Jewish History as “Historia Patria”: José Amador de los Ríos and the History of the Jews of Spain

Friedman, Michal

This article describes the pioneering work of José Amador de los Ríos, author of the first modern history of the Jews of Spain. Through discussion of his life and work, the article illustrates how Spain’s Jewish past became an object of debate in the nineteenth century, as Spanish scholars and politicians placed historiography at the service of rival political causes. It also explores some of the ways in which the Sephardic past figured into emergent questions of national identity and the so-called Jewish Question in Spain and elsewhere in Europe. The recovery of the Jewish past in Spain was marked by deep ambivalence, as the debate concerning Jewish absence and presence in Spain was marked by a nationalism that, though liberal, remained firmly Catholic.

Geographic Areas



Also Published In

Jewish Social Studies

More About This Work

Academic Units
Published Here
March 12, 2013