IMC 2004: Sessions

Session 818: Cultural Assimilation in Islamic Spain and Portugal

Tuesday 13 July 2004, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Hugh Kennedy, Department of Mediaeval History, University of St Andrews
Paper 818-aMuslim Freedmen in Leon, Castile and Portugal (1100-1300)
(Language: English)
Fran├žois Soyer, School of History and Politics, University of Adelaide
Index terms: Law, Social History
Paper 818-bThe Mozarab Era: The Mozarabs from Toledo in the 12th-13th Centuries
(Language: English)
Diego Olstein, Department of History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Index terms: Economics - Rural, Local History
Paper 818-cFamily Assistance: A Mudejar Sixth Pillar in 13th-Century Spain
(Language: English)
Isabel O'Connor, Divison of Human Arts & Social Sciences, Cabrillo College
Index terms: Islamic & Arabic Studies, Social History

grouped by Dionisius Agius (27/10/03)
Abstract paper -a:
The frequent distinction between free and unfree Muslims (slaves and Mudejars) living under Christian rule might appear to be a simple one but it fails to take into account the particular legal and social status of Muslim freedmen. The evidence from manumission charters suggests that conversion to Christianity was very frequent among Muslim slaves. Notwithstanding this, a few extant documents prove that this was not always the case and that some Muslim slaves remained Muslims after their emancipation and formed an intermediary legal class. This incontrovertible fact raises important and fascinating questions concerning the precise legal criteria that separated a freedman from other Muslims.

Abstract paper -b:
After almost four centuries of existence under Muslim rule, the Mozarab minority meets the Christian conquerors. What type of encounter took place between the Christian conquering and local society? Three main conclusions will be exposed. First, the formation of a trilingual corpus of documents (Latin, Arabic and Romance). Second, the parallel existence of two systems of property rights allocation. Third, the cultural implications of these developments, mainly the progressive imposition of Romance language, and the widespread use of the local system of property right allocation and the cultural assimilation of the Mozarab community by the end of the period.

Abstract paper -c:
Very little work has been done on the Mudejar family. The genealogies that are so abundant for Andalusi history are lacking for the Mudejar period. Nevertheless, the Christian documents from the 13th century provide numerous cases of Mudejar family members coming together for several reasons – religious, cultural, domestic, political and economic. The aim of this paper is not to study Mudejar genealogies, but to see how the Mudejar family unit, a controversial subject in itself, as well as the extended network of relatives, helped the newly conquered Muslims cope with their new status in Christian Spain.