Identifying Authority

J. Mira Seo

in African Athena

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199595006
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731464 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

Identifying Authority

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  • Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)


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This chapter explores the political and religious world of Juan Latino, African ex‐slave, poet and professor of Latin in 16th century Granada. Granada, the capital of Islamic Al‐Andalus and the last city to be Christianized in the Reconquista, was a "frontier city" between Islamic and Christian Spain, and therefore of particular interest to the Spanish crown in the 15th and 16th centuries. In his Latin poetry celebrating the Spanish rulers and the Catholic victory at Lepanto in 1571, Latino's canny self‐identification as an Ethiopian Christian is part of a larger rhetorical strategy: Latino positions himself as the ultimate singer of the Spanish monarchy, defenders of Catholicism against Islam and the Reformation.

Keywords: Juan Latino; Lepanto; Granada; 16th century Spain; Africans in Europe; slavery; humanism

Chapter.  7269 words. 

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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