Bad Christians, New Spains: Muslims, Catholics, and Native Americans in a Mediterratlantic World 1032085673, 9781032085678

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Bad Christians, New Spains: Muslims, Catholics, and Native Americans in a Mediterratlantic World
 1032085673, 9781032085678

Table of contents :
Half Title
Series Information
Title Page
Copyright Page
Table of contents
What is to come
1 Ashes and silkworms
In the Rain Place
By the shores of the Mediterranean
Traditions of comparison
Transoceanic symmetries
Transoceanic asymmetries
Coda: The Mediterratlantic manuscripts of Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés
2 Geographies of discord
Geographies of discord in the Nochixtlán Valley
Geographies of discord in Valencia and beyond
Inquisitorial dialogues
3 Catholic Catholicisms
“In my lands I am king and pope”/“He was bishop and pope in his town”
The secular sacred
Catholic Catholicism
Islamic popes
The popes of Yanhuitlán
4 The poverty of economy
Two myths of Spanish greed
Against economy: Jurisdiction
Against economy: Evocation
Circulating gods
Hidden parchment
5 Ruination
The two new ruins
Ruins and the Catholic Church
Ruins in the Muslim West
Ruins in Mesoamerica
Remembrance and ruination
Other clothes, other customs
6 The excavation of the dead
From ornament to Purgatory
Archaeologies of death
“God did not wish that she should be buried in the cemetery”
7 Chronologies at war
In the time of the Muslims
In the time of their gentility
Other times, other customs
The myth of the forty years
Competing futures
Conclusions: Conversion, reduction, and early modern empire
Conversions of the soul
Good Christianities
Works cited
Published materials

Citation preview


Bad Christians, New Spains

This book centers on two inquisitorial investigations, both of which began in the 1540s. One involved relations of Europeans and Native Americans in the Oaxacan town of Yanhuitlán (in New Spain, today’s Mexico). The other involved relations of Moriscos (recent Muslim converts to Catholicism) and Old Christians (people with deep Catholic ancestries) in the Mediterranean kingdom of Valencia (in the “old” Spain). Although separated by an ocean, the social worlds preserved in these inquisitorial files share many things. By bringing the two investigations together, Hamann reveals how very local practices and debates had long-​distance parallels, parallels that reveal larger entanglements of the early modern world. Through a dialogue of two microhistories, he presents a macrohistory of large-​scale social transformation. We see how attempts in both places to turn old worlds into new ones were centered on struggles over materiality and temporality. By paying close attention to theories (and practices) of reduction and conversion, Hamann suggests we can move beyond anachronistic models of social change as colonization, and place early modern concepts of time and history at the center of our understandings of the sixteenth-​century past. Overall, this project intervenes in major debates from both history and anthropology:  about the writing of global histories, our conceptualizations of the colonial, the nature of religious and cultural change, and the roles of material things in social life and the imagination of time. Byron Ellsworth Hamann is Hanna Kiel Fellow at I  Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence, Italy.


The Anthropology of History

Series Editors: Stephan Palmié and Charles Stewart

Anthropologists have taken apart Western assumptions about Law, Economics and Religion in order to overcome ethnocentrism in the study of these domains in other societies. The category of History, however, has not been subjected to such treatment. Although anthropologists and historians have collaborated to produce a large and vibrant subfield of “History and Anthropology”, they have tended to be guided by a readymade model of history. There has been little systematic reflection on the Western commonsense idea of history, nor much focus on the particular assumptions about the past that animate other societies. With this book series, we are calling for a new orientation that will concentrate squarely on how people, whether far away or within our own society, establish relationships with the past. Examples of such alternative historicities (culturally particular ways of relating to the past) include spirit possession, popular genealogy and genomics, rituals ranging from shamanic practices to Easter processions, reenactments, and video gaming among many other possibilities. The editors invite monographs that approach the question of history through historical research, ethnography, cultural studies or other relevant methodologies. The past may be experienced through various senses and genres including music, drama, film and digital media thereby making the Anthropology of History a wide domain of interdisciplinary collaboration extending beyond Anthropology and History to approaches from Music, Art, Archaeology, Drama, and STS. The Varieties of Historical Experience Edited by Stephan Palmié and Charles Stewart Bad Christians, New Spains Muslims, Catholics, and Native Americans in a Mediterratlantic World Byron Ellsworth Hamann​The-​Anthropology-​of-​History/​book-​series/​ANTHIST


Bad Christians, New Spains Muslims, Catholics, and Native Americans in a Mediterratlantic World Byron Ellsworth Hamann


First published 2020 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2020 Byron Ellsworth Hamann The right of Byron Ellsworth Hamann to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-​in-​Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-​in-​Publication Data A catalog record has been requested for this book ISBN: 978-​0-​367-​22112-​6 (hbk) ISBN: 978-​0-​429-​34419-​0 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman MT Std by Newgen Publishing UK


For Adrienne, Adam, and Odette




List of illustrations  Acknowledgments  Preface: Bad Christians  Introduction 

viii x xiii 1

1 Ashes and silkworms 


2 Geographies of discord 


3 Catholic Catholicisms 


4 The poverty of economy 


5 Ruination 


6 The excavation of the dead 


7 Chronologies at war 


Conclusions: Conversion, reduction, and early modern empire 


Epilogue  Works cited  Index 

288 292 336



Figures 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 2 .1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 4 .1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 5 .1 5.2

View of the Nochixtlán Valley Sacred geography in the Nochixtlán Valley View of the Valley of Seta The city of Valencia in 1608 Title page of Riccoldo da Monte di Croce, Improbatio Alcorani (1500) Folio 19r of Pedro de Feria, Doctrina Christiana en lengua Castellana y çapoteca (1567) Page 3 of the Codex Nuttall Pages 4 to 1 of the Codex Vienna Page 23 of the Codex Vienna View out La Cueva Larga, Yucuita Page 47 of the Codex Vienna The white mineral column in the cave of Yucumañu Map of the Nochixtlán Valley in 1602 View of the Valley of Guadalest The courtyard of don Sancho de Cardona’s palace in Bechí Agostino Veneziano, Svliman Otoman Rex Tvrc X (1535) Page 24 of the Codex Vienna Page 24 of the Codex Nuttall Title page of Ulrich Krafft, Das ist der geistlich streit (1517) A prehispanic feathered serpent statue repurposed to be the base for a wooden crucifix The walled upper city of Trujillo Palace built by Gonzalo de las Casas in Trujillo (1574) Page 17 of the Codex Nuttall Page 21 of the Codex Nuttall Pages 3 and 4 of the Codex Selden Truce signed between King Jaume I and Muslim leader al-​Azraq (1245) Page 25 of the Codex Nuttall Raffaello Botticini, Adoration of the Magi (circa 1494)

12 13 18 21 26 27 49 50 51 52 53 54 56 59 60 103 107 110 112 113 137 143 146 147 148 154 168 170


List of illustrations ix 5.3 5 .4 5.5 5.6 5 .7 5.8 5.9 5.10 6.1 6 .2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13

Detail of the broken idol from the central temple niche. Raffaello Botticini, Adoration of the Magi (circa 1494) Joachim Patinir, Rest on the Flight into Egypt (1518–​1520) Detail of Joachim Patinir, Rest on the Flight into Egypt (1518–​1520) Altarpiece panel of Saint Bartholomew before the Emperor (1450–​1480) Carved stone from Etlatongo showing iconoclastic destruction Page 22 of the Codex Nuttall Church and Convent of Yanhuitlán (1550–​1580) Folio 9v of the Codex of Yanhuitlán (circa 1550) Sheet of four indulgences to fund the building of Saint Peter’s (1517) Altarpiece of the Mass of Saint Gregory (1572) Detail, Altarpiece of the Mass of Saint Gregory (1572) Greenstone penates, front and back views Turquoise mosaic burial mask Page 82 of the Codex Nuttall Michelangelo Buonarroti, The Last Judgment (circa 1536–​1541) Detail of Michelangelo Buonarroti, The Last Judgment (circa 1536–​1541) Tombstones in the floor of the Church of Saint Mary the Greater, Trujillo Auto de Fe held in Valladolid in 1559, as depicted in Hispanische Inquisition (1560?) Detail showing a coffin of exhumed bones and a victim in effigy. Hispanische Inquisition (1560?) Anton van den Wyngaerde, sketches of Morisco graves in Sagunto (1563) Title page of Johann Eberlin von Günzburg, Das Lob der Pfarrer (1521)

171 172 173 174 179 181 183 191 198 206 208 216 217 218 220 221 222 224 225 229 233

Maps 0 .1 Spain and New Spain 2.1 Witnesses in the Yanhuitlán investigation, 1544–​1546 2.2 Geography of “idolatry” in the Yanhuitlán investigation, 1544–​1546 2.3 Towns and hills in the map from AGN Tierras, 1520 2.4 Witnesses in the Valencian investigation, 1540–1569 2.5 Geography of Islam in the Valencian investigation, 1540–​1569 6.1 Locations of excavations in the Nochixtlán Valley, April 1546

3 43 47 57 58 66 214

Table 4.1 Don Sancho’s income from Bechí and Guadalest 




Many, many thanks to … Charles Stewart and Stephan Palmié, without whose enthusiasm this project would remain abandoned; Katherine Ong and Marc Stratton at Routledge; the Mellon Foundation, the Wenner-​Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain’s Ministry of Culture and United States Universities, Dumbarton Oaks, the Foreign Language and Area Studies Program, the Tinker Foundation, and the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago, for supporting my dissertation research; my dissertation committee in the Departments of History and Anthropology at the University of Chicago in 2011:  Manuela Carneiro da Cunha, Constantin Fasolt, Tamar Herzog, Kathleen Morrison, and William A. Christian Jr.; my parents, Jay and Nancy Hamann; Melissa Coffey and Sara Lardinois, with whom I  first researched Christopher Columbus’ female kin; Arts & Humanities Small Grants at Ohio State University; and friends and advisors in Bechí, Chicago, Herrera del Duque, Madrid, Mexico City, Nashville, Oaxaca, El Ronquillo, Seville, Valencia, Yucuita, and beyond:  Sareeta Amrute, Frederic Aparisi Romero, Linda Arnold, Bill Autry, Liza Bakewell, Gretchen Bakke, Chris Beekman, Rafael Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Jeff Blomster, Elizabeth Hill Boone, Vicki Brennan, Cammy Brothers, Steve Buck, Bruce Byland, Brian Catlos, Catherine Colby, Tom Cummins, Bryan Dennis, Ana Díaz Serrano, Juan Manuel Domínguez Chacón, Ben Eastman, María Judith Feliciano, Carmen María Fernández-​ Salvador, Salvador Ferrando Palomares, Cornell H.  Fleischer, Finbarr Barry Flood, Jamie Forde, Borja Franco Llopis, Francisco Franco Sánchez, Cecile R. Ganteaume, Tom Garrison, Juan Ignacio Pérez Giménez, Amanda Gluibizzi, Mercedes Gómez-​ Ferrer, Vicente Graullera Sanz, Richard E.  Greenleaf, Mayte Green-​ Mercado, Tom Guthrie, Patrick Hajovsky, Manuel Hermann Lejarazu, Michael O.  Hironymous, Matthew Hunter,


Acknowledgments xi Scott R. Hutson, Aaron Hyman, Art Joyce, John Kamys, Mark King, Stacie King, Christian Kleinbub, Dana Leibsohn, Josep Vicent Lerma, Marc Levine, Michael Lind, María José López Azorín, Geoff McCafferty, Sharisse McCafferty, Kenny McGill, Michelle Maguire, Aliocha Maldavsky, Claudia Mattos, Edgar Mendoza, Stephin Merritt, Bartolomé Miranda Díaz, John Monaghan, Barbara Mundy, Jim Neagbour, Patricia L. Nietfeld, James Oles, John O’Neill, Mihir Pandya, Felipe Pereda, Joanne Pillsbury, John Pohl, John Powell, Alanna Simone Radlo-​Dzur, Carlos Reyes, Carlos Rincón Mautner, Curro Rodríguez Acedo, Manuel Rodríguez Acedo, Alejandra Rojas, Felipe Rojas, Javier Sánchez Portas, María Ángeles Sánchez Rubio, Elizabeth Sandoval, Ann Clair Seiferle-​ Valencia, Adam T.  Sellen, Mary Elizabeth Smith, Enric Sorribes, Ron Spores, George Stocking, Nancy Troike, Javier Urcid, Carlos Vidali Rebolledo, Laura R.  Stiver Walsh, Marc Winter, and Andrew Workinger. Mil gracias.



Preface Bad Christians

October 15, 1544: and this witness has heard tell from the Indians of Yanhuitlán that the said don Francisco and don Juan and don Domingo are bad Christians [malos xpianos], for they do not observe Christian doctrine, nor consider themselves Christians, and they make this well known, and they are living as bad Christians now. And furthermore they are baptized in their rites and ceremonies of the devil, and they call upon the devil, and they offer sacrifices from their own bodies, and authorize sacrifices during all of the festivals of the diabolical year, and also when they are sick, and when there is not enough rain, and when they harvest their crops. And they keep their own devils and idols which they worship, both in their houses and in hills and caves and surrounding farms and in their own town and subject villages. And all three of the aforementioned keep, even today, their devils and chapels in the very houses where they live, in which they sacrifice and worship and make invocations … —​ Testimony of don Juan, indigenous governor of the town of Etlatongo. From the inquisitorial investigation against the indigenous rulers of Yanhuitlán, New Spain. Archivo General de la Nación, Mexico City, Inquisición Volumen 37, folios 162v–​163r. May 12, 1568: One attorney from here [Valencia] who is called Miçer Tarrega—​an honorable man, of great understanding—​gave me this memo which he sent to your reverend lordship, written in his own hand, which seems to me to be very bad business, because I know this person [don Sancho de Cardona, admiral of Aragón] and he is known to be a very bad Christian [muy malo xpiano], and it has long been known in this Holy Office [of the Inquisition] that he does not go to confession, and has ordered the rebuilding of ruined mosques, and other things … —​Commentary by Inquisitor Gregorio de Miranda on a letter submitted as evidence. From the inquisitorial investigation against don



xiv Preface Sancho de Cardona, admiral of Aragón. Archivo Histórico Nacional, Madrid, Inquisición Legajo 550, Caja 1, Carpeta 4, folio 350r. October 31, 1545: this witness has heard Baccalaureate Maraver say many times that although it may cost him all that he has, he must do everything possible against the said Francisco de las Casas [European encomendero of Yanhuitlán], because he was a son of a bitch and all of his Indians were idolaters, and he has performed more idolatries than they, and was no more a Christian than his horse, and other things of this nature—​ being a man who wished him misfortune and had ill will for him—​and for this reason this witness believes and knows for certain that the said Baccalaureate Maraver is an enemy of the said Francisco de las Casas and of the said don Francisco and of all of the other [indigenous] nobles of the said town of Yanhuitlán, which is in encomienda to the said Francisco de las Casas … —​ Testimony of Juan de Molina, 31-​ year-​ old resident of Mexico City. From the inquisitorial investigation against the indigenous rulers of Yanhuitlán, New Spain. Archivo General de la Nación, Mexico City, Inquisición Volumen 37, folios 253v–​254r. July 18, 1544: he went in the company of the said Father Friar Bartolomé on this expedition to preach to the Moriscos and to baptize them etcetera and in Bechí [subject to don Sancho de Cardona] he saw how the Father Friar Bartolomé taught them [the Moriscos] to make the sign of the cross and to say the orations, but they responded with obscene gestures, and it is certain that afterwards, since they have received a new royal pardon, that they have returned to living openly as Muslims etcetera. Also:  he said that a Morisca from Bechí was raising the child of an Old Christian—​who is poor—​and that the Morisca has given the child a Muslim name, and no one can take him from her power. —​ Testimony of Joan de Miranda, 19-​ year-​ old servant of Friar Bartolomé de los Ángeles. From the inquisitorial investigation against don Sancho de Cardona, admiral of Aragón. Archivo Histórico Nacional, Madrid, Inquisición Legajo 550, Caja 1, Carpeta 4, folio 335r.



New worlds emerged on both shores of the sixteenth-​century Atlantic. This book explores one aspect of that history: the creation of new Spains. In the Americas, European conquerors established the viceroyalty of Nueva España by taking over, and expanding, the imperial networks of the Aztec empire. Across the ocean, another new Spain was forged through the unification of once-​separate Iberian and Italian kingdoms—​a trans-​Mediterranean polity whose frontiers stretched to military outposts on the north coast of Africa.1 The year 1492 is often evoked as a symbol of these transoceanic transformations. On January 2, the city of Granada surrendered to King Ferdinand of Aragón and Queen Isabella of Castile, ending a twelve-​year effort to conquer Iberia’s last Islamic kingdom. On March 31, king and queen decreed that all Jews in their joint realms had to convert to Christianity or be expelled. On April 17, the royal couple signed contracts authorizing Christopher Columbus to attempt an Atlantic journey to Asia. His three ships set sail from Palos de la Frontera on August 3.  On October 12 they arrived, unexpectedly, at the shores of a New World.2 Yet despite these connections, the fall of Granada and the Caribbean encounter are often described as if they involved the end of one world (the medieval world of a polyreligious Spain) and the beginning of a new one (the modern world of colonization, globalization, and racism). Medieval relations with Muslims become the neatly bookended background for modern relations with Native Americans.3 The desire for a clean break separating medieval and modern probably explains the frequent claim that 1492 saw not only the conquest of Granada, but also the expulsion of all Muslims from Iberia.4 But this was not what happened. Muslims—​ and their Christianized descendants, the Moriscos—​continued to live in Iberia throughout the sixteenth century. Because of this, Iberian interactions of Catholics and Muslims were not some hazy historical background for New World encounters of Europeans and Native Americans. Instead, Iberian Muslims, Iberian Catholics, and Native Americans as well (from Christian converts to religious traditionalists to everything in between) were in the sixteenth century all part of the same imperial world, were all vassals of the rulers of Spain. And all were experiencing radical changes in their ways of life.


2 Introduction To explore this Mediterratlantic empire, the following pages create a dialogue between two inquisitorial investigations.5 Both began in the 1540s (Map 0.1). One was from Nueva España, and involved the relations of Europeans and Native Americans in the Oaxacan town of Yanhuitlán. The other took place in the Mediterranean kingdom of Valencia, and involved the relations of Moriscos (recent Muslim converts to Catholicism) and Old Christians (people with deep Catholic ancestries). Bringing these cases together reveals how local conflicts had long-​distance parallels—​parallels that map the larger entanglements of early modernity. Two microhistories in conversation reveal a macrohistory of social transformation.6 A well-​established strategy for writing histories of the Atlantic world is to focus on phenomena and documents that deal directly with oceanic crossings: commercial networks, diasporic and migrant communities, scientific research, imperial rule. David Armitage calls these circum-​Atlantic histories.7 But although this is a book about Spain’s transoceanic empire, the Atlantic itself is not the center of attention. This project began with an analysis of two seemingly disconnected situations, one in the mountains of New Spain and the other on the coast of the Mediterranean. When studied side by side, records from Valencia and Oaxaca revealed many similarities, and these common concerns structure each of the chapters you are about to read. In Armitage’s terms, two cis-​Atlantic studies, combined, produce a trans-​ Atlantic perspective. Or, using ideas from Sanjay Subrahmanyam and Philipp Ther, this comparative history of two different places is also a connected history of two nodes within the network of the Spanish empire.8 Although separated by an ocean, the social worlds preserved in these inquisitorial files share many things. Both involve the conversion of non-​Christians to Catholicism. Both reveal conflicts over architecture, clothing, and the dead. Both record testimonies by dozens of witnesses, from nobles and religious specialists to servants and former slaves. Both also chronicle how Christian authorities defended non-​Christian religious practices, such as allowing a ruined mosque to be rebuilt, or hiding Native American god-​images from inquisitors. These investigations reveal the shared interests that could unite a Catholic admiral and a Morisco doctor, or a European encomendero with Oaxacan noblemen.9 Such alliances were controversial, in part because of deep conflicts within Old Christian and non-​ Christian communities:  between sacred and secular authorities, or between converts and traditionalists. As a result, both cases include accusations that certain people were “bad Christians” (malos cristianos). Yet in neither Oaxaca nor Valencia was there agreement about who the bad Christians were. Some witnesses claimed the bad Christians were Moriscos and Native Americans who, despite official conversion to Catholicism, still looked back to their pre-​ Christian pasts. Others claimed that the malos cristianos were Old Christians who failed to persecute non-​Christian practices—​and so were accused of being Protestants, even idolaters.


Map 0.1 New Spain in Mesoamerica and the kingdoms of Spain in the Mediterranean. Both maps are drawn to the same scale. Cartographic sources: Esri, USGS, NOAA.


4 Introduction Disagreements over good and bad Christianity were not simply about the relations of humans to each other, and to the sacred. They were about time itself. They were debates over whether, and how, an old world should be transformed into a new one. And these debates were not abstract. They were made tangible through the manipulation of things, in struggles over sacred buildings, buried corpses, ancient documents, and holy images. Interventions in the physical world materialized claims about temporal change, manifesting how the sixteenth-​century present was connected to—​or disjointed from—​its multiple pasts and futures. These manipulations had different meanings for different people. For some Catholics, changing the way people lived—​converting them—​was imagined as reversing time’s flow. Perfection was understood to have existed in the past, and so the goal of social change was to restore that past in the present. The ideal future was regenerational, not progressive; it should emulate already-​ perfect precedents, not be built on dreams of novel invention. The early modern concept of reduction (reducción), in which something was “returned to better order” (vuelto a mejor orden), encapsulates this idea of change as restoration. Such “restorations” were often radical innovations, of course, but this was their hidden secret, not their overt justification.10 And because they claimed to restore God’s universal order, reductive techniques were universally applied. Reductions changed the worlds of Muslims, Native Americans, and Catholic Old Christians alike. But these models of reductive transformation, and the material practices they encouraged, were controversial. And they were fought. The millenarian dreams of Muslim and Native American traditionalists, for example, provided alternative visions of change-​ as-​ restoration—​ and some Old Christians argued that because apocalyptic transformations were entirely in God’s hands, they could be indefinitely deferred. Muslims and Native Americans and Old Christians also had visions of history focused not on rupture and restoration, but on continuity. These other temporal visions, visions used to combat efforts at remaking the world, were often connected to heirlooms: cultural and material legacies inherited from parents and ancestors. By triangulating the conflicted perspectives of Muslims, Old Christians, and Native Americans, these pages aim to reconnect both sides of the sixteenth-​ century Atlantic, treating them as a unified world. This requires interrogating not only the models of time and history used by sixteenth-​century actors, but also the models we ourselves use now. Above all, this requires rethinking our category of the colonial—​a category we often adopt without much reflection. Relations between Europeans and Native Americans are usually said to be colonial. But “colonial” does not simply describe power relations between Europe and its elsewheres. It is a category of time that separates Europe from those elsewheres. The sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries are routinely labeled as “colonial” in the Americas, but “early modern” in Europe—​producing what anthropologist Johannes Fabian would call a denial of coevalness.11 Models of coloniality encourage us to imagine the Old World


Introduction 5 and the New as essentially different. But such differences cannot be assumed from the start, or based on studies of the Americas alone. They have to be demonstrated through transoceanic comparison.12 Relying on already-​published histories (of, say, Spain and Mexico) is often insufficient. Nationalist traditions for writing history in different parts of the Atlantic world have not always asked the same questions. Effective comparison requires a return to the archives.13 Many inspiring works of global history have of course been written from a synthesis of earlier literature: classic examples include Eric Wolf’s Europe and the People Without History (1982) and Janet Abu Lughod’s Before European Hegemony (1989). Both were frank about their secondary-​sourced origins.14 But other macrohistorical visions emerge by “muddying our boots,” as Sanjay Subrahmanyam puts it, “in the bogs of ‘micro-​history.’  ”15 Or, in the words of Frederick Cooper: “Can one really provincialize Europe? One way to do so is to dig more deeply into European history itself ”—​rewriting it in ways that pay equal attention to the history of Europe’s extra-​European possessions.16 Instead of “colonial Latin America” versus “early modern Europe,” or internal versus external colonization in the Old World and the New, this book imagines an early modern Iberian world, and reconstructs the processes of social change—​reductions—​taking place at multiple sites throughout that world.17 Rather than telling a “first in Europe, then elsewhere” kind of story, this book describes a connected world in which both “Europe” and its “elsewheres” were simultaneously being changed. This is not to say that events unfolding on either side of the Atlantic were identical. They were not. But differences existed everywhere, and so instead of dividing the Spanish empire into early modern and colonial halves, we need to focus on a mosaic of local variations. This is true within Europe as well as beyond—​which is why the history of Muslims in Granada was distinct from the history of Muslims in Valencia. We should not assume that crossing the Atlantic was always more momentous than crossing from Castile to Valencia, or from Valencia to Naples.18 At the same time, a truly comparative history allows us to better understand local differences—​such as why requirements for converted Muslims were not the same as requirements for converted Native Americans. These conversions were not understood to be colonial, because concepts of  the “colonial” and “colonization” did not emerge until the eighteenth ­century. When they did, they were accompanied by new theories of progress, development, and civilization.19 Such innovative ideas about time were enabled, materially speaking, by an industrially driven rupture of earlier “limits of the possible.” Previous constraints on speed, space, and scale were overturned by new technologies, a shift in orders of magnitude both quantitative and qualitative.20 These disjunctive ideas and material realities played a fundamental role in the second age of European expansion, beginning in the 1700s and officially ending with world decolonization after World War II. Such relatively recent colonizations provide the frame of reference for our most important anticolonial and postcolonial theorists.21


6 Introduction But if from the eighteenth onwards European conquests were driven by machine-​ augmented dreams of cumulative progress, something quite different was happening in early modernity.22 Because reductive models of social change looked to an ideal past, and not an unprecedented future, they introduce a fissure in our imaginings of “European and then Western capitalist modernity after 1492.”23 Instead of continuity, five centuries ago we encounter an alien, violent, connected world.24

What is to come Chapter  1 (“Ashes and silkworms”) introduces the cases from Valencia and Oaxaca and situates this book in a longer history of Muslim-​Native American comparison. Chapter 2 (“Geographies of discord”) maps how each investigation developed over time and space, and outlines basic strategies for reading the Inquisition’s complicated and contradictory records. Chapters  3 to 7 then investigate the material struggles over time being waged on both sides of the Atlantic, in conflicts over chapels and markets and meat (“Catholic Catholicisms”), mosques and idols and ancient parchments (“The poverty of economy”), sacred buildings (“Ruination”), cemeteries (“The excavation of the dead”), and imaginations of time (“Chronologies at war”). The Conclusions (“Conversion, reduction, and early modern empire”) return to good versus bad Christianity, showing how those seemingly whimsical categories illuminate early modern understandings of conversion as a form of reduction—​techniques of change applied throughout Spain’s Mediterratlantic empire.

Notes 1 Moving back in time, on both sides of the Atlantic these New Spains were built on social and political foundations established some five centuries before: the rise of Postclassic Mesoamerican social orders in tenth and eleventh centuries, and the “first European Revolution” of the eleventh and twelfth centuries (Blomster, Etlatongo; Smith and Berdan, Postclassic; Joyce et  al., “Lord”; Joyce, Mixtecs; Bartlett, Making; Berman Law; Fasolt, “Visions”; Moore, First). In turn, those social orders were themselves the successors to regional political fragmentations during the eighth and ninth centuries: the Classic-​period collapse in Mesoamerica, the dissolution of Charlemagne’s empire in Europe (Panofsky, Renaissance; Hamann, “Middle”). On the use of “New X” toponyms in the Americas, see Anderson, Imagined, 191–​93; Pagden, European. On North African outposts, see Hess, Forgotten. 2 Columbus, Journal,  4–​5. 3 For example, Trouillot, Global, 20–​21. Earlier comparative histories of Muslims and Native Americans often follow the “first in Europe, then elsewhere” structure pioneered by Garrido Aranda (Organización; Moriscos; see also Chakrabarty, Provincializing, 7–​8). The problematic boundaries between medieval and (early) modern are discussed in Grazia, “Modern”; and Davis, Periodization. For the omissions and excisions of present-​day scholarship on early modern limpieza de sangre (and its supposed connections to modern racism), see Hamann, “Review.”


Introduction 7 4 Royal, 1492, 49; Stern, Peru’s, xxii; Harris, Aztecs, 60; Cooper, Colonialism, 164; Brook, Vermeer’s, 165; Weaver, “Red,” 421; Frassani, Building, 108. 5 Both cases have been partially published; this study is based on the original documents. Selections from the Yanhuitlán trial were first edited by Jiménez Moreno and Mateos Higuera in 1940 (El códice, 37–​47). A subsequent publication by Sepúlveda y Herrera (Procesos), although more extensive, has a number of transcription and dating errors, and does not indicate where various sections of the trial have been left out. Greenleaf summarized the investigation (Inquisition, 45–​47; Mexican, 76–​79), and Spores published selections translated into English (Mixtec, 228–​31). My initial work on the Yanhuitlán proceedings was aided by an unpublished transcript created by Richard E. Greenleaf (Richard E. Greenleaf Papers, MSS 769 BC, Center for Southwest Research, Zimmerman Library, University of New Mexico) as well as a microfilm of the original documents kindly shared with me by Bill Autry. In turn, excerpts from the Valencian investigation were published by Boronat y Barrachina in the first volume of his 1901 Los moriscos españoles y su expulsión (443–​69). Surprisingly, no in-​depth study of either investigation has been previously undertaken. Two books on Yanhuitlán in the first half of the sixteenth century focus on general social and historical contexts and precedents, devoting relatively few pages to the trial documents themselves (Sepúlveda y Herrera, Procesos, 76–​100; Pérez Ortiz, Tierra, 117–​ 32). Article-​length discussions include Piazza, “Los procesos,” on politics; and (identical) discussions of indigenous vocabulary by León Zavala, “Proceso,” and Cervantes Blengio, “Observaciones.” Book chapters by Terraciano (“People”) and Piazza (La conciencia, 43–​110) compare the Yanhuitlán investigation with a contemporary investigation in Coatlán. Statements from the Yanhuitlán investigations have also been quoted as evidence in more general studies of the sixteenth-​century Mixteca (Greenleaf Mexican, 76–​79; Jansen, Huisi; Dahlgren de Jordán, La Mixteca; Pohl, Politics; Pohl, “Archaeology”; Terraciano, Mixtecs; Jansen and Pérez Jiménez, Historia, 137–​62; Hermann Lejarazu, “Religiosidad,” 12–​14, 18; Tavárez, Invisible, 49–​51; Frassani, Building, 7–​8; Farriss, Tongues). Similarly, the investigation against don Sancho has often been referenced, briefly, in discussions of resistance by Valencian nobles to the forced conversion of their Morisco vassals (Haliczer, Inquisition, 228, 256; Monter, Frontiers, 131–​ 33; Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 219–​20; Ehlers, Between, 98, 116; Catlos, Muslims, 286, 295). 6 Latour:  “there is no pathway between the local and the global because there is no global. Instead we have geographies, planes, maps, and international geodesic years” (Pasteurization, 220). Bender: “the challenge is not that of writing a global history, but rather that of being ready to move out from the local, the particular, to find translocal, even global, contexts, connections, interactions, and interdependencies (“Forward,” xviii). On microhistory and macrohistory, see Taylor, “Between,” 121; Christian, “Scales,” 79; Ulrich, “Presidential,” 1.  Gruzinksi’s The Eagle and the Dragon provides a must-​read example of joining multisite microhistories into a macrohistorical early modern vision. 7 Armitage, “Three,” 16–​18. For commercial networks, see Hamilton, American; Chaunu and Chaunu, Séville; Mintz, Sweetness. For diasporic and migrant communities, see Altman, Emigrants; Altman, Transatlantic; Schwaller and Mathers, “Trans-​Atlantic”; Pescador, New. For scientific research, see Cañizares-​Esguerra, How; Parrish, American. For imperial rule, see Hampe Martínez, “Don”; Pagden, Lords; Elliott, “Empire.”


8 Introduction 8 Armitage, “Three,” 26. Ther cautions that historical comparisons of seemingly separate places may be possible because those places are actually linked, connected by shared histories, related institutions, and the movement of people between them (“Beyond,” 70–72). Subrahmanyam shows how “comparative histories,” which analytically presuppose separated case studies, may be less interesting than “connected histories,” which emphasize networks of interaction (“Connected”). See also Games: “nor is Atlantic history only about the literal points of contact (ports, traders, or migrants, for example), but rather about explaining transformations, experiences, and events in one place in terms of conditions deriving from that place’s location in a large, multifaceted, interconnected world” (“Atlantic,” 747). 9 In Spanish America, an encomendero was a European who had been granted rights to labor (an ecomienda—​both words derive from the verb encomendar, “to entrust”) from the inhabitants of an indigenous community or group of communities. On the relation of these New World encomiendas to their Old World counterparts, see Chapter 4 n. 81 and Graubart, “Learning,” 210–​11. 10 Ruiz Ibáñez and Sabatini, “Monarchy,” 507; Herzog, “Reconquista.” Previous discussions of reduction have focused on Native Americans in the New World (Cummins, “Forms”; Hanks, Converting). But reduction—​as we will see in the Conclusions—​had European targets as well, on both sides of the ocean (see also Herzog, “Indigenous”). 11 Fabian, Time; Armitage, “Three,” 23. 12 See also Herzog, “Indigenous.” Other critiques of the concept of “coloniality” in New World studies include Armitage, “Greater” and Warner, “What’s” (for British North America); and (for Spanish America) Klein, “Not” and above all Klor de Alva, “Colonialism” and “Postcolonization.” But where Klor de Alva’s criticisms are based on an internal history of the New World, this book’s critique of “coloniality” is premised on a parallel study of social transformations in both Spanish America and Europe. See also Greer and Mills, “Catholic,” 12, and Hamann, “Invention.” 13 Revisionist approaches to the separatist claims of nationalist histories in the early modern Atlantic include Herzog, Defining, 169–​200; Herzog, “Reconquista,” 47; Herzog, “Colonial,” 321. 14 See also Abu-​Lughod, “World-​System,” 92; Subrahmanyam, “Connected,” 742, 744; Mazlish, “Terms,” 28; Manning, “Methods,” 49; Christian “Scales,” 77–​78. For archivally grounded explorations of macroregional history, see Cañizares-​ Esguerra, How; Herzog, Defining; and Díaz Serrano, “El modelo.” 15 Subrahmanyam, “Connected,” 750. 16 Cooper, Colonialism: 6, 22. Historians since Karl Marx have argued for the role of extra-​European possessions in shaping Europe: Marx, Capital, 353, 413, 414, 925; Williams, Capitalism; Fanon, Wretched, 58; Wolf, Europe; Mintz, Sweetness; Comaroff and Comaroff, Ethnography, 293; Dietler, Archaeologies, 10. 17 The idea of “internal colonialism” has a disjunctive genealogy in social science theory. Although inneren Kolonisation seems to have emerged in German discourses about Poland in the 1880s (Weber, Verhältnisse; Koehl, “Colonialism”), and was used by Elias in 1939 (Über, 48), this concept did not enter wide circulation until the 1960s. It appears in two articles of a 1965 issue of Studies in Comparative International Development:  González Casanova’s “Internal Colonialism and National Development” and Stavenhagen’s “Classes, Colonialism, and Acculturation” (74). Subsequent uses include Thomas, “Colonialism”; Blauner,


Introduction 9 “Internal”; Hechter, Internal; Lovering, “Theory”; Hind, “Internal”; Cooper, Colonialism, 249 n. 48. For comparisons of British “colonizations” at home and abroad, see Hind, “We”; Comaroff and Comaroff, Ethnography, 265–​95. Braudel, in the decolonizing moment of 1949, seems to have been first to speak of relations between Christians and Muslims in sixteenth-​century Iberia in terms of colonialism (La Méditerranée, 581). Burns’ studies of medieval Valencia also discuss the thirteenth-​century Christian conquest as colonial, but instead of using internal colonization as a model, Burns is more interested in the idea of the frontier (Burns, Crusader, vii; Burns, Islam). On the role of colonization in Braudel and Burns, see Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, “Control,” 25–26. 18 “There is no Other, but multitudes of others who are all others for different reasons” (Trouillot, Global, 27; see also Cooper, Colonialism, 47; Subrahmanyan, “Connected,” 759; Herzog, Defining, 207). I. A. A. Thompson chronicles in detail Iberians’ views of their own internal otherness (“Castile”; for a particularly fine description of this see 133 n.  23). Perhaps the most eloquent sixteenth-​century commentator on intra-​European differences is Michel de Montaigne (Montaigne, Complete, 167, 437; see also Moseley, “Metamorphoses,” 8–​9; Durán, Historia, 69). Because the lands north of the Mediterranean were seen by contemporaries as so strange and so varied, it is difficult to sustain the idea that the Atlantic was viewed as an “absolute break” (Greenblatt, Marvelous, 55). 19 Pagden, Enlightenment. Europeans did describe “colonies” in the Americas, but all this meant was the presence of European settlements—​and in Spanish, at least, the use of the word colonia was rare until the eighteenth century (see Burkholder, “Spain’s”; Hamann, “Invention”). Elias (Civilizing) provides a careful history of how eighteenth-​century ideas about civilization emerged from earlier, and distinct, ideas of courtoisie and civilité; see also Fabian, Time; Mitchell, Colonising; Comaroff and Comaroff, Ethnography; Sahlins, “Two”; Chakrabarty Provincializing; Fasolt, Limits, 18–​20. It is sometimes claimed that José de Acosta’s discussion of writing systems in De Procuranda Indorum Salute already presented an evolutionary model of change in the sixteenth century (Pagden, Fall, 187–​90), but this is a misreading (Acosta, Obras, 391–​94; Hamann, “How Maya,” 34–​35). 20 Braudel, Civilization; Taylor, “Between,” 138–​39; Klor de Alva, “Postcolonization,” 267–​ 69; Goldstone, “Problem,” 261–​ 75; Bentley, “Early,” 22; see Latour (Pasteurization; “Drawing”; Pandora’s) on the qualitative transformations made possible by quantitative changes in scale. 21 A canonic list of anticolonial texts would include Mannoni, Prospero; Fanon, Black; Fanon, Wretched; Césaire, Discourse; and Memmi, Colonizer; key postcolonial and historical-​ethnographic studies include Sahlins, Historical; Sahlins, Islands; Guha, Elementary; Cohn, Colonialism; Comaroff and Comaroff, Of Revelation; Comaroff and Comaroff, Ethnography; Bhabha, Location; Subrahmanyam, “Connected”; Chakrabarty, Provincializing. 22 “… concepts, theories, and methods used to study colonialism in the second half of the twentieth century were inspired by or resulted from research into the colonial experiences of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. If so, is an error being committed when scholars apply tools and categories of analysis developed in the twentieth century for understanding British colonialism, especially in India and Africa, to make sense of the experiences of sixteenth-​to eighteenth-​century Latin America?” (Klor de Alva, “Postcolonization,” 263–​64). See also Cooper, Colonialism, 23 and 28, who contrasts “modern” empires of the nineteenth and


10 Introduction twentieth centuries—​grounded on ideals of an equal citizenry at home—​with the inescapable hierarchies of earlier “aristocratic empires.” 23 To quote Stuart Hall, critically quoted, in turn, by Frederick Cooper (Colonialism, 16). Treating the past five centuries as a homogenous era of Western colonialism is quite common:  Trouillot, Global; Stein, “Introduction,” 4, 11; Dietler, “Archaeology,” 36; but see Lightfoot, Indians; Gasco, Spanish; Cooper, Colonialism. 2 4 “One does not have to be colonized to suffer” (Klor de Alva, “Post­ colonization,” 270).


1  Ashes and silkworms

In the Rain Place A document stored in one of the cells of the former Lecumberri Prison (1900–​1976), now the General Archive of the Nation in Mexico City, tells the following story: In the middle of Lent in 1544—​sometime between Ash Wednesday on March 5 and Easter Sunday on April 13—​Francisco and Diego went out at night to collect silkworm cages. The two men were Native American officials (topiles) from the town of Etlatongo (Figure 1.1).1 Actually, “Etlatongo” was what Nahuatl-​speaking Aztecs from the north called the community. In their own language (Dzaha Dzavui, Rain Speech), Francisco and Diego referred to Etlatongo as Yucunduchi (Temple of Beans). Their town was one of many in the Ñuu Dzavui (Rain Place), and its inhabitants called themselves Ñudzavui (Rain People). But since Nahuatl-​speaking translators were employed by European migrants throughout New Spain, sixteenth-​ century documents generally refer to Etlatongo (Bean-​Patch Place in Nahuatl) and the Mixteca (Cloud People in Nahuatl). Because these are the terms in the documents I am describing, I use them here. The silkworms were being raised in the houses of Etlatongo’s common people, over whom Francisco and Diego served as constables (alguaziles). Silkworms had been introduced to New Spain by Europeans only a decade or so earlier, and quickly flourished in some areas, feasting on the leaves of native and imported mulberry trees. As a result, silk had become an important tribute item. To their surprise, in the darkness, Francisco and Diego encountered two trespassing nobles (prinçipales) from the rival town of Yanhuitlán, 15 kilometers to the northwest (Figure 1.2). These nobles, Sebastián and Juan, were attempting to capture and enslave six Etlatongo commoners, two women and four men. A fight broke out, and although two of the captives from Etlatongo were freed, Francisco and Diego were less fortunate.2 Their constabular staves of office were broken, and Francisco himself was taken prisoner. His captors—​Sebastián, Juan, and a group of Yanhuitlán commoners who accompanied their nobles on the raid—​brought Francisco as far as a


12  Ashes and silkworms

Figure 1.1 View of the Nochixtlán Valley, looking south from the summit of Hill of Flowers (Yucuita). From right to left are Blue Hill (Yucundaa), then Middle Hill (Yucumañu, the prominent ridge near the center of the photo), and then (near the horizon) the connected pair of mountains above Place of Sand (Añute or Jaltepec). The town of Temple of Beans (Yucunduchi or Etlatongo) is at the base of Middle Hill. Yanhuitlán (not visible) is beyond a range of hills to the right. Photo by the author, July 2007.

mill on the boundary of Yanhuitlán and Etlatongo. (The mill belonged to Francisco de las Casas, the European encomendero of Yanhuitlán. It was both a functional building and a symbol of las Casas’ lordship—​an issue to which we return in Chapter 4).3 At this point, reinforcements arrived from Etlatongo. Another fight broke out. Francisco was set free, and one of his captors, Juan, was taken prisoner. Juan was brought back to Etlatongo, and his feet were locked in a set of stocks for the night.4 Despite Juan’s capture, one account of the raid suggests that Yanhuitlán’s attack was not a total failure. Sebastián managed to escape, and either he or his accomplices returned to Yanhuitlán with two Etlatongo commoners as slaves.5 The next day, Gonzalo and Juan de las Casas—​European-​born sons of Yanhuitlán’s encomendero—​came to Etlatongo with an indigenous-​language translator. This man is not named; all that is said is that he was a meztizo, the child of a European and a Native American. Through his voice, the las


Figure 1.2 Sacred geography in the Nochixtlán Valley, looking from south to north. The place signs are from the Codex Nuttall and Codex Vienna, prehispanic screenfold books (see Chapter 2).


14  Ashes and silkworms Casas brothers complained to the people of Etlatongo, and managed to get Juan released from his stocks. The fate of the Etlatongo commoners taken to Yanhuitlán as slaves is not revealed. All we know is that ex-​slaves who once served in Yanhuitlán would have much to say against their former masters in the months to come.6 A few weeks later—​three days after Easter, on Wednesday April 16—​ Francisco of Etlatongo was caught once again in the social webs of silkworms. He discovered that commoners from Yanhuitlán were trespassing on Etlatongo’s lands. They were stealing mulberry leaves from the trees behind Francisco’s house. Those mulberry leaves, of course, were being collected to feed the ravenous silkworms being raised in Yanhuitlán.7 (Indeed, Gonzalo de las Casas—​who we just met—​would later claim that silkworms were introduced to the towns around Yanhuitlán by his mother, María de Águilar).8 Francisco yelled at the commoners, and they summoned Juan de las Casas (Gonzalo’s brother) from the neighboring town of Tecomatlán. Juan arrived on horseback and began to beat Francisco with a maize stalk, as well as with Francisco’s own staff of office.9 Francisco called for help, and Juan—​apparently thinking that Francisco had confiscated the mulberry leaves being stolen by Yanhuitlán commoners—​ordered his Ñudzavui servant to search Francisco’s house. The servant didn’t find any mulberry leaves, so took the opportunity to beat Francisco’s mother.10 When Francisco told the servant to stop, Juan began to yell in Castilian, resumed beating Francisco (now with the flat of his sword), and finally held out Francisco’s staff of office and cut it in two. (This was the second time Francisco’s staff had been broken in a month). Juan returned the fragments to Francisco. Not only was the staff fractured, but the cross at its top had been damaged as well.11 Francisco then began to yell at Juan, telling him that he would complain before Martín de la Mezquita, the European-​born regional authority (corregidor). Juan began beating Francisco once again, and finally grabbed the cross-​topped half of Francisco’s staff of office and threw it to the ground, saying that Francisco “was no constable, wasn’t anything.”12 Soon afterward, the Ñudzavui of Etlatongo filed a complaint against Yanhuitlán with the European authorities of New Spain. We can assume that Francisco, the roughed-​up constable, was a main author:  it is in this complaint that events described in the previous paragraphs are recorded. Etlatongo emerged victorious. Juan de las Casas was fined and forbidden to enter the community, and an arrest warrant was put out for Yanhuitlán nobles Sebastián and Juan. These two men, remember, had led the initial slave raid against Etlatongo in the middle of Lent in 1544.13 Four months after these conflicts took place—​around August 20, 1544—​ some of the Ñudzavui from Etlatongo accompanied Spanish regional authority Martín de la Mezquita to the palace of don Francisco, Yanhuitlán’s indigenous governor. Don Francisco was an elder kinsman (either father or uncle) of the arrest-​warranted Sebastián, and Sebastián was thought to


Ashes and silkworms 15 be hiding in don Francisco’s palace. Sebastián was indeed found inside the palace. But something else was found as well: signs of idolatry. From a small dark room, bloodied offerings and a feather cape were produced by our friend Diego of Etlatongo. (Diego, remember, was one of the constables whose staff of office had been broken by Sebastián and Juan during their Lenten slave-​ raid).14 Diego would later testify proudly about his role: this witness went to the house of the said don Francisco with Martín de la Mezquita and a notary, by command of the lord viceroy, to arrest the son of the said don Francisco, and this witness within a chamber in the said house found feathers and sacrificed puppies and paper and incense and a great deal of blood on some stones of the devil, and this witness collected them in his cape, and he did this while the said don Francisco resisted the entry of the said Martín de la Mezquita, and taking what he could of the said sacrifices this witness threw them on the ground before the said don Francisco …15 The attack on Diego back in the spring raises a key question: did he truly discover this bloody evidence, or did he plant it? Whatever the case, Diego led European officials to an important chamber within don Francisco’s palace. It was filled with objects that could not have been placed there by Diego: “more than a hundred ceramic dishes, covered by putting one on top of another, as in a meal.”16 Evidence of idolatry had been found in Yanhuitlán before. In the late 1530s, a Dominican friar encountered a similar assemblage of food, supposed sacrifices, and featherwork in the palace of Yanhuitlán’s indigenous ruler, don Domingo. But this earlier discovery did not trigger an inquisitorial investigation (see Chapter 3). The 1544 raid on don Francisco’s palace did not trigger an investigation either—​at least not at first. Diego of Etlatongo revealed signs of idolatry in the middle of August, but an inquisitorial investigation against don Francisco (and two other nobles from Yanhuitlán) did not begin until mid-​October. Something else happened in this region of the Rain Place in late summer or early fall 1544:  a shouting match between two powerful Europeans. This is how Toledo-​born Juan Alonso remembered the incident: it could have been a year ago, more or less, that when in the town of Jaltepec this witness saw the said Baccalaureate Maraver exchange angry words with the said Francisco de las Casas, and they came to use foul language and to become enraged, and the said Baccalaureate Maraver left infuriated from the house where he had been, shaking his fist and threatening that he swore to God that “it would have to be done,” and this witness does not remember exactly what other words were said, other than that they remained on bad terms and each much enraged with the other (testimony October 17, 1545).17


16  Ashes and silkworms We have already met Francisco de las Casas, European encomendero of Yanhuitlán: we visited his mill, and learned of his sons Gonzalo and Juan. Pedro Gómez de Maraver was dean of the Cathedral of Antequera (today’s Oaxaca City), and Jaltepec was a town at the southern end of the valley where Yanhuitlán was located (Figure 1.2). Yanhuitlán and Jaltepec spent much of the sixteenth century in litigation over control of a smaller town, Zahuatlán, and so perhaps this is what brought Francisco de las Casas to Jaltepec that particular day in 1544.18 Whatever the reason, his fight with Maraver became famous. Although Juan Alonso could not remember any details of what the two men said (other than Maraver’s threat that “it would have to be done”), Úbeda-​born Juan de Molina had this to say: this witness has heard the Baccalaureate Maraver say many times that although it may cost him all that he has, he must do everything possible against the said Francisco de las Casas, because he was a son of a bitch and that all of his Indians were idolaters, and he has performed more idolatries than they, and was no more a Christian than his horse (testimony October 31, 1545).19 These testimonies by Juan Alonso and Juan de Molina respond to a questionnaire prepared for the defense of the accused Yanhuitlán nobles in July 1545—​almost a year after the raid on don Francisco’s palace. The tenth item of this questionnaire (created by a court-​appointed lawyer in collaboration with Yanhuitlán governor don Francisco and ruler don Domingo) stated flatly that a year ago, more or less, the said Baccalaureate Maraver exchanged angry words with Francisco de las Casas (in whom is entrusted the town of Yanhuitlán), and because the said Francisco de las Casas disputed what the said Baccalaureate Maraver said—​that these Indians were idolaters—​ in order to make it true, and to cause harm and damage to the said Francisco de las Casas, he [Maraver] made the said denunciation and arranged that the [inquisitorial] investigation begin, which he conducted while consumed with passion …20 Since the twelfth century, Catholic bishops had the power to conduct inquisitorial investigations in their dioceses. Bishops were twice a year to visit parishes where heresy was suspected.21 As dean of the Cathedral of Antequera, and thus the bishop of Antequera’s representative, Maraver used his authority to begin legal proceedings against three Ñudzavui nobles from Yanhuitlán: governor don Francisco (whose palace was raided in 1544), governor don Juan, and the town’s ruler (cacique) don Domingo. By attacking them, Maraver attacked las Casas indirectly, and attempted to cast doubt on the sincerity of the European-​born encomendero’s own Catholicism.


Ashes and silkworms 17 The subsequent investigation against don Francisco, don Juan, and don Domingo would last three years, from fall 1544 to spring 1547. It generated a massive file of evidence: some 448 pages of testimony and commentary. As we have already seen, these documents present a complicated world of alliances and enmities. Conflicts within Native American communities led to alliances between Native Americans and Europeans, and relations among Europeans were themselves filled with discord. Native Americans and Europeans alike were accused of being idolaters, and European Christians hurled crosses to the ground. The American side of the following chapters is focused on these documents, and what they reveal. At the same time, across the ocean, another investigation was underway—​ one with striking parallels to the social world of New Spain. As in Oaxaca, this investigation generated over four hundred pages of documentation. And much as Lenten slave raids in 1544 were catalysts for the Yanhuitlán proceedings, other events during the forty days after Ash Wednesday 1544 had unintended inquisitorial consequences for the seaside kingdom of Valencia.

By the shores of the Mediterranean A document stored at the National Historic Archive in Madrid—​built in the 1950s using a retro-​Renaissance style favored by then-​dictator Francisco “Paco Rana” Franco—​tells the following story: Sometime during Holy Week 1544—​between Palm Sunday on April 6 and Easter Sunday on April 13—​Franciscan Friar Bartolomé de los Ángeles arrived in the Valencian town of Gorga (Figure  1.3). This town—​and its Morisco inhabitants—​were subject to don Sancho de Cardona, admiral of Aragón.22 Friar Bartolomé was in Gorga as part of a rural missionary campaign, targeting communities officially converted from Islam to Catholicism in the 1520s. He carried letters granting him permission to preach and baptize from Charles V (king of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor), Lord Joan de Gais (vicar general of the Archbishopric of Valencia), and don Antonio Ramírez de Haro (bishop of Segovia and newly-​appointed Commissary for the Instruction and Reformation of the Moriscos).23 This mission was highly regulated and circumscribed. In a February meeting, before Friar Bartolomé set out, Bishop Ramírez de Haro presented him with list of places he was allowed to visit, and told him to report back to Valencia after twenty days. Friar Bartolomé immediately negotiated the time limit up to thirty days, subsequently told his servant that the limit was in fact forty days (the forty days of Lent), and finally, when Easter passed, ignored timetables altogether, saying that “there was no need to place limits on works as holy as the ones he had undertaken.”24 Bartolomé de los Ángeles, his servant Joan de Miranda, and priest Alonso Sauco began their ever-​lengthening mission in the coastal town of Vergel on March 4, 1544. This was Fat Tuesday, the last day before Lent.25 Over a month later they entered Gorga.


18  Ashes and silkworms

Figure 1.3 View of the Valley of Seta, looking north-​northwest. Penáguila is in the foreground. Beyond, from left to right are Benilloba, Cocentaina, distant Muro de Alcoy (almost directly behind Penáguila), and then (in the shadow of the rounded mountain on the right) Millena and Gorga. Photo by the author, August 2006.

There they spoke with don Rodrigo de Beamonte, estate overseer (procurador general) for don Sancho de Cardona. They explained that they had come to baptize the children of Morisco vassals living on the admiral’s lands. Rodrigo de Beamonte instructed his son, don Pedro de Beamonte, to bring the group to Millena, the next town to the northwest.26 Word of Friar Bartolomé’s plans preceded him. When the group arrived in Millena, the Moriscos there were in an uproar, and told the friar that they demanded intercession by Valencia’s inquisitors (who had been forbidden to investigate Morisco cases the year before) and by don Sancho de Cardona himself.27 Friar Bartolomé displayed his royal and ecclesiastical licenses to preach and baptize, but to no avail. The inhabitants of Millena still called for the admiral’s intervention. The friar then sent one of his companions, priest Alonso Sauco, back to Valencia to tell Bishop Ramírez de Haro what happened in Millena, and the role of the admiral in it.28 Friar Bartolomé and his servant headed northeast to leave the Valley of Seta (where Gorga, Millena, and other towns subject to the admiral were located). In, or just outside, the town of Muro, Friar Bartolomé and his entourage were contacted by another employee of don Sancho de Cardona:  Miguel Fenollar. Bartolomé thought Fenollar had come to help him with baptisms, but this was far from the case. Fenollar told the Franciscan that he could never return, as he had planned, to the Valley of Seta—​not to baptize, not to preach, not even to enter. Fenollar explained by saying that if Friar Bartolomé were to baptize Moriscos there, they would leave Iberia for North Africa. As a result, don Sancho de Cardona would lose some of his lordly income,


Ashes and silkworms 19 and Emperor Charles V would lose the fifty knights and additional foot soldiers that don Sancho supported for royal use. Friar Bartolomé replied by saying the Moriscos would have to be baptized, even if the world should be flooded as a result.29 But despite this apocalyptic threat, the Franciscan and his companions (Alonso Sauco had at this point returned from Valencia) retreated from the admiral’s lands. At Miguel Fenollar’s suggestion, they headed southeast, to Polop and other towns near the Mediterranean coast.30 After a supposedly successful maritime missionary campaign, Bartolomé de los Ángeles and his companions returned to the Valley of Seta. There they again met Miguel Fenollar. He informed them that, in their absence, local Moriscos had been baptized. Friar Bartolomé demanded to see the baptismal register, and claimed to discover some 180 souls still in need of the sacrament. Fenollar then relented, and allowed the missionaries to preach and baptize in the Valley of Seta. Perhaps Fenollar gave in because, having claimed some Moriscos had already been baptized, he could no longer offer excuses against baptizing more. Or perhaps he gave in because after turning Friar Bartolomé away the first time, he collected twenty-​eight hundred ducats from the Moriscos in the valley’s towns, claiming this in payment for expelling the Franciscan. Money in hand, Fenollar had no incentive for turning Friar Bartolomé away a second time.31 In Millena, the Franciscan preached his first local sermon, triumphing over the past prohibitions of Miguel Fenollar. The friar claimed to fear no one except God, and said he would disobey even the emperor to preach.32 Bartolomé de los Ángeles and his companions slept that night in the Valley of Seta, which prompted don Pedro de Beamonte (son of the estate overseer) to say that where the devil once slept, now there was now an angel: the angel being Bartolomé de los Ángeles, the devil being Miguel Fenollar.33 Although Fenollar appears as the most active villain in these events (as they were remembered and retold a few months later by Friar Bartolomé), he was not alone in his tolerance of Muslim practices. Also guilty—​in Friar Bartolomé’s telling, anyway—​was their noble lord, don Sancho de Cardona. In his July 1544 deposition before the inquisitors of Valencia, the Franciscan denounced don Sancho de Cardona as a “bad admiral” (mal almirante).34 This was not the first time that don Sancho had come to the attention of Valencia’s inquisitors. They had been watching his activities, and keeping a list of testimonies against him, since 1540. But what first brought the admiral under the inquisitorial gaze was not his apparently lenient treatment of Moriscos in rural towns south of the capital city. Instead, inquisitors began keeping files on don Sancho because he had critiqued inquisitorial treatment of suspected Jews living within the city of Valencia itself. Valencian silk dyer Luis Manrresa—​ and his wife Leonor Bonvina—​ had in the late 1530s been tried twice by the Inquisition as relapsed Jews (“Conversos” or “Judaizers”). They were found guilty both times but were pardoned (“reconciled”) after appearing in Autos de Fe on January 17, 1538, and June 22, 1539. On both occasions, their belongings and houses were


20  Ashes and silkworms confiscated.35 Exactly why Luis and Leonor were investigated for first time, and reconciled in 1538, is unclear. In contrast, their appearance in the Auto de Fe of 1539 is less of a mystery. Starting in the fall of 1536, newly-​appointed Valencian Inquisitor Juan González de Munebrega began to collect what he saw as evidence of massive apostasy by Jewish converts with ties to towns just south of the city of Valencia. Rumors stretched two decades back in time. During the plague year of 1519, Converso families fled the capital for Gandía and Simat. There, supposedly, they participated in the fasts and feasts of Yom Kippur. Lurid tales described crucifix-​whippings as well.36 Although some of the Yom Kippur celebrants were only six years old at the time, Munebrega tracked them down and put them in prison. Included in those arrested were Luis Manrresa and Leonor Bonvina, who had married in 1518.37 Munebrega’s subsequent investigation violated basic legal procedures.38 Victims were kept in jail for years without hearing the accusations against them. They were subjected to verbal abuse. They were tortured beyond the limits of the law.39 Given this situation, prisoners began made up accusations, and advised one another on what to confess in order to be “reconciled.” Several witnesses claimed that siblings Elinor Blanch and Benet Tristán coordinated their false testimonies through a hole in the wall separating their cells.40 According to Brianda Bonvehina (who confessed to crucifix-​whipping in January 1538), “a female prisoner advised her and another prisoner on what had to be said: that they had participated in a Jewish fast, had whipped a crucifix, and participated in other fasts in Gandía; and that they should accuse as many people as they could think of, in order to escape imprisonment and torture.”41 If Luis Manrresa received such advice—​that he should accuse as many people as he could think of—​he certainly took it to heart. In an index of (recanted) accusations made by twenty-​one “Judaizers,” Manrresa is linked to the names of 130 different people. Only one other person in this document is linked to more: Enrique Ruiz made 146 accusations. (Leonor Bonvina was more restrained: she accused only twenty-​seven other people.42) But however exaggerated these confessions, they had the desired effect: Luis Manrresa and Leonor Bonvina (and many others) were reconciled with the Church (and allowed to live) in Valencia’s Auto de Fe on June 22, 1539.43 Yet many of those who “confessed” were haunted by what they had said. Dozens of those reconciled in 1539 returned to the offices of the Inquisition to retract their statements, starting in April 1540.44 Such retractions seem partially motivated by sincerely Christian concerns: false testimony put Catholic souls in peril.45 But in addition, these retractions were made in a context of high social pressure. Those who had already recanted their confessions wanted others to do the same. Before Luis Manrresa finally returned to the inquisitors, he was berated by his neighbor Aldonca Gacent, who told him that “although I am young and I am pregnant, I am not afraid to tell the truth.”46 These mass retractions (although supposedly conducted, like all inquisitorial matters, in total secrecy), did not go unnoticed. The Supreme Council of the Inquisition in Madrid sent their own officials to investigate what was


Ashes and silkworms 21 going on.47 The sheer number of retractees meant that Valencia’s inquisitors had to expand their jail, taking over houses that belonged to Holy Office officials and building a street-​crossing covered bridge so that prisoners could be moved from external cells to the main inquisitorial building (Figure 1.4).48 The bridge was controversial, and was critiqued in a meeting of the Syndicate of Valencia in 1540.49 According to Archdeacon Miguel de Miedes, someone said “pray to God that they [the inquisitors] do not put us in the prisons that

Figure 1.4 The city of Valencia in 1608, highlighting locations featured in the investigation against don Sancho de Cardona. North is at the bottom, where the River Turia runs around the city. Antonio Mancelli, Nobilis ac Regia Civitas Valentie in Hispania (1608). Ink on paper, 49.8 × 75.8 cm. Ayuntamiento de Valencia, Archivo Histórico, Valencia.


22  Ashes and silkworms they have now made.” In response, don Sancho de Cardona raged “well it would be as if you imprisoned yourselves, because you have allowed them to make that bridge in the middle of Valencia, against all customary law.”50 Don Sancho was not alone in his displeasure at the revocations scandal. The inquisitors themselves admitted that these events were “outraging the townspeople against the Holy Office.”51 Secular and ecclesiastical authorities in Valencia began to investigate Munebrega’s actions on their own.52 They began to seek out, and question, those who had been charged by Munebrega. This, it should be stressed, was a move that attacked one of the basic premises of inquisitorial procedure. Inquisitorial investigations were to be conducted in total secrecy; testimonies made before inquisitors were not to be repeated elsewhere under pain of excommunication (plus a hefty fine). And so it was that early in August 1540, ten to twelve days before Leonor Bonvina and Luis Manrresa retracted their confessions before the inquisitors, that the couple was contacted by a representative of don Sancho de Cardona.53 Leonor and Luis once lived in the same neighborhood as the admiral, in the parish of Saint Stephen.54 After they appeared in the Auto de Fe of 1538, their names would have been posted on coats of shame (sanbenitos) within the parish church—​ a building just down the street from don Sancho’s palace (see Figure  1.4). Perhaps this is why don Sancho sought out the pair in 1540: they were already acquainted. Leonor was contacted first. Late one night (as Leonor and Luis were preparing for bed), don Sancho’s brother don Juan de Cardona came to the building where the couple lived. Don Juan spoke to their neighbor (the widow Beatriz Ginera) at the door, and then called out to Leonor. She responded from a window, saying that she was already naked and ready for bed, but nevertheless got dressed, came out to see don Juan, and at his urging “told him everything that had happened here in this Holy Office.”55 When don Juan returned the next night, Luis was out. The admiral’s brother left a servant to wait for him, and when Luis did finally return (at ten or eleven at night) he went with the servant to the Cardona palace. Luis was brought to the admiral’s study, which (given the standard layout of Valencian noble houses) would have been just inside the main entryway.56 Luis found don Sancho seated on a chair (Luis was offered another one) and don Juan on a field cot. Don Sancho spoke: “We have sent for you so that you will tell us the truth about what has happened in your dealings with the Office of the Holy Inquisition.” Luis was reticent at first, claiming that “lords, you are pressing me about something that I will not tell to anyone in this world, so pass me by.” But the admiral and his brother responded “Manrresa, don’t be afraid to tell the truth, for not a hair of harm will come to you, because we are certain that the Lord Inquisitor Juan González [Munebrega] will be pleased to know the truth.”57 Apparently convinced, Manrresa told the brothers of how he had been pressured into agreeing with Munebrega’s accusations. This was the first of four meetings that Luis (subsequently accompanied by Leonor) would have


Ashes and silkworms 23 with don Sancho and his brother and, later, with don Antonio Ramírez de Haro, bishop of Ciudad Real. (Shortly after these events, don Antonio was appointed bishop of Segovia and Commissary for the Instruction and Reformation of the Moriscos: it was he who sent Bartolomé de los Ángeles on his Lenten mission of 1544). Sometimes this group met in the Cardona palace, and sometimes in the house of Ramírez de Haro.58 Ten to twelve days after his initial meeting, Luis Manrresa returned to the Palace of the Inquisition and retracted his testimony. He was then imprisoned. Presumably Leonor did the same, and met the same fate. The interventions of don Sancho and don Juan and don Antonio were not limited to nocturnal meetings with accused and reconciled “Jews.” A number of important ecclesiastics (probably including don Antonio) cosigned a letter of complaint about Munebrega, which they sent to Juan Pardo de Tavera, the Inquisitor General in Madrid.59 Don Sancho and don Juan wrote a damaging letter on Munebrega’s legal incompetence to Valencian Archbishop Juan de Austria—​a letter don Juan strategically delivered on a day the archbishop was meeting with Munebrega.60 Don Sancho also complained before secular authorities within the city of Valencia. We saw earlier how he denounced the expanded inquisitorial prison. Another accusation claimed that he appeared before the City Council of Valencia in 1540 and declared Munebrega his enemy, denouncing his “unjust, improper, and forced confessions.”61 This social maelstrom of 1540 was the starting point for the Inquisition’s interest in the admiral of Aragón. The catalyst for investigating don Sancho thus had much in common with the catalyst for investigating the three nobles from Yanhuitlán. In both 1540 and 1544, personal conflicts between a secular figure of authority and a sacred figure of authority (don Sancho against Inquisitor Munebrega, Francisco de las Casas against Dean Maraver) triggered inquisitorial investigations into religious crimes. However, the inquisitors of Valencia were hesitant from the start. On August 18, 1540—​four days after Luis Manrresa’s initial testimonies—​a letter about Luis, don Sancho, and don Juan was sent to the Supreme Council of the Inquisition in Madrid. On September 9, the Supreme Council wrote back. What they had to say is very interesting: Reverend Sirs:  We received your letter of the eighteenth of the past month and we saw the deposition of Manrresa, and in regards to that which has come to light against the admiral and his brother don Juan de Cardona, it seems that although one could justly begin certain legal actions against them, nevertheless if one were to proceed against them, this would further justify the complaints of those [accused of Judaism] who have revoked their testimonies, who would say that we not only proceed against them but also against knights and important people, and the Office [of the Inquisition] would have more enemies and adversaries. Thus for these reasons and for others which could be given, one must desist, for now, from proceeding against them [the admiral and his brother] without


24  Ashes and silkworms first discovering and knowing what will happen against those who have revoked their testimonies, the others who are guilty, and what punishment could be brought to bear on that which concerns the admiral and his brother.62 No less than two copies of this letter survive, one in don Sancho’s inquisitorial file and another in the books of correspondence kept by the Supreme Council in Madrid.63 The Supreme Council had already experienced conflicts with secular powers in other parts of Iberia, and its position in Valencia (in terms of both finances and local prestige) was tenuous.64 So rather than attack a prominent local figure, the inquisitors chose to wait. When additional testimonies against don Sancho were collected later that fall, the Supreme Council sent another letter to the inquisitors in Valencia, telling them that “We saw the deposition of don Fernando de Yxar and of Archdeacon Miedes concerning that which took place in the City Council of the Estates and the consequences for the admiral, and it will be well that this and what Manrresa says are gathered together and guarded until the proper time, as the saying goes.”65 The proper time had not come in 1542, when the first Morisco-​related accusations against don Sancho were made by Michael Çaragoça (priest at a rectory adjacent to some of the admiral’s lands).66 Nor had the proper time come in 1544, when (as we have already seen) Bartolomé de los Ángeles and his servant Joan de Miranda offered additional Morisco-​related accusations. Nor had it come in December 1558, when—​after a fourteen-​year lull—​another testimony was added to the admiral’s file of accusations (información).67 Nor had it come in 1563 and 1564, when the demolition of the Mosque of Revelation on Ash Wednesday 1563—​a mosque the admiral authorized his Muslim subjects to rebuild in 1550—​prompted testimonies by five interconnected witnesses.68 Additional testimonies in 1565, 1566, and 1567 still did not move the Supreme Council. In late May 1568, Morisco unrest throughout Iberia (an aborted revolt in Granada, a protest in Valencia) prompted the collection of four more testimonies, and led Valencia’s inquisitors to again request Madrid for permission to prosecute the admiral. But yet again, Madrid told Valencia to wait. In the end, it was only after a violent uprising by the Muslims of Granada on Christmas Eve 1568 that the Supreme Council agreed to the admiral’s prosecution. A letter of authorization was sent to Valencia’s inquisitors in January 1569. This was nearly thirty years after don Sancho’s name had first entered the inquisitorial archive.69 Tragically, the story that started it all, that of Leonor and Luis, is much shorter. Most of the accused Conversos who retracted their confessions in 1540 appeared in an Auto de Fe on Sunday December 30, 1543.70 Many of the sentences announced during this ritual appear to have been lenient. At least one intended death sentence, that of Brianda Bonvehina, was commuted to life imprisonment at the insistence of the bishop of Palencia and other authorities—​and even this milder sentence was eventually revoked. Indeed, at least eight of the “perpetual imprisonment” terms handed out on December


Ashes and silkworms 25 30 were commuted two years later.71 But for some reason such leniency was not extended to Leonor and Luis. Both were condemned to death. And so at the end of the 1543 Auto de Fe, this couple—​and any others “relaxed” by the Inquisition for execution—​would have been taken outside the city gates and down into the often-​dry bed of the River Turia (see Figure 1.4). There they were tied to stakes by secular authorities. If they confessed to the accusations made against them, they were then strangled.72 Fires were lit beneath them, and dead or alive their bodies reduced to ashes by the flames. These are the events which triggered simultaneous inquisitorial investigations in Oaxaca and Valencia. Since the pages to come will constantly move back and forth across the Atlantic, bringing themes from both cases together, the rest of this chapter concerns basic issues of comparison: first the history of comparative Muslim-​Native American scholarship, and then the challenges of creating transoceanic dialogues between the cases in Valencia and Oaxaca.

Traditions of comparison Drawing parallels between Muslims and Native Americans (and the relations of each with Catholic Old Christians) dates back to the fifteenth century. Friar Ramón Pané, who traveled with Columbus to the Caribbean in 1493, likened Taíno songs to Muslim scriptures. In the 1520s, Hernán Cortés applied the term mesquita, “mosque,” to the temples he encountered in Mesoamerica. Later New World visitors would make the same architectural analogies.73 Other writers—​from Francisco de Vitoria in the 1530s to the bishop of Orihuela in the 1590s—​focused on lifeways and histories: Native Americans were like Muslims because both had been conquered and missionized by Iberian Catholics. A number of these sixteenth-​century comparisons will provide introductions for the chapters to come. In at least one instance, Muslim-​Native American comparison took visual form. In 1500, Sevillian printer Stanislao Polono published The Improbation of the Qurʾān, an anti-​Muslim rant by Dominican missionary Riccoldo da Monte di Croce.74 Polono’s edition of the medieval polemic (written in late thirteenth-​century Baghdad) included a title page woodcut showing Riccoldo preaching to a group of turbaned, sword-​bearing, sandal-​wearing Muslims (Figure  1.5).75 Decades later, the woodcut block crossed the Atlantic and arrived in Mexico City. There it was reused to illustrate two sections of Pedro de Feria’s 1567 Christian Doctrine in Castilian and Zapotec (Figure  1.6). A bilingual overview of Christian doctrine, this book was directed at Oaxaca’s Zapotecs, who lived just southeast of Yanhuitlán and the Nochixtlán Valley.76 Feria, like Riccoldo, was a Dominican missionary, and so this recycled image points to the material and conceptual connections linking the conversion of Muslims to the conversion of Native Americans. Shifting from early modern witnesses to later historians, nineteenth-​ century scholars such as Lucas Alamán and Matías Gómez Zamorano offered


Figure 1.5 Woodcut of Dominican missionary Riccoldo da Monte di Croce preaching to Muslims. Title page of Riccoldo da Monte di Croce, Improbatio Alcorani (Seville, 1500). Courtesy of The Hispanic Society of America, New York.


Figure 1.6 Woodcut of Dominican missionary Riccoldo da Monte di Croce preach­ ing to Muslims, as repurposed in New Spain. Folio 19r of Pedro de Feria, Doctrina Christiana en lengua Castellana y çapoteca (Mexico City, 1567). This page is in a section on the fourteen articles of faith. The woodcut appears a second time on folio 58v, in a section on the Ten Commandments. Courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.


28  Ashes and silkworms brief comments on the transoceanic comparison of Muslims and Native Americans.77 But it was not until the 1920s and 1930s that Pedro Leturia and Robert Ricard outlined proposals for a sustained comparative history of “Indians and Moriscos.”78 Several scholars have taken up this comparative challenge since the 1970s:  Charles Gibson, Antonio Garrido Aranda, Mercedes García-​Arenal, William Mejías-​López, Angel A.  Amy Moreno, Luis Resines, Youssef El Alaoui, Max Harris, Barbara Fuchs, and Karen Graubart.79 Previous studies, however, have privileged the Muslims of Granada as a basis for New World comparisons, and have focused on either institutional histories (formal strategies of missionization, laws enacted to govern non-​ Christians) or artistic representations (dances, works of literature).80 In contrast, these pages build up a comparison of Muslims and Native Americans from archival documents, and connect those changing worlds to the simultaneous reordering of Old Christian ways of life. These pages also focus on Muslim experiences in Valencia instead of Granada. This is because the forced conversion of Valencia’s Muslims did not begin until the 1520s—​that is, at the same time as the start of Catholic missionary campaigns in New Spain. In other words, when Hernán Cortés described the “mosques” of Tenochtitlán in 1521, actual mosques still existed as active places for Muslim worship in Valencia. The enforcement of Catholic lifeways in both New Spain and Valencia began a few years later. These were synchronous, symmetrical transformations.

Transoceanic symmetries In August 1521, the Aztec capital of Mexico-​Tenochtitlán was conquered by Hernán Cortés, his European soldiers, and their indigenous allies. Some of these troops passed through the lands around Yanhuitlán the same year, but only in 1528 did Dominican missionaries arrive to perform the first baptisms.81 On the other side of the Atlantic, Christians and Muslims had lived together in Valencia for centuries, where Islam remained legal even after the Christian conquest of 1238.82 However, in 1518 a civil war broke out in which middle-​ class city-​dwellers—​especially the members of guilds, or germanías—​fought Valencia's landed aristocracy. During the summer of 1521, the agermanados began to forcibly baptize Muslims living on noble estates. In part, this was an attempt to destabilize feudal social relations. But it was also fueled by apocalyptic dreams: global religious unification would trigger the Last Judgment.83 The agermanados were soon defeated, but the legacies of their rebellion troubled Valencia for nearly a century. The legality of the forced baptisms was disputed from the start. To resolve these doubts, late in 1525 Emperor Charles V issued a proclamation declaring the baptisms valid. As a result, all of Valencia’s Muslims were henceforth to live as Christians.84 On both sides of the Atlantic, the summer of 1521 marked the start of religious conversions and cultural transformations. When our parallel


Ashes and silkworms 29 investigations began in the 1540s, both took place in worlds whose religious landscapes had been profoundly altered only two decades before.

Transoceanic asymmetries There are of course differences which separate the investigations from Valencia and Oaxaca—​but in the end these differences are superficial. Four are particularly revealing: targets, triggers, pacing, and institutionality. First, the targets. In the case from New Spain, the people on trial for being malos cristianos were three indigenous nobles, recent Christian converts nevertheless said to continue “their rites and ceremonies of the devil.” But these men were not the only “bad Christians” to appear in the testimonies gathered against them. As we saw earlier, the European-​born encomendero of Yanhuitlán, Francisco de las Casas, was accused of having “performed more idolatries” than the accused indigenous nobles, and of being “no more a Christian than his horse.” Technically speaking, Francisco de las Casas was not being investigated by inquisitors. Yet his suspect Christianity was frequently proclaimed. The investigation from Valencia presents a mirror-​image of the investigation from Yanhuitlán. There, a European-​born Catholic lord, don Sancho de Cardona, was being investigated as “a very bad Christian.” But one of the main reasons don Sancho was under scrutiny was because in the towns over which he ruled, many of his supposedly Christian subjects “have returned to living openly as Muslims.” Don Sancho’s toleration of Islam was used by inquisitors as evidence that the admiral himself was a “bad Christian.” If in New Spain Francisco de las Casas was accused of being an idolater, in Valencia hostile witnesses claimed that don Sancho and other Catholic lords were themselves in need of Christian conversion. “The duke of Segorbe and the admiral and the other lords and barons,” testified one man in 1567, “want and consent that they [their vassals] should be Muslims, and thus it is most necessary that the lords and barons should be converted first.”85 The cases from New Spain and Valencia present us with similar social situations, in which the Christianity of both recent converts and life-​long Catholics was being interrogated. But these parallel worlds were being interrogated from two different perspectives. In New Spain, indigenous nobles were on trial, and the bad Christianity of their Catholic encomendero appears incidentally. In Valencia, a Catholic noble was on trial, and the bad Christianity of his Muslim subjects appear incidentally. This leads to triggers. Evidence of idolatry had been found in Yanhuitlán in the late 1530s, but it did not prompt an investigation. When an investigation did begin in the mid-​1540s, it was not because three indigenous nobles were continuing their traditional religious practices. The investigation began because an arrest prompted by indigenous conflicts over silk production provided an excuse for the escalation of a dispute between two Europeans:  the dean of the Cathedral of Antequera (Baccalaureate Maraver) and the encomendero of


30  Ashes and silkworms Yanhuitlán (Francisco de las Casas). Dean Maraver could have ignored the indigenous nobility of Yanhuitlán, and instead brought charges of idolatry against Francisco de las Casas himself: “he has performed more idolatries than they, and was no more a Christian than his horse.” Inquisitors in Mexico City had already tried one European for encouraging Native American idolatries in 1527, and in 1540 began to gather evidence against a second European idolater.86 In other words, the fact that the Yanhuitlán case is focused on indigenous nobles—​and not on a European encomendero—​is accidental, not inevitable. Dean Maraver’s hatred of Francisco de las Casas could have taken a very different legal form. Or it might never have produced a paper trail at all. Similarly, the Valencian investigation against don Sancho de Cardona did not begin because he was lenient toward his Muslim vassals. It began because he was one of a number of nobles who challenged the Inquisition’s attacks on supposed Jews. But because don Sancho was such a powerful figure, inquisitors spent decades collecting evidence against him. Were it not for a Muslim uprising in Granada in December 1568, don Sancho de Cardona might never have been brought to trial. In addition, a number of testimonies used against don Sancho were originally gathered for investigations against Valencian Moriscos. The investigation against the admiral was caught up in a broader anti-​Islamic campaign. In turn, several of those Morisco cases developed because of tensions within Valencia’s convert community:  slaves accusing their masters, fervent new Christians accusing Muslim traditionalists.87 This brings us to pacing. Both investigations started in the early 1540s—​ Valencia in 1540, Yanhuitlán in 1544. But the Yanhuitlán proceedings lasted less than three years, beginning in mid-​October 1544 and breaking off in mid-​ February 1547. The reasons for this abrupt end are unclear, but there were a number of contributing factors (see Epilogue). In contrast, the Valencian investigation developed much more slowly, and was not brought to its conclusion until 1569. Thus although these two cases began at roughly the same time, they ended some twenty years apart. But as we saw earlier, the reason for this delay was not because there was a lack of initial evidence against don Sancho. Instead, the delay was caused by social factors: don Sancho’s status. When he was finally brought to trial in 1569, it was not because damning new information had come to light—​it was because of a Muslim revolt in a different Iberian kingdom. The different rhythms of these two cases, then, are due to factors that are external and incidental, not intrinsic. A final point of contrast is the institutional context in which the two proceedings took place. The investigation against don Sancho was conducted by a number of officials from the Holy Office of the Inquisition, which began to operate in Valencia in 1484. The Yanhuitlán case was more complex, because the Holy Office was not officially established in New Spain until 1571 (and when it was, it did not have jurisdiction over Native Americans). Initial queries were made by Pedro Gómez de Maraver, cathedral dean of Antequera (some seventy-​five kilometers southeast of Yanhuitlán). Maraver (as visitador


Ashes and silkworms 31 general) was exercising the power possessed by all Catholic bishops to conduct religious investigations (inquisitios) in their dioceses.88 However, after collecting initial testimonies, Maraver turned the case over to Francisco Tello de Sandoval. Tello, based in Mexico City, was New Spain’s apostolic inquisitor: a one-​ person representative of Iberia’s Holy Office. He came to the New World in the spring of 1544, and stayed for three years.89 He was sent to conduct a review of New Spain’s government officials, as well as to take over authority from the previous apostolic inquisitor, Bishop Juan de Zumárraga (who in 1539 approved the controversial execution of indigenous noble don Carlos Ometochtzin).90 Tello’s Iberian background is particularly telling for my project. When he received travel orders in May 1543, Tello was an inquisitor for the diocese of Toledo, and had for several years been prosecuting cases against accused Muslims from the central Iberian town of Daimiel (see Map 0.1).91 In other words, the apostolic inquisitor in charge of the Yanhuitlán investigation was a man whose immediate point of reference, prior to arrival in New Spain, was the prosecution of Iberian Islam. Yet although Tello was an official representative of the Inquisition, he acted without the complex bureaucracy that usually characterized the Holy Office.92 Instead, he collaborated with a variety of non-​inquisitorial officials, including functionaries of Mexico’s Royal Court (Real Audiencia) and Dean Maraver himself (who remained involved in the investigation he put in motion). The trials themselves, when they began, took place in Mexico City. Specifically, they were held at the Royal Court chamber in the Palace of the Viceroy (then located on the west side of Mexico City’s central plaza). That building—​as was true throughout the Hispanic world—​was a physical manifestation of royal justice. It housed the residence of the viceroy (the king’s extended self), the chamber of the Royal Court (Real Audiencia), and the Royal Jail as well (carçel real).93 The three accused nobles of Yanhuitlán would spend many months locked up inside those palatial prisons. In contrast, interrogations and trials for don Sancho’s case were all held in Valencia’s Palace of the Inquisition, located a few streets north of the Cathedral (see Figure 1.4). Inquisitors began operating from there around 1526, but before this, they—​like Tello in 1540s Mexico City—​had worked from Valencia’s (Vice-​)Royal Palace.94 Despite subtle differences in targets, triggers, timing, and institutionality, both investigations followed the same procedures and produced parallel sets of documents. The next chapter presents strategies for mapping and interpreting these complicated, conflict-​ridden records.

Coda: The Mediterratlantic manuscripts of Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés The seemingly separate worlds explored in this book are actually connected by one man:  Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés. Born in Madrid in


32  Ashes and silkworms 1478, he belonged to a family of minor nobles from Asturias. Educated in the court of Ferdinand and Isabella, at the age of 13 he became page to the Infante don Juan. He was present in Granada in 1492, and witnessed both the final siege of the Muslim capital and the negotiations with Columbus over his proposed Atlantic journey.95 In 1514, Oviedo was appointed to be a royal bureaucrat in what is now Central America. He would live between Europe and the New World for the rest of his life, and became Royal Chronicler of the Indies in 1530. When he died in 1557, Oviedo left behind two major unpublished manuscripts. One was an expanded edition of his The General History of the Indies, earlier versions of which had been published in 1525, 1535, and 1547. The other was Battles and Panegyrics, a set of dialogue-​biographies about Iberia’s noble families written between 1535 and 1545. In these two manuscripts, Yanhuitlán and Valencia almost touch.96 When describing legal battles between the Crown and Columbus’ grandchildren, Oviedo’s revised History mentions the future wife of don Sancho: “And in addition to this, his majesty ordered the granting of income from annual rent on his royal rights, for all the years of their lives, to doña María and doña Juana Colón, sisters of the admiral, to help with their marriages.”97 The “admiral” here is Luis Colón, grandson of Christopher Columbus. His sister, “doña María” (de Colón y Toledo) married don Sancho in Seville in 1543. She died two decades later at the Cardona palace in Bechí, and so appears in the investigations against her husband only as a ghost: Francisco Pérez de Terán (a notary from Bechí) mentions her on March 9, 1564; don Sancho mentions her twice, on November 9 and 14, 1569; and Baltasar Cerdán (governor of Bechí) mentions her on November 22, 1569.98 But even from the grave, María de Colón y Toledo has an important part to play in our story. As we will see in Chapter 4, her last will and testament triggered an important legal battle, and the resulting paper trail unexpectedly illuminates one of the most damning accusations made against her husband: that the admiral of Aragón allowed a ruined mosque to be rebuilt on his lands in the Valley of Guadalest. Joining María de Colón y Toledo in Oviedo’s History manuscript are a half-​ dozen references to Francisco de las Casas, future encomendero of Yanhuitlán.99 He first appears arriving in the Caribbean in 1523, carrying documents that appointed his cousin Hernán Cortés as governor of Mexico. That same year, Cortés granted las Casas the encomienda of Yanhuitlán (probably as a reward for bringing such important news across the Atlantic). Later in the History, Oviedo describes the role of las Casas in the assassination of Cristóbal de Olid in Honduras in 1526—​a symbolically-​charged murder we will also explore in Chapter 4. Don Sancho de Cardona is not mentioned in the History, even though the European-​ born husbands of some of his wife’s sisters do make appearances. But María and Sancho appear together in Oviedo’s other unpublished manuscript: the Battles and Panegyrics. One of its dialogues is about don Sancho’s father, and Sancho and María have a cameo: “don


Ashes and silkworms 33 Sancho de Cardona, admiral of the kingdom of Valencia and marquis of Guadalest, who is worthy of such a father and very much like him; he is married to the illustrious doña María Colón … granddaughter to the famous and illustrious don Christopher Columbus, the first admiral and discoverer of the New World, or second hemisphere, and of its uncountable seas and kingdoms …”100 Already in the sixteenth century, Caribbean-​born doña María de Colón y Toledo, encomendero Francisco de las Casas, and admiral don Sancho de Cardona were brought together on the desk of Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés. The chronicler may have met  all three:  Francisco and María in the Caribbean, and later María and Sancho in Valencia or Madrid or Seville. These textual cohabitations—​as well as the Islamic-​Amerindian career of Apostolic Inquisitor Tello de Sandoval—​remind us that the lives of Moriscos and Christians in Iberia, and of Europeans and Ñudzavui in Yanhuitlán, were not as disconnected as the ocean between them might suggest.

Notes 1 Accusation made in Etlatongo against Sebastián and Juan of Yanhuitlán, July 5, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 298v). On Etlatongo’s prehispanic history, see Blomster, Etlatongo. 2 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 298v–​299r. 3 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 299r. 4 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 299r. 5 Testimony of don Francisco, governor of Yanhuitlán, July 18, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 230v); note that he claimed the commoners taken were actually his own slaves previously stolen by the people of Etlatongo! 6 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 299r. 7 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 299r–​299v. 8 Las Casas, Libro, 2v; see also Forde, “Volcanic,” 501, 506–​7. 9 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 299v. 10 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 299v. 11 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 299v–​300r. The breaking of staves of office was a culturally standardized mode of insult. Contemporary incidents are known from Iberia as well; see letters from the Supreme Council of the Inquisition to the inquisitors of Valencia in 1548 (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 42v, 52v) as well as Nader, Liberty, 138–​41 and Herzog, Upholding, 230. Such cross-​topped staves were also used for making vows: AGN Tierras Vol. 24 Exp. 6, 5v (June 29, 1566). 12 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 300r. 13 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 300r. 14 Accusation made by don Diego, ruler of Etlatongo, October 15, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 105v); accusation made by Diego of Etlatongo, April 9, 1546 (326v). 15 Accusation made by Diego of Etlatongo, April 9, 1546 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 326r–​326v). 16 See accusations of Martín de la Mezquita, October 14, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 104r) and Esteban Marbán, October 17, 1544 (112r–​112v). 17 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 249v.


34  Ashes and silkworms 18 Smith, “Why.” 19 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 353v. This seems to be the only point in the Yanhuitlán testimonies where its three noble protagonists are directly accused of idolatry (Piazza, La conciencia, 99). Piazza also offers an intriguing hypothesis that Maraver’s anger at las Casas relates to Maraver’s role in implementing the New Laws of 1542: Piazza, La conciencia,  94–​96. 20 Questionnaire prepared for the defense of don Domingo, July 18, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 281r). 21 Peters, Inquisition, 47–​50; on episcopal inquisitions in New Spain, see Greenleaf, Zumárraga; Greenleaf, Mexican; see also Clendinnen, “Ambivalent,” 75–​76. More generally, bishops or their representatives were to periodically visit (and document) all parishes in their diocese (Halavais, Like, 114–​16). 22 Testimony of Friar Bartolomé de los Ángeles, July 17, 1544 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 333v). Three days later (July 20, 1544) Bartolomé de los Ángeles would tell a slightly different account of these events to Bishop Ramírez de Haro (BPR II 555, 8r–​9r). The differences in these tellings no doubt have to do with their different contexts. Friar Bartolomé’s inquisitorial deposition focuses on the admiral:  his testimony of 1,029 words mentions don Sancho nine times and presents him as an active force in the misdeeds of his Muslim vassals. Friar Bartolomé even accuses him of being a mal almirante. In contrast, the Franciscan’s testimony before Ramírez de Haro (a testimony partially given to describe the un-​ Christian practices of the Moriscos of Valencia, and partially to exonerate Friar Bartolomé’s own missionary practices) presents don Sancho as the hapless dupe of the diabolical Miguel Fenollar:  1,048 words long, the admiral is mentioned only four times (and two of those references are to specify the identity of someone else: the admiral’s servant, the admiral’s sister). In any case, this second telling is also set during Lent 1544. Finally, note that the BPR/​Royal Palace Library document also presents a third version of these events (once again set during Lent 1544) as remembered on July 23, 1544, by Alonso Sauco, a member of los Ángeles’ entourage (BPR II 555, 18v–​19v). 23 BPR II 555, 28v–​29r, 42v–​43r. The three letters of permission, all from 1543 (Friar Bartolomé had undertaken another campaign of missionization prior to 1544) are recopied at 57r–​58r. 24 Questionnaire in the investigation of Bartolomé de los Ángeles (BPR II 555, 51r–​ 51v); testimony of Bartolomé de los Ángeles, July 30, 1544 (42v–​43r). Testimony of Joan de Miranda, July 30, 1544 (37v). 25 Testimony of Bartolomé de los Ángeles, July 20, 1544 (BPR II 555, 5r); testimony of Alonso Sauco, July 23, 1544 (15v). A  deposición y memorial chronicling the travels of Friar Bartolomé, Sauco, and Miranda once existed, but I have not been able to locate it; see reference in a January 16, 1549, letter to Friar Domingo de Sotomayor (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 60r). 26 BPR II 555 42v–​43r; AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 333v. 27 Testimony of Bartolomé de los Ángeles, July 17, 1544 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 333v). 28 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 333v–​334r. 29 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 334r. 30 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 334r. 31 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 334r. 32 Testimony of Bartolomé de los Ángeles, July 18, 1544 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 334r–​334v).


Ashes and silkworms 35 33 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 334r–​334v. 34 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 334r. 35 AHN Inq. Leg. 572 Caja 1 Exp. 1, 54v (Auto of 1538) and 56v (Auto of 1539). Luis also seems to have been reconciled—​and had his house and belongings confiscated and sold—​earlier in the decade, on November 9, 1531 (AHN Inq. Leg. 572 Caja 1 Exp. 1, 40r; see also AHN Inq. Leg. 599 Caja 1 Exp. 1). For the confiscated goods of Luis and Leonor (and their home in 1537), see AHN Inq. Leg. 596 Caja 2 Exp. 26. 36 See also Greenleaf, Zumárraga, 92. 37 Haliczer (Inquisition, 227) places the beginnings of these investigations in 1538–​ 1539, but retrospective commentaries made by the Supreme Council on July 13, 1541, suggest Munebrega’s investigations began in late 1536 and continued from 1537 onward (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 316r–​317r, 318r–​319r). It seems that the inquisitors of Valencia first wrote to the Supreme Council in Madrid about this crucifix-​ whipping conspiracy on February 3, 1539 (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 225r). On Luis and Leonor’s wedding, see testimony of Luis Manrresa, March 27, 1542 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 330r). 38 See the criticisms directed at the inquisitors of Valencia by the Supreme Council in the cases of Castellana Monrreal and Joan Naterán, July 13, 1541 (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 318r). 39 For critiques of these violations in archival documents, see AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 317r, 318r, 319v. Published discussions include Lea, History of the Inquisition, 2: 584; Haliczer, Inquisition, 226–​29; Monter, Frontiers, 37, 128. 40 Testimonies of Joan Quexans and Gaspar Escolano, September 13, 1541 (AHN Inq. Leg. 1110 Caja 1, 26v, 27v; folios are disordered). 41 AHN Inq. Leg. 536 Caja 1 Exp. 3. 42 AHN Inq. Leg. 598 Caja 2. 43 Also reconciled on June 22, 1539, on the same charges, was Pedro Luis Almenara (AHN Inq. Leg. 534 Caja 2 Exp. 12; Haliczer, Inquisition, 227–​29). At least one other Auto (on February 24, 1540) included Conversos accused of cross-​whipping (case of Brianda Bonvehina, AHN Inq. Leg. 536 Caja 1 Exp. 3). 44 AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 273v. 45 See Haliczer, Inquisition, 227–​29 on the case of Pedro Luis Almenara. 46 Testimony of Luis Manrresa, August 14, 1540 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 327r). This kind of “campaigning” for others to revoke their testimonies had begun by early July 1540. 47 In general, see Lea, History of the Inquisition, 2:  548. The first intervention by the Supreme Council into this investigation appears in a letter of late April 1540, where they advise Canon of Toledo Blas Ortiz on how to proceed (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 273v). Blas Ortiz seems to have been sent not only to investigate the retractions but to keep an eye on Munebrega as well:  see testimony of Miguel de Miedes, November 12, 1540 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp.  4, 332r). Six months later, the Supreme Council sent in Doctor Azebes to investigate:  see letter and copy of travel pass for Azebes, October 25, 1540 (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 295r–​297r). Nine months after this, on July 15, 1541, the Supreme Council sent Inquisitor Loazes from Barcelona to take charge of the matter—​Munebrega had apparently been relieved of his authority as inquisitor (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 314r). In November 1543 don Francisco de Navarra (bishop of Ciudad Rodrigo) and Licenciado Gasca (of the Supreme Council) were dealing with over forty retraction cases (AHN Inq. Leg. 885 Caja 3) and commuting past sentences (Haliczer,


36  Ashes and silkworms Inquisition, 229; Martí Ferrando, El poder, 45–​46; on Gasca in general see Hampe Martínez, “Don”). Note that although Madrid did not become the official capital of the kingdoms of Spain until 1561 (with a brief interlude in Valladolid from 1601 to 1606), the Holy Office was headquartered there from at least the 1530s. 48 A July 8, 1540, letter discusses the need for expanding the inquisitorial prisons, because so many people had come to revoke their testimonies (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 282r–​283r). This topic is again talked about in a letter from September 9, 1540 (290v–​291r). 49 For a history of the Valencian síndico, see Felipo Orts, “El síndico.” 50 Testimony of Miguel de Miedes, November 12, 1540 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 332r). 51 Letter July 8, 1540 (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 283v). 52 Several of these secular authorities are named in the testimony of Luis Manrresa on October 7, 1540 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 328v–​329r). Secular and religious authorities had always had a tense relationship with the inquisitors and their powers; Haliczer, Inquisition,  9–​58. 53 Luis, at least, seems to have retracted his testimony on August 13, 1540: inquisitorial questions make a number of references to this date, although no testimonies from August 13 are excerpted in don Sancho’s file (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 328v, 330r). Testimony of Luis Manrresa, August 14, 1540 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 327r). 54 AHN Inq. Leg. 596 Caja 2 Exp. 26. 55 Testimony of Luis Manrresa, August 14, 1540 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 327r–​327v). 56 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp.  4, 327r. The fifteenth-​century Palacio de los Almirantes de Aragón in Valencia, for example, shares this layout (but note that don Sancho’s palace in the 1540s was a few blocks away, and no longer exists; Pérez de los Cobos Gironés, Palacios, 252–​58, 179–​82). Thanks to Mercedes Gómez-​ Ferrer (Universitat de València) and Javier Sánchez Portas (Director del Archivo de la Generalitat de València) for their help with questions about Valencia’s early modern architecture. 57 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 327v. 58 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 327v, 328v. 59 Referenced in Lea, History of the Inquisition, 2: 584; AHN Inq. Leg. 885, Caja 3, Paquete 6 (November 26, 1543). 60 The letter had to do with Luis Tristán, a Valencian merchant. Luckily for Tristán, he was in Valladolid when an investigation into the truth of accusations against him began. This meant that the Inquisition of León was in charge of his case, and not Munebrega. Munebrega tried to get Tristán extradited back to Valencia, but Tristán claimed to have a urinary illness and was unable to travel—​a claim verified by inquisitorial doctors. The resulting investigation into his case revealed that no less than twenty-​four witnesses had given false testimony against him. It was about these findings—​and their damaging implications for Munebrega’s competence—​ that don Sancho and don Juan wrote their letter. On this letter, see testimony of Luis Manrresa, March 27, 1542 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp.  4, 330v). Luis Tristán’s case is referred to throughout the inquisitorial testimony of this period, from October 1536 to October 1541 (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 79r, 257r–​258r, 261r, 264v, 267r, 271r, 279r, 280r, 281v, 288v, 314v, 326r–​326v). An investigation into the activities of don Juan de Cardona—​and a scribe named Valeriola—​is


Ashes and silkworms 37 mentioned in a May 7, 1540, letter from the Supreme Council to the inquisitors of Valencia; this was before Luis Tristán was set free, so perhaps refers to additional anti-​Munebrega activity undertaken by don Sancho’s brother (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 275r–​275v). 61 Testimony of Archdeacon Michael de Miedes, November 12, 1540 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 332r). 62 Letter from the Supreme Council to the inquisitors of Valencia, September 9, 1540 (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 290v). 63 For the copy in don Sancho’s file, see AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 331r. 64 Monter, Frontiers. 65 Letter from the Supreme Council to the inquisitors of Valencia, November 25, 1540 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 331r). On Archdeacon Miedes’ testimony, see n. 47, 50, and 61. 66 Testimony of Michael Çaragoça, March 6, 1542 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 332v–​333r). 67 On información lists, see Arroyas Serrano and Gil Vicent, Revuelta, 41–​42. At least one of the early testimonies recopied into don Sancho’s file is prefaced with a note saying it was “Traslado de la informacion que ay en este sancto off[ici]o contra don sancho de cardona almirante de aragon vez[in]o de val[enci]a” (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 336r). 68 The first mention of the rebuilt mosque in Adzaneta was given in testimony by Joan Just in 1558 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp.  4, 340r); the second by Gabriel Muñoz on March 13, 1563 (336r). Four of the individuals named by Muñoz were subsequently called in as witnesses over the next year. One of these, Antoni Joan Amat, testified on July 9, 1563 that the Adzaneta mosque had been knocked down on the first day of Lent of that same year (337v). Don Sancho de Cardona would also remember that the mosque was knocked down in 1563: testimony February 28, 1569 (430v). Although Muñoz claimed his testimony was prompted by an inquisitorial edict calling for witnesses to clear their consciences on Sunday March 7, 1563, it is surely no accident that he confessed to knowing about the Adzaneta mosque only ten days after it had been destroyed. Meyerson (Inquisition, 257) mistakenly dates the mosque’s destruction to 1570. Finally, note that this Ash Wednesday demolition took place about a month after the February 8, 1563, disarmament of all of the Moriscos in the Kingdom of Valencia (see Danvila, “Desarme”). The house-​by-​house inventories created during the disarmament still survive, and the entries for Adzaneta specify that no weapons were found in the mosque: “Adzanet … Item en la mezquita dentro della no se hallo arma ninguna” (ARV Real Cancillería 564 II, 662v; see also copy in ARV Real Cancillería 562 IV, 1492r–​1492v). 69 On the connection of the Alpujarras revolt in Granada to the timing of don Sancho’s trial, see Monter, Frontiers, 132–​3; Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 220, 226. 70 A November 26, 1543 letter indicates that inquisitors were working “mornings and holidays and during the night” in order to process the cases of over forty people implicated in the crucifix-​whipping retractions (AHN Inq. Leg. 885 Caja 3). Luis Manrresa and Leonor Bonvina are listed in an Auto de Fe dated December 30, 1543 (AHN Inq. Leg. 572 Caja 1 Exp. 1, 64r). However, in don Sancho’s investigation documents (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 329r), the testimonies given by Luis Manrresa are said to have been excerpted from documents filed “en la primera


38  Ashes and silkworms parte de Relaxados del año M D quare[n]‌ta y quatro.” At least four others who retracted their testimonies, Isabel Bonvehina, Brianda Bonvehina, Aldonza Tristán, and Benet Tristán, are also said to have appeared in an Auto on December 30, 1544 (AHN Inq. Leg. 535 Caja 2 Exp. 18; AHN Inq. Leg. 536 Caja 1 Exp. 3; AHUV Varios Caja 9 Exp. 12, 6v, 9r). These seemingly discordant dates actually all refer to one event, an Auto de Fe on Sunday December 30, 1543—​that is, just over a month after the November 26, 1543, letter mentioned earlier. The reason for the date disagreement between 1543 and 1544, and the reason Luis Manrresa’s execution in December would be listed “en la primera parte de Relaxados” for 1544, is that early modern Iberian calendars sometimes began the New Year not on January 1, but on Christmas, on December 25 (Hamann, “How to Chronologize,” 271). This practice is well attested in sixteenth-​century notarial documents in Valencia (for example, AHMV Manual de Consells A-​71, 169v; AHMV Manual de Consells A-​73, 599v; see also Salvador Esteban, “Calendario,” 302; Burns and Chevedden, Negotiating, 236). In contrast, for a year count where 1544 begins on January 1, the day of December 30 would fall on a Wednesday. It was traditional to hold Autos de Fe on feast days, normally Sunday (Lea, History of the Inquisition, 3: 212, 437). This means that Wednesday December 30 (1544) was an unlikely date for such a ritual. 71 In general, see Lea, History of the Inquisition, 2:  584. On the case of Brianda Bonvehina, see AHN Inq. Leg. 536 Caja 1. The life imprisonment sentences of Aldonça de la Flor, Benet Tristán, Pedro Luis Almenara, Luis Gacente, Antonio Blanco, Frances Morell, Violante Fustera, and Leonor Tristán were commuted on November 20 and December 12, 1545 (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 407v, 408r–​408v; see also AHUV Varia Caja 9 Exp. 6, 37, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, and 48). Haliczer discusses the case of merchant Pedro Luis Almenara in detail (Inquisition, 227–​29; see also AHN Inq. Leg. 432 Exp. 2). 72 Greenleaf, Zumárraga, 74. On the location of Valencia’s quemadero, see Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, “Solidaridad,” 790. 73 Pané, Account, 20; Cortés, Cartas, 66, 67, 103, 105, 114, 134, 151, 155, 158, 159, 178, 206, 351, 358, 386; see also the use of meschite in the Italian account of the “anonymous conquistador” (Rose, Conquistador, 13). In the 1540s, the Castilian glosses written on the Codex Mendoza (a manuscript about prehispanic Aztec history and daily life) repeatedly referred to Central Mexican temples as mezquitas and used alfaquí (from the Arabic fiqh, a Muslim jurist-​theologian) to refer to indigenous priests. The same phenomenon occurred in the Andes (Hamann, “Chronological,” 817). 74 See Chapter 3 n. 18 and n. 119; and Conclusions n. 35. 75 Ladero, “Mudéjares,” 72; Catlos, Muslims, 326–​27. 76 Resines, Catecismo, 130–​33; for other examples of woodcuts linking printers in Seville and Mexico City, see Frassani, Building, 38–​39. Feria’s text is also discussed in my Conclusions. 77 Alamán, Disertaciones, 135–​36; Gómez Zamorano, Regio, 252–53, 283, 287–307. 78 Leturia investigated the role of Granada as a model for similar institutions in the New World in a series of articles on the Patronato de Indias (“El origen”; “Alusiones”; “Un párrafo”). Ricard, building on Leturia, argued for the need of a more general comparison of missionization in the Old and New World (“Indiens”). 79 After publishing The Aztecs under Spanish Rule in 1964, Charles Gibson (1920–​ 1985) shifted his research to late medieval and early modern Spain, hoping to


Ashes and silkworms 39 eventually write a transoceanic history—​possibly focused on bureaucrats who dealt with Muslims in Iberia before their careers brought them across the Atlantic to work with Native Americans (William A.  Christian Jr., personal communication 2011; Garner, “Charles,” 7). Glimpses of this project appear in Gibson’s late essays (“Conquest, Capitulation”; “Moriscos”; “Conquest and So-​Called Conquest”), as well as an unpublished talk on “Moriscos and Indios” given at the University of Notre Dame in 1978. Thanks to William A. Christian Jr. for telling me about this unfinished research—​as well as about Gibson’s card file on transatlantic bureaucrats. 80 Graubart’s recent study (“Learning”) usefully combines archival research in the Andes with literature on Iberian Islam from both Castile and Aragón. Gruzinski (What) and Johnson (Cultural) look at Ottoman-​American comparisons. For studies of Muslims in early modern Spanish America (despite official prohibitions on their presence:  AGI Mexico 1088 L2, 75v–​76v), see Cardaillac, “Probleme”; Cook, Forbidden; and (for Muslim “white slaves” in Mexico City from the 1520s on) Millares Carlo and Mantecón, Índice, I: Nos. 320, 1503, 1534, 1535; Millares Carlo and Mantecón, Índice, II and III: Nos. 1865, 1896, 2074, 2210, 2235, 2327. Feliciano Chaves (“Mudejarismo”) takes a revisionist approach to supposed Muslim artistic influences in viceregal Spanish America. 81 One of the Yanhuitlán missionaries was Bernardino de Minaya; a decade later he returned to Europe and played a key role in convincing Pope Paul III to issue the bull Sublimis deus. For these events, and a transcript of Minaya’s autobiography which briefly mentions Anguytan, see Hanke, “Pope,” 99; Hamann, “Descartes.” 82 Indeed, in the decades following the Christian conquest of Granada in 1492 (and the forced conversion of Castille’s Muslims in 1502), both Ferdinand II and Charles V issued proclamations claiming that Islam would remain legal in Valencia and the other kingdoms of Aragón (Meyerson, Muslims, 52–​53). 83 Pérez and Catalá, Epígonos; Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas,  30–​31. 84 Islam was decreed illegal in the other Kingdoms of Aragón in 1526 (Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 92–​101). 85 Testimony of Gaspar Coscolla, February 1, 1567 (AHN Inq. Leg. 548 Caja 1 Exp. 2, 4r). 86 See the 1527 case of scribe Juan Fernández del Castillo (AGN Inq. Vol. 40 Exp. 3bis A, 20r–​23v) and the 1540–​1547 case of Diego Díaz, vicar and curate of Ocuituco (AGN Inq. Vol. 37 Exp. 3bis, 47r–​50v; 52r–​59v); Hamann, “Producing,” 29–​31. 87 Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, “Solidaridad.” 88 Maraver is named as visitador and visitador general on AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 103v—​ the first page of the Yanhuitlán file. 89 Aiton, Antonio, 97, 161–​66; Aiton, “Secret,” 3; León Zavala, “Proceso,” 208–​10. 90 Ruíz Medrano, Reshaping; Greenleaf, Zumárraga, 15; Greenleaf, Mexican, 75–​81; Piazza, “Los procesos,” 214–​15; Tavárez, Invisible, 49–​52. Cuevas (Historia, 369–​ 79) also discusses the connections of the trial of don Carlos and the arrival of Tello de Sandoval, but his claim that Zumárraga was still working as an inquisitor in 1544 (379) is based on a misread date (1554) and case label (see AGN Inq. Vol. 30 Exp. 13). 91 Tello’s letters of appointment as visitador are reproduced in Puga, Provisiones, 94r–​94v (May 13, 1543), 94v–​95r (June 26, 1543), 95r (June 26, 1543), 95r–​95v (June 26, 1543), 97v–​98r (June 26, 1543); his letters of appointment as apostolic


40  Ashes and silkworms inquisitor are reproduced in Puga, Provisiones, 97r (July 18, 1543), 97r–​97v (July 24, 1543). See also Cuevas, Historia, 378. On Tello’s inquisitorial career against Moriscos, see LL Box 3 Folder 3 (case of Marí Gómez), 10v, 14v, 15r, 18r, 23r, 32r (signature, 1541), 44r. 92 Greenleaf, Zumárraga, 13–​ 15; Piazza, La conciencia, 85–​ 87. Piazza (“Los procesos,” 208–​9) publishes a list of eight inquisitorial investigations overseen by the apostolic inquisitor. On November 12, 1547, Zumárraga would write to Tello (then back in Spain) urging him to set up an Inquisition in New Spain—​above all for Spaniards (Gil, Primeras, 261; see also AGI Patronato 184 R40). 93 In the trial documents, the jail where the accused nobles of Yanhuitlán are imprisoned is referred to as Jail of the Court, carçel de Corte, or the Royal Jail, carçel Real (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 181r, 256r). In testimonies given after their arrests, both don Francisco and don Domingo repeatedly refer to being “in this Royal Court” (en esta Real Audiencia), strongly suggesting that their trials took place within the Royal Court chambers in the Palace of the Viceroy (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 230v, 231r, 250v, 272r, 283v). As mentioned earlier, the apostolic inquisitor in charge of their case arrived in New Spain with a host of powers, including a seat as judge (oidor) in the Royal Court itself (Aiton, Antonio, 97). It is therefore not surprising that he would have used the chambers of the Royal Court as a location for conducting his inquisitorial investigations. For discussions of the original Palace of the Viceroy, the Royal Court and jails it contained, and the role of this complex as a manifestation of royal power, see Cervantes de Salazar, México, 44–​45, 96–​97 n. 88 (contrast with the town hall building and municipal jails on 46, 99–​100 n. 106); Schreffler, Art, 12–​17; and see also Herzog, Upholding, 184, 191. 94 Alejos Morán, “Palacio.” In 1501 King Ferdinand wrote to the inquisitors of Valencia asking them to relocate temporarily from the Royal Palace to the Palace of the Archbishop (as they apparently had done before: como acostumbrays) in order to accommodate a Valencian visit by his sister, the queen of Naples (letters dated May 19 and June 20, 1501; AHUV Caja 34 Exp. 14 and 15). The king wrote a similar letter in 1503—​only this time inquisitors (who were still in, or back in, the Palace of the Archbishop, having taken over the room of one Doña Arenosa) were asked to rent a house nearby to accommodate the visit of a cardinal (letter dated November 27, 1503; AHUV Caja 34 Exp. 18). 95 Myers, Fernández,  12–​23. 96 The title of Batallas y Quinquagenas is difficult to translate (Bolaños, “Review,” 96); Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, Batallas, 9. In contrast to these connections, see Serge Gruzinski’s exploration of American-​Ottoman history:  “There is no link, therefore, between the two texts” (What, 17). 97 Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, Historia, 1: 115. 98 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp.  4, 392v; María’s will is in ARV Justicia Civil 1145 Manus 26. For other references to María during the investigation against her husband, see AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 338v (Terán), 466v and 476r (don Sancho), and 495r (Cerdán). 99 Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, Historia, 1:  540; 3:  123, 188, 517–​18, 523–​24; 4: 516–​28. 100 Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, Batallas, 142.


2  Geographies of discord

The inquisitorial investigations from Valencia and Yanhuitlán are roughly parallel in scope. Some 400 pages of documentation were generated for Valencia, and some 448 pages for Yanhuitlán. In Valencia, sixty-​one men gave testimony:  forty-​six Old Christians and fifteen Moriscos. In Oaxaca, forty-​ nine men (and two women) gave testimony: thirty-​one Native Americans and twenty Europeans. Dozens of voices, hundreds of pages: this cacophony of recorded speech is rich in detail but challenging to interpret. Contexts are essential for understanding witness testimonies, and so this chapter begins by mapping how the investigations from Yanhuitlán and Valencia developed over time, across geographies both spatial and social. Who testified, and when, and where? How were witnesses related to one another? What places did witnesses come from? What places did they denounce as sites of non-​Christian practice? How do these geographies of testimony change over time, and what is the composite image they create? Finally, how do these inquisitorial geographies relate to non-​inquisitorial records of landscapes in Oaxaca and Valencia? Having established this overall perspective on the two cases, the chapter then considers inquisitorial procedure in more detail, and introduces strategies used in subsequent chapters for interpreting complicated, contradictory testimonies.

Geographies of discord in the Nochixtlán Valley The Yanhuitlán investigation had its indirect origins in the spring of 1544, when commoners and nobles from Yanhuitlán raided the lands of Etlatongo in search of mulberry leaves and slaves. This caused people from Etlatongo—​ and probably abused constable Francisco above all—​to call on European authorities to arrest one of the guilty men. Their target, Sebastián, was the son or nephew of don Francisco, an indigenous governor of Yanhuitlán. When Sebastián’s capture was finally attempted in August, it was men from Etlatongo who brought forth evidence of idolatry from a room in don Francisco’s palace.


42  Geographies of discord That October, Pedro Gómez de Maraver (dean of the Cathedral of Antequera) began an inquisitorial investigation against the three leading nobles of Yanhuitlán as an indirect way to attack Francisco de las Casas, Yanhuitlán’s European encomendero. Strategically, Maraver started gathering evidence in Etlatongo—​ the town whose rivalry with Yanhuitlán had led to the palace raid in the first place (Map 2.1). During this initial set of interviews, four witnesses were from Etlatongo: the ruler, the governor and—​ interestingly enough—​two female ex-​slaves who had once served the nobility of Yanhuitlán. In addition, people from a surprising range of other towns traveled to Etlatongo to testify. Some of these witnesses were from communities known to be rivals of Yanhuitlán (one witness each from Teposcolula and Nochixtlán). Two other witnesses were indigenous nobles from Molcaxtepec, a town subject to Yanhuitlán.1 Two testimonies were from Europeans normally resident in Antequera, and two more were from Europeans—​apparently friends, as they had traveled together before—​living in Apoala and Huautla, villages to the north. On December 2, 1544, Maraver presented these testimonies in Mexico City to Francisco Tello de Sandoval, newly arrived apostolic inquisitor. On reviewing Maraver’s evidence, Tello approved the arrests of two of the accused nobles: governor don Francisco and ruler don Domingo. The case entered its next phase early the following year. On February 22 and 24, 1545, Maraver collected testimony from nine new witnesses. But instead of working again in Etlatongo, he conducted interrogations in Teposcolula, one valley to the west. Like Etlatongo, Teposcolula was another of Yanhuitlán’s rivals. The Dominican convent in Teposcolula had been founded after an earlier convent in Yanhuitlán was abandoned—​something blamed on hostility from Francisco de las Casas as well as Yanhuitlán’s indigenous elites.2 Three of the February witnesses lived in Teposcolula itself. The other six witnesses traveled from other towns to give their depositions. Two came from Coixtlahuaca (the most important town in the valley north of Yanhuitlán), one from Tilantongo in the south, one from Yanhuitlán, one from Yanhuitlán’s rival Nochixtlán, and one from Yucuita, another town subject to Yanhuitlán.3 A final witness was said vaguely to live “in this Mixteca.” Shortly after the collection of these testimonies, on March 8, don Francisco and don Domingo were arrested and imprisoned. They would spend over a year within the royal jails at the Palace of the Viceroy in Mexico City.4 On April 15, official accusations were written up against them. From April 18 until the end of the month, the two were subjected to the standard rituals performed for inquisitorial prisoners. Translators were appointed, and both men were offered three chances to guess (and confess) their sins before having the official accusation read to them. Both were then given the opportunity to make an initial response to the charges. On May 2, Diego Téllez was assigned to act as lawyer on behalf of both don Francisco and don Domingo. Two weeks later, and back in the Mixteca, Maraver collected testimonies from eight more witnesses on May 11 and 13, 1545. Unfortunately, it is


Map 2.1 Witnesses in the Yanhuitlán investigation, 1544–​1546. Dates (year/​month) indicate the first time a witness testified before inquisitors. Cartographic sources: Esri, USGS, NOAA.


44  Geographies of discord unclear exactly where these testimonies were taken. Nochixtlán (another of Yanhuitlán’s rivals) would have been an obvious choice, but none of the May witnesses was from there. Four were ex-​slaves from Etlatongo who had once served in the palaces of Yanhuitlán. Three others were from Yanhuitlán’s subject community of Molcaxtepec (to the east), and one was from Chachoapan (to the north). A few weeks later, in Antequera, Maraver collected four more testimonies, all from Europeans. Meanwhile, back in Mexico City, don Francisco and don Domingo composed witness-​by-​witness responses to the accusations made against them. With the help of their mutual court-​appointed lawyer, both men drafted a general defense and, crucially, compiled a list of their personal enemies: people whose testimony was inadmissible as evidence. Don Francisco and don Domingo also drafted a list of questions to be asked of witnesses called in their defense. All of this took place between June 17 and July 19, 1545. A month later, on August 16, Maraver arrived in Mexico City and presented the testimonies he collected in May. The investigation then went into a lull for two months, starting up again in mid-​October. On October 13, 17, and 19, both don Domingo and don Francisco presented three witnesses in their defense. All were Europeans, previous residents of the Mixteca then living in Mexico City: priest Juan de Ruanes (who, like encomendero Francisco de las Casas, was from Trujillo), Juan Alonso, and Francisco de Melgar.5 On October 19, both don Domingo and don Francisco heard the accusations collected against them in the spring. They responded to these on October 24. More witnesses were questioned on behalf of the accused on October 31 (Juan de Molina, another Mexico City-dwelling European) and November 2 (Juan Coastle and Juan Coyaçan, indigenous men from Yanhuitlán living in Mexico City).6 On November 3, don Domingo presented inquisitors with a strategic breakthrough:  copies of two civil lawsuits he, don Francisco, and don Juan had been involved in over the previous six years. These lawsuits made clear the extent of local enmity against the accused nobles (above all in Etlatongo and Nochixtlán), and involved several of the hostile witnesses who had already testified before inquisitors.7 The contents of these documents were duly copied into the inquisitorial record. The first involved a conflict over rival marketplaces: an older one in Nochixtlán and a newer one in Yanhuitlán’s subject community of Yucuita (see Chapter 4).8 The second lawsuit involved Yanhuitlán’s springtime raids in Etlatongo for mulberry leaves and human slaves—​assaults that led to the palace search Dean Maraver used as an excuse to begin his investigation in October 1544.9 On November 18, Tello de Sandoval called for the arrest of indigenous governor don Juan (who up until then had remained free in Yanhuitlán). He also ordered a series of excavations in Yanhuitlán and its vicinity to look for material proof that human sacrifices had indeed been performed. Finally, he called for testimony from Francisco de las Casas, Yanhuitlán’s European encomendero.


Geographies of discord 45 Two days later, on November 20, a document was prepared to record a vote by the inquisitorial tribunal on the Yanhuitlán proceedings. But apparently no vote was taken, or for some reason could not be recorded. Half of this sheet of paper describes the vote being proposed. But the text ends mid-​sentence, and the rest of the page is empty: In the city of Tenochtitlán Mexico in this New Spain, on the 20th of the month of November in the year of our Lord 1545, being in the court of the Holy Inquisition the lord inquisitor [Tello de Sandoval], and with him the lord bishop of this City of Mexico [Juan de Zumárraga], and the Licentiates Çeynoz and Tejada and Santilla, judges [oidores] of this Royal Court [Real Audiencia], and Father Friar Martín de Ojacastro, commissary of the Order of Saint Francis, and Father Friar Andrés de Moguer, prior of the House and Monastery of Santo Domingo of this city, and Licentiate Aldana, ecclesiastical judge [provisor] of this said city and its bishopric, before me, Miguel López de Legazpi, secretary of the Holy Office, having seen these trial documents, all unanimous and in agreement voted [blank]10 Exactly why no vote was recorded is unclear. Perhaps the inquisitors were not, in fact, “all unanimous and in agreement” about the case. Or perhaps it was felt that the actions called for two days earlier—​excavations, the interrogation of Francisco de las Casas, the arrest of don Juan—​needed to be considered first. Or perhaps another, unrelated issue intervened. As we will see, this is not the only point in the investigation where we are faced with half-​finished documents and the ambiguity of archival silences. And so, once again, the investigation was suspended for a number of months. The year 1545 ended and 1546 began. In the first days of April 1546, don Juan was reported missing from Yanhuitlán—​only to be located and arrested on April 6.  (Don Juan later testified that he had not been hiding from inquisitors, but was instead out gathering mulberry leaves to feed his silkworms).11 From April 4 to May 3, inquisitorial representatives traveled throughout the Nochixtlán Valley, tracking down witnesses who had given testimonies in the fall of 1544 and the spring of 1545 so they could confirm their depositions. Officials visited Teposcolula, Etlatongo, Nochixtlán, Yanhuitlán, Apoala, and Antequera. Some witnesses could not be found—​ Juan de Naveda had gone to Peru—​and investigators took advantage of their return to the Mixteca to take testimonies from nine new witnesses: two from Teposcolula, two from Tiltepec, one from Yanhuitlán, two from Etlatongo, one from Coxcaltepec, and one from Molcaxtepec.12 In the middle of all this, on April 14 and 15, the investigators took a break from confirming testimonies to conduct a series of excavations in and around Yanhuitlán and Tiltepec. Following the order given by Tello de Sandoval on November 18 the previous year, they searched for the buried bodies of sacrificial victims. What they found—​and how their excavations relate to other


46  Geographies of discord themes within the investigation as a whole—​will be discussed in Chapter 6. April 15 also saw a mass arrest in Yanhuitlán:  six indigenous priests, and the wife of don Francisco as well. She was accused, among other things, of making sacrifices to free her husband from his cell in the Palace of the Viceroy.13 As it happened, don Francisco had changed quarters. Sick from his long imprisonment, on April 10 he was placed under house arrest in the care of priest Juan de Ruanes. Ruanes, you will remember, was from Trujillo, and had been summoned the previous October to give testimony on don Francisco’s behalf. Once again, the documents lapse into silence. The newly imprisoned don Juan was questioned in the middle of August 1546.14 On December 4, ruler don Domingo was asked to reply to the new accusations made against him in April.15 He was apparently sick as well, and was warned of the perils that faced his soul should he die without confessing his crimes.16 But two days later, on December 6, the Yanhuitlán ruler was entrusted to the custody of three Spaniards: Trujillo-​born Juan de Ruanes (into whose custody don Francisco had been released in April), Diego de Villapadierna, and Miguel de Écija. Also present as witnesses were Vicenzo de Riberol, Juan de Poras and, crucially, Gonzalo de las Casas, the new encomendero of Yanhuitlán. Gonzalo’s father Francisco had died the previous spring, and so Tello de Sandoval’s request that the old encomendero be interrogated was never carried out.17 On December 10 and 11, don Juan—​the only Yanhuitlán noble still held in the Palace of the Viceroy—​was asked for a second and third time to confess to the April accusations. He remained silent.18 A new year began: 1547. On January 8, don Juan replied to each of the charges leveled against him. On January 22, Diego Téllez was assigned to be don Juan’s lawyer, just as he had been assigned to don Francisco and don Domingo back in May 1545. On February 12, don Juan replied to individual witness accusations. We do not know if he was ever asked to prepare a list of his enemies, for at this point the documents break off. These are the details of how the Yanhuitlán investigation unfolded from fall 1544 to spring 1547. If we look at the overall geography of witnesses testifying against the nobles of Yanhuitlán, we see four main centers of accusation (see Map 2.1). Most prominent is Etlatongo, home to ten witnesses. This is not surprising: conflicts between Etlatongo and Yanhuitlán were essential for setting the investigation in motion. In second place is Antequera—​center of Oaxaca’s Church hierarchy and, presumably, European gossip—​ with seven witnesses. Tied for third place are Teposcolula and Molcaxtepec, with six witnesses each. Teposcolula, like Etlatongo, was a political rival of Yanhuitlán, and Molcaxtepec was a community subject to Yanhuitlán (so it is possible that some of those testimonies were offered in hopes of gaining political independence).19 Other towns contributed only one witness (Huautla, Apoala, Yucuita, Chachoapan, Coxcatepec) or two (Nochixtlán, Coixtlahuaca, Tiltepec, Yanhuitlán itself).


Map 2.2 Geography of “idolatry” in the Yanhuitlán investigation, 1544–​ 1546, according to the number of testimonies each place is named in:  Amatlán (4), Andúa (3), Añuma (7), Coxcaltepec (4), Jaltepec (1), Molcaxtepec (9), Tamazola (1), Tlatayapan (2), Tiltepec (13), Topiltepec (1), Yanhuitlán (8; specifically, 5 references to Tula and 3 references to Tlacolula), Yuaxiño (7), Yucuita (7), Yucumañu (10). Cartographic sources: Esri, USGS, NOAA.


48  Geographies of discord If we turn to consider the geographic distribution of places named by those witnesses, a somewhat different pattern emerges (Map 2.2). Overall, what is striking about this “idolatrous geography” is that it emerges more or less spontaneously in October 1544, is confirmed in February and May 1545, and again confirmed in April to May 1546. That is, the same basic places are named over and over during four very distinct periods of interrogations. Leading questions by inquisitors, questions that sought to push witnesses into saying certain things, seem to have had little impact on geographic testimony. Most witnesses mention only one or two places in their depositions, so the composite picture of sacred geography shown in Map 2.2 is something that emerged in an undirected, but not random, way. The one exception is a jump in references to Tiltepec in April and May 1546—​this being the same period that inquisitors were conducting excavations in and around that town in search of sacrificed bodies. But Tiltepec had already been mentioned by multiple witnesses in October 1544 and February and May 1545, before inquisitors began to show particular interest in that place. The composite map of “idolatrous” locations implicated in the Yanhuitlán documents can be divided into four main regions, radiating out from Yanhuitlán. First are the neighborhoods of Yanhuitlán itself. Next are locations in the surrounding valley, many of which also appear in sacred prehispanic books. Third is a cluster of places near Molcaxtepec in foothills to the east. Finally, a distant but significant outlier is Tamazola, at the valley’s southern limits. We begin with the neighborhoods of Yanhuitlán. One of the multiple wives of don Francisco was said to live at a place “next to Yanhuitlán” called Tula. This word comes from the Nahuatl tollan (Place of Cattails) and was probably being used to translate Yuchacoyo (River of Cattails in Rain Speech). Indeed, one witness mentioned that Yuchaco was a river where sacrifices were made, and another spoke of don Francisco’s hidden wife living at the “river of Tula”—​that is, the River of the Place of Cattails.20 Another Yanhuitlán neighborhood, Yuchayo’o (Twisted River), was probably referred to by witnesses using the Nahuatl word Tlacolula (Twisted Place), which was used for a river, a hill, and a “hamlet [estancia] of Yanhuitlán next to a river.”21 Unfortunately, the specific locations of Yuchacoyo and Yuchayo’o are unknown, but both appear in later lists of Yanhuitlán’s neighborhoods. The next cluster of sites are sacred locations in the valley surrounding Yanhuitlán. At least six (and perhaps as many as seven) also appear in the pages of two prehispanic books, the Codex Nuttall and Codex Vienna (Figure 1.2, Figure 2.1, and Figure 2.2).22 These sacred histories recount events which took place at the beginning of time. The first four pages of the Codex Nuttall show gods, goddesses, and Ñudzavui ancestors fighting a primordial battle against Earth and Sky; the war ends with a truce enabling humans to practice agriculture.23 The Codex Vienna describes the creation of the world: from its origins in formless darkness, to the First Sunrise, to the agricultural covenants with Earth and Rain, to the final ordering of hills and caves in the landscape of the Rain Place.


Geographies of discord 49

Figure 2.1 Page 3 of the Codex Nuttall, showing battles against the Stone Men. Hill of the Rain God is near the lower right corner (the deity’s round eyes stare out at the viewer); above is Hill of Flowers. Next, in the upper center of the page, are the adjacent Hill of Feathers and Blue Hill, with Dark Hill below them. The Hill of Place of Blood is in the lower left corner, and in the upper left the decapitated maguey goddess stands on Hill of Ballcourts. Pigment and gesso on deerskin, 23.5 × 19 cm. British Museum, London, Am1902,0308.1. © Trustees of the British Museum.

Significantly, six of the gods and goddess appearing in these sacred books are also named by investigation witnesses, allowing us to correlate inquisitorial visions of divinity and landscape with prehispanic visions of divinity and landscape.24 We begin due north of Yanhuitlán (see Figure 1.2). Seven witnesses refer to a sacred location “on the road to Coixtlahuaca” and near Yanhuitlán’s northern subject community of Yuxaxiño.25 This is probably a reference to the Hill of the Sun (Yucunchi), the place from which (according to testimonies gathered in the 1980s, at least) the First Sunrise dawned at the beginning of time.26 Juanes de Angulo suggested there was a cave there—​and indeed there is a cave (called Catadexia) at the Hill of the Sun by Yuxaxiño today. An image of the First Sunrise appears in the Codex Vienna (Figure 2.3). A round cave is painted nearby, and two gods who witness the event—​Lord 7 Wind and Lord 7 Motion—​are also named by inquisitorial witnesses (as Guacusachui and Guaguisacuhu).27


50  Geographies of discord

Figure 2.2 Pages 1 and 2 (above) and 3 and 4 (below) of the Codex Vienna. Pages are read from right to left, starting on page 4 (here, the page in the viewer’s lower right) and ending on page 1 (here, the page in the viewer’s upper left; note that page 1 is the last page of the manuscript). Blue Hill and Hill of Feathers appear in the lower left corner of page 4. Next, on page 3 (starting in its lower right corner and moving counterclockwise), are the round red Stony Enclosure (probably the cave on Middle Hill), Cave of the Eagle, Hill of Ballcourts, and Place of Blood, Hill of Scaffolding. In the lower right corner of page 2 (here, the page in the viewer’s upper right) is Dark Hill (Tiltepec), and in the upper right corner of page 1 is Hill of Sand (Jaltepec). Pigment and gesso on deerskin, each page 26 × 22 cm. Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Codex Mexicanus 1.

Moving to the southeast is the town of Amatlán, mentioned four times as a place of sacrifices. Continuing to the southwest, we arrive at Yucuita (Hill of Flowers). Mentioned in seven testimonies, this town—​and the hill towering above—​are a few kilometers east of Yanhuitlán. Two sacred caves were said to be at Yucuita (they still exist today, just to the north of town: see Figure 2.4) as well as the market site disputed in a lawsuit with Nochixtlán.28 The prehispanic history of this area is revealed on page 3 of the Codex Nuttall, which includes a glyph for Hill of Flowers (see Figure  2.1). A  female warrior  stands on


Geographies of discord 51

Figure 2.3 Page  23 of the Codex Vienna. On the right, at the bottom of the page, the scene is set by a Hill of the Sun place sign. Above it are a round red enclosure (indicating a cave) and a white and red architectural platform (indicating an archaeological ruin). At these places, six deities are gathered, including the maize goddess Lady 5 Flint in the upper left. On the left side of the page, from a red and white architectural platform, the First Sunrise dawns. Pigment and gesso on deerskin, 26 × 22 cm. Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Codex Mexicanus 1.

its summit, and before her is Lord 7 Serpent, half-​transformed into a snake and fighting a stripe-​bodied Stone Man. Other signs on this page depict additional features of the nearby landscape. Below Hill of Flowers is the place sign for Yucuñudahui (Hill of the Rain God). This massive ridge (looming above Yucuita’s northwestern neighbor Chachoapan) has a Classic-​period archaeological site on its summit (AD 300–​1000). These ruins were sacred to the Postclassic Ñudzavui: they left offerings there, and even repaved its main plaza (see Chapter  5).29 According to the Codex Vienna, Yucuñudahui was where Lord 9 Wind raised the waters of a primordial ocean into the heavens, creating the sky and revealing the landscape of the Rain Place (Figure 2.5). To the south of Yucuñudahui, and southwest of Yucuita, are a pair of connected hills that also appear in the Nuttall, just to the left of the Hill of Flowers glyph:  Hill of Feathers and Blue Hill. Here Lord 7 Motion (named by a


52  Geographies of discord

Figure 2.4 View out La Cueva Larga, Yucuita. Photo by the author, July 2007.

witness as Guaguisacuhu) cuts out the heart of a captured Stone Man; this vignette may indicate the place where sacrifice was invented. Continuing southwest from Yucuita we arrive at Andúa (mentioned in three testimonies). Further southeast is the Hill of Sand by Jaltepec (mentioned once).30 Due west of Jaltepec, and running like a spine down the center of the Nochixtlán Valley, is Yucumañu (Middle Hill). This is perhaps the most important sacred location in the Yanhuitlán investigation, named by ten witnesses. It was a place of sacrifice, with a cave and an “idol.”31 There is indeed a sinkhole cave in this hill, and it contains a massive white mineral column still sacred today (Figure  2.6). This is probably the “idol” mentioned by witnesses, a materialization of the goddess Lady 9 Reed (named by a witness as Quequiyo).32 She was the white Birth Tree from whose body the ancestors of the Ñudzavui nobility were born in the primordial darkness, before the First Sunrise dawned. Lady 9 Reed, seated within her round sinkhole cave, appears on page 3 of the Codex Vienna, right after the signs for Hill of Feathers and Blue Hill (see Figure 1.2 and Figure 2.2). Just northwest of Yucumañu is Tlatayapan, which as Cave of the Eagle is the next place sign in the Vienna (see Figure 1.2 and Figure 2.2). Mentioned by two witnesses, this was where indigenous priests, suspended by a rope, whirled round and round a tall pole to call for rain. (The Ñudzavui term


Geographies of discord 53

Figure 2.5 Page 47 of the Codex Vienna. In the upper left, Lord 9 Wind (head bowed and arms extended) raises the primordial waters into the sky. He stands on Hill of the Rain God (Yucuñudahui). Pigment and gesso on deerskin, 26 × 22 cm. Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Codex Mexicanus 1.

for this ritual was yosicoyahandi:  “I fly like an eagle”).33 To the north of Tlatayapan is Tlachitongo. Its Hill of Ballcourts glyph follows Cave of the Eagle in the Vienna. Although this place was not mentioned by Yanhuitlán witnesses, the two deities standing at Hill of Ballcourts in the Vienna were named as idols: Lord 10 Lizard (Xicuiyo) and Lady 11 Serpent (Xiyo).34 Lady 11 Serpent also appears on the Hill of Ballcourts in the Codex Nuttall, just to the left of Hill of Feathers and Blue Hill. She has been decapitated and holds bowls of her own blood (see Figure 2.1). Lady 11 Serpent was a goddess of pulque (a beverage of fermented cactus sap) and the Nuttall suggests this place was where that drink originated.35 Immediately north of Tlachitongo is Topiltepec, probably represented by the Place of Blood, Hill of Scaffolding sign which follows Hill of Ballcourts in the Vienna. The deity painted at this sign, Lord 7 Wind, is (as we saw earlier) also named in the Yanhuitlán documents, and Topiltepec is mentioned once as a place of sacrifice.36 Just northwest of Topiltepec is Tiltepec: Yucutnoo or Dark Hill. Described as a sacrificial location in thirteen testimonies (and the


54  Geographies of discord

Figure 2.6 The white mineral column in the cave of Yucumañu. Photo by the author, July 2007.

site of inquisitorial excavations in the spring of 1546: see Chapter 6) this place is associated with Lord 7 Wind in both the Vienna and Nuttall (where he takes a Stone Man prisoner, just below Hill of Feathers and Blue Hill).37 The Dark Hill of Tiltepec is the last location on this second part of our geographic tour, because I  have not been able to locate Xumulco on the ground. Mentioned by only one witness, the place is listed in 1548 as a subject community of Yanhuitlán.38 The third zone of “idolatrous” locations cluster in the foothills rising up on the eastern side of the Nochixtlán Valley. Key towns here are Molcaxtepec (named by nine witnesses), its twin Coxcaltepec (named by four witnesses), and Añuma, to the southwest (named by seven). Molcaxtepec was a community subject to Yanhuitlán, and home to six witnesses (several of who were indigenous priests summoned after being named by others). It was located along the main road leading out of the Nochixtlán Valley and on to Antequera. Two major hills are located on either side of this road, and both seem to have been sacred locations. The large hill rising to the north of Molcaxtepec, Dequeyucu, is probably referenced once (but not actually named) in the Yanhuitlán documents.39 In contrast, one witness names the hill to the south as Yucuyayo (Hill of the Sacrificial Straw), a summit


Geographies of discord 55 called Mirasol today.40 Together with Yucumañu, the hills of Yucuyayo and Dequeyucu are among the highest locations in the Nochixtlán Valley, and their importance is underscored in a map of the valley created in 1602, where all three appear (Figure 2.7, Map 2.3). Last on our tour is Tamazola. Although mentioned only once, and located at the southern edge of the Nochixtlán Valley, this place would be of crucial importance for the future history of Yanhuitlán. At the time of the investigation, the elder sister of accused ruler don Domingo was the female ruler (cacica) of Tamazola. She has a brief cameo in a 1545 testimony as someone protecting idols. When don Domingo died in 1558, he named doña María’s son Gabriel as his successor in Yanhuitlán. This inheritance was challenged, but don Gabriel emerged triumphant. He ruled Yanhuitlán for over thirty years. Yet although he may have been living with his mother in Tamazola in the 1540s, we do not know where he was born, and he is not referenced in the Yanhuitlán documents.41

Geographies of discord in Valencia and beyond The geography of Islam in the Valencian investigation is on a very different scale from the geography of “idolatry” in Yanhuitlán. The Yanhuitlán case focused on a single valley, less than thirty kilometers across, which encompassed both towns and sacred locations. In contrast, the geography revealed in Valencia spanned over 200 kilometers of coastal plains and mountains, involving towns and buildings both north and south of the capital city—​and even places on the north coast of Africa. Whereas the Yanhuitlán investigation involved the interrogation of witnesses in several different towns, all testimonies gathered against don Sancho were collected inside the Palace of the Inquisition in the city of Valencia (see Figure 1.4). The non-​Christian geography revealed by these witnesses emerged—​as was true in Oaxaca—​through testimonies gathered at different moments in time. Periods of intense interrogation were followed by long periods of documentary silence. As we saw in the last chapter, initial testimonies against the admiral were made between 1540 and 1544 (Map 2.4). Don Sancho first came to the attention of the Holy Office in August 1540, when he challenged the authority of inquisitor Juan González de Munebrega in his campaign against supposed Conversos. After receiving testimony from accused silk dyer Luis Manrresa on August 14, 1540, the inquisitors of Valencia wrote to the Supreme Council of the Inquisition in Madrid. They wanted advice on how to proceed against a figure as politically and socially powerful as the admiral. On September 9, Madrid’s inquisitors wrote back. They told their Valencian colleagues to gather more evidence, and to wait. This would be Madrid’s advice to Valencia for nearly thirty years. A second testimony against don Sancho was collected in November 1540: the archdeacon of Valencia described don Sancho’s continued opposition to the inquisitorial campaign against supposed Conversos. Two more


Figure 2.7 Map of the Nochixtlán Valley in 1602 showing roads, towns, and the hills of Yucumañu (lower right), Yucuyayo (upper right), and Dequeyucu (upper left). East is at the top. Ink on paper, 43 × 59 cm. Archivo General de la Nación, Mexico City, Fondo MAPILU:  Mapas, Planos e Ilustraciones, Número 1082 (source: Tierras 1520 Expediente 2, folio 57).


Geographies of discord 57

Map 2.3 Towns and hills in the map from AGN Tierras 1520 plotted to scale.

testimonies were collected in March 1542. First, parish priest Michael Çaragoça testified about continued Islamic practices in the Valleys of Seta, Alcalá, and Guadalest—​ that is, in lands ruled by the admiral south of Valencia city (Figure  2.8).42 Morisco residents of the Valley of Alcalá had called upon the admiral to prevent Çaragoça from preaching to them, and Çaragoça claimed he was in fact reprimanded by the admiral for this. He also alleged that some of don Sancho’s Catholic employees on those lands were granting illegal travel passes to Valencian Muslims, which allowed them to reach the coast and flee to North Africa. North African sailors would communicate with the Valencian interior through signals lit on ships offshore and then relayed by mountaintop beacons from south to north. This chain of fire supposedly reached Segorbe, 200 kilometers away (see Map 2.4).43 Three weeks after Çaragoça, Luis Manrresa was summoned to confirm his previous testimonies from an inquisitorial cell. In July 1544, depositions were taken from Franciscan Friar Bartolomé de los Ángeles and his servant Joanes de Miranda, both recently returned—​as we saw in the last chapter—​from an over-​long Lenten missionary campaign.


Map 2.4 Witnesses in the Valencian investigation, 1540–1569. Dates (year/​month) indicate the first time a witness testified before inquisitors. For clarity, the twenty-​six witnesses summoned on behalf of don Sancho (from November 15 to December 1, 1569) have not been included. Two (Fernando de Orduña and Baltasar Cerdán) had previously been summoned as witnesses for the prosecution; the others were from Valencia (21) and Gorga (3). Cartographic sources: Esri, USGS, NOAA.


Geographies of discord 59

Figure 2.8 View of the Valley of Guadalest, looking east. The sunlit medieval castle is to the right; the reservoir near center was completed in 1971. Photo by the author, August 2006.

Like Michael Çaragoça, their testimonies focused on Muslims living openly in lands pertaining to the admiral. Friar Bartolomé spoke of the southern valleys and coast, but Miranda mentioned only northern Bechí, a town where the admiral maintained a palace and lived for much of the year (Figure 2.9).44 Both men also testified about the failure of the admiral’s Catholic employees to discourage Islamic ways of life. Significantly, the basic geography discussed in these 1540s testimonies would be described again and again across three decades. This landscape of Valencian Islam, like the territories controlled by don Sancho himself, had a southern and northern component. Witnesses spoke about towns in the mountains to the south of the city of Valencia, especially in the valleys of Guadalest and Seta (where don Sancho was lord of a number of Morisco villages). Witnesses also spoke about Morisco-​dominated communities in the mountains to the north: Bechí above all, but Segorbe as well (even though it had no connection to don Sancho, and was instead patrimony of the duke of Segorbe).45 After 1544, don Sancho’s case sat undisturbed in the inquisitorial archive for nearly fifteen years. Then, a week before Christmas 1558, Catholic priest


60  Geographies of discord

Figure 2.9 The sixteenth-​century courtyard of don Sancho de Cardona’s palace in Bechí, Valencia. Photo by the author, May 2009.

Joan Just testified about the recently reconstructed mosque in Adzaneta, a town in the Valley of Guadalest (one valley south of where Just was living). This mosque had a fascinating history, product of the ancient links connecting Valencia to North Africa and beyond. It held the tomb of a Sufi saint, Abū Aḥmad Jaʿfar banū Sīd-​Bono al-​Khuzaʿi (1149–​1224). As with prehispanic sacred books in the Nochixtlán Valley, medieval texts by Muslims and Christians allow us to reconstruct the meanings of this place before it came under the inquisitorial gaze When a young man, al-​Khuzaʿi set out from Iberia to perform the Hajj, and on the way studied with two Sufi masters in North Africa, Abū Madyān (in Bugie) and al-​Silafī (in Alexandria). After completing his pilgrimage and


Geographies of discord 61 returning to Valencia, al-​Khuzaʿi founded a zāwiyah, a Sufi retreat dedicated to the quest for tanzīl: divine revelation. After his death at the age of eighty, al-​Khuzaʿi was buried in the mosque of the small town of Adzaneta, his birthplace and home.46 This mosque-​tomb would be a miracle-​working pilgrimage site for the next three centuries, drawing visitors from throughout Iberia.47 It was destroyed during (or after) the germanías violence of the 1520s, but then rebuilt—​as later witnesses would reveal—​with the permission of don Sancho in the early 1550s (see Chapters 3 and 4).48 After Joan Just’s testimony, don Sancho’s case sat undisturbed for five years. Then, on Ash Wednesday 1563 (March 6), the mosque in Adzaneta was torn down once again. This prompted Gabriel Muñoz, a former employee of the admiral, to appear before inquisitors on March 13. He made three accusations:  that the admiral had not gone to confession for years, that he illegally arranged for the collection Church tithes on his own properties, and that back in 1550 he had allowed the ruined mosque in Adzaneta to be rebuilt. Muñoz also provides us with the mosque’s name: del tansi, from the Arabic tanzīl, “revelation.”49 By giving these testimonies, Muñoz may have wanted to unburden his conscience before an Eastertide confession. Alternatively, he may have been preparing his soul for a dangerous transatlantic journey:  in just over a year he would set sail for Peru, a servant of Hernando Arias de Saavedra.50 But whatever prompted Muñoz to offer testimony during the first days of Lent in 1563, he named a number of other Catholics who could corroborate his story. All were former employees of don Sancho, and over the next year (between March 22, 1563, and March 9, 1564)  inquisitors summoned four of them: Miguel Joan Torres, Antoni Joan Amat, Fernando de Orduña, and Francisco Pérez. Their testimonies, like those of previous witnesses, focused on the Valleys of Guadalest and Seta in the south, and on Bechí in the north. Thematically, they corroborated two of the three accusations Gabriel Muñoz made against the admiral: that don Sancho gave his Muslim vassals permission to rebuild the ruined mosque in Adzaneta, and that he had not performed confession for many years. Four more testimonies were added to don Sancho’s file in 1565, 1566, and 1567. Unlike the series of witnesses interrogated in 1563 and 1564, these four men had no direct connections to one another. In May 1565, notary Pedro Sancho reported a rumor (already familiar to inquisitors) that don Sancho did not confess his sins. In May 1566, Algerian-​born Morisco Francisco Antonio (imprisoned by inquisitors for his own misdeeds) testified about Muslims living openly in Bechí.51 He did not mention don Sancho, or make reference to the palace the admiral maintained in that town. Nevertheless, because Bechí was part of the admiral’s patrimony, the words of Francisco Antonio were entered in don Sancho’s file. The words of another North African were added to the admiral’s record seven months later. In January 1567, Tunisian-​born Francisco Bivas (aka Ali) made a passing reference to don Sancho in a confession that was really focused


62  Geographies of discord on Bivas’s own misdeeds: fourteen years earlier, when begging for alms to buy his freedom, this former slave performed Arabic prayers in the (then) newly-​rebuilt mosque in Adzaneta.52 Finally, in September 1567, Valencian Morisco Miguel de Prades (a frequent inquisitorial informer) mentioned don Sancho in a sprawling accusation against Moriscos and their Catholic allies.53 Overall, these four testimonies from the late 1560s named a number of towns both to the north and south. Northern locations included don Sancho’s towns of Bechí and Onda, as well as nearby towns belonging to other lords (Alcudia de Veo, Castellnovo, Almedíxer, Segorbe). Southern locations included the Valley of Guadalest, as well as towns in the Valleys of Seta and Travadell:  Benilloba (which pertained to the admiral) and Cocentaina and Muro (which did not).54 Mentioned for the first time was Benaguasil, an important Morisco-​dominated community (although with no direct ties to the admiral) twenty-five kilometers to the northwest of Valencia, along the road to Madrid. It was not until 1568 that inquisitors in Valencia began to think seriously about prosecuting don Sancho—​and then only in response to a Muslim protest against Catholic authority. On May 10, Bishop of Tortosa Martín de Córdoba y Mendoza entered the northern town of Vall d’Uxó. This was to be the beginning of a regional tour, one that combined preaching with the performance of full reconciliations to Muslims who confessed their religious misdeeds. (In other words, it was much like Dean Maraver’s Oaxacan visita of 1544, which led to his shouting match with Francisco de las Casas).55 However, things did not go as planned. The Morisco residents of Vall d’Uxó refused to ritually welcome the bishop (an act that involved carrying a cross to meet him). They shouted that they had been baptized by force, and would take their case to the king and, if necessary, the pope.56 This protest seems to have been above all symbolic; there are no accounts of violent attack. But it had a galvanizing effect. The duke of Segorbe—​whose vassals staged the protest—​immediately wrote a letter to Valencia’s inquisitors. Morisco leaders from throughout the kingdom traveled to the capital in order to meet with their Old Christian allies, including don Sancho.57 This flurry of activity may have been a worried response to events which had just taken place in Granada. A few weeks earlier—​on Easter Eve, or April 17—​ rumors of a planned Muslim uprising caused soldiers in the Alhambra to ring alarm bells. Christian immigrants moved to attack Granada’s Muslim quarter, but quick intervention by royal authorities prevented a massacre. Tensions in Granada seem to have triggered unrest in Valencia:  a premonition of things to come.58 As it happens, on May 4 and 5—​a few weeks after the events in Granada and a week before events in Vall d’Uxó—​ one of don Sancho’s lawyers presented himself before inquisitors. Francisco Tarrega had recently gone to confession—​probably right before Easter—​and reported several unsettling statements made by don Sancho in the past.59 Tarrega’s Franciscan confessor


Geographies of discord 63 told the lawyer that he should report these things to inquisitors. And so Tarrega went to the Palace of the Inquisition, testifying that two and a half years ago, don Sancho mentioned he was planning a Muslim embassy to the pope to complain about forced conversions. More recently (a few months earlier) don Sancho told Tarrega that he wished he possessed lands on the frontier with France, because Protestant uprisings would place Muslim resistance to conversion in perspective. A  week after Tarrega told these things to inquisitors, news of the Vall d’Uxó events reached the city of Valencia. On May 13 Valencia’s inquisitors wrote to the Supreme Council in Madrid, asking (as they had in 1540) for permission to prosecute. Madrid wrote back later the same month, and the response was the one given twenty-​eight years before. More evidence was needed. Spurred on by this, between May 25 and June 21 Valencian inquisitors gathered seven depositions from four witnesses. All were Moriscos. Morisco Miguel de Prades (whom we met earlier) was summoned back to give evidence again (he lived fairly close to Vall d’Uxó). In addition, the testimony given by Francisco Tarrega on May 4 had named Luis Navarro as a Morisco confidant of the admiral, and so Navarro was summoned as well. Navarro revealed he had been present at a number of the recent meetings between Morisco leaders and their Catholic allies. In total, Navarro gave three depositions during these tense weeks. His testimonies prompted inquisitors to summon Baltazar Alcámara (a Morisco from Bechí who had come down to Valencia to speak with don Sancho) as well as interrogate don Hernando (aka Abrahím) Abenamir, eldest son of Valencia’s leading Morisco family and an inquisitorial prisoner since late summer 1567.60 Other Moriscos named by Navarro would not be interviewed until the following year, and so on June 23 Inquisitor Manrrique sent the freshly-​gathered evidence to Madrid.61 On July 1—​letters took about a week to travel between Valencia and the capital—​the Supreme Council wrote back. They acknowledged the receipt of the new testimonies, but once again told the Valencian inquisitors to bide their time. Don Sancho’s case would sit undisturbed for the rest of 1568. Spatially, the testimonies gathered in 1568 only referenced lands north and west of the city of Valencia. The southern valleys of Guadalest and Seta went unmentioned. This is the one period of the investigation where geographic testimonies seem directly guided by the Holy Office. The interrogations of May and June 1568 were carried out during the aftershocks of a Muslim protest in the northern mountains, so it is no surprise that inquisitors—​who obviously wanted to prosecute don Sancho—​would focus on Muslim communities there (and despite the fact that the protest took place over twenty kilometers south of Bechí, in lands that were not his). But even here there was a limit to how testimonies were shaped by inquisitorial interests. Of the nineteen towns mentioned by witnesses in 1568, six—​nearly a third—​had already been named in previous years: Alcudía de Veo, Bechí, Castelnovo, Onda, Segorbe, Vall d’Uxó. New locations included Cirat, Toga, Fanzara, Río de Mijares, Eslida, Alfondeguilla, Castro, Albalat,


64  Geographies of discord Petrés, and—​in the plains west of the capital—​Benisanó, Paterna, Manises, and Alaquàs. But none of these new locations seems to have belonged to don Sancho. In other words, the 1568 testimonies added further details to the inquisitors’ map of Muslim communities to the north, but those details only amplified a picture that had been forming for decades—​as had been the case, on the other side of the Atlantic, for the spike in testimonies about Tiltepec in 1546. In the end, it would take a violent Muslim revolt elsewhere in Iberia to convince inquisitors in Madrid that don Sancho should be brought to trial. On Christmas Eve 1568, the Muslims of Granada rose up in protest against renewed attacks on their way of life: new laws prohibiting the use of Arabic, traditional dress, and the practice of Islam.62 The subsequent Revolt of the Alpujarras would last two years. On January 12, 1569, the Supreme Council in Madrid drafted a letter authorizing the prosecution of don Sancho. This letter arrived in Valencia on January 24. Later that same day, don Sancho was arrested and confined in the special cells that had been prepared for him back in June 1568.63 On January 31, the imprisoned admiral was ritually offered his first opportunity to confess. He claimed ignorance. The next day, February 1, two teachers from Valencia’s Imperial College of New Converts (that is, Moriscos) testified for the first time, prompted by news of the admiral’s incarceration (see Figure 1.4).64 On February 4 and 11, don Sancho was ritually offered his second and third chances to confess. On February 28 and March 1, he was read the general accusation against him, and given an opportunity to respond. In late March he became ill, and a doctor was brought to see him.65 At the end of the month a lawyer was named to represent the admiral’s case. During the summer of 1569, between May 25 and August 23, inquisitors called back old witnesses to ratify their previous testimonies. They also summoned new people to offer new evidence. Two Moriscos from the city of Valencia were brought in on June 21; both had been named the previous year by Morisco informant Luis Navarro. Four days later, four more of the Morisco notables named by Luis Navarro were questioned, and a fifth was questioned on June 30. Significantly, only two of these seven Morisco witnesses (Hierónimo Ubeyt and don Hernando Abenamir, the jailed Morisco notable we met earlier) offered any testimony. The others remained, strategically, silent.66 During the first week of July, five more new witnesses—​all Old Christians—​ were summoned to testify about illegal practices of tithe-​collection orchestrated by don Sancho in the Valley of Guadalest (see Chapter 3). A Morisco witness from the capital, Amet Alatar (or Alatar the Elder) was interrogated on July 7; he said nothing. The governor of Bechí, Baltazar Cerdán, gave testimony on July 16. By the last week in August, all but one of the prior testimonies that could be ratified had been ratified. (Some witnesses were dead, or—​as in the case of Gabriel Muñoz—​no longer in Europe). The one exception was Luis Navarro. He was in Madrid, claiming to represent Valencia’s Morisco community and presenting a petition to King Philip II. Navarro was still in Madrid when he ratified his testimonies on September 27.


Geographies of discord 65 After these summer investigations, the formal trial started up again in late October. Don Sancho responded to individual accusations between October 19 and 21.67 On November 4 he drafted a written response to the charges against him, which was accepted on November 9. On November 14 he provided inquisitors with a list of his enemies.68 Between November 15 and December 1, the admiral presented twenty-​six witnesses to testify on his behalf, and on December 7 inquisitors called in an imprisoned Morisco from the northern town of Segorbe (Gaspar Izquierdo) to offer one last testimony against the accused. (He said nothing). Finally, on December 10, a sentence was declared, and sent on in a letter to Madrid for confirmation. Almost a year had passed since the start of the Muslim uprising in Granada, the revolt that finally prompted don Sancho’s arrest after twenty-nine years of suspicion. As was true for the testimonies gathered in 1568, the new testimonies from 1569 focused on Muslim activity in towns north of Valencia. Witnesses spoke of Segorbe and Bechí, as well as Benisanó (all places mentioned many times before). Torres Torres was the only new location named in 1569. The composite geography of Islam revealed by testimonies against don Sancho between 1540 and 1569 replicates the basic pattern established by 1544 (Map 2.5). We saw something similar in the Yanhuitlán case. The overall geography of “idolatry” in the Nochixtlán Valley was mapped out during the first two weeks of testimony in October 1544. Subsequent interrogations simply reinforced this general outline. In Valencia, the Valley of Guadalest and its mosque at Adzaneta were by far the most important locations in the south, matched in the north by Bechí and, oddly, Segorbe (a town not part of don Sancho’s patrimony). We are fortunate to have separate, non-​ inquisitorial sources on don Sancho’s landholdings, and they confirm the geography of inquisitorial testimonies. In February 1563, the Crown orchestrated a disarmament of all of Valencia’s Moriscos. A coordinated network of royal representatives went from town to town, gathering weapons and making records of what had been collected. Don Sancho de Cardona is listed as the lord of twenty-​seven places north and south of the capital: northern Bechí, southern Ondara and Benidoleig, and a number of other southern towns in the adjacent Valleys of Guadalest (Adzaneta, Beniazim, Benifayró, Benimuça, Maurat, Ondrarella), Seta (Beniamet, Beniayzo, Costurera, Quatretonda), Confrides (Alfrofra, Lorent), and Travadell (Albacar, Benillup).69 Six years later (as discussed in Chapter 4), the admiral’s southern towns were visited by royal constable Nofre Llopis. Of the thirteen places named, only four do not appear in the 1563 list: Benimafull, Gorga, Millena, and Penáguila.70 Yet despite this overall north/​south correspondence of inquisitorial and non-​inquisitorial sources, it is also suggestive that only five of the towns listed in 1563 and 1569 were directly named as locations of Islamic practice by investigation witnesses: Bechí, Benidoleig, Adzaneta, Gorga, and Millena. Other towns subject to don Sancho escaped the inquisitorial gaze—​at least in his personal file.


Map 2.5 Geography of Islam in the Valencian investigation, 1540–​1569, according to the number of testimonies each place is named in: Alaquàs (4), Albalat de Tarongers/​Villarasa (1), Alcudia de Veo (3), Alfondeguilla (2), Almedíxer (1), Bechí (7), Benaguasil (1), Benidoleig (1), Benilloba (1), Benizano (4), Castel de Castells (1), Castellnovo (5), Chelva (1), Cirat (1), Cocentaina (1), Eslida (1), Fanzara (1), Gea de Albarracín (2), Gorga (1), Guadalest and Adzaneta (11), Manises (5), Millena (1), Muro (2), Oliva (1), Onda (2), Paterna (1), Pedreguer (1), Petrés (1), Planes (1), Polop (2), Río de Mijares (2), Segorbe (9), Toga (2), Torres Torres (2), Valencia (2, the “Villa Nueva”), Vall d’Uxó (and Castro, 2), Vall de Alcalá (2), Vall de Seta (4). Cartographic sources: Esri, USGS, NOAA.


Geographies of discord 67

Inquisitorial dialogues The documents generated by inquisitorial investigations—​whether conducted in Oaxaca or Valencia or Mexico City or southern France or northern Italy—​ are complex and contradictory.71 Investigations began with the gathering of initial testimonies from a number of witnesses. Some testimonies were spontaneously offered by people who came before the Inquisition to “clear their conscience” (por descargar su conciencia). Others were produced when inquisitors summoned specific individuals for interrogation (often people who had been named in prior depositions). When inquisitors felt enough evidence existed to pursue a case formally, the accused was arrested and placed in an inquisitorial jail. The investigation then continued on two parallel fronts. Inquisitors would begin to systematically collect additional evidence against the accused, drafting a formal questionnaire to interrogate witnesses for the prosecution. As a result, a great deal of inquisitorial testimony consisted of the varied responses given by different witnesses to a standardized list of questions. Meanwhile, back in the inquisitorial prison, inquisitors asked the accused to search his or her conscience to try and guess why their arrest had taken place. The accused was given three opportunities to confess. If he or she failed to do so, inquisitors read two documents aloud. One was a general list of accusations. The other was a witness-​by-​witness summary of specific accusations, but with identifying features (names, places) removed. The accused was then allowed to consult with a lawyer, respond to the accusations point-​by-​point, name personal enemies, and summon witnesses to speak in their defense. Out of this cacophony of claims and counterclaims, accusations and denials, inquisitors sought to produce a singular verdict, sifting through a chorus of very different voices to establish a simplified truth about events in a specific time and place. But if this singular verdict was built up from the testimonies of individual witnesses, those very testimonies were profoundly shaped by the inquisitorial context in which they were made. Giving evidence before inquisitors was a charged event, surrounded by taboos. Interrogations were to be conducted in absolute secrecy, and inquisitors were feared. Even if a person were summoned by inquisitors to answer questions about another’s crimes, that was not made clear at the outset. The summoned witness was asked if he or she could recall anything that they should confess. Witnesses might confess their own misdeeds, in which case a new investigation might begin there and then, opportunistically. But if a witness claimed ignorance, inquisitors would slowly ply the summoned individual with questions, prodding them to speak about crimes against the faith. In New Spain and Valencia, the collection of testimonies was made more complicated by linguistic boundaries. Most of the testimonies gathered from Native Americans in the Yanhuitlán proceedings were collected through a two-​ part translation chain. Indigenous witnesses would speak in their


68  Geographies of discord own language:  Dzaha Dzavui, Rain Speech. One interpreter would then translate their words to Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs, spoken in Central Mexico), and another interpreter would translate from Nahuatl to Castilian. Thus when the interrogations of don Francisco and don Domingo began in Mexico City on April 18, 1545, two translators were assigned to the case:  Pedro de Molina (Nahuatl-​Castilian) and a Ñudzavui man from Achiutla named Gonzalo (Nahuatl-​Dzaha Dzavui).72 In Valencia, inquisitors employed Arabic speakers to interpret Morisco testimonies as well to decipher confiscated texts.73 But even without the delays added by translation, inquisitorial interrogations unfolded in trance-​ like slowness. Inquisitorial scribes sought to capture the specific statements made by witnesses, which meant that the speed of interrogations was constrained by the speed of a pen.74 This pacing, the stretching-​out of time, was an important feature of the Inquisition’s ritual form. Another key aspect of these investigations was that they were to be conducted in a state of spiritual purity. Testimonies given by enemies of the accused, or by those who stood to gain from the outcome of a trial, were officially forbidden. Indeed, a key phase in the preparation of an accused person’s defense was the creation of a list of that person’s enemies—​people whose testimonies were contaminated, and which could therefore play no role in the final judgment. This is a very important detail, because it underscores the way that inquisitorial investigations were sacred rituals.75 Testimony given by witnesses who held grudges against the accused—​and which might be marred by sins like anger or greed—​was considered polluted. Witnesses were to swear that they were ritually pure (“he is not a relative of any of the parties involved nor has hate or enmity for any of them, nor does he have an interest in this case”)—​and this is why the final words of accusation against Dean Maraver we read in the last chapter are so important: “to cause grief and harm to the said Francisco de las Casas, he [Maraver] made the said denunciation and arranged that the investigation begin, which he conducted while consumed by passion …”76 Don Sancho would make the same accusation against the witnesses who spoke against him: “they testify with passion, to cause him harm.”77 Heated emotions were indeed important factors for the testimonies given in both Oaxaca and Valencia. Both cases are filled with ritually contaminated evidence: fascinating for us now, but at the time deeply problematic for inquisitorial judges. At the end of this complex process of questioning and recording, inquisitors had to review the assembled evidence and make their decision. A person could be found innocent, in which case he or she was released—​ although their case folder would remain in the inquisitorial archive, should it be needed in the future. A person could be found guilty, which they would discover when they were taken from jail to join the public spectacle of an Auto de Fe (where punishments could range from fines to whipping to banishment to death). Or a person’s investigation could simply be suspended, unresolved. Such a person would be released from jail, neither guilty nor


Geographies of discord 69 innocent. But their case remained on file, and could be started up again at any time.78 Despite all of the constraints, taboos, and issues of power and pressure and inequality surrounding their creation, inquisitorial documents are incredibly rich windows onto the social life of the past. In part, this is because they are multiply authored. Although the framework in which testimonies were given was controlled by inquisitors—​and this should never be forgotten—​at the heart of any inquisitorial investigation are the carefully recorded words spoken by a variety of witnesses.79 Indeed, after giving their depositions witnesses were read what the scribe had recorded, so any that errors could be corrected. Weeks or months later, witnesses were tracked down again and asked—​as we saw earlier in both Oaxaca and Valencia—​to confirm their recorded words once more.80 Inquisitorial testimonies provide visions of local communities (and their internal conflicts) seen from dozens of points of view. Inquisitors may have tried to shape what different witnesses said, and they certainly had the last word on what different testimonies meant. But their final decisions were produced out of a very messy and heterogeneous set of opinions and interpretations. This means that we, today, can use these documents for purposes quite different from the ones for which they were created.81 The chapters which follow use several basic strategies for interpreting witness testimonies. A  first cluster of techniques compares and contrasts questions asked with answers given. Perhaps the simplest type of inquisitorial answer is one that simply parrots the question asked by inquisitors. For example, in late February 1545 investigators working on the Yanhuitlán case prepared a new questionnaire for witnesses. Item 12 read: if they know that although the town of Yanhuitlán is the most powerful in this region, it has the worst church and doctrine of all the others, and that in all the towns subject to Yanhuitlán there are no churches nor trace of conversion. The witnesses should say how this came to pass, and who is the cause.82 When don Domingo, indigenous governor of Chachoapan, responded to this question on May 11, 1545, he confirmed the inquisitorial script, simply adding the names of those responsible: To the twelfth question he says that it is true that the town of Yanhuitlán is the largest town in the whole region and that because don Francisco and don Domingo are bad Christians and do not love the things of God they have the worst church and altarpieces and ornaments of all the land.83 Such exchanges probably tell us little about the ideas and opinions of the witness being interrogated. At the same time, however, they do reveal what was important in the eyes of inquisitors.84 Instead of lamenting that standardized


70  Geographies of discord lists of inquisitorial questions simply lead witnesses on, we need to ask why inquisitors were asking such questions in the first place, and why they wanted their leading questions ritually confirmed. If parroted declarations can be useful, so can testimonies that claim ignorance. As mentioned earlier, in June and July 1569 eight members of Valencia’s Morisco community were called before the Inquisition to testify against don Sancho de Cardona. Six of them responded in the same way:  “he doesn’t know,” “he doesn’t know anything that he remembers,” “he didn’t say anything.”85 For us, now, these are an incredibly disappointing set of interviews. Had these men talked, we would have a rich set of sources for thinking about Valencia’s Moriscos in the late 1560s. But the silence of these witnesses was calculated. These men were never called back to testify against the admiral, and by claiming ignorance they were able to spend as little time as possible within the Palace of the Inquisition. They also prevented themselves from accidentally accusing friends and relatives.86 In other words, what is presented as ignorance is probably careful strategy. Another witness tactic involved non sequitur: responding to a question by talking about something else entirely.87 On October 23, 1544, an indigenous woman named Catalina presented herself before inquisitors. She was an ex-​ slave from Yanhuitlán and came to testify against her former master. On being asked “What idols does don Francisco have,” Catalina began by saying that she didn’t know, because she was not allowed in that part of his palace. But she then continued her testimony by speaking about a native soothsayer and human sacrifices performed in the wilderness by don Francisco—​one of which claimed the life of her sister.88 A question about idols therefore provided Catalina with an excuse to rage against her sister’s ritual murder. These kinds of non sequitur responses are very important. They are responses shaped only minimally by what inquisitors wanted to hear. True, such responses were given in a highly coercive, highly constrained ritual format. But by testifying to issues they were not asked to address, witnesses sought to manipulate legal proceedings to their own ends, redirecting the interests of inquisitors. And as we will see in Chapter 7, the non sequitur answer of an indigenous priest offers important details about the fate of Yanhuitlán’s sacred greenstone images. In addition to comparing questions with answers, a second strategy for evaluating inquisitorial documents is to read different testimonies against one another. Are answers patterned according to class or gender or ethnic background? Are there connections among answers offered the same day?89 As we will see in Chapter  6, comparing the responses of indigenous ex-​slaves to the responses of indigenous nobles, and of Europeans, can be extremely revealing, because different members of society had different views of what was going on in their community—​as well as different agendas.90 The accused were well aware of this situation, and used it to their own benefit. One of the formal accusations against Yanhuitlán ruler don Domingo resulted from testimony given by Luis Delgado on February 22, 1545. According to Delgado, seven or eight years earlier he had entered the


Geographies of discord 71 palace of don Domingo in the company of Friar Dionisio de Vargas. There, they encountered a horrific scene of flagrant idolatry. It involved a diabolical diorama:  a pyramid made of dough, a mockery of the crucifixion using a sacrificed quail, and a serpent of feathers. But when don Domingo responded to this accusation, he very cleverly argued that the Spaniard’s interpretation of what he saw was wrong. Don Domingo critiqued Delgado’s very vision. The dough pyramid was simply a plate of tamales to eat for lunch, accompanied by a grilled quail; the featherwork serpent was just a dance costume.91 As we will see in Chapter 3, by placing both of these testimonies in a wider documentary context, we can evaluate their very different claims. This leads to a third, and indispensable, interpretive strategy:  reading inquisitorial testimonies alongside non-​ inquisitorial sources. Stereoscopic analysis allows the highly charged claims made before inquisitors to be reconsidered against documents made for less coercive purposes. When faced with the contradictory interpretations of social life preserved by inquisitorial scribes, this Rashomon Effect need not end in nihilistic stalemate. Although it is true that everyone views reality differently (or that, before inquisitors at least, everyone lies), this does not mean there is no way to analyze what witnesses claim, or to evaluate the motives that shape the claims themselves.92 Chapters 3 and 4, for example, juxtapose inquisitorial testimonies about income from don Sancho’s Valencian estates with noninquisitorial economic records, documents that offer alternative perspectives on the admiral’s finances. The chapters that follow attend to the complex nature of inquisitorial records, and to the coercive situations in which they were produced. But just because these documents were created in hostile environments does not mean that they are totally distorted visions of past social life. All historical sources are shaped by perspective, voice, tactics, and power.93 Witnesses who testified before the Inquisition were not totally passive:  they were aware of the dangerous situation in which they had been caught, and used a number of strategies to either escape it, or to harness it to their own ends.94 Thinking about these issues can help us understand not just what witnesses were literally saying (or leaving silent), but also what they were trying to communicate. At the same time, studies of inquisitorial documents should never be limited to those testimonies alone. The surviving archive from sixteenth-​ century Oaxaca and Valencia is extremely rich, and includes noninquisitorial sources created by Muslims, Moriscos, Native Americans, and Old Christians. Not all of these records are alphabetic:  some are pictorial, some are architectural, and some are archaeological. The physical landscape itself can be revealing. As we will see, these other sources can refract inquisitorial testimonies in productive ways.

Notes 1 Exactly where Molcaxtepec was located is uncertain; the town no longer exists. It was probably close to where the town of San Pedro Cántaros-​Coxcaltepec exists


72  Geographies of discord today, that is, in the foothills on the eastern edge of the Nochixtlán Valley. Both Martínez Gracida (Colección) and Smith (“Home”) recount local histories of three prior locations for San Pedro Cántaros, and according to a late sixteenth century map (AGN Tierras Vol. 1520 Exp. 2; see Figure 2.7 and Map 2.3), Molcaxtepec was a league to the northeast of Nochixtlán, just to the north of Quilitongo and the Royal Road (Camino Real) to Antequera. In addition, documents from the late seventeenth century list the same individuals ruling over both “San Pedro Cantaros” and “San Pedro Moscaltepec” (AHPJO AJT Leg. 30 Doc. 593; alternate numeration Leg. 15 Exp. 25–​01; Hermann Lejarazu, Códice, 263, 267, 271). Perhaps archaeological surveys will reveal more about late Postclassic and early viceregal occupation history of the area. For now, I have placed Moxcaltepec just to the southeast of San Pedro Cántaros-​Coxcaltepec, marking its location with a question mark instead of a locational dot. 2 Testimony July 18, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 261r). See also the circumspect (as characterized by Piazza, “Los procesos,” 212–​13) testimonies of Dominicans from Teposcolula (187r–​188v) and Coixtlahuaca (189v–​191v) on February 22, 1545. The people of Nochixtlán refused to attend Mass in nearby Yanhuitlán, preferring to travel a longer distance (and cross a chain of mountains) to go to Mass in Teposcolula; see the questionnaire prepared by don Francisco for his defense, July 18, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 244v–​245r). 3 Yucuita (Hill of Flowers) is the town’s name in Rain Speech. Trial documents use its Nahuatl translation, “Suchitepeque.” 4 In their journey to Mexico City, the nobles did not travel alone. Francisco, at least, was accompanied by a slave (testimony of Juan, former slave, April 9, 1546: AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 327r). 5 Testimony of Juan de Ruanes, October 13, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 282r–​283v); testimony of Juan Alonso, October 17, 1545 (283v–​284v); testimony of Francisco de Melgar, October 19, 1545 (285r–​286r); testimony of Juan de Molina, October 31, 1545 (286r–​287r). 6 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 290r–​292r. 7 Don Domingo mentioned three civil cases (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 294r, 301r). However, he only produced copies of two. Due to name changes (see Pohl, Politics, 57–​63), the three accused nobles were referred to in 1539 as Domingo, Alonso, and Cristóbal (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 296v). 8 Note that Yucuita claimed to be independent, and so was also involved in litigation with Francisco de las Casas. On the market, see AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 294v–​ 298r. On the lawsuit with las Casas, see testimony of don Francisco, July 18, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 231v). Yucuita seems to have been successful in its attempts to break from Yanhuitlán: in 1564 the town was listed as part of an encomienda with Etlatongo (Pérez Ortíz, Tierra, 63). 9 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 298r–​300v. In addition, when Etlatongo’s ruler appeared before inquisitors on the second day of the investigation, he admitted that he was personally involved in a lawsuit with Yanhuitlán’s encomendero, Francisco de las Casas—​ further intensifying the discord between the two communities (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 104v). Unfortunately, this legal paperwork seems not to have survived. 10 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 257v. 11 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 354r. 12 A marginal note next to Juan de Naveda’s name indicates “fue este t[estig]o al peru” (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 164v).


Geographies of discord 73 13 On the mass arrest, see AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 336r–​336v; Piazza, La conciencia, 57–​58; Terraciano, “People,” 27–​28. Of the six men arrested, two were unable to travel to Mexico City because of health reasons. Initial depositions from the four other men were recorded in June and August 1546, followed by the initial deposition of Yanhuitlán governor don Juan (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 345r–​347v: all depositions are filed in Expediente 11). Of the four arrested priests, only one (Caco/​Juan) had previously offered testimonies as a witness against the three accused nobles of Yanhuitlán, and so only he appears in Map 2.1. 14 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 347v. 15 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 340v, 341v, 343r–​343v. 16 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 340v. The documents are confusing at this point, because they switch back and forth between references to don Domingo and don Juan. However, since the scribe makes reference to illness (esta mal dispuesto) and to the fact that more evidence against the accused has been gathered (ha sobrevenido contra el mas ynformaçion), and that this will be the “third publication” of evidence, it seems that don Domingo is in fact being referred to—​at this point don Juan has not heard any of the accusations against him. 17 Documents releasing don Domingo to the control of Juan de Naveda, with Gonzalo de las Casas as a witness (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 341r). That the old encomendero of Yanhuitlán had died in March 1546 is suggested by AGI Patronato 76 N1 R1, 25 and 31. In contrast, the Yanhuitlán trial documents suggest he was still alive on April 1, 1546 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 303v). However, April 1 was when investigators first returned to the Mixteca after a long absence; perhaps they did not realize that Francisco de las Casas was already dead. 18 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 354v–​355v. 19 Perhaps inspired by Chachoapan, a former subject of Yanhuitlán that had previously achieved independence (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 195r); see also Levine, “Negotiating,” 28. 20 On the barrio of Yuchacoyo, documented as early as 1584, see Frassani, “Church,” 202–​3; Frassani, Building, 90–​92, 97. Tula-​referencing testimonies appear in AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 117r, 193r–​193v. An alternative possibility is that Tula refers to the town of Sotula, which is just to the east of Coxcaltepec (Sepúlveda y Herrera, Procesos, 63). However, this town is not “junto a anguytlan” at all, and this interpretation does not explain the ruler of Nochixtlán’s reference to the “rio de Tula.” 21 Frassani, “Church,” 182, 202–​3; Frassani, Building, 92, 97; testimony of don Cristóbal, governor of Nochixtlán, October 20, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 116r); testimony of Juan, ruler of Molcaxtepec, October 21, 1544 (118r); testimony of don Cristóbal, constable of Teposcolula, February 22, 1545 (188r). 22 See Pohl, “Archaeology,” and Hamann, “Sacred,” for further explanations of the identifications that follow. 23 Monaghan, “Sacrifice”; Monaghan, Covenants; Hamann, “Social.” 24 Jiménez Moreno and Mateos Higuera, El códice, 48; Jansen, Huisi, 284–​85; Jansen and Pérez Jiménez, Historia, 150–​52. 25 Testimony of Juan de Naveda, October 16, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 164v–​165r); testimony of Domyngo, native of Molcaxtepec, April 13, 1546 (333v). 26 Jansen, Huisi, 201. 27 Testimony of Juan, ruler of Molcaxtepec, October 21, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 117v, recopied at 177v); testimony of Luis, official of Molcaxtepec, October 21, 1544 (119r, recopied at 178v);


74  Geographies of discord 28 Testimony of Juan de Naveda, October 16, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 108r–​108v); testimony of Juanes de Angulo, October 16, 1544 (110r); testimony of don Cristóbal, council member (alcalde) of Teposcolula, February 22, 1545 (188r). See also Spores, Archaeological, 119–​20; Plunket, “Intensive,” 176. 29 Spores, Archaeological, 125–​26; Spores, “Yucuñudahui.” 30 Testimony of Juan de Naveda, October 16, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 166r). 31 Testimony of Juanes de Angulo, October 16, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 110r); testimony of Catalina, a former slave from Yanhuitlán, October 21, 1544 (119v). 32 Testimony of don Cristóbal, governor and constable of Nochixtlán, October 20, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 116v). 33 Jiménez Moreno and Mateos Higuera, El códice, 3; Sepúlveda y Herrera, Procesos, 62; Kowalewski et al., Origins, 43. On the volador ceremony, see Alvarado, Vocabulario, 36r; Terraciano, Mixtecs, 267; Beekman, “Agricultural.” 34 Testimony of Luis, official of Molcaxtepec, October 21, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 119r, recopied at 178v). 35 Furst, Codex, 233. 36 Testimony of don Cristóbal, governor and constable of Nochixtlán, October 20, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 116r). 37 Testimony of Juan, ruler of Molcaxtepec, October 21, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 118v). 38 AGI Escribanía 162 C, 474r. Note that this Lord 7 Wind is a distinct deity from the Lord 7 Wind shown at Place of Blood, Hill of Scaffolding. 39 During his April 15, 1546 testimony, indigenous priest Caco mentions “un çerro cerca De cuscatepeque” (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 337v). 40 Testimony of Juan of Etlatongo, April 9, 1546 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 326v); Hermann Lejarazu, Códice, 201. 41 Testimony on the “caçica de tamaçola” by don Domingo, governor of Chachoapan, May 11, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 195r). On the ruling family of Yanhuitlán, see Caso, “Lords,” and Spores, Mixtec, 132–​38, 146–​48, 151–​52. In a document from 1580, don Gabriel asked witnesses to confirm that he had been raised in Yanhuitlán (AGN Civil Lib. 516, 205v/​4v). The same folio also says that don Gabriel had served as ruler of Yanhuitlán for twenty-​two years, which is correct (1558 + 22 = 1580). Based on this document, Spores suggested that don Gabriel was twenty-​two years old at the time he became ruler of Yanhuitlán (Spores, Mixtec, 136), but it seems that twenty-​two years refers instead to the length of his rule by 1580. Doña María’s husband don Diego (father of don Gabriel) was ruler of both Cachoapan and Tamazola. He seems to have died by 1545: on May 11, a governor of Chachoapan mentions that the town’s ruler was then named don Domingo (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 195r). More information is needed to estimate when don Gabriel was born, and thus consider any relation he may have had to the inquisitorial investigation in the 1540s. Note that in the Yanhuitlán documents Juan de Naveda refers to a sacrifice-​performing “mochacho que es /​natural caçique de anguytlan” (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 108v). This is probably a cousin of don Gabriel named don Domingo (Scholes and Adams, Cartas, 300–​1; Frassani, “Church,” 59, 74). 42 Hurtado Álvarez, Los valles; Saranoa Zozaya, “El castillo”; Moras del Hoyo, Guadalest. 43 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 333r. 44 Traver Tomás, “El palacio-​castillo.”


Geographies of discord 75 45 Danvila, “Desarme.” 46 Bosch Vilá, “Notas”; Burns, Islam, 196–​97, 417; Calero Secall, “Los Banū,” 38–​ 39; Ferrer i Mallol, Els sarraïns, 95–​100; Epalza, “La tumba”; Franco Sánchez, “Identificación”; Franco Sánchez, “La familia”; Franco Sánchez, “Andalusíes”; Franco Sánchez, “Ibn”; Franco Sánchez, “Los Banū”; on North African Sufism, see Gellner, Saints; Hess, Forgotten, 47–​49; Cornell, Realm. 47 For the history of this shrine in the fourteenth century, see Boswell, Royal, 262–​63, 437–​38; Catlos, Muslims, 184. 48 Testimony of Gabriel Muñoz, March 13, 1563 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 336v). 49 Testimony March 13, 1563 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 336v). 50 An index of witnesses against don Sancho, probably drafted in 1569, describes Muñoz as “en Indias” (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp.  4, 327r); confirmation of this is found in AGI Pasajeros L4 E3473 (1564–​05–​06). Four years before his original deposition, in 1556, Muñoz was apparently brought to court by the admiral: ARV Real Audiencia Procesos Criminales 2 Núm. 109. 51 He had previously lived in Murcia, and in 1563 appeared in an Auto de Fe for having “returned to the sect of Muḥammad” (BNE Ms. 9175, 190v). He was banished, moved to Valencia, and was executed there on November 3, 1566 (AHN Inq. Lib. 936, 20r). Living as he did between Alcudia de Veo and Bechí (where he resided with a known alfaquí), it is possible that Franco Antonio was the alfaquí mentioned by merchant Gaspar Coscolla on May 23, 1565 (AHN Inq. Leg. 548 Caja 1 Exp. 2, 2r). 52 Francisco Bivas is named as Ali by Pedro Gregorio on June 28, 1567 (AHN Inq. Leg. 548, Caja 1 Exp. 2, 10r). On Guadalest, see testmony by Francisco Bivas, July 9, 1568 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 344r). 53 On Prades as informant, see AHN Inq. Lib. 911, 765r (June 16, 1567; draft included in AHN Inq. Leg. 503, 152v–​153r); Arroyas Serrano and Gil Vicent, Revuleta, 43, 102–​5. 54 At least according to a 1563 account of the admiral’s patrimony:  Danvila, “Desarme.” See also ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra S Apéndice 174 (for southern patrimony in 1569)  and Císcar Pallarés, Tierra, 308–​9 (for northern patrimony in the early 1600s). That Onda pertained to the admiral is suggested by donations in his and his wife’s wills (see Chapter 6). 55 On the visitas of bishops to their parishes, see Halavais, Like, 114–​16. 56 Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 219–​20. 57 See testimonies (to be discussed shortly) by Luis Navarro (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 355r–​359v and 402r–​408v), as well as the June 19, 1568 testimony by alfaquí Luis Hanif (AHN Inq. Leg. 1117 Caja 1, disordered and unpaginated folios). 58 Coleman, Creating, 68; on the Valencian repercussions of unrest in Muslim Granada, see Salvador Esteban, Felipe, and Salvador Esteban, “La guerra.” 59 Mandatory annual confession (and communion) for Catholics had existed since the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215. In the sixteenth century, confession usually took place during Holy Week, and communion on Easter Sunday (Asad, Genealogies, 95; Duffy, Stripping, 54, 60, 93–​94). 60 On the Abenamir family, see Bernabé Pons, “On,” 128–​29. Hernando is named as Abrahím in the testimony of Francisco Biuas on May 21, 1567 (AHN Inq. Leg. 548 Caja 1 Exp. 2, 11r).


76  Geographies of discord 61 AHN Inq. Lib. 911, 995v. 62 Coleman, Creating, 177–​85; Harvey, Muslims, 204–​36. 63 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 414r. 64 Testimony of Joan Baptista Sanz (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 364v). 65 AHN Inq. Lib. 912, 107r (letter March 29, 1569)  and 131r (letter February 12, 1569). 66 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 267r, 370r–​371v, 382r–​385r. 67 AHN Inq. Lib. 912, 133r, 135r, 141r (letters October 29, 22, and 1, 1569). 68 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 463v–​480v. The list included thirty-​five names and explanations (which make for fascinating reading: unchaste clerics, chivalric courtship, the feuds that divided Valencia’s noble families, the early misdeeds of don Sancho’s son Cristóbal). Nevertheless, only seven of these “enemies” testified against the admiral, and only one (lawyer Francisco Tarrega) presented himself before inquisitors of his own accord. The rest were summoned after being named by other witnesses. 69 Danvila, “Desarme”; this list involves a disarmament campaign, and so only records don Sancho’s patrimony indirectly (which may be why Gorga and Millena, for example, are not included). 70 ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra S Apéndice 174. 71 In terms of process and practice, inquisitorial investigations should be understood as a subset of early modern legal procedures more generally. Indeed, torture itself was a basic early modern interrogative technique: it was not limited to the Inquisition (Clendinnen, “Reading,” 330 n. 8; Peters, Inquisition). Inquisitorial investigations can be distinguished, however, by two main features. First, inquisitorial investigations were to be conducted in total secrecy and anonymity. Second, inquisitorial investigations were overseen by a corps of professional legal bureaucrats, in contrast to the cases tried by ordinary justices, which could be prosecuted by elected officials with no legal training or experience (see Herzog, Upholding). 72 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 182r. However, as Nancy Farriss points out (Tongues, 75), at least one Dominican translator was able to translate Rain Speech directly into Castilian. 73 Labarta, “Notas.” 74 See Ginzburg, Cheese, ix. This kind of pen-​ paced group coordination was practiced in other areas of society, such as university lectures where professors spoke slowly enough for students to copy their discourses word for word (Vitoria, Political, xvii). Notaries in general often prepared a quick, rough copy of a document first (the borrador), and then recopied it later in a neater hand. The Yanhuitlán documents preserve evidence of this practice. The original testimonies written down in the fall of 1544 are (partially) preserved in Expediente 7; these were then recopied in what is now Expediente 5 (which begins on AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 103r). 75 This would have been true of legal proceedings more generally, given that early modern law was understood to be founded on God’s universal order (see Chapter 3 and Conclusions). The disqualification of biased witnesses was a general feature of early modern legal regimes; these disqualifying factors were called tachas: Herzog, Upholding, 146; Covarrubias Orozco, Tesoro, 36v (second foliation); Piazza, La conciencia, 54.


Geographies of discord 77 76 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 282r. 77 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 475r. 78 Because of these social-​institutional-​ritual contexts, present-​day research on the psychology of witness testimony (in the secular courtrooms of contemporary nation-​states) is not easily projected back in time five centuries to the inquisitorial offices of the Spanish empire. Even the imagination of crime and legal evidence is different. Most current research focuses on legal practices that solicit witness memories of specific, traumatic events. In contrast, inquisitorial investigations usually asked for witness memories of broader social contexts and practices. For a review of recent legal-​psychological literature, see Loftus, Doyle, and Dysart, Eyewitness Testimony. Present-​day studies aimed at establishing “tells” for when witnesses are lying (based on details of speech and body language) have been infamously inconclusive, and are usually based on research in controlled experimental settings (see Vrij, “Guidelines,” for an optimistic overview). 79 Classic essays on the dangers of ignoring the contexts in which inquisitorial documents were produced include Boyle, “Montaillou”; Clendinnen, “Reading”; Rosaldo, “From”; Ginzburg, Clues, 156–​64. The importance of social networks for the unfolding of inquisitorial dramas is highlighted in Levi, Inheriting; Clendinnen, Ambivalent; and Contreras, Sotos. Research on notarial practice is also relevant here: Herzog, Mediación; Burns, “Notaries” (especially 376–​79). 80 See also Clendinnen, “Reading,” 106. 81 See Guha, Elementary; Ginzburg, Cheese. 82 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 184r. 83 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 196r. 84 Ginzburg discusses the leading questions of inquisitors in a classic essay originally published in 1961 (Ginzburg, Clues, 7–​10, 15); see also Ginzburg, Night, 137, 139; Rappaport and Cummins, Beyond, 169. Present-​day studies of witness testimony have also explored the role of leading questions, although the findings of controlled experiments have differed from findings based on actually-​experienced crimes (see the classic studies of Loftus and Palmer, “Reconstruction” and Loftus, “Leading” in contrast to Yuille and Cutshall, “A Case Study”). 85 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp.  4, 367r, 370r–​371v, 383v–​385r. The exceptions were Hierónimo Ubeyt (see Chapter 4) and Hernando Abenamir. 86 This strategy seems to have been a technique of resistance learned early in life. In contrast, Muslim slaves and ex-​slaves, usually born outside of Iberia, were often more willing to respond to inquisitorial interrogations (Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, “Solidaridad”). 87 A method inspired by Ginzburg’s attention to conceptual “gaps” between inquisitors and the accused: Clues, 11, 14–​15; Night, xviii, 103; Terraciano, “People,” 17. 88 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 119v. 89 This technique was famously used in Clendinnen, “Reading.” 90 Again, this was true of early modern lawsuits more generally: “criminal records tell us more about the interaction between individuals, groups, and the administration than they do about crime or even the social perception of crime” (Herzog, Upholding, 11). 91 See also the case of don Pedro of Totolapa in Tavárez, Invisible, 38.


78  Geographies of discord 92 The concept of a Rashomon Effect—​named after the 1950 Kurosawa film—​ was developed in the anthropological debates of the late 1980s over the Mead-​ Freeman controversy (Heider, “Rashomon”; Rhoades, “ ‘Rashomon’ ”; Freeman, “Comment”). 93 Skinner, Foundations; Davis, “Fiction”; Trouillot, Silencing. 94 Strategic uses of idolatry investigations have also been documented for the indigenous Andes: Gose, Invaders, 148–​49,  208–​9.


3  Catholic Catholicisms

Consider the connected words of two sixteenth-​century bishops. In May 1595, the bishop of Orihuela wrote a letter to King Philip II. This Doctor Esteban offered the monarch advice on the ongoing Christianization of Moriscos in Valencia. Among other things, he complained that Catholic lords with Morisco subjects were an impediment to religious transformation. These lords argued that converting the Moriscos “would cause much damage to this kingdom and to the property of individuals.”1 For this reason, writes the bishop, lords “are lax in the conversion of their subjects.”2 Although they had been royally commanded to assist religious efforts—​by building churches on their lands, and by tearing down mosques—​most lords did nothing. Worse, some of them actively hindered the efforts of Catholic missionaries, forbidding them entry to their lands. As part of his critique, the bishop of Orihuela summoned the authority of another bishop, a bishop who had lived in the New World: The bishop of Chiapas, don Friar Bartolomé de las Casas, made this same complaint in the book called Of the Remedies for the Reformation of the Indies, where he proves with twenty points that Indians should not be given to Spaniards in encomienda, nor in fiefs, nor in vassalage, because of the harm which their conversion will suffer, something which very easily could also be applied to our case, and so it will not be necessary to repeat them here.3 Of the Remedies for the Reformation of the Indies was published in Seville in 1552. It reproduced a discourse given in Valladolid by Friar Bartolomé in 1542, as part of his famous debate on the New World with Juan de Sepúlveda.4 The bishop of Chiapas blamed secular authorities in the Americas for hindering Catholic missionization. Las Casas, like his Valencian counterpart, denounced the role of greed. He reminded the king that Native Americans were royal vassals, and that profits extracted by encomenderos were profits subtracted from royal income.5 Las Casas also lamented the ways in which encomenderos actively interfered with conversion efforts. Like many Valencian lords with Morisco vassals, encomenderos were often hostile to the presence of


80  Catholic Catholicisms missionaries on their lands.6 Like their Valencian counterparts, encomenderos were expected to take some responsibility for Christianization. This, decried las Casas, was a farce on many levels. He mocked the instructions given to encomenderos when they received grants of Native American workers: “that you should take charge to teach and indoctrinate them in the things of our Holy Faith.” This idea was absurd, las Casas alleged, because many encomenderos themselves did not know how to make the sign of the cross. Even worse, some encomenderos actually encouraged idolatries: Lord, what a preacher and priest such a Christian would be, who—​the Indians of a certain province having handed over their idols to religious men, affirming that they wanted to be servants of the true God Christ—​ brought from other regions certain loads of idols, and took them out in the marketplace to sell them and trade them for slaves to the same Indians.7 Harsh accusations. But if we turn from the polemics of these two bishops to Valencian and Oaxacan archives, an even stranger picture emerges. It is certainly true that secular authorities were often in conflict with Catholic authorities on both sides of the Atlantic. Catholic missionaries were indeed barred from entering encomiendas and noble estates. In some cases, missionaries were actually driven from their newly founded monasteries by secular rivals. The bishop of Chiapas’ accusation that encomenderos protected non-​ Christian materiality finds direct parallels in the inquisitorial cases studied here. In Oaxaca, Francisco de las Casas was accused of hiding the god-​images of his indigenous allies from inquisitors. In Valencia, don Sancho de Cardona was accused of giving his Morisco subjects permission to rebuild a ruined mosque. Because of these and related acts, secular authorities in both Oaxaca and Valencia were accused of not being Christians at all. In Oaxaca, Dean Maraver publicly proclaimed that “Francisco de las Casas was a son of a bitch, and that all of his Indians were idolaters, and that he [las Casas] was a greater idolater than they, and was no more a Christian than his horse.”8 In Valencia, don Sancho de Cardona was simultaneously slandered as not being a Christian and of being a Protestant heretic. In 1567, Gaspar Coscolla testified that “the duke of Segorbe and the admiral and the other lords and barons want and consent that they [their vassals] should be Muslims, and thus it is most necessary that the lords and barons should be converted first.”9 Three years later, the official accusation against don Sancho accused him of “feeling and believing that it is not necessary for Moriscos to confess in church, following Lutheran opinion, which is illustrated by his actions, having neither confessed nor communed in more than twenty years.”10 A few lines later, this list of charges concluded by asking inquisitors “to proceed against the said [admiral] as a heretic, and manifest agent of heretics and of those who observe the sect of Muḥammad and its rites.”11


Catholic Catholicisms 81 Yet despite being hostile to Church representatives, and despite their apparent support of non-​Christian practices and materialities, encomenderos and noblemen also appropriated Catholic sacred powers. In the documents from Yanhuitlán, for example, Francisco de las Casas was accused of performing a number of Catholic rituals, from baptism to annulment, even claiming “he was bishop and pope in his town.”12 Parallel appropriations of the Catholic sacred were made by lords in Valencia. In 1564 or 1565, don Francisco de Castellví was accused of sanctioning marriages and annulments, even asserting that “in my lands I am king and pope.” He later admitted that this was all true, and confessed that “he had said one or two times that in his land he was the pope and the king.”13 It might seem that these accusations and assertions—​ of bishops and popes, of idolaters and Lutherans and horses—​are nothing more than rhetorical flourishes. They are that, of course. But they also have a profound connection to well-​ documented practices, practices easily ignored (and impossible to understand) if we take the bishops of Orihuela and Chiapas at face value. That is, if we assume encomenderos and noblemen were only interested in profit maximization, and had nothing but disdain for the powers of religion. Questions of economy will be raised briefly in this chapter and are the focus of the next, as connected to the protection of idols in Oaxaca and the rebuilding of a mosque in Valencia. But before analyzing those paired accusations in detail, I  want to map out a broader framework of practice and theory. The following pages explore the importance of Catholic sacred authority in sixteenth-​century Oaxaca and Valencia, and its paradoxical relation to non-​Christian religious practices. “Catholic” means universal, which is why it is striking that secular authorities in Oaxaca and Valencia were accused not only of seeking to monopolize Christian powers on their lands, but also of sanctioning non-​ Christian religious practices.14 One tempting path for understanding these claims of pan-​religious jurisdiction is offered by Stuart Schwartz in All Can Be Saved:  Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian Atlantic World. Through an epic survey spanning three centuries, Schwartz demonstrates time and again how ordinary people from throughout Europe asserted (often to Iberian inquisitors) that “each can be saved in his own law”—​that is, according to their own religious beliefs. Schwartz argues that this widespread sentiment arose from a basic, even transhistorical, “common sense.”15 This was a common sense in two ways. It was something “obvious” and “practical” as well as something egalitarian.16 Many of those who expressed the belief that “each can be saved in his own law” were nonelites. Schwartz therefore presents his book as a contribution to the social history of “attitudes of tolerance among common folk” (if not only common folk).17 This history of tolerance transcends sectarian divisions:  Schwartz summons evidence from Catholics and Protestants as well as Jews and Muslims and skeptics. Such ideas are well documented in Valencia. On November 7, 1567, imprisoned Morisco Joan Algordell admitted to Valencian inquisitors that “it is true that,


82  Catholic Catholicisms he now remembers, traveling on the road coming from Lérida or from Tortosa five or six years ago, he said that a good Muslim could also be saved in his law, like the Christian in his own.”18 But as compelling as Schwartz’s arguments are, a different model is needed to understand the actions of men like Francisco de las Casas and don Sancho de Cardona. This chapter outlines a very different tradition of toleration: one that is hierarchical, specifically Catholic, and far from being “commonsense.” Catholic theories of Natural Law, and the role of the pope as pontifex maximus (supreme bridge-​builder between heaven and earth), outlined a theoretical and practical space in which non-​Christian religious practices could be tolerated—​and regulated.19 This was not the egalitarian, utopian toleration aspired to today, but rather toleration in the sense of enduring something unpleasant. Catholic sacred models were based on inequality, and the space reserved for non-​Christian religions was at the very bottom. But such a space existed, and offered conceptual resources for dealing with the practical challenges of multireligious societies. And it gave rise to unintended consequences. The hierarchical claims of Catholic universality—​catholic Catholicism—​could be turned on their heads when, say, Muslims demanded that the pope defend their right to practice Islam within his universal empire. Or when Native Americans found the universal claims of Catholicism to be compelling, and so appropriated Catholic symbols to share in its power.

“In my lands I am king and pope”/​“He was bishop and pope in his town” To begin, consider the mutual hostility of encomenderos and nobles to official religious functionaries. As the bishops of Orihuela and Chiapas both stressed, secular lords in Valencia and the New World actively interfered with missionary campaigns. In Chapter 1, we saw how an employee of don Sancho de Cardona (Miguel Fenollar) tried to prevent Bartolomé de los Ángeles from preaching and performing baptisms in the admiral’s lands. Fenollar forced one of the preachers traveling with Friar Bartolomé to return to the city of Valencia for additional licenses from the archbishop. A similar case of lordly interference was documented later the same year. Father Friar Hierónimo Lorenço (“one of the persons in charge of the preaching and instruction of the New Converts of this kingdom in the bishopric of Segorbe and Tortosa”) testified that “the lord duke of Segorbe has told this witness that he does not want him to enter in his lands.”20 And twenty years later, in 1564, a letter from Valencia’s inquisitors to Madrid’s Supreme Council of the Inquisition recounted recent conflicts in the southern town of Gorga. Most of the town’s lands were owned by don Sancho de Cardona, but a third of them belonged to the Convent of Santa Clara in Játiva. Don Sancho—​through his henchmen—​ was accused of trying to prevent the abbess’ representatives from entering the


Catholic Catholicisms 83 town: “because the admiral is lord of the other two parts of the place, he does not wish there to be another authority there.”21 Meanwhile, in Oaxaca, Francisco de las Casas was also accused of interfering in missionary campaigns. A number of such charges were collected in February 1545, when inquisitors conducted interviews in Teposcolula. A political rival of Yanhuitlán one valley to the west, Teposcolula was home to the monastery founded when Dominican friars were driven from Yanhuitlán by Francisco de las Casas and the indigenous nobility. Friar Domingo de Santa María, vicar of the Teposcolula monastery, described how “the said Francisco de las Casas was always hindering them [the Dominicans] during the whole time that this witness was vicar in the said town [of Yanhuitlán] and others, and did not allow the religious men to punish the vices and sins [of the Ñudzavui].”22 The vicar blamed las Casas for the abandonment of Yanhuitlán’s Dominican monastery. After much interference and trouble from the encomendero—​which included “many ugly and dishonest words”—​ “this witness, being vicar there with the other religious men, abandoned the monastery and left.” The Dominicans then established a new monastery in Teposcolula. One friar tried to stay behind, but even he was rebuffed: “Father Friar Joseph, living the said town, wanted to establish a hermitage, according to what this witness has heard, and was never allowed to, although he does not know if this was because of Francisco de las Casas or the Indians.” Friar Domingo can say, however, that on one occasion he witnessed Francisco de las Casas stop Friar Joseph from preaching.23 These negative attitudes toward the administrators of sacred power are, in many ways, not surprising. Conflicts over jurisdiction had long strained the relations between secular and sacred authorities in Iberia.24 Yet even as they were being hostile to missionaries, nobles and encomenderos also tried to appropriate sacred powers for themselves. In other words, nobles and encomenderos were often at loggerheads with priests and friars because these religious authorities were seen as competitors. For example, in both Oaxaca and Valencia secular authorities were accused of overseeing marriage rituals, appropriating Catholic powers to authorize such unions. In Valencia, nobles were said to give their Muslim subjects permission to marry within degrees of relatedness allowed by Muslim law but normally prohibited by the Catholic Church. In 1564 and 1565, don Francisco de Castellví (who we met earlier) was accused of giving his Muslim subjects permission to marry in second, third, and fourth degrees of consanguinity.25 When arrested in February 1571, don Francisco confessed that this had in fact happened: “it was true that he had given permission to certain Moriscos so that they should marry in prohibited grades [of consanguinity] such as second and third.”26 The following year, in 1572, don Rodrigo Muñoz was arrested by inquisitors because “he consented that his New Christian Muslim vassals should marry in prohibited degrees.”27 These actions by don Francisco and don Rodrigo, it must be stressed, were not simply cases of secular rulers ignoring or suspending religious laws. Both


84  Catholic Catholicisms men actively appropriated religious powers. Marriages of close kin (cousins, for example) were in general forbidden by Catholic law, but exceptions could be made. The pope granted special dispensations to sanction such weddings.28 The most common recipients were closely related noble families, but another version of this papal authorization was granted to Valencia. In January 1526, at the time of the official conversion of Valencia’s Muslims to Catholicism, a printed broadsheet announced how papal dispensations could be acquired for already consummated Muslim marriages that, according to Christian rules, were incestuous. Subsequent marriages by converted Moriscos, however, had to conform with the rules “ordered by the Church and canon law.”29 Thus by granting permission to Morisco weddings conducted within degrees of consanguinity forbidden by the Church, Francisco de Castellví and Rodrigo Muñoz appropriated the powers of the papacy in order to give Catholic approval to Muslim unions. Indeed, when the lord of Carlete was arrested in 1571, he admitted to knowing that giving permission to marry within prohibited degrees of kinship was a power reserved for the highest Church authorities. It is in this context that he admits to having claimed papal and royal powers: “he said one, two times that in his land he was pope and king and that he well understood that this was not the case, because he well understands that the pope (or he who represents his authority) has to give these licenses.”30 Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the Yanhuitlán documents reveal parallel appropriations of sacramental power. Francisco de las Casas was accused of performing Catholic marriages and baptisms for his Native American subjects.31 On February 22, 1545, Martín de Santo Domingo (a Dominican friar living in Coixtlahuaca) testified that las Casas “desires that those who have to be married or baptized or any other thing” should receive his approval, and that these sacraments “should be done by his hand and in his presence.”32 Two days later, Francisco Gutiérrez testified that: Francisco de las Casas has always interfered with all the friars and clerics who have served as vicars in the said town, by both marrying the said Indians and in preaching to them, because various times he has heard the vicars complain that the said Francisco de las Casas in marrying, unmarrying, and in other things of doctrine has made himself a vicar.”33 What is particularly interesting in this second testimony is that las Casas is accused not merely of performing marriages, but of annulling them as well (descasar).34 Similar accusations—​ also featuring the verb descasar—​were made in Valencia two decades later. Once again, don Francisco de Castellví was targeted: “he also consented that some Moriscos should be unmarried [se descasasen] who had been married with the authority of the Church, and that they should then marry others, [even though] their first husbands and wives were living, and they brought him money for this.”35 Other witnesses claimed don Francisco even brought in Muslim authorities on sacred law to oversee


Catholic Catholicisms 85 the dissolution of marriages: “he had called an alfaquí to Carlete, who had unmarried [descasado] a Morisca and [re]married her with another, and that the day this was done the said alfaquí was seated at table with don Francisco and his wife and son and the witness believes that he ate with them.”36 When he was arrested in 1571, the lord of Carlete admitted guilt on both counts. He had indeed annulled Morisco marriages: “he has also given licenses to another Morisca so that she be unmarried from her husband and marry another.”37 He had also called on the authority of a Muslim alfaquí to dissolve other unions: a Morisca told him that her husband was a foreigner and so did not want to be with him and he had told her that she should marry another, and had summoned an alfaquí (who had come to his house to divide certain goods among the Moriscos) so he could declare if the contracted marriage with the foreigner were a [legitimate] marriage or not according to the sect of the Muslims, because they had not been married as Christians, and the said alfaquí had declared that it was not a marriage, and he divided their possessions and married her to another, and that he [don Francisco] had not done more than given permission that she should be married and he knows well that he had done wrong …38 These parallel accusations against the two Franciscos—​de las Casas and de Castellví—​were especially disturbing in the mid-​sixteenth century. The power of unmarrying was deeply problematic in a world shattered by religious discord. Complex rules for Catholic annulments had developed during the Middle Ages. Although the power of severing a marriage was ultimately reserved for the pope, cases involving commoners were often determined by ecclesiastical courts and confirmed by bishops.39 But by the 1540s, the power of annulment had become controversial, and so this accusation against the two Franciscos was not a trivial detail. Already in 1520, Martin Luther had critiqued the papal monopoly on annulment in his The Pagan Servitude of the Church.40 In 1533, after Pope Clement VII refused to annul Henry VIII’s marriage to the Iberian-​born Catherine of Aragón, the king of England formally broke off relations with the Catholic Church and set himself up as the pope-​like head of his own national congregation.41 If Francisco de las Casas and Francisco de Castellví were truly performing annulments, they were surely conscious of just how radical their appropriation of that sacred power was. Francisco de las Casas was also accused of suspending Catholic food taboos, another sacred power critiqued by Protestant reformers. On May 13, 1545, a former slave of don Domingo—​an unbaptized man named Quxi—​ presented himself before inquisitors. Like every other witness, he was asked specific questions from a predetermined list. Item 8 of the questionnaire asked whether Yanhuitlán noble don Francisco had performed idolatrous acts.42 Quxi began his answer by confirming this, yet ended by turning to European-​ born Francisco de las Casas:


86  Catholic Catholicisms To the eighth question he said that it is true that all the holy days and Sundays and festivals throughout the year, before he [don Francisco] would leave from his house he burned incense and dedicated himself to the devil before he should leave from his house to go to church, and he took tobacco in order to put himself to sleep so as to not understand the Christian doctrine, and that this witness heard don Francisco say many times to all the people in his house that those who should go to church with him should not adore the sacrament of the altar, which was not God, but that they should adore the gods of their fathers which had previously been in the pyramids next to the church, because they [the Europeans] had come from Castile and did not know the things of god, and that every Sunday and festival the said don Francisco made this witness and others go to dig and perform other tasks in the fields, and that the said don Francisco ate meat on all the holy vigils and fast times because the said Francisco de las Casas ordered him to, saying that he should eat meat because he was old.43 The key statement comes at the very end: “the said don Francisco ate meat on all the holy vigils and fast times because the said Francisco de las Casas ordered him to, saying that he should eat meat because he was old.” Food taboos had been important in the Catholic Church since at least the ele­venth century.44 On certain holy days—​above all on Fridays and during Lent—​ most animal products were forbidden. These tabooed foods were classified as meats, both red (animal flesh, lard) and white (eggs, cheese and other dairy products).45 Instead, the faithful were to eat vegetables and fish—​the latter, of course, being a symbol of Christ. Yet exceptions were made. The elderly, the sick, and pregnant women could receive official dispensations from these fasts. The healthy and wealthy could also be exempted, on payment of a fee. These permissions were materialized in documents issued by the pope—​or by lesser officials in the pope’s name.46 Luther famously complained about such “butter letters” (butterbriefe) in his 1520 An Appeal to the Ruling Class.47 In the Iberian world, these documents were called bulas de ayuno, bulas de cuaresma, bulas de lacticinios, or indultos cuaresmales. Surviving examples date from the mid-​1400s to the late 1960s. In the kingdom of Valencia, for example, the duke and duchess of Gandía received one from Pope Clement VII in March 1530. The document gave them permission to eat meat and eggs during Lent.48 Three decades later, a set of Instructions and Ordinances for the New Converts of the Kingdom of Valencia (1566) reminded preachers to enforce Catholic fasting among their Morisco flocks. In some cases, however, taboos could be suspended: Item:  that when they eat breakfast during Lent, or other vigils, and on Fridays as ordered by the Holy Mother Church, they should eat at midmorning after the custom of the Christians, and not pass all the day without eating, as they used to do in the time when they were Muslims;


Catholic Catholicisms 87 and on such Fridays they cannot eat meat, only Lenten foods, with the exception of pregnant women, their infants, the sick, and the old, and this with license from the vicar or curate.49 Given this European background, Quxi’s concluding comment—​“he should eat meat because he was old”—​is extremely suggestive. That Quxi had not been baptized, and is the only witness to mention this detail, makes it doubtful that his claim was offered in response to leading questions by inquisitors, or was given because Quxi knew such a claim could be damaging to las Casas. Quxi’s words reveal that in addition to marrying and unmarrying, the encomendero of Yanhuitlán appropriated yet another Catholic power:  the ability to suspend culinary taboos. But las Casas—​like many Valencian lords—​presented himself as a sacred authority over both Christian and non-​Christian rites. This seeming paradox is perfectly illustrated in testimony given by Esteban Marbán on April 21, 1546. Marbán accused Francisco de las Casas not only of appropriating Catholic powers, but also of giving his consent to non-​Christian observances. On the one hand, said Marbán, las Casas wanted to take over religious instruction from the friars: the said Francisco de las Casas hindered them [the friars] when he interfered in the examination of the said Indians about Christian doctrine, and in particular in the marriages contracted among the natives, saying that he himself would examine them.50 This image of las Casas as an upstart missionary is paired a few statements later with the image of las Casas as a man who sanctioned idolatry: with the favor that the said Francisco de las Casas has given to his Indians, they have leave to do that which they desire, which is to not apply themselves to the [Christian] doctrine, and hold their sacrifices, as is public and well-​known.51 Similar accusations had been made during the very first week of the investigation. In October 1544, Bartolomé Martín (a former employee of Francisco de las Casas, probably his estanciero, livestock overseer) testified about a night-​ time hunting expedition two years before.52 In the darkness, Martín and an indigenous man from Amatlán came across a Ñudzavui festival being celebrated with “loud voices and noise and drunkenness.” The two drew closer, and were discovered. One of the revelers shouted “Be quiet! A  Christian is here!” In the chaos which followed, a large jar of pulque was broken. As the white blood of Lady 11 Serpent poured on the ground (see Figure 2.1), the revelers grabbed their weapons—​“stones, obsidian-​bladed swords, and sticks”—​and rushed for Martín and his indigenous companion. The two ran for safety, and spent the night holed up in a building Francisco de las Casas constructed for


88  Catholic Catholicisms cattle-​raising.53 Fighting lasted for three hours, and Martín—​who apparently understood Rain Speech—​heard terrifying threats: “that they had to kill him, and would capture his wife and sell her as a slave in the marketplace.” In the morning, Francisco de las Casas showed up, and both sides told him their stories. In response, the encomendero not only rebuked Bartolomé Martín for interrupting an indigenous festival, but effectively gave his consent for the celebration of similar festivals in the future: he [Martín] told him [las Casas] what had happened, and the said Francisco de las Casas said to the Indians that if another time he [Martín] should go to their house that they should kill this witness and carry him away in a woven mat, and he [Martín] has seen them [the Ñudzavui] in other drunken festivals, and they do everything they want with the approval of their master [las Casas].54 Later that same day, Pedro de Maya (encomendero of Nochixtlán) made a similar, though less personal, accusation: “it is public and well-​known in the region among Spaniards and Indians that the people of Yanhuitlán are not Christians, nor perform Christian works, and that their lord [las Casas] gives them permission for this.”55 Meanwhile, across the ocean, noblemen in Valencia were giving their Morisco subjects permission, by word and deed, to practice Islam.56 In 1529, Bartolomé de los Ángeles (who would present evidence against don Sancho de Cardona in 1544) finished a two-​year mission to the Moriscos of Valencia. This, remember, was only a few years after the Moriscos had been officially converted to Christianity. As it happened, at the end of 1528 the Muslim holiday for the birth of Muḥammad, Mawlid, coincided with Christmas, which was itself seen as the start of a new Christian year (1529). Celebrations of Mawlid involved recitations of poems about the birth of the Prophet, as well as fairs and feasting.57 Friar Bartolomé described a “public slaughter.” This was probably meant to provide meat for the holiday banquet, although one late-fifteenth-century historian from Cairo (Jalāl al-​Dīn al-​Khuḍayrī al-​Suyūṭī) wrote that Muḥammad “performed the sacrifice (ʿaqīqah) for his own birth after his calling to be Prophet.”58 Perhaps Mawlid celebrations in Valencia were also meant to reenact the sacrifices of Muḥammad: Carçel. The day of the New Year of this present year of 1529, which was a Friday, they had their public slaughter. … And this was done after I, Friar Bartolomé de los Ángeles, had admonished them on the part of God and your Majesty that they should not perform public ceremonies, as your Majesty ordered me that I should tell them, by word and by letters, and this they did in front of the lords of the place [Carçel], who were present, and the same has been done in the towns of Alcozer and Alberich and Antella and Cortes and Sumacaraçer, and in many other places where the lords are not bothered by it.59


Catholic Catholicisms 89 In August 1544 (as Friar Bartolomé’s own missionary campaign was being investigated by Church officials), Valencian inquisitors interviewed seven priests assigned to Morisco areas. They wanted to gauge the effects of Emperor Charles V’s 1543 suspension of inquisitorial powers over Moriscos.60 Not surprisingly, all seven men reported an open return to Islamic practices. Lázaro Despuela (priest for the southern towns of Benimodo and Carlete) told how Muslim marriages were attended, and materially supported, by the Catholic lord of Carlete and his son (the future don Francisco de Castellví): They perform their weddings in Morisco-​style, and in particular he saw in a marriage held in Carlete some days ago, and they performed in this manner. The lord of the place, the elder, who is now dead, gave them his mule in order to carry the bride, and a black [servant or slave] and another servant of his with two rifles, and so they went with the bride, the bride riding on the mule, and many people went with the bride to perform the wedding in front of the castle, and the wedding was watched by the lord of the place who is called don Galcerán and his son don Francisco, who is lord of the place now, and when they arrived there they started to shout in Morisco-​style, making much noise (and this witness did not understand what they were saying), and the bride had her face covered, and after they returned to their homes.61 Two decades later, in the 1560s, a list of proposals was compiled “for the reformation of the Moriscos of Valencia.” It recommended that “commissaries should punish those lords of vassals who solemnize the weddings and festivals of these [Moriscos], and who do not allow the rector and constable [alguazil] to perform their offices or inform the inquisitors …”62 These proposals had little effect. In 1561, another Valencian lord was reported to have attended the Muslim wedding of two of his vassals, in which—​accompanied by music and song—​ the groom symbolically purchased the bride with a plate of hazelnuts.63 The same year, testimony against don Luis Pallas, lord of Cortes, claimed that he “greatly enjoyed himself with the Moriscos, and participated in their weddings and vigils and is more enthusiastic about the things of the New Christians than those of the Old Christians.”64 A  few years later, in 1564 or 1565, don Francisco de Castellví (the same don Francisco who as a boy oversaw Muslim weddings with his father) was accused by various witnesses of consenting to the performance of Islamic festivals, Muslim-​style butchering, and circumcision as well: the Moriscos of Carlete observed [Muslim] festivals and killed livestock in the style of the Moriscos and did other Muslim things, which they would not do if don Francisco de Castellví did not give them permission to do so … in Carlete there was a Morisco who performed circumcisions and the said don Francisco knew that they circumcised their children and did not prohibit it.65


90  Catholic Catholicisms When don Francisco was arrested by inquisitors in February 1571, he plead guilty to these charges: “he had also given permission that the Moriscos should dance, and should rejoice in their festivals at the end of the year Morisco-​ style (receiving some pairs of chickens that they gave him as their tribute, and at times they gave him the price in money) and sometimes he assisted in the said dances.” Don Francisco made a similar confession in regards to circumcision:  “he had not stopped the circumcisers because he understood this was not his job.”66 And two years later, in 1573, the abbot of Valldigna, Friar Jaime Belvís, was investigated by the Inquisition for “favoring the sect of Muḥammad and allowing his Muslim vassals to slaughter animals facing Mecca, and other ceremonies …”67 The sacred appropriations discussed so far appear in scattered documents. Most are extremely brief references, and it is only by bringing them together that broader patterns of practice emerge. In contrast, consider a repeat offense documented in multiple sources. It plays a key role in the investigation against don Sancho de Cardona. In addition to allowing the Mosque of Revelation to be rebuilt, permitting his subjects to openly practice Islam, and of being in need of “conversion” himself, the admiral of Aragón was accused of illegally collecting Church tithes on his lands. The question of tithe income first appeared in March 1563, part of testimony offered by Peru-​bound Gabriel Muñoz: Also, he says that he knows that there is a papal brief which stipulates and commands that no lord should lease the tithes of the archbishop in his own lands, under penalty of excommunication, and that the said admiral, knowing this and being advised and chastised by the reverend Lord Archbishop don Friar Thomás de Villanueva, has not been cured of it; he always has leased the tithes of Guadalest, and to disguise the lease he has always done it through a third party.68 When Muñoz made these allegations, inquisitors were more interested in what he had to say about the Mosque of Revelation, and so the witnesses called later in 1563 and 1564 were not asked further questions about the leasing of tithe-​collection rights. In the summer of 1569, however, inquisitors actively pursued this issue. During the first week of July, five witnesses were summoned to testify on the topic over three days.69 Throughout Western Christendom, the Catholic Church claimed for itself one tenth of all agricultural production. In Spain this tithe was called the diezmo. In order to avoid collecting this tithe in kind—​as measurements of grain—​archbishops (in Valencia and elsewhere) organized auctions where private persons bid for the right to collect tithes from specific towns in the form of harvested products. In Valencia, these auctions were held at the Palace of the Archbishop, right next to the cathedral (see Figure  1.4).70 The persons who won these auctions paid the Church in cash over the course of four years,


Catholic Catholicisms 91 which was the length of time for which licenses of tax farming (arrendamiento) were issued. The tax farmers (arrendadores) then had to travel throughout the countryside, collecting a tenth of the harvest from places whose tithe-​ collection rights they had won. This arrangement worked well for both Church and tax farmers. The Church did not have to concern itself with the details of harvests each year, and tax farmers gained the opportunity to speculate in the agricultural market. The normal practice was for tax farmers to collect harvest tithes each autumn, and then store the products until April or May, when market prices were highest. Because the tithe was a percentage, in good years the collected crops could be worth much more than the price paid to the Church.71 An even more lucrative practice was to store the grain until a year of poor harvests, when prices would skyrocket. Yet agricultural investments were always unstable. Ten percent of a crop in years of bad weather could result in financial loss. Valencia, as we will see shortly, was plagued by drought and locusts throughout the sixteenth century. Collecting tithes—​over four years, no less—​was a risky way to earn money. Tithe collection had not always been organized by Church authorities. In late medieval Valencia it was common for secular lords—​including kings—​to collect the tithes on their own lands without paying anything to the Church.72 In theory, secular authorities were then expected to fund church construction on their lands, as well as pay the salaries of religious functionaries. But theory was one thing, and practice another. Because of this, on May 1, 1475, Pope Sixtus IV issued a bull which forbade secular lords from collecting tithes. Instead, third parties were to collect the tithes for the Church—​and lords were explicitly prohibited from preventing these third parties from entering their lands.73 It is unclear how effective the papal ruling was. In the years that followed, the bull was much discussed in the Parliaments (Cortes) of Aragón and Valencia. The meeting of the Valencian Parliament of 1533 established a law (fuero) that confirmed the pope’s command: lords could neither collect tithes on their own lands nor prohibit third parties from entering their lands to collect tithes.74 As we saw earlier, this was not obscure legislation in sixteenth-​ century Valencia:  Gabriel Muñoz actually mentions the “papal brief ” on tithe-​collection in his 1563 testimony. This is the legal background for tithe-​related accusations against don Sancho. But unlike medieval lords and kings, don Sancho was not really taking tithe income away from the Church. He sent representatives to Church auctions, and had them bid for the right to collect tithes on his own lands. These representatives would then pay the Church, like any other bidder, and hand over their license to don Sancho. In other words, don Sancho was not stealing Church income by greedily collecting tithes from his own lands. He was secretly participating in Church-​organized auctions so as to be able to pay the Church for the right to collect tithes from his own subjects.


92  Catholic Catholicisms For example, on July 4, 1569, Joan Baptista Miravete testified that it could have been more than fourteen years ago, more or less, that an employee of the Admiral don Sancho de Cardona, who was called Calçada, said to this [witness] that he should go with him to the house of the archbishop, where they prepare the leases on the tithes of the archbishop, so that he should acquire a lease, which he thinks was that for the Valley of Guadalest, which belongs to the said admiral, and that it was only so that he should give his name in taking the said lease, and so he did, and took the staff [of office] and was relieved of it, but he does not know who it was for, because he did not collect nor pay nor charge them [the tithes], and that the bondsmen were named by the said Calçada, and he does not well remember who they were, and he suspects that the said lease was for don Sancho de Cardona, the admiral.75 Don Sancho was quite determined to acquire the tithe-​collection rights for his own lands. If his representatives failed to win the Church-​organized auctions, then the admiral would have someone go and “persuade” the actual winner to forfeit their contract. In the auction of 1563 an independent merchant, Hierónomo Blanc, won the rights to collect tithes in Guadalest and Confrides. Here is how he described what happened next: he said that it was six years ago, more or less, that this witness bid on the tithes of the Valley of Guadalest and Confrides, which belong to the admiral of Aragón, and the next day one Calçada, employee of the admiral, spoke to this witness and told him that he had much insolence in wanting to lease the tithes of the lands of the admiral, and told him that this witness would pay the lease but not collect the fruits, and that he should ask Martín Clanca how the previous four years had gone for him, and this witness then went to the offices of the archbishop where the tithes are leased, and said there to the canons and to those who where there for the said archbishop what had happened with the said Calçada, and so they went to speak to the archbishop, who said to a servant of his that because it [the price] went up ten sueldos, in order [for Blanc] to free himself [from the contract]—​and since the employees of the said admiral, the said Calçada and Orduña, were waiting for the lease—​they gave ten new ducats to the servant of the said archbishop who had the said lease, so that he should give it to him, and thus he gave it to him, and it remained in the power of the employees of the said admiral, and he does not know if the fruits were for the said admiral or for the employees who dealt with it and leased it, and he knows that at that time the tithes of the said valleys were worth four times more than what they were leased at, and that this witness did not know that there were laws against lords who lease the tithes of their lands, other than it was said publicly that the lords could not lease the tithes of their lands …76


Catholic Catholicisms 93 Why did don Sancho put so much effort in controlling the collection of tithes on his own lands? We have just seen that Hierónimo Blanc claimed the value of tithes collected for Guadalest were worth four times their lease price, and the admiral later confirmed this.77 Don Sancho may therefore have sought to increase his estate profits:  leasing the right to collect tithes on his lands, collecting the tithe-​grain at harvest-​time, and then selling that grain in the spring when prices were higher. But if we stop our analysis there, with assumptions about profit maximization, we miss other important issues caught up in this clandestine collection of tithe income. A number of archival sources exist for the collection of tithes on don Sancho’s lands, including records of tithe-​ collection auctions in the Archive of the Cathedral of Valencia.78 Together, they allow us to place accusations made before inquisitors within a broader context. First, speculation on the agricultural market was risky. There was an average of two bad harvests per decade in sixteenth-century Valencia. Droughts are reported in 1503, 1521, 1525, 1532, 1537, 1539, 1543, 1545, 1552, 1557, 1558, 1559, 1566, 1567, 1568, 1573, 1574, 1575, 1576, 1581, 1582, 1583, 1592, 1594, and 1599.79 The years 1558 and 1559 were so dire that Valencian inquisitors petitioned King Philip II to authorize special grain imports, something they would do again in the drought of 1566.80 The drought of 1582 is reflected in the prices of some tax farming contracts put up for auction the next year. The bid offered for Guadalest dropped from 892 libras to 790 libras.81 Lack of water was not the only risk that harvests faced: in 1547 and 1548, Valencia was beset by plagues of locusts.82 With this climatological background, what can we say about the years don Sancho de Cardona was accused of active tithe meddling? When the admiral arranged for Joan Baptista Miravete to bid for tithe collection rights in 1555, two of the next four years were drought years. And when, in 1563, Hierónimo Blanc was “convinced” to hand over his collection rights to the admiral, he was actually lucky: 1566 turned out to be a year of bad harvests. The records of climate history—​showing how financially risky the admiral’s interventions really were—​are not the only archival evidence to suggest that the admiral’s actions are poorly explained by profit maximization. Control of tithe-​collecting in his lands was something don Sancho learned from his father. That is, having third parties lease tithe-​collection rights was a family tradition, with a history. Don Alonso de Cardona inherited the lordship of Guadalest in 1502. Two years later, in 1504, the right to collect the tithes of Guadalest over four years went up for auction. Two merchants, Luis Serra and Enric de Ros, made the winning bid. They would pay the archbishop sixty-five libras a year from 1505 to 1508. But on the same page of the auction book that records their victory, there is another entry, dated two months later. The right to collect tithes in Guadalest was transferred to a new person, Guillermo Exernich. He would also pay sixty-five libras a year, but over the


94  Catholic Catholicisms course of six years, not just four. From documents in Valencia’s Archive of the Royal College Seminary of Corpus Christi, we know that Guillermo Exernich was a notary and lawyer who worked for Alonso de Cardona.83 In other words, it seems that what happened to Hierónimo Blanc around 1563 also happened to Luis Serra and Enric de Ros in 1504. All three of these men won public auctions for the right to collect titles on Cardona-​owned lands. Soon afterwards, however, all three were “convinced” to surrender their rights to Cardona representatives. Such tactics seem to have been last resorts. On a number of other occasions, Alonso de Cardona successfully managed for one or more of his associates to win tithe-​collection auctions. From 1511 to 1514 one Juan Nadal—​another notary and lawyer who worked for don Alonso—​collected the tithes of Guadalest.84 From 1525 to 1528, those tithes were collected by Thomás Fenollar and Juan Fenollar, both from Penáguila (Figure  1.3). They were the father and older brother of Miguel Fenollar, who as we saw in Chapter 1 would work for don Sancho in the 1540s.85 Thus over the course of seventy years, employees and servants of the lords of Cardona bid for, won, and otherwise acquired the right to collect tithes on the lands of their masters. This seventy-​year span bridges the forced conversion of Valencia’s Moriscos in late 1525. Both before and after the prohibition of Islam, the Cardonas tried to control who collected Church tithes on their lands. What all this suggests is that managing title-​collection rights had to do less with financial gain and more with issues of authority and jurisdiction.86 On the one hand, the cases of frustrated tax farmers Luis Serra and Enric de Ros in 1504 and Hierónimo Blanc in 1563 show us that control over leases to collect tithes in Muslim communities was also a means by which Catholic lords displayed their power within the city of Valencia itself, in their relations with other Christians. But control over tithe collecting did not simply affect those Catholics who bid for and collected the necessary licenses. It also affected the rural farmers from whom tithes were collected. Discussions during the aforementioned Parliament of Monzón in 1533 reveal that communities often tried to not surrender their tithes in agricultural products. Rather, communities wanted to offer cash, buying the tenth part of their harvest directly from the tax farmers and thus paying the low prices of the harvest season. This allowed communities to retain control of their crops, and prevented tithe collectors from taking agricultural products to another location—​such as the city of Valencia—​for storage until prices rose.87 Perhaps one of the reasons don Alonso and don Sancho wanted to oversee who collected tithes on their lands was so they could guarantee their subjects were always able to buy back the tenth part of harvests at low prices, preventing crops from leaving local communities. Collecting tithes, preaching and teaching doctrine, marrying, unmarrying, and suspending food taboos: these were strategies used by secular authorities to appropriate the Catholic sacred. Yet at the same time, on both sides of the Atlantic, secular authorities also claimed jurisdiction over


Catholic Catholicisms 95 non-​Christian religious practices:  sanctioning Muslim weddings, dances, and techniques of ritual slaughter; allowing mosques to be rebuilt; giving permission for Native American festivals, even protecting the carved images of indigenous deities. There may have been a merely “practical” aspect to these varied appropriations. Lords and encomenderos who wanted the respect of their non-​ Christian subjects—​ and who expected to receive labor and tribute from them—​may have felt religious heterodoxy was a small price to pay for political-​economic power. But this was an era that believed in sin and Hell and Purgatory, in which religious conflicts within Christianity produced massacres everywhere. Heresy was persecuted by inquisitors and punishable by death. All of which makes an argument for simple practicality difficult to sustain. Such an argument is unnecessary as well. There are far more interesting—​ and far less anachronistic—​ways to understand the simultaneous appropriation of Christian and non-​Christian authority by men like Francisco de las Casas and don Sancho de Cardona. Beginning in the Middle Ages, secular authorities had enjoyed some degree of control over religious infrastructures in their domains. At the same time, Catholicism claimed for itself a truly catholic relevance. It was a universal faith, representative of the divine laws which structured the cosmos. Because of this, it was possible within a Catholic framework to assert authority not only over Christian rites, but over Jewish, Muslim, and pagan ones as well.

The secular sacred We began this chapter with a shared lament by the bishops of Orihuela and Chiapas. Lords of vassals in Valencia, and encomenderos in the New World, were both hostile to the work of missionaries in Muslim and Native American communities. The two bishops were especially indignant because secular authorities were supposed to take an active role in encouraging the transformation of their non-​Christian subjects into Catholics, but did not. These lordly obligations had a very long history. Since the early Middle Ages, “proprietary churches” (Eigenkirchen in German, iglesias propias in Castilian) had existed throughout Western Christendom.88 These were buildings constructed by secular lords on their own properties, and which they staffed with clerics of their own choosing. In many cases (as mentioned earlier), these foundations were funded by Church tithes which the lords themselves collected. Even after the Papal Revolution of the eleventh century—​in which the papacy asserted its right to appoint and approve all clerical offices throughout Christendom—​private churches continued to exist. Indeed, even as eleventh-​century popes were seeking to gain control of most private churches, they allowed the warrior-​kings of Iberia to create new ones in the territories conquered from the Muslims. If Iberian kings and queens and nobles were willing to build churches and establish religious institutions in newly won lands, they were allowed to maintain


96  Catholic Catholicisms these sacred foundations as semiprivate properties, staffing them as they saw fit—​often with family members who had entered the Church.89 Four centuries later, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella convinced the popes to extend these long-​ established prerogatives linking conquest to Christianization. In 1486, Pope Innocent VIII granted them rights of patronage (patronato) in both Granada and the Canary Islands. This allowed the monarchs to appoint all Church authorities in those realms. In 1508, Pope Julius II gave King Ferdinand powers in the Americas so extensive that, effectively, every religious establishment in the New World was a private church belonging to the Crown.90 In turn, the Iberian monarchs delegated some of this authority to the conquistadors.91 Decrees outlining how encomenderos should treat their indigenous wards constantly ordered the building of churches, the teaching of indigenous people about Christianity, and even the performance of baptisms. Encomenderos were also given the power to appoint priests for churches they built on their properties. The granting of these religious powers to encomenderos was first decreed in 1512, and repeated constantly thereafter:  1524, 1526, 1530, 1536, 1550, and 1554.92 In 1526, Hernán Cortés—​as newly appointed governor of New Spain—​declared that “any Spaniard or other person who has been granted Indians should be obliged to teach them the things of our Holy Faith, because it is for this reason that the pope conceded that we could make use of them.” Cortés went on to specify that encomenderos should build a church, supply it with an image of the Virgin, and “tell them [native people] the things of Our Holy Faith, and show them the prayer of Our Father and Ave Maria, the Creed and the Hail Mary.”93 Today these pronouncements are usually read with acid skepticism, and even in the sixteenth century Bartolomé de las Casas mocked the idea that encomenderos be entrusted with missionary work. But as we saw over and over again in the last section, Francisco de las Casas was a zealous performer of these duties in 1540s Yanhuitlán.94 And at the same time encomenderos were being encouraged to take an active role in missionization in the towns entrusted to them, the religious authority of the Crown in Iberia was growing even stronger. In 1523, Pope Adrian VI expanded the powers of patronage that Charles V enjoyed in Granada to all of Spain. Seven years later, in 1530, Pope Clement VII extended royal patronage to all of Iberia’s cathedrals as well.95 These developments had important implications for missionary campaigns against Muslims in Valencia. A papal bull issued in 1524 decreed that if mosques on noble estates were turned into churches, then secular lords could collect and keep the associated tithes, on the condition that they maintained the new churches and provided the paraphernalia necessary for Mass.96 In 1528, a set of recommendations dealing with Valencia’s Moriscos granted powers of patronage to any “lord, knight, or ecclesiastical or secular person” who was willing to endow and maintain a rectory: “to him shall pertain forever the patronage of the said rectory and the right to appoint the rector.”97


Catholic Catholicisms 97 In Valencia, at least, the rights and obligations attached to proprietary churches were taken very seriously. One example comes from the investigation against don Sancho. In the summer of 1569, Diego García de Baeça was among the men summoned to testify about illegal tithe collections on the admiral’s lands. His brother served as a parish priest in Guadalest, and was paid with illegally-​gathered tithes (tithes collected at one point by a Morisco from Bechí named Coçaya). Surprisingly, the salary paid to Baeça’s brother was quite large: ninety or a hundred libras.98 In contrast, some rural parish priests were paid only eleven libras a year—​and documented salaries for Morisco alfaquíes ranged from fifty to sixty-​three libras annually.99 Don Sancho actually named both Diego de Baeça and his brother “the rector” as enemies, so it is doubtful that Diego exaggerated the amount paid to his priestly brother.100 In other words, don Sancho may have illegally collected tithes on his lands, but he was quite generous in using those tithes for their intended purpose:  supporting the Church economically. Once again, greed and profit are poor explanations for the admiral’s financial actions. The powers of patronage could be used to assert authority over Christian and non-​Christian subjects alike. In 1535 the duke of Segorbe established a parish church for his Morisco vassals in Benigafull (a town north of the city of Valencia and about ten kilometers from Bechí). The Benigafull church was actually the chapel of the ducal palace, and this chapel contained the only baptismal font in the parish. Just as all Morisco vassals living on the duke’s lands would have to grind their grain in their lord’s mill, and bake bread in their lord’s ovens, so too would they have to baptize their children in their lord’s baptismal font. This monopoly over sacred power was not broken until 1616: that is, seven years after the Moriscos of Valencia had been expelled in 1609. When Old Christians began to resettle the duke of Segorbe’s depopulated lands, he did not want new churches established. He wanted to maintain control over religious infrastructure. And so when two churches were set up in the ducal towns of Ángel and Asunción in 1616, they were dedicated in secret on Good Friday, so that on Holy Saturday they would already be functioning and could not be closed down.101 In both New Spain and Iberia, then, secular rulers—​from lords of vassals to kings and queens—​enjoyed some measure of control over the practice of Catholicism on their lands. This was a centuries-​old arrangement, but starting in the late 1400s these long-​ established traditions provided the foundations for political change. Centralizing rulers such as Ferdinand and Isabella (as well as Francis I in France and Henry VIII in England) sought to expand their control over increasingly national churches. José Javier Ruiz Ibáñez and Gaetano Sabatini have explored the ways political change in the sixteenth-​century Habsburg empire was framed as religious change, as the restoration of a prior order that had been lost. In order to claim this, and collapse the political into the sacred, Ferdinand and Isabel and Charles V and Philip II had to present themselves as Catholic warriors, defenders of


98  Catholic Catholicisms the faith who could accept no other religions within their lands. “The reform and control of the Church by Ferdinand of Aragón and Isabel of Castile thus consolidated the establishment of a monoconfessional society as the ultimate means of royal domination.”102 A  crucial aspect of these secular appropriations of the sacred (in Iberia, France, and England) was a wresting of powers from the papacy.103 These early modern developments are important to consider here, because the papacy had for centuries championed a very different model of religious authority, one that did not rest on the creation of a “monoconfessional society.” This alternative tradition for thinking about sacred power remained important in the sixteenth-​ century Iberian world, even as Iberia’s rulers sought to become eminently Catholic Monarchs or Holy Roman Emperors. Exploring this alternative sacred tradition provides another perspective on the powers claimed over both Christian and non-​Christian rituals by sixteenth-​ century lords and encomenderos. This tradition can also explain why non-​ Christians turned to Catholic sacred power in pursuit of their own goals.

Catholic Catholicism … and speaking of the Holy Roman Mother Church, the two Flemings demanded to know why it was called Roman, and so I said because the pope is in Rome, as well I should know, and they asked me “and if the pope were in Avignon, would it be called the Church of Avignon?” —​Testimony of Josepe Prospero, garter-​maker, against his assistant Miguel de León, a native of Brussels living in Valencia, August 18, 1569.104 Catholic cosmologies had long viewed the universe as constituted by laws, laws which emanated from God. This was a sacred physics. But the universe was complex, as were the flawed human societies that dwelled within it. Catholic philosophers (above all Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century, and his sixteenth-​century disciple Francisco de Vitoria) therefore outlined a hierarchy of different systems of law, some of which were closer to God than others. Divine Law and Natural Law were universals. In contrast, Human Law and the Law of Nations were imperfect attempts by mortal beings to approximate the divine order, and thus establish its principles in their communities.105 Indeed, in the Romance languages of sixteenth-​century Iberia, the word for law (ley in Castilian, llei in Catalan) was often used to mean religion. In the case against don Sancho, ley was used above all in reference to the Ottoman toleration of Christianity. “The Turk,” famously, allowed the Christians in his realms “to live in their law”—​that is, to practice Christianity openly.106 Catholicism was the ley evangelica (evangelical law) and ley de dios (law of God). Judaism was the ley de moyssen (law of Moses).107 Witnesses in the Yanhuitlán investigation spoke of Native American religious practices as su ley (their law) or su ley del Demonio (their law of the devil).108 Because the universe was an emanation from God, and was structured by his divine law,


Catholic Catholicisms 99 discourses about different kinds of law could be used to describe everything in that universe, including non-​Christian religions. The legal universality of God, and the essentially sacred structure of the universe, meant that the popes (as the foremost representatives of God on earth) could claim jurisdiction over both Christian and non-​Christian practices. Theories of papal power have varied greatly over time, and especially since the Papal Revolution of the eleventh century.109 But according to strong views of papal authority, the pope had responsibility for all human souls, not just Christian ones. This was based on Christ’s statement in John 10:16:  “I have other sheep which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.”110 Following this, Pope Innocent IV (1243–​1254) claimed that “the infidels are sheep of Christ … although not of the flock of the Church.” This statement would echo across the centuries, with important implications for the conquest of America.111 The infamous Requirement of 1513—​a text Europeans read to indigenous communities before attacking them—​proclaimed that God had given the pope “the whole world as his kingdom and jurisdiction.” The Roman pontiff therefore stood “at the head of the whole human lineage, wherever humans should be, in any religion, sect, or belief.”112 In 1537, Pope Paul III evoked John 10:16 at the beginning of a bull about Native American baptisms and marriages: “We, to whom all sheep have been entrusted by God, eager to bring outsiders to the true fold, which is Christ, so that there should be one Pastor and one flock …”113 The popes therefore claimed authority to regulate certain aspects of non-​ Christian life. Jews could be forced to obey the law of the Old Testament—​at least as enshrined in Catholic bibles. This was one factor behind repeated papal prohibitions of the Talmud from the thirteenth century onward. The Talmud, it was argued, violated key aspects of the Old Testament. The Talmud was seen by Catholics as an aberrant new law (nova lex), not the true law of Moses. The pope therefore had an obligation to destroy this text, and force European Jews to conform to the supposedly proper Jewish law of the (Catholic) Old Testament. As a result, from 1240 to at least 1568, copies of the Talmud were put on trial and burned in Iberia, Sicily, Italy, and France.114 The pope also claimed power over pagan religious practices.115 In particular, the pope had the authority to force pagans to observe Natural Law, the supposedly universal inclinations instilled by God in all humans. The existence of Natural Law explained why certain Christian principles and practices were found in non-​Christian societies. As Paul wrote in his Epistle to the Romans (2:14–​15): “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law unto themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness.” The claim that popes could discipline pagans for violation of the Natural Law was first asserted in the mid-​thirteenth century by (once again) Pope Innocent IV. His arguments were still important in the 1500s. Juan López de Palacios Rubios, the author of the aforementioned


100  Catholic Catholicisms Requirement, claimed in his 1514 Book of the Oceanic Islands that “the pope will be able to punish the gentile who only possesses the Natural Law, if he should act against the dictates of nature.”116 In contrast, Francisco de Vitoria dedicated several sections of his On the Indies (1539) to critique the universal powers asserted by Innocent IV. “Innocent IV in his commentary on the decretal Quod super his … expressly says: ‘I believe that if the gentiles break Natural Law, which is the only law they have, they may be punished by the pope …’ ”117 Vitoria disagreed. Yet despite Vitoria’s disapproval, these papal claims over Natural Law were extremely compelling. Vitoria himself fell back on assertions made by Innocent IV to support one of the “just titles” for European dominion in the New World: the “defense of the innocent against tyranny.” When Natural Law was violated by human sacrifice, cannibalism, and sexual crimes, Catholics should intervene. “It makes no difference that all the barbarians consent to these kinds of rites and sacrifices, or that they refuse to accept the Spaniards as their liberators in the matter. This could therefore be the fifth legitimate title.”118 Even Islam was encompassed in discussions of the pope’s universal jurisdiction. In the fourteenth century, jurist Oldradus de Ponte claimed Muslims were subject to papal authority in his Against the Saracens. In 1514, these ideas were cited by the aforementioned Juan López de Palacios Rubios. As part of his discussions of the pope’s jurisdiction over New World gentiles (via the Natural Law) and Jews (via the Old Testament), Palacios Rubios suggested that papal powers extended over Muslims as well.119 These universalizing claims were not merely hypothetical in the sixteenth century. In his 1571 Romani pontificus, Pope Pius V claimed the power to transform pagan marriage bonds into Catholic ones. Some three decades earlier, Pope Paul III had established basic rules for the baptism of already-​ married indigenous couples in his 1537 Altitudo Divini Consilii. If a Native American man and woman had been married before their conversion, and then were baptized, they subsequently had to remarried according to the rites of the Catholic Church. (For polygamous marriages, the first wife was to be chosen.)120 Pius V simplified this process. If a husband and a wife were baptized together, their prior pagan marriage was—​ through the pope’s awesome power—​simultaneously legitimated, remade: But because it is a cruel thing to separate such a man from the woman with whom he received baptism; and because it would be most difficult to find and identify his first wife … therefore of Our own will and initiative [motu propio] and from Our clear awareness of the fullness of Our apostolic power, We declare that the natives of the Indies … who have been baptized or who shall be baptized may remain, as with their legitimate wife, with that woman who has been or will be baptized with them after dismissing the others … and We declare that such marriages between them are legitimate.121


Catholic Catholicisms 101 The waters of baptism, decreed Pius V, did not simply cleanse pagan souls. Their liquid efficacy extended to pagan religious ties, and remade them into Catholic bonds. Although based in long-​standing papal theories of jurisdiction over pagans, this was nevertheless a radical, innovative claim. Many Catholics were scandalized.122 What all this means is that being a “pope” or “bishop” in one’s own lands provided secular lords with a framework for thinking about relationships with non-​Christian subjects. By appropriating Catholic models of religious authority and hierarchy, men like don Sancho de Cardona, Francisco de las Casas, and Francisco de Castellví could at the time be Catholics, perform Catholic rituals for their subjects, and grant permission for the celebration of non-​Christian religious rites. This combination of powers may seem paradoxical to us now, but in the 1500s it was fully in keeping with the catholic—​universal—​scope of Catholicism. These powers, of course, were grounded in hierarchy and inequality. The Catholic Church asserted jurisdiction over non-​Christian religions because those religions were seen as inferior. And yet, as is always the case, dominant ideologies can be manipulated from below.123 If social superiors make claims about their own authority and power, then inferiors can demand action in accordance with those very claims. Discourses of special privileges, by which elites justify their superiority, can be turned back on elites when they are asked to enact, and fulfill, their own assertions of grandeur.

Islamic popes Given papal claims of universal religious authority—​and the importance of these claims to many early modern Catholics—​it is not surprising that late medieval and early modern Muslims often appealed to the pope for protection. Around 1264, a Muslim from Murcia (a kingdom just south of Valencia) traveled to Rome (“the seat of the great priest”) in order to complain that Murcia’s new Christian ruler was violating a surrender treaty of 1243.124 In 1480s Cairo, the Mamluk Sultan al-​Ashraf Ḳāyitbāy wrote to Pope Sixtus IV on behalf of Muslims from Aragón. King Ferdinand was accused of destroying mosques in his kingdoms, and so the sultan asked for the pope to intervene.125 Around 1487, the same sultan actually sent ambassadors to Rome (two Franciscans) in order to complain about Ferdinand and Isabella’s war of conquest in Granada.126 In 1501, the Muslims of Granada wrote their own letter to Cairo, to one of Ḳāyitbāy’s successors, and charged that the Catholic Monarchs had reneged on the 1492 surrender agreements. The sultan was petitioned to “ask their pope, that is to say, the ruler in Rome, why they allowed treason after having [granted] amnesty, and why they harmed us with their betrayal with no wrong or crime on our part.”127 A decade later, the same letter (with the same plea for papal intervention) was sent to the Ottoman sultan in Istanbul.128


102  Catholic Catholicisms Parallel tales claiming the pope as a defender of Islam surfaced in the kingdoms of Aragón during the 1520s. After the forced baptisms of Valencian Muslims in the summer of 1521, a Christian preacher announced in Alberique and Valldigna that “a papal bull had arrived which decreed that with lye and ash he would wash their head and forehead and they would return to being Muslims, paying one ducat per household.129 Such fictitious papal documents had a long history. In 1505 Granada, Pedro de Alcalá included a model questionnaire for confessors in his Art for Easily Understanding the Arabic Language. One item asked, “Have you forged any bulls or letters from the pope?” (!)130 Or consider the suggestive conversation that took place in the Aragonese village of Cadrete in “the year of our conversion” (1526). Baray de Reminjo, an alfaquí, told a Carmelite friar he was surprised that the pope (su santidad) had allowed Charles V to break his vows and order the forced conversion of all Iberian Muslims to Christianity. The friar responded—​according to Baray’s retelling of the tale—​by saying that the pope was not really responsible, but had been deceived by his French cardinals.131 Baray found this discussion important enough to write it in aljamiado, that is, using Arabic letters to record a Castilian-​language text. This positive portrayal of a pro-​Islamic pope, sadly deceived by his advisors, was therefore written for a Muslim audience. Perhaps the most spectacular example of Islamic papalism took place a few years later. In the early 1530s, the Ottoman Sultan Süleymān the Lawgiver commissioned a four-​crown headdress (Figure 3.1). In part, this referred to the imperial miter worn by Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor. But Süleymān’s headdress was also modeled on the papal tiara, a much more famous piece of headgear.132 Süleymān wore it at audiences with Christian dignitaries during his invasion of eastern Europe, and European viewers recognized the Catholic allusion, comparing the headdress to the pope’s tiara.133 But this was not simply a piece of propaganda for Europeans. Ottoman sultans had long seen themselves as inheritors of the Roman empire. When Meḥmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453, he adopted the title of kayser-​i rûm:  “Roman Caesar.”134 Like Charles V, the Ottoman sultans aspired to be holy Roman emperors, with Constantinople as a New Rome.135 Just as Christ’s teachings were superseded by Muḥammad’s revelations, this second Christian Rome was rebuilt as an Islamic capital. Süleymān therefore attired himself as a rival, and Muslim, pope. In turn, the idea of an Islamic pope would have made perfect sense to contemporary Protestant propagandists: “for Machomet and the Pope are brothers, and hereby thou mayest perceyue it, that when the Turkes armie passed along the Sea coastes, of the Popes dominion, it did there no maner hurt, nor domage: but rather good.”136 Thirty years later, the pope appeared as a defender of Islam in the trial of don Sancho de Cardona. On May 4, 1568, Francisco Tarrega testified that the admiral had been arranging for a Dominican friar to “go to Rome to make His Holiness [the pope] know how the conversion of these Moriscos had been


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Figure 3.1 The imperial tiara of Süleymān the Lawgiver, as depicted by Agostino Veneziano (1535). Ink on paper, 43.4 × 29.5 cm. British Museum, London, 1859,0806.307. © Trustees of the British Museum.

achieved, baptizing them by force, so that now he [the pope] should not permit efforts to move against them [the Moriscos].”137 At the same time, said Tarrega, don Sancho tried to arrange for a Morisco to “go to the Turk to arrange that the Turk should write a letter to His Holiness [the pope], saying that since in his lands he allowed the Christians to live as Christians, it was right that in Christian lands they should allow Muslims to live as Muslims, and if not he [the Turk] would be forced to decree that in Turkey the Christians should be forced to be Muslims.”138 As we have seen, this second strategy—​of seeking out an Islamic ruler to contact the pope on behalf of Iberian Muslims—​had a long history. Later that month, testimonies by Morisco informants Luis Navarro (on May 25)  and Miguel de Prades (on May 31)  gave their own


104  Catholic Catholicisms accounts of how the admiral planned to send Morisco delegations to the pope, and if necessary to the Ottoman sultan as well, in search of support for the defense of Valencian Islam.139 But the delegation to the pope, at least, would not involve Moriscos only: don Sancho hoped Trinitarian Friar Hierónimo García would go as well.140 Don Sancho was not alone in thinking the pope would intervene to protect Valencian Islam. On July 28, 1567, a Morisca named Francisca (aka Fatima) presented herself in Valencia to give testimony before inquisitors. She was married to the imprisoned Francisco Bivas, one of the witnesses in don Sancho’s file (see Chapter 2). Francisco was held by inquisitors from January to July 1567, and he testified against a number of his neighbors in Benaguasil—​Moriscos who were subsequently arrested for practicing Islam (see Map 2.4). Because of her husband’s confessions, Francisca was driven first from Benaguasil and then from Ribarroja. Outcast from the Morisco community, she continued on to Valencia to denounce her persecutors, including the arrest-​warranted don Cosme Abenamir. Among other things, she testified about rumors concerning don Cosme’s whereabouts: “some said that he had gone to the king and others that he had gone to the pope and others that he traveled through the mountains, but the truth is that the said don Cosme is in Ribarroja, for she has seen him there.”141 The next year, a Morisco involved in the Vall d’Uxó protests of May 1568 testified that “they had been done great wrong in having been baptized by force, and because of this they were not Christians, and that they [the Christians] had broken the privileges of the emperor, and they [the Muslims] wanted to appeal to the king and, if it should prove necessary, to the pope.”142 It could be argued that all of these examples of Islamic papalism simply indicate that Muslims realized the pope was as much a secular authority in Christendom as a sacred one, and so (other) secular authorities could be expected to pay attention to the pope’s commands.143 But this kind of interpretation is condescending. The brilliance of Muslim strategies asking the pope to defend Islam is that they demand the pope demonstrate his own claims of universality. If the pope truly stood “at the head of the whole human lineage, wherever humans should be, in any religion, sect, or belief,” then he should be able, through his awesome authority, to successfully intervene on behalf of his Muslim flock. “I have other sheep which are not of this fold …”

The popes of Yanhuitlán The paradoxes of catholic Catholicism found echoes in the Americas as well. At the same time Sultan Süleymān was presenting himself as an Islamic pope to European ambassadors, Europeans in New Spain found themselves surrounded by Native American popes. That is, Spaniards referred to indigenous priests as papas, which was the same word used for “popes” in Castilian. Spaniards had created this neologism either from the Totonac kinship term papa, “father,” or (more likely) from the Nahuatl term papatli,


Catholic Catholicisms 105 which referred to dreadlocks worn by sacrificial priests in Central Mexico.144 To indigenous ears, then, the use of the term papa to refer to indigenous religious specialists would have been perceived as a European term—​a word that, oddly, was the same one Spaniards used to refer to the head of their Church in Rome. It was quickly realized that this was confusing. A  Church ruling in the 1530s decreed that New World sermons should refer to the pope in Rome only as the pontífice, not as the papa.145 But the problem continued. Several sixteenth-​ century Castilian-​ to-​ indigenous language vocabularies included papa as a European category, referring to the pope in Rome.146 In 1590, Jesuit José de Acosta commented on how strange it was that indigenous people in the New World referred to their supremos sacerdotes with the same term that Christians used for their sumos pontífices. Acosta assumed papa to be a Native American term, and even offered it as proof of the devil’s long mockery of Catholicism in the Americas.147 The meanings of papa in the New World were therefore strange and contradictory, perplexing to Spaniards and no doubt to indigenous people as well. This lexical overlap may have shaped how Spaniards viewed the powers of indigenous religious specialists. In the Central Mexican town of Ocuituco in 1539, an indigenous priest named Christóbal was accused of “giving license to marry and unmarry as a pope [como papa], according to what he was in the habit of doing before his conversion to Christianity.”148 This accusation was of course written by a European Christian, and we saw earlier that unmarrying was indeed a particular power vested in the Roman pontiff. But was the papal comparison of acting como papa a connection made only by the European who described Christóbal’s acts? Or did this lexical confusion shape how indigenous religious specialists saw themselves? The Yanhuitlán documents are filled with references to papas, indigenous pope-​priests. Many were connected to the noble households of Yanhuitlán. Papas cared for Yanhuitlán’s greenstone god-​images, and conducted sacrifices on behalf of don Francisco, don Domingo, and don Juan.149 One witness even described don Francisco as the papa mayor, “the great pope/​priest.”150 But whether or not the accused nobles of Yanhuitlán thought of themselves as papas, or connected their religious authority to that of the Catholic pope, a careful reading of the Yanhuitlán documents makes clear that those nobles were drawn to Catholicism’s sacred powers, and tried to appropriate its universal claims for their own benefit.151 Although some testimonies argue the nobles of Yanhuitlán were hostile to the new religion, other witnesses suggest a more inclusive attitude, embracing both prehispanic and Catholic divinities. But because of the exclusive love demanded by Christianity, Yanhuitlán nobles had to remind other Ñudzavui not to focus on the new gods at the expense of the old. For example, on May 11, 1545, the governor of Chachoapan claimed that “don Juan and don Francisco and don Domingo … spoke to the commoners and commanded that they should adore their god and sacrifice as they had used to do, because


106  Catholic Catholicisms one god is that of Castile and the other is from here.”152 In this reported speech, Christian and Mesoamerican gods are named side by side. Later, the same testimony described how the accused nobles “publicly sent orders to the marketplace of Yucuita that they should sell quails, feathers, incense, and paper and other things for sacrifices, and that if some should believe in the god of the Christians, they should not for this reason forget the devil.”153 That is, it should be possible to remember both Christian “god” and Mesoamerican “devil.” Such complex and contradictory attitudes towards the god of Castile might also enrich our understanding of a repeated accusation against the nobles of Yanhuitlán: that they took tobacco before going to Mass, or even kept it in their mouths during the service, so that they would (supposedly) be oblivious to Catholic rituals. During the very first week of the investigation, Nochixtlán governor don Cristóbal claimed that “he has heard publicly that the said don Francisco and don Juan, every festival day before they go to Mass, burn incense in their houses to the devil and take tobacco in the mouth and they keep it there while they attend Mass.”154 Three of the other indigenous witnesses who offered testimony in October 1544 (Catalina, a former slave; don Juan, ruler of Molcaxtepec; and don Juan, governor of Etlatongo) made the same basic accusation (although don Juan claimed don Francisco and don Juan spat out the tobacco before entering the church).155 Chewing raw tobacco, of course, can produce hallucinogenic effects. Thus while the bodies don Francisco and don Juan would be in church, as the friars demanded, their minds would be elsewhere. Don Juan of Etlatongo said this directly:  “they take tobacco in the mouth in order to not understand the doctrine that the clerics say and preach to them when they go to church.”156 The one European witness to testify on this practice, Bartolomé Martín, made the same point: “the said don Francisco when he goes to hear Mass in the church takes tobacco in the mouth so as not to hear what they say to him.”157 But things were not so simple. The consumption of hallucinogens was not meant to dull the mind, but to expand it. Psychotropics had been an important part of prehispanic worship. Etlatongo ruler don Diego accused don Francisco and don Juan of taking hallucinogenic mushrooms (nanacates) “to invoke the demon,” and this practice is beautifully illustrated in the prehispanic Codex Vienna (Figure  3.2).158 By entering an altered state of consciousness before entering Yanhuitlán’s Catholic Church, don Francisco and don Domingo and don Juan may have sought to enhance their religious experience, combining a new Christian ritual with a prehispanic method for contacting the divine. A possible objection might be found in the testimony of estate overseer Bartolomé Martín (whose aborted nighttime hunting expedition we discussed earlier). Martín claimed that don Francisco looked away when the Host was held up in the moment of its transubstantiation during Mass:  “when they raise the Holy Sacrament he turns his head so as not to see …”159 In other words (according to Martín), don Francisco was not interested in witnessing


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Figure 3.2 Page 24 of the Codex Vienna. Across the top of the page, a group of eight Mixtec deities take hallucinogenic mushrooms while Lord 9 Wind sings and plays an instrument with a skull resonator. Pigment and gesso on deerskin, 26 × 22 cm. Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Codex Mexicanus 1.

the transformative miracle at the heart of the Mass, and by looking away was intentionally rejecting the body of Christ. Although Martín was the only person to make this accusation, the inquisitors found it of great importance, and questioned witnesses on the topic in subsequent phases of the investigation.160 But even here a more complex set of issues was at play. The elevation of the Host first developed in the thirteenth century. By the 1500s, watching the holy wafer in the moment of its transformation was the most eagerly awaited moment of the Mass.161 Looking away, in other words, was to Catholic minds a way of denying that anything miraculous was taking place. Indeed, a repeated sixteenth-​century accusation against Iberian Muslims (and Lutherans as well) was that they averted their eyes during the elevation. In 1560, for example, a letter written to King Philip II about the Moriscos of Valencia complained that “they never go to Mass, and the times they do go, it is for fear of punishment. And because they are forced to go, when the Holy Sacrament is raised they look downwards …”162 These ideas also circulated in


108  Catholic Catholicisms New Spain. In 1597, Francisco López—​a native of Ceuta, an Iberian outpost in North Africa—​was suspected of being a Muslim because he (supposedly) lowered his head when the priest elevated the Host.163 And so with this particular Oaxacan accusation, we have to wonder the extent to which Martín was allowing his knowledge of Muslim resistance in Iberia to shape his perception of Native American apostasy. It is probably no accident that Martín was from Málaga, a coastal town in the kingdom of Granada constantly subjected to slave-​raiding by Muslim pirates (see Map 0.1).164 Martín had surely heard rumors of how Muslims visually disrespected the Host, and these may have shaped what he saw, or what he thought he remembered, when living in Yanhuitlán. But those were Catholic understandings. In contrast, from a Mesoamerican perspective, not looking at something had a very different connotation. Casting one’s eyes to the ground was a way to show respect, to acknowledge the blinding sun-​like sacrality radiating from nobles and gods. These beliefs are well-​documented in Central Mexico and the Maya area, as well as in one account from the Rain Place: “Whosoever had favor enough to speak to the ruler, went in barefoot, without lifting up his eyes.”165 In other words, given the importance of prehispanic beliefs to don Francisco, it is strange that he would have thought to denigrate the Host by looking away from it. From a traditional Mesoamerican perspective, looking away from the Host at the moment of transubstantiation was a way to honor its power, to acknowledge the blinding presence of “Jesus, the sun.”166 Other testimonies suggest that ruler don Domingo experimented with Christian rituals in his home. On October 20, 1544, Teposcolula noble don Martín alleged that “the said don Domingo arranged that the vicar who was in the said town should say Mass in his house in a chapel that he has, and the said vicar said it, and they [don Domingo and others] arranged it all with the goal of mocking the things of our holy faith.”167 But perhaps mockery was not really the intention. Indigenous religious practices were often conducted within noble palaces. Why not rites to the god of Castile as well? A  decade earlier in Central Mexico, indigenous revolutionary Martín Ocelotl constructed a chapel-​like space within his own palace, and decorated it with frescoes of Saint Francis (bleeding saint of autosacrifice), Saint Jerome (saint of the holy feline), and Saint Louis (saint of kings).168 Private churches had also, for centuries, been an important source of authority for the Iberian nobility, as we saw earlier.169 Indeed, in the 1550s don Sancho de Cardona summoned priests to perform Mass within his palace in the city of Valencia. (They came from the parish church of Saint Stephen, just down the street; see Figure 1.4). His custom of in-​house worship, the admiral explained later in his defense, was why many people believed he had not taken communion for years.170 Given these traditions, it may be that don Domingo, by having a Mass said within his palace, was thinking about ways to harness the power of the god of Castile.


Catholic Catholicisms 109 This may not have been the first time that don Domingo experimented with in-​house Catholic rituals. According to Luis Delgado, in the late 1530s he entered don Domingo’s palace with Dominican Friar Dionisio de Vargas. The friar expected to find evidence of idolatry, and was not disappointed: one day the Father Friar Dionisio said to this witness and to other Spaniards that they should go with him to the house of don Domingo, because there had been a sacrifice and he was not in the habit of going alone (so that they should not lodge a complaint against him, as they had done with others), and as they all entered the house the said don Domingo and his wife and some indigenous priests put up resistance to the friar, and once inside they found a pyramid two hands tall made of all the doughs and seeds and they eat, with its steps, and on top of the flat summit they had placed quail or dove, sacrificed and cooked until dry and placed upright in the manner of a cross with the wings extended and erect, and at the feet of the said quail was a serpent made of feathers, and they asked him if the said quail placed upright, as he has said, was to mock the Passion of Our Lord, and he said it looked that way to him …171 When don Domingo responded to this accusation on October 24, 1545, he was quite clever. He basically agreed with what the Europeans saw, but disagreed with their interpretation. The things Luis Delgado and Friar Dionisio took for an idolatrous assemblage were in fact lunch, with some dance costumes that happened to be present: Friar Dionisio, a Dominican who lived as vicar in the said town of Yanhuitlán entered my house one day when I was not there, and in my room found that for lunch they had brought me a low box of straw, and in it tamales made with beans and on top of them a grilled quail, and the serpent made of feathers was hung with other feathers and dance costumes that I have for dances, according to the use and customs of the Indians, and they were left in my house for when the said festivals are performed, during which time they [the feathered costumes] are taken out and put on for the dances (testimony October 24, 1545).172 Witnesses called in for don Domingo’s defense later confirmed his claims: “the snake of feathers, made with its teeth and mirror-​eyes” “was for dances, and the said don Domingo when he went out to dance wore it on his head, and this witness has seen him wear it many times and dance with it.”173 One the one hand, it is certainly true that early modern Catholics were prone to seeing blasphemous mockeries of the crucifixion wherever they went. As we saw in Chapter 1, tales of Jews whipping a crucifix circulated in Valencia around 1540. Crossing the Atlantic, in 1562 the killing of a pig in a Maya


110  Catholic Catholicisms village church was described as a mocking crucifixion by a Catholic scribe, and this may have inspired rumors of boys and girls sacrificed on crosses.174 So we should certainly be skeptical when assessing what Friar Dionisio and the rest thought they saw. At the same time, it is clear that don Domingo’s response, though clever, was also deeply ingenuous. He knew perfectly well that plates of food were important sacrificial offerings throughout Mesoamerica. This is probably why the tiny room discovered in don Francisco’s palace during the August 1544 raid was filled with ceramic vessels: these were offerings to feed the bundled dead buried beneath the floor (see Chapter 6). Edible effigies made of amaranth seeds were used in rituals throughout the Mesoamerican highlands, and so it is totally possible that the trespassing Europeans did in fact see a pyramid sculpted from “doughs and seeds.”175 Don Domingo also knew that feathered dance costumes were not simply props for visual spectacle:  they allowed the wearer to manifest divine powers, to actually become—​in this case—​a feathered serpent (Figure 3.3). Given these prehispanic traditions, if we reconsider the idolatrous vignette that the trespassing Europeans thought

Figure 3.3 Page 24 of the Codex Nuttall. In the upper right corner, Lord 9 Wind (on the right) and Lord 1 Eagle (on the left) wear serpent headdresses; note how the attached serpent bodies make an s-​curve as they snake down from the back of the wearer’s neck. Pigment and gesso on deerskin, 23.5 × 19  cm. British Museum, London, Am1902,0308.1. © Trustees of the British Museum.


Catholic Catholicisms 111 they saw, it becomes apparent that the scene may have been something other than a mockery of the Crucifixion. Supposedly perched on the summit of a dough pyramid was a sacrificed and cooked quail, wings outspread, with a feathered serpent at its feet. The opposition and combination of avian and serpent had a long prehispanic history: feathered serpents are perhaps the most famous manifestation. The image at the center of Mexico’s flag—​an eagle on a cactus eating a snake—​ has a complex connection to these traditions. Prehispanic versions show only eagle and cactus—​no snake. The snake seems to have been added in the late sixteenth century, used as a symbol of the devil.176 But that diabolical serpent may have much in common with the feathered headdress supposedly placed at the feet of the crucified quail in Yanhuitlán. A number of early modern images of Christ show him crushing a serpent underfoot (Figure 3.4).177 Indeed, these images of Christological victory probably inspired at least one act of adaptive iconoclasm that still survives today. The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian houses what remains of a late Postclassic basalt statue of a coiled feathered serpent. Originally crafted in prehispanic Central Mexico, during the viceregal period its head was hacked off, and a square hole cut through its body, so that it could serve as the base for a wooden crucifix (Figure 3.5). A prehispanic image, then, was repurposed by Catholics to support a cross, which in turn transformed the feathered serpent into a defeated devil.178 Returning to Yanhuitlán, creating a vignette in which a crucified bird-​Christ crushed a prehispanic serpent-​devil underfoot, or captured the beast in its talons, may have been less a mockery of Catholic teaching and more an experimental merger of Christian and Mesoamerican imagery.179 This chapter has focused on actions and performances, on the ways Catholics, Muslims, and Native Americans alike appropriated Catholic sacred authority in pursuit of their own goals. I  have argued that because Catholicism was claimed to be universal, a place was made within its hierarchies for non-​ Christians. This was a kind of toleration, but with no illusions of equality. This was not toleration as we understand it today, or as imagined by theories of convivencia in medieval Iberia.180 This was an assertion of cosmological power, in which non-​Christian religions were subjugated to the catholic religious authority of the Church. Catholic teachings were superior, divinely ordained, and because of this Catholic authorities—​the pope above all—​ could presume to intervene in non-​Christian practices. And yet this catholic Catholicism, for all its hierarchy, also opened up a framework in which secular authorities could seek to harness sacred powers when dealing with their own non-​Christian subjects. And for those very subjects, the catholic claims of Catholicism offered unexpected resources for the defense of Islam, and for the innovative transformation of prehispanic beliefs. Where this chapter has focused on the uses of Christianity by Catholics, Muslims, and Native Americans, the next chapter presents this situation in


Figure 3.4 Christ crushes a demon and a serpent underfoot, as depicted by Ambrosius Holbein on the title page of Ulrich Krafft, Das ist der geistlich streit (Strasbourg, 1517). Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, Res/​4 Hom. 967.


Catholic Catholicisms 113

Figure 3.5 Top and side views of a prehispanic feathered serpent statue repurposed to be the base for a wooden crucifix. Basalt and pigment, 32 × 78 cm. National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, Catalog Number 17/​5441. Photo by NMAI Photo Services.

reverse. It considers how Catholics, Muslims, and Native Americans interacted with non-​Christian material culture. It focuses, not on sacred performances, but on physical objects: a mosque, stone god-​images, an Arabic parchment. All of these things were targeted by a kind of sacred action increasingly important for chapters to come: the violence of iconoclasm.

Notes 1 Boronat y Barrachina, Los moriscos, 1: 644. 2 Boronat y Barrachina, Los moriscos, 1: 642. 3 Boronat y Barrachina, Los moriscos, 1: 643.


114  Catholic Catholicisms 4 Hanke, Spanish, 38–​73; Pagden, Fall, 109–​44; Lupher, Romans, 103–​49. 5 A 1550 decree of Charles V criticized the hostility of encomenderos to missionaries (something being lamented at the same time by Bartolomé de las Casas), and reminded encomenderos that they were to support the efforts of religious men in the towns entrusted to them (Torres de Mendoza, Colección, 23: 523–​24). 6 Las Casas, Entre, unpaginated. 7 Las Casas, Entre, unpaginated. 8 Testimony of Juan de Molina in support of don Domingo, October 31, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 287r). Molina testified the same day in support of don Francisco and provided a slightly different version of Maraver’s accusation (as quoted in the Preface). 9 Testimony of Gaspar Coscolla, February 1, 1567 (AHN Inq. Leg. 548 Caja 1 Exp. 2, 4r). 10 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 429v. 11 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 429v. 12 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 207v 13 AHN Inq. Lib. 934, 150r; see also Ehlers, Between, 98, and the discussion of unmarrying later in this chapter. 14 Christian, “Catholicisms.” 15 Schwartz, All, 12, 33, 41, 85, 103, 138. 16 Schwartz, All, 1, 5, 56, 65, 75, 108–​12, 135. 17 Schwartz, All, 8. 18 AHN Inq. Leg. 1117, 9r (see also 9v). This belief had been criticized three decades before in the Valencia-​published Against the Qurʾān (Pérez de Chinchón, Antialcorano, 74v), and three decades before that in the Seville-​ published Reprobation of the Qurʾān (Montecroce, Reprobacion, diij recto; see Figure 1.5). For the presence of such ideas in Granada, see Resines, Catecismo, 63, 121, 168. 19 Both Gell (Art, 115) and Duffy (Stripping, 367–​68) discuss the symbolism of the pope as bridge-​builder; Duffy connects this to the physical architecture of Catholic bridge construction. Kaplan (Divided, 357)  explores whether a hierarchic society can be tolerant. On “toleration” as regulation, see Herzog, “Indiani”; Herzog, “Colonial.” 20 Testimony September 9, 1544 (BPR II 555, 80v–​81r). 21 AHN Inq. Lib. 911, 568v. 22 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 187r. 23 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 187r. For a parallel accusation against an encomendero in 1561 Yucatan—​as well as discussions of how encomenderos intervened on behalf of Maya being persecuted by the inquisition of Franciscan Friar Diego de Landa—​ see Clendinnen, Ambivalent, 61, 83. 24 Secular lords in Granada had similarly conflictive relationships with Church officials appointed to oversee Muslim converts (Pérez Boyero, “La permisividad,” 476–​77). 25 AHN Inq. Lib. 934, 150r; see also discussions from 1561 in Arigita y Lasa, El Il[ustrísi]mo. 26 AHN Inq. Lib. 934, 151v–​152r. 27 AHN Inq. Leg. 503, 352v. 28 That such dispensations were reserved for the pope is stressed in the investigation against Bartolomé de los Ángeles in 1544: “17 Item si sabe q[ue] dar semejantes dispensaciones esta reseruado solam[en]te ala auctoridad y poder supremo de n[uestro] s[eñ]or el papa” (BPR 555 II, 42r).


Catholic Catholicisms 115 29 Broadsheet published in Valencia on January 15, 1526 (BL Egerton 1832, 22v–​ 23r). See also Inquisitor Manrrique’s letter of January 6, 1526 (AHN Inq. Lib. 319, 261r). 30 When Francisco de Castellví was arrested in February 1571, he confessed to making these claims on multiple occasions, as well as to giving his Muslim subjects permission to marry within grades of consanguinity prohibited by the Catholic Church (AHN Inq. Lib. 934, 152r–​152v). 31 It was well accepted that in emergencies, when a newborn might die, anyone could perform the rites of baptism, even non-​Christians (Pérez de Ayala, Catechismo, 374). But the examples of baptism discussed here do not involve emergencies; they concern sacred/​secular competition. 32 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 191r. The same day, another witness claimed that las Casas commanded—​if he did not actually perform—​the baptism of a hidden son of Yanhuitlán governor don Francisco:  testimony of Diego, indigenous translator from Teposcolula, February 22, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 189r). 33 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 194v; see also Greenleaf, Mexican, 23. 34 Before the final session of the Council of Trent in 1563, marriage did not, technically, require a priest or religious functionary (or any other third party). Legitimate marriages could be created simply through the agreement of the bride and groom. Their will was enough to engender marital bonds (Broggio, Castelnau-​L’Estoile, and Pizzorusso, “Le temps,” 7–​8, 14; Castelnau-​L’Estoile, “Le mariage,” 99–​100). No outside authorization was necessary: not from a priest, and certainly not from a secular figure such as a lord or encomendero. 35 AHN Inq. Lib. 934, 150r. 36 AHN Inq. Lib. 934, 150v. 37 AHN Inq. Lib. 934, 150r. 38 AHN Inq. Lib. 934, 152r–​152v. 39 Helmholz, Marriage, 1–​24; Mackin, Divorce, 1–​19; 366–​404; Behrend-​Martínez, Unfit,  47–​64. 40 Luther, Martin, 332–​33, 337–​39. 41 Kelly, Matrimonial. 42 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 183v–​184r. 43 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 201v–​202r. 44 Moore, First, 10, 52–​53, 101–​3. 45 Duffy, Stripping, 41, 405–​6. 46 On these dispensations, see Lea, History of Auricular Confession, 3: 192–​94; Ettlin, Butterbriefe; Clifton, “Let.” A curious variation of the “butter letter” is mentioned by governor don Francisco on July 18, 1545. Because of the role that quail and doves had played in prehispanic sacrifices, their sale had initially been forbidden by viceregal authorities. However, since quail were also a source of food, the bishop of Antequera gave a sermon in Yanhuitlán in which he granted his permission (dio liçençia) to the sale and consumption of quail and doves for culinary purposes (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 230r). 47 Luther, Martin, 456. 48 AHN Nobleza, Osuna Leg. 555 D3, D4, D5; see also D33 and D64–​ 66. A number of other examples exist in AHN Nobleza, Frias. William A. Christian Jr. kindly sent me a scan of a bula de ayuno issued to a member of his wife’s family in 1966. 49 Pérez de Ayala, Les instructions, 2v. In 1567 Tunisian-​born Victoria Filomena testified that she had a letter of permission from a curate to eat meat on holy days


116  Catholic Catholicisms (AHN Inq. Leg. 551 Caja 2 Exp. 13, 17r). On contemporary Granada, see Resines, Catecismo, 303. 50 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 339r. 51 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 339r. 52 See Lockhart, Spanish, 25–​27, Riley, Fernando, 67–​68; Kramer, Encomienda, 210. 53 See also Ramírez, World, 64. 54 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 113r. 55 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 115r. 56 …and in Granada as well, as a complaint from 1526 makes clear (Gallego y Burín and Gámir Sandoval, Los moriscos, 203–​4). 57 Kaptein, Muhammad’s; López-​Morillas, “Textos”; Harvey, Muslims, 148; Barletta, Covert, 99; Catlos, Muslims, 481. 58 Kaptein, Muhammad’s, 46, 64; see also Longás, Vida, 257 and Bramon, “El rito.” 59 Vidal Beltrán, “El cuaderno,” 63. 60 Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 115. 61 BL Egerton 1832, 57v. The lords of Carlete had long supported the Islamic practies of their vassals. Documents from an early 1520s investigation into the validity of baptisms conducted during the germanías uprising say that the “señor de Carlet” was telling his subjects they were still Muslims (AHN Inq. Leg. 799 Caja 3, 480v). 62 BL Egerton 1832, 80v. 63 Cited in Halperin Donghi, Un conflicto, 91 n.  40; original document titled “Acuerdos de la junta presidida por don Francisco de Navarra. Valencia, 1561” (AGS Estado Leg. 329). 64 Testimony of Francisco Gonçales Alfajarín, March 12, 1561 (AHN Inq. Lib. 913, 460r). 65 AHN Inq. Lib. 934, 152r. See also Ehlers, Between, 98. 66 AHN Inq. Lib. 934, 152r. 67 On April 23, 1573, a letter by Valencian inquisitors listed Belvís as under investigation (AHN Inq. Leg. 503, 203r). A later undated document lists him as formally charged (AHN Inq. Lib. 936, 460r). 68 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 336r–​336v. 69 The witnesses were Franco Gómez (on Friday July 1 and Monday July 4, 1569; AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp.  4, 385v–​386v); Joan Baptista Miravete and Hierónimo Blanc (both on Monday July 4; 387r–​388v), and Pedro de la Calçada and Diego García de Baeça (both on Tuesday July 5; 389r–​392r). 70 Auctions are described as being being held in the “posada del arcob[is]po” (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp.  4, 387r) and in “los estudios del arçobispo donde se arriendan los diezmos” (388r). On early modern auctions, see Herzog, Upholding, 95–​96; on the arrendamiento system specifically, see Rodríguez Blanco, La orden, 207–​20; Nader, Liberty, 194–​95; Salvador Esteban, “Calendario.” 71 Císcar Pallarés, Tierra, 54–​56, 249. 72 Burns, “Medieval.” 73 The Archive of the Cathedral of Valencia preserves one of the copies of this bull: ACV Leg. 39 Núm. 20. 74 For an overview of the aftereffects and discussions of the 1475 bull, see BHUV Ms. 145 (“Bulas, reales ordenes y concordias sobre diezmos”), especially Documento 67 on the Parliament of Monzón in 1533. 75 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 387r–​387v.


Catholic Catholicisms 117 76 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 388r–​388v. 77 Testimony of don Sancho, speaking about Guadalest (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 434v). 78 ACV Lib. 4388, 4389, 4390, 4391, 4392, 4393, 4425. 79 One technique used to reconstruct climate by medieval and early modern historians in Spain is to look at when rogation ceremonies were held to beg God and the saints for rain: Glick, Irrigation; Lobato i Franco, “Religió”; López, “Las rogativas”; Sáez de Ocáriz y Ruiz de Azúa, “Climatología”; Barriendos Vallvé, “Clima”; Cortés Peña, “Entre”; Cortés Peña “Dos”; Arévalo and Borrego Velázquez, “La religiosidad”; Peris Albentosa, “La religiosidad”; see also Christian, Local, 117–​19, 128; Duffy, Stripping, 136–39, 279; and ACV Lib. 1531 (“Gastos de armario por rogativas desde 1556 a 1800”). On the risks involved in tax farming, see Nader, Liberty, 194–​95. 80 Fontana, Historia, 114. On the requests of 1566, see AHN Inq. Lib. 911, 594r–​ 594v (letter February 14, 1566); see also 617r for a similar request seven months later (September 16, 1566). 81 ACV Lib. 4392, 102v (1579), 125r (1583). 82 See Fontana, Historia. On droughts in neighboring Cataluña from the 1540s to the 1580s, see Barriendos Vallvé, “El clima,” 89. 83 ACV Lib. 4425, 178r; ARCSCC 23026 (August 1, 6, and 25, 1504); see also Bechí-​ related contracts with other Cardona family members on September 26, 1503. 84 ACV Lib. 4425, 178v; ARV Seminario de Nobles, Pergamino 123; see also ARCSCC 15607. 85 ACV Lib. 4389, 166r. On these kinship relations, see ARV Bailía General, Procesos P 665. 86 Lords in Castile also sought the privilege of collecting tithes in their lands: Nader, Liberty, 195. 87 BHUV Ms. 145 Documento 67 Fuero 18. This fuero had originally been decreed by Jaume II in 1318, but its repetition in 1533 (and immediately after a discussion of the bull of Sixtus VI) reveals this issue was still important in the sixteenth century. 88 Stutz, “Proprietary”; Torres López, “La doctrina”; Torres López, “El origen”; Reina Bernáldez, “Contribuciones”; Loring García, “Nobleza”; Diago, “Las iglesias”; Kaplan, Divided, 145. 89 Mecham, “Origins,” 211–​12. 90 Gómez Zamorano, Regio, 382–​83; Leturia, “El origen”; Leturia, “Alusiones”; Leturia, “Un párrafo”; Mecham, “Origins”; Azcona, Isabel, 158–61, 193. 91 Only one conquistador, Hernán Cortés, received a papal bull endowing him with powers of patronage in the New World (including the right to collect tithes and first fruits; Riley, Fernando, 30; Alamán, Disertaciones, 26–​32). This was in April 1529—​at the very same time that, on the other side of the Atlantic, the papacy was working to curtail the rights of patronage that it had granted to conquistadors in Granada (Pérez Boyero, “La permisividad,” 476–​77, 482, 488). 92 The oldest reference to the religious duties of encomenderos is an August 14, 1509 provision by Diego Colón (Lohmann Villena, “El encomendero,” 115); far more influential were the Laws of Burgos promulgated three years later (Hussey, “Text,” 309). Letter from the queen to Viceroy Mendoza, 1536 (Torres de Mendoza, Colección, 26: 454–​55). On the 1546 Junta Eclesiástica, see Martínez Gil, Muerte, 251; on the 1550 decree of Charles V, see n. 5; in general, see Lohmann Villena, “El encomendero,” 116–​21. 93 García de Polavieja, Hernán, 503, 505.


118  Catholic Catholicisms 94 On scholarly dismissals of the religious requirements of encomenderos, see Pagden, Fall, 36; Himmerich y Valencia, Encomenderos: 4; Kramer, Encomienda, 210; fortunately, more recent scholarship by Lohmann Villena (“El encomendero”) and Maldavsky (“Les encomenderos”) has begun to take these religious duties more seriously. 95 Mecham, “Origins,” 215; Azcona, Isabel, 306–​7; Nieto Soria, “Relaciones,” 32–​ 46; see also Villacañas Berlanga, Qué, 132. 96 Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 92. 97 July 14, 1528 (BL Egerton 1832, 28r). 98 Testimony July 5, 1569 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 292r). 99 On low priestly salaries, see Peñarroja Torrejón, Moriscos, 1: 85. In 1573 a committee headed by Archbishop Ribera tried to raise priestly salaries in Morisco parishes to one hundred libras per year (Ehlers, Between, 85). The impoverished salaries paid out forty years earlier are recorded in the budgets prepared for the Morisco parishes of Valencia from 1539 to 1545 (ARCSCC 5831 and 5832, unpaginated). In contrast, in 1563 a Franciscan friar testified that a Qurʾānic teacher in Vall d’Uxó was paid sixty ducats a year (or sixty-three libras) plus food (AHN Inq. Lib. 911, 515r). In 1566, Algerian-​born Francisco Antonio testified that an alfaquí in Bechí was paid fifty libras a year (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 341r). 100 The admiral claimed Diego felt he was owed back salary; his brother had brought a lawsuit against don Sancho for loans (censales: see Chapter 4) drawn by don Sancho’s father (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 491v). For parallel cases of lordly patronage in Granada, see Pérez Boyero, “La permisividad,” 476–​77, 483, 488; and for debates on lordly religious responsibilities in the Andes, see Gose, Invaders, 121. 101 Peñarroja Torrejón, Moriscos, 1: 100–​1, 224; 2: 840. A similar, all-​Christian conflict over baptismal fonts took place in Rioja (Castille) in 1504 (Diago, “Las iglesias,” 636). 102 Ruiz Ibáñez and Sabatini, “Monarchy,” 509–​10. 103 Oakley, Conciliarist, 56. 104 AHN Inq. Leg. 5312 Caja 1 Exp. 24, 73v–​74r. 105 Ciruelo, Pedro, 65–​ 71; Pérez de Chinchón, Antialcorano, 30v–​ 36v; Vitoria, Political, xiv–​xvii, 153–​204. 106 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 366r, 404v, 427v, 508v. 107 On the ley evangelica, see AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 375r, 423r–​423v, 425r; on the ley de dios see 499r; on the ley cristiana see unpaginated loose folios at the end of the file; and on the ley de mossen see 428v and the unpaginated loose folios at the end of the file. 108 Above all, these phrases are used in discussions of indigenous religious practices (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 107v, 120v, 164r, 198v, 267r). This was a medieval tradition (Catlos, Muslims, 350). 109 Moore, First; Bartlett, Making, 243–​68. 110 The image of the sheepfold also appears in the 1562 Edict of Saint-​Germain, which legalized Protestant worship in France (Benedict, “Un roi,” 70). 111 Muldoon, “Papal”; Muldoon, Popes, 9–​ 11, 134; Vitoria, Political, 258–​59; Pagden, Fall, 30; Fernández-​Armesto, Before, 232. 112 Archival references to the reading of the Requirement appear at least as late as 1533 (AGI Panama 234 Lib. 5, 107r–​108r; AGI Santa Fe 1174 Lib. 1, 151v; AGI


Catholic Catholicisms 119 Lima 565 Lib. 1, 114v; AGI Santo Domingo 1121 Lib. 1, 133r–​134r); see also Greenblatt, “Learning,” and Muldoon, Canon, 197–​208. Williams (American, 93) claims the practice was abolished in 1556. 113 Metzler, America, 362; Hamann, “Descartes.” 114 López de Palacios Rubios, De, 104–​5; Synan, Popes, 142; Muldoon, Popes, 26, 30–​31; Rembaum, “Talmud”; Raz-​Krakotzkin, Censor,  32–​56. 115 Muldoon, Popes, 11, 21–​26, 116–​18; cf. Muldoon, “Canonistic.” 116 López de Palacios Rubios, De, 104; see also Paz, Del dominio, 242. 117 Vitoria, Political, 273; Muldoon, Papal; Muldoon, Popes, 144–​ 50; Stow, “Burning,” 420. 118 Vitoria, Political, 288. 119 López de Palacios Rubios, De, 46, 60–​61, 103, 105; Zacour, Jews. Also relevant is ­chapter 3 of Riccoldo da Monte di Croce’s Improbatio alcorani, published in Latin in 1500 and translated into Castilian in 1501 (see Figure 1.5): “en el qual se demuestra como la ley de mahoma no es ley de dios, porq[ue] no dan della testimonio la ley vieja ni el eua[n]‌gelio; [y] que los moros son obligados a recebir las autoridades del viejo testamento y del ley euangelio.” 120 Original text in Metzler, America, 361–​66; see also Piazza, La conciencia, 53. 121 Translated in Mackin, Divorce, 397–​98; see also Lopetegui, “La constitución.” 122 Castelnau-​L’Estoile, “Le mariage,” 107–​10. 123 Scott, Weapons, 70–​107. 124 Koningsveld and Weigers, “Islamic,” 36. 125 Synan, Popes, 140; Konigsveld and Weigers, “Islam,” 137. 126 Koningsveld and Wiegers, “Appeal,” 182. 127 Monroe, “Curious,” 300. 128 Koningsveld and Weigers, “Islam,” 137–​38. 129 AHN Inq. Leg. 799 Caja 3, 409v; see also Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 61. 130 Alcalá, Arte, e recto. 131 Harvey, Islam, 96. 132 Necipoğlu, “Süleyman.” 133 Necipoğlu, “Süleyman,” 408, 411–​12. 134 Necipoğlu, Architecture, 249; see also Kritovoulos, History, 136; Goffman, Ottoman,  107–​9. 135 Fleischer, “Mediterranean.” 136 Curione, Pasquine, 70v. 137 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 346r. 138 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 346v. 139 Luis Navarro (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 355v; see also 356v–​357r and 365r–​369r for discussions of both pope and the gran turco); Miguel de Prades (355v). A  few days after these testimonies, on June 2, 1568, don Hernando Abenamir also testified about the admiral’s plans to send emissaries to king and pope (380r). In Christian contexts, it seems that a common petition strategy (or at least threat) was to go to the king first, and then to the pope (Ruiz Medrano, Reshaping, 63). 140 The Trinitarians, significantly, were a monastic order dedicated to ransoming Catholics held as slaves by Muslims in North Africa. On June 3, 1569 Friar Hierónimo testified that the admiral tried to convince him to speak to the pope on behalf of Valencia’s Moriscos in both 1564 and 1567 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550


120  Catholic Catholicisms Caja 1 Exp. 4, 375r–​377v). The 1567 plans were also discussed by Luis Navarro (368r–​368v). 141 AHN Inq. Leg. 548, Exp. 2, 16v; see also Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 220. 142 Similarly, don Sancho claimed (on February 28, 1569) that Valencian Moriscos had approached him with their own plan to send emissaries to the Council of Trent (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 432v); see also Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 220. 143 For a study of the secular powers of the early modern “papal monarchy,” see Prodi, Papal. 144 Greenleaf, Zumárraga, 49. 145 Ricard, Spiritual, 56; Las Casas, Apologética, 19. 146 Córdova, Vocabulario, 299r; Alvarado, Vocabulario, 161r. 147 Acosta, Historia, 336. 148 AGN Inq. Vol. 30, 161v/​165v. 149 Pohl, Politics, 39. 150 Testimony of don Cristóbal, governor of Nochixtlán, October 20, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 116r). 151 Pohl’s discussion of why the Yanhuitlán nobles changed their Christian names is also relevant (Politics, 57–​63). 152 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 195r. 153 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 195v. James Lockhart (Nahuas, 205–​6) argues that the famous Nahuatl “Dialogues of 1524” do not argue against Christian deities, but rather propose the (simultaneous) maintenance of prehispanic divinities; see also Terraciano, “People,” 22–​23. For a parallel situation in the Andes, see Gose, Invaders,  101–​2. 154 Testimony October 20, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 116). 155 Testimony of Catalina, October 23, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 119v); testimony of don Cristóbal, governor of Nochixtlán, October 17, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 176v); testimony of Juan, ruler of Molcaxtepec, October 20, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 178r). 156 Testimony October 14, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 163v). 157 Testimony October 16, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 173r). 158 Testimony October 15, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 106r). 159 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 173v. 160 Official questionnaire February 22, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 183v–​184r). 161 Camille, Gothic, 216; Bynum, Fragmentation, 127; Duffy, Stripping,  95–​96. 162 Memorial of Doctor Frago to Philip II (AGS Estado Leg. 329); cited in Arroyas Serrano and Gil Vicent, Revuelta, 35; full text published in Arroyas Serrano, “ ‘El ‘viratge.’ ” For other Muslim cases, see Longás, La vida, lxii; Gallego y Burín and Gámir Sandoval, Los moriscos, 230 (from 1530); and AHN Inq. Lib. 911, 349r (circa 1560); see also Ehlers, Between, 102. For Lutheran cases, see Longhurst, “Luther,” 78–​79, and cf. Greenblatt, Hamlet, 152. For fifteenth-​century anti-​ Jewish precedents, see Edwards, Religious, 9. 163 Garrido Aranda, Moriscos, 513. 164 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 339v; González Arévalo, El cautiverio, 59; see also Münzer, Viaje, 143; Torreblanca Roldán, “Dimensión,”  101–​8. 165 Herrera, General, 258–​ 67; Spores, Mixtec, 175; for viceregal Nahua and Maya examples, see Gruzinski, Man-​Gods, 75; Restall, Maya, 253; Gillespie, “Blaming,” 50.


Catholic Catholicisms 121 166 On Mesoamerican images of the “solar Christ,” see Burkhart, “Solar,” 234–​56; Gruzinski, Mestizo, 167, 171–​73; Monaghan, Covenants, 118–​30. 167 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 115v. 168 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 62r; see also Forde, “Conquest,” 320–​22. 169 Indeed, so popular were private (Catholic) chapels among the indigenous population of the Valley of Mexico that in April 1537 Church authorities sought to limit their use (Newberry Library, Chicago, Ayer Ms. 1275, 2v–3r; see also Lockhart, Nahuas, 69). 170 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp.  4, 473v; a priest from the Church of Saint Stephen corroborates the admiral’s claims on 488v–​489r. These personalized appropriations of clerics were often seen as violations of the communal ethos and co-​participation in the mystical body of Christ that Catholic worship was to embody (Duffy, Stripping, 151). Don Sancho’s excuse was that he had for many years been in a state of enmity (mal estado) with the duke of Gandía, and so was not in the proper spirit (theologically speaking) to take communion (AHN Inq. Leg. 550, 455r–​455v; see also Kaplan, Divided,  68–​9). 171 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 184v. 172 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 279r. 173 Testimony of Joan Coyaçan, November 2, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 291v); and, on the same day, Joan Coastle (290v). 174 Clendinnen, Ambivalent, 90–​91, 124–​25, 182–​89; see also Greenleaf, Zumárraga, 94, 98; Greenleaf, Mexican, 106. 175 Cortés, Cartas, 136; Piazza, La conciencia, 76–​79; Hamann, “Descartes.” 176 Cañizares-​Esguerra, How, 312; Laird, “Aeneid,” 231–​32. 177 Cole, “Perpetual,” 69–​73. 178 Thanks to Cecile R. Ganteaume for bringing this object to my attention. Also intriguing here is the association of Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl with crosses; Durán refers to this god as a Papa (Durán, Historia, 74, 76). 179 Two studies of the Yanhuitlán investigation (Pérez Ortiz, Tierra, 136; Piazza, “Los procesos,” 218–​20) argue that it was during his time in prison that don Domingo reconciled himself to Christianity. In contrast, the testimonies discussed here suggest that don Domingo was experimenting with Catholicism long before his imprisonment. 180 See critiques in Nirenberg, Communities; Catlos, Muslims.


4  The poverty of economy

In his 1552 General History of the Indies, Francisco López de Gómara linked the fall of Granada to the funding of Columbus: And because the Monarchs did not have resources to send Columbus, their notary Luis de Santangel loaned six million maravedís, which amount, at a generous estimate, to sixteen hundred ducats. We will note two things here: one, that with so little expense the income of the Royal Crown of Castile has increased by as much as the value of the Indies; and the other, that in concluding the conquest of the Muslims, which had lasted more than eight hundred years, there began the conquest of the Indians, so that the Spaniards should always be fighting with infidels and enemies of the holy faith of Jesus Christ.1 López de Gómara pairs economic aysmmetries (low cost, high profit) with transoceanic parallels (the end of Islamic conquests, the beginning of American ones). This chapter also involves calculations of value in Spain’s transoceanic empire. We will begin with a pair of events that took place, not in the same year—​as with López de Gómara’s interpretation of 1492—​but five years apart. Both involved Catholic lords asserting control over non-​ Catholic materialities. In Oaxaca, Francisco de las Casas summoned greenstone “idols,” offering to protect them from inquisitors. In Valencia, don Sancho de Cardona gave his permission for a ruined mosque to be rebuilt. Previous explanations of these actions focused on greed, the desire for profits. A careful reading of the economic archive, however, shows that such interpretations are inadequate. Rather than maximizing income, these material manipulations were assertions of authority. We saw in the last chapter that the defense of Ñudzavui and Muslim rituals by Francisco de las Casas and don Sancho de Cardona was part of larger pattern. On both sides of the Atlantic, the toleration of non-​Christian rites was a means of claiming control over them. This chapter extends those ideas by focusing on the treatment of sacred materiality. Yet even as Old Christians enhanced their prestige by summoning idols and sanctioning reconstructions, sixteenth-​century Muslim and Ñudzavui


The poverty of economy 123 traditionalists realized they were losing control over their own sacred resources. And so they, too—​like Francisco de las Casas and don Sancho de Cardona—​tried to assert authority through the manipulation of material heirlooms, using the past in the present to redirect the future.

Two myths of Spanish greed In late February 1545, don Domingo and don Francisco of Yanhuitlán were arrested and imprisoned within the Palace of the Viceroy in Mexico City. At the same time, ten new testimonies were collected from witnesses in the town of Teposcolula (one valley to the west of Yanhuitlán). Eight more testimonies were gathered in mid-​May. One question asked of witnesses in both February and May concerned the attempt by a Dominican friar to collect and burn indigenous “idols” six years before.2 Curiously, four of the May witnesses—​ three former slaves, one indigenous priest—​ answered this question by speaking about events that had taken place only a few months earlier. When don Francisco and don Domingo were arrested, these witnesses claimed, encomendero Francisco de las Casas summoned local elites and asked them to give him their god-​images. Two of the former slaves, Quxi and Juan, said this, and nothing more.3 The third former slave (also called Juan) testified that Francisco de las Casas wanted the god-​images to burn them in secret, destroying potential evidence.4 But a final testimony, given the same day by an unbaptized priest from Molcaxtepec, tells a different story. Xaco claimed that don Francisco de las Casas joined all of the lords and said to them that they had already seen how the aforementioned [don Francisco and don Domingo] had been taken prisoner because they had devils [indigenous god-​images] and he ordered that all of them should bring him the demons [images] that they had, and they should turn them over very secretly, so that no one should see, and he [las Casas] would guard them so that they would not burn the ruler who was [imprisoned] in Mexico City, and that he looked both backwards and forwards, and was their master, and they should give him them [the images] and not listen to the Christian priests, because they did not have to understand their preaching, and that I [las Casas] know what has to be done and not the Christian priests, and the said don Juan and don Francisco Tuerto ordered that all the nobles of the subject towns should bring their demons …5 That was in Oaxaca, 1545. Five years later, in the summer of 1550, don Sancho de Cardona was passing through his southern estates in the Valley of Guadalest. He came across a ruined building, and asked his Morisco vassals what it was. In don Sancho’s own words, this is what happened: He said that when this witness was passing by Guadalest, on the way he saw something that appeared to him to be a house with a ruined roof, and


124  The poverty of economy he asked what the said house was, and they [his Morisco vassals] told him that it used to be the mosque, and this witness told them that they should rebuild it, without requesting a license to rebuild it, and he said to himself that if it has to be a church, it is better that it should be rebuilt, for if not it will very soon be irreparable, and this was in the year that the Muslims sacked Cullera [on May 25, 1550] …6 How do we interpret these paired Oaxacan and Valencian actions? Money has provided one answer. Francisco de las Casas and don Sancho de Cardona intervened on behalf of non-​Christian materiality (idols, a mosque) to keep their subjects happy—​and to keep them paying tribute.7 In addition, the idols and the mosque were financial resources in and of themselves. The greenstone god-​images could be sold; the mosque generated rental income.8 Explaining the relations of Old Christian authorities and non-​Christian subjects in economic-​functionalist terms is quite common.9 In particular, two apparently sixteenth-​century phrases are often quoted as evidence that encomenderos in New Spain and noblemen in Iberia were above all driven by greed. For the Old World is a supposedly popular early modern refrain: Quien no tiene moros no tiene oro (“He who has no Muslims has no gold”). For the New World is a sentence attributed to conquistador Bernal Díaz del Castillo:  “We came to serve God, and to get rich.” Both of these phrases offer money as a straightforward sixteenth-​century explanation for relations of “colonial” domination in Valencia and the Americas. But neither phrase is quite what it seems. As far as I can tell, Quien no tiene moros no tiene oro does not appear in the Castilian language until 1924. To explain:  between 1494 and 1495 German traveler Hieronymous Münzer visited various parts of Iberia. He recorded his adventures in a diary—​in Latin. In his description of an olive oil press in Zaragoza (to the north of Valencia), he wrote down a refrain which said Qui non habet moros, non habet aurum.10 In 1924, selections from this diary were translated into Castilian by Julio Puyol. Thus it was that the phrase Quien no tiene moros no tiene oro first appeared. Oddly, although a number of refraneros (books of popular sayings) were compiled in Iberia from the sixteenth century on, Quien no tiene moros no tiene oro appears in none of them. Indeed, the most recent editor of Puyol’s translation of Münzer, Ramón Alba, finds it strange that this saying is not attested anywhere else.11 And yet it is constantly cited in Morisco scholarship as commonplace evidence of lordly profit motives.12 A similar refrain did exist in early modern Castilian, one attested in a number of sources across several centuries. But its meaning was quite different. This refrain is A más moros, más ganancia. Literally translated as “more Muslims, more gain,” this phrase does not refer to Muslim vassals. It refers to military conquest. The equivalent refrain in English would be “the greater the risk, the greater the glory.”13 Sebastián de Horozco, in a 1570–​1580 manuscript on Castilian sayings, explains the phrase thus: “A más moros más


The poverty of economy 125 ganançia. This proverb is often used, because where there is more good, things are always better. And where there is more to win, more is won. This proverb was told by the Cid, Ruy Díaz, to his wife Ximena Gómez when they were in the city of Valencia, and the Cid was lord of the place, because he won it the day before by force of arms from the Muslims …”14 What may have happened, then, is that Hieronymus Münzer misunderstood or misremembered this phrase (he was probably speaking Latin throughout his journey), and so when he sat down to write a diary entry about his adventures in Zaragoza, he accidentally created a new Iberian refrain. A más moros, más ganancia became Qui non habet moros, non habet aurum—​ which then became Quien no tiene moros no tiene oro when back-​translated into Castilian in 1924.15 A similar tangle of mistranslation created another supposedly early modern phrase first documented in the twentieth century: “We came to serve God, and to get rich.” In 1568, aged conquistador Bernal Díaz del Castillo was writing the final pages of his True Account of the Conquest of Mexico. He raged against Lady Fame for giving none of the Europeans who fought with Cortés their due: I would have you know, Lady, that of the five hundred and fifty soldiers who traveled with Cortés from the island of Cuba, only five of us are living in all of New Spain in this year of 1568, when I am writing this account; for all the others died in the wars I have already related, in the power of the Indians, and were sacrificed to the idols, and the others died by their hands. And as for their tombs—​you ask me where they are—​I say they are the stomachs of the Indians, who ate their calves and thighs, forearms and biceps, feet and hands; and as for the rest, their entrails were thrown to jaguars and serpents and falcons, which in that time they [the Native Americans] kept for glory in mighty houses, and these [animals] were their tombs, and there are their coats of arms; and it seems to me that their names should have been written in letters of gold, since they died such a horribly cruel death, in order to serve God and his Majesty, and to give light to those who were in shadows: and also to gain riches, which all of us men came to search for.16 These words to Lady Fame are bitter and ironic. The warriors who died such horrible deaths had hoped to serve God and King and to gain wealth, but in death their names were not even written in letters of gold, for their tombs were the bodies of humans and animals who consumed their flesh. Strange indeed, then, that this dark passage is the origin of the flippant “We came to serve God, and to get rich.” The guilty party is Lewis Hanke, who dramatically reshaped both the phrasing and the meaning of Díaz’s words in his 1949 The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America. There, Díaz’s bitter lament against Fame is shortened and quoted out of context in order to show how greedy and ungodly the conquistadors were. Hanke


126  The poverty of economy reduced the long final phrase of Díaz’s rant to an eleven-​word quip: “We came here to serve God, and also to get rich.”17 Hanke’s invented phrase began to be cited almost immediately.18 But the transformation of Díaz del Castillo’s words did not end in 1949. By 1960 a shortened ten-​word version of the quip had been created: “We came here to serve God and to get rich.”19 A nine-​word version emerged by in 2007: “We came to serve God, and to get rich.”20 Perversely, Hanke’s 1949 creation was soon back-​translated into Castilian as Vinimos para servir a dios, y hacernos ricos.21 Like its English equivalent, this faux sixteenth-​century quotation continues to be cited today.22 These are two myths, then, of Spanish greed: Quien no tiene moros no tiene oro and “We came to serve God, and to get rich.” This brief historiographic excursion is not meant to argue that wealth was irrelevant in New Spain and Valencia. Rather, the point is that common claims about early modern profit motives are not as well-​founded as they may seem. More than this, we miss a great deal if we assume that desire for booty was the most important factor in situations of conquest and conversion the sixteenth century. Relations of economics and authority in the Spanish empire were far stranger than models of greed can explain.

Against economy: Jurisdiction Early modern elites lived beyond their means. The histories of European monarchs in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are filled with loans, pawned jewels, unpaid employees, and royal bankruptcies.23 The finances of don Sancho de Cardona—​and indeed of nobles throughout sixteenth-​century Valencia—​were no exception. When feudal relations between Catholic lords and Muslim vassals were established after the Christian conquest in the mid-​ thirteenth century, Muslim communities arranged to pay fixed annual rents for the use of noble properties. By the sixteenth century, the relative value of these fixed sums had gone down. In many places—​such as Vall d’Uxó, site of the May 1568 Morisco protest—​vassals paid relatively little for the lands they cultivated.24 Catholic lords might receive only two thousand to four thousand libras in rent from their Muslim subjects each year. This, argues James Casey, was why many Valencian nobles supported the Morisco expulsion in 1609. This provided them “the opportunity to introduce radical changes in the outdated structures of their feudal holdings.”25 The rents from don Sancho de Cardona’s estates illustrate these general trends. A  number of documents from across the sixteenth century make reference to the income don Sancho and his heirs received from their lands (Table 4.1). Although these estimates appear in sources ranging from lawsuits to legal contracts, the overall picture is fairly consistent, and matches with what we know about the incomes of other Valencian nobles—​and indeed the incomes of encomiendas in sixteenth-​century Extremadura as well.26


The poverty of economy 127 Table 4.1 Don Sancho’s income from Bechí and Guadalest. Year



1529 a 1530 b 1567 c 1568 d 1571–​74 e 1586–​89 f 1590–​93 g 1594–​97 h

1500–​2000 libras 3000(?) libras 3175 libras 3000 libras

1500 libras 1750(?) libras 3000 libras 1550.5 libras 2030 libras 2500 libras

Sources: (a) ARV Real Audiencia Procesos de Madrid Letra A 1; the values are listed as 30,000 to 40,000 sous from Bechí and 30,000 sous from Seta, Gorga, and Travadell; (b) ARV Seminario de Nobles Pergamino 120; the value is listed as 95,000 sueldos, or 4750 libras for both Bechí and Guadalest. I have divided this sum into two portions of 3000 libras and 1750 libras, based on sums given from other years; (c) ARV Real Audiencia Procesos de Madrid Letra A 95; the value is listed as 64,500 or 63,500 sous; (d) ARV Real Audiencia Procesos de Madrid 2 Letra S 257; the value is listed as 3000 livres; (e) ARV Real Audiencia Procesos de Madrid 2 Letra A 232; the value is listed as 60,000 sueldos; (f) ARV Maestre Racional 9497; the value is listed as 31,010 solidorum; (g) ARV Maestre Racional 9497; the value is listed as 40,600 sous; (h) ARV Maestre Racional 9789; the value is listed as 50,000 sous.

The admiral’s finances were augmented in 1543, when he married María de Colón y Toledo. As granddaughter of Christopher Columbus, in 1537 the Crown had granted her a lifetime pension of four thousand ducats (forty-​ two hundred libras) per year. María also received income from properties in the Caribbean, including a sugar mill on Hispañola.27 By the middle of the sixteenth century, the combined income of don Sancho and María probably reached over ten thousand libras a year: perhaps six thousand from don Sancho’s various holdings, and over forty-​two hundred from María’s.28 Yet rental income amounted to a relatively small percentage of the funding available to Valencia’s nobility. By using their properties as security, Valencian nobles were advanced huge loans. Valencian archives are filled with these censales, loan contracts.29 But living on loaned income—​and at such a lavish scale—​was not without its dangers. Financiers expected a return on their money. When nobles were unable to keep up their payments—​and they often could not—​a number of things could happen. In cases of extreme debt, the Crown would step in and take temporary control of an over-​mortgaged property. This actually happened to Guadalest in 1583, after the assassination of don Sancho’s son and heir Cristóbal de Cardona.30 But before such radical measures were taken, loan contracters could extract the value owed them by confiscating the lord’s property—​or, in many cases, the property of a lord’s vassals, both Christian and Muslim.31 Records for three confiscations on the lands of don Sancho de Cardona survive from 1562 to 1564, 1569, and 1571–​1572. These are cruel documents to read. They describe how people’s homes were entered, their property seized—​and later


128  The poverty of economy sold. For example, in the southern town of Ondara in October 1571, the following items were taken as “security assets” (penyores) from the house of Benet Pinter: First, two female donkeys, one black and one tan Item a copper pail Item thirty-​nine arrobas [about 573 kilograms] of figs Item one cafis [about 200 liters] of wheat Item one cafis [about 200 liters] of olives Item an iron scale for weighing Item a copper kettle Item a paellera Item a saucepan Item a pot and four bowls Item a four-​poster bed with two new side rails.32 Goods were taken from many of Benet’s neighbors as well, usually in the form of agricultural products: barley, olives, figs. In contrast, most of the “security assets” confiscated from don Sancho’s vassals in Bechí in 1569 were textiles: “First: a used bed-​cover of white and crimson linen.” “Item: six painted cushions woven of wool and linen, used.” “Item: a woman’s shirt of embroidered black silk, used.”33 A number of the garments seized were aljubas—​long Muslim-​style tunics.34 “Item:  an aljuba of white linen with some stripes of stiffened silk, used.” “Item: a girl’s aljuba with stripes of red silk, new.” Item: a girl’s aljuba of silk with stripes of green and yellow silk, used.” “Item: another girl’s aljuba of white silk with stripes of red silk, new.”35 The existence of new silk aljubas is especially significant, because by 1569 Muslim styles of clothing had prohibited for over forty years, from the time of the “general conversion” in late 1525. That several of the new aljubas were for girls suggests they were wedding clothes. Were they new because they had been recently made? Or were they actually generations-​old heirlooms (see Chapter 5), passed down from mother to daughter and appearing to be new because they had seldom been worn?36 Whatever their meaning for Morisca owners, silk tunics were lumped by creditors with grain and olives and painted cushions as mere commodities confiscated to pay lordly debts. Yet as harsh as these confiscation documents are, it is difficult to use them as evidence for reductive greed-​based relations between Christian lords and Muslim vassals. (And not just Muslim vassals, but Christian ones as well:  remember Benet Pinter). The confiscation of vassal properties was an indirect and unintended result of loan agreements made far away in the city of Valencia. Furthermore, it seems that whenever don Sancho realized some of his unpaid debts were to be extracted from the goods of his subjects, he tried to warn them so that they could hide their most valuable possessions.


The poverty of economy 129 In 1562, the Royal Court in Valencia sent constables to don Sancho’s southern lands—​“Ondara, Seta, Travadell, Guadalest, and Confrides”—​to confiscate property and so pay don Sancho’s debts to loan contractor Joan Aguilo. But when the constables arrived in many of don Sancho’s towns, they did not find much of value. Houses had been emptied beforehand. And so in 1564 an investigation was begun to demonstrate that don Sancho warned his vassals to hide their property. Witnesses were asked to testify that the said friends, servants, agents, and employees of the said most illustrious admiral advise and are advising the Muslim vassals, residents and inhabitants of the said valleys, and they give them orders so that they can take away and hide their livestock, animals, and the clothing and goods that they have so that they cannot be [confiscated as] security assets, and this is the truth …37 Five years later, when similar confiscations began in Bechí in June 1569, don Sancho was locked in an inquisitorial prison. But even so, he or his agents may have tried to warn vassals of what was about to happen. Constables arriving in Bechí caught two Moriscos fleeing to the countryside with chests full of clothes. One of them, a widow, was apprehended as she left Bechí through the Borriana Gate. Perhaps other villagers were more successful in whisking their goods away.38 This whole economic and social situation is deeply hierarchical and hardly romantic. But it too complex to be explained away as crude exploitation. Don Sancho de Cardona, like other Valencian nobles, received relatively little direct income from his Morisco vassals—​but their existence generated impressive sums. Being a señor de vasallos allowed don Sancho—​and nobles throughout Valencia—​to live (if not ultimately maintain) a lavish lifestyle. Given this background, how do we understand the economic forces behind the admiral’s actions in the summer of 1550, when he gave his Muslim vassals permission to rebuild the ruined Mosque of Revelation? As we saw earlier, the admiral did not deny this event. But he framed his action as a Catholic one: “he said to himself that if it has to be a church, it is better that it should be rebuilt, for if not it will very soon be irreparable.” The admiral spoke of a hypothetical future, and we will return to his words in Chapter  7. But for now, what is important is that other witnesses made clear that the rebuilt mosque was in fact used as an Islamic site of worship, and that don Sancho was well aware of this. Antoni Joan Amat testified that “he believes that the said admiral knew of this, and consented to it, because it was in his land, and because the whole kingdom knew of it, and it was public and notorious [público y notorio].”39 One Morisco witness—​one of the few Morisco witnesses to actually give testimony before inquisitors—​claimed that the admiral actually received income from the mosque. In the final months of the investigation—​on June 25, 1569—​imprisoned Morisco notable don Hernando Abenamir claimed that the admiral


130  The poverty of economy had consented that in Guadalest, which is his land, a rural mosque should be built, and that many Moriscos should come there from different places to pray and perform their stations, and for this they gave him [don Sancho] ten libras every year, as they used to do in the time of the Muslims, and on learning of this, His Majesty to end that abuse ordered that their weapons be confiscated, and that the said rural mosque had to be toppled and torn down.40 When inquisitors presented don Sancho with this economic accusation a few months later, he was indignant:  “I have not taken from this, nor from the ten ducats that the other testimony says they gave me, a single maravedí.”41 In other words, faced with explaining his role in rebuilding the Mosque of Revelation, don Sancho confirms some of the accusations made against him, but reframes their meaning in less damaging ways. Other accusations he denies completely. How do we untangle this complex web of claims and counterclaims? As we have seen in previous chapters, one important strategy for interpreting inquisitorial documents is to read them against documents from noninquisitorial sources. In the case of don Sancho, we are quite fortunate, because a number of noninquisitorial records about his finances survive. One of them throws crucial light on the reconstruction of the Mosque of Revelation, and the supposed income generated by it. But to evaluate this extremely local claim—​that don Sancho received ten libras a year in rent from the mosque—​we must trace out the connections that linked sixteenth-​century Valencia to the New World. In 1543, in Seville, don Sancho de Cardona married María de Colón y Toledo.42 Together, they had at least five children:  Cristóbal, Luis, María, Joan, and Felipe.43 During a pregnancy in 1560, María drew up a will with a notary in Bechí, Francisco Pérez de Terán. María survived the birth of her son Felipe, but died four years later.44 The document from 1560, then, was indeed her last will and testament. Several of María’s sisters also married important Iberian nobles (see Chapter  1). Juana de Toledo wed her cousin Luis de la Cueva y Toledo in Valladolid in 1537.45 When Luis died in the mid-​1540s, Juana moved from Seville to Bechí so that she could be near her older sister.46 However, relations with her brother-​in-​law were strained. After María’s death in 1564, Juana brought a lawsuit against don Sancho because he failed to honor certain terms in her sister’s will.47 In November 1567, the Royal Court (Real Audiencia) of Valencia ruled in Juana’s favor, and ordered don Sancho to pay her fifteen hundred libras in damages. The admiral made various attempts to get out of this, but in the end Juana got her money.48 The funds were generated by the sale of oil and grain that tenants on don Sancho’s southern lands had set aside to pay for the rental of lordly mills, olive oil presses, ovens, butcher shops, and pastures. Starting in late November 1568, royal constable Nofre Llopis traveled south from the capital to collect don Sancho’s rental income in the name of


The poverty of economy 131 Juana de Toledo. The records he made during his journey are preserved in the Archive of the Kingdom of Valencia. At the town of Bolones in the Valley of Seta, the constable requisitioned oil that was to pay for the rent of an olive oil press in nearby Gorga.49 At Millena, he requisitioned rents for ovens and pastures. Such entries go on for pages, and continue into the new year, as measures of oil, barley, and wheat were collected person by person, town by town. These accounts are interspersed with records of auctions, where agricultural products were turned into currency—​currency to pay the Caribbean-​ born Juana de Toledo.50 But when Nofre Llopis arrived in the town of Beniayzo in the Valley of Seta on February 12, 1569, he recorded something that, to us now, seems most unexpected: a sale was made by the said magnificent constable of nine arrobas of oil pertaining to the said illustrious admiral from the rental of a mosque to Cahet Molzui, renter of the said mosque, present, at fifteen sous per arroba, which totals seven libras.51 In the original document, nothing suggests that this entry was seen as unusual in any way. It is recorded in the same style as all of the other entries. It is accompanied by no scandalized marginal comments. But these brief lines open up an entire world. First, they strongly suggest that don Sancho was lying when he told inquisitors he never received rental income from the Mosque of Revelation. The mosque in Beniayzo was located one valley to the west of Guadalest. If don Sancho received seven libras in rent from the property in Beniayzo, he almost certainly received ten libras in rent from the far more famous and important Mosque of Revelation. Second, the 1569 document calls this rental property a mosque because it was still being used as a place of worship. In late medieval Valencia, mosque buildings were often rented to Christians, who then put them to secular use.52 But the person who rented the mosque in Beniayzo in 1569 was clearly a Muslim: Cahet Molzui did not use a Christian name. We can assume that he rented the mosque for sacred purposes. By comparing the annual rent for the mosque in Beniayzo with the annual rent of other properties, it becomes clear that economic functionalism cannot explain why don Sancho de Cardona allowed that mosque (and the Mosque of Revelation as well) to remain open. Seven libras was a very small sum. The rent of an olive oil press in Gorga cost over 150 libras per year.53 A smaller press in Benimafull rented at fifteen libras a year.54 An oven in Ondara rented at over fifty-​four libras a year; one in Bolones rented at ten libras.55 The best comparison for the mosque in Beniayzo is the butcher shop in Benimafull, which also let at seven libras a year.56 Relatively speaking, don Sancho did not receive much money from allowing mosques to remain open in Beniayzo (at seven libras a year) and Guadalest (at ten libras a year). In contrast, we saw in the last chapter that Muslim communities would pay their religious


132  The poverty of economy leaders with salaries of fifty to over sixty libras a year. Even from a Muslim perspective, then, paying an annual rent of seven to ten libras for the use of a mosque was a relatively small amount. Some Muslim communities paid even less to rent mosques from their lords. In the same year of 1569, inhabitants of the town of Aín in the Dukedom of Segorbe (to the north) paid a mere two libras, five sueldos.57 Finally, these brief lines reveal how unsurprising the existence of a functioning mosque in Beniayzo apparently was. Islam, remember, had at this point been banned in Valencia for over forty years. In February 1569, when Nofre Llopis visited Beniayzo, don Sancho de Cardona had been arrested and was being held in an inquisitorial prison. But no one involved in this confiscation campaign testified against the admiral before inquisitors. Juana surely saw these records. She could have easily gone to the Palace of the Inquisition and denounced the mosque as yet more proof of her brother-​in-​law’s mala cristiandad. Don Sancho de Cardona actually told inquisitors that both Juana and her lawyer (Diego de Salazar) were personal enemies: “the said Diego de Salazar has pursued and pursues two lawsuits against the said admiral in the name of doña Juana de Toledo with as much passion as if they were his very own.”58 But neither Juana nor Diego appeared before inquisitors to testify against don Sancho. All of this suggests that for many people in mid-​sixteenth century Valencia, the presence of practicing Muslims and functioning mosques was neither surprising nor disturbing. Inquisitors saw things differently, of course, and their hostile views of Muslim-​Christian relations have strongly shaped our understanding not only of early modernity, but of the medieval past as well.59 Indeed, one of the striking things about inquisitorial records is how often inquisitors discover that Muslim practices had been going on openly in mixed Muslim-​Christian communities for years before anyone bothered to report them. In 1563, when Gabriel Muñoz presented himself at Valencia’s Palace of the Inquisition to testify about the reconstruction of the Mosque of Revelation, he confessed to knowing about the building for seven years.60 He reported it only after it was torn down a second time. Inquisitors complained about this general reluctance to denounce Muslim activity in the eleventh point of their accusation against don Sancho:  “and neither don Sancho, nor any person appointed by him to oversee the valleys where the said mosque was built, intervened nor came to testify before this Holy Office.”61 Similarly, in September 1573 inquisitors summoned Joan García de Baeça to answer questions about a reported Muslim butcher shop in Bechí. After some prodding, he admitted to knowing about it, and said that many other Old Christians did as well. Exasperated, inquisitors then asked “Why has this witness not come earlier to denounce this, since as he has said he understood that it was a Muslim ceremony to slaughter in this way?”62 Joan’s strategic response was that he assumed someone else had already done so, since inquisitorial informants (familiares) lived in the town, and a constable as well. Through inaction, Old Christians in Bechí gave consent to the Islamic


The poverty of economy 133 practices of their neighbors. Indeed, back in 1566, Algerian-​born Francisco Antonio testified against the Morisco butcher of Bechí (named Caleh) and claimed that “all the residents from there eat the meat which he butchers Muslim-​style.”63 Thus a brief archival reference to the mosque in Beniayzo throws a great deal of light on one of the more important accusations made against don Sancho de Cardona. It both affirms that don Sancho realized the reconstructed Mosque of Revelation would be used for Islamic religious purposes, and shows that the income he received by allowing the reconstruction to take place was minimal. Furthermore, this detail has implications for the broader themes of authority, power, and sacred jurisdiction discussed in the last chapter. The records generated by Nofre Llopis in the fall of 1568 and spring of 1569 make clear that the mosque in Beniayzo was viewed as one of a number of similar rental properties, even if it was not as profitable as olive oil presses and ovens. The income generated by “lordly monopolies” of buildings like mills and ovens and olive-​oil presses was a basic source of noble income in Iberia—​and in the New World as well. Elites owned these buildings and were expected to pay for their upkeep. In turn, their subjects could rent them and earn a living baking bread, grinding olives and grain, or slaughtering animals. But these buildings were not simply income-​producing properties and functional social services. They were symbols of lordly power. A mill on the lands of a señor de vasallos belonged to that lord, and anyone wanting flour had to crush grain in their lord’s mill, and bake it into loaves in their lord’s oven.64 Thus was daily bread, or olive oil, materially dependent on lordly authority. We saw in the last chapter how even chapels and baptismal fonts could be regarded as lordly monopolies, jealously guarded so that access to the sacraments could only take place in a space permeated with lordly jurisdiction. In the case of don Sancho, it seems that a similar model was applied to the mosques in Guadalest and Beniayzo. Even though they were places of Islamic worship, their presence offered a material manifestation of the admiral’s authority. Similar concerns, similar models of lordly power, are documented for Yanhuitlán. These references are easily overlooked, but they illustrate the ways elite control of basic infrastructure served ends that were symbolic and political, but not necessarily economic. Soon after his arrival in Yanhuitlán, Francisco de las Casas built a riverside mill just to the north of Etlatongo. We saw in Chapter 1 that this place played an important role in the Lenten slave raids of 1544.65 But it is doubtful that much wheat was being raised in and around Yanhuitlán in the 1540s (and the grinding of maize, which had to be soaked in limewater before it could be eaten, required a very different physical apparatus). Las Casas’ mill, then, was probably more symbolic than functional, at least at first. But regardless of whether or not it was used, its very material presence served as a reminder of lordly power. This was not the only material manifestation of authority that las Casas sought to establish in the Nochixtlán Valley. In Chapter 2, we discussed an


134  The poverty of economy ongoing struggle between Yanhuitlán and Nochixtlán over the location of a market. Nochixtlán claimed that its own market was established first, and that Yanhuitlán set up a rival market in Yucuita to challenge Nochixtlán both economically (depriving the town of fifty pesos every five-​day week) and religiously (Nochixtlán presented itself as a Catholic community, whereas the Yucuita market sold sacrificial paraphernalia, and was held near two sacred caves). Nochixtlán brought a lawsuit against Yanhuitlán over this market in 1539, and Francisco de las Casas presented himself as a witness on behalf of Yanhuitlán.66 Las Casas had recently returned to New Spain (in 1535) after a ten-​year absence (he was sent back to Iberia in 1525 as a political prisoner by enemies of Cortés).67 By testifying in 1539, he acted as an ally of the lords of Yanhuitlán after only a few years as resident encomendero. There was more at stake in this legal intervention than solidifying an allegiance with Yanhuitlán’s nobility. Sanctioning markets was another prerogative of lordly power in Iberia.68 Furthermore, in the 1540s, las Casas was involved in a lawsuit against Yucuita itself. The rulers of Hill of Flowers claimed to be independent of Yanhuitlán, and thus not obliged to pay las Casas tribute.69 It is unclear how long this disagreement had been going on, but from a European point of view, if las Casas could sanction a market in Yucuita against the protests of one of Yucuita’s neighbors, this would provide—​like the mill—​a material manifestation of las Casas’ authority. That is, the presence of a market in Yucuita every five days, a market that had been supported in courts of law by las Casas, would offer proof that Yucuita was in fact beholden to him as their superior. But mills and markets were not the only material signatures of authority that Francisco de las Casas sought to manipulate in Yanhuitlán. If don Sancho de Cardona gave his permission to the reconstruction of a mosque in 1550, five years earlier, in 1545, Francisco de las Casas gained control of more portable sacralia: stone statues of Ñudzavui gods and goddesses.

Against economy: Evocation Francisco de las Casas was not the real target of the inquisitorial investigation that began in the Nochixtlán Valley in 1544. Nevertheless, he was accused of many things in the pages inquisitors generated: suspending Catholic food taboos, preaching, marrying and unmarrying, giving his consent to the celebration of non-​Christian festivals, even driving Dominican missionaries out of Yanhuitlán. In May 1545, he was also accused of offering protection to Yanhuitlán’s god-​images, calling on indigenous priests to bring those images, in secret, to his residence. A previous interpretation of this intriguing event relied on economic functionalism. Las Casas gathered these “idols” because they were materially valuable. “Since some of the images were inlaid with gold and precious stones, it is easy to imagine the encomendero’s motivation for making this secret pact. … Tombs and images provided start-​up capital.”70 But there is a major


The poverty of economy 135 problem with this greed-​ based interpretation. Mesoamerican god-​ images were seldom if ever made of solid gold. They were sometimes inlaid with gold foil and ornaments, but in small quantities. Instead, “idols” were made of substances like greenstone: valuable to Mesoamericans, but not Europeans. Indeed, Central Mexican authors writing about the conquest of Tenochtitlán were puzzled by the strange aesthetics of the conquistadors:  “And everywhere the Spaniards were seizing and robbing the people. They sought gold; as nothing did they value the green stone, quetzal feathers, and turquoise.”71 When Yanhuitlán’s “devils” were described by Xaco, an indigenous priest, he mentioned no gold: “among them were many good stones because they were the best and oldest devils in this Mixteca.” Other documents quantify the low value of greenstone for Europeans. A  few years before the events in Yanhuitlán took place, Franciscan Friar Toribio de Benavente “Motolinía” mocked the idea that finding an indigenous idol was a path to riches: they [Europeans] hoped to find an idol of stone which would be worth as much as a city; and although I have certainly seen many idols that were adored and much esteemed among the Indians, and highly respected as principal gods, and some made of chalchihuitl which seems to me the most valuable [Mesoamerican] stone, I  don’t think that in Spain you could get ten gold pesos for one.72 Ten pesos, incidentally, was the value of three and a half arrobas of olive oil (about forty-​four liters), and worth slightly more than the ten libras in rent don Sancho de Cardona received each year from the Mosque of Revelation.73 Another source confirms Motolinía’s condescending estimate. When King Philip II died in 1598, an inventory was prepared of his possessions. These included a large greenstone ídolo from New Spain, which was valued at twelve ducats (just under ten pesos).74 In contrast, a large diamond in the same inventory was valued at sixty ducats.75 Based on what we know of Francisco de las Casas’ finances, it is doubtful he was interested in the minimal resale value of Yanhuitlán’s stone images. He came from a noble, well-​connected family in the Extremaduran town of Trujillo.76 A lawsuit from 1526 reveals he was a propertied man there, independent of his exploits in the New World. He owned at least three farms as rental properties. One rented annually for forty-​five thousand maravedís (120 ducats). Part of another rented for fourteen thousand maravedís (thirty-​seven ducats). A third rented for fifty thousand maravedís (133 ducats).77 Given these holdings, and the value of his house in Trujillo, in 1526 las Casas was worth nine thousand or ten thousand ducats. By 1545, all of these numbers would have been higher.78 In contrast, the average annual income from encomiendas in sixteenth-​century Extremadura was only eighteen hundred ducats.79 All of this puts las Casas’s income from Yanhuitlán in perspective. In 1536, the Yanhuitlán encomienda generated 560 pesos in gold dust annually (about


136  The poverty of economy 672 ducats). By 1550, after Francisco had died, his heir Gonzalo received 782.5 pesos worth (about 939 ducats), in addition to daily tribute in food, fuel, and labor.80 Combined incomes from the Old World and the New make it unlikely las Casas was tempted by the resale value of a few greenstone idols. Instead, the social landscape of sixteenth-​ century Trujillo strongly suggests that what las Casas really sought in his New World encomienda was not income, but prestige. In the late 1550s, King Philip II alienated a number of territories that had previously been controlled by the city of Trujillo. These were then sold to men who wanted to make themselves new feudal lords: señores de vasallos. Lands expropriated from Trujillo became independent señorios, lordly domains. The men who controlled these new fiefdoms wielded all of the traditional trappings of lordly power: civil and criminal jurisdiction, the ability to name local officials, and the right to collect various forms of taxed income. Not surprisingly, these alienations, and the creation of upstart feudal lords, were strongly criticized by the established elites of Trujillo. But as María Ángeles Sánchez Rubio and Rocío Sánchez Rubio make clear, most of those Trujillano elites already had far more money and property than the newly minted feudal lords. What was controversial about the creation of new señorios was not wealth or income, but rather the way in which the new lordships transformed the local balance of authority, honor, and status. “It is not, therefore, a question of economics that motivated them, but rather the prestige which would be involved in making oneself a lord of vassals … the new status achieved by the purchasers would alter the unstable equilibrium of power and prestige in Trujillo society.”81 So if profit motives poorly explain las Casas’ request for the bundled images of Yanhuitlán, why did he summon them to his residence? A second functionalist explanation was raised by witnesses in the Yanhuitlán investigation: las Casas wanted to get rid of evidence. One indigenous witness named Juan (a former slave of don Francisco) testified that las Casas collected the god-images to destroy them in secret: “he would burn them so no one should know.”82 But Juan’s grasp of Castilian was not great (he testified through a translator), and as a former slave (fifteen years in don Francisco’s house) his other testimonies condemned the prehispanic social-​religious order and its sacrifices.83 Juan’s account of what las Casas said may have been shaped by what he wanted to hear from the mouth of a Christian conqueror, not what the Extremeño had actually said. In contrast, the testimony given by an indigenous priest, Xaco, claimed the images were not summoned to be destroyed. Rather—​as we will see in Chapter 7—​they were going to a new home to create a new world. Las Casas probably agreed. Given what we know about his background, and about the self-​images of European conquistadors in general, it is entirely possible that Yanhuitlán’s encomendero called for god-​images to hide and protect them. I argued in the last chapter that if las Casas proclaimed “he was king and pope in his town,” then guarding indigenous god-​images was easily


The poverty of economy 137 reconciled with theories of Catholicism’s catholicism. The following pages add further contours to the complex mental landscape that made it possible for a European in New Spain to summon indigenous idols not to sell them for profit, or to destroy, but to preserve. Francisco de las Casas was born around 1490—​making him younger than his cousin Hernán Cortés (born in 1485)  and fellow Trujillano Francisco Pizarro (born in 1471), but slightly older than Valencian noble don Sancho de Cardona (born in 1496).84 As a member of Trujillo’s lesser nobility, las Casas probably grew up (like Francisco Pizarro) within the ancient city walls.85 Late medieval Trujillo was composed of two areas: the walled upper city (built on a granite outcrop with a fortified castle at its highest point) and the lower city (arrabal) surrounding a central plaza (Figure 4.1).86 Trujillo had a complex social history, and understanding that history provides an important background for the deeds of las Casas in the New World.87 The future encomendero was probably too young to remember Trujillo’s Jewish residents. In the late fifteenth century, they lived in the lower city, in a neighborhood just south of the main plaza.88 At the time of the

Figure 4.1 The walled upper city of Trujillo, seen from the northwest. To the left is the castle. The tallest tower just right of center, and the shorter one to its left (the Tower of Julius Caesar), both belong to the Church of Saint Mary the Greater (see also Figure 6.9). More of the city’s ancient walls can be seen to the far right. Photo by the author, August 2009.


138  The poverty of economy expulsion in 1492, Trujillo was home to around fifty Jewish families—​about two hundred people.89 But even after 1492, material traces of Trujillo’s Jews remained. The city’s synagogue, with an inscription in Hebrew marking its front entrance, was located on Tiendas Street, just off the main plaza. Several houses in the former Jewish quarter had indentations carved into their stone door frames for placing mezuzahs. The inscribed scrolls would have vanished, but empty niches remained visible to passers-​by.90 And of course Jews who converted to Christianity in 1492, or before, would have been allowed to stay on in the city. Muslims were also an important part of life in Trujillo during the late fifteenth century. Francisco de las Casas would have been just old enough to witness their presence in the city during his childhood. In 1501, the year before Muslims in Castile were ordered to convert to Christianity or leave the kingdom, Trujillo was home to ninety-​one Muslim tribute-​paying heads of household (pechas). This means that Trujillo’s Muslim population was around four hundred—​perhaps a fifth of the city’s inhabitants.91 Most of Trujillo’s Muslims lived just south of the Jewish quarter.92 Three different mosques are documented for medieval Trujillo, and at least one was still functioning at the end of the fifteenth century. It was located within the Muslim quarter, and in 1502 that building and its lands were donated to the Church and Convent of Saint Francis (which still exists today).93 Some of Trujillo’s Muslims no doubt left the city in 1502, but others would have converted to Christianity. Stone inscriptions in Arabic would have also reminded Trujillo’s Old Christians of their city’s complex religious and ethnic history.94 But perhaps the most important aspect of Trujillo’s history for shaping las Casas’ career in New Spain was its inheritance from ancient Rome. Although the city was established in 206 BC , sixteenth-​ and early-​seventeenth-​century accounts claimed it had been founded by Julius Caesar. The name Trujillo was said to derive from the name Torres Julii, the Towers of Julius.95 Indeed, one tower of the Romanesque Church of Saint Mary the Greater was called (since at least the nineteenth century, if not earlier) the Torre de Julio César (see Figure 4.1). Incorporated into its walls were two antique Roman pillars, a funerary monument inscribed in Latin, and the stone portrait bust of a Roman emperor. Clodoaldo Naranjo Alonso interpreted these remains as evidence of an earlier shrine to Julius Caesar on the site.96 But whatever their history, these four fragments were a small sample of the Roman buildings, sculptures, and inscriptions visible throughout the early modern city.97 The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were a period of great interest in classical antiquity. And so in addition to his childhood exposure to the material remains of ancient Romans, Francisco de las Casas probably interacted with the legacy of antiquity in another way as well: reading published texts by antique authors. As Richard Kagan has shown, middle and upper-​class students in early modern Spain spent from four to six years learning Latin, which they began to study at age eight or nine. Wealthy elites could pay for private tutors. Children of the middle class and the lesser nobility (to which both


The poverty of economy 139 las Casas and his cousin Hernán Cortés belonged) attended Latin grammar schools subsidized by town governments.98 In 1528, for example, Trujillo’s city council spent one hundred thousand maravedís (266 ducats or 222 pesos) on a residence for “that elusive commodity: a Latin teacher who would come and stay.”99 From grammar school to the streets of Trujillo, las Casas spent his formative years surrounded by ancient Latin texts. And then he crossed the Atlantic. The impact of books on the actions of the conquistadors has long been discussed. In the nineteenth century, William Prescott’s History of the Conquest of Mexico claimed that the life of the conquistadors was “romance put into action,” and he peppered his history with references to chivalric fiction. A  century later, Prescott was an important influence on Irving Leonard’s 1949 Books of the Brave. Leonard studied sixteenth-​ century books of chivalry “to explore the possible influence of a popular form of contemporary literature on the mind, attitudes, and actions.”100 Since chivalric literature was often referenced in accounts of the New World invasion, Leonard argued that conquistadors sought to emulate the deeds they read about in novels. More recently, David A. Lupher, Sabine MacCormack, and John M.  D. Pohl and Claire Lyons have all considered how models from the ancient world—​and especially Rome—​shaped events in the Americas. Where Pohl and Lyons (following Leonard) argue that such narratives actively motivated what Europeans did in the New World (and in the Old World as well), Lupher and MacCormack limit themselves to considering how ancient texts provided templates for writing about the Americas.101 Drawing from these previous studies, we can see how las Casas was inspired by published sources to emulate, not chivalric knights, but ancient Romans. The actions of Yanhuitlán’s encomendero are another example of literature “put into action.” Las Casas first arrived in Mexico City late in 1523. He carried Royal Provisions appointing his cousin Hernán Cortés governor of Mexico and marquis of Oaxaca. Perhaps as a reward for bringing such good news, Cortés granted las Casas an encomienda in Yanhuitlán on December 3, 1523.102 Shortly thereafter, las Casas was sent south to investigate the rebellion of Cristóbal de Olid. Cortés had appointed Olid leader of an expedition that was to end in Guatemala, but Olid decided to stay in Honduras. He founded the town of Triunfo de la Cruz, and allied himself with Diego de Velázquez, the governor of Cuba. This, from the point of view of Cortés, was an act of treachery: Cortés himself had rebelled against Velázquez when he set out to conquer Tenochtitlán. When the fleet commanded by las Casas arrived off the coast of Honduras, a storm blew up. The invading armada was destroyed. Las Casas and his soldiers were shipwrecked and captured. Olid forced las Casas’ men to swear fealty to him, and to vow that they would fight against Cortés should he come south. Olid was not too concerned about las Casas, and so disarmed him and placed him under house arrest.


140  The poverty of economy This casual attitude, toward men who had already taken arms against him, proved to be Olid’s undoing. Cortés gives the following account of how the rebel met his end: His tyranny became so intolerable, however, that one night, when all three were in a room with many others discussing certain things, Francisco de las Casas seized him [Olid] by the beard, and with the penknife (for he had no other weapon) with which he had been cutting his nails as he walked about, stabbed him crying, “We can suffer this tyrant no longer.” Gil González and certain other servants of yours then disarmed the guards, and inflicted more blows on Olid …103 Some sixty years later, Bernál Díaz del Castillo wrote his own account of the same events. Like Cortés, he stressed how a pen knife (cuchillo de escribanía) was used to vanquish a tyrant (tirano).104 An assassination performed by forgiven enemies of the victim; an attack motivated by perceived tyranny; an initial nonfatal wound to the throat followed by the blades of many attackers; even the use of a writing instrument as a weapon—​all of these details have an antique precedent: the assassination of Julius Caesar. At least two accounts were in wide circulation in the sixteenth century, printed in dozens of editions by the 1520s.105 One was from Plutarch’s The Parallel Lives.106 Another was from Suetonius’ The Lives of the Caesars: As he took his seat, the conspirators gathered about him as if to pay their respects, and straightway Tillius Cimber, who had assumed the lead, came nearer as though to ask something; and when Caesar with a gesture put him off to another time, Cimber caught his toga by both shoulders; then as Caesar cried, “Why, this is violence!” one of the Cascas stabbed him from one side just below the throat. Caesar caught Casca’s arm and ran it through with his stylus [for writing on wax tablets], but as he tried to leap to his feet, he was stopped by another wound. When he saw that he was beset on every side by drawn daggers, he muffled his head in his robe, and at the same time drew down its lap to his feet with his left hand, in order to fall more decently, with the lower part of his body also covered. And in this wise he was stabbed with three and twenty wounds …107 The parallels linking these two pairs of accounts—​Plutarch and Suetonius on the assassination of Caesar, Cortés and Díaz del Castillo on the execution of Olid—​could be explained in two different ways. Cortés (and Díaz del Castillo after him) may have intentionally used an antique model to shape how the story of Olid’s death was retold. Alternatively, the accounts of Cortés and Díaz may be similar because this was what Francisco de las Casas actually did: he based his attack against Olid on the most famous tyrannicide in the ancient world.


The poverty of economy 141 All of which brings us back to Yanhuitlán. Because other antique precedents, relayed through printed books, may have shaped las Casas’ call for bundled god-​images in the spring of 1545. The act of inviting a foreign deity to enter Rome was known as evocation, evocatio. This might be done in hope that the foreign deity would offer an immediate benefit to the city in a time of crisis, or it might be done on the battlefield, at the gates of a rival city, in order to convince the god to abandon that city and thus make conquest easier.108 In material terms, both forms of evocation involved the control of statues or other sacred objects. In 392 B C , the Romans prefaced their conquest of the Etruscan city of Veii with an evocation to the goddess Uni-​Juno, whose statue was kept in Veii. The Romans were subsequently victorious, and when they entered the city, they collected the goddess’ image and brought her back to Rome.109 A century later, in 292, a plague caused the Romans to send an emissary to Epidaurus in Greece, requesting that a statue of the healing god Asclepius be brought to them (a sacred serpent was sent instead).110 Accounts of the Punic Wars with Carthage (264–​146) make multiple references to the Roman appropriation of foreign sacred objects, both by request and by force: a statue of Minerva in 241, the black stone of Cybele in 204, the image of Tanit-​Dea Caelestis in 146.111 Just as las Casas could have read printed accounts of the assassination of Caesar, so too could he have read ancient sources on evocatio:  Livy’s De Urbe Condita (a history of Rome which described the evocatio of Uni-​ Juno, Asclepius, and Cybele) and Macrobius’ Saturnalia (which described the evocatio of Tanit-​Dea Caelestis). Livy was a basic text in early modern grammar schools, and dozens of editions of both Livy and Macrobius had been printed by the 1530s.112 In addition to these published accounts in Latin and Castilian, the ancient practice of evocatio made appearances in other realms of early modern culture. It was central to Catholic explanations of the Feast of All Saints (see Chapter  6). Celebrated on November 1, this holy day commemorated the Christianization of the Pantheon in Rome—​a temple which, before its conversion, held the accumulated god-​images summoned by evocation. The building’s very name indicated a temple to “all the gods,” and its history was recounted in sixteenth-​century sermons.113 Ancient evocation was also a theme in sixteenth-​century art, frescoed on the walls of the Vatican (in 1519–​ 1525) and Florence's Palazzo Vecchio (in 1543–​1545, as the Yanhuitlán investigation began).114 Thus the classical practice of evocation, by which ancient Romans took control of the sacred objects of other peoples, may have inspired las Casas to call for the god-​images of Yanhuitlán. In both classical Rome and sixteenth-​ century New Spain, such a request, and indigenous responses to it, provided a test of local authority and reputation. “And he [las Casas] would guard them so that they would not burn the ruler who was in Mexico City, and that he looked both backwards and forwards, and was their master, and they should give him them [the images] and not listen to the Christian priests, because they


142  The poverty of economy did not have to understand their preaching, and that I [las Casas] know what has to be done and not the Christian priests.” What happened to the collected god-​images, we do not know. Francisco de las Casas died a year after these events took place, in March 1546.115 Perhaps the images were shipped back to Iberia for display in the palace Gonzalo de las Casas built in Trujillo (Figure 4.2).116 They would have been fashionable decorations. Idols from the New World were transformed into artworks once they arrived in Europe, stored in cabinets of curiosities instead of being hacked to pieces.117 The toleration of non-​Christian practices and materialities by Francisco de las Casas and don Sancho de Cardona had little to do with an interest in non-​Christian aesthetics, to say nothing of profit-​based economics. Rather, these actions dramatized the unequal relations of lord and subjects. Giving permission to the forbidden was an assertion of power equal to the enforcement of prohibitions. Non-​Catholic practices could be tolerated because toleration was a way to demonstrate earthly power. Significantly, the official accusation against don Sancho does not speak of his “tolerance.” Rather, it charges that he “had permitted” Muslim practices to take place (auia permitido).118 But while all of this was going on, Ñudzavui and Muslims were not just sitting around letting Catholic overlords determine their fates. Even as their old ways of life were being assaulted by new realities, traditionalists in New Spain and Valencia tried to regain, or at least retain, control over their lives and futures. Ñudzavui and Muslim struggles for authority and jurisdiction, like those of their Catholic counterparts, often focused on the control of physical things inherited from an ancient past.

Circulating gods Exactly why indigenous priests delivered their bundled gods to Francisco de las Casas in 1545 is a complex issue, and we will return to it in Chapter 7. But that decision, crucially, was preceded by a very different strategy of material manipulation. At the start of the investigation in the fall of 1544, several witnesses (both Ñudzavui and European) described how Yanhuitlán’s god-​images traveled throughout the Nochixtlán Valley, aided by their priestly caretakers.119 On October 15, 1544, Etlatongo ruler don Diego was the first Ñudzavui witness against the Yanhuitlán nobility. He spoke of constant movement: he was asked where they have these idols and sacrifices; he said that it is public knowledge that sometimes they have them in the hill of Tiltepec, and other times in caves and hills, so that one does not know where they are.120


Figure 4.2 Palace built by Gonzalo de las Casas in Trujillo (1574). Photo by the author, August 2009.


144  The poverty of economy The next day, Juan de Naveda (who worked as estate manager for the encomendero of Huautla, a town to the north) offered a similar testimony: it was two years ago that an Indian servant (native to the town of Huautla) told this witness that there were in the town of Yanhuitlán two houses of sacrifices, one far from the other, and they had many idols and sacrifices there, and that there they sacrificed and worshipped the devil, and they told him that they had killed slaves and sacrificed them there, and afterwards this witness called for the said Indian so that he should know if the sacrifices and idols were still there, and the said Indian (returning from searching for them) told him that it was not there anymore, that they had moved it to a house next to Tonaltepec (subject community of Soyaltepec) and that there are three houses in the valley of the said subject community of Yuchaxiño, and that one of the houses belongs to Chachoapan, and the other to Soyaltepec, and the other to Yanhuitlán, and that he has [not] managed to find out if they are there in the said house of the Indians, and many Indians of the region have told him that there in that house are the said demons and idols, but they did not tell him which of the said houses it was.121 A few questions later, Juan de Naveda again referred to sacred images. He specifically claimed they had been moved to hide them from Catholic confiscation: his said servant told him that the people of Yanhuitlán had another sacrifice and idols in the subject community of Amatlán, and that knowing how the lord visitor [Maraver] ordered the requisition and confiscation of the idols and sacrifices they had removed them from there and hidden them.122 A week later, on October 20, Teposcolula nobleman don Martín reported that the said don Francisco is in charge of the demons of Yanhuitlán, and that sometimes he has them brought to a hill which is on the road to Coixtlahuaca, near some houses of the said governor don Juan, and other times he has them pass on to other hills.123 The next day, October 21, Molcaxtepec ruler don Juan was asked the name of the principal devil of Yanhuitlán, and who guarded it. He replied that there are two, and they are called Guacusachui [Lord 7 Wind] and the other Guaguisacuhu [Lord 7 Motion], and that because the papas carry them continually from one hill to another, and from settlement to settlement he does not know where they are.124


The poverty of economy 145 As argued in Chapter  2, it is important to consider how the identities of witnesses may have shaped their testimonies. Significantly, in these descriptions it is only the European witness who claims god-​images were being moved around so that they could be actively hidden: “knowing how the lord visitor ordered the requisition and confiscation of the idols and sacrifices they had removed them from there …” In contrast, for indigenous people the circulation of sacred bundles had other meanings. The greenstone “idols” of Yanhuitlán were not carried through the landscape to be concealed. They were carried to be revealed. They were brought to sacred locations where their cloth wrappings were opened. Once freed, the images were fed with sacrifices. Domingo, a former slave, described how he was ordered “to bring a load with certain demons” to a river by Yucumañu, so that those material gods could witness a sacrifice there.125 Caxaa, an indigenous priest, described how he performed sacrifices before the stone eyes of an unbundled god: “he went to a hill, to the highest point there was, and brought his idol and the person who was to be sacrificed, and placed the idol in a place that he liked, and before it he offered incense smoke, and spoke to the idol a bit, and after he placed the child in front and sacrificed him.” When the sacrifice was over, Caxaa once again wrapped “the idol in a bundle and stored it.”126 The circulation of bundled deities from one sacred location to another was a symbolic practice on many levels. It was a way to recreate in three dimensions the stories from prehispanic books. Some of these stories described the creation of the world and acts of gods and goddesses in the newly-​revealed landscape (see Figure 2.1 and Figure 2.2). When indigenous priests carried divine images to specific rivers and caves and hills (Dark Hill, Middle Hill, Hill of the Sun), there unwrapping their cloth coverings and feeding them sacrifices, the material representations of Lord 7 Wind (Guacusachui) and Lord 7 Motion (Guaguisacuhu)—​and Lady 11 Serpent, Lord 10 Lizard, Lord 11 Alligator, and Lady 9 Reed as well—​could visit again locations where they fought and sacrificed and bled at the beginning of time. Other screenfold-​recorded stories described the foundation of kingdoms, political undertakings which involved transporting bundled images through the landscape.127 According to a narrative on pages 14 to 22 of the prehispanic Codex Nuttall, at the beginning of time a sacred bundle (along with two sacred staves and a firedrill) was carried through the Nochixtlán Valley by the retinue of Lady 3 Flint and Lord 5 Flower. On page 17, the bundle and firedrill are shown installed at Temple of the Ascending Serpent. Just to the left, Lady 3 Flint and Lord 5 Flower are enthroned in their palace, peregrinations ended (Figure 4.3). On page 19, Lady 3 Flint’s daughter marries Lord 12 Wind, who brings another bundle with him when he descends from the sky. At the end of his story, at the dawning of the First Sunrise of this age of creation, Lord 12 Wind establishes bundle-​housing temples at the towns of Achiutla and Tilantongo (Figure 4.4).128 Similarly, the prehispanic Codex Colombino-​Becker depicts how, around 1083, noble warrior Lord 8 Deer traveled from the highland town of


146  The poverty of economy

Figure 4.3 Page 17 of the Codex Nuttall. Just to the left of center, a round rope-​tied sacred bundle (and a firedrill as well) have been placed within the conically roofed Temple of the Ascending Serpent. In front of the temple, two sacred staves have been planted in the ground. Above, Lady 3 Flint and Lord 5 Flower are seated in their palace. Thus closes a story of migration that began on page 14; the narrative now shifts to focus on Lord 12 Wind (who descends from the sky with his own sacred paraphernalia on the next page). Pigment and gesso on deerskin, 23.5 × 19 cm. British Museum, London, Am1902,0308.1. © Trustees of the British Museum.

Tilantongo (in the southern Nochixtlán Valley) down to the Pacific, there to establish a new kingdom. He and his retinue carried a number of ritual objects with them, including a sacred bundle. On reaching the coast, Lord 8 Deer’s ceremonies of foundation culminated by placing that sacred bundle in the temple of his new capital, Tututepec.129 These tales of peregrination and foundation were still remembered in the middle of the sixteenth century. The Codex Selden (created around 1560) records the sacred history of Jaltepec (which, as we have seen, was a town at the southern end of the Nochixtlán Valley; see Figure 1.1). On page 3, the ancestor Lord 10 Reed oversees the creation of a number of sacred bundles (Figure 4.5). He then carries these objects across the landscape, visiting seventeen places before arriving at Hill of the Place of Sand (Jaltepec). There he offers powdered tobacco and incense to a temple-​installed bundle. Thus he founds the kingdom of Jaltepec.130


The poverty of economy 147

Figure 4.4 Page 21 of the Codex Nuttall. To the right, the War with Rain is fought. To the left, Lord 12 Wind carries a temple and sacred bundle on his back, and establishes a temple, complete with sacred bundle, at the Hill of the Sun. Above him, a First Sunrise illuminates into the heavens. Pigment and gesso on deerskin, 23.5 × 19 cm. British Museum, London, Am1902,0308.1. © Trustees of the British Museum.

These were ancient events. But as testimonies against the lords of Yanhuitlán make clear, even after a kingdom had been established, its sacred images still circulated through the landscape, receiving sacrifices and, perhaps, re-​enacting journeys made centuries before with founding ancestors. Yet the words of nobles from Molcaxtepec and Teposcoula do not suggest calm reenactments of ancient precedent. They describe frantic agitation:  “sometimes they have them in the hill of Tiltepec, and other times in caves and hills, so that one does not know where they are.” “The papas carry them continually from one hill to another, and from settlement to settlement.” These continuous circulations may have been responses to invasion, desperate attempts to reclaim the world from European control. Similar things were taking place elsewhere in New Spain. Circa 1539, the sacred bundle of Huitzilopochtli (which had escaped Tenochtitlán in 1521) was being carried across the landscape of Central Mexico. He was taken to places he first visited during the Mexica migrations centuries before—​ migrations which ended when the Mexica founded their capital city on the island of Tenochtitlán. But


Figure 4.5 Pages 3 (below) and 4 (above) of the Codex Selden. In the lower left corner of page 3, Lord 10 Reed looks on as Lord 10 Lizard and Lord 3 Flower prepare twenty sacred bundles. Lord 10 Reed then sets out on a peregrination, visiting many towns and their rulers. In the upper left corner of page 4, he arrives at the place sign of Jaltepec, where he places a sacred bundle within a temple and offers it incense and powdered tobacco. Pigment and gesso on deerskin, each page 27.5 × 27.5 cm. The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, MS. Arch. Selden. A.2., folios 3r and 4r.


The poverty of economy 149 in 1539 that city was in Christian hands, and so the furtive movements of the exiled god recreated his ancient travels in reverse. Could the circulation of ­divinities reclaim sacred space, and drive the invaders away?131 Perhaps. Two witnesses in the Yanhuitlán documents reported rumors that Europeans would not spend much time in the New World. It was not their land. On October 15, 1544, Juan de Naveda testified that “an old man who is a papa of the demon and a soothsayer and who speaks with the demon” told the nobles of Yanhuitlán that “they should serve the devil, because the Christians will come to an end soon, and will leave for Castile, and that they have to return to serving the devil, that they should not anger him, because he will kill them and it will not rain.”132 Just over a week later, ex-​slave Catalina testified about a female soothsayer who had lived in don Francisco’s palace: “the said Lady Deer has cast the beans many times to know when the Christians would leave this land, and has said that they have to leave very soon, and that this is not their land, nor the house of Francisco de las Casas, and that he has to leave the town.”133 If the circulations of bundled deities through the landscape of the Nochixtlán Valley were meant to reassert territorial control, and restore the prehispanic world, they were not isolated actions. The Yanhuitlán documents reveal a number of parallel practices, focused not on bundled images but on the bodies of indigenous traditionalists. In the 1539 lawsuit over rival marketplaces in Nochixtlán and Yucuita, a hostile Nochixtlán witness complained that people from Yanhuitlán “dressed as diabolical spirits, entered our lands, and robbed us and disrupted the said market.”134 Mesoamerican people had long performed deities into being (see Chapter  3). By costuming themselves as divinities—​“diabolical spirits”—​human worshippers could make the Ñudzavui gods and goddesses physically, visually manifest. These costumed boundary violations by people from Yanhuitlán thus present an embodied example of how the movement of prehispanic deities though the landscape provided a means to assert, and dramatize, political and sacred authority. Even without sacred bundles or divine costumes, indigenous traditionalists used sacrifice and boundary violations to critique the pretensions of Christian rivals. On October 17, 1544, Nochixtlán governor don Cristóbal testified that “it could have been 160 days ago that a woman from Yanhuitlán went to the house of a papa who lives in Añuma [see Map 2.2] because her son was ill, and the woman passed through the boundaries and town of Nochixtlán with her ears cut in autosacrifice, dripping blood, and a grackle and a quail in her hand, and some feathers, and this witness, being an official, apprehended her.”135 Nochixtlán, as we have seen, was a political rival of Yanhuitlán, and nobles from Nochixtlán presented themselves as good Catholic foils to the idolaters of Yanhuitlán. Violating Nochixtlán’s boundaries with sacrificial blood was a political and spiritual challenge. A similar tale was told the same day by Pedro de Maya, the European encomendero of Nochixtlán:


150  The poverty of economy it was two months ago, more or less, that Francisco de las Casas wrote that some indigenous officers from the town of Nochixtlán—​which this witness has been granted in encomienda by His Majesty—​had arrested some Indians from Yanhuitlán who were going to the marketplace of Yucuita, and that they should be set free, and other things. And this witness knew nothing of this, and summoned the ruler and constables of Nochixtlán, and told them that they should look at the letter and that which Francisco de las Casas said, and a statement should be made. And the Indians responded that they had captured some Indians from Yanhuitlán because [in spite of] having to be Christians more than others they had passed through their borders [of Nochixtlán], having recently performed autosacrifice, dripping blood and with feathers in their hands and sacrificed birds … for this reason they arrested them and told them enough already, that they lived badly and were bad Christians, and they should do this in their own town and not pass through their borders [of Nochixtlán], and that it is public and notorious in the land, among both Spaniards and Indians, that the people of Yanhuitlán are not Christians, nor do Christian works, and that their master [Francisco de las Casas] gives them permission to do this …136 Circulating bundles, performed divinities, bloodied worshippers:  the movements of all of these beings were used to combat the encroachments of Christianity on ancient ways of life and long-​established sacred geographies. But when don Francisco and don Domingo were arrested and sent to Mexico City in the spring of 1545, it seems that indigenous priests like Xaco realized the political landscape of the Nochixtlán Valley had changed forever. They therefore handed their god-​images over to Francisco de las Casas: the European encomendero who embodied the new political order in Yanhuitlán. As Xaco tells the tale, he transferred his bundled deities to Francisco de las Casas “one day at dawn.” As we will see in Chapter 7, Xaco’s actions underscore how indigenous people used the movement of bundled gods to communicate political authority—​and to physically enact political change.

Hidden parchment Two decades later, the control of ancient objects was also important in Valencia, as Muslim leaders struggled to protect their besieged communities and ways of life. In late May 1568 the city of Valencia was a hub of political activity. Responding to Muslim protests in the Vall d’Uxó on May 10, Islamic leaders from throughout the kingdom traveled to the capital city to meet with their Christian allies. From the north came Gaspar Izquierdo from Segorbe, Joni from Algar, Hierónimo Calderón from Castellnovo, Coayat (aka Calbo) from Albalat de Villarasa, and Jubar from Benisano. From the plains surrounding Valencia came Vicente Cortes (aka Çahat) from Alaquàs and Joan Baptista


The poverty of economy 151 Çuleyman from Manises. Participants from the Muslim quarter of Valencia itself were Amet Alatar (aka Alatar the Elder) and Hierónimo Ubeyt.137 All of these men met with don Sancho in his palace during the final weeks of May. Also participating in these late May meetings was Luis Navarro, who came from northern Alcudia de Veo. On May 28 Luis presented himself before inquisitors, offering them the first of a half-​dozen depositions describing what went on at meetings between the admiral and Muslim leaders. We saw in the last chapter that Navarro claimed don Sancho wanted to send Muslim embassies to the king (Philip II), the pope (Pius V), and supposedly even the Ottoman sultan (Selīm II). Other witnesses testified about similar plans from 1564 and 1566. But as in 1564 and 1566, don Sancho’s 1568 schemes came to nothing. In part, this was because Valencia’s Muslim leaders were wary of collaborating. Don Sancho had a specific plan in May 1568. Muslim ambassadors would back their claims before king and pope by using centuries-​ old documents:  “privileges the Moriscos had with the ancient kings” outlining the conditions by which their medieval ancestors surrendered to Christian invaders in the thirteenth century. As don Sancho surely knew, these documents—​like the more recent surrender accords for Granada in 1492—​ had guaranteed Muslims the right to practice Islam openly, travel freely, and in general continue living their lives as they had done “in the time of the Muslims” (en temps de moros). In particular, don Sancho probably wanted to mobilize the surrender accords signed by Jaume I when he conquered the city of Valencia in October 1239. He therefore asked Hierónimo Ubeyt and Alatar the Elder—​two key leaders from Valencia’s Muslim quarter—​if they knew where these ancient documents were. They said they had no idea. Here is how Luis Navarro reported those events: one day the said admiral summoned Alatar and Ubeyt, because they were aldermen [jurados] of the community of the Muslim quarter, so that they could show him some bulls and privileges from the pope and the emperor our lord so as to teach himself more about that which needed to be written and noted and to excerpt some translations. And they went there, and when the said admiral told them of his plans, they said that they would look and search, and afterwards this witness knows that the said Ubeyt and Alatar did not give him the bulls nor the privileges before they left off talking with the said admiral about these matters, according to what this witness understands, because when talking about them with Hierónimo Calderón from Castilnovo and Baptista Çuleyman from Manises with the said admiral he complained about them, saying “these fools Hierónimo Ubeyt and Alatar, they have these privileges, I know it, yet they have not wanted to give them up, but we will have them by some other means …”138 Four months later, Hierónimo Ubeyt offered his own version of events.139 Strategically (as we will see), he does not refer to ancient agreements, but


152  The poverty of economy rather to much more recent texts:  privileges granted to “the new Muslim converts” in the 1520s: he said that now he remembers that Luis Navarro, Muslim convert from the town of Gea, came to call this witness and brought him to the house of don Sancho de Cardona, admiral of Aragón, and being there in his house the said Luis Navarro, in the presence of the said admiral, asked this witness to say if he had the bulls and privileges that the emperor and pope had conceded to the new Muslim converts of this kingdom, and this witness said that the did not have such a thing, and when asked where one could find them, this witness told them that they could be in the Bailey [balia], and he does not remember that anything else happened there, nor did they ask him anything else, nor did they tell him why they wanted the said bulls.140 And here is how don Sancho reported the exchange: this witness, having asked Alatar the Elder if he knew the whereabouts of the privileges that the Moriscos had with the ancient kings, he [Alatar] responded that he did not know of such privileges, and that a good Christian will be one who did not have need of privileges, and this witness responded he [don Sancho] would be very pleased that he [Alatar] should also be a Christian.141 In many ways, the request don Sancho made to Moriscos in 1568 parallels the request Francisco de las Casas made to Ñudzavui in 1545. Both men wanted ancient objects possessed by their non-​Christian allies. Both claimed that with these things in hand, they could offer a better defense against inquisitors. But while Xaco and other Ñudzavui complied with the demands of Francisco de las Casas, Ubeyt and Alatar did not cooperate with don Sancho. As mentioned earlier, we do not know what happened to the god-​images of Yanhuitlán after they were turned over to Francisco de las Casas. At the very least, they do not seem to have ended up in the fires of inquisitors. In tragic contrast, we can probably reconstruct the fate of the ancient agreements that Ubeyt and Alatar refused to give to don Sancho. They were burned by Alatar’s children. Alatar the Elder was arrested by Valencia’s inquisitors on August 17, 1568. The records of his inquisitorial investigation are preserved today in the Historic Archive of the University of Valencia. Alatar was a doctor and alfaquí as well as patriarch of a complicated household. His son and daughter and two of his slaves would testify against him. One of these slaves, Joanico, was called in a month or so after his master’s arrest. He told how one day in September he went up to the attic of Alatar’s house with Alatar’s son, Joan Baptista. The space was used as a storeroom. Joan Bautista suddenly said, “Look at that rat walking on the ceiling!” But there was no rat. Joan


The poverty of economy 153 Bautista was trying to distract the slave’s attention while he scooped a “large parchment written in Arabic with large letters” from the floor. Joan Baptista then left the attic with the parchment under his arm. A few days later, said Joanico, Joan Bautista and his sister locked themselves in the kitchen and would not let anyone in. They were burning something that produced a great deal of smoke. Later that night the slave was allowed back in the kitchen. He inspected the fireplace and saw that the ash was very black and very fine, like gunpowder. The room smelled of burnt leather.142 In medieval and early modern Europe, different kinds of documents had different kinds of material properties.143 It is quite significant, then, that Joanico described his young master scooping up a “large parchment” from the floor. A number of different genres of Arabic writing have survived from sixteenth-​century Valencia, many of them—​ironically—​in the files of inquisitorial investigations. Almost all are written on paper, and they are usually folded into small objects—​both paginated books and compact amulets.144 In contrast, a large parchment, inscribed with large Arabic letters, matches the format of a once-​common genre of medieval document:  the Muslim-​ Christian treaty. Some were written in Arabic, some with alternating lines of Arabic and Latin.145 Figure 4.6 shows one such parchment document, a truce signed between King Jaume I and Muslim leader al-​Azraq in 1245. This truce is one of only two thirteenth-​ century Christian-​ Muslim treaties from Valencia to have survived in their original form. But many such documents once existed. Copies of a half-​dozen others were made in later centuries, and from these copies we can reconstruct the basic terms granted to surrendering Muslims.146 Above all, treaties stress continuity with the past. Life will continue in Muslim communities had it had done “in the time of the Muslims”—​that is, in the time of their preconquest political supremacy (see Chapter  7). Islam was to remain legal; mosques would remain open. In his 1250 agreement with the Muslims of Vall d’Uxó, for example, Jaume I proclaimed “I granted them their religion [ley] and their liberties, just as in their own time they used to have them from the Saracens.”147 Many treaties also guaranteed freedom of movement, throughout “all Our jurisdictions, to go, return, or stay, on land or sea or fresh water.”148 In contrast, after 1525 Valencian Muslims could neither worship openly nor travel freely. From a slave’s brief testimony about a large piece of parchment, written in large Arabic letters, we can therefore deduce a number of things. Alatar was probably lying when he told don Sancho that he didn’t know the whereabouts of “the privileges that the Moriscos had with the ancient kings.”149 He owned at least one parchment document, probably several centuries old. Perhaps he had others. It is difficult to say why Alatar did not want to share his private archive with don Sancho. Perhaps he simply did not trust the admiral. We have seen throughout this chapter, and the last, that don Sancho’s toleration of Islam was, first and foremost, a strategy to enhance his own authority. And remember that back in August 1540, don Sancho assured Luis Manrresa that he would come to no harm if he went to inquisitors and told them his


Figure 4.6  The truce signed between King Jaume I  and Muslim leader al-​Azraq (1245). Ink on parchment, 39.6 × 24  cm. Arxiu de la Corona d’Aragó, Cancellería, Pergaminos, Jaume I, Serie general, 0947.


The poverty of economy 155 confessions to being a Jew had been lies. “Manrresa, don’t be afraid to tell the truth, for not a hair of harm will come to you, for we are certain that the Lord Inquisitor Juan González will be pleased with the truth.”150 Manrresa and his wife followed don Sancho’s advice, and were condemned to death. Alatar did not make the same mistake. More generally, Alatar’s mistrust points to increased tensions between Catholic lords and Muslim leaders throughout Valencia. Three years later, in 1571, lords and Muslims—​ including Hierónimo Ubeyt and Hernando Abenamir’s brother Cosme—​came to a new agreement with the Inquisition regarding its jurisdiction over Moriscos.151 But during the complex negotiations beforehand, both Catholic lords and Muslim leaders realized they had very different aims regarding inquisitorial power. “The negotiation of the inquisitorial accords provoked the rupture of the common front established between the lords and the Moriscos, clearly manifesting the contradictory interests of each.”152 This common front, it seems, was already crumbling in the late 1560s. And yet by not loaning ancient documents to don Sancho in May 1568, Alatar inadvertently allowed them to be destroyed. In the middle of August, Alatar heard rumors that the Inquisition was receiving testimonies against him. He therefore told his son and daughter that, if he were arrested, they should burn his Arabic documents. Back in January 1526, the Muslims of Valencia had been given ten years to abandon Arabic and learn a Romance tongue.153 More recently, on New Year’s Day 1567—​the seventy-​fifth anniversary of the surrender of Granada on January 1, 1492—​King Philip II had banned Arabic throughout his lands. This is one reason that the Muslims of Granada rebelled on Christmas Eve 1568.154 Of course, many documents written in Arabic were not religious. Although the surviving archive of Arabic documents from sixteenth-​century Valencia is not large, it includes personal letters, payment receipts, and marriage contracts. Indeed, this lack of correlation between Arabic letters and Islamic content was passionately explained in the late 1560s by don Francisco Nuñez Muley, a Christian of Muslim descent living in Granada.155 But such arguments were in vain. Arabic was seen by Catholic authorities to be fundamentally Islamic, regardless of what it was used to record. And so when their father was arrested in August 1568, Alatar’s son and daughter carried out his instructions. They searched for as many Arabic documents they could find, regardless of their content, and burned them in the kitchen. They failed to discover a few of these texts, and these were found later when inquisitors searched the house. The captured documents still survive today in Alatar’s inquisitorial folder. Some are indeed religious in nature. But one is a personal letter: written from North Africa by a Valencian Muslim to his brother back home in Iberia.156 The Arabic texts which escaped inquisitors, then, were the texts that were burned. One of them—​written on a large piece of parchment—​was probably the original 1239 surrender accord for the city of Valencia. In it, we can assume, Jaume I guaranteed religious freedom and freedom of movement to


156  The poverty of economy those Muslims who did not leave their conquered city.157 These contents must be assumed because no copy of that agreement survives today. Greenstone “idols” guarded by an Iberian encomendero; a mosque rebuilt with the permission of a Valencian Old Christian; an Arabic parchment burned by the son and daughter of a Muslim notable: these object biographies are all paradoxical. Only the last is an immediate tragedy.158 But that tragedy, however ironic, was the fate that awaited thousands of sacred things throughout the Mediterratlantic world. This brings us to ruination.

Notes 1 López de Gómara, Historia, 1: 42. 2 Questionnaire prepared on February 22, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 183r). 3 Testimony of Quxi, former Yanhuitlán slave, May 13, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 201v); testimony of Juan, former Yanhuitlán slave, May 11, 1545 (199v). 4 Testimony of Juan, former Yanhuitlán slave, May 11, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 197r). 5 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 200v. 6 Testimony October 19, 1569 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 455v–​456r). 7 Pérez Ortiz, Tierra, 109, 111. 8 Terraciano, Mixtecs, 276; Monter, Frontiers, 133. 9 For critiques of economic functionalism, see Sahlins, Culture; Levi, Inheriting; and (for New Spain) Gibson, “Conquest, Capitulation,” 10–​11. 10 Münzer, “Itinerarium,” 142. 11 Münzer, Viaje, 298. 12 Caro Baroja, Los moriscos, 56; Tueller, Good, 66; Coleman, Creating, 67; García-​ Arenal, La diáspora, 80; Miller, Guardians, 2; Catlos, Muslims, 221, 421 (and see page 16 on the translation of moros as Muslims, not Moors). Even a recent book on the Inquisition of New Spain includes a passing reference to how the “mudéjares were tolerated for economic reasons” (Lopes Don, Bonfires, 24). 13 Thanks to José Javier Ruiz Ibáñez for telling me of this phrase; cf. Qamber, “Inquisition,” 23. 14 Horozco, Libro, 1: 84. 15 More recently, Morisco scholars have transformed the negative Castilian phrase from 1924 to a positive one: “quien tiene moros tiene oro” (Halperin Donghi, Un conflicto, 67; Pérez de Perceval, “Animalitos,” 178; Ehlers, Between, 131). 16 Díaz del Castillo, Historia, 485. 17 Hanke, Spanish, 7. 18 Liss, Mexico, 20; Monroy, Thrown, 22; Rodríguez, Mongrels, 5. 19 Blacker and Rose, Golden, 18; Davis, Rise, 40. 20 Martin and Wasserman, Latin, 110. 21 Trevor-​Roper, Rise, 129. 22 Davis, La Europa, 47; Liss, Orígenes, 48; Villa Roiz, Gonzalo, 342; Mitchell et al., Clashing, 190. 23 Elliott, Imperial; Brown, Velázquez, 216–​17; Nader, Liberty, 46; Jardine, Worldly; Barrionuevo, Avisos, 84; Ruiz Ibáñez and Sabatini, “Monarchy,” 529–​30.


The poverty of economy 157 24 Císcar Pallarés, Tierra, 107–​13, 126–​30; Casey, “La situación,” 521; Halperin Donghi, Un conflicto, 59–​60; Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, “Control,” 17. 25 Casey, “La situación,” 516–​17; see also Císcar Pallarés, Tierra, 135–​43. 26 See Wright, “Military,” 47; Casey, “La situación”; Rodríguez Sánchez and Cardallaiguet Quirant, “El problema,” 370. 27 Schoenrich, Legacy, 1: 136. On María de Colón y Toledo in general, see Oviedo, Historia, 1:  115; Vives Císcar, “Descendientes”; Schoenrich, Legacy, 1:  222–​23. For letters written by María about her properties in the Caribbean, see AGI Santo Domingo 868 L2 1, 98v–​99r (1536); AGI Santo Domingo 2280 L2 1, 144v–​145r (1538); AGI Patronato 14 N4 R27 (1540); AGI Santo Domingo 868 L2 1, 72r–​75r (1541); AGI Patronato 283 N1 R100 (1545–​1551); AGI Justicia 996, No. 1 (1544–​ 1557); AGI Justicia 994 (1554). 28 There is a strange inconsistency separating these sixteenth-​ century archival documents from seventeenth-​ century sources. In 1610, Gaspar de Escolano claimed that the marquis of Guadalest collected twenty-​five thousand libras de renta each year (Decada, 209). Similarly, James Casey has used a 1622 memorial by the then-​marquesa of Guadalest to extrapolate an income of twenty thousand libras in rent in 1609 (Casey, “La situación,” 524). Perhaps this indicates that, by the seventeenth century, the Marquisate of Guadalest had incorporated a number of additional properties and hence had a much greater income than in the sixteenth century—​don Sancho was involved in lawsuits for control of Ribarroja for decades, and Císcar Pallarés (Tierra, 308–​9) lists a number of towns as possibly linked to the Marquisate in 1609 that are not mentioned in the property listings that exist for don Sancho in the 1560s (see Chapter 2 n. 54). Alternatively, the elevated seventeenth-​century claims may have been exaggerations offered by Valencian nobles to the Crown as they negotiated for financial restitution after the expulsion of their Morisco subjects in 1609. 29 In general, see García Sanz, “El censal”; Císcar Pallarés, Tierra, 73, 114–​18; Pastor Zapata, “Censales”; Salvador Esteban, “La cuestión.” For censales taken by don Sancho and members of his family, see ARCSCC 12782 (notary Melchior Centoll; September 13, 1564) as well as references in don Sancho’s inquisitorial documents: testimony of Domingo Pérez, secretary of don Sancho de Cardona, November 16, 1569 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 491r–​491v) and testimony of don Sancho, November 14, 1569 (491v). 30 ARV Maestre Racional 9497. Similarly, the Dukedom of Segorbe had been secuestrado by the Crown in 1576 (Císcar Pallarés, Tierra, 117). On the assassination of Cristóbal, see Graullera Sanz, “Asesinato.” 31 Casey, “La situación”; Císcar Pallarés, Tierra, 116. 32 ARV Real Audiencia 1 Letra G 171, unfoliated; thanks to Borja Franco Llopis for his help with translation. A countersuit against censalista Galcerán Feliu began a few years later (ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 1 Letra G 270). 33 ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 3 Apéndice Leg. 6500, unfoliated. 34 Arié, Miniatures; Barceló and Labarta, “Indumentaría,” 50. 35 ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 3 Apéndice Leg. 6500, unfoliated. 36 Nuñez Muley, “Original,” 211–​12 discusses the importance of heirloomed clothing for Morisco social relations in late 1560s Granada; similar observations were made in 1590s Valencia (see Chapter 5). 37 Questionnaire dated October 23, 1564 (ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra I 504).


158  The poverty of economy 38 Entries from June 30, 1569 (ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 3 Apéndice Leg. 6500, unfoliated). 39 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 337v. 40 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 382v. For documentation on the mosque from February 1563, see Chapter 1 n. 68. 41 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 467r–​467v. 42 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 392v. 43 ARV Justicia Civil 1145 Manus 26, 3r–​3v; AHN Osuna C 647 Exp. 10, 7v–​9v. 44 ARV Justicia Civil 1145 Manus 26, 4v. Francisco Pérez de Terán gives testimony about don Sancho on March 6, 1564, and mentions that la marquesa was dead (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 338v). 45 Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, Batallas, 142; Schoenrich, Legacy, 1:  224; Soler Salcedo, Grandeza, 76. 46 Luis de la Cueva had died by July 4, 1545: a document from that date names Juana de Toledo as “muger que fue del señor don luys de la queda defunto” (AGI Justicia 754, N3, unfoliated; see also AGI Patronato 280 N1 R1, 1v). A document dated May 31, 1549 reveals the widowed Juana was living in Valencia, and probably in Bechí: “doña Joana de toledo esta y rreside en ese rreyno en un lugar del almirante de que es su cuñado” (AGI Patronato 280 N1 R68, 1r). María de Colón y Toledo’s will makes clear that Juana was living in Bechí by 1560 (ARV Justicia Civil 1145 Manus 26, 8v). Documents from the 1567–​1569 conflict between Juana and don Sancho describe how Juana moved from Seville to Bechí, but do not give a date (ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra S Apéndice 174). 47 On these legal conflicts in general, see ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra A Apéndice 160 and ARV Real Audiencia Procesos de Madrid Letra A 80. For the details of don Sancho’s noncompliance with his wife’s will, see ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra J 765. 48 See the letter by Juana dated October 27, 1568, in ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra S Apéndice 174; the same file is filled with documents concerning don Sancho’s foot-​dragging. See also ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra A Apéndice 160, 18r. 49 ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra S Apéndice 174. 50 For example, one auction was held on December 10, 1568; another began on January 30, 1569. 51 ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra S Apéndice 174. 52 Burns, Crusader, 138–​41; medieval references to “mosques” could also refer to pious foundations (waqf and ḥubus) in general; Catlos, Muslims, 381. 53 February 11, 1569 (ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra S Apéndice 174). 54 February 13, 1569 (ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra S Apéndice 174). 55 May 9, 1569 (ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra S Apéndice 174). 56 February 13, 1569 (ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra S Apéndice 174). 57 ARV Maestre Racional 10187; cited by Barceló and Labarta, Archivos, 36. 58 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 476v. Diego de Salazar is named as Juana’s lawyer in lawsuits over her sister’s will; see ARV Real Audiencia Procesos 2 Letra J 765. 59 Menocal, “Why”; Ehlers, “Violence”; see also Schwartz, All, 114: “popular criticism of the Inquisition may have been far more common than students of the period have been led to believe.” 60 Testimony March 13, 1563 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 336v).


The poverty of economy 159 61 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 426r. 62 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 332r. 63 Testimony May 14, 1566 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 341v). 64 Ladero Quesada, “La orden de Santiago,” 345, 354–​55; Císcar Pallarés, Tierra, 85, 89, 176, 228–​32; Ladero Quesada, “La orden de Alcántara,” 514; Maiso and Blasco, “Dos,” 253–​54; Peñarroja, Moriscos, 234–​35; Rodríguez Blanco, La orden, 191–​92; Bartlett, Making, 143–​44; Moxó, Feudalismo, 200; see also Ginzburg, Cheese, 120. 65 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 299r. The mill would be a local landmark for centuries: AGN Tierras Vol. 220, 15r, 16r, 17r, 19r, 81v, 246r, and map; AGN Tierras Vol. 1300 Exp. 7; AGN Tierras Vol. 1425 Exp. 8; AGN Tierras Vol. 1872 Exp. 16, 363r–​363v, 382v; AGN Tierras Vol. 2763 Exp. 2, 18r–​18v; AGN Tierras Vol. 3689 Exp. 5, 8v; AGN Tierras Vol. 3690 Exp. 2, 7r, 11r, 12r. 66 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 296r–​296v. Legal battles over competing markets would continue between Yucuita and Nochixtlán until at least the end of the seventeenth century:  AGN Indios Vol. 25 Exp.  148 (1676); AGN Indios Vol. 31 Exp.  278 (1694); AGN Indios Vol. 32 Exp. 239 (1694); AGN Indios Vol. 32 Exp. 263 (1695). 67 Las Casas’ arrest and deportation by Gonzalo de Salazar and Pedro Almíndez Chirino is discussed in a royal cedula (see Puga, Provisiones, 104v). Another cedula granted las Casas permission to return to New Spain in 1535; from other documents we know that his eldest son Gonzalo (and wife María de Águilar and younger son Juan) probably traveled with him (Puga, Provisiones, 105v; AGI Indiferente 2063 N163). 68 On markets as manifestations of lordly jurisdiction in Valencia, see Císcar Pallarés, Tierra, 233–​34; for medieval England, see Britnell, Commercialisation, 10–​11, 16–​19, 81–​88. On markets and social negotiation in early modern Oaxaca, see Pohl, Monaghan, and Stiver, “Religion”; Levine, “Negotiating”; Levine et al., “Polychrome”; Yannakais, Art, 105, 132–​35. 69 Testimony of don Francisco, July 18, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 231v). Yucuita seems to have been successful: in 1564 the town is listed as part of an encomienda with Etlatongo (Pérez Ortiz, Tierra, 63). 70 Terraciano, Mixtecs, 276; Terraciano, “People,” 20. 71 Sahagún, Florentine, 13: 118. 72 Motolinía, Historia, 267–​68. 73 Torres de Mendoza, Colección, 12: 393. 74 Sánchez Cantón, Inventarios, 1: 274. 75 Sánchez Cantón, Inventarios, 1: 266. 76 On sixteenth-​ century Extremadura, see Góngora, “Régimen”; Cabrera, “Los señoríos.” 77 One gold ducat (ducado) weighed 3.45 grams, and was worth 375 maravedís (Pike, Enterprise, 51; Mateu y Llopis, La moneda, 4). The peso de oro weighted 4.18 grams, and was worth 450 maravedís (Lane, Pillaging, 31). See also AGN Hospital de Jesús Leg. 275 Caja 1 Exp. 24 (November 5, 1540) and AGN Bienes Nacionales 745 Exp. 2, 5v (1533). 78 Altman, Emigrants, 64. 79 Rodríguez Sánchez and Cardallaiguet Quirant, “El problema,” 370. Lockhart, writing of encomiendas in Peru, claims that annual incomes of less than one thousand pesos were “sneered at” (Lockhart, Spanish, 23). 80 Jiménez Moreno and Mateos Higuera, El códice, 16, 33.


160  The poverty of economy 81 Sánchez Rubio and Sánchez Rubio, Señorialización, 81 (see also Cardalliaguet Quirant, Sociedad, 90–​ 92 and Herzog, Upholding, 88–​ 126 on the purchase of offices in the New World as motivated by reasons of prestige, not greed). Technically, of course, Francisco de las Casas was an encomendero, not a señor de vasallos. But in Iberia, at least, the boundaries between these two categories were unstable. The New World encomienda was based on the encomiendas of military orders in Iberia (Chamberlain, Castilian; Simpson, Encomienda; István Szászdi, “Compostela”). Like their New World counterparts, the encomiendas of military orders were granted to particular persons for a lifetime tenure. On that person’s death, the encomienda reverted to the military order, which would then grant it out again. Unlike fiefdoms, then, encomiendas were technically not heritable: “Las encomiendas eran por su naturaleza temporales” (Adrados Fernández, “La encomienda,” 29). In practice, however, Iberian encomiendas could pass from father to son. In at least one case—​late fifteenth-​century Algadafe—​the count of Valencia and his son tried to transform an encomienda into their own señorío, turning its residents into subjects:  “los había hecho sus vasallos” (Guilarte, El régimen, 73–​75). Guilarte also chronicles how lands sold from the encomienda of the Order of Santiago were transformed into the señorío of Benamejí in 1549 (El régimen, 11–​12; see also Adrados Fernández, “La encomienda”; Moxó, “Las desamortizaciones”; Nader, Liberty; Soria Mesa, La venta). 82 Testimony May 11, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 197r). 83 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 197v. 84 Unfortunately, baptismal records do not survive in Trujillo before 1517 (personal communication, Bartolomé Miranda Díaz, 2010). Although Francisco de las Casas was involved in a number of lawsuits, I haven’t been able to locate any where he appeared as a witness: this would have required him to give his age at the start of his testimony. I have therefore estimated the year of Francisco’s birth from two sets of evidence. By February 1513 he was married to María de Aguilar (González Gómez, “Notas,” 249). Their first son Gonzalo was born a few years later. In 1580 Gonzalo was identified as “hijo pr[i]‌m[er]o del d[ic]ho fr[ancis]co de las casas” (AGI Patronato 76 N1 R1; testimony of Doctor Pedro Farfán, November 11, 1580). In 1584, Gonzalo asked witnesses to testify that he “is a man of over sixty-​eight years of age” (AGI Patronato 76 N1 R1). In 1587, Gonzalo testified to being over seventy years of age (“es de hedad de mas que setenta años”; AGI Indiferente 2063 N163). These two documents suggest Gonzalo was born around 1515. In the sixteenth century, the average marrying age for men in the the region of Trujillo was twenty-​four (Altman, Emigrants, 131). This means Francisco de las Casas was probably born around 1490. Valencian noble don Sancho de Cardona gives his own approximate age as part of his testimony (AHN Inq. Caja 1 Exp. 4 Leg. 550, 422r). 85 On Francisco de las Casas’ social standing, see Naranjo Alonso, Solar, 457–​60, 518–​19; Altman, Emigrants, 64; Himmerich y Valencia, Encomenderos, 137. 86 Solís Rodríguez, “La plaza.” 87 For an overview of Trujillo’s late medieval social history, see Fernández-​Daza Alvear, “La ciudad,” especially pages 67–​108 (on the city’s architecture and spatial layout) and 277–​92 (on its Jewish and Muslim inhabitants). 88 Ramos Rubio, “Nuevas”; Ramos Rubio, “Últimos”; Hervás, “Nuevos,” 610; Hervás, “La rinconada.” 89 Beinart, Trujillo, 103. 90 Ramos Rubio, “Últimos,” 127–​28, 134; Hervás, “La rinconada.”


The poverty of economy 161 91 Trujillo’s vecinos pecheros are numbered at 459 in a census (vecindario) undertaken in 1527 and 1528 (González, Censo, 82); for background information on this and associated population counts, see García España, “Censos,” 448–​52. Following Ida Altman, I multiply vecino numbers by four to generate population estimates (Altman, Emigrants, 290). On the general increase in Extremadura’s population during the first three decades of the sixteenth century, see Martín Martín, “La situación,” 57; for the plague of 1506–​1507 and its impact on the numbers in the vecindario, see Ladero Quesada, “La orden,” 521. See also Fernández-​Daza Alvear, “La ciudad,” 209–​18. 92 See map in Hervás, “Nuevos,” 610; for older street names see Martínez Barquilla, “Calles”; Hervás, “La rinconada.” For archival references to Muslim-​owned houses and land, see Sánchez Rubio, Documentación, 16–​17, 17–​18, 105, 203–​4. General archival references to the Muslim quarter of Trujillo appear in RGS Leg. 148310, 55 (Vitoria; October 22, 1483) and RGS Leg. 148311, 54 (Vitoria; November 7, 1483). 93 Archival references to the mosque in Trujillo appear in RGS Leg. 147907, 23 (Trujillo; July 5, 1479; published in Ladero Quesada, Los mudéjares, 90–​91) and RGS Leg. 147908, 29 (Trujillo; August 23, 1479); see also Ramos Rubio, “La alcazaba”; Alvarado Gonzalo and Mateos Cortés, “Convento.” 94 Díaz Esteban, “Dos”; Díaz Esteban, “Inscripciones”; Pérez Álvarez, Fuentes, 209, 215, 217, 219, 223, 225; Ramos Rubio and Díaz Esteban, “Nueva.” 95 On the founding of Trujillo, see Quesada Durán, “Evolución.” On the legends about Julius Caesar, see Rodríguez-​Moñino, “Extremadura,” 310 (account from around 1500)  and Guerra Guerra, “Notas” (account from 1608 by Friar Francisco de Coria). The derivation of Trujillo from Torres Julii is no longer accepted (González Salgado, “Toponimia,” 1062 n. 20). 96 On the tower, see Martínez de Velasco, “Nuestros,” 179–​ 80, 185; Naranjo Alonso, Solar, 18; and Rubio Andrada and Rubio Muñoz, “La torre.” On the funerary monument built into its fabric, see Hurtado de San Antonio, Corpus, 232 (Number 532). The medieval Romanesque style, of course, was directly inspired by (and sometimes confused with) the buildings of ancient Romans (see Camille, Gothic, 199; Nagel and Wood, Anachronic). 97 Gimeno and Stylow, “Juan,” 119–​37; Hurtado de San Antonio, Corpus, 229–​46, 306; Ceán Bermúdez, Sumario, 422–​23; Fita, “Inscripciones,” 167; Ramos Rubio, “La alcazaba”; Carbonell Manils and Gimeno Pascual, “Un fanumen.” 98 Kagan, Students, 31–​61; see also Ginzburg, Cheese, 31. 99 Altman, Emigrants, 36. 100 Leonard, Books, xliii 101 Pohl and Lyons, Altera, 7, 157–​59. 102 Díaz del Castillo, Historia, 246; Puga, Provisiones, 104v. 103 Cortés, Cartas, 397. 104 Díaz del Castillo, Historia, 274–​75. 105 Pettas, “Sixteenth-​Century,” 94; see also Wilkinson, Iberian, and the Universal Short Title Catalog of early modern books ( 106 Plutarch, Plutarch’s, 597–​99. 107 Suetonius, Lives, 111. 108 Blomart, “Transferring,” 96–​97. 109 Titus Livius, History, 1: 315. 110 Titus Livius, History, 2: 281; Platner, Topographical,  2–​3.


162  The poverty of economy 111 Bonnefoy, Roman, 137; Titus Livius, History, 4: 212; Macrobius, Saturnalia, 218–​ 19; Rawson, “Scipio,” 168–​70. 112 Puga, Provisiones, 105r; Pettas, “Sixteenth-​Century,” 75; see also Wilkinson, Iberian, and the Universal Short Title Catalog of early modern books (www. 113 Sahagún, Psalmodia, 321–​23; MacDonald, Pantheon; Barry, “Pediment.” 114 Hersey, High, 175. 115 AGI Patronato 76 N1 R1 25, 31. 116 Solís Rodríguez, “El arquitecto,” 328–​30; “La plaza,” 290; Frassani, Building, 30. 117 See also Johnson, Cultural; Rappaport and Cummins, Beyond, 68. 118 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 508v. 119 On Ñudzavui sacred bundles in general, see Pohl, Politics, 19–​41; Hermann Lejarazu, “Religiosidad.” 120 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 105v. 121 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 108r. 122 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 108v. 123 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 115v. 124 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 117v. 125 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 198r. 126 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 204r. 127 Pohl, Politics, 18, 2–​42, 86; Christenson, Popol, 223–​28; Olivier, “Sacred.” 128 Furst, “Lords.” 129 Joyce et al., “Lord.” 130 Jansen and Pérez Jiménez, Historia. 131 Hamann, “Descartes.” And as William A. Christian Jr. reminded me, circulating sacred images to assert jurisdiction would not have surprised the Europeans at all (Christian, Local; Duffy, Stripping, 136–​39, 279). 132 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 109r. 133 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 119v. 134 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 295v. A similar act of marketplace deity impersonation, also meant to assert religious control in the face of Catholic missionization, took place in Tlaxcala (Hamann, “Child,” 212–​13). 135 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 176v. On the translation of çule as “grackle” (zanate), see León Zavala, “Proceso,” 212; as well as the identical article published by Cervantes Blengio (“Observaciones,” 360). 136 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 115r. 137 Ubeyt would be an important figure in Morisco negotiations with the Inquisition in 1571: ARV Clero Lib. 2005 (parchment on the “Asiento q[ue] se tomó con los moriscos y gracia para q[ue] no se les confiscasen bienes,” October 12, 1571); see also AHN Inq. Leg. 1791 Exp. 1, 2r, 16v, 25v, 28v, and 29r. 138 Testimony February 12, 1569 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 366r–​366v). 139 Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, “Moriscos,” 191. 140 Testimony June 21, 1569 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 370v). 141 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 433v. 142 Amet Alatar’s inquisitorial folder is in AHUV Varia Caja 25 Núm. 4; see also Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, “Moriscos,” 174, 191. 143 Clanchy, From. 144 Labarta, “Los libros”; Labarta, “Cinco”; Labarta, “Inventario”; Labarta, “Contratos”; Galmés de Fuentes, “Unos”; Hermosillo, “Dos”; Fierro, “Acerca”; Barceló Torres, Minorías, 296–​376.


The poverty of economy 163 145 Burns and Chevedden, Negotiating, 5–​6, 139; see also Meyerson, Muslims, 13–​ 14; Catlos, Muslims, 69–​71. The other genre of Arabic parchment known from late medieval and early modern Valencia is the marriage contract, of which a half-​dozen survive (Barceló and Labarta, Archivos, 76, 142, 156, 197, 202, 213). 146 Burns, Islam, 117–​37; Burns and Chevedden, Negotiating, 216–​18. 147 García 1932: 170; Burns, Islam, 127. 148 Burns and Chevedden, Negotiating, 118, 139–​40. 149 In 1560s Granada, don Francisco Nuñez Muley was well aware of who had the original surrender treaty between Catholic Monarchs and King of Granada, as well as where copies of it could be found: he lists names and places (Nuñez Muley, “Original,” 204–​5). 150 Testimony of Luis Manrresa, August 14, 1540 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 327v). 151 Císcar Pallarés, Tierra, 70; Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 252–​64. 152 Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 257. 153 BL Egerton 1832, 22v–​23r. 154 Nuñez Muley, “Original,” 199; Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 198–​201. 155 Nuñez Muley, “Original.” 156 Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco et al., Entre, 336–​37, 356–​57. 157 Burns, Islam, 139–​50. 158 “A biography of a painting by Renoir that ends up in an incinerator is as tragic, in its way, as the biography of a person who ends up murdered” (Kopytoff, “Cultural,” 67).


5  Ruination

In his “On dietary laws” of 1537, Francisco de Vitoria compared the conversion of Iberian Muslims to the conversion of Native Americans. The “worship of Muḥammad” was paired with the worship of idols: But concerning the first and second conclusions, it should be noted that one of the conditions of a law is that it should be tolerable and reasonable. It is not sufficient that it should be well-​intentioned; a law which prohibits perjury or simple fornication under pain of death, for instance, is not tolerable. […] Applying this principle to the present case, although a legitimate prince may enact laws to abolish the unbelief and rituals of pagans and to introduce Christianity, this must be done reasonably and in a tolerable manner, without undue violence or oppressive measures against the subjects. It would not be a tolerable law if an edict was suddenly to be published forbidding the worship of Muḥammad or of idols or of demanding the worship of Christ on pain of death, or even on pain of exile or confiscation of goods. Pains must be taken to instruct and teach them of the empty falsehood of their law and rituals; by industrious effort they are to be induced to listen to the holy law of Christ, by reasoning brought to see its probability and the improbability of the law under whose deceptions they lead their lives. It will even be lawful to apply a little force, in moderate doses, to get them to abandon their rituals. Only after all this can a law be passed banning idols and abolishing Muslim rites; and then not by rigorous penalties such as death or exile, but with more lenient measures, since it would be an intolerable law which forced a man to desert the religion of his forefathers under some atrocious penalty.1 This was not the first time that Vitoria (a famous professor at the University of Salamanca) linked Muslims to Native Americans. During the 1534–​ 1535 academic year, Vitoria presented a special lecture on religious conversion. Although his commentary focused above all on Muslims (saracenos),


Ruination 165 one section shifted attention to the island-​dwellers (insulani) or barbarians (barbari) of the New World. Like his later discussion in 1537, Vitoria criticized rapid and forced conversions. Religious transformation was something that needed careful instruction, and could take a very long time. Because of this, Vitoria concluded, iconoclastic violence was not recommended: A doubt arises whether it is lawful to smash down the idols of these barbarians, once the faith has been preached to them and they have refused to accept it? It seems that it is lawful, because it does them no harm or wrong. The reply is that it is not evil per se to do so, being against neither the honor of God nor the good of a neighbor, since it does not harm them. But I say that this ought not to be done on every occasion, primarily because it may provoke their fierce indignation, and destroy any kind feelings towards us which they may happen to have. Among peoples where the majority have been converted, however, or where it is to be hoped they may be converted by such actions, it will be quite lawful. I say the same of their temples: they should not be thrown down, because this is an injury to their rights, and because even after they are thrown down, they will rebuild them.2 This chapter follows the Mediterratlantic path mapped by Vitoria’s two commentaries. Whereas the last chapter centered on efforts to protect ancient and holy things from harm, here we explore the role of iconoclasm in attempts to convert Muslims and Native Americans to Catholicism. Ruined sacred buildings appear in both investigations. In Valencia, the ruins are those of the Mosque of Revelation in the Valley of Guadalest. In Yanhuitlán, the ruins are those of prehispanic pyramid-​temples. In both cases, these were newly created ruins, ruins produced by Catholic desecrations. As discussed in Chapter 2, the Mosque of Revelation was torn down as a result of attacks against Muslims in the germanías uprising. If it survived the year’s summer violence of 1521, it would have been demolished four years later, when Islam was declared illegal in Valencia.3 The temples of Yanhuitlán seem to have been leveled in the mid-​1530s. But although both of these sacred buildings were thrown down, in neither case was their power destroyed. Both places enjoyed a kind of afterlife, in ruins. As Vitoria understood very well, destroying physical things did not automatically destroy beliefs. “The Revival of Antiquity” is the third chapter in Jacob Burckhardt’s 1860 The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. Among other things, Burckhardt remarked on the impact that “Rome, City of Ruins” had on early modern writers and artists (Dante, Petrarch, Boccacio, Raphael …). In contrast, this chapter considers how iconoclastic violence attempted, not a revival of antiquity, but a production of antiquity. That is, through the ruination of Muslim and Amerindian sacred things, Catholic iconoclasts hoped to physically relegate those things to the past. Iconoclastic ruination was about the production of pastness. Iconoclasm did not simply destroy objects. It brought a new kind of object into being: the ruin.4


166 Ruination But Catholics were not the only people in the early modern world to think about the meanings of ruins, to be interested in a kind of archaeology.5 Both Muslims and Native Americans had their own theories about ruins, and especially the ruins of sacred buildings. As we will see, ideas about ruins in these three traditions overlapped and contrasted in different ways. A ruined mosque or temple—​like an abandoned Catholic Church—​was not necessarily a dead thing. Ruination activated important powers. On both sides of the Atlantic, ruined things could enter a new phase of their social life. As a result, the iconoclastic violence of Catholic conquerors had unexpected consequences in both Valencia and Oaxaca. Anthropologists—​ and archaeologists in particular—​ have long been interested in the cultural construction of “dirt” and “pollution.”6 By focusing on the active production of ruins, and in the ways in which different ideas about ruination can cause the same detritus to have different meanings for different people, this chapter considers underexplored aspects of the anthropology of refuse. Thinking with ruins was one way that Muslims, Catholics, and Native Americans alike dealt with the radical transformation of their worlds. This is because archaeology is never only about the past. It is also always about the present from which a past is studied.7 Catholic productions of pastness in the sixteenth-​century Mediterratlantic aimed to reshape the world and the people living in it. But how could one know that true change had taken place? How could one tell when converts, fully transformed, would leave ruins as ruins? This was a vexing question in both Oaxaca and Valencia, and the second part of this chapter considers the complex relations between internal soul and external sign in early modern social theory. Once again, Vitoria will open the discussion.

The two new ruins In the Yanhuitlán investigation, several witnesses spoke about the ruins of prehispanic temples—​“pyramids and houses of demons”—​within the town of Yanhuitlán itself. Two testimonies specified that the Catholic Church of Yanhuitlán was constructed right next to these remains.8 Indeed, the church’s patio encompassed the area where the pyramid-​temples once stood. … and he knows that the said don Francisco [indigenous governor of Yanhuitlán] has said publicly to the commoners that they all should go [to Mass], not to learn or understand it but only to comply with the [Catholic] fathers, and that in the patio where the pyramids and houses of the demon were, which is where the said church has been constructed, they should worship the devil and hold him for a god (testimony of don Cristóbal, governor and constable of Nochixtlán, October 30, 1544).9 … and that the said don Francisco and don Juan [the other indigenous governor of Yanhuitlán] have said publicly to all of those who go to the church


Ruination 167 that they should take incense before they go there, and should call to the devil and worship in the said area where their pyramids and houses of the devil used to be, which is the to one side of the patio of the church, to the south (testimony of don Juan, ruler of Molcaxtepec, October 21, 1544).10 A third witness, Friar Bernardo de Santa María, said that he actually saw people in the patio who had drawn blood from their ears in autosacrifice (Figure 5.1): … he has heard tell and has seen several times some Indians in the patio of the church with ears cut in autosacrifice, and this witness has reprehended them in his sermons (testimony February 22, 1545).11 A fourth witness, Luis Delgado, spoke of the destruction of these “pyramids and houses” sometime in the 1530s: … and that when Father Friar Dionisio tore down the pyramids that were next to the church the said don Francisco tried to stop it, and it pleased Our Lord that a piece fell on some of the Indians who were tearing them down, and the said don Francisco made everyone leave, and he left enraged, saying that if they tore them down everyone would die (testimony February 22, 1545).12 Throughout Mesoamerica, sacred buildings were typically composed of two parts: an elevated pyramidal base and, on its summit, a multiroomed temple (see Figure  5.1). Mesoamerican and European conquerors alike focused their iconoclastic violence on leveling the crowning buildings. Dismantling the pyramid-​platforms on which those temples stood was less of a concern (and involved far more effort). It is therefore doubtful that all visual evidence of Yanhuitlán’s prehispanic temples had been erased. Rather, mounds were left behind, with toppled walls on their summits. On one level, these were abandoned structures. As we saw in the last chapter, the bundled god-​images they once housed had been spirited away. Across the ocean, in Valencia, one of the accusations against don Sancho de Cardona was that he gave his Muslim vassals permission to rebuild the Mosque of Revelation in 1550. A  number of witnesses testified about this ruined and reconstructed building. The first to mention the mosque was Joan Just, who in 1558 lived one valley north of the recently revived mosque. In the aftermath of the structure’s (second) destruction on Ash Wednesday 1563, five more witnesses testified about it from March 1563 to March 1564. One of the longest accounts was given in July 1563 by Antoni Joan Amat, rector in the adjacent Valley of Seta: … it was fourteen or fifteen years ago that the said admiral don Sancho de Cardona lord of the said valley and place [of Guadalest] was living there,


168 Ruination

Figure 5.1 Page 25 of the Codex Nuttall. In the middle scene on the left side of the page, Lord 5 Alligator performs autosacrifice from his ear with a bone awl. The blood flows to a sacred bundle in a temple. The temple, in turn, consists of a rectangular base with steps in front, on top of which is constructed a thatch-​roofed building (the skyband-​decorated Temple of Heaven at Black Town, Tilantongo). Pigment and gesso on deerskin, 23.5 × 19 cm. British Museum, London, Am1902,0308.1. © Trustees of the British Museum.

and according to what was told to this witness by Fernando de Orduña, who is tax collector of the said admiral in the said Valley, he [don Sancho] had asked “What was this?” referring to the mosque, and the Moriscos told him it was a mosque and the admiral asked why did they leave it in ruins, and the Moriscos responded that they were not allowed to repair it, and the admiral told them that they should repair it, and that it could be a church at some point, and this witness saw it later totally rebuilt and roofed and with some arcades that serve as shelters when it rains for the people to gather under, and it was made a mosque with some large basins for washing and performing daily prayers and this witness saw that many people in great crowds came from different parts of this kingdom [Valencia] and beyond, such as from Aragón, Castile, Granada, and Arévalo, and the women came barefoot, and this was in the months of September and May, and there they performed their Muslim ceremonies and this has continued until now, on the first day of Lent [1563] when it was demolished by order of His Majesty, and these Muslims said


Ruination 169 that there was a Muslim saint buried there, and he believes that the said admiral knew this and gave his permission to it because it was in his land and because the whole kingdom knew about it and it was public and well-​known.13 On either side of the Atlantic, two ruined buildings had different afterlives. In Yanhuitlán, sacred temples, although in ruins, maintained their spiritual power, remained a site for worship. In Valencia, the reconstruction of a ruined mosque was needed to reestablish its regional importance as a cult center. But whether in ruins or rebuilt, in neither case—​as Vitoria foresaw—​ did architectural devastation destroy non-​Christian beliefs. Yet the reasons for the resilience of these two structures were very different. To understand the unexpected consequences of Christian violence in Yanhuitlán and Valencia, we will first consider Catholic theories of iconoclasm, and then contrast them with Muslim and Mesoamerican perspectives on the afterlife of ruined buildings.

Ruins and the Catholic Church Iconoclasm plays an important role in the Judeo-​Christian tradition. One of the first of the Ten Commandments (in the versions of both Exodus 20:4 and Deuteronomy 5:8) is a prohibition against image-​making:  “You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” However, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Tablets of Law, he found that the Israelites had created—​and were worshipping—​a golden statue in the form of a calf. Enraged, he broke both Tablets and calf, and forced the Israelites to consume the powdered gold of their vanquished idol. Somewhat later in the Book of Exodus (34:13–​14), God commanded the Israelites to destroy the sacred objects of their enemies: “you are to tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and cut down their Asherim—​for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” In the medieval Christian tradition, ruination was important for stories of Jesus’ birth. As Jacob Burckhardt pointed out, many medieval and Renaissance images of the Nativity are set amidst the ruins of a classical building.14 Figure  5.2 shows one example, the circa 1494 Adoration of the Magi by Raffaello Botticini. At the back of the building’s space is a rounded niche with a pillar, and this detail makes it clear that the scene is taking place within the ruins of a pagan temple. On top of the pillar are a pair of disembodied legs (Figure 5.3). These are all that remains of a golden idol shattered by the birth of Christ. According to this iconographic tradition (which would continue at least through the seventeenth century), the coming of Christ broke with the pagan past, and left pagan materiality in ruins. The Anno Domini was an age of ruination.


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Figure 5.2 Raffaello Botticini, Adoration of the Magi (circa 1494). Tempera on wood (poplar), diameter 104.2  cm. Photo The Art Institute of Chicago/​Art Resource, New York.

This was not the only medieval Christian tradition to link the coming of Christ with the production of ruins. According to the Apocryphal Gospel of Pseudo-​Matthew (written circa 150, incorporated into the circa 1260 Golden Legend, and well known throughout Europe from the twelfth to the seventeenth centuries), when the Holy Family fled from Bethlehem to Egypt, the idols of Egyptian temples spontaneously shattered.15 As with a Nativity in ruins, the destruction of Egypt’s idols was a popular theme in medieval and early modern art. Figures  5.4 and 5.5 show Joachim Patinir’s Rest on the Flight into Egypt (1518–​1520). In a small scene in the upper left-​hand corner, broken idols fall from their perches. The word of God itself had similar powers. Medieval and early modern images of the saints show how their preaching alone threw down pagan


Ruination 171

Figure 5.3 Detail of the broken idol from the central temple niche. Raffaello Botticini, Adoration of the Magi (circa 1494). Photo The Art Institute of Chicago/​Art Resource, New York.

images. On a late fifteenth-​century Aragonese altarpiece, Saint Bartholomew speaks to the people of India (Figure 5.6). As he does, an idol topples from its pillar, snapped in two at the waist. All of these iconographies make the same basic argument, closely linked to the prohibitions of the Ten Commandments. Pagan temples and idols were made by human hands. They were not gods, nor truly sacred places. Objects made by human actions could be destroyed by human actions as well. Their ruination—​caused by the mere presence of the man-​god Christ or the inspired words of his followers—​demonstrated their lack of power. Indeed, one of the terms used to refer to indigenous priests in the Yanhuitlán investigation (and others as well) was tapia, probably derived from the verb tapiar, “to make walls of adobe.”16 That is, indigenous priests were like construction workers, in charge of maintaining material things. If the breaking of pagan idols proved that they were never sacred to begin with, the reverse was true for Catholic sacralia. A long tradition of miracle tales described the resilience of Christian sacred objects in the face of violence from


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Figure 5.4 Joachim Patinir, Rest on the Flight into Egypt (1518–​1520), Oil on panel, 121 × 177 cm. Museo Nacional del Prado, Inventory Number P001611. © Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.

unbelievers. Stories dating back to the eighth century, for example, describe Muslims attacking Christian objects yet unable to damage them. In some cases, this brought about conversion; in others, the would-​be iconoclast was wounded by his own reflected violence.17 In accounts from later medieval Europe, it is often heretics who try and fail to violate Christian materiality. Scriptures do not burn, glass cups do not break in the presence of a saint, and the consecrated Host cannot be destroyed—​only made to bleed.18 But if miracle tales claimed that Christian things were nearly indestructible, Catholic rituals of consecration and profanation told a different story. From the Middle Ages on, Catholic churches were places purified through rituals of dedication. Holy water was sprinkled, crosses drawn on the walls with blessed oils, ashes strewn on the floor and inscribed with Greek and Latin alphabets.19 After their consecration, these were powerful spaces. The right of sanctuary within a church was one manifestation of this sacred force, and even shows up in the Yanhuitlán documents. When arrest orders were announced for Yanhuitlán noble don Juan on April 1, 1546, his first move (according to one witness) was to hide within Yanhuitlán’s church.20 Yet the purified status of a church was a delicate thing. A large fire, the loss of plaster on the building’s walls, the burial of a heretic, or “the spilling of the life-​giving magical fluids, blood and semen” could all contaminate a church,


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Figure 5.5 Detail showing Egypt’s golden idols shattering on Christ’s arrival. Joachim Patinir, Rest on the Flight into Egypt (1518–​1520). © Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.

compromising or destroying its blessed status (see Chapter  6).21 Within the church itself, the altar was a separately-​consecrated thing: activated by placing a relic within it; deactivated when that relic was removed. These ideas were encoded in canon law, in the Decretals of both Gratian (1140) and Gregory IX (1234).22 In other words, by the sixteenth century these were well-​ established aspects of Catholicism. Indeed, one of the testimonies offered against don Sancho suggests how legends of saintly desecrations, as well as practices of Catholic consecration, may have inspired innovative acts of iconoclastic violence. Earlier we read Antoni Joan Amat’s 1563 account of the reconstruction of the mosque in the Valley of Guadalest. Amat goes on to account his own interactions with the newly rebuilt structure: seven or eight years ago [circa 1555] Bishop Segrián went to perform a visitation [visita] in these lands on behalf of the archbishop of Valencia,


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Figure 5.6 Saint Bartholomew preaches and an idol falls from its column, broken at the waist. Anonymous Aragonese artist, Saint Bartholomew before the Emperor (altarpiece panel, 1450–​1480). Tempera on wood, 80.5 × 65 cm. Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Inventory Number 69/​52. © Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa–​Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao.

and this witness, as his vicar, went with him, and being at the said mosque in Adzaneta, the bishop wanted to tear it down, and later it seemed that he did not have the authority to do so, and so it was left undone, and this witness drew four crosses [with red ochre] inside the mosque in order to discourage the Moriscos so that they would not perform daily prayers there, and also to make the person placed in charge there by authority of the lord of the Muslims [don Sancho] understand that what he had allowed there [the reconstruction] was badly done, and according to what was told to this witness afterwards, the Moriscos went to complain to the admiral about this witness, because he had drawn the crosses.23


Ruination 175 Drawing red crosses on the walls of a mosque perhaps seems an obvious technique of Christian vandalism, but Amat may have been inspired by very specific precedents. According to the Golden Legend, when Saint Bartholomew (whom we met in Figure  5.6) was preaching in India, he smashed all of the idols in the temple of Astaroth. This god was famed for his power to heal, and so his temple was filled with sick people awaiting miracles. When the idols were destroyed, all were cured. The apostle then rededicated the temple as a Christian structure, with divine aid: “Next an angel of the Lord appeared to Bartholomew there. Flying round around the temple and drawing the sign of the cross at its four corners, he said: ‘Thus says the Lord: As I have cleansed you all of your infirmities, so this temple shall be cleansed of all its impurity …’ ”24 By drawing four red crosses on the walls of the Mosque of Revelation, Amat may have seen himself reenacting the sacred story of Saint Bartholomew and the angel, a story which itself referred to specific details of the rites performed to consecrate Catholic churches.25 Iconoclasm, then, was an established form of sacred violence in the Catholic tradition. Destroying a temple, or breaking an idol, were not simply ways to demonstrate the impotence of these things as non-​divine, human-​ made constructions. These were also ways to emulate the sacred actions of Moses, Christ, and the saints. Commemoration is central to Catholicism, above all in the ritual of communion:  “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24). Acts of iconoclasm were forms of material commemoration, of reenacting and remembering the sacred destructions of past heroes.26 But the impotence of human-​made idols, their susceptibility to vandalism, had an uncomfortable relationship to human-​performed rites of consecration within Catholicism itself. According to Catholic theories of consecration and profanation, it was relatively easy to compromise or destroy the sacred status of a Catholic Church or altar. Like the idol, the sacredness of these Catholic places and objects was created by human hands … and thus human actions could weaken or remove their blessedness. Yet compromised sacredness could be restored. Throughout fifteenth-​ and sixteenth-​century Iberia (and in many other places even today), ruined Catholic churches would call out to the faithful through visions, asking for assistance. Churches in abandoned towns would be visited by neighboring villagers during religious processions, rituals that kept those churches alive with worship. Rebuilding ruined churches was an act of devotion.27 Indeed, these practices may illuminate the commentaries by Francisco de Vitoria at the beginning of this chapter, where he considers the resilience of ruined temples and idols. Transcending Catholic provincialism was difficult, but perhaps not impossible. Vitoria was probably born in Burgos around 1485. Some eighty kilometers to the northeast of Burgos is the town of Santa Gadea, home to the Benedictine monastery of Our Lady of the Hawthorn. That monastery was built on a site where the Virgin Mary appeared to a shepherd in 1399. She revealed herself at


176 Ruination this place because an earlier church had been dedicated to her there, a church destroyed—​desecrated by bloodshed—​at the time of the Muslim invasions in the eighth century. Here is how she retold that history: And at the time of the destruction of Spain there had been a town at that place called Montañana la Yerma and a church in my name in which, and in whose cemetery, refugees from said town of Montañana la Yerma were forced to take shelter from a great onslaught of infidels. In the church and cemetery they were surrounded and taken by force of arms; and because they would not convert to their religion, they were all martyred by beheading, and the entire church and cemetery and its surroundings were bathed in the blood of the glorious martyrs.28 Seven centuries later, this desecrated site was restored through the actions of Catholic believers, and so by Vitoria’s day—​over eight hundred years after its destruction—​a once-​ruined church was, yet again, a place of contact between heaven and earth (“because even after they are thrown down, they will rebuild them …”).

Ruins in the Muslim West Before his death in Fez in 1508, Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyā al-​Wansharīsī gathered an important collection of fatwas (religious counsels) given by muftis (legal-​ religious experts) in Iberia and North Africa (see Map 0.1). The collection includes thousands of cases, written from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries (Christian chronology).29 This Miʿyār is a key source for the medieval Muslim West:  the fatwas speak of water rights, marriage, norms regulating wills … and the legal-​religious status of abandoned mosques. A dozen of the fatwas collected in the Miʿyār deal with mosques in ruins. Although these twelve commentaries were written in very different times and places (from ninth-​ century Zaragoza to fifteenth-​century Fez), all share a basic vision. Because of this consistency (and despite their varied temporal and chronological origins), they are productive sources for understating the fate of the Mosque of Revelation. The first thing these fatwas demonstrate is that—​in the Islamic West, at least—​a ruined mosque did not lose its sacred status. The ruins of a mosque could not be reused in any old way. Their stones, their columns, the lands and rental properties they possessed: all of these were inalienable.30 A ruined mosque was a place awaiting its reconstruction. It was calling out to the faithful to be rebuilt. It seems that mosques, unlike Catholic churches, were seldom targets of consecration rituals. There was no key moment of sacred activation for a mosque—​and in contrast to Catholicism, the desecration and deactivation of mosques was not extensively theorized. The Miʿyār includes a dozen commentaries about mosques in ruins, but none about rituals of consecration—​or for rededication after desecration.31 The sacred status of a


Ruination 177 mosque was something permanent, until the Last Judgment.32 In striking contrast, the twenty-​first session of the Council of Trent (July 16, 1562) decreed that ruined nonparochial churches need not be repaired, and outlined the conditions in which ruined parochial churches could be ritually converted to profane use.33 According to the Miʿyār, there were restrictions on the uses to which ruined mosques could be put. In the fifteenth century, a mufti in Fez was asked if teachers could instruct students within the patio of a mosque, or in its attached buildings. He responded by saying that in no case could teaching take place within a sanctuary—​even if it were in ruins.34 In fifteenth-​century Granada, a mufti was asked if the rental properties of a mosque located in a town destroyed by Christians (and then abandoned) could be used to repair the mosque’s minaret, so it could be used as a watchtower. The mufti replied by saying that restoring the minaret would not prevent its use for calling to the faithful if the town were repopulated, and so with this possible future in mind, the rental income of the mosque could indeed fund repairs.35 In this response, the use of a minaret as a watchtower was approved because this reutilization could be the first step in restoring the mosque as a whole, and reinstating it as a living sanctuary. Other fatwas speak more broadly about inalienability and repair. For example, the building materials of a mosque, whether in ruins or not, could never be reused for the construction of a secular building. In the ninth century, a mufti in Kairouan received the following question. A  mosque was constructed on the site of an earlier building. Stones from this earlier structure were reused to build the mosque. But once the mosque was completed, some of these stones were left over, and were appropriated to build a fortress. Was this appropriation licit? No, replied the mufti, it was not. One cannot appropriate the stones of a mosque.36 In other words, the stones of the earlier structure had been assimilated, transformed, thorough their association with the new mosque. In a similar case, also from ninth-​century Kairouan, a beautiful column was taken from the ruins of one mosque and used to replace a plain column of the same size in a mosque still in use. The plain column was then sold to a man who used it to build an arcade in his house. Was this sale licit, asked the petitioner? No, the mufti replied, the sale was not licit. The arcade would have to be torn down and the plain column returned to the mosque from which it was taken.37 In this second fatwa, the mufti does not speak directly about the legality of reusing the column of a mosque in ruins to enhance the beauty of a mosque still in use. But other fatwas address this theme head-​on. In general, as noted by muftis from ninth century Kairouan and Zaragoza and fifteenth-​century Granada, there was disagreement about the circulation of material goods between abandoned mosques and mosques still in use.38 In general, muftis emphasized that it was always better to reconstruct a ruined mosque, if there were any possibility of resurrecting the building as a living cult location. This was the opinion of muftis in tenth-​to eleventh-​century Córdoba and


178 Ruination thirteenth-​to fifteenth-​century Fez.39 But if there was no chance that a ruined mosque would return to being a cult site, then it was licit to transfer the goods of the ruined mosque to living mosques in need of support. This opinion was given many times, by muftis in tenth-​and eleventh-​century Kairouan, thirteenth-​to fourteenth-​century Fez, and fourteenth-​century Tunis.40 If we use these fatwas to interpret events in sixteenth-​century Valencia, we can see the unexpected consequences of mosque destructions during and after the anti-​Muslim attacks of 1521. More than simply desecrated shells, ruined mosques were places awaiting the help of the faithful. Many historians have written about the difficulties of living as a Muslim after Islam was banned in Iberia. It became hard to comply with the Five Pillars, the basic performances of faith. One of these pillars was—​is—​charity, zakāt. Ransoming enslaved Muslims was perhaps the most famous manifestation of the practice of zakāt in the sixteenth century. But the rescue of captives is only one of the eight uses of alms listed in sūra 9:60 of the Qurʾān (“Repentance”). The seventh use is somewhat vague: “for God’s cause” (fī sabīli Allāh). In medieval al-​Andalus, this phrase was interpreted to include donations given to mosques.41 Given this medieval tradition, we can assume that the reconstruction of a ruined mosque was also perceived as an act of zakāt in early modern Valencia—​above all after the traumatic events of the 1520s. The first witness to testify about the destruction of the Mosque of Revelation in 1563, Gabriel Muñoz, commented on the rapidity with which that mosque was rebuilt once the admiral sanctioned repairs in 1550: “the said admiral told them that they should rebuild it, and so with this permission in a very short time they had reconstructed it and had money for it, even though they are normally very slow to pay anything; in this case they were prompt and generous.” Perhaps this speed had to do with a desire to comply with one of the pillars of Islam, and with the arrival of a long-​awaited moment of reconstruction. Awaited not only from the point of view of the faithful, but also from the point of view of the mosque itself. But although it was quickly rebuilt in the early 1550s, the Mosque of Revelation only enjoyed a decade of new life. On Ash Wednesday 1563—​a few weeks after the general disarmament of Valencia’s Moriscos on February 8—​ this sacred building was torn down once again, on orders of King Philip II.42 After its second demolition, the mosque was not rebuilt. It lay abandoned, awaiting a new incarnation that never came to pass.43

Ruins in Mesoamerica Like both Catholics and Muslims, the indigenous people of Mesoamerica committed acts of iconoclastic violence against the sacred images and buildings of their enemies. Like Catholics, they consecrated sacred buildings with special rituals. And like Muslims, Mesoamericans did not believe that sacred ruins were dead places, deactivated. To understand the afterlife of Yanhuitlán’s sacred precinct in the 1540s, we need to consider two aspects


Ruination 179 of Mesoamerican ideas about ruination:  the role of iconoclasm in social conflicts, and the interpretation of ancient ruins in a prehispanic tradition of indigenous archaeology. In the Mixteca—​ and indeed throughout Mesoamerica—​ prehispanic peoples attacked the sacred images of their enemies. The Mesoamerican image was a living thing, the materially extended “self ” for a noble or divinity.44 Most Mesoamerican communities possessed their own patron deities. As we saw in the last chapter, gods and goddesses were represented as portable images, usually wrapped within bundles of cloth and guarded in temples—​ buildings that were often conceived as the homes of these images. During war, or in times of social unrest, both sacred images and their temples were targets for attack. On the one hand, images might be mutilated, above all in their eyes and faces. The town of Etlatongo, remember, is a few kilometers to the south of Yanhuitlán (see Map 2.1). In the 1990s, people from Etlatongo discovered a prehispanic bas-​relief carving of a noble warrior. Although in general the preservation of this image was quite good (it dates to the centuries immediately before the arrival of the Spaniards), the face and hieroglyphic name had been chiseled away (Figure  5.7).45 More destructively, images might be smashed into fragments—​but the fragments could be wired together again, restored.46

Figure 5.7 Carved stone from Etlatongo showing iconoclastic destruction (late Postclassic). 29 × 40 cm. Photo courtesy Jeff Blomster.


180 Ruination Sacred images could also be captured:  that is, kidnapped. The Aztecs represented their military domination over most of Mesoamerica through a building in the center of Tenochtitlán, their island capital. Called Serpent Temple or Black-​Place (coateocalli or tlillan), it housed images of Aztec gods as well as foreign deities captured in wars of expansion.47 This building was therefore similar, in many ways, to the Pantheon in Rome (see Chapter  4). For example, in 1458 the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma I conquered the town of Coixtlahuaca, a few kilometers to the north of Yanhuitlán (see Map 2.1). Viceregal accounts say the Aztec warriors burned the temple of Coixtlahuaca and carried its sacred paraphernalia away to Tenochtitlán.48 Attacks against sacred buildings were similar to attacks against the sacred images housed within them. Temples were also living things, ensouled. As in the Catholic tradition, special ceremonies consecrated and animated such buildings. Many Mesoamerican societies activated their architecture with offerings placed in the foundations. Human and animal sacrifices, deposits of ceramics and precious stones—​ all of these things endowed buildings with a vital force.49 And as in Catholicism, these rites of animation had their opposites:  rites of desecration and termination. The burning of a sacred building was perhaps the most common way of killing it among the Aztecs and Ñudzavui.50 Burning was also important in the Maya area, but this was only one aspect of elaborate termination rites. Lintels were pulled out of buildings, ceramics broken in their interiors, and white marl scattered over their floors.51 Given these ideas about sacred buildings as living places, the story quoted above by Luis Delgado (about the destruction of Yanhuitlán’s temples) is quite suggestive. As these buildings were being toppled, he says, “a piece fell on some of the Indians who were tearing them down.” Yanhuitlán noble don Francisco then drove the iconoclasts away, saying “that if they tore them down everyone would die.” Perhaps don Francisco feared that these living but violated buildings would avenge themselves on the people of Yanhuitlán. However, the destruction of the sacred precinct of Yanhuitlán in the 1530s was somewhat different from its prehispanic precursors. As we saw in the last chapter, the sacred images of the deities of Yanhuitlán had escaped, and were not captured by Christians. They continued to visit their other homes and other sacred places throughout the Nochixtlán Valley. Furthermore, the attacks against the temples of Yanhuitlán were made not by enemies from another town, but by locals from Yanhuitlán, locals who had converted to Catholicism. Since the reconstruction of the pyramids of Yanhuitlán was not possible in the new Spanish regime, the sacred precinct remained in ruins, incorporated into the patio of a new Christian church. But throughout Mesoamerica, ruined buildings maintained a sacred force. Our main evidence for indigenous perceptions of ruins involves buildings abandoned hundreds of years before they were reused as sacred sites. Yet perhaps traditionalists from Yanhuitlán drew on prehispanic interactions with ancient ruins as a model for dealing with the newly created ruins of recently destroyed temples.


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Figure 5.8 Page 22 of the Codex Nuttall. A range of hills in the southern Nochixtlán Valley. At the upper center, the ruins on Black Hill (Monte Negro) are depicted as chiyo platforms. The small place sign of Black Town (Tilantongo), a building with a black and white frieze platform, is painted at the base of Black Hill. Pigment and gesso on deerskin, 23.5 × 19 cm. British Museum, London, Am1902,0308.1. © Trustees of the British Museum.

Evidence from archaeology and the images of Ñudzavui books reveals the importance of ruined sites during the centuries before the Europeans arrived. At least two ruined ceremonial centers in the Nochixtlán Valley were viewed as sacred places in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Postclassic people left offerings at a Classic site on the summit of Hill of the Rain God (Yucuñudahui, not far from Yanhuitlán) and at a Formative site on the summit of Black Hill (Monte Negro, not far from Jaltepec).52 The site at Black Hill is even depicted in the Codex Nuttall (Figure 5.8). Its ruined buildings are represented as architectural platforms that lack crowning buildings.53 Called chiyo in Rain Speech, these platforms appear throughout the Mixtec screenfolds. Founding ancestors are born from them, and in the Codex Vienna the very sun of the present age of creation rises up from a great chiyo wreathed in song (see Figure 2.3). Chiyo are also associated with mortuary bundles, and sometimes serve as thrones for deities. Indeed, in some parts of the Mixteca today it is dangerous to take stones from ruined sites, because the beings who inhabit those places may attack the people desecrating their homes.54 Perhaps these current beliefs are echoes of the


182 Ruination vengeance feared by don Francisco during the destruction of the temples of Yanhuitlán: “everyone would die.” Given these traditions, we can see the limits of Catholic iconoclastic violence—​both Catholics from Europe as well as recent converts from the Rain Place—​in Yanhuitlán. Before the arrival of the Europeans, ruins were sacred places for the Ñudzavui. For this reason, the ruination of temples in Yanhuitlán did not completely destroy their power. Architectural ruins, in and of themselves, retained a spiritual efficacy. And yet, as with the Mosque of Revelation, there was a limit to how long the pyramids of Yanhuitlán could resist as ruins. A  number of Catholic witnesses in the Yanhuitlán investigation complained about the quality of its church (see Chapter  6). For example, in June 1545 Friar Francisco de Mayorga testified that Yanhuitlán “has the worst church and images and ornaments in the whole region.”55 And so in 1550—​shortly after the Yanhuitlán investigation broke off in 1547—​ construction began on a massive new church and monastery complex.56 This was the same year that don Sancho de Cardona gave his Morisco vassals permission to reconstruct the Mosque of Revelation. The creation of the new complex required the building of an enormous foundation platform, which would have buried any preexisting structures at the site—​such as the ruined pyramids on which Yanhuitlán’s sacred temples once stood. The new church was located at the northern end of this platform; the attached monastery (as was traditional in church architecture) extended to the south (Figure 5.9). If we assume that the church now standing was built over the site of the original church, then the monastery would have occupied the space of the old patio, the space where pyramids once stood. With this new construction, Yanhuitlán’s prehispanic temples would have been doubly inaccessible: buried beneath a foundation platform and hidden within the cloistered walls of a monastery. True, the erection of the new complex on the site of prehispanic temples may have given the Dominican buildings a meaning for indigenous traditionalists that its Christian creators did not intend. This certainly happened elsewhere in sixteenth-​century New Spain.57 But the massive walls of the church-​monastery surely made the ruins beneath them far less a part of daily life then they had been in the 1530s and 1540s.

Remembrance and ruination For Francisco de Vitoria, the key to conversion was changing inner belief. Once this was done, attention could focus on removing the external signs of false doctrine: rituals, idols, temples. “Only after all this can a law be passed banning idols and abolishing Muslim rites.” Once the inner soul had changed, destroying outer signs of “empty falsehood” would be easy, because those outer signs had lost their meaning. In contrast, acts of iconoclasm committed too early in the conversion process could backfire: “it may provoke their fierce indignation, and destroy any kind feelings towards us which they may happen


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Figure 5.9 Church and Convent of Yanhuitlán (1550–​1580), viewed from the southwest. Photo by Hugo Brehme (circa 1940). 15.2 × 22.9 cm. Fototeca Nacional, Mexico City, Inventory Number 460806. Reproduction authorized by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico.

to have.” Furthermore, without changing belief, external signs would prove resilient: “they will rebuild them.” As we saw in Valencia and Oaxaca, Vitoria was correct—​to an extent. The Mosque of Revelation was rebuilt … but only once. The temples of Yanhuitlán were not rebuilt, yet retained their sacred force as ruins … for a while. In the 1550s, they were buried, crushed, beneath massive new Christian constructions that erased their visible presence and made their location inaccessible. Yet it is misleading to read Vitoria’s writings as a general source on “sixteenth-​century Catholic belief.” Vitoria was a sophisticated academic. His writings often attacked widely held ideas, such as claims (as we saw in Chapter  3) that the pope possessed universal jurisdiction. Iconoclastic violence directed against Muslim and Native American sacralia (and Catholic ones, in Protestant lands) was quite common in the sixteenth century. Vitoria’s critiques of these acts went against popular practices. In stark contrast to Vitoria’s ideas, iconoclastic theories held that the destruction of outer signs could change inner belief, because such destruction revealed the impotence,


184 Ruination say, of a human-​made idol. By seeing their gods pounded to dust and their sacred buildings thrown down, unbelievers should instantly realize the falseness of their old ideas, embracing Christianity in a moment of rapturous conversion.58 As we saw earlier, several stories in the Golden Legend connect iconoclasm to dramatic conversion in just this manner. The idol-​smashing of Saint Bartholomew triggered conversions in India; the idol-​smashing of Saint Simon and Saint Jude triggered conversions in Persia.59 The arguments of Vitoria and iconoclasts were very different, but both were concerned with the relations of internal belief and external (often material) sign. I now want to consider iconoclasm in the context of early modern theories of the self and social life, of surface and the soul. We will begin with testimonies from both Yanhuitlán and Valencia in which witnesses talk about conversion in terms of external appearances and internal conviction. In both places, the relationship between sign and belief—​and material culture—​was understood to be quite complex. In 1545, priest Juan de Ruanes offered testimony in Mexico City on behalf of the already-​imprisoned nobles don Domingo and don Francisco. Here is how he articulates his assumption that don Francisco was a “good Christian”: he takes don Francisco as a Christian because he is baptized and during the time that this witness lived in the town of Yanhuitlán as vicar, which was for three years, he saw that the said don Francisco went to Mass and many times to vespers and often went to the canonical hours and took great care in making the people come to church, and that in the exterior this witness saw him act as a good Christian [buen xpiano], and that this witness cannot judge the interior nor know the zeal with which he [don Francisco] acted …60 Ruanes judged don Francisco to be a good Christian on the basis of observed actions. Don Francisco acted like a Christian. And yet, Ruanes admits, only God can know how these external signs related to internal belief.61 The tension between outside and inside was also a concern in Valencia twenty-​ four years later. Don Sancho apparently discussed Morisco conversions in terms of external action and internal belief. Like Ruanes, he placed great importance on external signs. But the admiral’s attitude toward unseeable internal belief was, for his accusers, scandalous. In the fall of 1568—​a few months before his arrest—​don Sancho sent a summons to the Imperial College of New Converts. The College was located along the eastern walls of the city of Valencia (see Figure 1.4). Like its counterpart in Mexico City, this school was founded by Charles V to transform the children of non-​ Christian subjects into good Catholics.62 In Mexico City, the students were the children of Native Americans; in Valencia, the students were children of recently converted Muslims. The admiral invited two of the college’s faculty to speak before an audience of Moriscos gathered in his palace (recalling mobilizations after the Vall d’Uxó protests in May; see Chapter  2). Pedro de Vizcarra was the


Ruination 185 school’s rector, Joan Baptista Sanz a teacher—​and converted Morisco himself. Sanz preached to the assembly for two hours, “illuminated by the Holy Spirit.” But his audience remained unconvinced, and according to Sanz gave a strong reply: “all that you have said we take as good and holy, but our people will die as Muslims, and we too wish to die as Muslims, and if they want to put us in the church of the Christians it will be by force and unwillingly.”63 Sanz reacted harshly in turn, “calling them bestial and proverbial and blind.” When the Moriscos left, the admiral offered his own opinions. As reported by Vizcarra, don Sancho argued that Moriscos “should show that they are Christians and act like Christians and in that which is secret and interior live as they wish.”64 According to Sanz, don Sancho said: “now you see the great obstinacy of the said Moriscos, and it would be better if you commanded them that in public they should not perform their ceremonies and rites and that in private each one should be permitted to do and believe what he wishes.”65 Like Juan de Ruanes in Mexico City, don Sancho (supposedly) focused his commentaries on observable signs. But where Ruanes said that internal conviction was unknowable (except by God), don Sancho seemed to say that internal conviction was unimportant. In private, “each one should be permitted to do and believe what he wishes.” Don Sancho’s words were scandalous, in part, because they revalued a common complaint about Morisco self-​presentation. For example, testimonies collected against the three Abenamir brothers in 1567 (we met Hernando and Cosme in the last chapter) alleged these men were dangerous precisely because their external appearance was nothing but a deceptive screen: “although some of them are informants for the Holy Office, they are pillars of Islam in this kingdom, because although they profess in the exterior to be good Christians, on the interior they are as much Muslims as Muḥammad.”66 In turn, this strategy of concealment relates to a widely circulated fatwa on the clandestine practice of Islam in officially-​Catholic Iberia. Written in 1504 (probably in Fez) by Abū l-​ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Abī Jumʿah al-​ Maghrāwī al-​Wahrānī, the text may be a response to a request for advice from Muslims in Granada (where Islam had been banned two years earlier, in 1502).67 The fatwa’s recommendations are in many ways the complimentary opposite to what don Sancho (supposedly) said in 1568. If don Sancho stressed the importance of outward conformity, this fatwa stressed the importance of internal belief. The “intention of the heart” was argued to be far more important than outward action. Thus Iberian Moriscos could eat wine and pork, and still be faithful Muslims, as long as they remembered that wine and pork were forbidden things as they consumed them. Moriscos could bow down before the idols (sacred images) of the Catholics, and still remain faithful Muslims, as long as they remembered that these things were just empty shells of wood and stone. If it was impossible to wash oneself with water (or even clean earth) before prayer, simply looking at one of these things and thinking about one’s intention to be clean would suffice. This fatwa was extremely influential throughout sixteenth century Iberia, and


186 Ruination beyond. No less than four manuscript copies survive: one in Arabic, two in aljamiado, and one in Castilian.68 If testimonies in the Yanhuitlán trial are any indication, Ñudzavui nobles may have shared with Ibn Abī Jumʿah a dissembling religious strategy that stressed inward belief as opposed to external signs. Earlier we read an accusation by don Cristóbal, governor and constable Nochixtlán, who claimed that “the said don Francisco has said publicly to the commoners that they all should go [to Mass], not to learn it or understand it but only to comply with the [Catholic] fathers.” Ñudzavui men and women in Yanhuitlán, like Muslims in Valencia, may have found ways to comply to Christian coercion with their bodies but not with their hearts. The comments on religious practice by Vitoria, Ibn Abī Jumʿah, and don Francisco probably strike the twenty-​ first-​ century reader as obvious. Of course the most important aspect of religious belief is what takes place inside a person’s mind/​heart/​soul. Of course external show is less important to religion than internal belief. But this private vision of religion has not always been obvious, and was certainly not in the sixteenth century. As Talal Asad and Joel Robbins have argued, these assumptions are closely linked to the history of Christianity in the West and especially the development of Protestantism, whose various incarnations argue that “correct belief must be more highly valued than correct practice.”69 In contrast, what counts as “religion” in times and places outside the post-​Renaissance West often involves a whole host of bodily practices and almost-​unconscious orientations, “nonverbal ways” of acting in the world: not so much “a state of mind” as “constituting activity.”70 “It is a modern idea that a practitioner cannot know how to live religiously without being able to articulate that knowledge.”71 Anthropologists are not alone in their critique of “religion” as above all about inner faith. Lucien Febvre argued this point in 1942, as part of his study of unbelief in sixteenth-​century Europe. “Whether one wanted to or not, whether one clearly understood or not, one found oneself immersed from birth in a bath of Christianity from which one did not emerge even at death. … From birth to death stretched a long chain of ceremonies, traditions, customs, and observances, all of them Christian or Christianized, and they bound a man in spite of himself, held him captive even if he claimed to be free. And first and foremost they pressed in on his private life.”72 Although Febvre focused on Catholicism, similar arguments could be made for Islam. Only one of the Five Pillars of Islam involves the articulation of belief:  the shahāda, profession of faith (“There is no God but Allah and Muḥammad is his Prophet”). Yet even the shahāda is something that must be spoken, performed. The other four pillars are unmistakably enactments: bowing daily in prayer (ṣalāt), giving alms (zakāt), fasting during Ramadan (ṣawm), traveling to Mecca (ḥajj). It is no accident, then, that Islam means submission. Islām is an Arabic verbal noun. It describes both a religion as well as an action. The faithful are bound to certain ways of behaving in the world.73 In prehispanic Mesoamerica as well, constituting activity,


Ruination 187 sacred performance, was central to ideas about the divine. As we saw in the last chapter, humans could become gods through costuming and dancing; their external appearance and actions transformed their being.74 And where ethnographers have often described Mesoamerican “rituals,” Mesoamericans themselves speak of production, cooking, work.75 None of this is to say that “belief ” was unimportant to sixteenth-​century ideas about religion, or that introspection played no part in early modern experiences of the sacred—​consider the Catholic Devotio Moderna, or the spiritual exercises of Saint Ignatius. But reducing religion to inner belief is misleading. Assuming that religion has always centered on belief would cause us to miss just how scandalous, how revolutionary, were the 1504 recommendations of Ibn Abī Jumʿah.76 Indeed, his fatwa may have been meant as a critique of the opinions of one of his neighbors in Fez, al-​Wansharīsī—​ the man whose collection of fatwas on ruined mosques we looked at earlier. In September 1491, near the end of Ferdinand and Isabella’s decade-​long campaign to conquer the kingdom of Granada, al-​Wansharīsī wrote a tract called “The Most Noble Commerce, Setting Forth the Legal Rulings Regarding One Whose Lands Have Been Conquered by the Christians and Who Has Not Emigrated, and the Punishments and Stern Threats That Apply to Him as a Consequence.”77 In it, al-​Wansharīsī argued that Muslims living under Christian rule and unable to practice their religion openly had no choice but to leave their homes and settle elsewhere. A decade later, Ibn Abī Jumʿah’s proposal that Islam could be observed through internal belief was a radical innovation—​and no doubt comforting to the thousands of Muslims then living in Iberia, and who wanted to stay. Given this broad theoretical and historical context, in which practice and performance are in many ways more essential to religion than inner spirituality, we can rethink what don Sancho supposedly said in the fall of 1568: “they should show that they are Christians and act like Christians and in the secret and interior live as they wish.” If he really did say this, or something like it, his words may not have been as cynically practical as they first appear. Many people in the sixteenth-​century Mediterratlantic world, Muslim, Christian, and Native American alike, would not have been surprised to hear that the essence of religious adherence was focused on external action. “Ceremony reflected reality.”78 But ceremony can transform reality as well. The external can shape the internal—​and this brings us back to the question of ruination.

Other clothes, other customs Anthropologists have long observed that projects of social transformation place a great deal of emphasis on changing apparently superficial aspects of social life:  clothing, customs, forms of speech.79 This is because seemingly external (“superficial”) habits are essential to the creation of human selves. Changing what seems to be superfluous can have far-​reaching, internalized


188 Ruination consequences.80 Indeed, Norbert Elias’s The Civilizing Process made this very argument about early modern Europe, studying how (for example) the introduction of forks and handkerchiefs tamed a warrior nobility. The ways changes in seemingly superficial details of social life can have wide-​ranging results is not a discovery of twentieth-​century social science. People in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were well aware of this.81 One of the points made by al-​Wansharīsī in his 1491 tract was that living among Christians, and not being able to openly practice Islam, would slowly bring about transformations in the Muslim faithful. It had happened before. Due to “the adoption of the customs, speech, clothing, and traditions” of Christians by Muslims living “in Ávila and other places,” those Muslims “totally forgot the Arabic language. And when the Arabic language is lost, one loses religious practices.”82 Changing one’s speech and customs, al-​Wansharīsī argued, triggered a chain reaction that ended with losing one’s faith. He was not the first Muslim writer to link religious loss and Christian culture: these arguments date back to at least the fourteenth century.83 But when al-​Wansharīsī and his predecessors were writing, the adoption of Christian practices in Iberia was merely a temptation. Starting in the sixteenth century—​1502 in the kingdoms of Castile, 1525–​1526 in the kingdoms of Aragón—​the Muslim adoption of Christian “customs, speech, clothing, and traditions” was no longer a temptation: it was a requirement. For example, clothing was a target for “laws of ruination” in sixteenth-​ century Valencia. In the fall of 1525, as Charles V was deciding that the forced baptisms of 1521 would require all Muslims in Valencia to accept Christianity, an embassy of twelve alfaquíes from Valencia traveled to see the emperor in Toledo. They asked for forty years of leniency in which to transition to Christian practices, such as speaking a Romance language. They also asked for time to change their clothes. Here is how this request, and a response to it, appeared on a broadsheet posted in Valencia on January 15, 1526: Item:  Since the said Muslims have Muslim clothes which are different from the clothing of the Christians (and especially that of the women) it would be most unfortunate to change this clothing [immediately] and they would be disadvantaged because some clothes have hardly been worn, they request therefore that for a time of forty years they will not be forced to change their said clothing. [Response:] It pleases his Reverend Lordship, having consulted with his Majesty, that for a period of ten years they [the Muslims of Valencia] can use and enjoy the garments which they already possess at present, but those which they make from now on will be in Christian styles.84 This dialogue between alfaquíes and Crown is complex; we will return to it in Chapter 7. But for now, what is important is that request and response present the change of clothing in primarily economic, functional terms. Clothes were


Ruination 189 expensive. The Muslim alfaquíes ask permission for their people to continue to wear their current garments, some of which “have hardly been worn.” The implication is that new garments should be worn until they wear out. The Crown, it seems agrees:  existing clothes can still be used, “but those which they make from now on will be in Christian styles.” Yet the functional argument made by the alfaquíes is not entirely straightforward. The handing down of heirloomed clothing was important in Muslim social rituals throughout Iberia, and especially in weddings. Chapter 3 began with complaints against the Valencian nobility by the bishop of Orihuela. Later in the same letter, the bishop argued that Muslim clothing was another hindrance to the conversion process. Wearing clothes was a technique of remembrance, and perpetuated links to unconverted Muslim ancestors: To take away their clothing is something very simple and very important so that they forget, as a result, their barbaric customs, and thus it is advisable that in weddings they should not bring from the house of their parents Muslim clothing with ceremony and solemnity, and even less that in marriage contracts they should list clothes or jewels for Muslim costume, nor in their wills leave legacies of clothing with the name and clothing listed because they have a great memory and guard as inviolable tradition the clothes which their parents gave them in dowry and those which their ancestors left them in wills.85 Wearing certain styles, or guarding articles of dress as heirlooms, or even taking off clothes, were religious acts. With clothing, and laws against certain styles of clothing, we can see how strategies of ruination were enacted on the social skin itself. In Valencia, Muslim clothes were to be worn until they had worn out. Anxieties linking clothing to conversion also existed in Yanhuitlán. On May 11, 1545, the indigenous governor of Chachoapan presented himself before inquisitors. As we saw in Chapter 2, Chachoapan was located in a region of the Nochixtlán Valley dense with sacred hills: Hill of the Rain God, Hill of Feathers, Blue Hill, Hill of Flowers. On the boundary between Chachoapan and Yucuita was a low hill that contained two sacred caves (see Figure 2.4); nearby was the site of a controversial market held every five days. Sacrificial paraphernalia were sold there, and (as we saw in the last chapter) the market’s very existence was challenged in a lawsuit by Yucuita’s southern neighbor Nochixtlán. This was the tense background for the governor’s testimony. It concerned an assault in the market of Yucuita. Christian Ñudzavui from Chachoapan had tried to attend the Yucuita market, but they were accosted by unconverted nobles from Yanhuitlán and Yucuita: it could have been twenty days ago that some Indians from Chachoapan were in the market of Yucuita, and an official [topil] of Yanhuitlán (who is tall and called Cunco in Mixtec) and another official of Yucuita (who is called Andrés) asked the said Indians why they came to their market,


190 Ruination since they were Christians and had left the things of their ancestors, for they [the officials] guarded their devils as they had done in the past …86 The officials from Yanhuitlán and Yucuita might have stopped their critique of Christian converts from Chachoapan there, with words. But the two men took more drastic measures, and with some scissors they cut the loincloths [of the converts from Chachoapan], making a mockery of them, exposing their shameful parts to view, and saying to them “since you are Christians you should start wearing pants, and not loincloths,” and they left running.87 This brief exchange is dense with meaning. Throughout prehispanic Mesoamerica, war captives were stripped naked to humiliate them.88 For Christian converts, nudity was linked to an alternative model of shame and guilt, with its origins at the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. The officials from Yanhuitlán and Yucuita used scissors—​ a European introduction—​ in order to attack the Mesoamerican-​ style clothing worn by the converts. Loincloths were long woven bands tied around the waist. Cutting these bands in two would have made it impossible to wrap and tie the garment again. Through word and deed, the officials of Yanhuitlán and Yucuita argued that converts to a European religion should dress like Europeans as well. The next testimony gathered by inquisitors also contained a tale linking costume and conversion. According to Juan (a former Yanhuitlán slave then living in Etlatongo), when it did not rain the said don Francisco commanded that his priests to go to the countryside and prepare charcoal, and when it was brought they crushed it, and made black ink, and the said don Francisco stripped naked and painted himself like a jaguar, and said “Now I am no longer a Christian, but rather as I was before,” and he performed autosacrifice from his ears, and burned incense, and ordered the bringing of many quail, and he sacrificed them, and called to the devil, and he commanded that his friends and relatives do the same.89 Throughout sixteenth-​century Mesoamerica, indigenous elites were eager to wear European styles of clothing: this was a way to demonstrate their connections to distant places. If in the prehispanic past the Mesoamerican nobility wore quetzal plumes from Guatemalan cloud forests and mosaics of turquoise from northern deserts, in the sixteenth century they wore silks and velvets carried across the Atlantic.90 Indeed, two indigenous nobles depicted in the Codex of Yanhuitlán wear not only pants but also shirts with ruffs at neck and cuffs (Figure 5.10). The man named Lord 7 Monkey may be ruler don Domingo himself.91 In other words, the clothes governor don Francisco stripped off his body were probably cut to European


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Figure 5.10 Folio 9v of the Codex of Yanhuitlán (circa 1550). On the left, Lord 7 Monkey “Jaguar Torch” (aka don Domingo?) talks with a rosary-​holding, galero-​hatted cleric (probably Juan López de Zárate, bishop of Antequera from 1535 to 1555). Ink on paper, 31.2 × 21.6  cm. Biblioteca Histórica José María Lafragua de la Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. Photo by Iván Pérez Pineda.

styles. By removing these clothes, and spotting his skin like a jaguar, don Francisco enacted a rejection of Christianity and Europeanness, symbolically transporting his body back in time: “Now I am no longer a Christian, but rather as I was before.”92 These tales of clothing controversies from Valencia and Yanhuitlán, the unexpected consequences that “outward” conformity could have, and the connection of these supposed superficialities to more general theories of how external things shape internal being all return us, in conclusion, to the powerful effects of ruination. Part of the appeal of iconoclasm is that


192 Ruination it enacts a fantasy of instant change. It is relatively easy to smash a carved statue—​especially compared to the time and effort it took to make the statue in the first place. It is much harder to change the beliefs and practices of people for whom that statue was sacred. True, Christian stories of iconoclasm (such that of Saint Bartholomew in Figure 5.6) paired the smashing of idols and the conversion of souls. But these were golden legends, idealized myths. Real transformation (as Vitoria was well aware) takes a long time, and a lot of teaching. But if the instant results of iconoclasm described by Christian legends were overly optimistic, the production of ruins did have powerful, long-​term effects. One of the reasons material things are so important in social life, argues Leora Auslander, is because these things have the potential to outlive their human creators and owners. Inanimate objects (when properly maintained and cared for) can have social lives far longer than the biological lives of human beings. Things can be handed down through generations, and create connections between people who never knew each other; indeed, between people who lived in totally different times.93 Things have the power to anchor social memories, and can even be interpreted as evidence for events that never took place.94 At the same time, however, things “are mortal, although their life-​spans may be much longer or shorter than those of the people using them.”95 Practices of ruination in the sixteenth-​century Mediterratlantic aimed at the artificial manipulation of material life-​spans. Objects that could have survived for hundreds of years, lending support to the social practices that took place in and around them, were suddenly killed. This did not mean, as Vitoria saw clearly, that non-​Christians instantly abandoned beliefs and practices connected to recently ruined things. But—​ thinking here of the differing lifespans of people versus objects—​it could mean that the children or grandchildren of witnesses to desecration lacked material connections to what their parents and grandparents had valued. Visible signs of historical continuity were thereby lost. As we will see in Chapter 7, the nobles of Yanhuitlán literally thought of their god-images as physical inheritances from “our mothers and fathers.” In recent decades, anthropologists studying European expansion have considered the indigenization of foreign things in contact situations. Where older theories of acculturation focused on how new introductions replaced indigenous goods—​and ideas—​as part of a (supposedly) civilizing process, more recent studies center on indigenous agency, and how foreign things are carefully selected and domesticated. These selections and domestications, of course, often bring with them unexpected effects.96 But in general, anthropological writing on introduced goods since the 1980s has focused on the material-​conceptual possibilities presented by novel situations of cultural contact. In contrast, this chapter has focused not on material expansions, but on the subtractions and destructions often required to make room for strange new things.


Ruination 193

Notes 1 Vitoria, Political, 228–​29. 2 Vitoria, Political, 347. Vitoria’s ideas were grounded in the theories of Saint Augustine, who argued that before removing idols from temples, and destroying them, they should first be purged from human hearts (MacCormack, Religion, 75, 86; see also Ciruelo, Pedro, 39). 3 Redondo, Antonio, 241; Martínez Sierra, “La situación,” 115; Benítez Sánchez-​ Blanco, “Cristianos,” 15–​17; Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 25–​112. The next chapter will discuss how mosques were turned into churches in the early 1520s by burying bodies in them. A 1549 Memorial on the Morsicos of Valencia also commented on the conversion of mosques into churches after 1525 (AHN Inq. Lib. 322, 58r). As we saw in the last chapter, some Valencian mosques escaped conversion in the late 1520s. Apparently six (!) were destroyed in Vall d’Uxó in 1565; the chronicle of their discovery and destruction can be found in AHUV Varia Caja 9 Exp. 16. They were not turned to churches but ripped to their foundations. No future buildings were allowed on their plots: instead plazas were created, with crosses in the center. This campaign apparently became a topic of contention: a letter from the Supreme Council to the inquisitors of Valencia dated August 22, 1573, begins by commenting on “la peticion p[rese]ntada por parte del duque de segorbe y respuesta del fiscal q[ue] se buelban con esta sobre las seys mezquitas q[ue] hizo derribar el Inq[uisid]or aguilera en los lugares de la valle de uxo” (AHN Inq. Leg. 503, 312r). At least one converted-​mosque chapel still exists: the hermita of Xara in Valldigna (Mira, Vida, 54–​55). 4 Gell, Art, 62–​65; Elsner, “Iconoclasm”; Flood, “Refiguring,” 28. 5 Schnapp, Discovery; Hamann, “Las Relaciones.” 6 Douglas, Purity; Burkhart, Slippery; Hodder, Present, 62–​67; Hodder, “Meaning”; Hutson and Stanton, “Cultural”; Hamann, “Chronological”; Newman, “Rethinking.” Also relevant is Kopytoff’s biography of a Suku house from construction to collapse (“Cultural,” 67). 7 Trigger, “Archaeology”; Abu El-​Haj, “Translating.” 8 The cathedral in Mexico City was also constructed just to the side of the main pyramid there (López Luján, Las ofrendas). 9 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 116v. 10 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 118r. 11 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 187v. 12 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 186r. 13 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 337v. 14 Burckhardt, Civilization, 114. 15 Camille, Gothic, 1, 88. 16 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 259v, 260v, 346v, 348v; see also González Obregón, Proceso, 30, 33, 34, 60; González Obregón, Procesos, 29. 17 Griffith, “Images,” 130. 18 Hsia, Myth; Junta de Castilla y León, Pedro, 88, 100; Roth, “Host”; Ruiz i Quesada, “Retablo”; Lucchini, “Aleardino’s.” 19 Ziolkowski, “Consecration”; Camille, Image, 75. 20 Testimony by Francisco Gómez; AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 310r; see also Lupher, Romans, 124–​25. 21 Finucane, “Sacred,” 42.


194 Ruination 22 Gulczynski, “Desecration”; Foster, “When,” 72. 23 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 337v–​338r. 24 Voragine, Golden, 223; see also Ciruelo, Pedro, 240. 25 This would not be the only time in the sixteenth century that legends of Saint Bartholomew inspired acts of Catholic iconoclasm; for a comparable case in New Spain, see Hamann, “Child,” 214–​16. 26 See also Connerton, How. 27 Christian, Local, 31, 39–40, 136, 137–​39, 145, 206–​7; Valtchinova, “Re-​Inventing.” 28 Christian, Apparitions, 29. 29 On al-​Wansharīsī and the Miʿyār, see Vidal Castro, “El Miʿyār”; Lagardère, Histoire. On fatwas in general, see Masud, Messick, and Powers, “Muftis”; Serrano Ruano, “Spanish”; for their circulation in Muslim Valencia, see Fierro, “Acerca.” 30 Weiner, “Cultural.” 31 If the initial dedication of mosques seems not to have been ritually elaborated, scattered medieval references suggest that desecrated mosques were ritually cleansed—​acts that fit in perfectly with the Miʿyār’s interest on the afterlives of mosques in ruins (in contrast to any initial consecration: Maalouf, Crusades, 199; Hillenbrand, Crusades, 298–​301; see also Flood, Great, 218–​19; Charlo Brea, Crónica, 74–​75; Catlos, Victors, 67; Flood, Objects, 154–​55). 32 Compare García Sanjuan, Till. 33 Foster, “When.” 34 Lagardère, Histoire, 247; cf. Marín, “Learning.” 35 Lagardère, Histoire, 288. 36 Lagardère, Histoire, 216. 37 Lagardère, Histoire, 215–​16. Other commentaries on the inalienability of mosque possessions appear in fourteenth-​century Tunis (Lagardère, Histoire, 219)  and fifteenth-​century Fez (Lagardère, Histoire, 238). 38 Lagardère, Histoire, 266, 216. 39 Lagardère, Histoire, 257, 229, 242, 245. 40 Lagardère, Histoire, 221, 229, 212, 261. Note that the Kairouan example may actually be from fifteenth-​century Granada. The same basic theory about mosque possessions (that sale is prohibited, but circulation among other mosques is allowed) is found in a fatwa about the oil used in mosque lamps from thirteenth-​ or fourteenth-​century Tlemcen (Lagadère, Histoire, 224). 41 On ransom, see Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, “Solidaridad”; on mosque donations, see García Sanjuan, Till, 60–​61, 84, 143–​44, 337, 441. Meyerson (“Slavery,” 313–​14) reproduces testimony from 1492 in which the ransoming of slaves by Valencian Muslims is explained (by a freed Muslim slave from Tunis) as undertaken “for the love of God” (per amor de Deu). Was this statement based on the Qurʾānic “for God’s cause”? In contrast, by the late sixteenth century this phrase was associated with holy war (Green-​Mercado, “Prophecy,” 108–​11, 225, 299–​300). 42 The official accusation against don Sancho says the destruction orders came from “la sacra mag[estad] del Rey don philipe n[uest]ro s[eñ]or” (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 426r–​426v). In contrast, don Sancho claims the mosque was destroyed “Por mandado este Sancto off[ici]o”—​that is, by the Inquisition (430v). His (probably incorrect) attribution of blame fits well with the admiral’s thought in general: the king was a natural Morisco ally; inquisitors were causing all the problems in Valencia.


Ruination 195 43 Franco Sánchez, “Identificación”; Franco Sánchez, “Andalusíes,” 226–​30. 44 Hvidtfeldt, Teotl; Stuart, “Kings”; see also Gell, Art. 45 Blomster, “Legitimization”; Houston and Stuart, “Ancient.” 46 Hamann, “Chronological,” 9–​10. For a possible reference to the collection of sacred fragments in Yanhuitlán, see testimony of Luis Delgado, February 22, 1545 (AHN Inq. Vol. 37, 185r–​185v). 47 Alcocer, Apuntes,  58–​59. 48 Townsend, Aztecs, 87–​91; for another example see Bassett, Fate, 162. 49 López Luján, Las ofrendas; Pagliaro et al., “Evaluating,” 76–​77; Forde, “Conquest,” 148–​50, 208; but cf. Monaghan, “Dedication.” 50 Hassig, Aztec,  105–​6. 51 Freidel et al., “Termination”; Pagliaro, “Evaluating,” 79–​89. 52 Spores, “Yucuñudahui”; Hamann, “Heirlooms,” 136–​37; see also Forde, “Conquest,” 116–​24. 53 Hamann, “Heirlooms,” 122–​38. 54 Byland and Pohl, In, 75. That said, it was not uncommon in fifteenth-​and sixteenth-​century Mesoamerica to incorporate sacred ruins (architectural spolia, broken images) into the construction of new buildings (López Luján, Las ofrendas; Hamann, “Chronological”; Greenblatt, Marvelous, 150–​51). 55 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 204v. 56 Mendoza, “Relación,” 115–​ 16; Spores, Mixtec, 88–​ 89; Spores, Colección, 9; González Leyva, El convento; Frassani, “Church,” 69–​70; Piazza, La conciencia, 45–​46; Frassani, Building,  21–​34. 57 Hamann, “Heirlooms.” 58 Robbins, “Continuity.” 59 Voragine, Golden, 223, 289–​90; Camille, Gothic, 115–​27. 60 Testimony October 13, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 246r). 61 See also Ginzburg, Cheese, 99, 109. 62 On the Imperial Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco, see Mathes, Santa; Ocaranza, El imperial; and Steck, El primer. On the Imperial Colegio in Valencia, see Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, “El arzobispo”; Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 139, 158, 188. Surviving archival references to the Valencian college are scattered and brief, but see Franco Llopis, “Pedagogías,” for the Morisco college in Gandía. 63 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 364r. 64 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 362v. 65 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 364r. 66 Testimony of Gaspar Coscolla, February 1, 1567 (AHN Inq. Leg. 548 Caja 1 Exp. 2, 4r–​4v). Similar complaints were made in Granada: “aunque en algunas cosas exteriores se tratassen como christianos, en lo secreto no lo eran” (letter by Gaspar Daranda from Granada, March 15, 1569; quoted in Vincent, “Les jesuites,” 443). This was a concern for the missionization of Iberian Old Christians as well (Ciruelo, Pedro, 19, 92). 67 Stewart, “Identity”; Sabbagh, “La religion”; Bouzineb, “Respuestas”; Rubiera Mata, “Los moriscos.” See also the July–​December 2013 issue of Al-​Qantara, which includes a special section on “Taqiyya: disimulo legal” (García-​Arenal, “Taqiyya”). 68 Christians knew that dissimulation was an established Muslim strategy; this issue appears in dialogue-​catechisms from both Valencia and Granada (Pérez de Ayala, Catechismo, 129; Resines, Catecismo, 77). On religious dissimulation in early modern Europe more generally, see Kaplan, Divided, 156–​61.


196 Ruination 69 Asad, Genealogies, 58. 70 Robbins, “Continuity,” 14–​15. 71 Asad, Genealogies, 36; see also Bell, Ritual, 185–​86 and Christian, “Catholicisms,” 263. 72 Febvre, Problem, 336, 455. 73 Taylor, In, 124. 74 The Yanhuitlán documents contain a suggestive reference to the burial rites for the ruler of Tiltepec which involved dressing a slave as the dead ruler—​although part of this testimony is crossed out. The slave-​ruler was subsequently killed. Testimony of don Domingo, governor of Teposcolula, February 22, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37 192r). 75 Monaghan, “Dedication”; Monaghan, “Theology”; Hvidtfeldt, Teotl. 76 Bouzineb, “Respuestas,” 59. 77 Stewart, “Identity,” 298; but see Koningsveld and Wiegers, “Islamic,” 52–​53 for a post-​1492  date. 78 Herzog, Upholding, 222; Herzog, Defining,  37–​41. 79 Bourdieu, “Economic”; Comaroff and Comaroff, Ethnography, 265–​96; compare Goffman, “On” and Bell, Ritual, 202. 80 Bourdieu, Outline; Connerton, How. 81 Edwards (Spain, 209–​10) offers fascinating commentary on the transformational power of religious fashions in late-​fifteenth-​century Iberia. The wearing of a monastic tonsure, for example, was enough to give one access to the justice of ecclesiastical courts—​and this strategy was apparently abused enough to merit a campaign against the practice. 82 Bouzineb, “Economic,” 57. 83 On the fourteenth-​century Andalusian fatwa later cited by al-​Wansharīsī, see Koningsveld and Wiegers, “Islamic,” 28; Miller, Guardians, 30. On the 1462 “Sunni Breviary” of ʿĪçā of Segovia, see Wiegers, Islamic; Harvey, “Political,” 216. On a 1577 argument by Ḥanafī jurist Muḥammad b.  Abdallāh ʿArabī see Flood, Objects, 63. Catlos (Muslims, 472) suggests that the Muslim emphasis on wearing distinctive Muslim clothing was a late medieval development. 84 BL Egerton Ms. 1832, 22v. 85 Boronat y Barrachina, Los moriscos, 1: 653. 86 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 196r. 87 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 196r; see also Forde, “Volcanic.” 88 Houston, Stuart, and Taube, Memory, 202–​27. 89 “agora ya no soi xpiano sino como antes solia” (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 196). 90 On distance and value, see Helms, Craft. 91 Doesburg, Hermann Lejarazu, and Oudijk, Códice,  56–​57. 92 The removal of clothes was used to signify political alliance and religious change in medieval Hindu-​Muslim interactions; Flood, Objects, 63, 84. 93 Auslander, “Beyond,” 1020; see also Ulrich, Age, 111, 119. 94 Halbwachs, On. 95 Auslander, “Beyond,” 1016. 96 Cusick, “Historiography”; Sahlins, “Cosmologies”; Thomas, Entangled; Comaroff and Comaroff, Of; Stein, “World”; Dietler, “Archaeology”; Lightfoot, Indians; on unintended consequences, see Sahlins, Historical; Sahlins, Islands.


6  The excavation of the dead

This is a chapter about architecture and the dead, about burial, exhumation, and social transformation. In the sixteenth-​century Mediterratlantic world, corpses were used to build new communities—​and to preserve long-​ established ones under attack. This was true for Catholics, Muslims, Native Americans, and Protestants alike. To introduce these themes, consider two macabre images from the early Reformation. In 1517, on either October 31 or November 1, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg.1 Luther timed his act with care. October 31 was All Hallows Eve, November 1 the Feast of All Saints, and November 2 the Feast of All Souls. These were days for commemorating the dead:  bells were rung at midnight, Masses held, and fires burned in Fields of Purgatory to honor Christian souls.2 Luther was well aware of this spectral symbolism. The 95 Theses were a “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences”—​documents whose purchase shortened the time a soul had to suffer in Purgatory. Given these ghostly dates and implications, it is appropriate that Luther included a particularly ghoulish image in his critique. Indulgences sold in the Germanies (and in Iberia, Figure 6.1) were financing spectacular renovations of the Vatican in Rome. Above all, they raised money for building a new church around the tomb of Saint Peter, replacing a smaller basilica founded by the Emperor Constantine. But Luther saw the architectural and artistic expansion of Saint Peter’s as something horrific. Thesis 50: Christians are to be taught that if the pope knew the exactions of the pardon-​preachers, he would rather that Saint Peter’s church should go to ashes, than that it should be built up with the skin, flesh and bones of his sheep. This corporeal imagery is striking—​especially since Luther in general had a practical and positive view of the human body.3 But the slaughterhouse vision in Thesis 50 is not about natural bodily processes and dissolution. It is about the manipulation of extracted bodily parts, the creation of an unnatural construction that should be burned, reduced to ashes. Luther’s words evoke a Biblical attack on unjust rulers in Micah 3:3: “who eat the flesh of my people,


198  The excavation of the dead

Figure 6.1 Sheet of four indulgences to fund the building of Saint Peter’s, printed by Jorge Coci (Zaragoza, 1517). Detail below. Ink on paper, 31 × 42.5 cm. Courtesy of The Hispanic Society of America, New York.

strip off their skin from them, break their bones, and chop them up as for the pot, and as meat in a kettle.”4 At the same time, this strange imagery of butchery and fire echoes contemporary discourses on witchcraft—​and its punishment.5


The excavation of the dead 199 Luther’s Theses were a first step in the radical transformation of relations between heaven and earth in the West. This revolution would consume Europe in religious violence for more than a hundred years. Millions of people would be slaughtered, but not even the dead were safe. A decade after Luther posted his 95 Theses, on February 23 and 24 of 1528, an iconoclastic war was waged in the Alpine town of Saint Gallen. There, in the Church of Saint Mang, the holy tombs of Saint Wilborad and Saint Rachild were torn apart. But their bodies were not found. Instead, attackers discovered “a cache of wooden images, some rags, a skull, a large tooth, and a snail’s shell.”6 The deceptions of Catholicism were unmasked by empty tombs. The disinterment of corpses also appears in the inquisitorial investigations from Oaxaca and Valencia, and complaints about the construction and decoration of churches were being voiced in both places during the 1540s. Excavations of the dead might at first seem to have little to do with the building and ornamentation of churches, and Luther’s image of a charnel house Saint Peter’s may seem bizarre. But in fact the furnishing of Catholic churches had a great deal to do with the dead—​and not only in a case like Saint Peter’s, where decoration and construction were funded by indulgences. Bodies were buried and dug up, and churches ornamented, because these acts were closely tied to the creation of images of a living, eternal, embodied Catholic community. Interactions with deathly remains that seem ghoulish and gristly to us had very different emotional charges in the sixteenth century, and were closely connected to ideas about beauty, memory, and love.7 But as Luther’s complaints make clear, such Catholic visions of postmortem community were met with massive critiques throughout the sixteenth century. The dead were also important in the lives of Muslim and Native American traditionalists. As in previous chapters, Catholic attempts to transform the sixteenth-​century world will be considered alongside Muslim and Native American practices, to see the contrasts and interpenetrations of these traditions. The living bury the dead. Although it is tempting to assume the status of a person in life will determine their treatment in death, and that burial practices are a direct reflection of the society performing them, things are more complex.8 When a person dies, loved ones rebuild. Burial rites are as much about the present and future of survivors as they are about the past and the deceased. Practices of burial do indeed reflect the social order, but they reflect a society’s idealized dreams about its own future. More than passively reflecting an existing world, burials are used to transform that world, and create a new one.9 In the last chapter I argued that the production of pastness through ruination was, at the same time, an attempt to transform the social life of the present and future. Destructions were accompanied by innovations that worked to reshape bodies and souls through new buildings, new clothes, new languages. In this chapter, I consider how the dead, too, can be manipulated to create—​and combat—​ social change.


200  The excavation of the dead

From ornament to Purgatory In late February 1545—​about a month after warrants were issued from Mexico City for the arrest of don Francisco and don Domingo—​inquisitors prepared a new questionnaire to gather more evidence. Item 12 read as follows: if they know that although the town of Yanhuitlán is the most powerful in this region, it has the worst church and doctrine of all the others, and that in all the towns subject to Yanhuitlán there are no churches nor trace of conversion. The witnesses should say how this came to pass, and who is the cause.10 Responses elaborated what being “the worst church” meant. Several witnesses complained that Yanhuitlán’s church lacked ornamentos, ornaments: To the twelfth question he says that it is true that the town of Yanhuitlán is the largest town in the whole region and that because don Francisco and don Domingo are bad Christians and do not love the things of God they have the worst church and altarpieces and ornaments of all the land (testimony of don Domingo, governor of Chachoapan, May 11, 1545).11 To the twelfth question he says that such is the truth, that the said town of Yanhuitlán is the largest in all of the Mixteca, and because the aforesaid are bad Christians and do not love the things of God they do not have a good church nor ornaments for it (testimony of Domingo, a former slave of don Francisco then living in Etlatongo; May 11, 1545).12 To the twelfth question he says that such is the truth, as the question says, and he says because the aforesaid are bad Christians and do not love the things of God they do not have a good church nor ornaments (testimony of Juan, a former slave of don Francisco then living in Etlatongo, May 11, 1545).13 To the twelfth question he said that this witness knows that the town of Yanhuitlán is the largest town in all the Mixteca, and has the richest inhabitants, and is the first where a monastery was founded, in which this witness has seen that there is the worst doctrine worst church and images and adornments of all the land, and in its subject towns there is nothing but drunken feasting; he was asked who is the cause of this; he said that to this witness it seems that if Francisco de las Casas had not been in the said town and if he had not clashed with the friars who had been there, that in the said town there would be order and doctrine, because this witness has seen that the said Francisco de las Casas ordered his Indians not to obey the friars and that all should come to him, and


The excavation of the dead 201 that he was always scheming and planning, calling himself a powerful person, and that no one was present in his town without his permission, for which reason the said friars abandoned their work and left from there and it seems to this witness that by God and by his conscience if the said Francisco de las Casas were not in the said town that the Indians would have been better indoctrinated and would have a church and ornaments as in other towns of the region, which have been indoctrinated for less time (testimony of Francisco de Villegas, June 8, 1545).14 Obviously, these four answers are strongly shaped by the question itself: Question 12 is a leading question in every sense. The responses of the three indigenous witnesses are especially brief; this suggests they had no real interest or investment in the details of this question (which was not always the case, as we will see later in this chapter). The ethnic division of blame is also significant. For the three indigenous witnesses, indigenous nobles are the bad Christians responsible for a lack of ornamentos. But to the European-​born Villegas, blame rests on European encomendero Francisco de la Casas. The repeated references to “ornaments” in all four testimonies is also striking, since ornaments are not mentioned in the leading question. Perhaps they were added by inquisitors in the act of interrogation.15 These May and June testimonies were neither the first nor the last to speak of ornaments. Earlier that spring, Nochixtlán ruler don Juan contrasted the idolatrous inhabitants of Yanhuitlán with the Christians of his own community by talking about churches and their decoration: he has heard tell publicly, and this witness knows, that the Indians of Yanhuitlán make fun of this witness and other Indians of Nochixtlán, shouting at them when they pass by town boundaries or roads and saying “The Christians of Castile are already leaving, the chickens,” and he was asked why they shout at them and say these things to them. He said that because in the town of Nochixtlán there is a good church and ornaments and altarpiece, and that sometimes the natives of Yanhuitlán have asked the subjects of this witness why they do not perform sacrifices, and for this reason they call them chickens, because they do not perform nor make use of sacrifice.16 In contrast, when the imprisoned don Francisco prepared a list of questions in his defense, he asked for confirmation that there were indeed ornaments in the Church of Yanhuitlán, and that accounts of them were kept: Item: if they know that in the Church of Yanhuitlán there is a steward [mayordomo] and Indians who keep track of all the things belonging to the church, both the ornaments and the boys who serve in the church and the others who come to learn the Christian doctrine …17


202  The excavation of the dead The question of church ornament is not directly raised in the trial of don Sancho de Cardona, but a concern with ornamentos is well attested in 1540s Valencia. As we saw in Chapter 1, a few days after Bartolomé de los Ángeles offered testimony against the admiral in July 1544, the friar found himself at the center of an investigation into the correctness of his own missionary campaign. As part of the investigation against him, the Franciscan was asked to give a (long-​overdue) report on what he saw during his two months of preaching earlier that year. Although much of what Friar Bartolomé described had to do with Muslim practices in rural towns, he also complained about the tepid Catholicism of rural Old Christians. If Old Christians were not even good Christians, how could they provide a model for new Muslim converts?18 For even in Old Christian towns and villages there is a great need in the old churches of ornaments and other instruments for the service of the altar, and he said that a General Visitation is urgently needed because of the great faults and excesses that exist in the said diocese.19 Three days after Friar Bartolomé made this complaint, Alonso Sauco (rector of the town of Teresa in the Valley of Ayora) was summoned to testify about the Franciscan. Among other things, Alonso confirmed a lack of ornaments in Valencia’s rural churches: Item: this witness said that in the old churches there is a lack of ornaments and other things for the service of the altar, and this is because there has not been a General Visitation.20 And at the end of the folder of documents investigating Bartolomé de los Ángeles is a list of instructions he was given before setting out on his Lenten missionary campaign. Probably dating to 1543, the instructions tell the friar “to prepare a book and note in it the name of every town where he preaches and what he observes about the following things. Is there a rector who lives in the town, and is he competent for the office, and is there negligence in performing baptisms and teaching? Is there a constable [alguacil]? Are there churches and ornaments?”21 When these documents were written in the early 1540s, providing ornamentos for churches in the lands of Muslim converts had been a concern for over a decade. A list of recommendations on the conversion of the Muslims of Valencia dated July 14, 1528, reads as follows: Item: On the rents of the habices [Muslim endowments to mosques]; on the one hand it seems sufficient for the construction of churches and the funds for the support of the rectors, but on the other hand where the rector already has sufficient support all of the said income from the habices should be for the fabric of the church of the said town and for ornaments and other things necessary for the divine cult.22


The excavation of the dead 203 Four decades later, a similar set of recommendations were prepared in Madrid (on December 12, 1564): Item: Find out if the rectors are resident and if they are competent persons and capable and honest, and if the churches are well-​equipped with ornaments and things necessary for the divine cult.23 As a final example, an undated document (perhaps from the early 1540s, as it recommends Bartolomé de los Ángeles as a competent missionary) includes these suggestions: First His Lordship commands that in every town the newly converted should have a church with a bell tower and the necessary ornaments and a cleric to administer the sacraments who should have his house and live in the said place.24 Item: the rents of the mosques should be applied to the sustenance of the clerics, so that they begin to help somewhat, and by order of His Majesty the ordinary [el ordinario] has already put them [the rents] to this use, and it should be declared that all the rents that they [the mosques] had to give to the poor and to the alfaquí and for prayer mats be included, because in order not to give them they [the Morsicos] say that they [these rents] have already been set aside for prayer mats or for the poor and so they cannot be taken away, and [these rents should be used] for the fabric and ornaments that the parishioners should contribute, because in this kingdom the Old Christians contribute to pay for all of the ornaments.25 Seen in isolation, these obsessive references to ornaments from Oaxaca and Valencia might seem strange but trivial details. But when brought together, they form a pattern, and point to larger issues. Why were the ornamentos of churches important for converting Native Americans and Muslims? Ornamentos referred specifically to the textiles used in celebrating the Mass, and more broadly to all sacred paraphernalia:  chalices, altarpieces, images of the saints.26 These things were supplied by parishioners. Throughout late medieval and early modern Europe, Catholic churches were regarded as the property of local inhabitants. From England to Iberia, “the parish church belonged emphatically to the parishioners.” “Villagers considered the church to belong to them.”27 Indeed, a common prerequisite for the political independence of a town was having its own church fully appointed for Mass.28 Little if any money for paying clerics or maintaining church buildings or buying ornamentos was provided by central church authorities (such as archbishops). This assumption shows up quite clearly in the budgets prepared for the newly-​created Morisco parishes of Valencia in the years 1539 to 1545.29 Each year, two thousand libras were set aside by the archbishop of Valencia


204  The excavation of the dead to fund Morisco conversion efforts.30 Almost all of this money went to pay the wages of parish priests (salaries which were paid in two installments: one on All Saints, and the other on Fat Tuesday). Only in 1540 was any money earmarked to provide ornamentos for the new (and impoverished) Morisco congregations. This was a year in which an official church visitation (visita) would pass through dozens of communities in the archbishopric.31 In theory, this would make it easy to provide churches with the ornaments they lacked. Neverthelesss, only a handful were earmarked for donation: six altar frontals, six missals, five altar cloths, and about twenty-​four libras worth of unworked cloth, fringe, and thread “for the ornaments of the clerics and rectors of the new converts.”32 These seventeen-​plus items would benefit only a fraction of the places included in the 1540 visitation. But instead of thinking about this gesture as half-​hearted, or dictated by limited funding for Morisco parishes (though that was certainly a factor), we should instead look at this paucity as the product of broader assumptions. Local communities maintained churches on their own, and did not expect help from outsiders.33 In Old Christian settings, some of the funds for church decoration and upkeep came from communally held properties or fundraisers: flocks of sheep, landholdings, beer sales.34 But an even more important source of church revenue was provided by individual donations, especially at death. Early modern wills painstakingly list the donations that a testator offered to the Church. These post-​mortem “good works” almost always included funds for Masses. But many wills also donated money or objects to provide specific churches with ornamentos.35 Because of this, early modern wills are fascinating records of long-​vanished material culture. In Mexico City, for example, when Cristóbal Martín de Gamboa prepared his testament in 1533, he left money for oil to light lamps before the Holy Sacrament in the Monasteries of Saint Francis and Saint Dominic, as well as—​thinking across the Atlantic—​for a chalice and ornamento for the Church of Santiago in Hinojos (just west of Seville).36 When Inés Hernández prepared her testament in 1537, she left money for the oil lamps illuminating the Holy Sacrament in Mexico City’s cathedral, the Church of the True Cross, and the Monasteries of Saint Dominic, Saint Francis, and Saint Augustine.37 And when Francisco de Solís prepared his will in 1547, he arranged the donation of six wax candles to light the Holy Sacrament in the cathedral, as well as a silver cross and blue velvet veil for the Monastery of Zacoalpa.38 Men and women in Valencia also willed material gifts. In 1546, Frances Juan Domingo left money to pay for a jewel to decorate the image of the Virgin in the Cathedral of Valencia.39 In 1559, Doña Violante left some of her own expensive clothing to the Monastery of the Virgin of the Myrtle “so that from it ornaments could be made for the sacristy.”40 The next year, in 1560, doña María de Colón y Toledo (wife of don Sancho de Cardona) willed the creation of a chapel devoted to Our Lady of the Angels in the Church of Bechí, as well as money for two religious institutions in the town of


The excavation of the dead 205 Onda: the Church of Our Lady of Hope (“for the altarpiece and work on the building”) and the Convent of Saint Catherine (“for work on the building”).41 A few months later, Joana Hierónyma Domenech y Olesa left money to pay for illumination in Valencia’s churches of Saint Dominic and Saint Vincent Ferrer.42 And when don Sancho de Cardona prepared his own will in 1570, he left three thousand ducats for the expansion of the main church in Bechí (including “chapels and decorations for it”), as well as money for totally new sacred constructions.43 A monastery was to be founded at the rural Chapel of Saint Anthony. Two stone crosses, with images of Mary holding Christ in her arms, were to be erected on the roads leading from Bechí to Valencia and to Onda. And a chapel to Our Lady of Loreto was to be built on Bechí’s main plaza, in front of don Sancho’s palace. The chapel would honor the memory of don Sancho’s Caribbean-​born wife, and be visible from the room where she died six years before.44 Chalices, chasubles, crosses, candles, even chapels:  by naming these things in their wills, men and women hoped to continue their Catholic good works after death. From beyond the grave, beloved churches in Mexico City and Valencia (and Bechí and Hinojos and Zacoalpa) would be made more splendid, appointed with beautiful new things and filled with the light of promised candles and extra lamps. And here, in the realm of aesthetics, we can see how sixteenth-​century ornament intersected with Purgatory. Figure 6.2 shows an altarpiece now in the Museo de Bellas Artes of Castelló. Painted in 1572, it presents a diagram of the Catholic universe. The basic design originated in 1520s Valencia, and was extremely popular throughout the sixteenth century.45 The upper half of the painting shows Heaven. In the center are the Virgin Mary, dressed in blue, and Christ, dressed in red. To their left and right are clustered a dozen haloed saints; Saint Peter, for example, holds out his keys to the right of Christ. Below them all, five angels guard the borders of Paradise. The lower half of the painting shows Purgatory, Limbo, Earth, and Hell. To the right, a red glow consumes naked bodies and colorful devils in Hell. Representatives of the Seven Deadly Sins are boiled in a black cauldron, the names of their crimes fluttering on white banners: SVPERVIA, LVXVRIA, GVLA. To the left, in the center of the altarpiece, is a building showing the miraculous Mass of Saint Gregory (ca. 540–​604). In the painting’s cosmological cartography, this space represents Earth. Saint Gregory, dressed in green, holds up the white disk of a communion wafer. Behind him are two assistants, one holding a candle and the other swinging an incense burner. On the altar is a miracle. According to legend, Saint Gregory was performing Mass when he became aware of an unbeliever in the congregation. He prayed for a sign that would reveal the divine presence of Christ in the transubstantiated Host. The communion wafer then turned to flesh, for all to see.46 The altarpiece interprets this vision with an angel lifting Christ’s body from a rectangular tomb. A jet of blood arcs from the wound in Christ’s side to fill a chalice on the altar below.


Figure 6.2 Altarpiece of the Mass of Saint Gregory (1572). Oil and tempera on wood, 187 × 127 cm. Museo de Bellas Artes, Castelló de la Plana.


The excavation of the dead 207 The architecture of this central, earthly yet miraculous space is carefully structured. Although it borders on Hell, access to the inferno is blocked off by the right-​hand column. In contrast, to the left an arched window opens up, and an angel looks through it. This aperture connects the Earth to a final pair of spaces, Limbo and Purgatory. Limbo is crowded into a black vault by the left column’s base. It holds a few tragic souls who, because they were not baptized, cannot enter either Purgatory or Hell. The rest of the lower left corner is filled with the swamps of Purgatory: lakes of fire or freezing water where human souls purged the sins they accumulated in life. In late medieval and early modern Catholicism, most people thought they would spend at least some time in Purgatory before being allowed into Heaven. Indeed, the altarpiece depicts this happy fate. In the foreground, a naked man reaches up to grasp the outstretched hand of an angel. Above him, a misty gold-​white path rises to Heaven. On it, another purged soul (no longer naked, but dressed in gold) kneels to embrace the angel who guides him to Paradise. The reason the central, earthly space of the Mass of Saint Gregory is shown open to the torments of Purgatory is because Catholics believed the living could offer assistance to the dead. Through “good works,” the living could shorten the time their loved ones had to suffer in the afterlife. The purchase of indulgences was one option. For example, the indulgence sheets shown in Figure 6.1 (printed in Zaragoza in 1517) offer “a full easing and remission of the punishments of Purgatory” in return for a donation to help with the construction of Saint Peter’s. Another way to ease the suffering of others—​or to aid in one’s own release from Purgatory—​was to pay for Masses to be held in remembrance of the dead. This altarpiece illustrates the direct connection of Mass to the release of tormented souls. As Saint Gregory raises the communion wafer, an arc of blood squirts out from its white surface and through the open window to the left. The blood splashes into a chalice held by the angel pulling a man out of watery torment (Figure 6.3). With the celebration of a Mass, this altarpiece argues, a soul is delivered from Purgatory.47 In addition to the purchase of indulgences and the commissioning of Masses, another practice that could shorten time spent in Purgatory was to make donations for the physical fabric of a church. In the 1544 edition of the Agony of Crossing Over at Death (an extremely popular treatise on the Catholic “Art of Dying Well”), author Alejo de Venegas outlined four types of good works recommended by Saint Gregory to ease the pain of souls in Purgatory.48 Venegas then added a fifth: paying for “the construction of churches, ornaments, wax [for candles], oil [for lamps] and other similar things.”49 This list recurs two other times in the Agony, underscoring its importance.50 Crucially, the good works materialized by donated ornaments created social bonds, joining the living and the dead in action and memory. The requests made in wills had to be carried out by survivors. This did not always happen—​it seems that don Sancho de Cardona’s son Cristóbal never built a


208  The excavation of the dead

Figure 6.3 Detail showing the connections of Mass and Purgatory. Altarpiece of the Mass of Saint Gregory (1572). Museo de Bellas Artes, Castelló de la Plana.

chapel in Bechí to commemorate his mother. Yet when the requests made in wills were fulfilled—​when survivors brought old clothes to a church so that they could be remade into ornamentos, or presented money to fill the lamp burning before a particular image—​they were incorporating the presence of the dead person into the continuing life of the church. They were building a sort of memory palace, in which visible gifts reminded the living of the dead, and—​hopefully—​encouraged survivors to pray. Prayer, like a Mass, could open a connection between the terrestrial church to Purgatory, bringing the souls of the living and the dead together once more. But when men and women left money and material things to churches in their wills, they were not simply leaving behind a memento mori, meant to call forth prayers from the living. They were also thinking of ways that they could continue to participate in their church community after death. By leaving the physical church more beautiful than it had been in their own lives—by providing the saints with fashionable new clothes, by endowing candles and oil so that church interiors would be filled with light—the dead beautified not only a literal, terrestrial church building, but the metaphorical Church as well: the mystical body of Christ into which all Catholics were gathered. This is an image to which we will return.


The excavation of the dead 209 There were therefore at least two reasons that the lack of ornamentos in the churches of Oaxaca and Valencia was a concern for Catholic missionizers. First, lack of ornamentos was a material sign that the inhabitants of Oaxacan and Valencian towns were not concerned about the fate of their souls. In communities of “good Christians,” the fear of Purgatory, and the love that one felt for departed friends and relatives, were transformed into material donations that increased churchly splendor.51 This connection is made clear in the undated, Bartolomé de los Ángeles-​referencing document quoted earlier. Income from donations that had been made to mosques should now be used to fund “the fabric and ornaments” of new churches in Morisco parishes. Morisco parishioners “should” be making these donations of their own free will, but do not. In contrast, “in this kingdom the Old Christians contribute to pay for all of the ornaments” in their long-​established churches. Furthermore, a lack of ornamentos in churches, or the use of shabby ones, meant that the celebration-​sacrifice of the Mass was not taking place in sufficiently spectacular surroundings. One commentator in mid-​sixteenth-​century Valencia even argued that the visual splendor of a well-​appointed church could go a long way towards convincing Muslims about the truth of Catholic belief: In addition to this I beg Your Majesty, who is so generous with all the world, giving capacious favors to some, and great alms to others, that he should be pleased to make us some donation to help with the rebuilding of the churches of our New Christians [Moriscos]. Your Majesty should remember that this donation is very meritorious, because it is much needed and very transformative as a most ascetic service to God, and this so that those new to the faith should see, in some way, the glory of Christ and the saints shine in their temples, and should not see that their temples remain in the same smallness and lowness of their mosques, which are quite miserable and ruined.52 The churches of good Christians were made splendid with signs of a belief in Purgatory—​and, more importantly, a belief that purgatorial suffering would one day bring souls to Paradise. In contrast, the churches of bad Christians, since they lacked accumulated ornaments, were sorry, shabby places. We can now return to Luther’s image of Saint Peter’s built from skin, flesh, and bones. On one level, this image refers to the greedy “exactions” of indulgence-​ sellers: living Catholics gave up their money to pay for extravagances in Rome. But on another level, this image is linked to a much deeper critique, one that was not limited to the unfinished shell of Saint Peter’s. All Catholic churches were built and furnished through sacrifices made by the faithful, sacrifices that in most cases were linked to ideas about Purgatory.53 The material splendor of churches was a surface with depth. Most if not all of their shining ornaments were signs for the heinous purgatorial suffering they hoped to alleviate. For Luther, however, these offerings had no effect.


210  The excavation of the dead Yet the significance of Luther’s skeletal Saint Peter’s, his architecture of death, extends beyond emotionally charged metaphor and economies of beautification. In the sixteenth-​century Catholic world, churches were not simply filled with donated symbols of the deceased. They were filled with the actual bodies of the dead. This brings us back to Yanhuitlán.

Archaeologies of death During the first days of investigation against the nobles of Yanhuitlán, two witnesses testified that the dead wife of don Francisco had been hidden in his palace, and received offerings there: there were some small idols there in small dark room, and more than a hundred ceramic dishes, covered by placing one on top of another, as in a meal, and this witness did not see them, except for some bloody straws and branches and feathers which he took for sacrifices made by don Francisco, and he did not arrest him [don Francisco] nor make a search because he was not a judge for that, and so he notified the viceroy, as he said, and that on telling this to the said Juan de Angulo, he responded saying that if you will look there in the said room you will find buried the figure and bundle of the wife of don Francisco, who had died (testimony of Martín de la Mezquita, resident of Antequera, October 14, 1544).54 a relative of this witness (who is a native of Yanhuitlán and who lives in this town and whose name in Mixtec is Xicua) who comes and goes from one town to another told him that when the wife of governor don Francisco died, they had held a great drunken festival to the demon, and they had made a bundle of his wife and don Francisco had it in his house in order to make sacrifices (testimony of Juan, governor of Etlatongo, October 15, 1544).55 In the years of investigation that followed the raid on don Francisco’s palace, all of the Yanhuitlán defendants—​governor don Francisco, ruler don Domingo, and governor don Juan—​were connected to corpses. This subterranean landscape of buried bodies tells us a great deal about traditional Ñudzavui practices, as well as about the Europeans who focused on the hidden dead throughout their investigations. First, consider don Francisco. As quoted earlier, two witnesses (one European, one indigenous) said that don Francisco kept his dead wife in his palace. Or rather—​as explained by later witnesses—​don Francisco’s dead second wife was buried there. His first, unbaptized wife was said to be living in Tula, one of the neighborhoods of Yanhuitlán.56 But don Francisco had married a second time in a Catholic ceremony, to a slave baptized as Ana. One witness (a nobleman from Teposcolula) claimed this church wedding to a slave was meant to insult the Dominican friars then living in Yanhuitlán:


The excavation of the dead 211 He was asked if he knows that when the wife of the said don Francisco died, he made a great sacrifice. He said that what he knows is that the said don Francisco was married in the rites of the Holy Mother Church with a slave of his in order to mock the friars, and has always had and has his natural wife hidden in his house, who is not baptized, nor is a son of theirs (testimony of don Martín, noble from Teposcolula, October 20, 1544).57 Don Martín did not answer the question posed to him by inquisitors, who asked for information about sacrifices performed at Ana’s death. Five other witnesses were more forthcoming. All were indigenous: one was a noble from a town subject to Yanhuitlán, and the rest were former slaves who once served noble households in Yanhuitlán. These witnesses described the death rites of Ana in detail. Sacrifices are mentioned, but more emphasis was placed on describing how Ana’s body was prepared for burial. Where Ana was buried was a point of confusion. Although the first testimonies in mid-​October 1544 talked of her body wrapped into a bundle and buried beneath the floor of a palace room, subsequent witnesses did not mention this. Two were suggestively vague about where Ana’s body ended up: they only say that she was “taken to be buried.” But two other witnesses specified that she was brought to Yanhuitlán’s church and buried therein. Overall, these testimonies about Ana are rich and varied, quite unlike the indigenous responses to questions about ornaments we looked at earlier. Indeed, two of the men who offered telegraphic comments on ornamentos (Domingo and Juan) were quite prolix when talking about Ana’s burial. Although all witnesses testified about the same basic practices, no two accounts are alike; this further underscores the sense that these testimonies were not strongly shaped by the inquisitors. All five are worth reading in detail: She was asked if when the wife of don Francisco died sacrifices were made and if they killed men. She said that what happened is that when the said woman died the said priests cut a certain part of the hair of the said dead woman and they tied it to certain stones and green jewels and they offered them to the demon and they sacrificed many doves and quail and made a stone in the shape of the dead woman and they gave it to the demon, and after all this they brought her to be buried and when don Francisco and all the rest came to the said house they performed autosacrifice from their ears and ate and got drunk, but that although don Francisco said it was his wife, she was not, because the wife of don Francisco is in a town called Tula where there is a large tree, next to Yanhuitlán, and the said woman is called Cacuene, because she is not baptized, and is a woman fifty years of age (testimony of an unnamed indigenous woman, a former slave living in Etlatongo, October 21, 1544).58 When the wife of the said don Francisco died, he ordered the priests make a face in the shape of the woman, and ordered them to cut her hair,


212  The excavation of the dead and they offered this tied to stones to the demon, and he ordered that everyone in his household sacrifice and kill many doves, quail, and dogs, and they burned a great deal of incense, and after all this he ordered that they carry his wife for burial, and after they came he ordered that all sacrifice again and get drunk and call to the devil; this might have been a year ago (testimony of don Juan, ruler of Molcaxtepec, October 21, 1544).59 He was asked if when the other wife of the said don Francisco died, they made sacrifices or killed any Indians; he replied that the said don Francisco made a great sacrifice and he does not know if he ordered the killing of a slave because the said don Francisco did it secretly so that if a slave escaped they would not say anything to the Christians, and that the said don Francisco had some of the hair of his wife cut, and he made with it a face of turquoise, as they were in the custom of making with others in memory of the said dead woman, who was a Christian and married before the Church (testimony of Juan, a former slave living in Etlatongo, May 11, 1545).60 To the sixth question he says that what he knows is that the said don Francisco, being married according to his [indigenous] law with an Indian woman who is not a Christian, with whom he had a son (who is already grown up and they had him hidden without making him a Christian) he went on to marry before the Holy Church with an Indian woman who is now dead, and that when she died, being a Christian, the said don Francisco cut her hair and made of it a face in her shape and in it he attached the hair, and he put a green stone which they call chalchuytl in the mouth of the dead woman, and with it [the mouth-​placed stone] they buried her in the church, and that the said don Francisco ordered a search for many doves and quail and he sacrificed them to the demon because of his wife’s death, and that the first wife is still alive (testimony of Domingo, a former slave living in Etlatongo, May 11, 1545).61 To the sixth question he said that he knows the wife of the said don Francisco who is called Lady Turquoise and who is not baptized and with whom he had a son who is already grown up and who was baptized perhaps three years ago, and that the said don Francisco was married to an Indian woman before the Church to deceive the [Catholic] fathers; this former wife was a Christian and has since died, and when she died the said don Francisco performed many sacrifices and cut her hair and made a face in which he put her hair, and he put a stone in the mouth of the dead woman and they buried her with it in the church (testimony of Juan, a former slave living in Etlatongo, May 11, 1545).62 The inquisitors were clearly concerned about what happened when Ana died. They included questions about her death in the main questionnaires they


The excavation of the dead 213 prepared for witnesses in both October 1544 and in February 1545.63 And when they prepared their official list of accusations against don Francisco himself, Item 6 read “the said don Francisco, when his wife died, buried her in the style of his gentility [su gentilidad], making a bundle of her and having it among his idols and chapels where he burned incense and offered it to the demon.”64 Don Francisco, in his defense, specifically denied this, saying Ana was buried in the Yanhuitlán church by a priest.65 Although imprisoned in Mexico City, he was able summon four European witnesses to testify that his wife—​his legitimate wife, the questionnaire don Francisco prepared for his defense carefully asked—​had indeed been buried in the church. Three of these witnesses had actually been to Ana’s funeral.66 We will return to Ana’s burial shortly. But first I want to consider other bodies: bodies buried as part of sacrifices. All three of the defendants (don Francisco, don Domingo, and don Juan) were accused of commanding the sacrifices of slaves, usually young boys and girls. Don Francisco was accused of commanding that slaves be killed and buried at Middle Hill (Yucumañu) when family members were sick, and to bring rain. Don Domingo was accused of sacrificing and burying several slaves in honor of the death of his brother, the indigenous ruler of Dark Hill (Tiltepec). And don Juan was accused sacrificing a twelve-​year-​old girl at the in-​house burial of his mother-​in-​law in Yanhuitlán itself. The story of some of these corpses, however, did not end with the writing-​ down of witness testimonies. In Mexico City on November 18, 1545, Apostolic Inquisitor Tello de Sandoval decided that inquisitorial representatives in Oaxaca should look for some of these hidden bodies “to see with their own eyes if there are any bones or signs of burials.”67 The following spring, on April 14 and 15, 1546, four excavations were conducted in search of the dead. Four investigators took part: Licentiate Alonso de Aldana, Dominican Friar Francisco Martín, notary Martín de Campos, and Francisco Gómez de Maraver (dean of the Cathedral of Oaxaca and sworn enemy of Francisco de las Casas). For each excavation, the men prepared a notarized document recording what they found (Map 6.1). They began in Yanhuitlán, at the house of don Juan’s mother-​in-​law. There they commanded an excavation of the floor. As they had feared, they found a domed tomb in the earth, over three meters high inside. It contained the bones of a young girl or boy, the palm-​mat-​bundled body of an adult man or woman, and “some green stones and pieces of plates and bowls and eight complete pitchers.”68 The next day, on April 15, the four men went to the nearby town of Tiltepec. There they sought another tomb, containing the bodies of slaves killed by don Domingo when his brother, the ruler of Tiltepec, died. But they were met with disappointment. Their indigenous guides were unable (for whatever reason, and there may have been many) to find the burials. The investigators then continued to a field on the borders of Tiltepec, where they found the buried and bundled body of an adult. Finally, they continued further south,


214  The excavation of the dead

Map 6.1 Locations of excavations in the Nochixtlán Valley, April 1546.

to Yucumañu. Yet again they were met with disappointment. No bodies of sacrificial victims could be located.69 Significantly, no attempt was made on these days to search for Ana’s body, either within Yanhuitlán’s church or in the palace of don Francisco. This at first seems odd, since either grave would have been comparatively easy to locate. As I will explain shortly, the failure to excavate was no accident. To understand this subterranean landscape of burials—​of wives, brothers, slaves—​and why it was explored as part of the Yanhuitlán investigations, we need to first consider the ideas of Ñudzavui traditionalists, and then return to those of Catholic Europeans. The burial descriptions which appear in the Yanhuitlán documents are in keeping with what we know archaeologically about late prehispanic and early viceregal mortuary practice in the Mixteca. As revealed by excavations in the house of don Juan’s mother-​in-​law, the Ñudzavui hollowed out domed tombs in the ground under their houses. A number of these subfloor tombs were excavated in the 1930s and 1940s. Their chambers had not collapsed, and so were relatively dirt-​free when opened five centuries after being sealed.70


The excavation of the dead 215 The spaces were conceptualized as human-​made caves. Bats were sacrificed in some of them, and actual caves were used elsewhere in the Mixteca to house especially famous ancestors.71 Burial goods found in twentieth-​century excavations included items of greenstone, ceramic, and turquoise mosaic—​ the same kinds of grave goods described in 1546. And, of course, these vaults also housed the bundled bodies of the dead. The physical presence of the dead beneath the homes of the living was a social presence as well.72 The dead were nourished by preparing them meals of human food.73 This explains all of the ceramics found during the excavations in the house of don Juan’s mother-​in-​law (“pieces of plates and bowls and eight complete pitchers”) as well as the accumulated vessels described in the August 1544 raid on don Francisco’s palace (“there were more than a hundred ceramic dishes, covered by putting one on top of another, as in a meal”). The dead were also fed in other ways. Like gods and goddesses, the ancestors of Ñudzavui nobles occasionally hungered for sacrifices:  incense smoke, dogs, birds, even human flesh.74 We read earlier how Ana, after her death, was feasted with such offerings. The postmortem lives of the dead also explain the complicated manipulations of Ana’s body, which were intended to preserve her as a social being. When Ana died, so claimed witnesses, stone was placed in her mouth—​probably to capture her breath-​soul.75 Her hair was cut, and her body wrapped within a bundle of reed matting or cloth. The harvested hair was then tied to other objects, described variously by witnesses as “green jewels,” “a stone in the shape of the dead woman,” and a “face of turquoise.” These probably refer to two kinds of artifact. The first was a penate, a small greenstone image of the bundled body (Figure 6.4).76 Penates were usually pierced in back; the Yanhuitlán trial suggests that these holes were threaded with human hair. Indeed, in surviving examples the holes usually fall just above the figure’s neck, which would allow the locks to flow out of the sides of the stone face.77 Ana’s harvested hair also seems to have been tied to a turquoise mosaic burial mask, several dozen of which exist today. A spectacular example is in the British Museum (Figure 6.5). It may have been collected in early 1530s Oaxaca by Dominican Friar Domingo de Betanzos:  one of several “thick masks furnished with turquoises through which he said the demons were speaking to those peoples.”78 Indeed, the British Museum mask has shell eyes and an open mouth filled with shell teeth. These inlays would have animated the wearer—​the deceased wearer, as the mask’s wooden backing lacks eye and mouth holes—​and allowed him or her to look at descendants, speak to them, and consume offerings of food. Overall, the preparations of Ana’s body created a series of implants and explants. The actual corpse would be at the center of the burial, a green stone in her mouth and negative spaces in her hair where some of it had been cut. This harvested hair was re-​attached to two different models of the deceased: a turquoise mask of the face, and a greenstone model of the body. The corpse was


216  The excavation of the dead

Figure 6.4 Greenstone penates, front and back views (late Postclassic to early 1500s). 3.0 × 1.6 cm; 5.5 × 2.6 cm; 4.3 × 2.0 cm; 3.3 × 1.8 cm. National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Catalog Number 17/​8111. Photo by the author.

wrapped up in a bundle of cloth or matting, and the amorphous form made human again through an open-​eyed, open-​mouthed mask. These preparations probably connect to Alfred Gell’s theories of animation in Art and Agency. Humans often create animate images by giving them lots of layers: wrapping them up, or excavating cavities in which relics are embedded.79 The multiple layers involved in the preparation of a Ñudzavui burial bundle—​the wrapped body, the stone bead in the mouth, the models of face and body threaded with hair—​reanimated the dead person by creating a complex, multilayered being.80 Page  82 of the Codex Nuttall provides a visual summary of these post-​ mortem treatments (Figure  6.6). To the lower right is a rounded mortuary


The excavation of the dead 217

Figure 6.5 Turquoise mosaic burial mask (late Postclassic). Turquoise and shell on wood, 16.8 × 15.2 × 13.5  cm. British Museum, London, Am,St.400. © Trustees of the British Museum.

bundle. It wears a turquoise mask with open eyes and open mouth. Before the bundle, an attendant has placed a stack of tortillas, a flower garland, a tripod-​footed vessel filled with foaming cacao, and a bowl filled with pulque. The attendant holds another bowl in his hand, perhaps so he can drink with the deceased. Thus the preparation of the dead according to prehispanic rituals was concerned with keeping them alive. By providing bundled bodies with open eyes and mouths, and by capturing their soul in a mouth-​implanted greenstone, and by burying them in subfloor tombs, the deceased could remain part of the lives of those still living above ground. In contrast, when witnesses in the Yanhuitlán trial described human sacrifices, they often took place in the countryside, the victims’ bodies buried far from human habitation—​a death probably feared as a dehumanized, isolated fate. Perhaps the same thing was felt about newly introduced Christian burial practices, in which the dead were taken away from the homes of their loved ones and placed


218  The excavation of the dead

Figure 6.6 Page 82 of the Codex Nuttall. In the lower right corner, a mortuary bundle wearing a turquoise mosaic mask receives offerings. Pigment and gesso on deerskin, 23.5 × 19 cm. British Museum, London, Am1902,0308.1. © Trustees of the British Museum.

under the floor of a temple to an alien god. Indeed, placing Ana’s body in the floor of a newly constructed church might have been seen as reducing her to a dedicatory sacrifice, meant to ensoul the new Christian structure (see Chapter 5). But where did Ana’s body end up? Did she lie in the foundations of the Yanhuitlán church, or did she stay at home, beneath the palace of her husband? And if she were buried beneath the floor of her husband’s palace, then whose body had been interred in the church? Or—​as Juan of Etlatongo suggested in April 1546—​did don Francisco take advantage of the body’s distribution in mortuary rites to keep part of her close, below the floor of his palace (the mask and figure threaded with her hair) while the rest of her remains were taken away to the church?81 And why, since inquisitors were concerned with Ana’s burial from the start of in the investigation, did they not try to answer these questions? Why did they fail to look for her on April 14 and 15, 1546? Remember that they began their search in Yanhuitlán, and had no compunction in digging up a tomb in Yanhuitlán itself, in the house of don Juan’s mother-​in-​law. After this excavation, they went on to look for bodies that don Francisco supposedly killed in sacrifice. Yet they did not look


The excavation of the dead 219 for the presence or absence of a body in don Francisco’s house, or open Ana’s (supposed) grave in Yanhuitlán’s church. The reason Ana’s body was left in peace was because Europeans trying to spread Christianity in a hostile land thought it better to preserve the ambiguity of her location, and the form her burial took. And so now we shift from the Ñudzavui architecture of death to its Catholic counterpart. Sixteenth-​century Catholics believed in the resurrection of the body at the Last Judgment. This was not just a belief in the afterlife:  it was a belief that souls would be reunited with their fleshly casings. Early modern religious imagery often made this explicit:  at the sounding of an angelic trumpet, graves burst open and the cloth-​shrouded dead crawl out, flesh regrowing on desiccated bones. Michelangelo’s fresco of the Last Judgment in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, completed in 1541, is especially graphic (Figure 6.7 and Figure 6.8). The Catholic body, then, needed to be treated carefully after death, and elaborate mortuary rituals had developed by the 1500s. After someone died—​ideally with a priest and family gathered round—​ their body would be wrapped in a cloth sheet (the mortaja), and sewn shut. The wrapped corpse would then be carried in procession to the site of burial—​ wills often specified a time of day, and requested the presence of mourners (such as members of confraternities or the poor). Most wills also asked for at least one Mass to be said before the actual burial. During this service, the shrouded body was placed in the church on a low temporary scaffold (tumba) and draped with black cloth.82 It was also customary to leave gifts of bread, wine, and wax (the añal) beside the laden tumba.83 When Mass ended, the body was interred.84 All of these rituals seem to have taken place when Ana died: this witness being in the said town of Yanhuitlán saw the performance of certain honors and obsequies, and the saying of certain Masses in the church of the said town, and a tumba covered with a black cloth that they said was the grave of the said wife of don Francisco, and over the said grave this witness saw the saying of certain responses and an offering of bread and wax, and this is what he knows about this question (testimony of Juan Alonso, October 16, 1545).85 But there was one intangible aspect of Ana’s funeral that would have been assumed, and not seen, by all European viewers. Her body was buried in consecrated ground. This was essential for Catholic burial. Indeed, denial of burial in consecrated ground was a way to punish criminals and excommunicates.86 Although cemeteries—​an inheritance of the pagan Roman past—​had been fairly common in the early Middle Ages, during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries it became more and more common for people to be buried beneath the floors of the churches where they worshipped.87 By the sixteenth century, relatively few Iberian Catholics were buried in outdoor


Figure 6.7 Michelangelo Buonarroti, The Last Judgment (circa 1536–​1541). Fresco, 14.6 × 13.41 m. Sistine Chapel, Vatican Palace, Vatican State. Photo Erich Lessing/​Art Resource, New York.


The excavation of the dead 221

Figure 6.8 Detail of the resurrection of the dead, from the lower left corner of Michelangelo Buonarroti, The Last Judgment (circa 1536–​1541). Sistine Chapel, Vatican Palace, Vatican State. Photo Scala/​ Art Resource, New York.

cemeteries (the main exception being small towns with small churches).88 Instead, urban churches in Iberia and New Spain had deep holes excavated into their floors, which created mass graves that slowly filled with bodies. In Valencia, for example, every sixteenth-​century will I have seen requests burial in a specific pit (fos) within a specific church. Cemeteries are never mentioned. Valencian practice was hardly unusual. Wills from sixteenth-​ century Mexico City always ask for burial within particular churches. Even today, the floors of churches in Trujillo (home town of Yanhuitlán encomendero Francisco de las Casas) are literally paved with gravestones, many dating to the sixteenth century (Figure  6.9). Furthermore, it was common for family members to request burial in the same mass grave.89 When don Sancho de Cardona prepared his will in 1570, he asked to be


222  The excavation of the dead

Figure 6.9 Tombstones in the floor of the Church of Saint Mary the Greater, Trujillo (see also Figure 4.1). Photo by the author, August 2009.

interred in the pit “in which are buried my parents and grandparents, which is in the Monastery of Saint Francis of this city” (see Figure 1.4).90 Mass graves might seem cold and impersonal to us now, but to sixteenth-​century Catholics they were intimate, familial spaces. And they were grandly cosmological spaces as well. The accumulation of corpses in the foundations of Catholic churches turned those buildings into material models of the mystical body of Christ. This was a corporate vision originating in the New Testament. Christ was the “head” of the Church. His “members” were composites built from the bodies of the faithful.91 “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable unto God. … For just as we have many members in one body and all members have not the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ” (Romans 12:1, 4–​5). “For no one ever


The excavation of the dead 223 hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the Church, because we are members of His body” (Ephesians 5:29–​30). These ancient images of the mystical body of Christ had not been forgotten in the sixteenth century, and they were linked to ideas about Purgatory. Alejo de Venegas (who we met earlier) described “the union, which is grace, with which any Christian in baptism is made a faithful member of the head [of the Church] who is Christ our Redeemer.”92 “All of us Christians are mystical members of one head, who is Christ, as the Apostle says … and since those who are in Purgatory are close and have need, the pope succors them with the vast treasures of the Church: and the lesser members should do for them [the souls in Purgatory] that which they [the living] would desire that others should do for them, when they should be in Purgatory.”93 “Suffrage, which relieves sin, is extended to all of the members of the mystical body.”94 In other words, Martin Luther’s metaphorical image of Saint Peter’s built from bones and flesh and skin had an uncomfortably literal relationship to sixteenth-​century Catholic churches in general. Through the internment of hundreds of human bodies in a church’s foundations, the entire edifice was transformed into a material model of the mystical Church-​body of Christ. This brings us back to the unexcavated Ana. From a Catholic point of view, it would have been a terrible thing if this baptized, converted woman had been buried in unconsecrated ground under don Francisco’s palace. She would have been excluded from incorporation into a mystical body of Christ that was both symbolic and literal. But even more disturbing would have been the idea that her body had been buried in the Yanhuitlán church with a green stone in its mouth, as a “sign of belief in the devil.” Canon law forbade the burial of heretics and pagans in consecrated churches and church cemeteries. Indeed, if it were proven that a heretic or pagan was buried within a church, the church became polluted. One corrupt body threatened the mystical body as a whole.95 All religious activities had to be stopped until the offending body was exhumed, and the church purified in a ritual of “reconciliation.” In sixteenth-​ century Iberia, these disinterments were not uncommon. Inquisitorial Autos de Fe often included victims sentenced to execution after their natural deaths. Effigies of the condemned were therefore prepared, and their bones dug up and placed in boxes to be burned. Such objects are depicted in an engraving about two Autos de Fe held in Valladolid in 1559 (Figure  6.10 and Figure  6.11). The image (which combines in one visual space rituals that took place at different times in different locations) includes a procession with effigies and boxes of bones.96 According to alphabetic records, there were indeed several postmortem “executions” in the 1559 spectacle: “And her bones should be taken out of the Monastery of Saint Benedict in Valladolid where she was buried and should be burned with her effigy …”97 A decade later, in Valencia, the bones and effigy of a Muslim alfaquí who died sick in prison were “relaxed” for burning to secular authorities in an Auto de Fe on July 6, 1567.98 And thirty


224  The excavation of the dead

Figure 6.10 Auto de Fe held in Valladolid in 1559. Hispanische Inquisition (1560?). Ink on paper, 59 × 141  cm. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département Estampes et photographie, RESERVE FT 6-​ QB-​ 201 (172, 1).

years after that, on the other side of the Atlantic, a Catholic priest disinterred the body of a Mesoamerican noble from an in-​church tomb: “since the soul of that body was burning in the flames of Hell along with the demons it had adored, it was not proper that the body be buried inside the church and temple of our true God and Lord, or in the company of the recently baptized children.”99 Nevertheless, canon law also stated that the purification of a violated church only needed to happen if the violation were “notorious,” that is, publicly known.100 A church was not considered violated if the act were not public knowledge. A  heretic might be burning in Hell, but until his crimes were discovered, his corpse’s presence in a church would not endanger the mystical body. Another qualifying point involved the task of locating posthumously condemned corpses. Given the use of mass graves, it might be hard to find the body of a heretic and remove its contaminating presence. The use of sewn-​ up burial shrouds would have kept the bones of the dead separate for a time. But even so, locating one body in a charnel mass was difficult. An inquisitorial mandate from mid-​sixteenth-​century Valencia addressed this very issue. Blanquina Gacent was dead, but she had been found guilty of following the “religion of the Jews” (ley de los judios) in life. Inquisitors therefore ordered that the day of the Auto a statue which represents the person of Blanquina Gacent should be taken to the catafalque, and her sentence read there, and we command that the bones of the aforementioned should be exhumed, if it is possible to discern and separate [these bones] from the bones of faithful Christians …101


Figure 6.11 Detail showing a coffin of exhumed bones and a victim in effigy. Hispanische Inquisition (1560?). Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département Estampes et photographie, RESERVE FT 6-​QB-​201 (172, 1).


226  The excavation of the dead Ana’s uncertain burial in Yanhuitlán therefore raised a number of difficult questions about purification and pollution. In the end, what really mattered about Ana’s body was not whether it had been buried in the church with marks of “belief in the devil.” What mattered was whether this was public knowledge, notorious. I suspect material evidence about Ana’s body was not sought on April 14 and 15 (as other bodies were) because inquisitors thought it better for any burial impropriety on sacred ground be left hidden, unknown. That way no purificatory acts would be needed—​acts that might cast further doubt on the already tenuous position of the Catholic community in Yanhuitlán. Indeed, the term notorio (notorious) is used dozens of times in the Yanhuitlán trial. We can assume many of its appearances were shaped by the leading questions of inquisitors. But inquisitors never used this term to talk about Ana’s body. The interrogation questionnaire inquisitors prepared in February 1545 asks about burial rites and sacrifices, but not for clarification of where Ana was interred (even though testimonies gathered the previous fall, testimonies clearly consulted to write the new questionnaire, left no doubt that the location of her body was disputed).102 In contrast, when don Francisco responded to the accusations made against him, he made sure to describe the Catholic rites performed at Ana’s church funeral as público y notorio.103 But even if a Catholic burial had taken place, Ana’s body would have been hidden, sewn into a shroud. No one would have noticed if her hair had been cut, or if she had a greenstone in her mouth, or if her face were covered by a turquoise mosaic mask.

“God did not wish that she should be buried in the cemetery” The dead were also uneasy in sixteenth-​century Valencia. Two references to exhumation appear in don Sancho’s file. The first involves the practice of digging up, and then burning, the bodies of condemned heretics. One of the questions the admiral prepared for his defense in November 1569 asked witnesses whether Francisco Tarrega (the lawyer who testified against don Sancho on May 4 and 5, 1568) was a Converso: a converted Jew. By referring to ancestry, don Sancho probably hoped to call into doubt Tarrega’s testimony.104 This might seem like an odd reversal of don Sancho’s stance in support of Conversos falsely accused by the Inquisition in 1540—​remember that this is why inquisitors began keeping an eye on the admiral in the first place. But the issue of don Sancho’s “tolerance,” as we have seen in previous chapters, was inseparable from questions of hierarchy and power. It was not a contradiction for the admiral to champion Conversos in a struggle against inquisitors, yet also seek to delegitimize an enemy through reference to Jewish blood. And so one witness—​ don Sancho’s secretary—​ responded to the question about Tarrega’s ancestry in this way: To the twenty-​fourth question he says that it is true that this witness has heard tell from persons from Lérida that the said Miçer Tarrega is


The excavation of the dead 227 very much a Converso and that they burned his father or disinterred his father’s bones and burned them (testimony of Domingo Pérez, November 16, 1569).105 The second reference to the excavation of the dead involves the destruction of a saintly tomb when the Mosque of Revelation was razed on Ash Wednesday 1563.106 But like the tombs of Saint Wilborad and Saint Rachild in the town of Saint Gallen some thirty years before, the tomb of Abū Aḥmad Jaʿfar banū Sīd-​Bono al-​Khuzaʿi was empty. Here is what don Sancho himself had to say, in testimony given a month after his arrest: To the fourth point he says that what he remembers is that Fernando de Orduña, his servant, told him in ’63 that he went to tear down the said mosque by order of the Holy Office [of the Inquisition], and he did indeed tear it down, and they looked for the bones of a Muslim saint who they said was buried there, and they did not find them.107 Perhaps, like Protestants in Saint Gallen, Catholic witnesses took this emptiness to be a kind of proof: proof that the tomb was not holy at all, and that Muslims who thought so had been deceived. It probably did not occur to any of the tomb’s desecrators that its very presence was a strange thing. Catholics, as we saw earlier, filled their holy places with the dead. But for Muslims, burial in a mosque was generally taboo.108 In part, this had to do with a preference for burial in virgin soil—​ something that the built-​up space inside a mosque was definitely not.109 It also had to do with ideas about purity and putrefaction. Mosques were ritually and physically clean places:  water was always available outside their entrances so the faithful could perform ritual ablutions before entering. As we saw in the last chapter, this was one of the features of the rebuilt Mosque of Revelation: “it was made a mosque with some large basins for washing and performing daily prayers.”110 The dead were not even brought into mosques for funeral services: these took place in cemeteries.111 Burying large numbers of the dead inside a mosque would, of course, fill it with the smell of decay. This was a common complaint made by early modern Catholics about their own corpse-​filled churches: “the bodies give off bad smells.”112 In contrast, a Morisco prayer to accompany ritual ablutions (probably written in the kingdom of Aragón in the sixteenth century) pleaded “Lord! I beg that you would let me smell the fragrances of your paradise, in company of the good; be pleased with me; with your help, O my Lord!, I hope that you should not let me smell the bad odors of the fire, and of that ugly and evil house where the bad dwell. Oh Lord of all things!”113 But in Islam, as in Catholicism, holy bodies did not rot. They remained incorruptible. This may explain the occasional presence of burials within early modern mosques in Spain and North Africa—​including the presence of al-​Khuzaʿi’s tomb in the Mosque of Revelation.114


228  The excavation of the dead Yet these were exceptions. Most Muslim burials took place in cemeteries. As early as 1526—​as Islam was being officially prohibited by Charles V—​ Morisco communities in Valencia asked for, and received, permission to maintain their burial grounds.115 These would be spaces of controversy and conflict in the decades which followed. In 1566, the Instructions and Ordinances for the New Converts recommended that cemeteries in Morisco villages be surrounded by gated walls, and their keys kept by the rector. This was so that burial practices could be monitored.116 Long after the official conversion of Valencia’s Muslims, Islamic death rites were still being maintained. Thus in July and August 1544—​shortly after Bartolomé de los Ángeles denounced don Sancho before the Inquisition, and around the same time that don Francisco’s palace was raided in Yanhuitlán—​a series of reports were written on Morisco parishes in Valencia.117 A  year earlier, in 1543, Charles V prohibited the Inquisition from dealing with Moriscos. The 1544 reports, made by seven parish priests, commented on the effects of this ban on the conversion process. Four witnesses talked about the continuation of Muslim burial practices. The most detailed commentary was given by Joanes Cuchillo, rector of the towns of Quart and Quartell: they bury Muslim-​style, making the grave narrow so that [the body] does not fit except on its side, and they do not throw dirt on it [the body], but rather they place some bricks so that earth does not fall on them [the dead], and they do not sew the shrouds but rather tie the shroud at the head and at the feet without sewing it and before placing the bricks on top they untie it … a Morisco told this witness that they untie it [the shroud] and put the body on its side in burial so that on the Day of Judgment they should be able to rise up faster and that they do not throw dirt on first so that the dirt does not soil them [the dead], and thus they leave the body in a hollow, and that after they have been buried, they place a pitcher of water above the hollow, and this witness made the justice of the place where this witness resides remove one [a pitcher] from a grave (testimony July 31, 1544).118 The reason graves were dug narrowly, so that the body had to be placed on its side, was because the dead were oriented to Mecca. The face of the dead person was to face forever the center of the Muslim world. This, of course, relates to one of the five pillars of Islam mentioned in the last chapter: ṣalāt. Every day, five times a day, Muslims everywhere in the world would stop what they were doing in order to turn towards Mecca in prayer. In a world without time zones, this would have been imagined as a concentric coordination of bodies, radiating out from the Kaʿba. Muslim burial rites fossilized this act, inscribing it into the ground. Like iron filings around a magnet, the bodies of the dead were suspended within the lines of force radiating from a sky-​fallen stone.119 The use of narrow, brick-​covered hollow graves was also described in 1544 by Marcus Didago (rector of Benifayro and surrounding villages) and


The excavation of the dead 229 Lazarus Despuela (presbyter of Benimodo). Despuela also mentioned the use of unsewn, untied shrouds, and the placing of small pitchers of water and branches of myrtle on the graves.120 An image of such offerings was sketched in 1563 by Anton van den Wyngaerde (Figure 6.12). When this Flemish artist passed through Sagunto on his way to the city of Valencia (a few kilometers down the coast), he drew the low mounds of five graves in a Muslim cemetery. Small bowls have been placed on three of the mounds; van den Wyngaerde wrote that “They put water and honey on the tombs because they believe

Figure 6.12 Anton van den Wyngaerde, sketches of Morisco graves in Sagunto (1563). Ink on paper, detail 24 × 19 cm. Victoria and Albert Museum, Museum Number 8455:22. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.


230  The excavation of the dead the spirits of the dead come each morning to eat and drink.”121 One of the graves also has a footed cup filled with branches—​probably sprigs of myrtle. As van den Wyngaerde suggests, water or aloja (a drink of water and honey) and sweet-​scented myrtle offered refreshment to the dead.122 During the first seven days in the ground, Muslims suffered “the punishment of the tomb,” a fiery supernatural test. Yet even after this had passed, the use of baked bricks to support the roof of the grave kept the place symbolically hot.123 Water and myrtle provided cooling relief. Christian burial denied all of these things to the Muslim dead—​ and so survivors sometimes tried to put things right. Five years after van den Wyngaerde’s visit to Sagunto, Miguel Muça was arrested in Chiva (thirty kilometers west of Valencia city). He was accused of disinterring a Morisca buried according to Christian rites, and then reburying her in Muslim fashion. He and accomplice Miguel Peu Peu were found guilty, and condemned to appear in an Auto de Fe in May 1571.124 Three more men from Chiva—​Miguel Eça, Obaydal Abiax, and Miguel Açen Alondi—​appeared in an Auto de Fe the next year, condemned for trying to prevent a Catholic priest from burying a Morisca woman.125 Similar struggles were also taking place in Chelva, a small town on the main road linking Valencia to Madrid. On the last day of August 1568, a Morisca villager died. The vicar and sacristan headed towards her house “with the cross to carry her for burial as a Christian.” But a group of Moriscos intercepted the pair, and buried the woman with Islamic rites. The vicar and sacristan were not deterred, however, and got an order from the local viscount to have the woman’s body disinterred for Christian reburial. But as her body was being dug up (desenterrado), a large group of Moriscos arrived. They began to stone the clerics desecrating the woman’s grave. “And they made a great deal of trouble, so that they [the clerics] were forced to flee from there, which has caused a great deal of scandal.”126 One of the Moriscos involved, Pedro Paniza, was tried by the Inquisition, found guilty, and banished from Chelva for a year.127 During that same August of 1568, one of the most important inhabitants of the Muslim quarter of Valencia, Amet Alatar (or Alatar the Elder) was arrested and placed in an inquisitorial prison.128 As we saw in Chapter  4, Alatar was named a number of times in the don Sancho documents, and was even questioned by inquisitors on July 7, 1569. (He said nothing).129 On his arrest, Alatar was accused (among other things) of having disinterred his wife six years before. According to a family servant (a Morisca named Isabel Cuchey), when Alatar’s wife Marien died she was buried as a Christian—​but within the cemetery of Mislata, a Muslim community to the west of the city of Valencia. The next day Marien’s husband and son (Joan Baptista or Alatar the Younger, who like his father said nothing when summoned to give testimony against don Sancho in the summer of 1569) returned to the cemetery.130 With the help of a slave (Joanico) and a man from the Valley of Sego, they dug up Marien’s body. The wax crosses that had been placed with her were


The excavation of the dead 231 removed. Her body was repositioned in the ground and covered with wide stones to protect her from the earth. Her grave was then filled in. Amet Alatar supposedly returned to this place many times, to pray with small stones in his hands. Afterwards, he cast these stones on the ground, above where his wife’s head lay. This practice is attested throughout early modern North Africa; it was based on a ḥadīth which said Muḥammad left pebbles on the tomb of his infant son as tokens of his visits.131 The previous examples date to the 1540s and 1560s, but a struggle over the bodies of the dead had been an aspect of Muslim-​Christian tensions in Valencia since the disastrous summer of 1521, when urban rebels force-​ baptized the Muslim subjects of their noble enemies. An investigation of these events began in 1524, and two questions dealt with burial and disinterment: Item: if the mosques which the said new converts had before their conversion have been made into churches, and if they were blessed and if the divine offices were celebrated in them, and if there were burials in them, as with churches, and if the said converts went to confession, and joined in communion, and received other sacraments, and if Masses and all the other divine offices were said in them. […] Item: if after some of the converts had been buried in the said churches, some of them have been dug up and buried in another place, and where they have been buried.132 Almost a dozen witnesses confirmed that converted mosques were used as burial grounds for Muslim and Christian dead.133 Two witnesses described how such burials were later dug up and removed, apparently as Muslims began to reclaim their church-​converted mosques. Hierónimo García, presbyter of Algezira, testified that in the said Church of Alberich, which used to be a mosque, were buried two or three Old Christians, which—​after the churches returned to being mosques—​the Muslims have disinterred, and they brought them for [re] burial in the chapel of the lord in the castle.134 Luis García, presbyter of Oliva, described an apparently frustrated attempt at Muslim disinterment: And he said that he only knows that a Muslim requested that a daughter of his, who was buried in the cemetery of the Christians—​that he wanted to dig her up, about which he requested advice from a chaplain, and the chaplain told him that he didn’t think that they would allow her to be dug up.135


232  The excavation of the dead A final testimony eerily echoes the fights over bodies in Chiva and Chelva we read earlier. But in this case, living Muslims and Christians do not struggle over a corpse. The corpse itself moved: And he said that what he knows is that three women were buried in the cemetery of the Christians, and that when bringing [the body of] a Muslim woman, or New Convert, for burial, it fell two times from the casket; the first time the bottom of the casket fell out and fell to the ground, and the other time they put her on top of the casket and she fell to the ground. And he said that about two and a half years later, more or less, a brother of the said dead woman, talking about the deceased, said that it had been a miracle, that God did not wish that she should be buried in the cemetery of the Christians, since she was not a Christian.136 The brother’s words can be read in two ways, depending on whether one assumes that the God being talked about is Dios or Allah. The Christian God would have wanted to prevent the burial of a Muslim woman in a Christian burial ground because—​as discussed earlier—​her presence would contaminate consecrated earth. But Allah would have wanted to prevent the burial because a true believer should be buried in a Muslim cemetery, with Muslim rites: on her side, facing Mecca, and protected from falling earth by slabs of baked clay. Catholic, Muslim, Ñudzavui:  one thing all these traditions shared was the grouping of bodies to create postmortem images of an ideal community, a community in dialogue with the living. Through material practices of burial and commemoration, the dead were kept alive, connected to the world and worship of survivors. A  Catholic smelling the scent of death in church, or seeing a cloth ornament donated by a loved one’s will, was to offer a prayer in aid of suffering souls in Purgatory, a prayer that would open a connection between this world and the next. The bodies of the dead in Muslim cemeteries radiated out from Mecca, just as the bodies of the living did in prayer, and the faithful were encouraged to ease hot entombments with refreshing drinks and sweet-​scented branches. The open-​eyed, open-​mouthed bundles of Ñudzavui ancestors were placed under the homes of the living, where they could be regularly fed. Contrast all this with Protestant attitudes. Reformed churches, of course, eventually created their own cemeteries. Early Reformation imagery, however, placed emphasis on the isolation of death. As in life, the soul was alone before God. Purgatory had been sealed off: the living could no longer intervene.137 Five years after Luther described a Saint Peter’s built from bones, he declared that “Everyone must fight his own battle with death by himself, alone.” This was probably meant to critique Catholic visions of dying souls aided by angels and surrounded by priest and family. And in 1527, Luther claimed that when he died he “would rather be laid to rest in the Elbe or in the forest” than in a disordered Catholic burial ground. Luther was willing


The excavation of the dead 233 to share the fate of pagans, heretics, and criminals: burial in unconsecrated earth.138 This radically simplified, isolated inhumation is depicted in a 1521 woodcut (Figure  6.13). An unshrouded body is buried, not in the midst of

Figure 6.13 Title page of Johann Eberlin von Günzburg, Das Lob der Pfarrer (1521). Zentralbibliothek Zürich, shelf mark 18.84: b,2.


234  The excavation of the dead a massive funeral with priests and black palls and candles and offerings of bread and wine, but by one other man. Jesus looks down from above, blessing the desolate event.

Notes 1 Duffy, Voices, 87. 2 Schmitt, Ghosts, 89; Kramer and Sprenger, Malleus, xxii; Normand and Roberts Witchcraft, 84; see also Kany, Fiestas, 120–​21; Foster, Culture, 201–​3, 207; Christian, Local, 35–​36; Hutton, Rise, 106; Salvador Esteban, “Calendario,” 299, 302, 304. 3 Roper, “Martin,” 376, 383–​84. 4 Micah’s gory image was well-​known in the sixteenth century; it was also evoked by Bartolomé de las Casas in his “Razon tercera” (las Casas, Entre, unpaginated). 5 Kramer and Sprenger, Malleus, 100–​ 101, 146; Brauner, “Martin”; Haustein, Martin; Waite, “Talking,” 141–​43; Roper, “Martin,” 371–​72. 6 Eire, War, 113. 7 Schmitt, Ghosts, 6; Duffy, Stripping, 303–​10; see also Huizinga, Autumn, 156–​72. 8 Radcliffe-​Brown, Andaman, 285–​99; Binford, “Mortuary.” 9 Leach, “Discussion,” 122; Finucane, “Sacred,” 41; Shanks and Tilley, “Ideology,” 152; Bloch and Perry, “Introduction,” 36; on the analysis of cemeteries, see Brown, “On,” 5–​6; Shanks and Tilley, “Ideology”; Gillespie, “Personhood”; Joyce, “Burying”; King, “Marking”; Barber and Joyce, “Polity”; Morris, “Archaeology”; Davis, “Sacred”; Roberts, Contesting; Koslofsky, Reformation; Hutchinson and Aragon, “Collective”; Parker Pearson, “Mortuary”; Bloch, “Tombs”; Verdery, Political. 10 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 184r. 11 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 196r. 12 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 199r. 13 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 199v. 14 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 206v. 15 In 1550, a set of ornaments for the Yanhuitlán church would be sent from Mexico City. This was not their original destination:  they had been gathered for a failed missionary campaign to China, organized by Friar Domingo de Betanzos and Bishop Juan de Zumárraga (O’Gorman, “Mandamientos,” 279; see also Gruzinski, Eagle). 16 Testimony February 24, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 193v). 17 Testimony July 18, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 243v). 18 The tepid Catholicism of many Old Christians was a constant source of complaint throughout Iberia, from 1478 Seville (Cantera Burgos, “Fernando,” 308) to sixteenth-​century Granada (Resines, Catecismo, 95). 19 Testimony July 20, 1544 (BPR II 555, 7r). 20 Testimony July 23, 1544 (BPR II 555, 17v). 21 BPR II 555, 60r. 22 BL Egerton 1832, 28v. 23 BL Egerton 1832, 79v. 24 BL Egerton 1832, 156r. 25 BL Egerton 1832, 156v. The use of mosque incomes to pay for church appointment and maintenance was constantly being recommended. From August 17, 1548: “las olim mezquitas houiesen de seruir para las luminarias e ornamentas e fabricas de dichas olim mezquitas et nunc hechas yglesias” (ARCSCC 5837).


The excavation of the dead 235 26 Diccionario, 58; Valdés, Diálogo, 127; Lohman Villena, “El encomendero,” 129. 27 Halavais, Like; Duffy, Voices, 56–​57; Christian, Local, 20. 28 Nader, Liberty, 21. 29 ARCSCC 5831 and 5832, unpaginated; more generally, see Franco Llopis, “La erección.” 30 Ehlers, Between, 18–​22,  84–​86. 31 Unfortunately, most of these records were burned during the Spanish Civil War. But as an example, the 1570 Book of Pastoral Visits (Libro de Visitas Pastoriales) of Archbishop Juan de Ribera lists over fifty towns included in that year’s visitation (ADV 133/​001). 32 ARCSCC 5832, unpaginated. 33 For other discussions of ornamentos in new churches, see Lohmann Villena, “El encomendero,” 127–​28 (Peru); Pérez Boyero, “La permisividad,” 493 (Granada); and Montes González, “Una donación” (Mexico City). 34 Duffy, Voices. 35 Mártir de Anglería, Una embajada, 11; Duffy, Stripping, 133–​35; for testaments from viceregal Yanhuitlán, see Frassani, “Church,” 182–​87. 36 AGN Bienes Nacionales Vol. 745 Exp. 2, 2v–​4r. 37 Millares Carlo and Mantecón, Índice, 2: 143. 38 AGN Bienes Nacionales Vol. 824 Exp. 24, 2r–​2v; see also Vol. 1135 Exp. 1, 6v; Vol. 446 Exp. 9, 6v–​7r, 9r–​9v; Millares Carlo and Mantecón, Índice, 1: 286; Millares Carlo and Mantecón, Índice, 2: 114–​11, 145, 158–​61. 39 May 11, 1546 (ARCSCC 12765). 40 February 28, 1562 (ARCSCC 12779). See also Halavais, Like, 120–​21; Duffy, Voices,  75–​78. 41 ARV Justicia Civil 1145 Manus 26, unpaginated. 42 May 26, 1560 (ARCSCC 12777); December 28, 1563 [= 1562] and February 20, 1563 (ARCSCC 12781). 43 AHN Osuna C 647 Exp. 10, 5v–​6r, 7r, 14r–​14v. 44 AHN Osuna C 647 Exp. 10, 13v; Graullera Sanz, “Asesinato.” 45 Olucha Montins, La ventana, 76–​77; Benito Doménech, “El maestro,” 235–​38; Benito Doménech, Vicent, 168–​73. Another early-​sixteenth-​century example is in the collections of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil (MASP.00428). 46 Bynum, “Seeing”; Hamann, “Descartes.” 47 Saint Gregory was also believed to be the author of a prayer that hastened the release of souls in Purgatory (Rappaport and Cummins, Beyond, 93). 48 Eire, From, 25–​29, 172–​231; LeGoff, Birth, 88–​94; Schmitt, Ghosts,  31–​32. 49 Venegas, Agonia, 213. 50 Venegas, Agonia, 62, 235. 51 Duffy, Voices, 182; see also Herzog, Upholding, 180–​96. 52 AHN Inq. Lib. 911, 411v. The seductive splendor of Catholic churches was also discussed in the Americas: Cañeque, “Imaging,” 51; Hanks, Converting,  64–​66. 53 Hersey, High, 13. 54 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 104r. 55 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 107r. 56 Testimony of an unnamed indigenous woman from Etlatongo, October 21, 1544 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 117r). 57 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 115v. 58 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 117r.


236  The excavation of the dead 59 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 118r 60 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 197v. 61 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 198v. 62 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 199v. 63 Initial testimonies were taken in the Yanhuitlán investigtion between Tuesday October 14 and Friday October 17, 1544. This is when the first tales of the buried wife of don Francisco surfaced. When the investigation resumed the following Monday, on October 20, inquisitors began asking witnesses about the rites her death triggered (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 115v). Item 7 of the questionnaire prepared in 1545 asked “yten si saben q[ue] muerta la muger q[ue]l d[ic]ho don fr[ancis]co tenya con la q[ue] estava casado en haz de la santa yglia el suso d[ic]ho hizo muy gran sacrifiçio y mato seis esclavos y hizo otros muchos Ritos e çeremonias” (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 183v). 64 Official accusation against don Francisco, April 15, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 214v). 65 Testimony April 30, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 216r). 66 The four witnesses are Juan de Ruanes, native of Trujillo (testimony October 13, 1545; AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 246v), Juan Alonso, native of Toledo (testimony October 16, 1545; 248v), Francisco de Melgar, native of Sahagún (testimony October 19, 1545; 250v), and Juan de Molina, native of Oviedo (testimony October 31, 1545; 252v). Only Melgar had not been to the funeral. 67 Testimony November 18, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 301v). 68 Report April 14, 1546 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 335v). 69 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 336v–​337r. 70 Guzmán, “Exploración”; Bernal, “Exploraciones”; see also the Christianized burial practices at Teposcolula (Warinner, “Life”). 71 Bernal, “Exploraciones,” 70; Pohl, Politics, 69–​82. References to subterranean house-​tombs as cuevas appear in the testimonies of don Cristóbal, governor and constable of Nochixtlán (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 116v) and don Domingo, governor of Chachoapan (195v). 72 Gillespie, “Personhood”; Joyce, “Burying”; King, “Marking”; Gallegos Ruíz, El señor,  51–​60. 73 Gallegos Ruíz, El señor, 79, 95. 74 Spores, Mixtecs,  35–​36. 75 Houston and Taube, “Archaeology.” 76 The name for these objects in the archaeological literature is borrowed from the Latin word for a pagan household god (Urueta, “Los penates”; Warinner, “Life,” 213). In addition to Ana’s burial preparation, testimony given on October 20, 1544 by don Martín (noble of Teposcolula) describes the use of a greenstone figure in the burial rites of the former ruler of Yanhuitlán (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 116r). 77 I was able to study several dozen of these penates in the collections of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC in April 2007. Thanks to Patricia L.  Nietfeld for arranging for me to see these objects and test their suspendability—​the holes are located near the penates’ center of gravity, an odd choice if the intention were to wear them, say, strung on a necklace. 78 Domenici and Laurencich Minelli, “Domingo,” 171, 181–​83. 79 Gell, Art, 96–​154. 80 For a fascinating discussion of bundles and burials in the Yucatan, see Astor-​ Aguilera, Maya, 157–78. 81 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 327r.


The excavation of the dead 237 82 The funerary rites held in 1540 Mexico City for an (absent) empress involved a “tumba que avemos puesto en la capilla mayor con las armas rreales brosladas En su paño de t[e]‌rçopelo negro” (April 17, 1540 letter from Bishop Juan de Zumárraga; AGI Patronato 184 R32). See also Redondo, El sepulcro, 102; Martínez Gil, Muerte, 201–​2; Eire, From, 205; García Fernández, Los castellanos, 135; García Flores and Ruíz Souza, “La capilla,” 83; Rodríguez Álvarez, Usos; Lomnitz, Death, 99–​108; Pulido Castillo, “Los cementerios,” 14–​15. 83 García Fernández, Los castellanos, 287–​92. 84 Nalle, God, 185–​91; Eire, From, 115–​67. 85 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 248v. See also 252v for the testimony of Juan de Molina on October 31, 1545. 86 Eire, From, 20–​23,  91–​92. 87 Venegas, Agonia, 257; Brown, Cult; Martínez Gil, Muerte, 200; Pulido Castillo, “Los cementerios,” 12. 88 See examples in LL Ms. Codex 1078. 89 García Fernández, Los castellanos, 226; Santonja, “La construcción,” 37–​ 39; García Flores and Ruíz Souza, “La capilla,” 81–​84; Pulido Castillo, “Los cementerios,” 15. 90 AHN Osuna, C 647 Exp. 10, 4v. 91 Bynum, Fragmentation, 93. 92 Venegas, Agonia, 33. 93 Venegas, Agonia, 225. 94 Venegas, Agonia, 233. Other evocations of this corporate image appear in Francisco de Vitoria’s “On the American Indians” (Political, 236), in Pedro de Feria’s 1567 Zapotec catechism (Doctrina, 47r), and in a Muslim catechism from late-​sixteenth-​century Granada (Resines, Catecismo, 242). 95 Gulczynski, “Desecration”; Ziolkowski, “Consecration”; Finucane, “Sacred,” 42, 56–​58; Roberts, “Contesting.” 96 Flynn, “Mimesis”; Bethencourt, “Auto”; see also Corteguera, Death. 97 BL Egerton 2058, 14v–​15r; see also 19r, 30r, 32r. 98 Auto de Fe, July 6, 1567 (AHN Inq. Lib. 911, 753v). 99 Lomnitz, Death, 198; see also Greenleaf, Mexican,  101–​2. 100 Gulczynski, “Desecration,” ix, 39–​40; Herzog, Upholding, 213–​14. 101 AHN Inq. Leg. 540 Caja 1 Exp. 5, 1v. This document is undated; the duke of Calabria (whose name was written and then crossed out) was viceroy in Valencia from 1536 to 1550. 102 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 183v. 103 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 230r; see also the discussion of a mixed indigenous-​Catholic elite woman’s burial at Teposcolula (Warinner, “Life,” 212–​16). 104 This is the only point in the investigation against don Sancho where questions of purity of blood are even remotely raised. Purity of blood is never referenced in the Yanhuitlán investigation. 105 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 492r. 106 On the tomb see AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 424v, 508v. 107 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 430v–​431r. 108 Fierro, “Acerca,” 163–​64. 109 Cf. Ponce, “Los cementerios,” 142. 110 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 337v.


238  The excavation of the dead 1 11 Cara Barrionuevo, “La civilización,” 87; Fierro, “Acerca,” 165. 112 From 1505 (López, Comportamientos, 85); see also Greenblatt, Hamlet, 266 n. 19 (1588) and Santonja, “La construcción,” 40, 35, 33 (from 1770, 1804, and 1806). 113 Longás, La vida, 22. 114 Fierro, “Acerca,” 186, 166; Pozo Martínez, “El cementerio,” 416; Taylor, In, 56, 160, 173, 182, 213. 115 BL Egerton 1832, 22v–​23r. 116 This was also an issue in Morisco Granada: Gallego y Burín and Gámir Sandoval, Los moriscos, 197. 117 BL Egerton 1832, 54r–​61v (July 31 to August 28, 1544). 118 BL Egerton 1832, 56r–​56v. 119 On the meteoric stone mounted into the Kaʿba in Mecca, see Rubin, “Kaʿba,” 118–​23 (and compare Gell, Art, 98). On medieval accounts of Muḥammad’s magnetically-​levitated tomb in Mecca, see Smith, “French,” 51–​52. 120 Marcus Didago, testimony August 12, 1544 (BL Egerton 1832, 59r); testimony Lazarus Despuela, August 7, 1544 (BL Egerton 1832, 58r). Collecting myrtle seems to have been so closely connected to the performance of Islamic rites that joking reference to the act led to a vicious fight between Old Christians in 1567 (AHN Inq. Leg. 553 Caja 2 Exp. 25). 121 Kagan, Spanish, 192. 122 On aloja, see Jordan, Spanish, 112. Pérez de Chinchón (Antialcorano, 158r) also mentions the offering of “honey and milk and water” (miel y leche y agua) at Muslim graves in Valencia. 123 Leisten, “Between”; Fierro, “Acerca,” 182–​83; see also Martínez García et  al., “Las necrópolis.” Peter Martyr describes the use of water, branches, and herbs to cool Muslim graves in Cairo, a practice he witnessed in February 1502 (Mártir de Anglería, Una embajada, 203, 208). 124 AHN Inq. Lib. 912, 128r; AHN Inq. Lib. 936, 59v. Miguel Muça would be prosecuted by inquisitors again in 1572–​1573: AHN Inq. Leg. 553 Caja 1 Exp. 15. 125 AHN Inq. Lib. 936, 69r. 126 AHN Inq. Lib. 911, 985r; letter from the inquisitors of Valencia to the Supreme Council in Madrid, September 9, 1568. The case against accused Morisco Pedro Paniza also survives (AHN Inq. Leg. 553 Caja 2 Exp. 19). 127 For more on this case, see AHN Inq. Lib. 911, 1032r. 128 Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, “Moriscos,” 182–​83. 129 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 433v. 130 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 367r. 131 Taylor, In, 214–​15. In sixteenth-​century Algiers, it was believed that the spirits of the dead would come to rest on the stones placed over their heads—​though this probably refers to tombstones (Sosa, Topografía, 188). 132 LL Ms. Codex 1078, 4r (using the penciled numeration). 133 LL Ms. Codex 1078, 22r, 23v, 28v, 31r, 35v, 42r, 60r, 78v, 83r, 84v. 134 LL Ms. Codex 1078, 25v, see also 36v. 135 LL Ms. Codex 1078, 188r–​188v. 136 LL Ms. Codex 1078, 117r. 137 Greenblatt, Hamlet; Duffy, Stripping. 138 Koslofsky, Reformation, 3, 35.


7  Chronologies at war

In late September 1567, two of Valencia’s inquisitors wrote a letter to their superiors in Madrid. As we have seen in previous chapters, this was not unusual. Letters traveled back and forth between Valencia and Madrid quite frequently. Valencia’s inquisitors would report on what was going on locally and ask for advice; the Supreme Council would answer their queries, and make inquiries of their own. This particular letter includes a long quotation from another letter that inquisitors had written to King Philip II. (Among other things, they were asking for more money). The letter-​inside-​a-​letter includes a commentary about the relations between the Old World and the New that is both darkly pessimistic and naively optimistic: And it is painful and a great shame that your Majesty and your ancestors (with their principal aim and holy zeal to extend and propagate our Christian religion and to win souls for Heaven) conquered such distant lands and long-​distance navigation:  the New World, where at present our Catholic faith by the grace of God is also honored, removing and extirpating the abominable rites of idolatry and gentility once practiced there; [yet] how much greater cause and reason is there for reform in this kingdom (indeed within the limits of Spain, so close to the court of your Majesty), conquered more than three hundred years ago by your Majesty’s ancestors, yet in it the new converts are in their life and religion as much Muslims as their neighbors the natives of Algeria …1 Valencia’s inquisitors optimistically claim that non-​Christian beliefs had been erased from the New World. This—​as the Yanhuitlán investigation makes clear—​was certainly not true. At the same time, they pessimistically lament the survival of Islam in Iberia some three centuries after Christian conquests. But this evocation of “three hundred years” is deceptive. Christian conquests of Valencia (and Andalusia) had indeed taken place three centuries before this letter was written, in the mid-​thirteenth century. But in neither Valencia nor Andalusia was conquest accompanied by forced conversion. Nor were conversions undertaken during the first wave of southward Christian


240  Chronologies at war conquests that began in the late eleventh century. Nor were they undertaken in the fifteenth century: the surrender accords signed in Granada in 1492 specified that the practice of Islam would remain legal there.2 These medieval conquests were therefore very different from the more recent invasions of the New World. In the Americas, the prohibition of indigenous religious practices began immediately. Prohibitions against Islam in Iberia, and campaigns of forced conversion, had started only in 1502—​and then only in the kingdoms of Castile. Forced conversion in Valencia was decreed two decades later, in 1525. In other words, contrary to what these inquisitors claimed, concerted attempts to convert Iberian Muslims to Christianity had not been going on for three hundred years. Instead, campaigns of conversion had been going on for about the same amount of time in both Iberia and Mesoamerica: sixty-​five years in the kingdoms of Castile (1502–​1567), forty-​ six years on the mainland of the New World (1521–​1567), forty-​two years in the kingdoms of Aragón (1525–​1567). In the end, this letter is important not for its chronological inaccuracies, but for the way it uses time to talk about relations among Muslims, Catholics, and Native Americans. This chapter also concerns the temporal imagination of Iberian Christians in contexts of conquest and missionization. The reordering of time went hand in hand with other attempts to transform Muslim and Native American life:  changing religion, dress, architecture, language, burial. Significantly, this reimagined temporality was not just new from the point of view of non-​Christians. It was new for Old Christians as well, many of whom were opposed, for various reasons, to state-​sponsored policies of conversion—​and to the Inquisition’s role in their implementation. Attempts by some sixteenth-​century Old Christians to imagine a new temporal order were rejected by other Old Christians. And they were rejected as well by Muslims and Native American traditionalists, who had their own perspectives on how time and history were changing in their worlds. Despite these fissures and fragmentations, Muslims, Catholics, and Native Americans alike happened to share two basic models for imagining the flow of time. One model was apocalyptic, focused on sudden changes that ruptured heaven and earth. The other was genealogical, and aspired to continuity. Social revolutions are often accompanied by the creation of new calendars: the hijra count in Islam, the Republican calendar of Revolutionary France, the Mínguó calendar of the Chinese Republic.3 But new societies do not simply create new calendars. New calendars bring new societies into being. Because calendars order how people think about time and organize their days, they can have an influential role in social change at the level of lived experience. Calendars are instruments of transformation; they do not just reflect a society already established. Yet the reformation of time need not be enshrined in the day and year counts of a new calendar. Time’s alteration can be manifested in other ways as well: in


Chronologies at war 241 nonnumerical rhythms of work and rest, in ways of talking about the past.4 A key issue in this chapter is how time can be thought about, and transformed, without recourse to the literal system of numbered calendrical reform.

In the time of the Muslims Consider a pair of phrases often used in the sixteenth-​century Iberian world:  “in the time of the Muslims” and “in the time of their gentility.” “In the time of the Muslims” referred to the history of Iberian Islam. In Castilian this is written en tiempo de moros; in Catalan, en temps de moros. “In the time of their gentility,” by contrast, referred above all to Native Americans before the preaching of Christianity. “Gentiles” in early modern understandings were idolaters who had not heard the Gospel.5 In Castilian this phrase is written en tiempo de su gentilidad. By the end of the sixteenth century, these two phrases represented parallel ideas. Both referred to pre-​Christian eras, periods when Islam and idolatry were practiced. Both phrases would continue to be used in the centuries that followed, and indeed are still used today.6 But at the beginning of the sixteenth century things were different. En tiempo de su gentilidad did not exist, and en tiempo de moros was used in very different ways. The pages which follow describe the origins and transformation of en tiempo de moros, as well as the emergence of en tiempo de su gentilidad. Both are mentioned in the investigations central to this study: en tiempo de moros in Valencia, en tiempo de su gentilidad in Yanhuitlán. In both cases, inquisitorial transcripts document important moments in the changing histories of these phrases—​linguistic shifts that illuminate broader transformations.7 The emergence of the idea of a “time of the Muslims” is closely linked to the so-​called Christian reconquista of Muslim Iberia. So-​called, because the term “reconquest” (created in the eighteenth century) suggests that an erratic and disjunctive series of invasions were instead a sustained and unified Crusade.8 Muslims had conquered most of Iberia in four years, from 711 to 714. They crossed the Straits of Gibraltar and advanced ever north, finally stopping when unable to defeat the small Christian kingdoms huddled in the mountains on the edge of the Bay of Biscay. Starting in the mid-​eleventh century, Christian rulers began to push their armies south, capturing lands that had been Muslim for almost four centuries. These Christian invasions were not guided by any singular strategy:  they were fragmented, episodic, and often involved alliances between Christian and Muslim warriors. Indeed, Christian kingdoms themselves were in flux during these centuries, with Castile and León and Aragón being brought together and taken apart again and again. The staggered southward conquests took place across roughly three periods: from around 1080 to 1149 (Soria, Madrid, Zaragoza, Lérida), 1177 to 1262 (Cuenca, Seville, Valencia, Cádiz), and 1480 to 1492 (Málaga, Almería, Granada).


242  Chronologies at war The idea of a “time of the Muslims” emerges (in Latin) during the first phase of these irregular expansions.9 The 1119 surrender agreements between Alfons I of Aragón and the Muslims of Tudela specified that No Christian shall file suit against officials who were established in the time of the Muslims [in tempus de moros]. And the government and lordship of the Muslims shall be in the hand of the alfaquí, or in the hand of a Muslim chosen by the alfaquíes. And they shall keep their alcaldes, and maintain the honors that they held honorably in the time of the Muslims [in tempus de moros].10 Similarly, in the 1125 laws (fueros) of Aranciel (not far from Tudela), King Alfons I vowed this to the town’s Muslim inhabitants: And I grant and concede to you that you shall keep all of your land, both that which is vacant and that which is settled, as you have it today and as you had it in the time of the Muslims [in tempus de mauros].11 A century later, by the time of the second major period of Christian conquests, the tempus de mauros had produced a Castilian tiempo de moros and a Catalan temps de moros. In what became the kingdom of Valencia, the phrase en temps de moros was once again used to speak about continuities with the preconquest past.12 For example, the town charter (carta pobla) of Vall d’Uxó, signed between the town’s Muslim inhabitants and King Jaume I in 1250 (or 648, “according to the count of the Muslims”) uses en temps de moros to several times, always with a sense of continuation: And that they should regulate their waters among themselves, as was customary in the time of the Muslims, according to what is recorded in their ancient privileges.13 And that they should have all of their boundaries and their livestock, from Uxó and Nules and Almenara, and the boundary of Urmell in La Plana, and the vineyards of the farm named Care Alfandech, according to what was already assigned to them in the time of the Muslims.14 Similarly, documents written during the aftermath of Christian conquests in Andalusia use tiempo de moros to speak of continuities—​even when Muslim properties were being confiscated and given new owners: I give and authorize to don Pedro Pérez notary of the Queen doña Johanna a mill with its pond and with the dam of Daçenna of which he is overseer, which is on Alcalá de Guadaíra and had as its name in the time of the Muslims the mill of Aben Aharoça. And all of the aforementioned


Chronologies at war 243 I give and grant with all of its entrances and all of its exits and all of its waters just as were had in the time of the Muslims, and with all of its properties (December 20, 1253).15 I give and grant to Rabbi Yucaf Cabaçay, my Jew, a shop in Seville, among those which are before the Church of Saint Mary, behind the shops of the Jewish moneychangers. And this shop that I give is the third shop of those which are at the end of the Gate of the Great Arch where they display fruit, which is against the houses of don Remont Bonifaz and of Cal de Ffrancos. And this shop I give to him with its storage loft just as it had in the time of the Muslims (August 19, 1255).16 Even when King Alfonso X tried to rebaptize Andalusian places with Christian names, he evoked the names those places had “in the time of the Muslims.” Renaming might seem to be an obvious technique of rupture, but it is actually a more complex practice. Preconquest residents (and legal documents) used the old place names. In practical terms, for the new names to have any hope of survival, they had to be parasitically attached to their (Arabic) predecessors:17 I give and grant to you don Ramil Rodríguez, in the village which used to be called in the time of the Muslims Bicena to which I have given the name Lobera, which has one hundred units of olive and fig trees (April 24, 1253).18 I give and grant to you don Pedro Abbad, precentor [chantre] of Cartagena, in the farm which they used to call in the time of the Muslims Pilias to which I give the name Tower of the King, thirty units of olive and fig trees (June 18, 1253).19 Moving to the east, and forward in time a century and a half, the phrase tiempo de moros was also used during the conquest of Granada. As in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, references to the tiempo de moros stressed continuities. On March 21, 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella granted the bishop of Guadix a mosque in the town of Fiñana. It was to be converted into a church “with all of the possession and rents that in the time of the Muslims it [the mosque] had and has.”20 That same year, the existing Christian churches in the lands of Baza (about twenty kilometers northeast of Guadix) were formally turned over to the same bishop. One of these was “a hermitage to Saint Christopher, in a castle which in the time of the Muslims used to be called Alhomaçen.”21 Used to be called … and still called. Alhomaçen was apparently the only name the place had, for no Christian alternative was given.22 Even after the town of Baza was retaken by Catholic forces during the Muslim revolt of 1499–​1501, its surrender accords stressed perpetuation:


244  Chronologies at war Item that we order that they should pasture their livestock in all the limits and parts where they were accustomed to graze them in the time of the Muslim kings …23 Thus if there are any continuities across the four-​century hodgepodge of battles now called the reconquista, one of them is the meaning of “the time of the Muslims.” Practices that existed in the time of the Muslims were to continue in the postconquest present. As it was in the time of the Muslims, so shall it be today. Conquest was presented as the taking over of an inheritance from the past. Even the renaming of places was described as an act of subtitling, not erasure. Grammatically speaking, nearly all of these examples refer to the “time of the Muslims” in the imperfect tense. This indicates a repeated, prolonged action in the past that may continue into the present. “The unfinished past” (el pasado no acabado) is how Antonio de Nebrija described the imperfect in his Castilian grammar of 1492.24 Occasionally, the emphasis on continuity is made explicit by combining imperfect and present tense uses of the same verb in the same sentence. The 1492 grant of the mosque of Fiñana to the bishop of Guadix, quoted earlier, stresses that it included “the possession and rents that in the time of the Muslims it had [tenya] and has [tiene].” All this would change in the sixteenth century. When Islam became illegal in Castile in 1502, and in Valencia in 1525, the meaning of “the time of the Muslims” was radically altered. If in the Middle Ages the phrase indicated the unity of present and past, starting in the sixteenth century the phrase was used to talk of rupture, disjunction. At least in terms of the law, the time of the Muslims had ended, forever. Of course, the full implications of this change did not appear overnight. As had been the case since the twelfth century, “in the time of the Muslims” would continue to be used with the imperfect tense in the sixteenth century—​ raising the troubling possibility that customs from the past had not, in fact, disappeared from the present. Some of the earliest uses of this phrase to stress rupture appear in descriptions of archaeological sites. This is appropriate, for ruins (as we saw in Chapter 5) often embody the endurance of the past in the present. From 1517 to 1523, Fernando Colón (son of Christopher Columbus and uncle to don Sancho’s wife María) researched a gazetteer on central Iberia: the Description and Cosmography of Spain. Fernando used tiempo de moros above all when referring to abandoned places and structures. Near Puerto de las Peñas “they say there is a castle from the time of the Muslims.”25 Malagón “is a league from a ruin [memoria] from the time of the Muslims where there used to be a castle.”26 However, Fernando’s description of the ruins of Calatrava used the phrase in both its newer and older senses. Calatrava “was in the time of the Muslims inhabited by 200 citizens … and it had in the time of the Muslims and still has a canal which leaves the Guadiana River full of water and irrigates the town.”27 The canal’s flow of continuity is highlighted—​as in


Chronologies at war 245 medieval documents—​by a verbal construction that combines imperfect and present tense constructions: “it had [tenia] in the time of the Muslims and still has [agora tiene].” The full implications of the changing meaning of tiempo de moros become clear in Valencia two decades later. In 1540, when Archbishop Ramírez de Haro wrote a set of Instructions and Ordinances for the New Converts of the Kingdom of Valencia, he used en temps que eren Moros as part of a strategy to rhetorically relegate Islam to the past. Actions performed during “the time of the Muslims” were still, as in medieval usage, described in the imperfect. But in contrast to what we saw in earlier documents, these actions and customs from the Islamic had no place in the present social order. Actions from “the time of the Muslims” were now banned. Prohibitions begin on the first page: Item: that no one who has been an alfaquí can visit a pregnant woman, neither before nor after she has given birth; except if it should be his wife, or sister, or other close relative; and in that case he should not say,  nor perform the words, orations, nor ceremonies that they used to use in the time when they were [eren] Muslims; under penalty of a ducat.28 A whole series of customs from “the time when they were Muslims” are listed a few pages later. Again, what is crucial is how Ramírez de Haro insists on the pastness of these practices, even as he admits—​through the assignment of fines and the use of the imperfect—​that such practices were still continuing, illegally, in his present: Item: that when they fast during Lent, or other vigils, and on other fasts ordered by the Holy Mother Church, that they should eat at midday as is the custom of the Christians, and not pass all the day without eating, as they used to do [feyen] in the time when they were [eren] Muslims. Item: that no one should fast during Ramadan, nor on the holidays when they used to fast [dejunauen] in the time when they were [eren] Muslims, nor say daily prayers in public, nor in secret, nor circumcise their sons, because this is to apostatize the faith; and similar things that are against the Christian faith will be harshly punished. Item: that women may not wear amulets on their persons of the kind that they used to use [vsauen] in the time when they were [eren] Muslims, nor in any way allow that their sons and daughters wear them.29 A few years later, the “time of the Muslims” was evoked in testimonies gathered against don Sancho de Cardona. Significantly, the phrase was used in different ways by different speakers. Its earliest appearance, appropriately, was in the first Morisco-​related testimony against the admiral. As we saw


246  Chronologies at war in Chapter  1, in March 1542—​the first week of Lent—​Miguel Çaragoça presented himself at the Palace of the Inquisition in Valencia. He was a rector in the Valley of Alcalá, bordered to the west and south by the admiral’s lands. This spatial context, he testified, made his task as a preacher difficult: He comes to ease his conscience by saying and attesting two things, the first that this witness is rector in the Valley of Alcalá of the new converts for six years in this region, and that near the said Valley of Alcalá are two farms which belong to the admiral and that in the time when they were Muslims [en tiempo q[ue] eran moros] their inhabitants came to say daily prayers in the mosque of the said Valley of Alcalá, and since this witness has been rector he has endeavored that they should come to Mass like the others of the Valley of Alcalá and that they should baptize their infants, and because this witness has made an effort to baptize them, they appealed to the admiral, asking him as a favor that he should talk to the vicar general, so that they could go to Mass and be baptized in the Valley of Seta, which is a long league from the said farms, and where no chaplain lives, nor are the inhabitants baptized, nor do they hear Mass …30 Çaragoça’s testimony makes clear the new, ruptural meaning of a “time of the Muslims.” There had once been a mosque in the Valley of Alcalá, but now Mass was performed in the valley. At the same time, Çaragoça’s testimonies reveal the problems of attempting to claim that the “time of the Muslims” was truly in the past, out-​of-​time from the present. The residents of neighboring farms appealed to the admiral to be allowed to “go to Mass” in the neighboring Valley of Seta—​a valley where no chaplain resided. As we saw in Chapter 4, other documents reveal that there was at least one functioning mosque in the Valley of Seta (in the town of Beniayzo) as late as 1569. In other words, in some places in the mountains of Valencia, the time of the Muslims—​meaning a time when Islam was still practiced—​had not yet receded into the past. Michael Çaragoça was a Catholic preacher, and so it is appropriate that he used “in the time when they were Muslims” in the new sense, to indicate rupture. In contrast, one of the Morisco witnesses against the admiral used the phrase in its old sense—​that is, to talk about continuity. In June 1569 don Hernando Abenamir testified about the recently destroyed Mosque of Revelation in the Valley of Guadalest (south of the Valley of Alcalá, east of the Valley of Seta): the Moriscos would come there from many different places to hold vigils and perform their rites, and for this reason they gave him [don Sancho] ten libras every year, as they used to give in the time of the Muslims [en tiempo de moros].31 As we saw in Chapter 4, this accusation was probably accurate, which is why Abenamir’s use of en tiempo de moros echoes the uses of this phrase in the


Chronologies at war 247 Middle Ages. A practice that had existed in the past was maintained in the present—​or at least until 1563, when the Mosque of Revelation was destroyed a second time. A final example is especially telling. When inquisitors compiled their official list of accusations against don Sancho in February 1569, the third point outlined how the admiral gave his permission for the toppled mosque to be reconstructed: “a ruined building that in the time of the Muslims had been [auia sido] a mosque.”32 Like Fernando Colón a half-​century earlier, Valencia’s inquisitors used “in the time of the Muslims” to talk about ruins. But in contrast to Fernando, to a long tradition of medieval usage, and to the ways witnesses against don Sancho testified about these ruins, Valencia’s inquisitors did not use the imperfect in their accusation. Instead, they used the past perfect to stress termination: auia sido.33

In the time of their gentility Linguistically speaking, en tiempo de moros is derived from a much more basic phrase:  en tiempo de. “In the time of ” is a conceptual readymade for describing different eras. Most uses of the en tiempo de structure (which linguists call a rheme) do not produce phrases like en tiempo de moros—​that is, fixed combinations that endure as pre-​made units.34 Indeed, many en tiempo de phrases appear in the cases from Valencia and Oaxaca. As we will discuss later in this chapter, don Sancho’s file includes a reference to “in the time of the admiral’s father.” The Yanhuitlán documents contain references to “in the time of Moctezuma” and “in the time of Friar Dionisio.”35 But these other en tiempo de phrases are only ever used by one speaker. That is, these phrases were dynamically generated, and cast aside, in the moment. These examples are important, because—​turning to the New World—​I doubt the phrase en tiempo de su gentilidad was directly derived from en tiempo de moros. Rather, both phrases are progeny of the basic en tiempo de readymade. Of course, it is quite possible that en tiempo de moros was there in the background as speakers in the New World began to talk about a tiempo de su gentilidad. But such a direct connection is unnecessary for my arguments here. When, and where, did en tiempo de su gentilidad enter common usage? One might assume that speakers in the Old World first developed this phrase to describe the remains of classical antiquity. But this does not seem to be the case. Ambrosio de Morales never writes about a tiempo de su gentilidad in the nearly 300 pages of his The Antiquities of the Cities of Spain (a study of Roman ruins in Iberia published in 1575). If the databases of the Corpus of the Spanish Language are any indication, the variants en tiempo de la gentilidad and en tiempo de los gentiles are first used to refer to the practices of Classical antiquity in 1585, in the Secret Philosophy of Juan Pérez de Moya.36 In 1600, Luis de Mármol y Carvajal used en tiempo de la gentilidad de Nerón in his History of the Rebellion and Punishment of the Muslims of the Kingdom of Granada.37 In 1611, Jerónimo Gracián used en tiempo de los gentiles to refer


248  Chronologies at war to antique oracles in his Ten Lamentations.38 In other words, the idea of a tiempo de gentilidad was not applied to classical antiquity until the end of the sixteenth century. Instead, ideas about a “time of gentility” first developed in the Americas. Tracking the New World emergence of this phrase is difficult. It is well-​ testified from the 1550s onwards, in a host of books and manuscripts: Alonso de Zorita’s 1555 Relation of the Lords of New Spain; Tomás de Mercado’s 1568 Manual of Deals and Contracts; Juan Bautista Pomar’s 1582 Relation of Texcoco; Diego Muñoz Camargo’s 1585 History of Tlaxcala; José de Acosta’s 1590 Natural and Moral History of the Indies; and Jerónimo de Mendieta’s 1596 History of the Church in the Indies.39 But while it is easy to locate uses of this phrase in the second half of the sixteenth century, examples in the first half are much more elusive. It does not appear in any of the dozen-​plus investigations against idolatry conducted by Bishop Juan de Zumárraga in the late 1530s and early 1540s.40 Nor does it appear in Motolinía’s History of the Indians of New Spain, written from 1538–​1541. The phrase does appear on the title page to Motolinía’s manuscript: de los ritos, sacrificios y idolatrías del tiempo de su gentilidad. But, significantly, this title page was added in the seventeenth century. As far as I  have been able to tell, the uses of en tiempo de su gentilidad in the Yanhuitlán trial are among the earliest appearances of this phrase in Castilian. The idea of a “time of gentility” was first developed to talk about New World peoples, and then traveled east across the Atlantic to be used in discussions of the Greek and Roman past.41 In other words, the idea of a “time of gentility” presents us with a reversal of the normal flow of discourse linking pagan Antiquity to the Americas, in which practices from the ancient Mediterranean provided models for understanding native peoples in the New World (see Chapter 4).42 References to a tiempo de su gentilidad appear twice in the Yanhuitlán trial. Both form part of the official accusations written by inquisitors. In a text dated April 15, 1545, prosecuting advisor (promotor fiscal) Cristóbal de Benavente listed the principal accusations against governor don Francisco. Number 5 read as follows: Item: The said don Francisco after he was baptized has returned to sacrificing and killing Indians and taking out their hearts as in the time of su gentilidad and sacrificing them to the said idols and he has done this many times and in many times and places.43 Over a year later, the official accusation against governor don Juan read as follows: I denounce and accuse before your majesty one don Juan (who is present), Indian governor of the town of Yanhuitlán of the province of the Mixteca, imprisoned in the jail of this Holy Office, as an apostate heretic


Chronologies at war 249 from our Holy Catholic Faith, an performer, concealer, defender, and participant in heresies, and by his heresies an impeder of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, an excommunicated perjurer, because having publicly received of his own free will the holy sacrament of baptism, and being in name and identity a Christian, and being called as such, and enjoying the privileges and liberties and exemptions that Catholic Christians can and should enjoy, in offense of God our Lord and of his Holy Church our Mother, and of its doctrine, and in great scandal and disrespect to the Catholic people and Christian religion, especially of the said province newly converted to our Holy Catholic Faith, disdaining the fear of God and the salvation of his soul, and a heretic and apostate from and against our holy Catholic faith and religion [ley] of evangelical grace, holding, believing, following, and guarding the rites, precepts, and gentile ceremonies that he held [tenia] and observed [observaba] in the time of su gentilidad and infidelity, and in particular observing the following things … (January 8, 1547).44 I have left su gentilidad untranslated in both of these quotations to highlight an ambiguity in meaning. In the second half of the sixteenth century, su gentilidad meant “their gentility,” referring to Native Americans in general. But su can also indicate singular possession: “his” or “her” in addition to “their.” In these two 1540s uses of en tiempo de su gentilidad, it seems the phrase meant to indicate “his gentility,” meaning the individual lives, pre-​baptism, of the two accused men (don Francisco and don Juan). When the phrase en tiempo de su gentilidad first emerged, then, it referred to an individualized past.45 Given the relative newness of Christian evangelization in the mainland of the New World, the singularity of gentility in these two examples is striking. It suggests that for inquisitors, the departure from gentility and entry into Christianity was imagined as a microhistorical process, a temporal transition that took place (as we will see in the next chapter) on a soul-​by-​soul basis.46 Thus over the course of the sixteenth century, the meanings of en tiempo de moros and en tiempo de su gentilidad were both altered. These parallels highlight the radical changes in the image of time simultaneously taking place on both shores of the Atlantic. At the beginning of the century, en tiempo de moros was used to think about continuity; by the end of that century, the same phrase was used to think about rupture. When en tiempo de su gentilidad emerged in the 1540s, it was used to think about individual souls, and the process of transformation-​through-​baptism. By the end of the century, the phrase was used to think about the prehispanic past in general—​as well about the lost religions of Mediterranean antiquity. Significantly, the mid-​century meanings of en tiempo de moros and en tiempo de su gentilidad did not simply indicate already established eras. These phrases attempted to produce the reality of those eras, to change the ways people thought about time. Non-​Christian practices were maintained by both


250  Chronologies at war Muslims and Native Americans throughout the sixteenth century. But by talking about those practices as things that “used to be done” in a supposedly vanquished tiempo de moros and tiempo de su gentilidad, Christian missionizers sought to extinguish practices inherited from those times, transforming words into reality. These two phrases represent an early modern manifestation of what Johannes Fabian would famously describe as a “denial of coevalness.” Islam and idolatry had no part to play in certain visions of the Catholic present.47

Other times, other customs Yet attempts to transform the world with rhetoric have their limits. “Muslim time” and “gentile time” did not end in the sixteenth century. Furthermore, Catholic Christians were far from unanimous in embracing the temporal breaks that the phrases en tiempo de moros and en tiempo de su gentilidad sought to create. We will now shift to consider other forms of temporal thinking in Valencia and Oaxaca. In particular, we will consider how genealogical time was used by Muslims, Catholics, and Native Americans alike to challenge visions of rupture. Evocations of ancestral presence are important in the records of both investigations. Only a few references of this kind are found in the Valencian testimonies, but they are telling. Two Old Christian witnesses reference the “time” of the admiral’s father—​that is, the era of don Alonso de Cardona, who died in 1534.48 In June 1569, Fernando de Orduña, a former employee of don Sancho, was summoned for questioning. As we saw in Chapter 3, at this phase of the investigation inquisitors were especially interested in the illegal collection of Church tithes on the admiral’s lands. Orduña defended his role in the collection of tithe income by referring to long-​term practice, a continuity with customs that had existed “in the time of his [don Sancho’s] father.” The parallels between this kind of continuity thinking and medieval attitudes about the tiempo de moros are suggestive: he said that this witness has been in charge of collecting the fruits and rents of the admiral don Sancho de Cardona for more than forty years, and he also had charge of them in the time of his father who was called don Alonso de Cardona, and in the said time he also collected the ecclesiastical tithes …49 … when the bailiff of Penáguila had leased the collection rights to the said tithes for the admiral it was in the time of the admiral’s father …50 Fernando de Orduña had been summoned by inquisitors to testify against the admiral. But words uttered before inquisitors could easily be turned to implicate the speaker. Orduña may have worried that he himself would be investigated by inquisitors for illegally collecting tithes in the admiral’s name. By evoking the “time of the admiral’s father,” and by saying he had collected


Chronologies at war 251 tithes “for more than forty years,” Orduña may have sought to legitimize his acts in terms of customary law. Customary law was established local practice with the power to supersede formally promulgated legislation; its authority had been recognized for centuries.51 By speaking of “the time of the admiral’s father,” Orduña may have tried to shield himself from further investigation by justifying his acts through the power of custom. Don Sancho also defended himself with images of genealogical connection. The admiral contrasted his own actions with a time of illegitimate acts: 16. I say that I am of illustrious blood and a descendent of the illustrious and very high kings of Aragón and thus one has to presume in my favor. 17. In addition I say that in conformity to that which my ancestors have always done, the admiral my father and I have always served his majesty, and in particular in the time of the germanías of this kingdom with our persons (testimony November 27, 1569). Don Sancho turns assumptions about a ruptured tiempo de moros on their head. He does not refer to “a time of the Muslims.” Instead, he speaks of the “time of the germanías.” Remember that this was a period of revolt against noble authority, during which Muslims were forcibly baptized. And so in contrast to this treasonous act of rupture, don Sancho holds up the enduring presence of genealogical inheritance, both that of his father and that of the “illustrious” (esclarecidos) kings of Aragón.52 He and his ancestors have always (siempre) served the monarchy, and this long-​established reputation should carry far more weight than the short-​term disruptions that the germanías represented. A more complex evocation of ancestral time appears in the testimonies of Miguel de Prades, a Morisco convert and inquisitorial informer (see Chapter 2). On May 31, 1568, Prades testified about a fiery speech given the previous Wednesday by an alfaquí and merchant named Pedro Aman. This was barely two weeks after the Morisco protest against missionization in Vall d’Uxó, and tensions were high. According to Prades, the alfaquí “told them, with passion, that they should defend themselves in the mountains with stones, rather than be Christians, and that none should surrender, even if the bishops should come.”53 Other Moriscos listening to the sermon then asked Prades his opinion of it. His response (at least as retold later to inquisitors) was framed in terms of genealogical continuity: “and this witness responded that his father was a Muslim and he is a Muslim.” Prades then paused his narrative to remind inquisitors that he was indeed a good Christian: “but as he said before now he is a good Christian and wants to be so and he said this to lead them [the other Moriscos] astray because otherwise they would kill him.”54 In his strategic answer to Morisco queries, Prades surely knew a kinship-​based response would be acceptable. Valencia’s Moriscos, like don Sancho de Cardona, often framed their oppositional politics in terms of


252  Chronologies at war genealogical inheritance—​a type of continuity that would have resonated with the role of established custom in Christian law. Indeed, the customs of Muslim ancestors were evoked within the Morisco community as a way to critique those tempted by Catholicism. In November 1563, inquisitors arrested Victoria Filomena, a freed Tunisian slave. She was accused of practicing Islam and of being the second wife of Morisco notable don Hernando Abenamir. (She would be arrested again, on the same basic charges, in 1567). When Victoria confessed to observing Muslim rites, she described how another Muslim woman from Tunisia, Fatima, had discouraged her attempts to live as a Christian, asking “since her father was a Muslim, and her ancestors Muslims, why did she want to be a Christian?”55 Such ancestral arguments were apparently common; they are even critiqued in a Muslim-​ targeted dialogue-​format catechism published in Valencia in 1599: “Most of them also have another laughable motive to persevere in this sect, and they say that since their parents were Muslims, they have to be as well.”56 Heirloomed objects, passed from parents to children, were also important for constructing temporal continuity within the Morisco community. We discussed inherited clothing in Chapters 4 and 5; other examples involve texts. On September 5, 1567, Hierónimo Sant (Catholic rector of Chiva) testified against a Morisco suspect named Sexonet: “and it is well-​known that Sexonet, who is imprisoned here, performs the role of alfaquí in Chiva, and that he is a sorcerer and summoner of demons and that he had a book from those which his father left to him …”57 Similar examples are found elsewhere in Iberia. One of the Morisco cases from Daimiel (where Francisco Tello de Sandoval served as inquisitor before being sent to Mexico City) included this testimony about heirloomed Arabic books: this witness saw certain old books in the house of Diego Hernández de Rodrigo, which this witness heard tell from Mari López wife of the said Diego Hernández de Rodrigo that the said books had belonged to the father of the said Mari López and she said they were in Islamic script and he heard the same thing from the mother of the said Mari López, that the said books had belonged to her husband who had been an alfaquí …58 Across the Atlantic, genealogical thinking and inherited heirlooms were also important in Yanhuitlán. Practices of the ancestors “in past years” were continued in the present by their descendants.59 On the second day of the investigation, ruler of Etlatongo don Diego testified that it is public and notorious in the town of Yanhuitlán and in the town of this witness and in the region that the said don Francisco and don Juan sacrifice and perform their idolatries and Masses today as in past years as they and their ancestors were in the habit of doing before there was Christian doctrine … don Francisco and don Juan have taken mushrooms to invoke the demon as their ancestors used to do (testimony October 15, 1544).60


Chronologies at war 253 The god-​images of the rulers of Yanhuitlán were constantly described as ancestral things. For this reason, claimed traditionalists, they needed protection from Catholicism’s iconoclastic fires: … and the Christian priests ordered that [ruler of Molcaxtepec] don Juan, since he was already baptized, should give them his demons [god-​ images], and this witness and his brother (who is named Diego) went for the said demons and they brought them to the house of don Francisco [of Yanhuitlán] who fought with the said ruler and with this witness, asking why they brought their gods to burn, that they should see that they were from their parents and ancestors and that they should guard them and worship them and they should not give them to the friars (testimony of Luis, official of Molcaxtepec, October 21, 1544).61 to the fifth question this witness said that he heard tell from he said don Luis that when the Father Friar Domingo wanted to remove the idols of Yanhuitlán the said don Francisco ordered that all the nobles of all the subject communities and towns [of Yanhuitlán] should guard the idols and not give them to the said friar since they were the gods of their fathers and mothers (testimony of Juan, ruler of Nochixtlán, February 24, 1545).62 Juan’s testimony is especially striking: his reference to “fathers and mothers” is probably derived from a sixteenth-​century metaphor for parents in Rain Speech, dzehe dzutundi, literally “my mothers-​ fathers.”63 More generally, these testimonies are important because they do not talk about time as an abstract thing, a lost time of gentility. Instead, they talk about the past in terms of objects and practices inherited from one’s ancestors, yet still part of the present. These things and acts manifested continuity. But even as Muslims and Native American traditionalists shared with their Old Christian allies combative models of genealogical time, they also (like their Old Christian enemies) had their own models for apocalyptic, ruptural time. Yet these visions looked not to a lost past (as in tiempo de moros and tiempo de su gentilidad), but to a transformed future.

The myth of the forty years In the summer of 1521, the germanías rebels baptized, by force, thousands of Muslims living in the kingdom of Valencia. The legitimacy of these baptisms was disputed from the start. As we saw at the end of the last chapter, during the fall of 1524 the Inquisition conducted an investigation into the actions of the rebels. Inquisitors wanted to know if proper baptismal ceremony had been observed, if records were kept, and the degree to which coercion had been used. Not surprisingly, many Moriscos testified that they accepted baptism so as not to be killed.


254  Chronologies at war At the same time, a few depositions reveal that some of the baptized shared with the rebels an apocalyptic vision of events.64 One of the new converts in Montesa, when asked “why they wanted to become Christians,” responded by saying “that they knew that this had been ordered by God, because time was at an end [ya era complido el tiempo].” This man, at least, believed that the Last Days had arrived in 1521. Such ideas were encouraged in sermons given by the rebels. One Catholic witness described his preaching in the Muslim quarter of Gandía: My lords I remind you how I have told you and spoken to you many times that you should return to the holy Catholic faith, that Muḥammad says “Quanal queyat col liel ficenech” which means that before the Thousand Years we have to be of one religion, and for that reason go to your mosque and take the alfaquí who is there and advise him that God and the Virgin will be among you …65 Another witness in the same investigation told how a Morisco came to him and said “we want to be baptized and make ourselves Christians, for truly we know that the hour has come for us to save our souls …”66 Shortly after this investigation was conducted, Charles V (in September 1525)  wrote various letters to persons of importance in Valencia, both Christian and Muslim, and told them that Islam would no longer be tolerated in the kingdoms of Aragón. The Muslims of Valencia had until December 1525 to convert or leave the kingdom. Muslims living in other parts of Aragón had to do the same by January 1526.67 But as we saw in Chapter 5, in December a delegation of twelve Valencian alfaquíes traveled to Toledo to negotiate with the emperor. They presented a series of requests. Among these, they asked for a forty-​year period of transition, during which Muslim clothes could still be worn and Arabic still spoken. They also requested that during these forty years the Inquisition could not proceed against Valencia’s Moriscos, nor confiscate their goods. Surprisingly, Charles V accepted these requests, based in part on recommendations from the inquisitor general. But emperor and inquisitor specified that only ten years, not forty, would be given for Muslims to change their ways of life. At first glance, it might seem that these requests for forty versus ten years were literal negotiations about very different quantities of time. But things were not so simple. As Rafael Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco has shown, a “Myth of the Forty Years” is prevalent in the historiography of both Inquisition and Moriscos. That is, many twentieth-​century historians claimed that the Muslims requested, and were granted, forty years of immunity from the Inquisition, as well as permission to wear Muslim styles and speak Arabic. But this is not what the final agreement with Charles V actually said: only ten years were given. One of the reasons the “Myth of the Forty Years” exits in scholarship today is because it also existed in the 1500s. Throughout the sixteenth century, both Christians and Muslims constantly referred to a forty-​year grace period,


Chronologies at war 255 apparently oblivious to the final decisions of the king and inquisitor in 1525.68 This seeming ignorance cannot be explained by reference to secret decisions made in closed rooms in Toledo. Broadsheets proclaiming the ten-​year grace period—​but also referring to the forty-​year period that was requested but denied—​were printed and posted in Valencia in mid-​January 1526.69 One explanation for the endurance of this “Myth of the Forty Years” across the sixteenth century lies in the meaning of forty years itself. Why did the alfaquís of Valencia ask for a period of forty years in which to learn a Romance language and stop wearing Muslim styles? What was important about forty years? The number was not selected at random. Ancient Mediterranean tradition saw the number forty as symbolic of completion and fullness. This is why, for example, Muslim histories describe Muḥammad as forty years old when his revelations began.70 Even the infamous Against the Qurʾān (Valencian editions exist from 1528 and 1532) contains a number of references to the importance of forty years in the life of Muḥammad.71 The sense of “forty years” as linked to maturity also appears in the Qurʾān itself, in sūra 46:15 (The Sand Dunes): We have commanded man to be good to his parents: his mother struggled to carry him and struggled to give birth to him—​his bearing and weaning took a full thirty months. When he has grown to manhood and reached the age of forty he [may] say: “Lord, help me to be truly grateful for Your favors to me and to my parents; help me to do good work that pleases You; I am one of those who devotes themselves to You.” These sacred precedents suggest several motivations behind the forty years of clemency requested by Valencian alfaquíes. One explanation would be the desire to achieve a mature, thorough conversion. The request for forty years—​two generations—​could be interpreted as a literal request with a symbolic outcome. The alfaquíes wanted their people to have forty actual years in which to perfect their Castilian or Valencian, their wearing of Christian clothes, and their practice of Catholicism. Forty years, after all, was not much time to prepare one’s soul for the Last Judgment. Alternatively, the request for “forty years” may have been fully metaphoric. That is, the Valencian alfaquíes really asked Charles V to have “enough time” to complete conversion. Exactly how long this would take, in literal years, was unclear. But by talking about “forty years,” they referred to a symbolic span of time in which complete, perfected conversion could take place. These interpretations of the request for “forty years” assume that Valencia’s alfaquíes were serious about conversion to Catholicism. We already saw that during the revolt of the germanías some Muslims viewed their forced conversion to Catholicism as an apocalyptic sign of the End Times. But there is another way to understand this request for forty years in symbolic-​ apocalyptic terms that does not assume Valencia’s Muslims accepted the victory of Catholicism at the end of 1525.


256  Chronologies at war According to the Old Testament book of Numbers, the Jews had to suffer forty years of exile in the desert before arriving in the Holy Land. This story—​ of forty years of suffering before salvation—​is retold in sūra 5:26 of the Qurʾān (The Feast). We know that many Muslims in Valencia spoke and read Arabic and owned copies of the Qurʾān. Textual references to these forty years of travail were no doubt familiar to many of them.72 The connection of forty years to dreams of a Promised Land was also found in aljamiado documents. One manuscript, the Tafsira (circa 1535), laments that “now, for our sins, we do not practice circumcision; by the grace of God we will return to it before the forty years”—​or, following Arabic models, “before the fortieth year.”73 It seems doubtful that this is a direct reference to the forty-​year grace period requested (but not received) by the alfaquíes of Valencia in 1525. The Tafsira’s forty years point in other directions. We know from other aljamiado texts that many Moriscos in sixteenth-​century Spain thought they would not wait long for the apocalyptic arrival of the Last Days and the restoration of Islam in the peninsula. Indeed, some Moriscos imagined the kingdoms of Spain as a holy, Promised Land. The Tafsira also records a belief that Iberia, like Jerusalem or the Kaʿba, was located directly beneath Paradise.74 Luce López-​Baralt found the same idea in another aljamiado text now at the National Library in Paris.75 In other words, it could be that the Valencian alfaquíes asked for forty years to (supposedly) change their customs and language because they thought that, like the ancient Jews, they would have to suffer for “forty years” before the apocalyptic transformation of the kingdoms of Spain into a Muslim Holy Land, beyond whose skies lay Paradise. In this interpretation, the alfaquíes were resigned to forty years of suffering before the triumph of Islam. Their request for forty years was not a request for time to convert, but a request for time to wait. A number of anthropologists, including Jean and John Comaroff in “The Madman and the Migrant,” have argued that history, and historical thought, does not necessarily depend on the use of a numbered chronology, a literal count of days and years (in 1521, this happened; in 1522, this happened …). Some forms of historical periodization are not numbered, but rely on poetic metaphors, or the alteration of different epochs (such as tiempo de moros and tiempo de su gentilidad). In contrast, what the “Myth of the Forty Years” suggests is that a chronology which seems to be numbered and literal on its surface may, more profoundly, be a metaphorical reference, referring to a kind of time, and not a count of time. And this has further implications for the 1525 agreement between Valencia’s alfaquíes and Emperor Charles V. I have just argued that when twelve of Valencia’s alfaquíes traveled to Toledo in December 1525 to request forty years of grace from the emperor, they may not have been thinking about a literal count of forty years at all. The same may have been true for the response given by Charles V. Recall that Charles V offered the Muslims of Valencia ten years, not forty, to change their ways of life. But these “ten years” may not be quite what they seem. “Ten years” was a symbolic unit of time in Christian law. The Seven-​Part Code of Alfonso


Chronologies at war 257 X (ca. 1256) describes customary law as something that develops force over a period of “ten or twenty years.”76 Once established, custom had the power to overturn formally mandated laws. Similarly, as Jules Kirshner and Tamar Herzog have shown, “ten years” of residency was a standard requirement for gaining citizenship throughout medieval and early modern Europe (and in Spanish America as well).77 In practice, however, those “ten years” were often nothing of the kind. They could be more, or less, or ignored altogether if other signs of belonging (such as property ownership in a town) were provided. By offering Valencia’s Muslims “ten years” to become as Christians, Charles V was evoking a magical number in Catholic traditions of law. Symbolically, “ten years,” meant “when they are ready” or “when they have demonstrated their transformation.” By reading the “ten years” as a qualitative reference, and not a quantitative one, we can understand why no new campaign against the Muslims of Valencia began in 1536—​that is, ten literal years after the agreements between Charles V and the alfaquíes of Valencia were printed and posted in January 1526. All of this means that our interpretations of this proclamation on conversion need to be radically revised. When the alfaquíes of Valencia requested forty years for social transformation, and when Charles V granted them only ten, both sides may have been saying the same thing, but speaking with different temporal metaphors. Thinking about symbolic time and social change from a Catholic perspective also brings us back to comments on conversion made by Valencia’s sixteenth-​century nobility. As saw in Chapter  4, a number of witnesses—​ including don Sancho de Cardona himself—​spoke of a 1550 conversation between the admiral and his vassals in the Valley of Guadalest, in which permission was granted for rebuilding the ruined Mosque of Revelation. When Antoni Joan Amat recounted the event in his testimony of July 9, 1563, he said that “the said admiral told them that they should repair it, and that it could be a church at some point” (podria ser yglesia en algun tiempo).78 The admiral later admitted to granting his subjects permission to rebuild the mosque: “this witness told them that they should repair it, for if it should be suitable to be a church, it would be better rebuilt than in ruins” (q[ue] si co[n]‌viese de ser ygl[es]ia mejor estaria labrada que derribada).79 As reported by rector Amat in 1563, the admiral spoke of the mosque’s eventual life as a church as a possible event in an unspecified future time: en algun tiempo. And as reported by the admiral himself in 1569, the building’s Christian conversion was a possibility, not a certainty. In reporting his own speech, the admiral used the subjunctive tense and the verb convenir, “to be suitable.” Neither of these two very different witnesses presented the rebuilding of the Mosque of Revelation as an act of pro-​Islamic tolerance. Instead, rhetoric about future Christianization allowed the mosque to be rebuilt. But exactly when that future Christianization would take place was left vague. The same rhetoric can be seen in the 1526 proclamation on conversion. Muslims will become Christian subjects. But exactly when that will


258  Chronologies at war happen was left by Charles V as a metaphorical “ten years.” Until that symbolical span of time has passed—​until Valencia’s Moriscos were ready—​ certain Islamic practices would be allowed. On the surface, these rhetorics of conversion demanded transformation (of mosques, clothes, languages). But in practice, they allowed a status quo to continue into an unspecified future. This paradoxical stance on social transformation—​claiming conversion a desirable goal, yet being vague as to when conversion would actually take place—​has much in common with medieval discourses about the Jews. As both David Nirenberg and Lucy Pick have argued, one of the reasons Jews were tolerated in medieval Iberian cities was because, according to Catholic traditions, they would not become Christians until the very end of time.80 Attempts to force Jewish conversions before the Last Days would therefore be futile—​indeed, against the divine plans of the Christian God. Because of this, medieval arguments about conversion—​in the far future—​were, paradoxically, arguments that left non-​Christians alone to practice their own faiths. An echo of this apocalyptic passivity can probably be heard in comments made in 1544 by the Catholic lords of Benimodo, don Galcerán and his son don Francisco. As reported by Lazarus Despuela—​rector in the Morisco villages of Benimodo and Carlet—​“many times he begged that they should give him permission to baptize the Moriscos, and they responded to him saying that now was not the time, and that he should leave them be.”81

Competing futures As in Valencia, Catholic attempts to reorder time in New Spain were met by a number of different reactions. We saw in Chapter 4 that some indigenous people yearned for a millennial restoration of the prehispanic past. The Spaniards would leave, they said, and the old order would return. Such messianic prophecies were not limited to Yanhuitlán: they are also documented in West and Central Mexico, Yucatan, Guatemala, and the Andes.82 But in contrast to these millenarian dreams, other indigenous people seemed to accept that their world had changed forever. The prehispanic past had been superseded by a new viceregal order. This perspective echoes that of the Muslim convert from Montesa whose words we read earlier: ya era complido el tiempo. And just as Islamic beliefs about the Last Days and Apocalypse allowed Valencia’s Moriscos to think about their own conversion to Christianity (“before the Thousand Years we have to be of one religion”), so too were prehispanic models used to understand the transformations brought by European expansion in the New World. Thus at the same time a female soothsayer from Yanhuitlán was claiming the Spaniards would soon leave, other religious specialists linked to Yanhuitlán had very different interpretations of their changing world. In late February 1545, about a month after arrest warrants had been issued in Mexico City for don Francisco and don Domingo, inquisitors prepared


Chronologies at war 259 to gather more evidence against the two nobles. They drafted a new list of questions to ask witnesses. As we saw in Chapter 4, one of their questions—​ Question 5—​concerned attempts by a Dominican priest to collect and burn “idols” six years before. But four witnesses—​three former slaves, one indigenous priest—​answered Question 5 by speaking about events that had taken place only a few months earlier. This is an important detail: four witnesses use a question about events six years earlier to talk instead about more recent developments. That is, they manipulated the forum provided by the Inquisition in order to talk about issues they found important. When don Francisco and don Domingo were arrested, these witnesses claimed, encomendero Francisco de las Casas summoned local elites and asked for them to bring him their god-​images. Two witnesses—​former Yanhuitlán slaves Quxi and Juan—​only reported hearing about this call for idols.83 Juan, another former slave of don Francisco then living in Etlatongo, claimed that las Casas called for the idols to destroy them. Yet Juan (who had been a slave for fifteen years) was a vocal opponent of prehispanic society and its sacrifices, and so his testimony may reflect wishful thinking.84 A very different account was told later the same day by Xaco, an unbaptized priest from Molcaxtepec: Don Francisco de las Casas joined all of the lords and said to them that they had already seen how the aforementioned [don Francisco and don Domingo] had been taken prisoner because they had devils [indigenous god-​images] and he ordered that all of them should bring him the demons that they had, and they should turn them over very secretly, so that no one should see, and he [las Casas] would guard them so that they would not burn the ruler [don Domingo] who was [imprisoned] in Mexico City, and that he looked both backwards and forwards, and was their master, and they should give him them [the images] and they should not listen to the Christian priests, because they did not have to understand their preaching, and that I [las Casas] know what has to be done and not the Christian priests, and the said don Juan and don Francisco Tuerto ordered that all the nobles of the subject towns should bring their demons, and the said don Francisco Tuerto and Juanico, indigenous servant of the said Francisco de las Casas, and an indigenous constable called Diego, who were from the town of Molcaxtepec, and this witness and other friends of his brought the said devils on their backs [a cuestas] and at night they brought them to the house of the said ruler because this was what they had been ordered to do because this witness and the others brought the said devils one day at dawn [un dia en amaneçiendo] and the said Francisco de las Casas was there and Juan de las Casas and the said Juanico and by his command they opened the said bundles and wrappings and brought out the said demons in the presence of this witness and of don Juan and don Francisco Tuerto and Domingo Estumeca and saw everything that they had brought; the stones and


260  Chronologies at war demons he placed in a box and he [las Casas] ordered his servant Juanico to carry it to his house, and this witness does not know more, and that among them were many good stones because they were the best and oldest devils in this Mixteca.85 This is a stunning account, and a careful reading reveals that Xaco did indeed believe the images were not going to be destroyed, but instead were about to take up residence in a new home.86 First, Xaco and the others brought the god-​images to Yanhuitlán “on their backs” (a cuestas). The timing of this presentation is also significant. Las Casas had asked that the images be brought to him “very secretly,” and at first it appears this took place under the cover of darkness (de noche). Xaco and his companions may have indeed left the town of Molcaxtepec during the night, but they arrived in Yanhuitlán at dawn (un dia en amaneçiendo). Furthermore, Xaco and his companions did not bring these images directly to the house of the encomendero. Instead, they went to the palace of the jailed ruler of Yanhuitlán, and waited there for Francisco de las Casas and his brother to come to them. Finally, when Yanhuitlán’s encomendero asked them to unwrap their bundled images and hand them over, they obeyed, and watched as las Casas’ servant took a boxful of gods back to his master’s residence. All of these details are highly suggestive. And it is important to remember that when Xaco tells these things to the inquisitors, he is actually supposed to be answering a question about the collection and destruction of idols by a Dominican friar in 1539. All of these details, then, are ones Xaco found it important to include. All are details that he did not have to offer up. What Xaco describes is not a simple surrender of evidence, but the bringing of bundled god-​ images, carried on the back, to important buildings (don Domingo’s palace, and from there to las Casas’ residence) at dawn. This was a structured set of ritual actions with a potent meaning. Carrying objects on one’s back, using a tumpline across the forehead, was (and remains) a common method for carrying heavy objects in Mesoamerica. But it was also a way to transport valued, honored cargoes, such as brides to their weddings or—​in the foundation histories of the Ñudzavui screenfolds—​sacred bundles to their new temple homes. We looked at three of these bundle-​carrying narratives in Chapter 4: from the Codex Nuttall, the Codex Colombino-​Becker, and the Codex Selden. An additional detail in the Codex Nuttall account is particularly relevant here. In the final pages of that narrative, Lord 12 Wind (bearing a temple and sacred bundle on his back) arrives at a town at Hill of the Sun, probably Achiutla (see Figure 4.4).87 There, he stands before a bundle-​housing temple with his companion, Lord 3 Flint. On the next page, Lord 3 Flint carries the temple on his back, accompanied by Lord 12 Wind and Lord 6 Dog (see Figure 5.8). The three men arrive at Black Town (Tilantongo). Once again, they stand before a temple, in which the god Flint Helmet stands above his sacred bundle. Achiutla and Tilantongo were prestigious communities in the


Chronologies at war 261 centuries before the Europeans arrived.88 These two pages, then, show the foundation of important new political centers. Both foundations take place at a ritually significant moment as well. Both are given the date of Day 1 Reed, Year 1 Alligator, the starting point of the Ñudzavui ritual calendar. And both take place at the time of a First Sunrise, the literal dawn of a new age of creation. This “Skull” sun shines in the sky above Lord 12 Wind on page  21; the red and gold band streaming below indicates that it is rising into the heavens for the first time. It replaces the sun that burned in the sky during the previous events in the story, a “Motion” sun (visible at the top right side of page 21). Pages 21 and 22 therefore illustrate the transition from one age of creation to another, a transition connected to the transfer and installation of sacred bundles. “Throughout Mesoamerica,” writes Allen Christenson, “the first dawn of the sun is a symbol, not only for the birth of a new age, but for the divine sanction of power to a lineage or allied group” (see Figure 2.3).89 Thus the Quiché Maya Popol Vuh, a creation story first written down with alphabetic characters in the middle of the sixteenth century, describes how the ancient lineage ancestors, in order to prepare for the First Sunrise, each “took his god to be carried on his back.”90 The dawning sun turned these animate gods into stone images; it also saw the first foundation of the Quiché kingdom. Similarly, in Aztec political rhetoric the death of a king was likened to an eclipse, and the election of a new ruler was compared to the dawning of a new sun. “Imagine, O Mexicans, that for a short time there was an eclipse of the sun, the earth grew dark and then afterwards the sun’s light returned to the land. If Mexico grew dark with the death of its monarch, may the sun come out again: elect another king.”91 Returning to Yanhuitlán, what all of this means is that Xaco and his companions—​in their own minds, at least—​were doing something far more complicated than disposing of evidence. They carried the god-​images on their backs, and timed their journey to arrive at dawn in the empty palace of an imprisoned ruler. There they opened the cloth wrappings that hid their gods from view—​an act so potent that it might kill those present, or envelop them in darkness.92 Once revealed, the gods were handed over to a new political leader, a foreign stranger. He then sent the stones to his own residence. For Xaco, this would have been a reenactment of ancient stories about the foundation of kingdoms and the creation of worlds. A  new political order was emerging that morning in Yanhuitlán, as the objects representing indigenous sacred power were handed over to a European by the light of a dawning sun. When Xaco—​newly baptized as Josephe—​confirmed his 1545 testimony on April 8, 1546, he made the connection between the transfer of gods and the transfer of political power explicit: “this witness has guarded some of the said idols until they arrested the aforementioned [don Domingo and don Juan and don Francisco].”93 It might seem strange that an indigenous priest would surrender his normally untouchable sacred images to an outsider from Trujillo. But in the early


262  Chronologies at war sixteenth century Europeans were thought of as strange beings with strange powers.94 A  particularly gristly example of this appears in the Yanhuitlán documents. On February 22, 1545, Luis Delgado (a European living in the Mixtec town of Tilantongo) testified that a few days earlier, he found that in the hamlet of Andúa which is subject to the said town of Yanhuitlán there was a repaired pyramid [renovado], from which this witness and other Spaniards removed a great quantity of sacrifices and idols and thirteen or fourteen vessels filled with blood—​one fresh, filled in the past three or four days—​and the head of a Spaniard which according to what the Indians had been told had been brought from the town of Tepetl Tututla.95 This town was probably Tututepec, a major center on the Pacific coast.96 That is, the head of a Spaniard had been carried north for hundreds of kilometers in order to place it in a recently repaired sacred building where sacrifices were offered.97 Similar objects, also made possible by the presence of the Europeans, were being revered at about the same time in the nearby Valley of Oaxaca. In 1565, the priest Diego Cano de Ojeda learned of the existence of a sacred cave. Inside was “the head of a person whom they said was Spanish, all encrusted with stonework and along with it other very elegant masks of the same type.”98 The making of turquoise-​ encrusted skulls was a prehispanic practice, documented by archaeological remains and the images of prehispanic books. In viceregal Oaxaca, this ancient tradition was being continued, but using a new, imported material: European bone. Turquoise was itself seen as a far-​ traveled substance:  Mesoamericans believed the light blue gemstones came from the heavens.99 Encrusting a European skull with turquoise mosaic would have combined in a single object two precious substances from distant places: stone from the sky, bone from across the sea. This chapter has considered the many ways that time was imagined in Muslim, Catholic, and Ñudzavui worlds. All three traditions had models for thinking about both ruptured and continuous chronologies, and these models were used in different ways by different people to understand radical social change. The role of messianism and apocalypticism in the early modern Old World has, over the past two decades, been of interest to a number of historians: Cornell Fleischer describes “A Mediterranean Apocalypse”; Sanjay Subrahmanyam writes a “connected history” of messianic networks linking the Atlantic to the Pacific in early modern Eurasia. Parallel histories connect the Mediterratlantic. Apocalypticism in the New World is usually discussed as an Old World import; the classic treatment is John Leddy Phelan’s 1956 The Millennial Kingdom of the Franciscans in the New World. But there was a prehispanic tradition of apocalypticism as well, and this proved indigenous people with a model for imagining, and enacting, the transformation of their world.


Chronologies at war 263

Notes 1 BL Egerton 1510, 119r–​119v. 2 Ladero Quesada, Granada, 366–​81. 3 Zerubavel, “French”; Fasolt, Limits, 19; Hamann, “How to Chronologize”; Hamann, “Anarchist.” 4 Bloch, “Past”; Bourdieu, Outline, 97–​109; Comaroff and Comaroff, Ethnography, 55–​178; Munn, “Cultural”; Stewart, “Ritual.” 5 Palencia, Universal, 1: 178v. 6 As recently as 1947, en tiempo de su gentilidad was used to translate the English “pagan past” in Adrián Recinos’ edition of Sylvanus Griswold Morley’s The Ancient Maya (Morley, Ancient, 37; Morley, La civilización, 52). The Recinos translation is still in print. A quick online search reveals contemporary uses of en temps de moros in Catalan. 7 My lexical-​historical explorations are inspired by Nietzsche, Birth, 147–​299 and Elias, Civilizing, 48; see also Ginzburg, Cheese, 81–​86 (on “the shift of the metaphor ‘new world’ from a geographical to a social context”). 8 Gibson, “Reconquista,” 21; Ríos Saloma, Reconquista. 9 See also Bartlett’s discussions of temporality, transition, and “the time of the Moors” (Making, 95, 141, 148, 164, 208). 10 Muñoz y Romero, Colección, 416. Thanks to Constantin Fasolt for his help in the translation of this (and the following) Latin text. 11 Muñoz y Romero, Colección, 445. On the tempus de mauros in general see Lacarra, “La reconquista,” 69–​71. 12 For other examples of this phrase in documents from medieval Valencia, see Burns, Islam, 120, 127; Burns and Chevedden, Negotiating, 112, 139–​40. 13 García, “Carta,” 169. 14 García, “Carta,” 169. 15 December 18, 1253 (ICS Caja 119, Núm. 33). 16 Ballesteros, Sevilla, lxxvi. 17 See also Bartlett’s discussion of medieval renaming and “the time of the Moors” (Making, 164). 18 Ballesteros, Sevilla, xiii. 19 Ballesteros, Sevilla, xxi; for other examples of renaming, see xxii, xxxv, xxxvii, xliv, xlvi. 20 “… con todas las posesyones e rentas que en tiempo de moros tenya e tiene”; transcript of full document at 21 Espinar Moreno, “Iglesias,” 93. 22 Although I  have focused on uses of tiempo de moros at times of Christian conquest, this phrase was used throughout the Middle Ages. Consider a document from September 24, 1373 about the right of Muslims to leave Valencia and travel to Muslim lands (“Sobrels moros que se puxen passar en tierra de moros”) recopied in the early 1500s into the Black Book (Llibre Negre) of the Bailía General of Valencia (ARV Chancillería Real Lib. 659, 363v–​367r; see also Cabanes Pecourt, “El Llibre”). 23 Gallego y Burín and Gámir Sandoval, Los moriscos, 165. 24 Nebrija, Gramática, 238. 25 Colón, Descripción, 2: 91. 26 Colón, Descripción, 1: 262. 27 Colón, Descripción, 1: 264.


264  Chronologies at war 28 The Instructions were first printed by Martín Pérez de Ayala in 1566. Pérez de Ayala, Les instructions, unpaginated; Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, “Un plan.” 29 Pérez de Ayala, Les instructions, unpaginated. For a similar discussion from the 1554 Synod of Guadix (concerning Granada), see Feliciano Chaves, “Mudejarismo, ” 63–​64. Ruptural meanings of “the time of the Muslims” start to appear in Granada before they do in Valencia; see Gallego y Burín and Gámir Sandoval, Los moriscos, 172–​74 (on butchery and clothing in 1511), 197 (on burials in 1525). 30 AHN Inq. Leg. 550, Caja 1 Exp. 4, 332v. 31 AHN Inq. Leg. 550, Caja 1 Exp. 4, 382r. 32 AHN Inq. Leg. 550, Caja 1 Exp. 4, 425v. 33 In 1492, Antonio de Nebrija described the past perfect as indicating something “in the more-​than-​finished past” (en el pasado más que acabado; Nebrija, Gramática, 239). 34 Thanks to Kenny McGill for his thoughts on rhemes and readymades. For “time of ” phrases from the viceregal Andes, see Rappaport and Cummins, Beyond, 168. 35 en tiempo de montesuma (testimony of don Juan, governor of Yanhuitlán, August 19, 1546; AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 354r); enel t[iem]po de fray dionissio (testimony of don Cristóbal, governor and constable of Nochixtlán, October 20, 1544; 176r). 36 Davies, Corpus; Pérez de Moya, Philosofia, 103v, 33r. 37 Mármol y Carvajal, Historia, 105. 38 Gracián de la Madre de Dios, Beatus, 298. 39 Zorita, Relación, 50, 191; Mercado, Summa, 33; Pomar, Relación, 4; Muñoz Camargo, Historia, 212; Acosta, Historia, 185; Mendieta, Historia, 142; see also Espinosa Fernández de Córdoba (“Fabrication,” 272, 275, 286) on la usanza de su gentilidad in the seventeenth-​century Andes. 40 AGN Inq. Vol. 1 Exp. 6 (1540); AGN Inq. Vol. 2 Exp. 10 (1539); AGN Inq. Vol. 30 Exp. 7a (1538); AGN Inq. Vol. 30 Exp. 9 (1539); AGN Inq. Vol. 37 Exp. 1 (1536); AGN Inq. Vol. 37 Exp. 2 (1538); AGN Inq. Vol. 37 Exp. 3 (1539); AGN Inq. Vol. 37 Exp. 3bis (1540); AGN Inq. Vol. 37 Exp. 4 (1536); AGN Inq. Vol. 37 Exp. 4bis (1539); AGN Inq. Vol. 37 Exp. 12 (1546–​1547); AGN Inq. Vol. 40 Exp. 32 (1540); AGN Inq. Vol. 40 Exp. 33 (1539–​1540); AGN Inq. Vol. 42 Exp. 18 (1539); AGN Inq. Vol. 212 Exp.  7 (1540). The phrase en su gentilidad does occur (AGN Inq. Vol. 30 Exp. 9, 149v/​152v), as does en su infidelidad (AGN Inq. Vol. 42 Exp. 18, 37v)—​but my interest here is the emphasis on a congealed tiempo. The phrase en t[iem]po De su ynfidelidad appears in a April 27, 1539 letter written in Mexico City (Newberry Library, Chicago, Ayer Ms. 1275, 2v–​3r). 41 The word gentilidad is not documented in Castilian until the middle of the fifteenth century (Alonso, Diccionario, 1195). Note that some thirteenth-​century Muslim-​ Christian treaties in Latin describe the Islamic-​dominated past not simply as the tempore sarracenorum, “time of the Muslims,” but also as the tempore paganorum, “time of the pagans” (Guinot Rodríguez, Cartes, 158; Burns, Islam, 120). This probably relates to medieval theories that Muslims were secretly idolaters, worshipping Apollo and other antique gods (Camille, Gothic, 129–​62). But I doubt that the tempore paganorum phrase provides us with a genealogy for the tiempo de su gentilidad. The term gentile, of course, existed in ancient and medieval Latin (gentilibus), but I have not found Muslim-​Christian treaties that refer to a tempore gentilium. And unlike tempore sarracenorum, the phrase tempore paganorum does not appear to have been translated into Castilian or Catalan for use in vernacular-​ language treaties.


Chronologies at war 265 42 Pagden, Fall; Lupher, Romans; MacCormack, On; Pohl and Lyons, Altera. 43 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 214r. 44 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 348r. 45 This echoes a study of tribute records from circa 1535–​1540 Morelos, which suggest baptisms took place on an individual (versus household or community) level (Cline, “Spiritual”); see also Herzog, “Indiani,” 11. 46 Robbins, “Continuity,” 11. 47 See also Blix, “Charting.” 48 Alfonso’s will, and an inventory of his house, are found in ARCSCC 15606 (August 27, 1534). 49 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 396r. 50 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 396v. 51 McIntyre, Customary, 74–​ 81; Fernández Arruti, “La costumbre,” 155–​ 66; Christian, “Catholicisms”; Herzog, “Indiani,” 19–​22. 52 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 505v; on the Cardona family in the fifteenth century, see Garcia-​Oliver et al., Hug. 53 Testimony May 31, 1568 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 356r). 54 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 356r. 55 AHN Inq. Leg. 551 Caja 2 Exp. 13, 6r. 56 Pérez de Ayala, Catechismo, 152; see also Ginzburg, Cheese, 49–​50, 106. 57 AHN Inq. Leg. 552 Caja 3 Exp. 43. 58 Testimony of Martín Sánchez Bermejo, shepherd from Daimiel, in the case against María Naranja, May 16, 1538 (LL Inquisition of Spain Original Manuscripts Box 1 Folder 1, 10v). See also Surtz, “Morisco.” 59 Ancestral inheritance is also a concern in Feria’s 1567 Zapotec catechism (Doctrina, 49r, 62r). 60 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 105r, 106r. 61 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 119r. 62 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 193r; see also testimony of Domingo, former slave, May 11, 1545 (198r). 63 Alvarado, Vocabulario, 160r; see also Chuchiak, “De Descriptio,” 152 (on heirloomed Maya sacred images). 64 For early modern Muslim and Morisco apocalpyticism, see Green-​ Mercado, “Prophecy”; García-​Arenal, “Taqiyya,” 351–52; Fleischer, “Mediterranean.” 65 LL Ms. Codex 1078, 39r–​39v. 66 LL Ms. Codex 1078, 33r. 67 Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, Heróicas, 92–​101. 68 Halperin Donghi (Un conflicto, 128)  argues that the Moriscos interpreted this agreement as meaning forty years of immunity from the Inquisition. But even Old Christians thought this was the case as well. In 1544, Bartolomé de los Ángeles accused Friar Joan Mico (a Dominican) of telling Valencia’s Moriscos that “they had been given forty years of time”—​although this was countered by testimony from Joan Perpinian, who denied that Mico spoke of a specific temporal period (BPR II 555, 72r). Mico preached to the Moriscos of Valencia in 1543 (Robres, “Ne Pereant,” 213). For an evocation of “forty years” in 1568, see Benítez Sánchez-​Blanco, “Moriscos,” 188. Finally, a 1587 text by don Jerónimo Corella claimed that Valencia’s Moriscos enjoyed forty years of immunity after 1526 (AHN Inq. Leg. 1791 No. 3). 69 One survives in BL Egerton Ms. 1832, 22v–​23r. Halperin Donghi (Un conflicto, 129) says this document was also read by a public crier in 1528.


266  Chronologies at war 70 See also Brandes, Forty. 71 Pérez de Chinchón, Antialcorano, 38v, 90v, 97v. 72 Over seventy aljamiado versions of the Qurʾān also survive (Catlos, Muslims, 321). 73 Narváez Córdova, Tratado, 153. 74 López Baralt, “El oráculo,” 50; Epalza, “Dos,” 86. 75 López Baralt, “El oráculo,”  45–​46. 76 Burns, Las Siete, 11. 77 Kirshner, “ ‘Ars,’ ” 291, 293, 301, 303; Herzog, Defining, 19, 21, 23, 41–​42, 56, 68–​70, 75, 84, 97, 99, 101, 123, 132, 137, 152, 174. Thanks to Tamar Herzog for making me realize the symbolic nature of “ten years” in European law. 78 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 337v. 79 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 430v. 80 Nirenberg, Communities; Pick, Conflict, 76, 132–​34. 81 BL Egerton 1832, 58r. For more on this and related testimonies, see the discussion of Morisco burial practices in Chapter 6. 82 West Mexico (Behar, “Visions”); Central Mexico (León-​Portilla, “Testimonios,” 31; Gruzinski, Man-​Gods, 31–​ 62; Lomnitz, Death, 185–​ 90; AGN Inq. Vol. 38 Exp.  7; Reyes García, ¿Cómo te confundes?, 157–​61; Motolinía, Historia, 72; Hackett, Historical, 132–​ 33); Yucatan (Clendinnen, Ambivalent, 40–​41); Guatemala (Kramer, Encomienda, 40); the Andes (Stern, Peru’s, 51–​79). 83 Testimony of Quxi, a former Yanhuitlán slave, May 13, 1545 (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 201v). Testimony of Juan, a former Yanhuitlán slave, May 11, 1545 (AGN Vol. 37, 199v). 84 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 196r–​197v. 85 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 200v. 86 That god-​ images were indeed handed over to Yanhuitlán’s encomendero is corroborated by Coquoa, another indigenous priest, who testified on April 13, 1546:  “Dixo q[ue] guardava este t[estig]o en casa del d[ic]ho don fran[cis]co los ydolos /​preg[unta]do que donde estan /​dixo que estavan enterrados en cassa del d[ic]ho don fran^co y q[ue] despues de preso se los llevaron a casa de fran[cis]co De las Cassas” (AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 335r). 87 Forde, “Conquest,” 70–​73. 88 Byland and Pohl, In. 89 Christenson, Popol, 228. 90 Christenson, Popol, 223. 91 Umberger, “Events,” 425–​46. 92 See Hamann, “Object,” 528. 93 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 322r. 94 Lockhart, “Sightings,” 246–​47. 95 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 185r. 96 Jansen and Pérez Jiménez, Historia, 156. 97 Bernal Díaz del Castillo claims that Moctezuma took the head of a captured conquistador outside of the city of Tenochtitlán and offered it to the gods (cited in Gruzinski, Images, 49). 98 Romero Frizzi, “Indigenous,” 237. A temple in cell 41 of the Lienzo de Tlaxcala houses a severed horse’s head next to the sacred bundle of Tezcatlipoca (Hamann, “Object,” 528). 99 Taube, “Turquoise,” 294; Hamann, “Producing,” 28–​29.


Conclusions Conversion, reduction, and early modern empire

In the previous chapters, we have seen how struggles over time took material form in both Oaxaca and Valencia. On both sides of the Atlantic, social transformation involved the conscious manipulation of things inherited from the past. Practices of destruction were met with strategies of protection—​ and even after desecrations had taken place, techniques of preservation attempted to rebuild what had been violated. Sacred buildings were torn down and reconstructed, decorated, even improvised from existing structures (Chapters 3, 4, 5, and 6). Holy images were moved from place to place; books and parchments hidden (Chapters 4 and 7). Long-​established practices were banned, or permitted, or remade into something new (Chapters 3, 5, and 7). The dead were buried, dug up, and buried again (Chapter 6). One of the reasons material destructions were important in attempts to turn old worlds into new ones was because they created tangible evidence that a break from the past had taken place. The acts of iconoclastic reformers were often based on a strategy of “rupture, then catch up.” Material destructions made it possible to claim that irreversible change had already happened. As a consequence, the duty of people living in a transformed world was to make their lives conform to the new order in which they already lived. In Chapter 7, for example, we saw how rhetoric of a past “time of the Muslims” and “time of gentility” had to be actualized through the purging of supposedly atavistic Muslim and prehispanic practices—​ practices that had no place in the already arrived new era. In Chapter  5, we saw how Vitoria’s critiques of iconoclasm were directed against theories which imagined the destruction of idols and mosques could indeed produce instant conversions. And in Chapter 3, we saw how strong theories of papal sovereignty claimed the pope was already the commander of all peoples in the world, whether Christian, gentile, or heretic. Because of this, he had authority over non-​Christian practices—​even though the actual conversion of all humanity would not occur until the end of time (Chapter 7). This early modern temporal logic was quite widespread, and can be found in other contexts of invasion and missionization, such as rituals of town foundation or (as Charles Gibson pointed out in 1980) claims about the “future conquest” of Muslims and Native Americans.1


268 Conclusions This rhetoric of rifts and ruptures collided with the tangled temporalities of social life. Claims that irrevocable change had already taken place were often contradicted by daily practice. And so in addition to claims of already-​pastness, struggles over change in both Oaxaca and Valencia were also characterized by the production of turbulence. Rather than a single moment of purifying destruction, we find instead a kind of materialized dialectic. The Mosque of Revelation was torn down the early 1520s, rebuilt in 1550, and torn down again in 1563. Other Valencian mosques were turned into Catholic churches in the 1520s, and had bodies buried in their floors—​but those bodies were dug up again when the churches reverted to being mosques, leaving the scars of empty graves in their floors. Ruined pyramid-temples in the center of Yanhuitlán were still used as places of worship and sacrifices, and ongoing offerings of blood, food, and incense would have left material residues—​at least until those ruins were buried by new church and monastery. In other words, iconoclastic schemes only triumphed after a long struggle, a struggle that left messy residues in the world.2 As Marshall Sahlins would say, the more things stay the same, the more they change.3 All of which introduces the fraught concept of conversion:  yet another example of riven temporalities in the early modern world. Conversion might seem something too obvious to define, but its early modern meanings were strange indeed. Understanding conversion in the sixteenth century will bring us first to the theory and practice of baptism, and from baptism to reduction:  the broader conceptual horizon in which conversion was situated. We will begin, once again, by pairing testimonies from Oaxaca and Valencia.

Conversions of the soul During the very first week of the Yanhuitlán investigation, don Diego (indigenous ruler of Etlatongo) made this accusation against Yanhuitlán governor don Francisco: the said don Francisco although he is a Christian and baptized is not a Christian and does not understand the things of God, but rather those of the devil (testimony October 15, 1544).4 Paradoxically, don Francisco is accused of both being and not being a Christian at the same time. We might be tempted to explain away this contradiction as scribal error, or as the result of confusion in the mind a poorly indoctrinated recent convert to Catholicism. But similarly paradoxical statements were being made on the other side of the Atlantic, in reference to the Moriscos of Valencia. As we saw in Chapters 6 and 7, the forced baptisms of Valencian Muslims in the summer of 1521 were subsequently investigated as to their legality. How had the baptisms been performed? Had Muslims ultimately consented to be


Conclusions 269 baptized, or not? One such investigation took place in the city of Valencia’s Muslim quarter in September 1522. The resulting documents record the following, paradoxical claim by Valencian resident María Peña: “this witness knows that many others are Christians, and live as Muslims.”5 Two years later, as part of a similar investigation, Antonio García (vicar of Montesa) testified that he asked some of the new Muslim converts why they lived as Muslims, since they were Christians [pues eran cristianos], and they responded saying that their [Christian] lords commanded it. And he remembers that after having baptized the women, they removed the coverings they wore on their heads.6 In these testimonies from 1520s Valencia, we have claims parallel to the 1544 accusation that don Francisco of Yanhuitlán both was and was not a Christian. We have Muslim converts who are asserted to be Christians, but who simultaneously lived as Muslims. In Antonio García’s 1524 testimony, this accusation is immediately followed by a recollection of baptismal rites, in which only after christening did converted Muslim women remove their veils. Baptismal water is applied to the head in Catholic ceremonies, so it is striking—​and significant, as we will see—​that the removal of stereotypically Muslim clothing was narrated by García as happening after the ritual, and not before it. How did one become a Christian in the sixteenth-​century Iberian world? And how could one be a Christian yet live as an idolater, or a Muslim? The disjoint in these testimonies between identification and action seems to rub against arguments for practice-​based understandings of religion (see Chapter  5). These testimonies also clash with common-​sense notions of conversion as about individual belief, intentional self-​fashioning, and—​in missionary contexts—​a process of pedagogy:  learning to be Christian in a “long conversation.”7 So what was conversion for early modern Catholics? How was it understood? Most broadly, it was a type of fundamental transformation, not limited to religious contexts. In his massive Castilian dictionary of 1611, Sebastián de Covarrubias began defining convertir as “to reduce [reducir] that which goes by another road, and follows another opinion.” He then offered analogies of process: “Conversion. The change of something into another, such as in natural things, where water is converted into an icicle, or ice, and this into crystal.” Covarrubias’ liquid example is quite appropriate, for in religious terms conversion happened at baptism.8 Religious education was not necessary for baptism to produce its converting effects. This was why infant baptism worked. Indoctrination was preferred before adults were converted by baptism, but even that was not necessary. All that was required from adults was consent. If consent was given—​however tentative or coerced—​the waters of baptism converted.


270 Conclusions And so on both sides of the Atlantic, missionary accounts present baptism and conversion as an inseparable pair. The 1524 document from Valencia quoted earlier begins with inquisitors writing that “we have been informed that at the time of unrest in this kingdom many Muslims were converted and received the water of baptism.”9 Five years later, Franciscan Friar Martín de Castañega’s Very Subtle and Well-​Founded Treatise on Superstitions and Witchcraft had this to say about the powers of baptism on unbelievers: Thus, if a Jew or a Muslim who does not believe in baptism should consent to it and should receive baptism as Christians receive it, he would nevertheless have really received baptism and have become a Christian, so that if he should ever come to believe the Faith, he would not have to be baptized again.10 Castañega’s commentary on baptism appears one paragraph after a discussion of idolatry in the New World—​and a decade later, around 1540, one of his Franciscan brothers (Motolinía, who we met in Chapters  4 and 7) described the baptism-​conversion of Central Mexicans in breathless detail. God had brought the friars to this land of Canaan so that they should build for him a new altar among these gentiles and unbelievers, and so that they should multiply and extend his holy name and faith, as appears in many chapters of this book about the towns and provinces which they converted and baptized at the beginning of the conversion when the multitude came for baptism, for so many came to be baptized that the baptizing priests were many times unable to lift the pitcher with which they baptized because their arms were tired …11 A few years later, when a second edition of Bishop Juan de Zumárraga’s Christian Doctrine was published in Mexico City, it contained this explanation: Christianity begins in baptism. Because just as in baptism the body is washed and cleaned with physical water, so too spiritually, by virtue of the blood of Jesus Christ our redeemer, is the soul and the whole person washed free of the sin in which we are born, and all the other sins which have been committed before baptism (as happens in those who become Christians and are baptized when already adults) …12 Indeed, if we return to Covarrubias, we see he gives the verb christianar and the noun christianismo as synonyms for bautizar and bautismo—​the same connections preserved in the English verbs “to christen” and “to baptize”: CHRISITANIZE, baptize, make someone a Christian, giving them the sacrament of Baptism.


Conclusions 271 CHRISTIANISM, if taken for the act of baptizing, it means the same as baptism, although sometimes it signifies the Catholic Church of all the faithful, just as the term paganism refers to all the pagans who are outside of it [the Church], and of its union.13 We can now return to the paradoxical testimonies from Oaxaca and Valencia. Since the waters of baptism converted, the accusation made against don Francisco should begin to make sense:  “although he is a Christian and baptized …” But to understand how don Francisco could be, simultaneously, “not a Christian”—​ and to understand how baptized Moriscos could be “Christians, and live as Muslims,” we need to look more closely at what happened to the soul at the moment of baptismal conversion. Although we might assume this to be an entirely spiritual process, it was described with strikingly tangible metaphors. The effects of baptism on the soul can be placed alongside the breaking of idols and the leveling of mosques as yet another materialized transformation of time, with implications for both past and future. Baptism’s first effect was to cleanse one’s soul of original sin inherited from Eden, as well as sins committed since birth. As Mexico City’s Bishop Zumárraga wrote in 1544 and 1546: [Baptism] is called the first sacrament because it was given to cure the first transgression, which is the original sin which we all inherit from our first parents, Adam and Eve.14 More, this cleansing of the soul with the blood of Jesus Christ … pardons that sin in which we all fell with Adam, and in which, before baptism, all those born after him are born.15 The 1555 Light of the Christian Soul put baptism’s temporal transformations this way: baptism is generation [generación, in the sense of engendering new life]; for just as in generation nothing remains of the past, but rather everything is made anew, so in baptism is a man pardoned of all sins, of guilt as well as penalty, and is made a new man in spirit, pure and clean of all infirmity and stain.16 Baptism brought about renewal, a regenerative cleansing of the soul that adjusted one’s relation to cosmic time. A new beginning was made possible, freed from the primordial legacies of Eden. But the temporalities of baptism did not just look back to prelapsarian purity. They also made demands on a person’s future. For the soul in baptism was not simply wiped clean. It was simultaneously branded with the mark of Christ, a character.17


272 Conclusions This mark could never be removed. Once again, Covarrubias is an illuminating guide: CHARACTER … mark, such as that which shepherds put on their livestock, when they graze far away, so that they not be confused with that of their neighbor, and by their sign, or brand, can be gathered, and thus to the Christian is imprinted in baptism the character of grace, by which one is distinguished from others, and is of the flock of that divine shepherd, as said by Saint John, c­ hapter 10: “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep …”18 Sixteenth-​ century catechisms are filled with references to the permanent character-​brand inscribed on the soul in baptism. To quote again from Light of the Christian Soul: the third effect of the sacraments is the character, which is imprinted on the soul, and which is a sign that, afterwards, once the soul has been sealed, cannot be scraped away; it remains forever, either for greater glory in heaven, or for greater punishment in Hell …19 And Bishop Zumárraga’s 1544 Christian Doctrine put it this way: this sacrament imprints a character on the soul which can never be removed [este sancto sacramento imprime caracter en el alma de la jamas puede ser prouado], even if the baptized should apostatize the faith, for this character and sign will always remain on the soul.20 This imprinting explains why the military baptisms of Muslims in Valencia in 1521 were so problematic. These Muslims had been converted by the waters of baptism. Their souls belonged to Christ. If they were to relapse and live again as Muslims, they would be committing sacrilege against their own marked spiritual bodies, desecrating that which was branded as Christ’s property. Looking across the Atlantic again, Jesuit José de Acosta made this baptismal implication crystal-​clear in his circa 1570 The Preaching of the Gospel in the Indies: once the Christian character is truly received, it is necessary to force a person to preserve the faith he has received, so that he not commit a grave offense against the sacrament of Christ, profaning with licentiousness that which had been given [to Christ].21 The temporal retrogression-​restoration of the soul therefore had profound implications for the path of one’s future life, and afterlife. Sixteenth-​century Iberians were not so naïve as to think that baptismal water implanted Christian faith and belief. Rather—​as with the practices of ruination we discussed in


Conclusions 273 previous chapters—​ baptism was understood as effecting a radical transformation which then needed to actualized in practice. The baptized person had been converted, like water to crystal, and thus belonged to Christ, was a Christian. Baptism Christianized, irrevocably: ya eran cristianos.22 The soul-​ brand could not be scratched out. At issue, then, was not whether or not a baptized person was a Christian. At issue was whether they would live henceforth as a good Christian (buen cristiano) or a bad Christian (mal cristiano). These seemingly quaint phrases, “good Christian” and “bad Christian,” are not just parallel examples of the word “Christian” modified with an adjective. Good Christian and bad Christian were established categories of being, categories constantly mentioned by early modern Catholics. Perhaps the clearest explanation of good versus bad Christianity comes from Pedro de Feria’s Christian Doctrine in Castilian and Zapotec (Figure 1.6). Written for Dominican missionary efforts in the Valley of Oaxaca, it was published in Mexico City in 1567: There are two kinds of Christians in the Church. Some are good [son buenos], and are in the grace of God; others are bad [son malos] and in mortal sin. Both are Christians, and pertain to the Church, because they have received the Holy Baptism and remain in the faith—despite the fact that some might be bad and sinners. But there is a difference, for the bad Christian [mal christiano] does not enjoy nor participate in the benefits of the Church, whereas the good [Christian] participates in all, and takes part in all.23 Discussions of good versus bad Christians had a long history in Iberian Catholicism. A  1478 letter from Seville complained that “since the Old [Christians] there are such bad Christians [malos cristianos], the New [Christians] are very good Jews.”24 A  1513 royal decree on Moriscos in Granada stated that converts “have to be good Christians [buenos cristianos], and so it is appropriate that they appear so in their dress”—a textile signature of good Christianity explored in more detail shortly.25 And as the quotations which open this book reveal, these categories also appear in the investigations from Oaxaca and Valencia. An October 15, 1544, testimony against the three nobles of Yanhuitlán claimed that “the said don Francisco and don Juan and don Domingo are bad Christians [malos xpianos], for they do not observe Christian doctrine, nor consider themselves Christians, and they make this well known, and they are living as bad Christians now.” Across the Atlantic, a May 12, 1568, letter written against don Sancho de Cardona claimed that the admiral—​whose family had been Catholics for generations, remember—​ “is known to be a very bad Christian [muy malo xpiano] and it has long been known in this Holy Office that he does not go to confession, and has ordered the rebuilding of ruined mosques, and other things…” But how was a person’s good versus bad Christianity decided? The evaluation was a social one, a community-​specific decision—​much like judgments


274 Conclusions on the material signifiers of guilt or innocence in medieval trials by fire and water.26 This meant that good and bad Christianity had no universal standards. Although Catholic Christianity was in theory catholic, universal (Chapter  3), canon law defended variations in local practice (Chapter  7). Good Christian practice in one place could be distinct from good Christian practice in another. Because of this, the demands for social transformation made on Muslims in Iberia differed in key ways from the demands for social transformation made on Native Americans. Catholic good Christianity was not, nor was it expected to be, universal, catholic, the same everywhere.27

Good Christianities The Iberian community was a physical space as well as conceptual model. But the structure of cities in Iberia was distinct from those in the Americas, and so presented different challenges for integrating new converts into Old Christian communities. Medieval Iberian cities were often surrounded by walls. They contained internal walls as well:  walls that separated Muslim and Jewish quarters from the rest of the population. These barriers not only represented religious divisions within a city, but also the existence of alternative legal and political regimes.28 When demands were made on Jews and Muslims to live as Christians in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a key task was merging once-​separated people with the surrounding Christian community. Or—​to be more precise in the Muslim case—​the goal was returning converts to the Catholic community of their ancestors. As we saw in the last chapter, in 1521 a Catholic preacher told the Muslims of Gandía that “you should return to the holy Catholic faith.” Two decades later, the circa 1543 guidelines for Valencia’s missionaries (see Chapter 3) concluded by urging that “you should make them [the Moriscos] understand the good opinion we have of them, and good will and friendship for being our brethren, and for being such ancient Spaniards [por ser tan antiguos españoles], and many of them descendants of Christians.”29 But (re)integrating a town’s Muslim quarter was one thing; doing the same to an entire Muslim kingdom, such as Granada, was quite another. And so after the Revolt of the Alpujarras failed in 1571, thousands of Muslims from Granada were uprooted and resettled, in small numbers, in cities throughout Iberia, an attempt at (re)unification that was both symbolic and literal.30 The physical and conceptual nature of communities in the Americas was quite different. Native Americans were new to Catholicism. They were not (already) “ancient Spaniards.” The ideal model of community in the New World therefore distinguished a Republic of Indians (república de indios) from a Republic of Spaniards (república de españoles). This vision had its origins in the Laws of Burgos (1512) and was well-​established by the middle of the sixteenth century.31 These two republics were to be kept separate—​for the time being, at least.32 A royal decree from 1563 demanded that “no Spanish vagabonds live in Indian towns,” and another from 1581 “commanded that


Conclusions 275 no Spaniard should live among the said Indians, unless he should be of exemplary behavior.”33 Although in some cases (Mexico City being the most famous), European invaders took over an already existing indigenous city, in other cases (such as Puebla), entirely new settlements were established, separate from the spatial histories of prehispanic urbanism. And in contrast to Iberia, new New World cities were almost never surrounded by walls.34 These historical and architectural-​spatial differences in Christian communities on either side of the ocean had different implications for language and clothing. When Islam was banned in Castile in 1502, and in the kingdoms of Aragón in 1525–​1526, Arabic was prohibited as well, along with styles of dress seen as being Muslim. Language and dress were not targeted at random; both played roles in the orthopraxy of Islam. Arabic was not simply the language of everyday speech: it was also sacred. The Qurʾān, for example, was not to be translated. The very ink scraped from the letters of Arabic documents had magical powers.35 Muslim-​style clothing was well-​designed for the needs of praying five times a day: shoes that could be quickly removed, loose garments for holy prostration. As we saw in Chapter  5, the maintenance of Islamic-​ style dress, and of Arabic, had long been concerns for religious specialists within Iberia’s Muslim communities as well. And so if Muslims were to be (re)integrated into Old Christian communities, physically and culturally, their most obvious markers of difference—​signs of belonging to an alternative community—​had to be removed. Already in 1500, the surrender accords of the Muslims of Baza stated that Muslim-​style clothing currently owned should be worn until it wore out, and was then to be replaced by Christian cuts.36 The reasons for replacement—​ framed in terms of the inside/​outside soul/​lifestyle analogies considered in Chapter  5—​ were explained in a document probably written in Granada around 1501: so that your conversation should be without scandal for born-​Christians and so that they should not think that you still have the sect of Muḥammad in your hearts, it is necessary that you conform in everything to the good and honest conversation of the good and honest Christians, in dress, and footwear, and shaving, and meals and cooked foods as [Christians] usually cook them, and in your walking and your manner of movement [vuestro dar y tomar] and above all in your speech, forgetting when you are able the Arabic tongue, and making it forgotten, so that it should never be spoken in your homes.37 Such prohibitions of dress and language would be issued in Granada over and over again—​and climaxed with the sweeping and revolt-​triggering prohibitions of January 1, 1567.38 Similarly, the prohibition of Islam in Valencia was accompanied by bans on clothing and language—​both of which were renegotiated in the famous Toledo meeting between Muslim representatives and Charles V late in 1525 (see Chapters 5 and 7). Forty years later, the religious


276 Conclusions connotations of changed clothing and speech were taken up as a rhetorical strategy by Luis Navarro, one of the Morisco witnesses against don Sancho. He and his neighbors, Luis asserted, “have been so attracted to the Christian faith that they never use the clothing nor language of the Muslims and they have also taught and teach their children to write and read in Castilian.39 The challenge in Iberia was to return Muslims to their Christian communities, and this integration meant removing Islamic differences (in language, dress, and location within urban space). But in the New World, European settlements were viewed as new foundations, separate from Native American ones. Metaphorically speaking, in the Americas there were no intra-​mural walls to dismantle. As a result—​again following canon law—​it was expected that indigenous communities would have local customs different from European settlers. Thus a Royal Decree on the indigenous New World from 1555 stated “we approve and take as good your good laws and good customs which you have had and have from ancient times” … as long as they did not conflict with Catholic teachings.40 This same sentiment was repeated in the Jesuit José de Acosta’s Natural and Moral History of the Indies of 1590: “In general it is correct to permit that which one is able of the practices and customs of the Indians (as long as they are not mixed with their ancient errors).”41 Of course, deciding which indigenous customs were, or were not, in conflict with Catholic teachings was already a technique of transformation, with long-​term effects.42 But in striking contrast to Granada and Valencia, sartorial change and linguistic prohibitions were never legislated for Native Americans.43 Indigenous elites were certainly eager to adapt European styles of dress (see Figure 5.10), and realized that learning Castilian was a technique of power.44 But the legal regimes in which Native Americans chose to adopt those European practices were strikingly different from the legal regimes being imposed at the same time on Iberian Muslims. None of which is to say that the arrival of Europeans in the New World did not produce radical ruptures. Although Native Americans were to live in their own communities, those communities were materially altered by the conquerors (as we saw in Chapters  5 and 6). Native Americans could keep speaking their own languages, yet those languages—​ influenced by Castilian and transcribed by European missionaries—​were transformed as well.45 Even Mesoamerican models of time and history were changed:  the prehispanic past was homogenized as a lost tiempo de su gentilidad, and indigenous calendar systems (including a 260-​day ritual cycle and a 365-​day solar year) were displaced by a European calendar filled with festivals to Catholic divinities. But these transformations (of architecture, language, time itself) were not “colonial,” because they were also being applied in Iberia, to the practices of Muslims as well as of Old Christians. These were techniques of reduction. This was a master-​category of change in which conversion was but one manifestation.


Conclusions 277

Reduction Fifteenth-​and sixteenth-​ century clerics often described conversion to Christianity as a simultaneous reduction. The pairing of conversion and reduction appears in claims about Canary Islanders (“reduced and converted to our Catholic faith”), Native Americans (“reduced to the true faith”), and Muslims (“the conversion and reduction of the said Moriscos to the Christian religion”).46 A  1524 letter quoted earlier described how Valencia’s Muslims “were reduced and brought to our baptism and to our Church.”47 We have seen this connection between reduction and conversion before, in Covarrubias’ definition of convertir: “to reduce [reduzir] that which goes by another road, and follows another opinion …”48 But conversions and reductions were not limited to non-​ Christian populations:  they were also applied to Old Christian populations within Europe itself, in Portugal (“to reduce to His corral many of those souls”), the Germanies (“the reduction of those deceived souls”), Italy (“reduced, like sheep lost to the claws of the infernal wolf, to the bosom of the Good Shepherd”), and England (“reduced to the Catholic faith”).49 These pairings of reduction and conversion may at first seem confusing, because “reduction” in English and Castilian today is above all associated with numeric subtraction. In contrast, early modern reduction involved temporal and cosmic reorganization. As defined (once again) by Sebastián de Covarrubias, to be reduced (reducido) was to be “returned to better order”: TO REDUCE. Latin, reducere:  to be reduced is to be persuaded. Reduced: convinced, and returned [vuelto] to better order.50 This was not a theory of progress, in which everything was always advancing and improving. It was instead a lapsarian model of time. Perfection existed at creation, in Eden. But after Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden, the history of the world had been a history of decline. Because of this, the route to perfection always involved a return to the past. As Jesuit historian Juan de Mariana explained in 1592: plants and animals, the race [raza] and caste of men, are—​depending on the properties of sky and earth, and above all because of time—​changed and bastardized, especially when moved to other lands and other skies; and thus the burning genius of princes (abundantly endowed with gifts) is many times extinguished in their descendants, weakened if their vices are not corrected with good instruction, and if slack and soft blood is not recooked and reformed and returned to its ancient state …51 Reduction’s reformations aimed to replace present orders (orders of all kind, as we will see) with ones supposedly closer to the original designs of God.


278 Conclusions But reductive claims were generally fantasies of restoration. Sixteenth-​ century theories of originary orders were usually new inventions, without any connection to an actual past. Reductive practices thus created ruptures in time by presenting innovation as restoration: the retrogressive recovery of past perfection.52 Present practices were to be rejected, relegated to an outmoded, corrupt past. They were to be replaced by a future supposedly designed according to ancient models intrinsic to the structure of the universe—​models established at creation by God. That which was present was turned into a ruin, and imaginations of innate ancient order were used to build a new future. The concept of reduction was applied to a wide range of early modern targets, on both sides of the Atlantic. We have already seen how religious belief was one transoceanic target of “reduction and conversion.” Three other targets involved urban space, language, and time itself. Urban-​architectural reducciones are a well-​ known feature of Spanish American urbanism. In 1531, Emperor Charles V wrote a letter to the judges of his Royal Court on the island of Hispañola. He commanded them not to be distracted by indigenous “disruptions, drunken festivals, and other bad rites and customs.” Instead, “you should find a way to reduce them [los reducir] by order and art into towns, well concentrated and ordered, because they now live very scattered, without order or harmony.”53 Two decades later, in 1550, Charles V’s wife Isabel wrote to their viceroy in Mexico City. She offered this proposal for the transformation of indigenous life in New Spain: that which we all most desire and pray for to God, with great zeal, is that these Indians be well instructed and taught in the things of our holy Catholic faith, and in things humane and politic; and so that they can be truly Christian and politic, as the men of reason that they are, it is necessary that they be congregated and reduced to towns [reduzidos en pueblos] and not live scattered and dispersed in highlands and mountains, which causes them to be deprived of all spiritual and temporal benefit, without being able to have any help or good thing.54 These royal commands were not empty rhetoric. Forced resettlements of native peoples were indeed carried out in the Caribbean, New Spain, and Peru. The best-​studied example from the Mixteca is at Teposcolula.55 Sometimes these reducciones were successful (as at Teposcolula), and sometimes they were not. Failures were expected. The queen ended her 1550 letter by saying “This will not be done without great difficulty and cost.” It is important to understand that the reduction of Native Americans into towns was not simply a compressive or subtractive practice, in which many indigenous settlements were replaced by a single, concentrated settlement.56 Resettlement was described as reduction because the city, as an ideal type of spatial order, was thought to have been established by God at creation. Reducing the spaces in which Native Americans lived was therefore a manner of restoring to them an ancient and ideal form intrinsic to human nature.


Conclusions 279 University professor Francisco de Vitoria (who we met in Chapter 5) described it this way: “the primitive origin of human cities and commonwealths was not a human invention or contrivance to be numbered among the artifacts of craft, but a device planted by Nature in man for his own safety and survival.”57 Forced reductions were not unique to the Americas. They were also carried out in Iberia. Three months into the second Revolt of the Alpujarras, on March 15, 1569, Jesuit Gaspar Daranda wrote a letter from Granada which imagined the reduction of Muslims to a Christian life: two years ago, King Philip commanded that the Moriscos of this kingdom should change the ancient clothing which they wore when they were Muslims, and that they should speak the Castilian language … what a necessary means it was, taking away their clothing and language, so that they should be reduced [se reduxessen] to live in a Christian manner.58 When this revolt was crushed, King Philip II decreed that all of Granada’s Moriscos be forcibly uprooted and resettled elsewhere in Castile. It was hoped that by being integrated into majority-​Christian communities, Muslims would abandon their old religion and ways of life. Similar schemes were imagined for Valencia. In 1595, the bishop of Orihuela (who we met in Chapters 3 and 5)  argued that Valencia’s Muslims should be forced from their homes and resettled. He described this reshaping of social geography as a process of reduction: it will be of great importance to endeavor to reduce them [reduzirlos] and resettle them in more tightly-​knit places, so that they cannot spread out so much, or, at least, relocate them to the outskirts of big cities, even mixing them with Old Christians, so that by their communication and treatment they might be trained in the truth of the faith.”59 Yet Muslims were not the only Europeans subjected to forced schemes of reduction. Iberia’s rural peasants were reduced as well. Once vacated by the forced post-​revolt expulsions of 1571, Muslim lands and properties in the kingdom of Granada were resettled. The Old Christians who moved in were to divide up abandoned properties in an ordered way: “All of the houses [casas] of a place have to be reduced [han de reducir] to as many homes [moradas] as there will be residents.”60 This statement—​from a set of royal instructions—​ has complex connections to the reducciones then being created for indigenous people in the Americas. The Granadan reduction of houses (casas) into homes (moradas) partially involved acts of paperwork:  establishing order in an abandoned village by making a survey, and determining what settlers would be granted which buildings.61 But once reoccupied, the reduction of casas to moradas probably involved physical interventions as well: opening doors and windows onto the street, even establishing a central plaza (which was not a standard feature of Islamic urbanism). Excavations in Murcia by Julio


280 Conclusions Navarro Palazón and Pedro Jiménez Castillo have shown how these physical transformations were performed on buildings in the Muslim city of Siyasa (200 kilometers southwest of Valencia city) after it was conquered and resettled by Christians in the late thirteenth century.62 Similar reforms were probably carried out three centuries later on the houses of Andalusia’s depopulated villages. What all of this means is that in sixteenth-​century Granada, Old Christian settlers were living, like many of their Native American contemporaries, in reducciones. They were not alone. In 1587, an archbishop’s report on rural Galicia made these transformative proposals for the region’s inhabitants: These parishioners, because there are so few in each of the parishes, for the most part don’t live near the church, nor surrounding it, but a fourth or a half or even a league from the church, and separated one from the other, the closest [dwellings] at a fourth of a league and two or four shots from an arquebus, and if your majesty would be served by reducing them [reducirles] into towns, as was done in the [Basque] province of Guipúzcoa, it would be the greatest service which one could do for God and also for His Majesty, so that this barbarous people [gente bárbara] should be politic and domestic and taught in the Christian doctrine, which living as they live now is impossible …63 As we saw in Queen Isabel’s 1550 letter on New Spain, and as we saw in Doctor Esteban’s 1595 proposal for Muslim resettlement in Valencia, there is a concern here that the peasants of Galicia (and Guipúzcoa) lived scattered about, far from the church. Spatial disorder—​for Muslims, Old Christian peasants, and Native Americans alike—​had profound spiritual implications. Reduction could also involve language. When Catholic missionaries wrote grammars for indigenous tongues, they often described the process as reduction. In the prologue to his 1560 Quechua grammar, Dominican Friar Domingo de Santo Tomás explained “I well understand, Christian reader, how far beyond my capacities is the business and work which to which at present I apply them, in wanting to reduce [reducir] the main language of the kingdoms of Peru to art: wanting to enclose it under precepts and laws …”64 Some thirty years later, in 1593, another Dominican (Antonio de los Reyes) began his Art of the Mixtec Language by asserting that Rain Speech, too, “can be reduced [reduzir] for the most part to rules and put in the order of art, which is what is attempted here.”65 But although reduction always tried to recover lost perfection, linguistic reductions had their limits. The reductive restoration of any language was constrained by an ancient temporal barrier: the broken walls of the Tower of Babel.66 And as with urban space, the reduction of language was not limited to the Americas. Indeed, the earliest linguistic reduction carried out by European Catholics was the reduction of Castilian. In 1492, Antonio de Nebrija published his Grammar of the Castilian Language. Reduction was a key


Conclusions 281 category in the work’s opening pages, and involved not only language but politics as well. Nebrija began by describing how time had taken its toll on Castilian, degrading it. But thanks to his grammatical reduction, that language had a new future: This [language] until our era went about loose and outside of rules, and for this reason it has received many changes in only a few centuries; so that if we wanted to compare that of today with that of five hundred years ago, we would find as much difference and diversity as is possible between two languages. And as my thought and desire has always been to ennoble the things of this nation, and to give to the men of my language works in which they can better spend their free time—​which now they spend reading novels or stories wrapped in a thousand lies and errors—​I decided before all else to reduce to art [reduzir en artificio] this our Castilian language, so that now and forevermore that which is written in it can keep its meaning, and last for the duration of all the times which are to come, as we see has been done in the languages of Greek and Latin, which by having been placed under art, although many centuries have passed over them, still maintain uniformity.67 Nebrija went on to describe the unification of Iberia’s once-​ separate kingdoms—​the making of a new Spain—​as another reductive process: by the industry, work and diligence of your royal Majesty, through fortune and her good luck, the members and pieces of Spain, which had been scattered in many pieces, were reduced [se reduxeron] and joined into one body and unity of kingdom. By forming and linking these together, thus is put in order that which many centuries, injuries and times could neither break nor undo.68 The fragmentation of Spain’s supposedly-​originary unity had, in part, been caused by the Muslim conquest—​ Nebrija’s book was published a few months after the surrender of Granada. But thanks to that recent victory—​as well as the marriage alliance of Isabel of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragón—​the reduction-​restoration of Spain’s broken body had been achieved. Reductive models were used in many other realms of early modern life, including metallurgy, chemistry, and visual-​archaeological culture. Reduction could restore ores and chemical compounds to their elemental purity. It enabled artists to recover, in the present, lost artworks that had vanished centuries before.69 But perhaps the most spectacular reduction to take place in the early modern world involved Christian time itself. We are still living in its reductive framework. Europeans had long realized that their Julian calendar of 365  days was slowly drifting relative to the lunar and solar cycles. This temporal drift was


282 Conclusions especially vexing because of its implications for correctly calculating the feast of Christ’s resurrection: Easter Sunday. In order to remedy this cosmic misalignment, the final 1563 session of the (Catholic) Council of Trent mandated calendric reform. A  number of mathematicians and astronomers offered different solutions over the next decade-plus.70 In 1578, for example, royal clockmaker Juanelo Turriano wrote a letter to King Philip II of Spain outlining his own proposal for temporal transformation. Appropriately, it was titled “Brief Discourse to His Majesty the Catholic King on the Subject of the Reduction of the Year and the Reform of the Calendar.” In the opening pages, Turriano described how restoring the past would reshape the future: “In order to give remedy, then, to this disorder, it is necessary in the first place to rectify the past; and after to find a way that may not follow in the same manner in the future.” The reduction of the calendar is a perfect illustration of reductive temporality:  the claim that innovation was restoration. Centuries earlier, the Julian calendar had indeed been synchronized to the movements of the sun and moon. But with the passage of time, that human creation had become corrupted, disjointed from the cycles of natural world. The remedy was a reduction of the calendar—​which of course was not really a restoration of the Julian calendar, but rather the promulgation of a new calendar, the Gregorian. And thus by papal decree, “the reduction of the year and the reform of the calendar” began on October 15, 1582. Philip II of Spain was one monarch who accepted this change, and so (for example) a copy of the orders implementing the reduction was printed in the Spanish viceroyalty of Peru. It explained how the calendar had been reformed “to reduce [reduzir] the Easter of the resurrection, and the other movable feasts, to the proper and correct point of their first and ancient institution.”71 And so the Julian calendar was reduced. In the Catholic world, at least. Protestant domains resisted the reduced calendar for centuries. Although celestially accurate, it was papally approved, and adopting its structures would mean synchronizing Reformed holidays with those of the Catholic Church.72 About three years before the calendar’s reduction, Diego Durán finished a manuscript on Aztec religion. This Book of Gods and Rites was designed as a weapon. By knowing prehispanic traditions, missionaries could better combat their enduring legacies. Yet survivals from a pre-​Christian past were not only a problem in New Spain. They were a problem in the Old World as well: Since anything that man believes which contradicts the Faith therefore removes the habit of the same Faith, even though it appears he believes the articles of the Catholic Faith he deludes himself, because he does not believe them because of Christian Faith, but rather because of human faith or because he heard it told to another, in the way that the Muslim believes his law and the Jew his, and the same is to be feared with these


Conclusions 283 Indians who, since they are still not totally done with all their idolatries, bring to the Christian Faith something of the cult of the demon … Durán’s transoceanic comparisons continue a few lines down, but shift from Iberia’s Jews and Muslims to its Old Christians: However, we should remember that in Spain there are other persons just as rough and coarse as these, or a little less, such as are the people in many parts of Castile, namely, around Sayago, Las Batuecas, and in many other provincial corners, where the men are of extremely coarse and vulgar opinions, and above all lacking in doctrine, much more than these natives. This is because every Sunday and Holy Day these [Native Americans] are taught the doctrine and preached the Holy Gospel, but those others in many areas [of Castile] manage not to hear a single sermon in their lives.73 Yet where the past was a problem for converting Muslims, Jews, and Native Americans, it was the saving grace for Castile’s barbarians. They might not be able to explain why the Trinity involved three persons in one, and three persons instead of four, but they could at least answer yes or no to basic questions of faith, “believing firmly that which their parents taught them and that which the Holy Mother Church holds and believes.” Durán was born in Seville and died in New Spain; his transoceanic perspective brings this book to a close. Sixteenth-​century Spanish subjects thought comparatively about the different kinds of people living in different parts of the empire. They did not divide imperial space into homogenous colonial versus domestic halves, but imagined a more complicated mosaic of belief and practice (“… in many parts of Castile around Sayago, Las Batuecas, and in many other provincial corners …”). They implemented similar policies throughout this empire—​the reductions of conversion, for example—​although with varying results, some acceptable and others needing further correction. Attempts at transformation often made old worlds into new ones by remaking them in the image (supposedly) of even older worlds. These changes, from society to the soul, were imagined in very material terms, and often took material form: we who are occupied in the catechism of the Indians will never stop teaching them to know the true God, if first are not scraped and erased totally from their memory the superstitions, ceremonies, and false cults of the false gods that they adored, since it is not possible to successfully sow wheat and fruits in mountainous land filled with rough ground and weeds, if all the roots and stumps which such environs produced are not removed first.74 But such materialized ruptures were never as effective, or as complete, as they claimed. Memories return, local plants grow back, and a reused manuscript,


284 Conclusions although scraped clean, can still reveal earlier layers of palimpsested text. At least in some cases, for a time.

Notes 1 On town foundations, see Nader, Liberty 94–​97; Rama, Lettered; Rappaport and Cummins, Beyond, 222–​27. On future conquests, see Gibson, “Conquest and So-​ Called Conquest,” 9–​10; Burns, Crusader; Bartlett, Making. 2 As another example, see also the amazing photos of repaired iconoclasms in Duffy, Stripping. 3 Sahlins, Historical, 7; see also Latour, Pasteurization, 127. 4 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 105r. 5 Martínez Sierra, “La situación,” 122. 6 Testimony November 12, 1524 (LL Ms. Codex 1078, 54r, see also 64r). 7 Early modern understandings of conversion are remote from current ideas:  “Conversion, the rejection of one religious tradition in favor of another, is a fundamental concept in the history of Christianity … in the final analysis conversion is a personal experience” (Muldoon, “Introduction,” 1, 4). For conversion as a “long conversation,” see Comaroff and Comaroff, Of Revelation; for conversion as “a slow, cumulative, collective process,” see Clendinnen, Ambivalent, 98; Farris, Tongues, 162, 166 (and cf. Robbins, “Continuity,” 10–​11 on conversion as radical change). The ideas of Francisco de Vitoria we discussed in Chapter 5 are best understood not about conversion per se, but about the formation of good Christianity (about which more shortly). 8 On Morisco baptism, see Poutrin, “La conversion”; on Native American baptism, see Goñi Gaztambide, “La polémica”; Cline, “Spiritual”; Pardo, Origins. 9 LL Ms. Codex 1078, 3r. 10 Castañega, Tratado,  55–​56. 11 Motolinía, Historia, 174. 12 Resines, Catecismos, 446. More succinctly, Feria’s Zapotec catechism of 1567 described baptism as “la puerta y el principio del christianismo” (quoted in Resines, Catecismo, 385). 13 Covarrubias Orozco, Tesoro, 248v. 14 Zumárraga, Doctrina, b recto. 15 Resines, Catecismos, 446. 16 Meneses, Luz, 109r. 17 The imagery of the marked soul dates back to Augustine (although he thought of this mark as analogous to the tattoos of Roman soldiers). Later medieval commentators transformed this metaphor to one of branding (Haring, “St. Augustine’s”; Jones, “Stigma”; Peper, “On”; Poutrin, “La conversión,” 849; and see the entry for Caracter in Fernández de Santaella and Najera, Vocabularium, unpaginated. On baptism and Christo-​ Edenic purification, see Ladner, Idea, 64–​82. Late medieval and early modern discussions of marking the soul include Camille, Gothic, 45; Didi-​Huberman, Fra, 40; Jager, Book. Thanks to Elizabeth Sandoval for sharing references from her own research on soul-​marking. 18 Covarrubias Orozco, Tesoro, 198r. 19 Meneses, Luz, 109v. 20 Zumárraga, Dotrina, b recto. 21 Acosta, Obras, 366.


Conclusions 285 22 A number of early-​sixteenth-​century documents about the baptized Moriscos of Granada stress that they were “already” (ya) Christians (Gallego y Burín and Gámir Sandoval, Los moriscos, 182, 191). 23 Feria, Doctrina, 46v. 24 Cantera Burgos, “Fernando,” 308. 25 Gallego y Burín and Gámir Sandoval, Los moriscos, 178. 26 Bartlett, Trial. 27 Christian, “Catholicisms.” 28 Rodrigo-​ Pertegas, “La morería”; Nirenberg, Communities; Aparisi Romero, “Beyond”; Catlos, Muslims, 216. On city walls and the idea of the early modern community, see Kaplan, Divided, 167, and see 248 and 328 for religion, boundaries, and early modern “toleration.” 29 BPR II 555, 58v; for another example see Halperin, Un conflicto, 126. Most of Spain’s Muslim population descended not from foreign invaders, but indigenous converts (Catlos, Muslims, 7). 30 Caro Baroja, Los moriscos; Salvador Esteban, Felipe II. See Catlos, Muslims, 525–​ 27 on a three-​part “physics of scale” related to identity and social transformation; my discussion here concerns the material correlates of micro-​and meso-​level change. 31 Levaggi, “República”; Sánchez-​Concha Barrios, “La tradición”; Menegus, “La destrucción”; Herzog, “Indiani,” 9. 32 In a temporal claim whose contours should now be quite familiar, those “Indians” would (one day) become “Spaniards.” But the timetable for their transformation was not specified (see Herzog, “Indiani”). 33 Encinas, Cedulario, 4: 340. 34 Mundy, Death; Kagan, “World”; note that reducciones were not created with boundary-​enforcing walls (Solano and Cerrilos, Historia, 55–​56). 35 Even Christians were aware of this untranslatability: see ­chapter 17 of Montecroce’s Reprobation of the Qurʾān (1501). On ink, see Labarta, “Supersticiones,” 176; Guha, Elementary, 249. 36 Gallego y Burín and Gámir Sandoval, Los moriscos, 165. 37 Azcona, Isabel, 763. Material-​social techniques of amnesia were also proposed for Valencia in 1587 (Boronat y Barrachina, Los moriscos, 1: 615–​16). 38 For examples from 1511, 1513, 1514, 1526, and 1530 (involving clothes, shaving, veils, and henna) see Gallego y Burín and Gámir Sandoval, Los moriscos, 174, 178–​80, 184, 202, 215–​20, 273–​74. 39 AHUV Varia 14, 279r. 40 This reconfirmed earlier decrees of 1530 and 1542 (Encinas, Cedulario, 4: 355–​56; Tomás y Valiente, Manual, 341). 41 Acosta, Historia, 449. This was not a perspective limited to the Americas; it also shaped missionization in Asia:  Prosperi, “Missionary,” 168–​72; Pina, “Jesuit”; Diniz, “Jesuit”; Porter, Ideographia. 42 Herzog, “Indiani”; Herzog, “Colonial.” 43 Although Charles V decreed that missionaries teach Castilian to Native Americans in 1550, this was not a ban on indigenous languages. Learning Castilian was optional: “a los que voluntariamente la quisieren apre[n]‌der” (Recopilación, Libro 6, título I, ley 18; Puga, Provisiones, 179r–​179v; Durston, Pastoral, 36). In terms of laws about dress, consider a new type of document that emerged in 1580s New Spain: the license allowing indigenous nobles to ride horses and carry swords as


286 Conclusions long as they were simultaneously wearing Spanish clothing. These documents are sometimes (inaccurately) described as licenses “para usar hábito de español,” but they were really about elite privilege based on clothes already worn, not Catholic requirements for the indigenous population as a whole. Indigenous licenses for weapons and arms were granted at from least the 1530s on (López-​Portillo, ‘Another Jerusalem,’ 269–​86). For licenses granted in 1582–​1583 alone, see AGN Indios Vol. 2 Exp. 214, 227, 241, 684, 739, 771, 807. 44 Yannakakis, Art; Farriss, Tongues. 45 Lockhart, Nahuas, 261–​325; Durston, Pastoral. 46 Canary Islanders (1480):  “después de ser por la grazia dé Dios rreduzidos e convertidos a nuestra santa fee católica” (Wölfel, “La Curia,” 1078; see also “reducidos a la fe” in Béthencourt Massieu, “Idea,” 898); Native Americans (1493):  “ac barbare nationes deprimantur et ad fidem ipsam reducantur” (Alexander VI, “Inter,” 283–​84); Muslims (1587): “la conversion y reduccion de los dichos moriscos a la religion christiana” (Boronat y Barrachina, Los moriscos, 1: 614), see also “reduzidos a nuestra religión cristiana” (1524; Boronat y Barrachina, Los moriscos, 1: 402); “reducir á la santa fe estos moriscos” (Epistolae, 3: 640); “reduçir los cristianos nueuos deste Reyno, al gremio congregation de la s[an]ta fe catholica y apartallos de sus errores mahometicos” (AHN Inq. 550 Leg. 4, 426v). 47 Boronat y Barrachina, Los moriscos, 1: 401. 48 “CONVERTIR, reduzir al que va por otro camino, y sigue otra opinion …” (Covarrubias Orozco, Tesoro, 236r). 49 Almeirim, Portugal:  “reducir á su corral muchas de aquellas almas” (Epistolae, 1:  560; see also 60); Germanies:  “la reductión de aquellas ánimas engañadas (Epistolae, 5: 72); Italy: “reducidos como ovejas perdidas de las garras del lobo infernal al seno del buen pastor” (Arranz Roa, “Las Indias,” 408); England: “ob Angliae ad fidem catholicam reductionem” (Epistolae, 3: 655, see also 536, 587; Froude, History, 225). Also relevant is Dedieu, “ ‘Christianization.’ ” 50 “REDVZIR, Latinê reducere: reduzirse, es conuencerse, Reduzido, conuencido, y buelto a mejor orden” (Covarrubias Orozco, Tesoro, 5r; second foliation, effectively 607r). Previous translations (in essays focused on the Americas) include “convinced and brought to a better order” (Cummins, “Forms,” 201; see also Rappaport and Cummins, Beyond, 221–​27) and “convinced and put in better order” (Hanks, Converting, 2). For a contrastive, transatlantic perspective, see Herzog, “Indigenous.” 51 Mariana, Historiae, 1003; Mariana, Historia, 2: 417–​18; on early modern raza, see Hamann, “Review.” 52 The following pages are indebted to previous studies of early modern theories of innovation as restoration:  Espinosa Fernández de Córdoba, “Fabrication,” 296; Ruiz Ibáñez and Sabatini, “Monarchy”; Herzog, “Colonial”; and Ladner, Idea. 53 Torres de Mendoza, Colección, 13: 423. 54 Torres de Mendoza, Colección, 23: 543–​44. 55 Spores and Robles García, “Prehispanic”; Warinner, “Life”; for the Andean examples, see Van Buren et al., “Torata”; Cummins, “Forms.” 56 This subtractive sense is how reducciones are typically described by scholars today (Bakewell, History, 119; Fraser, Architecture, 23), and indeed this was one aspect of the process. In his November 17, 1572, instructions for creating reducciones in Peru, Viceroy Toledo commanded that “se han de reduzir a muchos menos


Conclusions 287 pueblos de los que les parece” (quoted in Málaga Medina, Reducciones, 222, 229; see also Abercrombie, Pathways, 238). 57 Vitoria, Political, 9; see also Cummins, “Forms,” 200. 58 Vincent, “Les jesuites,” 441; see also Herzog, “Indigenous.” 59 Boronat y Barrachina, Los moriscos, 1: 649. 60 Oriol Catena, La repoblación, 80–​81. Already in the 1520s, the transformative amnesiac power of forcing Moriscos to leave their homes and settle in new places was being discussed: “muy útil sería obligar a los cristianos nuevos a mudarse de las casas en que nacieron o vivieron cuando eran moros para olvidar mejor lo pasado” (Redondo, “El primer,” 117). 61 This sounds a great deal like the process for town foundations in Spanish America (Rappaport and Cummins, Beyond, 222–​24). 62 Navarro Palazón and Jiménez Castillo, Siyasa, 340, 348; see also Coleman, Creating. 63 Ruíz Almansa, La población, 76; partially quoted in Alberro, “La aculturación,” 253. 64 “PROLOGO DEL AVTOR al Christiano Lector. Bie[n]‌entie[n]do (Chr[ist]iano Lector) qua[n] sobre mis fuerças es, el negocio y obra q[ue] al presente tomo sobre ellas, en querer reducir la le[n]gua general de los Reynos del Peru, a Arte: querie[n]dola encerrar debaxo de preceptos y canones” (Santo Tomás, Gramatica, unfoliated). See also Cummins, “Forms,” 202–​3; Pagden, Fall, 181. 65 “se puede reduzir lo mas de ella a reglas y poner en orden de arte que es lo que quiere se pretende” (Reyes, Arte, 4). 66 Babel was an important point of reference for early modern linguists: Antonio de Molina retold its story in the Prologue to his 1555 Spanish-​to-​Nahuatl Vocabulario. At least one early modern writer proposed that Quechua was one of the seventy-​ two languages created after the fall of the Tower (Durston, Pastoral, 44–45). 67 Nebrija, Gramática,  100–​1. 68 Nebrija, Gramática, 100. 69 Metallurgy and chemistry:  Biringuccio, Pirotechnia, 135; Newman, Atoms, xiii (thanks to Matthew Hunter for telling me about the latter). Artworks: Nagel and Wood, “Interventions,” 405, 408; Nagel and Wood, Anachronic. 70 Ziggelaar, “Papal.” 71 Pragmatica, 2v. 72 Hamann, “How to Chronologize.” 73 Durán, Historia, 69, see also 225 (“había gente serrana y súcia y bestial como la hay en España tan bruta y mas que estos indios”); on the “Indies” within Europe, see Arranz Roa, “Las Indias”; Prosperi, “Missionary.” 74 Durán, Historia,  68–​69.



And what, in the end, became of these supposed bad Christians? For the three nobles of Yanhuitlán, things are unclear. The case against them seems to have been suspended, unresolved. The last document involving don Francisco dates to April 10, 1546: this is the day the sick nobleman was released into the custody of Trujillo-​born Juan de Ruanes.1 The last document involving don Domingo dates to December 6, 1546. He, too, was sick, and was placed under the custody of Juan de Ruanes and two other Europeans—​ with Gonzalo de las Casas present as well, as a witness. The last document in the case against don Juan (and indeed in the investigation as a whole) dates to February 12, 1547, when he was read, and responded to, the witness-​by-​ witness summary of accusations against him.2 The next step would have been for Juan to prepare a list of enemies, as well as a list of witnesses to speak in his defense. Apparently, these lists were never made. The suspension of inquisitorial investigations was not uncommon, and there are a number of explanations for why the case against the nobles of Yanhuitlán was set aside. Above all, it was riddled with contaminated evidence. As we saw in Chapter  2, both don Domingo and don Francisco named as their enemies many of the witnesses who testified against them. Don Domingo even produced copies of civil lawsuits to back these claims. This meant that much of the evidence gathered against the accused nobles of Yanhuitlán was tainted by passion, and thus inadmissible. A second contributing factor was that the apostolic inquisitor heading this case, Tello de Sandoval, had only been sent to New Spain for a limited amount of time. He departed Mexico City on April 2, 1547, and on May 23 set sail for Europe. The unfinished investigation was left behind.3 Of the three accused nobles, it seems that only don Domingo left a paper trail after he was released from the Royal Jail. He returned to Yanhuitlán and resumed his powers as ruler. A  document dated October 28, 1548, lists the tribute received by “don domingo gouer[na]dor” of Yanhuitlán.4 In September 1550, he was granted the right to ride a horse (a privilege extended to only a few members of the indigenous nobility).5 Don Domingo ruled Yanhuitlán until his death in 1558. There were then two claimants to the throne:  don Gabriel (the son of don Domingo’s sister María) and don Gonzalo (son of don


Epilogue 289 Francisco Calçi, don Domingo’s brother and former ruler of Yanhuitlán). In his will, don Domingo named Gabriel as his successor, and the boy triumphed over any opposition. As discussed in Chapter  5, during the second half of the sixteenth century don Gabriel oversaw the completion of a splendid new church and monastery complex in Yanhuitlán, whose structures still exist today. Don Gabriel died in 1591, and was succeeded as ruler by his own son, Francisco.6 That same year, another man named Francisco—​Francisco de las Casas—​ inherited the encomienda of Yanhuitlán from his own father, Gonzalo. Gonzalo, in turn, had become encomendero after his father (the original Francisco de las Casas) died in the spring of 1546. Gonzalo would travel back and forth between Spain and New Spain throughout his life, and built a palace in his father's Extremaduran birthplace, Trujillo—​just off the city’s main plaza (see Figure 4.2).7 In Valencia, things are less murky. On December 10, 1569, the inquisitors of Valencia found don Sancho de Cardona guilty. They sent their decision on to Madrid for confirmation.8 Approval was received from the Holy Office on December 23, and on December 24 don Sancho was summoned to the Secret Chamber of Valencia’s Palace of the Inquisition. The date was probably significant: December 24 was Christmas Eve, and in many documents from late medieval and early modern Valencia the New Year began on December 25.9 Don Sancho’s case was closed at a point of chronological transition. The admiral was asked to stand as his sentence was read in the presence of twelve witnesses. He was fined two thousand ducats (five hundred of which were to pay for court costs, the rest to build churches for the Moriscos living in his domains) and exiled from Valencia. He was to be confined in a monastery within the city of Cuenca (about half-​way between Valencia and Madrid). He would begin his exile in just over a month, leaving on February 8, 1570.10 But on February 10 the admiral was still in Valencia. He still had not paid his two-​thousand-​ducat fine. He had even been writing to the Holy Office in Madrid asking them to suspend his sentence.11 A new date for his exile was set: February 20.12 But when that day came, don Sancho was ill—​indeed, he summoned a lawyer to prepare his last will and testament.13 By March 4 the admiral had finally been transferred to Cuenca’s Monastery of Saint Paul.14 Six months later (complaining about his age and the unhealthy conditions in the monastery), he asked to be moved back to Valencia and placed in a monastery there.15 An official request was sent to the Holy Office in Madrid, and in late November the transfer was approved.16 Don Sancho then took up residence in Valencia’s Dominican monastery. Built just inside the city walls by the Royal Gate, it was a few streets to the east of the admiral’s palace (Figure 1.4). Yet he was still not satisfied. He once again began to complain about the unhealthy conditions of his confinement. On July 24, 1571, the Holy Office in Madrid altered their sentence once again: “he should have for his cell and reclusion this said city of Valencia, and its surroundings.”17 Don Sancho was


290 Epilogue released from the Dominican monastery on August 17. Just over a year later, in November 1572, he was petitioning the Holy Office in Madrid to declare his punishment completed.18 By June 1573 he was involved in another dispute involving the Inquisition, the heirs of Inquisitor Soto Calderón (and in particular doña Catalina de Soto Calderón), and some garments of sable.19 And then, on August 28, 1573: the said illustrious don Sancho de Cardona, admiral and marquis, testator of the above, died and passed from the present life to the other, in the house and habitation of the said illustrious testator, situated and located in the present city in the parish of Saint Stephen, in the street which runs to the Royal Gate.20 The fate of the admiral’s Morisco subjects and allies is both more and less certain. From 1609 to 1614, Iberia’s Moriscos were expelled kingdom by kingdom.21 The process began in Valencia, and many towns were effectively abandoned. Their traces can still be seen, even mapped, throughout the countryside.22 But even this expulsion was partial. A small number of Morisco families—​ six out of every hundred—​was allowed to stay, maintaining agricultural infrastructures while Old Christian settlers moved in. The expulsion was never complete, even officially. In some cases, whole towns of Moriscos petitioned to remain. They claimed to be “good Christians” whose ancestors converted long, long ago.23 But perhaps the strangest case is that of Hornachos, a Morisco-​dominated town in Extremadura (about a hundred kilometers south of Trujillo). In 1580, many of its forty-​eight hundred inhabitants spoke Arabic.24 Thirty years later, three thousand Moriscos were expelled from the town in February 1610.25 Some of them traveled to what is now Morocco, and created a pirate kingdom amidst a ruined city on the coast at Salé.26 But if three thousand people out of a population of nearly five thousand were expelled, this means that a fourth of the Morisco population in Hornachos—​and not six families out of every hundred, as officially decreed—​ stayed behind. This surprising statistic was confirmed in a recent analysis of the town’s baptismal and marriage records by Esteban Mira Caballos.27 These documents reveal that at least a quarter of the Morisco population of Hornachos continued to live in Extremadura, land of the conquistadors, after 1614.

Notes 1 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 256r. 2 AGN Inq. Vol. 37, 350v. 3 Pérez Bustamante, “Los orígenes,” 106; Aiton, Antonio, 166–​8; see also Greenleaf, Inquisition, 10–​11, 46–​47; Greenleaf, Mexican, 79.


Epilogue 291 4 Recopied into AGI Escribanía 162 C, 474r. 5 Pérez Ortiz, Tierra, 170. 6 Spores, Mixtec, 178–​81, 189–​93. However, as late as the eighteenth century, don Gabriel’s succession was criticized as illegitimate; see Chapter 2 n. 41. 7 Jiménez Moreno y Matos Higuera, El códice, 15; Spores, Mixtec, 78, 80–​81. For more on the biographies of Francisco de las Casas and his son Gonzalo, see Chapter 4 n. 84. 8 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 506r–​506v; AHN Inq. Lib. 912, 92r, 93r (letters December 10, 1569). 9 See Chapter 1 n. 70. 10 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 510v–​513v; see also AHN Inq. Lib. 912, 412r (letter January 11, 1570) and BL Additional 28337, 381r–​381v (undated letter on don Sancho’s illness in Cuenca). 11 Letters from don Sancho to the Holy Office January 20, 1570 (AHN Inq. Lib. 912, 430r) and January 21, 1570 (AHN Inq. Lib. 912, 429r). 12 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 514r–​515v; see also AHN Inq. Lib. 912, 454r (letter February 12, 1570). 13 AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 515v–​516r; AHN Osuna C 647 Exp. 10; see also AHN Inq. Lib. 912, 391r (letter February 25, 1570) and 393r (letter March 17, 1570). 14 Letter from Valencia’s Inquisitors to Madrid, March 9, 1570 (AHN Inq. Leg. 550 Caja 1 Exp. 4, 519r). 15 Unfoliated letter at the end of don Sancho’s inquisitorial file, September 19, 1570; other relevant letters are dated September 10 (AHN Inq. Lib. 912, 386r) and September 12 (387r). 16 Unfoliated letters at the end of don Sancho’s inquisitorial file, November 17 and November 24, 1570. 17 Unfoliated letter at the end of don Sancho’s inquisitorial file, July 24, 1571. 18 Letters November 19 and December 20, 1572 (AHN Inq. Lib. 326, 58r, 79r). 19 Letter June 15, 1573 (AHN Inq. Lib. 326, 113r). Letter July 7, 1573 (AHN Inq. Lib. 326, 121r). 20 AHN Osuna C 647 Exp. 10, 3r. The itemized costs of don Sancho’s funeral (on August 29, 1573)  are recorded in ACV Lib. 1531, 14v. He, like his parents, was buried in Valencia’s Monastery of San Francisco (see Figure 1.4). 21 Harvey, Muslims, 291–​331; Jónsson, “Explusion”; Wiegers, “Managing”; Ehlers, “Violence.” 22 See Works Cited for studies of Valencia’s deserted Morisco villages by André Bazzana, André Bazzana and Pierre Guichard, Isaac Donoso Jiménez, Josep Torro, Josep Torro and Josep Ivars, and Juan Torró Abad. 23 Tueller, Good, 157–​244; Dadson, Tolerance. 24 González Rodríguez, Hornachos, 53. 25 González Rodríguez, Hornachos, 83. 26 Mayorga, Los moriscos, 176–​223. 27 Mira Caballos, “Los moriscos.”


Works cited

Archives Doc. = Documento Exp. = Expediente Inq. = Inquisición Lib. = Libro Leg. = Legajo Núm. = Número Sig. = Signatura Vol. = Volumen ACV = Archivo de la Catedral de Valencia, Valencia, Spain ADV = Archivo Diocesano de Valencia, Valencia, Spain AGI = Archivo General de Indias, Seville, Spain AGN = Archivo General de la Nación, Mexico City, Mexico AHMV = Archivo Histórico Municipal de Valencia, Valencia, Spain AHN = Archivo Histórico Nacional, Madrid, Spain AHPJO  =  Archivo Histórico de Poder Judicial del Estado de Oaxaca, Oaxaca City, Mexico AHUV = Archivo Histórico de la Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain AJT = Archivo del Juzgado de Teposcolula, Oaxaca City, Mexico ARCSCC = Archivo del Real Colegio Seminario de Corpus Christi, Valencia, Spain ARV = Archivo del Reino de Valencia, Valencia, Spain BHUV = Biblioteca Histórica de la Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain BL = British Library, London, United Kingdom ICS = Institución Colombina, Seville, Spain LL = Henry Lea Library, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA RGS  =  Registro General del Sello, Archivo General de Simancas, Simancas, Spain

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Page numbers in italics indicate figures on the corresponding pages. Page numbers in bold indicate references in tables on the corresponding pages. 3 Flint, Lady 145–46, 146 5 Flower, Lord 145–46, 146 7 Motion, Lord 49, 49, 50, 51, 144 7 Serpent, Lord 49, 50, 145 7 Wind, Lord 49, 49, 50, 53–54, 74n38, 144–45 8 Deer, Lord 145–46 9 Reed, Lady 50, 52, 54, 145 9 Wind, Lord 51, 53, 107, 110 10 Reed, Lord 146, 148 11 Serpent, Lady 49, 50, 53, 87, 145 12 Wind, Lord 145–46, 147, 181, 260–61 1492 1, 6, 32, 39n82, 101, 122, 138, 151, 155, 240, 241, 243, 244, 280 1521 28, 93, 102, 147, 165, 178, 188, 231, 233, 240, 253, 254, 256, 268, 272, 274 Abenamir, Cosme 104, 155, 185 Abenamir, Hernando (aka Abrahím) 63–64, 75n60, 77n85, 119n139, 129, 155, 185, 246, 252 Adzaneta 37n68, 60–62, 65, 174 Alatar, Amet (or the Elder) 64, 151–53, 155, 230–31 alfaquí 38n73, 75n51, 85, 97, 102, 118n99, 152, 188–89, 203, 223, 242, 245, 251–52, 254, 255–57 Alfons I of Aragón 242 Algeria 61, 118n99, 133, 239 aljamiado 102, 186, 256, 266n72 al-Khuzaiʿi, Abū Aḥmad Jaʿfar banū Sīd-Bono 60–61, 227 All Saints 141, 197, 204 al-Wansharīsī, Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyā 176, 187, 188, 194n29, 196n83 Amat, Antoni Joan 37n68, 61, 129, 167, 173, 175, 257

Amatlán 47, 50, 57, 87, 144 annulment see unmarrying Antequera 16, 29–30, 42, 44, 45–46, 54, 115n46, 191, 210 Añuma 47, 54, 149 apocalypticism 4, 19, 240, 253–56, 258, 262 Arabic 38n73, 61–62, 64, 68, 102, 138, 153, 155, 163n145, 186, 188, 243, 252, 254, 256, 273, 290 Aragón, kingdom of 39n82, 91, 101, 102, 168, 171, 188, 227, 240, 241, 251, 254, 275 Armitage, David 2 Ash Wednesday 11, 17, 24, 37n68, 61, 167, 178, 227 Auto de Fe 20, 22, 24–25, 37n70, 68, 75n51, 223–24, 224, 225, 230 Aztecs 1, 11, 28, 38n73, 68, 180, 261, 282 bad Christians 2, 4, 29, 209, 273–74 baptism 18–19, 28, 62, 82, 84, 87, 96–97, 99–102, 104, 115n31, 115n32, 116n61, 118n101, 133, 160n84, 184, 188, 202, 207, 211–12, 223–24, 231, 246, 248–49, 251, 253–54, 258, 261, 265n45, 268– 73, 277, 284n12, 284n17, 290 Bechí 32, 58, 59–65, 60, 66, 75n51, 97, 117n83, 118n99, 127, 128–30, 132–33, 158n46, 204–5, 208 Bible 99, 169, 197, 222–23, 234n4, 256, 272 Bivas, Francisco (aka Ali) 61–62, 75n52, 104 blood 15, 53, 87, 149–50, 167, 168, 172, 176, 205–7, 206, 208, 210, 226, 238n104, 251, 262, 268, 270–71, 277


Index 337 burial 172, 196n74, 199, 211–33, 218, 220, 221, 222, 229, 233 butcher shops 130–33; butchering 88–90, 198, 264n29 Caesar 102, 137–38, 140–41 Cairo 88, 101, 238n123 Çaragoça, Michael 24, 57, 59, 246 Cardona, Alonso de 33, 93, 94, 250, 265n48 Cardona, Sancho de: biography of 21–24, 30, 32–33, 64–65, 108, 123–24, 127, 129–30, 137, 151–52, 157n29, 160n84, 184–85, 222, 251, 257, 289–90, 291n20 Caribbean 1, 25, 32, 33, 127, 137, 157n27, 205, 278 Castellví, Francisco de 81, 83–85, 89, 101, 115n30, 258 Castilian 14, 25, 38n73, 68, 76n82, 95, 98, 102, 104–5, 124–26, 136, 141, 156n15, 186, 241–42, 244, 248, 255, 264n41, 269, 273, 276–77, 279–81, 285n43 Catalina, former Yanhuitlán slave 70, 106, 149 Catherine of Aragón 85 caves 49–54, 52, 54, 134, 142, 145, 147, 189, 215, 262 Chachoapan 43, 44, 46, 51, 69, 73n19, 105, 144, 189–90, 200 Charles V 17, 19, 28, 89, 96–97, 102, 104, 114n5, 151–52, 184, 188, 228, 254–58, 276, 278 Christmas 24, 38n70, 59, 64, 88, 155, 289 Church of Saint Mary the Greater, Trujillo 137, 137–38, 222 Church of Saint Stephen, Valencia 21–22, 108, 121n170, 290 Church of Yanhuitlán 166, 183, 200–1, 211, 214, 219, 226 churches 22, 69, 79, 86, 91, 95–98, 106, 108, 110, 121n169, 124, 129, 137, 138, 166–68, 172–73, 175–77, 180, 182–85, 193n3, 197, 199–214, 218–19, 221–27, 231–32, 234n15, 234n25, 235n33, 235n52, 243, 257, 268, 280, 289 circumcision 89, 90, 245, 256 clothing 128–29, 157n36, 187, 188–91, 191, 196n83, 196n92, 204, 208, 254–55, 258, 264n29, 269, 275–76, 279, 285n38, 285n43 Codex Colombino-Becker 145, 260

Codex Nuttall 12, 48–51, 49, 53–54, 110, 145–47, 146, 147, 168, 181, 181, 216, 218, 260 Codex Selden 146, 148, 260 Codex Vienna 12, 48–54, 50, 51, 53, 106, 107, 181 Coixtlahuaca 42, 43, 46, 49, 84, 144, 180 Colón, Cristóbal see Columbus, Christopher Colón y Toledo, María de 32–33, 127, 130, 157n27, 158n44, 158n46, 204–5, 244 colonialism 4–5, 8n12, 9n17, 124, 276, 283 Columbus, Christopher 1, 25, 32–33, 122, 127, 244 Comaroff, Jean and John 256 communion 75n59, 106–8, 121, 172, 175, 204–5, 206, 208, 231 conversion 5, 165, 255, 258, 268–71, 276 Conversos see Jews Cooper, Frederick 5, 10n23 Cortés, Hernán 25, 28, 32, 96, 117n91, 125, 134, 137, 139–40 Covarrubias Orozco, Sebastián de 269–72, 277 Coxcaltepec 43, 45, 47, 54, 71n1 customary law 22, 251, 257 Daimiel 31, 252 demons/devil/devils 15, 19, 29, 86, 98, 105–6, 111, 112, 123, 135, 144–45, 149, 166–67, 190, 205–6, 210–13, 215, 223–24, 252–53, 256, 259–60, 268, 283 diabolical diorama 71, 99–111 Díaz del Castillo, Bernal 124–26, 140, 266n97 Diego, ruler of Etlatongo 106, 142, 252, 268 Domingo, ruler of Yanhuitlán 15–17, 40n93, 42, 44, 46, 55, 68–69, 70–71, 72n7, 73n16, 85, 105, 108–10, 121n179, 123, 150, 184, 190–91, 191, 200, 213, 258–59, 260, 273, 288–89 Dzaha Dzavui 11, 48, 68, 72n3, 76n72, 88, 181, 253, 280 Easter 11, 14, 17, 61–62, 75n59, 282 Egypt 170, 172–73; see also Cairo encomenderos 79–83, 95–96, 98, 114n5, 117n92, 118n94, 124 encomiendas 8n9, 79–80, 126, 135–36, 160n81 England 85, 97–98, 159n68, 203, 277


338 Index Etlatongo 11–12, 12, 14–15, 41–46, 43, 57, 72n8, 72n9, 106, 133, 142, 159n69, 179, 190, 200, 210–12, 218, 252, 259, 268 evocatio 141 fasting 85–87, 186 Fat Tuesday 17, 204 fatwas 176–78, 185, 187, 194n29, 194n40, 196n83 Fenollar, Miguel 18–19, 34n22, 82, 94 Ferdinand II of Aragón 1, 32, 39n82, 40n94, 96–98, 101, 122, 187, 243, 281 Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, Gonzalo 31–33 Fez 176–78, 185, 187, 194 First Sunrise 48–49, 51, 51–52, 145, 147, 261 Fleischer, Cornell 262 forty 17, 118, 250–51, 253–57, 265n68 France 63, 67, 97–99, 102, 118n110, 240 Francisco, governor of Yanhuitlán 14–16, 33n5, 40n93, 41–42, 44, 46, 48, 68–70, 72n2, 72n7, 72n8, 85–86, 105–6, 108, 110, 114n8, 115n32, 115n46, 123, 136, 144, 149–50, 159n69, 166–67, 180, 182, 184, 186, 190–91, 200–1, 210–15, 218–19, 223, 226, 228, 236n63, 248–49, 252–53, 258–59, 268–69, 271, 273, 288 Francisco Antonio 61, 118n99, 133 Gandía 20, 86, 121n170, 195n62, 254, 274 germanías 28, 61, 116n61, 165, 251, 253, 155 Germanies 8n17, 197, 277 god-images 2, 80, 105, 113, 123–24, 134–36, 141–42, 145, 150, 152, 167, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 253, 259–61, 266n86 gold 124–25, 134–35, 159n77, 169, 173 Gorga 17–18, 18, 58, 65, 66, 76n69, 82, 127, 131 Granada 1, 5, 24, 28, 30, 32, 37n69, 38n78, 62, 64–65, 75n58, 96, 101–2, 108, 117n91, 118n100, 122, 151, 155, 163n149, 168, 177, 185, 187, 194n40, 195n66, 240–41, 243, 273–76, 279–81 greenstone 70, 105, 124, 135–36, 145, 156, 215–16, 216, 226, 236 Guadalest see Valley of Guadalest Hell 95, 205–7, 206, 220, 224, 272 heretics 80, 172, 223–24, 226, 233, 248–49, 267

Herzog, Tamar 257 Host see communion ibn Abī Jumʿah al-Maghrāwī al-Wahrānī, Abū l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad 185–86 iconoclasm 111, 165, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 179, 179, 182, 184, 191–92, 194n25, 267, 284n2 idolatry 15, 29–30, 34n19, 41, 47, 55, 65, 71, 87, 109, 164, 239, 241, 248, 250, 270 idols see god-images incense 15, 86, 106, 145–46, 148, 167, 190, 205, 212–13, 215, 268 indulgences 197–99, 198, 207, 209 inquisitorial procedure 30–31, 67–70 Instructions and Ordinances for the New Converts of the Kingdom of Valencia 86, 228, 245 internal colonialism 8n17 Isabella of Castile 1, 32, 96, 97, 101, 122, 187, 243 Jaltepec 12, 13, 15, 16, 47, 50, 52, 146, 148, 181 Jaume I 151, 153–55, 242 Jesus Christ 80, 86, 99, 107–8, 111, 112, 122, 169–71, 170, 172, 175, 205, 206, 208, 208–9, 218, 222–23, 233, 234, 270–73 Jews 1, 19–20, 23–24, 30, 55, 81, 95, 99–100, 109, 120n162, 137–38, 155, 224, 226–27, 243, 256, 258, 270, 273–74, 282–83 Jiménez Castillo, Pedro 280 Juan, governor of Yanhuitlán 16–17, 44–46, 72n7, 73n16, 105–6, 123, 144, 167, 172, 213–15, 218, 248–49, 252, 259, 273, 288 Kaʿba 228, 238n119, 256; see also Mecca Kairouan 177–78, 194n40 Kirshner, Jules 257 language 11–12, 68, 155, 188, 255–56, 275–76, 279–81, 285n43 las Casas, Bartolomé de 79–82, 95, 234n4 las Casas, Francisco de: biography of 32, 73n17, 134, 136–37, 139–40, 159n67, 160n84, 289 las Casas, Gonzalo de 12, 14, 16, 46, 136, 142, 143, 160n84, 288–89 las Casas, Juan de 12, 14, 259


Index 339 Latin 119n119, 124–25, 138–39, 141, 153, 172, 236n76, 242, 264n41, 277, 281 Lent 11, 14–15, 17, 23, 57n68, 57, 61, 86–87, 133, 168, 202, 245–46 Lienzo de Tlaxcala 266n98 Livy 141 López de Gómara, Francisco 122 los Ángeles, Friar Bartolomé de 17–19, 23–24, 34n22, 57, 59, 71, 82, 88–89, 114n28, 202–3, 209, 228, 265n68 Luther, Martin 80–81, 85–86, 107, 197, 199, 209–10, 223, 232 Macrobius 141 Málaga 108, 255 Manrresa, Luis 19–20, 22–24, 35n37, 37n70, 55, 57, 153, 155 Maraver, Pedro Gómez de 15–16, 23, 29–31, 34n19, 39n88, 42, 44, 62, 68, 80, 144, 213 markets 44, 50, 72n8, 80, 88, 106, 134, 149–50, 159n66, 162n134, 189 marriage 32, 81, 83–85, 87, 89, 99–100, 105, 115n34, 128, 155, 163n145, 176, 189, 210, 260 Mass 72n2, 96, 106–8, 166, 184, 186, 197, 203–9, 219, 231, 246, 252 Martín, Bartolomé 87–88, 106–8 Mecca 90, 186, 228, 232, 238n119; see also Kaʿba Mexico City 11, 25, 30–31, 39n80, 42, 44–45, 67–68, 72n4, 73n13, 123, 139–40, 150, 184–85, 193n8, 200, 204–5, 213, 221, 234n15, 252, 258–59, 264n40, 270–71, 273, 275, 278, 288, 290 Mezquita, Martín de la 14–15, 210 Millena 18, 18–19, 65, 66, 76n69, 131 millenarianism see apocalypticism mills 12, 16, 97, 127, 130, 133–34, 159n65, 242 Molcaxtepec 42, 43, 44–48, 47, 54, 57, 71n1, 106, 123, 144, 147, 167, 212, 253, 259–60 Monte di Croce, Riccoldo da 25, 26, 27, 114n18, 119n119, 285n35 mortuary bundles 110, 181, 210–11, 213, 215–18, 218 Mosque of Revelation 24, 32, 37n68, 60–62, 65, 80–81, 90, 122, 124, 129– 35, 165–69, 173–76, 178, 182–83, 227, 246–47, 257, 268 mosques 2, 24–25, 28, 32, 79, 95–96, 101, 138, 153, 161n93, 176–78, 187, 193n3,

194n31, 194n40, 202–3, 209, 227, 231, 234n25, 243–44, 246, 254, 258, 267–68, 271, 273 Motolinía, Toribio de Benavente 135, 248, 270 Muḥammad 75n51, 80, 88, 90, 102, 164, 185–86, 231, 238n119, 254–55, 275 Munebrega, Juan González de 20, 22–23, 35n37, 36n60, 55 Muñoz, Gabriel 37n68, 61, 64, 90–91, 132, 178 Münzer, Hieronymous 124–25 mushrooms 106–7, 252 Natural Law 82, 98–100 Navarro, Luis 63–64, 103, 151–52, 276 Navarro Palazón, Julio 279–80 Nebrija, Antonio de 244, 280–81 New Year 38n70, 88, 155, 289 Nirenberg, David 258 Nochixtlán 42, 43, 44, 46, 50, 56–57, 57, 88, 106, 134, 149–50, 159n66, 166, 186, 201, 253 North Africa 1, 18, 55, 57, 60–61, 108, 119n140, 155, 176, 227, 231 Olid, Cristóbal de 32, 153–54 ornaments 69, 135, 182, 199–205, 207–9, 211, 232, 234n15, 235n33 Ottomans 98, 101–4, 151 ovens 97, 130–31, 133 Palace of the Archbishop, Valencia 21, 40n94, 90 Palace of the Inquisition, Valencia 21, 23, 31, 55, 63, 70, 132, 246, 289 Palace of the Viceroy, Mexico City 31, 40n93, 42, 46, 123 papal bulls 39n81, 90–91, 96, 99, 102, 117n73, 116n74, 117n87, 151–52 penates 215, 216 Peru 45, 61, 90, 159n79, 278, 280, 282, 286n56 Phillip II 64, 79, 93, 97, 107, 135–36, 151, 155, 239, 279, 282 Pick, Lucy 258 Plutarch 140 pope 39n81, 62–63, 81–82, 84–86, 91, 95–96, 98–105, 111, 114n19, 136, 151–52, 183, 197, 206, 208, 223, 267 Prades, Miguel de 62–63, 103, 251 Protestantism 2, 63, 80–81, 85, 102, 183, 186, 197, 227, 232, 233, 282; see also Luther, Martin


340 Index pulque 49, 50, 53, 87, 217 Purgatory 95, 197, 205, 207–9, 206, 208, 223, 232, 235n47 pyramid-temples 71, 86, 109–11, 165–67, 180, 182, 193n8, 262, 268 quail 71, 106, 109, 111, 115n46, 149, 190, 211–12 Qurʾān 25, 14n18, 118n99, 178, 194n41, 255–56, 266n72, 275, 285n40 Quxi, former Yanhuitlán slave 85, 87, 123, 259 Rain Speech see Dzaha Dzavui Ramadan 86, 186, 245 Ramírez de Haro, Antonio 17–18, 23, 34n22, 245 reduction 4–5, 8n10, 276–83 Revolt of the Alpujarras: first 243; second 24, 30, 37n69, 64–65, 274–75, 279 Rome 98, 101–2, 105, 138–39, 141, 165, 180, 197, 209; see also Saint Peter’s Cathedral rosary 191, 233 Ruanes, Juan de 44, 46, 184–85, 288 ruins 51, 51, 165–71, 170, 171, 176–83, 181, 192, 244, 247, 257, 258 sacred bundles 136, 141–42, 145–50, 146, 147, 148, 167, 168, 179, 181, 259–62, 266n98 Saint Bartholomew 171, 174, 174–75, 184, 192 Saint Gregory 205–8, 206, 208, 235n47 Saint Peter’s Cathedral 197–99, 207, 209–10, 220, 221, 223, 232 Segorbe 29, 57, 58, 59, 62–63, 65, 66, 80, 82, 97, 132, 150, 157n30 sheep 99, 104, 118n110, 197, 204, 272, 277 silkworms 11, 14, 45 souls 20, 46, 61, 99, 101, 166, 180, 182, 184, 186, 192, 197, 199, 207–9, 215–19, 223–24, 232, 235n47, 239, 249, 254–55, 270–73, 275, 277, 283, 284n17 Subrahmanyam, Sanjay 2, 5, 8n8, 262 Suetonius 140 Sufism 60–61 sultan 101–2, 103, 104, 151 Talmud 99 Tamazola 47, 48, 55, 74n41 tax farming, taxes 90–91, 93–94, 117n79, 136, 168

Telléz, Diego 42, 46 Tello de Sandoval, Francisco 31, 33, 40n91, 42, 44–46, 213, 252, 288 Tenochtitlán 28, 45, 135, 139, 147, 180, 266n97 Teposcolula 42, 43, 45–46, 83, 108, 123, 144, 210–11, 237n103, 278 testaments see wills Ther, Philipp 2, 8n8 Tilantongo 42, 43, 145–46, 168, 181, 181, 260, 262 Tiltepec 13, 43, 45–48, 47, 49, 50, 53–54, 64, 142, 147, 196n74, 213, 214 tithes 61, 90–97, 117n86, 117n91, 250–51 Tlatayapan 13, 47, 50, 52–53 tobacco 86, 106, 146, 148 Toledo 15, 31, 188, 254–56, 276 Toledo, Juana de 32, 130–32, 158n46, 158n48 Topiltepec 13, 47, 49, 50, 67 Trujillo 44, 46, 135–39, 137, 142, 143, 160n84, 161n91, 221, 222, 261, 288, 289, 290 Tunisia 61, 115, 252 turquoise 135, 190, 212, 215, 217, 217, 218, 226, 276 Tututepec 146, 262 Ubeyt, Hierónimo 64, 77n85, 151–52, 155, 162n37 unmarrying 84–85, 87, 94, 105, 134 Valencia, city of 21, 22, 25, 31, 38n72, 55, 58, 64, 83, 90, 94, 108, 125, 128, 150–51, 184, 222, 269, 289–90 Vall d’Uxó 62–63, 66, 104, 118n99, 126, 150, 153, 184, 193n3, 242, 251 Valley of Alcalá 57, 58, 66, 246 Valley of Guadalest 32–33, 58, 59, 59–65, 66, 90, 92–94, 97, 123, 127, 129–31, 133, 157n28, 165, 167, 173, 246, 257 Valley of Oaxaca 262, 273; see also Antequera Valley of Seta 18, 18–19, 57, 59, 61–63, 65, 66, 129, 131, 167, 246 veils 89, 204, 269, 285n38 Venegas, Alejo de 207, 223 Virgin Mary 96, 175–76, 204–5, 206, 220, 254 Vitoria, Francisco de 25, 98, 100, 164–66, 169, 175–76, 182–84, 186, 192, 267, 279, 284n7


Index 341 wills 32, 130, 176, 189, 204–8, 219, 221, 235n35, 289 Wyngaerde, Anton van den 229, 229–30 Xaco, indigenous priest from Molcaxtepec 123, 135–36, 150, 152, 259–61 Yanhuitlán, town of 14–15, 47, 57, 69–71, 83, 109–10, 114, 149, 166–67, 183, 184, 200, 210–15, 214, 218–19, 223, 260–61

Yucuita 12, 13, 42, 43, 44, 46, 47, 49, 50, 50–52, 52, 57, 72n3, 106, 134, 149–50, 159n66, 189–90 Yucumañu 12, 13, 47, 52, 54, 54–57, 56, 57, 145, 213, 214 Yucuñudahui 13, 49, 51, 53, 181 Zaragoza 124–25, 176–77, 198, 207, 242 Zumárraga, Bishop Juan de 31, 45, 248, 270–72