The Last Books Written in Arabic in al-Andalus and the Question of Assimilation

in Muslims in Spain, 1500 to 1614

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780226319636
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226319650 | DOI:
The Last Books Written in Arabic in al-Andalus and the Question of Assimilation

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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Briefly, in the final decade of the sixteenth century, there were perpetrated in Granada a series of forgeries in the course of which ostensibly Christian sacred books from the first century A.D. (the days of Nero) written in Arabic were dug up from the ground on the outskirts of the city. These were very soon investigated by the local ecclesiastical hierarchy and, before long, enthusiastically accepted as genuine Christian relics by the then archbishop of Granada, Pedro Vaca de Castro y Quiñones. The religious devotion accorded to them flourished not only in Granada itself, where it was centered on shrines on the Sacromonte itself (the hill where the discoveries had been made), and in the city's cathedral, but also extended to many other parts of Spain and beyond. A cult grew up that was only suppressed (as heretical) many decades later. It flourished in spite of the fact that, almost from the beginning, the Holy Office was fully apprised of developments in Granada and was anxious to bring the cult under its control. We can still today see in Granada monuments (above all, the Sacromonte abbey itself) that bear witness to the success that these forgeries once enjoyed.

Keywords: Christian sacred books; Granada; Christian relics; religious devotion; Sacromonte; foreigners

Chapter.  12856 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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