SEVILLE

SEVILLE (Sp. Sevilla), leading city of Andalusia, S.W. Spain . According to a tradition, the Jewish settlement in Seville was of very ancient date; it is related that Jews arrived there at the time of the destruction of the First Temple, and among the families were descendants of the House of David, including the abrabanel family. However, it is difficult to adduce evidence for the presence of Jews in this locality during the 11th to 10th centuries B.C.E., unless Seville, or another place within direct proximity of it, is identified with the tarshish mentioned in the Bible. There is no doubt that a Jewish settlement existed during the period of Visigothic rule in the peninsula. During   the seventh century C.E., isidore of Seville wrote anti-Jewish polemics there. When the city was conquered by the Muslims in 712 they formed a Jewish guard for its defense; these soldiers settled in the city and its surroundings. -Muslim Period Under the umayyads , Seville prospered and became an important cultural center. The Jewish community of Seville was one of four major communities in Muslim Spain. saadiah b. joseph gaon addressed Seville Jewry in the mid-tenth century in his letter to the leading communities in Spain (Abraham ibn Daud, Sefer ha-Qabbalah, Book of Tradition, ed. by G. Cohen (1967), 79). The Jews engaged in commerce and medicine and had a virtual monopoly on the profession of dyeing . Seville served as a refuge for Jews escaping from Córdoba after the Berber conquest in 1013. Jewish opponents of samuel ha-nagid in Granada fled to Seville, its major opponent. During the 11th century the Jewish population increased as a result of the anti-Jewish riots in granada , as well as a large influx of Jews from North Africa seeking economic improvement. Under the Abbasid dynasty (1023–91) prominent Jews served in various capacities at court. During the reign of al-Muʿtaḍid (1024–69) the wealthy scholar isaac b. baruch albalia served as court astrologer and head of the Jewish community. His son, the scholar Baruch b. Isaac Albalia, uncle of the historian abraham ibn daud , was born in Seville. Abraham b. Meir ibn Muhajir also served as vizier and head of the Jewish community under the Abbasid king. Important families included the Ibn al-Yatom, Ibn Kamneill, Ibn Mujahir, and the Abrabanel families. Under the Almoravids (11th century), Seville was a major cultural center. Abu Ayub Sulayman ibn Mu'allim of Seville served as court physician and Abu al-Hasan Abraham b. Meir ibn Kamneil as a diplomat under King Ali ibn Uūsuf (1106–43). The poets Abu Sulayman ibn Mujahir and Abul al-Fatḥ Eleazar ibn Azhar and the scholar Meir ibn Migash lived in Seville in the early 12th century. Seville Jewry suffered the same fate as the other Andalusian communities in the wake of the Almohad conquest and was entirely destroyed. Location of the Jewish Quarter Under Muslim rule the Jewish quarter was situated in the western part of the city, in the present parishes of Santa Magdalena and San Lorenzo, where the Cal and Cal Maior streets ("Community Street") are still to be found. This was probably the old Jewish quarter (judería vieja), which was then also the Moorish quarter. The al-Shawwār Gate, known as the Judería Gate during the Middle Ages and later as the Meat Gate (Puerta de la Carne), was situated within the boundaries of the quarter. The other Jewish quarter, established after the city was conquered by the Christians, extended from the Carmona Gate, through the San Esteban, Las Aguilas, and de Abades streets, to the Cathedral, the Oil Street, and the Alcazar to the city wall. Ballesteros (see bibliography) may, however, have been correct in stating that from the Alcazar the boundary of the quarter passed through Matías Gago Street, Sole-dad, to San Nicolas and from there to Madre de Dios Street, St. Bartholomé Square, and Vidrio Street to Tintes Street, through the "Rose" alley. The main street of the Jewish quarter was the one that started in the Puerta de la Judería (today de la Carne) and ended at the gate that used to be in front of San Nicolás, in other words the streets that nowadays are called Santa María la Blanca and San José. The busiest part of the quarter was the square that is today called plaza de Santa María la Blanca. Important localities and streets in the Jewish quarter were the Cruces street and the streets of the Levíes and Archeros, where the original doors of the synagogue (now Santa María la Blanca) were and are still preserved but not used. Santa María la Blanca had been a mosque before it was given by Alfonso X in 1252 to the Jews to use as synagogue together with other two mosques. In 1391 this synagogue was converted into the present church. In the Santa Cruz place there was a synagogue, also formerly a mosque, which was converted into a church in 1391. Before its destruction by the French in 1810, it occupied a large part of the Santa Cruz place. The third mosque that was turned into a synagogue used to be where San Bartolomé church stands. In Susona street, according to legend, lived Susona, who was connected with the plot of the Conversos against the Inquisition. At the time of the expulsion of the Jews of Andalusia in 1483 (see also below), the quarter was surrounded by a wall which ran as far as San Esteban. The inner wall had two gates. There were many synagogues in the quarter, including one erected by Samuel b. Meir ha-Levi abulafia of Toledo during the 14th century. The archdeacon of Ecija, Ferrant Martínez (see also below), enumerated 23 synagogues in Seville during the second half of the 14th century, and related that he destroyed them. The origin of such a large number is unknown; he may have included the yeshivot in this number. Some of the synagogues were converted into churches: Santa María la Blanca is particularly well known. After the quarter ceased to exist, it was named "New Quarter" (Barrionuevo) but its remains may still be seen in the Santa Cruz quarter. The Jewish cemetery of Seville was near the Puerta de la Carne, formerly de la Judería, in the Bujaira, where the Colegio de Potacoeli now stands. The Inquisition in Seville sat in Triana castle, after a brief period in the Dominican monastery of San Pablo. (Haim Beinart / Yom Tov Assis (2nd ed.) -After the Christian Reconquest In 1248 Seville was captured by the armies of Ferdinand III (1217–52). The Jews of the city prepared a key for him on which was engraved in Hebrew: "the King of Kings will open, the King of the land shall come" (the key is preserved in the cathedral treasury). The Jewish quarter succeeded in obtaining the three mosques situated within its boundaries, which were converted into synagogues. In the distribution of properties which took place after the Christian conquest, and later during the reign of Alfonso X of Castile, many Jews obtained real estate in the form of houses, arable land, olive groves, and vineyards in the city and its outskirts. Those who received the   properties were obliged to settle in Seville and a royal decree stipulated that owners of property in the city would not benefit from any rights unless they lived there permanently. Among these Jews were don todros b. joseph ha-levi abulafia and his son Joseph, who at the time of his death bequeathed many properties to the city (1273); they were confiscated and presented to the local church. Immediately after its capture the Christians succeeded in converting Seville into an international commercial center. Its trade extended to the ports of Spain, Portugal, and North Africa, and many Jews took part in this commerce. In 1254 Alfonso X inaugurated two annual fairs in Seville. The Jews who attended them or participated in them were granted freedom of trade and an exemption from taxes. In 1256 Alfonso nevertheless ordered each of the elders of the community, its leaders, and the Jews of Seville to pay 30 denarii to the head of the Church, a payment which had also been made by the Jews of Toledo. The Jews of the city also paid tithe and firstfruit taxes to the archbishop of Seville (as also did the Moors there). The rights of the Jews of Seville stipulated, among other articles, that lawsuits between Jews and Christians should be brought before the judges of the town, with the exception of suits pertaining to tax farming. There were also community regulations against adultery and marital offenses. Despite this, there were Jewish women who lived in concubinage with Christians (barraganas) and enjoyed defined rights in the city. In Seville, Jewish women acted as mourners for Christians. In practice, the living conditions of the Jews of Seville did not differ from those of the other Jews of the kingdom, with the exception of rights granted to them on the strength of their residence in this border region. The registers of the office of Sancho IV for 1293–94 show that the annual tax paid by the Jews of Seville amounted to 115,333 maravedis and five sólidos. The community of Seville appears to have numbered 200 families during that period, and it may be assumed that the overwhelming majority were wealthy. During the course of the 14th century, the community succeeded in consolidating itself and in attaining a fair cultural and economic level. The Jews of the community took part in the lease of municipal taxes in the city and the region under its jurisdiction, as well as in economic activities promoted by the government. During the 14th century Jewish physicians were employed as municipal officials – a situation not found, for instance, in Toledo. The physicians of the city were members of the Ibn Zimra family; they also engaged in various financial activities. In 1312 the community succeeded in obtaining the king's permission to hang an informer then active in Seville; R. Asher b. Jehiel commended the community for this action. In 1342 King Alfonso XI requested Pope Clement VI to release the synagogue built in Seville by Joseph de Ecija so it could be employed for the purpose for which it was built. In advocating the Jews' case the king stressed their economic and military utility in the war against the Muslims. -Activities of Ferrant Martinez In 1378 the archdeacon of Ecija, Ferrant Martínez, began anti-Jewish agitation in Seville. He called for the destruction of the 23 beautiful synagogues of the Jews and the closure of their quarter so that they would not come into contact with the Christians. The Jews of the town complained about the hatred which he fomented and the prohibitions which he issued against the residence of Jews in the archbishopric of Seville. In 1382 John I ordered Martínez to cease his activities, but he pursued his campaign. The leaders of the community still complained to the crown about Martínez in 1388, while he claimed that he was acting with the approval of the archbishop of Seville to separate the Jews from the Christians. In 1390 Henry III ordered the archbishop of Seville to act against Martínez with firmness and restore to the Jews the synagogues which had been confiscated; the head of the Church of Seville was to bear the responsibility if the order was not carried out. Activities such as these were frequent occurrences in Spain as in other countries, when young and fanatical clergymen acted arbitrarily and upon their own initiative against the Jews, and presenting the government and Church with their violence as a fait accompli. -Persecutions of 1391 On June 4, 1391, the anti-Jewish disorders which were later to sweep all the towns of the Crowns of Castile and Aragon broke out in Seville. The rioters in Seville, including soldiers and sailors who went by boat from one place to another inciting the population, teaching others from their experience. The community was almost totally destroyed: some of its members died as martyrs, a minority escaped; others converted and left the Jewish fold. The synagogues were turned into churches and the churches acquired substantial real estate in the form of land, charitable trusts, shops, workshops, and houses which had formerly belonged to Jews and the community. Henry III granted houses to his chief mayordomo, Juan Hurtado de Mendoza, and the chief justice, Diego López de Estúñiga, which had been the property of the community, and the synagogues to the city of Seville. -Decline of the Community The remaining Jews of Seville were unable to recover from the persecutions of 1391 and their rehabilitation was extremely slow. In 1437 a number of Jews appealed to John II to regularize the matter of their residence in their quarters. In the Santa Cruz quarter the 75 houses in which Jews lived and worked were rented. In another quarter, near the Santa María la Blanca church (a former synagogue), there were 56 houses. A letter from Pope Nicholas V to the bishop-administrator of Seville records an exceptional action by the Jews of Seville in 1449 when a plague broke out there. After the example of the Christians, who organized a religious procession in the town, the Jews of Seville organized a procession during which they took out the Torah scrolls, scattered branches, and decorated the streets, thus imitating the custom and ritual of the Christians in their processions, as if to insinuate that God had not accepted the plea of the Christians.   Despite several expressions of sympathy on the part of Christian inhabitants, the situation of the community appears to have been serious. In 1474 the community paid an annual tax of only 2,500 maravedis, and this sum was reduced to 2,000 maravedis in 1482. On Dec. 8, 1476, the Jews were ordered to leave their quarter and move to two places; one of them was the Corral de Ferez, the other, the Alcázar Viejo. They were to cover the expenses of repairs to their new places of residence. On Jan. 1, 1483, the crown acceded to the demand of the inquisition and an expulsion order was issued against all the Jews of Andalusia. A period of 30 days was given to the Jews to leave. The actual decree of expulsion is not extant but much information is available on the procedure of its execution. When the general decree of expulsion of the Jews from Spain was issued in March 1492, Seville was a port of embarkation for the exiles, most of whom left for North Africa. At the beginning of the 20th century, Jewish settlement in Seville began again. Most of the Jewish settlers came from North Africa. In addition to these families, there were also refugees from Germany who arrived there during the early 1930s. The several dozen Jews in Seville were joined in the 1960s by Jewish arrivals from Morocco and Algeria. -Conversos in Seville Little information is available on the history of the conversos in Seville during the first half of the 15th century. Until the expulsion and after it the Conversos in Seville were known for their adherence to Judaism and their loyalty to Jewish law. They maintained extremely close relations with their Jewish brothers, and anyone of whom it was said that he was a Converso of Seville, or that he had stayed there, was considered a Jew in every respect. After the attacks on the Conversos in Córdoba in 1473, many of them fled to Seville. The Conversos in Seville also gradually became aware of the danger which threatened them and large numbers left for North Africa and other places. Others organized guards in their quarter to protect their lives and even hired 300 equestrian knights and 5,000 infantrymen. When acts of hostility broke out against them they were unable to defend themselves, and with the Conversos of Córdoba they tried to establish themselves in gibraltar . During that period R. Judah ibn Verga conducted a campaign among them calling on them to return to Judaism and to leave the kingdom before it was too late. When Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella visited Seville in 1477, the head of the San Pablo Dominican monastery in the city, Alonso de Hojeda, and others pointed out to the monarchs the religious situation in their city and requested the establishment of an Inquisition. The monarchs accepted their demand, and from there addressed themselves to Sixtus IV. In 1480, two years after the authorization was granted, Miguel de Murillo and Juan de San Martín were appointed inquisitors, but it was only on Jan. 1, 1481 that they began their merciless activities. As a first measure they ordered all the noblemen of the surroundings (among them some of the kingdom's highest ranking personalities such as Rodrigo Ponce de Leon) to deliver all fugitive Conversos to them. Documents of the Inquisition tribunal of Seville are not extant, but various state documents and chronicles of those days are filled with descriptions of the activities of the inquisitors and their proceedings against the Conversos. Large numbers of both wealthy and poor folk were arrested, imprisoned, tried, and burned at the stake. Among those tried were members of the Ibn Shoshan, Adoba, and Abulafia families. At first the Conversos sought to defend themselves and began to hoard weapons. A popular tradition relates that the daughter of Diego de Shoshan revealed the project to her Christian lover, who alerted the Inquisition, which struck a hard blow at the Conversos involved in this scheme. In August 1481, when a plague broke out in the city, many Conversos were authorized to leave it after they had deposited their money as a surety, but a large number of them did not redeem their surety and fled (among them the Hebrew printer Juan de Lucena) to North Africa, Portugal, and Italy. The Inquisition also followed the Conversos to the surrounding villages; wherever it arrived, numerous Conversos died as martyrs. According to a cautious estimate, over 700 men and women were burned at the stake in Seville between 1481 and 1488, while over 5,000 were returned within the fold of the Church. At the end of 1484 a convention of the inquisitors of the kingdom was held in Seville in the presence of torquemada . It defined the procedure of the Inquisition and was thus the first conference for the study and improvement of working methods of the Inquisition. In Seville, the Conversos and travelers who arrived in the harbor were spied upon and the Inquisition searched every ship which entered or left. This situation continued until the abolition of the Inquisition during the 19th century. (Haim Beinart) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Baer, Spain, index; Baer, Urkunden, index; A. Ballesteros, Sevilla en siglo XIII (1913); J. González, Repartimiento de Sevilla, 2 vols. (1951); Cantera-Millás, Inscripciones, index; B. Eloy Ruano, in: Hispania, 85 (1962), 23–37; Suárez Fernández, Documentos, index; H.C. Lea, A History of the Inquisition of Spain, 1 (1906), 160ff.; 4 (1906), index; B. Llorca, in: Sefarad, 2 (1942), 118ff.; F. Cantera, ibid., 4 (1944), 295–349; B. Llorca, Bulario Pontificio de la Inquisición (1949), 48–67. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. de Mata Carriazo, in: Homenaje a don Ramón Carande, vol. 2 (1963), 95–112; J.V. Baruque, in: Historia, Instituciones, Documentos, 1 (1974), 221–38; A. Collantes de Terán Sánchez, in: Historia, Instituciones, Documentos, 3 (1976), 167–85; K. Wagner, Regesto de documentos del Archivo de Protocolos de Sevilla referents a judíos y moros (1978); A. Domínguez Ortíz, in: Nueva revista de filología hispánica 30 (1981), 609–16; A. Herrera García, in: Sefarad, 41 (1981), 95–110; I. Montes Romero-Camacho, in: La sociedad medieval andaluza; grupos no privilegiados. Actas del III Coloquio de historia medieval andaluza (1984), 57–75; idem, in: La ciudad hispánica durante los sig;os XIII al XVI; Actas del coloquio, 1 (1985–87), 343–65; idem, Andalucía entre oriente y occidente (1261492). Actas del V Coloquio internacional de historia medieval de Andalucía (1988), 551–68; R. Sánchez Saus, in: En la España medieval, V, Estudios en memoria del Profesor D. Claudio Sánchez-Albornoz, 2 (1986), 1119–39; F. Fernández Gómez and A. de la Hoz Gándara, in: I   Congreso de Arqueología Medieval Española. Actas, 4 (1986), 49–72; J.A. Ollero Pina, in: Hispania Sacra, 40 (1988), 45–105; F.J. Lobera Serrano, in: Cultura neolatina, 49 (1989), 7–53.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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