Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Memorias del Cautiverio Y Costumbres, Ritos Y Gobiernos De Berbería: Según El Relato De Un Jesuita del Siglo XVII [Memories of the Captivity and Customs, Rites and Governments of Barbary: According to the Story of a Seventeenth Century Jesuit]

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Memorias del Cautiverio Y Costumbres, Ritos Y Gobiernos De Berbería: Según El Relato De Un Jesuita del Siglo XVII [Memories of the Captivity and Customs, Rites and Governments of Barbary: According to the Story of a Seventeenth Century Jesuit]

Article excerpt

Memorias del cautiverio y Costumbres, ritos y gobiernos de Berbería: según el relato de un jesuita del siglo XVII [Memories of the Captivity and Customs, Rites and Governments of Barbary: According to the Story of a Seventeenth Century Jesuit]. Edited by Felipe Maíllo Salgado. Oviedo: University of Oviedo, 2017. 262 pp. €14.50, paper.

These memoirs of a Jesuit priest, captured and taken to Algiers in 1644, are a welcome addition to a growing scholarly library focusing on the massive commerce of West European slaves under Muslim regimes. In it, are devoted priests as well as priests who become drunkards and scoundrels; Christians who keep their faith and those who apostatize to escape their misery; horrible scenes of slaves piled up in dark dungeons, and picaresque tales of canny ones who trick and steal from drunken Muslims. As the Jesuit narrator observes, Algiers was the most corrupt of Barbary Coast cities and, therefore, offered opportunities to savvy captives.

Muslim raiders and rulers routinely pillaged the seas and coasts of Europe, as far as Ireland, searching for slaves and loot until, beginning in the nineteenth century, Europeans colonized North Africa and ended the raids and the trade. …

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