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Author: Bagby, Albert
Title: Some Characterizations of the Moor in Alfonso X’s Cantigas
Date: 1970
Publication details: South Central Bulletin 30 (1970), 164-67.
Snow ID: 339
Commentary: Notes from Snow 1977: "B. wishes to show that Alfonso, despite his reputation for tolerance was much biassed against the Moors. It is true that they were his opponents in religion and on the battlefield; however, the subjective readings of the forty-four cantigas in which Muslims are at least mentioned (CSM 28, 185, 215, 325, 186, and 379 are dealt with in some detail) do not, to my mind, convincingly reveal any such privately harboured resentments. Alfonso comes in for too much credit for the artistic depiction of the Muslims. Too many of the Moors appear in ways not unique to the CSM, which suggests greater reliance on fixed or stereotyped delineations of the character of the Moor as renegade than B. concedes. In the long line of Marian miracle literature that precedes the CSM, all manner of Jews, Moors and other "infidels" are traditional enemies of the Virgin and are unfavourably represented, except in their potential roles as converts. Separating this traditional depiction from any Alfonso presents in the CSM may well prove impossible."
Associated Poems: 28 - The Siege of Constantinople
185 - The Statue that Defended a Castle
186 - The Woman whose Mother-in-law Plotted her Death
215 - The Moors who Failed to Destroy a Statue of the Virgin
325 - The Christian Woman who Escaped from the Moors
379 - The Attack of the Catalan Pirates
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