Legal provisions to regulate economic exchanges between Christians and non-Christians Though records of individual transactions may be scarce indeed, the ordinances of the cortes provide revealing glimpses of their frequency and character. From the mid-thirteenth century until the end of the Middle Ages, the legislation of the cortes sought to restrict and regulate economic exchanges between the dominant Christian population and Muslims and Jews. The frequency of these prohibitions, and the tedious repetition of restrictive measures against Muslims and Jews, tell us how often these injunctions were ignored or circumvented; they also signal the importance of these transactions in the economic life of the realm. Not all of these measures, were economic in nature; at least, they were not overtly so. Some of the cortes' ordinances sought to prevent Jews and Muslims from having intimate contact with Christians and to differentiate them by regulating their clothing and hairstyle. But even these ordinances were seldom enforced; and the fluid movement across religious lines

66 Medieval Spain

Economic Exchange in Late Medieval Castile 67

68 Medieval Spain

Retail transactions among Christians, Jews, and Muslim merchants and artisans

Economic Exchange in Late Medieval Castile 69


70 Medieval Spain

Economic Exchange in Late Medieval Castile 71

72 Medieval Spain

Buying from and selling property to the 'other'

Economic Exchange in Late Medieval Castile 73

Table 4.1 Number of transactions in Burgos, 1200-1350

Number of transactions Purchases by religious minorities Sales by religious minorities Percentage of Jewish and Muslim transactions

377 1 2 0.78%

74 Medieval Spain

Table 4.2 Other Transactions and monies exchanged in 1209 Burgos

5 mrs (gold) 8 mrs (gold)

10 mrs (gold) 17 mrs (gold)

29 mrs 60 mrs (gold)

150 mrs 220 mrs

Economic Exchange in Late Medieval Castile 75

Table 4.3 Urban real-estate markets of Avila and Salamanca (1240-1360)

Avila Salamanca

Total number of extant transactions 34 60 Number of transactions involving Jews 14 13(1 purchase) Percentage of total 41% 22% Lowest price paid for Je wish-owned property 143 mrs 15.5 mrs Highest price paid for Jewish-owned property 1300 mrs 450 mrs Average price per transaction 620 mrs 174.6 mrs

Identity of Jewish sellers No. of transactions Couples 5 5 Female 2 4 Male 6 2 (including a rabbi) Siblings 1 (brothers) 1 (brother and sister)

Table 4.4 Real-estate transactions in Avila, 1290-1300

Number of property Transactions among Transactions among transactions Christians Christians and


76 Medieval Spain

Trading with the 'other'


3 This was most powerfully presented in Castro's The Structure o f Spanish History, trans. E. L. King (Princeton, 1954).