This was before the inquisition, and during a time of prosperity and success for the Jews of Besalú. What was it that motivated these three to become believers? Was it genuine spiritual convictions? Social pressure? A lowering of the boundaries between Christians and Jews?
Historians such as Solomon Grayzel have written much on these topics. We have no other information on these three, except their names appearing in the official records. So we have to reconstruct, as all historians do, the context, circumstances, causes and contributing factors. Here is one recent description of the environment in which such ‘conversions’ took place, by leading scholar Paola Tarkatoff in her book Between Christian and Jew: Conversion and Inquisition in the Medieval Crown of Aragon(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Middle Ages Series, 2012). This is reviewed here by Alexandra Guerson de Oliveira
Negotiating Allegiances: Jewish Apostates and Converts in…
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