Creating Conversos : The Carvajal- Santa Maria Family in Early Modern Spain, Hardback Book

Creating Conversos : The Carvajal- Santa Maria Family in Early Modern Spain Hardback



In Creating Conversos, Roger Louis Martinez-Davila skillfully un - ravels the complex story of Jews who converted to Catholicism in Spain between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, migrated to colonial Mexico and Bolivia during the conquest of the Americas, and assumed prominent church and government positions.

Rather than acting as alienated and marginalized subjects, the conversos were able to craft new identities and strategies not just for survival but for prospering in the most adverse circumstances.

Martinez-Davila provides an extensive, elaborately detailed case study of the Carvajal-Santa Maria clan from its beginnings in late fourteenth-century Castile.

By tracing the family ties and intermarriages of the Jewish rabbinic ha- Levi lineage of Burgos, Spain (which became the converso Santa Maria clan) with the Old Christian Carvajal line of Plasencia, Spain, Martinez-Davila demonstrates the family's changing identity, and how the monolithic notions of ethnic and religious disposition were broken down by the group and negotiated anew as they transformed themselves from marginal into mainstream characters at the center of the economies of power in the world they inhabited.

They succeeded in rising to the pinnacles of power within the church hierarchy in Spain, even to the point of contesting the succession to the papacy and overseeing the Inquisitorial investigation and execution of extended family members, including Luis de Carvajal "The Younger" and most of his immediate family during the 1590s in Mexico City. Martinez-Davila offers a rich panorama of the many forces that shaped the emergence of modern Spain, including tax policies, rivalries among the nobility, and ecclesiastical politics.

His text is strengthened by many family trees that assist the reader as the threads of political and social relationships are carefully disentangled.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 472 pages
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: general
  • ISBN: 9780268103217



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