Luis del Mármol Carvajal

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Luis del Mármol Carvajal, "Historia del rebelión y castigo de los moriscos del Reino de Granada". Map of Granada, 1795.

Luis del Marmol Carvajal (Granada, Spain, 1520 - Velez Malaga, Spain, 1600) was a Spanish chronicler living many years among the formerly Moorish Granada kingdom morisco's inhabitants and in the North African Berber regions at the end of the 15th, and a good part of the 16th century.

He was proficient in Hassaniya Arabic, Berber Tamazight and/or the Algerian Berber Taqbaylit language. He was the illegitimate son of a High Justice Officer, Pedro del Marmol, who recognized him as his natural son in 1528. Whether his mother was some sort of slave or personal servant of this High Court Office lawyer, his father, "given" or "bought" after the conquest of Granada, 1492, cannot be confirmed.

It is well known that after the dissolution of the Caliph of Córdoba in the 11th century, many of the rulers and people from the kingdom of Granada maintained that their identities were essentially Zenata Berber. This may explain their settlements and affinity with the Merinid and after the Wattasids dynasty, (وطاسيون waṭāsīyūn), ruling Fez, until, after 1554, the Saadi´s rulers, (Arabic: سعديون), from Tagmadert, at the Draa river valley, near Tidzi, near Zagora, conquered the town.

It is said that for eight years Luis del Marmol was imprisoned in Algiers, and that he returned to Spain in his mid-thirties after fighting in Italy, Spain and the North African litoral from the Atlantic shores. He spent time moving and visiting places, including Libyan Berber areas. Dates for these adventures are given just around 1554, curiously enough after the conquest of Fez.

Luis del Mármol y Carvajal's history is a very valuable reference for it covers a period longer by a further 50 years, than that of the other Andalusian chronicler, the diplomat and author of Description of Africa[1], known as Joannes Leo Africanus, or al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Wazzan al-Fasi, (ar: حسن ابن محمد الوزان الفاسي) (c. 1494 – c. 1554?).

Works published[edit]

  • Descripción general de África, sus guerras y vicisitudes, desde la fundación del mahometismo hasta el año 1571 . Ed. Granada, (1573–1599).

Apparently based on Leo Africanus and with additional places and more recent dates.

  • Historia del [sic] rebelión y castigo de los moriscos del Reino de Granada . Edición digital: Alicante : Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes, 2001. Edición original en el catálogo de la Biblioteca de la Universidad de Alicante . Edición digital a partir de Biblioteca de Autores Españoles : historiadores de sucesos particulares, tomo I, Madrid, M. Rivadeneyra, 1852, pp. 123–365. Localización: Biblioteca General de la Universidad de Alicante. Sig.FL RS/284.

See: :

There is a cheap facsimile edition of another contemporary book in which he polemized with the author, albeit it was no printed at the time of the morisco´s war in the Alpujarra by Diego Hurtado de Mendoza: GUERRA DE GRANADA (FACSIMIL, edition of 1842), de HURTADO DE MENDOZA, DIEGO , 15.0x21.0 cm , 215 pages , softcover, ISBN 978-84-9761-157-2 Nº Edición:1ª ED. FACS. DE 1842 , (2005), reprit facsimile at Valladolid town. This dvent can be dadsted in the period 1568 - 1572. There was a former edition by Sancha, 1797.

There, he mentions a certain Pedro Zapata del Marmol, my brother, "escribano del Consejo de Castilla.


  1. ^ Descrittione dell'Africa, Venice edition: 1550. French and Latin editions, 1556.