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ZURITA:

Fortified city of Castile on the River Tajo, one and one-half miles from Pastrana. It had a Jewish community as early as 1137, when King Alfonso VII. won it from the Moors; and during the Almohade persecutions many Jews sought refuge there. In the charter granted the city by AlfonsoVIII in 1180, no distinctions were drawn between Jews and Christians, and on Dec. 20, 1215, the aljama in Zurita was exempted from all taxation by Henry I. of Castile in view of the pecuniary sacrifices made by its members during the war, and in recognition of its faithful defense and improvement of the fort entrusted to it. In 1474 this same aljama, which was so wealthy that it gave the king a thousand doubloons ("mille aureos"), paid, together with the aljamas of Pastrana and Almequera, two thousand maravedis in taxes.

Bibliography:
  • Boletin Acad. Hist. xl. 166 et seq.;
  • Rios, Hist. i. 356, iii. 599.
J. M. K.
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