The Marranos of Spain: From the Late 14th to the Early 16th Century, According to Contemporary Hebrew Sources

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Cornell University Press, 1999 - History - 302 pages

B. Netanyahu, one of the world's foremost medievalists, has made a lifelong project of studying the historical evolution of Marranism and seeking to ascertain the genesis of the Spanish Inquisition. In this seminal work, which opened an ongoing debate on the nature of conversion and belief in late medieval Spain, Netanyahu analyzes evidence on the Marranos contained in the Hebrew sources. For this new edition, the author has updated the book and added an Afterword in which he considers some of the scholarly reactions to the work since the publication of the first edition in 1966. "This book's revolutionary thesis dispels the romanticized heroic image of the Marrano found in Jewish literary and historical annals," says Isaac Barzilay, Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. "Netanyahu's conception of the Marranos is of a people whose majority hardly resisted assimilation to Spanish culture and Christianity. Consequently, he unhesitatingly rejects the Inquisition's claim that it was established for the sole purpose of preserving the integrity of Christianity against the undermining effects of Marranism."

 

Contents

The Problem
1
The Philosophic and Polemic Literature
77
The Homiletic and Exegetic Literature
135
Conclusions
204
The Saloniki Rabbinical Decisions on the Marranos
211
The Dates of Composition of Efodis Polemical Works
221
The Book of Complaints
227
The Number of the Marranos in Spain
238
The Marranos Countries of Refuge
251
Addendum
271
Index
295
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

B. Netanyahu is Emeritus Professor of Judaic Studies at Cornell University. He is the author of The Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain, of Don Isaac Abravanel: Statesman and Philosopher, and of Toward the Inquisition: Essays on Jewish and Converso History in Late Medieval Spain.

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