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Marranos
(373 words)

A Marrano is a Christianized Jew or Moor of medieval Spain, especially one who converted only to escape persecution (Conversion 1).

From the 11th century Spanish Jews (Judaism), showing that they too had to avoid things, borrowed from the Arabs the term maḥram (something prohibited), which, in its Castillian form marrano, they used to refer to pigs. The reconquistadores then took over the word and applied it to the Jews themselves. When baptism was forced on the Jews, it became a common term of contempt for those thus baptized (they called themselves ʾănûsı̄m, “coerced ones”), who w…

Cite this page
Colpe, Carsten, “Marranos”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 15 November 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_M121>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512



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