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How the Jews came to be disdained and humbled

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a description of Jews in early modern Spain. It is notorious amongst those who have read books that a rich Jew hurts the poor in much the same manner as a lion devours hapless animals. Suetonius refers to the fact that the Romans treated the Jews badly and held them under their yoke to such an extent that they even levied taxes upon the trees and woods that they planted. Even though the Jews were held in universal contempt and considered to be the most hated by all the nations, Arias Montano notes in chapter 56 of his Commentary on Isaiah, that eunuchs and capons were held in the greatest of disdain because they could not serve as priests, could not hold public positions and were thus considered to be useless.

Keywords: Arias Montano; Commentary on Isaiah; early modern Spain; Jews; Romans; Suetonius

10.1163/9789004268876_012
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