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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 liberitan no favour whatever to the Jews, and Council' decreed that to Christian to permit none but Christians to live woman should be allowed to marry a uuinolested in his kingdom.* No Jew, and that the sacrament should decrees, no persecutions were success. be denied to those who had any in- ful in rooting out this all-enduring tercourse with the Jewish people. + rare; and but a few years after (653,
Under the Gothic monarchs the Recesuintus applied to the then as. Jews bad often to suffer the pilage sembled bishops, (at Toledo,) request. and spoliation of their property, of ing their advice how to proceed which their rulers availed themselves against “the apostate Jews." + Egica whenever it suited their necessities; made another representation to the but they were free from personal suf- same body iu 693, entreating them to ferings till the time of Sisebuit, who, punish the perfidivus Hebrews, whom instigated by Heraclius, compelled he accused of plotting with the Moors immense numbers to recant, and after the subversion of bis government. I confiscation of their goods, drove lo consequence, the Council after ! from his kingdom all who refused to promising protection and patronage, be baptized. Many pretended to eartlily 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 perpelessness only subjected them to new tual slavery ; that all their goods ! and greater indiguities. 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, 1 (A. D. 637,) decreed that no ception to the bigotry and ferocity of
Corona Gorica, I. 57. Consult Notes Limpiase el verdadero to the second volume of Mariana, (fol. ed)
Trigo con propia mano 483-499.
De la cizania vil que le suprime † 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 á 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 alguua a los Judios, Saracens, but which be understovd to refer ni au permitiria que alguno que no fuera to the Jews, that his crown and his people Cluistiano pudiese vivir en el reyno librewere 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 rioces, lie induced Sisebut to follow in bis Concil. Tolet. vi. 3. footsteps, and the latter went far beyond + Mariana, V. ix. Note, 309. him. Corona Got, Il. 106.
| Præsertim quia nuper manifestis cosAmong the laws of the Visigoths we fessionibus indubiè percepimus hos in find the following: llorum omnium trans- transmarinis partibus Ilæbreos alios congressor quisquis ille repertus fuerit et suluisse ut unanimiter contra gentem Chris centum flagella decalratus suscipiat ettianam agerent. Concil. Tolet. xvii. debitâ multetur exilii pænâ; res tamen The calm and patient endurance with ejus ad principis potestatem pertineant. which the Jews, that “ Povo pertinàz no Legum Visigoth. Lib. xii. Sec. 3.
antigo rito,” as Camoens calls them, subIsidore wrote strongly against this bar- mitted to every species, seems to have ex. barons 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. Souza) vo 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 bicaes y de honra y
“ Vedando el concilio Toledano echada en las brasas para disimular up Tomar el cétro al Rey siu que pri- poco mas su pertinacia y obstinacion, y es
digo olvidar su ley.",
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 ige and ill-fated Roderic, we hear little of norant of that which is nost noto. the Jews.
Too deeply engaged in rious." When the successors of Ali his licentious pleasures in the early drove the Jews from their oriental part of his reign, and too much per. stations, great numbers fled to Spain, plexer and confounded by the mise. where they wile most cordially wel. ries they so speedily entailed on him 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 hd 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 ou rabshort and uncertain repose, during binical literature. † this long era of almost uninterrupted Cordoba, 1 celebrated in all times calamity, it may well be imagined for its sages and its heroes, ģ 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 and CesSpain, no doubt they found the Jews but little disposed to resist their pro- of their highest reputation begins with gress. In trutli, Mahommedanism, the subjugation of Spain by the Moors ; 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 Mahommedan power. It will fered no choice to its victims but be remembered that Spain had become 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; t " and he," says one
of the Pombedita Academy, is surely unauthorized.
I It is commemorated by Cicero in bis • We shall find a reason for the slan. oration for Archias, Cap. 119. derous attacks of Catholic writers upon
6 Cordoba, casa de guerrera gente this monarch, if we recollect that he was Y de sabiduria clera 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 depied the authority of the Ro- l I cannot deny myself the pleasure of man Poniif'; he pernitted and encouraged quoting Juan de Mena's eulogium on his 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 calumuies of more than Cordova madre, tu hijo perdona len centuries, the persevering historical Si en los cantares que agora pregona, diligence of Dr. Gregorio Mayaus has No divulgare tu sabidurin. restored to him that same which is so justly De subios valientes loarte podria, his due. Vide Defensa de Witiza Valencia. Que fueron espejo muy maravilloso, 1772.
Por ser de ti misino seré sospechoso, + The Jews were no doubt mich in- Dirau 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 admis however, they often surpassed. The era ration of Gongora, in his Laurel de Apolo.
pedes.* Cordoba soon obtained so greatly promoted the spread of Rabextended a fame, that Jewish students binical learning, by ordering the sa. flocked to it from every quarter, and cred books to be translated into Araabout this period the title of Sapien- bic, * and by favouring the learned tissimi was conferred by common Jews with repeated marks of bis consent on the Spanish Rabbies. The friendship and esteem. † accident which connected two of the Joseph Hatevi I was selected to most famous of the Persian Jews, fill the honourable station his father Rabbi Moses and his son Hanoc, with had occupied; whose talents, indeed, the Cordoba school, greatly height. but not whose prudence, he possessed. ened its reputation. I These illus- The attempts he and other Rabbies trious men were raised to the highest made to convert the Moors to the dignities, and shared the particular religion of Moses, caused a terrible favour of the Caliph Hakim; who, tumult, and led to a violent persecuindeed, took every opportunity of en- tion, in which he, with many others, couraging the study of Bebrew lite. perished. $ rature. § So great was the increase The Academy of Cordoba con of the Jewish people under the pro- tinually received new accessions of tection of the Moors, that the school talent and consequent splendour from of second rank in Spain (Toledo) is the influx of oriental Rabbies; among said to have contained, in the begin- whom Isaac Alphasi, who died in ning of the thirteenth century, no less 1103, æt. 90, is entitled to honourable than 12,000 students, while Barce- distinction. Il lona and Granada had also risen into No period of the literary history of great renown.ll
the Jews is so distinguished as the At this period the era of Rabbinism close of the tenth, and the beginning begins—that of Gueonim having ended with the decay of the Persian acade- • He employed in this work the learned mies.
Rabbi Joseph Ben Isaac ben Schatnes, R. Moses, whu died A. D. 1015, bad found an asylum in Spain.
who bad been driven from Babylonia, and was succeeded by one of his most
† An historian, with means to consult learned disciples, Samuel Hatevi, on
and ability to employ the inedited matewhom the title of Rabnagid was first rials connected with the reign of the conferred in Spain. He was a man Moors in Spain, which exist in the Escoof rank and influence, being minister rial and the Torre at Lisbon, migbt, 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 with ad. V. 334.
learned and incomparable writer. + Castro, Prol. to Bih. Esp. I They were made prisoners while at
At ibis period flourished R. Levi Bassea by pirates, and brought to Spain.
seli, who wrote on the Rights of Woman, Thongh 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.
|| The following is an imperfect transsary for his Jewish subjects to travel to
lation of the beautiful Hebrew inscription
which adorned his tomb : the East for instruction, and, in consequence, 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 wisbed to return to Persia, And the fountain of wisdom ensepulHakim compelled bim to remain where he chred here.
Mourn, daughters of Zion! The earth || R. Moschi Mikkatzi, Buxtorff, Cap. i. is in its decay, Nomologia, Par. ii. Cap. xxvii. The And darkness is over the land:-weep 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 Ho the synagogue. They were all of Egyptians, and the year of his de
them 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 often 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 hold, 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. I We possess the names purity) in Hebrew, Chaldee, Greek and Arabic. When Abdelinumen King of Cordoba) expatriated the Pococke, Prideaux aud Clavering. He is Jews who would not embrace Masaid to have first composed the Jewish hommedanism, be fled to Cairo, where creed, which see iu Purchas's Pilgrimage, he was patronized by the Sultan, who XIII. i. 194. chose him for his physician. || llis mention the sacred poetry of Judah Hatevi,
• Conuected with this period I cannot but genius, learning and judgment have born in Cordoba, 1126, much admired by given his works an euduring fame, and the Jews. Ovarias (Meor Heuaim, Cap.
They have been repeatedly translated xxxvi.) recommends parents to engrave ou is 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 Tudela. Though • Consult Zaenth's Book of Lineages, considerable allowance should be made for Relando's Analecta Rabbinica, and Asse. the exaggeration of the writer, much inDaai's Catal, of the MSS. of the Vatican.
teresting information may be collected + Hil. Allobel Seni. Tab. X. Cap. xii. from tbis curious 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
!! He must have been in great repute, Cozi, Moses Nachman, Solomon Ben Adefur he writes to his friend, R. Samuel reth, Perez Ben Rabbi, Gerson, Apinim, Thibon," Muchos (enfermos) tienen Aser, Campanton and J. A boab, who was que esperar hasta por la noche porque son expatriated by Ferdinand. laptos que acuden que me ocupan toda la 1 A Spanish poet of the twelfth centarde; 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 traspuesto en la unisma conversacion sin mouth of a Jew : poder articular palabra.” Ibid.
Dissoli el Judeo : io creer non podria Jos. Scaliger says of him, that he
Que esse que tu dices que nació de was the frst among the Jews who left off
Primus fuit inter Hebræos qui nugare desiit. Eichhorn calls him one
Que Dios es ; mas fo ome cuerdo e sin
follia =>f the first, if not the very first, of learned
Proféta verdadero : jo al non creeria. Blebrews.
** Buxtorff, Carpzovius and Baashuy- Milagros de nuestra Señora. The whole =en, G. J. and D. Vossins, Zeller and of the poem is a most amusing specimen of Curtius, Justiniani, Cramer and Deveil, the devotion and credulity of the age.
of more than three hundred authors a most interesting collection of the among them, between the eleventh poetry of the Old Trobadores, the and sixternth centuries; and the eru. fathers of modern song, the early dite De Casiro has a list of above masters of the Gaia Sciençia, (the seven hundred Hebrew books written cheerful art,) as it was then beautiby them, of the greater part of which he fully called. The verses of Santo gives some account.* At a time when Carrion, (who wrote in the beginning the Christian world appeared slumber- of the fourteenus century,) are often ing in indifference and darkness, they both touching and sublime." He awoke to the suushine of intellect and asks, knowledge. They had their poets, Shall the gay sky-lark be despised their orators, their philosophers, their Because his nest is low and lonely? mathematicians, their astronomers. † Shall song's sweet music be unprized In the midst of ignorance and intole. When heard from llebrew minstrels rance, (of which they were often the
only? victims,) ihe meanest and least among So elevated was the rank in society them could read and enjoy the sacred held by the Jews, that it is asserted, books, I while their Rabbies were and I believe justly asserted, that raising to themselves a monument of there is hardly a poble family io Spalu fame, which will not now be permitted which may not trace its origin in the to decay.
female branches to a Jewish bead; It is impossible in the narrow and the illustrious race of Davila are limits of this paper) to record even descended in a direct paternal live the most illustrious names among the from Hebrew ancestors. † Peninsular Jews. The learning of The history of the Spanish Jews, Arisbil, the ingenuity of Aubonet throngh the fourteenth and fifteenth Abraham, the profound skill of Isaac centuries, is but a record of varied Israel Riccini, the various merit of the calaunity. I Their sacred books de. A barbanels, the bistorical knowledge stroved, their dwellings devastated, of Zacuth, the controversial dexterity their synagogues razed, imprisouof Cardozo, deserve pariicular atten. ments, tortures, assassinations and ex. tion. Nor should Duarte Pinel and tensive massacres, make up the me: Usque, the translators of the Bible, $ lancholy detail. Zamora and Coronel, who assisted doctrines was blasphemy, to hear
To preach their Ximenez Cisneros in the publication of his Polyglot, be passed over in silence.|| To a Jew (Baena) we owe
Version) that the Mss. employed by
professor of llebrew at Alcalá de Henares, No doubt many volumes have been
assures me that they all exist at the predestroyed by the rarages of time, and the
sent moinent in the Library of that l'ai
versity. repeated attacks which the Inquisition direcied against Hebrew MSS.
See “ Coleccion de los Poetas Cas. + Eichhorn's List (in his History of 15. We may gather from liis writings, (**
tellanos anteriores al Siglo XV.” 1r. 12– Literature, II. vi. Sect. 237–243), of Il. from the complaints of the Christian st. lustrious Jews, though tolerably correct as far as it goes, is very imperfect indeed.
thors of this period,) that king Pedro cuz| Maimonides says, that every Jew was
ferred many honourable employments up
the Jews : required in possess at least one copy of the Pentateuch,
Ca non so para menos I am tempted to introduce here a Que otros de mi ley, literal rendering of their translation of the Que ovieron muchos buenos famous passage of Isaiah ix. 5 :
Donadios del Rey. “ For to us a child was born, to us a son
† Llorente, Histoire Critique de l'olowas given, and the authority was on his quisition, xxvi. shoulder ; and the Wonderful, the Coun
I One cannot bnt be amused with the sellor, the Mighty God, the Eternal Fatber, repeated attempts of popes, saints and called his name Sar Salom.” P. 187. And this interpretation was universally them into controversy with holy and
bishops to convert ihe Jews, by forcin, adopted by the Spanish Rabbies.
eloquent Catholic preachers." These dis ll'It is stated by Michaelis, and has been putes generally ended by a transfer of the repeated over and over again, (and ainong
unconvincible and untractable combatalis others by the Editors of the Improved to the civil no ser to be punished for their