Late Antiquity

talmud de babilonia

Towards the end of the 8th century, the Pope Stephen IV did not like that Jews were allowed to own lands next to those owned by Christians in Septimania and in Hispania nor that they could also rent them from Christians to farm them.  (Feliu 2010: 46)

The Annals of St. Bertin talk about Jews in Barcelona in 852 when, according to the annals, they helped Muslims  as a strategy to defend themselves from the city. Mauri Barcinoniam, Iudaeis prodentibus, capiunt, interfectisque pene omnibus christianis et urbe vastata, inpune redeunt (Feliu 2010: 8).

Jews were defined as a religious community when the Iberian Peninsula was still part of the Roman territory. As a community they were free to celebrate their rituals and religious festivities and to establishing and applying their laws of their jurisdiction. The Visigoths determined the situation. The Hebrew law was followed by Jewish communities and it was accepted under those circumstances like the Romans, the Visigothic and the canonical laws. (Feliu 2010: 50-51).

One of the key historical moments for the Hebrew culture and for Judaism was at the end of the 8th Century when Talmud of Babylon was written.

Jafudà ben Barzilai of Barcelona brought news and informed that the Talmud of Babylon was in Muslim Hispania around the end of the 8th century. That was at the same time the Hebrew culture and linguistics started spreading. This Hebrew explosion lasted up to the end of the Middle Ages.

Hebrew became the main language for culture and it was used beyond its liturgical purpose: Jews living in Catalan lands only spoke the local language but they quickly started speaking in Hebrew, which became their main language, like Latin was for Christians. Some authors in Hebrew language are documented from the second half of the 9th century. That was the beginning of a period of great literary production and its splendor lasted until the end of the 15th century. (Feliu 2010: 47-48).