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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

And the wedding ? yuras under oath


were on practically an equal

footing socially and juridically with the Christians, and were one of the principal agencies for the diffusion of Moslem culture in Le?n and Castile. By the opening of the thirteenth century their situation began to change with the adoption of restrictive measures, although it was not until the next period that these operated in all their harshness. As the conquests proceeded, great bodies of Moslems were incorporated into the Christian states, and they came to be called "Mud?jares." Despite the growth of intolerance with the advance in the crusading character of the wars the Mud?jares were in general very well treated. Aside from treaties of capitulation making promises to that effect, political and economic interests made it advisable both on account of the numbers of the vanquished Moslems and because of the need for population. Many of them, whether as freemen or serfs, were agricultural laborers enjoying considerable independence, including the right of publicly practising their religion. As time went on they tended to gather into the cities, although subjected to more restrictions than in the country,--such as the refusal to allow the public practice of the Moslem faith (with a number of exceptions, however) or requirements that they must wear a distinctive dress and live in a separate section of the city. If they were not greatly molested in other respects they did have to endure very heavy taxation, even including the tithe for the benefit of the Christian church. The
Moz?rabes, though of the same race and religion as the Leonese and Castilian population, had lived so long in contact with Moslem civilization that they represented a class apart, having their special laws differing from those of the native-born Christians. Naturally, they were well received.

[Sidenote: Forms of wedlock.]

[Sidenote: The family.]

Among the social traits of the era may be noted a certain moral laxity. Two forms of marriage were recognized, that of _bendici?n_ (blessing of the church), accompanied by a religious ceremony, and the wedding _? yuras_ (under oath), by a simple contract between the parties concerned. A third form of union, similar to the latter but not recognized as lawful wedlock, was that of _barragan?a_ (concubinage). The essential conditions of _barragan?a_ were permanence and fidelity. Both parties were supposed to be single, although the custom often extended to include married men; in the latter case, but not in the former, the children were held to be illegitimate. Many clergymen entered into this relation, despite efforts to prevent the practice. _Barragan?a_ and the marriage _? yuras_ have been considered to be a Christian imitation of Moslem marital customs. Divorce was allowed for serious cause. The father was recognized as the master of the family, although the wife and children gained certain financial and personal rights which had not formerly been accorded them. The bonds of family were so strong, however, that individuals who were free by law to emancipate themselves--for example, by marriage--often continued under the parental roof. Thus great family groups living in common were formed.


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