arabic education contributed to makc reli-
scholar seems to have undertaken a research into their role as guard- gious leadership fade, with sorne exceptions. The void of powcr was
ians of Arabic languagc. fillcd by the king-or~ more commonly in Aragon, by the lord- ,
It would be too long and far from our purpose to detail ali the who undertook the role of defender of the community, sometimcs con-
local codes which cstablishcd thc rclationship between Muslims, Jews fronting the Church and thc military orders. It is important to realizc
and Christians. However, thc theoretical compilations ordcrcd by that the King, and not thc Chureh, was the owncr of the mosques
kings provide vcry useful information to complete thc picturc shown in the early stages of Christian advance. Although it could become a
in religious works. Cavalleria's De zelus Christi should be left asídc, means of controlling the use of thc building and avoiding public cult,
for it focuscd on the commentary of the Koran rather than social it could also be taken as a way to keep it from being turned into
prescriptions. Castilian royal laws in the fifteenth century were based a chureh, thus guaranteeing the Muslims' rights to livc their faith
on the previous Seven partr; and the Fuero real collccted by Alfonso X, as agreed in thc truccs. Later on, mosques were given to St. Mary's
while Aragonese, relied on the more practica! articles of their faeros church- thc catheclral-·-in most cities, showing an important evolution
and customs. in the trend.
The second paragraph of the first law seems to confirm this point
Epalza, M.: "Les morisques, vus a partir des communautes mudéjares ... ", of view: nothing should be stolen from a Muslim as long as he were
p . 38. living among Christians. This statcment can doubtless be applied to
For examplc, the privilege issued in 1305 by Fernando IV of Castile and
rencwcd by his Trastamara successors, which mcntioned the climinishing number
propertíes within the mosque, or even the mosque itself. 9 ·
of Mudejars, their uscfulness, etc., which granted them privilcgcs to settle in thc Law IX rules thc use of messengers for political purposcs, and thc
realm. Cf Torres Fontes, J.: "El alcalde mayor de las aljamas ... " AHDE ( 1962), award of safe-conducts to protect them. If the messenger happencd
p. 14-1.
Ibidem, pp. 146, 149.
See the differcnt volumcs of Actas del Simposio Internacional de 1\!Jud~jarismo, starting 6
Tilander, G.: Los Fueros de Aragón .. ., Book VII, 271.
1981, thc last one being the VII Symposium, in press. 9
See Alfonso X: Las siete partidas, f. 76v- 78v.

to owe any unpaid debts to any subjcct of thc Christian kingdom 1. What Jews and l\!Iuslims may preserve without damaging
befare his mission, these could not be claimed. However, if he owed Christians
anything after entcring Castile on his work, he could be askcd to As far as their religious customs were concerned, they could preserve
pay for evcrything, and be taken to court if he refused to do so. their rituals. Synagogucs or mosques continued to be theirs, and they
The chief fcature of lcgislation was sexual intercourse betwccn could restare thcm, although not enlarge them. Thcy should not
pcoplc of di:fferent relígion. Notoriously, this applicd to Christian bother Christíans wíth their rituals. They could celebratc Saturdays-
women, and the punishment was uncqual for the couplc: while the or Fridays. They could sell goods ali ovcr thc territory and finally,
Muslim man was stoned, a single Christian woman lost half of her thcy would not be obligcd to convcrt to Christianíty.
goods the first time, and ali of them thc sccond. If the woman was Limitations to this group of prescriptions were cstablished within
married, he would be stoned, while she would be given to her hus- the same framework: conccrning rituals, the call to prayer was for-
band to punish her at his own will. If the woman was a prostitutc, bidden by the IV Lateran Council and was defined as one of the
both were beatcn around the town, and the second time, taken to rituals which most bothered Christians, so Espina 12 ch ose to recom-
death-despite the fact that the prostitute was "the wifc of Christ" mend its prohibition. Royal ownership of mosques and synagogues
according to the same law. has alrcady bcen commented_upon, so thcre is no nccd to insist on
The Aragonese faeros only contain a few articlcs specifically about that point. The sarne applies to royal dccrccs imposing attendance
Muslirns: one about the tithcs they should pay for those of their of proselitis~ sermons in cítics.
lands which had once belonged to Christians, 'º another about pcnal- 2. What should be forbidden to Jews and Muslims
ties imposed for a number of crimes (injuring a Muslim, etc.) and sorne They should not be pcrmitted to be insolent towards Christians,
related to the sale of properties among people from clifferent religions. nor should they be granted justice by their elders (i.e., their aijamas).
There were no theoretical cornpilations in the Península such as thesc They should not testify against Christians. Their privileges rcgarding
two until the reígn of Isabel and Fernando (1478- 1513) except for taxes should be climinated. No new synagogues or mosques should
royal ordinanccs, the most famous of which, the Ordinancc of Alcala be built. Thcy should .not rejoicc or dress up during Christian Easter
(1348), only mcntioned the same issues about Muslims and Jews. celcbrations, nor receive communion. They should not have Christian
Probably thinking that this was not enough, Espina was dceply servants or slaves. They could not circumcise any Christian or accept
concerncd about how Jcws, Muslims and Christians should live conversions, or allow any Christian to circumcise himself. They should
togcther whilc awaiting thc Last Judgement, always thinlcing of caus- not hold any public officc. Jcwish or Muslim women were not allowcd
ing the lcast trouble to thc Christian community. He stuclied the to be nurses to Christian children. Finally, they should not livc with
rnatter thoroughly and establishcd a code of behaviour which kings or marry Christian women but, if it was the case already, thcir chil-
should apply in order to rule thcir rcalms safely. Although he men- dren should be baptised Christians. This point covers all thc items
tioned sorne ecclesiastical legislation, his main interest was clirected mcntioned in local legislation sincc thc clcvcnth century and most
towards practica! coexistence in thc Península, so he used several of these clauscs were included in royal laws as wcll.
royal laws to explain his views. His opinions about .Jcws extended 3. What Christians should not share with Jews or l\!Iuslims
to Saracens, as he said in consideration 11, so both groups will be Christians should not eat togcther withJews or Muslims, dueto their
considered together here as well. According to thc text, there are food restrictions. Christians should not call Jewish or Muslim physi-
several groups of prescriptions: 11 cians when they felt ill (which we know was false). Their testaments
should not favour eithcr of the tvvo groups. Those Christians who
had sexual intercoursc with Jews or Muslims would be automatically
excommunicated. Converts should not maintain any relatiqnship with ··""''"'"·····""··., .
HJ Tilander, G.: op. cit., pp. 11 If.
ii Unless othcrwisc stated, I will follow Espina's order according to FF, Lyon
14137, ff. 9 Lv-92v. FF, Burgo de Osma, f. 173r.

thcir former communitics. lf a son were to convert, he should be which Espina copied fully into his tcxt as the most important advance
separated from his parcnts in order to preserve his new faith. in social legislation in the first half of the century. 15 Her dcath meant
None of these clauscs was probably in use ·in fifteenth-century the ordinances wcnt unobserved. Thc next revision was imposed by
Castile or Aragon. Espina himsclf was awarc of this, and complained the nobility in 1465: the Senten ce of Medina del Campo, 16 issued
about sueh state of affa.irs a few pages later, spccially about conversos by Enrique IV.
and J ewish rítuals which survived. 13 Evcn latcr in thc century, when A comparison between both documents shows thc continuity of
the Inquisition was fully established, there were a lot of rcfercnces Castilian royal legislation about Muslims, and confirms the ideas sus-
to cornmon meals, mixed marriages and unbaptised children. taincd by Espina in thc Fortalitium. In general, the Scntence enlarged
4. What Jcws and Muslims should be obliged to do and spccified the issucs posed by Cathcrinc's ordinances, and added
The first prescription of this article concerned conversos: in case they several others conccrning new social situations or the defencc of the
returned to their former faith- a possibility which Espina scemed to frontier, which Catherine had not considered.
accept quite easily- , he rcquired them not to blasphemc, under pain The :first ordcr was for .J ews and Muslims to live in separate,
of death. Three difficulties werc rncntioncd: íf somcone did so, their walled neighbourhoods [Cath ., l] unless they lost all thcir properties;
children should be excluded from blame; Christians who had trusted councils or alcaldes werc in charge of chosing thc most conveníent
the fellow would have special treatment and--·strangely enough, con- settlcments according to the size of thc community, so that they
sidering Espina's rcputation clown the centuries-if the Jew had becn could move there in a few months' time. lf thcy were accused of
coerced into receiving baptism, the Sacrament was invalidated. 14 continuing to live in the Christian quarter and refused to accept the
As for the rest, they could be absolved from paying ecclesiastical Sentence, penaltics included enslavcment [Sent., XCVIII]. Moreover,
tithes but not those of the lands they owned. A Christian could testify Christians who wcre living within the boundaries established for the
against aJew ora Muslim, but never the other way round. Jews and 1vluslim quartcr had to rent or sell their properties to the ncw dwellers
Muslims should dress cliffercntly from Christians . .Jcws should return [Sent., XCIX]. Even popular poetry stressed thc failurc of these meas-
what they had earned on usury-according to St. Thomas Aquinas, ures: the Coplas de iVlingo Revulgo 17 mentioned how the 1412 ordinanccs
and excepting Muslims, for once. regardíng separation of quarters were ncvcr fully imposed.
5. What Jews and Muslims wcrc cnforccd to do by royal laws Muslims should not have markets available to Christians within
Many of the former were not only Espina's recommendations, but thcsc quarters [Cath., 6]. Christian womcn were completely forbidden
what royal law in fact tried to impose on the realm, often quite un- cntrance there by day or night, under penalty of fines depending on
successfully. A quick survey on the Trastamaran laws shows that thcir state [Cath., 11]. No Jew or ivluslim should leave his city, and
political · problems within the . kingdom deviated their attention from no Christian should welcome thcm in another town, but scnd them
these íssues: Enrique II only attempted to establish the use of badges; back to their former residen ce [Cath., 16-1 7; Sen t., CXIX]; if any
Juan I forbadc thcir use of public offices and criminal jurisdiction, of them happencd to be leaving the kingdom and were caught on thc
and Enrique III had cnough to do extinguishing the riots which took way, they would lose ali thcir properties [Cath., 23; Scnt., CXIX]. Any
place in severa! cities in bis realm. It was to be a forcign woman Christian could be an accuser for all thcse transgressions [Cath., 22;
who took carc of the mattcr during the regency of Juan II: lcaving Sent., CU], but none could arrest aJcw or Muslim himself, until tl1ey
military matters to be scttled by her brother-in-law Fernando de were callcd to trial. Thcse laws wcrc significant in such territories
Antcquera, Cathcrine of Lancaster issued twenty-four ordinances as thc north of Castilc, where Muslims were taxed the same· amounts

"' They wcre published by Fernández y González, F.: Estado social y político, pp.
400 40.'i. On fapina's knowledge of Castilian legal codes, see Meyuhas Ginio, A.:
t:iFF, Lyon 1487, f. 94v. ÍLI. forteresse, pp. 28, 82.
M He went as far as saying: "Si vero fuenmt absolute coacti ut si per violentiam m Nlemorias de Enrique IV de Castilla, pp. 363- 44 1.
in aquam mersi sunt, tales non receperunt baptismum . .. " FF, Burgo de Osma, C( Ladero Quesada, M. A.: "Los :Mudéjares de Castilla en la Baja Edad
f 92v. Media", p. 373.

or even more than Christians. There were cases of Iviuslims who in Segovia. The members were builders, blacksmiths and others; thc
thrcatened their lords with emigration to Granada due to economic document was approvcd by the town council in 1484, although it
prcssure, in tcrritorics as far South as Toledo. 18 was probably just the written rendering of something alrcady in use. 20
Thc second matter in importance was the restriction of jobs which Ivfcmbers used to attend thc burial of other guild mernbers, infringing
implied dircct contact with thc Christian communíty and even pros- officíal laws. Thcy also uscd to havc meals togethe~this articlc men-
elitism. Inftuence in the uppcr social circles was limited by the pro- tioned Ivluslims explicitly·-·- and Muslims were exempted from paying
hibition of holding public officcs or wcapons [Cath., 5; Sent., II, for the candles to be burnt in church. Oaths wcre taken according
CIII- CIV] under a fine penalty, which in the Sentence changcd to to lslamic law. The money collected within thc guild was equally
the confiscation of all their goods. availablc to Christians and Muslims. 21
Thc next group wcre professions related to medicine, pharmacy The usual penalties were cstablished far Muslinis who had Christian
and food supplies [Cath., 2, 10, 21; Sent., CVI], probably influenccd servants or slaves in their household and lands [Cath., 4, 19; Scnt.,
by thc fcar of poisons--on the other hand, thís prohibition was nevcr CII, CVIIIJ, according to the different jileros. But the foremost humili-
applied, for even the King's physician was usually Jewish or Muslim. ation was rescrved for .Jews and Muslims in their social acknowledge-
The third group was arts and crafts [Cath., 20]: thosc rclated to ment by being farbiddcn to use the word Don before their names
. '
fashion (embroiderers, tailors, shocmakers, etc.) were dangerous bccause as would pcople of distinguished noble descent or those who had an
Castilians were more and more inftucnccd by Muslim aesthetics, and education [Cath., 12].
the textile industry was an important source of income for Mudcjars, Several laws werc devoted to the question of jurisdiction by aljamas.
who also importcd raw materials from Granada. This measure was In 1412, particular judges in the aljamas were forbiddcn, and thcir
thcrefore as much economíc as social. The prohibition of being car- attributes were given to the local judges (alcaldes) [Cath., 7]. Taxes
pentcrs, builders or blacksmiths had to do with the importance of also started to depend on royal will and could not be distributed by
the building industry, also in Muslim hands- as it would remain for the aijama authorities [Cath., 8- 9]. It is worth noting that by the
years still--and the idea that should there be an invasion from Africa, l 450's therc were alrcady Muslim communitics who prefcrred to
these craftsmen would be lilccly to help the invadcrs by making ships have their causes secn by the royal judge rather than the aljama one,
or weapons. probably because Castilian legislation was more precise on the partic-
In Catalonia and Valencia, Muslims and Jews were soon excluded ular subjcct, or the judge was not to thc Iviuslims' taste. But, in gen-
from guilds and cefradías, for their deep rcligious content. Thc two eral, aq·amas continued acting as thc tribunal for Muslims and J cws.
groups then made their own associations, with an even closer structure. lt was precisely in these years when the famous .LJ:yes de Moros (Laws
The Manual de Consells in Valencia records the prohibitions on teach- of the Moors) were compiled: according to Wiegers they wcrc not
ing lVluslim apprentices to be carpenters, armourers or silk-weavcrs, supposed to be a guidance in those trials to be judged by l\!Iuslim
from 1429 to 1465. Restrictions were also applied to popular gamcs authorities, but rather far Christian judges.22 Thc figure of <lsa ibn
where weapons wcrc involved, such as the crossbow championship. 19 Djabir confirms the survival of the a!faqui until the end of Enrique
Still, despitc all thc royal efforts, Muslims continued to practisc IV's reign.
these jobs and defied every pressure as they belonged to guilds
together with Christian craftsmen. Such is the case reported in thc
foundation ordinanccs of the guild (cefradía) of Saints Eloy and Antón, ~ .A s:njo C?onzá~cz, M.: . La Exf:!~emadura castellano-orienial en et tiempo de Los. Reyes
Catolzcos. S~goma (14?0 - 15~6), lVf~dnd 1984, vol. 1, p. 330. I thank Dr. G. Wicgcrs
for suggcstmg th1s mtcrestmg pomt, and Dr. lvl. i\senjo for confirming the dctails .
2i A 1
s 10rt comp1·¡ at1on
. of quest10ns
· posed by royal alcaldes under Alfonso X con-
Ladero Quesada, M. A.: "Los Mud~jares en los reinos de la Corona de Castilla", tains thc formula for Muslim oaths to be taken in order to be acceptable to Christian
p. 11:. ª°:tho~ties. Alfonso X: Opúsculos legales . . ., pp. 196- 197 . Scc also ConLrcras, J.:
Archivo Municipal de Valencia, lvlanual de Consells, 291\, f. 163; 38A, f. 13. H~;ona . de :ru_· cmj~oraczones de menestrales en Se._l!,ovia, Scgovia 1921, pp. 120- 12 7.
Cf.: Bramon, D.: Contra morosy_judios, pp. 107- 111. vV1cgcrs, G .. op. cu., pp. 58 ·-59.

: : il

The last concern of 1412 laws was thc external appearancc of to circumcise himself undcr penalty of confiscation of their goods
Muslims, which had already bccn discussed in the IV Lateran Council and offices [Sent., VII]. As for their rituals and customs, they wcre
a century before. Clement IV had proposed the use of distinctive ordered to respect Sunday rest [Sent., CI]- with important conse-
clothes for Muslims and Jews.23 His recommendations wcrc not fol- quences on the working calendar, for they would probably stop on
lowed officially until much later, but legislation in thc fiftccnth cen- Fridays instcad of Sundays until then. 'I'hey had to stay at home
tury started to be more precise than earlicr fueros, which just quoted from Holy Thursday to Saturday, as a sign of respect for Christ's
the pontifical text. Hoods, mantlcs and head-dresses were carcfully passion. Muslims were thought to joke about the Sacraments and
described [Cath., 13- 14], as well as thc quality of textiles employcd not to honour the host in processions and when tal<:en to the dying. 26
(ccrtain materials could only be uscd up to a certain value) [Cath., It was also ordercd for security reasons, as pogroms werc very likely
15; Sent., CXVIII]. Colour badges had to be clearly secn on them- to start up on those days, given the religious feeling against J ews,
red for Jews and blue for Muslims [Cath., 13; Sent., XCVIII, CJ. which was easily extended to Muslims, and had already caused trou-
l\IIen had to wear long beards and hair, as it had bccn in former bles in thcir quarters. However, they were called to celebrations, so
times 24 [Cath., 18]. The Sentence was far less dctailcd than thc ordi- that they could perform their music and dances together with Chris-
nances in these aspccts. tians, as happened in Madrid for the Corpus Christi feast, 27 in 1481.
In order to guarantcc the diffusion of thcse laws, the last clause l\!Iosques could not be built ar· enlarged, or else they would be con-
ruled thcir publication ali over thc kingdom, and prohibited any fiscated and givcn to the Cathedral. Public processions to plead far
cxemptions or redemption of penaltics to all the authorities involvcd rain or plagúcs were forbidden. So were public cult and the call to
[Cath., 24·--25; Sent., CXV]. prayer [Sent., CIX]. Quite naturally, Jews and Muslims should not
There were several matters added to the Sentence which were not receive any crosses, ccclesiastical objects or garmcnts in pawn.
mentioned by 1412 laws. Changes in the legal procedurcs wcre mixed The coincidences found in all these texts can lcad to two conclu-
with religious issues in order to restrict Muslim propcrties and their sions. Either Espina studied the whole legal system concerning Jews
management to favour Christians, to changc thc system of contracts and Muslims in order to create his own scheme, and Enrique IV's
[Sent., CXIII] whilc rcstraining usury [Scnt., CXII, CXVI], and to legislation only followed thc usual pattern, or else Espina wrote in
limit their possibilities as witnesses in legal causes [Sent., CXIV]. order to help thc king's council to decide about his future policies.
The counterpart for thcsc laws were titles CLVIII and CCLXXII It is hard to know how much of the Sentence was Enrique's own
of the úyes de Moros25 which established that no witnesses would be and how mu ch his advisors'. If the part conccrning Muslims was
accepted but free Muslims, and that Christians could not inherit really his, it shows thc failure of his attempts to reconduct coexist-
Muslims' properties. ence whilc at the same time obtaining Granada by means of slow
Another set of measurcs agreed with the requirements made in cortes wearing away. If it was imposcd by the nobility in a time of extreme
between 1411 and 1464. Thcy had to do with war against Granada need, Espina can be seen as an influential member of the court who
[Sent., III]; the tenancy of castles on the frontier [Sent., LVII], their had sorne say in certain matters, and we may conclude that the
supplies [Sent., LVIII] and thc prohibition on trade with thc kingdom Fortalitium was patronised by someonc in the centre of the political
of Granada [Sent., LXXI]. life- maybe the Bishop of Osma? In any case, royal lcgislation and
Thc rcst has interesting points in common with Espina's rccom- rcligious theory are really close to each other in these parts, and
mendations mentioned above. Firstly, Jews and Muslims could not both have a parallel, slow evolution towards intolerance from the
circumcisc any Christian or accept conversions, or allow any Christian beginning of the century until the end of Enrique IV's reign.

FF, l 73r.
24 26
From 1340, they used to have a roundhaircut (garceta a la cabeza). Cf.: Brarnon, D.: Ladero Quesada, M. A.: "Los 1vfudéjares en los reinos de la Corona de Castilla'',
op. cit., p . 105. p . 19.
Gayangos, P. de: op. cit., pp. 120, 214- 215. 27
Torres Balbás, L.: Algunos aspectos del mudqarismo urbano medieval, p. 79.


Acculturation .Nlechanisms within Sociery itation was rather a situation of more or less stabilizcd pluralism, of
incomplete assimilation of two cultures. This assimilation was cnvis-
Acculturation is the term used far cultural change rcsulting from agcd in the 1450's as something desirable, but thc pressurc madc in
external-usually mutual- influenccs. Every culture builds a series this direction resulted in religious confusion, a pcrmeation of radical
of cultural dcfenses through which cxtcrnal intrusions are filtcred. ideas and the shattering of faith in providcncc, 30 elements which can
According to Glick and Sunycr, who have studicd this phenomenon be appreciatcd in Granadan society at this point.
in the Iberian case, Islamic rcligious life continued almost unchanged aftcr Christian
. .. acculturation involves more than a change in cultural content. conqucst in most tcrritories, yet thc fact that these practices wcre
Given the need of two or more cultures to operatc in a pluralistic sct- placed under Christian rule meant great changes werc taking place.
ting, protractcd contact tcnds to result in mutual agreemcnts, recog- The attempt to kccp everything the same can be considered a reac-
nized gTound rules for stabilized cultural rclations. Without such tion to avoid sudden changcs, a way of maintaining superficial daily
~ '
agreements and compromises, the result could be a situation so restric- life while settíng up new clcments in the backgTound.31 'To thc ques-
tive that the survival of the individual can be achieved only at the
tion of whether there was more conftict or contact between both
price of sacrificing those values and organizational forms that givc a
group its stability and its compass for the future. 28 societics at the time of Christian conqucst on the Eastern coast, Bums
concludcd that a ccrtain degrec of social hostility and ritual frccd
These authors dcfined four periods in thc acculturation proccss of individuals from an cxcessive personal hostility. Niuslims and Christians
the Iberian Península: 1232 to 1492 reprcsents the third, character- shared business and everyday life. However, Burns insists that our
ised by the dissolution of Andalusi. power and an incrcase in Christian concept of "tolerance" cannot be applied to such a relationship.
intolerance. They state a correspondcnce betwecn geographical ter- To start with, religious leaders exhortcd their fellows to leave,
ritory and cultural boundarics which is not completely acceptable. rather than coming under Christian government. Thc same was
It is true that Christian expansion altered the direction of accultur- ordered by Christian authorities to avoid closer contact betwecn
ation, surrounding Granada as the centre of Islamic resistence. But members of separatc religions. Thc fatwa~ issued by al-Wansharfsi
the cultural action of Mudejars within their own society was strong followcd a trend bcgun by twclfth-century scholars to respond to the
even under hard . prcssure, and so would it be when thc Morisco Christian conquest of the Holy Land. Emigration was considcred a
problem arase. rcligious duty, according to the Koranic prohibition of coexistence
Another statement which is worth carcful discussion is the sup- with infidels. Thc idea of Muslims defending their faith and cxpand-
posedly greater flexibility of Christian society, which reacted more ing Islam in the conqucred territories was only secondary for thesc
creatively to contact with other cultures. 29 It seems that neither of theoreticians. If the dhimma mechanism failed and Christians forgot
the societies was consciously ready to accept more influences from their pacts, insecurity would affect the whole Muslim community, as
the other in thc fifteenth century. Sincc the first Islamic settlement had happcned severa! times in the Península. Only the ill and cap-
in the Península, there had been waves of intolcrance within both .
t1ves werc excepte d !:irom t lus
. rccommend at1on.
. 32
groups, the movement of the Martyrs of Cordoba being just one All this reasoning was strongly linked to thc Islamic view of the
example under Ivluslim rule. Tolerancc became a myth with the gen- statc. The religious attributcs of a secular lcadcr, as personified by
eral acceptance of cohabitation during a certain period of Iberian Mu}:iammad and followed by the caliphs, could not be transferred
history, but a detailed study throws many shadows over thc model to a Christian king. Such was the conflict in the Iberian Península
created. by historians. As the authors of this article concludc, cohab-

Ibídem, pp. 153- 154. .
~8 Glick, T. F. & Pí-Sunyer, O.: "Acculturatíon as an Explanatory Concept in :~ 1Burns, R. l.: op. cit., p. 19. ·
Spanish History", pp. 140-141. 32
For a comment on late medieval fatwas rcgarding Al-Andalus and thcir impor-
Jbidem, p . 150. tance, see Sabbagh, L.: "La religion des morisques .. ." , pp. 4S 50.


when Christians started to overcome al-Andalus. Although rcjcction Oscillation on the fronticr meant an unstable social life under
of Muslim rulers cxistcd among J\!lozarabs, the feeling was not bascd different lords. Only the royal expcditions produccd important
on thc same political elements, so it was faced more casily. changes on the frontier, but from Juan II's reign, even the lines of
On the othcr hand, canonists from the thirtecnth century on- local action became steady and creatcd an awarencss of the necds
wards "affirmed that Christians should not expcl such communities and obligations of the frontier scttlers. Most of them were nobles,
without offending charity, and that these guest-communities had a duc to the two main premises of monarchy for such appoíntments
right to administrative autonomy and freedom from convcrsion by being rewards for military actíon, and a preference for wealthy people
force". 33 If the fact that the status of Mudcjars within the Peninsula who could support troops in case of need. Enrique IV uscd these
was strongly inftuenced by the Islamic dhimma system is acceptcd, it posts which were given to sorne of his fricnds, such as constable
must also be noted that such a system dcvcloped during the centmies Miguel Lucas de Iranz.o, who fulfilled an important role at the fron-
of coexistencc. tier ncar Jaén. 36
One of thc main political factors to take into account at the dawn Severa! figures bccame vital for the relationship betwccn Christian
of Ivluslim power in the Iberian Pcninsula is its isolation from neigh- and Muslim populations on the frontier. The first were the alcaldes
bouring Muslim kingdoms. The point of refercnce should thcrcfore be de la frontera (frontier judgcs _for Moors and Christians), established
the relatíonship with Castilc. In fact, the history of the two kingdoms to gua.rantee safety and justice. They werc in charge of judging
ran parallel between 141 O and 1475, when the enthroncment of thc assaults, robberies, and arranging the rcturn of convicts who had
Reyes Católicos would change the coursc of Castilian and Aragonese fted across the frontier. Their appoinhnent was made in both kingdoms
history. Granada "existed in a situation of constant tension which by the monarchs, to whom they wcrc directly related. 37 The alfaqueques
had a pronounced psychological effect on the Moorish population, wcrc able to cross the frontier rcgula.rly provided with safe-conducts
which was composed mainly of refugees from previous Christian (aman), in order to negotiate the ransom of prisoncrs. So werc mer-
advances. Such a situation, as Henri Terrase pointed out long ago, chants, interpretcrs who oftcn acted as ambassadors, and the fieles del
produced a siege mentality, and holy war was popular both among rastro, who performed the duties of actual scouts. These profcssions-
the inhabitants of the Nasrid state and among the Berbcr mcrcc- if we may call them so--show how permeable the fronticr was in
nary troops and voluntccrs from North Africa". 34 ali aspects, from the movement of peaceful people to raids and in
Frontier life on both sides was based on a range of settlements the advancc or retreat of the defence line marked by fortresses. Even
which, no matter their size, performecl sevcral functions. They were captivcs were authorized to stay in the other kingdom after escaping
bases from which to attack the enemy, positions of defence and if they had not stolcn any propcrty.
observation, and trading centres. The maintenance of these fortresses There was a sensc of common frontier identity between thesc soci-
was the duty of the mona.rchy which, on the Castilian side, developed eties on both sides, who wcre at the samc time peripheral to the
the institution of castellanship. The records of meetings at Parliament central govemmcnt. Due to this distance, "they had to create their
(cortes) show that the care of castles was often neglccted either by the own semi-formal patterns of behaviour and mutual collaboration in
monarch or by castellans, giving risc to a great number of complaints order to survive". 33 This meant adapting to the opposing society in
from the citizens. 35 several ways, counterbalancing violcnce by a degree of acculturation.

Burns, R. l.: lvluslims, C!zristians and Jews in the Cntsader kingdom . . ., p. 59. :ilj See Quintanilla Raso, l\tl. C.: "Acerca de las fortalezas andaluzas en la fron-

~·•Lópcz de Coca, J. E.: "lnstitutions on the Castilian-Granadan Fronlier", pp. tera granadina durante el siglo XV", Coloquio de Historia lvfedieuaL Andaluza, Almeria
128- 129. 1988.
Cortes de los Reinos ... , Parliamcnts mentioning this issue took place in Ocaña, 17
: Torres Fontes, J.: "El alcalde entre moros y cristianos del reino de Murcia",
1422; Palcnzuela, 1425; Zamora, 1432; Madrid, 1433; Toledo, 1436; Madrigal, ~~ 1

1438; and Valladolid, 1451 under Juan II. Under Enrique IV, only in Ocaña, 1469, Maíllo, F.: "Diacronía y sentido del termino elche", Miscelánea de estudios árabes
when his policics regarding Muslims had been rejectcd and abandoned. y hebraicos, XXXI (1982), p. 85.

Fronticr conversions 39 were one of the mechanisms through which Islam. The "non-ecstatic" were more or less satisfied with their pre-
thís was achieved in the period studied. vious religious lifc and changed more for mundane than for spiritual
Cultural exchangc was a conscquence of this life on ·both si des of rcasons. Thcse were more numerous, and the most common in the
the "barrier." Thcre is a necd to distinguish inftucnces which rcquirc context stuclied here. They found lifo in the new rcligion more attrac-
a number of pcople interactíng, and those which are independent tive insofar as it conformed to thc old religíon. Thcrefore, as con-
from the number of inclividuals involved. Fashion, food habits, gold- version progressed, the ncw religion becamc in its social dimension
smithing, were used irrespective of their origin, but were not neces- increasingly like thc old. This kind of symbiosis was produced in
sarily a sign of conversion or subjection.'10 Iberia since the time of the first arrival of the Muslim invaders, and
thc strugglc to kecp the basic doctrine and social habits of each faith
was onc of the most characteristic foatures of lberian society during
Conversion and lntegration the Middle Ages, as well as onc of thc most outstanding concerns
of Christian clergy and Muslim jurists.
The origin of conversion or apostasy in thc Península can be traced There are no precise data for the number or pcrccntage of converts
back to thc beginning of Muslim occupation, but that would mean on each side, cspecially for a period as late as the fifteenth century.
considering societies which had líttle to do with the fiftecnth century. Molénat42 mentions a few cases in Toledo, usually captives, and most
As Bulliet argues in his famous study on conversion to Islam in the of thcm in thc two generations between the 1470's and 1520's. The
Middle Ages, it had an important social dimension, which would motives foi thcir taking this step were varied. The first was, of course,
however vanish progressivcly as Castílians and Andalusians incorpo- true conviction about their new faith. Therc could also be a desire
rated each othcr's influences ínto their own cultures. The return to to avoid taxes, particularly in the case of convcrsion to Islam, where
more radical rcligious forms in the time of Nasríd Granada could the new Niuslim immediatcly stopped paying a poll tax, although the
not avoid this interaction. land was still paid for according to a new law. There was also the
The way Bulliet defines a ''social conversion" suits the Iberian case possíbility of being freed from slavery. The convert was entitled to
perfectly: 41 ít involves sorne movement from one religiously defined an amnesty even if he had been condemned to death, no mattcr
social community to another, being more an individual than a com- what the crimc had been, from insulting the Prophet to rape.
munal action. This possibility implics a society in which social idcn- Usually, the influence of authoritics over their subjects, who tended
tity was normally defined in religious terms, as opposed to tribal or to imitate their way of Iife and social habits, could movc them to
national terms, which is thc case of the areas which converted to turn to another religion. Thc ncw convcrt might also try to avoid
Islam in the Middle Ages. Thus, we can speak of a relationship be- confinement in a neighbourhood-morerias in thc case of Castile-
tween conversion to Islam and the dcvelopment of an Islamic society, and being the object of recriminating action. Divisions within the
and likewise, between convcrsion to Christianity and acceptance of Christian Church might lead sorne people to Islam, which they only
another given social system. thought to be anothcr heresy of Christianity, but not a diflerent rcli-
In this schemc, two kinds of converts can be found. Those whom gíon, and always less confusing than their own. :Finally, captive
Bulliet called "ccstatic", did not find thcir spiritual expectations Christian womcn usually turned to Islam when they realized they
satisfied within their old religion and tended to become zcalots after would not rcturn to their familics, spccially if they had childrcn, who
conversion. It was the case of sorne of the converts from Judaism had to be cducated as Muslims too.
in Castile, and for example Anselmo Turmcda, who turned towards Ricoldo de Montecroce 41 defincd four ways to cntcr Islam: through

López de Coca, J. C.: op. cit., p. 149. 42
Ct: Ladero Quesada, M. A.: "Los mudéjares en los reinos ele la Corona de
Ladero Quesada, M. A.: "Los mudejares de Castilla ... ", p. 363. Castilla", p. 20.
• Bullict, R. : Conversion to Islam in !he 111edieval Period, Harvard 1979, p. 34. 43
Montecroce, R.: Dispulatio, f. 86r.

the sword, deceivcd by the dcvil, through family inheritance, or due Morcover, bis sales and donations should not be acknowledged. Thcse
to its permissiveness. In any case, it was preferrcd to idolatry, for accusations could be made for five years after the convert's dcath.
at least they believed in one God. On the othcr sidc, there were But it could also happen that sorne of those who denied the Christian
also reasons for a Muslim not to convcrt to Christianity: Muslims faith and became Moors "would work to do a great service to the
considcred thc diversities of opinion among Christians, i.e., their divi- Christians, which would result in a great advantagc for thc land."
sion into sects; their evil lives and their ill-faith, especially the V cnctians In that case, they could be forgiven and excused the scntence of
and Genoese, 44 as more dissuasive wcapons than physical ones. death, because it would be assumed that they loved the Christians,
Law codes wcre strict about apostasy. Jews were forbidden to and they would turn to the Catholic faith if it wcre not for shame.
bccome Muslims at thc Council of Tarragona in 1252. In Castile, Should he rcpent his error and tum to the Catholic faith, his sen-
the basis of the wholc local legal system had bcen since the 1250's tence of defamation should be forgiven and he might not lose his
the compilations ordcred by King Alfonso X. The Fuero Real, for propertiesY
example, said: On the ot:her hand, the conversion of Muslims was treatcd with
moderation in the Seven Parts:+B they should be persuaded by means
I. Título de los que dexan la fe catholica. Ningun christiano non sea
of good words and preaching, and nevcr forced. For if it wcre God's
osado de tornarse iudio, nin moro, nin sea osado de fazcr su fijo moro
o iudio. Et si alguno lo fiziere, mucrra por ello. Et la muerte deste will to impose his faith on them, He would surcly find a way to do
fecho sea atal que sea de fuego. 45 so. But if a Muslim decided to become a Christian, nobody should
object to it.
The Seventh Part, Title XXV cxplains this article further: it justifies One of the most biased texts about conversion was Nicolau Eimeric's
corrversion to IslaiTI by a sudden attack of madncss in those who Manual far /nquisitors, which recommended strict penaltics for converts
havc lost relatives, or their posessions, or those who havc been evil. to Judaism, either formcr Christians or former converts to Christianity.
The stated punishment was confiscation of the convert's goods, which Thcy should be prosecuted by religious authorities and givcn to the
would go to his family-as long as they did not follow his example-- secular power in order to be burnt. Converts to Islam should be
and if he was found within the boundaries of the realm, he should trcated likewise. While t:he question ofJudaism is discussed at lengt:h,
be killed. Reconciliation was possible only on these grounds: conversion to Islam only dcserved a short asscrtion to condernn it in
Apostata en latin tanto quiere dezir en romance como christiano que the same terms. 49 Although the book was written around 1376, it
se torno judio o moro: e despues se arrepiente, e se torna a la ley de continued to be used in the following centuries, was printed several
los christianos: e porque tal orne como este es falso, e escarnecedor times aftcr 1503 and thc reedition by Francisco Peña betwecn 1578
de la ley, non <leve fincar sin pena maguer se arrepienta. E por ende and 1587 in Rorne implied the Curia's acknowledgement of its prac-
dixeton los sabicis antiguos que <leve ser enfamado para siempre, de
tical value.
manera que su testimonio nunca sea cabido, nin pueda haber oficio,
nin lugar honrrado; nin pueda fazer testamento, nin pueda ser esta- The Koran was not very precise in punishing apostates (sura 47:25),
blescido por heredero de otros en ninguna manera.'16 but later compilations of Islamic law did refer to the problern. For
example, 'lsa ibn Djabir's Breviario Sunni recommended obedience to
onc's parents even if they were non-believers; Ioyalty to one's lord
« A tcstimony quoted by Thomas Gascoignc in his Loci et libro veritatum (c. 1450).
Cf. Southern, R .: fll!estem views qf Islam ... , p. 83. even if he were not a Muslim ... but it comes to t:he point in chapter
"About those who leave the Catholic faith. No Christian should dare become
a Jew or a Moor, nor dare he make his son a Moor or a Jew, and if somebody
<loes so, let him die for it, and the death for such an action must be thc firc." defamcd forever, so his testimony should nevcr be heard, nor can he hold an office,
Alf<;>nso X: Opusculos legales . . ., p. 117 (Lib. IV, tit. I, Ley I). nor an honest place; nor can he make his last will, nor can he inherit from other
"Apostate in Latin means in the vernacular a Christian who beco mes a Jew people in any way." Alfonso X: Las Siete Partidas, f 77r.
or a Moor and afrerwards repents and returns to the Christian faith: and bccause H lbidem, t: 78r.
such a man is false and a trespasser of the Jaw, he should not rcmain unpunished, lbidem, f. 76v, law TI.
even íf he repents. And therefore the ancíent learned men said that he should be Eimcric, N. & Peña, F.: Nlanual de lnquüidores, pp. 85-88.
...................... ___________________________________ ,,,,


fifty-one about heretics, blasphemcrs, renegades and suspccts: if some- high officers surrounding thc rulers, and there are a fcw about their
one swore against thc Sunna, he should be kept in prison far thrcc coopcration in the surrcnder of sevcral important strongholds.
days far him to rcpent, or otherwise be killed. The same would hap- Dcaling with renegadcs or converts was not casy, far thcy repre-
pcn to whoevcr practiced another religion in secret, far he would sented an antithesis of religious heros. Most of thcm were pressurizcd
not be consídered either a Muslim or a Christian. Whoever denied by circumstances and had thcir children baptised as soon as they
God and blasphemed, should be stoned. 50 (Isa repeated thc prohibition met a Christian pricst. Their bchaviour whcn faced with situations
on inhabiting Christian lands-which he himself did not respcct- where thcir former and new faiths and political commitments were
and not indulging in Christian practices, uses or customs, or dress engagcd, was varied. Narratives frequcntly describe their dcath as
líkc them, or have their images, in arder to be pure. Despite all thc time when their true religion emerged: either thcy prayed in thc
these measurcs, in all the trcaties signed by Christians and Muslims, Christian way, or else thcy receivcd confessiori. 5 -~
both of them·-including the clergy-agreed not to stop anyone from The other side of the coin, Friar Anselmo Turmeda ((Abd Allah
converting to Islam. 5 1 al-Tardjuman, d. 1424- 30) has been considcrcd the paradigm of
In Aragon, laws were issued for thc aijamas not to prevent any conversion to Islam far a long time. His autobiography provides the
Muslim from convertíng to Christianity if he wishcd to do so and first account of this kind of conversion. It was based on the tale of
for Christian authoritics to cncourage such conversions by guaranteeing 'Abd al-Salam thc Jew, who had becomc a Muslim in Mu1;tammad's
thc ncw convert's rights to his propcrties, which otherwise belonged time. The lattcr had been considercd as one of thc most truthful
to the aijama. While he was alive, his children had no further rights traditions Óf the Prophet's life, so it automatically authcnticated
to his propertics. They could claim what thcy should havc rcceived Turmeda's book.
had he remaincd a Muslim only after his dcath. 52 Historians have looked for non-religious rcasons for his convcr-
As has bccn mentioned befare, the only way for a Christian to sion, from a desire to get married to thc dccadence of thc Christian
avoid the death penalty for apostasy was by sorne good seivice to Church. But the main reason, given by Turmeda himself, was his
his former correligionaries. Changing owners in frontier fartresses conviction of Mul).ammad's identificatíon with the Paraclete, which
had no doubt made many scttlcrs convert to Islam in former periods. had struck him when he studied Islam. It was not thc first case of
Whcn they saw Christian domination as unavoidable, their only way a friar who changed his faith for thcological reasons. Diego de Torres
to re-integrate into that society was by cooperation with the Christians mcntíoned another who became a Muslim in Fez, studied Arabic
in cxchange for forgiveness, as happened in the conquests of Antcquera, and was appointed a preacher in the great mosque for his works
Gibraltar, etc. Many of these stories are included in thc chronicles. using biblical texts. Later on, he repentcd and was acccpted back
Connected to this phenomenon, raids by both armies in the country- into Christíanity because he was considcred to be mad. 5"
side involved a number of captives who wcre given the opportunity Returning to Turmeda, his work was unknown to Christians until
to convert-as happened in Granada- , orto remain in prison until the ninetecnth century, but it was alrcady quoted befare 1468 by
they were ransomed. Sorne of them <lid of coursc convert. If they 'Abd b. Mu):iammad b. 1viajluf al-Ta'alibf as an outstand-
were too young, and usually sold in thc market as slaves, they were ing case of conversion. In fact, his book is most extraordinary, because
brought up as Muslims. Whilc mature captives often returned to he used Islamic arguments illustratcd by fragments from thc Bible
Christianíty as soon as thcy wcre under Christian power, young ones instead of Koranic verses, and he dcscribed thc Sacraments wrongly,
usually kept their new faíth, and wcre affected by a higher degree somcthing surprising in a Christian friar, who was supposed to know
of acculturation. Most of thc rccords left about these mcn rcfer to thcm well. His omission of Mul;.ammad's miracles is also surprisíng}5
as is his attempt to refute Christianity by mcans of historical traclítion
Gayangos, P.: Tratados de legislación . . ., pp. 383-384.
Dufourcq, Ch. E.: op. ci.t., p. 217. 5
~Bunes Ibarra, M. A. de: op. cit., pp. 193- 194.
Harvey, L. P.: op. cit., p. 105. Tilandcr, G.: Los Fueros de Aragón .. ., book VII, ' See Epalza, M. de: La Tu!Jfa, una autobiogrefia polemir.a ... , pp. 27- 40.
law 271. ;,r, Ibidem, pp. 80-91. ·

instcad of rational argumcnts. The Tul;fa was not written for Christians, Thc third used the title of ghazi (fighter in the path of God), and was
but merely as a rejection of Christianity. father to thc second prime ministcr in the family, called Abu-1-Surilr
Conversion in Iberia had sorne general features which must be Mufarridj aftcr his grandfather. Thc emir Sa<d ordered his death in
considered. At the top of the social hicrarchy, convcrsion was bascd 1462 whcn he wantcd to get rid of the Banü Sarradj lcaders. 57 But
on a lineage systern which was an cssential part of political life. there was another member of the clan in thc Castilian court around
Conversion from Islam to Christianity was helpcd by the lineages' 1455. Both Valera and Alonso de Palencia mention in their chronicles
strugglcs to enthrone thcir own pretenders in Granada. Once one a ccrtain "l\!Iofaras" or "Mofarrax", who worked for Mulcy Abu-1-
of them succcdcd, the safest place for the partisans of thc other pre- J:Iasan, the refugce princc of Granada, together with a certain Ridwan
tenders was across the frontier, so they would move to the Castilian V cnegas, from another convert family. The prince was waiting for
court, where they would keep the privílcges accordcd to their rank an appeasement of thc interna! dissent to claim his rights to the
by being members of the king's body-guard. throne, and was meanwhile kíndly receivcd by Enrique, who was
Granadan aristocrats linkcd their families to thc former thirty-six hoping to use him in his strategy against Granada. The thrce Moorish
lineages which had becn cstablished in Granada, sorne of them knights were choscn by the king to accompany him in an ensuing
dircctly from Arabia. Ibn al-Khatib mentions which of thern prevailed expcdition to Andalusia, hclping to produce one of the cpisodcs
in each region of the realm. The names of the lineagcs oftcn left which would later on be turned against him. Whíle they were in
their mark in place-names. Family solidarity ('a~abrya) favoured both Scville, Mofarrax kidnapped the daughter of his host Diego Sánchcz
local unity and interna! fights within Granada. The other two fea- de Orihuela and took her out of town. The grcatcst scandal occurred
tures which characterised social life in the realm were residence and when the parents wcnt to complain befare the kíng. Enrique IV
profession. The higher the position, thc more urban the family was. blamed thcm for not looking after the girl properly, to the great
T'he army and intellectuals, together with the court, occupied urban astonishment of those who were prescnt. Meanwhile, the Muslim
areas. was thought to have run away to Granada and kept the girl as his
Granada was born out of the agreement between threc family concubine. 58 She became a Muslim, and they had severa! children
groups plus the immigration of African lineages. A coalition of lineages togcther.
lcd by the chief of the Barril Sarradj was to decide thc interna! hís- The most intcresting sources available far the study of Muslim
tory of Granada during the whole of the fiftcenth century. The legit- converts are the documcnts in thc archive of Simaneas. These are
imist Nasrids fought them, lookíng for Castilian aid to bccome military around one hundred records of the wages of the Moorish knights
leaders. 56 Sorne of the most famous names of the Banü Sarradj party both Juan II and Enrique IV had as their body-guards, plus several
could be found in Castile as refugees as often as the Nasrid princes. others for different offices in the court. Thc existence of a Moorish
The most intcresting family supporting the Banü Sarradj was the guard was probably influenced by its counterpart in Granada. The
Mufürridj, whosc founder was a Christian captive sold as a slave and Christian guard can be traced back to the Caliphatc of Cordoba.
freed by the cmir's family far whom he started to work as a body- Mentioncd later by Ibn Khaldun and Ibn al-Khatfb, it grew after
guard. Abü-1-Surür Mufarridj convcrted to Islam and became popu- its loyalty to MuJ:iammad V had been proved. Its members were
lar as a fighter on the frontier. His Christian orígi.ns were the key to greatly appreciated for thcir commitment to the monarch, even m
his ascent to the office of hiüijib (chamberlain, prime minister) in such confusing ycars as those betwecn 1419 and 1464.
1409, far it guaranteed his loyalty to the Crown, and not to the par-
ticular intercsts of a lineage. But the lineage he himself foundcd took ,
Ibidem, pp. 54' ·59; Seco de Lucena, L.: "Nuevas noticias acerca de l¿s Mufürridj"
different steps: two of his sons werc officers in the Granadan army. Etudes d)Orientalirme dediées a la memoire de Levi-Provenral, Paris 1962, pp. 299- 306. See
also Torres Fontes,J. & Sáez, E.: "Dos conversiones interesantes", Al-Andalus (1944),
pp. 507- 512. :
Valera, D .: A1emon'al de diversas hazaíias, pp. 10-11; Palencia, A.: Crónica, pp.
Ladero, M. A.: Granada) historia de un pais islámico, Madrid 1969, pp. 32· -36. 68, 76--77.

In thc fourteenth century, Muslims were commonly uscd by Ara- a member of thc guard, although it would seem logical for a Christian
gonese kings to defcnd thcir fortrcsses against Castilian attacks, ali king. The accusations against Enrique IV of bcing Islamophile werc
through an extended arca which included Valencia, Saragossa and probably made up by the nobility, due to a different view of poli-
Huesca. In this contcxt, it was considered as a kind of rn:ilitary scrv- tics towards Granada at the time. The guard might be a <loor opcned
ice. It must be noted that thesc castcllan units seem to have been per- to thosc Christian renegadcs or their dcscendants who wished to
manently assigned to the aijafe1ias as an elite guard. 59 rcturn to Castilc for whatcver reason and thus did not have to face
Thc Castilian lVloorish guard could probably be traccd further ccclesiastical harassment or social confinement. 61 At the same time,
back, but its apogec coincided with the faction strugglc which caused the king could make good use of knights who had already been
many Muslim kníghts to flee to Castile. The divísion existing bctween trained, and who would be more loyal to him.
Crown and nobility in fift:centh-century Castile caused royal trust to Howevcr, the abnormal situation created by the Moorish guard
be placed in thc loyalty of thcsc Muslims who had no lord but their had to change by 1464-65. A noble league threatened a civil war
benefactor, the king, and who wcre lookcd upon suspiciously by in Castile, but Enrique IV preferred to negotiate. Thc result was a
many. This feeling was justified in part because kings uscd to rely manifesto issued on 16 January 1465 asking, among othcr things, for
on their most faithful soldiers to perform their most secret plans- Muslims and Jcws to be ejected from the kingdom, especially those
such is the case of the attempted murder of the lord of Pedraza by who were closest to thc king, as has been explaincd in chapter one.
a Moorish guard on behalf of King Enrique I\16° in 1459. Another These measures wcre in fact applied, because no wages were paid
reason for hostilíty was that many of the guards had been renegade to any Moorish knights after 1465. Although anti-Islamic feeling has
Christians, who had at first become Muslims, and later returned to always been considered thc reason for the disappearance of the
Chrístíanity. Sometimcs their resolution to rc-convert was enough to Moorish guard, a more consistent explanation can be found: Juan
grant them a pension, especially after the first convcrsions in the II had already rclied on the Moorish lmights in his hardest times,
141 O's, following theological disputes and the capture of Antequera. when his cousin Juan de Navarra used his influence in Castile and · .·. ·.
But, in general, there were no great reactíons against the institution had him confined in various fortresses not once, but several times.
until 1465. Enrique IV continued to use thc guard his fathcr had crcated for
It is interesting to note that most of the knights were not Muslim all kinds of purposes including attempted murder. The fact that
any more, suggesting a mechanísm of assimilatíon in the Castilian around 1464--65 thc country was clase to a civil war and the king
king's policy. The rccords rnention three generations of knights. Most lackcd supporters, may havc pushed the nobles to prcssure him in[
of the people cited from 141 O to 1420 still had Muslim names, and arder to get rid of the most devoted part of his army, thus dcpriv-"J°
many of them left Castilc aftcr sorne years to live in Granada again. ing him of military powcr. \~, _'·'

We can relate thcse facts to thc líncagc struggle which was taking The departurc of Muslim knights has not bccn studied. Probably .,;,
place in Granada at the time. But thc second group of knights, those the ones who were JVIudejars rctumed to thcir Moorish neighbour-
who were recordcd in thc books around 1440, had mostly changed hoods. Those who had converted to Christianity would find it difficult
their names to Christian ones, which meant they had bcen baptised. to go therc; they might either go back to their families in Castilian
Most of them also used their native place-narne, or sorne still thcir cities if thcy had any, or return to the frontier, paid by the local
fathcr's namc, following the Islamic use. The former Muslim name lords. Othcrs could have sought refugc across the sea, as was the
was specificd in several cases. The same happcned with thc last case in the times of Juan II, when he was asked to lct sorhe knights
grdup, those recorded in the 1450's and the l 460's. cross to Tunis. 62
It is impossible to know if it was compulsory to be baptised to be
While the knights tended to converl and bear a Christian name, people work-
See Boswell, J.: op. cit., pp. 175-176. ing as builders usually kcpt their Muslim names. One more reason for
liu Valera, D.: ojJ. cit., p. 20; Cf. Ladero Quesada, M. A.: "El Islam . . ." Las that thc guard was bcing assimilatcd.
utopias, p . 224. Carrillo De Huete, P.: Cnmica del Halconero, p . 235.
Another example of the complicated religious relationship between hayan razon de haber con ellos guerra derechureramente, et porque
Christians and Muslims are local ordinanccs defining evcryday habits. los que en ella murieren, habiendo complido los mandamientos de
The Muslím population tended to be progressively isolated from the Santa Eglesia, sean martircs o sean las sus almas por el martirio quitas
.:! del pecado que ficieren. M
Christians in most of the territory. Diachronic studies have becn
undertaken to see thc evolution of this legislation, but it should be Juan de Segovia was thc first to approach the mattcr in De mittendo
seen in this religious context as well. For this purpose, the case of gladio: he started asking why MuJ:iammad's sect had been so succcss-
a small area in La Rioja, involving the diocese of Calahorra and ful both in the beginning and in general, in arder to try-1..o d~Y.!§t
the council of Raro might be helpful. a mcthod of conversion. 65 Juan de Torquemada started in the same
In 1324, the bishop of Calahorra issucd constitutions about excom- way, justifying it by the false promises of the Prophet, his violence
munication in which wcre includcd those Christians who protected in the extension of Islam, and the lack of evidence of his mission,
Jews and Muslims in churches so that they could attend the most which deceivcd thc simple. But soon he moved to the subject of the
important Christian ritcs, thosc who kept their habits or attended possesion of the Roly Land:
thcir weddings and funerals, those who lived together with Muslims
Plane audemus dicere, quod sicut propter peccata Israefüarum arca
and Jews, or ate their food, and those who had Muslim or .Jewish Domini Philisteis est tradita, ita etiam proptcr peccata Christianorum
lovers. Later on, in 1453, the local council forbade thc acquisition et ingratitudinem Terra Sancta tradita est in manibus impiorum
of Christian properties by these groups. In 1458, thc Count of Raro Sarracenorum cisdem demeritis Constantinopolitana civitas imperialis
forbade Christians to work far Muslims or Jews unless they could paucos ante dies cum multi.s adiacentibus populis, non sine maximo
not find a job among their own pcople. Christian women were not Christianitatis oppobrio (sic) Turcarum servituti subiacta est. 66
to be sccn going into a Muslim house without a Christian man. In Espina tried to explain this argument bctter. It had bccn God's váll
1464, Muslims had to be confined in the momia and a wall had to that Christians should not commit sin in the same land where Jesus
be built around it, and in 1468 both count and council remembered "------ ---·~---····
Christ had died. AfterJerusalem liad been captured by the crusaders,
the compulsory use of badges and caps by Muslims. 63 It is true that they could livc in thc city as long as they live,s!.,EiS:~!.~9.,~~!.Y:. ~ut when
rcpetition of these orders meant that they wcre never thoroughly cn- the offences against Christ started to increase in nuniber, they were
forced, but the trend towards intolerance and conflict is dearly shown. thrown from the land, which was conquered by the Saracens. The
rcsult of this was that, the Muslims being renegadc Christians-
dcceived by the Nestorian Serg-ius-·· , thc possession of thc Holy Land
The End qf Muslim Power would only involve confusion for them. They were like the hounds

The situation could not be handlcd for much longer, as vvriters were
ready to realize. Thcy idcntified it with the forthcoming prelude to ~ "The reason why God allowed the Christians to take such harm from thc
Moors is so that they should be able to make war justly against them, and so that
the Day of Judgemcnt. But befare knowing whcn this would happen, those dying in such war, having obeyed thc commandments of thc Holy Church,
they nccded to understand why ali this suffering and humiliation had could be martyrs, theír souls being absolved by such martyrdom of the sins they
bccn s9ll_to Christians. The subject was old: Alfonso X's, brothcr might have committcd."
Don Juan NÍ~ucl, famous as a writer, had already asked~th~ --;~;;e
Don Juan Manuel: Li.bro de los Astados 2, 95. Cf.: Carpenter, D. E.: "Social pcr-
ception ancl litcrary portrayal: Jews and Muslims in Medieval Spanish Literature",
qucstion, and answered that: Convivencia: ]ews, Muslims and Chri.stians in Medieval Spain, New York 1992, p. 75.
Cabanelas, D.: ]uan de Segovia . .. , p. 132.
Et tienen los buenos christianos que la razon por que Dios eonsintio " "Vvc hear that it is said that, the same as far the sins o[ the Israelites, God's

que los christianos hobiesen recibido de los moros tanto mal, es porque chest was given to the Philistines, also for thc Christians' sins and thcir ungrate-
fulncss, the Holy Land was given into the impious Saracens' hands, and for their
misdeeds the imperial city of Constantinoplc wa.s subject to scrfdom under the
Cantera, E.: "Los mudéjares en el marco de la sociedad riojana bajomcdieval", Turkish a tew days ago, with many villages ncarby, not without grcat disgracc to
pp. 32-33. Christendom." CE, p. 247.

who guard the doors of manors, thus guarding thc doors of Christ's If 1;.ve spcak of thc Iberian Península, thesc íssues were sccn in a
scpulchrc. Their avarice had led them to admit Christian pilgrims much more practica! way, for five hundred ycars' cocxistence could
to the tomb, and this would also contribute to .their confusion. The not be in vain. They lmcw how difficult it was to achicvc an impor-
last reason for their having the Holy Land was for the conversion tant number of conversions without exerting violence, and they also
of Jews before the end of the world. 67 As for the conquest of the knew how difficult and slow war had been throughout the Middle
Iberian Pcninsula, it has alrcady becn said that .fEspina considercd Ages. But the end of Granada was close- or at least that was what
the sins of severa! Visigoth kings the rcason for thelarrival of Muslims ecclesiastical writers expectcd.
in thc Peninsul~ At the same time, thc Islamic spirit of rjjihiid as more than just
The possibilities left to Christian writers at this point were well an impulse of conqucst, but a way of kceping acquired positions, 72
resumed by Burns when spealcing of the medieval missionary: they had been replaccd by internal war in Granada, lcaving the Christians
could favour conversions via commercial or other contacts· fanatic cnough hopes of conquest. Within the Christian kingdoms, 1\!Iuslims
confrontation, which would result in a much more fanatic response; tried to adapt themselves to new conditions, rathcr than trying to
infiltration by means of disputes with Islamic learncd men; the con- oppose resistence. Nevertheless, the Breviarío Sunni maintained the
version of rulers, which would kad- their subjects in~Christianity, oblígation of rfjihad, spcakíng bricfiy of all the points to be considcrcd:
or finally war followed by prosclytism. 68 We shall sce whi-Clí. solution captívcs, loot, tribute, cte. The· suspension of real meaning of thís con-
was favoured by our authors. cept was only a tcmporary stage befare the triumph of Islam. 73 The
Justification of erusade as ')ust war" was pushed forward in the viewpoint from outside the Península was quite diffcrcnt: Eastern
thirteenth century by Pope Innocent IV and a number of ecclesiastical chroniclers usually insisted on Granada being the only position left
writers. Jacques de Vitry considered crusadcs as a "defensivc, and to the Muslims in the Península. After 1450, al-cAynf stressed the
hence just, act of warfare/' Once the crusaders arrived, those Saraccns fact that Ibn al-Al:imar was unablc to resist Christian triumphs, and
who had feared conversion in front of their fellows would feel free could not count on any aid from othcr Muslim countries. Although
to convcrt. J acques needed a fow years in the East to realize that Granadans were considercd quite bravc for resisting the siege thcy
conversion was not that easy, and had to accept that sorne killing werc suffering from Christians, histmi.ans lmew the internal difficultics
was necessary in ordcr to imposc Christianity. 69 Accorcling to Innocent, the kingdom cndured. H
crusadc and mission could not cxist without each other: crusade had At the opposite side of Christendom, the Turks rnadc it difficult
to open the way for missionarics to reach the lands of Islam. St. Louis's to think about the end of Muslim power. All the efforts of ecclesiastical
crusades should have supported this new trend, but their failurc made writers were focused on the release of Constantinople during its siege,
theologians think of new approaches to the matter. 70 By the end of or after its capture. The whole account of Islamic doctrine, Islamic
the fifteenth ccntury, they aroused more criticism than respcct: the military advances and Muslim habits was dircctcd towards demonstrat-
scandals caused by indiscriminate use of crusading funds- which ing the urgent need to defend thc Christian faith against their attacks.
have already been mentioned; the preaching and purchasc of indul- And this would be achicved as soon as Muslims were expellcd from
gences to raisc money; the expeditions against political enemies con- Byzantíum and thc Ibcrian Península. Those who proposed the use
cealed as "crusades" and the disorganizcd way in which the papacy of war, cncouragcd their sovereigns in different ways.
conducted the had undermined the original enthusiasm. 71 Thc situation the Turks were facing was not the bcst·-- said Jean
Germain to Charles VII of France-because the lords in the Holy
FF, f. 172r-v.
Ilurns, R.: Jvfuslims, Christians and ]ews ... , p. 88.
69 72 See Urvoy, D.: "Sur l'evolutíon de la notion de djihad" Mélanges rfe la Casa de
Sermons by Jacques de Vitry, in BNP, Ms. Latin 17509, ff. 93r-102r. Cit:
Kec!ar, B.: Crusade and kfission, p. 128. Scc also Maier, C. T.: Preaching the Crusades, Velazque;:; (1973), p. 335.
pp. 10-11. 73
Ibidem, pp. % l-36'.3.
Ibidem, pp. 159-169. Arié, R.: "Relations entre musuhnans d'Espagne ... ", Al-Andalus, I, pp. 98,
Houslcy, N.: 7he Later Crusades, p. 379. 101.

Land were on bad tcrms with the sultan. The lord of Acre had exhortation is full of Biblical references, promises cif glory and praises
offered his troops to the pope if they started the "passage" (crusade), of the prínces, trying to move them to follow Pope Pius II in hís
as well as sorne castles. Furthermorc, a large part of the sultan's launching of the crusadc. His efforts wcre in vain. 76
army was madc up of Mamluks, who had once been Christians. Although not vcry rcalistic, Espina's proposal sounds rathcr more
Thcy were expccted to back thc Christians in their efforts. More aid convincing. For a start, his emphasis was placed on the conquest of
would come from the opressed Grceks, who would coopcrate, sincc Granada, which he lmew somcwhat better than the othcr writers
the union of the Churchcs and the end of the conflict bctween pope knew the Ottomans. The sccond reason is that he relicd on one of
and emperor had bcen very positive. Germain could only see advan- the most well-regarded masters in the fight against Islam: Raimundo
tages in the enterprise, so he hastened to give the king political rea- Llull. Hís argument is that íf Christians wanted to start a holy war
sons to cngage in the crusade. While Charles's kingdom was in peace, against Muslims, no place would be bettcr than the Ibcrian Península.
as wcll as his mind and family, he would be wise to turn to the Llull had proposcd five different places to start the war, moving
problems of the rest of Christendom, as his ancestors Charlemagnc towards the Holy Land: Constantinople, to tal<.e the route through
and Clovis had done before. Thc prey would be nothing less than Armenia and Syria; Alexandria, vía Egypt; Cyprus, again to continue
thc unity of Byzantium- perhaps under his rule- , thc capture of through Armenia; Tunis and, finally, Andalusia (al-Andalus). The
Jerusalem, once the gcographical basis for it established, and the first four destinies were dismi~sed on different grounds, ranging from
revival of the crusader spirit which would infiuence the Spanish war climate, possibilities of supplies, distance of the journey and whethcr
against the Moors in Granada. Moreover, he could count on the it was by sea or land, to amount of population willing to follow thc
aid of thc Duke of Burgundy, who askcd his permission to join the fighters, number of castles availablc on the way and expenses. Advance
arrny. At the same time, he could use crusade as the excuse to sign across the Iberian Península was by far the easiest, due to thc priv-
truces with the King of England, as he had becn asked to do sev- ileged geographical position, abundant food supplies and horses, the
era! times by thc pope and the duke himself 75 possibility of recruiting people ali the way, the easy journey to the
In the light of modern historiography, this proposal may sccm North of Africa, and thc advantage of finishing off the last Muslim
na1vc, and Charles VII probably thought so, bccause he did just the stronghold in the West of Europe, which left that frontier free for
opposite of what Germain was proposing: he refused the appeal to Christian troops. From Ceuta, the army could movc through Tunis,
thc crusade, and he forbade the Duke of Burgundy to attend, because Egypt and finally rcach the Holy Land. 77
he needed him on his Northern borders in order to kecp the distance There was anothcr point mentioncd by Llull, which Espina recallcd
from England, far from signing truces. Sevcn years later, the matter only once without daring to proposc a name, 78 but which was eagcrly
was 'still not settled, and Torquemada had to use the same kind of believed by monarchs-and probably encouraged them more than
persuasion at the Councíl of Mantua in 1459. any ecclesiastical speech. That was the figure of a rex bellator elected
This time, the audicnce was even more difficult to addrcss, fi.rst in council to lead the Christian army. If all his subjects dcsired his
because princes from all over Europe werc supposcd to attcnd, and victory, thcy would join thc army voluntarily, thus saving a lot of
then becausc those princes who could make decisions did not arrivc, expense while fighting more courageously. 79 Enrique N was never
but just sent their lcgates, so the Council was reduced to a cliplomatic in a position to believe he was the chosen monarch. As the emperors
meeting. Anyway, Torquemada proceedcd with his exhortation, try- of Gcrmany and Byzantium had proved thcmsclves unable to mect
ing to movc the lcgatcs both with religious and political rcasons: for thc rcquirements, Philip of Burgundy and Alfonso V of Aragon saw
the love of J esus Christ and religious zcal for his honour; for love
of the Christian "res publica"; for their own prídc and glory and for 76
CE, pp. 247- 258.
the great reward promised to those engaged in the holy army. The 77
FF, f. 17'1.v. The text is copied word for word from Llull, R.: Liber de fine, pp.
'2.76- 277. .
. 76 FF, f. l 73r.
Jean Germain: Axhortation a Charles VII . .. , f. l 4r- 23r. 79
Ibident, p. '2.77.

themsclvcs as possible leadcrs of the last crusadc. This fecling moved martyrdom, changc in the habits and clothes of the brethren to make
Alfonso V to write a long lettcr to the sultan, addressing· him as the intcgration easier, and the foundation of houses to welcome the friars.
"Great Hound" whom he was going to destroy. 80 Later, it was King Franciscans soon shared this new impulsc. 84
Fernando ll of Aragon who thought himself the messianic king who, A product of this symbiosis, L1ull successively defended pcaceful
after winning Granada from the Muslims, would conquer Jerusalem methods and war as the way to approach Islam. AH his works from
for the Church. 1275 to 1312 givc onc solution or another to the problem of Islam,
More pacific proposals wcre suggested by thc partisans of mission- and he defended all of them thoroughly, probably according to his
ary mcthods. The step from cnforced Saraccn conversion as contained experiences in preaching life. Aragonese policies also conditioned his
in thc comments on Gratian's Decretum, to rccognition that baptism views. In the long term, he prefcrred to devote his efforts to the
through coertion was invalidatcd automatically, had given way to upper dass of learned Muslims, whom he thought to be ready to
the idea of pacific conversion, so dear to mendicant orders. In thc listen; their conversion would be followed by thc rest of the common
thirteenth century, the Franciscan spirit introduced sorne changes pcoplc. He failed to sec that learned Muslims would not necessarily
regarding the Cistcrcian missionary style. Preaching to Muslims feel discontcnt with their own faith. 85
became an extcnsion of preaching to Christians, and both were the The decline of crusades in the fourteenth century favoured a move-
new ordcr's most important aims. In this contcxt, Mendicants never ment of Christian conversions .in the East which worried the papacy.
supported forced baptism,81 and the means used to achieve convcrsion Dominicans and Franciscans were askcd to work further, instructing
were lcss important than the ultirnate cnd. Thc results were in dircct Christians liVing under Muslim rule in thcir own faith and giving
relation to the preacher's virtuous lifc; cducation was fundamental for special attention to thosc Muslims who had convcrted and risked
the success of sermons. The desirc for martyrdom was added moti- losing their faith again. 86 This trend was followcd, as wc have seen,
vation. 82 Espina undoubtedly learnt from these sources his definition by ccclcsiastical writers living in Europe, specially thosc living in the
of "the perfect preacher." But very soon Franciscans started to defend Iberian Península, who saw the same effect on the Granadan borders.
military intervention in the Holy Land to open the way for mission- By thc fifteenth century, both preaching and crusade had proved
aries, leading to a new style of preaching. Simultancous defence of useless to put an end . to Islam, and thc advance of the Turks on
preaching and crusade was never criticized from within or without the East only helped to assumc that Christians would have to livc
the orders themsclvcs, and was given papal approval in a bull of together with the Prophet's rcligion for much longer than they had
Gregory IX (4th March 1238) granting the friars thc same indulgcnce thought. New attempts involved spiritual aid givcn to captives as a
as had been given to crusaders by the IV Lateran Council. 83 mcans to entcr thc Muslim-ruled lands- although it was difficult to
The Dominican method proposed a new approach to Islam through permeatc their social structure, for priests were expelled as soon as
the attention of captives and study. Thc main representative of thc they tricd to proselytize outside the prisons.
learned branch was Raimundo de Penyafort, who opened schools Missionary hopes were still sustaincd, however, by such men as
for missionaries ali around the Mcditcrranean. Other figures like Juan de Segovia and Nicholas of Cusa, who were inspired by thc
Humbert de Romans, William of Tripoli, Pierre Dubois and Ricoldo few chances of crusades in the East and W cst of Europe succeeding.
de Montecroce, elaborated a ncw thcory of preaching, whose basis They maintained correspondcnce about their respective methods, and
was the study of the enemy's rcligion and languages, treatises writ- they tried to present thcm to Jean Germain, who obviously continued
tcn to provide ideas for the preachers, avoiding public debates and preferring the one he proposed. Segovia himself ncvcr rcjccted crusade
on thc whole, for he stated:
Sobrequés, S.: "Sobre el ideal de cruzada ... ", pp. 237-238.
Kcdar, B.: op. cit., p. 72. 84
See Zananiri, G.: op. cit., pp. 186 JI; Richard, J: La Papauté et les ·missions .. .,
Zananiri, G.: L'Eglise et l'Islam, pp. 184-186. pp. 117-120.
Kedar, B.: 0¡1. cit., pp. 141- 14·2. About Grcgory lX's crusading policies, see 85
Urvoy, D.: Penser !'Islam, p. 242 .
Maicr, C. T.: op. cit., pp . 32- 62. 86
Muldoon, J.: Popes, Lmi!Jers and Irfcdelf, p. 102.
. 1


I want to emphasize that I do not condemn thc lawful wars against for not listening to pacific reasoning. Segovia becamc so sure that
thc Muslims owing to their invasion of Christian lands and othcr sim- his mcthod was the best, that he could not help making it known
ilar causes, but only thosc undertaken with religious motives in mind to as many mernbcrs of the Church as possible. 89 But the latter were
or for the purpose of conversion. 87
engaged in the prcparation of the crusade and the council of Mantua,
A gap was thereforc created between the war far territories and the so bis message was not heard.
war for conversion. He only admitted crusade as a temporary solu- Both Segovia and Cusa agreed to start their work by translating
tion for self-dcfcnse, but it could not be relied upon without propcr and commentating the Koran, this being the main source of informa-
planning. Thrce possible remedies could replace it: tion about the life and doctrine of Islamic people. In fact Cusa spoke
of Scgovia as the initiator of a revision of the tradicional ideas about
- a miraclc, which was unlikely, givcn that God used to rely on
Islam. Cusa's method starts with the Cribratio Alchorani, in which he
men in these questions;
exarnined the text point by point, trying to diffcrcnciate Muhammad
- preachers, whosc scrmons produced a strong reaction among
from hís doctrine, and to extract from it as much valuable inforrna-
Muslims becausc they uscd to attack Muhammad. Thcy also
tion as possible. The next book, De pace fidei, is a debate among mem-
required a decp knowledge of the other's religion and psychology,
bers of all nations and religions, in order to unify all of them in one
which was difficult to attain in a short period of education. Plus
religion with a variety of rites. The great novelty is that he <loes not
they had to face Islamic fanatism.
accuse Muhammad in any way, but prefers to consider Muslims as
- effective war, which would prevent Muslirns from seeing Christ's
just one more nation able to live arnong the others with sorne con-
love in thc figure of their attackcrs.
cessions regarding their customs. His answcr to the capture of Con-
Once the traditional mcthods had been rejected, a new one had to stantinople in 1453 was to contact thc Muslim elite in a conference
be proposed: it was structured in three stagcs, and it nccded a long to discuss the grounds of a common pacific policy. 90 Needlcss to say,
time to produce its cffccts, but the results would be conclusive. The his proposals were even less use than Segovia's.
first condition was maintaining peace with Muslims. A peaceful atmos- All these projects to defeat the enemy on earth found theír decpest
phere would bring about the intensification of diplomatic and cultural meaning in the arrival of the Day of Judgement. The capture of
relations between Christendom and Islam, until comprehension could Constantinople was consídered a key-event in thc succession towards
replace fanatism. The last stage, after a long period, was the discus- the Apocalyptic era. The version of the conquest offered in the
sion of the fundamental doctrines which divided both religions, start- Fortalitium has the freshness of recent ncws and the added advantage
ing with the similarities, instead of the contradictions. Such discussions of six or eight years' distance to permit an analysis of the situation.
should be undertaken in front of rulers and alfaquies, so that thcir The argumcnt is quite different from that of Alonso de Palencia,
knowledge and advice would help to reconcile differenccs. 88 another contcmporary chronicler, who preferred a historical approach
According to Segovia, bis mcthod was based on natural law, in to the facts. Palencia thought that lack of foresight, European rulcrs'
the traditional principie of preaching adapted to the particular mcn- lazincss and bad management of the troops were thc reason why the
tality of Muslims, and was confirmed historically by the success of city fell. He only mcntioned one prophecy circulating in the corridors
peaceful mcthods as opposcd to crusades (and here he mentions the of the Roman Curia: "Constantina cadent et alta palatia Romae". 91
examples of King Wladislaw in Hungary, the conversion of England On the other hand, Espina devoted a great part of the battle to tell-
and the works of Saint Boniface in Germany). It could also be helpful íng the atrocities committed by the Turks once they had entcred the
even if it wcre rejectcd by Muslims, because then the Church would
be justified and Muslims would be condcmned by their own evilness
Ibídem, pp. 121- 123. See Juan de Scgovia: Letter to Eneas Silvio Piccolomini, Ms.
Vat. Lat. 2923, f. 3. :
R7 Cf Cabanelas, D.: op. cit., p. 111. 90
Anawati, G. C.: Nicolas de Cues .. ., pp. 145-147.
88 91
Ibidem, p. 118. Alonso de Palencia: Glónica de Enrique IV, 1, p. SO.


city, according to thc testimonies of a Russian bishop and the Dogue eschatological peoplcs of Yadjuqj and Madjudj (Gog and Magog for
of VeniccY2 He proceedcd to explain four prophccics about the cap- Christian writers) would appear, and thc rcst of the prophecies would
ture of the city, and a comment of St. lsidore. The two first prophe- be fulfilled. 911 'fsa's Breviario takes from Christian traditions the idea
cics are related to the supposcd oracles of Emperor Leo VI thc Wise of the central place of Palestine, and thc scvcn ages to pass befare
(886- 912), whom Espina callcd a "Greek philosophee', a classical in thc cnd of the world. But he <loes not mentían the key-figure of
Byzantine apocalyptic literature. The original tcxt was dated between Islarnic mcssianism, the arrival of thc MahdI. It is interesting to see
1100-·-1180, and by thc beginning of thc fourtecnth ccntury, the ora- that neither did Espina mcntion the messianic emperor who was
cles were transformed into a Latin Pscudo-Joachimitc work, the Vat:icinia supposed to defeat thc Antichrist befare entering J erusalem and ren-
de Summis Pontificibus, 93 this being probably the text which Espina dering the city to God.
knew. Both mention a certain column placed in the Church of Saint The end of Islamic rule was described according to the most
Demetrius which had engravings depicting the destruction of the city, renowned eschatological texts of thc Middle Agcs, combined with
which would take place whcn the names of the emperor and the the teaching of classical authors likc Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, and Pliny.
pope coincidcd with the ones who founded the city: Constantine and Thc last punishment ínflicted by Muslims on Christians was already
Grcgory. Prophecics on columns were a commonplacc in Byzantine in its way: all the lands in th~ world had suffered their invasion at
apocalyptic literature about the end of thc world, most of which wcre one time or anothcr, and the Turkísh invasion had updatcd millen-
mentioned in the Catalogus Codicum Astrologorum Graecorum, 94 although arist ideas. Persia, Capadoce, Syría, Egypt, Spain, Galia, Gcrmany ...
none is the same as Espina's. ali had been ravagcd by Saracens. Such was thc final proof reserved
The third wonder prcceeding the capture of the city was only to those who were willing to confess God's faith. 99 A number of
seen by the Turks, and consisted of candlelights burning ovcr the Christian authors had revealed this punishmcnt: St. Paul, Ishmael thc
walls of Constantinople during the níght, and which ascended to Hcrmit, Joachim de Fiore, Hildcgard of Bingen, Cyril of Alexandria ... ,
heaven. The Turkísh reading of the sígn was that God wítheld hís and sorne fragments of thcir tcxts are accurately quoted by Espina
protection from the besíeged, so that the city could be taken. And to enhance the eschatological tone of his speech.
it was. 9·5 The second step towards final liberatíon is taken from the stoic
For many authors, this was thc beginning of the end: Byzantinc Seneca: "Nothing violcnt is perpetual." So the Saracen rule, which
calculations 96 spoke of 1492, Espina himself spoke of an Arameic started through conquest and violence, could not survivc much longer.
calculatíon which placed the end of the world at the time when Two prophecics are quoted to support this statcment: one contained
Uz----Greece-and the daughter of Edom-Constantinople--fell into in Scotto's Sententt,"ae, and a certain Arabic prophccy which said that
Turkish hands. 97 For cfsa ibn Djabir the end of the world was a Christian king would conquer Mecca and scatter MuQ.ammad's
approaching, for l\!IuQ.ammad's prophecies had been fulfilled by 1462: bones as a symbol of the cnd of his law. He might be refering to
the age of hypocrisy and injustice mentioned in the hadiths had the prophecy by Juan de Rokasia (Jean de Roquetaillade, who wrote
come. Predictions of struggles were identified wíth the capture of Vade mecum in tribulatione by 1356), which was adapted to Aljamiado
Constantinople, and the rest of the signs were to come soon: the around 1485, whích proves that it must have been circulating in
Antichrist (al-Dadjdjal) would come and be destroyed by Jesus; the Castile befare that date. 100
Then comes the most interesting part of thc argumcnt: when wíll
this happen? Hcrc, Espina reveals himself as most cautious not to
FF, t: l 70v.
Cf. Alexander, P.: "The Diffusion of Byzantinc Apocalypses", p. 79.
Vasilicv, A.: "Medieval Ideas of the End of the vVorld: West and East", 93
Wiegers, G.: op. cit., pp. 125- 128, 240 242.
Byzantion, 16 (1942-43), pp. 462-502. FF, f. l 73v_
FF, f. l 7lr. ~ Thc tcxt has not been stuclicd thoroughly yet, and it is probably the Christian
MacKay, A.: "Andalucia y la guerra del fin del mundo", p. 342. vers10n the one which speaks about the Christian lcing scattcring MuJ:iammad's
Bowman, S.: Tlze ]ews qf Byzantium, 1204-- 1453, Alabama 1985, p. 180. bones. For an intcrcsting approach, scc Wiegers, G.: op. cit., pp. 126-127.

fall into the apocalyptic discourse. He never resorted to the calcula-

tions of the end of time. He avoided giving a precise date, or speculate
about one. He seems to be happy enough to prcdict that "save a CONCLUSION
better judgement, it must cease whcn the Christian pcople are
sufficiently punished." Then, they would be ready to destroy the
l\/Iuslim empirc. Givcn that the capture of Granada was seen as pos- However one may approach it, the central phoenomenon of Medieval
siblc, and the expectation of a crusade against the Turks, it seems Spain- tlic formative pcriod of its natíonal culture- is the meeting and
that the l 460's were a reasonable date to expcct sorne advance to bilateral adjustmcnt of two distinct cultures, Christian and JVluslim,
with a third, semi-autonomous cntity, the Jews, playing sorne role in
be made. But no comment is made about who is to lcad thc Christian the events. i
army, or how <loes Muhammad relate to thc Bcast or the Antichrist-
an idea which had moved most authors. As we have scen, by the fifteenth ccntury this adjustmcnt had given
The last text to be quoted was headed "About the Saracens' pcr- place to a period of transition towards a new structurc. In the 1450's,
pctual serfdom under the Christian yoke". 101 Again Espina <loes not new political circumstances drew attention to thc Islarrúc problem
explain how this serfdom was to take place. Only that the end of from diffcrent sides.
the conflict would bring peace to the world and liberation. How this How did Christians regard Muslims at the end of their political
has to be understood in the light of the End of the World, only powcr in the Iberian Peninsula? Religious litcrature) laws and historical
Espina could tell. facts have been used to dcpict the situation in the mid-fiftcenth ccn-
tury, befare thc parties' fcelings became more extreme. I have tried
to prove that 6!Je ideology le;ding to the conquest of Granada and
the final dcfeat of Muslims in thc Península can be traced in scveral
w?E~.~J With the exccption of ~El.Q-~Lide.alist!f?. J1::~!?:~,..Q.l:'..".§.5'.gQ:0-_a,
the othcr authors show an evolution towards i!!._1:9.!_~_rance an.d.YiQknce
which was common to the society and its rulers.
All the books written by Christians rcfcrring to Islam were religious
trcatises discussing their faith. Howcver, most of them were aimed
at Christian readcrs whosc faith was dcclining or who werc threatened
by Muslim power (captives, etc.). The point of view was tllercfore
negative and accuracy only served the ultimate objcctive: persuasion
of the final triumph of the Christian church.
Of the four authors studied in this book, --~-'?-~Q. JJ~~la...Esp..ina is
undoubtcdly ~he most interesting~ "}}.Q.t..only because of the volume of
his work but alscrfor-the·vaficfY"'~t sourccs he used and their interpreta-
tion. His encyclopacdic knowlcdge made the Fortalitium Fi'dei more than j
a first-hand sourcc for Jewish history. His use of chronicles for a t
"book of battles" and his chapters about l\/Iul;ammad and Islamic pre-
ccpts are one of the best works about compared religions in his time.
There is a connection between Iberian authors working abroad,

FF, f. l 74v. Glick, T. F. & Pi-Sunyer, O.: "Acculturation as ...", p. 138.


who dealt mainly with the Ottoman issue, and those working in the of Tole do, Francisco de Cisneros, decíded the royal policy towards }
Península, whose first interest was to disseminate ideas about North the Muslims all through the modern period. I can go as far as to
African and Granadan Muslims. The revival of the Ottoman threat suggest that thcir approach to Islam and particularly Cisneros's tri-
in the East affccted thc whole of Europc, which tended to forget umph was thc cnd of the Mudejar problcm and the origin of thc
that its far West still was under the Muslim yoke. At thc same time, l\llorisco issue. But this would be thc subject for another book. .. .
people in Castile yearned for the final defeat of Granada, regarding
the Turks only as a possible help for Mudejars and Granadans. Both
ways of approaching Islam are personified by Torquemada and
) §~pina, respcctivcly. In any case, given the slowness of communica-
-~tions and thc distancc between thc authors, thc ideas seem to travel
much bctter than might be expected, partly duc to thc good library
system, universities and mcndicant friars.
A lot has been said about the style used to attack Islam and it
has been described in detail, so there is no need to insist hcre on
the importance of traclitional polemics, symbolism and the powcr of
image in manuscripts, which can be compared to the e:ffectivity of
discourse, togcthcr with gesturcs.
Thc steps towards intolerance in rcligious authors can provide a
cluc to thc situation of acculturation in thc Península. Laws show
an attcmpt to harden positions against Mudejars, whilc coexisting
\.\iith them¡/Some superficial elements were kept the same to avoid
reaction against more subtle transformatiou.~ Whereas conversion to
Christianity was seen as most desirable and was supported by local
law-codes, the opposite was scverely punished. However, the in:ftucnce
of Mudejars in the society around them was still too important-
cven ~-~~J>.~lwark--.0Lr2y~_J?,9~~r.
The relation between the dcfeat of Islam and the end of the world
had been poínted out in the seventh century, but thc imminence of
thc fall of Granada produced more litcraturc on thc subject. Thc
samc happencd on the Muslim sidc, whcrc ctsa ibn Djabir thought
thc time had come to defeat the Christians, and even the Jews had
their own prophecies about the end of the world coming around
1453/1492. But internal quarrels among the Granadan parties brought
forward the last triumph of Christians, while a strong monarchy was
growing in the Península.
Thc following gencration of authors gathered all the ínfiucnces
and knowlcdge of the prcvious ones, but times had changed, and
the application of similar principles brought new reactions. After the
fall of Granada, 0ie outcome of the confrontation between the first
~chbishop of the city, Hcrnando de Talavera, and the Archbishop

141 O Capture of Antcquera by Christian troops

1412 Dispute of T ortosa
Cathcrinc of Lancaster's ordinanccs about Muslims
1415 Capture of Ccuta by thc Portuguese
141 7 Torquemada, Juan Il's ambassador to the Council qf Constance
1422 Clemcnt VII elected pope by the Aragonese
1424 Translation ef the Bible efAlba into Spanish by the Jew Nloshé Arragel
1429 Council of Tortosa: constitution to rcspcct Clement IV's dis-
posítions on Muslims
1431 Cortes in Palencia to discuss war against Granada
Battlc of La Higueruela
Dispute ef 1Vfedina del Campo (Segovia)
Torquemada, Master ef the Sacred Apostolic Palace
1432 Expedition of Alfonso V of Aragon to Tunis
1434 Council of Baslc under Eugcnius IV
1436 S~govia travels to Germany and copies Ketton's translation ef the Koran
1437 Portugucsc crusade to Tangier
1438 Thc Council moves to Ferrara
1439 Thc Council movcs to Florence. Felix V is proclaimed
1441 "Manifesto" agaínst Alvaro de Luna
Segovia, cardinal
1442 Cardinal Cesarini, legate to coordinatc forces for a crusadc
against the Turks
1443 Crusader success at Edirnc
Conquest of Naples by Alfonso V of Aragon
DisjJute between Torquemada and El Tostado
1444 Varna: dcath of Wladislav I
144 7 Cavalleria claims his puril_JJ ef ascent
1448 Crusader defeat at Kosovo
Segovia's retirement
1449 End of the schism
RioLs against Jews and converts in Toledo: works by Torquemada and
Alonso de Cartagena
1450 Sforza, Dukc of Milan

Treaty Aragon-Venice 1460 Civil war starts in Catalonia

Cavalleria's ":(,elus Christi" Torquemada, bishop ef Orense: ((Symbolum pro injónnatione Mani-
1451 Philip of Burgundy proposes a crusade m a spcech to his clzaeorum"'
knights of the Golden Flcccc 1461 Death of prince Carlos de Viana
Albano-Aragonese alliance Germain's 'Vébat du Chrestien et du Sarrazin"
Death of Murad Il and enthronement of l\!Iu]).ammad II Possible death ef Alonso de Espina
Se,govia> bishop of Savoy 1463 Bull "Ezechiclis Propheta": crusade starting at Ancona
1452 Fredcrick III's coronation in Rome 1464 Death of Pius II
Thc N asrids attack Murcia 1465 Sentence of Medina del Campo
Jean Germain 's "Discours du voyage d'Outremer" Enrique IV's dethronement in Avila
1453 Capture of Constantinople by thc Turks Possible death ef Pedro de la Cavalleria
Diet of Regensburg 1466 Leo of Rozmítal visits Castile
Treaty between Castile and Aragon 1467 Deaths of prince Alfonso of Castile and Philip the Good of
Death ef Alvaro de Luna. Alonso de Espina is his corifessor Burgundy
Segovía> bishop of Cesarea: "De mittendo gladio cordis Saracenorum '' 1468 Dealh ef Juan de Torquemada
Alfonso V of Aragon the Sultan
1454 Dcath of Juan II of Castile and enthronement of Enrique IV
Banquet of the Peasant in Burgundy: oath of crusade
Diet of Frankfurt
League of Lodi
J org von Ehingen visits Castilc
1455 Defense of Belgrade
Beginning of the Castilian campaigns against Granada
Alfonso V of Aragon takes thc cross
Death of Nicholas V and accession of Calixtus III
Plunder of the Moorish neighbourhood in Valencia
Alonso de Espina attends a Meeting of 1''ranciscans in Madrid
1456 Deaths of John Capistrano and John Hunyadi
Enrique IV's trip to Ceuta. He is given thc administration
of the Spanish Military Orders
1457 Meeting at Alfaro (Enrique IV and Juan de Navarra)
Espina preaches the bull ef crusade
Piccolomini and Torquemada> cardinals
1458 End of the Granadan campaigns
Dcaths of Calixtus III and Alfonso V of Aragon
Thc Portuguese conqucr Arzila
Death ef Juan de Segovia
1459 Council of Mantua
Juan de Torquemada: "Contra Errores Machomeli"
Espina begins the "Fortalitium Fidei >J

CE: Contra enores j1e1fidi i\!Iachometi

FF: Fortalitium fidei . ..
LCS: Livre du Chrestien et du .Sarrasin
.·. f
ZC: <:,elus Christi . ..
[] : So urce quoted without mcntioning authorship

1. Classical Sources

Aristotlc (d. 322 BC): Aietaphysica. CE, FF.

- Physica. CE.
·--·· Ethica. CE; FF.
- Política. CE.
- Liber de substantia orbis. CE.
- De anima. CE.
- De proprietatibus elementorum. CE.
- De animalibus. CE.
Boethius (d. c. 525): De Sancta Tiinitate. CE.
Cícero (Tullius, d. 43 BC). CE, FF.
[Hippocrates (d. c. 399 BC)J. CE.
Lactantius (d. c. 320): Divinae Institutiones. CE.
Origen (d. c. 255) [through Eusebius of Ccsarea]. CE.
[Plato (d. 347 BC): Timaeus]. FF.
Plotínus (d. 269): Enneads. FF.
Porphyry (d. c. 30 1): De regressu animae or De abstinentia. CE.
Seneca (d. 65): Ti·agoediae. FF.
~billine Oracles. FF.
Vcgctius Rcnatus (c. 383-450): Epitoma rei militaris. CE.
Virgil (d. 19 BC): Bucolica. CE.

2. Docton qf the Chw·ch

Ambrosc (d. 397): De Spiritu Sancto. FF.

- De T rinitate. CE.
- De efficiis ministmrum. CE.
Anastasius, Pope (d. 401). CE.
Augustinc (d. 430): bis work in general. CE, ZC.
- De civitate Dei. CE, FF.
-- De Trinitate (419). CE.

- De verbís Domini. CE, FF. Jacques de Vitry (d. 1244): Historia On'entalis Ecclesiae. FF.
- De Gene.fiad litteram (401). CE. Juan de Segovia (d. 1463): Tractatus contra sarracenos:::::: De mittendo gladio corda
- Tractatus in ]ohannis evangelium (414). CE. sm;acenorum. FF.
- Senno de Nativitate Domini. CE. Joachim de Fiore (d. 1202): Speculum visionum. FF.
- De .fide Sanctae Trinitatis. CE. John Damascenc (d. 749): De fide orthodoxa. FF.
Cy:ríl of Alexanclria (d. 444): Thesaurus de sancta et consubstantiali Tlinitate. CE, FF. John of Podio (d. 1455): Collectio Historiarnm (Ms. copied for the Library of
Damasus, Pope (d. 384). CE. the Royal Palace, Madrid, by thc samc secretary as FF). FF.
Gregory the Great (d. 604): Moralia in Job. CE, FF. John Duns Scotus (d. 1308): Commentarium supra libros Sententiarum. FF.
Jerome (d. 420): A letter to Pope Damasus. CE. Leo N, Pope (d. 855). CE.
John Chrysostom (d. 407): Contra judaeos et gentiles. CE, FF. Liber generationis et vitae Machumeti. FF.
Leo 1, Pope (d. 461): Sermo de Nativitate Domini. CE. Lucas Tudensis (d. 1249): Gnronicon Mundi. FF.
Methodius (Pseudo-) (c. 674-678): Se1mo de regno gentium et in novi.r.fimi tempo-
1ibus certa demonstratio (De fine seculi). FF.
3. Arabic & ]ewish Sources Nicholas of Lyra (c. 1349): Postilla. CE, FF.
Pedro Alfonso (c. 1110): Dialogus. LCS, FF.
'Abd al-Masih ibn lsl;iaq al-KindI and <Abd Allah b. lshma'Il al-HashimI Raimundo Llull (d. 1315): Liber de fine. FF.
(9-1 Oth c.): Risa/a. LCS. Raimundo Martí (d. 1284): Pugio fidei. FF.
Abraham ben Afra. ZC. [- : Tl·actatus contra Machometum.] CE.
lbn al-Haqim de Málaga (Ronda?). FF. [Ricoldo de Montecroce (d. 1320): Improbatio Alchoranis.] FF.
lbn Rushd (Averroes, d. 1198). ZC. Robert Ketton (c. 1143): Koran. FF; CE; LCS.
Kitab al-Mi'radj (Liber Scalae Nfachometi). FF, [CE]. Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada (d. 1247): Historia Arabum. FF.
I.iber generationis lvfachometi. FF. Sigebertus of Gembloux (d. 1112): Chronica (Historia Regum Franciae). FF.
Moshc ben Maymon (Maimonides, d. 1204): Cuide fer the doubiful. CE. Thomas Aquínas (d. 1274): Summa contra gentiles. CE, LCS.
-- Summa Iheologica. CE.
Vincent de Bcauvais (d. 1264): Speculum Historiale. FF.
4. Medieval Christian Sources (Greek & Latín) Vicente Ferrer (d. 1419): Sermon "Ecce ascenclimus Hierosolimam". FF.
[William of Tripoli (c. 1273): De statu Saracenorum et de Mahomete pseudo-propheta
Alain of Lllle (d. 1203): Qy.adripartitus liber contra hereticos. FF. et eorum lege et fide.J FF.
Alfonso X (d. 1284): Generalis Historia Hispaniae. FF.
Alfonso Buenhombre (d. c. 1343): Disputatio Abutalib Saraceni et Samuelis
Iudaei. FF.
Alexander de Hales (d. 1245): Summa FF.
Anselm of Canterbury (d. 1109): Monologíum. CE.
Bartholomeus Anglicus: De prop1ietatibus rerum (c. 1250, translated in the 15th
century by Vicente de Burgos). FF.
[Beatus of Liebana (c. 798): Commentarium in Apoca!Jpsin]. FF.
Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153). CE.
Calixtus 111 (d. 1458): Bull. FF.
Cathalogus Regum Terrae Sanctae. FF.
Clement V (d. 1314): Cl.ementinarum, V, tit. II, l. FF.
Cronica Beati Petri, Francisci, . . . Egi.dii . . . FF.
Dennis the Carthusian (d. 1405). FF.
Dionisius Areopagitcs (c. 532): De dívinis nominibus. CE.
Hildegard von Bingen (d. 1179): Scivias seu visiones (Líber revelatíonum Dei). FF.
Historia exaltationis Sanctae Crucis. FF.
Hugh of St. Victor (d. 1141): De Sacramentis. FF.
Isidore of Sevílle (d. 636): l!)ymologiae. FF, CE.


XIV. Therc was and is no hope of eternal life far pagans and Jews, and
cvcn less for Muslims who have abandoned God's doctrine and discipline
APPENDIX II: EXTERNAL STRUCTURE OF XV. There is no hope for Saracens, who do not observe God's command-
XVI. Thcre is no hope for Saracens because they do not have sacraments
XVII. l\!Iu.Q.ammad frccd Jesus by rejecting· his divinity, but not his inter-
The aim of this appendix is to givc a comparison of the main su~jccts and cession because he carne from Abraham's lineage
their prcsentation at a glance. The original division of the treatises has been
respected, but the titles for the chapters have not bccn translated word-.for- XVIII. l\!lul:iammad pretended he was given Abraham's law, which was
word bccause they lackcd dcfinition of the contcnts, and the chaptcr headmgs consídered divine
have becn cither translated or summarized. XIX. Includes the words from the Koran MuQ_ammad recitcd as if they
were Abraham's law, . to which he added abusing glosses

l. JUAN DE SEGOVIA: De mittendo gladio in corda San-acenorum XX. Explanation of what is contained in human law; differences among
divine, natural and scriptural laws and the law of divine grace
I. Consideration: Bishops and doctors of the Church try to convert Saraccns '.i
XXI. Christ did not dissolve but complete Moscs's law. About circumcision.
by preachíng the divine word How it cannot be proved that Abraham receíved another law from God
JI. Explains the reasons for the continuous war between Saracens and XXII. MuJ:iarnmad ordcred Moscs's law to be respected so that it supcrceded
Christians and thc maintenancc of MW¿.ammad's law ·. ¡
Chríst's. Due to envy, Saracens want to extinguish the namc of Christians
III. Contains adviccs to finish with the war, continued by Chrístians to XXIII. Praises of Mul;ammad contained in the Koran are divided in four
defend Chríst, the Church and its prelates' honour, attacked by MuJ:iammad types:
IV. Debate with the king of Granada's ambassador l. About himself

V. It was not considcred enough to send twelve men to prcach Christian

2. About the virtue of his actions or·
3. His judgcments when he was alive o
faith to the Saracens, as were the Apostles. History of three hundred years 4. Miracles he performed " ~ . (;)
of attempts es· le i~'i
VI. Dcmonstrates how in a short time the law of the Saraccns expandcd
XXIV. Mul:iammad's life and actions \ ~$ 11' / /'

by a multitudc of fighters. Reasons for the war XXV. Mu]:iammad affirmed that worlcs of nature, art and fortune were~~Q,!.EC.t:",f"/"
already mirades. Explanation of why he did not pcrfonn any other, accord-
VII. About the Saracens' hopes to convert rnany Chrístians by affirming ing to the Koran
sorne of thc truths contained in the Go-spcl
XXVI. Miraclcs told in the Koran, with four differences:
VIII. Seven crrors contained in the Koran, beíng the two maín oncs related 1. What is told in such a confussing way is not intelligent
to thc rnysteries of Trinity and Incarnation, and how it was easy for 2. vVondcrful actions are rcasonablc, but miracles are not
Muhamrnad to introduce them appealing to idolatry, distressing the Church 3. They are promises, not exhibitions
by mcans of Nestorian and Arian errors 4. They are invisible, nevcr seen by men
IX. Errors regarding marriage contained in the Koran XXVII. l\!liraclc of the seven slecpers
X. Exhortation and precepts for the Saracens to continue fighting, con- XXVIII. Lucipher's sin. lnspired by him, Mul;i.ammad's law dcnies Chríst's
ccding índulgence to thosc who die, and promising thcm Paradise divinity
XI. Points out excessive praises contained in the Koran as well as a num- XXIX. Reason why l\!Iul;tammad's sect expanded in such a short time. Ali
ber of other errors his religion is bascd on himself, as is shown by two sentenccs: :Therc is
XII. Críticism of MuJ:iammad's Paradise as described in the Koran only one God and Mul)-ammad is his mcssenger '

XIII. Account of the truths of the Christian faith according to Church XXX. Twenty-one reasons why MuJ:iammad's sect was accepted and
prelatcs and doctors multiplied

XXXI. Response to thc first fourteen reasons. Right actions are not worth 4 Article: The Messiah must su:ffer and die for the remíssíon of sins, and
without the ríght faith due to his death ali sacrifices must finísh
5 Articlc: Once celebrated this sacrifice, a new Law would convey thc
XXXII. Response to four of the last seven reasons:
Messiah to all souls through sorne choscn men
1. V\lhy Mu}:lammad's scct continucd to be expanded
2. How this was done, including the martyrdom of Christians Answers to sorne of the Jews' doubts
3. They do not possess a numer of divine books or about human law 1. About the Trinity
2. About the end of the sabbath
XXXIII. Answer to the last thrce reasons:
3. Why the Messiah has not eliminated punishment .for Adan:i's sin
1. Saraccns' misery is greater as their triumphs increasc
4. V\lhy don't the Christians circumcide thcmsclvcs, 1f Jcsus did so
2. About war for conversion
5. Why thc Christians have images in churcl~es . . .
3. V\lhy in the beginning the Church did not prosecute Mul)_ammad's
6. Why the food forbiddcn by Moses's Law 1s allowed to Chnstians
sect as a heresy
7. Why the old Jewish feasts are not valid for Christians if Christ cele-
XXXIV. Ways to convert the Saracens, being the lcss convenient the two brated them
former: 8. Why are Christians buricd within the church if thc Jcws havc cemeteries
l. Waiting for a miracle outsidc thc cities
2. Sending preachers
Refutation of the Islamic sect [divisions are not made by the author]
XXXV. About the third: War and its reasons 1. Discordance between Christian and Islamic faiths
1.1. Trinity
XXXVI. Saracens adored the principie of their world, whose messenger is
1.2. Jesus was not crucificd and dead. About his divinity
Mul;iammad, assuming that onc was the creator and other the legislator
1.3. Thc Koran is inimitable
XXXVII. Fourth way to convcrt thc Saraccns: the way of peace, by instruct- 1.4. Peoples of thc Book will be saved
ing multitudes and signing peace 2. Christ's pcrson and actions
3. Creation, Paradise and the Last Judgement
XXXVIII. Saracens will realise that the hapiness promised to them was
4. Contradictions in the Koran
· Uot true, and as they see the Christians are not unbelievers, they will turn
5. Angels
, . · ·. · to •· their religion.
6. Holy war
7. Christ is thc Mcssiah, but not the son of God

' ... .··. ,.. ·

2. PEDRO DE LA CAVALLERIA: ,Zelus Chrúti ... Reasons against idiots, showing that Jesus's faith is true and necessary

Preface Part II: philosophical proves of the truth of Christ's faith

Which are the Scriptures common to Jcws, Christians and Saracens
About divine providence
Part I: Against the J ews
1 Article: Thc Messiah was promised in thc law
3. JUAN DE TORQUEMADA: Contra mores pe1jidi Machometi
2 Articlc:
l. To whom was He promised
2. The Messiah had to arrive far the remission of sins
1. Mul;iammad's description and life
3. Before the Messiah's arrival, souls did not enjoy Paradise after death
2. Dcmonstration of Mul;iammad's false prophethood
4. Moses's law did not bring glory after death
3. About all the líes Mul;iammad said about himself
5. This happened because of the original sin
1. He is the last prophet
6. Again about original sin
2. Therefore, there are no more prophecies to be delivered
7. JVloses's law was imperfect
3. He is announced by Christ when he promises another messenger
3 Artide: The Messiah was promised in the Law, and he is both God
4. Muhammad's name is eternally written on God's throne
and human
1 \



33. Having sevcral wives is permitted

5. Ali the prophets beforc him announccd his arrival 34. Repudiation is a]so allowed
6. He asks Muslims to believe in God's messengcr '.35.
Adultery and fornication are lav.fol for Mul:i.ammad
4. The Law contained in the Koran is not divine, bccausc it <loes not 36. About sodomy
fulfü the following conditions: 37. Aftcr resurrection, material pleasures are promiscd to Muslims
1. It is not rational 38. Future hapiness is placed in vain things
2. It should command honest, just, holy things. Although fast and 39. About pleasures in Paradise, where wishes will become true
prayer are good, they are not acknowledged 40. Wine drinking is a sin
3. It should clirect towards God both external and internal human 41. Ali creatures invoke God in praycr
actions 42. The Virgin Mary gave birth on a palm-tree
4. It must be confirmed by natural law. It is not even confirmcd by 43. Once Christ was born she was consoled of her sadness
mirades, but imposcd by the sword 44. Shc was Mary, and the trcc produced dates for her to cat
5. It must be a wise law for the people 4·5.She was accused of_adultery by her neighbours
6. It must contain the truth 46. Apostles and prophets were Saracens . . . .
7. It must not be based on fables 4· 7.
Mul;iammad chargcs God with false and cVJl thmgs, 1gnormg that He
8. It must be in accordance with God in everything is the supreme goodness
9. It must be possiblc (quoting the Mi'radJ) 48. Twelve characteristics of Christian religion which should makc thc
5. Principies and foundations to refute Islam Muslims convert:
6. Mu.Q.ammad's main crrors (discusscd in chapters 7-4 7) 1. Its origin is the best: Christ
7. He denics the Trinity 2. It has thc holiest doctors and mastcrs
8. He denies Christ's divine generation 3. It is confirmed by divine power
9. He dcnies the Holy Spirit is God 4. It has prophets as authoritative witnesses
1O. He denies lncarnation 5. It has got true documents beyond question
11. Christ is not God 6. It has honcst commandments
12. Christ did not die in the cross 7. It gives advice to reach perfection
13. Christ wil1 not be the judge in the Last Judgement 8. It forbids evil things
14. The Bible was corrupted by Christians and .Jews, so thcrc is nothing 9. It has extraordinary virtuous sacraments
left which corresponds to God's real mcssage except what is said in 10. It is excellent bccause it is not based on weapons or violence, but
the Koran on humility and patience
15. He affrrms God is corporeal and has a body 11. Its essence is incorruptible firmness
16. God is thc reason far all evil 12. It promises eternal hapiness
17. He defended fate and denied divine providence 49. Five reasons why Mu.Q.ammad's sect was so successful, as opposed to
18. About circumcision Christian Church
19. lmages worshipped: criticism 1. His Paraclise is made of pleasures
20. He believcs Christians are forced to adore their priests 2. Lust and flcsh are permittcd
21. vVhoever lives rightcously can be saved in his sect 3. Only easy precepts are commandcd
22. Nobody is saved except Muslims 4. Tirannic violencc and the power of weapons are used by Mul:i.ammad
23. Angels are corporcal, made of fire 5. No prophet before him was .rejec.ted . .
24. Angels will die before the Last judgement 50. Admonition to makc the Cathohc pnnces raisc agamst the Turks
25. Angels commit sins
26. Demons can be saved through the Koran
27. God ordered the angels to pay hommagc to the first man 4. ALONSO DE ESPINA: ForLalitiwn Fidei (Book Four)
28. Angels ignored the narnes of things before Adam named them
29. Adam's soul is a portion of God's soul First considcration: About MuJ:i.ammad's origin
30. Ali human souls have been made from one soul 1. Mul)ainmad's origin and birthplace
31. The sky is smoke made of sea steam 2. About the author of Mu}:lammad's scct
32. The sun and the moon were made of the same light, but Gabriel 3. When was Mul)ammad's sect startccl
touchcd the latter making it darker
Second considcration: Muf.iammad's life and customs 14. Wine abstinence
1. His life was bcastlikc and lustful 15. Inheritance
2. His lite was ambitious 16. Testimony and witnesses
3. His life was monstruous due to epilepsy 17. Forbiddance of disputes with non-Muslims
18. Circumcision
Third consideration: Quality of Mul;i.ammad's doctrine and law
1. How Mu]:iammad's law was given Sixth considcration: About Mul;arnmad's vile death
2. Errors in Mul;i.anunad's law Scvcnth consíderation: Mul)ammad's successors
3. Fallacies and fablcs in Mul;iammad's law 1. The sect did not pcrish thanks to the Devil's shrewdncss
4. )\lfischicfs in Mu},tammad's law 2. Mul)ammad's successors in the East and West
5. l\!Iu.Q_ammad's law is not confirrncd by miraclcs 3. Diversity of people who accepted Mu.Q_ammad's law
6. Mul;iammad's law is full of contradiction 4. Diversity of pagans whom Muslims sometimes imitate
7. Mul;iammad's law is not divine because it has been rebated by men
and the devil was its founder Eighth consideration: the war of Muslims against Christians using arguments
1. Those who are called Christians do not descrvc that name
Fourth considcration: Foundations of Mu},tammacl's law, including his ascent 2. Against Chríst's Incarnation. Against the Holy Spirit being God
to hcavcn · 3. Christ is not God
Fifth consíderation: Concordancc and discordance of Muhammad's law with 4. Against Christ's death, · because he is supposed to be immortal
Christ's in the articles of faith . 5. Against the Trinity
- First article: I bclicvc in onc God . . . represented by jasper 6. Against Paradise being contemplation of God and not material goocls
- Second article: I believe in Jesus Christ ... representcd by saphire 7. Against marriage with just one woman
- Third article: who was born from the Holy Spirit ... represented 8. Against Baptism
by chalcedony 9. Against veneration of images
· · Fourth articlc: who died under Pontius Pilatc ... by emerald 10. Jews and Christians corrupted the Bible and thcrc is no truth left
- Fifth article: who descended to Hell ... by sardonyx in it but what is mcntioncd by thc Koran
.... Sixth article: He ascended to Heaven and is sitting at the right of Ninth consideration: about the wars and triumphs of Christians and Saracens
the Father ... by sard by means of wcapons from Mul)ammad's time until thc present (158 battles)
- Seventh articlc: and he wi11 come to judge . . . rcpresented by chrysolite
- Eighth article: 1 believe in the Holy Spirit ... by beryl Tcnth consideration: about thc possession of thc Holy Land by Saraccns
- Ninth articlc: I believe in the Holy Catholic Church ... by topaz l. Why do Saracens hold the Holy Land
- Tenth article: I belicvc in thc saints' communion ... by chrysoprise 2. Thcrc is no bcttcr land to start the crusade than Spain
- Eleventh article: 1 believe in the resurrection ... by jacinth Elevcnth consideration: VVhat must Saracens comply with when living under
- Twclfth article: and in eternal life, amen ... by amethyst Christian rule
About the discordance of Mul).ammad's preccpts: Twelfth considcration: end of Saracen power and their pcrpetual serfdom
l. Prayer under Christians
2. Ablutions befare prayer 1. Thc last punishment for the Christian people by means of Saracens
3. Proclamation in loud voice 2. End of the Saracen powcr
4. Fast 3. When must Muf.iammad's law cease
5. Easter 4. Perpetua} serfdom of Saracens under Christians
6. Pilgrimage to Mecca
7. Plunder and death for in:fidels
8. Food allowances 5. NICHOLAS OF CUSA: Cribratio Alchorani
9. Number of wives
10. Forbidden marriages with relativcs Book I: The Koran
11. Observation of Fridays
12. Prayer towards the South Prologue
13. About judging 1. The Koran. God cannot be the author, but thc dcvil

2. Contents of the Koran according to Muslims 17. Christ's death and its fruits
3. Thc Final .Judgemcnt according to the Koran 18. About Paradise
4. The Koran contradicts the Biblc and is wrong in thosc passages 19. Invcctive against the Koran
5. The Gospel must be prcfcrred to the Koran, because even thc latter
acknowlcdgcs its mcrits Book III: Mul).ammad; God in the Koran; Abraham; Christ's role in salvation
6. The Gospel is light for the Koran because it contains everything which
is true ín the latter 1. Faith in one God, according to thc Koran, will save evcrybody: lack
7. The elegance in style does not prove thc Koran's divine origin of prccissíon, becausc then it would include heretics
8. Jesus must be followed rather than l\!lu}.tammad, because he was placed 2. Mul).ammad was not sure about what to do or to belícvc. His asser-
higher by God tion that "Thcre is only one God and Mu}:iammad is his Mcsscnger"
9. The Koran wrongly blamcs Christians for adoring Jesus-considcring is false in the second prcmise
him a prophet- ; thcy do it as God 3, Mul;i.ammad tried conversion through violence when he could not do
1O. Christ is the son of God: dcmonstration it through words, and he kept chang1ng his mind
11. Why Jesus did not call himself God, but the Son of God 4. About God in the Koran; is he an absolute God ar is he contained
12. Christ's praise in the Koran and the demonstration of his divinity in his crcaturcs?
13. Christ, who is the 11\Tord of God, easily proves to be the son of God- 5. God in the Koran is Muf,tammad's servant
thc Koran and thc Gospel agree 6. MuQ.ammad persecutes Chrístians against God's will
14. Koranic objections to thc former only try to specify sorne points to 7. MuQ.ammad bclieves in the rieed of God's presence in everything that
give Christ more glory happens
15. Jesus, being the Messiah, is also the son of God 8. Mul;iammad's aim is his own exaltation
16. Jesus, being God's '\!\lord and Legate, is also his son 9. Confusion in Mul).ammad's references to Christ as God, in singular or
17. Other testimonies in the Koran which prove Christ is thc son of God plural
18. It should be understood from the Koran that God communicated Christ 1O. Other variations ín Mul;ammad's sayings: about every monotheist to
his spirit and soul be saved, discussion of conversion to Christianity
19. How it should be undcrstood from the Koran that Christ is the per- 11. Against the Koran being Abraham's law
fcct man 12. Differences between thc Koran, which says Abraham was an idolater,
20. Digression about God's crcation of the Word (intelligence) and the Biblc, with a different version
13. The promise made to Abraham
Book II: The Trinity; Christ's dcath; Paradise 14. Abraham's pact excludes the Arabs
15. Only Christians adoring the Trinity can be Abraham's descent
1. Mystic theology which dcmonstrates that God is ineffable 16. The Arabs ignore Abraham's law and persecute ít
2. Theology which affirms that God is triunc l 7. Recommendation for the sultan to arder Mary's cult and the prcaching
3. How through intellect wc can see divine nature of the Gospel
4. How wc are raiscd from intellectual to divine fecundity 18. To the caliph of Baghdad, about the paragraphs regarding Abraham,
5. Activity of ali beings as dcmonstration of God tri.une which must have been included in the Koran by Jews
6. Intellect as guidance for divine activity: so was thc Word created 19. Without Christ nobody can be a saínt
7. Lave in relation to the aforcmentioned 20. Christ deserved immortality: demonstration
8. Dcclaration of thc Ho1y Trinity .1 21. Declaration of Adam and Christ's similitude
9. Discussion of the enigma of the Trinity
10. More about thc thrcc persons: parallcl with thc three pronouns "I-you-he"
11. The Arabs must aclmowlcdge the Trinity: discussion of the identification .1 6. JEAN GERMAIN: Le livre du crestien et du sarrasin
of Mul).ammad with the Holy Spirít
12. Christ was really dead and crucified Book I: About thc mistakes and foolishness of the Muslim sect Qettcr from
13. Crucifixion was Christ's exaltation and purification al-Hashimi]
14. Christ's death and thc transmigration of his soul: Mul).ammad <lid not
deny his dcath but bis soul's death 1. About Pedro Alfonso's Dialogus
15. About Jesus Christ's rcsurrectíon 2. Foreword to the Saraccn's epistle
16. The mystery of Christ's birth and death: cxplanation of his mission 3. The Saracen's attempt to convcrt the Christian
4. The Saracen claims he is familiar with Christian Scriptures and rites
26. Paradise is rcachcd through difficulties, and not through easy lifc
5. The five pillars of Islam
27. 'Worship of the cross is not idolatry
6. Islamic fasts and prayers
28. Christian law is what Saracens pry for cvcryday
7. Islamic ecremonies
29. Christians have not changed thc Scriptures
8. Mu}:iammad's preccpt about conversion or destruction of infidels
30. Epilogue
9. Resurrection and Last Judgement according to Islam
10. Paradise
Book III: Establishment and devclopment of thc Christian faith by impor-
11. Hell
tant figures
12. Islamic Lcnt, circumcision, purification and marriagc
13. Pilgrimage and blasphemy in Islam 1. How Christ disposed the conquest of Christian monarchy and thc clcc-
14. The Saracen's objections: the Trinity, Christ's divinity, worship of thc tion of the main lcadcrs
cross, chastity and pcnitence 1. Conquests made by St. Peter, Christ's lilitenant and vicar
15. The Saracen's farewell 2. The second lmight, who is St. Paul
3. Lcgatcs lcfr in Syria by the Apostles: St. James called "of Galicia"
Book II: Christian objections against Islam and justi:fication of thc Christian 4. St. James t