Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/314

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

that had been collected by the Jews; and then the entire Jewish population, including women and children, was incarcerated. The poorer ones were liberated after a while; but the rich, with their wives, were held in prison until they had completely satisfied the avarice of the count and his officials. Philip the Fair did not fail to follow the example of his grandfather, in a way that was even more thorough, and brought more profit. He banished suddenly all Jews in the year 1306; possessed himself of their entire property; had their houses, synagogues, schools, and even their burying-grounds, sold to the highest bidders; and compelled all their debtors to pay into his own treasury. With the barons, who craved their share in the spoils, he came to an agreement.

The drama closed at last in the year 1394 when Charles VI, on the representation of his confessor, and at the request of his spouse, who was under this man's influence, ordered the last expulsion of the Jews from his kingdom, on the plea that many who had intercourse with them had become lukewarm (tepidi) in their faith.

In Spain, under Mohammedan rule, the condition of the hunted and afflicted people was more favorable than in any Christian land. Although not free, the synagogue chose its own national judges or kings to represent it before those in power. Their schools flourished there; they pursued especially the study of medicine with greater success than the Christians. Also under the Christian kings in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries they were still influential, serving the kings as financial advisers, chancellors of the exchequer, as astronomers and physicians. In Toledo alone there were some twelve thousand of them; their wealth permitted them to purchase at least the most indispensable rights by the expenditure of money. In general, from the time of the Arabian rule to the end of the thirteenth century, their condition in Spain was more favorable than in any other European land. Within the walls of their Jewish quarters (aljamas), they lived according to their own law and statute. But the fourteenth century brought evil in its train also to the Jews of the Peninsula. While valuable and serviceable to the kings as farmers of the taxes and chancellors of the exchequer, they were hated by the people. Now in one city, and now in another, they were attacked, struck down, and their synagogues burned. The most violent storm broke upon them in the year 1391, and raged throughout the whole of Spain; priests, like the Archdeacon of Ecija, had kindled the conflagration by their sermons. Many thousands were slain; 200,000 saved themselves by baptism, but after a few years it was found that 17,000 had relapsed into Judaism. A hundred years later—1492—the royal edict appeared which commanded the entire body of the Jews to emigrate, and leave their possessions behind them. Since the Inquisition at the same time forbade selling food to the Jews, the majority were not able to emigrate, if they wished, and so were compelled to be baptized. The most of