The Persecution of the Jews and Muslims of Portugal

King Manuel I and the End of Religious Tolerance (1496-7)


Author: François Soyer
In 1496-7, King Manuel I of Portugal forced the Jews of his kingdom to convert to Christianity and expelled all his Muslim subjects. Portugal was the first kingdom of the Iberian Peninsula to end definitively Christian-Jewish-Muslim coexistence, creating an exclusively Christian realm. Drawing upon narrative and documentary sources in Portuguese, Spanish and Hebrew, this book pieces together the developments that led to the events of 1496-7 and presents a detailed reconstruction of the persecution. It challenges widely held views concerning the impact of the arrival in Portugal of the Jews expelled from Castile in 1492, the diplomatic wrangling that led to the forced conversion of the Portuguese Jews in 1497 and the causes behind the expulsion of the Muslim minority.

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François Soyer, Ph.D. (2006) in History, University of Cambridge, is a visiting Research Fellow at the University of Evora. He has published on religious minorities and the Inquisition in Medieval and Early Modern Spain and Portugal.
"a thoroughly researched work that makes use of a variety of sources in several languages, including Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese. I found it generally persuasive and certainly an important contribution to the fields of Portuguese, Jewish and Islamic history", Ariel Hessayon review in Reviews in History (review no. 797), URL:
Notes for Readers: Names, Dates and Currency
List of Plates


1: The Jewish and Muslim Minorities in Medieval Portugal
2: Castilian Conversos and Jews in Portugal c.1480-c.1495
3: The Death of João II and the Accession of Manuel I
4: The “General Conversion” of the Jews and Renewal of the “Converso Problem”
5: The Expulsion of the Muslims from Portugal: the Forgotten Persecution


All those interested in social, religious and political history, jewish and islamic history, the history of tolerance and intolerance, as well as the history of the Catholic Church, Spain and Portugal.