Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Larry Simon

Second Advisor

Dr. E. Rozanne Elder

Third Advisor

Dr. Rand Johnson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The fourteenth century, an epoch infamous for war, disease, famine, and devastation across the whole of Europe, also saw an increase in the number of fugitive Muslims from the Christian kingdom of Valencia. Due to the reconquest of Valencia in the thirteenth century, an immense Muslim populace found itself subject to a dominant Christian minority. These Muslims had been either enslaved outright for resisting the Christian domination, or had been placed into a semi-free status. The members of this latter group were known as the Mudejars, and like the Muslim slaves, fled when their social and political standings were in dire straits.

This thesis has investigated the external and internal circumstances that led Muslims to flee from Valencia for Islamic lands, most notably the kingdom of Granada or the North African coast. It has argued that the Muslims used flight, or the threat of flight, as forms of passive resistance and a chance to gain some degree of control in a period when they were being denied self-determination. Chapter I investigates the Christian reconquest of Valencia and the experiences of Muslims during and after the capture of the city. Chapter II studies the circumstances which led Muslims to run away. Chapter III details the Christians' responses to fugitive Muslims, from the issuance of licenses preventing movement to the holding of the Muslims' loved ones as hostages. Finally, the last chapter sums up my conclusions, that the Muslims indeed used flight as resistance, and that such methods of passive resistance were not alien to the medieval world.

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