Any: 2024 Núm.: 18

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    The ‘Reconquest’: a new proposal of definition
    (Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida, 2024) Ayala, Carlos de
    In the following pages, we propose to rehabilitate the use of the term “reconquest” (reconquista). We understand and appreciate the reasons that have rendered it controversial, and are aware of the legitimate circumstances that have led to “condemnation” of usage of the word, which has been misrepresented and ideologically manipulated in the past and even today. We believe, however, that it is time to reclaim the instrumental value of a term that defines with precision a medieval ideology that arose to justify the expansive war of the Christians in the north of the Peninsula at Islam’s expense. This ideology is rooted in very old and extensive accounts throughout the Peninsula, reflecting different models of understanding, not always alluding to a Visigoth past or the legendary Battle of Covadonga. In any case, albeit intermittently, it is an ideology that permeated the Peninsula throughout the entire Middle Ages.
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    Open Access
    The frontier fortresses and sanctuaries of al-Andalus: Reconquest, Resignification and collective Memory in the Iberian Peninsula (eleventh to fifteenth centuries)
    (Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida, 2024) Palacios Ontalva, J. Santiago
    The ideology of the reconquest pursued a clear objective: the recovery of a nation illegitimately occupied by Muslim invaders and the restoration of Christianity in Peninsular territory. This process necessarily entailed the submission, if not the expulsion, of al-Andalus’s Muslim population, as well as the erasure of any sign of its presence, culture or religion. The Christians demonstrated great efficacy in this operation through a series of different actions leading, first of all, to the effective control over the territory and its fortresses, places of worship, and spiritual landmarks. Then by resignification through different symbolic and religious elements. And, finally, developing an alternative collective memory, one that would justify their actions, sustain the new and victorious Christian society and subdue the vanquished Muslims.
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    Open Access
    The Christian Reconquest of the Holy Land
    (Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida, 2024) Alvira Cabrer, Martín
    The importance of Jerusalem and the Holy Land to Western medieval Christians, the cradle and homeland of their religion, being well known, this work proposes to examine sources from the time of the Crusades (papal documents, sermons and preaching, chronicles and histories), searching them for the idea of Christian reconquest of the Holy Land and, if possible, use of the word “reconquest” as a literal reflection of a desire to reconquer the Christian territories of the East from the Muslims.
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    Open Access
    The islamic reaction to the Christian Conquests in Iberia: the deal of territorial Recovery (eleventh-twelfth centuries)
    (Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida, 2024) García-Sanjuán, Alejandro
    Heavily biased by ideological prejudices, traditional Spanish scholarship claimed the existence of sharply divergent approaches between Iberian Christians and Muslims about the perception of the land and the feelings that got them bound to it. Gathered around a shared national project, the Christians would have held highly stable emotional bonds to the land they lived in. Propelled by a strong sense of attachment to their territories, they would have fought tirelessly over eight centuries to recover the lands previously seized by the Muslims. Lacking a similar sense of belonging to the land, the Muslims, bound by agnatic and religious ties, would have considered themselves just temporary dwellers. However, a careful reading of the Arabic sources suggests the existence of parallels regarding the recovery of lost lands. This article seeks to provide compelling textual evidence about the idea of land recovery among the Muslims across the 11th and the 12th century.
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    Open Access
    (Re)claiming the West: Justinian’s expedition in Italy
    (Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida, 2024) Carabia, Alessandro
    The year 533 marked the beginning of a series of military expeditions undertaken by Constantinople aimed at reconquering the “lost west”. After North Africa, Italy, with its powerful symbolism, became the main target of Justinian’s generals. According to Procopius’s history, the wars started as a series of almost unplanned events, while modern scholars tend to emphasize its military nature. This paper analyses the complexity of the reasons which led to the war and how they were used to support it from different ideological and practical points. We will see how these points reflected a crucial aspect of Justinian policy and how this was portrayed by the propaganda and perceived by contemporaries. In the end, the paper will discuss if we can consider Justinian’s operations in the West as a restauratio of the Empire or a war of expansion that created new provinces without changing the eastern-focused trends of Constantinopolitan policies.