How Many Jews Were There, and Where and how did they Live?
This chapter describes how many Jews there were, where they lived, and how they earned their living from the time of the destruction of the Second Temple to the mass expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. During the six centuries between the time of Jesus and the time of Muhammad, the number of Jews declined precipitously. Throughout these six centuries, most Jews earned their living from agriculture, as farmers, sharecroppers, fixed-rent tenants, or wage laborers. During the first century, the largest Jewish community dwelled in the Land of Israel. By the mid-twelfth century, Jews could be found in almost all locations from Tudela in Spain to Mangalore in India. By then, their transition into urban skilled occupations was complete. Their specialization into these occupations remains their distinctive feature until today.
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