The War against Islam and the Muslims at Home
From the broad perspective of the shifting balance of power in the Mediterranean, the foreign policy of Fernando and Isabel seems an unrelenting struggle with the enemies of the Catholic faith. The newly united Spanish kingdoms faced the threat of the Ottoman Turks to Aragon's Italian possessions while pursuing the conquest of the sultanate of Granada (1482–1492) and subsequently carrying the crusade beyond the Straits of Gibraltar. This international confrontation with Islam appears the logical concomitant of an internal policy that resulted in the expulsion of the Jews and the conversion of the Muslims of Granada and Castile. The imposition of religious uniformity at home coupled with Spain's aggression against Islam abroad marks the era of the Catholic Monarchs as the beginning of the polarization of the Mediterranean into Christian and Islamic blocs, which, in the midsixteenth century, would be led by Hapsburg Spain and the Ottoman Empire.
In this view, which emphasizes the conflictive character of the Christian-Muslim interface, Fernando's fostering of the Crown of Aragon's Mudejar communities appears to be a vestigial medieval policy at odds with his larger political and religious designs. Looking toward Lepanto and the fate of the Moriscos, Fernando's Muslim subjects seem nothing more than historical anomalies destined to be crushed in the collision of opposing Mediterranean powers.
However, the Mudejars of the Crown of Aragon cannot be so easily thrust aside as the victims of an unremitting and indiscriminate assault by the Catholic Monarchs on Muslims and Jews alike. Fernando's Mudejar policy was far more nuanced and complex. Therefore, our in-
terest here is to analyze how the wars waged against Islam affected Fernando's perception of and policy toward his Muslim subjects in the kingdom of Valencia, and how the Mudejars themselves responded to the intensification of the perennial conflict between Christianity and Islam. The focus on the kingdom of Valencia implies a recognition of the essential diversity existing within a Spain newly formed by the union of the Crowns of Aragon and Castile. That this union gave the impression that the Mediterranean states were now aligned on a strictly ideological basis—Christendom led by Catholic Spain against the Ottoman Turks and the Maghriban sultanates—and also allowed for a fuller expression of Castile's peninsular hegemony should not lead to the assumption that Aragon was always a pliant and willing partner in Castilian enterprises or that the lives of its peoples were suddenly redirected along routes laid out by Castile. On the contrary, the divergent interests of the two Crowns help to explain the apparent contradiction between Fernando's foreign policy and his Mudejar policy within the territories of the Crown of Aragon. Castile, the dominant partner in the union, provided the impetus, the zeal, and the majority of the manpower for the crusades against Granada and North Africa. To the degree that battling with Islam reflected Aragon's interests, it owed less to a crusading spirit than to a perceived need to advance and protect its political and commercial hegemony in the western Mediterranean against the threats of an expanding Ottoman empire and increasingly troublesome Maghriban corsairs. Otherwise, still vital in the lands of the Crown of Aragon were the traditions of Mediterranean frontier life which admitted the necessity of minority enclaves and impelled Catalan and Valencian to the Maghrib and Granada for trade.
The crusades and the forced conversion of Muslims in Granada and Castile were viewed from within the kingdom of Valencia in a light different from the one that illumined the vision of Castilian contemporaries. For the Castilian the conquest of Granada was the fulfillment of a long-held ambition, an ambition Valencian Christians had not shared since Castile's acquisition of Murcia (1304), which formed a buffer between Valencia and Granada. The conversions in Granada and Castile were more consonant with a Castilian drive toward religious uniformity than with a general Spanish obsession. While the difference between Castile and Aragon on this score should not be overemphasized, it is nevertheless worth noting that the campaign against the Conversos and the establishment of a national Inquisition had their most vociferous exponents in Castile. In contrast, Catalans, Aragonese, and Valencians resisted the intrusion of the Holy Office into their homelands. Likewise, the majority of Valencians viewed with dismay the Mudejar policy enforced by the Monarchs in Granada and Castile, perceiving in it an un-
wanted challenge to their own social traditions. Throughout the period of Fernando's reign Valencia's Muslims and Christians continued to act in accordance with accustomed economic and social patterns. There was no reason to suppose that the 250-year-old Muslim-Christian modus vivendi would not weather the storm created by another clash of faiths on an international scale. An analysis of the evolution of events in Valencia demonstrates that there were alternatives to the rueful course of action pursued in Isabel's kingdoms. Valencia's Mudejarism was not an anachronism, nor was the final conversion of the kingdom's Muslims in 1525 an inevitability. At each step along the road toward religious uniformity in Spain there was room for reconsideration and redirection. That Fernando was able to encourage Mudejarism within Valencia while crusading against Islam substantiates this point.
This does not mean that as he engaged in a protracted struggle with Islamic powers Fernando was oblivious to the potential menace lurking in the kingdom of Valencia with its 30 percent Muslim population. There, Muslim-Christian convivencia had succeeded, but it did so in spite of certain problems, perhaps the most serious of which was the persistent danger that the Mudejars formed a fifth column. Past manifestations of Mudejar allegiance to the Crown afforded Fernando little cause for comfort, for it was a history marked by rebellion and ambivalent loyalty. Moreover, earlier anti-Muslim violence on the part of Christians suspicious of Mudejar intentions suggested a possible threat to the public order.
The conquest of the kingdom of Valencia had scarcely been completed when the Mudejars rose in revolt in the late 1240s, and then repeatedly in the 1250s, 1260s, and 1270s, the latter effort with the aid of Moroccan and Granadan allies. The terrible anti-Muslim social riots of 1275–1276, although not demonstratively a direct response to the Mudejar revolts, owed their origin to an atmosphere of heightened tension. Even after more than a century of Crown rule, the majority of Valencian Mudejars chose to defect to the enemy during Pedro IV's war with Castile, in contrast to the behavior of their more acculturated co-religionists in Aragon. Other abortive uprisings followed in 1359 and 1364. The messianic pretensions of Cilim, a Mudejar of Antella, inspired the first of these, while the particularly difficult conditions caused by the war with Castile were at the root of the latter.
During the fourteenth century Christian violence occurred sporadically in assaults on the morerías of Játiva and Murviedro in 1288 and 1299, of Valencia in 1309, of Crevillente in 1385, and of Játiva and Elda in 1386. The intervention of royal and seigneurial officials quelled other potential outbreaks or at least prevented the violent actions of individual Christians from developing into mob violence. Maria Teresa Fer-
rer i Mallol points out that such attacks on Mudejars tended to coincide with periods of war with the sultanate of Granada or with rumors of possible Granadan attacks. Suspicions that Mudejars were spiriting Christians away to the slave markets of Granada and the Maghrib also sparked Christian hostility. While Christian anxiety must have abated somewhat in the fifteenth century as Granadan and Maghriban power and the Mudejars' demographic weight all diminished, there occurred, nonetheless, attacks on the morería of Elda in 1428 and on that of Valencia in 1455. This last outbreak is especially instructive—as it must have been for Fernando—for the role played by the fear of Muslim aggression in the generation of Christian hostility. In 1451 the participation of the Nasrid sultan in the factional strife of the Murcian nobility and the rumors of the massing of a Granadan army for a post-Ramadan campaign moved the jurates of Valencia to advise Alfonso V of the sultan's intention to wreak carnage in the kingdom and carry off its Mudejars. Alfonso was also reminded that the Mudejars were Valencia's "public enemies," with their "ears up and lances sharpened." Although this particular crisis blew over, Granadan forays into Valencian territory continued. The persisting ambience of insecurity and mistrust, in addition to economic difficulties and the toll taken by plague, was conducive to the eruption of violence in 1455. Even days after Valencia's morería had been sacked, the cry "the Moors are coming!" sent hundreds of armed men scrambling to the city's walls. The recurrent threat of Mudejar insurrection, real or imagined, with its backlash of Christian violence was the legacy Fernando inherited.
The Ottoman Turks
As the architect of Spain's foreign policy, in which the defense of Christendom often coincided with the furthering of Aragon's Mediterranean interests, Fernando treated with an array of Islamic states ranging from Granada to the eastern Mediterranean. Of these, the expanding empire of the Ottoman Turks posed the greatest threat. During the initial years of Fernando's reign the danger seemed very grave. In 1480 the forces of Mehmet the Conqueror besieged the island of Rhodes defended by the Knights Hospitallers and, worse still, in August of that year captured the city of Otranto on the Italian mainland. Considering this a prelude to the conquest of Sicily, an Aragonese possession, of Naples, and perhaps of Rome itself, Fernando took the Hospitallers under his protection and sent them military and financial support. Spain further responded by dispatching to Italy two fleets, Castilian and Aragonese, to assist in the Christian counterattack. This aid, however, proved un-
necessary as the death of Mehmet compelled a Turkish withdrawal from Otranto in September 1481.
During these critical months, Spain's ascendancy over Islam in the West suddenly seemed precarious. Turkish advances rendered the sultanate of Granada more formidable and the allegiance of Fernando's Muslim subjects more uncertain. Fernando was anxious about the possibility of a Mudejar reaction to Ottoman successes. In December 1480 he wrote to his councillors and governor in Valencia and reminded them of the Turkish entry into Italy, suggesting that this Islamic threat to Christendom could have immediate and dire consequences at home. Noting the kingdom's proximity to Granada, the king fretted over the fact that it had such a large number of Muslim inhabitants who were well armed and had access to its castles and fortresses. Having had to postpone the crusade against Granada to counter the Turkish menace, Fernando determined at least to neutralize the Mudejars, test they "make some effort in our disservice and that of our Lord God and in damage of that kingdom." He therefore commanded that all the Muslims in the kingdom be disarmed and denied access to fortresses, which included removing from office any Muslims exercising custodianship (alcaydies ) over castles. All this was to be done so that "we may be without any fear of the said Moors."
However, Fernando added that his officials should act in this matter as they deemed best, without causing any "inconvenience or scandal." In effect, this meant that they could do very little. Although arms control could be effectively exercised in the royal cities and towns, where Muslims were either fined for bearing arms or granted license to do so, it was unfeasible on seigneurial lands. Documents from 1487 and 1502 describe the Mudejars as still armed to the teeth. As for the custodianship of castles, this probably was not a problem, for there is no evidence of Mudejar alcaydes . The more important question is whether there was a real need for these preventive measures. At this point there does not seem to have been any Mudejar activity even suggesting insurrection. Whatever pleasure or hope Valencia's Muslims might have derived from Islam's distant progress, Turkish advances in Italy had insufficient impact on the structure of power in Valencia to have given them any illusions as to the possible success of a revolt. Accordingly, Fernando's officials seem to have thought it best to keep only a cautious eye on the Mudejars without unnecessarily upsetting them by the application of a firm hand.
Fernando was not alone in his uneasiness over the Mudejars' intentions. In February 1481, having already ordered the religious houses of Valencia to pray for divine aid against the Turks, the jurates of the city of Valencia cautioned the king that necessity demanded the taking
of some action regarding the great number of Muslims residing in the kingdom. For them, the Mudejars' presence was a threat to the public peace. Despite the opinion of the seigneurs of Muslim vassals, who preferred maintenance of the status quo, the jurates urged Fernando to take measures to preserve the kingdom from "irreparable ruin." It is difficult to say what measures they had in mind. In any event, no further action was taken. Given the probable opposition of the barons, who were in a better position to know of the Mudejars' plans than were the more apprehensive jurates, the efficacy of any expedient would have been minimal.
The Turks continued to preoccupy Fernando throughout the 1480s. Rumors of the massing of Turkish armadas in 1484 and 1485 and the Turks' attack on Malta in 1488 moved him to strengthen Sicily's fortifications. The conflict between the Turks and Mamluk Egypt suggested to Fernando the utility of an alliance with the Mamluk sultan, Qa'it[*] Bay[*] . In 1488 Spain shipped wheat to Egypt—the revenues from its sale were to help finance the war against Granada—and, after the Mamluk victory over Turkish forces, Fernando proposed further aiding the Mamluks with a naval force of fifty caravels. This understanding between Fernando and Qa'it[*] Bay[*] lasted until the latter allied with the Ottoman Bayezit II in 1491.
Although himself fully capable of cutting across ideological boundaries to ally with Mamluk against Ottoman, Fernando still doubted that the fealty of his own Muslim subjects was of sufficient strength to counterbalance the political implications of their religious adherence to Islam. He was prone to lend credence to even the more farfetched stories of Mudejar anti-Christian activity. For instance, in 1480 he commanded an investigation into the matter of certain Aragonese Mudejars who had allegedly incited the Mamluk sultan to destroy Christian churches in Jerusalem.
Nevertheless, Fernando can hardly be blamed for expressing concern over the information that reached him in 1487. It involved an Islamic alliance linking the Mudejars and the Turks to Granada as a reaction to the Nasrids' desperate situation. It was reported that for the past six years the Valencian aljamas had been sending financial aid in support of the war effort of the Nasrid sultan. For Fernando, already into his sixth year of grueling campaigning in Granada, this news must have been particularly galling. But that was not all. The Mudejars had dispatched to "the Turk" (Bayezit II) two envoys, one from Játiva, the kingdom's largest morería , and the other, a certain Pacoret, from Paterna. They were to inform Bayezit of the Catholic Monarchs' war against Granada and that if he did not send aid all would be lost. Specific suggestions were made as to how the Turks could be most effective. Bayezit was to
send "his people" to Valencia, and there, and in the other Spanish kingdoms, 200,000 Muslims would rise up in their favor and bring about the "damage and destruction of the Christians." The Moors of Valencia were preparing themselves for this eventuality. It was said that each Muslim had in his home more arms than were necessary for any one person.
The king's reaction was surprisingly restrained. He ordered three officials to find out if there was any truth in these rumors. Their conclusions were to be sent to Fernando in letters under closed seal, so that he himself could decide on suitable punishment for the Muslims and the morerías implicated. Again, as in 1480, there survive neither responses to the king's queries nor record of the punishment of Mudejar rebels.
That in both cases official inquiry produced no damning evidence against the Mudejars should not suggest that Fernando dwelled in a crusader's dream world filled with phantoms of Muslim conspirators. A distinction must be made here between intention and act. According to Fernando's informants, a Mudejar uprising was contingent on the entry of Ottoman forces into Spain. That Bayezit, his hands full in the East and in Egypt, was in no position to mount an invasion of the western Mediterranean, much less of Spain, and, thus, could not lend any substance to Mudejar plans, does not exonerate the Mudejars of the intention of rebellion under propitious circumstances. It is very much within the realm of possibility that Mudejar-Ottoman contact had, in fact, been established.
By 1487 Nasrid poetic appeals for assistance had reached both Mamluk and Ottoman courts. Also, the Egyptian chronicler Ibn Iyas[*] records that in A.H. 892 (A.D. 1486–1487) Nasrid ambassadors arrived in Cairo requesting that Qa'it[*] Bay[*] send an army against the Spanish Christians. Qa'it Bay responded with a message to Fernando, warning him that if he did not halt his attacks on Granada, reprisals would be inflicted on the clergy of Jerusalem and Christians would be denied access to the holy places. Bayezit, his interest aroused by the Nasrid appeal, dispatched the privateer Kemal Reis to the western Mediterranean on a mission of reconnaissance. Reis is thought to have made direct contact with Granadan Muslims somewhere along Spain's southeastern coast. He and his Ottoman corsairs based themselves in Bougie and Bône and on the island of Jirba, and from there conducted raids on Christian coasts and shipping. Reis was active in the area until 1495, when he was recalled to Istanbul by Bayezit.
Fernando's response to reports of a Mudejar embassy to the Turks (23 April 1487) after the arrival of the Nasrid ambassadors and poetry in the Mamluk and Ottoman courts, and probably not long after Kemal Reis sailed into western Mediterranean waters, gives to these reports
a ring of truth. Their veracity is supported further by their specific identification of the two Mudejar envoys. Fernando's informants had emphasized three points: (1) Mudejar financial aid to Granada; (2) a Mudejar appeal to the Ottomans that Granada was desperately in need of help against the Christian onslaught; and (3) Mudejar assurances of their rising in tandem with an Ottoman invasion. The central factor was the Mudejar preoccupation with Granada's fate. It was more than coincidental that the Mudejar embassy was sent within a year of the Nasrids' decision to take diplomatic initiatives in the hope of alleviating their grave situation. Communication between Valencian and Granadan Muslims was frequent, as they were closely linked by ties of kinship and commerce and often crossed each other's national borders with or without official license. Both groups realized that the Turks were Granada's only hope and acted accordingly. It is certainly possible that Mudejar envoys in conjunction with Granadan Muslims met with Kemal Reis somewhere along Spain's southeastern coast, perhaps near Almería, a city with which Valencian Muslims had close relations. In this scenario "the Turk" with whom the Mudejars made contact would have been Kemal Reis, not Bayezit II. An alternative to an Iberian rendezvous was a Maghriban one, perhaps at Reis's base in Bougie, which was more accessible than Istanbul. The Mudejars were certainly in touch with Ottoman corsairs by 1502. Earlier contacts, while there was still some hope for the Nasrids, do not seem improbable.
After this episode the spectre of a Mudejar-Ottoman conspiracy ceased to haunt Fernando. Once Granada was conquered the threat of a Turkish invasion in relief of the Nasrids was removed, and with it the possibility of an Ottoman-inspired Mudejar insurrection.
For Spanish Christians the Ottoman Turks were a relatively new arrival in the Mediterranean arena of religion and politics. Their main theater of operations lying in the East, the Turks were an unfamiliar foe whose aggressive expansion filled the Spanish with dread, each Turkish conquest conjuring up images of atrocity and horror. It is not surprising that this "Turkophobia" sparked rumors of a Mudejar revolt in the Ottomans' favor. In contrast, the Spanish were well acquainted with the Muslims of Granada. For centuries the rulers of Granada, the Maghrib, Castile, and Aragon had engaged in a bewildering complexity of alliances as a means of maintaining an uneasy balance of power. The permeable Granadan frontier had seen the regular passage of both raiding parties and merchants. In Granada there lay little of mystery and
even less to fear. The union of Castile and Aragon deprived the Nasrids of the surest means of ensuring their state's survival, the ability to play off one Christian kingdom against the other. Cognizant of the fact that the Nasrids were on the defensive, Fernando did not trouble himself over the possibility of an invasion from Granada with an attendant Mudejar rising. This scenario was more characteristic of thirteenth-century than of late fifteenth-century conditions. Only when an Ottoman offensive threatened to overtake western Europe, thereby enhancing the offensive capacity of western Islam, did Fernando give serious consideration to the implications of the Mudejars' ambivalent loyalty. Otherwise, Mudejar dissidence and shadowy allegiance to Granada was little more than one of the accustomed nuisances of frontier life, a thorn in the side perhaps, but not a threat to the state.
The initial years of Fernando's reign were characterized by a continuation of the traditional contacts between Granada and the Crown of Aragon. Until the crusade began in earnest, Valencian merchants, both Christian and Muslim, plied the short-distance maritime trade between the ports of Valencia and Almería. As late as October 1482, the bailiff general and the jurates of Valencia were requesting that the qa'id[*] (alcayt ) of Almería treat Valencian merchants with favor. Having recently concluded a pact with the qa'id of Almería and the sultan of Granada, the jurates of Valencia corresponded with Almerian officials and with the sultan himself regarding the affairs of Valencian merchants. In one case, the jurates sought the release of the merchant Perot Miquel, whom the Almerian authorities had unjustly arrested on account of the debts of another Christian merchant. Mudejars from various morerías continued the trade with Almería that had been monopolized by the Valencian merchant families Ripoll, Bellvis, Xupio, Benxarnit, and Razbayda until the sack of Valencia's morería in 1455. Other Mudejars travelled there to collect the inheritances of deceased relatives or to study Arabic. Likewise, business drew to Valencia Granadan Muslims such as Abdalla Çalema of Almería, who returned to Valencia, his former home, as an agent of Almería's qa'id and to settle accounts with his own creditors. The outbreak of war understandably necessitated the restriction of movement between Granada and Valencia, thereby disrupting the flow of trade.
While Muslim and Christian merchants resided comfortably in each other's cities under official protection, both sides engaged in the desultory frontier warfare of the lightning raid and the taking of booty and captives. Although the kingdom of Valencia was not contiguous with the sultanate of Granada, Muslim raiders found that the intervening kingdom of Murcia, mountainous and sparsely populated, provided little impediment to their incursions. On account of their relatively ex-
posed position, Orihuela, Elche, and Alicante had formed, in 1399, a Hermandad (Brotherhood) with the Mudejar aljamas of the area. Because the Mudejars were known to act as spies for the Granadan almugavers (raiders), one clause of the charter of the Hermandad demanded that the aljamas pay the ransom of any Christian captured by the Muslims. The Christians were to do the same for any captive Mudejar whom the neighboring Castilians might carry off. The Hermandad had dissolved by 1407, so that the Catholic Monarchs found themselves confronted with the same frontier problem. Thus, in 1483 Isabel was compelled to command that action be taken against those Mudejars of Murcia who were bearing arms and abetting Granadan enemies by hiding them in their homes.
The Granadan Muslims who were able to infiltrate Murcia encountered little hindrance to their entry into Valencia. In September 1481, Fernando felt obliged to act decisively on the matter. He deplored the fact that Muslims were secretly entering the kingdom from Granada and perpetrating many crimes against the persons and property of Christians travelling on the kingdom's roads. The king was aware of Mudejar collusion with the enemy, pointing out that the almugavers were making themselves inconspicuous in the kingdom's large morerías by mixing in with and thereby increasing their populations. Fernando sought to remedy the problem by more tightly controlling the kingdom's roads. Any Muslim seen traveling by unaccustomed routes was to be seized and brought before the bailiff general for judgment. Fernando was particularly interested in the prosecution of the guides (adelils ), presumably Mudejars, captured in the company of enemy Muslims. They were to be handed over to royal officials and punished in exemplary fashion. These measures would affect only those Mudejars clearly working with the almugavers as spies and guides. Entire morerías , the majority of whose inhabitants probably turned a blind eye to the comings and goings of the Granadan visitors, would escape chastisement. Two years later the kingdom still had its share of Granadan infiltrators. Consequently, Fernando reissued the above orders.
It may be that this state of affairs was partly responsible for the royal proclamation made in the city of Valencia in 1481. So that they might be easily distinguished from the Christians, the Jews and Muslims were to wear special symbols—blue garments, beards, and tonsures in the case of the latter. In 1486 Fernando explicitly cited the Mudejars' failure to wear symbols as being a factor which enabled them, incognito, to assault and kidnap Christians. However, the addition of Muslim sexual relations with Christian women to the list of resultant evils suggests that social issues were at least as compelling in the issuance of the royal proclamation. Royal officials, then, had to contend with two forms of
Muslim dissimulation: the incognito almugaver mixed in with the Mudejar population, and the Muslim in Christian attire concealing his religious affiliation. Detection and capture of almugavers and Mudejar spies would have been extremely difficult.
Nevertheless, there were some successes. In 1480 there were still pending from 1475 cases of Valencian Muslims accused of the crime of collera , the kidnapping of Christians for sale as slaves in Islamic countries. Mudejars of Nompot, near Alicante, and Aspe were arrested for the same crime.Almugavers captured in Murcia and in an area as far north as the Vall de Uxó were to be interrogated about their mode of operation and the accessories to their crimes. Enhanced travel restrictions proved effective. Mudejars traveling on the prohibited backroad linking Tibi to Cocentaina were seized. Others who had journeyed to Granada without royal license were caught and punished with enslavement. There was surprisingly little arbitrary seizure of Mudejars by royal officials, which excess Fernando's road controls might well have provoked. In any case, the forays of almugavers with the collusion of Mudejar colleagues seem to have ceased after 1483. This was due to the escalation of the war against Granada, which forced the Nasrids into a defensive posture. Also, the war brought more stringent border controls, so that Murcian Muslims could enter the kingdom only through the city of Orihuela. Therefore, the war that erected a barrier to commercial traffic also shielded Valencia from the depredations of Granadan almugavers .
During the decade-long crusade against Granada Fernando does not seem to have viewed the Mudejars as a serious military problem. Strategies were not adapted for the eventuality of a Mudejar rising in Granada's favor, nor were preventive measures taken beyond the investigation of rumors. It is true that after the taking of Alhama, in an effort to raise subsidies for the war from the estates of Valencia, the king warned various nobles and prelates that on account of its large Muslim population and its proximity to Granada the kingdom could be in some danger were Granada not conquered. However, Fernando probably should not be taken too seriously here. Such a warning was a bargaining ploy, not an honest assessment of the real possibilities of a Nasrid counteroffensive. It is possible that at this early stage of the war (January, 1483) Fernando still had the Ottoman threat at the back of his mind. Indeed, it was only with respect to the Turks that Fernando had even suggested the impracticable disarming of all Mudejars. The Nasrids lacked the Turks' offensive capabilities and appeared weak before the combined power of Aragon and Castile. Fernando could afford to be confident that Christian dominance in Valencia would circumscribe Mudejar disloyalty to the few who intrigued with almugavers and cor-
sairs. The royal confidence was well founded, for not a Mudejar sword was unsheathed in defense of the beleaguered Nasrid sultanate.
If reluctant to draw their swords, it may be that the Mudejars were more willing to empty their purses in support of the Nasrids. In December 1486, it was reported that all the morerías of the kingdom, seigneurial as well as royal, were providing the sultan with annual subsidies equaling the value of the hides of all the animals they had slaughtered, probably during the cid[*]al-kabir[*] , the festival commemorating the sacrifice of Abraham. Five months later the report was more detailed. Apart from their embassy to the Turks, the Mudejars had been sending financial support to the Nasrids since 1481. In each morería the faqih[*] was charged with the responsibility of collecting funds from every Muslim. In addition to proffering financial aid, the Mudejars were doing what they could to turn toward the sultan the favor of the Divine. The faqih s were leading their congregations in a prayer that beseeched God to exalt the sultan of Granada and to destroy the Catholic Monarch and his hosts, along with "other ignorant words of blasphemy that offend the ears." The king, exasperated, ordered investigation and, if necessary, punishment. As for the results, the documents are silent.
It seems reasonable that in lieu of military activity the Muslims of Valencia would have resorted to the collection of funds to assist the monarch of the last Islamic state on Spanish soil. A subject minority, the Mudejars derived moral and spiritual sustenance from the existence of that remnant of al-Andalus to which they were bound by both religion and kinship. José Hinojosa Montalvo suggests that the Nasrid sultan exercised a spiritual leadership over the Valencian Muslims, noting that in 1455 the sultan had expressed his concern about the welfare of the Mudejars by sending to the Valencian authorities a strong protest over the sack of the city's morería . It is possible that the Mudejars invoked the name of the reigning Nasrid in their Friday prayers. They might have taken it a bit further by praying for his victory over Fernando's armies. Their effort to make contact with the Turks in the Nasrids' behalf, if true, is another indication of their deep attachment to the Granadan sultanate. Still, beyond the inaudible sinking of Muslim hearts, the fall of Granada had no further reverberations in Mudejar Valencia.
The exigencies of the war against Granada did not drastically alter Fernando's Mudejar policy. So long as the Mudejars displayed their obedience by paying taxes and refraining from anti-Christian violence on a large scale, Fernando felt free to pursue a relatively "liberal" wartime policy. Given the size of Valencia's Muslim population, their well-known contacts with Granada, and the Ottoman danger, a policy of cruel repression would not have been exceptional. Two factors probably dissuaded Fernando from resorting to harsh and hasty expedients. One
was the very size of the Muslim population, which cautioned him against an oppression that might have provoked a rebellion more quickly than the feelings aroused by the war itself. The other was his assumption that the nobles could control their own Muslim vassals, and his realization that they would likely oppose any extreme departure from the traditional Mudejar policy. Thus, Fernando exercised discretion and restraint in response to the reports of Mudejar insurgency. A reading of the documentation indicates that the conduct of the war did not significantly disturb Mudejar communities in their local economic and social pursuits.
The war had its greatest impact on the Mudejars' freedom of travel. Royal control of Mudejar movement was nothing new, however. Alfonso V had established in 1418 that Muslims living in areas north of the Jijona River could not travel south of the Jijona without the permission of the bailiff general. This measure was meant to prevent their passage into Granada and Castile. Although economic fluctuations must be taken into account, since the majority of Mudejars traveled south for commercial reasons, an examination of the number of travel licenses granted each year can be helpful in determining the effects of the war.
The decrease in the number of licenses granted during the war years 1485 through 1490, although only moderate until 1489 and 1490, reflects a more stringent wartime policy. In 1491, once Almería and Baza had fallen and the capture of Granada seemed certain, almost twice as many licenses were granted as in the busiest prewar year of 1481. This spurt of activity indicates a Mudejar reaction to the bailiff general's relaxation of the previous stringency. This high level continued in 1492 and 1493, except now Mudejars could travel to Castile and Granada as well as beyond the Jijona River. Postwar population shifts stimulated by Fernando's policy (see below) account for much of this movement. The
marked decrease in the number of licenses granted after 1494 can perhaps be attributed to a gradual cordoning off of the former sultanate as an aid to Talavera's missionary efforts. The mere trickle from 1500 through 1502 was due to the revolts in the Alpujarras and to the subsequent conversions of the Muslims of Granada, Murcia, and Castile. From this it can be ascertained that royal policy in Valencia was precautionary and mildly restrictive rather than unduly repressive. Except for the itinerant retail merchants, most Mudejars would not have found such restrictions especially burdensome.
Fernando's postwar policy was an affirmation of his belief in the continuing viability of Mudejarism. Satisfied that Valencian society had survived the shocks of the Granadan campaigns and the worst of the Ottoman threat without major incident, he saw no problem in encouraging the settlement of Granadan Muslims in Valencia. After all, as the "royal treasure" the Mudejars were a valuable asset to which the Granadans were merely an addition. Muslims from Vera, Almería, and Granada were settled in a number of Valencian localities. Valencian Muslims with relatives in Granada were allowed to retrieve them for relocation in Valencia. Even those Granadans who had first opted for the Maghriban sites of Oran and Tunis were given a second chance to become royal vassals in Fernando's kingdom. For both conqueror and conquered the lure of material benefits outweighed the ideal of life in a land of religious uniformity.
Another aspect of this postconquest "liberalization" was the issuance of licenses for travel to and from the new kingdom of Granada. Freed Muslim slaves who had chosen to remain in Valencia were permitted to return home to Granada to visit relatives and to take care of personal affairs. Some Mudejars took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the splendor of Granada's Islamic culture. A Muslim from the Vall de Uxó went there to study Islamic law. This state of affairs was to last only a few years, after which time Fernando's more balanced approach was thwarted by the extremism of Isabel and Cardinal Cisneros.
The papal concession of indulgences for a crusade against North Africa and Spain's subsequent conquests along the southern Mediterranean littoral—Melilla (1497), Mers-el-Kebir (1505), Penón[*] de Vélez (1507), Oran (1509), and Algiers, Bougie, and Tunis (1510)—suggest a confrontation between Christianity and Islam so sharp as to have again thrown the question of Mudejar allegiance into relief. However, because the crusade was more apparent than real, particularly with respect
to the Crown of Aragon, and because the Mudejars themselves had played a role during the previous centuries of Catalan-Maghriban relations, Mudejar contacts with Maghriban Muslims presented no more of a problem than those they maintained with Granada.
The key to understanding Fernando's relative lack of distress over the Mudejar-Maghriban connection, which could have compounded the difficulties presented by the rumored Ottoman-Nasrid-Mudejar conspiracy, lies in the political circumstances of his Maghriban adversaries. Rent by internal divisiveness, with each sultan's power base urban-centered and dependent on shifting alliances with the Berber tribesmen controlling the countryside, the Maghriban sultanates were incapable of presenting a united front to the Spanish, much less of mounting an offensive. They lacked the military organization and the gunpowder technology to offer effective resistance. Even if they had been anxious to place themselves under the protective wing of the Ottomans, the latter were in no position to shore up the defenses of western Islam until they defeated the Mamluks in 1517. Indicative of the debility of the Maghriban states is the fact that during the war against Granada they remained largely on the sidelines.
It would be difficult and perhaps overly artificial to disentangle Fernando's crusading fervor from the geopolitical and commercial motives behind the expansion into North Africa. Still, it seems that in his formulation of a Maghriban policy worldly considerations were more weighty. The conquest of Granada itself compelled the Spanish to gain a foothold in the Maghrib. Without the Nasrid buffer state Spain's southern coastlines were susceptible to the raids of Maghriban corsairs, whose forces were substantially augmented by Granadan refugees desirous of vengeance on the Christian conquerors. The corsairs' depredations coupled with the restiveness of the subject Granadan population threatened the survival of the new kingdom and advised the taking of strategic points along the North African coast, from which the sea lanes could be better controlled. The lure of African gold made sites such as Melilla, a terminus of the Saharan caravan routes, more attractive. Strategic considerations guided the Spanish endeavor to establish dominion over the island of Jirba, which, along with Malta, would have allowed for the control of the seas between Sicily and Tunisia. The Crown of Aragon's wider Mediterranean interests, which, when the French advanced into Naples, diverted Fernando from the African crusade, seem to have dictated the ultimate course of his Maghriban policy. The invasion and settlement of the African interior were favored by Cardinal Cisneros, an embodiment of the crusading spirit who funded and personally led the expedition against Oran. The Cardinal's aspirations were more akin to those of Queen Isabel, whose dying wish was
for the continuation of "the conquest of Africa and the war for the faith against the Moors." Fernando, however, preoccupied with Italian affairs, was unwilling to put forth the resources such an enterprise would have required. The logical conclusion to the crusade against the Moors as suggested by the Granadan experience, namely, Christian settlement and conversion of the indigenous population, was not attempted. Rather, Fernando was content to maintain a string of coastal garrisons, or presidios , designed to protect the coasts and commerce of Spain and Italy against Maghriban attacks, and hopefully to establish control over the Maghriban commercial networks. The outcome of Fernando's African crusade was determined as much by the desire to establish Spanish hegemony in the western Mediterranean as by a zeal to subjugate the infidel.
The crusades against Granada and Africa, both largely Castilian enterprises, did not radically change the main contours of Valencia's relations with the Maghrib. Throughout the fifteenth century Valencians engaged in commerce there. The volume of this commercial traffic, never great, seems to have diminished somewhat at the end of the century, owing to the Maghrib's internal strife and to the Castilian offensive. The trade was usually carried by Christian ships, Valencian, Venetian, or Genoese. Imports included animal hides, wax, luxury items such as ostrich plumes, and, of course, African gold. The exports most in demand in the Maghrib were textiles and illegal articles of trade, such as arms, iron, sulfur, and alum. In the latter half of the century 56 percent of this trade was with Hafsid[*] Tunisia. This accorded well with Fernando's promotion of the sale of Sicilian wheat there.
Maghriban merchants, the majority from Tunis and Oran, were frequent visitors to Valencia. Usually arriving on the Venetian galleys that regularly traveled the route between the Maghrib and Valencia, these merchants were granted royal license to conduct their business in the kingdom for periods of one year or more.
The waters of the Mediterranean which allowed for the establishment of commercial ties between Christendom and Africa also provided the corsair with an ample field of action. Although corsairs were certainly capable of criminal acts against their coreligionists, Mediterranean piracy was, nevertheless, an essential element of the larger struggle between Christianity and Islam. Neither officially sanctioned nor ideologically inspired, piracy was no less cruel to its victims than crusade or war. It constantly threatened to undo the friendship fostered by commerce. But like commerce, piracy was profitable to Christian and Muslim alike, reaping rewards in booty and slaves. Christian merchants easily made the transition to piracy when it suited their interests. They victimized Muslims plying the Maghriban coastal trade and even those
making the pilgrimage to Mecca. On land Muslims were no safer. They were stolen away from their homes and sold into slavery. In response to the complaints of the sultan of Tunis, Fernando had to admonish Christian merchants to cease the kidnapping of Muslims who entered their ships to inspect their wares.
Perhaps because of their overall military weakness, the Maghriban sultanates often resorted to privateering as a means of inflicting damage on the increasingly aggressive Iberian powers. The Catalan, Balearic, and Valencian coastlines were constantly plagued by Maghriban corsairs. With respect to Valencia, this piratical activity seems to have increased in the latter third of the fifteenth century. Indeed, the correspondence between the jurates of Valencia, Murviedro, and Cullera is filled with reports of the sightings of Maghriban galleys. Not only did Muslim corsairs wreak havoc on Valencia's coastal shipping, they also made daring forays onto the mainland. The objective was always the taking of booty and Christian captives. For instance, corsairs from Bougie set upon a galley transporting wheat to Gandía, killing two Christians and capturing another, while in another case, ten Christian fishermen were borne off. There is an interesting exchange of letters between the bailiff general and the jurates of Castellón de la Plana regarding the strategy to be employed against Muslim raiders ensconced on a nearby island. The jurates, whose plan was to move against the corsairs whose signal fires they had spotted, wanted to be guaranteed full rights to any Muslim they were taking the trouble to capture. On this point the bailiff general concurred, but he suggested laying an ambush for the entire raiding party instead of nabbing only a few scouts. Given such harrowing conditions, efforts had to be made to improve the system of coastal vigilance and defense, particularly at Oropesa in the north and at Guardamar in the south. Ships were manned and armed to patrol Valencia's coastline. Although these measures had some efficacy, resulting in the capture of Maghriban corsairs, Muslim galleys still slipped through. The situation, which probably worsened after 1492, when the corsairs found many new Granadan recruits, became especially critical in 1502 and 1503.
The sequel to the piratical episodes was the ransoming of captives. In Valencian society this was a matter of great concern, for it was always feared that Christian prisoners would be induced to renege on the Catholic faith. The Order of Mercedarians remained active in the redemption of captives, and some towns, such as Biar, had special funds reserved for this purpose. While families worked to ransom loved ones and lords their vassals, the king did what he could to lend a hand. In 1489 Fernando instructed his ambassador to Tunis to congratulate the new sultan on his accession, to promise him support against his uncle
ruling Tripoli, and to demand the release of all the Christians imprisoned in Tunis, or at least of those of high rank. In another case, the proceeds from the estate of a condemned Converso were granted to a man from Elche trying to ransom his son held in Bougie.
Inhabiting a kingdom marked by the comings and goings of Maghriban merchants, slaves, and corsairs ensured that Valencia's Muslims were bound to the Maghrib by much more than an abstract religious and cultural affinity. A concrete Mudejar-Maghriban connection was further sustained by the officially sanctioned travel of Mudejars to Maghriban ports, especially Tunis, but also Oran, Algiers, and One. Allowed to remain there for one year, they traded, visited relatives and collected the inheritances of those deceased, studied Arabic, made pilgrimages (most likely to North African shrines instead of Mecca, given the limitations of time), or simply enjoyed a bit of tourism.
Mudejars had kinfolk in the Maghrib as a result of two complementary patterns of minor population movement. On one hand, Mudejars were sometimes permitted to emigrate to North Africa, although never in great numbers. On the other hand, Maghriban prisoners of war—either victims of Christian piracy or pirates themselves—who had been ransomed by Mudejar aljamas sometimes preferred permanent residence in Valencia to a return to their birthplaces. Thus, Valencian and Maghriban might trade places, the difference lying more in the religion of their respective suzerains than in the circumstances of their community life. The settlement of Granadan Muslims in Valencia after 1489 further complicated the picture, so that within the Christian kingdom itself the Mudejar might rub shoulders with a variegated throng of Muslims. Some sense of this is conveyed in the confessions of the Malagan Muslim Caçim Abdalla before the tribunal of the bailiff general. Caçim had journeyed from Segorbe to the city of Valencia in the company of two Mudejars, from Cocentaina and Oliva. While in Valencia he met Mahomat Arayz of Oran, whom he questioned about employment opportunities in the area. Having no luck finding employment, the two turned to petty theft, which landed them in the bailiff's court.
The ease with which contact could be established between Muslims of various origins must have increased the potential for Mudejar involvement in anti-Christian activity. Captive Maghriban corsairs and recently conquered Granadans, embittered over their own fate, might have inspired Mudejars to take up their cause. The corsairs valued the Mudejars for their knowledge of the kingdom's coastline and interior. If the latter were willing, the corsairs could establish a network of spies and guides to facilitate their infiltration of Valencian territory. Plans for piratical raids could be made and messages sent with Mudejars and
with Maghriban merchants and ransomed captives crossing to North Africa.
To the good fortune of the kingdom the majority of its Mudejars seem to have declined to risk participation in such subversive action. Still, the corsairs were able to find volunteers. Some of the aforementioned Muslims accused of the crime of collera could have been acting in concert with either Granadan or Maghriban raiders. The documents are not always clear on this point. There is no doubt about the guilt of the Mudejar of Cocentaina, who was captured by the people of Alcudiola when they beat off the attack of 100 corsairs from Oran. One captive corsair told how his party was guided from Guardamar inland to Rojales by a Mudejar of Albatera. It is also possible that when the corsairs left behind their own spies, the latter were hidden by Mudejar communities. Even more striking is the information received by the jurates of Valencia, that Bablaguer, a Mudejar of Oliva, was piloting a corsair squadron of six ships sailing out of Oran.
According to the bailiff general, the Mudejars of the coastal towns were the most troublesome. Those possessing fishing boats would, under the pretense of fishing, lead to the kingdom's shores the galleys of corsairs intent on capturing Christians. These "fishermen" would also help Muslim slaves to escape in their boats. Because his own prohibitions against the Muslim ownership of fishing boats had not been obeyed, the bailiff requested that Fernando apply the force of royal authority. He suggested that the king enact the same prohibition, with the addition that if Muslims had to fish they must do so in Christian boats. Violators should be punished with slavery and their lords penalized as well. Yet it seems that Fernando did not follow the bailiff's recommendations.
The absence of energetic royal action to curb such Mudejar activity was probably due to the fact that it was not a widespread phenomenon. Even taking into account the difficulty of its detection, the few instances in which the royal authorities actually discovered Mudejars plotting with Maghriban enemies seem to indicate this. Indeed, in 1502, in their effort to persuade the king that Valencia's Muslims ought not to be converted, the nobles argued that in the past, when they were not afraid of being forcibly baptized, the Mudejars often advised Christians of the coming of corsairs. Although the nobles were clearly acting out of self-interest, their argument likely held a considerable amount of truth, for if the Mudejars often associated with corsairs, they would not have been so highly valued as vassals. In 1503, the lords of Benidorm, Polop, and Calpe—all coastal towns—beseeched Fernando to permit the safe and unpenalized return of their Muslim vassals who had fled to the Maghrib during the disturbances of 1502. They maintained that while in Africa
their vassals did not capture Christians, but picked up information regarding "the damage that the Moors from beyond would like to do." Fernando, impressed, complied with their request. Thus, the intelligence network between Muslims of opposite Mediterranean shores could work both ways, sometimes to the kingdom's benefit.
The fact that Fernando did not govern his Muslim subjects with an iron hand does not mean he threw all caution to the winds. Just as the war against Granada had necessitated some restriction of Mudejar movement to the southern zone of the kingdom, it also resulted in the cessation of Muslim travel between Valencia and the Maghrib. The bailiff general's alternating stringency and liberality in the granting of licenses for travel abroad to Mudejars roughly parallels the pattern of the bestowal of licenses for internal travel. After 1484 no licenses were granted, but in 1491 the restriction was gradually lifted. As for the commercial activity of Maghriban merchants in Valencia, it reasserted itself in 1486, and, while not evident in 1487 and 1488, rose markedly in 1489 and continued until 1500. Interestingly, this commerce was curtailed at the time of the Muslim revolts in the Alpujarras (1500–1501), but not after the declaration of a crusade against Africa in 1494. Fernando and his bailiff general were guided primarily by a sustained interest in the kingdom's economic welfare. They did not wish to curb the trade carried by Valencian and Maghriban Muslims any more than was absolutely necessary.
The formulation of policy on Mudejar emigration to the Maghrib, although apparently of great relevance to the kingdom's security, was also dictated by the economic interests of the most powerful sectors of Valencian society. While the king might make temporary monetary gains by permitting the emigration of those Mudejars able to pay the required duties, the Mudejars' long-term value to the purses of the monarch and the secular and ecclesiastical lords ensured that they were conceded the privilege of emigration only rarely, if at all. If royal and seigneurial reluctance to open the doors to Mudejar emigration had been based on a fear that their erstwhile vassals might return in the guise of enemy corsairs and soldiers, then they would not have allowed them to travel to the Maghrib for temporary visits, for, if the Mudejars so wished, a year's sojourn in Africa could become a permanent change of residence. The permeability of the Mediterranean frontier, a condition created by the policies of both Christian and Muslim rulers, offered the Mudejars numerous opportunities to cause trouble. Emigration would not have made a substantial difference in this potential. At any rate, there is little evidence from Fernando's reign that Valencia's Muslims were clamoring for permission to emigrate. Only during the years of crisis after 1500 did this become the case.
Considering the question of Mudejar loyalty in more general terms, it seems reasonable to posit that many of Valencia's Muslims harbored sentiments of allegiance to the wider Islamic world. Such sentiments made them potential insurgents against the government of the Christian state in which they resided. The course of action followed by the Mudejars was guided by their assessment of the realities of the distribution of power among Christian and Islamic polities in the West, by the habits of thought and action resulting from more than two centuries of coexistence with Christians, and by Iberian and Maghriban traditions of self-interested political alliance which often cut across religious boundaries.
The history of Mudejar rebellion in the kingdom of Valencia is a useful indicator of how the Mudejars evaluated their own position. The rebellions progressively decreased in both incidence and ferocity over the centuries. In the thirteenth century they were numerous and threatened the new kingdom's survival; in the fourteenth century they were few and ineffective; and in the fifteenth century there were no incidents, save for the minor disturbances caused by the messianic preaching of a Muslim claiming to be sent by God. There are three explanations for this trend. First, Christian settlement gradually but decisively shifted the population ratio, so that if in the thirteenth century Christians had been awash in a sea of Muslims, by Fernando's reign Muslims constituted only 30 percent of Valencia's population. The sheer numerical weight of the Christians and the increasing solidification of the structures of Christian authority brought home to the Mudejars the futility of rebellion. Second, as Christian power made itself more apparent within the kingdom, the debility of the states of western Islam offered to the Mudejars little prospect of succor in the event of their rising. By Fernando's reign the tables had turned to such an extent that, far from expecting aid from the Nasrid sultan, the Mudejars had to take up collections on his behalf. Third, it seems that the longer the Mudejars endured their state of subjection to Christian lordship, the more tolerable that burden became. The bitterness, resentment, and fear felt by the conquered for the conqueror gradually gave way to acceptance and familiarity. As Valencia's society evolved, with Muslim-Christian interaction at its core, the original relationship of colonialist Christian conqueror to vanquished Muslim subject was transformed into the more tolerable, albeit highly imperfect, one of social majority to minority. The conditions that had made the Muslim bristle in the thirteenth century were accepted with greater equanimity in the fifteenth century.
Under these conditions the Mudejars weighed their options. It is significant that the question of Mudejar rebellion was raised only with
reference to the Ottoman Turks. Ottoman victories in the East raised a faint glimmer of hope that Granada might be saved and Islamic rule reestablished in Valencia. Thus they offered the Turks their support in the unlikely event of an invasion of Spain. Long shot that this was, the Mudejar-Ottoman conspiracy probably never went beyond an exchange of encouraging words between Mudejar envoys and the corsair Kemal Reis.
An understanding of political and military reality determined the Mudejar reaction to the crusade against Granada. Because the Nasrids were besieged throughout the war, it was clear that a Mudejar revolt would not meet with any reciprocal Nasrid action. That they begged the Turks to relieve Granada is indicative of the Mudejars' realization that alone they could do very little to turn the tide of military events. Financial aid, as an expression of their identification with Iberia's last Muslim suzerain, was the only alternative. In the end, the fall of Granada was accepted with resignation.
The assistance given to Granadan almugavers and Maghriban corsairs by the few Mudejar extremists—a label applicable to those who were bold enough to translate into action their discontent with Christian authority—was an accustomed feature of frontier life. The quasi-institutional framework for the redemption of captives existing on both sides of the Mediterranean was prepared to deal with the eventuality of the raid. The reluctance of the king to police his Muslim subjects and his willingness to settle still more Muslims in Valencia after 1489 attest to the fact that the extremists' activities were but an irritant insufficiently widespread to elicit a change in traditional Mudejar policy. For the majority of Mudejars, aware of the extremists in their midst, the necessities of survival and the benefits accruing from assiduous labor outweighed the meager gains to be had from spying for pirates. Indeed, abstinence from such rebelliousness ensured that the king would continue his protection of their freedom to trade and pursue family business, which redounded to their material benefit. In political terms, frontier raiding was not about to alter the structures of power long in place. Few Mudejars were willing to jeopardize their physical and economic security for the limited rewards of insurgence.
This is not to suggest that the Mudejars were insensitive to the plight of their fellows. On the contrary, they displayed considerable commitment and sense of responsibility for their Muslim brethren, but they did so in areas where they could be most effective. Rather than making war, they aided prisoners of war; and rather than vainly rebelling against their Christian lords, they acted on behalf of the victims of oppression. Mudejars helped Muslim prisoners break out of seigneurial jails; they spirited away from brothels Muslim women forced into a life of
Most impressive was Mudejar assistance to Muslim slaves and captives. The aljamas often aided and harbored runaway slaves. A number of documents mentioning the whereabouts of runaways sound a similar note: the runaways traveling through and hiding in the morerías of the kingdom. This suggests that some sort of network was organized between the morerías for the purpose of abetting escaped slaves. Although details are lacking as to the degree of communication between the aljamas and the manner in which they marshaled their human and material resources on behalf of the runaways, the records do shed some light. For example, Muslims of the morería of Valencia participated in the jailbreak of a Muslim slave. Another aljama received a female runaway and married her off to one of its members. Muslims of Denia provided fugitives with a seaworthy boat and provisions for making the journey to North Africa. Owing to such covert activities, the royal authorities recognized by 1493 that they had a real runaway problem on their hands. Nine years later they threatened a general investigation of all the morerías in the kingdom. The Mudejars disingenuously countered with the argument that although individual Mudejars might have aided runaways, this did not necessarily implicate entire Mudejar communities.
In a more licit fashion Mudejar aljamas also ransomed or purchased Muslim captives, sometimes directly off the auction block. The aljamas became especially active in this regard in 1488 and 1489, when 385 Muslim prisoners from recently conquered Málaga were brought to Valencia for sale. For example, in one large sale the aljama of Valencia purchased nineteen Malagan captives, all at least sixty years of age. Apparently, the Mudejars wished to prevent these elders from suffering the indignity and hardship of slavery. Many of these ransomed captives stayed in Valencia permanently and were able to reimburse the aljamas with the alms they begged from individual Mudejars. Alms-giving, a religious duty for all Muslims, thus acquired a special significance. As one Mudejar explained it: "among Moors of the present kingdom such is the practice ... that when they encounter a captive who is begging for the love of God they give [alms] to him." Through aiding enslaved Muslims, both foreign and Valencian, the Mudejars met the claims made on them by membership in an international Islamic community without rashly inciting the wrath of a Christian king whose power they could not hope to challenge.
Despite all that has been said about the possibilities of Mudejar disloyalty, it should not be assumed that all or even most of Fernando's Muslim subjects understood contemporary events in terms of Muslim-
Christian confrontation, or that each one contemplated what might be done for the cause of Islam. Beneath all the rhetoric of crusade lay the weighty determinant of self-interest. In explaining the defection of Valencia's Mudejars to Castile during the midfourteenth-century wars, John Boswell emphasizes the history of "self-interested and shifting patterns of loyalty among both the Christian and Muslim populations of the area ... abandoning one Muslim lord for another in the twelfth century or a Muslim for a Christian in the thirteenth." Similar circumstances obtained in the fifteenth century. Fernando, therefore, could astutely play off one Granadan faction against the other. Maghriban cities readily accepted Fernando as their suzerain in return for protection against Muslim enemies. It is hardly surprising that Fernando's wars against Islamic states did not provoke massive Mudejar defection when a fragmented and divisive Maghrib or a declining Granada were the alternatives to Valencia. Even within Valencia the Muslims expended as much energy in internecine quarreling and family feuding as they did in cooperative defiance of Christian authority.
Some sense of the Mediterranean kaleidoscope of interests and loyalties, material, political, and religious, may be gleaned from a consideration of the careers of a few Granadan and Valencian Muslims. Caçim of Granada came to the kingdom of Valencia after the conquest and settled in Paterna. After some years he decided to emigrate to Oran, and once there he joined a company of corsairs. He returned to Valencia intent on capturing Christians, but unfortunately was himself taken prisoner. Çayde, a potter from Málaga, was captured along with his family en route to the Maghrib. He confessed that "by the will of God they wished to travel to the land of the Moors in order to die as Moors." Not all emigrés found that life in the Maghrib was to their liking (not to mention the ransomed Maghriban captives who chose to remain in Valencia). One Muslim from Baza who went to Africa "to seek adventure" returned to Valencia in order to become a Christian. Another from Málaga endeavored to return to Granada "after not liking the said land [North Africa]." Among the Valencian Muslims returning home after the panicked flight to the Maghrib in 1502 was Azmet Aniza of Alcudiola. He longed for Valencia, "because in that land [Africa] he did not have what [was necessary] to live." Stated bluntly, some Muslims, so long as they could practice Islam, preferred eating in Valencia to starvation in an Islamic land. Pragmatism, survival instinct, striking the best deal possible with one's lord, and the Valencian Muslim's deep attachment to the land of the Sharq al-Andalus —these factors weighed more heavily in the balance than ideology for many of Fernando's Muslim subjects, both old and new.
The Christian Populace
Perhaps most difficult to gauge is the extent to which popular Christian hostility against Valencia's Muslim population was aroused by the king's almost constant espousal of the crusade against Islam. Whereas royal strategy and Mudejar response can to a certain extent be interpreted as having resulted from an assessment of political reality and opportunity, an understanding of popular Christian attitudes toward the religious minorities is more elusive, mainly because they were so often rooted in stereotype, imagined wrong, and irrational fear. The material success of a few individuals could earn for an entire minority group the animus of those Christians resenting the economic advancement of their social inferiors. Violence might be perpetrated for reason of crusade or for alleged minority complicity in the spreading of plague, reasons that often masked more base economic and personal motives. The violence initiated by the few could easily spark a social riot involving mass participation. Popular attitudes and their behavioral manifestations were unpredictable, volatile, and at times uncontrollable.
The state of affairs during Fernando's reign seemed propitious for an eruption of anti-Muslim violence. For those Christians who had not experienced the loss of a loved one to Maghriban and Turkish enemies the licensed begging for ransom money by the victims and their relatives brought them face to face with the results of Muslim aggression and cruelty. Seeking alms and recounting their tales of woe, these victims disseminated the seeds of fear and hatred. There were the casualties from the eastern front. The son of a Greek count, having lost his hand in battle against the Turks, came to Spain to raise the ransom for his mother and two sisters. A Hungarian, who had to ransom his father within two years on pain of the latter's conversion to Islam, was allowed to beg for alms not only in Christian parishes but also in the kingdom's morerías . Islam, in some way, would pay. Closer to home, the Valencian brothers Redo told how when captives in Tunis "they proposed to lose life, even if they should be afflicted with injuries, labors, and tortures, rather than deny the name of Christ." Bernat Selles of Oropesa bewailed the plight of his two daughters, aged eight and two, whom corsairs had borne off, "because their tender age is so much in danger of denying the faith of our Redeemer." It would not have been unusual if such aggrieved Christians had labeled the Mudejars as somehow responsible.
In addition to the tension evoked by the insecurity of Mediterranean frontier life, there was the preaching of the crusade, first against Granada, then against North Africa, and finally against the Turks. What-
ever Fernando's political intentions were and for whatever ends he employed the crusading funds, the frequent preaching of crusade indulgences must have given to the populace the impression of an almost constant mobilization for holy war. Fernando had definite ideas as to how he wanted the crusade to be preached and what sort of atmosphere was to be created:
you [the governor] should work and see to it that the see and the twelve parishes of that city [Valencia] present themselves with their banners, drums, and trumpets, and with their procession in form, and the bearer [of the bull] whom the particular parish will present should take the cross in his hand on the pulpit before the people and should perform all the acts and things most suitable for drawing the people to devotion and to take the bulls of the holy crusade.
A similar order was issued with respect to all the cities and towns. Moreover, each royal victory in Granada was celebrated by the chanting of "Te Deum" in the cathedral of Valencia and by a procession in honor of the Virgin Mary.
Preaching a crusade against Islam in a kingdom with numerous Muslim communities presented obvious difficulties. Preachers would have to exercise considerable discretion so as not to implicate the Mudejars in their anti-Muslim harangues. The preacher's audience would have to distinguish between their Muslim enemies and their Muslim neighbors. Yet, how muddy the waters must have been when Mudejars were suspected of collusion with Valencia's Muslim foes. Understandably, some overly zealous preachers were unable or unwilling to make any distinctions. In 1457, in the aftermath of the violence of 1455, a Dominican friar in Valencia preached the persecution of the Mudejars. As punishment, the Order's provincial prior removed him from the city. As a prelude to the Germanías ' attacks on Muslims in 1521, a Franciscan of Játiva, with crucifix in hand, cried "Long live the faith of Christ and war to the Sarracens!"
Fernando was well aware of the trouble that could be caused from the pulpit. In 1482 he instructed the archbishop of Zaragoza to make sure that the sermons preached in the churches of his see were not such that would incite the people against the local Muslims and Jews. In 1496 he had to reprimand the preacher of the African crusade in Zaragoza for inflaming the souls of his Christian audience against the local Muslims, so that, without reason, its members would wish to maltreat them. Fernando advised the preacher, "it seems to us you could preach your bulls without speaking of the Moors [of Zaragoza presumably]."
Surprisingly, there were no similar royal commands to preachers in
Valencia, the kingdom where the preaching of the crusade had the greatest potential for provoking violence. However, the kingdom's nobility did complain that the Inquisitors were agitating in the see of Valencia against the Christians' eating of meat slaughtered by Muslims and Jews. This had more to do with the eradication of heresy than the crusade. The mobilization for the crusade does not seem to have inspired in Valencia an unleashing of Christian hostility against the Mudejar population. Preachers and populace managed to perceive the difference between domestic and foreign Muslims. That this was so is indicated by the fact that when Muslims were assaulted the victims were Maghriban, not Valencian. In 1496 and again in 1497 it was necessary to proclaim publicly "that no one should dare to maltreat the Moors of Barbary [North Africa]." It was more than coincidental that this violence occurred during the years of the preaching of the African crusade. In commanding that Maghriban merchants be treated benignly and that violent energies be reserved for corsairs and Maghriban armies Fernando was perhaps asking too much of his subjects.
Even though royal authority managed to persuade Christians to restrain their aggressive proclivities, the protracted struggle with Islam still dimmed their view of the Mudejars. One of the ordinances of Valencia's guild of cordmakers expresses the sentiment that all Muslims are the implacable foes of Christianity and that in the event of war the Mudejars are the natural allies of their Maghriban brethren. In justification of the exclusion of all Muslims from the guild and the practice of their trade, the officers of the guild argued that the Mudejars
with cunning and crafty ways ... work to learn and wish to know how to make all those things that are for the exercise of war in order to be able to fight with and make war against the Christians, and thus they try among other things to learn the trade of cordmaker and to know how to make crossbow string, which string it is prohibited to transport to the land of the Moors.
This ordinance, approved by the king in January, 1497—the year of the capture of Melilla—makes sense in the context of the crusade against Africa. Still, economic motives must be regarded as partly responsible for the exaggeration of Mudejar ill will. The guild was ensuring that Muslim cordmakers would not encroach on its monopoly, which included a thriving trade with the Muslims of the Vall de Uxó, who specialized in the fabrication of hemp sandals.
One can only surmise why Christian resentment and suspicion of the Mudejars, always evident among certain elements of the populace, were translated into extreme violence in 1455 and 1521, but not during Fer-
nando's reign. Certainly, a measure of good fortune and official vigilance were responsible for preventing the realization of the potential for spontaneous violence. That such potential existed is illustrated by an incident that occurred on Corpus Christi Day, 1491, in the capital. While the throng of Christians and Muslims watched the processions, a Mudejar seized the opportunity to murder his Muslim enemy. Many Christians, believing that a Christian was the victim, grabbed their arms with the intention of moving against the Moors. Only the timely intervention of municipal officials prevented a riot. This was, however, an isolated incident.
Because so much of Fernando's reign was enveloped in an atmosphere of holy war, which naturally underlined the Mudejars' essential dissidence, the absence of organized or widespread anti-Mudejar violence suggests that the ideological and military confrontation between Christianity and Islam was, in itself, not the decisive factor in the engendering of social violence. That confrontation was not decisive because, however much it was enhanced by the Catholic Monarchs, it was nothing new. The Granadan almugaver , the Maghriban corsair, and the seditious Mudejar were all familiar figures, as were the Maghriban merchant and the docile Mudejar farmer and artisan. While the former group threatened to render Muslim-Christian coexistence impossible, the latter made it workable. The centuries of experience along the Mediterranean frontier that had gradually tamed the rebellious Mudejars had also taught the Christians to make the economically essential distinction between Muslim friend and Muslim foe.
Because the crusades against Granada and Africa were primarily Castilian enterprises, it may be that their promotion in Valencia received only a lukewarm response. Certainly, a number of Christians paid little heed to the calls for crusade and followed the dictates of self-interest. The victims of Christian piracy were frequently other Christians. Christian merchants pledged a twelve-year-old Christian boy as collateral in their dealings with Maghriban Muslim and Jewish merchants. Christians illicitly transported arms to Maghriban Muslims and to the Turks, and they piloted the fleets of Maghriban corsairs through Christian waters. If Christians could deal with the Muslim enemy in this way, small wonder that the quiescent Muslims at home were left unharmed.
More decisive than the long-standing Islamic-Christian conflict in sparking the flames of violence against the Mudejars were acute social and economic problems, the reverberations of which were felt throughout society. The latent hostility between Christian and Muslim could explode into violence in times of great distress. Social struggle and reform gave way to religious conflict and forced baptisms. As members of
Valencian society the Mudejars occupied particular socioeconomic niches that linked them by bonds of interest to specific Christian social groups. When economic stress placed the latter in conflict with other Christian groups, not only were the Mudejars affected by virtue of their special alliances, they were also singled out on account of their religious difference.
Although historians have not precisely explained the causation of the attack on the morería of Valencia in 1455, it seems that considerable economic distress in combination with the Nasrid threat created the necessary conditions. Plague had hit Valencia in 1450, claiming 11,000 lives in the capital alone. In 1455 drought and a rise in prices added to the calamity. The initiators of the violence were those who would have been most affected by economic dislocations: "vagabonds, apprentices of artisans as men foreign to the city, of poor and minor condition." As might be expected, the rioters looted the Muslims' homes.
The anti-Muslim action of the Germanías (1521) occurred at a time when social tensions had reached their peak after years of increasing economic hardship. The demographic recovery of the kingdom since the 1490s had not sparked economic growth; instead, productivity in the industrial and agrarian sectors had diminished, causing in the second decade of the sixteenth century an inflation of the prices of basic foodstuffs which especially burdened poorer artisans and farmers. The Germanías , "brotherhoods" consisting primarily of artisans who rose in revolt in 1519, initially sought only to reform the existing social and political system; but they rapidly radicalized and soon were striving to overturn that system. The victims of the Germanías ' revolution were to be the privileged classes—the urban oligarchs and especially the nobility—those deemed most responsible for an oppressive fiscal and judicial administration and who had abused their privileges to the detriment of the lower classes.
The place held by the anti-Muslim violence in the evolution of the revolutionary movement shows that its primary cause was neither the fear of a Mudejar fifth column nor religious antagonism. In September 1519, Carlos I permitted the artisans of Valencia to arm themselves for purposes of defense against the threatening Turkish corsairs, in effect giving the Germanías ' movement a legal foundation. This Turkish threat did not move the Germanías to take violent action against the Mudejars, even if some Christians might have looked askance at them. Indeed, the Germanías , moderate at first, did not even broach the Mudejar question until the summer of 1521, when the movement was "in full revolutionary radicalism." The murder and forced baptism of the Mudejars seem to have had little, if anything, to do with the menace of Valencia's Islamic enemies. This violence, however, had much to do with the Germa -
nías ' desire to damage their main enemies within the kingdom, the seigneurs. Because Mudejar vassals farmed the land and provided revenue for many a Valencian noble, indeed often paying more taxes than their Christian counterparts, killing or converting the Muslims, the Germanías reasoned, would deliver a crippling blow to the nobility. Not surprisingly, the Germanías ' determination in this regard became particularly marked after their battles with seigneurial armies in which many Mudejars served. Attacks on royal morerías occurred only after the Germanías had vented their wrath on seigneurial Muslims. The radical Germanías ' statement of their intentions "to raise souls to heaven and to put money in our purses" points to economic resentment as another factor moving them to the perpetration of violence. Their principal victims in areas of royal jurisdiction were the wealthier Muslims of the irrigated zones who were competing with Christians for free lands. In sum, the attacks of the Germanías on the Mudejars were precipitated by economic and social forces distinct from the fundamental religious antagonism. Violence erupted when the network of social and economic relations, which normally helped to allay the ideological tension between Christian and Muslim, was itself radically distorted, thereby bringing that tension to the fore.
Years of Crisis: 1500–1503
The rumblings of change and the origins of crisis for Valencia's Mudejars issued neither from the crusades against Islam nor from within Valencian society itself, but from Granada and Castile, where Queen Isabel and Cardinal Cisneros pursued a harsh and injudicious Mudejar policy that resulted in the elimination of Mudejarism.
It has been recounted how problems began in Granada in late 1499 when the patient and benevolent archbishop Talavera was superseded by the immoderate Cisneros with his brand of conversion by coercion. There followed the revolt in Granada's Albaicín (December 1499), rebellions in the Alpujarras, the region of Almería, and the Sierra Bermeja (1500–1501), the pacification and conversion of the kingdom of Granada's Muslims (by May 1501), and, finally, the expulsion or baptism of the Mudejars of Castile (12 February 1502). It is worthwhile to recall the difficult conditions for emigration offered to the Castilian Mudejars. They were allowed to emigrate only to Egypt. The lands of the Crown of Aragon and those of Maghriban and Ottoman enemies were declared off-limits. Also, male children of less than fifteen years and females of less than thirteen were to be left behind, presumably for a thorough
Catholic indoctrination. As in past centuries, the indigenous labor force remained, but this time under the illusion of religious uniformity.
If Fernando had thought his own kingdoms could remain immune to the tragedy of conflict and conversion transpiring in Granada, he was grievously mistaken. It took little time for news and rumors about these momentous events to reach Valencia. Only two months after the Alpujarras had risen in revolt, the jurates of Valencia reported to Fernando (29 February 1500) that on account of these incidents certain persons of ill will were propagating rumors to the effect that all the Muslims in Valencia were to become Christians, either voluntarily or by compulsion. These rumors had reached the ears of the Mudejars who, fearing for their personal safety, were trading and traveling as little as possible. The jurates, who in the wake of Ottoman victories had asked the king to take measures against the Mudejars, were now requesting that he take action against those murmuring of the Mudejars' conversion.
The jurates do not identify the rumor-mongers. Undoubtedly, there were Christians in Valencia—Inquisitors, lower clergy, those resentful of Mudejar economic success—who approved of Cisneros's methods and were hoping to see a similar Mudejar policy instituted in their kingdom. Also, there might have been concern that the revolts in the Alpujarras and around Almería would inspire insurrection among Valencia's Muslims. In this light, the raids of Maghriban corsairs on Valencian and Andalusian coasts would have acquired more sinister implications. Perhaps the rumor-mongers reasoned that baptismal waters would erase the Mudejars' affiliations with Muslims outside of the kingdom.
Fernando wasted little time in responding to the jurates' plea. On 5 March 1500 he issued orders to the officials in those areas of the kingdom with large Muslim populations—Valencia, Játiva, Alcira, Castellón de la Plana, Villarreal, Oliva, Gandía, Valldigna, Murviedro, and the Vall de Uxó—and repeated the jurates' reports, but in more detail. The king labeled those promoting violence against the Mudejars as "malevolent persons ... moved ... by some sinister and grave intentions." Hence, they had disseminated the false rumor "that it would be and is our [Fernando's] intention and will to reduce by force to the holy faith and Christian religion all the Moors of the said kingdom [Valencia]." Fernando had little use for such propagandists, seeing them less as misguided religious zealots than as troublemakers who desired "to move all the people against the said Moors and to seek occasions to riot and rise against them." Not surprisingly, the Mudejars "fearing these novelties ... refuse to leave their communities to conduct either business or commerce." Fernando insisted that such rumors were not only detrimental to the entire kingdom, but also were contrary to his own inten-
tions. Although events in Granada had suggested otherwise, the king declared the principle that "our holy Catholic faith in the conversion of the infidels admits neither violence nor any force but [only] complete freedom and devotion." Those who continued to say the contrary were to be punished. All the morerías of the kingdom, both royal and seigneurial, were to be placed under royal protection and no one was to dare inflict physical or verbal abuse on the Muslims. Anyone disturbing the Muslims in their peaceful existence was to suffer penalties beyond those demanded by the Furs , commensurate with the violation of a royal safeguard.
The subsequent cycle of rebellion and conversion or emigration in Granada and Castile, culminating in the decree of 12 February 1502, detracted from the efficacy of these commands and kept tongues wagging. By September 1501, the rumors had spread to Catalonia, compelling Fernando to issue the same orders to officials there. On 20 February 1502, the orders had to be reiterated in Valencia.
Royal correspondence with the bailiff general of Valencia between March and June 1501, regarding the emigration of Mudejars through the port of Valencia, reflects the evolution of royal policy during these crucial months. On 8 March 1501 Fernando reprimanded the bailiff for permitting the emigration to North Africa of Muslims from Aragon, Catalonia, and other areas, when he had expressly forbidden the emigration of all Muslims from any of his kingdoms. The bailiff responded with surprise to this new order, arguing that he had given licenses only to Muslims of Castile and Navarre, not to those of Valencia, whose emigration he knew had been prohibited in the Corts of 1488. Although the bailiff promised obedience to royal wishes, he was again reprimanded (24 April 1501) for licensing the emigration of Catalan and Aragonese Mudejars. At this point Fernando must have felt some uncertainty regarding the complete pacification of Granada and the final formulation of a Mudejar policy for Granada and Castile. His primary concern was to maintain order and to prevent the mass flight of Spain's Mudejars to the Maghrib. Satisfied that the port of Valencia had been effectively sealed off, the king was still compelled to command officials in Valencia and Catalonia to stop Valencia's panicked Mudejars from embarking on boats in the area of Tortosa.
Once sure that the rebellions in Granada had been definitely quashed, Fernando modified the emigration policy. On 25 May 1501 he allowed for the emigration of all Mudejars of the Crown of Aragon, so long as they paid the usual passage duties. However, this did not apply to Castilian Mudejars, regarding whose passage the bailiff general would have to confer with the king, "so that according to the time we can command you what will most fulfill our service." Fernando and
Isabel were probably already considering the conversion of Castile's Mudejars and so wished to curtail their movements. The lifting of restrictions on the Mudejars of his own kingdoms was perhaps intended as a display of good faith to assuage their anxiety. Only twenty-five Aragonese Mudejars took advantage of the opportunity. Although there are no records of the emigration of Valencian Muslims, the nobles were complaining in September that many Muslims were doing so with license of the bailiff general. Fernando's permission of this emigration was a breach of the prohibitive legislation passed in the Corts of 1488. In any case, by February 1502, the final "Christianization" of Castile necessitated that Valencia's door to the Maghrib again be slammed shut.
No one in the kingdom of Valencia had greater sensitivity to the pulse of Mudejar life than the noblemen on whose estates the majority of Mudejars were vassals. They saw firsthand the Mudejar reaction to the Monarchs' Castilian policies. If Valencia's Muslims had been uneasy on account of the fate of their recently conquered fellows in Granada, the conversion of Castile's Mudejars, who had lived under Christian rule for as long a time as themselves, brought them to the verge of panic. On 12 April 1502, the military estate of Valencia informed Fernando of this in no uncertain terms.
Two things were kindling fear in the Mudejars' souls. First, the proclamation that all Muslims of Castile must either convert or emigrate led them to believe that the king would also compel them to convert "per indirectum." Valencia's Muslims had no illusions about the supposed freedom of choice offered by the Monarchs to the Castilians, and were aware of the difficult conditions attached to their emigration ("they have to become Christians or they have to leave the kingdom [Castile] in a certain manner and under certain conditions contained in the said proclamation"). They understood the Monarchs' method of conversion by indirect coercion—that is, anything short of dragging Muslims to the baptismal font—which, although it might satisfy Catholic theologians, would mean for them, as Muslims, an unwilling submission in the most trying of circumstances. The prohibition against Muslims entering and trading in Castile further aroused the Mudejars' suspicions.
Second, the Mudejars believed that the Inquisition was going to proceed against them for having dissuaded Muslims from conversion and for having claimed that Islam is a better religion than Christianity. The Inquisitors' imprisonment of two Muslims led them to think that a general Inquisition of all Muslims was being planned. The Mudejars were "beside themselves with fear," because it was true that they all defended their religion, and that in their mosques the faqih s[*] preached the merits of Islam and warned that Christianity leads to damnation. They
reasoned that this would provide the Inquisitors with sufficient excuse to punish them, and that, in order to escape the Inquisition's unendurable penalties, they would either have to convert or flee. From the Jews' experience the Mudejars had learned the lesson of the connection between conversion, Inquisition, and the horrors of the auto-da-fé.
The lords of the military and ecclesiastical estates had already warned the Inquisitors of the great damage the kingdom would suffer if, by their actions, they provoked a Mudejar revolt. In reply, the Inquisitors had assured them that the Mudejars' fears were unfounded and that they had imprisoned the two Muslims only because the latter had come to the palace of the Inquisition in order to dissuade and threaten other Muslims who were there to be baptized. The lords were planning to circulate the Inquisitors' response among the Muslims so as to assuage their fears on at least that score.
For the complete restoration of calm the nobles deemed that royal intervention was essential, and they advanced weighty arguments to prompt it. They reminded the king that the Mudejars constituted the economic foundation of the kingdom and that, were they forced to abandon it, the economy would crumble. The churches, the knights, the urban rentier class, and the artisans would all be grievously affected. Given the interdependence of the economy's components, "[when] some are destroyed, all are destroyed." Already the Muslims were so distraught that they no longer wished to work and ceased paying rents to their lords. Instead, they were hiding their movable goods in mountain caches and selling what they could of their remaining property.
Worse still, the present state of affairs was driving the Mudejars to the brink of violent reaction. The nobles, who in previous years had been much less concerned than either the king or Valencia's jurates about possible Mudejar collusion with Muslim enemies, were now raising the specter of Mudejar insurrection. They warned that there were more than 22,000 households of Muslims in the kingdom, who were well armed, had an intelligence network, and lived near impregnable mountain fastnesses. Because the Mudejars were so apprehensive that conversion might be forced on them, any untoward movement on the king's part could result in the deaths of Christians and Muslims and in the destruction of much property, all redounding to the irreparable damage of the kingdom. At this point the nobles maintained that the Mudejars, who had once warned Christians of the approach of Maghriban corsairs, would now welcome them. Notice of the sighting of at least seventeen corsair galleys made this argument more pointed. Although the nobles had an obvious interest in exaggerating the peril in which the kingdom might be placed, the Mudejars' desperation was real enough.
Indeed, the Mudejars had boats hidden along the coast, and it was
suspected that they were using them to escape to Africa. Already more than thirty Muslims had fled from Polop, while the lord Bernat de Almunia found that he was losing vassals each day. If the king did not do something to put the Muslims' fears to rest it would be almost impossible to prevent their departure.
The nobles' communication to Fernando of 24 May 1502 reveals that the king had, in fact, ordered the viceroy, his sister Juana, the Queen of Naples, to take measures, but that the nobles were not at all pleased with the royal provisions. Fernando had intended to freeze Mudejar movement: Mudejars were not to change their vassalage; they were not to sell their possessions; and they were not to have boats or go near the sea, all under penalty of enslavement. The nobles felt that such provisions would do anything but inspire confidence among the Muslims, who would perceive them as preliminary to their forced conversion. Therefore, they had convinced the viceroy to delay their public proclamation. Again the nobles insisted that Fernando interdict all interference by the Inquisitors in the affairs of Muslims. The king must give assurances that Castilian Mudejar policy would not have a Valencian sequel.
By July the situation still had not improved. On the contrary, the imprudent actions of the viceroy had served only to enhance the Mudejars' fears. At the instance of one of her servants, a certain Micer Julio, whose slave had run away, Queen Juana was conducting an investigation of the Mudejars' assistance to runaways. Throughout the month of June citations were affixed to the doors of the mosques of each morería , commanding the aljamas to send representatives to appear before the viceroy to answer the charges. The Mudejars feared that those aljamas found guilty would be offered the choice of conversion or expulsion. The citations had so terrorized the Muslims that when one was posted in Altea the entire Muslim population of 170 climbed into Turkish ships and fled the place within two days. The barony of Callosa lost twenty-five vassals in the same way. Representatives of all three estates were moved to confer with the viceroy, and they persuaded her to revoke the citations. Then they turned to the king and requested that he put a halt to all such procedures. Nevertheless, throughout the summer and fall of 1502 Mudejars persisted in their attempts to flee Valencia. A number of them were captured at the coast before they could board boats and sail to Africa.
During these panic-filled months there came to the fore the Mudejars' contacts with Maghriban corsairs and their Ottoman allies operating out of Maghriban ports. Muslim piratical activity noticeably increased in 1502 and 1503. Valencia's coasts were so harried that in April 1502, the capital and other coastal towns established a warning system that utilized smoke signals to advise not only of the enemy's approach
but also of the size of his fleet. Ships were outfitted to patrol the coastline. Moreover, it appears that the corsairs grew bolder and that the size of their raiding parties increased. Almoradi and Benidorm were attacked by forces of more than 100 and 180 Muslims, respectively. The corsairs' greatest success occurred in August 1503, when a party of more than 600 burned Cullera and captured at least 200 of its inhabitants.
This increase in the Maghriban and Turkish corsairs' determination to inflict damage on Christian Spain was probably related to the peninsular developments of 1501 and 1502. The conquest of Granada in 1492 had already filled the corsairs' ranks with bitter Granadan Muslims. The revolts of the Alpujarras and the Monarchs' harsh policy in Granada likely would have done the same. During these years Valencia's Mudejars maintained communication with the port cities of the Maghrib. Thus, when the corsairs set sail to plunder and terrorize Valencia's coasts they also had in mind assisting the kingdom's Muslims.
It seems that the Mudejars and the corsairs had prearranged plans for the escape from Valencia of those Mudejars fleeing the threat of forced baptism. Preparations might have been made as early as 1500, when the rumors of the Mudejars' forced conversion were first propagated. In any case, it is clear that when the corsairs arrived, the Mudejars were waiting for them on the shore. In May 1502 it was reported that corsairs had arrived near Corbera and that Mudejars of the coastal areas were boarding their ships. In July the jurates of Valencia were more explicit, saying that Muslim galleys were arriving "with the intelligence that they have from some Moors of the present kingdom" and were carrying off many Mudejars to the Maghrib. Most recently, Muslims from Valldigna and from Piles had departed in this manner. When news reached Valencia of the massing of a combined Turko-Maghriban fleet of eighteen ships in Bougie and Algiers, three reasons for the expedition were advanced: to capture ships returning from the Levant; to take booty and Christian captives on the Valencian coast; and to pick up those Muslims wishing to depart the kingdom for fear of forced baptism. The ultimate destination of this particular fleet is unknown, but what is more certain is the flight of an undetermined number of Mudejars from Valencia, and many of them in the ships of Maghriban and Ottoman corsairs.
It is significant that in this desperate situation the Mudejars chose flight instead of armed rebellion. On one hand, it reflects the Mudejars' sense of impotence before Christian power in Valencia. On the other hand, the willingness to abandon their homes and possessions shows that for the Mudejars the freedom to practice Islam outweighed all other considerations. When forced to convert in 1525, the Mudejars of
the Sierra de Espadán would resort to armed resistance. Nevertheless, in 1503 Fernando managed to restore some calm by assuring all parties in the Corts of Barcelona and in the Cortes of Zaragoza that the Mudejars could continue to live as Muslims in the lands of the Crown of Aragon. Consequently, a number of Mudejar refugees returned home from the Maghrib. As long as they could practice Islam, these Valencian Muslims preferred to do so in Valencia. Other Mudejars, however, were less convinced by royal assurances and thought that they could see the handwriting on the wall, the good intentions of the king notwithstanding. Thus, as late as July 1504, the bailiff general was still expressing concern that some Mudejars were secretly leaving for North Africa in hidden boats and persuading others to join them.
The continuing anxiety of those Mudejars who refused to believe that royal promises alone could protect them most likely was evoked by the unabated circulation of rumors that the Mudejars were, indeed, to be baptized or expelled. Once this idea had been planted in the minds of some Christians, it could not be easily eradicated. Consequently, in the Cortes of Monzón (1510) Fernando again had to promise that the Mudejars would remain unmolested. Likewise, in 1517 Carlos I was compelled to issue a proclamation denying any intention on his part of expelling the Muslims of Valencia and Aragon. As long as order was maintained, the promises of Fernando and Carlos were kept. But when the revolt of the Germanías threw Valencian society into a turmoil and created the conditions for radical social change, the enemies of the Mudejars, perhaps inspired by the example of Cisneros in Granada twenty years earlier, made the Mudejars' worst fears a reality.
The international clash between Christianity and Islam did not have in Valencia an impact sufficient to unravel the resilient fabric of Muslim-Christian coexistence. The Mudejars did not express their identification with Islam by rebelling against their crusading king; nor did that king harshly oppress his Muslim subjects while warring with Islamic states. The occasional Mudejar collusion with Muslim enemies was borne as a customary feature of frontier life, an insignificant annoyance in comparison with the economic benefits accruing from the Mudejar presence.
The survival of Mudejarism in Valencia during the years of crusade owed much to the outlook and determination of Fernando. The king's reply to the warning of Qa'it[*] Bay[*] in 1489 affords further insight into his stance on the question of minority enclaves. As we recall, the Mamluk sultan had threatened to persecute Jerusalem's Christian clergy if the Monarchs did not halt their attacks on Granada. Fernando responded by explaining that the war against Granada was not so much a religious
war as a politically justifiable reconquest of lands taken from the Spanish Christians by the Muslims more than 700 years ago. He also noted that the Christian offensive had been provoked by the continual depredations of Granadan Muslims on Spanish Christians. To clinch his argument Fernando reminded the Mamluk of Spain's long tradition of Mudejarism in which Muslim subjects were guaranteed the freedom to practice Islam and the protection of their persons and property. If Granada's Muslims chose to remain in Spain, they would be accorded the same treatment. In essence, Fernando was arguing that Christian conquest neither precluded Muslim-Christian coexistence nor demanded religious uniformity. In light of the later conversions in Granada and Castile, Fernando's reply appears the height of cynicism. However, Fernando's Mudejar policy in the lands of the Crown of Aragon thrusts into relief the difference between his approach and that of his wife Isabel, and suggests that his reply was, in fact, sincere. In Fernando's mind the tradition of Mudejarism was still one worth maintaining.
A key factor in explaining why Valencia's Christians and Muslims did not rise up against each other in response to the promotion of crusade is that, for them, Christian-Muslim conflict, on either the local or the international scale, was not anything new. Ever present in the social formula of convivencia itself was the element of ideological antagonism, which was either mitigated or aggravated by economic and social factors. Indeed, economic and social distress, which tended to thrust religious differences into relief, was usually most responsible for the eruption of violence. More novel than war with Islam was the harnessing of Aragon to the Castilian juggernaut, which, while it allowed for the final conquest of Granada, also unleashed forces within Valencia that threatened its tradition of Mudejarism. Although the union of the two Crowns set the stage for Spain's imperial achievements, it redirected the destinies of its constituent societies in sometimes tragic ways.