The Orient in Spain

Converted Muslims, the Forged Lead Books of Granada, and the Rise of Orientalism

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Taking as its main subject a series of notorious forgeries by Muslim converts in sixteenth-century Granada (including an apocryphal gospel in Arabic), this book studies the emotional, cultural and religious world view of the Morisco minority and the complexity of its identity, caught between the wish to respect Arabic cultural traditions, and the pressures of evangelization and efforts at integration into “Old Christian” society. Orientalist scholarship in Early Modern Spain, in which an interest in Oriental languages, mainly Arabic, was linked to important historiographical questions, such as the uses and value of Arabic sources and the problem of the integration of al-Andalus within a providentialist history of Spain, is also addressed. The authors consider these issues not only from a local point of view, but from a wider perspective, in an attempt to understand how these matters related to more general European intellectual and religious developments.

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Mercedes García-Arenal is Research Professor at the National Council for Scientific Research, Madrid. She has published about cultural and religious aspects of the Muslim West and of ethnic-religious minorities in Spain and the Magreb. Among her books, Messianism and Puritanical Reform: Mahdis of the Muslim West (Leiden, Brill,2003) with Gerard Wiegers, A man of three Worlds: Samuel Pallache, a Moroccan jew between Catholic and Protestant Europe, (Baltimore, Johns Hopkins, 2006).

Fernando Rodríguez Mediano is Scientific Researcher at the National Council for Scientific Research, Madrid. His has published about the history of Morocco and its relationship with Spain (15th-20th centuries). Among his publications: Fernando Rodríguez Mediano and Helena de Felipe (eds.),El Protectorado español en Marruecos. Gestión colonial e identidades, Madrid, CSIC, 2002; Familias de Fez (ss. XV-XVII), Madrid, CSIC, 1995.
"In The Orient in Spain researchers, historians, and scholars are treated to a unique study of an important era of Spanish intellectual history. At a time when researchers increasingly risk over-specialization, García-Arenal and Rodríguez Mediano demonstrate with great skill how one set of texts can reveal the continuities that are present within and between medieval and modern Spain. In this light, the book comes as a welcome volume to the field for those who study early-modern Spain and Islam in Europe."
Charles Tieszen, Fuller Theological Seminary, California, Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations, 25:2

"García-Arenal and Rodríguez Mediano's reconstruction of these complex intellectual networks is complemented by an exhaustive twenty-three page bibliograph of primary and secondary sources. Any scholar interested in the history of European Orientalism or Muslim-Christian relations in the early modern world will find this book to be an indispensable resource."
Alison Weber, University of Virginia, Sixteenth Century Journal, XLVI 2 (2015)

"This review cannot begin to do justice to the achievement of The Orient in Spain, which begins in Granada and then ranges across the Mediterranean world to northern Europe, into secret crypts, lost books, and the hearts of a people determined to preserve their religious and cultural identity. It is an immensely important book, [...] one that will reward anyone who is interested in a completely different view of the cultural and intellectual history of Early Modern Spain."
Sara T. Nalle, William Paterson University of New Jersey, Medieval encounters 21 (2015)

"Based on vast research in European and Arabic sources, The Orient in Spain is a major scholarly achievement. It makes important contributions to the cultural history of Spain and the Moriscos, the history of European scholarship, and the cross-cultural history of the early modern Mediterranean."
Daniel Stolzenberg, University of California, Davis, Renaissance Quarterly, 67:1

"Specialists in Spanish and European history will appreciate the sheer volume of information consolidated here, along with the extensive bibliography at the end. Likewise, the book’s organization according to major figures and their biographies will lend itself well for researchers trying to locate specific information."
Jessica L. Chen, Stanford University, Religion, 46:1

"Fascinating to read and thoroughly stimulating (...) it is a vivid snapshot into how Arabs, Islam, and even Jews and Judaism were Christianized and assimilated into Spain."
Jamsheed K. Choksy, Indiana University, Comparative Sociology 17 (2018).
ABBREVIATIONS

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 1. THE SACROMONTE LEAD BOOKS: THE EVENTS
THE TURPIANA TOWER PARCHMENT
ARCHBISHOP DON PEDRO DE CASTRO
THE LEAD BOOKS
THE RECEPTION OF THE FINDS
THE EVALUATION PROCESS
POLEMICS AND RESISTANCE
THE LEAD BOOKS LEAVE GRANADA
THE LEAD BOOKS IN ROME
THE DEFENSORIOS

CHAPTER 2. GRANADA CONQUERED: CASTILIANIZATION AND CONVERSION
GRANADA CONQUERED
LANGUAGE AND EVANGELIZATION
THE ERADICATION OF ARABIC
THE DEFENSE OF ARABIC AND ITS PERSISTENCE IN GRANADA
REFORMERS AND ALUMBRADOS
GRANADA AND ITS MORISCOS AROUND 1580

CHAPTER 3. THE NOBLE FAMILIES
OLD CHRISTIANS OF MOORISH ORIGIN
CONVERSION
INTEGRATION
MULEY FEZ AND GRANADA VENEGAS
THE HAPPY FORMER DAYS OF OUR GLORY
THE ORIGEN DE LA CASA DE GRANADA
THE GRANADA VENEGAS LITERARY TERTULIA

CHAPTER 4. ALONSO DEL CASTILLO : TRANSLATOR, AUTHOR?
ALONSO DEL CASTILLO AND OTHER TRANSLATORS OF THE PARCHMENT
THE CHAPIZ FAMILY
PHYSICIAN
TRANSLATOR
THE WAR
THE PROPHECIES

CHAPTER 5. ALONSO DEL CASTILLO’S FRIENDS: PRIESTS, SOLDIERS, INTERPRETERS
PRIESTS
DIEGO MARÍN
FRANCISCO LÓPEZ TAMARID
DIEGO MARÍN IN MOROCCO
DIEGO MARÍN’S DIPLOMATIC CAREER

CHAPTER 6. DIEGO BEJARANO AL-ḥAJARĪ AND THE MORISCO UNDERSTANDING OF THE LEAD BOOKS
DIEGO BEJARANO OR AḥMAD B. QĀSIM AL-ḥAJARĪ
AL-ḥAJARĪ AND THE PARCHMENT AND LEAD BOOKS
HOW THE MORISCOS READ THE LEAD BOOKS

CHAPTER 7. MIGUEL DE LUNA: HISTORIAN, NOVELIST, PHYSICIAN
THE HISTORIA VERDADERA DEL REY DON RODRIGO
PHYSICIAN: THE TRATADO DE LOS BAÑOS (TREATISE ON BATHS)

CHAPTER 8. MIGUEL DE LUNA: TRANSLATOR, APOLOGIST, AUTHOR
THE PARCHMENT
MIGUEL DE LUNA, PEDRO GUERRA DE LORCA, AND BENITO ARIAS MONTANO
THE LEAD BOOKS TRANSLATED
THE SOLOMONIC LETTERS
FRIENDSHIP WITH JOAN DE FARÍA
MIGUEL DE LUNA AND THE MORISCOS OF TOLEDO: “THERE IS NO BETTER MOOR IN SPAIN”

CHAPTER 9. JERÓNIMO ROMÁN DE LA HIGUERA: THE FALSE CHRONICLES AND THE SACROMONTE
LEAD BOOKS
ANNIUS OF VITERBO AND SPAIN
JERÓNIMO ROMÁN DE LA HIGUERA AND THE FALSE CHRONICLES
SAINT JAMES
TOLEDO AND THE CULT OF SAN TIRSO
ROMÁN DE LA HIGUERA AND ALONSO DEL CASTILLO
ROMÁN DE LA HIGUERA AND PEDRO DE CASTRO
ROMÁN DE LA HIGUERA, MIGUEL DE LUNA, AND THE TOWER OF HERCULES
THE TRUE CROSS OF CARAVACA
THE INFLUENCE OF HIGUERA: JEWS AND PHOENICIANS

CHAPTER 10. DIEGO DE URREA
DIEGO DE URREA BETWEEN ITALY AND NORTH AFRICA
URREA IN SPAIN
DIEGO DE URREA AND THE LEAD BOOKS
URREA THE HISTORIAN
DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS
DIEGO DE URREA IN NAPLES
FRANCISCO DE GURMENDI

CHAPTER 11. MARCOS DOBELIO
THE SACROMONTE SEEKS ARABIC TRANSLATORS
AN ARABIST IN ITALY AND SPAIN
MARCOS DOBELIO AND THE ARABIC MANUSCRIPTS OF EL ESCORIAL
MARCOS DOBELIO’S ARABIC BOOKS
A PARTIAL TRANSLATION OF ABŪ L-FIDĀ’’S HISTORY
A TRANSLATION OF A MEDICAL WORK AND A GRAMMAR
DOBELIO’S PAPERS

CHAPTER 12. MARCOS DOBELIO AND THE BOOKS FROM PASTRANA: THE ISLAMIC CONTENT OF THE
LEAD BOOKS
WRITING AND NECROMANCY
PASTRANA
THE PASTRANA BOOKS
GENEALOGIES, RELIGIOUS POLEMIC, AND STORIES OF THE PROPHETS
AL-BAKRĪ’S KITĀB AL-ANWĀR
ISLAMIC TEXTS FOR A MORISCO AUDIENCE
MUHAMMAD ALGUAZIR OR DIEGO ALGUACIL

CHAPTER 13. IS THE ARABIC OF THE LEAD BOOKS THE LANGUAGE OF ISLAM?
THE LAMINAE GRANATENSES AND THE VATICAN EXPERTS
ARABIC IN ROME
MOHAMMEDAN TERMS

CHAPTER 14. FATHER TOMÁS DE LEÓN AND THE MARQUIS OF MONDÉJAR: A LEARNED
CORRESPONDENCE
GASPAR IBÁÑEZ DE SEGOVIA, MARQUIS OF AGRÓPOLI AND OF MONDÉJAR
FATHER TOMÁS DE LEÓN
WORKS BY TOMÁS DE LEÓN
FATHER TIRSO GONZÁLEZ DE SANTALLA
TOMÁS DE LEÓN AND THE SACROMONTE ABBEY
TOMÁS DE LEÓN, ORIENTALIST
NETWORKS OF ARABISTS
MARTÍN VÁZQUEZ SIRUELA
A CIRCLE OF ORIENTALISTS?

CHAPTER 15. THE ARABIC LANGUAGE AND ORIENTALISM IN SPAIN
LEARNING ARABIC: THE PROBLEM OF TEXTS
LEARNING ARABIC: THE NEW MATERIALS
ORIENTALIST BOOKS IN SPAIN

CHAPTER 16. AL-ANDALUS IN THE HISTORY OF SPAIN
AL-ANDALUS: PART OF THE HISTORY OF SPAIN?
DIEGO PÉREZ DE MESA
ARABIC SOURCES FOR WRITING THE HISTORY OF SPAIN: LUIS DEL MÁRMOL
DIEGO DE GUADIX
THE RELICS OF AL-ANDALUS
CONTINUITIES AND RUPTURES
PROBLEMS OF INTERPRETATION

CHAPTER 17. THE ARABIC LANGUAGE AS A TOOL FOR SCHOLARSHIP
IN DEFENSE OF ORIENTAL LANGUAGES
ARABIC SCRIPT
MANUSCRIPTS AND TRANSLATIONS

CHAPTER 18. THE ORIENT IN SPAIN
PROBLEMS OF CHRONOLOGY: THE HIJRA
THE ORIENT IN SPAIN: JUDAISM
THE ORIENT IN SPAIN: EGYPT
EGYPTIAN CHRONOLOGY
“THE PERVERSE DOMESTIC ENEMIES OF THE CHURCH”

EPILOGUE

SOURCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

ILLUSTRATIONS

INDEX
All interested in questions of religious and cultural history and inter-religious relations, minorities, intellectual history, history of Arabic in Europe including Orientalist knowledge and its transmission and uses (academic libraries, specialists, post-graduate students, educated laymen).