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SAHAGÚN, town in Leon province, N.W. Spain. Jewish settlement there originated near the monastery, at the beginning of the tenth century. Jews filled the roles of purveyors and craftsmen for the monastery. Subsequently the Jewish quarter was situated in a locality called Santa Cruz. In 1126 the town's 30 Jewish heads of families were handed over by King Alfonso *vii to the jurisdiction of the superior of the monastery. In 1171, the superior gave the Jews of Sahagún land for a cemetery situated in a district of vines outside the town. In the 13th century Sahagún was one of the thriving communities in the north. In 1255 Alfonso x formulated several of the regulations of the Sahagún community, which was granted the fuero (charter) of the community of Carrión de los Condes, and he made the community dependent for its internal affairs on *Burgos, a day's journey distant. Among other matters, the amount of ransom for the killing of a Jew was fixed at a total of 500 solidos payable to the head of the monastery, and in 1268 the king further prescribed a special *oath for the Jews of Sahagún. Few details are known about the Jews of Sahagún during the 14th century, but at its close it contained 30 heads of families occupied in agriculture and work for the monastery, around which the life of the town was concentrated. In 1401 Henry iii yielded to the request of the community representatives and ordered the head of the monastery to take no steps against the community and to respect its rights. Despite this, Sahagún did not escape the impoverishment which befell the communities of Castile toward the middle of the 15th century. The last information available about the Jews of Sahagún dates from June 7, 1492, a few weeks after the edict of expulsion. This is an appeal from the Jews of Sahagún to the crown to ensure that debts be reimbursed to them, and that they not be imprisoned for nonpayment of debts. Comparison with other communities shows that in Sahagún, too, the Christian inhabitants declined to discharge their debts to the Jews compelled to leave the kingdom.


Baer, Spain, index; Baer, Urkunden, 2 (1936), index; J. Rodríguez, in: Archivos Leoneses, 7 (1953), 5–78; F. Cantera, Sinagogas españolas (1955), 271; J. González, El Reino de Castilla en la época de Alfonso viii (1960), 132; Suárez Fernández, Documentos, index; L. Pilar Tello, Los judíos de Palencia (1967), docs. 13, 22, 45, 232.

[Haim Beinart]