Nadia Zeldes: From Mass Conversion to Expulsion. Jews and New Christians in the Kingdom of Naples (1492–1541)

The book description reads as follows: “This book explores the events that marked the last decades of Jewish presence in the kingdom of Naples from 1492 to 1541. It employs a comparative approach in the examination of the mass conversion of the Jews in the Kingdom of Naples in 1495, the failed attempt to establish a Spanish‑style inquisition, and the expulsions of 1510 and 1541. By relying on a variety of sources, including Hebrew literary works and rabbinic Responsa, this study sheds new light on the reception of the refugees of 1492, the evolvement of the political and military crisis of 1495, the attacks on the Jewish communities, and Jewish reaction, all aspects that have never before been subject to systematic analysis. The Spanish victory of 1503 and the transformation of southern Italy into a Spanish‑ruled dominion bring this discussion closer to the Iberian model of mass conversions and expulsions. The unprecedented expulsion of the New Christians along with the Jews offers a unique opportunity for drawing a parallel with the much later expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain. By highlighting these aspects, this book offers insights for understanding the larger issues of the integration of refugees and rejection of minority groups, questions that are as relevant to present concerns and politics as they were on the eve of the modern era.”

Cite this blog post
Andreas Lehnertz (2024, May 1). Nadia Zeldes: From Mass Conversion to Expulsion. Jews and New Christians in the Kingdom of Naples (1492–1541). medievalJewishStudiesNow! Retrieved June 14, 2024, from

About Andreas Lehnertz

As a Juniorprofessor of Medieval History specializing in Jewish History at Trier University, I delve into the intricate tapestry of social, cultural, and religious European history. My academic pursuits are centered around the nuanced dynamics of daily Christian-Jewish relations, the exploration of marginal Hebrew and Yiddish charter notes, the study of Jewish as well as general sealing practices, and the profound examination of Jewish craftspeople. I wrote a book about "Jewish Seals in the Medieval German Empire: The Authentication and Self-Representation of Jewish Men and Women" (in German). My expertise has been further honed through my roles as a postdoctoral fellow in the ERC project "Beyond the Elite – Jewish Daily Life in Medieval Europe" at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and as a member of the Martin Buber Society in the Humanities and Social Sciences, also at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Currently, I am writing book that delves into the intriguing world of "Jewish Craftspeople in Medieval Ashkenaz." Through my research and publications, I aim to contribute meaningfully to the academic discourse surrounding medieval history, providing valuable insights into the rich tapestry of European history during this pivotal period.