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A possible Hebraism in Grisel y Mirabella and its implications: Old Spanish cultre '(textual) amulet'.

No scene in Grisel y Mirabella (ca. 1475)--the comic romance in which Juan de Flores defends the status and power of women in Isabelline Spain-- has generated more scholarly debate than the last, in which the queen of Scotland and her ladies avenge the conviction and suicide of the princess Mirabella by murdering the misogynist defender of men, Torrellas. Promising a night of erotic pleasures, Bracayda (Cressida) lures her erstwhile opponent to a secret chamber where she, the queen, and the women of the court subdue him, bind his hands and feet, strip him naked, gag him, lash him to a stake, tear the flesh from his bones with flaming tongs and with their nails and teeth, malign him during a sumptuous banquet (featuring, by implication, the meat from his own body), force feed him selected delicacies, burn his skeletal remains, and put his ashes in perfume bottles or small coffers to keep as relics. Some women, the narrator adds, choose to wear these capsules around their necks as perpetual reminders of their triumph over their misogynist foe.

Scholars have related the murder of Torrellas variously to the defense of women against their literary detractors, (1) the mythical slaying of Orpheus and Pentheus by the Bacchantes, (2) the Last Supper and Christian martyrdom in malo, (3) the unresolved tension between social norms and the human instinct for violence, (4) the carnivalesque subversion of misogyny and patriarchal authority, (5) male anxiety about female aggression and domination, (6) ritual catharsis and the restoration of the patriarchal social order, (7) the struggle for power symbolized by female cannibalism, (8) and the tradition of the monstrous woman. (9) In a recent work, I argue that the misogynist's death is actually a comic inversion of "La muger y la sardina, de rostros en la ceniza" ("Women and sardines, face to the ashes"), an Old Spanish misogynist refran advocating the use of physical and sexual violence to control headstrong women. (10) In effect, Bracayda and the ladies of the court attack the patriarchal antifeminism of Torrellas by skewering him and roasting him alive like a sardine. Serving their archenemy the same bitter meal that he once fed them, they reestablish their superiority in relations between the sexes.

The ritual murder of Torrellas exhibits a number of unusual details, but none is more puzzling than the object to which the narrator compares the ladies' necklace reliquaries. Of the twelve surviving sources of the romance, ten preserve the passage containing the problematic term. (11) The wording varies markedly:

S: El qual, despues que en el no dexaron njnguna carne, los huesos fueron quemados, y de la cenjza dellos guardando cada qual vna buxeta por rreliquias de su enemjgo, lo guardauan. Y algunas ovo que, por non lo olujdary ver de contino la venga de su enemjgo, como quien trae alguna valerosa cosa, lo trayan consigo, por que mas a su memoria le fuese presentada la su enemjga venganca por que muy mayor plazer les diese la su cruel muerte. (45.26-31)

T: El qual, despues que en el no dexaron ninguna carne, los huessos fueron quemados, y de su ceniza guardando cada qual vna buxeta por reliquias de su enemigo. Y algunas ouo que por culter al cuello lo trayan, por que, trayendo mas a su memoria su venganza, mayor plazer les diese. (45.25-28)

V: [lacuna]

I: Y despues que no dexaron ninguna carne en los huessos, fueron quemados, y de su seniza guardando cada qual vna buxeta por reliquias de su enemigo. Y algunas houo que por cultre en el cuello la traian, por que, trayendo mas a memoria su venganca, mayor plazer houiessen. (45.24-28)

cett.: Y despues que no dexaron [ G: le dexaron] ninguna carne [ EFG: carne ninguna] en los huessos, fueron quemados [G: se los quemaron], y [BCDE: om.] de su ceniza guardando [G: guardo] cada qual [F: quanto] vna buxeta [F: vna aguxeta] por reliquias de su enemigo. E algunas ouo que por joyel en el cuello la trayan, por que, trayendo mas a memoria [F: a la memoria] su venganca, mayor plazer ouiessen. (45.24-28; lacuna in h) (12)

As these excerpts make clear, the ladies put Torrellas's ashes in a "buxeta" (< dim. of Occ. boissa 'small box' < VLat. Buxis 'box'), either a miniature boxwood chest or, more likely, a pomander or fragrance bottle made of a precious (or semi-precious) material. (13) Some women, as explained in I, wear this capsule "around their necks as a cultre" ("por cultre en el cuello"). It is the word cultre--the authorial form, as I intend to show--that caused problems for many of the scribes and editors of Flores's work. Instead of cultre, for example, the sixteenth-century editions (1514-1562) print, without exception, joyel (< OFr. joiel 'jewel' < VLat. *JOCALE 'jewel' < Lat. jocus 'joke, game, plaything'). (14) Since all these editions ultimately derive from I (ca. 1495), the term cultre must have been replaced with joyel in one of their later common ancestors, possibly in the suppositious edition of Flores's romance issued by Jacobo Cromberger around 1510. (15)

Given that a joyel was usually a large brooch or badge made of precious metals and ornamented with pendant gems and/or pearls, (16) I interpret the new reading as a trivialization, a substitution that turned the narrator's pointed invocation of cultres into a conventional value comparison: some ladies wear their reliquaries like priceless pendant jewels. At least the replacement word had no impact on the fundamental notion that the women viewed their buxetas as trophies. These ritual objects, as the narrator puts it, gave the ladies endless pleasure by continually reminding them of their vengeance.

A similar substitution for cultre is attested in S, the Colombina manuscript (ca. 1490), which is normally the most reliable witness of Flores's romance. Instead of the expected reading with cultre, however, this source transmits a long descriptive passage lacking any reference to the ladies' necklace reliquaries: "por non lo olujdar y ver de contino la venga de su enemjgo, como quien trae alguna valerosa cosa, lo trayan consigo" ("so as not to forget it and to witness continually their vengeance upon their enemy, like someone who bears a valuable object, they carried it with them"). This clumsy phrasing does not appear to

have a mechanical cause, and I strongly suspect that the entire passage is a scribal invention, arguably occasioned, once again, by the word cultre. In effect, the scribe of S found this word inappropriate--that is, unintelligible or offensive--and recast the sentence to avoid it, substituting new material based solely on the context. In the process, he made it seem that the ladies carried Torrellas's ashes on their person, perhaps in a faltriquera or in another kind of pouch attached to the girdle. (17) As in the case of the post-incunabular editions, however, the scribe retained the notion of perpetual joy in remembrance, emphasizing the fact that the women drew continual pleasure from their trophy reliquaries.

Finally, the reading culter in T, the Trivulziana manuscript (July 13, 1546), also appears to be a variant, albeit a curiously apt one. This word suggests that the scribe associated authorial cultre with Latin culter 'knife (esp. for killing sacrificial victims or for hunting), razor, plough-coulter,' (18) a word that actually makes some sense in the context of Torrellas's ritual slaughter, at least in its first two acceptations. (19) Certainly, a sacrificial blade would have been an ideal trophy to commemorate the ladies' bloodthirsty victory, and the scribe may have imagined their buxetas to be elongated or cultelliform, as might be the case if they had been fashioned from horn, bone, or ivory. This shape, moreover, is highly reminiscent of the phallus, with the implication that the ladies' reliquaries took the form of miniature carved penises. Significantly, two fifteenth-century texts--Enrique de Villena's Castilian translation of the Aeneid (1427-1428) and Fray Inigo de Mendoza's Coplas de Vita Christi (1467-1468)--preserve the Spanish derivative cultro, described (or depicted) as the flint knife used for ritual circumcision. (20) Perhaps, then, Flores wanted his readers to think that the women had circumcised Torrellas as part of his punishment--a point to which I return below. The reading culter is also appealing because Ovid uses the word in the sense of 'sacrificial knife' in the Metamorphoses--whose Book III, as observed above, relates the dismemberment of Pentheus, a close analogue for the murder of Torrellas. (21) In keeping with my reading of Torrellas's death as a comic inversion of "La muger y la sardina," the word culter may also convey the sense of a small spit or skewer, a fitting symbol of female victory for its gruesome suggestion of anal penetration.

Yet, for all its merits, the reading culter is almost certainly a scribal derivation of cultre, a copyist's attempt to make sense of an unfamiliar word. In vernacular texts from medieval Spain, culter occurs only rarely, in specialized bilingual glossaries and one Latin grammar from the last decades of the fifteenth century (or slightly later). (22) The acceptation of 'spit, skewer,' moreover, is unrecorded, while the usage in the Metamorphoses is confined to Books VII and XV, in which the contexts vary markedly from that in Book III. (23) Ovid, in fact, makes no mention of knives in the death of Pentheus, although Agave hurls a thyrsus, or pinecone-topped fennel staff, at him. (24) Nevertheless, the form in T could acquire some degree of legitimacy if we assumed that Latin culter gave rise to Old Spanish cultre in an extraliterary context. Indeed, this etymology, as I discuss below, could cast light on one possible interpretation of cultre as it relates to the women's suffering at the hands of men.

Modern editors of Grisel y Mirabella have made little progress in explaining the origin and meaning of cultre. In her critical edition of the work, Maria Grazia Ciccarello di Blasi argues that either cultre or culter is archetypal, but she dismisses both forms--together with the circumlocution in S--as variants of the authorial culto 'ornament, necklace' (< Lat. CULTUS 'bodily adornment, dress'). (25) She goes on to assert, somewhat contradictorily, that the more common acceptation of 'religious ceremony, belief' for culto would actually make better sense in the context. (26) As she sees it, this interpretation dovetails with the notion that Torrellas suffers a ritual execution and that his ashes are put in reliquaries. (27) Fifteen years earlier, I made a similar observation in my London doctoral thesis, suggesting a possible relationship between cultre and Latin cultor 'worshipper, votary' and/or colere 'honor, venerate, respect.' (28) Tentatively glossing cultre as 'phylactery,' I interpreted the ritual slaughter of Torrellas as a kind of profeminist martyrdom. (29) At the same time, however, I refrained from treating cultre as a mere textual error, since the word is actually found in early modern Spanish, with a critically important pre-1600 attestation reported by Francisco Rodriguez Marin in 1922. (30) His source is Juan de Pineda, Dialogos familiares de la agricultura cristiana (Salamanca, 1589), dialogue 20, part 13. I quote the passage in full for its contextualization of the term:
   Leyendo la Suma de Cayetano note que trata desta materia--y huelgo
   mucho que se me haya ofrecido a tan buen tiempo--, y que pone siete
   condiciones, con que se puede descubrir haber tacita invocacion del
   demonio en alguna obra. La primera dice ser cuando se pone alguna
   condicion vana como necesaria para el tal efecto, como que las
   palabras sanctas sean escritas en pergamino y no en papel, y a tal
   hora y en tal dia, o en tal forma de renglones, como solian algunos
   eclesiasticos dar cultres escritos de muchos circulos, y sacaban a
   las bobillas mujercillas buena paga, y aun hombres no muy cuerdos
   andaban tras ellos; y cierto esta ser gran bestialidad creer que
   por estar las palabras escritas en grandes renglones o pequenos,
   dentro de circulos o de cuadrados, tengan mas virtud. (31)


In conjunction with the adjective escritos, the placement of cultre under the heading "Invocacion mala" suggests that the word refers to a written spell or textual amulet intended to help the bearer obtain supernatural favor or protection. Notwithstanding the dramatic references to demonic influence and necromancy, the context is wholly conventional: Pineda denounces the widespread "pagan" belief in the efficacy of textual amulets as irreconcilable with Christian orthodoxy. Fernando Bouza, in fact, quotes this very passage to illustrate the survival of magical writing into the Golden Age, with its concrete manifestations known variously as cedulas (cedulillas), cartas de toque, and nominas. (32) Although Bouza does not explain the meaning of the word cultre, he places the Pineda reference in the context of superstitious writs that were intended to heal the sick, locate hidden treasure, control others, and ward off evil, among many other functions, including the maleficent. (33)

In an expansive study of textual amulets in the Middle Ages, Don C. Skemer shows that their ritual use was a cultural practice shared by virtually every community in Western Europe. Such objects were a conspicuous part of daily life, springing from a collective belief in the power of the written word and the need for protection from the hazards of a perilous world. Owing to their common origin and function, textual amulets exhibited consistencies in design and manufacture, although individual reactions to them varied. Skemer's broad-based investigation allows us to interpret the two key features of cultres as remarked upon by Pineda. First, Pineda's rebuke of clerics who peddled amulets to the ignorant probably reflects the notion that his brethren were complicit idolaters and biblioclasts as well as greedy charlatans. To a large extent, the clerical community itself promoted the belief in the apotropaic power of amulets, partly because of an abiding faith in their spiritual efficacy. (34) This stance persisted despite its condemnation by the Church Fathers and later theologians, for whom this simple expression of faith was a form of pagan worship. Pineda clearly shared the outrage of his learned forebears, and his indignation may have been amplified by an awareness that amuletic texts were often inscribed on parchment excised from sacred books. (35) This practice, which turned countless holy objects into unholy trinkets, would have been a particular affront to a scholar like Pineda.

Second, the circulos that Pineda identifies as an intrinsic part of cultres clearly refer to the talismanic sigils or magic seals that frequently accompanied the written text. These cartouche-style designs, which often enclosed characteres (magical symbols like astrological signs, nonsense words, cryptic letter combinations, etc.), were intended to enhance the apotropaic power of the spell or charm. (36) The circular patterns formed by these sigils are a distinctive visual feature of many decorated amulets that have come down to us, and Pineda's allusion is precise enough to show that the cultres he saw bore similar designs. (37) We can be certain, therefore, that Flores's cultre was an actual object, not simply a literary invention or an aberrant word accidentally created during the transmission of his romance.

Aside from the references in Flores and Pineda, the only known attestations of the word cultre occur in early-sixteenth-century archival sources. In an important monograph exploring the books that once belonged to Isabel la Catolica, Elisa Ruiz Garcia exhumes several allusions to cultres--with the usual repetitions in parallel documentary sources--from a series of interrelated postmortem inventories dating between December 1504 and late 1505. The relevant account entries are as follows:

1. [paragraph]Dos cultres de pergamino syn guarnicion.

2. [paragraph]Mas dos cultres de pergamino syn guarnicion.

3. [paragraph]Un cultre de pergamino con una devocion estoriada.

4. [paragraph]Un cultre de pergamino con una devocion estoriada.

5. [paragraph]Un cultre de pergamino. Apreciose en dos rreales. Conprolo Juan Lopez, guarnicionero, por LXVIII maravedies.

6. [paragraph]Un cultre chequito, de pergamino, de letra muy menuda, de la oracion de san Leon. (38)

From these exiguous descriptions--which probably refer to no more than four objects, assuming that items 1-2 and 3-4 (at least) share an identity-- Ruiz Garcia deduces that a cultre must have been an "objeto de devocion que, a modo de amuleto o escapulario, se solia llevar impuesto o bien se aplicaba sobre una parte del cuerpo en caso de necesidad" ("a devotional object which, like an amulet or scapular, was usually borne devotionally or applied to a given body part in case of need"). (39)

Although she comments that cultres and other amuletic objects and images reflected "un tipo de religiosidad que estaba vinculado a determinadas plegarias y rezos" ("a form of religiosity linked to certain supplications and prayers"), (40) she otherwise restricts her analysis of the term to a handful of isolated remarks in periodical publications. In a preliminary discussion of item 6, for example, she glosses cultre as "una variedad de soporte portatil emparentado morfologicamente con el amuleto" ("a kind of portable medium structurally akin to the amulet"), explaining that the Oracion de san Leon--here copied on parchment in a diminutive hand--circulated widely in Spain (and throughout Europe) as a textual amulet until it was banned by the Inquisition in the middle of the sixteenth century. (41) Isabel's personal effects, in fact, included two manuscript libelli of this popular amuletic prayer, with elaborately enameled and jeweled gold bindings (or housings), both of which were intended to be worn on a chain around the neck. (42) Such miniature books often functioned as self-contained textual amulets, their contents (prayers, litanies, devotional images, etc.) serving as perpetually renewable sources of divine protection and healing. Elsewhere Ruiz Garcia specifically identifies cultres as parchment amulets, often in roll form, which were carried or worn on the body, thus allowing the bearer direct and continual contact with their presumed apotropaic power. (43) Throughout the Middle Ages, such objects formed part of everyday devotions despite routine condemnation by the Church hierarchy.

Additional references to cultres show up in archival records detailing the personal property of Juana la Loca (d. 1555). Two appear in an inventory of her valuables prepared by her chamberlain Diego de Ribera in 1509, when the mentally unstable queen took up residence in the palace at Tordesillas. (44) The relevant account entries are as follows:
   vn cultre de oro largo esmaltado con vna cadena
   e vna P de oro con siete diamanticos e vna perla
   pinjante e vna pomita de oro de quatro verguitas
   llena de anbar que peso todo junto medio marco e
   vna ochaba e tomin e medio. (45)

   dos cultres de oro que pesaron quinze castellanos
   e cinco tomines e ocho granos que diego de ayala
   entrego a su alteza el ano de MDX segun parece
   por otro libro que hizo el dicho garcia de carreno
   que esta en la audiencia de la contaduria de quentas
   donde se presento para comprouacion del cargo
   desta quenta. (46)


The first entry, as we can see, describes an enameled gold cultre and its chain, bearing the letter P (for her husband, Philippe) outlined in tiny diamonds, to which are attached a pendant pearl and a small gold pomander filled with ambergris. The second entry, less precise, refers to a pair of large gold cultres that Diego de Ayala, a goldsmith who frequently worked for the crown, presented to dona Juana in 1510. (47) The context of these entries-- the first among Juana's "joyeles e cruces y engastes con piedras e perlas e sin ellas" ("jewels and crosses and settings with or without precious stones and pearls") (48) and the second among her "medallas y ensenas y otras cosas semejantes desta calidad" ("medals and badges and other similar things of this kind") (49)--suggests that although the word cultre commonly referred to an amuletic manuscript, it applied equally to the decorative suspension capsule that housed it or to the manuscript and capsule in combination. These descriptions, moreover, indicate that cultres were somehow distinguishable from other forms of jewelry, presumably because they had an accessible compartment or void that allowed the bearer to insert a holy relic or mystical text. This supposition is confirmed by a more detailed description of the first cultre, minus its pomander, which Carlos V presented to his sister Catalina de Austria in 1524:
   otro joyel de una P llena de diamantes con un lomito en medio, cada
   uno que hace talle de P y una perla pinjante y en las espaldas una
   P y una H, y esta la dicha P asida en un cultre de oro que tiene un
   pergamino dentro con muchos misterios, que peso con una cadenica
   tres oncas y seis ochavas e tres tomines y esta el dicho cultre
   esmaltado de unas florecicas de trasflor y en lo alto y en lo baxo
   unos tornillos y el cultre es como coluna. (50)


The cylindrical shape of this capsule ("como coluna") indicates that it was intended to house an amulet roll, while the reference to screws ("unos tornillos") suggests that it had a removable panel through which the manuscript was inserted. The description of the amulet itself ("un pergamino... con muchos misterios") implies that it contained characteres and other mystical symbols, probably copied alongside invocations, prayers, and devotional images. Although, to my knowledge, examples of medieval Spanish cultres have not survived, Skemer describes a similar cylindrical enclosure for a St. Margaret roll (dated 1491) almost certainly used by a wealthy French woman as a birth girdle. (51) In the Jewish tradition, amulet cases were also cylindrical or hexagonal in shape. (52)

The etymology of the word cultre remains unresolved. One possible etymon, as I have mentioned in my discussion of the Trivulziana reading, is Latin CULTER. Ruiz Garcia, in fact, observes that a popular devotion associated with the Arma Christi--the Instruments of Christ's Passion--begins "Culter qui circumcidistesacrosanctam carnem Christi," adding that the prayer was perceived to have apotropaic powers. (53) Known through Books of Hours and religious broadsides, this devotion was also used to petition for divine intercession. Ruiz Garcia, however, stops short of declaring that Lat. CULTER gave rise to cultre as a generic term for "textual amulet." Certainly, the cultres described by Pineda, with their characteres and other magical symbols, are strikingly different in design from the usual pictorial representations of the Arma Christi, with the traditional Instruments of the Passion surrounding the crucified Christ. (54) The apparent popularity of the Latin devotion, furthermore, conflicts with the rarity of the word cultre in early sources, while the peculiar concentration of citations in archival court documents remains unexplained.

Pending a more thorough analysis of this Latin etymology, therefore, I would suggest a different origin for the word: Rabbinic Hebrew glturi, or [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] In an erudite discussion of the origin and meaning of this term, Daniel Sperber argues that it derives from Latin LIGATURAE, citing numerous medieval authorities, including St. Augustine (d. 430) and St. Isidore of Seville (d. 636), who used this plural form (sing. ligatura) to refer to the amulets that superstitious Christians wore around their necks or attached to their bodies with straps. (55) Although such amulets often included written spells, they could also contain herbs, bones, and similar objects deemed to have magical potency. (56) In addition to the semantic shift from the cord(s) or strap(s) supporting the amulet to the amulet itself, the word exhibits a consonantal metathesis which, according to Sperber, is consistent with phonological changes seen in other Hebrew borrowings from Latin. (57) If we grant an intuitive phonetic adjustment allowing for a standard pattern of Romance pronunciation--vocalic metathesis, devoicing of initial /g/, and lowering of final /i/--we have in Hebrew glturi the source of Old Spanish cultre. (58)

Like the majority of Hebraisms in Spanish, this word, with its Talmudic origin, reflects the unique religious and cultural heritage of the Jewish community. (59) Perhaps owing to their traditional use of mezuzah (doorpost prayer rolls) and tefillin (phylacteries), Jews in the Middle Ages were perceived to be habitual consumers of textual amulets, usually carried on the body as protective charms. (60) In fifteenth-century Spain, in fact, the Inquisition often identified judaizing conversos through their use of amulets and talismans. False converts could be given away by their parchment nominas or by their Hebrew-inscribed medallions and similar apotropaic jewelry. (61) Invariably carried out of sight, these charms constituted prima facie evidence that the bearer was attempting to conceal his or her Jewish faith. Although, as we have seen, Christians also believed in the efficacy of textual amulets, it was the Jews who were most closely associated with them and with their occult powers of protection. (62)

Assuming that my proposed Hebrew etymology is correct, I conjecture that the word cultre entered medieval Spanish through the converso community. As de facto intermediaries between Jews and Christians, the conversos served as unofficial interpreters of Jewish culture, exhibiting a special familiarity with Hebrew terminology that reflected traditional Jewish life and thought. (63) The macaronic verse produced by fifteenth-century converso poets proves that notwithstanding the rarity of Hebraisms in Spanish, many Hebrew words were readily understood by informed audiences, including other conversos and Old Christians who had contacts with Jewish commerce, government institutions, and religious customs. (64) Even though Hebrew-derived terms almost never took root in Spanish, a number of them must have enjoyed enough currency to establish recognizable points of reference for Jewish cultural practices--and not necessarily for comic effect. In my view, the use of the word cultre in royal inventories represents the adaptation of the Hebrew glturi by converso functionaries at the Castilian court.

Historians have long known that conversos occupied many high- and low-level administrative posts in the household of the Catholic Monarchs: accountants, butlers, chamberlains, secretaries, stewards, treasurers, and personal servants. (65) This list includes the very individuals who would have prepared--or supervised the preparation of--the royal inventories referencing cultres. To a certain extent, this hypothesis explains the reaction of the scribes and compositors who encountered cultre in the later witnesses of Grisel y Mirabella. Faced with a word that was incomprehensible to an audience of outsiders, the copyists felt compelled to modify or replace it.

The rarity of cultre in early documentation presupposes a certain familiarity with Hebrew terms on Flores's part, perhaps because Flores himself was a converso or because he was an Old Christian with professional ties to the Jewish community. Circumstantial evidence supports either of these propositions, though not without complications. More than twenty years ago, I suggested that Flores served Fernando and Isabel as a corregidor and pesquisidor after 1477, when he apparently abandoned his literary career. (66) The Registro general del sello, a catalogue of the proceedings of the Castilian royal chancery, records a series of official transactions between the corregidor/pesquisidor Juan (de) Flores and the Jews of Avila from 1478 to 1480. (67) Assuming that this royal official and the sentimental author share an identity, we could establish a link between Flores and the Jewish community within Avila that could also explain the writer's knowledge of culturally specific Hebrew terminology.

Additional evidence indicates that Flores may have served as a liaison between the Crown and the Inquisition. Between 1491 and 1494, the Registro general del sello refers to a certain Juan Flores as a "receptor de bienes confiscados por la Inquisicion" ("receiver of goods confiscated by the Inquisition") in the city and bishopric of Cuenca. (68) Although we have no proof that this receptor and the writer are the same person, it is tempting to think that Flores had direct contact with Jewish cultural practices through a professional involvement with the Holy Office. Nevertheless, since all the interactions in Avila and Cuenca postdate the composition of Grisel y Mirabella (ca. 1475), we would have to assume that Flores's familiarity with Jewish customs preceded his royal appointments. Such a familiarity could have earned him his commissions as an investigator and Inquisitorial receptor.

Equally feasible is the hypothesis that Flores himself was a converso. Writing in 1986 and 1987, I tacitly assumed that the sentimental author was an Old Christian with ties to the Castilian nobility, based on documentary sources linking him to the court of Garci Alvarez de Toledo, I Duque de Alba, and to Pedro Alvarez Osorio, I Conde de Lemos. (69) This assumption has been challenged by Dayle Seidenspinner-Nunez, who is unable to reconcile the Osorio family connection with the reference to Flores as the son of "Ferrando de Flores, vesino de la cibdad de Salamanca" ("Ferrando de Flores, freeman of the city of Salamanca") in the writer's original appointment as royal chronicler (May 20, 1476). She prefers to identify Flores as the son of a certain Fernand Alfonso de Flores, a Salamanca merchant whose name appears in a real estate contract (May 10, 1469) with the goldsmith Garcia Lopes. (70) As Seidenspinner-Nunez sees it, the merchant's son, with his middle-class upbringing, probable access to a university education, and professional service in the household of the Duke of Alba, best fits the profile of a talented converso administrator who eventually secured a secretarial post at the royal court. (71)

Although this hypothesis accounts for the paternal reference to "Ferrando de Flores," it is ultimately based on a series of coincidences in names, family associations, and places of origin that constitute an insecure foundation for identifying the sentimental writer as a middle-class converso. (72) In fact, an affiliation with the Alvarez de Toledo and Osorio families offers equally compelling circumstantial evidence of Flores's converso roots. As Roth intimates, the ducal court of Alba was a haven for converso intellectuals and entertainers, including the poet/composer Juan del Encina and the author/physician Francisco Lopez de Villalobos. (73) Roth also points out that Lope de Barrientos, writing about 1450, named the Osorios as one of the prominent Christian noble families with converso members--arguably an allusion to their marital alliances with the Enriquez and Quinones families. (74) In terms of Flores's literary activity, moreover, it is important to recall that conversos commonly occupied the post of royal chronicler (e.g., Alvar Garcia de Santa Maria, Juan de Mena, Alfonso de Palencia, Fernando de Pulgar, Diego de Valera) and that Flores's own chronicle exhibits all the hallmarks of late-fifteenth-century converso political thought as summarized by Seidenspinner-Nunez: unconditional support for absolutist and antifeudal monarchy, a messianic view of the Catholic Monarchs, and a perception that Castilian hegemony was providential. (75)

At the same time, scholars like Seidenspinner-Nunez are beginning to interpret Grisel y Mirabella as a converso work, specifically as an expose of the abuses that flow from an irrational and morally blind absolutism. (76) Given the date of approximately 1475 that I have proposed for Flores's romance, Grisel y Mirabella could be read as a pre-Inquisitorial object lesson in the dangers of unrestrained political power. (77) In this cultural and literary context, then, Flores's possible connection to a well-known converso family like the Osorios should not be rejected out of hand. As Linda Martz observes, affluent conversos often sought to assimilate into the dominant Christian society by marrying into upper-class families. (78) Did Juan de Flores or his father Ferrando follow the same path by marrying into a branch of the Osorio family? Could the term "sobrino" ("nephew") conceal a collateral relationship by marriage? No less an authority than Alonso Lopez de Haro, writing in the seventeenth century, refers to a certain Juan Flores as the husband of Beatriz de Quinones, a descendant of Alvaro Perez Osorio, lord (senor) of Villalobos and Castroverde, on her mother's side. (79) Pending a more thorough investigation of the genealogical sources, therefore, I defer judgment on Seidenspinner-Nunez's proposed biography of Flores while accepting that a converso ancestry could explain his familiarity with a Hebraism like cultre, whether he was the son of a converso merchant and/or the in-law of a nobleman with Jewish roots. At the very least, his use of the term suggests that he belonged to a linguistically sophisticated and bicultural "in crowd" at court, not unlike the audience that must have enjoyed the converso satire in the Cancionero de Baena a generation before.

The recovery of the meaning '(textual) amulet' for cultre allows me to advance an alternative explanation for the variant readings in the different witnesses of Grisel y Mirabella. As explained above, the passage containing cultre in the Colombina manuscript (45.26-31) was recast, ostensibly because the scribe found the word incomprehensible. In view of the origin and meaning of cultre, however, it is possible that the alteration had a different trigger: Flores's celebratory invocation of a ritual object that smacked of superstition at best and crypto-Judaism at worst. Arguably offended by the reference to an idolatrous practice, the scribe of S may have censored the word by substituting a circumlocution. Such pious emendations are rife in medieval manuscripts, and S transmits many other examples. Perhaps the most striking appears in the opening sentence of Bracayda's third speech in the debate with Torrellas:

S: !O, quan enemjgo y lastimero os mostrays, Torrellas, parece que para maldecir de nosotras nacistes! (19.2-3)

T: Ya os veo tan lastimero y enemigo, Torrellas, que paresce que, para maldezir de nosotras, sy en el altar fallascedes de que os aprouechar, sin hazer dello conziencia, de alli lo tomariades. (19.2-4)

cett.: Yo os veo tan lastimero, Tor[r]ellas, y mas enemigo que parece que, para maldezir de nosotras, si en el altar fallassedes malicias de que os podiessedes aprouechar, sin fazer dello [F: della] consciencia, de alli las [GH: lo] tomariades. (19.2-4) (80)

In this excerpt, the textual variation between S and the other sources does not have an obvious mechanical explanation. To me, in fact, the comparative brevity and wrenched syntax of the sentence in S suggest that it is an ad hoc substitution. Considering Bracayda's profane allegation that Torrellas would twist holy words before the altar of God if it helped his antifeminist cause, I conjecture that the scribe recast Flores's original (as preserved by T and the printed editions) in order to eliminate the blasphemous image. This copyist, we can imagine, would have been no less discomfited by the heterodox implications of the word cultre, causing him to rewrite the passage in S as an impromptu act of censorship. By the same token, the substitution "joyel" in the sixteenth-century editions could represent the work of a censor. Logically, any published reference to a superstitious or idolatrous practice after around 1480 would have drawn the scrutiny of Inquisitorial authorities, and a savvy printer would have saved himself considerable trouble by eliminating the word. He may even have done so at the direction of an official corrector. The evidence suggests, then, that the readings in S and the post-incunabular editions stem from the social and religious realities of early modern Spain.

In light of the term cultre, the ritual murder of Torrellas--the climactic moment in Grisel y Mirabella--takes on new levels of meaning. Associated with supernatural power, both protective and aggressive, amulets heal the wounded and ward off enemies. Like Christian crosses, they are usually worn over the heart--"the gateway to the soul," in Skemer's words, (81) not to mention the locus of love--as magical remedies for the ailments of body and soul. Following the death of Mirabella and the misogynist's slanderous attacks, the ladies have an urgent need for such supernatural medicine. Their trophy capsules, perpetual reminders of their victory, offer solace as much as pleasure. If we accept the derivation of the term from Latin CULTER and the association with the Passion, then the reference to cultres would suggest that some women likened their suffering to that of Christ on the cross, taking comfort from His pain and ultimate sacrifice. In a sense, Flores's new disciples of feminism derive their inner strength from torment endured through faith, just as the Christian community drew inspiration from the prototypical martyrdom of Jesus. The women's pain at the hands of men and their second-class status are tolerable because they know their cause is just and their ultimate triumph assured.

In keeping with the possible derivation of cultre from Hebrew glturi, however, the ladies' buxetas also have more menacing connotations. Traditionally, the bearers of amulets enjoyed continued protection from their enemies, seen or unseen. By means of their buxetas, strategically placed over the heart, the ladies ward off their foes in love: those men who would brand them as seductresses, exploit their emotional weaknesses, and deny them standing in society. Like holy relics, these amulets repulse would-be attackers with an unseen magic. In this case, though, the relics are unholy: the misogynist's body, reduced to ashes, channels the power of female righteousness in the face of male persecution.

In addition, amulets could inflict real harm on one's enemies, radiating an aggressive force against evildoers. As we see above, the ladies' proto-feminism is fundamentally violent, as befits their revolutionary claim to authority. The dominant theme of female empowerment and its corollary, emasculation, lead me to speculate that Flores's audience would have understood the ladies' buxetas--surrogate cultres, in the narrator's words--as having a phallic design. As we saw in the case of an elaborate cultre owned by Juana la Loca, amulet capsules were often tube-shaped to accommodate prayer rolls. Occasionally, medieval apotropaic jewelry also took the form of the male genitals, as illustrated by the higa, an amulet traditionally believed to repulse the evil eye. (82) Carved like a miniature fist with the thumb inserted between the index and middle fingers, the higa simulates the penis and testicles. (83) As such, the object threatens anal penetration.

A phallic shape for the ladies' capsules would also harmonize with Flores's use of the Old Spanish proverb "La muger y la sardina, de rostros en la ceniza," which implies that women are no less capable than men of "sticking it to their enemies." (84) Staking a claim to virility, the women emasculate their counterparts, perhaps using their amulets to cast a binding spell of impotence. As indicated by T, moreover, the phonetic similarity of cultre and Latin culter could have given rise to a popular etymology or, at minimum, a subconscious verbal association that conjured up the image of circumcision, routinely derided as a form of emasculation. With its suggestion of a stereotypical Jewish ritual, then, the word cultre may well have had a special resonance with the conversos in Flores's audience, concealing an inside joke about the background of specific individuals.

In Grisel y Mirabella, Flores crafted a tale of female empowerment that exploits a lexical code rich with ironic innuendo and double entendres. A critical part of this code is Old Spanish cultre 'textual amulet.' The narrator's pointed remark that some women of the Scottish court wear the misogynist's ashes "as cultres" reveals an underlying belief system in which ritual objects were held to have the power to heal, protect, and/or inflict harm. The tubular shape of cultres and their likely association with ritual circumcision suggest that women acquire power through emasculation, an example of Flores's brutal sexual humor. Nevertheless, the ladies' amulets would likely have provoked positive reactions among many members of Flores's original audience. Despite condemnation by the Church and connotations of idolatry, cultres were mainstream devotional objects, found even among the possessions of Isabel la Catolica and Juana la Loca. In this context, therefore, Flores would seem to say that women are empowered by the relics of an old masculinist order. Protected by this spiritual energy earned through the suffering endured at the hands of their enemies, the women constitute a new alliance--one headed by Isabel herself--which is poised to assume both sexual and political authority in a transitional age.

United States Naval Academy

APPENDIX: THE SOURCES OF GRISEL Y MIRABELLA

Manuscripts

V: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican City, Vat. Lat. 6966, fols. 68r-76v.

S: Biblioteca Colombina, Seville, MS 5-3-20, fols. 69r-86r.

T: Biblioteca Trivulziana, Milan, MS 940, fols. 1r-76v.

Early Printed Editions

I: Tractado compuesto por Iohan de Flores a su amiga. Lerida, Spain: Henrique Botel, ca. 1495. Copies: Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid, I-2181; Huntington Library, San Marino, California, 87232.

A: Juan de Flores, La hystoria de Grisel y Mirabella, con la disputa de Torrellas y Bracayda. Seville, Spain: Juan Varela de Salamanca, August 28, 1514. Copy: Biblioteca de Catalunya, Barcelona, Espona 80 8o.

B: Juan de Flores, La historia de Grisel y Mirabella, con la disputa de Torrellas y Bracayda. Seville, Spain: Jacobo Cromberger, 1524. Copy: The British Library, London, C.63.h.20.

C: Juan de Flores, La hystoria de Grisel y Mirabella, con la disputa de Torrellas & Bracayda. Toledo, Spain: [Miguel de Eguia], December 17, 1526. Copy: Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, Res. Y2820.

D: Juan de Flores, La historia de Grisel y Mirabella, con la disputa de Torrellas y Bracayda. Seville, Spain: Juan Cromberger, 1529. Copy: Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid, Col. Cerv. Sedo 8.630.

E: Juan de Flores, La historia de Grisel & Mirabella, con la disputa de Torrellas y Bracayda. Seville, Spain: Juan Cromberger, 1533. Copy: Bibliotheque de la Sorbonne, Paris, Res. XVI 879 8[degrees].

F: Juan de Flores, La historia de Grisel y Mirabella, con la disputa de Torrellas y Bracayda. Cuenca, Spain: Juan de Canova, March 16, 1561. Copy: Biblioteca Publica e Arquivo Distrital de Evora, Sec. XVI-2725.

G: Juan de Flores, La historia de Grisel y Mirabella, con la disputa de Torrellas y Bracayda. Burgos, Spain: Philippe de Junta, 1562. Copy: Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid, R-31364 no. 3.

H: Juan de Flores, La historia de Grisel y Mirabella, con la disputa de Torrellas y Bracayda. Burgos, Spain: Philippe de Junta, 1562. Copy: Hispanic Society of America, New York. (Note: A different setting of type.)

Acknowledgments

I thank Nancy F. Marino and E. Michael Gerli for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper.

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NOTES

(1.) Barbara Matulka, The Novels of Juan de Flores and Their European Diffusion: A Study in Comparative Literature (New York: Institute of French Studies, 1931; repr. Geneva: Slatkine, 1974), 158-166.

(2.) Alan D. Deyermond, "El hombre salvaje en la novela sentimental," Filologia 10 (1964 [1966]): 97-111, 106-108; Patricia Crespo Martin, "Violencia mitologica en Grisel y Mirabella," La coronica 29.1 (2000): 75-87.

(3.) Marina S. Brownlee, "Language and Incest in Grisel y Mirabella," Romanic Review 79 (1988): 107-128, 123-125; Brownlee, The Severed Word: Ovid's "Heroides" and the "Novela Sentimental" (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990), 206-207; Brownlee, "Verbal and Physical Violence in the Historie of Aurelio and Isabell," in Vengeance in the Middle Ages: Emotion, Religion and Feud, ed. Susanna A. Throop and Paul R. Hyams (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2010), 137-150, 144-146.

(4.) Jorge Checa, "Grisel y Mirabella de Juan de Flores: Rebeldia y violencia como sintomas de crisis," Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispanicos 12 (1987-1988): 369-382, 369, 376-378.

(5.) Barbara F. Weissberger, "Role-Reversal and Festivity in the Romances of Juan de Flores," Journal of Hispanic Philology 13 (1988-1989): 197-213, 201-205; Weissberger, Isabel Rules: Constructing Queenship, Wielding Power (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004), 182-183.

(6.) Lillian von der Walde Moheno, "El episodio final de Grisel y Mirabella" La coranica 20.2 (1992): 18-31, 27-28; Walde Moheno, Amor e ilegalidad: "Grisel y Mirabella," de Juan de Flores, Publicaciones de Medievalia 12, Estudios de Linguistica y Literatura 34 (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and El Colegio de Mexico, 1996), 242-244.

(7.) John T. Cull, "Irony, Romance Conventions, and Misogyny in Grisel y Mirabella by Juan de Flores," Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispanicos 22 (1997-1998): 415-430, 419-420, 424, 427-428.

(8.) Alberto Prieto-Calixto, "Mujeres y canibales: Rituales violentos en Grisely Mirabella de Juan de Flores," Cincinnati Romance Review 21 (2002): 77-90, 78, 84-88.

(9.) Antonia Petro, "La tradicion de la mujer monstruo en Grisel y Mirabella," Critica Hispanica 29.1-2 (2007): 213-233, 214-215, 223, 229-231.

(10.) Joseph J. Gwara, "'La muger y la sardina, de rostros en la ceniza': An Old Spanish Proverb in Grisel y Mirabella" in Juan de Flores: Four Studies, ed. Joseph J. Gwara, Papers of the Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar 49 (London: Department of Hispanic Studies, Queen Mary, University of London, 2005), 49-73.

(11.) For the complete list of witnesses, plus the sigla used to identify them, see the Appendix. I cite from the page proofs of my own edition of Grisel y Mirabella. With the exception of <R>, which I transcribe as <rr>, I have respected the orthography of the original sources; however, I have modernized capitalization, punctuation, and word-spacing. Abbreviations have been silently expanded.

(12.) Here and elsewhere my translations reflect scribal and/or authorial anacoluthon: S: "Who, after they left no flesh on him, his bones were incinerated, and each keeping a phial with ashes from them as a relic of their enemy, they kept it. There were some who, so as not to forget it and to witness continually their vengeance upon their enemy, like someone who bears a valuable object, they carried it with them, so that they would remember their harsh vengeance and so that his cruel death would give them even greater pleasure." I: "And after they left no flesh on his bones, they were incinerated, and each keeping a phial of ashes as relics of her enemy. And there were some who wore it around their necks as a cultre, so that, by calling to mind their vengeance, they might have even greater pleasure."

(13.) On the meaning of "buxeta," see Martin Alonso, Diccionario medieval espanol: Desde las Glosas emilianenses y silenses (s. X) hasta el siglo XV, 2 vols. (Salamanca, Spain: Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, 1986), 1:544, s.v. boxeta ('bujeta, cajita'), and 558, s.v. bujeta (repeating, for the most part, the definitions in the Diccionario historico de la lengua espanola, vol. 2, B- Cevilla [Madrid: Academia Espanola, 1936], q.v.); Julio Cejador y Frauca, Vocabulario medieval castellano (Madrid: Hernando, 1929; repr. New York: Las Americas, 1968), 81, s.vv. bujeta, buxeta ('cajita'); Juan Corominas and Jose A. Pascual, Diccionario critico etimologico castellano e hispanico, Biblioteca Romanica Hispanica, V (Diccionarios) 7, 6 vols. (Madrid: Gredos, 1980-1991), 1:693-694, s.v. bujeta ('diminutivo del lat. vg. BUxis, -idis,' dismissing as a probable "vana preocupacion etimologica" the assertions of Antonio de Nebrija and Alfonso de Palencia that the vessel was necessarily made of boxwood); Sebastian de Covarrubias Horozco, Tesoro de la lengua castellana o espanola, ed. Ignacio Arellano and Rafael Zafra, Biblioteca Aurea Hispanica 21 (Pamplona, Spain: Universidad de Navarra; Madrid: Iberoamericana; Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Vervuert, 2006), 368, s.vv. bujeta/bugeta ("cierto genero de vaso pequeno y pulido en que se echan olores'); and Diccionario historico, 394, s.v. bujeta ('cajita o pequena vasija'; 'pomo, o cajita de perfumes'). I have been unable to verify the etymology proposed by the Real Academia Espanola dictionary (< Prov. boiseta), although it may derive from Friedrich Diez, Etymologisches Worterbuch der romanischen Sprachen, 5th ed. (Bonn: Adolph Marcus, 1887), 61, s.v. bosso. Examples from the Corpus Diacronico del Espanol (CORDE) of the Real Academia Espanola, available at http:// corpus.rae.es/cordenet.html, show that a buxeta could be made from various materials, including alabaster, bamboo, boxwood, ebony, glass or rock crystal ("cristal"), gold, horn, iron, ivory, precious stones, and silver. They contained such objects and substances as consecrated hosts, cosmetics (quicksilver, rouge, white lead), electuaries, herbs and spices, jewelry, locks of hair, medicinal oils and unguents, perfumes and fragrant resins (ambergris, balsam, civet, mastic, musk, myrrh), poison, stones, tar (pitch), victuals, and water; in figurative terms, they could also house anguish, evils, and memories. In F, the reading "aguxeta" ('lacet') is a further corruption or substitution; on this word, which refers to an ornamental ribbon or braided cord commonly used to secure a man's hose to his doublet or to close up the openings of a lady's sleeves, see Carmen Bernis, Trajes y modas en la Espana de los Reyes Catolicos, vol. 1, Las mujeres; vol. 2, Los hombres (Madrid: Instituto Diego Velazquez, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 1978-1979), 2:53; Vicente Garcia de Diego, Diccionario etimologico espanol e hispanico, 2nd rev. ed., ed. Carmen Garcia de Diego (Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1985), 12, s.v. agujeta, and 438, s.v. acucula; Bodo Muller, Diccionario del espanol medieval, 2 vols. and fascicles 21-26 of vol. 3, Sammlung Romanischer Elementar- und Handbucher, Dritte Reihe: Worterbucher 12 (Heidelberg, Germany: C. Winter, 1987-), 2:531, s.v. agujeta; and Margarita Tejeda Fernandez, Glosario de terminos de la indumentaria regia y cortesana en Espana: Siglos XVII y XVIII (Malaga, Spain: Universidad de Malaga; Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Telmo, 2006), 31-32. The reading "aguxeta" clearly arose from the perception that the ladies used a decorative ribbon to suspend Torrellas's ashes from their necks.

(14.) I accept the etymology proposed by Corominas and Pascual, Diccionario critico etimologico, 3:530-531, s.v. joya, in which Old French joie ('jewel') is considered a back-formation of joiel, popularly mistaken for a diminutive form, with both words eventually borrowed into Old Spanish. The same position, supported by different evidence, is taken in Joan Coromines, Joseph Gulsoy, and Max Cahner, Diccionari etimologic i complementari de la llengua catalana, 9 vols. (Barcelona: Curial Edicions Catalanes; Caixa de Pensions "La Caixa," 1980-1991), 4:899-901, s.v. joiell. Presumably following the Real Academia Espanola dictionary, Alonso, Diccionario medieval espanol (2:1274-1275, s.vv. joya, joyel) persists in treating joyel as a Spanish diminutive of joya. Writing in 1943, Juan Terlingen, Los italianismos en espanol desde la formacion del idioma hasta principios del siglo XVII (Amsterdam: N.V. Noord-Hollandsche Uitgevers Maatschappij, 1943), 336, classified joyel as an Italianism, but his view has been thoroughly discredited; see John Corominas, "Review of J. H. Terlingen, Los italianismos en espanol desde la formacion del idioma hasta principios del siglo XVII" Symposium 2 (1948): 106-119, 110-111, 113.

(15.) As I demonstrate in my Ph.D. thesis (Joseph J. Gwara, "A Study of the Works of Juan de Flores, with a Critical Edition of La historia de Grisel y Mirabella" 2 vols., Ph.D. thesis, University of London, Westfield College, 1988, 1:289-325), all the sixteenth-century editions descend from an ancestor after I (ca. 1495) but prior to A (1514). Assuming a regular cycle of reprints, I conjectured that Jacobo Cromberger issued an edition of Grisel y Mirabella, now lost, around 1510 (ibid., 427 n. 20).

(16.) Tejeda Fernandez, Glosario de terminos, 295-296, q.v.; see also Priscilla E. Muller, Jewels in Spain, 1500-1800 (New York: Hispanic Society of America, 1972), 17 and 20, where she glosses joyel as "important jewel" and "independent jewel," respectively.

(17.) On the faltriquera, a woman's "pocket" or pouch meant to be worn underneath the outer garment, see Tejeda Fernandez, Glosario de terminos, 247; and for the etymology, Federico Corriente, "Reflejos iberorromances del andalusi {htr}," Al-Andalus-Magreb 1 (1993): 77-87; repr. in Tua Blesa and Maria Antonia Martin Zorraquino, eds., Homenaje a Felix Monge: Estudios de linguistica hispanica (Madrid: Gredos, 1995), 135-141. Corominas and Pascual, Diccionario critico etimologico, 2:842-843, s.v. faltriquera, offer copious dialectal observations without proposing an etymology. The most celebrated Old Spanish reference to afaltriquera, found in Act III of Celestina, suggests that this accessory could be quite capacious; Fernando de Rojas, La Celestina: Comedia o tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea, ed. Peter E. Russell, 3rd rev. ed., Clasicos Castalia 191 (Madrid: Castalia, 2007), 304.

(18.) P. G. W. Glare, ed., Oxford Latin Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982), 466; see also Thesaurus linguae latinae, vol. 4, con-cyulus (Leipzig, Germany: Teubner, 1906-1909), cols. 1316-1317, q.v.

(19.) As far as I can tell, "culter" retained its ritual connotation in medieval Latin, although the word was used more consistently in the generic sense of 'knife' or 'coulter'; see, e.g., R. E. Latham et al., Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources, vol. 1, A-L (London: Oxford University Press for The British Academy, 1975-1997), 1:530, s.v. culter; J. F. Niermeyer and C. van de Kieft, Mediae latinitatis lexicon minus: Lexique latin medieval--Medieval Latin Dictionary--Mittellateinisches Worterbuch, rev. ed., ed. J. W. J. Burgers, 2 vols. (Leiden, Holland: Brill, 2002), 1:374, q.v.; R. E. Latham, Revised Medieval Latin Word-List from British and Irish Sources (London: Oxford University Press for The British Academy, 1965), 124, q.v.; and Walther von Wartburg, Franzosisches etymologisches Worterbuch: Eine Darstellung des galloromanischen Sprachschatzes, vol. 2.2, coinquinare-cytisus (Basel, Germany: Helbing & Lichtenhahn, 1946), 1502-1503, q.v. Numerous diminutive forms carried the sense of 'knife, blade,' though not obviously for sacrificial purposes. In Charles du Fresne du Cange, Glossarium media, et infimx latinitatis, ed. Leopold Favre, 10 vols. (Niort, France: L. Favre, 1883-1887; repr. in 11 vols., Bologna, Italy: Forni, 1981-1982), 2:650-651, the word is listed under its diminutive forms, with the sense of 'small knife, coulter.' The word is not recorded in Alexander Souter, A Glossary of Later Latin to 600A.D. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1949).

(20.) Enrique de Villena, Obras completas, ed. Pedro M. Catedra, 3 vols. (Madrid: Turner, 1994-2000), 2:314-315; Julio Rodriguez-Puertolas, Fray Inigo de Mendoza y sus "Coplas de Vita Christi," Biblioteca Romanica Hispanica 4, Textos 5 (Madrid: Gredos, 1968), 393-395. In a supplement to his Tesoro, originally published in 1611, Sebastian de Covarrubias likewise defines "cultro" as "el cuchillo del sacrificio"; Sebastian de Covarrubias Horozco, Tesoro de la lengua castellana o espanola, ed. Ignacio Arellano and Rafael Zafra, Biblioteca Aurea Hispanica 21 (Pamplona, Spain: Universidad de Navarra; Madrid: Iberoamericana; Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Vervuert, 2006), 651, s.v. cuitral. For additional information, see Alonso, Diccionario medieval espanol, 1:837, s.v. cultro; and Garcia de Diego, Diccionario etimologico, 118, s.vv. cuitral, cultral, and 613, s.vv. cultellus, culter, cultralis. The early sense of 'circumcision scalpel' for culter is also recorded in the Thesaurus linguae latinae, col. 1316.

(21.) Ovid, Metamorphoses, ed. G. P. Goold, trans. Frank Justus Miller, Loeb Classical Library 42-43 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: Heinemann, 1977-1984), 1:3.511-733.

(22.) See Antonio de Nebrija, Introductiones latinae [Salamanca, Spain, January 16, 1481], ed. Antonio Cortijo and Angel Gomez Moreno, in ADMYTE: Archivo digital de manuscritos y textos espanoles, vol. 1 (Madrid: Micronet; Ministerio de Cultura, Biblioteca Nacional, 1992), CD-ROM disc 1, item 7, fol. 52v (s.v. Nouacula); Nebrija, Vocabulario de romance en latin: Transcripcion critica de la edicion revisada por el autor (Sevilla, 1516), ed. Gerald J. MacDonald (Madrid: Castalia, 1973), 60 (s.v. cuchillo), 129 (s.v. mangorrero cuchillo), and 187 (s.v. tiseras), reprinting the lemmata and glosses from Nebrija, Vocabulario espanol-latino (Salamanca ?1495?), facsimile ed. (Madrid: Real Academia Espanola, 1951), sigs. d6v, i2r, n1r; Antonio de Nebrija and Gabriel Busa, Diccionario latin-catalan y catalan-latin (Barcelona, Carles Amoros, 1507), ed. German Colon and Amadeu-J. Soberanas, Biblioteca Hispanica Puvill, Literatura, Diccionarios 2 (Barcelona: Puvill, 1987), 50 [sig. d1v] (s.v. culter) and 183 [sig. B4r] (s.v. coltell); Alfonso de Palencia, Universal vocabulario en latin y en romance: Reproduccion facsimilar de la edicion de Sevilla, 1490, 2 vols. (Madrid: Comision Permanente de la Asociacion de Academias de la Lengua Espanola, 1967), 1: fol. 81v [sig. l1v] (s.v. clunadum), fol. 153r [sig. v1r] (s.v. faliscis), fol. 165v [sig. x5v] (s.v.forca), fol. 218r [sig. 2e2r] (s.v. instrumentum), fol. 258r [sig. 2k2r] (s.v. machera); 2: fol. 442r [sig. I8r] (s.v. secespita). Most of these examples come from the CORDE of the Real Academia Espanola.

(23.) In Book VII, a culter is used to spill blood in a pair of rejuvenation spells and in a vain sacrifice to Jove to lift the plague in Aegina (Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1:7.244, 314, 599). In Book XV, Pythagoras references the culter in condemning the ritual slaughter of bulls, while the same weapon is used in sacrifices celebrating the arrival of the serpent-shaped Aesculapius to Tiber Island (ibid., 2:15.134, 735).

(24.) Ibid., 1:3.712.

(25.) Juan de Flores, Grisel y Mirabella, ed. Maria Grazia Ciccarello di Blasi, Dipartimento di Studi Romanzi, Universita di Roma "La Sapienza," Testi, Studi e Manuali 18 (Rome: Bagatto, 2003), 187-188.

(26.) Ibid., 188.

(27.) Ibid., 186-187.

(28.) Gwara, "Study of the Works," 2:1110-1112, note to 45.38-41.

(29.) Ibid., 2:1112.

(30.) Francisco Rodriguez Marin, Dos mil quinientas voces castizas y bien autorizadas que piden lugar en nuestro lexico (Madrid: privately published, 1922), 101.

(31.) Juan de Pineda, Dialogos familiares de la agricultura cristiana, ed. Juan Meseguer Fernandez, Biblioteca de Autores Espanoles 161-163, 169-170, 5 vols. (Madrid: Atlas, 1963-1964), 3:340; emphasis added. "In reading Cajetan's Summa, I noticed that he addresses this matter--and I am delighted that it has come to my attention in such a timely fashion--and he sets out seven conditions by which to determine whether the devil has been tacitly invoked in any undertaking. The first, he says, is when some vain condition is deemed necessary for a certain outcome, as when holy words are written on parchment and not paper, and at such and such a time and on such and such a day, or in lines of such and such a shape, just as some clerics would offer cultres written inside many circles, and made a good living off of foolish women, and even dim-witted men would seek them out; and certainly it is the height of animal stupidity to think that because words are written in a large or small script, within circles or squares, they are somehow more powerful." Pineda's source is Cajetan's commentary on the Summa theologix of Aquinas, part II.2, Q. 96 ("De superstitionibus observantiarum"), Art. 4 ("Utrum suspendere divina verba ad collum sit illicitum"). I have consulted the 1588 Venice edition; see Thomas Aquinas, Summa totius theologix S. Thoma de Aquino doctoris angelici ordinis prxdicatorum, cum commentariis et opusculis R. D. D. Thomtz de Vio Caietani Cardinalis S. Xisti, 3 parts in 5 vols. (Venice, Italy: Apud Iuntas [Giunta], 1588), 2.2: fols. 240v-242v. Cajetan does not reference cultres in his remarks (fol. 242r).

(32.) Fernando Bouza, Corre manuscrito: Una historia cultural del Siglo de Oro (Madrid: Marcial Pons, Ediciones de Historia, 2001), 93-108. For more on the postmedieval use of nominas in Spain, chiefly as a means of preventing or curing illness, see Sebastian Cirac Estopanan, Los procesos de hechicerias en la Inquisicion de Castilla la Nueva (tribunales de Toledo y Cuenca) (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Instituto Jeronimo Zurita, 1942), 88-104; Heliodoro Cordente Martinez, Brujeria y hechiceria en el obispado de Cuenca, Divulgacion Cultural 2 (Cuenca, Spain: Diputacion Provincial de Cuenca, 1990), 105-127; and Tejeda Fernandez, Glosario de terminos, 51-53, s.v. amuleto. Pedro Ciruelo, Reprouacion de las supersticiones y hechizerias, ed. Alva V. Ebersole (Valencia, Spain: Albatros, 1978), 77-78, 85-93, provides an invaluable account of textual amulets in the sixteenth century.

(33.) Bouza, Corre manuscrito, 95-96.

(34.) Don C. Skemer, Binding Words: Textual Amulets in the Middle Ages (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006), 21-22, 47-58.

(35.) Ibid., 128-130.

(36.) Ibid., 17-18.

(37.) For images of textual amulets with talismanic sigils (Pineda's "circulos"), see Skemer, Binding Words, 200-201, figs. 5 and 6, reproducing Canterbury Cathedral Library, Add. MS 23, and 215, fig. 7, reproducing British Library, Add. MS 15505, fol. 22r; and especially Cordente Martinez, Brujeria y hechiceria, 106-114. Examples of amuletic texts with such sigils could be multiplied; see, e.g., the German scroll (ca. 1600) sold at Sotheby's on December 7, 2010 (London, Western Manuscripts and Miniatures, sale no. L10241, lot 34).

(38.) Elisa Ruiz Garcia, Los libros de Isabel la Catolica: Arqueologia de un patrimonio escrito (Salamanca, Spain: Instituto de Historia del Libro y de la Lectura, 2004), 578-579. "1. [paragraph]Two parchment cultres without housing. 2. [paragraph]Two more parchment cultres without housing. 3. [paragraph]A parchment cultre with a devotional image. 4. [paragraph]A parchment cultre with a devotional image. 5. [paragraph]A parchment cultre. Appraised at two reales. Purchased byJuan Lopez, jewelry maker, for sixty-eight maravedies. 6. [paragraph]A miniature cultre, on parchment, in a tiny hand, of Pope Leo's prayer." A marginal note in an inventory from 1505 indicates that Pedro Sarabia took possession of three cultres, together with several other manuscripts, on July 10 of that year (ibid., 44 n. 26). The surviving evidence indicates that none of these cultres was inherited from Enrique IV; Miguel-Angel Ladero Quesada, "Capilla, joyas y armas, tapices y libros de Enrique IV de Castilla," Acta historica et archaeologica mediaevalia 26 (2005): 851-873.

(39.) Ruiz Garcia, Los libros, 587, q.v.

(40.) Ibid., 182; see also ibid., 252-253.

(41.) Elisa Ruiz Garcia, "Los Libros de Horas en los inventarios de Isabel la Catolica," in De libros, librerias, imprentas y lectores, ed. Pablo Andres Escapa, El Libro Antiguo Espanol 6 (Salamanca, Spain: Universidad de Salamanca, Seminario de Estudios Medievales y Renacentistas, 2002), 389-419, 416-418; see also Ruiz Garcia, El imaginario de una reina: Paginas selectas del patrimonio escrito de Isabel la Catolica (Madrid: A y N, 2007), 90-92. Ruiz Garcia and Isabel Garcia-Monge, "Una muestra de religiosidad popular: La Oracion de san Leon" Memoria Ecclesiae 20 (2002): 581-596, place the Oracion de san Leon in a wider context, recognizing it as an expression of popular devotion bordering on ritual magic. At the same time, however, they fail to recognize the text as yet another variant of the so-called priere de Charlemagne. According to the most common version of the legend, Christ sent this powerful apotropaic prayer to Charlemagne in a Heavenly Letter delivered by Pope Leo III. For details, see Skemer, Binding Words, 96-105; and Joseph J. Gwara and Mary Morse, "A Birth Girdle Printed by Wynkyn de Worde," The Library: Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, 7th series, 13.1 (2012): 33-62, 40. The diffusion of the prayer in the Iberian Peninsula is studied in Arthur L.-F. Askins, "Notes on Three Prayers in Late 15th Century Portuguese (the Oracao da Empardeada, the Oracao de S. Leao, Papa, and the Justo Juiz): Text History and Inquisitorial Interdictions," Peninsula: Revista de Estudios Ibericos 4 (2007): 235-266, 249-251; and Victor Infantes, "El gran hallazgo de un pequeno libro que una vez fue incunable: La Oracion de las ordenanzas de la Iglesia del Papa Leon III Magno," Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 70(1995): 93-101.

(42.) Ruiz Garcia, "Los Libros de Horas" 417; see also Ruiz Garcia, El imaginario, 90-92; Ruiz Garcia, Los libros, 181; and Ruiz Garcia, "Los libros de Isabel la Catolica: Una encrucijada de intereses," in Libro y lectura en la Peninsula Iberica y America (siglos XIII a XVIII), ed. Antonio Castillo Gomez, La Imprenta, Libros y Libreros 11 (Salamanca, Spain: Junta de Castilla y Leon, Consejeria de Cultura y Turismo, 2003), 53-77, 61-62. Although Ruiz Garcia does not mention it, the "cultre chequito de pergamino" (item 6) appears to have been the very manuscript removed from one of the two libelli (cf. Ruiz Garcia, "Los Libros de Horas," 416: "Que peso dicho librillo, sin el dicho pergamino que se le quito"--emphasis added). Perhaps one of these libelli ended up in the hands of Catalina de Austria, who received in 1519, by order of Carlos V, "un colgante en forma de libro de oro y esmalte" from the treasury of her mother, Juana la Loca. Annemarie Jordan-Gschwend, "Juana de Castilla y Catalina de Austria: La formacion de la coleccion de la reina en Tordesillas y Lisboa," in Juana I de Castilla, 1504-1555: De su reclusion en Tordesillas al olvido de la historia: I Simposio Internacional sobre la Reina Juana I de Castilla, Tordesillas (Valladolid), 23 y 24 de noviembre de 2005, ed. Miguel Angel Zalama (Tordesillas, Spain: Ayuntamiento de Tordesillas, 2006), 143-171, 150 n. 40.

(43.) Elisa Ruiz Garcia, "La devocion o la busqueda de la felicidad (1400- 1545)," Litterae: Cuadernos sobre Cultura Escrita 2 (2002): 41-57, 47-48; Ruiz Garcia, "Proceso de ritualizacion de algunas devociones privadas," in Ritos y ceremonias en el mundo hispano durante la edad moderna, ed. David Gonzalez Cruz, Collectanea 60 (Huelva, Spain: Universidad de Huelva, 2002), 317-329, 318-319.

(44.) The surviving inventory is a later copy made by Alonso de Ribera, who assumed his father's office in 1523. The document was edited by Ferrandis, who misdated it to 1545 and failed to record the final disposition of the itemized property. See Miguel Angel Zamala, Juana I: Arte, poder y cultura en torno a una reina que no goberno (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Europa Hispanica, Direccion General del Libro [Ministerio de Cultura], Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales, Diputacion de Valladolid, 2010), 300-304; Zamala, "El tesoro de la reina Juana I en Tordesillas: Relacion de su expolio," in Carlos V y las artes: Promocion artistica y familia imperial, ed. M. J. Redondo Cantera and M. A. Zalama (Valladolid, Spain: Junta de Castilla y Leon, Consejeria de Educacion y Cultura; Universidad de Valladolid, 2000), 45-66, 45-46; and Zalama, Vida cotidiana y arte en el palacio de la reina Juana I en Tordesillas, Estudios y Documentos 58 (Valladolid, Spain: Universidad de Valladolid, 2000), 379-382.

(45.) Jose Ferrandis, ed., Datos documentales para la historia del arte espanol, vol. 3, Inventarios reales (Juan II a Juana la Loca) (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Instituto Diego Velazquez, 1943), 178. "An enameled cultre of pure gold with a chain and a gold P with seven small diamonds and a pendant pearl and a gold pomander filled with ambergris which all together weighed half a mark, one ochava, and one-and-a-half tomines."

(46.) Ibid., 197-198. "Two gold cultres which weighed fifteen castellanos and five tomines and eight grains which Diego de Ayala gave her majesty in 1510, according to what appears in another book kept by the aforesaid Garcia de Carreno, which is in the chamber of the Contaduria de Cuentas, where it was produced to satisfy the requirements of this accounting."

(47.) Ruiz Garcia, Los libros, 37.

(48.) Ferrandis, 175.

(49.) Ibid., 195.

(50.) Zalama, "El tesoro," 50; Zalama, Vida cotidiana, 387. "Another piece of jewelry in the form of a P covered in diamonds with a small seam down the middle, each half of which forms a P, and a pendant pearl, and on the shoulders a P and an H, and said P is attached to a gold cultre which has a parchment inside with great mysteries, which weighed, with a small chain, three ounces and six ochavas and three tomines, and said cultre is enameled with inlaid flower enameling with screws above and below, and the cultre is shaped like a column." The other part of this cultre passed to Juana de Austria upon the death of Juana la Loca; see Zalama, Vida cotidiana, 385. Zalama speculates that in 1510 Fernando el Catolico plundered Diego de Ayala's two gold cultres, which together weighed more than three kilograms, for their melt value. Zalama, "El tesoro," 57; Zalama, Vida cotidiana, 405. Both, however, may have passed to don Luis de Rojas, Marques de Denia, who selected from dona Juana's estate "dos libricos o cultres esmaltados de rosicler y blanco que son para tener reliquias" to satisfy part of an outstanding debt for his services to the queen. Zalama, "El tesoro," 59; Zalama, Vida cotidiana, 407.

(51.) Skemer, Binding Words, 158-159, 245-246; New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M1092.

(52.) T. Schrire, Hebrew Magic Amulets: Their Decipherment and Interpretation (London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1966; repr. New York: Behrman House, 1982), 76. Muller, Jewels in Spain, discusses several jewels and jeweled cases which are similar in use and/or design to cultres, including a hollow (?) tubular cross described in 1503 (18), a Hispano-Moresque cassolette (23), a reliquary pendant "with two small half-doors" probably from the collection of Juana la Loca (51; cf. the crystal reliquary pendant in fig. 102), a gold articulated axorca "enclosing the Mysteries of the Passion" (58), j eweled libelli and reliquary crosses, often with pendant pomanders (61-64), and various amuletic lockets (72-74). None of these objects, however, is called a cultre. For additional examples of European jewels and enclosures with the same features, many of which are Hispanic, see Jill Hollis, ed., Princely Magnificence: Court Jewels of the Renaissance, 1500-1630:15th October 1980-1stFebruary 1981 [exhibition catalogue] (London: Debrett's Peerage for the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1980), 47-48 (no. 8, a prophylactic pendant), 48-50 (no. 11, a girdle prayer book), 51 (no. 13, a memento mori pendant), 53 (no. 19, a pectoral cross), 65-66 (nos. 55-56, IHS pendants), 66-67 (no. 58, a talismanic locket), 68-69 (no. 66, a locket), 78-79 (nos. 90-91, lockets), 79 (no. 94, a reliquary cross), 80 (no. 96, a reliquary pendant), 81-84 (nos. 98- 111, various pendants, including scent bottles), 89-90 (no. 121, a memento mori pendant), and 103-104 (no. P11, a portrait of a Spanish prince wearing an amulet). Of these items, no. 108 (pictured on 81) may be the closest to a cultre as discussed here, although the pendant is not cylindrical.

(53.) Ruiz Garcia, "La devocion," 47.

(54.) See, for example, the image in ibid., 55.

(55.) Daniel Sperber, Magic and Folklore in Rabbinic Literature, Bar-Ilan Studies in Near Eastern Languages and Culture (Ramat-Gan, Israel: BarIlan University Press, 1994), 76-79. For additional examples of ligaturae as referenced by the Latin fathers, see Skemer, Binding Words, 30-47. For the medieval period, see also Henry Charles Lea, Materials toward a History of Witchcraft, ed. Arthur C. Howland, intro. George Lincoln Burr, 3 vols. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1939; repr. New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1957), 1:133, 142, 167, 186, 205, 400; 2:935. In general, Lea speaks of ligatures as binding spells between men and women, mainly husbands and wives, which caused impotence if the man strayed; he does not refer to cultres. Carmen Caballero Navas, "Magia: Experiencia femenina y practica de la relacion," in De dos en dos: Las practicas de creacion y recreacion de la vida y la convivencia humana, ed. Montserrat Cabre i Pairet, et al., Cuadernos Inacabados 38 (Madrid: Horas y Horas, 2000), 33-54, 47-48, specifically relates glturi to the binding spells that women were believed to cast in order to secure the love of a man. The meaning of glturi as 'amulet' is widely known in the Hebrew exegetical tradition; Sperber, Magic and Folklore, 74-75.

(56.) William Smith and Samuel Cheetham, eds., A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, 2 vols. (London: John Murray, 1875-1880), 2:990-992, s.v. ligaturae.

(57.) Sperber, Magic and Folklore, 76.

(58.) The devoicing of initial /g/ is a rare phenomenon in Spanish but not linguistically implausible: the opposite process, the voicing of initial /k/, is well established in the language (e.g., Lat. cattus > Sp. gato 'cat'). The initial /k/ in OSp. cultre may have something to do with the perception of Hebrew pronunciation in early modern Spain, or it may represent an instinctive realignment with cult-, given that gult- is an unnatural sound combination in Spanish.

(59.) Ibid., 71-73. Only a handful of Hebrew words entered Spanish directly instead of through Greek and Latin; many proposed etymologies in fact have been challenged. If we omit technical borrowings (mostly religious), the standard short list of Spanish Hebraisms includes desmazalado 'miserable, weak, unfortunate'; see David M. Bunis, A Lexicon of the Hebrew and Aramaic Elements in Modern Judezmo (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Misgav Yerushalayim, Institute for Research on the Sephardi and Oriental Jewish Heritage, 1993), 19; Corominas and Pascual, Diccionario critico etimologico, 2:469-470, q.v.; Yakov Malkiel, "A Latin-Hebrew Blend: Hispanic desmazalado" Hispanic Review 15 (1947): 272-301; Paul Wexler, Three Heirs to a Judeo-Latin Legacy: Judeo-Ibero-Romance, Yiddish and Rotwelsch, Mediterranean Language and Culture Monograph Series 3 (Wiesbaden, Germany: Otto Harrassowitz, 1988), 74 n. 397; malsin, 'slanderer, informer'; see Salustio Alvarado, "Hebraismos en espanol y bulgaro," Boletin de la Real Academia Espanola 71 (1991): 133-156, 139; Bunis, A Lexicon, 19; Corominas and Pascual, Diccionario critico etimologico, 3:787, q.v.; Norman Roth, "La lengua hebrea entre los cristianos espanoles medievales: Voces hebreas en espanol," Revista de Filologia Espanola 71 (1991): 137-143, 141; Wexler, Three Heirs, 68, 72; mancer 'bastard'; see Alvarado, "Hebraismos," 139; Bunis, A Lexicon, 19; Corominas and Pascual, Diccionario critico etimologico, 3:795-96, q.v.; tacano 'miserly, cheap'; see Alvarado, "Hebraismos," 143; Corominas and Pascual, Diccionario critico etimologico, 5:363-67, q.v.; Yakov Malkiel, "Dubious, Pseudo-, Hybrid, and Mock-Orientalisms in Romance," in Semitic Studies in Honor of Wolf Leslau on the Occasion of his Eighty-Fifth Birthday, November 14th, 1991, ed. Alan S. Kaye, 2 vols. (Wiesbaden, Germany: Otto Harrassowitz, 1991), 2:991-1003, 996-998; Wexler, Three Heirs, 72 n. 378; and trefa/trefe 'not kosher, unfit for consumption by Jews'; see Alvarado, "Hebraismos," 144; Corominas and Pascual, Diccionario critico etimologico, 5:616-618, s.v. trefe; Roth, "La lengua hebrea," 142. Lists of unincorporated Spanish Hebraisms, culled from administrative records and a few literary sources, can be found in Roth, "La lengua hebrea," 140-142; Paul Wexler, "Marrano Ibero-Romance: Classification and Research Tasks," Zeitschrift fur Romanische Philologie 98 (1982): 59-108, 76-78; and Wexler, Three Heirs, 64-75 ([section]1.5). I am indebted to Steven Dworkin for his expert advice on Old Spanish Hebraisms and especially for sharing with me his unpublished material on the subject.

(60.) Overviews of the Jewish amuletic tradition and Christian perceptions of it can be found in Schrire, Hebrew Magic Amulets, 69-73; and Skemer, Binding Words, 33-37, 112-115. See also Juan Blazquez Miguel, Huete y su tierra: Un enclave inquisitorial conquense (Huete, Spain: Ayuntamiento de Huete; Madrid: Libreria Anticuaria Jerez, 1987), 58-59; Bouza, Corre manuscrito, 95; and for an illustration of a Hebrew amulet with characteres, Cordente Martinez, Brujeria y hechiceria, 115. David M. Gitlitz, Secrecy and Deceit: The Religion of the Crypto-Jews (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1996), 194 n. 10, reports that the Sephardic museum in Toledo owns a fifteenth-century Hebrew amulet.

(61.) Gitlitz, Secrecy and Deceit, 186-187, 437 n. 13. For sample documentation and trial testimony, see Yitzhak Baer, A History of the Jews in Christian Spain, 2nd ed., trans. Louis Schoffman, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1992), 2:338, 352, 360; and Haim Beinart, ed., Records of the Trials of the Spanish Inquisition in Ciudad Real, 4 vols. (Jerusalem: Israel National Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1974-1985), 1:xxxii, 58, 275, 277, 367, 369, 372, 389-390, 393, 420; 4:413. Skemer, Binding Words, 231 has general remarks on amulets discovered by the Spanish Inquisition.

(62.) Gitlitz, Secrecy and Deceit, 184.

(63.) David M. Bunis, "Distinctive Characteristics of Jewish Ibero-Romance, circa 1492," Hispania Judaica Bulletin 4 (2004): 105-137, 136-137.

(64.) For general information on converso poetry, especially the incorporation of Hebrew words, I have consulted Cristina Arbos, "Los cancioneros castellanos del siglo XV como fuente para la historia de los judios espanoles," in Jews and Conversos: Studies in Society and the Inquisition: Proceedings of the Eighth World Congress of Jewish Studies held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, August 16-21, 1981, ed. Yosef Kaplan (Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies; Magnes Press, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1985), 74-82, 79-80; Francisco Cantera Burgos, "El Cancionero de Baena: Judios y conversos en el," Sefarad 27 (1967): 71-111; Gitlitz, Secrecy and Deceit, 475-479; Gregory B. Kaplan, The Evolution of "Converso" Literature: The Writings of the Converted Jews of Medieval Spain (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002); Francisco Marquez Villanueva, "Jewish 'Fools' of the Spanish Fifteenth Century," Hispanic Review 50 (1982): 385-409; and Josep M. Sola-Sole and Stanley E. Rose, "Judios y conversos en la poesia cortesana del siglo XV: El estilo poligloto de Fray Diego de Valencia," Hispanic Review 44(1976): 371-385.

(65.) Francisco Marquez Villanueva, "Conversos y cargos concejiles en el siglo XV," Revista de Archivos, Bibliotecas y Museos 63 (1957): 503-540; Maria del Pilar Rabade Obrado, Una elite de poder en la corte de los Reyes Catolicos: Los judeoconversos (Madrid: Sigilo, 1993), 25-31; Norman Roth, Conversos, Inquisition, and the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain, rev. ed. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2002), 126-133; Julio Valdeon Baruque, "Motivaciones socioeconomicas de las fricciones entre viejocristianos, judios y conversos," in Judios, sefarditas, conversos: La expulsion de 1492y sus consecuencias, ed. Angel Alcala (Valladolid, Spain: Ambito, 1995), 69-88, 81.

(66.) Joseph J. Gwara, "The Identity of Juan de Flores: The Evidence of the Cronica Incompleta de los Reyes Catolicos," Journal of Hispanic Philology 11 (1986-1987): 103-130, 205-222, 214-218.

(67.) Registro general del sello, 16 vols. (Valladolid, Spain: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 1950-1992), 2:23 no. 165, 37 no. 275, 290 no. 2064, 358 no. 2528, 377 no. 1972; 3:32 no. 230, with many additional entries that probably refer to the same dispute.

(68.) Ibid., 8:30 no. 213, 495 no. 3369, 499 no. 3394; 9:239 no. 1531, 310 no. 1990, plus other related entries; 10:487 no. 2621, 228 no. 1193; 11:223 no. 1492, 315 no. 2075. The Receiver of Goods was a royal official who safeguarded the interests of the Crown while serving on the Inquisitorial Court; Haim Beinart, "Two Documents Concerning Confiscated Converso Property," Sefarad 17 (1957): 280-313, 281. For more detailed information, see Henry Charles Lea, A History of the Inquisition of Spain, 4 vols. (New York and London: Macmillan, 1906-1907), 2:315-387.

(69.) Gwara, "The Identity," 116-119, 221-222; on the Osorio connection, see also Joseph J. Gwara, "A New Epithalamial Allegory by Juan de Flores: La coronacion de la senora Gracisla (1475)," Revista de Estudios Hispanicos (St. Louis) 30 (1996): 227-257, 252 n. 3.

(70.) Dayle Seidenspinner-Nunez, "Conversion and Subversion: Converso Texts in Fifteenth-Century Spain," in Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Medieval and Early Modern Spain: Interaction and Cultural Change, ed. Mark D. Meyerson and Edward D. English, Notre Dame Conferences in Medieval Studies 8 (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1999), 241-261, 259-260 n. 25; the contract is discussed in Carmen Parrilla, "Un cronista olvidado: Juan de Flores, autor de la Cronica incompleta de los Reyes Catolicos" in The Age of the Catholic Monarchs, 1476-1516: Literary Studies in Memory of Keith Whinnom, ed. Alan Deyermond and Ian Macpherson, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Special Issue (Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press, 1989), 123-133, 126-127, 131.

(71.) Seidenspinner-Nunez, "Conversion," 259-260 n. 25. For analogous cases of middle-class conversos in Toledo, see Linda Martz, "Converso Families in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Toledo: The Significance of Lineage," Sefarad 48 (1988): 117-196, 162-166. The entries in the Registro general del sello identify the corregidor/pesquisidor Juan de Flores as a "vecino de Toledo" but the name Flores does not appear in any of the Inquisitorial records analyzed by Martz nor in Roth's list of common converso surnames in Toledo; Roth, Conversos, 378.

(72.) By way of comparison, no fewer than five conversos named Diego Sanchez de San Pedro lived in late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century Toledo. Even the Inquisition had difficulty telling them apart. Martz, "Converso Families," 126, 141-142.

(73.) Roth, Conversos, 177-178, 181.

(74.) Ibid., 93.

(75.) Seidenspinner-Nunez, "Conversion," 247.

(76.) Ibid., 250-253.

(77.) For further information on converso leanings in sentimental romances, see Francisco Marquez Villanueva, "Carcel de amor, novela politica," Revista de occidente 14 (1966): 185-200; Marquez Villanueva, "Historia cultural e historia literaria: El caso de Carcel de amor" in The Analysis of Hispanic Texts: Current Trends in Methodology, ed. Lisa E. Davis and Isabel C. Taran, Second York College Colloquium (New York: Bilingual Press, 1976), 144-157; and Regula Rohland de Langbehn, "El problema de los conversos y la novela sentimental," in The Age of the Catholic Monarchs, 1476-1516: Literary Studies in Memory of Keith Whinnom, ed. Alan Deyermond and Ian Macpherson, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Special Issue (Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press, 1989), 134-143. Considerably more has been written on the legal and political aspects of Flores's works, especially the theme of repression under absolute monarchy; see, e.g., E. Michael Gerli, "Gender Trouble: Juan de Flores's Triunfo de Amor, Isabel la Catolica, and the Economies of Power at Court," Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies 4 (2003): 169-184; Alvaro R. Gonzalez, "La figura del poder en Grisel y Mirabella" Romance Languages Annual 11 (2000): 465-469; and Helen Cathleen Tarp, "Legal Fictions: Literature and Law in Grisel y Mirabella," eHumanista 7 (2006): 95-114, available at http://www.ehumanista.ucsb.edu/volumes/ volume_07/index.shtml. Antonio Cortijo Ocana postulates a personal connection linking Flores, Pere Torroella, and the Lucena family as a part of his case for a proto-Celestinesque genre emanating from the University of Salamanca, where Luis de Lucena, author of the Repeticion de amores, may have known Fernando de Rojas; Antonio Cortijo Ocana, La evolucion generica de la ficcion sentimental de los siglos XV y XVI: Genero literario y contexto social, Coleccion Tamesis, Serie A: Monografias 184 (London: Tamesis, 2001), 192-211; and Cortijo Ocana, "An Inane Hypothesis: Torroella, Flores, Lucena, and Celestina?" in Multicultural Iberia: Language, Literature, and Music, ed. Dru Dougherty and Milton A. Azevedo, Research Series 103 (Berkeley: University of California at Berkeley, 1999), 40-56, available at http://escholarship.org/uc/item/53p1j36j. To his list of commonalities we should now add, crucially, the writers' converso origins and/or sympathies.

(78.) Martz, "Converso Families," 165-166.

(79.) Alonso Lopez de Haro, Nobiliario genealogico de los reyes y titulos de Espana, 2 vols. (Madrid: Luis Sanchez, 1622; facsimile repr. Ollobarren, Navarre, Spain: Wilsen, 1996), 1:430, 434.

(80.) S: "Oh, how hostile and wretched you show yourself to be, Torrellas, it seems that you were born to malign us!"; TI: "I now perceive you to be so wretched and hostile, Torrellas, that it appears that if you found anything useful at the altar to curse us with, you would take it from there without conscience!"

(81.) Skemer, Binding Words, 135.

(82.) Writing in 1420-1425, Enrique de Villena described the use of a "manezuela" against the evil eye, listing many other popular protections against the same threat, including sacred libelli and textual amulets; Enrique de Villena, Obras completas, ed. Pedro M. Catedra, 3 vols. (Madrid: Turner, 1994-2000) 1:332-333. He does not mention cultres. See also Muller, Jewels in Spain, 23-24, pls. 29 and 30, documenting the use of higas to protect royalty as late as 1602 and 1607.

(83.) Rafael Salillas, La fascinacion en Espana: Brujas, brujerias, amuletos (Madrid: ptd. Eduardo Arias, 1905; repr. Barcelona: MRA, 2000), 77-80; for images, see Muller, Jewels in Spain, 69, fig. 94; and G. J. de Osma, Catalogo de azabaches compostelanos precedido de apuntes sobre los amuletos contra el aojo, las imagenes del Apostol-Romero y la Cofradia de los Azabacheros de Santiago (Madrid: n.p., 1916), 1-28, 181-182, 209-210, 221-222, 224-227, 233-234.

(84.) Gwara, "La muger y la sardina," 66-67.

Joseph J. Gwara is Professor of Spanish at the United States Naval Academy. In 2008, the Bibliographical Society of America awarded him the first annual Katharine F. Pantzer Senior Fellowship in Bibliography and the British Book Trades.
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