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A Jewish Renaissance in Fifteenth-Century Spain


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Table of Contents

Figures and Maps ix Acknowledgments xi Note on Names and Money xiii Abbreviations xv Introduction 1 Chapter One On the Edge of Desolation 22 Chapter Two Revival in the Shadow of Valencia 65 Chapter Three Wine, Money,and Mobility 109 Chapter Four Jews and Muslims 143 Chapter Five The Politics of Plenty 157 Chapter Six Converts and Kinsfolk 184 Chapter Seven Chill Wind from Castile 225 Concluding Remarks 240 Glossary 247 Bibliography 249 Index 263

Promotional Information

This is a wonderful, brilliant book, rich in detail, painstakingly reconstructed from inquisition archives in Madrid, a variety of municipal and ecclesiastical archives in Valencia, and especially the Aragonese royal archives in Barcelona. It is certainly the most detailed and wide-ranging history to date of any Jewish community in the lands of the Crown of Aragon (i.e., Mediterranean Spain) and will take its place among the best histories of a particular Jewish community for all of medieval Europe. If genius is the capacity for taking infinite pains, I nominate Mark Meyerson's A Jewish Renaissance in Fifteenth-Century Spain as a work of genius. -- Larry J. Simon, Western Michigan University This well-written book not only represents a solid contribution to medieval Iberian history and Jewish history but also speaks to modern pluralistic society. In reading about the problems that affected a single Jewish community--ethnic and religious identity preservation, socialization and state-building, the intertwinement of trade and economics with families and culture, and so forth--we are tempted to think: times have changed, things are different, this was the past. But then comes the nagging question: Is this really so? Or are Spain's early modern problems of seeking social cohesion despite social diversity with us still? -- Lawrence J. McCrank, Chicago State University, author of "Medieval Frontier History in New Catalonia"

About the Author

Mark D. Meyerson is Associate Professor in the Department of History and Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. He is the author of "The Muslims of Valencia in the Age of Fernando and Isabel."


Runner-Up for the 2005 National Jewish Book Award in History, Jewish Book Council "In his eloquent style, [Meyerson] highlights the complex inner workings of a multicultural society such as that of medieval Morvedre, and presents a new methodology that other Hispanists should apply to their studies."--Choice "Mark D. Meyerson constructs a subtle understanding of Spain before the Expulsion. He details not only the political relationship between the kings and 'their' Jews, but even more interestingly, the complex relationship between open Jews and the conversos of 1391."--Jewish Book World "Making a signal contribution to our knowledge of the Jews of medieval Spain is surely no easy matter. Mark D. Meyerson has performed precisely such a service in these two valuable volumes. All those concerned with the history of the medieval Iberian peninsula and/or its Jews are deeply indebted to him."--Robert Chazan, Ecclesiastical History "Elegantly conceived and painstakingly documented, Mark D. Meyerson's A Jewish Renaissance in Fifteenth-Century Spain stands as a strong and solid contribution both to medieval Iberian history and Jewish history... Meyerson has given the Jews of Morvedre a historical agency and a uniquely human subjectivity that would otherwise have remained silent."--Horacio Chiong Rivero, Sixteenth Century Journal "This more than authoritative book might not bequeath all the right answers, but it most certainly asks all the right questions."--David Marx, "This is the most detailed history yet written of any Jewish community in Mediterranean Spain, in the town of Morvedre in the Kingdom of Valencia."--GlennW. Olsen, European Legacy

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