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 commercial, social, criminal, 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 of Christian society. some of the most startling points of this quantity is its description of the cultural lifetime of the Spanish Jews and the way it used to be changed by means of the impacts exerted upon it through 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 learning within the Spanish data. He released millions of files relating the main points of Jewish existence within the Iberian Peninsula and at the dating of the Jews to their Christian rulers and friends. 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
21), He caused me to be presented to the king, treated me with kindness and turned the king’s heart toward me, not on account of my own virtues but because of His kindness and His covenant. The afflicted and depressed sheep thereby gathered strength in deliverance, and the hands of their oppressors were weakened. ” Tradition also associates with the name of Hasdai and his times the beginnings of Hebrew literature in Spain, the establishment of new centers of learning independent of the authority of the gaonim of the East, and the awakening within this young community in Israel of a consciousness of its own political and cultural importance which entitled it to the position of leadership over the entire people.
The special rights that the count exercised over them indicate that their legal position was dependence of a special kind. The wergild (caloña) for the 42 T H E EARL EARLY Y RECONQUEST injury or death of a Jew went not to the injured or to the family of the victim, as was the practice among the Christians, but to the count. The wergild of Jews was generally higher than that of most of the Christian population. In one instance, in 974, the count yielded to the plea of the inhabitants of Castrojeriz, near Burgos, and allowed that the wergild of a Jew shall be no higher than that of a Christian peasant.
The Mohammedan rulers needed Jewish and Christian officials, since the Moslem tribesmen proved neither qualified nor trustworthy. Moslem religious fanaticism, which from time to time made the life 23 A History of the Jews in Christian Spain of the Jews miserable, directed itself in the first half of the ninth century primarily against certain Christian groups, whose members would publicly blaspheme the dominant faith, thereby to earn the crown of martyrdom. The Jewish position was not seriously affected by these persecutions.