Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Thebes (Istifa)
(682 words)

The city of Thebes in the Boeotia region of Greece, northwest of Athens, has been an administrative center since the tenth century and was known for its silk production, an industry in which the local Jews took an active part. In 1147 George of Antioch attacked the city and expelled or enslaved many of the local Jews, sending them to Sicily to work in silk manufacturing. Benjamin of Tudela, who visited Thebes in 1167, reported that it had two thousand Jewish inhabitants, and a number of first-class talmudic and rabbinic scholars who engaged in congenial disputat…

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Yitzchak Kerem, “Thebes (Istifa)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 20 October 2021
First published online: 2010

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