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ZIYANIDS (Banu Ziyan ), Berber dynasty which ruled intermittently in western *Algeria from 1235 to 1557. This dynasty had its capital in *Tlemcen. It welcomed numerous Jewish refugees victimized by pogroms in Christian *Spain in the 1390s – one hundred years before the mass expulsion of Spanish Jewry. Some Jews enjoyed influence in the Ziyanid court as officials, interpreters, and financial advisers. When Spain and *Portugal conquered parts of Algeria in the 16th century, they sowed panic among the Jews, who fled to *Morocco and other parts of the Maghreb. Some came back after the withdrawal of the occupiers. To maintain their hold over Algeria, the Ziyanids enlisted the aid of the Ottoman Turks. The latter gradually consolidated their hold over the country in the 1550s and remained in relative control until the French conquest of 1830.


H.Z. Hirschberg, A History of the Jews in North Africa, 1 (1974); C.-A. Julien, History of North Africa: From the Early Arab Conquest to 1830, ed. and rev. by R. Le Tourneau (1970).

[Michael M. Laskier (2nd ed.)]

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