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Conversos – Crypto Jews – Marranos *

Condemned by the Inquisition, painting by Eugenio Lucas Velázquez (1833-1836). The condemned wear their coryza (es) and wear a sambenito.

converso  was a Jew who converted to Catholicism  in Spain or Portugal in the Iberian Peninsula, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries, or one of his or her descendants forced to convert to Christianity during the Middle Ages.

Auto de fe painted by 
Pedro Berruguete in 
1475 .

The Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella expelled those remaining openly practising Jews by the Alhambra decree of 1492, following the Christian Reconquista (reconquest) of Spain. However, even a significant proportion of these remaining practising Jews chose to join the already large converso community rather than face exile.

Virgin of the Catholic Monarchs painting 
in which appears kneeling behind King Ferdinand the Catholic, the Inquisitor General 
Tomás de Torquemada , and the Inquisitor of Aragon 
Pedro de Arbués kneeling behind the queen 
Photo: anonymous   – 
http://www.museodelprado.es/
Auteur inconnu — Museum of Portugese Jewish History
Burning of Jews in Portugal in 1497.

Those who continued to practice Judaism in secrecy were called Marrnos. The term specifically refers to the charge of crypto-Judaism. Crypto-Judaism is the secret adherence to Judaism while publicly professing to be of another faith. The phenomenon is especially associated with renaissance Spain, following the Massacre of 1391 and the expulsion of the Jews in 1492.

Marranos. 
Secret 
Passover Seder in Spain at the time of the Inquisition
 . 
History painting of the Russian-Jewish artist 
Moshe Maimon , 
1893.

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