The dating mistakes the top-selling on the black legend of Spanish

Imperiofobia and black legend: Rome, Russia, the united States and the Spanish Empire (Siruela 2016), one of the historical essays sold over the past few years

The dating mistakes the top-selling on the black legend of Spanish

Imperiofobia and black legend: Rome, Russia, the united States and the Spanish Empire (Siruela 2016), one of the historical essays sold over the past few years (over 100,000 copies according to the publisher), contains citations inaccurate, twisted, and apocryphal that contribute to sustaining the thesis of the book: the hispanophobia endures in the TWENTY-first century and follows topics fake that made especially the protestant world by the envy that stirred the Spanish Empire in the SIXTEENTH century.

A careful examination of the trial and the sources cited has served to locate some thirty cases in which Rock Barea offers figures bulky (to ensure, for example, that a BBC documentary quantifies 1,500 million incas, who perished in the conquest, when this is actually speaking of 15 million), provides dubious parallels with nazism or brings up the name of prestigious researchers with data which is then not found in the studies cited. The historian Edgar Straehle, senior technician at the Museum of History of Barcelona (Muhba) and associate professor at the University of Barcelona, examined recently the 20th edition of the essay in the blog Conversation on History to conclude that Barea incurred in “repeated malpractice research throughout the book.” Straehle found more than 20 examples, to which are added other 10 found by this journal.

“I Take the part that interests me on the page [of the books alluded to], and omitting what has no relation with the issue being dealt with,” he explains in a phone conversation Roca Barea, which has become a hallmark of conservative thought Spanish and was proposed in 2019 for the award of Princess of Asturias in the Social Sciences. The author, who accuses Straehle make “interpretations absolutely torticeras”, criticizing the “staggering” effort against his book and calls it a “prodigious” of the effort made to detect errors in the “more than a thousand references,” which ensures that uses.

These are some of the most striking examples, collated by THE COUNTRY in the 23rd edition:

1. The aztec Empire and the nazis

Rock Barea says in Imperiofobia that Inga Clendinnen, historian in australia, “he says with humor” in his book, Aztecs: An Interpretation “lament the demise of the aztec Empire is more or less as feel regret at the defeat of the nazis in the Second World War” (page 316). THE COUNTRY has not found any allusion to nazism, fascism or Hitler in the 444 pages of the book. On being asked by the COUNTRY, the author admits his mistake and assures that the quote is from Alon Confino, but that Clendinnen made similar statements in an interview published in In this case, Clendinnen mentions of the nazis and the aztecs but in a very different context to that described by Roca Barea: “The first thing you have to do with who you are tempted to call evil, whether they are nazis or aztec warriors, or almost any person, because the evil of a person is the idealism of the other, is going to focus nearest as possible to see what they really believe they are doing” .

2. Luther in the Night of Broken Glass

it is Not the previous the only allusion dubious of the book on the Third Reich. Rock Barea writes that the “infamous Night of the Broken Glass early in the morning from 9 to 10 November 1938 was justified as an operation pious in honor of the anniversary of Luther” (page 191).

it Is true that on that day it was the 455º anniversary of the birth of Luther, but it ignores a fundamental fact on which there is consensus historiography: the nazis presented the lynchings and the attacks on jews and their property not as a commemoration of the theologian but as a result of popular outrage for the murder three days earlier of Ernst von Rath, secretary of the German Embassy in Paris, at the hands of the young jew Herschel Grynszpan.

3. Propaganda catholic

Luther is a recurring character in the pages of Imperiofobia. In them, Rock Barea compares the “3183 out pamphlets,” which it attributes to the father of the Reform to spread the protestantism with the much lower figure of texts catholics published in those years, “according to [Mark U.] Edwards, reached the ridiculous figure of 247 pamphlets” (page 181).

According to the work alluded to —Printing, Propaganda and Martin Luther (Printing, propaganda and Martin Luther)— were distributed to a total of 1.763 written propaganda catholics in German territory, both in Latin and in German, between 1518 and 1555. If you have in mind a shorter period than, between 1518 and 1539, the figure is 1.161. And even if we contemplate only the works written in German in this last timeframe, the number is 514, the more than double the reported by Roca Barea. The number “247” is the number of writings-catholic propaganda published between 1530 and 1534.

4. The performances of Calvin

Rock Barea also stops at the other great theologian of the Reformation, Calvin.

“In four years he commanded to burn to 54 people, among them Miguel Servet” , says the author on page 189 about the persecution against the catholics, a fact which is attributed to Sally Stepanek in his work John Calvin. Later, Rock Barea writes that “the intolerance of calvinist reaches 500 people in a period of about 10 years,” on this occasion, without specifying where it is coming from the fact.

This journal has not been found in the work of Stepanek allusions to the number of people that Calvin condemned to death at the stake.

5. How many incas were “crushed” by the spaniards?

One of the theses central to the book is that the hispanophobia is still present in the TWENTY-first century: “those who come heralding the end of the hispanophobia, or the black legend, one can only recommend to see the documentary of The 2 of Spanish Television, both domestic and foreign (...) may 20, 2014 at 17.30 hours was issued the report on South america entitled " Andes: The Dragon's Back (BBC, 2007), where it says: is ‘1,500 million incas were crushed by only 200 Spanish adventurers’ . What had 1,500 million human beings on the planet when the Spanish came to America?” (page 459).

In the minute 48.18 of the documentary can be heard: “15 million incas were crushed by only 200 Spanish adventurers” .

6. The treatment of the colonies

America, and the role of the spaniards in the conquest, are also recurring in Imperiofobia. In its pages, Rock Barea omitted phrases that contradicts his thesis when he quotes a passage of Tree of hate is Philip Powell, a hispanist to whoever goes to show that the Spanish Empire did not differentiate between the peoples of iberian and America: “the basic concept of The Spanish Empire was not what we call today colonial. Rather, it can calificársele as the various realms of overseas officially matched in its category and dependency of the Crown with the like of the Motherland (...) . In general, the Crown did not attempt to impose on America something strange or lower than that ruled in the Peninsula” (page 296).

Powell admits that the Spanish Empire, endeavored to assert in America the same standards that were applied in the Peninsula. But among the phrases that Roca Barea summarized with the formula of the three ellipses in brackets include statements like this: “In practice, the peninsulares considered themselves to those born in America, blood hispanic, as inferior, and this was the cause of frequent antagonisms between colonial and european, important factor in the wars of independence”.

7. Battles overseas

In a chapter dedicated to “anti-americanism in Spain”, Rock Barea writes: “Remember that since the invasion of the Holy Alliance in 1823, the united States is the only country with which Spain has been at war, except for some skirmish colonial Morocco” (page 80).

it is Not true. Spain is faced in the war Hispanic-South american, between 1865 and 1866, against an alliance formed by Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.

8. “The queen Elizabeth caused more deaths than the Inquisition”

Imperiofobia presents a review in parallel of the Spanish Empire and the Kingdom of England. Rock Barea compared the deaths caused by England's queen Elizabeth with the Inquisition: “William Cobbet, author protestant states in his History of the Protestant Reformation in England and Ireland that the queen Elizabeth caused her own more deaths than the Inquisition in its entire history” (page 210).

In his book, Cobbet points out that the catholics who defended England from the Spanish attack of the Spanish Armada in 1588 were treated by the queen Isabel “with all the species of cruelty barbara, subjected to an Inquisition infinitely more severe than the one that Spain has ever had” . And even if you arrive to check in “abject” slavery to the queen Elizabeth reduced “to the nation”, as noted by Roca Barea in an e-mail, it does not state at any time that the number of deaths ordered was superior to that caused by the Inquisition.

9. The executions of the anglican Church

The anglican Church is responsible for more executions by the Inquisition, he also writes Rock Barea: “Sir James Stephen calculated that the number of persons sentenced to death in England in three centuries reached the chilling figure of 264,000 people” (page 279). The work alluded to is entitled, Criminal Procedure from the Thirteenth to the Eighteenth Century, but no trace of this data or other similar in the book.

According to support Roca Barea, the quote comes from another author, Sydney F. Smith, not mentioned in Imperiofobia. The number of 264.000 is a calculation that makes Smith from a sentence of Stephen. The latter asserts in A History of the Criminal Law of England: “If the average of executions out of 20 or something more than one-fourth of the total number of sentences capital in Devonshire in 1598, this would make 800 executions a year in the 40 counties English” . What Smith concludes that in “330 years” England would have executed 264,000 people. This logic assumes support without other data to support it each year, and for more than three centuries, were sentenced to death by at least 800 people.

10. How dead in three centuries, or only in the SIXTEENTH century?

The writer also incurs errors when mentioned data on the performances of the ecclesiastical court Spanish. Attributed to the investigator protestant Ernst Schäfer the number of “220” protestants condemned by the Spanish Inquisition between 1520 and 1820. And he adds, “of these only 12 were” burned (page 279).

In the footnote citation, the writer alludes to the book Beiträge zur Geschichte des spanischen Protestantismus und der Inquisition (Contributions to the history of protestantism Spanish and the Inquisition). But not playing the full title. Missing the final part: “im sechzehnten Jahrhundert,” which means “in the SIXTEENTH century” . That is to say, the name of the work constrains the investigation to a century, not 300 years mentioned by Roca Barea. The writer argues in an email that “the title is incomplete due to error”. But it also does not include those data. The only time the author uses the figure of 220 is at this appointment: “Of the approximately 2,100 persons, who according to our records, have been judged by protestantism, only about 220 have been burned in person and 120, in effigy [in the absence of the convicted person is burning an image that represented him]”. Asked about this issue, Roca Barea says: “The total number, given the lack of documentation of the first few decades, it is difficult to establish and does not seem to matter to devote a chapter to the war of figures”.

11. The tortures of the Inquisition

Of the Spanish Inquisition as the food of the black legend deals with Rock Barea in his book, in which he asserts that “the professor Haliczer, of the University of Illinois, based on his work on the Inquisition in Valencia done on the analysis of 7,000 cases, reveals that only employed torture in less than 2% of cases (page 280).

According to Haliczer, in his book Inquisition and society in the kingdom of Valencia, where he researches the period between 1478 and 1834, exclusively in the kingdom of Valencia, “the torture was administered to 693 persons, or 19.4%, from 1540” .

12. The precedents of the rebellion flemish

On the rebellion of the flemish region of 1566, Rock Barea blamed, in part, the origin of the revolt to a so-called “war of paper” or the dissemination of flyers in order to manipulate the public opinion. According to the writer, “in 1566 Manuel Filiberto of Savoy, governor-general, warned Philip II that the idea spread that the Netherlands will bear the greater part of the tax burden of the empire, and although the king hastened to submit detailed accounts to prove that this was not true, nothing came of it. The own count of Lalaig [sic], at that time governor the following year, complains of this. With charming naivety, Parker writes: ‘If these false ideas were so deeply entrenched among the most important ministers, it is not surprising that the worst informed contributors... were convinced that any sums that they approved would be sent immediately to Spain and Italy’. The count of Lalaig was not at all ill-informed. And if this false belief became more or less general, was because it convinced the public opinion, on the basis of pamphlets and preaching, that this was so. He had already begun the war of paper” (page 247).

The correct citation of Geoffrey Parker, Spain and the rebellion of Flanders, is: “The worst-informed representatives of the taxpayers summoned to the States General in march of 1556”. that Is to say, the writer uses facts occurred 10 years before —in 1556 according to the part of the quote that you omit, and not in 1566— to explain the precedent to the outbreak of the rebellion in flanders. The count of Lalaing (not Lalaig) could not complain in 1566 of the tax increase, because he had died in 1558.

And in terms of the manipulation of public opinion, Parker does not speak of “the worst informed taxpayers”, but “the worst informed representatives of the taxpayers”. Rock Barea thus justified his omission: “What is removed with the ellipsis does not add or remove anything to the main argument”, that is that the “propaganda persuaded the inhabitants of the Netherlands, both in the lower classes as in the higher, that their taxes were an abuse”.

13. “Anticatalanes” or “antiaragoneses”

Rock Barea ensures in Imperiofobia that Sverker Arnoldsson divided the Italian stage of creation of the black legend in two, “the stage antiaragonesa and the antiespañola itself” (page 127).

Arnoldsson does not speak of the stage “antiaragonesa” in all of his work but for “anticatalana” —he devotes a chapter to “the economic motivations of a black legend against the trader Catalan—. That is to say, that the black legend, according to the Swedish author, would have been born in Italy, swearing unjustly to the catalans. “The text of Arnoldsson is prejudice anticatalanes and also antivalencianos and I don't think that is to miss the truth to consider both encompassed under the denomination ‘antiaragoneses’ to refer to the first stage,” explains the writer.

14. “The greater collective hallucination of the West”

When the philologist presented the book, the holder's predominant in the Spanish press, was that the black legend of Spain is “the greatest collective hallucination of the West” (pages 95, 188 and 283), an event is also attributed to Sverker Arnoldsson. The exact phrase of Arnoldsson is: “In his time was politically the black legend, an important fact, as in truth it was for two centuries one of the hallucinations collective most significant of the West” . While it is true that Arnoldsson ensures that the black legend of Spanish was “the most compellingly disclosed”, a few lines later, the writer, who published the first edition in 1960, write a phrase that the writer omitted: “This malicious myth is practically on the verge of extinction thanks to the modern age of communications and tourism” .


Editorial: Patricia A. White
Format: Guiomar and Patricia R. White
Design: Ignacio Povedano and Alejandro Gallardo


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HELTON, David. Andes: The Dragon's Back. Documentary aired by the BBC in 2007.
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VVAA. Select Essays in Anglo-American Legal History. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1908). The work contains Criminal procedures from the Thirteenth to the Eighteenth Century, James Stephen. (Available at this link)

Date Of Update: 26 December 2019, 09:00