Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

First Advisor

Dr. Manuela Manzanares de Cirre


The purpose of this dissertation is to provide interested scholars with a faithful and sufficiently accurate transcription of the “Juridical Treatise”, ms. 4987 of the Biblioteca Nacional of Madrid. The transcription to Romance of this as yet inedited singular extant Aljamiado text comprises the principal endeavour and core of this dissertation. An historical background of the Spanish Moriscos, the authors of Aljamiado literature, introduces our edition. A brief survey of the genesis of Alijamiado literature and the significance of treatises dealing with moral, religious and legal matters within this genre is reviewed. The development of previously neglected Aljamiado analises and investigations as a discipline within Hispanic studies are also discussed. An outline of the text of BNM 4987, which is a unique didactic compendium and comprehensive exposition of Islamic doctrine, follows thereafter. This includes detailed religious prescriptions and rituals based on the Koran and the Sunna, often graphically direct in particulars, and several prayers in Arabic: tribute duties on livestock, agriculture, gold, silver, jewels, etc.; the obligations of fasting and pilgrimage as well as Muslim doctrines regarding Holy War; laws for merchants in buying and selling, loans and usury; and the rites for indoctrinating newborn into the religion of Islam. Our editorial principles have been formulated with reference to methods conforming to the standards established by Álvaro Galmés de Fuentes for the “Colección de literature Española aljamiado-morisca”. Difficulties and discrepancies of transcriptions and other textual problems are discussed and the table of correspondences from Arabic to Romance graphemes is provided. The ensuing linguistic analysis of the text elucidates the majority of the archaic and conservative dialectical variations characteristic of the sixteenth-century Spanish of the Moriscos of Aragon, as well as the lexical and syntactical Arabisms preserved in the text. The transliteration of the text is then followed by a glossary which includes archaisms, etymologies and Arabisms. In addition to being a source of information for the development of the Spanish language, this edition also provides a variety of sources for possible further studies in sociology, history, dialectology, comparative religion, law, and art and folklore.