GRANADA, city and province in Andalusia, S. Spain. According to tradition in the legends of Spanish Jewry, some of the Jews exiled by Nebuchadnezzar settled in Granada (Solomon ibn Verga, Shevet Yehudah, ed. by A. Shochat (1947), 33–34), which they called "the pomegranate of Spain." Even the Moors thought that the Jews had founded the city, which they called Garnat al-Yahud ("Granada of the Jews"). The earliest extant information on the Jewish community in Granada is that the garrison stationed in the city after its conquest by the Moors in 711 was composed of Jews and Moors. During the Umayyad period Granada was one of the most important communities in all Spain. In the 11th century as a result of the fragmentation of Andalusia – when Granada became an independent principality - Jews received a large share in its administration. *Samuel ha-Nagid was not only leader of his own people but also vizier and military commander in the state. Prominent Jews were also among his political opponents who fled from the principality after the victory of Samuel's faction (Ibn Daud, Tradition, 74). The Jewish position in the leadership of the state is explained by the conditions within the principality - controlled by a Berber military clique that did not strike roots within the state. In the many court intrigues the king could depend on a Jew who had no aspirations for the throne. At that time, the Jewish population of Granada was estimated at 5,000 people, constituting around 20% of the population, and Samuel led the Jews for the benefit of the state. Various libelous documents were issued against the position of the Jews, and were circulated through neighboring principalities. An anti-Jewish polemical tone was even voiced in their wars against Granada.
Samuel's son, Joseph ha-Nagid, fell victim to a mass revolt in 1066 in which the "[Jewish] community of Granada" perished along with him (ibid., 76). According to a later testimony, "more than 1,500 householders" were killed (Ibn Verga, op. cit., 22). Soon afterward the Jews returned to a position of influence in Granada, however not for long. At the time of the conquest of the city by the Almoravid Ibn Tāshfin in 1090, the community was destroyed and the *Ibn Ezra family was among the refugees. During the Almohad regime (1148–1212), only Jews who had converted to Islam were permitted to live in the city. The attempt of Jews and Christians to overthrow Almohad rule in 1162 met with failure. At first, Jews, together with Christians, were expelled from the town during the wars of the Reconquest (1232). They returned to Granada when the kingdom of Granada was ruled by the Muslim Nasrid dynasty (1232–1492). There is no available information on the Jews of Granada during the 13th–15th centuries, yet it is known that several of the kings of Aragon sent Jews as legates to Granada.
After 1391 *Conversos found shelter in Granada, where they openly returned to Judaism. In the agreement of surrender signed between the king of Granada and Ferdinand and Isabella in 1491 it was stated that Jews who were natives of Granada and its environs, and designated to be transferred to Spain, would be granted protection; those who wished to leave the country for North Africa would be given the opportunity to do so. Conversos who returned to Judaism were given a deadline to leave the country. It was also agreed that no Jew would have the right of judgment over the Moors, and that Jews would not serve as tax collectors.
On March 31, 1492, the edict of expulsion of the Jews from Spain was signed in the recently captured Granada. The traveler Hieronymus Muenzer, who visited Granada in 1494–1495, states that Ferdinand ordered the razing of the Jewish quarter in 1492, where, according to Muenzer, 20,000 Jews resided. Sources from the Archivo de Simancas prove this figure to be an exaggeration. According to Laredo Quesada the number of Jews in Granada in 1492 was around 550. In addition to the families of Samuel ha-Nagid and Ibn Ezra, natives of Granada included Judah ibn *Tibbon, Saadiah b. Maimon *Ibn Danān, Solomon b. Joseph ibn Ayyūb, and many other scholars and authors. The Jewish quarter in Granada was not located in a single place throughout the centuries of Muslim rule. It was moved, expanded, or contracted by the various dynasties which ruled the city. According to one source, Garnat al-Yahud (the City of the Jews) was on the hill by the Alcazaba, from the Torres Bermejas up to the Daro River, while according to Muenzer as far as the Puerta Real. The Jewish quarter was completely demolished, by order of King Ferdinand, and on its location a cathedral and a hospital were erected. In the Alhambra Palace, according to some scholars, the fountain in the Patio of the Lions was brought from the palace of Joseph ibn Nagrela. Ibn Nagrela's fountain is described in the contemporary Hebrew poetry. In the Alhambra, in the Ambassadors Hall the Catholic monarchs signed the Edict of Expulsion on March 31, 1492, three months after the fall of the Kingdom of Granada.
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