Buy Used
$14.91
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Acceptable | Details
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: 100% guaranteed delivery with Fulfillment By Amazon. There is slight highlighting or marking on the pages. Pages of this book show slight discoloration. Outside page edges show slight discoloration. This cover has a visible crease or bend. The spine of this book shows some wear. This paperback book shows standard shelf wear associated with limited use. This cover has light scratches and/or indentations on its surface.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.00
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth-Century Spain Paperback – September 30, 2001


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$55.93 $10.93

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: New York Review Books Collection
  • Paperback: 1408 pages
  • Publisher: New York Review Books; 2nd edition (September 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0940322390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940322394
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 2.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Modest in title but monumental in scope, this book is easily the finest study of the Inquisition to appear in this, or arguably any, century. Netanyahu (A Place Among the Nations: Israel and the World, Norton, 1993) traces the origins of anti-Semitism not to Christianity or Europe or the 15th century, but to 525 B.C.E., when Jewish support for the Persians against Egypt led to Egyptian hostility to Jews and "the first written anti-semitic piece." The importance of Netanyahu's work rests on its powerful revisionist interpretation. He argues with enormous evidence that Spanish Jews, though forced to convert, had become "devoutly Christian" and thoroughly assimilated into Spanish society. What was new in the 15th century was the Spanish monarchy's practice of defining Jews not religiously but racially, which served as a prototype of 20th-century persecutions. Netanyahu's magisterial achievement is prodigiously researched and lucidly written; it should be in every research, academic, and public library.
Bennett D. Hill, Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

The Spanish Inquisition was responsible for one of the fiercest repressions in human history. It fused the triple evil of a police state, a totalitarian ideology, and racial persecution. Its terrible reverberations have been felt in our own century, and are likely to be felt in the next. Yet for all its notoriety, its origins have never been fully explored or clearly understood before now. What caused this monstrous attack upon Spain's so-called "conversos" -- the Christian descendants of the Jews who had been forced to convert during the anti-Semitic riots that swept across Spain at the end of the fourteenth century? Were the thousands of conversos who died at the hands of the Inquisition in fact secretly still Jews, only pretending to be good Christians, as the inquisition charged and as most scholars continue to believe? In this magnum opus, B. Netanyahu shows us that this claim is groundless. After a lifetime of research in long-unexamined Spanish sources, he reveals that at the time of the Inquisition, almost all conversos were in fact full-fledged Christians, and that the few Judaizers among them had dwindled into insignificance. The vast machinery of the Inquisition could not have been founded to kill a dying movement. What, then, was its purpose? "The Origins of the Inquisition" answers this question definitively. By examining Spanish anti-Semitism from its origins, Professor Netanyahu demonstrates that the brutal anti-converso movement that led to the Inquisition was the same one responsible for the massacre of Jews in Spain in 1391 and the ensuing mass conversion of Spanish Jews (at sword-point) to Christianity. The rapid rise of the conversos to high royal offices (higher, even, than those attained by their Jewish forefathers) made them the target of the same forces that had persecuted the Jews. It was to remove the conversos from their influential positions, and to prevent their intermarriage with the Spanish people, that they were accused of being secret Judaizers and members of a "corrupt" race that would "pollute" the Spanish blood. This was the first time that extreme anti-Semitism was wedded to a theory of race -- a union that would dramatically affect the course of modern history. Steering the reader through the labyrinthine politics of Church and State in fifteenth-century Spain, Professor Netanyahu develops his startling thesis within the context of a careful consideration of Spanish culture and society. The conversos, like their Jewish ancestors, were intimately linked with the Spanish monarchy, and, unlike the Jews, also with the Papacy, but by the end of the fifteenth century, both Church and State left their erstwhile allies to the mercy of the Inquisition. As Professor Netanyahu brilliantly shows, the Spanish sovereigns let the coversos be attacked in order to distract the outraged city masses and their leaders from turning against the royal establishment itself. "The Origins of the Inquisition" is a seminal work that will alter our understanding of the Spanish Inquisition and its place in the history of anti-Semitism, of Spain, and of Europe. Its is required reading for anyone who wishes to understand one of history's darkest movements, the terrible shadow of which persists to this very day. Professor B. Netanyahu has been editor in chief of the "Encyclopedia Hebraica", general editor of the "World History of the Jewish People", and co-editor of the "Jewish Quarterly Review". His a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research, a member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes y Ciencias Historicas in Spain, and professor emeritus at Cornell University. -- Midwest Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

This work is worth your time and will add to your edification.
Evelyn Lee
The story of the Inquisition has great significance to all Jews and Sephardic Jews (of Spain) in particular.
Dr. Joseph S. Maresca
It is one of the greatest books ever written with many lessons of great importance to everyone.
Sidney Weber

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Evelyn Lee on May 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
The definitive book on the Inquisition is B. Netanyahu's The Origins of the Inquisition. This work goes back to the 6th century BCE and traces the destructive path of anti-Semitism and xenophobia all the way to Spain. One of the main points of this book is stating how most of the Conversos were good Christians and not heretics. This book also makes known how most of the hatred for Jews and later New Christians came from the lowest classes who felt socially, politically, religiously, and most importantly economically threatened by these supposedly alien people. It is also worth mentioning that Netanyahu believes that the hatred of the New Christians stemmed from RACISM; first for the Jews and then for their descendants, the sociopolitical jealousies only stoked the underlying fire. Netanyahu also demonstrates how the Morranos were caught in the middle a power struggle between monarchic supremacy and nobiliar and urban aristocratic independence. This work is worth your time and will add to your edification.
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ron Braithwaite on June 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In rating a book I'm not always looking for the same thing. "Origins", in my opinion, is primarily a scholarly reference text and that's the sense I rated it. It is not an exciting page-turner but a careful exposition of an important part of Western history.

I used it as a reference in my studies for my own novels--"Skull Rack" and "Hummingbird God"--on the Italian Wars, Spanish Inquisition and especially the Conquest of Mexico. Netanyahu's book helped. I learned that the Second Inquisition, although an important part of Spanish society, was probably not quite as lethal as most people suspect. At the same time the Inquisition did torture [but blood must not be spilled] people, humiliated them in the notorious Auto de Fes, and sometimes even burned them to death. Here, though, we see the sophistry and hypocrisy inherent in the Inquisition. All executions happened AFTER the Auto de Fes and were performed by secular officials. The Church kept its hands clean!

The Inquisition was also, however, an oppressive and even subversive organization--a dangerous force--within the body politic of Spain. In a day before an official secret police, the Second Inquisition served much of the same function and, no doubt, had the capability of scaring the wits out of almost everyone, peasants, hacendados, churchmen, aristocrats and even the Emperor, himself.

It started as an effort to insure that Jewish and Moorish Conversos were genuinely Christian and morphed into an organization that forced religious uniformity and excluded Protestantism from the shores of the entire Spanish Empire. It was also racist in that it attempted--successfully--to insure "limpieza de sangre", the purification of Spanish bood. What can I say? It was an incredible success. Terror works.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
26 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Jack Kirven on March 19, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this encycolpedic oeuvre is almost overwhelming in its sheer scale; however, the attention to detail is necessary in order to understand how this horrifying portion of liturgical history developed. social contexts and authentic resources make this a very thorough history of the inquisition as it was experienced in spain. i only wish i could find an equally thorough treatment of the inquisition in italy and france. a very revealing work for the lay person who wants to know more about liturgical history, the woman's place in medieval social order, and the development of the social relationships among medieval spanish christians, jews, and muslims.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Truth on December 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic piece of literature. Essential reading for any and all curious minds. Thank you dearly for your contribution, Mr. Netanyahu.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RL on January 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
About 1175 pages of reading, excluding notes and index - I'm not a complete nut! I read this after a trip to southern Spain. Completely clarifies what the Maranos really were and not what we've been generally taught they were. An eye opener on an important part of European history.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James R. Mcgovern on September 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Outstanding coverage of terrible events that occurred centuries ago. A preview of where we are going today. A very lengthy book--almost 1200 pages, but worth every minute you spend on it
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
The 'Inquistion' was one of the great disasters of Jewish history, involving the slaughter and torture of tens of thousands of innocent people. In this work of historical narrative and analysis the origins of the racist anti- Semitism that characterize the behavior of late fifteenth century Spain the beginning of the process is traced to the Egypt of 525 A.D.

The long story of Spanish Jewry is told here including that of the Conversos who left Judaism for Christianity, and who were nonetheless persecuted by the Inquistion. The fact that these people were Christian and still persecuted is the strong indication that the persecution was done on a racial basis.

The disastrous destruction of one of the great Jewish communities of history is shown to be the result of a warped ideology , an evil and cruel racism.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
Definitive, immense and profound work on the causes and motives of the Spanish Inquisition.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?