Captives & their saviors in the medieval crown of Aragon
Captivity was a Significant and wide-ranging problem in medieval Iberia. The long struggle for dominance in the Iberian Peninsula between Christianity and Islam produced periods of sporadic but intense warfare. When truces prevailed and organized warfare receded, piracy and raiding took its place. All of these activities generated Christian and Muslim captives, often in large numbers, and, not surprisingly, both sides tried to get their captives back. This book explores the efforts made by the Crown of Aragon in eastern Spain in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries to free its subjects in Muslim captivity. Captives and Their Saviors in the Medieval Crown of Aragon argues that by this time the ransoming efforts were on a kingdom-wide scale engaging not only professional ransomers, merchants, and officials of the crown but the population at large. Using a number of different methods that included ransoming expeditions by religious orders like the Mercedarians, prisoner exchanges, diplomatic initiatives and embassies, and negotiations carried out by the families of captives or their agents, the Crown of Aragon and its subjects galvanized their collective will and their resources to rescue their captives, sometimes successfully, often not. The book also reconstructs the experience of captivity as it follows the captives from the time of their capture to their years in confinement and, for a lucky few, to their return home. The book outlines the efforts of family members, friends, and government and ecclesiastical officials to bring the captives back and some of the economic and emotional impact that captivity had on those relatives and friends left at home. Captives and Their Saviorshighlights a story that was all too common in medieval Iberia and yet still resonates today.
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Life in Captivity
Captives and Renegades
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