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NAJERA, NAGERA (Latin, Nagara):

City in Spain, situated between Logroño and Burgos. In the tenth century it had a prosperous Jewish community. In the fuero, or municipal privileges, conferred upon the city by Don Sancho el Mayor, and confirmed by Alfonso VI. in 1076, the Jews were granted the rights of noblemen and benefit of clergy. Whoever struck a Jew had to pay a fine in proportion to the gravity of the wound, the same as if the blow had been dealt to an infanta. This equality of treatment showed itself also in the fact that the guarding of the fort was entrusted to Jews and Christians alike. Any infringement of the ancient "Fuero de Najera" was attended with a penalty of 1,000 pounds in gold.

The Jews, who engaged in commerce and industry, lived in peace with the inhabitants of the city for several centuries; in the war between Don Pedro of Castile and Henry of Trastamara in 1360, the Jews were massacred by the starving soldiers of the latter. The once flourishing community, which in 1290 had paid taxes to the amount of 24,106 maravedis, was almost completely wiped out by the year 1474, when its taxes amounted to only 300 maravedis.

Bibliography:
  • Helfferich, Gesch. des Westgothen-Rechts, pp. 326 et seq. (contains the "Fuero de Najera" printed entire);
  • Ayala, Cronica del Rey D. Pedro, 11th year, ch. vii., p. 301;
  • Rios, Hist. i. 331, ii. 242 et seq. (where "Najera" should be read for "Navarra");
  • idem, Estudios, pp. 41 et seq.
S. M. K.
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