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GALICIA., Spain:

An ancient province in the northwestern part of Spain; a barren, mountainous region where Jews settled sparsely in the eleventh century. There were Jewish communities at Allariz, Coruña, Orense, Monforte, Pontevedra, Rivadavia, and Rivadeo, besides individual Jews scattered here and there. D. Menendez Gonzalez, a rich and powerful nobleman, received Jewish merchants, probably from Allariz, in his domain, not far from Orense, and when they were attacked by Arias Oduariz in 1044, he led an armed force against the latter, and recovered the silks and other goods that had been taken from the Jews. When John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, invaded Spain (1385), and Rivadavia was taken by Sir Thomas Percy, the English soldiers attacked the Jews, who were supposed to be rich, and plundered them, killing several. The ghetto, however, was not destroyed.

Eighteen years before the expulsion, the Jews of Coruña, Betanzos, and Rivadeo paid an annual tax of 1,800 maravedis, and those of Orense, Monforte, and Rivadavia one of 2,000 maravedis. A rich Jew of Rompusa, a tawer, was baptized in 1414, taking the name "Juan Esteban." His sons obtained seats in the Parliament.

Bibliography:
  • Boletin Acad. Hist. xii. 347 et seq., xxii. 171;
  • Rios Hist. ii. 330, iii. 62, 598.
G. M. K.
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