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The Chosen FewHow Education Shaped Jewish History, 70-1492$
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Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144870

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144870.001.0001

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Educated Wandering Jews, 800–1250

Educated Wandering Jews, 800–1250

(p.153) Chapter 7 Educated Wandering Jews, 800–1250
The Chosen Few

Maristella Botticini

Zvi Eckstein

Princeton University Press

This chapter shows that once the Jews became literate, urban, and engaged in skilled occupations, they began migrating within the vast territory under Muslim rule—stretching from the Iberian Peninsula to India during the eighth through the twelfth centuries, and from the Byzantine Empire to western Europe via Italy and within western Europe in the ninth through the thirteenth centuries. In early medieval Europe, the revival of trade concomitant with the Commercial Revolution and the growth of an urban and commercial economy paralleled the vast urbanization and the growth of trade that had occurred in the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates four to five centuries earlier. The Jewish diaspora during the early Middle Ages was mainly the outcome of literate Jewish craftsmen, shopkeepers, traders, scholars, teachers, physicians, and moneylenders migrating in search of business opportunities to reap returns on their investment in literacy and education.

Keywords:   migration, literate Jews, Iberian Peninsula, India, Byzantine Empire, medieval Europe, Commercial Revolution, urbanization, Jewish Diaspora

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