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The Mahdī in Valencia: Messianism, Apocalypticism and Morisco Rebellions in Late Sixteenth-Century Spain

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Chapter Summary

This chapter overviews the interrelated phenomena of apocalypticism and messianism among the Moriscos of the Crown of Aragon in the second half of the sixteenth century. The author argues that during the second half of the sixteenth century, apocalyptic expectations surfaced mostly (though not exclusively) in moments of social mobilization, when the Morisco communities of the Crown of Aragon were called upon to define themselves in a distinct religio-political manner. The Moriscos' hope and faith in this Protestant-Muslim enterprise is reflected in apocalyptic prophetic traditions that circulated throughout the sixteenth century. The Alpujarras rebellion was a decisive moment in the political history of the Morisco community in the Iberian Peninsula. The Moriscos' belief in al-Fāṭimī, the mahdī was intimately linked to Andalusi and North African traditions concerning the eschatological deliverer of Islam. Moriscos, apocalyptic expectations were often articulated during moments of political agitation.

Keywords: Alpujarras rebellion; apocalypticism; mahdī; messianism; Morisco community



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