• Renegades as Crossover Figures: Forgers of the Early Modern Mediterranean

    The early modern Mediterranean world would be incomprehensible without taking into account the key roles of the so-called renegades—converts to Islam—who were far more numerous than converts to Christianity. Since renegades rarely wrote or spoke about themselves except under inquisitorial interrogation, and since most texts of the period portrayed them with hostility, the widest range of sources and discursive genres (including literary) in many languages needs to be examined in order to get some sense of who they were. As frontier protagonists, renegades articulated the cultural and religious divide within the Mediterranean. Models proposing split personalities, antagonistic civilizations, or religious discord have done little to resolve the enigma posed by the renegades in all their heterogeneity. This article questions the emphasis on belief and “sincerity” that has always dominated the discussion of renegades, stressing instead their pragmatism, strategic orientation, and acquired capabilities.

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