Mercenary Logic: Muslim Soldiers in the Service of the Crown of Aragon, 1265-1374


ACLS Fellowship Program




Over the course of the late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the heart of what is known as the Spanish Reconquest, thousands of Muslim soldiers from North Africa entered the service of the Christian Crown of Aragon. These soldiers served in far-flung armies across the Mediterranean as well as in the court, as the king's personal protectors. Grounded in over four years of extensive research in Latin, Arabic, and Romance archives in Spain and North Africa, this manuscript project offers a thorough examination of this virtually unknown alliance. Rather than marking the collapse of religious boundaries, the triumph of tolerance over intolerance, it argues that this history of interaction paradoxically served to reinscribe and reproduce religious difference.