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The Chosen Few by Zvi Eckstein, Maristella Botticini

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CHAPTER 1

70 CE–1492

HOW MANY JEWS WERE THERE, AND WHERE AND HOW DID THEY LIVE?

Ours is not a maritime country; neither commerce nor the intercourse which it promotes with the outside world has any attraction for us. Our cities are built inland, remote from the sea, and we devote ourselves to the cultivation of the productive country.

—Flavius Josephus, c. 96 CE

The Route of the Jewish Rādhānite merchants, who speak Arabic and Persian and Rūmī (Greek), and Ifranjī (Latin) and Andalusī (Spanish) and Slavic. They travel from [the] east to [the] west and from the west to the east, by land and by sea. . . . They transport from China. . . . sometimes they turn to Constantinople with their merchandise . . . ; sometimes they travel with it to the king ...

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