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 Topic: The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books

 (Read 9330 times)
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  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     OP - July 05, 2012, 02:13 PM

    Between the years 1595-1606 a total of 22 books were discovered in various locations around the city of Granada, Spain. The books were written in a peculiar form of Arabic.

    Local Morisco translators claimed that the Arabic was “Solomonic” pre-Islamic Arabic and then set about translating these lead books into Spanish.

    Some of the books were found with human remains, which according to the inscriptions in the books, were the remains of Christians that were martyred during the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero. The discovery of the books, and the associated relics, proved to be the occasion of numerous miracles that confirmed their authenticity in the sight of the local population and of the church authorities in Granada, and attracted royal support from both Philip II and Philip III.

    A consistent theme of the text in the Sacromonte Lead books is to emphasize Arabic as an ancient language of Spain, Arabs in Granada as the first Christians in Spain, and Christianity as the true religion of the Arabs. The form of Christianity presented is such as to be highly acceptable to Catholics in Granada, emphasizing the veneration of relics, the cult of the Virgin, and the priority of Granada as a Christian bishopric, but also downplaying some aspects of Christianity that were most repugnant to Muslims, including the cult of images, the doctrine of the Trinity, the worship of Jesus as the incarnate Son of God and the use of wine in the Eucharist. In fact much of the terminology within the books matches closely with Islamic formulae: God is One. There is no God but God, and Jesus is the Spirit of God.

    What was most suspicious about these books was the circumstances of their discovery. As the very men that had volunteered to translate the books were also instrumental in the discovery of many of them and happened to live in the nearby area. The two translators were both prominent local Moriscos: Miguel de Luna and Alonso del Castillo. Alonso del Castillo had just recently returned to Granada from serving as the official Arabic translator to the King, and it just so happened that these lead books were discovered shortly after his return to Granada.

    Nevertheless the lead books were considered to be genuine by the majority of the people of Granada (Spanish and Morisco alike). In 1642 the books were sent to the Vatican to be analyzed and after 40 years of analysis there, the books were considered to be heretical forgeries. Today the books are kept in the Abbey of Sacromonte and there is still one book, the so-called “Mute Book” that has never been successfully translated to this day.

    Almost all scholars now concur with the official verdict and believe that the books are a forgery intended to promote toleration of the language, dress and customs of Christian Moriscos in the face of increasing hostility from the Spanish Inquisition and the Castilian state. If so, this exercise was unsuccessful in its general objective, as between 1609 and 1614 the entire Morisco population was deported to North Africa, where they reverted to Islam. Both Castillo and Luna escaped this fate, as the archbishop of Granada, ever grateful for the immense increase in the prestige of his see arising from the “discovery” of the lead books, extended his personal protection to them and their families. Many of the deported Moriscos remained convinced of the books' authenticity however, and transcripts continued to circulate within Tunisia, until this practice was forcibly suppressed by Islamic religious authorities there.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_Books_of_Sacromonte

    What is most fascinating to me about this case is how easy it is to forge holy relics and get a whole community to believe their authenticity. Just shows how gullible people can be.
  • Re: The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #1 - July 05, 2012, 02:43 PM

    What is most fascinating to me about this case is how easy it is to forge holy relics and get a whole community to believe their authenticity. Just shows how gullible people can be.


    I don't find it surprising at all ! Whether it's religion,money,sex or what have you, how do you think so many cons get to be in business?



    The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
                                   Thomas Paine

    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored !- Aldous Huxley
  • Re: The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #2 - July 05, 2012, 03:49 PM

    Perhaps something different was involved then gullibility.

    For the Morisco Christians they came from somewhere with some traditions that they were trying to protect from the Catholic Church of the Spanish Inquisition.  It doesn't take much effort to show that organization had greatly deviated from the Bible. So the Morisco Christians no doubt thought themselves to be acting foe self preservation. Perhaps they thought honestly to maintain what they felt right. At least not wanting to be forced into another way of life.

    For those acting to get prestigious from the discovery of the book I doubt also that they were gullible. Is there any evidence that the books changed their way of life or their belief about. God. There doesn't appear to be. So we don't know if they cared one way or the other if the books were a forgery only that they could benefit them self.

    So was anyone one gullible at the time we really don't have all the information we need to pass judgement.

    Are there people who are gullible until this day about these books. We still don't have the information we need.


    If at first you succeed...try something harder.

    Failing isn't falling down. Failing is not getting back up again.
  • Re: The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #3 - July 05, 2012, 06:26 PM

    For the Morisco Christians they came from somewhere with some traditions that they were trying to protect from the Catholic Church of the Spanish Inquisition.


    The Moriscos of Granada were the descendants of those Muslims that had converted to Christianity to avoid expulsion from Spain.

    When the Moors surrendered Granada in 1492 the terms of the surrender were that they would be able to continue being Muslims and be protected by the Spanish crown. However over the subsequent 30 years there were constant armed rebellions in the region, this was considered treasonous by the Spanish authorities and they declared the capitulation treaty to be void. There followed a mass forced baptism of the Moorish community. Thus the Moors were now officially Christian "Moriscos" and were no longer protected by the Spanish crown and could be held accountable to the inquisition.

    The majority of the Moriscos, especially those in Granada who had been forcibly converted, were not genuine Christians. They maintained their Islamic faith in secret and wrote Korans in their secret language known as Aljamiado.

    The Spanish increasingly viewed the Moriscos with distrust, labeling them as a "Fifth Column" of the Ottoman Empire. If I remember correctly, the Ottomans had some role in arming the Moors of Granada during the rebellions so the attitude was partially justified.

    So the purpose of the Sacromonte books was not likely to have been to return to their Christian traditions since the majority of them were not genuine Christians in the first place. The purpose was to justify their presence in Spain by trying to show that Arabs were in fact the first Christians there, long before the Arab/Islamic invasion of the peninsula.

    But even if the some of the Moriscos were aware that they were not genuine relics, the Spanish were also just as convinced of their veracity. And there were numerous "miracles" associated with their discovery. It just goes to show how easy it is to "construct" a heritage out of nothing, and how easily people will take it up enthusiastically, especially when there is an urgent need for it. (i.e. the worsening of relations between the communities and the imminent expulsion)

    Anyway here are some actual pictures of the scripts on the lead books:



  • Re: The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #4 - July 06, 2012, 09:43 AM

    Love this kind of historical stuff Tony.


    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #5 - November 11, 2013, 06:51 AM

    Need bogart to reply to this.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #6 - November 11, 2013, 07:18 AM

    This is a great thread.  Great historical info.

  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #7 - November 11, 2013, 07:49 AM

    From Wiki: "Almost all scholars now concur with the official verdict and believe that the books are a forgery..."

    True scholarship would insist upon a modern investigation using current scientific tools of investigation before ad hoc agreeing with a centuries old "official verdict."

  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #8 - November 11, 2013, 02:21 PM

    What!? You mean people FORGE holy books in order to suit their agendas, and other people actually BELIEVE them!!??
  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #9 - November 11, 2013, 03:04 PM

    From Wiki: "Almost all scholars now concur with the official verdict and believe that the books are a forgery..."

    True scholarship would insist upon a modern investigation using current scientific tools of investigation before ad hoc agreeing with a centuries old "official verdict."


    Whilst I would agree with you on that, it's not accidental that the books are following in a well-worn literary and apologetic tradition of groups trying to legitimate their presence/power/privileges via an assertion of autochthony - it's a trope that stretches, in written form, as far back as the Babylonians.
  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #10 - November 11, 2013, 03:53 PM

    Granted, but in the interest of true scholarship they should still make absolutely sure it is a forgery before they record that verdict into history forever.  Human opinions are often wrong, especially from those olden days.

  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #11 - November 11, 2013, 04:30 PM

    TL:DR

    An attempt to unify Arab which convert to Christianity with a Christian identity prior to the Muslim Conquest of Spain. It exempts these people from a class which was deported. Any crimes places on the Muslim population for past actions no longer apply. Instead of infidels they are viewed as lost sheep. There are social and economic reasons as well.

    FULL

    The 22 books contain fabricated history. There is not original, contemporary or source even within a century of these books. There are only references to the 22 books never the sources of these books. There are no independent sources in the centuries occupation of Spain by Rome, Visigoth, Moor or Iberian successor states; Greater Aragon, Castile/Leon, Asturia, Jewish or Moor. Spain was the front line between Western Christianity and what they perceived as Islam. Perceived meaning Christians were larger ignorant to the division of Islamic Spain and the Abbasid Dynasty in the East. The Eastern Crusades were skirmishes compared to the centuries of warfare between Christian and Muslim kingdoms. The history just does not add up, plain and simple. The reasons for this are as followed.

    The Northern Spanish Kingdoms follow a policy of colonization for centuries. After conquering an area the population was divided into 4 categories. Christians that converted to Islam while under the rule of a Muslim. Christians which followed a form which predates or was isolated from Catholic Christianity. Jews which converted, forced or voluntary, to Christianity. Muslims which were forced to convert. Any Jew or Muslim which refused to convert or was deemed to be a false convert was expelled. Under such policy land would be depopulated becoming ripe for colonization. The policy of colonization followed two forms. A Free Mans charter which granted peasants occupation of land without direct feudal ties of lower nobility. These peasants were directly under the authority of the monarch. This created a social class above that of serfs. A workers middle class which was formally restricted to artisan, merchants and craftsmen. Villages, towns and cities under this charter essentially became quasi lower nobility without some of the negatives of the feudal system; vassal wars, politics, etc. This councils would need to defend their own lands, as per the charter, from threats. As the charter was granted by a monarch alone these free men settlements would need to defend the monarch in order to retain their status. The other policy was a pressure method which followed the same 4 categories above. However nobility and clergy. Both systems created new "players" in the old system used in Spain.

    Under such a system during the reconquest various cities rose to power under one of the two systems. The Southern and Easter parts of Spain having long been dominant become prizes for this form of colonization. So there was a drastic shift to the south for centuries which peaked in the decades leading up to Granada's fall. The New world was also discovered further shifting focus to the south. Seville was granted a charter becoming the only port ships bound or returning from the New World could access. Seville also became the capital at this time. Three months after Granada fell all converts were expelled from Spain and the Inquisition started. This led to a massive wave of depopulation and colonization. This set the stage for a new power structure. For the clergy this was in the form of which city would become the seat of power for the Catholic Church in Spain. Also the Christian Reformation was in full swing with reform and counter-reform movements in open conflict in some areas of Europe.

    For centuries different cities were finding lost relics, saint's bones, ruins, etc. Jesuit Jeronimo Roman de la Higura did this in Toledo with false chronicles and Caravaca de la Cruz for example. These "discoveries" were all made in an effort to unify a city or culture with the newly emerging Catholic identity with links to the former Visigoth dynasty and a form of Christianity which predates Catholicism. The Lead books are an attempt at unifying the Muslim population with a prior Christian identity. It attempts to link the origins of Christianity in Spain with Arab community there by turning converted Muslims from infidels to lost sheep. Such a position gains the rights of Christians which converts to Islam. They are no long under threat of being deported, conversion is authentic and economic privileges only seen in Aragon. Simply put they climb the social ladder; Christian, Christian which converted, "Arabian/Spainish Christian", Jew. Jesuit Jeronimo Roman de la Higura did this by linking his chronicles with a lost Tribe of Israeli.

    Social , economic, religion and cultural unification in an era in which miracles were a dime a dozen.









  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #12 - November 12, 2013, 10:12 AM

    Granted, but in the interest of true scholarship they should still make absolutely sure it is a forgery before they record that verdict into history forever.  Human opinions are often wrong, especially from those olden days.


    And by the same token you presumably extend the same courtesy to the Mormons?
  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #13 - November 12, 2013, 10:47 AM

    ............. they should still make absolutely sure it is a forgery before they record that verdict into history forever.  Human opinions are often wrong, especially from those olden days.......................

    Yap that is true.,  we must make sure these historical books are NOT forgery., indeed human opinions were often wrong in those  those olden days.   But Rasheed  we have tools and intelligence + freedom to carefully analyze debate and correct the mistakes in the past books..


    I guess only exception is Quran .. because.......  Huh?

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #14 - November 12, 2013, 11:06 AM

    And by the same token you presumably extend the same courtesy to the Mormons?


    In what way?

  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #15 - November 12, 2013, 11:07 AM

    I guess only exception is Quran .. because.......  Huh?


    Just because someone claims something is a mistake doesn't mean it's true, yeezevee, especially when the accuser is heavily biased against what he is proclaiming is a mistake from the beginning.  Now stop trying to jack this thread and confine this argument to my rant thread.

  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #16 - November 12, 2013, 12:22 PM

    Quote from: bogart link=topic=21343.msg718114#msg718114
    Any Jew or Muslim which refused to convert or was deemed to be a false convert was expelled...... Three months after Granada fell all converts were expelled from Spain and the Inquisition started.


    Sorry Bogart but this is totally false. From which cities were all the Muslims and Jews who refused to convert immediately expelled? I am not aware of any. Many Christian ruled cities such as Valencia and Zaragosa had Muslim and Jewish minority populations for many centuries.

    The closest thing I know of that resembles what you are talking about was the Alhambra Decree, signed in 1492 which expelled all Jews from the peninsula if they did not convert, but this was after the entire reconquest had been completed and it only applied to Jews not Muslims. The Muslims of Granada were allowed to remain for another 30 years before they were forcibly converted. The final expulsion of the Moriscos occurred in 1609, over 100 years later. I am not aware of any similar legislation in the earlier, Medieval period.
  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #17 - November 12, 2013, 02:09 PM

    I'm referring to the Mormon "legend" of their claim to sacred autochthony in the Americas - as dictated to Joseph Smith by an angel, no less, and therefore guaranteed to be true.

    Kinda similar in theological/polemical intent to the Quranic legend of the primordial precedence, and therefore primacy, of Mecca.
  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #18 - November 12, 2013, 02:18 PM

    The Qur'an closes the canon of revealed scripture and Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the seal of the prophethood.  Anyone making revealed scripture claims after Muhammad is a false prophet, and I dismiss their message out of hand.  The message of the Mormons isn't worth listening  to.

  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #19 - November 12, 2013, 03:38 PM

    I'd agree that the message isn't true - it's transparently nonsensical in exactly the same way as the Quranic claim of its own divinity is transparently nonsensical; it's as nonsensical as your ( and other Muslims' ) claim that "Muhammad is the seal of the prophets" actually constitutes a description of objective reality; it's as nonsensical as the Pentateuchal claim of Mosaic authorship; it's as nonsensical as christological arguments over the illusory and the irrelevant.  I refuse your boundaries.

    Texts aren't validated or listened to or understood - or needn't be -  in the light of some circular metaphysical assertion of their representation of an absolute and fixed truth; we can try to understand them for what they actually are, which is human creations dealing with human needs that arise in particular historical, spatial, traditional, literary and cultural contexts and that are continuously re-appropriated by their readership/audience -  which is, after all, the only thing that gives them life and sustains them.
  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #20 - November 12, 2013, 03:49 PM

    Sorry Bogart but this is totally false. From which cities were all the Muslims and Jews who refused to convert immediately expelled? I am not aware of any. Many Christian ruled cities such as Valencia and Zaragosa had Muslim and Jewish minority populations for many centuries.

    The closest thing I know of that resembles what you are talking about was the Alhambra Decree, signed in 1492 which expelled all Jews from the peninsula if they did not convert, but this was after the entire reconquest had been completed and it only applied to Jews not Muslims. The Muslims of Granada were allowed to remain for another 30 years before they were forcibly converted. The final expulsion of the Moriscos occurred in 1609, over 100 years later. I am not aware of any similar legislation in the earlier, Medieval period.



    I generalized too much but consider that the majority of Spain was under Castile control which followed a policy of expulsion rather than tolerance I made an error in using their examples for all of Spain.

    There is the Alhambra Decree for the Jews which altered the Treaty of Granada. The two revolt of Granada led Christians to claim Muslims violated the Treaty of Granada. All Muslims in the area were exiled or became Moriscos officially. Charles I issued an edict banning Arabic and Moorish clothing, which was suspended for 40 years by paying 80,000 ducados. Philip II modified this edict to include the Arabic and Berber languages, names, clothing, destruction of texts in Arabic and forced assimilation of Christian names and education. All this led to the War of Las Alpujarras in which the Moriscos were exiled and dispersed on mass by Philip III.

    Valencia was part of the Crown of Aragon. When it fell to James I land was expropriated from Muslims which was given as rewards to those that took part in the "crusade" for the city as noted in Llibre del Repartiment. Many Muslims fled the area while some remained which built up the Muslim quarter in the city. Zaragosa was part of Aragon as well. Aragon itself was more tolerant than their Castile cousins. I covered this very briefly in comparison to the rights granted by citizen category. Aragon followed a policy of divide and conquer rather than outright expulsion.

    Castile on the other hand had driven Muslims from the central plains. It enforced edicts against the Muslim population as noted above, many revolts were blamed on Muslims if they took part as members of a revolt even if said revolt was not a Muslim movement. Granada was one of the only exceptions to this policy. The 30 year "freedom" Muslims enjoyed was revoked after the first rebellion in Granada. The second revolt's aftermath targeted the Morisco.

    Beside expulsion and oppression enacted by monarchs many feudal lords, clergy and city councils enacted similar policies in areas under their control. Actions were in response to revolts, religious tensions, economic issues, etc. For many people Morisco were Muslims regardless of the method of their conversion. Even those that had been Morisco for generations were still seen as Muslim.
  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #21 - November 12, 2013, 03:50 PM

    The Qur'an closes the canon of revealed scripture and Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the seal of the prophethood.  ......................

    Yap Quran closes everything ..   it is called closed argument and it runs in circles Rasheed.    it goes like this..



    There you can replace that word "Bible" with Quran., here watch the tube..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiL3bSOqxA8

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #22 - November 12, 2013, 04:29 PM

    I'd agree that the message isn't true - it's transparently nonsensical in exactly the same way as the Quranic claim of its own divinity is transparently nonsensical...


    "Transparently nonsensical" in what way? 

  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #23 - November 12, 2013, 11:34 PM

    Quote
    Qur'an closes the canon of revealed scripture and Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the seal of the prophethood.


    MRasheed. From this thread and many others, you constantly proclaim this, but you have yet to say why in a way that is logical and convincing. It may sound good in your head, but it really doesn't mean anything to us.

    It's not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.
  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #24 - November 13, 2013, 12:37 AM

    The Qur'an closes the canon of revealed scripture and Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the seal of the prophethood.  Anyone making revealed scripture claims after Muhammad is a false prophet, and I dismiss their message out of hand. 

    This is as tragic, exasperating and unintentionally hilarious as a bullying pub bore who must always have the last word.


    Reason for editing: This pub bore can't spell 'hilarious'.
  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #25 - November 13, 2013, 03:04 PM

    From Wiki: "Almost all scholars now concur with the official verdict and believe that the books are a forgery..."

    True scholarship would insist upon a modern investigation using current scientific tools of investigation before ad hoc agreeing with a centuries old "official verdict."


    This is a rather vague criticism, which modern studies of the Sacromonte books are you aiming your criticism at? And what exactly was wrong with their methodology? What modern "scientific tools" did they fail to make use of?
  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #26 - November 14, 2013, 09:49 AM

    Quote
    Quote from: josephus says  link=topic=21343.msg718310#msg718310 date=1384270731
    I'd agree that the message isn't true - it's transparently nonsensical in exactly the same way as the Quranic claim of its own divinity is transparently nonsensical; it's as nonsensical as your ( and other Muslims' ) claim that "Muhammad is the seal of the prophets" ................

    Quote from: MRasheed  Asks  link=topic=21343.msg718324#msg718324 date=1384273778
    "Transparently nonsensical" in what way?  


    In every way., which ever way you look it is nonsensical.,Except when we close our eyes and minds and run in circles in circular logic., and it goes like this.

    Quote
    What is the Proof that Muhammad is the prophet of  allah/god?

    Proof is in Quran,  Quran says that

    Q: How do you know the Quran is True word of God. ?

    A: Prophet Mohamed says so in Quran.

    Q: How do you know that Mohamed was a prophet ?

    A: The Quran says so.

    well to find out those nonsensical ways., one has to read Quran with open  mind and OPEN HEART...

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • The Fascinating Story of the Sacromonte Lead Books
     Reply #27 - November 14, 2013, 03:42 PM

    This is a rather vague criticism, which modern studies of the Sacromonte books are you aiming your criticism at? And what exactly was wrong with their methodology? What modern "scientific tools" did they fail to make use of?


    It is vague as he is using wiki as a source, which is crap imo. He is ignorant of the books, papers and articles published for centuries covering these books. These papers usually agree with the former view points but to him it's as if no one bothers at all and just accepts a view from the 17th century.
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