By Yitzhak Baer
Original yr of publication: 1961
One of the century's nice classics of Jewish historiography, A background of the Jews in Christian Spain strains the industrial, social, criminal, and political lifetime of the Spanish Jewish group from the eleventh-century re-conquest of Iberia from Muslim rule to the expulsion of 1492. The drama of the Spanish Jewry's upward push and fall has made that neighborhood the exceptional representation of the fight of Jews to keep up themselves as an identifiable staff inside of Christian society. the most startling facets of this quantity is its description of the cultural lifetime of the Spanish Jews and the way it was once transformed through the affects exerted upon it by means of the tradition of our surroundings. this primary quantity of the two-volume set takes the tale right down to the center of the 13th century in Castile.
About the Author
Professor Yitzhak (Fritz) Baer spent a long time studying within the Spanish files. He released millions of records touching on the main points of Jewish existence within the Iberian Peninsula and at the courting of the Jews to their Christian rulers and pals. 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 to be had in translation from the Hebrew.
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Additional resources for A History of the Jews in Christian Spain, Volume I: from the Age of Reconquest to the Fourteenth Century
The Moslem tribesmen who came from the East did not quickly adapt themselves to the norms of city life. But the Arabs did not attempt to upset the social order that had existed in Spain prior to their invasion. They themselves formed only a thin ruling stratum. The Mozarabic Christians retained their language and customs, and their influence gave Arabic culture in Spain its individual character. The Christians and Jews who remained loyal to their faith enjoyed national and religious autonomy. Jews and Christians filled various offices at the court of the caliph and in the state administration, as they did in the caliphate of Bagdad.
The Moslems retained possession of their mosques. They were required to turn over to the victors only the fortified parts of the city. These terms, however, were soon violated. The first archbishop of Toledo to be appointed after its reconquest was a monk from the famous monastery of Cluny. He attended the council of Clermont in 1095 and took an oath to go on a crusade to the Holy Land. The Pope, however, absolved him of his vow, because of his participation in the war against the infidel in Spain.
A Church council, which was convened in Gerona in 1068 by the papal legate Hugo Candidus, decreed that the Jews must pay the tithes for land bought from Christians. The roster of the Jews of Barcelona, of the year 1079, is especially significant. It is part of an overall agreement whereby two brothers, heirs to the county of Barcelona, divided the inheritance between them. Only the Jewish inhabitants are listed in the text, a fact which proves that the estate of the deceased count included, as one of its valuable assets, the special property rights over the Jews, whose relation to their ruler expressed itself in terms of personal vassalage rather than political allegiance.
A History of the Jews in Christian Spain, Volume I: from the Age of Reconquest to the Fourteenth Century by Yitzhak Baer