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Historiography, Historicity And The Conversos

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Chapter Summary

The Colombina archive in Seville houses a copy of a memoria (discourse) written by Fray Agustin Salucio, in which the Dominican friar examines, with a good measure of irony, the question, "Who is an Old Christian?" Salucio observed the obvious answer to the question was that an "Old Christian" was the person who converted to Christianity before the "New Christian." However, to fully appreciate the term "Old Christian," he tells us, it was necessary to understand that Spaniards of his own day stemmed from four different social groups: the conquerors, the conquered, those who were neither conquerors or conquered, and a mixture of some or all of the above. No doubt a more prudent Converso apologist than Fr. Salucio would have written a study indicating how the New Christian could be the equal to his Old-Christian neighbor in moral probity and in the sincerity of his Christian beliefs.

Keywords: Christianity; Converso; Fray Agustin Salucio; New Christian; Old Christian



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