ELVIRA (Eliberis, Illiberis), town in Andalusia, Spain, near Granada. The church council convened in Elvira in 300–303 (or 309) issued canons forbidding marriage between Christian women and Jews unless the Jew first adopted Christianity (§16); prohibiting Jews from keeping Christian concubines (§78); from entertaining at their tables Christian clergy or laymen (§50); and from blessing fields belonging to Christians (§49): Christians who turned to Jews for such blessings were to be excommunicated. These were the earliest canons of any church council directed against the Jews. A Jewish community still existed in Elvira at the time of the Muslim conquest. Its scholars corresponded with Saadiah Gaon in the tenth century, as attested by Abraham *Ibn Daud in Sefer ha-Kabbalah (ed., G.D. Cohen (1967), 79). In the course of time the Elvira community became merged in that of Granada.


J. Parkes, Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue (1930), 174ff.; C.G. Goldaraz, El Códice Lucense (1954), 377–93; J. Vives, Concilios Visigóticos e Hispano-Romanos (1963), 1–15.

[Haim Beinart]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.