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A Mercenary Economy

A Mercenary Economy

(p.75) Chapter Four A Mercenary Economy
The Mercenary Mediterranean
Hussein Fancy
University of Chicago Press

This chapter extends the study of the jenets into the wider Mediterranean by examining the relationship of the Crown of Aragon to North Africa, regions that are too often studied apart. Through a study of Latin, Romance, and Arabic treaties as well as records of negotiation, it connects the employment of the jenets to the more ancient service of Christian soldiers for the Muslim rulers of Spain and North Africa, with a particular emphasis on the history of the Almohads. Together, Christian and Muslim rulers and soldiers developed norms and traditions for the use of foreign soldiers that respected religious and political boundaries. The intersection of these traditions also points to a deeper genealogy for the relationship of sovereign claims to “infidel” soldiers, namely the tradition of military slavery in the Islamic world.

Keywords:   Mediterranean, North Africa, Almohads, military slavery, diplomacy, trade

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