An outline history of the Jewish community in Spain from the early days of Roman settlement to the Expulsion in 1492, set against the history of the Roman, Visigothic, Muslim and Christian-Reconquest periods of Spanish history.
It deals firstly with the change from the long period of quiet under the Roman Peace, the Pax Romana, to the persecution and near destruction of the Jewish community under the Catholic Visigothic kings until the collapse of the Visigothic regime in 711.
It then deals with the Muslim invasion of 711 and the virtual rebirth of the community in Muslim Spain, al-Andalus, in conditions which enabled it to flourish for a time in what has frequently been described as a “Golden Age”. In this context, it examines the concept of “Convivencia” – the harmonious living together of the three religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. It then deals with the implosion of the Caliphate and the danger of extinction of Muslim rule in southern Spain which resulted in over a hundred and fifty years of fundamentalist Muslim regimes and another Jewish flight to safety, this time back to Christian Spain.
Finally it deals with the success of the Christian Reconquest and how the Jewish communities fared under the new Christian dispensation, their short rise and long decline until their final destruction and the Expulsion of 1492 in the name of Christian exclusiveness.
Separately it deals with the expansion of Rome and its relationship with Jews; the track of the “Barbarian” tribes which were to involve themselves in Spain; the rise of Islam and its pathway to Spain through North Africa; the Berber Muslim regimes which delayed but could not prevent the Reconquest; and finally the collateral history of Muslim Spain and the resurgent Christian states of northern Spain.