Bernardini - Chapter 11 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Bernardini - Chapter 11

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Marranos and the Inquisition

On the Gold Route in Minas Gerais, Brazil

ONE OF THE LEAST KNOWN FACTS in the history of Jewish involvement in the expansion of Europe is the role of marranos in Brazil at the beginning of the modern era. New Christians, descendants of Jews who converted to Catholicism, tried to take advantage of the opportunities opened up by the Atlantic sea routes to the west to begin new lives - lives that in many cases had been suspended by the persecutions of the Holy Office of the Inquisition.
This essay will focus on the region of Minas Gerais during the first half of the eighteenth century, a period in which the Portuguese Inquisition waged its most rigorous attacks against descendants of Jews. My research is based entirely upon as yet unpublished documents, primarily fifty-seven transcripts of trials concerning prisoners from Minas Gerais, all of whom were incarcerated in Portugal. These documents reveal the involvement of New Christians in expeditions in search of gold, in the construction of early settlements and villages, in mineral extraction, and in commercial, political, administrative, and cultural spheres, along with the persecutions they suffered in a new world molded upon old prejudices.

Marranos and the InquisitionOn the Gold Route in Minas Gerais, BrazilAnita NovinskyONE OF THE LEAST KNOWN FACTS in the history of Jewish involvement in the expansion of Europe is the role of marranos in Brazil at the beginning of the modern era. Ne
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