Rodriguez, Jarbel 1971- (Jarbel A. Rodriguez)
Rodriguez, Jarbel 1971- (Jarbel A. Rodriguez)
Born May 30, 1971. Education: University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, B.A. (with honors), 1994, M.A. (medieval Europe, Renaissance Europe, colonial Latin America), 1996; Princeton University, M.A. (medieval Europe, late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, colonial Latin America; with distinction), 1998, Ph.D., 2001.
Writer, educator, historian. San Francisco State University, assistant professor, 2001-07, graduate coordinator, associate professor, 2007—.
Also member of numerous campus committees, San Francisco State University.
American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain, American Historical Association, Medieval Academy of America, Medieval Association of the Pacific, De Re Militari: The Society for Medieval Military History.
University of Miami, undergraduate fellowship, 1990-94, graduate fellowship, 1994-96; Princeton University, President's fellowship, 1996-97, graduate fellowship, 1997-2000; Davis Merit Prize, 1997-98, Rollins Prize, 1998-99, graduate school summer grant, 1999, 2000, 2001, Princeton University Center for Human Values Fellow, 2000-01; Spanish Ministry of Culture Research Grant, 1999-2000; Fulbright fellowship, 1999-2000; Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities, 2000-01; San Francisco State University, spring-summer stipend, 2002, Presidential Award for Professional Development, 2005.
Captives & Their Saviors in the Medieval Crown of Aragon, Catholic University of America Press (Washington, DC), 2007.
(With Trevor R. Getz and Richard J. Hoffman) Exchanges: A Global History Reader, Prentice Hall (Upper Saddle River, NJ), 2008.
An associate professor of medieval history at San Francisco State University, Jarbel Rodriguez specializes in medieval and Renaissance Europe as well as Muslim-Christian relations. In his 2007 work, Captives & Their Saviors in the Medieval Crown of Aragon, Rodriguez expands on his areas of research in a revision of his doctoral thesis, "Prisoners of Faith: Christian Captives in the Later Middle Ages." The book examines attempts made by the Crown of Aragon, located in eastern Spain, to free their Christian brethren taken captive by Muslims in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. At the time, the Iberian Peninsula was the center of a struggle between the Muslim and Christian worlds. Periods of conflict between the two religious groups were sharp and brutal, resulting in many captives being taken on both sides. When open hostilities subsided for a time, the situation was exacerbated by pirates, who also took large numbers of captives. Rodriguez analyzes the efforts made by officials of the crown and also by professional ransomers, merchants, and even Christian orders who conducted expeditions to try to free men, women, and children from Muslim captivity. In addition to detailing these efforts, Rodriguez describes what life was like for these captives during their harsh years of captivity and when or if they were ultimately freed and returned to their homes. Rodriguez uses documents of the Crown of Aragon for his study, but makes clear that this is but a microcosm of what the entire situation of captives was like in medieval Spain. The author provides examples both from the contemporary world and from medieval Spain to further his discussion. For example, Rodriguez mentions the Christian missionary in the 1990s who freed more than two hundred Sudanese slaves for roughly 17,000 dollars, or approximately two cows per person. He compares this incident to a similar ransom in the Middle Ages, in which a Christian ransomer freed about forty captives, paying roughly two horses per person.
In a review for the Muhlberger's Early History Web log, an extension of the Nipissing University Web site, Steven Muhlberger stated that Captives & Their Saviors in the Medieval Crown of Aragon is "a good introduction to a big topic." In a review for Church History, William Monter was less positive in his assessment. Monter found the work to be "a relatively unrewarding read," mainly because Rodriguez's study is "confined to a limited number of Aragonese sources." Journal of Ecclesiastical History contributor A.J. Forey, though, praised Captives & Their Saviors in the Medieval Crown of Aragon as "a thoughtful and readable analysis of the plight of captives in Granada and north Africa."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, April, 2008, Olivia Remie Constable, review of Captives & Their Saviors in the Medieval Crown of Aragon, p. 563.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, January 1, 2008, L.C. Attreed, review of Captives & Their Saviors in the Medieval Crown of Aragon, p. 891.
Church History, December 1, 2007, William Monter, review of Captives & Their Saviors in the Medieval Crown of Aragon, p. 838.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, April 1, 2008, A.J. Forey, review of Captives & Their Saviors in the Medieval Crown of Aragon, p. 329.
Modern Age, winter, 2008, Dario Fernandez-Morera, review of Captives & Their Saviors in the Medieval Crown of Aragon, p. 63.
Muhlberger's Early History,http://www.nipissingu.ca/ (June 9, 2007), Steve Muhlberger, review of Captives & Their Saviors in the Medieval Crown of Aragon.
San Francisco State University Web site,http://bss.sfsu.edu/ (June 30, 2008), author faculty profile.