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  • Christian History 1200 to 1399



    SAMUEL BEN MEIR ABULAFIA (Spain) - The Spanish financier, diplomat and Jewish leader was arrested by King Pedro without any reason being given. He was tortured to death and all his great wealth was confiscated by the king. His house still stands today as the El Greco museum. [63] (29)


    May 22, ALLEGED HOST DESECRATIONS (Brussels, Belgium) - After killing a local wealthy Jew, the perpetrators tried to cover their tracks by accusing the Jews of Host desecration and escaping in the resulting confusion. A few hundred Jews were killed and the rest were banished from the country. A holiday was declared by the local churches. [64] (30)


    November 15, CHARLES VI ASCENDS THE THRONE (France) - He told a mob that he would relieve some of the taxes but not expel the Jews. Instigated by the nobles, they plundered and murdered in the Jewish quarter for four days. The nobles hoped that this way they would relieve themselves of some of the debts owed to Jewish money lenders. Some Jews took refuge in the royal prison. Hughes Abriot, the Provost, obtained an order for restitution of all property and the return of all infants forcibly baptized. Because of this, he was accused of converting to Judaism and sent to jail for a year in penance. [65] (31)


    March 2, MAILOTIN RIOTS (Paris, France) - These riots were similar to the tax riots held two years previously. Both times the Jews were considered accomplices in over-oppressive taxes. Sixteen Jews fell victim to this outbreak. [65] (31)


    April 18, MASSACRE AT PRAGUE (Bohemia) - A priest, hit with a few grains of sand or pebbles by small Jewish boys playing in the street, became insulted and insisted that the Jewish community purposely plotted against him. The priests followers beat up the boys whose parents arrived to defend them. A mob was then incited to attack the ghetto. Thousands were slaughtered, the synagogue and the cemetery were destroyed, and homes were pillaged. King Wenceslaus insisted that the responsibility rested with the Jews for venturing outside during Holy Week. [65] (31) In another source: In Prag 3,000 Jews were slaughtered. [DO42] (6 p. 42)


    June 6, FORCED CONVERSIONS (Seville, Spain) - Ferrand Martinez, Archdeacon of Ecija, began to incite mobs into attacking the Jewish quarter. The campaign soon spread throughout Spain, except for Granada. The Jewish quarter in Barcelona, located for over 400 years near the castle, was totally destroyed. Over 10,000 Jews were killed, and many others chose conversion and became New Christians or Conversos.

    Of these, many continued to practice Judaism in secret while paying lip service to the Church. They became known by the Christians as Marranos. The Jews never used the term Marrano themselves although some knew of it. Many scholars have speculated that the origins of the word stemmed from Latin, Arabic and even Hebrew, but in fact it was the Spanish term for pig or pork an expression of extreme disgust on the part of the Christians. The Jews refered to them as anusim "those who were forced to convert". Eventually, these mass forced conversions led to the establishment of the Inquisition. [66] (32)

    In another account: Seville's Jews killed (Archbishop Martinez leading). 4,000 were slain, 25,000 sold as slaves. [DA454] Their identification was made easy by the brightly colored "badges of shame" that all jews above the age of ten had been forced to wear. July 9, VALENCIA (Spain) - The violence, which was begun a month earlier by Ferrand Martinez (see June 6), continued unabated. The community was destroyed and 250 Jews massacred. Many others, including the King's physician, converted to Christianity, while still others found refuge in the houses of their Christian neighbors. [66] (32)

    July 10, PALMA DE MAJORCA - As news of the Spanish riots reached Majorca, riots broke out all over the island. Despite the efforts of Francisco Sa Garriga, the local viceroy, the entire Jewish community was destroyed and its inhabitants were either converted or murdered. Over 110 families converted, and the remnants fled to North Africa. Although a number of Jews were again invited to reside there the following year, a blood libel 40 years later ended the 800 year old Jewish community. [66] (32)