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Perceptions et définitions de la nation par les juifs eux-mêmes

Translatio Andalusiae. Constructing Local Jewish Identity in Southern France

Translatio Andalusiae. La construction d’une identité juive locale dans le Sud de la France
Ram Ben-Shalom
p. 273-296


This article explores the question of national group cohesion among the Jews of southern France. The numerous political borders and the expulsion of the Jews from Languedoc (1306) afford us the opportunity to examine local – Provençal – Jewish group identity, in contrast to a broader Jewish conception of nationhood. An analysis of some Hebrew documents demonstrates the significance of the expulsion of the Jews as the “destruction of my native land”. This is one enlightening example of a unitary socio-cultural conception of the Provençal region, which did not recognize political borders. wThe primary marker of this Provençal identity was their Andalusian Jewish tradition.

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Author's notes

This research was supported by the I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and The Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 1754/12).

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Provinṣah” (Jewish Provence) as a Native Land: The Notion of a Local National Group
Who Were the “True” Heirs of Jewish Al-Andalus?

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The Jewish centre in Southern France [the regions of Provence, Languedoc and Roussillon] lay at the heart of Jewish settlement in Western Europe – between the communities of Spain, Italy, France and Germany [Ashkenaz]. As a result of its geographical location, it not only absorbed elements of the cultures of neighbouring Jewish centres but also, in the course of forming its own independent and unique collective identity, spearheaded some of medieval European Jewry’s most important cultural-religious developments. To cite only a few examples: the comprehensive project for the translation of philosophical and scientific works from Arabic into Hebrew, which facilitated the transmission and assimilation of the literary achievements of the Jews of Muslim Spain (al-Andalus); the creation of the Maimonidean-Aristotelian philosophical school, which provoked spiritual and socio-religious debate throughout the Jewish world; and the first known historical appearance of the esoteric discipline ...

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Bibliographical reference

Ram Ben-Shalom, « Translatio Andalusiae. Constructing Local Jewish Identity in Southern France », Revue de l’histoire des religions, 2 | 2017, 273-296.

Electronic reference

Ram Ben-Shalom, « Translatio Andalusiae. Constructing Local Jewish Identity in Southern France », Revue de l’histoire des religions [Online], 2 | 2017, Online since 01 June 2019, connection on 22 January 2018. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/rhr.8739

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About the author

Ram Ben-Shalom

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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