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The obsession of Spanish society in the 15th-17th centuries with purity of blood and the proliferation of "limpieza de sangre" demands in the statutes of military and religious orders, universities, etc., brought about the emergence of "linajudos" - investigators of the ancestry of candidates for offices of honor or membership in corporations. The first "linajudos" were the offspring of patrician families motivated by traditional rivalries. Beginning with Fernando Ortiz de Zuniga y Leiva (late 16th-early 17th centuries), the "linajudos" became professionals. The "linajudos" of later generations were people of lower social status, who formed a guild. The "linajudos" of the 17th century were extortionists and blackmailers. In 1654 most members of their guild were put on trial in Sevilla; nevertheless, the profession disappeared only at the end of the 17th century, when the economy of Sevilla decayed and the documents allowing the tracing of the ancestry of Jews and Muslims mostly vanished. People descended from Conversos invented ways to blur or erase their "impure" origin. (From the Bibliography of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism)

Title Linajudos and conversos in Seville : greed and prejudice in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain / Ruth Pike.
Publisher New York : P. Lang
Creation Date c2000
Notes Includes index.
Bibliography: p. [189]-197.
Series American university studies. Ser. 9, History
v. 195
Format xiii, 217 pages : facsims., maps
24 cm.
Language English
Identifier ISBN0820449644
System Number 990020521700205171

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