The history of the Reconquista - the Christian reconquest of Spain from the Arabs - has proved an increasingly stimulating field of historical research. On the one hand, the struggle forced Spanish society into a mould which then shaped the course of its expansion into the Americas, on the other it gave rise to a unique process of accommodation and acculturation. Dr Lourie here concentrates on the realms of the Crown of Aragon in the 12th-14th centuries. The first articles deal with the evolution of the crusading spirit, with geopolitics, notably the rivalry between Aragon and Castille, and with the progress of Christian colonisation. The next section examines the conflicting demands of ideology, demography and colonisation, and includes one major new study on Christian ambivalence towards the Mudejars, the conquered Muslim population. Dr Lourie seeks to throw this attitude into sharper focus by comparing the Muslim situation with that of the Jews, and it is to the latter and their relations with Christians that her last five articles are devoted.
Contents: Preface; A society organised for war; Medieval Spain; The Confraternity of Belchite, the Ribat, and the Temple; The will of Alfonso I, 'El Batallador', King of Aragon and Navarre: a reassessment (with a reply to Dr Forey); La colonizaciÃ³n cristiana de Menorca durante el reinado de Alfonso III 'El Liberal', rey de Aragon; Free Moslems in the Balearics under Christian rule in the 13th century; Anatomy of ambivalence: Muslims under the Crown of Aragon in the late 13th century; A Jewish mercenary in the service of the King of Aragon; Jewish participation in royal funerary rites: an early use of the Representatio in Aragon; A plot which failed? The case of the corpse found in the Jewish Call of Barcelona (1301); Complicidad criminal: un aspecto insÃ³lito de convivencia judeo-cristiana; Mafiosi and malsines: violence, fear and faction in the Jewish aljamas of Valencia in the 14th century; Index.
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