Home   69   200   300   400   500   600   700   800   900   1000   1100   1200   1300   1400   1500   1600   1700   1800   1900


Search for text:
Date Range From:
Date Range To:

Names Index

Entries Index

Places Index


By Jacob Pollack (see 1470).

1490 GENEVA (Switzerland)

Jew were expelled and not allowed to return for 300 years. Jews had lived there since their expulsion from France by Philip Augustus in 1182.

C. 1490 - 1567 Moses Hamon (Amon) (Spain-Turkey)

Renown physician, scholar, philanthropist, and community leader. Hamon served as the chief physician to Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (r. 1520–1566), whom he accompanied on his military expeditions. His treatise, Diseases of the Mouth was the first book on Dentistry written in Turkey. Hamon actively defended the Jewish community from false ritual accusations and interceded with the sultan on behalf of Donna Gracia when her property was threatened due to her secret observance of Judaism.

C. 1490 MUHAMMAD AL-MAGHILI (Tlemcen, North Africa)

A local preacher and Islamic scholar .In his book Tuhfat al-Nazir , he called for the death or expulsion of the Jews in the northern Sahara. The synagogues in Tamantit, Touat and Tlemcen were destroyed. Al-Maghili (1425-1505) set new regulations which restricted Jewish movement in the Saharan borderlands to the northern southern edge from Libya to Morocco and which were in place until 1860. He also succeeded (1492) in convincing the emperor of the Songhai Empire (Western Africa), Askia Mohammad (ca. 1443 – 1538), to prohibit Jews from living or trading in his kingdom. This included the main trading stop Timbuktu.

1490 April 24, BEHEADING OF THE COURT PHYSICIAN (Muscovite kingdom)

Grand Duke Ivan III had invited one master Leon, a Jewish physician from Venice, to be the court physician. When his son took ill master Leon was instructed to heal him. Unfortunately despite his efforts the Dukes son died (March 15). After the proscribed 40 days of morning, Duke Ivan promptly and publicly beheaded his physician.

1490 December 17, LA GUARDIA BLOOD LIBEL (Spain)

Six conversos and two Jews were accused of killing a child for ritual purposes. Although no child was ever declared missing, they were tortured for over a year by a special inquisition. They were declared guilty on November 14, 1491 of Host Desecration and the taking of the child's heart to use in sorcery. All eight were burned at the stake in the town of Avila and their property confiscated, and used to build the Church and monastery of Santo Tomas of Avila. According to a papal brief (1496) monks descended from Jews were not to be admitted into the church. The child became a saint known as the "Child of La Guardia". Books and plays were written and embellished about him as recently as 1943. The trial was developed and used by the inquisition to demonstrate that the very presence of Jews in the country was a danger to Christianity and was used by the king as a pretext for the soon to be proclaimed edict of expulsion.

1492 (9 Av 5252) SPAIN

The expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

1492 January 2, GRENADA (Spain)

The last Moorish stronghold was overrun, adding even more Jews to Catholic Spain. Under the terms of surrender, the Jewish inhabitants were promised protection by the King and Queen. Within a few months the razing of the Jewish quarter was ordered by Ferdinand V.

1492 March 31, EDICT OF EXPULSION (Spain)

King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile, signed the Alhambra Decree. Since professing Jews were not under the jurisdiction of the Inquisition, the Church leveled a ritual murder accusation against them ( see 1490).Thus both Jews and Conversos were ordered to be expelled of from Spain within three months beginning May the first. Jewish leaders, including Don Isaac Abravanel, offered compensation for its annulment but their appeal was rejected. In his plea to the king he wrote, “On behalf of my people, the people of Israel,…, I declare them blameless and innocent of all crimes declared in this edict of abomination. The crime, the transgression, is for you, not us, to bear". It is estimated that approximately 200,000 Jews (some quote higher numbers) were living in Spain. They were forced to sell all their property and prohibited from taking out any precious metals. Most synagogues were taken over by the church without any compensation. As the borders on the north were only opened for practicing Christians, approximately half of them found temporary sanctuary in Portugal. Another 50,000 fled to friendlier shores (e.g. Turkey) and the rest (approximately 60,000) remained as "Christians". By July 31 no professing Jews were left in Spain.

1492 August 3, COLUMBUS (Spain-America)

Set sail for the New World. His journal recorded the sighting of some vessels carrying Jews away from Spain. The loan for his voyage was advanced by Luis de Santangel, chancellor of the Royal household, and Gabriel Sanchez, high treasurer of Aragon. Both were born into Converso families. Support also came from Alfonso de la Caballeria vice-chancellor of Aragon and also of converso descent.

1492 October 12, LOUIS DE TORRES (Spain-America)

Became the first white man to set foot in the Western Hemisphere landing in San Salvador with Christopher Columbus. De Torres converted to Christianity right before sailing and served as an interpreter for Columbus. He discovered and introduced tobacco into Europe. There is an interesting story relating to Torres who saw a bird he thought to be a peacock and called it a "tuki" (Hebrew for peacock - I Kings X22). Today that bird is known as a turkey. In Spanish one of the names for Turkey is Pavo, which originally referred to a peacock.

1492 October 24, MECKLENBURG (Germany)

Jews were again accused of stabbing a consecrated wafer. Twenty-seven Jews were burned, including two women, and all the Jews were expelled from the duchy. The spot where they were killed is still called the Judenberg.

1493 BONET DE LATTES (Carpentras-Rome)

Rabbi and astronomer, published a treatise describing his astronomical ring-dial, which could measure solar and stellar altitudes even at night. He later moved to Rome, and served as the physician to both Pope Alexander VI, Pope Leo X.

1493 PRINTING PRESS ( Istanbul)

Within one year of the expulsion from Spain , David & Samuel ibn Nahmias brought in printing press making it the first Hebrew printing press in Istanbul.


Twenty thousand former Spanish Jews arrived during that year. The city was to become one of the main centers for Jews fleeing the Iberian peninsula. By the end of the next century, so many Portuguese Jews found residence there, that it influenced the local Ladino dialect .


Sicily became a province of Aragon in 1412. Approximately 37,000 Jews had to leave Sicily. Despite an invitation during the 18th century, Jews, except in extremely small numbers, never returned.

1493 January 31, GENOA (Italy)

During the previous year, Jews fleeing Spain were allowed to land for three days. As of this date this special consideration was cancelled due to the "fear" that the Jews might introduce the Plague (Black Death) into Genoa.

1494 BUTCHERS GUILDS (Kazimierz, Poland (near Cracow)

Limited to four the number of kosher butchers allowed in the entire district.

1494 TYRANU / TRNAVA (Hungary)

Riots began after a blood libel with 16 Jews being burned at the stake. Tyranu was one of the oldest Jewish settlements in Hungary/Slovakia being founded before 1350.

1494 June 29, FIRE IN CRACOW (Poland)

A fire broke out in the Jewish quarter, destroying part of the city of Cracow. The Jews were accused of purposely setting the fire and attacked with many of the Jewish residents trying to defend themselves King John Albert I (1459–1501) ordered them to leave the city and move to the "suburb" of Kazimierz, which became the first Polish ghetto. Jews were confined to the ghetto until 1868.


Alexander the Grand duke of Lithuania ( brother to king John Albert of Poland) expelled the Jews from his districts including Grodno, Brest, Lutzk, and Troki, and confiscated their properties. He allowed them to return 7 years later and some of their properties were returned.

1495 December 26, SAVONAROLA (Italy)

Expelled the Medici and the Jews from Florence. The Jews, who had previously served as the Medici's bankers, were replaced by the Monte di Pieta, a public loan bank.

1496 - 1578 JOSEPH HACOHEN (Italy)

Physician and historian. Author of Emek Habacha (Valley of Tears), a history of Jewish martyrdom.. He also wrote ( see 1553) Divrei ha-Yamim… ( Chronicles..), becoming one of the few early Jewish historians to deal with non-Jewish themes.


By Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519), but only after the government of Styria agreed to pay him 38,000 florins to compensate him for his loss of revenue from the Jews. In his justification he wrote that Jews have "repeatedly insulted and desecrated the holy sacrament, tortured and killed Christian children and used their blood …. cheated people, and impoverished and ruined many noble and other families..."

1496 December 5, (23 Tevet 5257) MANUEL OF PORTUGAL

During the first year of his reign he befriended the Jews, but his desire to unite the Iberian Peninsula through marriage to the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella changed all that. Four years after the expulsion of Jews from Spain, he ordered them expelled from Portugal within 11 months (October 31, 1497). As his real desire was not to see the Jews leave, he only opened one port, which first forced most of them to remain behind after the designated date, and then forced them to be baptized.

1497 January 6, GRAZ (Austria, Holy Roman Empire)

Emperor Maximilian I expelled the Jews. Jews had been settled there since 1160, thirty years after the town was established.


King Manuel, in an effort to prevent the Jews from fleeing the persecutions, secretly ordered the baptism of all children between the ages of four and fourteen.


By Prince (later king) Alexander, he forced most of the Jews to forfeit their property or convert. The main motivation for the expulsion was to cancel the debts owed by the nobles to the Jews. Within a short time trade ground to a halt and the Prince was forced to invite the Jews back in with some of the properties returned to them.


The ten year old daughter of Juan Esteban, a shoemaker, claimed that in a vision she spoke with Elijah the prophet. She related that the messiah would come in March 1500. Ines urged the Conversos to return to their beliefs and practices. Many people, mostly women and children , believed in her. Over 100 of her followers were murdered by the inquisition. Ines, was burned as well. She was twelve years old at the time of her death. Others appeared in towns including Chillion, and Agudo, and even later in Mexico (see 1596), all predicting the coming of the Messiah and the resurrection of the dead.

1499 March 11, VERONA (Italy)

Jews were banished from the province and their position as the territory bankers was taken over by Christians. The Jews were asked to return after only a short period of time, owing to the usurious interest rates charged by the Christians.

1499 April 21, NEW CHRISTIANS (Portugal)

Were forbidden to leave Portugal, including those who had been forcibly baptized.

© 1996 - 2015. This material is copyrighted and cannot be used without the permission of the author.