Muslims in Christian Iberia, 1000–1526: Varieties of Mudejar Experience

Authored by: David Nirenberg

The Medieval World

Print publication date:  October  2001
Online publication date:  September  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415181518
eBook ISBN: 9781315016207
Adobe ISBN: 9781136500053

10.4324/9781315016207.ch4

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Abstract

How does one begin to adumbrate a history as long, as complex, and as marvelous as that of the Mudejars? An eminent medievalist’s strategy in introducing a more famously vanished world seems appropriate. ‘What is a hobbit?’ asked J. R. R. Tolkien. Hobbits are short, like dwarves, but have no beards, and there is little or no magic about them. Thus by juxtaposition with the known a new identity is ushered into the imagination. A similar process is at work in the creation of Mudejars. Mudejars are, or were, a Muslim people. But they merit a specialization and a name because, unlike Muslims tout court, they are subject to Christian rule.

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