Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor

Brian A. Catlos

Second Advisor

David Shneer

Third Advisor

Céline Dauverd


Between 1482 and 1492 a drawn-out and arduous war was conducted on the southern-most border of the Kingdom of Castile and the final Iberian Muslim Kingdom of Granada. While the conflict can be understood as local to the Iberian Peninsula and the growing incorporative efforts of the combined Crowns of Castile and Aragon, this event along with the subsequent century of consequences, offer insight into the larger tensions developing between Catholic rulers and the rising Ottoman Sultanate. The result of the Toma of Granada was a complex narrative that reflected the ongoing fluctuations between the political borders throughout the Mediterranean and affected every aspect of life for those individuals and communities within the frontier lands. This project will examine that very narrative as recorded through primary sources, along with maintaining a dialogue with many of the historiographical interpretations surrounding life in fifteenth and sixteenth-century Granada. As stated, the local history of Granada during this period opens up to a larger historical narrative that sees the entire Mediterranean world as a microcosm of political, religious, economic, and cultural negotiation. The aim of this paper will be to explore the various and multi-faceted ways in which the converted Muslim community or, Moriscos, exercised this negotiation, the forms it took, and the consequences it elicited. In turn, this may reveal those moments that demonstrate to the contemporary reader, agency at work by the historical actors themselves. The conquest of Granada constitutes one event of a larger narrative of historical silencing that often places the Islamic Mediterranean as a backwater of European dominance within the subsequent enterprise of rewriting history aimed to economically and politically privilege the latter rather than the former. Accordingly, this is where the historiography surrounding life in Granada during this period will be taken into consideration and examined as part and parcel of current historical interpretations that may benefit from further analysis.