This introductory chapter provides an overview of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Together with the fall of Muslim Granada early that same year, the expulsion of the Jews represented ultimate failure of inter-faith coexistence for which medieval Iberia is often praised. However, the impulse to memorialize the tragedy of the expulsion should not obscure the larger story of how the Jews of medieval Iberia reconstituted their communities and refashioned their cultural identities as they transitioned to new lands and a new age. This book thus chronicles the voyage of Iberian Jewry from medieval Iberia to the wider Mediterranean world of the sixteenth century, and from a collection of relatively disconnected municipal communities to a recognizable diaspora society.This provides a reassessment of the nature and development of Sephardic society and many of its central features.
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