Download PDF by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto: Before Columbus: Exploration and Colonisation from the
By Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
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Additional resources for Before Columbus: Exploration and Colonisation from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic 1229–1492
In the eyes of Ramon Muntaner, writing in about 1325, the king's confidence seemed to be fulfilled. Muntaner was, of all the Catalan chroniclers, the most indiscriminate in his praise and the most ready with superlatives; but his encomium of Majorca rings true. It was a 'goodly isle, and an honoured one'. The king had 'made great grants to all his men, and great graces. ' The concentration on the 'city of Majorca', in despite of the rest of the island, is revealing. When outsiders thought of Majorca, they thought only of its entrepot just as today they think only of the tourist complex, on the same coast, centred on the same city.
The only formal institutions which spanned the whole island were the four 'Judiciates', divided between the Pisans and the island notables. It was the prospect of expelling the Pisans and monopolising power that made the island elite, and especially the most powerful of them, the House of the Judges or Arborea, at first cooperate with Aragon. But the realisation that they had exchanged a present nuisance for a putative master, soon induced a series of rebellions, not quelled for 100 years, which bled Aragonese energies.
But Majorca was never genuinely viable as a THE ISLAND CONQUESTS OF THE HOUSE OF BARCELONA 31 wholly independent state. Its inhabitants were Catalans, who retained habits of loyalty to the historic dynasty; it was dependent on its peninsular trade; its magnates were for the most part peninsula-based. Jaume II was powerless to resist Pedro III's demand for homage in 1279 or to oppose the Aragonese invasion of 1285. His restoration in 1299 was made in the interests of the dynasty as a whole by the decision of Jaime II of Aragon.
Before Columbus: Exploration and Colonisation from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic 1229–1492 by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto