James Sylvester

By William & Mary

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Medieval Moorish Law in Spain

Leyes de Moros is one of only two law codes used to govern Muslims during the fifteenth century in Spain.  During this time period, known as the Reconquista, Muslims were permitted to stay as long as they paid a tax to the Christians.  This law code has guarded references to religious Islamic texts to appease the new Christian rulers.  The manuscript was lost during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and was recently rediscovered in the Hill Museum and Library in Minnesota and because of this, has never been studied in depth before.  There are currently three copies of the manuscript, one in Madrid, one in Stockholm, and the original in Minnesota.  There are many questions such as the original language that the law code was written in and who enforced this law code.  I will be translating and analyzing this manuscript to make this document accessible to English-speaking scholar and plan on publishing these findings.

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