This month marks the 482nd anniversary of the start of the trials of one of the women of the Spanish Inquisition, Beatriz Rodriguez – a 16th century Castilian midwife tried numerous time by the inquisitors of Toledo. Dr. Renée Levine Melammed, Professor of Jewish History, describes how she first began researching women of the Spanish Inquisition. She does this by telling Beatriz’s moving story.
How did Professor Melammed discover Beatriz?
Was Beatriz eventually convicted?
See the document dated from 1536-1563 with Beatriz Rodriguez’s trial records.
Read the complete article about midwives trials during the Inquisition.
Renée Levine Melammed, originally from Long Island, New York, received her degrees from Smith College and Brandeis University. Her dissertation and early research dealt with the lives of crypto-Jewish women in Spain and the way in which conversos coped with the issue of their identity; her current research is focused on women’s lives as reflected in the Cairo Geniza. She is an emeritus professor of Jewish history at Schechter, teaching courses in medieval Jewish history and gender studies as well as in Jews of Spain and Islamic lands.