The Gypsies of Early Modern Spain by Richard Pym

By Richard Pym

Drawing broadly at the author's archival study in Spain, this ebook is the 1st significant examine in English of the 1st 3 and a part centuries in Spain of a humans, its gypsies or gitanos, who, regardless of their elevation by way of Spaniards and non-Spaniards alike to culturally iconic prestige within the 19th and 20th centuries, have in the past remained mostly invisible to heritage within the English-speaking international.

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Extra info for The Gypsies of Early Modern Spain

Sample text

In fact, there is reason to believe, partly on the basis of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century evidence, that while gypsies were widely regarded as a nuisance, their relations with the society through which they moved were not always and everywhere nearly as antagonistic as the bulk of documents would suggest, depending, of course, on where and when one looks. As already suggested, perhaps the closest comparison to suggest itself is the geographically fluctuating state of relations between Old Christian Spaniards and the moriscos, although no one saw the gypsies as a threat to the state in quite the same way as some saw the moriscos.

The latter had come upon the gypsy one night as he grazed his animals in one of their fields sown with wheat. 24 The ensuing fight resulted in the death of the gypsy, whereupon the villagers immediately claimed self-defence. 25 Once it was paid, the gypsies disappeared with other members of their band and Sánchez and Martínez duly appealed to the king for a pardon. 28 But another concern had also been exercising the Cortes for some years now, for the gypsies were by no means the only footloose, mendicant groups wandering Spain.

But for the peninsula’s minorities, its Moors, Jews, and now its gypsies, the The Early Years 19 reality was that the Catholic Monarchs’ determination to impose their authority on their kingdoms and restore order in Castile was to leave little room for difference, little space for those who could not or would not fit the newly exclusionist religious and cultural template that was being forged. It is to these developments that I now turn, and in particular to a brief excursus on those institutions which for almost three centuries to come would impinge directly to one degree or another on the lives of Spain’s gypsies.

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