Essays & Articles
In the Beginning
Discussion of 400 ce and relationships between Catholics and Jews
Visigothic period 476 – 710
Under Muslim Rule
Muslim conquest 711 – Sephardim term in Obedia 20 (10th century usage), 4 rabbi story, rise of Cordoba, Golden age
End of Muslim and Beginning of Christian Rule
11th century Muslim kingdom breaks up. 33 Taifas kingdoms period. Granada is one of these kingdom. Discussion of Samuel ibn Naghrillah , poet, vizier, general. Joseph – his son. Toledo conquered by Christians in 1085. Beginning of Christian reconquest. Berber tribes from Africa enter to help Muslims. Jews no longer welcome. Moshe ibn Ezra, Judah Halevi poetry,
Under Christian Rule
Maimonides leaves Cordoba for North Africa in 1148. Jews move north to Christian kingdoms. 13th to 15th century – Jews treated well in Christian kingdoms. Northern Jewish influence. Discussion of Maimonides controversy. Mysticism kabbalah rises.. Christian attitudes change.
Rabbinic literature criticized. Nachmanides in 1263 defends Jewish faith in Barcelona.
Highs and Beginning of Lows of Jewish Life in Christian Spain
Good life for Jews in 14th century. Toledo synagogue. Castille civil war in 1360. Jews were middle class in Castile. Aragon – Christian middle class emerges. Black death in 1348. 1391 – Seville Jewish quarter invaded. Riots spread beyond Castile. Crescas letter. Forced conversions. 1413 disputation 21 months long.. A third of population converted.
Expulsion of Jews from Spain
Conversos looked at suspiciously. New Christians after 1391 not to be trusted. Riots against new Christians in Castile and Aragon. Marranos – swine. Are they secretly Jewish? Heretics? Need a papal inquisition type effort to examine the Conversos. Ferdinand and Isabella get an inquisition under their control, beginning in Seville. Heretics could infect old Christians. Expulsions begin in 1483. Jan. 1492 Muslim stronghold of Granada falls. Jews banned from Castile (done in Granada). Made public in April 1492. Castilian and Aragon Jews must convert or leave. Many try to go to Navarre and Portugal. July 31 last day. 1496 Jews expelled from Portugal. Harder in Portugal since no new Christians. Mass conversions. 1498 expulsion from Navarre.
Where did they go? Ottoman Empire mainly. Salonica in north. North Africa.