(Samuel ibn Naghrela)
993 – 1056(?)
Iberia, 11th century. The city of Granada rises to power. The kingdom that it lends its name to is a hodgepodge of Moors, Arabs, Berbers, and Jews.
The ruler of Granada is Habbus al-Muzaffar, and his assistant vizier is Samuel Ha-Nagid. Ha-Nagid is a man of many talents. Poet, Talmudic scholar, shop owner, tax collector, linguist...
After the king dies, Ha-Nagid helps assure that Habbus' son Badis ascends to the throne. The new ruler rewards the Jew, making him top vizier and general. For the next seventeen years, Ha-Nagid commands forces, most of them Muslim, winning major victories over Seville and Malaga. Granada is at the height of its power.
Samuel's son takes over as vizier and general after his death. A few years later, a Muslim mob crucifies him. It starts a massacre that kills 4000 Jews. Coincidentally or not, the Kingdom of Granada falls soon after.
October 10, 2012