By Yitzhak Baer
Original yr of publication: 1961
One of the century's nice classics of Jewish historiography, A heritage of the Jews in Christian Spain lines the industrial, social, felony, and political lifetime of the Spanish Jewish neighborhood from the eleventh-century re-conquest of Iberia from Muslim rule to the expulsion of 1492. The drama of the Spanish Jewry's upward thrust and fall has made that neighborhood the exceptional representation of the fight of Jews to keep up themselves as an identifiable team inside Christian society. the most startling features of this quantity is its description of the cultural lifetime of the Spanish Jews and the way it used to be transformed by way of the impacts exerted upon it through the tradition of our surroundings. this primary quantity of the two-volume set takes the tale all the way down to the center of the 13th century in Castile.
About the Author
Professor Yitzhak (Fritz) Baer spent a long time getting to know within the Spanish documents. He released hundreds of thousands of files touching on the main points of Jewish lifestyles within the Iberian Peninsula and at the courting of the Jews to their Christian rulers and buddies. Later, after settling in what's now Israel as Professor of historical past on the Hebrew college, he wrote his precis of the interval, that's now made on hand in translation from the Hebrew.
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Additional info for A History of the Jews in Christian Spain, Volume I: from the Age of Reconquest to the Fourteenth Century
2 39 A History of the Jews in Christian Spain When in 985 Barcelona was captured by Almanzor, the commander of the army of the caliph of Cordova, several Jews were killed in the battle and the count and countess of Barcelona later fell heir to their property. 3 The Jews bought, sold and exchanged parcels of land, leased them or rented them out under the terms of existing law. Most of the Jewish estates lay close to the city. The Jews did not buy land merely as an investment, but cultivated their fields and vineyards themselves, as was the case also in France and Germany.
Lately there have come to light the memoirs of Abdallah, the grandson of Badis, wherein the Jewish vizir is bitterly denounced. It was charged that Joseph had poisoned Balukin, the son of Badis; that during a drinking revel he had, with his own hand, killed one of the highest officials of the realm, a Jew of the opposing faction; that he had entered into a conspiracy to surrender the king35 A History of the Jews in Christian Spain dom of Granada to the king of Almeria, in order to bolster up his own tottering position.
It was charged that they not only sought to undermine the Church, but were also plotting to seize the crown, massacre the Catholics and destroy the country along with the people; that they were conspiring with “the Hebrews across the sea” for help in executing their plan. These accusations were inspired, no doubt, by the messianic agitation among the Jews and by their connections with the rebellious nobility. As punishment the council decreed that the property of all the Jews be confiscated, they themselves be impressed into slavery, and their lands turned over to their former slaves for cultivation.