If Not, Not
The Oathe of the Aragonese and the Legendary Laws of Sobrarbe
Ralph E. Giesey


In the 1560's and the 1570’s, several authors outside of Spain recorded the text of an oath supposedly uttered by the Aragonese people when they received their king. While most modern historians doubt the authenticity of the oath, they agree that it has frequently served the purposes of political propaganda whenever an Aragonese patriot has wished to epitomize his nation’s tradition of resistance to tyranny. This book studies the oath "We, who are worth as much as you, take you as our king, provided that you preserve our laws and liberties, and if not, not" as an example of historiographical fiction which belongs to a complex of legal-historical legends about the origins of Aragon.

First published in 1968.

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