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The Moriscos in Tunisia

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Chapter Summary

Traditional historiography has maintained almost unanimously that Tunisia was one of the principal destinations of the Morisco exile of the early seventeenth century, and this assertion appears to be true. The Moriscos of Castile, starting from its southernmost regions, came together and travelled in groups from Burgos to the French-Basque frontier, where the Sieur de la Clielle was under orders to receive them. It is estimated that nearly 17,000 Castilians passed through Irún between January and April and another 11,000 between August and December. In the meantime 16,000 more were departing into exile from the south, embarking at the ports of Cartagena, Cádiz and Málaga. Some, according to Cardaillac, accepted baptism and settled in the Bordeaux area; others took ship at Atlantic ports and sailed to Morocco; the rest crossed southern France to the ports of Agde and Marseille, from which they departed with Tunis as their preferred destination.

Keywords: Castile; Marseille; Morisco exile; Tunisia



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