From Spain to Sicily after the Expulsion: Conversos between Economic Networks and the Aristocratic Elite

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This article focuses on a group of conversos families from Spain, who established themselves in Palermo after the Expulsion of the Jews in 1492. There they supported financial activities of the Nazione Catalana and established strong relationships with the local aristocracy. Thanks to this alliance, they managed to avoid persecution by the Spanish Inquisition, “cleanse” their “impure” blood and reach high positions within politics and society: feudal titles, political and financial offices, habits of military orders, ecclesiastical appointments and sometimes even sainthood. Firstly, the paper will give a brief sketch of the phenomenon of conversos in Sicily as well as the activities of the Spanish Inquisition before and after the expulsion of 1492. A significant case study will then be presented, focusing on the Torongi family (New Christians from Majorca settled in Palermo) and its network of relationships in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-445
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Early Modern History
Publication statusPublished - 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History

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