This volume in the series
Documentary History of the Jews in Italy illustrates the history of the Jews in Sicily from 1490 to 1497. It is the sequel to the first seven volumes and covers the events during the rule of the Catholic Kings Ferdinand and Isabella, following the unification of Spain. They cover the last years leading up to the expulsion, the expulsion itself, and a few events in its aftermath. A further deterioration in the position of the Jews took place in those last years of their presence on Sicily. Numerically the Jewish community on the island reached its zenith, accompanied by economic prosperity. Nearly a thousand documents, many of them published here for the first time, record the fortunes of the Jews. Again, much new information has come to light, and many facets of Jewish life in Sicily have been uncovered.
The abundance of historical records in the archives of the Crown and of local authorities again compares favorably with the relative scarcity of surviving documentation in earlier centuries. Therefore, many documents had to be reported in summary form. The volume is provided with additional bibliography and indexes, while the introduction will appear at the end of the series.
This is the last volume of the
The Jews in Sicily based mainly on governmental sources, to be followed by additional volumes containing records culled from notarial deeds.
Shlomo Simonsohn is Professor Emeritus of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University. He is a former rector of the university and former chairman of the Rectors and Presidents Conference of Israel. He has published extensively on the history of the Jews in Italy, the Papal See and the Jews, and cognate subjects.