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0 Comments | Feb 20, 2010

Outrun the Devil – Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Alhambra Decree. Document expelling all Jews from Spain, issued on 31 March 1492, taking effect 3 months later.

Auto da fe’. Grand trial of faith. Ceremony in which conversos were tried and sentenced for their heresy.

Bachiller. Term of address signifying a man with a basic university education.

Capellar. Moorish clothing.

Converso. Jew or Muslim who converted to Catholicism under pain of death or persecution.

Convivencia. Centuries of shared Christian, Jewish and Muslim life on the Iberian peninsula

Corozas. Conical hat worn by Convictees at trial.

Crypto-Jew. Those who secretly continue to practice Judaism despite being converted Christians, or conversos.

Ducat. Unit of currency

Fuego revolto. Garment worn by penitents who had been convicted by the inquisition, but who had then converted to Christianity. These individuals were typically shown the “mercy” of being garroted rather than burnt alive.

Garrotte. Method of capital punishment of Spanish origin in which an iron collar is tightened around a condemned person’s neck until death occurs by strangulation or by injury to the spinal column at the base of the brain.

Maravedi. Currency/coin in common use in medieval Spain.

Marrano. Sephardic Jew (resident in the Iberian peninsula) forced to adopt Christianity under threat of expulsion but who continued to practice Judaism secretly, thus preserving the Jewish identity.

Morisca. Descendent of a converted/converso Muslim

Potro. Hard wooden table onto which torture victims were frequently tied.

Reconcile. Process by which conversos, having confessed their heresies, are returned to full church membership subject to having paid various penances.

Relajados. Convictees turned by the inquisition over to secular authorities for execution.

Relax. Euphemistic (and not a little ironic) term used to describe the burning alive of someone convicted by the inquisition. In all cases, those convicted were turned over to the secular authorities for carrying out of the sentences of execution.

Sanbenito. Vest-like garment required to be worn by conversos, generally with red crosses on the front and back.

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