ALGHERO, Sardinian port. The Jewish community developed there in the second half of the 14th century after Sardinia was acquired by the crown of Aragon. In 1354 Jews supplied the conquering army of Peter IV of Aragon and took part in the siege of Alghero. Among them were Jews from Castile, Sicily, Catalonia, and Majorca. Several are listed as soldiers. Following the conquest, many remained in Alghero. The first group of immigrants was joined in 1370 by families coming from Catalonia and southern France. Around 1400, new waves of immigrants came to Alghero, mainly from Provence. In 1360 King Peter IV conceded the Jews of Cagliari the privilege of erecting a tower in Alghero and permitted them to affix a commemorative stone to the wall to mark its foundation. The synagogue, built in 1381, was enlarged in 1438. The cemetery was established in 1383 and extended in 1435. As long as the attitude of the Aragonese authorities toward the Jews remained favorable, they were prominent in Alghero's economic life. A Jew, Vidal de Santa Pau, advanced money to the authorities for restoring the city walls in 1423. In 1454 Samuel de Carcassona and Jacob Cohen, secretaries of the Jewish community of Alghero, obtained the right to emblazon the royal coat of arms on the wall of the synagogue. The wealthy Carcassona family loaned money to the Aragonese kings throughout the 15th century. In 1481 the brothers Samuel and Nino Carcassona were victualers for the royal galleys and military paymasters. Maimon Carcassona gave hospitality to the viceroy on his visits to Alghero. Moses, the richest property owner in the Jewish quarter, was the official collector of taxes and duties. Several celebrated physicians, including Bonjudes *Bondavin of Marseille, lived in Alghero. The friendly attitude of the Aragonese authorities toward the Jews found expression in the regulations of 1451 exempting them from wearing the Jewish *badge and from having to listen to missionary sermons. They were also granted judicial autonomy and exemption from taxation. Conditions for Alghero Jewry began to deteriorate in 1481 when they shared the treatment meted out to the Jews of Spain. They were expelled in 1492 after the general edict of expulsion from the Spanish dominions. The Carcassona family, who became Christians, remained. Antonio Angelo Carcassona (born in 1515) studied law at the universities of Bologna and Rome, graduating as a doctor of both civil and canon law. In 1533 and in 1586 members of the Carcassona family were tried by the Spanish Inquisition for inviting foreign Jews as guests in their house in Alghero.
G. Spano, in: Rivista Sarda, 1 (1875), 23–52; L. Falchi, Gli Ebrei nella storia e nella poesia popolare dei Sardi (1935), 23–28; A. Boscolo, in: Annali della Facoltà delle Lettere e di Filosofia dell'Università di Cagliari, 19, pt. 2 (1952), 12; R. Latardi, in: RMI, 33 (1967), 207–10; Milano, Italia, index; Roth, Italy, 263 ff. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Perani, Italia, 5 (1985), 104–44; C. Tasca, Gli ebrei in Sardegna, Cagliari (1992), 98–114, 127–34; A. Rudine, Inquisizione spagnola censura e libri proibiti in Sardegna nel '500 e '600 (1995), 61–76; D. Abulafia, "Gli ebrei di Sardegna," in: C. Vivanti (ed.), Storia d'Italia. Annali 11, Gli ebrei in Italia. Dall'alto Medioevo all'età dei ghetti (1996), 83–94.
[Attilio Milano /
Nadia Zeldes (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.