IIJG Research

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DESTRUCTION OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF TÀRREGA IN 1348 AND ITS RE-CONSTITUTION

Maria Jose SURRIBAS CAMPS

ABSTRACT

Tàrrega is a town in Catalonia located on the Royal Road between Barcelona and Lleida. Its population in the mid fifteenth century was of about one thousand persons.

Poor harvests during the years prior to 1348 caused the need to borrow money and the difficulty to pay it back. While harvests did not improve and borrowings increased, the onset of the plague arrived to Tàrrega. At that point in 1348 the Jewish community suffered an attack during which some 300 Jews were murdered or badly injured, their homes vandalized and their record books destroyed.

The surviving Jewish population comprised those who left or managed to flee the Jewish Quarter at some point in time between 1346 and the onset of the pogrom; and those who were fortunate enough to be saved by Christian families that hid them.

After the pogrom, as notary as municipal records were destroyed too, Jewish moneylenders had not the means to prove their credits. Royal instructions were issued requesting the participation of notaries and scribes in assisting them to recover their notary deeds and other commercial papers.

The primary goal of this project is to construct the most complete possible description of this community over a period of time characterized by social turbulence, resulting in the near-decimation of the community; the destruction of its living quarter; flight, return, and re-constitution of the community followed by the arrival of new community members and the ultimate re-construction of its Quarter.

Click here for the Final Report on this project.