CÓRDOBA (Cordova, also Corduba), city in Andalusia, southern Spain. According to some sources, the Jews were entrusted with the city's defense immediately after the Muslim conquest in 711. The first references to Jewish settlement in Córdoba date from 840, in a polemical exchange between the Jewish proselyte bodo-eleazar and Paul Alvarus. When Córdoba became capital of the Umayyad caliphate in Spain, it also became a center of a diversified and brilliant Jewish culture. This was due in great measure to Ḥisdai ibn Shaprut , physician and diplomat in the service of the caliph ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III (912–961). Ibn Shaprut attracted the galaxy of philosophers, poets, and scholars, who made Córdoba a brilliant Jewish intellectual center. At this period, R. Moses b. Ḥanokh , brought to Córdoba according to legend as a captive, was responsible for the revival of talmudic studies in Spain. A bitter dispute arose in the academy after his death when the succession of his son Ḥanokh b. Moses was unsuccessfully disputed by his pupil joseph ibn abitur , upheld by the influential courtier jacob ibn jau . During the 11th century, Córdoba declined as a result of the Berber conquest. After the revival of the community in the second quarter of the 11th century, isaac b. baruch albalia was the foremost rabbinical scholar in Córdoba. Scholars in the 12th century included joseph b. jacob ibn sahl , a pupil of Isaac ibn Ghayyat, who was appointed dayyan of the community in 1113, remaining in office until his death in 1123. The noted poet and halakhic authority Joseph ibn Ẓaddik served as dayyan from 1138 to 1149. At the beginning of the 12th century, messianic expectations were stimulated by the appearance of an Andalusian pseudo-messiah Ibn Arieh: excitement ran high until the communal leadership stopped the movement. Córdoba was the birthplace of Maimonides, born in 1135, who left the city as a result of the invasion of the almohades , when the Jews of Andalusia were compelled to adopt Islam and the community was destroyed. The Jewish quarter during the Muslim period was situated near the alcazar ("fortress") southwest of the city; it continued in existence after the Christian reconquest and some parts may be seen today. A second quarter apparently existed in the northern part of the city, near the "Jewish gate" (Bāb al-Yahud – later the Talavera or León gate) which was standing until 1903. Shortly after the Christian reconquest in 1235–36 the ecclesiastical authorities in Córdoba were complaining that the new synagogue under construction was too high, and in 1250 Pope Innocent IV instructed the bishop of Córdoba to take steps against what he termed a "scandal" against Christianity. A synagogue still standing is that constructed by Isaac Moheb b. Ephraim in 1315 in the mudejar style. An adjacent room was probably used for teaching and the small assembly hall served for the bet din. The walls of the synagogue and women's gallery are embellished with quotations from the Psalms. The synagogue was declared a national monument in 1885. The Jews of Córdoba had helped to restore the economy of the city after the reconquest by Ferdinand III of Castile. judah abrabanel served as a crown official there. Shortly afterward, however, anti-Jewish restrictions were introduced as elsewhere in Castile at this time. In 1254 Alfonso X ruled that Jews should pay tithes to the ecclesiastical authorities for real estate that had passed into their hands. The community in Córdoba at this period, although smaller than that of toledo , was evidently still important. Córdoba Jewry engaged in a wide range of crafts, specializing in the manufacture and marketing of textiles. An extraordinary measure passed by the communal board at the end of the 13th century provided that dayyanim were to be appointed for a period of one year only. In 1320–21 severe measures were taken by Judah ibn waqar to tighten communal discipline and punish blasphemers (Resp. Rosh, 18:8). The annual tax paid by the community in 1294 amounted to about 38,000 maravedis, though the church claimed also a special annual payment of 30 denarii: this impost obviously had symbolic significance. During the persecutions of 1391 anti-Jewish riots broke out in Córdoba in which most of the community was massacred. The annual tax of the reduced community in Córdoba in the 15th century was raised to about 1,200 maravedis in 1474 and amounted to 1,000 maravedis in 1482. A special levy of 18 gold castellanos was imposed on the communities of Córdoba and palma as their contribution to the war against Granada in 1485. From Córdoba, which was their headquarters during the war, Ferdinand and Isabella issued a series of anti-Jewish measures at the end of 1478. In 1483 the Jews were ordered to leave Andalusia, and except for a brief revival in 1485 the Jewish community in Córdoba ceased to exist. The Conversos living in Córdoba during the 15th century were fiercely persecuted; particularly violent attacks in 1473–74 made many flee to Sierra. The Conversos of Córdoba won a reputation for   their attachment to Judaism, and a statement before a rabbinical court anywhere that a Converso had been educated or had studied in Córdoba was deemed sufficient evidence for him to be recognized as a Jew. The tribunal of the Inquisition established in Córdoba in 1482 comprised a large area in Andalusia within its jurisdiction, including Granada between 1492 and 1526. Many Conversos were martyred in the city in the 1480s. The inquisitor for Córdoba from 1499 until 1509, Diego Rodríguez Lucero, won a reputation for cruelty. The Inquisition in Córdoba remained active until the 18th century. Abraham Athias, father of the printer J. Athias , was martyred there in 1665. The 800th anniversary of the birth of Maimonides was officially commemorated in Córdoba in 1935, and in 1964 a Maimonides week was held. A statue was erected to his memory and a square in the former Jewish quarter was renamed Plaza Tiberias to perpetuate the connection of his birthplace with the city in Ereẓ Israel where he was buried. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: H.C. Lea, History of the Inquisition in Spain (1906), 190–209, 544; Baer, Urkunden, 1 (1929), 913; 2 (1936), index; M. Lowenthal, A World Passed By (1933), index; Baer, Spain, index; L. Torres, in: Al-Andalus, 19 (1954), 172ff.; Millás Vallicrosa, in: Tarbiz, 24 (1954), 48–59; F. Cantera, Sinagogas Españolas (1955), 3–32; Cantera-Millás, Inscripciones, 341; Suárez Fernández, Documentos, index; B. Postal and S.H. Abramson, Landmarks of a People (1962), 217–8; Ashtor, Korot, 1 (1960), 50–56, 194–7, 238–40; 2 (1966), 133; idem, in: Zion, 28 (1963), 50–51; Ibn Daud, Tradition, index. (Haim Beinart)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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