990 - 1053 HANANEL BEN HUSHIEL (Tunisia)
One of the last Geonim. He was actually born in Kairouan and remained there most of his life. He wrote the first complete commentary on the Talmud which is today embedded in the actual Talmud page. Hananel was also one of the first to rationalize the miracles of Agadah (Biblical legends). This is the part of the Oral Law which deals with stories, chronicles and sayings rather than laws. His writings and responsa served as a bridge between the Babylonian academies and North African Jewry.
990 - 1055 SAMUEL IBN NAGRELA (Granada, Spain)
Known as Shmuel Hanagid, he was a great diplomat and poet as well as vizier to King Habus of Granada. Ibn Nagrela is the author of a Biblical Hebrew dictionary. His son, Joseph, succeeded him for eleven years until he was deposed during an attack on the Jews.
990 - 1064 JACOB BEN YAKAR (Germany)
Rabbi and co-founder of the great Yeshiva Academy of Worms, and the principal teacher of Rashi. Many of the Rabbinical leaders who came out of the academies in Mayence and Worms met their death in the First Crusade and little of their works have survived.
C. 990 - 1062 NISSIM BEN JACOB IBN SHAHIN (Rabbenu Nissim) (North Africa)
Talmudist and leader. He served with Hananel ben Hushiel, and after his death was appointed the head of the rabbinical academies. His talmudic commentary Sefer Mafteach Manulei Hatalmud (The book of the Key to the Talmud) on some of the tractates is included on the main pages of many editions. In it he brings down sources for Mishnaic quotes and follows it methodology. His other works include Halachic writings and even Chibur Mei-Hayeshua a collection of stories and tales in Hebrew.
992 TREVES (France)
The Bishop ordered the mass conversion of the Jewish population. Before the edict took effect, the Jews spent the day fasting and an effigy of the Bishop was burned. He died the same day and the decree was averted. The Christians attributed it to magic - the Jews to divine intervention.
992 LIMOGES (France)
A Jewish apostate named Sechog ben Ester planted a wax figure in the ark of the local synagogue and then accused the local Jews of using it to curse the local Lord by devil magic. Although they succeeded in deflecting the accusation, the idea that Jews were devil worshippers was gaining more acceptance in the Christian world. A brief account of the incident was published as Sefer Yeshuat Elohim (The Book of God's Salvation) which is one of the earliest Jewish historiographical (if not totally accurate) works.
996 KING HUGH CAPET DIED (France)
His physician, a Jew, was falsely accused of killing him. This report of his murder was used as proof that Jews should not be appointed to important positions.