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The Nonconformist. No. XI. Sketch of the History and Literature Inquiry soon gets perplexed amidst of the Spanish Jeros.
the darkness of remote antiquity, and (N connexion with the general pro- perhaps the fables and traditions of
gress of literature, no justice has unremembered, unrecorded days, have been done to the Jews; and I have little to invite the historian and the deemed it a pot uninteresting object sage.
Whether or not we are disto collect together some scattered posed to believe (on rabbinical authonotices of those of the Spanish Penin-rity) that the fleets of Solomon consula. The neglected pages of their veyed large bodies of Jews to Spain, history are adorned with many an
and that they then founded some of illustrious name, and the tardy tribute its principal cities; † it is extremely of admiration has now been paid to probable that the decree of Claudius, their merits, even in the countries which drove the Jews from Rome, whence they were driven by the ma
and the destruction of Jerusalem by liguity and the madness of untutored Titus, induced great numbers to settle bigotry: In Spain and Portugal their there. I In the time of Hadrian we writings have been lately made the know that Spain was filled with their subjects of learned and laborious cri- numerous colonies. S ticism, and the obligations of science here) have bad scarcely any intercourse to its unwearied promoters, the Jews with Spain, they have still preserved, and of the middle ages, have been dis- employ in many of their religious services, tinctly recogpised. The Spanish their original language ; and the entboRabbies occupy a deservedly high siasm with which they still think and speak place in the apnals of Hebrew litera. of their “ fatherland," seems almost roture ; and their descendants, when mantic. Purchas mentions, that in his driven from the land of their fore- time they preached throughout the Levant fathers, maintained for some time the in Spanish. reputation of their talents. But the Jewish families still preserve their reli
In the mountainous parts of Spain many sparks of superior intellect were not gious rites, and in Portugal a greater numlong preserved among the scattered ber.
Araijo (the minister of the latter embers, and the existing race (in this country) lately caused a country at least) seem to have nothing taken of the Hebrew inhabitants of Viseu to connect them with their ancestors and Braganza, and found they amounted but their language and their names, to many thousands. During Lent (when and, perhaps, a lingering and undying every Catholic is expreted to attend his love for the paternal land which they parish church for confession) they comstill veuture to call their own. +
monly en igrate to the larger towns, that they may escape unnoticed in the greater
mass of population. • Devemos aos Judeos em murta parte
. Mariana and Montano refer the setos primeiros conhecimentos da Filosofia, tlement of the Jews in Spain 10 a very da Botanica, da Medecina, da Astronomia, remote age. Vide Basnage also, VII. ix. e da Cosmografia.
+ Malaga, said to be so called from the A. Ro. dos Santos Litt. Port. Hebrew word Malach, as it produces an II. 236.
abundance of salt. Fueron notables los Hebreos en letras,
I These are said (in the Jewish Chro Ea doctrinas, misterios y prodigios.
nicles) to bave fixed principally at Merida,
Baspage, VII. X. 8.
Dura nacion que desterró Adriano. + Though for several centuries the de- Lope de Vega ; Gibbon's Decline and scendants of the Spanish Jews (resident Pall, xxxvii.
censns to be
The first mention of the Jews in king should take possession of the Sp-nish historv, appears to be about throne, until he had sworn to shew the year 300, when the Diberitan no favour whatever to the Jews, and Council' decreed that no Christian to permit none but Christians to live woman should be allowed to marry a minolested in his kingdom.
No Jew, and that the sacrament should decrees, no persecutions were successbe denied to those who had any in- ful in rooting out this all-enduring tercourse with the Jewish people.t race; and but a few years after (653),
Under the Gothic monarchs the Recesuintus applied to the then asJews had often to suffer the piliage sembled bishops, (at Toledo,) requestand spoliation of their property, of ing their advice how to proceed which their rolers availed themselves against "the apostate Jews." + Egica wheuever it suited their necessities; made another representation to the but they were free from personal suf. same body in 693, entreating them to ferings till the time of Sisebut, who, punish the perfidious Hebrews, whom instigated by Heraclius, I compelled he accused of plotting with the Moors immense numbers to recant, and after the subversion of his government. confiscation of their goods, drove In consequence, the Council (after from his kingdom all who refused to promisiug protection and patronage, be baptized. 6 Many pretended to earthly and heavenly rewards to those embrace Christianity, but relapsed as who would consent to be converted soon as the fear of immediate punish- commanded that the whole Jewish ment was removed, and their faith- nation should be given up to perpe. lessness only subjected them to new tual slavery ; that all their goods and greater iudiguities. The hu- should be confiscated, and their chilmanity of Sisenandus granted them dreu torn from them, to be taught a temporary respite from persecu. the principles of Christianity, $ tion;ll but in the reign of his brother Witiza, that enlightened, though Chintila, the fifth Council of To. calumniated prince, was a noble ex: ledo, & (A. D. 637,) decreed that no ception to the bigotry and ferocity of
Corona Gotica, I. 57. Consult Notes
Limpiase el verdadero to the second volume of Mariana, (fol. ed)
Trigo con propia mano 483_-499.
De la cizana vil que le supriure † Not long ago an inscription of the
La Santa ley en la coroua imprime." fourth century was found at Adra, (an.
Lope de Vega. ciently Abdera,) referring to a colony of Ordenáron por decreto particular que Jews there. Mariana, I. 360.
no se diese la posesion del reyno ninguno I Heraclius is said to have been alarmed antes que expresamento jurase que no by a prophecy directed really against the daria favor en manera alguna í los Judios
, Saracens, but which be undeistood to refer ni aun permitiria que alguno que no fuera to the Jews, that his crown and his people Christiano pudiese vivir en el reyno libre. were in great danger from the circumcised. mente. Mariana, VI. vi. 292. See also After driving the Jews from his own pro. Dialogue III. of Amador Arraiz, 13, and vinces, lie induced Sisebut to follow in bis Concil. Tolet. vi. 3. footsteps, and the latter went far beyord † Mariana, V. ix. Note, 309. him. Corona Got. II. 106.
| Præsertim quia nuper manifestis cols Among the laws of the Visigoths we fessionibus indubiè percepimus hos in find the foiluwing : Jlorum omnium trans- transmarinis partibus Ilæbreos alios coogressor quisquis ille repertus fuerit et suluisse it unanimiter contra gentem Cbriscentum flagella decalvatus suscipiat et tianam agerent. Concil. Tolet. xvii. debitâ multetur exilii penâ; res tamen The calm and patient endurance with ejns ad principis potestatem pertineant. which the Jews, tbat “ Povo pertinàz Legum Visigoth. Lib. xii. Sec. 3.
antigo rito," as Camoens calls them, sube Isidore wrote strongly against this bar- mitted to every species, seems to have er: barous decree, and it was condemned by cited the astonishment of all Catholic the fourth Toledo Council. Isid. Cron, historians. “No le basta (says Faris ! Got. 651; Concil. Tolet. iv. Cap. 56. Souzu) no le basta á esta gente desren
1! He ordered that no Jew 'should be turada el verse arastrada, escarnecida, pebaptized by force. Mariana, VI. v. 283.
regrina, despojada de bienes y de horas 66 Vedando el concilio Toledano echada en las brasas para disimular un Tomar el cétro al Rey siu que pri- poco mas su pertinacia y obstinacinu, s ne
digo olvidar su ley.",
The Nonconformist. No. XI. this period. He recalled the expa. of their historians, “ who has not triated Jews. *
heard of the glory, the splendour, the During the reign of the infainous prosperity in which they lived, is ig. and ill-fated Roderic, we hear little of norant of that which is most noto. the Jews. Too deeply engaged in rious." When the successors of Ali his licentious pleasures iu the early drove the Jews from their oriental part of his reign, and too much per- stations, great numbers fled to Spain, plexeri and confounded by the mise, where they wil'e most cordially wel. ries they so speedily entailed on bim comed; and as they brought with at a later period, he does not appear them much Easteru learning, their to have interfered with this obstinate arrival gave additional splendour to and untractable people.
the schools which at this per l were Though, if sometimes the liberality rising in reputation, and afterwards of a monarch, more tolerant than the produced so many illustrious men, and rest of his race, gave to the Jews a had so extensive an influence on rabshort and uncertain repose, during binical literature. † this long era of almost uninterrupted Cordoba, I celebrated in all times calamity, it may well be imagined for its sages and its heroes, $ the birththey would rejoice in the prospect of place of the Senecas and Lucan—of a permanent security; and when the Abengrad and Maimonides--of ZuMoors were led by their victorious, bar, Abulcasem and Averroes-of chiefs to the invasion and conquest of Juan de Mena, || Gongora f and CesSpain, no doubt they found the Jews but little disposed to resist their progress. In truthi, Mahommedanism, the subjugation of Spain by the Moors ;
of their highest reputation begins with even in all its proselytizing fury, was
it is extended through the reigns of the far more amiable than the barbarous Caliphs, and decays with the final overChristianity of this period, which of- throw of the Mahoinmedan power It will fered no choice to its victims but be remembered that Spain iad hecome the conversion or banishment, torture and great seat of Arabic learning; and the exdeath.
An easy tribute purchased traordinary fact, that Alhacam should have the protection of the successful in been able to collect, in the beginning of vaders, who prudently conciliated and the tenth century, a library of 600,000 caressed a widely extended people, volumes, proves the literary spirit of the whom common sufferings and sor
+ Solomon Ben Virga, p. 8. rows had bound together in the closest
+ The assertion of G. H. Ursinus, (An connexion. Under the favour of the tiq Heb. Sit. Ac. Cap. 2,) that literature Caliphs they rose renewed and invi. expired, and barbarism was finally introgorated from their depressed and de. duced among the Jews at the destruction graded state ; † “and he," says one of the Pombedita Academy, is surely un
I li is commemorated by Cicero in his • We shall find a reason for the slan. oration for Archias, Cap. 119. derous attacks of Catholic writers upon s Cordoba, casa de guerrera gente this monarch, if we recollect that he was Y de sabiduria clara fuente. both humane and liberal. He invited back
So Gongora : all who had been banished by the injustice of his father, to whom he restored their O siempre gloriosa patria mia wealth, their honours and their reputation;
Tanto por plumas como por espadas. be boldly denied the authority of the Ro- ll I cannot deny myself the pleasure of man Pontiff'; he permitted and encouraged quoting Juan de Mena's euloyinm ou bis the clergy to marry; in a word, he was a
native place :Reformer, born, perhaps, an age too soon. O flor de saber y caballeria, After the repeated calumnies of more than Cordova madre, tu hijo perdona len centuries, the persevering historical Si en los cantares que agora pregona, diligence of Dr. Gregorio Mayans has No divulgare tu sabidurin. restored to bim that fame which is so justly De subios valientes luar!e podria, his due. Vide Defensa de Witiza Valencia. Que fueron espejo muy maravilloso, 1772
Por ser de ti mismo será sospechoso, + The Jews were no doubt much in- Diráu que los pinto mejor que debia. debied for their extraordinary advance in
Laberinto, Estr. Cap. xxiv. science, to their Moorish masters, whom, See Lope de Vega's animated adınja however, they often surpassed. The era ration of Gongora, in his Laurel de A pola.
pedes. Cordoba soon obtained so greatly promoted the spread of Rab-
the Jews is so distinguished as the
Rabbi Joseph Ben Isaac ben Schatnes, R. Moses, whu died A. D. 1015, had found an asylum in Spain.
who had been driven from Babylonia, and was succeeded by one of his most
† An historian, with means to consult learned disciples, Samuel Hatevi, on whom the title of Rabnagid was first rials connected with the reign of the
and ability to employ the inedited mateconferred in Spain. He was a man Moors in Spain, which exist in the Escu. of rank and influence, being minister rial and the Torre at Lisbon, might, I am of state to the king of Granada, who, persuaded, produce a most interesting and in the spirit of his father Hakim, important work; and such a work (founded
mainly on the authority of Arabic writers)
is much wanted. Hablan las musas por el docto Cespedes. mitation and reverence, as a profoundly
| Maimonides speaks of him witb ad. V. 334. + Castro, Prol. to Bih. Esp.
learned and incomparable writer. I They were made prisoners while at
Ý At this period flourished R. Levi Bassea by pirates, and brought to Spain. seli
, who wrote on the Rights of Woman, Though their persons were totally un
and collected the laws of the Jews (transknown, they were received with uncommon
lated in 1655, by Hottinger), Abengiad, kindness at Cordoba, and when their names
a famous poet, and Abraham Ben Chija, were discovered, the Jews gave vent to
commonly known by the title of Hanari, the most enthusiastic expressions of grati- (or Prince,) on account of his distinguished tude and joy.
talents as an astronomer. Hakim wished to render it unneces.
11 The following is an imperfect transsary for his Jewish subjects to travel to
lation of the beautiful Hebrew inscription the East for instruction, and, in conse
which adorned his tomb: quence, co-operated with them in making Be it engraved, that the light of the Cordoba superior to the oriental schools. world is gone out; When R. Moses wished to return to Persia, And the fountain of wisdom evsepulHakim compelled him to remain where he chred here.
Monrn, daughters of Zion! The earth || R. Moschi Mikkatzi, Buxtorff, Cap. i. is in its decay, Nomologia, Par. ii. Cap. xxvii.
And darkness is over the land:"cep number is probably an exaggeration, and and lament! may be understood, perhaps, of Jewish in. The tables are broken again! Alphasi habitants of Toledo.
of the eleventh century. Abenezra, died in Egypt, aged 70, and was Maimonides and Kimki (contempo- buried in the land of his forefathers raries) are certainly three of the most (Galilee). “ His death was mourned illustrious men who have ever adorned for three whole days by Jews and the synagogue. They were all of Egyptians, and the year of his dethem natives of Spain. Abenezra is cease was called lamentum lamentacelebrated as an astronomer, physi. bile."* cian, poet and grammarian. He is David Kimki, entitled by the Jews said to have invented the equator to Ros Hamedakdekim, or Prince of divide the sphere. † His works have Grammarians, is highly extolled for been ofteu reprinted and translated his immense erudition, not only by into many languages, among which Rabinnical writers, but by Hottinger, his Commentaries are considered of Buxtorff and Wolfius; as a learned great interest and importance. I He commentator, second to none-as a was known to the Jews by the title master of his language, superior to of Chacam, or the Wise. He was the any. + friend of Moses Ben Maimon, (Mai- Time would indeed fail me were I monides,) whose writings bold, in the to attempt to give a correct idea of general opinion of his nation, the next the love of learning, the spirit of inplace to the Talmud and the Mishna. quiry, which distinguished the SpaHe composed (it is said with equal nish Jews. | We possess the names purity) in Hebrew, Chaldee, Greek and Arabic. When Abdelinumen King of Cordoba) expatriated the Pococke, Prideaux and Clavering. He is Jews who would not embrace Ma. said to have first composed the Jewish hommedanism, be fled to Cairo, where creed, which see iu Purchas's Pilgrimage,
XIII, i. 194. he was patronized by the Sultan, who chose him for his physician. || llis mention the sacred poetry of Indah Hatevi,
. Conuected with this period I cannot but genius, learning and judgment I have born in Cordoba, 1126, much admired by given his works an enduring fame, and the Jews. Onarias (Meor Henaim, Cap. They have been repeatedly translated xxxvi.) recommends parents to engrave on by eminent scholars in Germany, the hearts of their children an early love Holland, France and England.** He for his writings. I must also refer to a
singular composition of this time, the
Travels of Benjamin of Tndela. Though . Consult Zocntb's Book of Lineages, considerable allowance should be made for Relando's Analecia Rabbinica, and Asse. the exaggeration of the writer, much inmani's Catal, of the MSS. of the Vatican. teresting information may be collected † Hil. Aliobel Seni. Tab. X. Cap. xii. from tbis eurious narrative. It has been
One of his poems on the Game of translated into Latin by the celebrated Chess was translated into Latin by Thomas Arias Montano, and also by Constantine Hyde, and published at Oxford in 1694, L'Empereur, whom Dr. Aikin, in his with the original text.
Biographical Dictionary, calls the Emperor It was a common saying among the Constantine. A curious anachronism. Jews ---- " Desde Moseh hasta Moseh, no + The heads of the Cordoba school, after se levantó como Moseh.” Castro, I. 37. the thirteenth century, were: Moses Ben
il He must have been in great repute, Cozi, Moses Nachman, Solomon Ben Adefor be writes to his friend, R. Samuel reth, Perez Ben Rabbi, Gerson, Apinim,
Thibon, —" Mnchos (enfermos) tienen Aser, Cainpanton and J. Aboab, who was $ que esperar hasta por la noche porque son expatriated by Ferdinand. tantos que acuden que me ocupan toda la 1 A Spanish poet of the twelfth cen
de modo que algunas veces me tury (Gonzalo de Berceo) puts an unobrinde el sueño de tal manera que me quedo jectionable confession of faith into the traspaesto en la misma conversacion sin mouth of a Jew : poder articular palabra.” Ibid.
Dissoli el Judeo : io creer non podria Jos. Scaliger says of him, that he was the first among the Jews who left off
Que esse que tu dices que nació de
Maria trifting. Primus fuit inter Hebræos qui
Que Dios es ; mas fo ome cuerdo e sin nogare desiit. Eichhorn calls him one
follia of the first, if not the very first, of learned Hebrews.
Proféta verdadero : jo al non creeria. Brixtorff, Carpzovius and Baashuy- Milagros de nuestra Señora. The whole sen, G. J. and D. Vossius, Zeller and of the poem is a most amusing specimen of Vorstius, Justiniani, Cramer and Deveil, the devotion and credulity of the age.