Morisco Prophecies at the French Court (1602-1607)

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This article presents a case study of a rebellion conspiracy organized by a group of Moriscos - Spanish Muslims forcibly converted to Catholicism - in the early seventeenth century. In order to carry out their plans, these Moriscos sought assistance from the French king Henry iv (r. 1589-1610). Analyzing a Morisco letter remitted to Henry iv and multiple archival sources, this article argues that prophecy served as a diplomatic language through which Moriscos communicated with the most powerful Mediterranean rulers of their time. A 'connected histories' approach to the study of Morisco political activity underscores the ubiquity of prophecies and apocalyptic expectations in the social life and political culture of the early modern Mediterranean. As a language of diplomacy, apocalyptic discourse allowed for minor actors such as the Moriscos to engage in politics in a language that was deemed mutually intelligible, and thus capable of transcending confessional boundaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-123
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


  • Henry IV
  • Mediterranean
  • Moriscos
  • Ottomans
  • diplomacy
  • prophecy
  • rebellion conspiracies


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