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The Economy

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Chapter Summary

The Jews of Sicily engaged in practically all the occupations, pursuits, and professions practiced in their time on the island. The Sicilian economy was mainly an agricultural one, producing grain, oil, sugar, wine, livestock, wool, silk, dairy produce, leather, fish (mainly tunny), and their derivatives. The Jews of Sicily under the rule of Aragon engaged in practically every pursuit imaginable, though some more intensively than others. The authorities, owners of the mining rights in all Sicily, naturally were interested in attracting investments in mining. Jewish labourers were employed in all the economic sectors we have listed, in agriculture, manufacturing, arts and crafts, trade, domestic service, and so forth. The domicile of Rubino was closely linked to the vital position of Syracuse in international trade.

Keywords: Aragon; Jewish labourers; Sicilian economy

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