Bookshelf

The Sephardic Jews of Spain and Por­tu­gal: Sur­vival of an Imper­iled Cul­ture in the Fif­teenth and Six­teenth Centuries

The Sephardic Jews of Spain and Portugal - book coverDolores Sloan offers a com­pelling por­trait of the Sephardic Jews, who cre­ated a Golden Age on the Iber­ian Penin­sula under Moslem rule for almost 700 years, then con­tin­ued to advance sci­ence, med­i­cine, polit­i­cal econ­omy, gov­ern­ment and the arts under the Chris­t­ian hege­mony that followed.

For­ward by Jonathan Kirsch
ISBN 978–0-7864–3817-4
254pp. soft­cover 2009
pub­lished by McFar­land & Com­pany, Inc.
Study Guide avail­able for class and book club from hello@doloressloan.com

From the Preface

They watched the Romans come and go, saw the Van­dals and Visig­oths slay and slaugh­ter. They melded their tal­ents and skills with the con­quer­ing Muslims—like them, chil­dren of Abra­ham, father to both religions—who used them well and taught them much. They served loy­ally the recon­quer­ing Chris­t­ian sires of Aragón and Valen­cia and Cat­alo­nia, yes, and Castile. Their maps charted the way to vic­tory for the galleons, cogs and car­avels built in the ship­yards of Barcelona. Their appli­ca­tions of math and astron­omy cre­ated and improved the instru­ments of Por­tuguese and Span­ish nav­i­ga­tors and explor­ers. Their under­stand­ing of nego­ti­a­tion and world affairs found them sought after by mon­archs for del­i­cate diplo­macy. Their ships brought sweets and spices to the tables of the titled and wealthy. Their arti­sans and crafts­men, musi­cians and poets cre­ated objects and words to adorn and appre­ci­ate. And their men of med­i­cine min­is­tered to roy­alty and com­moner alike. Their sweat sweet­ened the soil of Sefarad.”

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