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Title: A society in transition : Jews in the kingdom of Castile from re-conquest to the Toledo riots (1248-1449)
Author: Reid, Cecil
ISNI:       0000 0004 7654 0388
Awarding Body: Queen Mary University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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This dissertation traces the course of Jewish history in the kingdom of Castile from the late-thirteenth century to the Toledo riots of 1449. It shows that the security afforded to Jews through their protection by the Crown, and the high-office gained by Jewish royal administrators and tax-farmers, permitted a crossing of cultural boundaries by Jews, rarely seen elsewhere in Europe. Economic reliance underpinned royal protection; a fresh examination of taxation registers shows the extent of the Crown's dependence upon the substantial revenues provided by the communities. These revenues, however, were considerably diminished in the course of the fourteenth century as a consequence of the war of Trastámaran succession. The Castilian and Hebrew records indicate that the integration of the Jewish court elite conferred privilege but was also dangerous for the individuals involved. Rabbinical correspondence reflects fears of secular learning and apostasy, fears confirmed by the conversion of influential Jewish scholars. These converts soon became supporters of the friars' mission to the Jews in the fourteenth century. Though their efforts had little initial success, some voluntary conversions did occur even before the mass riots of 1391. A few such individuals showed how thoroughly they integrated into Christian society, acquiring wealth and property through marital alliances following their conversion. The many forced baptisms that occurred in the riots of 1391, were followed by a further wave of conversion in the early fifteenth century owing much to the preaching of Vincent Ferrer, and his insistence on the segregation of Jews. This study portrays the social pressures, even within a permissive cultural environment in late medieval Castile, pressures which led to the emergence of New Christians. Their contested identity was central to the Toledo rebellion of 1449 which marked a new and ominous chapter in faith relations in the Peninsula.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Jewish history ; Conversion ; Apostasy ; Toledo Rebellion