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Captives and their Saviors in the Medieval Crown of Aragon (Hardback)

P&S History > Medieval World > Medieval History

Imprint: Catholic University of America Press
Pages: 225
ISBN: 9780813214757
Published: 31st December 2007
Casemate UK Academic

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Given the endemic warfare between Christians and Muslims in medieval Spain the taking of prisoners was a common feature on both sides. The Crown of Aragon was no exception despite its lack of a land border with Granada by the 13th century. This book examines what life was like for Christian captives, attitudes towards captivity and the structures put in place for their ransoming. Given the high incidence of captivity to be captured was not regarded as the disgrace it was in other parts of western Europe and neither was there an attitude that only the aristocracy should be treated with honour or ransomed. Charters granted to frontier towns almost always contained state provisions for ransoming their citizens, and by the mid 13th century a seperate class of official to negotiate ransoms had sprung up, as well as whole religious orders devoted to raising funds and aiding rehabilitation of prisoners. A fascinating book on a surprisingly egalitarian feature of medieval society.

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