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Manuel I of Portugal and the End of the Toleration of Islam in Castile: Marriage Diplomacy, Propaganda, and Portuguese Imperialism in Renaissance Europe, 1495-1505

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In 1505, King Manuel I of Portugal (1495-1521) ordered the public printing of a letter officially addressed to Pope Julius II. In the letter, the Portuguese King defended his role as a champion of Christendom and scourge of Islam in the Indian Ocean. The most remarkable claim made by Manuel in this letter was that he was directly involved in persuading the Catholic monarchs of Spain Isabel of Castile and Fernando of Aragón to put an end to the toleration of Islam in Castile in 1501. This article focuses on this claim and whether or not it can merely be dismissed as the rhetoric of bombastic propaganda. It analyzes Luso-Spanish relations between 1495 and 1505 and highlights documentary evidence proving that Manuel did indeed put pressure on his Spanish neighbors to abolish the toleration of Islam during the tortuous negotiations surrounding his marriage to the Spanish princess Maria in 1501. Beyond assessing the historical significance of the letter, this article highlights the intricate connections between Portuguese imperial geopolitics and Iberian dynastic politics during this crucial period in the history of both the Spanish and Portuguese monarchies.

1. FN11 Transcriptions of these three edicts are now available in Ana Isabel Carrasco Manchado, De la convivencia a la exclusión. Imágenes legislativas de mudéjares y moriscos. Siglos XIII-XVII (Madrid, 2012), 226-237 and 246-8, docs. 63, 64, 66 and 74. Charles I of Spain was also Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
2. FN22 Ibid., 234.
3. FN33 Jerónimo Zurita, Historia del Rey Don Hernando el Catolico. De las Empresas, y Ligas de Italia. Tomo V, (Zaragoza, 1670), 226v.
4. FN44 On Valentim Fernandes see Y. Hendrich, Valentim Fernandes. Ein Deutscher Buchdrucker in Portugal um die Wende vom 15. zum 16. Jahrhundert und sein Umkreis (Frankfurt am Main, 2007) and J. A. Osório, “Os primeiros textos em latim de propaganda da expansão portuguesa. Séculos XV-XVI,” Congresso Internacional Bartolomeu Dias e a sua Época (Oporto, 1989), 4, 533-545.
5. FN55 João José Alves Dias, No quinto centenario da Vita Christi: Os primeiros impressores alemães em Portugal (Lisbon, 1995).
6. FN66 Epistola serenissimi principis Hemanuelis primi dei gratia Portugallie Regis excellentissimi Responsoria ad summum Romanum Pontificem (Lisbon, 1505), Stadtbibliothek Augsburg, 4 Gs Flugschr. 27 and Östereichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Sammlung von Handschriften und alten Drucken, 455880-B. The other surviving copies are in the Portuguese National Archives (the Torre do Tombo) and Portuguese National Library in Lisbon. A facsimile edition appeared in 1907 in a collection of several Manueline letters prepared by Eugénio do Canto (Lisbon, 1907) and another facsimile edition with a foreword by Artur Anselmo, was produced by the Portuguese National Library in Lisbon in 1981.
7. FN77 Damião de Góis, Crónica do Felicíssimo Rei D. Manuel (Coimbra, 1949), 1, 224-7.
8. FN88 The original manuscript copy is presently preserved in the British Library, Add ms 14021 under the title Cartas dos grandes do mundo, de Papas, Emperadores, Reis, Respublicas, Potentados e homeñs insignes; tiradas de diversos lugares, de autores graves; colhidas de varios archivos ; traduzidas de differentes linguas; por Francisco Rodrigues Lobo.
9. FN99 Francisco Rodrigues Lôbo, Cartas dos Grandes do Mundo, ed. R. Jorge (Coimbra, 1934), 62-3.
10. FN1010 Luis Suárez Fernández, Los Reyes Católicos Vol. 4: La Expansión de la Fe (Madrid, 1990), 165-196 and Leonard Patrick Harvey, Muslims in Spain, 1500 to 1614 (Chicago, 2005), 45-78.
11. FN1111 G. Correia, Crónicas de D. Manuel e de D. João III (até 1533), ed. J. Pereira da Costa (Lisbon, 1992), 7-8.
12. FN1212 A. de la Torre and L. Suárez Fernández, Documentos referentes a las relaciones con Portugal durante el reinado de los Reyes Católicos (Valladolid, 1963), 3, 30-2, document 480.
13. FN1313 There can be no doubt that aceiçam is a misspelling of aceitam in the original document.
14. FN1414 A. de la Torre and L. Suárez Fernández, Documentos, 3, 29-30, document 479.
15. FN1515 A. de la Torre and L. Suárez Fernández, Documentos, 3, 30-2, document 480.
16. FN1616 A.G.S., Patronato Real, legajo 50, doc. 32.
17. FN1717 Transcriptions of these documents are available in Miguel Ángel Ladero Quesada, Los Mudéjares de Castilla en tiempos de Isabel I (Valladolid, 1969). For the 1502 edict see pages 320-4.
18. FN1818 On João II and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 see François Soyer, “King João II of Portugal, O Principe Perfeito, and the Jews (1481-1495),” Sefarad. Revista de estudios hebraicos, sefardíes y de Oriente Próximo 69, no. 1 (2009): 75-99.
19. FN1919 F. Soyer, The Persecution of the Jews and Muslims of Portugal: King Manuel I and the End of Religious Tolerance (1496-7) (Leiden, 2007), especially 241-281.
20. FN2020 A. de la Torre and L. Suárez Fernández, Documentos referentes a las relaciones con Portugal durante el reinado de los Reyes Católicos (Valladolid, 1963).
21. FN2121 Luis Suárez Fernández, Los reyes católicos: el camino hacia Europa (Madrid, 1990), 195.
22. FN2222 See Jean Aubin, Le Latin et l’Astrolabe. Études Inédites sur Règne de D. Manuel 1495-1521 (Paris, 2006), 25-6 and João Paulo Oliveira e Costa, D. Manuel I, 1469-1521: um príncipe do Renacimiento (Lisbon, 2007), 115-6.
23. FN2323 Isabel dos Guimarães and Michel Combet, Rainhas consorted de D. Manuel I. Isabel de Castela, Maria de Castela, Leonor de Áustria (Lisbon, 2012), 120.
24. FN2424 This document has been transcribed and published various times, most notably in M. A. Ladero Quesada, Los Mudejares de Castilla en el tiempo de Isabel I (Valladolid, 1969), 213-4, doc. 72; A. de la Torre and L. Suárez Fernández, Documentos referentes a las relaciones con Portugal durante el reinado de los Reyes Catholicos, 3, 9-12, doc. 469 and in H. Beinhart, “A expulsão dos muçulmanos de Portugal,” Em Nome da Fé (Sao Paulo, 1999), 47-55.
25. FN2525 F. Soyer, The Persecution of the Jews and Muslims of Portugal, 259-265.
26. FN2626 F. Soyer, The Persecution of the Jews and Muslims of Portugal, 210-218.
27. FN2727 Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo (Lisbon), Chancelaria de D. Manuel I, liv. 6, fl. 110v.
28. FN2828 F. Soyer, The Persecution of the Jews and Muslims of Portugal, 244-246.
29. FN2929 For a transcription and analysis of the document see P. de Cenial, Les sources inédites de l’histoire du Maroc. Archives et bibliothèques de Portugal (Paris, 1934), I, 31-5; For an English translation of the letter see Malyn Newitt, The Portuguese in West Africa, 1415-1670: A Documentary History (Cambridge, 2010), 31-6, document 3.
30. FN3030 For two recent analyses of the significance of Prester John in Portuguese historiography see Giuseppe Marcocci, “Prism of Empire: The Shifting Image of Ethiopia in Renaissance Portugal (1500-1570),” in Portuguese Humanism and the Republic of Letters, ed. Maria Berbara and Karl A. E. Enenkel (Leiden, 2012), 447-466 and Manuel João Ramos, Ensaios de Mitologia Cristã: O Preste João e a Reversibilidade Simbólica (Lisbon, 1997).
31. FN3131 Martim de Albuquerque, O Poder Político no Renascimento Português (Lisbon, 2012), 324-6.
32. FN3232 L. F. F. R. Thomaz, “L’idée impériale Manueline,” in La découverte, le Portugal et l’Europe, ed. J. Aubin (Paris, 1990), 35-103.
33. FN3333 A. C. Araújo, “Hagiografia política e ceremoniais de Estado no tempo de D. Manuel I,” Revista Portuguesa de História 36 (2002-2003), 328-331.
34. FN3434 The full title of the chronicle was Chronica do Muito Alto e Muito Esclarecido Príncipe D. Afonso Henriques, Primeiro Rey de Portugal.
35. FN3535 Ana Maria Alves, Iconologia do Poder Real no Penodo Manuelino (Lisbon, 1985); Sylvie Dewarte-Rosa, “Le Panthéon royal de de Belém,” in Demeures d’éternité. Églises et chapelles funéraires aux XVe et XVIe siècles, ed. Jean Guillaume (Paris, 2005), 157-198.
36. FN3636 CH.-M. de Witte, “Les bulles pontificales et l’expansion Portugaise au XVe siècle,” Revue d’Histoire Ecclésiastique 53 (1958): 450, n. 1.
37. FN3737 Ibid., 452-3 and J. Martins da Silva Marques, Descobrimentos portugueses. Documentos para sua história (Lisbon, 1944), 3, 479−480, doc. 315.
38. FN3838 A. de la Torre and L. Suárez Fernández, Documentos referentes a las relaciones con Portugal, 3, 68.
39. FN3939 Damião de Góis, Crónica do Felicíssimo Rei D. Manuel, 1, 114-5 and 120-4.
40. FN4040 I. Szászdi León-Borja and K. Klimes-Szmik, eds., Memorial Portugués (Madrid, 1994), 133; See also I. Szászdi León-Borja, “Las paces de Tordesillas en Peligro. Los refugiados portugueses y el dilema de la guerra,” in Las relaciones entre Portugal y Castilla en la época de los descubrimientos y la expansión colonial, ed. A. M. Carabias Torres (Salamanca, 1994), 126-8.
41. FN4141 See F. Soyer, The Persecution of the Jews and Muslims of Portugal, 273-8.
42. FN4242 Jean Aubin, Le Latin et l’Astrolabe. Études Inédites sur Règne de D. Manuel 1495-1521 (Paris, 2006), 15-30.
43. FN4343 Jerónimo Zurita, Historia del Rey Don Hernando el Catolico. De las Empresas, y Ligas de Italia. Tomo V, (Zaragoza, 1670), 185r-185v.
44. FN4444 Jerónimo Zurita, Historia del Rey Don Hernando el Catolico, 190v.
45. FN4545 Marino Sanuto, I Diarii di Marino Sanuto (Venice, 1879), 2, 1564, col. 824.
46. FN4646 Marino Sanuto, I Diarii, 2, 1564, col. 824.
47. FN4747 Damião de Góis, Crónica do Felicíssimo Rei D. Manuel, 1, 58.
48. FN4848 Jerónimo Zurita, Historia del Rey Don Hernando el Catolico. De las Empresas, y Ligas de Italia. Tomo V, (Zaragoza, 1670), 190v-191r.
49. FN4949 Damião de Góis, Crónica do Felicíssimo Rei D. Manuel, 1, 58.
50. FN5050 John D. MacKie, The Earlier Tudors: 1485-1558 (Oxford, 1991), 92-7.
51. FN5151 See Epistola serenissimi regis Portugaliae ad Julium Papam secundum de victoria contra infidelis habita (Paris, 1507); Emanuelis Portugaliae regis ad Julium Secundum epistola de provinciis et civitatibus orientalibus christianae fidei per eum subactis (Lisbon, 1508); Epistola potentissimi: ac Inuictissimi Emmanuelis Regis Portugalie et Algarbior[um] etc. De victoriis nup[er] in Affrica habitis. Ad S. in xpo patrem et d[o]min[u]m nostrum d[o]min[u]m Leone[m] .X. Pont. Max. (Rome, 1514); Epístola do muito poderoso e invencível Manuel Rei de Portugal, e dos Algarves, etc. das vitórias que obteve na India e em Malaca ao Santo Padre, em Cristo, e Senhor Nosso, Senhor Leão X, pontífice máximo, tr. and ed. by Nair de Nazaré Castro Soares (Coimbra, 1979). For an analysis the early Latin letters see A. Osório, “Os primeiros textos em latim de propaganda da expansão portuguesa,” 4, 533-545.
52. FN5252 Julieta Teixeira Marques de Oliveira, Veneza e Portugal no século XVI: subsídios para a sua história (Lisbon, 2000), 210, doc. 6.
53. FN5353 Damião de Góis, Crónica do Felicíssimo Rei D. Manuel, 3, 385-8.
54. FN5454 Manuel I of Portugal, Epistola Serenissimi Regis Portugaliae ad Jvlium Papam Secvndvm de Victoria contra Infideles Habita (Paris, 1507), facsimile edited by José V. de Pina Martins (Paris, 1978); João Paulo Oliveira e Costa, D. Manuel I, 1469-1521: um príncipe do Renacimiento (Lisbon, 2007).
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/content/journals/10.1163/15700658-12342416
2014-06-04
2015-08-31

Affiliations: 1: University of Southampton and University of Adelaide

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