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Heritage Civilization and the Jews
About the Series Historical Timeline Resources Lesson Plans Episodes
Timeline 3100 586 72 732 1492 1789 1925
The Crucible of Europe
732 - 1492

Jewish communities develop under Muslim rule. The Golden Age of Spain produces a rich culture of Jewish poetry and philosophy. Jews settle in northern and western Europe. Religious persecution leads to the expulsions of Jews from areas in Europe and also Spain.

733 Muslim Attacks on France Fail
750 Abbasid Dynasty Rises to Power in Baghdad
c. 760 Karaism Founded

The Jewish sect the Karaites develops in opposition to the talmudic-rabbinical tradition. Its religious precepts are derived directly from the Bible and are based on the literal meaning of the text.
800 Charlemagne Crowned Holy Roman Emperor; First Charters for Jews in Northern Europe
c. 900 Golden Age of Jews in Spain

With the beginning of the Golden Age, Jewish life shifts towards Spain. Through the 1100s, Jews flourish as traders, merchants, doctors, poets, and philosophers within Muslim society. Sephardim are descendants of Jews who lived in Spain or Portugal.
c. 1050 Yiddish Language Develops

Yiddish is used among the Ashkenazim, Jews living in Northern Europe. Written in Hebrew letters, the basic grammar and vocabulary of Yiddish is German, along with French, Italian, and Hebrew influences.
1085 Toledo Conquered

Toledo shifts from Muslim to Christian control. The situation remains largely the same for Jews, who continue to be prominent members of the city.
1096 First Crusaders Massacre Jews in Rhineland
1105 Rashi

Death of Rashi, acronym of Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac (1040-1105), France. Leading commentator on the Bible and Talmud.
1141 Judah Halevi

Death of Judah Halevi (1075-1141), originally from Spain, emigrated to Israel. Poet and Philosopher.
1144 Blood Libel in Norwich, England
1200-1225 Franciscan and Dominican Orders Founded
1204 Maimonides

Death of Maimonides, also known as Rambam, acronym of Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (1135-1204), Spain. Rabbinic authority, codifier of Jewish law, rationalist philosopher, and royal physician, Maimonides is the most illustrious figure of medieval Judaism.
1215 Magna Carta, England; Jews of Europe Forced to Wear Special
1290 Jews Expelled from England

With an increase in violence, economic restrictions, and Church hostility, Jews are expelled from areas in Western Europe. Some Jews move east towards Poland, Lithuania, and Russia.
1306 Jews Expelled from France
1321 Death of Dante (1265-1321)
1348 Black Death; Persecution of Jews
1391 Forced Conversions of Jews in Spain

Civil unrest effects Jews in Spain, Jewish prosperity is resented. Jewish property is destroyed and Jews are given the choice of embracing Christianity or death. Many Jews become conversos, forced converts to Catholicism.
1453 Jews Expelled from Cologne
c. 1460 Printing Invented in Europe
1481 Spanish Inquisition Established

The Inquisition is established to investigate and combat heresy, and to root out conversos who continue to practice Judaism.
1492 Expulsion of Jews from Spain

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