December 30, 1066
Granada, Spain
A Muslim mob storms the royal palace, crucifying the Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacring approximately 4,000 Jews

Tensions were high in Granada between the Islamic and Jewish faiths, especially because the vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela was considered to be pulling the strings of the king who was reportedly always drunk. Though a poem was written making disparaging remarks about the Jews, King Badis paid the poem no mind. However, the Berbers (an ethnicity native to Northern Africa and the ruling majority of Granada at the time) were already wary of the vizier, believing he wished harm upon the king, and the poem only added fuel to the flame.

The poem in part read:

Do not consider it a breach of faith to kill them, the breach of faith would be to let them carry on.

They have violated our covenant with them, so how can you be held guilty against the violators?

How can they have any pact when we are obscure and they are prominent?

Now we are humble, beside them, as if we were wrong and they were right!

With this final push, a Muslim mob descended on the palace, captured and crucified Joseph, and murdered many of the city’s Jewish citizens. Estimates in the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia reported “[m]ore than 1,500 Jewish families, numbering 4,000 persons, fell in one day,” though the 1971 edition did not include any specific figures, likely because the accounts of the massacre could not be verified and, over 900+ years, were subject to hyperbole.

Photo: a historic map of Granada by Turkish admiral, geographer, and cartographer Piri Reis (c. 1467 – c. 1554)

Source: Wikipedia commons

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