The Middle Ages

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The Iberian Peninsula experienced prolonged interaction and cultural exchange among Christians, Jews, and Muslims, what was the relationship among these three groups?

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The relationship between these three groups was complicated and not always stable.  There were times of tolerance and times of great intolerance.  The three groups learned from one another but were also enemies at times.

During this time, there was typically political tension between Muslim ruled areas and Christian ruled areas in Spain.  The two were almost constantly at war.  At the same time, however, there was trade between the two areas and there was scholarly interchange.  Christian scholars came to Muslim areas because the Muslims had more access to works from classical times than the Christians did.  

Jews existed in both Muslim and Christian Iberia.  They were often important members of society both as scholars and as parts of the economy.  However, their position was tenuous.  They were tolerated in Muslim Iberia, but there were times when this tolerance was thin and harsh.  They were tolerated at times in Christian Spain, but they were sometimes hated and were eventually expelled.

In this way, the relationship between these three groups was complicated and somewhat unstable.

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