Coordinates: 37°10′37″N 3°35′24″W / 37.17694°N 3.59000°W
The 1066 Granada massacre took place on 30 December 1066 (9 Tevet 4827; 10 Safar 459 AH) when a Muslim mob stormed the royal palace in Granada, in the Taifa of Granada, crucified the Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela, and massacred much of the Jewish population of the city.
Joseph ibn Naghrela
Joseph ibn Naghrela, or Joseph ha-Nagid (Hebrew: רבי יהוסף בן שמואל הלוי הנגיד Ribbi Yehosef ben Shemu'el ha-Lewi ha-Nagid; Arabic: ابو حسين بن النغريلة Abu Hussein bin Naghrela) (15 September 1035 – 30 December 1066), was a vizier to the Berber taifa king Badis al-Muzaffar of Granada, during the Moorish rule of Al-Andalus, and the nagrid, or leader of the Iberian Jews.
Life and career
Joseph was born in Granada, the eldest son of Rabbi and famous poet and warrior Sh'muel ha-Nagid.
Some information about his childhood and upbringing is preserved in the collection of his father's Hebrew poetry in which Joseph writes that he began copying at the age of eight and a half. For example, he tells how once (at nine and a half, in the spring of 1045) he accompanied his father to the battlefield, only to suffer from severe homesickness, about which he wrote a short poem.
His primary school teacher was his father. On the basis of a letter to Rabbi Nissim Gaon attributed to him, in which Joseph refers to himself as R' Nissim's disciple, it is possible to infer that he also studied under R' Nissim at Kairouan. In 1049, Joseph married Rabbi Nissim's daughter.
After the death of his father, Joseph succeeded him as vizier and rabbi, directing at the same time an important yeshiva. Among his students were Rabbi Isaac ben Baruch ibn Albalia and Rabbi Isaac ibn Ghayyat.
When the King, Badis and his heir Bulluggin, were poisoned and died in 1073, it was loudly rumored that Joseph had done it himself. Things only worsened for him from there. He launched into a series of backfired intrigues, mishandled and misjudged situations, resulting in the kingdom sliding into crisis.
Rabbi Abraham ibn Daud describes Joseph in highly laudatory terms, saying that he lacked none of his father's good qualities, except that he was not quite as humble, having been brought up in luxury.
The 1906 edition of the Jewish Encyclopedia states, "Arabic chroniclers relate that he believed neither in the faith of his fathers nor in any other faith. It may also be doubted that he openly declared the principles of Islam to be absurd." Arabic poets also praised his liberality.
The Jewish Encyclopedia also reported that Joseph "completely ruled King Badis, who was nearly always drunk, and surrounded him with spies".
Muslim leaders accused him of several acts of violence, which drew upon him the hatred of the Berbers, the ruling majority at Granada. The most bitter among his many enemies was Abu Ishak of Elvira, who hoped to obtain an office at court and wrote a malicious poem against Joseph and his fellow Jews. The poem made little impression upon the king, who trusted Joseph implicitly, but it created a great sensation among the Berbers.
In hopes of attaining his father's dream, Joseph sent messengers to the ruler of the neighboring kingdom of Almeria, Ibn Sumadih, a traditional enemy of Granada. He promised to open the gates of the city to the king's army if he promised to install Joseph as king in exchange for his submission and allegiance. At the last moment, Ibn Sumadih pulled out, and on the eve of the supposed invasion, word of the plot got out. When word reached the populace, people claimed that he killed the king and was about to betray the kingdom.
On 30 December 1066 (9 Tevet 4827), Muslim mobs stormed the royal palace where Joseph had sought refuge, captured and crucified him. In the ensuing massacre of the Jewish population, many Jews of Granada were murdered. The 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia claims, "More than 1,500 Jewish families, numbering 4,000 persons, fell in one day." However, the 1971 edition does not give precise casualty figures. That was possibly because the accounts of the massacre could not be verified, and as over 900 years had passed, it was subject to hyperbole. The Encyclopaedia Judaica also confirms the figures : "According to a later testimony, "more than 1,500 householders" were killed".
Joseph's wife fled to Lucena, Córdoba, with her son Azariah, where she was supported by the community. Azariah, however, died in early youth.
According to the historian Bernard Lewis, the massacre is "usually ascribed to a reaction among the Muslim population against a powerful and ostentatious Jewish vizier".
Particularly instructive in this respect is an ancient anti-Jewish poem of Abu Ishaq, written in Granada in 1066. This poem, which is said to be instrumental in provoking the anti-Jewish outbreak of that year, contains these specific lines:
- Do not consider it a breach of faith to kill them, the breach of faith would be to let them carry on.
- They have violated our covenant with them, so how can you be held guilty against the violators?
- How can they have any pact when we are obscure and they are prominent?
- Now we are humble, beside them, as if we were wrong and they were right!
Lewis continues: "Diatribes such as Abu Ishaq's and massacres such as that in Granada in 1066 are of rare occurrence in Islamic history".
The episode has been characterized as a pogrom. Walter Laqueur writes, "Jews could not as a rule attain public office (as usual there were exceptions), and there were occasional pogroms, such as in Granada in 1066".
Erika Spivakovsky questions the death rate, suspecting it to be an example of "the usual hyperbole in numerical estimates, with which history abounds."
- Constable, Olivia Remie, Medieval Iberia: Readings from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-812-22168-8
- ^ Lucien Gubbay (1999). Sunlight and Shadow: The Jewish Experience of Islam. New York: Other Press. p. 80. ISBN 1-892746-69-7.
- ^ Norman Roth (1994). Jews, Visigoths, and Muslims in Medieval Spain: Cooperation and Conflict. Netherlands: E. J. Brill. p. 110. ISBN 90-04-09971-9.
- ^ a b In his preface to one of his father's collections of Hebrew poetry, Joseph gives his precise date and time of birth as Monday evening, the evening preceding the 11th of Tishrei 4796 AM, corresponding to the 11th of Dhu al-Qi'dah 426 AH, at 3 hours 56 minutes into the evening. (Diwan of Shemuel Hannaghid, ed. David S. Sassoon (London: Oxford University Press, 1934), p. א.)
- ^ a b c CATLOS, BRIAN A. (2014). "Accursed, Superior Men: Ethno-Religious Minorities and Politics in the Medieval Mediterranean". Comparative Studies in Society and History. 56 (4): 844–869. doi:10.1017/S0010417514000425. ISSN 0010-4175. JSTOR 43908317. S2CID 145603557.
- ^ Diwan of Shemuel Hannaghid, ed. David S. Sassoon (London: Oxford University Press, 1934, page סב
- ^ Published in Otzar Tov, 1881–82, pp. 45ff.
- ^ Diwan, p. xxiii.
- ^ Davidson, Israel (1924). Selected Religious Poems of Solomon ibn Gabirol. Schiff Library of Jewish Classics. Translated by Zangwill, Israel. Philadelphia: JPS. p. 247. ISBN 0-8276-0060-7. LCCN 73-2210.
- ^ Sefer ha-Kabbalah (), p. 73.
- ^ Dozy, "Geschichte der Mauren in Spanien," ii. 301
- ^ a b Nagdela (Nagrela), Abu Husain Joseph Ibn by Richard Gottheil, Meyer Kayserling, Jewish Encyclopedia. 1906 ed.
- ^ lawrencebush (30 December 2012). "30 December: The Granada Massacre". Jewish Currents. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
- ^ a b Tonin, Sarah (31 December 2017). "The 1066 Granada Massacre". Horror History .net. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
- ^ Granada by Richard Gottheil, Meyer Kayserling, Jewish Encyclopedia. 1906 ed.
- ^ 1971 Jewish Encyclopedia
- ^ Solomon ibn Verga, Shevet Yehudah, ed. A. Shochat (1947), p. 22.
- ^ Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2007, vol. 8, p. 32.
- ^ Lewis, Bernard (1987) . The Jews of Islam. Princeton New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-691-00807-3. LCCN 84042575. OCLC 17588445.
- ^ a b Lewis, Bernard (1987) . The Jews of Islam. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. pp. 44–45. ISBN 978-0-691-00807-3. LCCN 84042575. OCLC 17588445.
- ^ Laqueur, Walter (2006). The changing face of antisemitism: from ancient times to the present day. New York, New York: Oxford University Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-19-530429-9. LCCN 2005030491. OCLC 62127914.
- ^ Erika Spivakovsky (1971). "The Jewish presence in Granada". Journal of Medieval History. 2 (3): 215–238. doi:10.1016/0304-4181(76)90021-x.
- Munk, Notice sur Abou'l Walid, pp. 94 et seq.;
- Dozy, R. Geschichte der Mauren in Spanien, German ed., ii. 300 et seq.;
- Grätz, Geschichte vi. 55 et seq., 415 et seq.;
- Ersch & Gruber, Encyclopedia section ii., part 31, p. 86.;
- Molins, Viguera-Molins (2010). "Al-Andalus and the Maghrib (from the fifth/eleventh century to the fall of the Almoravids)". In Fierro, Maribel (ed.). The Western Islamic World, Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries. The New Cambridge History of Islam. 2. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521200943.
- Medieval Sourcebook: Abraham Ibn Daud: On Samuel Ha-Nagid, Vizier of Granada, 11 Cent
- Nagdela (Nagrela), Abu Husain Joseph Ibn by Richard Gottheil, Meyer Kayserling, Jewish Encyclopedia. 1906 ed.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Singer, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.