The Expulsion of the Moriscos

Seven Monumental Paintings from the Kingdom of Valencia

Authored by: E. Michael Gerli

The Routledge Companion to Iberian Studies

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415722834
eBook ISBN: 9781315709895
Adobe ISBN:


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The making of Spanish identity during the early modern period can be told from various perspectives. The most common one is triumphal and nationalistic: it tells a story of empire and of the Spanish Golden Age, El Siglo de Oro. It deals with territorial expansion, transoceanic adventure, social and political hegemony on a universal scale, and the flourishing of a literary and artistic culture of equal universal reach and transcendence. Yet below the surface of all this there is another tarnished tale, one with tragic human consequences that traces a story of powerful international and domestic conflict, of ethnic warfare and civil strife, as it sounds a somber counterpoint to the epic tenor of the golden plot. It is the saga of those Spaniards who were expelled from their nation in 1492, the Jews, and then much later the Moriscos (Muslims converted to Catholicism and their descendants) in 1609–1614, whose account is less well-known (see Boase 1990; Cardaillac 1977; Carr 2009; Chejne 1983; Domínguez Ortiz and Vicent 1978; Harvey 2005).

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