Articles

Social Networks in a Castilian Jewish Aljama and the Court Jews in the Fifteenth Century: A Preliminary Survey (Madrid 1440-1475)

Social Networks in a Castilian Jewish Aljama and the Court Jews in the Fifteenth Century: A Preliminary Survey (Madrid 1440-1475)

Social Networks in a Castilian Jewish Aljama and the Court Jews in the Fifteenth Century: A Preliminary Survey (Madrid 1440-1475)

Castaño, Javier

En la España Medieval, No. 20 (1997)

Abstract

This article offers a preliminary survey based mainly on archival material: This short survey is part of a project in progress on Castilian Jewish leadership at the middle of the fifteenth century (circa 1440-1475), a study that will integrate Castilian archival and narrative sources as well as Hebrew legal and homiletic ones. Here, I try to present some new material and, by the way of example, to articulate the relationship of this Jewish elite with a specific local community. We know that «a work of synthesis does not venture where current scholarship has not gone. ~» That is the case with this particular period in Jewish history, where almost everything has still to be done, either because we are ignorant of its main sociopolitical and intellectual trends, or because these trends have been totally misunderstood. The generation studied here is complex to analyze, at least from a political point of view, when we take into account the struggles that completely fragmented Castilian political power after 1464 until at least 1480, sfruggles in which Jews were not absent ~. The other problems for the period I am studying are either a lack of documentaty evidence, or disparate sources, both Castilian and Hebrew.


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