The Other within: The Marranos: Split Identity and Emerging Modernity

David Nirenberg writes:

Shortly before Holy Week in 1391, a crowd of armed Christians gathered outside the Jewish quarter of Seville. They were dispersed by hired guards and government officials, but encouraged by a local archdeacon called Ferrán Martínez, the mob gathered again on 6 June. This time the quarter was destroyed, and most of its inhabitants killed or, at the least, forced to convert to Christianity. By the end of August, Jews had been attacked in more than 70 Iberian towns and cities, and eliminated by conversion or massacre from many of them. One survivor described what had happened in the margins of a Torah scroll he rescued from the ruins of his father’s synagogue:

(LRB 23 July 2009)