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Converting the Land: Property, Legal Knowledge, and Documentary Practices in Toledo and the Ebro Valley, 1085–c. 1200 CE

García-Velasco, Rodrigo; (2023) Converting the Land: Property, Legal Knowledge, and Documentary Practices in Toledo and the Ebro Valley, 1085–c. 1200 CE. Medieval Encounters , 29 (2-3) pp. 222-257. 10.1163/15700674-12340166. Green open access

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Abstract

This article examines the drafting of land contracts and the evolution of local property law in key regional centers of power during the transition from Islamic to Christian rule in eleventh- and twelfth-century Iberia. Through the analysis of a range of Arabic and Latin property land sales preserved in the ecclesiastical archives of Toledo and the Ebro valley, the following study looks for signs of potential legal and documentary diffusion taking place as a result of the Christian conquests of the Middle and Upper Marches of al-Andalus. The paper explores the relationship between property and its transfer, on the one hand, and the emerging post-conquest documentary cultures, on the other. It studies borrowings between Latin and Arabic land documents, some of which can be associated with Andalusī property and contract law. The article links this transfer of knowledge to the legal and economic interests of the religious institutions that preserved the Arabic documents, highlighting how new dioceses and monasteries reclaimed the rights and benefits associated with former mosques. Such findings are framed as part of the active preservation and engagement of local property knowledge and Islamicate documentary practices, and their recycling for the post-conquest management and reorganization of the land.

Type: Article
Title: Converting the Land: Property, Legal Knowledge, and Documentary Practices in Toledo and the Ebro Valley, 1085–c. 1200 CE
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1163/15700674-12340166
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1163/15700674-12340166
Language: English
Additional information: © Rodrigo García-Velasco, 2023. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: property law; Arabic documents; ecclesiastical archives; mosque-cathedrals; Reconquista; Toledo; Ebro valley
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10176905
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