Conversos, Inquisition, and the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain / Edition 2

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The Jewish community of medieval Spain was the largest and most important in the West for more than a thousand years, participating fully in cultural and political affairs with Muslim and Christian neighbors. This stable situation began to change in the 1390s, and through the next century hundreds of thousands of Jews converted to Christianity. Norman Roth argues here with detailed documentation that, contrary to popular myth, the conversos were sincere converts who hated (and were hated by) the remaining Jewish community. Roth examines in depth the reasons for the Inquisition against the conversos, and the eventual expulsion of all Jews from Spain.

Author Biography: Norman Roth is professor emeritus of Hebrew and Semitic studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of Maimonides: Essays and Texts and Jews, Visigoths, and Muslims in Medieval Spain.

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Editorial Reviews

Reinterpreting primary sources, argues that most of the Jews in Spain who converted to Christianity in the 14th and 15th centuries were sincere Christians, despite the accusations of the Inquisition at the time. The converts encountered hostility both from faithful Jews who watched many of their community's leaders desert them, and birthright Christians who suspected that Jews only pretended to embrace Christianity to advance themselves. Roth chronicles the rising tensions that culminated in the 1492 expulsion. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299142346
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 12/27/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 466
  • Sales rank: 513,753
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Information for the Reader
Preface to the paperback edition
1 Marranos and Conversos 3
2 Early Phase of Conversions: Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries 15
3 Conversos and Crisis: The Fifteenth Century 48
4 Conversos and Political Upheaval 88
5 Conversos in Service of Church and State 117
6 Converso Authors, Chroniclers, and Polemicists 157
7 The Inquisition 203
8 Expulsions of the Jews 271
Afterword 317
App. A Critical Survey of the Literature 363
App. B Jewish and Converso Population in Fifteenth-Century Spain 372
App. C Major Converso Families 377
Abbreviations 379
Notes 380
Works Frequently Cited 459
Glossary 462
Bibliography of Norman Roth's Writings 464
Index 469
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