ON THE EXPULSION OF THE ‘MORISCOS DE ESPAÑA’
GUADALAJARA Y XAVIER, Marco de. Memorable Expulsion…de los Moriscos de España
RIPOLL, Juan. Dialogo de consuelo por la expulsion de los Moriscos de España.
Pamplona, N. de Assiayn, 1613.
FIRST EDITIONS. 4to. 2 works in 1, ff. (viii) 164, 23. Roman letter, with Italic. Woodcut arms of Kings of Spain to t-p and of the Carmelite Order to last leaf of first, woodcut vignette with IHS monogram to t-p of second. Uniform age browning, tiny worm holes to lower outer blank corner of few ll., margins of first and last couple of ll. a bit dust-soiled, minor spotting in a few places. Good copies in contemporary vellum, traces of label and inked title to spine, ex-libris ‘Carolus Nicia Davisius me jure tenet 1632’ to t-p of first, C18 bibliographical note to rear ep.
Good copies of the first editions of these influential works concerning a major event of early modern history—the expulsion of the Spanish Moriscos in 1609-14. Moriscos were hybrid figures, officially Christians but, in truth, of Muslim religion and customs. After the expulsion of practicing Jews in the C15, the Spanish authorities sought to tame Muslim culture first through imposed conversions, then by forcing Muslims to behave like Christians under menace of ghettos, forced service on galleys and even castration (Hillgarth, ‘The Mirror of Spain’, 204-7). Numerous Morisco revolts led to the idea of a general expulsion.
The Franciscan Guadalajara y Xavier collected in ‘Memorable Expulsion’ texts from numerous sources on this event, gathered under headings into a coherent body. It begins by listing the means employed by Lucifer to generate heresy, and continues with a historical and theological justification for fighting and expelling heretics, mainly focused on the ‘Moros de España’, a term bringing together Muslim customs and its threat to the racial (‘limpieza de sangre’) and political unity of Spain. Important sections deal with the life and deeds of the ‘false prophet’ Mohammed, the arguments and events leading to the expulsion, the official instructions and the resulting number of Moriscos who left.
The ‘Dialogo’ of Juan Ripoll, royal scribe of Aragon, is a humanist-style reflection on greed and hope uttered by Serapion, a sympathiser with the Moriscos, overwhelmed by melancholia and ‘emotion for the loss undergone due to the expulsion’.
A major printer in Pamplona, where many Moriscos stopped whilst heading north, Assiayn marketed these texts as new instalments in a successful, expanding list of works on the expulsion—hence why they were often bound together; they testify to the fundamental role of printers in the construction of political and cultural narratives in early modern Spain, and that of the Moriscos in particular (Kimmel, ‘Parables’, 166).
I) Brunet I, 1552: ‘Rare’; Palau 109278; Wilkinson, Iberian Books, 44807.
II) Palau 269173; Wilkinson, Iberian Books, 58186. Not in Brunet. S. Kimmel, Parables of Coercion (Chicago, 2015); J.N. Hillgarth, The Mirror of Spain, 1500-1700 (Ann Arbor, 2000).