What ethnicity were the Muslims who were expelled from Spain in 1492?

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,248
Spain
#21
Saqaliba were mentioned, enslaved slavic ppl who lived in the islamic territories incl Iberian peninsula and perhaps they played certain role in ethnogenesis of Moriscos. I am not expert on the issue, John and Martin are, so i kindly ask, could you please share your knowledge about who saqaliba were, how many were they etc.
Sincerely John know much more than me about Medieval History....my specialiy is WW1 (1914-1918) Spanish Empire (1492-1976) and Almogávares... So, John know better medieval history.
About Spaniards I just read in 2019 analizys.. Modern spaniards settled in Peninsula around 3.500 years ago.. and they came from Galitzia (today Poland-Ukrainia) walking through Europe. Yes I know some muslims in Spain were "eslavos" (slaves).. people from slavonic languages.. Bulgarian, Yugoslavian, etc.. I guess russian, poles, ukrainian too..

here (Spanish) about Slavic Slaves and Slavic Taifas in Spain

The Slavic were fully islamized after few generations and they were also general, soldiers and governors.. in Almeria, Balearic Islands and Valencia there were Slavic taifas.
Slavic were named "saqaliba".. and most of them were blonde hair (Francisco de Asis Veas Arteseros.” La civilización andalusi”.En Historia de Espana. Edad Media. Vicente Angel Alvarez Valenzuela (Coord.). Ed. Ariel. Barcelona. 2005 p. 210). .. it is because I think from Ukrainia-Poland-Russia.... in Balkan most of slavic people are dark hair (Yugoslavian, bulgarian etc).
Slavic people achieved highest position in Islamic administration... and also the lowest. But Slavic mercenaries and palatine slaves will become indispensable and end up replacing the reigning dynasties

Slavic were some kings as Abd-al-Aziz ben Abd-al-Rahman (king of Valencia from 1021 to 1061) or Abd-al-Malik (King from 1061 to 1085). Also Muhayib I (King of Denia and Balearic Islands) was another slavic king.
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,248
Spain
#22
The expulsion had nothing to do with racism but with military issues ... depriving the enemies of Spain (Islam, Turks, Protestants, French ...) of a of a very dangerous home collaborator, as the Alpujarras war demonstrated.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,978
#23
I don't know nearly as much about Spain as Martin and John. However, Islam spread by conquest and gradually pressuring conquered people to convert. Spain and Portugal came close to being like Egypt or Syria. Islam is oriented towards making things difficult for Christians etc. and this does not work well as a minority under Christian rulers. The expulsion of Muslims and Jews was partly a result of the problems they were causing.

As to those expelled, there were large numbers of Spanish who had converted to Islam. There may not have been much intermarriage as such, but once there was intermarriage between descendants of converts to Islam and descendants of Muslims from North Africa. So the Muslims who left were partly descended from Spanish from before the Muslim conquest.

Medieval Spain had multiple religions and multiple kingdoms. It became one absolutist kingdom with one religion. This is opposite from Germany with many little princes and different religions. England had a weak monarch after 1688. It sort of had a common religion that allowed large differences in theology, but not everyone excepted that and there were different religions in Scotland, Ireland, and its overseas empire.

The union of Aragon and Castile, conquest of Andalusia, and "discovery" of America all happened at about the same time. This was followed by the expulsion of Muslims and Jews, and the Inquisition suppressing other religions. Spain went from a bunch of little states to the greatest power in Europe in short period of time.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,111
Portugal
#24
The expulsion of Muslims and Jews was partly a result of the problems they were causing.
Even considering the generalisations, I confess that I have doubts about the Jews. The expulsion of the Muslims was much latter.

As to those expelled, there were large numbers of Spanish who had converted to Islam. There may not have been much intermarriage as such, but once there was intermarriage between descendants of converts to Islam and descendants of Muslims from North Africa. So the Muslims who left were partly descended from Spanish from before the Muslim conquest.
Indeed. About the mixed marriages, in the Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17546559.2011.556700

Medieval Spain had multiple religions and multiple kingdoms. It became one absolutist kingdom with one religion. This is opposite from Germany with many little princes and different religions. England had a weak monarch after 1688. It sort of had a common religion that allowed large differences in theology, but not everyone excepted that and there were different religions in Scotland, Ireland, and its overseas empire.

The union of Aragon and Castile, conquest of Andalusia, and "discovery" of America all happened at about the same time. This was followed by the expulsion of Muslims and Jews, and the Inquisition suppressing other religions. Spain went from a bunch of little states to the greatest power in Europe in short period of time.
I would like to make some comments here.

Maybe it is my bias, but it seems to me that you are mixing here two different definitions of Spain. One is the equation Spain = Iberian Peninsula, the older equation, and the other, more recent is Spain = actual country named Spain.

So when we say that Medieval Spain (meaning the Iberian Peninsula) had “multiple religions and multiple kingdoms”, it is true, but it didn’t became “one absolutist kingdom with one religion”, there were always several kingdoms until quite late, and even several crowns, and one of the kingdoms, Portugal, was often an enemy, and ally and even a part of a larger union (during 1580-1640 period). The absolutism came later and some of its intents (as the ones of Olivares) were quite disastrous.

Furthermore, the Inquisition may purpose was not to suppress the “other religions”, but to maintain the orthodoxy of the Catholicism.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,978
#25
Furthermore, the Inquisition may purpose was not to suppress the “other religions”, but to maintain the orthodoxy of the Catholicism.
Officially, yes. However, most of the people brought before the Inquisition were the descendants of Jews and Muslims who had converted rather than leaving the country and were accused of secretly practicing their old religion. There were also some protestants dealt with by the Inquisition, and this led to almost no protestantism in the Iberian peninsula.

In most countries in western Europe, there were Catholics and protestant countries and visa versa, as well as protestants of different types from the established protestant religion. There were Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Jews, sometime protestants, and other religions in the Ottoman Empire, Russian Empire, Austrian Empire and Polish Commonwealth. The Iberian peninsula had been more religiously diverse than most other areas before 1500, but became monolithically Catholic. So was the Spanish Empire, although many of the natives were only nominally Catholic.

Of course I was generalizing about the expulsion of Jews and Muslims and everything else. I was trying to write it in a few sentences and I am not an expert on Spanish history.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,111
Portugal
#27
Officially, yes. However, most of the people brought before the Inquisition were the descendants of Jews and Muslims who had converted rather than leaving the country and were accused of secretly practicing their old religion. There were also some protestants dealt with by the Inquisition, and this led to almost no protestantism in the Iberian peninsula.

In most countries in western Europe, there were Catholics and protestant countries and visa versa, as well as protestants of different types from the established protestant religion. There were Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Jews, sometime protestants, and other religions in the Ottoman Empire, Russian Empire, Austrian Empire and Polish Commonwealth. The Iberian peninsula had been more religiously diverse than most other areas before 1500, but became monolithically Catholic. So was the Spanish Empire, although many of the natives were only nominally Catholic.

Of course I was generalizing about the expulsion of Jews and Muslims and everything else. I was trying to write it in a few sentences and I am not an expert on Spanish history.
In “may” I wanted to write “main”, sorry for the typo.

I have doubts that we can assure with certainty that most of the people brought before the Inquisition were the descendants of the Jews and Muslims, unless we consider the descendents of the Muslims until some centuries before. There were many cripto-Jews, yes. The Jews were in a trap or they were “converted”, hiding their true faith and could be persecuted as cripto-Jews, or were openly Jews, but that was illegal, since they were expulsed. The protestants were considered heretics, so yes, they were also persecuted, but the Spanish Inquisition pre-dates the Protestantism.

But the Muslims no, they weren’t persecuted by the Inquisition in Spain – even if now I am the one that can be generalising. Besides, that could be an explanation why they lasted so long in Spain (meaning here in the Crowns of Castile and Aragon), until their expulsion in the 17th century, more than a century after the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition. I already read in this forum that in Goa the Muslims were persecuted by the Portuguese Inquisition, but until now I never saw evidence of that. Probably the same can’t be said at the same level about the Hindus and the Syrian Christians (Saint Thomas Christians).

As for America, the Portuguese Inquisition was never established in Brazil, it was dependent of the court in Lisbon and there were only some visitations during all the colonial time, not so sure about the extension of the Spanish one. It was establish in America, there were three courts, in Lima and México and a later one in Cartagena de Indias, but I don’t know the extent of its activity. I recall to read that during one of the visitations of the Portuguese Inquisition to Brazil, during the 1580-1640 period, there were some Portuguese cripto-Jews that fled to the Spanish America just to be caught there by the Spanish Inquisition.

On the other hand before 1500 the Iberian Peninsula could have been religious diverse with its three religions, but with the appearance of the Protestantism the religious persecutions among Catholics and Protestants were common in all Western Europe, not solely in the Iberian Peninsula.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,087
Sydney
#29
from the mid 16th century Spain had its own home grown Protestants , never in great number and often connected with the court
they got their ideas from their travels through the many Spanish possessions in Northern Europe and the military activities there
some were influenced by the early Italians reformists / Protestants, the distinction is sometime hazy
for some decades Venice was a crossroad of diplomacy and religious dissent
the Spanish protestants were notable for being ferociously anti Roman church and were stamped out with great energy
the numbers of martyrs were around a few dozens each time , which is the normal number for an underground sect without large popular support
 

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