Técnicas de integración social y justificación en testimonios de excautivos en los Siglos de Oro
During the 16th and 17th centuries, there was an active period of corsair activity in the Mediterranean. Thousands of Spaniards such as Miguel de Cervantes or Jerónimo Gracián were captured by Berber corsairs and became captives in Muslim territories in North Africa. There, men, women and children of all ages spent several years or their whole lives living in pitiful conditions, with their only hope of escaping or being rescued someday.
Those captives that managed to return to their homeland would discover that the suffering hadn’t finished just yet, as Spanish society refused to simply readmit them, as they would be objects of suspicion and rejection for having lived for years in enemy territory. In some cases, these survivors would even be accused of having become Muslims and were interrogated or prosecuted by civil courts and the Inquisition.
In this essay the author explores the techniques used by ex-captives to embellish their testimonies in order to become integrated again in a society in which the Islamic religion was completely banned. The essay focuses in particular on the various passages that deal with supernatural, mysterious and extraordinary cases.