Black Legend
(1,139 words)

1. Term

The Black Legend (Spanish leyenda negra) denotes the (proto-)nationalist negative stereotype of the Spanish in the early modern period. The term itself was coined in 1813 [7], but the roots of the Black Legend stretch back to the late medieval expansion of Catalonia into the Mediterranean sphere. The Italians held the merchants of the Iberian Peninsula to be cunning and avaricious, and they found the mixed religious culture of Jews, Muslims, and Chri…

Cite this page
Schmidt, Peer, “Black Legend”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 20 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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