The Royal Treasure:
Muslim Communities Under the Crown of Aragon
in the Fourteenth Century

John Boswell

Chapter 4

Fuedal and Military Duties of the Mudéjares

[166] Specifically feudal obligations of Mudéjares appear to have been little different from those of Christians. Burns' contention in regard to the Mudéjar population that the ceremonial of doing homage was so restricted that only Muslim leaders were required to perform it does not apply to fourteenth-century Valencia.(1) After the Muslims of Eslida were accepted as vassals of the king in March of 1365,they were required to come personally in groups of twenty to swear homage, and when they were transferred to the queen (at their own request), they were again required to swear homage personally to her procurator, even though they had done so to the king himself only two weeks previously.(2)

Their duties -- whether owed to the Crown, to nobles, or to the Church -- were the standard duties of Aragonese vassals or serfs. Muslim vassals of the king in Ricla, for instance, owed him six days service per year, with oxen or goats if they owned them, on foot if they did not; the king was to feed them during this time.(3) For the most part, however, feudal duties in the fourteenth century took the form of payments, either in cash or kind, and military service. Military duties are discussed below; the question of payments is addressed in a separate chapter. There is no reason to believe that, apart from one or two special taxes of little consequence, and the two exceptions [167] noted below, Mudéjar serfs were in any way distinct from Christian ones. Verlinden quotes a document published by Kovalevsky purporting to show a change in the status of some Muslim serfs after plague years,(4) but the evidence to support this single document is wanting, and his conclusions are at variance with other materials at hand.

The one aspect of Mudéjar feudal duties which may have been different, and which was at any rate clearly burdensome to them, was their obligation to work on municipal walls. All Muslims, even those of outlying districts, were responsible for the upkeep of the walls of the city or castle to which they were subject or in which they took refuge in time of need.(5) The distinction in this regard between Mudéjares and Christians (who were also responsible for such duties) was that the former were responsible for the upkeep of the physical plant of the morería as well as that of the Christian universitas. The Muslims of Tarazona, for instance, complained bitterly in 1357 that they were being forced to work on the city's walls while the walls of the morería crumbled unattended.(6) Moreover, Mudéjar [168] workmen were in special demand for their skills, and were often needed to work long in excess of ordinary feudal obligations. In Játiva they alone produced quicklime needed for the walls,(7) and in Zaragoza they provided the entire labor force for the royal castle, the aljaferia. Conscious of the unfair burden on the aljama of Zaragoza posed by this duty, the king tried various means of alleviating their distress, first compensating the laborers for any loss in wages by giving them tax relief,(8) and then adopting the unusual expedient of arbitrarily extending the duty to surrounding aljamas:

...we expressly and deliberately order and command each one of you [royal officials], that according to the allotment which will be given you by the Mayor of Zaragoza, you shall force and constrain whatever Saracens of Huesca, Calatayud, Daroca and other cities of the kingdom, who fall under the jurisdiction entrusted to you, and who are technically skilled, to take their share with the Saracens of Zaragoza in [the number of] days which the Zaragozan Saracens shall assist in the said work...(9)
In Huesca the town authorities were empowered to gather the Muslims and Jews into a compound with their goods until they agreed to perform the needed repairs on the city walls;(10) and in Calatayud [169] Mudéjares were forced to provide materials as well as labor.(11) Even under the severe duress of the war, when Valencian Mudéjares wrung from the harassed monarchy enormous concessions for the price of loyalty, Mudéjar serfs could not escape the burden of wall maintenance (see below, p.365, no.10).

On the other hand, in some communities, e.g., Borja,(12) the duty was commuted to a small tax, and in a few areas the lord actually had responsibilities to the Muslims in this regard: ". . . it was customary the lord of these places to give help to those building new homes, both in overseeing the construction and [in providing?] new doors..."(13)

Mudéjares were also held liable for duties of hospitality. These included accommodating not only the royal family, or a local lord and family, but also soldiers and their mistresses, even when the latter were Christian. The fact that the mistresses alone could not stay in Muslims' homes and had to be relocated when the soldiers were away implies that Mudéjar homes were filled first and Christian ones only when the Mudéjar homes did not suffice.(14) Prosperous individuals or morerías were also called upon to lodge foreign Muslim dignitaries visiting the king: see C 720:8 (Aug.18, 1365), in the Appendix. Although many feudal duties and customs were falling into desuetude [170] by the mid-fourteenth century, it seems likely that that of hospitality was still actually demanded, since the king granted as a signal honor to his favorite, Faraig de Belvis, the privilege of exemption from duties of hospitality even to the royal family.(15)

Mudéjares were also responsible, in many locales at least, for providing the bedding and linens for the local castle and the troops garrisoned there.(16) Játiva even had an official styled the "collector lectorum et azemilarum judeorum sarracenorumque."(17) This odd liability may have been merely an extension of a previous obligation to quarter troops, but it could also have been a quirk of the status of minorities in a feudal society, comparable to the obligation placed upon the Jewish aljamas of the Crown of Aragon to quarter the royal menagerie.(18) Like Christian feudal obligations, Mudéjar duties were gradually reduced to purely financial arrangements: the obligation to provide hospitality was dispensed with in the later fourteenth century,(19) and the early fifteenth even saw the termination of dues owed the [171] municipal walls.(20)

It has long been assumed that the Muslim communities under the Crown of Aragon were not liable to military service. Both Circourt(21) and Macho y Ortega state or imply this, the latter quite positively: "It is certain that Aragonese Moors were exempt from military duties..."(22) It is patent, however, that this was not in fact the case -- either in Aragon proper or in any of the realms under its Crown -- in the fourteenth century. While it is true that many of the origina1 treaties of capitulation between Muslim communities and their Christian conquerors included provisions exempting the Muslims military duties (for obvious reasons), such provisions were almost universally ignored in succeeding centuries.(23) It is curious Macho y Ortega should have been deceived in this matter, since he himself cited a dispensation from military service granted to [172] fifteenth-century Aragonese Mudéjares.(24) Moreover, in the collection of documents he published in the Revista de ciencias jurídicas there is a letter from the king to the officials of Zaragoza, dated 1413, asking them to refrain from collecting the 500s owed by the Muslims of that city for archers, since the major part of the aljama was already serving with the king's army at the siege of Balaguer.(25)

There can be no doubt that, prior to the fifteenth century, the custom of using native Muslim troops to assist in the king's military exploits was widespread and unopposed. Burns discusses this for the thirteenth century at some length.(26) The great-grandfather of Peter the Ceremonious, during a war with the French in 1283, set a precedent when he demanded a company of "well-appointed" archers and lancers from each of the aljamas of Valencia designated by the faqi Samuel.(27) According to Zurita, during Peter IV's struggle with [173] the Union, "Don Pedro de Exerica, and Don Gilabert de Centellas, who was the qa'id Játiva, gathered a great number of Moors of the realm of Valencia and other areas" to come to his aid.(28) In Aragon itself, the Saracens of Borja were already paying as much as 1,500s for cavallerías in 1347.(29)

In the waging of war as in many other matters, Aragon's Muslim population proved to be useful mostly because they could be forced to do what a king of Aragon could only request from his orthodox subjects. During the campaign in Sardinia, for instance, Christians so anxious to avoid military duty in a far-flung and unpopular campaign that they abandoned royal lands they were inhabiting to escape obligations attendant on them, and it was necessary to force Jews and Muslims onto the waiting ships to fill out the depleted forces:

...none of the subjects of the Lord King wished to go there [Sardinia], nor even to board the [king's] ships; rather, people fled from the lands of the king, ...and those who boarded were Jews and Moors, who did so through force...(30)
Certain positions on ships in the king's navy seem, in fact, to have [174] been largely if not entirely held by Muslims, notably those of cablemen and jongleurs, trumpeters, and tambourine players.(31) During the war with Castile, as it became harder and harder to impress even Muslims into naval service, the king arranged to have Muslim prisoners released from Catalan and Aragonese jails to serve on board his ships. Such an arrangement usually netted the Muslim a grant of immunity from prosecution for the duration of his service plus a specified period thereafter, ranging from enough time to get home to a full year.(32)

Even without royal duress, however, the Mudéjares seem to have felt that a certain share in the defense of the realm was incumbent upon them. Christians and Saracens of Valencia voluntarily operated a sort of vigilante guard against Castile at the start of the war. This was prohibited by the king, however, and those found guilty engaging in such operations were fined, Muslims more than Christians.(33)

[175] Nevertheless, one of the primary military uses of Mudéjar communities was as local guards or militia. During the first year of real fighting with Castile, whole populations of Valencian Muslims were commandeered by the king to defend fortresses in endangered areas. Garsia de Loriz was ordered, for example, to see whether the castle at Ayora (belonging to Pere de Vilanova) was still defensible, and if so to force the local Muslims into it and not allow them to leave, the idea being (apparently) that thus put in danger of their lives they would fight to prevent the castle's being taken no matter what their loyalties in the war might be.(34) This same idea was behind the king's order to his Valencian procurator in 1362 to have the Muslims of Seta put all their movable goods in the castle and then to apportion guard duty among them, either by the week or the day as he saw fit.(35) On the other hand, the Saracens of Vilamalur, another small, predominantly Muslim town, voluntarily guarded not one but two strategic castles for the king.(36) In general, it seems to have been the [176] task of the Saracens in any locality to guard their own section of the town, plus exclusively royal castles in it. Heavy fines were levied on those unwilling to comply. Even in 1357, a year of relatively little fighting, the butcher of Tarazona was fined about l,000s because he refused to stand guard "as was incumbent on him, along with others deputed for the purpose, for the defense and protection of the city...."(37)

A pool of Muslims from various surrounding towns was used to man the aljaferias in Zaragoza and Huesca, and, at least in the earlier stages of the war, this was seen as being in lieu of further military service. Unlike the guard forces, or even the Saracen contingents in the army, these aljaferia units seem to have been permanently assigned to their posts, forming a sort of elite guard. Nineteen of them are mentioned by name in a document exempting them from other military duties in 1357.(38) When the Christians of Huesca tried to [177] force the Saracens of the town to help pay for sending troops to the frontier, the queen intervened in their behalf, pointing out that the Saracens alone had to provide archers for the local aljaferia without any aid from the Christians, and that to force them to pay for border troops would be in effect double-charging them. Moreover, she observed, the Muslim community of Huesca had never been liable to help pay for such forces with the Christians.(39) In early 1363, aware of the strategic importance of the aljaferia of Zaragoza, the king ordered Francesh Sentliment, the merinus of the city, to put forty men, Jews and Moors, into the castle at night to guard it ("We expressly command the mayor of the city to place immediately in the aljaferia forty men, divided between Jews and Moors who are competent for such duty, to keep guard by night").(40) In December of that year the king learned to his dismay that this order had never been carried out, because mayor was unwilling to force the city's non-Christian inhabitants to comply. In another letter the king reiterated his demand and insisted that force be used if necessary, but reduced the requirement to twenty men, to be apportioned equally between Jews and Muslims.(41)

[178] Especially in Valencia, abuses grew up around this system of sharing guard duty, and Muslim communities were often unjustly imposed upon. The aljamas of Bartaxell and Xirillent complained to the king in 1359 that they were being forced to buy arrows and other armaments for the castle, and the Saracens of Seta protested against both the forced purchases of lances and arrows, and also unfair requirements of work on the castle.(42) In Aragon and Catalonia, on the other hand co-operation was the rule, and in some cases, such as Sariñena, where neither the Muslims nor the Christians could provide enough men for the city's defense, the king provided troops in return for money provided equally by the two communities.(43)

Of those Muslims actually sent to join the king's army, the vast majority were certainly infantrymen, though the number of Muslim cavalry was not inconsequential (see below). It is extremely difficult estimate the number of Mudéjares in the king's service, or even to approximate the percentage of the total they may have represented. At the beginning of the war with Castile their contribution was modest: the group of thirty men, ten archers and twenty rowers (remers), sent by the Crown's largest aljama, Játiva, in June, 1355, was probably typical.(44) As the war escalated, so did the numbers of soldiers required, and the demands made on the aljamas. In the general levy on the towns of Aragon-Catalonia of 1358, Teruel was assessed for 65 [179] for which the Moors and Jews were to be equally responsible with the Christians. Although quite a few Muslims served in the calvary, few if any Jews served, and on the whole it seems to have been standard for the two minorities to provide infantry when they were subject to the same levy. It was agreed, therefore, that every 146 infantrymen provided by the Jews and Muslims would be equal to one cavalryman with his horse.(45) If this ratio were actually adhered to, it would have meant the two communities were responsible for about 5,000 infantrymen from Teruel alone -- an obvious impossibility, since the entire body of infantry at the border numbered only 6,000(46) and they would surely not all be Muslims -- so it seems y that the actual contribution fell far short of the theoretical one.

Some of these Mudéjar troops fought in units under their lord,(47) most were apparently mixed in with the other soldiers indiscriminately, and formed no separate body in regard to discipline. In 1357, when the king granted the troops from Daroca the right to retreat from border without specific permission to do so, the order was directed to all soldiers, "whether cavalry or infantry, Christian or Muslim."(48)  How well integrated these mixed bodies were must remain moot, but there [180] is evidence of efforts to train such groups at the local level, albeit belatedly. The war had already been under way for about six years when, in 1361, the king granted the inhabitants of Aranda a three-year exemption from certain taxes on the condition that all of them -- Christian and Saracen -- form a sort of militia, with regular practice after dinner on Sundays and holydays, prescribed arms, and obligatory weekly "manoeuvres."

...with, however, this condition attached and added, that all and sundry inhabitants of this village capable of acting as archers -- Christians as well as Saracens -- be held to retain in their own homes at all times a good and sufficient bow, strung and ready for use, and one hundred arrows or sadors [a type of small, very sharp arrow], and to practice archery with these after dinner on every Sunday and holiday they can, under pain of a fine of l5s.

The rest of those in the village shall in similar fashion be held by you to maintain a sturdy shield, a tancea (?), two [ ? ] spears or good swords, and to carry a hat or cap or helmet, all of which each of the aforesaid villagers has to procure within six months immediately following the date of this [letter]. Moreover, both the archers and the [others] are to be strictly bound and obliged during the aforesaid triennium to make or cause to be outing or day's march each week in the valley or the environs of the village, without salary or expenses, under pain of a fine of 15s.(49)

Naturally, as in every other matter under the Crown's jurisdiction, there were exceptions, exemptions, extensions. Those Saracens guarding [181] the aljaferia in Huesca, as has been mentioned, were specifically exempted from service in the army, not merely collectively but often individually,(50) though not without contest.(51) The aljama of Pomario in Aragon was completely excused from military service, either personal or financial, because of its poverty and small numbers.(52) Rarely were such exemptions agreeable to all parties. The king's needs for certain Muslim subjects were liable to conflict with the needs of nobles. The Saracen residents of Nabal (in Aragon) were vitally necessary to the king's forces in their role as conveyors of salt to much of Aragon, yet they made up the vassals on the basis of whichcertain nobles were assessed for infantry. After a prolonged battle over the nobles' seizing much-needed mules from the Muslims and insisting that the Mudéjares serve in the army contingents the nobleswere constrained to supply, the king ruled that the Saracens should exempt from all military service and "the field of battle."(53)

As in the case of the local guard units, numerous abuses and injustices occurred in the handling of these Muslim infantry continents. Although technically bound to contribute with the monastery of St Peter towards its share in 700 knights, the aljama of Calatayud was compelled by the city to contribute instead with it, and to [182] provide one-third of

...the mules, soldiers, provisions and armaments of the castles of the towns; what is worse, the city itself refused to grant any payment or remuneration to the said Saracens for these things, even though it put into its accounts the salaries and stipends which ought to have been allotted or paid the Saracens as if they actually had been; which monies they [the townspeople] wrongly retained for themselves and still possess.(54)
There is reason to believe that in addition to outright defrauding, as in Calatayud, there was official discrimination against Muslim soldiers in regard to salary and benefits. The king had assigned fifty archers to the Valencian town of Crevillente, but the queen, who was responsible for the town's finances, discovered that the rents of the town were not sufficient to pay the full complement of fifty at the prescribed pay of two sueldos a day. She therefore ordered the recruiting of forty local archers, who, she understood, would work for only 18 diners per diem. If the locals would not work at a lower price, the official was to hire 25 Christian archers "at whatever price he could," and fill out the original fifty with Saracen archers to be paid eighteen diners a day. Of this amount, only six of the diners were actually to go to the Muslims thus employed, the remaining twelve to be given to their lord, Prince Martin, "on account." To ensure the loyal performance of men employed under these terms, wives and children of the Mudéjares were held as hostages, and unmarried [183] men were therefore unacceptable for the position.(55) As if this were not enough, a year later the queen found it necessary to reprimand the procurator and bailiff of Crevillente for having failed to pay the Muslim archers even the six diners they were supposed to receive for food.(56) One wonders, all the same, whether the royal expedient of taking hostages was really necessary, since some archers hired at 45s per month subsequently managed to engage others to take their places at 25s.(57)

While it is scarcely surprising, considering their numbers, that the Mudéjares furnished a considerable portion of the king's infantry, it is something of a surprise to find that they also constituted a substantial share of the royal cavalry. From the very first levy of for the war with Castile (1356),(58) Muslims were expected to contribute their share of cavalry in all three kingdoms. Contrary to what one might expect, moreover, a financial contribution was not necessarily sufficient to discharge this obligation, and in most cases where they were liable for it, Saracens and Christians alike seem to [184] have understood their duty as involving the actual furnishing of men and horses themselves (unlike the Jews -- see above). The levy of 1359 makes pellucidly clear that the affected towns were responsible both for the knight and his salary, and in a letter to Elche and Crevillente there is clear indication that the practice was of employing locals first, then hiring others: ". ..this salary for the six cavalrymen may be paid or given to six armed horsemen from among the men of the said town of Elche if men competent and sufficiently experienced as horsemen and [ ? ] are to be found there."(59)

At the time of the levy of 1363, the official salary for an armed cavalryman was 7s per diem, and all cavalrymen were paid exactly the same, at least in theory.(60)

Some aljamas were exempt from cavalry duties. Those of Monzón, Ripol and Podio in Aragon were all subject to the Hospitallers of Monzón and dispensed from the obligations of providing either cavalrymen or their salaries.(61) Local officals, through greed or need, often attempted to ignore or violate such concessions, as in Monzón, where a local official had to be restrained from holding Muslims captive [185] to force them to contribute to the cavalry levy.

The aljamas, however, were not the only source of Muslim cavalry. Numerous outstanding individual Mudéjares furnished one or more cavalrymen at their own expense, either voluntarily or under obligation. Faraig de Belvis kept at least one knight "continually in the service on the borders of Aragon and Valencia" and was reimbursed for the horseman's salary by monies allotted the king at the Corts of Monzón (l365).(62) Mahoma Ayudemi Ballistarius(63) served personally as a cavalryman for the king from the outset of the war,(64) but was nonetheless compelled by suit of his aljama to contribute with them for the war effort, not only toward the upkeep of the walls and other similar works, but even toward the salaries of the aljama's other equites.(65) Çaat Alcafaç, on the other hand, a prominent and wealthy Valencian, received compensation for his outlay in maintaining cavalcadura for fifteen days in Játiva in 1362.(66)

[186] It is fairly clear that a certain number of Saracens were professional horsemen permanently in the king's service rather than ordinary subjects drafted in time of war. Such was undoubtedly the case with the fourteen Saracens "de la geneta de casa del Senyor Rey" paid l,000s and sent to Valencia to fight in 1358.(67)

A curious entry of the same year leads one to wonder whether the Aragonese king may not have had some apprehensions about these professional warriors not unlike the anxieties experienced by Byzantine emperors in regard to the Catalan companies they hired to fight for them. When the company of a hundred men who had been serving in Valencia under Matthew Mercer, the king's chamberlain, was disbanded on the latter's being sent abroad, eight Saracen knights of the company came to Aragon, "seeking to serve the king," and he immediately and emphatically ordered them back to Valencia, reminding them that he had already expressly forbidden their coming into Aragon.(68) Clearly these Muslims served in ordinary companies, and were not segregated from their Christian counterparts.

In addition to the Mudéjar components of the king's forces, there was a considerable number of foreign Muslims fighting for him during the war with Castile. In the five years between 1355 and 1361 the king issued at least six different edicts of safe-conduct to groups of foreign-born Muslims who had been in his service for various lengths of [187] time and now wished to leave the country.(69) Most of these were subjects of the King of Granada, but a few came from Tunis and some from Tlemcen. It seems reasonable to assume that most such knights eventually left the country, and that their Spanish sojourn was principally a mercenary concern. They were paid considerably less than native horsemen. A group of eight "moros de Granada" with their retinue "a la geneta"on the very frontier were paid by the king as little as 5s a day in 1358.(70) Nonetheless, Peter IV was on sufficiently good terms with them that he could send Granadan cavalrymen to the King of France in 1356.(71)

As the war with Castile became less and less decisive and more and more difficult and costly, the orderly and "legal" use of Moorish troops increasingly gave way to rash, almost indiscriminate demands on the already hard-pressed Muslim communities, and finally to forced impressment. The illegal seizure and "confiscation" of Muslim properties is discussed elsewhere in this study, as is the taking of Mudéjar hostages to ensure Saracen loyalty. There are few better examples of the utility of a subject population with no real personal rights than that offered by the desperate campaign of the spring of [188] 1365. As the winds of war blew through Valencia, every Mudéjar who did not enjoy the unassailable protection of a Christian magnate was swept into the army of one side or the other. In March of that year the king wrote to the qadi of Artana demanding that he send 80 men from the aljama to the king immediately to serve in the army.(72) This number probably represented the entire male population of the aljama, though it is impossible to know for certain. In that same month, however, in an order to the qadi of Eslida, the monarch specifically commanded that the entire population of the aljama of Eslìda be brought with their amin to join the army at the castle of Castro, and that the amin be given whatever armaments he might need to outfit these new troops.(73) As in many such levies, the traditional division of one-half archers and one-half lancers was specified.(74)

On the very same day the king sent the letter to the aljama of Almonazir he wrote to the nearby Mudéjar community of Espada requesting [189] that they send 200 men to assist in the taking of the castle of Almonazir.(75) Another 100 Saracens were drafted from the same small aljama to guard the castle once it was taken,(76) and yet another demand was made -- this time for "all men capable of bearing arms"(77) -- only little more than a month later.

Needless to say, compliance with such stiff demands posed considerable hardships for the aljamas, and duplicate letters and repeated demands bear witness to the king's difficulty in enforcing this type of levy.(78) By the end of May, stern threats of punishment for noncompliance began to appear appended to such documents, and during the final weeks of the month a hailstorm of such comminations issued from the Court as the king tried to commandeer the services of the communities of Muslims in Serra, Eslida, Artana, Almonazir, Espada, Guayell, Bencanduç, Xenguer, Mosquera, Atzuena, Chona, and Castro, to assist in the burning of the crops around Segorbe.(79)

In addition to [190] threats, the monarch was apparently reduced to deception to fill out his armies; in the original letters to the Muslim communities above, the levy is described as being specifically to facilitate the burning of crops. In another letter, however, Peter made clear to the Count of Ampurias his intention to forward these men to him once the job was done.(80)

It requires little imagination to picture the devastation wrought on the aljamas of Valencia by having all the able-bodied men away fighting during the crucial months of spring. Just how many of the men returned and when is impossible to say, but whether due to lack of co-operation, royal compassion, or simple depopulation, the demand on the Mudéjares declined sharply in the beginning of June.(81) By August formal impressment of specific Saracens had, at least for the time being, all but ceased, and the exhausted communities were ordered, albeit firmly, merely to "co--operate" with whoever had been put in change of military operations in their area.(82)

Ironically, the long-range effects of the war with Castile and the exploitation of the Muslims attendant on it may actually have been beneficial for them. Especially in the last years of the war, numerous questions about the exact nature of Mudéjar military duties arose, [191] partly as a consequence of excesses such as those noted above, and court was called upon to define precisely what sort of demands could and could not be made on Muslim subjects. Such definitions were almost inevitably helpful to the latter, since almost any specific obligation was preferable to the previous condition of nearly all-inclusive liability. In 1365 the question arose, especially in the southern realm, of whether the many Muslims who took refuge in the cities from the war-ravaged countryside were liable to drafts on the city. The king decided that since such Saracens were at least technically bound to serve in the localities whence they came, the city of Játiva could not require them to fill out its muster, whether they were actually residing in it or not.

...when the city raises its troops and the number of men in the aforesaid morería is determined, money should only be paid by or demanded of those who are actually members of the said morería, since other Saracens who have recently come to this morería on account of such things mentioned previously [i.e., the war] are already obligated in the places they used to inhabit to pay tithes and to make troop contributions such as have been described.(83)
In a decision the following year the Crown made clear once and for all that such military drafts were to be made on the basis of the actual number of Saracens residing in the aljama at the time of the levy, a measure designed to force officials to correct census figures rendered extremely inaccurate by the plagues of 1348-50.(84)

Undoubtedly the most important decisions to result from the war and its confusion were the two decrees establishing "separate but equal" military duties for Muslims and Christians in Játiva. It cannot be proven that either of these edicts was subsequently applied to all the king's lands, or even to all of Valencia, but both the enormous influence of the aljama of Játiva and the wording of the documents themselves in the very best Chancery Latin militate towards such an interpretation of their importance. The first is a grant to the aljama of the right to make its army with the city ("de faciendo exercitum cum universitate"),(85) a landmark concession in view of the previous status of Muslim soldiers, and, indeed, civilians, as subject to the royal beck and call regardless of the draft status of their Christian compatriots. By this linking of the military liabilities of the two peoples the Mudéjar communities gained enormous political leverage and protection from the caprice of the throne (in theory, at least), since the subjects of the Aragonese Crown in the fourteenth century were certainly among the most jealous of their personal liberties of all medieval Europeans, and little apt to be conscripted lightly.

The second edict established the separateness of the Mudéjar troops, while safeguarding the valuable link between the relative liability of the two peoples: "...therefore, each and every time the whole army [193] of the said city [Játiva] shall have to go out of the city, for whatever need, reason, or cause, the whole army of the [city's] aljama shall do likewise."(86)

Two separate armies, with separate but equal duties: a. method of coping with the tensions of ethnic and racial plurality as old as Rome's barbarian military units and as modern as separate units for blacks in the armed forces of the United States in World War I. It is, indeed, a tribute to the openness of the Crown of Aragon and the peoples under it that this expedient was not adopted until hundreds of years after the political amalgamation of the peoples concerned, that even then it was employed in favor of the minority rather than the majority, and that, insofar as is known, it was not a nation-wide rule, but merely a practical measure applied to largest and most influential minority community.

Notes for Chapter Four

1. Burns, Islam, p.285. Much of his discussion of the nature of thirteenth-century feudalism is, nonetheless, pertinent to the fourteenth as well, especially pp.273ss.

2. C 1211:11 (Mar.16, 1365); C 1205:60 (Mar.31,11365).

3. C 898:222 (Apr.l,11356), text in Appendix.

4. L'Esclavage, p.438, n.770.

5. E.g., C 689:48 (Nov.30, 1356); cf. C 1566:103 (Jan.16, 1357) and C 690:48 (Feb.2, 1357). For a castle, see C 1571:77 (Dec.30, 1363).

6. C 1566:107 (Jan.20, 1357). The complaints worked: in March the king granted the Mudéjares an elongamentum for debts, since they "continually serve us in the repair of the walls and fortifications of the city" (C 1379:162 [Mar.6, 1351]). Even so, the city had to hire Muslims at 2s per day to do this same work in 1363; possibly population decline among the Mudéjares rendered the former system impractical (C 713:160 [Feb.3, 1363]).

7. RP l701:23 (1357).

8. C 899:195 (Jan.25, 1357).

9. "...vobis et unicumque vestrum dicimus et mandamus expresse ac de certa sciencia quatenus iuxta certificationem vobis tradendam per merinum Ceserauguste compellatis et distringatis quilibet vestrum in jurisdictione vobis commissa sarracenos civitatis Osce, ac villarum Calataiubi et Daroche, et aliorum locorum regni, utentes arte mecanica, ad coequandum se dictis sarracenis Ceserauguste diebus quibus ipsi sarraceni Ceserauguste interfuerint operibus antedictis..." C 102:32 (July 6, 1360).

10. ".. . que mandedes, si menester sera, seer recollidos dentro muro, judios i moros i biens d'ellos i que puedan seer costreytos a treballar de sus personas en las ditas obras" C 982:33 (Mar.21, 1357); cf. C 1381:34 (June 22, 1357).

11. C 983:150 (Jan.22, 1359).

12. C 1381:33 (June 21, 1357).

13. "... illis qui domos novas in locis ipsis contstruhebant fiebat dominum locorum ipsorum auxilium in magistro eas operante et etiam in januis novis..." C 1567:124 (Sept.10, 1359). The "places" are Bartaxell and Xirillent, in Valencia.

14. C 701:50 (June 6, 1360), in Appendix.

15. C 904:232 (Nov.13, 1360).

16. For Tortosa, see C 724:55 (Nov.3, 1365).

17. C 1071:34 (July 12, 1359).

18. On this fascinating phenomenon, see C 901:86 (June 14, 1357), where a single Jew is required to keep lions for the king, but reimbursed for their food (at the rate of 10d per diem); C 1073:25 (Feb. 3, 1361), where the Jewish aljama of Valencia is ordered to care for the royal bear and leopard at its own expense; C 1076:69 (Jan.9, 1365), where the passage of four royal lions from Perpignan to Zaragoza is charged to the Jewish aljamas of Aragon-Catalonia; and C 1076:76 (Jan. 19, 1365), where the Jews of Catalonia are required to pay for the maintenance of the larger two of these lions in Tortosa. A forthcoming study of Jews under the reign of King John by Jaume Riera will examine this phenomenon for the later fourteenth century.

19. Macho y Ortega, "Documentos," pp.l59-60.

20. Macho y Ortega, "Condición," p.171. All the same, Muslim serfs still being inherited as property throughout the fourteenth century see Ramos y Loscertales, Cautiverio, p.131, n.5.

21. Histoire des Mores, I, p.257: "...les Mores s'enrichissaient plus vite que les chrétiens de basse condition, d'abord par leur industrie supérieure, ensuite parce que le service militaire, auquel ils étaient rarement appelés, constituait une charge bien plus ruineuse..." Macho y Ortega cites this passage (incorrectly) and agrees with it, but denies the economic inferences drawn by Circourt: see note following.

22. "Condición," p.188.

23. Viz., the macaronic agreement between Alfonso I, el Batallador, and the Saracens of Tudela in 1115: "Et non faciat exire moro in appellito per forza in guerra de moros nec de christianios" Muñoz y Romero, Colección, p.416. Cf. the charter granted to Chivert: "Insuper serraceni non teneantur facere hostem vel cavalcatam contra serracenos alios aut christianos nisi forte aliqui sarraceni aut christiani facerent aliquod malefficium vel forciam vel gravamen castro suo et rebus suis" (April 28, 1234), in Manuel Ferrandis, "Rendición del Castillo de Chivert," Homenaje a Don Francisco Codera en su jubilación del profesorado (Zaragoza, 1904), p. 31.

24. "Condición," p.172.

25. ". . .como la mayor partida de los moros de la dita aljama sean de present en aqueste sitio en servicio nuestro, e sia razonable cosa que pues aqui nos sirven, sean relevados del cargo e servicio que aquexa Ciudat nos deve fazer. Por esto vos rogamos que a la dita aljama hayades por escusada en la contribucion del servicio sobredito..." "Documentos," p.158.

26. Islam, pp.289-90, and Chapter XII, passim.

27. " pregam eus manam que aquels de cascune de les vostres aliames quel dit alphaquim nostre elegira a asso nos trametau ab companya de balesters et de lancers de cascuna daqueles aliames be aparelats et be adobats et nos darem a aquels bona soldada. ..." This document is published in Bofarull, Colección, VI, p.196. Roca Traver incautiously assumes that the Saracens met the demand as stated: see "Un Siglo," p.43, where for "p.190" read "p.196." On the general circumstances of this incident and the actual Muslim contributions, see Burns, Islam, pp.292-3. It may be significant that the Jews of Catalonia, or at least of Gerona, also participated in the defense of the realm against this French invasion, though apparently voluntarily: see Yitzhak Baer, A History of the Jews in Christian Spain (Philadelphia, 1961), I, p. 175.

28. ". . .don Pedro de Ejerica, y don Gilabert de Centellas, que era alcaide de Játiva, ayuntaron gran número de gente de moros del reino Valencia y de otras partes..." Jerónimo Zurita, Anales de la Corona de Aragón, ed. Angel Canellas Lopez (Zaragoza, 1973), IV, xix, p.92. Cf. p.299, below.

29. C 1382:67 (Mar.14, 1348).

30. C 980:95 (July l0 [?], 1355). In the Capitula Gerunde of 1358 the Catalan Corts specifically prohibited the king's sending men from Gerona to Sardinia by force (C 1381:237), but Gerona had, no Muslim community city in the fourteenth century.

31. There were two cablemen ("palomers") on a ship, and both the that they received a special allowance to eat outside the court ("han de provisio cas [cun] en cas que no menjen vianda de Cort, una libra" (C 1402:153 {1359}]), and the following comment by Muntaner lead one to speculate that they were usually Muslim: "El tramés un palomer que sabia molt be sarrahinesch" (Chronicle, 85). Each ship had "juglars que tocaran a la taula a metre e alevar, ço es, dos trompados, una trompeta, una tornamusa e tabaler"; these, too, received a special allowance to eat outside the court (C 1402:154), implying that they followed special dietary laws, and hence were either Jews or Muslims. Cf. Piles Ros, Estudio, p.148, #112, where a Muslim enlists in the navy "to see the world."

32. In C 1387:131 (Feb.3, 1365), for example, a certain Mudéjar in the Lérida jail is ordered released into the custody of the qadi who is to bring him to Barcelona to join the navy. C 1404:56 (Feb.4) giyes the man's name (Ayte Mugefiç), and indicates that he received a grant of immunity for the duration of his service plus one year.

33. RP 2911:1.

34. "Dehim vos e'us manam que reconegats o façats regonexer si'l castell de Anna, que es d'en Pere de Vilanova e es en la frontera d'Ayora, es tal que si'ls moros del loch hi acuraven lo porien defendre e guardar, que no fos esuasit ne occupat per enemichs, e si'n es, forçats los dits moros d'acurar en lo dit castell e que no'l desemparen" C 1379:24 (Sept.13, 1356). On the question of Muslim loyalty, see below, p. 391ss.

35. C 1571:47 (Sept.15, 1362): "Item uolem que ordonets que dels moros de la villa de Seta, que son molts, sia fet compartiment, que entre aquell nombre que a vos sera vinyars dims lo dit castell per defensio de aquell, e que aço's faça per setmanes o per dies segons qu'us sera semblant. ..."

36. C 1209:25 (Mar.14, 1365). They may have felt constrained to make some gesture of loyalty after having first defected to Castile and then returned to Peter IV's service.

37. "...prout [sibi] incumbebat curn aliis ad id faciendum deputatis ad tuitionem et defensionem civitatis eiusdem..." C 1566:115 (Mar.14, 1365). This fine, later remitted, was imposed by the faqi of the aljama itself. The exact amount was 100 morabetíns and 200s. Under normal circumstances extra guards, such as nightwatchmen in excess of the ordinary watch of the Muslim quarter, had to be provided by the qadi at his own expense: see C 1569:26-27 (Oct.17, 1359), where the qadi of Elche and Crevillente is ordered to desist from recruiting eight extra watchmen from the aljama, since the latter is already bound to keep night watch over itself, and to provide these men from among his own personal retainers.

38. C 982:55 (Apr.l, 1357): "...Muçoc Barberus, Heyta Esguerre, Abdulla d'Aroz, Mahoma Cernutho [et al.].. .sarracenis civitatis Osee gratiam suam. Dicimus et mandamus vobis quatenus cum vestris armis et bonis ballistis, et aliis appartamentis ad tuitionem aliafferie nostre necessariis, remnaneatis in ipsa aliafferia stablida, nobis ibidem servitium legaliter impensuri. Nos enim harum serie ab eunde et seguendo [sic] nostrum exercitum vos et vestrum quilibet tenori presentium excusamus." The aljaferias were closely associated with Mudéjares in other ways, too: see [sic].

39. "...cum numquam vobisquam in similibus contribuere consueverint" C 1567:174 (Feb.13, 1360).

40. ". . .manam espressament al merino de la dita ciutat que encontinent faza metre en la dita aljaferia xl homnes entre jueus e moros qui sien aptes en aytal fet, los quals de nits guayten..." C 1384:171 (Feb.22, 1363).

41. C 1385:178 (Dec.14, 1363).

42. C 1567:124 (Sept.10, 1359).

43. C 986:98 (Oct.3, 1365). The sum mentioned is 85s for each group, but it is not clear for what amount of time.

44. C 1401:86 (June 2, 1355).

45. C 982:132 (June 29, 1358), in Appendix. On the general question of Jews and the military during this period, see Baer, History, I, pp. 59ss, 89 (and note, p.397), 113ss, 186, 359, 368, 369.

46. C 982:165 (Oct.18, 1358).

47. C 695:140 (June 15, 1359): in this case, for Johann Martín de Luna.

48. C 901:177 (Oct.22, 1357).

49. "Tali tamen condicione opposita et adjecta, quod omnes et singuli vicini ville predicte tam christiani quam sarraceni abti [sic] ad exerciari ballistarum, in eorum domo propria bonam vel suficientem ballistam cum eius corda cinta et encorda. necnon centum viratores sive passadors [sic] teneantur habere continue, et facere cum ipsis ballistis exercitium omnibus diebus dominicis et festivis qui valeantur post prandium sub pena quinque solidorum iaccensium.... Ceteri vobis ville ipsius modo simili tenere habeant bonum pavesium, tanceam, duo telas coreaceas seu bones spaterias, et capellinam aut capellum seu galeam ferre, que omnia quilibet ex vicinis ipsis procurare habeant infra sex menses a datis huiusmodi quamprimo venturos. Et nichilominus tam dicti ballistarii quam ipsi empevasati teneantur et sint astricti durante dicto triennio qualibet septimana facere seu fieri facere sine solucione seu logerio sub pena quinque solidoruin...unam peonatam sive jornal in vallo seu talliata ville iamdicte" C 906:23 (Aug.25, 1361).

50. C 982:55, ut supra.

51. See above, p.174.

52. "...qui ut percepimus estis pauci numero et non facultatibus opulenti...non teneamini.. .ire vel quemquam mittere ad ipsos exercitus, nec solvere aliquid pro redemptione eorum..." C 1402:146 (Feb.1, 1359).

53. C 1402:147 (Feb.1, 1359).

54. "...azemilis, peditibus, et in victualibus ac munitionibus castrorum aldearum, dicte ville renuendo, quod peius est, solidum vel stipendium aliquid prefatis sarracenis pro predictis exsolvere, licet solidum vel stipendium quod dari et solvi ipsis sarracenis debebat in compoto pro soluto reddiderit, quad penes se minus debite retinuerint et etiam retinent" C 700:144 (Jan.30, 1360).

55. "En altra manera si mes de xviii deners haurien a costar [los chrestians] volem que haiats xxv ballesters chrestians a aquell preu que porets, guardant tota vegada lo profit de la Cort, e los romanents de los ballesters a compliment de los 1, sien de los moros del dit infant don Marti, los quales haurets per xviii deners lo dia ho per menis; la qual salari los paguets en esta forma, ço es, que'ls donets vj deners per dia per lur provisio, e lo romanent los sia pres en compte del die que deuen dar a senyor. Axi empero qu'els moros qui estaran en Crivillen meten per rehenes lu[r]s infants en lo loch de Eltx. E si muller ne infantts no ha, no sien meses en compte dels dits ballesters" C 1569: C 1569: 29-30 (Nov.10, 1359).

56. C 1569:71 (Nov.6, 1360).

57. C 1569:92 (May 20, 1361).

58. C 687:105 (July 9, 1356).

59. ". . .dictum solidum dictorum sex equitum exsolvatur et detur sex equitibus ex hominibus dicti loci de Eltx, dum tamen suficientes et bene periti in equis et [ ? ] reperiantur in eodem" C 983:85 (Jan.20, 1359). Crevillente was included in this letter.

60. C 985:115. An armed soldier ("alfonrado") was entitled to 5 sueldos per day. Most military designations of the day were of Arabic provenance, e.g., "alforrado," "geneta," etc. This in itself would seem to imply Muslim participation in the Crown's military corps on a fairly extensive scale, since most Arabic words entered Romance in areas of greatest Muslim participation, e.g., architecture, markets, commerce, irrigation, farming, etc.

61. C 695:82 (Apr.1, 1359).

62. In C 1207:4 (May 30, 1365) the king orders that Faraig be paid 533s "por sueldo de un cavallo armado que ha tenido continuament en el nostre servicio en las fronteras d'Aragon e de Valencia." I am assuming that the cavallo mentioned is a horse and rider, rather simply a horse.

63. Ballistarius is a surname here, not a military designation.

64. "... ipsum Mahoma cum equo alforrato nobis continue deseruisse a die qua incepit dicta guerra..." The material for this and the following comments about Balhistarius is derived from three separate entries: C 688:91 (Dec.17, 1356), C 908:79 (Dec.20, 1362), and C 908:84 Dec.20, 1362). For more on the Ballistarii, see p.43, n.38.

65. This must have doubly galled Ballistarius, who had been previously granted immunity from the aljama' s debts: see pp.213-216.

66. RP l708:l8ss: "...lvi sol. qui.. . foren donats a Çaat Alcafaç per provisio de si e de i caualcadura ab la qual estech per la dita raho xv dies en Xativa." This amount is exactly half what Alcafaç should have received, but there may have been extenuating circumstances. The account was drawn up in Alcafaç's absence.

67. RP 2468:101. For "geneta" see note 70, below. It was not unknown for Jews to be professional soldiers, but not cavalrymen: see Baer, History, I, p.204.

68. C 1381:160 (Sept.12, 1358). There are two copies of the document; the king apparently took no chances about missing them.

69. These entries are C 703:25 (May 28, l360)--seven Muslims from returning home from the king's service; C 898:51 (Nov.7, 1355)-- an noble and his family of five returning home from the king's service; C 901:252 (Jan.24, l358) -- one Muslim of Tunis leaving the king's service to go to Granada; C 903:142 (Nov.12, 1359) -- four Muslims leaving for Granada; C 906:63 (Oct.25, l36l) -- five subjects of Tlemcen Aragon to serve the king in Valencia; C 1403:62 (May 19, 1357) -- three Muslims formerly serving against Castile now departing to North Africa.

70. RP 2468:79. For standard pay, see p.235. "Geneta" is of Arabic origin and denotes a style of riding and armament; cf. French "génétaire."

71. C 688:18 (Aug.2, 1356).

72. C 1211:31 (Mar.16). To be sure, large irregular drafts were sometimes made on Christian communities as well, but never on the same scale or with the same frequency as those on the aljamas. Moreover, Christian co-operation vas nearly always obtained only at the price of generous concessions by the monarchy, usually under the form of Capitula, e.g., C 1381:232.

73. C 1211:31 (Mar.25, 1365). The amin appears to have been the usual military commander for such impressed "companies": in April the king ordered 100 Muslims from the aljama of Almonazir to join the army under the leadership of some suitable person, "either the amin or someone else," to help in the siege of Murviedro.

74. C 1211:37 (Apr.l, 1365) (two separate entries). See above, p.l72, for this common division of Mudéjar troops.

75. C 1204:55 (Apr.1, 1365).

76. C 1204:56 (Apr.l, 1365).

77. C 1204:127 (May 14, 1365); identical copy at C 1209:87 (May 4, 1356).

78. C 1211:31 (Mar.25, 1365) and C 1204:69 (Apr.12, 1365), for instance; cf. C 1209:87 (May 14, 1365), C 1205:99 (may 28, 1365), C 1210:101 (May 27, 1365).

79. C 1205:99 (May 29). There is an interesting parallel, in this instance, of demands on the Christian communities in some -- though not all -- of the same towns in a document of the same register, f.111. Following are the relative numbers of men demanded:
Town                                                      Muslims                                              Christians
Serra 200 200
Eslida 150 300
Artana 100 300
Espada 100 300
Almonazir 100 ---

Guayell, Benicanduç, Xenguer, etc., each provided 20 Muslims, but no Christians were demanded from them. For fifteenth-century levies on some of these same towns, see Piles Ros, Estudio, p.214.

80. C 1210:101 (May 27, 1365).

81. The highest drafts on Muslims in that month were for thirty "well armed men" from Artana, Espada, Eshida, and Uxó: C 1210:121 (June 21, 1365).

82. Viz., C 986:20, in Appendix.

83. "...cum universitas antedicta facit oscem [=hostem] et numerus hominum predicte morarie recognoscitur, tantum solvuntur et demandantur illi qui proprie sunt de dicta moraria, cum alii sarraceni qui ad dictum noviter premissorum occasione morariam venerunt, sint jam scripti in locis in quibus habitare consueverunt per deçenas, et faciant oscem ut est dictum" C 1206:151 (Oct.15, 1365).

84. 910:118 (Sept.16, 1366): "...aljama iuxta dictum compensatum numnerum domorum seu focorumn suorum tamen et non in pluri habeat sive mittere in predictis." Although efforts had been made in this direction before (see pp.198ss), this measure was sorely needed.

85. C 913:34 (Sept.16, 1366).

86. "Quia si quando et quotienscumque totus exercitus universitatis predicte Xative habuerit aliqua quavis necessitate ratione seu causa predictam civitatem exire, habeat ipsius aljame sarracenorum totus exercitus pari modo" C 910:118 (Sept. 16, 1366).