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The Unpaid Debt

The Unpaid Debt

(p.98) Chapter Five The Unpaid Debt
The Mercenary Mediterranean
Hussein Fancy
University of Chicago Press

This chapter details the lives of the jenets beyond the royal court. How did the Aragonese kings use these soldiers in practice? How did Christians view Muslim soldiers in the service of their kings? And how did the jenets, in turn, make their way through these foreign lands? It begins with the jenets’ families, the women and children who accompanied them into the lands of the Crown of Aragon, and then examines the jenets’ encounters with local Christian officials and villagers. It turns finally to the relationship between the jenets, as foreign Muslims, and the Mudéjares, the subject Muslim population of the Crown of Aragon. This evidence points to the numerous challenges and threats to the kings’ and jenets’ claims to power and privilege. It reveals an irreducible context of indeterminacy, one of competing claims to law and legitimacy. On a local level, the effect of the Crown’s alliance with the jenets was to heighten violent tensions between Christians and Muslims. Far from being unaware of these challenges, the Aragonese kings turned this competition and disorder to their advantage.

Keywords:   Mudéjar, Valencia, gender, family, violence, rebellion, law, legitimacy

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