By Yitzhak Baer
Original 12 months of publication: 1961
One of the century's nice classics of Jewish historiography, A background of the Jews in Christian Spain lines 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 thrust and fall has made that neighborhood the phenomenal representation of the fight of Jews to take care of themselves as an identifiable staff inside Christian society. some of the most startling features of this quantity is its description of the cultural lifetime of the Spanish Jews and the way it was once transformed by means of the impacts exerted upon it by means of 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 files. He released hundreds of thousands of files pertaining to the main points of Jewish existence within the Iberian Peninsula and at the dating of the Jews to their Christian rulers and associates. Later, after settling in what's now Israel as Professor of background 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
Jews were minting coins for these counts in the eleventh century, and some gold coins were named after the Jewish goldsmith who executed them. 8 A roster of the Jewish households of Barcelona, compiled in 1079, contains about sixty names, and the community at this time already had a long tradition behind it. The texts of the distinctive Hebrew shetarot (legal instruments), in use in legal transactions between members of the community, formed the basis, in the beginning of the twelfth century, for the well-known treatise, Sefer ha-Shetarot, by Judah ben Barzilai al-Barceloni.
Children of Christian female slaves by their Jewish masters were to be brought up as Christians. Jews who accepted Christianity were to retain their property. The clear purpose of the law was to prevent proselytization by Jews and to encourage their own conversion. Full enforcement of this law would have shaken the foundations of the economic life of the Jews. They were excluded from the natural social structure as it existed at the end of the Roman period. under the new conditions, deprived of slaves and tenants, it became virtually impossible for them to cultivate or even own large estates.
4 In any case, land was the basis of the economy and social position of the Jews. ”5 There were no legal limitations on the acquisition of land by Jews. They held their land in allodial ownership or under lease. The same laws which governed the sale and lease of land among Christians applied also in transactions of this kind between Jews and Christians and even between Jews and ecclesiastical institutions. The urban life of Barcelona began to flourish about this time, and the Jews were an integral part of it.
A History of the Jews in Christian Spain, Volume I: from the Age of Reconquest to the Fourteenth Century by Yitzhak Baer