The politics of records: Petitions and depositions in the legal struggle of a fifteenth-century converso

Yanay Israeli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article analyzes the successful legal struggle of Lope Rodriguez, a Castilian converso who in 1478, following his banishment from his town, petitioned for royal justice. While Rodriguez’s case offers new information on conflicts between Old Christians and conversos in pre-inquisitorial Castile, it also sheds light on Castilian legal culture more broadly. Drawing on previously unpublished records from Rodriguez’s dossier, the article analyzes how petitions and witness deposition records were deployed as weapons in one local conflict. Since such records were crucial for generating royal interventions in local disputes, effective documentary strategies could sometimes affect power relations on the local level. However, the analysis of Rodriguez’s case also demonstrates that the capacity to produce and mobilize records was in itself a highly politicized process, in which local configurations of power often came to play a significant role.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)279-303
Number of pages25
JournalViator - Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Brepols Publishers. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Castile
  • Conversos
  • Heresy
  • Inquisition
  • Legal culture
  • Local conflicts
  • Petitions
  • Royal justice
  • Spain
  • The Catholic monarchs

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