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Daniel Orrells, Gurminder K. Bhambra, and Tessa Roynon

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199595006

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199595006.001.0001

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Identifying Authority

Identifying Authority

Juan Latino, an African Ex‐Slave, Professor, and Poet in Sixteenth‐Century Granada

(p.258) 15 Identifying Authority
African Athena

J. Mira Seo

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the political and religious world of Juan Latino, African ex‐slave, poet and professor of Latin in 16th century Granada. Granada, the capital of Islamic Al‐Andalus and the last city to be Christianized in the Reconquista, was a "frontier city" between Islamic and Christian Spain, and therefore of particular interest to the Spanish crown in the 15th and 16th centuries. In his Latin poetry celebrating the Spanish rulers and the Catholic victory at Lepanto in 1571, Latino's canny self‐identification as an Ethiopian Christian is part of a larger rhetorical strategy: Latino positions himself as the ultimate singer of the Spanish monarchy, defenders of Catholicism against Islam and the Reformation.

Keywords:   Juan Latino, Lepanto, Granada, 16th century Spain, Africans in Europe, slavery, humanism

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