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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32724

Title: Coping with Crises: Christian – Jewish Relations in Catalonia and Aragon, 1380‐1391
Authors: Guerson de Oliveira, Alexandra Eni Paiva
Advisor: Meyerson, Mark
Department: History
Keywords: Jews
legal culture
Issue Date: 21-Aug-2012
Abstract: This dissertation explores Christian-Jewish relations in the decades prior to the watershed of 1391, when Christian mobs throughout Castile and the Crown of Aragon killed or, more often, forcibly converted many Jews. My research indicates that the explosive violence of 1391 was not the predictable, inevitable result of growing interfaith animosity in the Crown of Aragon but was sparked by developments in Castile. Because of the resultant converso problem many historians consider 1391 to be a turning point in Iberian history. Yet historians have not closely explored Jewish-Christian interaction in the crucial later fourteenth century, particularly not in the Crown of Aragon, and have assumed, wrongly I believe, that the period following the Black Death (1348) saw a steady deterioration in the Jews’ relations with Christians. The first three chapters of the dissertation deal with the “crises” that marked late fourteenth-century Catalonia and Aragon. In the first chapter I outline the long-term precedents - the Black Death and successive wars – of the economic crisis that would follow. The second chapter focuses on economic matters – the Jewish contribution to the economy as well as the impact of growing debt and the development of new credit mechanisms. Chapter three, in turn, focuses on the impact of increasing taxation on Jewish communities. The final three chapters explore ways in which Jews and Christians coped with crises: chapter four deals with sources of conflict within Jewish communities, chapter five with conflict between Jews and Christians, while the last chapter looks at conversion as a way of coping with the crises of the fourteenth century. Throughout, my research shows how Jews and their Christian neighbours and rulers developed strategies and means of coping with the effects of epidemic disease, famine, and frequent warfare. I pay particular attention at how the law became a mechanism for coping with the worsening of economic conditions.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32724
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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