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Posted by
3122 posts

No. Two different cities 18 miles apart. One was a bathhouse, the other potentially a synagogue. It’s amazing what some plaster or layers of paint cover up.

Posted by
358 posts

No, there is quite a bit of difference between a hammam and a synagogue!
Through our current poisoned lens when viewing the world — Shakespeare's phrase living 'cheek by jowl' described how Christians, Jews and Muslims once lived quite amicably together, shoulder to shoulder, in close quarters—some find it difficult to appreciate that it is possible—and was the usual case, that Jews lived in the same cities as Muslims, each culture aiding the other in pursuit of knowledge, well-being and wisdom. Then, along came the Christians—to muddle it all. The Crusaders of their day were many times more ruthless and bloody than so-called Jihadists of today. Which is precisely why Spain is an interesting country to experience. Until the end of the 14th century/beginning of the 15th century Spain (or Iberia) was a crucible of all faiths.

Posted by
3789 posts

I'll admit that I didn't read either article, but the fact that two bars in Spain unearthed ruins and were mentioned in a few days had me wondering whether one was a misidentification published before verification.I do agree, Bill that Spain's cultural history adds to its interest for me. Sad it couldn't be maintained.

Posted by
3122 posts

MariaF - if you go to the articles it’s clear there is no misidentification. In a simplistic sense, the images of the baths in the Sevilla bar reminded me of the 11th century bathes one can visit in Granada. The potential synagogue in Utrera, while not as elaborate, has arches reminiscent of the Mezquita in Cordoba. Very much looks like at one time they were in the mudejar style.

Posted by
12314 posts

Bill, that is sort of revisionist history. If anyone is interested in how the Jews and Christians and Muslims lived together in Muslim lands this one place to start. Pretty brief, but will give you an idea of the overall concept. https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/medieval-jewish-history-632-to-1650/

But there are no absolutes. Guess where the largest Jewish city outside of Israel exists? Okay, they sometimes make the claim, but I doubt its true except under very strict definition. Still, fascinating history where the old world Muslims protected and the modern Socialists persecuted. https://www.timesofisrael.com/a-glimpse-into-azerbaijans-hidden-all-jewish-town/

My only point with the two examples is the world is way too complex to makes simplistic statements.

Posted by
358 posts

@ James E. Thanks for the links — although I’m not quite sure how they are relevant.
First, the term, La Reconquista is a misnomer. How can anyone re-conquer something that wasn’t theirs to begin with?
Prior to the mainly (though not exclusively) Umayyad invasion of 711 C.E. what we now know as Spain was most certainly NOT a Christian country — far from it. The population at that time were mainly Romano-Hispanics, (who likely still followed a belief based on Mithras—tempered over time with local pagan worship), Visigoths (who had their own brands of imported Paganism) and various indigenous Pagan tribes.
The leaders of the occupying Visigoths grudgingly decided to convert to a form of Nicene Christianity in 589 C.E. (only 122 years before the invasion of 711 C.E. — hardly time to thoroughly indoctrinate a population while at the same time fending off attacks from neighbors, but time enough to build a church, or site of worship, or two—except they chose not to) by way of cosying up to the Council of Toledo because they could probably see the way the wind was blowing regarding Christian expansionist plans formulated by radical Chalcedonian seers and sayers. The Chalcedonians laid claim to the entire North African Mediterranean coast except for Egypt, and the entire north Mediterranean coast apart from parts of Turkey, the Levant, (including Palestine and the Holy Land) — putting them into direct conflict with Coptic, Armenian and Abyssinian Christians.
There is NO archaeological evidence of Christian worship in what is now Spain and Portugal prior to 711 C.E. — leastways none that has been catalogued.
Sure, there were likely some Christians living in Iberia prior to 711 C.E., but they were very much in the minority.
The concept of La Reconquista was invented by Spanish historiographers in the 19th century to aid erstwhile administrators develop a sense of a unified national identity. It wasn't then España—rather, it was (and, to an extent, remains to this day) Las Españas.

Posted by
284 posts

Bill, you made the comment:

There is NO archaeological evidence of Christian worship in what is now Spain and Portugal prior to 711 C.E. — leastways none that has been catalogued.

Maybe they don't have a catalog, but these guys might have a different opinion:

Museu Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona. Part of their tour is called "The Early Christian Museum and Necropolis" which they describe as:

"The Early Christian Necropolis of Tarragona is one of the best-known and best preserved late Roman (3rd-5th centuries AD) cemeteries in the Roman Empire. A visit to it immerses you in the evocative world of the dead –as well as of life– some 1,500 years ago in Tarraco.

Thanks to archaeology, we can get to know the people who lived in ancient Tarraco. What were their names? What work did they do? How long did they live? What were their beliefs? In short, we have an open door to understanding what life was like in Roman times."

Posted by
3113 posts

For anyone who is interested . . .”The Ornament of the World” How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain, by Maria Rosa Menocal.

Posted by
1750 posts

“The Ornament of the World” mentioned above was also a program on our PBS station last year.