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FAITH AND DOUBT IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

Asked if he believed in God, he said Yes, and asked what it meant to believe in God, he answered that it meant good food, good drink and getting up at ten o’clock.

—A TEXTILE WORKER OF REUS, CATALONIA, 1632

In the fifteenth century the Iberian peninsula remained on the fringe of Europe, a subcontinent that had been visited by the Phoenicians and Greeks, then overrun by the Romans and the Arabs. Almost unobtrusive, its position between two great seas augured well for its future role as a gateway to undiscovered worlds. In the west it took in Portugal, a small but expanding society of under a million people, their energies directed to the sea and the first fruits of trade and colonization in Asia. In the south, al-Andalus: a society of half a million farmers and silk producers, Muslim in religion, proud remnants of a once-dominant culture. To the center and north: a Christian Spain of some 6 million souls, divided politically into the crown of Castile (with two-thirds of the territory of the peninsula and three-quarters of the population) and the crown of Aragon (made up of the realms of Valencia, Aragon and Catalonia). Travelers, traders and pilgrims to the medieval shrines were familiar with the exotic symbiosis of images in the peninsula: Romanesque churches and the splendid Gothic cathedral in Burgos, medieval synagogues in Toledo, the cool silence of the great mosque in Córdoba and the majesty of the Alhambra in Granada.

Christian Spain was not always sure of its own survival. For a while in the Middle Ages, it seemed as if half of Western Europe would go Muslim. Muslim settlers and caliphs already dominated the eastern Mediterranean, including the cities of Jerusalem and Alexandria and what remained of Christian power in Constantinople. They extended their activities to the western seas, passing by way of the chief islands of Greece and the coasts of Africa, sacking the city of Rome and building castles on the coasts of Italy and Provence. In the tenth century the caliphate of al-Andalus was master of most of the Iberian peninsula, and at the end of the century the great conqueror al-Mansur sacked León and Santiago and captured Barcelona. Spanish lands remained in places under Muslim control for nearly seven centuries, with the consequence that the Islamic peoples were no less a part of Spain than the Christian and Jewish populations. They intermarried with them, and exchanged ideas and languages, so that the three religions developed side by side within the Christian and Muslim kingdoms.

For long periods, close contact between three faiths—Christians, Muslims and Jews—encouraged familiarity between cultures. Christians lived under Muslim rule (as Mozárabes) and Muslims under Christian rule (as Mudéjares): as minorities they inevitably suffered social disadvantages, and there were times under Muslim rule when the Christian Mozárabes were all but eliminated. The laws observed by each community were not always stringently exclusive, and made allowances for diversity. Even military alliances were often made regardless of religion. When Christians went to war against the Muslims, it might be (a thirteenth-century writer argued) “neither because of the law [of Mohammed] nor because of the sect that they hold to,”1 but because of conflict over land. Political links based on agreement between Christians and Muslims were exemplified by the most famous military hero of the time, the Cid (Arabic sayyid, lord). Celebrated in the Poem of the Cid, written about 1140, his real name was Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, a Castilian noble who in about 1081 transferred his services from the Christians to the Muslim ruler of Saragossa and, after several campaigns, ended his career as independent ruler of the Muslim city of Valencia, which he captured in 1094. Despite his identification with the Muslims, he came to be looked upon by Christians as their ideal warrior.2

Christians had Muslims as vassals, and Muslims had Christians; both, similarly, took Jews under their wing. St. Ferdinand, king of Castile from 1230 to 1252, called himself “king of the three religions,” a singular claim in an increasingly intolerant age: it was the very period that saw the birth in Europe of the medieval papal Inquisition (c. 1232). The notion of a specifically religious crusade was largely absent from military campaigns in the peninsula, where it was possible for a Catalan philosopher, Ramón Llull (d. 1315), to compose a dialogue in Arabic in which the three characters were a Christian, a Muslim and a Jew. In the later stages of the wars between Christians and Muslims, echoes of coexistence remained but the reality of conflict was more aggressive. Christians cultivated the myth of the apostle St. James (Santiago), whose body was alleged to have been discovered at Compostela; thereafter Santiago “Matamoros” (the Moor-slayer) became a national patron saint. In al-Andalus, further invasions of militant Muslims from North Africa—the Almorávides in the late eleventh century; the Almohads in the late twelfth—gave added force to religious elements in the struggle against Christians.

Romans had applied the general term Hispania to all the regions of the peninsula, and in the same way there was imprecision about the use of the word “Spain,” habitually used when explaining peninsular matters to foreigners. Spain included a variety of different political and cultural systems, with a “religion” that consisted less in a fixed structure of beliefs than in the package of practices and attitudes laid down by regional society. The variety had been there for centuries. People tended to accept the neighbors they had known for generations, especially if they shared the same lord and ruler. At both social and personal level, this could mean a series of understandings between Muslim and Christian villages, or between Christian and Jewish neighbors. Communities lived side by side and shared many aspects of language, culture, food and dress, consciously borrowing each other’s outlook and ideas.

When we move our focus further out, we can see that the experience of Spain was by no means unique. Along much of the Mediterranean coastline—in North Africa, Egypt and Palestine, the Balkans—the ubiquity of Muslim expansion by both land and sea produced a network of settlements where Christians and Muslims had to live together, often with small groups of Jews. The global relationship was usually defined by conflict, which meant that through the generations thousands of men were constantly traveling to explore and fight in the seas and lands occupied by their principal rivals. War was the continual background of the landscape depicted by the emigrant al-Hasan al-Wazzan in his Description of Africa, first published in Christian Europe in 1550.3 Born in Granada, in 1492 he passed over into Morocco and continued extensive travels through the Mediterranean, spending nine years in Italy as a Christian. His activities are a perfect example of the contacts and culture shared between the many residents of the inland sea.

A constant by-product of warfare was the proliferation of slaves, tens of thousands of them from all faiths, who spent years in strange lands and then (if fortunate) were ransomed and brought home, where they communicated their experiences and their ideas to their neighbors. A prime center for the ransoming of slaves was Algiers, where people of all nations and faiths rubbed shoulders and exchanged experiences.4 The example of Catalan Spain was notable: in medieval times its rulers made their mark on the western Mediterranean, southern Italy, and the lands that stretched as far as Greece. Barcelona was a city, says a chronicler, “visited by merchants from Italy and all over the Mediterranean”; it was also a notable center for the ransom of slaves.

The coastal peoples naturally traded, and came to know cultures that were not their own; in some cases, as in medieval Sicily, farmers and traders of different faiths worked together. More immediately, they often had to accept and therefore understand the cultures that from time to time dominated their own homelands. In Spain as in other Mediterranean civilizations, on a scale that was seldom paralleled in northern Europe,5 elements of how other people thought and behaved would inevitably filter through. At one and the same time, communities would preserve their traditional, restricted horizons, but individuals might be aware of external attitudes with which they had come into contact.

Within that social sharing, throughout the inland sea there were permanent elements of conflict, arising out of the different political, economic and religious status of each faith. Where cultural groups were a minority they accepted fully that there was a persistent dark side to the picture. Time and again, at moments when tensions might be at a peak, there were sudden social explosions: riots and massacres took their toll of lives, property and places of worship. When the violence occurred on a small scale, it could be seen as “controlled and stabilizing,”6 because it encouraged people to maintain normality.7 The capacity of minorities to put up with sporadic repression and survive well into early modern times under inequitable conditions was based on a long apprenticeship.

It is unlikely that outbreaks of violence were motivated by the wish to target “despised” minorities, for in much of the Mediterranean the Jews and Muslims were far from being “despised.” On the contrary, in good times they enjoyed social autonomy, occupied relevant status and enjoyed the protection not only of kings and nobles but also of their host communities. Even more remarkably, in the Muslim Mediterranean, as in the island of Crete,8 there were exceptional situations where Christians intermarried with Muslims and enjoyed equal rights in the courts.

The communities of Christians, Jews and Muslims in Spain never lived together on the same terms, and their coexistence9 was always a relationship between unequals.10 Within that inequality, the minorities played their roles while attempting to avoid conflicts. The documents give remarkable glimpses of how, at specific moments, they came together: Muslims at Avila in 1474 attending the cathedral celebrations that proclaimed Isabella as queen, a guild in Segovia stating in writing that Muslims and Christians were equally members of the guild, Muslim ambassadors from Granada taking part in public jousts in Valencia and Saragossa.11 In fifteenth-century Murcia,12 the Muslims were an indispensable fund of labor in both town and country, and as such were protected by municipal laws. The Jews, for their part, made an essential contribution as artisans and small producers in leather, jewelry and textiles. They were also important in tax administration and in medicine. In theory, both minorities were restricted to specified areas of the towns they lived in. In practice, they preferred to live together and the laws on separation were seldom enforced. In Valladolid at the same period, the Muslims increased in number and importance, chose their residence freely, owned houses, lands and vineyards.13Though unequal in rights, the Valladolid Muslims were not marginalized. The tolerability of coexistence paved the way for their mass conversion in 1502.

In community celebrations, all three faiths participated. In Murcia, Muslim musicians and jugglers were an integral part of Christian religious celebrations. In Tarazona (Aragon) “almost all the musicians who played in the Corpus Christi procession were Muslims.”14 In times of crisis the faiths necessarily collaborated. In 1470 in the town of Uclés, “a year of great drought, there were many processions of Christians as well as of Muslims and Jews, to pray for water.”15 In such a community, there were some who saw no harm in participating with other faiths. “Hernán Sánchez Castro,” who was denounced for it twenty years later in Uclés, “set out from the church together with other Christians in the procession, and when they reached the square where the Jews were with the Torah he joined the procession of the Jews with their Torah and left the procession of the Christians.” Co-acceptance of the communities extended to acts of charity. Diego González remembered that in Huete in the 1470s, when he was a poor orphan, as a Christian he received alms from “both Jews and Muslims, for we used to beg for alms from all of them, and received help from them as we did from the Christians.” The kindness he received from Jews, indeed, encouraged him to pick up a smattering of Hebrew from them. It also led him subsequently to assert that “the Jew can find salvation in his own faith just as the Christian can in his.”16 There was, of course, always another side to the coexistence. It was in Uclés in 1491 that a number of Jewish citizens voluntarily gave testimony against Christians of Jewish origin. And Diego González, twenty years later when he had become a priest, was arrested for his pro-Jewish tendencies and burnt as a heretic.

We can be certain of one thing. Spain was not, as often imagined, a society dominated exclusively by zealots. In the Mediterranean the confrontation of cultures was more constant than in northern Europe, but so also was the consciousness of living together in a multiple society. Jews had the advantage of community solidarity, but under pressure from other cultures they also suffered the disadvantage of internal dissent over belief.17 They were, it has been argued, a Mediterranean people with the corresponding openness of perspective to be found anywhere in the countries of the inland sea.18 The three faiths had coexisted long enough for many people to accept a certain validity for all of them. There were cases, common enough in European history, of Jews like Samuel Pallache, born in Fez in 1550 of a family that had lived in Spain before the expulsions of 1492, who made his career in many lands, serving different religions, before he finally settled in Amsterdam.19

This way of thinking was given added force, not just in Spain but throughout the Mediterranean, by the fact that a significant sector of people conformed outwardly to the official faith but retained an inward commitment to their own traditional religion (seechapter 7). Throughout the lands where Muslims ruled, Christians and Jews converted to the official religion because it offered advancement, but continued to practice their old faith in secret. There were crypto-Christians in Cyprus and Crete, Albania and Bosnia, just as there would be crypto-Muslims later under Christian rule.20 Even when there was little compulsion, people converted: in thirteenth-century Aragon there were cases of Muslims converting to Judaism and Jews converting to Islam.21 On her travels through the Balkans in the year 1717, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu met Albanians who, “living between Christians and Mahometans and not being skill’d in controversie, declare that they are utterly unable to judge which Religion is best; but to be certain of not entirely rejecting the Truth, they very prudently follow both, and go to the Mosque on Fridays and the Church on Sundays.”22 Echoes of this attitude could be found anywhere in the Mediterranean. A priest in Soria in 1490 commented that “there are three faiths, and I don’t know which is the best,” but went on to affirm that “I think that everyone can be saved in his own faith.”23 “Who knows which is the better religion,” a Christian of Castile asked in 1501, “ours or those of the Muslims and the Jews?”24

The religions had to cope not just with oppression from the dominant faith but also with tension between the minority cultures. Muslims and Jews might dance together in the feasts of Christians, but at the same time they took the opportunity to attack each other. In fourteenth-century Aragon, the minorities often came to blows because they disputed precedence or because they felt they had suffered a slight. In special cases, such as the traditional Christian ritual in Holy Week of “killing Jews,” during which Christians were encouraged to commit acts of real or symbolic violence against Jews,25 the Muslims gladly took part in the proceedings.26

Though there were confusions of belief in the peninsula, there seems, curiously, to have been no formal heresy in late medieval times, not even among Christians. The theologians gradually began to elaborate and define what they meant by “heresy” (see chapter 3) for there were certainly defects to identify in a Spain that appeared not to be convincingly Christian. In the mid-sixteenth century a prominent friar, Felipe de Meneses, lamented the ignorance and unbelief he had found throughout Castile, “not only in small hamlets and villages but even in cities and populous towns.” “Out of three hundred residents,” he affirmed, “you will find barely thirty who know what any ordinary Christian is obliged to know.”27 In 1529 an influential book lamented that “superstitions and witchcraft in these times are widespread in our Spain,” and a bishop reported that people in his diocese “know nothing about Christianity.” Religious practice among Christians was a free mixture of community traditions, superstitious folklore and imprecise dogmatic beliefs.28 Some writers went so far as to categorize unofficial and popular religious practices as diabolic magic. It was a situation that Church leaders before the fifteenth century did very little to remedy.29

Everyday religion among Christians continued to embrace an immense range of cultural and devotional options. Throughout Spain, among people of all racial and religious antecedents, it was possible to find expressions of disbelief in an afterlife, like the statements made time and again by laity and even by clergy to the effect that “nothing exists beyond being born and dying.”30 The priest who made this last affirmation, around the year 1500, went on to state that the best one could hope for in this life was to “have a nice woman friend and eat well.” “There is no heaven and hell,” a man stated in 1495 in a village near Soria, “that is invented to frighten little boys.”31 It is not surprising to find persons like Alvaro de Lillo maintaining in 1524 that “we are born and die and nothing more,” or María de la Mota claiming that “I’ll look after myself in this world and you’ll not see me badly off in the next.”32 Both were tried by the Inquisition of Cuenca. There are many parallels to the cases of the Catalan peasant who asserted in 1539 that “there is no heaven, purgatory or hell; at the end we all have to end up in the same place, the bad will go to the same place as the good and the good will go to the same place as the bad”; or of the other who stated in 1593 that “he does not believe in heaven or hell, and God feeds the Muslims and heretics just the same as he feeds the Christians.”33

Statements like these could be found throughout the peninsula, as we know from the testimony presented to the Inquisition in many areas. But the mere fact that the phrases were denounced by neighbors suggests that they were neither current nor commonly acceptable, and it is unwise to suppose that popular skepticism flourished. We can even at times agree with the inquisitors themselves, whose opinion was that such statements reflected nothing more than rusticity. The town of Teruel was, and still is, a remote place. It was there in 1484 that Jaime Martinez was reported to them for stating: “Happiness and success can be found only in this world, in the next world there is no heaven or hell. God is just a tree: in summer he puts out leaves, in the winter he shakes them off and they fall. That is how God makes and unmakes us people.”34 The issue, as those who have looked at the documents will probably agree, can be approached in various ways but remains difficult to fit into neat categories of belief and unbelief.35

When Christian warriors battled against Muslims in earlier epochs, they shouted their convictions as passionately as team supporters would do today in a sports event. At home, or in the inn, or working in the fields, their passion would not have been so aggressive. The bulk of surviving documentation gives us some key to this dual outlook, only, however, among Christians. In Soria in 1487, at a time when the final conquest of Granada was well under way, a resident commented that “the king is off to drive the Muslims out, when they haven’t done him any harm.”36 “The Muslim can be saved in his faith just as the Christian can in his,”37 another is reported to have said. The inquisitors in 1490 in Cuenca were informed of a Christian who claimed that “the good Jew and the good Muslim can, if they act correctly, go to heaven just like the good Christian.”38 There is little or nothing to tell us how Jews and Muslims thought, but there is every probability that they also accepted the need to moderate their attitude when carrying out their daily duties alongside other faiths in the Mediterranean.

The examples serve to emphasize that the idea of the Inquisition being the creation of a fanatically Catholic society has no relation to reality. Spaniards were just as split between different religious options as they were between the various cultures of the regions of the peninsula. In the Middle Ages, Christian mercenary soldiers served Muslim commanders39 just as Muslim mercenaries served under Christians. Christians who wished to go further and turn their backs on their own society often did so quite simply by embracing Islam. From the later Middle Ages to the eighteenth century, an impressive number of Spanish Christians changed (or were accused of changing) their faith in this way (chapter 7). The kingdom of Granada, in the same way, had a small community of renegade Christians who adopted the Islamic religion. Consequently, in Christian Spain it was not uncommon to find many people who expressed pro-Muslim sentiments. In 1486 the Inquisition of Saragossa tried a Christian “for saying that he was a Muslim, and for praying in the mosque like a Muslim.”40 There are scores of similar cases in the documents.

Long after the epoch of multiple faiths in the peninsula had passed, many Spaniards retained at the back of their minds a feeling that their differences were not divisive. In the Granada countryside in the 1620s, a woman of Muslim origin felt that “the Muslim can be saved in his faith as the Jew can in his,” a Christian peasant felt that “everyone can find salvation in his own faith,” and another affirmed that “Jews who observe their law can be saved.”41 The attitude was frequent enough to be ordinary, and could be found in every corner of Spain and every inlet of the Mediterranean, so much so that we can almost regard it as a commonplace of rural philosophy in southern Europe. When the north Italian miller Menocchio was pressed in 1584 by an Italian inquisitor on the subject of which was the true religion, he answered: “God the father has various children whom he loves, such as Christians, Turks and Jews, and to each of them he has given the will to live by his own law, and we do not know which is the right one.”42 Do the opinions reflect indifference, or maybe a feeling of tolerance? Scholars today read the lesson in varying ways.43 As the Inquisition shifted its attention from former Jews, it was to find that sentiments like these were common among ordinary Christians as well. Indeed, what was particularly alarming was not simply that true religion may have been perverted by heresy, but that in many parts of Spain it could be doubted whether there was any true religion at all, if villagers had respect neither for religion nor for its ministers. “I care nothing for the gospels,” stated a resident of Cuenca in 1490, and another said, “I swear to God it’s a fraud, from the pope to the cope!”44 A local Jewish doctor in Soria in 1491 testified of a neighbor whose religion was under suspicion that “he was neither Christian nor Jew.”45

The remarkable absence of formal “heresy” in late medieval Spain may in part have been a consequence of its multiple cultures. The three faiths, even while respecting each other, attempted to maintain in some measure the purity of their own ideology. In times of crisis, as with the rabbis in 1492 or the Muslim alfaquis in 1609, they clung desperately to the uniqueness of their own truth. Christianity, for its part, remained so untarnished by formal heresy that the papal Inquisition, active in regions of France, Germany and Italy, was never deemed necessary in Castile and made only a token appearance in medieval Aragon. The virtual absence of organized heresy meant that though defections to other faiths were severely punished in Christian law, no systematic machinery was ever brought into existence to deal with nonbelievers or with those forced converts who had shaky belief. For decades, society continued to put up with them, and the policy of burning practiced elsewhere in Europe was little known in Spain.

The practice of “tolerance,” in the sense of allowing people to dissent, did not of course exist in any part of Christian Europe in the 1500s. It came into being only centuries later, when some states conceded legal rights to religious minorities. But frontier societies having contact with other cultures, as in the Mediterranean and in Eastern Europe, were in a special category. Spain, like them, was a plural (and therefore in some sense forbearing) society long before toleration became a philosophical issue. The same was true of Transylvania and Poland. “There is nothing new about diversity of religion in Poland,” a Polish Lutheran stated in 1592. “In addition to the Greek Christians among us, pagans and Jews have been known for a long time, and faiths other than Roman Catholic have existed for centuries.”46 It was therefore commonplace, within that plural context, to have toleration without a theory of toleration, because there were legal guarantees for each faith.47 The protection given to the aljamas by Christian lords was by nature contractual: in return for protection, the Muslims and Jews paid taxes. Because there was no unitary political authority in Spain, the nobles felt free to allow their Muslims to observe their own cultural customs long after the Spanish crown had officially abolished the legal existence of Islam (in 1500 in Castile, in 1526 in the crown of Aragon). The development can be seen as inherent in the nature of pre-modern political systems in Europe. Before the advent of the modern (“nation”) state, small autonomous cultural groups could exist without being subjected to persecution, thanks to the protection of local authorities. The coming of the centralizing state, in post-Reformation Europe, removed that protection and aggravated intolerance.

Even while Christians and Muslims killed each other for political or economic reasons, they accepted coexistence within the same territory. Toleration was socially possible but not ideologically acceptable: it was a feature that Spain shared with other European states possessing cultural minorities. When traveling from one territory to another, one always had to be careful about observing the local laws. A French Capuchin friar recognized this in 1593 when apologizing for speaking too freely in Barcelona. “I spoke,” he explained to the inquisitors, “with the liberty of conscience that the kings have granted in France, and did not understand that in Spain one could not make use of this liberty.”48

There were Spanish Christians who, even in early modern times, disapproved of extreme measures against dissidence. They were not “progressives” but simply part of a European tradition stretching back into medieval times. Eminent persons at the court of Isabella of Castile, such as her secretary Hernando del Pulgar and her confessor Hernando de Talavera, expressed their opposition to religious coercion and the use of the death penalty. Alonso de Virués, humanist and bishop, subsequently (in 1542) criticized intolerance and those “who spare neither prison nor knout nor chains nor the axe; for such is the effect of these horrible means, that the torments they inflict on the body can never change the disposition of the soul.”49 Philip II’s chaplain and court preacher Luis de Granada criticized (in 1582) those Spaniards who “through misdirected zeal for the faith, believe that they commit no sin when they do ill and harm to those who are not of the faith, whether Muslims or Jews or heretics or Gentiles.”50 The Jesuit Juan de Mariana, who like Luis de Granada happened to be a supporter of the Inquisition, criticized both forced conversion51 and racial discrimination. Their voices were no doubt few, and did not reflect a widespread opinion, but when added to the testimonies gathered from among ordinary people they demonstrate that Spain was far from being the single-minded and monolithic champion of orthodoxy that it was at one time thought to be.

Even among ordinary people, there were voices opposed to violence in religion. In 1545 the theologian and subsequent confessor of Philip II, Alfonso de Castro, traveled to his home town of Zamora and was startled to hear people there criticizing Charles V’s wars against the Protestants in Germany: “I heard many and various people, who prided themselves on being faithful Catholics, criticizing the Emperor’s wars as wrong and irreligious, and saying that it was not Christian to go to war against heretics, who should be conquered not with arms but with reasoning.”52

In the penumbra of the three great faiths there were, it is true, a number of those who, whether through the indifferentism born of coexistence or the cynicism born of persecution, seem to have had no active belief in formal religion. Without being able to penetrate their private lives, it is difficult to offer an explanation of their attitudes, if indeed we can accept what they said as authentic. Many can be identified through surviving documentation.53 But were they in any sense unbelievers or atheists? The question of whether “unbelief” was in any way meaningful in pre-industrial Europe was first explored magisterially by Lucien Febvre,54 but subsequent scholars have not reached agreement on the issue. At most, they have unearthed individual cases, scattered through the paperwork of Church tribunals in Spain and Italy, of unusual statements and attitudes, based normally on traditional folklore. Without venturing further into the problem of “unbelief,” one may certainly agree that those who had attitudes of “religious tolerance, relativism, universalism or skepticism” were a recognizable phenomenon in pre-industrial society.55 They existed throughout the Mediterranean world, not simply in Spain but also in Portugal, Italy and North Africa, because it was the vastness of that world, with its inland sea, that opened out alternative perspectives.

The era of uncertain belief and fragile coexistence in Spain drew to an end thanks to developments in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, monarchs respectively of Aragon and of Castile. Their marriage in 1469 helped bring to an end a decade of civil war over succession to the thrones, and bound together the destinies of the two realms without in any way creating a political union between them. In seeking to stabilize their power in Castile and Aragon, the monarchs inevitably had to make alliances with great nobles and prelates, and at the same time attempt to eliminate social conflict in regions where the presence of Muslims and Jews appeared to be an unsettling factor. There was one region in particular, Andalucia, where social dissidence seemed to be an immediate cause of instability and called for a concentrated peacekeeping effort. It was where they first paid serious attention to calls being made for the introduction of a special court to inquire into the heresy of Christians of Jewish origin. When that court, the Inquisition, eventually came into existence in the year 1478, it received the full backing of both monarchs, but as events turned out it failed to bring about social tranquility, and the machinery of the Inquisition served only to intensify and deepen the shadow of conflict over Spain.

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