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The Conversos of Majorca. Hispania Judaica, v. 5

by Angela Selke

Bibliographic information

TitleThe Conversos of Majorca. Hispania Judaica, v. 5
AuthorAngela Selke
PublisherVarda Books
Publication Date2009


Life and death in a crypto-Jewish community of Conversos of XVII century Majorca. The so-called Chuetas, a phenomenon without parallel in all of Spain.

About the Author 

Angela Selke ---


New Page 3

Preface IX

Acknowledgments XI

List of Abbreviations XII

Introduction 1

Chapter I. The Story of a Malsin, Informer of the Holy Office 20

   A Visit to Montesion 20

   Paper which Father Sabater presented to the Court, from Raphael Cortes de Alfonso 25

   The Making of a Malsin 36

Chapter II. Renegades, "Malsines", and other Informers 46

   Family Conflicts, Quarrels and Threats 46

   The case of Francisco Vizente Tarongi, Accuser of his mother 50

   The "Complicity" of 1678: "Adjusting" accusations and confessions 52

   A Lesson in the Garden of Pedro Onofre Cortes 61

Chapter III. Life in the Ghetto before and after the "Complicity" 67

   In Pedro Onofre's Garden 67

   The secret Observance: Testimony of the maidservants 69

   Decline of the secret Observance in the seventeenth century 83

   Terror and Hope of Salvation 86

Chapter IV. More About Life in the Converso Ghetto before and after the "Complicity" 88

   The Status of Majorca's Conversos within the Old-Christian Society 88

   The Indictment by Dr. Fontamar and the testimony of the Old Christians 93

   Lethargy of the Holy Office and its sudden activity in 1677: Causes and effects 101

Chapter V. The Posthumous Papers of Raphael Cortes de Alfonso 106

   Father Sebastian Sabater's second mission before the Tribunal 106

   The "First Paper": Information about some emigrants 109

   The "Second Paper": Conversation concerning the burning of "Alonso" 115

   Conversation concerning Christ as "Sorcerer" 119

   "God eats only hearts", and the problem of circumcision 122

   The "Third Paper": Conversations concerning fasts, sin, and salvation 127

Chapter IV. Death of a Malsin 130

   Dr. Sancho's testimony: Discrepancies and suspicions 130

   Investigation of the cause of death: The lobster incident 136

   Indiscretions on the part of the malsin and their possible consequences 141

   Raphael Cortes de Alfonso's Agony 145

Chapter VII. The arrest of Pedro Onofre Cortes and the embarkation attempt of March 7, 1688 147

   Panic in "La Calle del Sagell" 147

   Pedro Onofre Cortes in prison: Confessions and denunciations 152

   Failure of the embarkation plan and the arrest of the fugitives 163

Chapter VIII. Faith Vanquished 176

   Life in the prisons of 1688: Communications and denunciations 176;

   Demoralization of the prisoners: Vicious circle of confessions and denunciations 182

   The final stage and outcome of the trials 188

   Causes of the tragedy: embarkation, messianic hopes and loss of faith 190

   The Messianic hopes of Pedro Onofre: His last confessions 205

   The final conversion and death of Pedro Onofre: The auto de Fe of May 6. 1691 207


   Document I (A): The six posthumous Papers left by Raphael Cortes de Alfonso 215

   Document I (Β): Extracts from Pedro Onofre Cortes de Guillermo's Trial Records ("Papel que presento el reo") 222

   Document II: The instructions Joseph Cortes gave to his daughter 230

   Document III: Some Prayers the crypto-Jews of Majorca were still reciting in the XVIIth century 236

   Document IV: Gabriel Pina's Death in Prison 243

   Document V: Questioning under Torture ad arbitrium 246

Bibliography 253

Plates 268

Indices (Places, Names, Subjects) 269

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