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

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Abstract Prophecies and apocalyptic prognostications circulated widely among the Moriscos—forcedly baptized Muslims in sixteenth-century Iberia. Messianism, however, is a phenomenon which had hitherto never been attested in traditional sources of Morisco history. This article studies the interrelated phenomena of apocalypticism and messianism among the Moriscos of the Crown of Aragon in the second half of the sixteenth century. Through a case study of a 1575 inquisitorial transcript, it analyzes an obscure messianic figure named Abrahim Fatimí, who was accused of attempting to lead the kingdom to rebellion, casting himself as the expected deliverer of Morisco tradition, el moro Alfatimí. The discovery of this case sheds light on the political and social implications of apocalyptic and messianic ideas among Moriscos in the late sixteenth century.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Michigan 4108 Modern Languages Building, 812 East Washington Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1275 USA


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