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The Jews And The Origins Of Romance Script In Castile: A New Paradigm

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Chapter Summary

Languages define cultures, and languages are defined by the way in which they are written down. Christian, Jewish and Muslim speakers of Spanish, in its early Castilian form, only began to develop their own written code in the final decades of the twelfth century. The oldest Aguilar Jewish document written in Romance is dated 1187, a date and a code which seem to implicate the soferim scribes in the movement to provide an alternative to Latinate writing. Monks belonging to the new twelfth-century orders imported from Languedoc the idea of producing an exclusively Romance code for legal documents in Spain. It was soon taken over and developed by other groups in the hybrid society of medieval Castile. Professional Jewish scribes appear to be amongst the earliest to join the trend and contribute to its success.

Keywords: Aguilar; Castile; Jewish Charters; Romance code; Spain



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