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"The Former Jews of this Kingdom"

Sicilian Converts after the Expulsion, 1492-1516

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Nadia Zeldes

This book examines the presence of the converted Jews in Sicily following the 1492 expulsion, discussing their legal status, economic activities and integration into Sicilian society, and the phenomenon of conversion and return of many exiles. The research is based on the account of books of the Spanish Inquisition in Sicily and other contemporary sources. Detailed inventories of confiscated property offer insights into the converts' cultural world, and can also be of interest to the scholar of social and material history in Early Modern Europe.
By focussing on royal policies towards the converted Jews, and on the process of establishing the Spanish Inquisition in Sicily, the study sheds new light on Ferdinand the Catholic's politics in Sicily and southern Italy.

Illuminating in Micrography

The Catalan Micrography Mahzor−MS Heb 8°6527 in the National Library of Israel

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Dalia-Ruth Halperin

In Illuminating in Micrography, Dalia-Ruth Halperin analyzes the Catalan Micrography Maḥzor, a fourteenth-century Barcelonan manuscript in Israel’s National Library. Decorated with micrography, the Jewish scribal art typical of Bible manuscripts, this maḥzor, which includes a rich full-page panel micrography cycle, is unique.
Along with the codicological and paleographical analysis, essential for understanding the scribe’s thought and working processes, the author’s meticulous reading of the micrography text reveals the scribe’s textual editing and manipulations. Decoding his writing flow and sequences revealed a close association between the penned text and the images formed, which reflect a Jewish theosophical-theurgical cycle. Evidence of the scribe’s association with the renowned Bassa atelier enhances our knowledge of the cultural, economic, and ethnic realities of the time.