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(môrĭs`kōz) [Span.,=Moorish], Moors converted to Christianity after the Christian reconquest (11th–15th cent.) of Spain. The Moors who had become subjects of Christian kings as the reconquest progressed to the 15th cent. were called Mudéjares. They remained Muslim, and their religion and customs were generally respected. After the fall of Granada (1492), Cardinal Jiménez converted many Moors by peaceful means. However, the rigorous treatment of those who refused conversion or apostatized from the new faith led to an uprising (1500–1502) in Granada. This was soon suppressed. Faced with choosing between conversion or banishment, the majority accepted conversion, but many continued secretly to practice Islam. The Moriscos at times provided the Ottoman Turks with information facilitating Turkish raids on the Spanish coast. Persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition and subjected to restrictive legislation (1526, 1527), the Moriscos rose in a bloody rebellion (1568–71), which Philip II put down with the help of John of Austria. The Moriscos prospered in spite of persecutions and furthered Spanish agriculture, trade, and industries. However, in 1609 Philip III, influenced by Lerma, decreed their expulsion for both religious and political reasons.


See H. C. Lea, The Moriscos of Spain (1901, repr. 1969).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the members of the Muslim population who remained in Spain after the fall of the emirate of Granada in 1492.

Forcibly converted to Christianity, the majority of Moriscos continued to profess Islam in secret. They were harshly persecuted by the Inquisition and were forbidden to use Arabic or to give their children Arabic names; Arabic books were burned. Tens of thousands of Moriscos perished on the pyres of the Inquisition.

The Morisco rebellion of 1568–70 was ruthlessly crushed, and a considerable number of Moriscos were exiled to the barren interior of Spain. In 1609–10 the Moriscos were expelled from Spain. The majority resettled in North Africa; in Morocco they formed the oligarchic republic of Bou Regreg, which existed from 1627 to 1641, while many others settled along the Algerian coast and in northern Tunisia.

The expulsion of the Moriscos had grave economic consequences for Spain’s southern provinces. At the same time it contributed to the rise of horticulture, irrigated cultivation, and craft industries in Tunisia.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Esta edicion critica ademas de reivindicar el valor de esta comedia per se, tambien entra dentro de una corriente de estudios de gran fecundidad, "la controversia de los moriscos," que es uno de los grandes temas de la historia social espanola (15).
Consequently, the book focuses on how the Christian elite would attempt to defend the privilege of nobility from its three greatest enemies: the lower class, Conversos, and Moriscos. Divided in three sections, each addresses one of those contenders and the greatest moral, racial, and political narratives and praxis continuously reshaped to neutralize their efforts.
Building on recent studies of Moriscos in Spain and former Jewish conversos in the New World, Karoline P.
Jose Carlos Vizuete es un profesor de la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha al que el arzobispo de Granada, monsenor Francisco Javier Martinez, le encomendo la delicada tarea de exhumar y editar los documentos concernientes a los denominados martires de las Alpujairas, es decir, los martires cristianos de la rebelion de los moriscos entre 1568 y 1571 que tuvo su escenario principal en las serranias de las provincias de Granada y Almeria.
Al verse desterrados por el fanatismo del pueblo y de las autoridades, los liberales exiliados compararon su suerte con la de los moriscos expulsados en 1609 por Felipe III.