Expulsion of the Moriscos

Last updated
Expulsion of the Moriscos at the port of Denia, by Vincente Mostre La Expulsion en el Puerto de Denia. Vicente Mostre.jpg
Expulsion of the Moriscos at the port of Dénia, by Vincente Mostre

The Expulsion of the Moriscos (Spanish : Expulsión de los moriscos, Catalan : Expulsió dels moriscos) was decreed by King Philip III of Spain on April 9, 1609. The Moriscos were descendants of Spain's Muslim population that had converted to Christianity by coercion or by royal decree in the early 16th century. Since the Spanish were fighting wars in the Americas, feeling threatened by the Turks raiding along the Spanish coast and by two Morisco revolts in the century since Islam was outlawed in Spain, it seems the expulsions were a reaction to an internal problem of the stretched Spanish Empire. [1] Between 1609 through 1614, the Crown systematically expelled Moriscos through a number of decrees affecting Spain's various kingdoms, meeting varying levels of success.


Although initial estimates of the number expelled such as those of Henri Lapeyre range between 275,000 and 300,000 [2] Moriscos (or 4% of the total Spanish population), the extent and actual success of the expulsion order in purging Spain of its Moriscos has been increasingly challenged by modern historians, starting with the seminal studies carried out by François Martinez (1999) and Trevor J. Dadson (2007). Dadson estimates that, out of a total Morisco population of 500,000 (7% of the total Spanish population), a figure accepted by many, around 40% avoided expulsion altogether and tens of thousands of those expelled managed to return. [3] [4] The places where the Expulsion was very successful were the eastern Kingdom of Valencia, [5] where Muslims represented the bulk of the peasantry and ethnic tension with the Christian, Catalan-speaking middle class was high. As a result, this region implemented the expulsion most severely and successfully, leading to the economic collapse and depopulation of much of its territory and aggravated by the bubonic plague which hit Valencia only a few years later; and the Kingdom of Aragon, which was, after Valencia, the place in the peninsula having the largest population of Moriscos and that consequently suffered the Expulsion as disastrously as Valencia, as Lapeyre has explained it well in his book. [6]

Of those permanently expelled, the majority finally settled in the Maghreb or the Barbary coast, with between 30,000 and 75,000 ultimately returning to Spain. [3] [7] Those who avoided expulsion or who managed to return to Spain merged into the dominant culture. [8] The last mass prosecution against Moriscos for crypto-Islamic practices took place in Granada in 1727, with most of those convicted receiving relatively light sentences. By the end of the 18th century, indigenous Islam and Morisco identity were considered to have been extinguished in Spain. [9]


Suspicions and tensions between Moriscos, who were called New Christians, and the other Christians, who were called Old Christians, [10] were high in some parts of Spain and practically nonexistent in others. While some Moriscos did hold influence and power, and even had positions in the clergy, others, particularly in Valencia and Aragon, were a source of cheap labour for the local nobility. Where sectarian conflict existed, old Christian communities suspected the Moriscos of not being sincere in their Christianity. The Moors who remained Muslims were known as Mudéjar. [11] Many of these Moriscos, on the other hand, were devout in their new Christian faith, [12] and in Granada, many Moriscos even became Christian martyrs, as they were killed by Muslims for refusing to renounce Christianity. [13] As such the conflict between Old Christians and New Christians was an ethnically inspired one. [14]

Several revolts broke out, the most notable being the 15681573 revolt against an edict of Phillip II's banning Arabic, Arabic names, and requiring Moriscos to give up their children to be educated by priests. After the suppression of the revolt, Philip ordered the dispersal of the Moriscos of Granada to other areas. Philip expected that this would break down the Morisco community and facilitate their assimilation into the rest of the Christian population. This may have happened to a degree to Granada's Moriscos, but not in Valencia or Aragon, where Islam was still widely practised and ethnic tensions were much higher than in the rest of Spain. [15]

At around the same time, Spain recognized the loss of more than half of its holdings in the Low Countries to the Protestant Dutch Republic. The ruling class already thought of Spain as the defender of Catholic Christendom, and this defeat helped lead to a radicalization of thinking and a desire to strike a blow to regain Spain's honor. [16] Some critiques of Spain from Protestant countries included insults of the Spanish as corrupted by the Muslims and crypto-Muslims amongst them, which some of the nobility may have taken personally.

The situation further deteriorated in the early 17th century. A recession struck in 1604 as the amount of gold and treasure from Spain's American holdings fell. The reduction in the standard of living led to increased tension between the Moriscos and Old Christians for precious jobs. [16]

Attitudes toward the Moriscos by region

The number of Moriscos in Spain at the time of expulsion is unknown and most estimates are based on the numbers of Moriscos who were expelled. Figures of between 300,000 and 400,000 are often cited. However, modern studies estimate between 500,000 and one million moriscos present in Spain at the beginning of the 17th century out of a total population of 8.5 million. [17] [18] [3] A significant proportion resided in the former Crown of Aragon, where it is estimated they constituted a fifth of the population, and the Valencia area specifically, where they were a third of the total population. The rich and those who lived in the cities were mostly Christians, while the Moriscos occupied the outlying countryside and the poor suburbs of the cities. [19]

Crown of Castile

In the Crown of Castile, which included the Guadalquivir valley in present Andalusia, the situation was considerably different. Overall, the proportion of Moriscos is considered to be lower but more significantly, the majority of them were former Mudejar (Muslims) Christians who were highly integrated in mainstream society, had abandoned many of their distinguishing cultural traits and crucially, unlike in Valencia, they did not suffer from hostility from their old-Christian neighbours, many of whom actively protected them from attempts by the Crown to expel them, to the point that in Plasencia the Crown officials sent to deport the Moriscos were immediately jailed upon arrival and in Avila the local Moriscos were integrated in the clergy and government positions to avoid expulsion.

At the time however, an additional Morisco community co-existed with these Mudejar Moriscos: a large number of Granada Moriscos who had been deported or dispersed after the uprising and war of the Alpujarras, who were the target of more suspicion within the communities in which they settled. Local sympathies for Moriscos meant that Castile and Andalusia experienced only half-hearted efforts at identifying and expelling them. The expulsion was slower and a far less thorough process than in the Crown of Aragon and particularly Valencia and a significant portion of Moriscos - according to Dadson a majority - either avoided expulsion or returned in the years following expulsion. [15]

Crown of Aragon

In the kingdom of Valencia, which held the bulk of the Morisco population in the Crown of Aragón, the situation was radically different to Castile. Valencian moriscos were the overwhelming majority of the landless peasantry and lived segregated from Christian populations. Economic and social rivalry was a major driver of resentment towards them, particularly from the Middle classes of artisans. [15] This had boiled over before in 1520, when in the Revolt of the Brotherhoods, the artisan guilds of Valencia revolted against both the landed aristocracy and the Muslim mudéjar peasantry. Although the rebellion was ultimately defeated in 1523, the rebels killed many, and forced the mass baptism and conversion of the remainder of the Muslim population. In 1525, these forced conversions were upheld by King Charles, thus creating the Moriscos of Valencia. The plight of the Valencian Moriscos was the worst during the expulsion due to the long-standing hostility of their Christian neighbors.

There was practically universal agreement in Spain that Islam was a threat that should be crushed. However, it was not clear how that should apply to the Moriscos, who were officially Christian. Some clerics such as Fray Luis de Aliaga, a royal councilor, supported giving time to the Moriscos to assimilate and become full Christians. [15] This option was lightly supported by the Catholic Church in Rome, too. The most dedicated defenders of the Moriscos were the Valencian and Aragonese nobility, as their self-interest was involved. These nobles benefited the most from the poor and cheap workforce that the Moriscos provided.

Opposing this view were a variety of notables and classes of people. Clerics against Aliaga included Jaime Bleda, the most prominent member of the Inquisition in Valencia. Bleda made several early proposals to King Philip III to banish or otherwise end the Morisco problem; he even recommended genocide. [15] At first, these entreaties were without success. In 1596 the Duke of Lerma, King Philip III's chief financial officer, accused the Moriscos of collaboration with the Muslim Barbary pirates, a charge that had dogged them for years. Still, while many in the population held to this, others considered that this threat had long since passed. The Council of Aragon, in opposing any punitive measures, wrote that even if they wished to betray Spain, the Moriscos were in no position to do so "for they possess no arms, nor supplies, nor fortified positions, nor a base for the Turkish fleet." Nothing came of it at the time, but the Duke of Lerma continued his antipathy toward the Moriscos. [16]

Edict and expulsion

Embarking of the Moriscos at Valencia, by Pere Oromig Embarco moriscos en el Grao de valencia.jpg
Embarking of the Moriscos at Valencia, by Pere Oromig
Disembarking of the Moriscos at Oran port (1613, Vicent Mestre), Fundacion Bancaja de Valencia Moriscos Port d'Oran. Vicente Mestre.jpg
Disembarking of the Moriscos at Oran port (1613, Vicent Mestre), Fundación Bancaja de Valencia

The Duke of Lerma eventually convinced King Philip III with the help of the Archbishop of Valencia, Juan de Ribera, who considered the Moriscos as universally heretics and traitors. The archbishop added an idea to make the plan more persuasive to the king: the king could confiscate the assets and properties of the Moorish population, thereby providing a dramatic one-time boost to the royal coffers. Ribera also encouraged the king to enslave the Moriscos for work in galleys, mines, and abroad as he could do so "without any scruples of conscience," but this proposal was rejected. [15]

On April 9, 1609, the edict was signed to expel the Moriscos. [19] The government knew that exiling so many would be problematic. It was decided to start with Valencia, where the Morisco population was greatest. Preparations were taken in the strictest secrecy. Starting in September, tercio battalions arrived from Italy. [20] They took up positions in the main ports of Valencia: Alfaques, Dénia, and Alicante. On September 22, the viceroy ordered the publication of the decree. The Valencian aristocracy met with the government to protest the expulsion, as losing their workers would ruin their agricultural incomes. The government offered some of the confiscated property and territory of the Moriscos to them in exchange, but this didn't come close to compensating for the loss. The Moriscos would be allowed to take anything they could carry, but their homes and land would pass into the hands of their masters. Burning or other destruction of their homes before the transfer was prohibited on pain of death. [20]

Certain exceptions were granted: 6 families out of every 100 would be allowed to stay behind and maintain the infrastructure of towns that had been predominantly Morisco-inhabited. Very few took advantage of this, considering that it was thought likely that they'd be exiled anyway later. Additionally, the exile was optional for children less than 4 years old. This was later expanded to 16 years of age. Archbishop Ribera strongly opposed this part of the measure; he lobbied that at the very least the children should be separated from their parents, enslaved, and Christianized "for the good of their souls." [20]

On September 30, the first of the exiles were taken to the ports, where, as a last insult, they were forced to pay their own fare for the trip. [20] The Moriscos were transported to North Africa, where at times they were attacked as invaders by the people of the recipient countries. Other times, small revolts broke out on the ships, causing some of the exiles to be slain in battle with the crew. This caused fears in the Morisco population remaining in Valencia, and on October 20 there was a rebellion against the expulsion. The rebels numbered 6,000 and held the remote valley of Ayora and Muela de Cortes. Five days later, a new rebellion broke out on the southern coast, with 15,000 rebels holding the Valley of Lugar. [21]

The rebels were defeated by November. In only three months, 116,000 Moriscos had been transported to North Africa from Valencia. The start of 1610 saw the expulsion of the Moriscos of Aragon (the specific area of Aragon, not all the lands of the old Crown of Aragon). 41,952 were sent to North Africa via Alfaques, and 13,470 were sent over the Pyrenees Mountains to France. [21] The exasperated French sent most of them to the port of Agde, and those who took the land route were charged both the transit fee and the sea fare. [21] In September, the Moriscos of Catalonia were exiled. Andalusia exiled some 32,000 Moriscos as well. [21]

The expulsion of the Moriscos of Castile, Extremadura and Andalusia (then all part of the Crown of Castile) was the most difficult task, since they were dispersed across the land after being broken in 1571 by the rebellion rather than being concentrated in any one place. Because of this, the Moriscos were given a first option of voluntary departure, where they could take their most valuable possessions and anything else that might sell. Thus, in Castile the expulsion lasted three years, from 1611 to 1614.

Numbers and success of the expulsion

It is very difficult to gauge the success of the expulsion in purging Spain of its Morisco population, a topic which has been recently subject to a rather intense academic reassessment. Even estimates on the number of Moriscos present in Spain prior to expulsion vary, ranging from numbers based on records of expulsion orders such as those of Lynch and Lapeyre (around 300,000) [21] to one million. [17] Dadson estimates that, out of a total Morisco population of 500,000 (or 7% of the total Spanish population) a figure accepted by many, around 40% avoided expulsion altogether and tens of thousands of those expelled managed to return. [3] [4]

Equally, traditional Spanish historiography and early studies which drew heavily from it paint a picture of a very well run affair which succeeded in channeling the vast majority of Moriscos (around 270,000) out of the country in a short period of time. As a result, early estimates of Moriscos who succeeded in remaining in the country after the expulsion were judged to be as low as 15,000. [21]

However, a number of recent investigative studies have been challenging the traditional discourse on the supposed success of the expulsion in purging Spain of its Morisco population. Indeed, a number of modern studies have concluded that expulsion met widely differing levels of success, particularly between the two major Spanish crowns of Castile and Aragon.

One of the earliest anglophone re-examinations of Morisco expulsion was carried out by Trevor J. Dadson in 2007. Dadson estimates that as much as 40% of Moriscos (around 200,000) never left the country and up to an additional 70,000 of those expelled, managed to return. A significant section of his work is devoted to the example of Villarubia de los Ojos in southern Castille. The Morisco population of this town, that perhaps they were not authentic Moriscos but had been classified as Moriscos to appropriate their property, was the target of three expulsions which they managed to avoid or from which they succeeded in returning from to their town of origin, being protected and hidden by their non-Morisco neighbours. Dadson provides numerous examples, of similar incidents throughout Spain whereby Moriscos were protected and supported by non-Moriscos and returned en masse from North Africa, Portugal or France to their towns of origin. [4]

A similar study on the expulsion in Andalusia concluded it was an inefficient operation which was significantly reduced in its severity by resistance to the measure among local authorities and populations. It further highlights the constant flow of returnees from North Africa, creating a dilemma for the local inquisition who did not know how to deal with those who had been given no choice but to convert to Islam during their stay in Muslim lands as a result of the Royal Decree. Upon the coronation of Felipe IV, the new king gave the order to desist from attempting to impose measures on returnees and in September 1628 the Council of the Supreme Inquisition ordered inquisitors in Seville not to prosecute expelled Moriscos "unless they cause significant commotion." [22]

An investigation published in 2012 sheds light on the thousands of Moriscos who remained in the province of Granada alone, surviving both the initial expulsion to other parts of Spain in 1571 and the final expulsion of 1604. These Moriscos managed to evade in various ways the royal decrees, hiding their true origin thereafter. More surprisingly, by the 17th and 18th centuries much of this group accumulated great wealth by controlling the silk trade and also holding about a hundred public offices. Most of these lineages were nevertheless completely assimilated over generations despite their endogamic practices. A compact core of active crypto-Muslims was prosecuted by the Inquisition in 1727, receiving comparatively light sentences. These convicts kept alive their identity until the late 18th century. [23]

Besides, officially a large quantity of Moriscos of the Catalan Low Ebro where excluded from expulsion and remained in their villages and towns, as well as some other expelled who returned, given the fact that they were very well integrated into Catalan Christian society, on the contrary to those in Aragon, Valencia and even to the Moriscos of the Catalan Low Segre. [24]

Expulsion of Moriscos and population genetics

Map of North and Sub-Saharan African admixture in European populations Map of African admixture in European populations.png
Map of North and Sub-Saharan African admixture in European populations

Spain's Morisco population was the last population who self-identified and traced its roots to the various waves of Muslim conquerors from North Africa. Modern population genetics generally assume Moriscos to have had both significant Iberian and North African ancestry, even if, after centuries of presence and intermarriage in the Iberian peninsula they were unlikely to differ significantly in ethnic terms from the wider Spanish population. For this reason, studies in population genetics which aim to ascertain Morisco ancestry in modern populations search for Iberian or European genetic markers among contemporary Morisco descendants in North Africa, [25] and for North African genetic markers among modern day Spaniards. [8] A wide number of recent genetic studies of modern-day Spanish and Portuguese populations have ascertained an unusually high level of North African admixture as compared to the rest of the European continent, approximately 5% of Spaniards have E-M81 Y-haplogroup, which is the characteristic haplogroup of the white population of North Africa or Berber which is generally attributed to Islamic rule and settlement of the Iberian peninsula. [26] Common North African genetic markers which are relatively high frequencies in the Iberian peninsula as compared to the rest of the European continent are Y-chromosome E1b1b1b1(E-M81) [27] [28] and MtDna Haplogroups L and U6.[ citation needed ] Studies coincide that North African admixture tends to increase in the South and West of the peninsula, peaking in parts of Andalusia, [29] Extremadura and North West Castile.[ citation needed ] Distribution of North African markers are largely absent from the northeast of Spain as well as the Basque country. [8] The uneven distribution of admixture in Spain has been explained by the extent and intensity of Islamic colonization in a given area, but also by the varying levels of success in attempting to expel the Moriscos in different regions of Spain, [8] as well as forced and voluntary morisco population movements during the 16th and 17th centuries. [30]

As for tracing Morisco descendants in North Africa, to date there have been few genetic studies of populations of Morisco origin in the Maghreb region, although studies of the Moroccan population have not detected significant recent genetic inflow from the Iberian peninsula.[ citation needed ] A recent study of various Tunisian ethnic groups has found that all were indigenous North African, including those who self-identified as Andalusians. [25]


The Council of Castile evaluated the expulsion in 1619 and concluded that it had no economic impact for the country. This was basically true for Castile, as some scholars of the expulsion have found no economic consequences on sectors where the Morisco population was important. [31] However, in the Kingdom of Valencia, fields were abandoned and a vacuum was left in sectors of the economy the Christians could not possibly fill. With the removal by 33% of the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Valencia, some counties in the north of the current Alicante province lost virtually their entire population. The infrastructure decayed, and the Christian nobles and landlords fell into arrears. Strapped for cash, many of the Valencian nobles increased rents on their Christian tenants to get even close to their previous income. The increase in rents drove off any new tenants from coming to replace them, and as a result agricultural output in Valencia dropped tremendously. [32]

The expulsion was a crippling blow not just to the economies of Aragon and Valencia, but also the power of their nobles. The former Crown of Aragon had been in the shadow of the richer and more populous Crown of Castile for some time, but with this, their stature dropped still further. Of the Eastern Kingdoms themselves, the Catalan nobles now rose to prominence, their incomes far less affected since, unlike their southern and westerly neighbours, they never had a significant morisco population. Thus the expulsion helped shift power away from its traditional centers in Valencia to Catalonia within the Crown of Aragon. [33]

Modern initiatives

In reaction to the policy of Spain to facilitate access to Spanish citizenship by descendants of the Jews who were expelled from Spain, there has been demand from Muslims to apply a similar policy to the descendants of the Moriscos. In 2006 this demand received support from the parliament of Andalusia [34] but has not gained broader support.

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Reconquista</i> Medieval Christian extended conquest of Muslim areas in the Iberian Peninsula

The Reconquista was the period in the history of the Iberian Peninsula of about 780 years between the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in 711 and the fall of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada to the expanding Christian kingdoms in 1492.

Moors Medieval Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, Iberian Peninsula, Sicily, and Malta

The term "Moors" refers primarily to the Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily, and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors initially were the indigenous Maghrebine Berbers. The name was later also applied to Arabs.

<i>Morisco</i> Muslim-descended community in Spain

Moriscos were former Muslims and their descendants who were pressured heavily by the Catholic church and the Spanish Crown under the threat of death to convert to Christianity after Spain outlawed the open practice of Islam by its sizeable Muslim population in the early 16th century.

Aben Humeya (1520–1569), also known as Muhammad ibn Umayyah, was a Andalusian leader who commanded the Morisco Revolt against Philip II of Spain in the Alpujarras region, near Granada.

Spaniards people native to any part of Spain or that hold Spanish citizenship

Spaniards, or Spanish people, are a Romanic or neo-Latin people, an ethnic group native to Spain. Within Spain, there are a number of other ethnic groups and regional jurisdictions that reflect the country's complex history and diverse cultures. The official language of Spain is known as "Spanish"; it is only one of the national languages of Spain. Formally it is known as Castilian, a standard language based on the medieval Romance language of the Kingdom of Castile in north and central Spain.

Alhambra Decree 1492 decree expulsion of Jews from Spain

The Alhambra Decree was an edict issued on 31 March 1492, by the joint Catholic Monarchs of Spain ordering the expulsion of practicing Jews from the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon and its territories and possessions by 31 July of that year. The primary purpose was to eliminate their influence on Spain's large converso population and ensure they did not revert to Judaism. Over half of Spain's Jews had converted as a result of the religious persecution and pogroms which occurred in 1391. Due to continuing attacks, around 50,000 more had converted by 1415. A further number of those remaining chose to convert to avoid expulsion. As a result of the Alhambra decree and persecution in prior years, over 200,000 Jews converted to Catholicism and between 40,000 and 100,000 were expelled, an unknown number returning to Spain in the years following the expulsion.:17

This is a timeline of notable events during the period of Muslim presence in Iberia, starting with the Umayyad conquest in the 8th century.

Kingdom of Valencia kingdom at the Iberian Peninsula existing between 1238-1707

The Kingdom of Valencia, located in the eastern shore of the Iberian Peninsula, was one of the component realms of the Crown of Aragon. When the Crown of Aragon merged by dynastic union with the Crown of Castile to form the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Valencia became a component realm of the Spanish monarchy.

Rebellion of the Alpujarras (1568–71)

The rebellion of the Alpujarras of 1568–71, sometimes called the War of the Alpujarras or the Morisco Revolt, was the second such revolt against the Castilian Crown in the mountainous Alpujarra region. The rebels were Moriscos, the nominally Catholic descendants of the Mudéjares following the first rebellion of the Alpujarras (1499–1501).

Islam in Spain Muslim religion in Spain

Islam was a widespread religion in the Iberian Peninsula, beginning with the Umayyad conquest of Hispania and ending with its prohibition by the modern Spanish state in the mid-16th century and the expulsion of the Moriscos in the early 17th century, an ethnic and religious minority of around 500,000 people. Although a significant proportion of Moriscos returned to Spain or avoided expulsion through various means, the practice of Islam had faded into obscurity by the 19th century.

Revolt of the Brotherhoods 16th century uprising

The Revolt of the Brotherhoods was a revolt by artisan guilds (Germanies) against the government of King Charles V in the Kingdom of Valencia, part of the Crown of Aragon. It took place from 1519–1523, with most of the fighting occurring during 1521. The Valencian revolt inspired a related revolt in the island of Majorca, also part of Aragon, which lasted from 1521–1523.

Emirate of Granada Historic Iberian state

The Emirate of Granada, also known as the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, was an emirate established in 1230 by Muhammad ibn al-Ahmar. After Prince Idris left Iberia to take the Almohad Caliphate leadership, the ambitious Ibn al-Ahmar established the last Muslim dynasty on the Iberian peninsula, the Nasrids. The Nasrid emirs were responsible for building part of the Alhambra palace complex. By 1250, the Emirate was the last part of the Iberian peninsula held by the Muslims. It roughly corresponded to the modern Spanish provinces of Granada, Almería, and Málaga. Andalusian Arabic was the mother tongue of the majority of the population. For two more centuries, the region enjoyed considerable cultural and economic prosperity.

Granada War Final war of the Reconquista

The Granada War was a series of military campaigns between 1482 and 1491, during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, against the Nasrid dynasty's Emirate of Granada. It ended with the defeat of Granada and its annexation by Castile, ending all Islamic rule on the Iberian peninsula.

Kingdom of Granada (Crown of Castile) former state

The Kingdom of Granada was a territorial jurisdiction of the Crown of Castile from the conclusion of the Reconquista in 1492 until Javier de Burgos' provincial division of Spain in 1833. This was a "kingdom" ("reino") in the second sense given by the Diccionario de la lengua española de la Real Academia Española: the Crown of Castile consisted of several such kingdoms. Its extent is detailed in Gelo del Cabildo's 1751 Respuestas Generales del Catastro de Ensenada (1750–54), which was part of the documentation of a census. Like the other kingdoms within Spain, the Kingdom of Granada was abolished by the 1833 territorial division of Spain.

Rebellion of the Alpujarras (1499–1501) Series of uprisings in 1499–1501

The Rebellion of the Alpujarras (1499–1501) was a series of uprisings by the Muslim population of the Kingdom of Granada, Crown of Castile against their Catholic rulers. They began in 1499 in the city of Granada in response to mass forced conversion of the Muslim population to the Catholic faith, which were perceived as violations of the 1491 Treaty of Granada. The uprising in the city quickly died down, but it was followed by more serious revolts in the nearby mountainous area of the Alpujarras. The Catholic forces, on some occasions led personally by King Ferdinand, succeeded in suppressing the revolts and inflicted severe punishment on the Muslim population.

Oran fatwa

The Oran fatwa was a responsum fatwa, or an Islamic legal opinion, issued in 1504 to address the crisis that occurred when Muslims in the Crown of Castile were forced to convert to Christianity in 1500–1502. The fatwa sets out detailed relaxations of the sharia requirements, allowing the Muslims to conform outwardly to Christianity and perform acts that are ordinarily forbidden in Islamic law, when necessary to survive. It includes relaxed instructions for fulfilling the ritual prayers, the ritual charity, and the ritual ablution, and recommendations when obliged to violate Islamic law, such as worshipping as Christians, committing blasphemy, and consuming pork and wine.

Forced conversions of Muslims in Spain 16th century edicts outlawing Islam in various kingdoms of Spain

The forced conversions of Muslims in Spain were enacted through a series of edicts outlawing Islam in the lands of Spain. This effort was overseen by three Spanish monarchies during the early 16th century: the Crown of Castile in 1500–1502, followed by Navarre in 1515–1516, and lastly the Crown of Aragon in 1523–1526.

The Alhambra Decree was an edict issued on 31 March 1492 by the joint Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon which ordered the expulsion of practicing Jews from their kingdoms and possessions by 31 July of that year. The primary purpose was to eliminate their influence on Spain's large converso population, and ensure its members did not revert to Judaism. Over half of Spain's Jews had converted to Catholicism as a result of the religious persecution and pogroms in 1391. Due to continuing attacks, around 50,000 more had converted by 1415. Those who remained chose to convert to avoid expulsion. As a result of the Alhambra decree and the prior persecution, over 200,000 Jews converted to Catholicism and between 40,000 and 100,000 were expelled. An unknown number returned to Spain in the following years.:17

Mudéjar revolt of 1264–1266 13th century revolt by some Muslim communities in Castile

The Mudéjar revolt of 1264–1266 was a rebellion by the Muslim populations (Mudéjares) in the Lower Andalusia and Murcia regions of the Crown of Castile. The rebellion was in response to Castile's policy of relocating Muslim populations from these regions and was partially instigated by Muhammad I of Granada. The rebels were aided by the independent Emirate of Granada, while the Castilians were allied with Aragon. Early in the uprising, the rebels managed to capture Murcia and Jerez, as well as several smaller towns, but were eventually defeated by the royal forces. Subsequently, Castile expelled the Muslim populations of the reconquered territories and encouraged Christians from elsewhere to settle their lands. Granada became a vassal of Castile and paid an annual tribute.

Mudéjar refers to the group of Muslims who remained in Iberia in the late medieval period despite the Christian reconquest.


  1. Dwight Reynolds, speaking on 'Bettany Hughes:When the Moors Ruled in Europe'.
  2. Jónsson 2007, p. 195.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Dadson, Trevor J. (15 October 2018). "Tolerance and Coexistence in Early Modern Spain: Old Christians and Moriscos in the Campo de Calatrava". Boydell & Brewer Ltd via Google Books.
  4. 1 2 3 Trevor J. Dadson: The Assimilation of Spain's Moriscos: Fiction or Reality?. Journal of Levantine Studies, vol. 1, no. 2, Winter 2011, pp. 11-30
  5. http://dukespace.lib.duke.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/10161/7193/OHalley_duke_0066D_11863.pdf?sequence=1
  6. Lapeyre, Henri (28 November 2011). Universitat de València (ed.). Geografía de la España Morisca. pp. 115 to 116.
  7. Boase, Roger (4 April 2002). "The Muslim Expulsion from Spain". History Today . 52 (4). The majority of those permanently expelled settling in the Maghreb or Barbary Coast, especially in Oran, Tunis, Tlemcen, Tetuán, Rabat and Salé. Many travelled overland to France, but after the assassination of Henry of Navarre by Ravaillac in May 1610, they were forced to emigrate to Italy, Sicily or Constantinople.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Adams, Susan M.; Bosch, Elena; Balaresque, Patricia L.; Ballereau, Stéphane J.; Lee, Andrew C.; Arroyo, Eduardo; López-Parra, Ana M.; Aler, Mercedes; Grifo, Marina S. Gisbert; Brion, Maria; Carracedo, Angel; Lavinha, João; Martínez-Jarreta, Begoña; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Picornell, Antònia; Ramon, Misericordia; Skorecki, Karl; Behar, Doron M.; Calafell, Francesc; Jobling, Mark A. (December 2008). "The Genetic Legacy of Religious Diversity and Intolerance: Paternal Lineages of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula". The American Journal of Human Genetics. 83 (6): 725–736. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2008.11.007. PMC   2668061 . PMID   19061982.
  9. Vínculos Historia: The Moriscos who remained. The permanence of Islamic origin population in Early Modern Spain: Kingdom of Granada, XVII-XVIII centuries (In Spanish)
  10. Aronson-Friedman, Amy I.; Kaplan, Gregory B. (2 March 2012). Marginal Voices: Studies in Converso Literature of Medieval and Golden Age Spain. Brill Publishers. p. 51. ISBN   9789004214408. As we can see, the Inquisition did not consider heretics only those who did not believe or did not seem to believe in the dogmas of the Catholic Church, but also any person who practised cultural uses different from those Castilians known as Old Christians.
  11. Coles, Kimberly Anne (27 January 2015). The Cultural Politics of Blood, 1500-1900. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 6. ISBN   9781137338211. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, and the forcible conversion of those who remained, Spanish society consisted nominally of Christians and mudéjars--Moors who lived under Christian rule but who did not convert. Those Jews and Moors who converted to Christianity (marranos or conversos and moriscos respectively) were considered to be "New Christians," an identity that was passed from generation to generation through family lineage; that was associated with social shame; and that barred stigmatized individuals from exercising certain professions that were reserved for "Old Christians."
  12. Vassberg, David E. (28 November 2002). The Village and the Outside World in Golden Age Castile: Mobility and Migration in Everyday Rural Life. Cambridge University Press. p. 142. ISBN   9780521527132. We know that many of the Moriscos were well acculturated to Christian ways, and that many had even become sincere Roman Catholics.
  13. Carr, Matthew (2009). The Purging of Muslim Spain. The New Press. p. 213. ISBN   9781595583611. In Granada, Moriscos were killed because they refused to renounce their adopted faith. Elsewhere in Spain, Moriscos went to mass and heard confession and appeared to do everything that their new faith required of them.
  14. Bethencourt, Francisco (19 January 2014). Racisms: From the Crusades to the Twentieth Century. Princeton University Press. p. 145. ISBN   9781400848416. The next wave of ethnically inspired riots in Castile was launched primarily against New Christians. It started in Toledo in 1449, in a period of political instability, when King John I sent his constable Don Alvaro de Luna to collect a major new tax. The local elite of Old Christians, who refused the tax, accused the New Christians with high positions as merchants, bankers, and farmers of plotting against the city, attacked their houses, and murdered many of them.
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Lynch, p. 44.
  16. 1 2 3 Lynch, p. 43.
  17. 1 2 Stallaert, C. 1998
  18. Stallaert, Christiane (15 October 1998). "Etnogénesis y etnicidad en España: una aproximación histórico-antropológica al casticismo". Anthropos Editorial via Google Books.
  19. 1 2 Lynch, p. 45.
  20. 1 2 3 4 Lynch, p. 46.
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Lynch, p. 47.
  22. Michel Boeglin: La expulsión de los moriscos de Andalucía y sus límites. El caso de Sevilla (1610-1613) (In Spanish)
  23. Europa Press News Agency: Experto descubre "linajes ocultos" de moriscos que se quedaron en Andalucía, a pesar de la orden de expulsión (In Spanish)
  24. Lapeyre, Henri (28 November 2011). Universitat de València (ed.). Geografía de la España Morisca. pp. 116 to 118.
  25. 1 2 Fadhlaoui-Zid, Karima; Martinez-Cruz, Begoña; Khodjet-el-khil, Houssein; Mendizabal, Isabel; Benammar-Elgaaied, Amel; Comas, David (October 2011). "Genetic structure of Tunisian ethnic groups revealed by paternal lineages". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 146 (2): 271–280. doi:10.1002/ajpa.21581. PMID   21915847.
  26. Botigue, L. R.; Henn, B. M.; Gravel, S.; Maples, B. K.; Gignoux, C. R.; Corona, E.; Atzmon, G.; Burns, E.; Ostrer, H.; Flores, C.; Bertranpetit, J.; Comas, D.; Bustamante, C. D. (3 June 2013). "Gene flow from North Africa contributes to differential human genetic diversity in southern Europe" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 110 (29): 11792. doi:10.1073/pnas.1306223110. PMC   3718088 . PMID   23733930.
  27. Adams, Susan M.; Bosch, Elena; Balaresque, Patricia L.; Ballereau, Stéphane J.; Lee, Andrew C.; Arroyo, Eduardo; López-Parra, Ana M.; Aler, Mercedes; Grifo, Marina S. Gisbert; Brion, Maria; Carracedo, Angel; Lavinha, João; Martínez-Jarreta, Begoña; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Picornell, Antònia; Ramon, Misericordia; Skorecki, Karl; Behar, Doron M.; Calafell, Francesc; Jobling, Mark A. (2008). "The Genetic Legacy of Religious Diversity and Intolerance: Paternal Lineages of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula". The American Journal of Human Genetics. 83 (6): 725–36. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2008.11.007. PMC   2668061 . PMID   19061982. Lay summary Science News (3 January 2009).
  28. Capelli, Cristian; Onofri, Valerio; Brisighelli, Francesca; Boschi, Ilaria; Scarnicci, Francesca; Masullo, Mara; Ferri, Gianmarco; Tofanelli, Sergio; Tagliabracci, Adriano; Gusmao, Leonor; Amorim, Antonio; Gatto, Francesco; Kirin, Mirna; Merlitti, Davide; Brion, Maria; Verea, Alejandro Blanco; Romano, Valentino; Cali, Francesco; Pascali, Vincenzo (2009). "Moors and Saracens in Europe: estimating the medieval North African male legacy in southern Europe". European Journal of Human Genetics. 17 (6): 848–52. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2008.258. PMC   2947089 . PMID   19156170.
  29. Casas MJ, Hagelberg E, Fregel R, Larruga JM, González AM (December 2006). "Human mitochondrial DNA diversity in an archaeological site in al-Andalus: genetic impact of migrations from North Africa in medieval Spain". Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 131 (4): 539–51. doi:10.1002/ajpa.20463. PMID   16685727.
  30. Alvarez, Luis; Santos, Cristina; Ramos, Amanda; Pratdesaba, Roser; Francalacci, Paolo; Aluja, María Pilar (1 February 2010). "Mitochondrial DNA patterns in the Iberian Northern plateau: Population dynamics and substructure of the Zamora province". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 142 (4): 637. doi:10.1002/ajpa.21252. PMID   20127843.
  31. Lynch, p. 48.
  32. Lynch, p. 49.
  33. Lynch, p. 51.
  34. El País: Morisco, palabra maldita (In Spanish)