THE HISTORY OF THE JEWS IN SPAIN—1848 FIRST EDITION, THE FIRST SUCH HISTORY TO APPEAR IN SPAIN
(JUDAICA) AMADOR DE LOS RIOS, Jose. Estudios Históricos, Políticos y Literarios sobre los Judíos de España. Madrid: D.M. Diaz y Comp., 1848. Octavo, contemporary full dark brown marbled sheep gilt, marbled endpapers. $850.
First edition of this comprehensive and groundbreaking study of the political and literary history of the Jews in Spain—the first of its kind to appear in Spain—handsomely bound.
The Jewish people played as important a role in the formation of the Iberian people as the Muslims who were expelled alongside them in 1492, and in many instances Jews were directly responsible for the transmission of culture and knowledge that flowed from Muslim lands and the Arabic language—through the Iberian peninsula—into Christian lands and Latin manuscripts. Amador de los Rios’ history chronicles the Jews’ successes and struggles in Spain, and is the first history to attempt a sincere assessment of their substantial contribution. “Tiempo era ya de que se entrase en este anchuroso y fecundísimo campo, donde apenas se descubre la huella de los cultivadores: tiempo era de que desechando añejas preocupaciones, se hiciera justicia a tantos y tan esclarecidos ingenios, como produjo en España la raza hebrea” [“High time we entered into this wide and rich field, where the farmers’ footprints are nearly invisible; high time we shed ancient concerns and paid justice to the numerous and brilliant geniuses that the Hebrew people produced in Spain”] (page 654). Following on the success of this landmark history, Amador de los Rios later expanded his historical exploration into a three-volume work on the Jews in Spain and Portugal, which appeared in 1875-76. Text in Spanish.
Near-fine condition. A handsome volume.