The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain

BookThe Expulsion of the Jews from Spain

The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain

Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

2001

December 1st, 2001

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The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain is a detailed study of the events surrounding this infamous chapter in Spanish history. Based on hundreds of documents discovered, deciphered, and analyzed during decades of intensive archival research, this work focuses on the practical consequences of the expulsion both for those expelled and those remaining behind. It responds to basic questions such as: What became of property owned by Jewish individuals and communities? What became of outstanding debts between Jews and Christians? How was the edict of expulsion implemented? Who was in charge? How did they operate? What happened to those who converted to Christianity in order to remain in Spain or return to that country? The material summarized and analyzed in this study also sheds light on Jewish life in Spain preceding the expulsion. For example, Jews are shown to have been present in remote villages where they were not hitherto known to have lived, and documents detailing lawsuits between Christians related to debts left behind by Jews reveal much about business and financial relations between Jews and Christians. By focusing on the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in such detail - for example, by naming the magistrates who presided over the confiscation of Jewish communal property - Professor Beinart takes history out of the realm of abstraction and gives it concrete reality.

‘Magisterial . . . provides insights, descriptions, and interpretations built on an impregnable base of scholarship . . This sine qua non for any study and understanding of the vents leading up to 1492 deserves an honoured place in all serious libraries.’ Stephen D. Benin, Choice

‘Haim Beinart justifiably has been hailed as the foremost historian of medieval Sepharad . . . the data uncovered [here] will remain a source for many future generations of historians of the Jews of medieval Iberia. For that alone, we are indebted to this monumental contribution.’
Benjamin R. Gampel, AJS Review

‘The most comprehensive study of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. It summarizes and synthesizes the author’s decades-long work in Spanish archives . . . indispensable for the study of Spanish Jewry and is a valuable addition to any university library.’  Morris M. Faierstein, Religious Studies Review

‘An in-depth analysis of one of the most dramatic events in the history of the Jews . . . an extremely useful repository of detailed information that can be found nowhere else in English.’  Yvonne Petry, Renaissance Studies

Review for the Hebrew Edition of the book:‘The importance of this new book lies in its methodical and detailed portrayal of the expulsion from Spain in 1492 in all its aspects—political, social, economic, legal, and also human. It presents wide-ranging descriptions of the problems and the dilemmas facing families and individuals in both large and small communities . . . and of how events actually unfolded, day by day and hour by hour. The thoroughness of the presentation, documented in every detail, is the product of decades of methodical and comprehensive historiographic research covering all the areas in which Jews lived in the entire period over which the expulsion took place . . . Beinart's historiographic reconstruction gives the contemporary reader a palpable understanding of what actually happened.’  Ben-Ami Feingold, Yediot Aharonot

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About The Author

Haim Beinart is an emeritus professor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has more than three hundred publications to his credit, almost all of them dealing with the history of the Jews in Spain in the Middle Ages and their subsequent expulsion. He was elected to the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 1981 and has received many other prizes and honours for his scholarly work, including the Ruppin Prize (1966), the Isaac Ben-Zvi Award (1976), the Wiznitzer Prize for the best book published in Jewish History (1981), and the Tri-Cultural Prize of the University of Cordova (1981). In 1989 he became a Doctor Honoris Causa of the Complutense University of Madrid and in 1992 a Dr. Lit. of the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York. He has held visiting professorships in Berne, London, Lucerne, and Princeton, and a visiting fellowship at Wolfson College, Oxford.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover1
Contents14
List of Tables17
List of Illustrations17
Abbreviations18
1. Introduction: Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen22
I. The Situation of Spanish Jewry22
II. Forced Segregation25
III. The Inquisition39
IV. Financing the Reconquista43
V. Propaganda against Jews and Conversos47
VI. The Fall of Granada50
2. The Edict of Expulsion54
I. Promulgation54
II. Analysis of the Structure59
III. Drafting62
IV. The Views of the Catholic Monarchs64
V. Text and Translation of the Edict of Expulsion70
3. The Fate of Jewish Communal Property76
I. Land and Buildings76
II. Loans81
III. Synagogues, Houses of Study, and Ritual Baths90
The Kingdom of Castile91
The Kingdom of Aragon118
IV. Abattoirs and Baking Ovens125
The Kingdom of Castile126
The Kingdom of Aragon129
V. Cemeteries131
The Kingdom of Castile132
The Kingdom of Aragon137
4. Jewish–Christian Credit and its Liquidation139
I. The Kingdom of Castile139
Attempts to Settle Accounts before Departure146
Public Debts to Jews160
Private Debts of Christians to Jews163
Collection of Christians’ Debts to Jews after the Expulsion182
Debts of Jews to Christians and the Payment of these Debts203
II. The Kingdom of Aragon222
5. The Implementation of the Edict228
I. The Road to Implementation228
II. Organizing the Departure: The Role of the Genoese239
III. Implementation of the Edict in the Kingdom of Aragon244
Departure by Land250
Departure by Sea259
IV. Implementation of the Edict in the Kingdom of Castile265
Conversion instead of Exile or Prison265
Tribulations of Departure274
Exploitation on the Border: Ciudad Rodrigo282
The Passage from Castile into Portugal293
Departure by Sea295
V. Implementation of the Edict in Sardinia and Sicily300
VI. Navarre: Asylum and Expulsion302
VII. The Number of Jews Expelled305
6. Smuggling312
7. Return and Conversion350
I. Return and Conversion among the Jews of Castile359
II. Return and Conversion among the Jews of Aragon423
8. The Senior Dynasty434
I. The Origins of the Family and its First Steps in Government434
II. The Case of Juan de Talavera445
III. Abraham Senior’s Public Service before Conversion449
IV. Abraham Senior’s Property455
V. Abraham Senior as Tax-Farmer and Tax-Collector464
VI. Abraham Senior as Treasurer of the Hermandad477
VII. Expulsion and Conversion481
VIII. Fernán Núñez Coronel’s General Financial Activity490
IX. Rabbi Meir Melamed and his Sons496
X. Solomon Senior, the Sons of Abraham Senior, and Other Family Members511
9. The House of Abravanel, 1483–1492522
10. Contemporaries Describe the Expulsion541
Appendix: Other Activities of Some Royal Officials548
Bibliography560
Index of People574
A574
B577
C578
D581
E581
F582
G583
H586
I586
J587
L587
M589
N591
O592
P592
Q594
R594
S595
T598
U599
V599
X600
Y600
Z600
Index of Places601
A601
B602
C602
D603
E603
F603
G603
H603
I604
J604
L604
M604
N605
O605
P605
R605
S605
T606
U607
V607
Z607
General Index608
A608
B608
C608
D609
E609
F609
G609
H609
I610
J610
L610
M610
N610
O610
P610
R611
S611
T611
U612
V612
W612