Les Instructions, e ordinacions perals nouament convertits del regne de Valencia: fetes per […] do[n] Jordi d[e] Austria Archebisbe de Valencia, e don Antonio Ramirez de Haro, Bisbe de Ciudad Rodrigo, […] Les quals […] don Martin de Ayala Archebisbe de Valencia […] ha manat se guarden […] excepto en aquelles coses que en lo Concili prouincial estauen moderades, o ajustades: y lo que a la fi destes ordinacions esta statuyt y ordenant […]. Jorge de Austria, Antonio Ramírez de Haro, Martín Pérez de Ayala.
Les Instructions, e ordinacions perals nouament convertits del regne de Valencia: fetes per […] do[n] Jordi d[e] Austria Archebisbe de Valencia, e don Antonio Ramirez de Haro, Bisbe de Ciudad Rodrigo, […] Les quals […] don Martin de Ayala Archebisbe de Valencia […] ha manat se guarden […] excepto en aquelles coses que en lo Concili prouincial estauen moderades, o ajustades: y lo que a la fi destes ordinacions esta statuyt y ordenant […].
The First Educational and Practical Guide for Moriscos

Les Instructions, e ordinacions perals nouament convertits del regne de Valencia: fetes per […] do[n] Jordi d[e] Austria Archebisbe de Valencia, e don Antonio Ramirez de Haro, Bisbe de Ciudad Rodrigo, […] Les quals […] don Martin de Ayala Archebisbe de Valencia […] ha manat se guarden […] excepto en aquelles coses que en lo Concili prouincial estauen moderades, o ajustades: y lo que a la fi destes ordinacions esta statuyt y ordenant […].

Estampades en Valencia: en casa de Joan Mey, Venen se en casa de Sanahuja Librer [Juan Mey], any. M. D. Lxvi, [1566]. First edition. In modern vellum, title lettered in ink on the spine. Woodcut initials. ff. [16]. Collation: a–b8. Joan Lluís Gili’s bookplate on inner front panel. Pages artistically restored. In fine condition.

“The first catechismal work directed expressly at the instruction of the moriscos.” (Ehlers, 2006)

After the reconquest of Islamic Spain in 1492, the Muslim population stood between 500,000 and 600,000 people, and the Kingdom of Valencia had the second largest Muslim community after Granada. In Valencia, Islam was allowed to be practiced and for some extent, the Islamic legal system was preserved, until the outbreak of the Revolt of the Brotherhoods, an anti-seigneurial uprising of the Christian subjects of the Kingdom. The rebellion bore an anti-Islamic aspect and resulted in the forced conversion of the Muslims. The present book “The Instructions and Ordinances for the Newly Converted of the Kingdom of Valencia” was written as a guide for these large flocks of Valencian Moriscos or New Christians, those formerly Muslims who were coerced into converting to Christianity. The catechism was composed by Jorge de Austria (1504–1557), the archbishop of Valencia, originally written in 1538 in Valenciano, but published only in 1566, in the period of the Tridentine reforms, when missionary and catechization efforts increased throughout Catholic Europe. (Williams, 2017)

Les Instructions, as an educational and practical guide, defines the acceptable Christian behaviors and those Muslim practices which were no longer tolerated. It lays down a penalty system, where keeping old Muslim customs, such as maintaining a Christian servant, or resisting the new Christian ordinances, like not sending the children to the church on Sundays, deserves the largest fines. The food issue is also a significant element of the catechism in the aspects of fasting practices (Christian fasts contra Ramadan) and the methods of animal slaughter (which must be performed without Muslim rituals). (Williams, 2017) Eventually it orders the priests to stop charging the moriscos extraordinary fees for the administration of sacraments “so the new converts will not think that our Christian religion is based on self-interest”. (Ehlers, 2006)

An extremely scarce book, USTC lists only six institutions in Spain that hold copies of Les Instructions, and only one outside the country (Hispanic Society of America, USA).

Provenance: Bookplate of Joan Lluís Gili (1907–1998), the Catalan antiquarian book-seller, publisher, and translator. Part of Gili’s collection of manuscripts on Spanish and Catalan history is now in the Houghton Library at Harvard.

Ref.: IB 7607; USTC 338217.

Bibl.: Ehlers, B.: Between Christians and Moriscos: Juan de Ribera and Religious Reform in Valencia, 1568–1614. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. p. 19. Williams, J.: Food and Religious Identities in Spain, 1400–1600. London; New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2017.

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Price: €15,000.00