By Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
Read Online or Download Before Columbus: Exploration and Colonisation from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic 1229–1492 PDF
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Extra resources for Before Columbus: Exploration and Colonisation from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic 1229–1492
Fees were granted iuxta morem ltaliae: the recipient had to reside in his fief (so that the beneficiaries were aristocratic cadets rather than great mainland lords), render a portion of its produce to the king in war, maintain fortifications and provide knight-service. Fiefs were heritable in the male line but not alienable without royal leave; the lord's rights of jurisdiction were generally limited to civil cases. To kings of Aragon, accustomed to remote overlordship of great fiefs that were virtual territorial principalities, in which royal rights were ill defined and reluctantly admitted, this system must have represented - had it worked in practice - a vast accession of power.
This left the king with direct control of more than twice the land granted to the biggest magnate proprietor (the approximately 13 500 hectares ofNunyo San~). There would be further depletions as time went on, but it was a huge bonanza for the impoverished crown. The king's half of the city went in rewards to the soldiers of his urban militias, the sailors of his fleet and the merchants who backed his invasion: 307 houses to Tarragona, 298 to Marseilles, 20 BEFORE COLUMBUS • Sineu • Montuiri • Lluchmayor Map 2 MAJORCA places named the the text THE ISLAND CONQUESTS OF THE HOUSE OF BARCELONA 21 226 each to Barcelona and U:rida, 100 to Montpellier and small portions to Cladells, Cervera, Gerona, Huesca, Manresa, Montblanch, Tarrega, Tortosa and Vilafranca.
Gradually, however, the crown's superior lordship and right to the strong places was reasserted. Pedro's fief passed, via the infant Jaume, to the crown, Nunyo's to the see of Tarragona. After about a generation, the island thus became a royalecclesiastical condominium. The society of post-conquest Ibiza seems to have resembled Majorca in miniature, save that subenfeoffment was rare. The big exception was the island of Formentera, granted by Guillem de Montgri in fee perpetual to Berenguer Renart, with exemption only of Pedro's share and a few sites intended for a hospice and hermitages.