History of the Jews in Florence
The history of the Jews in Florence can be traced over seven hundred years. Florence is the city of the Italian region of Tuscany. The Jews of Florence have one of the oldest continuous Jewish communities in Europe, the historic Jewish community in Florence is one of the largest and one of the most influential Jewish communities in Italy. The Jewish community in Florence serves the smaller neighboring Jewish communities in Pisa, many Jews who settled in Florence were merchants and money lenders. Emanuel ben Uzziel da Camerino was one of the first known Jews of Florence whose name was recorded, in 1428, the small Jewish community in Florence lent funds to Pope Martin V in exchange for his protection for the local Jews. The Jewish community in Florence was formally founded in 1437, the Italian, Medici family of Florence was closely linked to the Jews of Florence. For instance, the Medicis protected the Jews of Florence from sermons by fanatical Roman Catholic clergy, such as Bernardino da Feltre, some of the expulsion orders were tied to plague hysteria.
However, when the Medicis fell briefly from power in the 1490s, Jewish money loaned to the Republic of Florence delayed the expulsion until the Medicis returned to power in 1512. During this time Jewish physicians and scholars were called to the court of the Medicis, thus the growth of the Jewish community began to increase. In addition to Sephardic Jews, more Italian Jews from the Papal States arrived, once Cosimo de Medici consolidated his power, he began to enact anti-Jewish laws such as special dress codes for the Jews. He created the Jewish ghetto of Florence in 1571, life in the Florence ghetto was compulsory for most but not all Jews. However, within the ghetto, the Jews had an amount of legal and governmental autonomy. They established synagogues, kosher markets, and ritual bath houses, by the 1600s, the Italian Jews of Florence began to feel disenfranchised by the growing number of Spanish/Portuguese Jews. Tensions between the two groups rose as Sephardic rite congregations began to compete with the native Italian rite congregations, despite the rift, both groups lived peacefully side by side.
By the 18th century, there were about a thousand Jews living the ghetto of Florence, at this time, a small Hebrew printing shop began to publish works such as Aaron ben Jacob ha-Kohens Orot Hayyim. In 1799, emancipation came to the Jews of Florence from Napoleonic forces who occupied the city, in 1848, the ghetto was abolished and the Jews of Florence were given civil rights under a new constitution. By 1861, the Jews were given citizenship and the ghetto was leveled to make room for urban renewal. The Great Synagogue was built in 1882, in 1899, the Collegio Rabbinco Italiano was relocated to Florence
History of the Jews in San Marino
The history of the Jews in San Marino reaches back to the Middle Ages. San Marino is a land locked country in central Italy. There has been a Jewish presence in San Marino for at least 600 years, the first mention of Jews in San Marino dates to the late 14th century, in official documents recording the business transactions of Jews. There are many throughout the 15th to 17th centuries describing Jewish dealings. Jews were required to wear special badges and live by specific restrictions, during World War II, San Marino provided a harbor for more than 100,000 Italians and Jews from Nazi and Italian persecution. Today, there are small numbers of Jews in San Marino
History of the Jews in Calabria
The history of the Jews in Calabria reaches back over two millennia. Calabria is at the south of the Italian peninsula, to which it is connected by the Monte Pollino massif, while on the east, south. Jews have had a presence in Calabria for at least 1600 years, Calabrian Jews have had notable influence on many areas of Jewish life and culture. The Jews of Calabria are virtually identical to the neighbouring Jews of Sicily but are considered separate, the Jews of Calabria and the Jews of Apulia are historically the same community, only today are considered separate. Occasionally, there is confusion with the southern Jewish community in Calabria, both communities have always been entirely separate. The history of the Jews in Calabria is presumed to date back centuries before the common era. While there is evidence of Hellenized Jews living in the Greek colonies of Magna Graecia, there is no evidence of a Jewish presence in Calabria, known as Bruttium. However, legends state that many Jewish captive slaves were brought to Calabria after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in the year 70, other legends state that it was the Hellenized Jews from Egypt who introduced the Etrog to Calabria during the time of Magna Graecia.
In fact, the prized Etrog known as the Diamante Citron known as the, the Calabrian town of Santa Maria del Cedro still features their Etrog heritage in its place name. It was in Brindisi/Plandarsin that Rabbis Gamliel and other Tannaim debate oral law concerning personal travel during Shabbat, the first dated mentioning of Jewish communities in Calabria were by Roman officials in the service of the Western Emperor Honorius in the year 398. Some ancient towns known to have had a Jewish community were Reggio, today some physical remnants of the ancient Calabrian Jewish community still survives. These catacombs were in use from the first to the 3rd century, another popular legend states that after the Sack of Rome in 410, Gothic general Alaric carried his booty, including the Temple Treasure of Jerusalem, South with him on his way to Africa. When Alaric died suddenly while in Calabria, he was believed to have buried the Temple Treasure somewhere near the Calabria town of Consentia, in the year 925, an army of Fatimite Muslims, led by Jafar ibn Ubaid, invaded Calabria which devastated the Jewish population.
It was during this time that Shabbethai Donnolo, was made captive and he would become the Byzantine court physician in Calabria, and wrote many of his most famous works on medicine and theology while in Calabria. During the early period of the Middle Ages, Calabria and Apulia forming the Catepanate of Italy were under Byzantine rule, during this time the Calabrian Jewish population, estimated at around 12,000, flourished. According to some sources, some areas of Calabria may have had a Jewish population of up to fifty percent, many Jews were prosperous merchants dominating such industries as silk trading and cloth dyeing. Money lending was an important source of revenue for the Calabrian Jews, many Jews of Calabria lived in special segregated neighborhoods known as La Giudecca. Remnants of these still exist in Calabrian towns such as Nicastro
Trani listen is a seaport of Apulia, in southern Italy, on the Adriatic Sea,40 kilometres by railway West-Northwest of Bari. The town has become one of the capital cities of the new Province of Barletta-Andria-Trani. The city of Turenum appears for the first time in the Tabula Peutingeriana, the name, spelled Tirenum, was that of the Greek hero Diomedes. The city was occupied by the Lombards and the Byzantines. First certain news of a settlement in Trani, however. The most flourishing age of Trani was the 11th century, when it became a see in place of Canosa. Its port, well placed for the Crusades, developed greatly, in the year 1063 Trani issued the Ordinamenta et consuetudo maris, which is the oldest surviving maritime law code of the Latin West. There was Jewish community in Trani, which was under the protection of the king until it was given to the Archbishop Samarus during the reign of Henry VI at the end of the 12th century. In that period many great families from the main Italian Maritime Republics established themselves in Trani, Trani, in turn, maintained a consul in Venice from 12th century.
The presence of other consulates in many northern Europe centres, even in England and Netherlands, shows Tranis trading, emperor Frederick II built a massive castle in Trani. Under his rule, in the early 13th century, the city reached its highest point of wealth, there was some economic progress during the nineteenth century, and by 1881 the population had reached 25,647. Trani at this time was an important trading point for wines, the great talmudist Rabbi Moses ben Joseph di Trani was born in Thessaloniki, three years after his family had fled there from Trani due to antisemitic persecution. Trani entered a crisis under the Anjou and Aragonese rule, as its Jewish component was persecuted under Dominican pressure. Under the House of Bourbon, Trani recovered a certain splendour, thanks to the improved condition of Southern Italy economy. Trani was province capital until the Napoleonic age, when Joachim Murat deprived it of this status in favour of Bari, in 1799, the French troops provoked a massacre of Tranis population, as it had adhered to the Neapolitan Republic.
The Scolanova Synagogue survives and, after centuries as a church, has been rededicated as a synagogue. The church of SantAnna is another medieval former synagogue, located by the Adriatic Coast, between Barletta and Bisceglie, Trani borders with the municipalities of Andria, Barletta and Corato, in the Province of Bari. Trani has lost its old city walls and bastions, but the 13th-century fort has been restored as a museum
History of the Jews in Ancona
The history of the Jews in Ancona in Italy, began when Jews settled into the city in the first half of the 14th century, contributing to money-lending and other economic roles. The Jewish community of Ancona is one of the oldest and most significant Jewish communities in Italy, the presence of Jews is first recorded in the 10th century. In the following centuries the community grew because of the importance of the port, Jews started living in Ancona, Italy around 967 A. C. In that year, the Archbishop of Ravenna rented a piece of land to a Jew named Eliyahu. It is possible that a synagogue existed already in the 12th century, due to a Slicha written by a Jewish Paytan, by 1300, an organized Jewish community apparently existed in Ancona. It seems that Jews mainly worked in money lending, while the majority of Ancona Jews came from the Muslim east, they were joined by some German Jews in 1348. In 1520, the Jews of Ancona were forced again to wear the Jewish badge. In around 1450, the Jewish population of Ancona numbered an estimated 500 persons, after the city had fallen into the Papal state in 1429, pope Martin V tried to develop Ancona as an Italian center of commerce.
In order to achieve that goal, the town Jews got permission to open banks, most of these fugitives came from Sicily and from Naples and Portugal. In 1529, the Jewish false messiah Shlomo Molkho visited Ancona, as Ancona was declared a free port in around 1532 by Pope Paul III, the city was joined by even more Spanish and Portuguese Jews who found it to be an ideal base for commerce with the Levant. In 1550, the Jewish population of Ancona numbered about 2700 individuals, in objection to the popes which preceded him, Pope Paul IV turned against the Jewish population of Ancona. The papal opposition to Crypto-Judaism and Marranos was especially strong, cesare Galuaba, a papal commissioner, was sent to Ancona in order to incarcerate all Jews who were not willing to be baptized. By that, around 60 Jews renounced their faith,24 Jews refused to do so and were hanged and burned, as described in local documents and in shalshelet HaKabala. Most historians believe the boycott had an effect on the Ancona trade of a short while, shutting down the port, though only for a short time.
On 1569, when Pope Pius V ordered to expel all Jews from the Papal dominions, during the 18th century, an Ashkenazi Jewish community began to emerge. The Morpurgo family, which originated from Maribor or Marburg, was the most influential of them, in 1763, some 1290 Jews lived in Ancona. During the reign of Napoleon between 1797 and 1799, the Jews were fully emancipated, the gates of the ghetto were removed and the members of the Morpurgo family became members of the city council. In 1814, after Napoleons defeat and the return of the city to papal dominion, in 1938,1177 Jews lived in Ancona
Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, including its satellite islands. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality, the municipality has an area of 610.936 km2, the island proper 592.877 km2. The principal city of the island and seat of the municipality is named Corfu, Corfu is home to the Ionian University. The island is bound up with the history of Greece from the beginnings of Greek mythology and its history is full of battles and conquests. Castles punctuating strategic locations across the island are a legacy of these struggles, two of these castles enclose its capital, which is the only city in Greece to be surrounded in such a way. As a result, Corfus capital has been declared a Kastropolis by the Greek government. From medieval times and into the 17th century, the island was recognised as a bulwark of the European States against the Ottoman Empire, the fortifications of the island were used by the Venetians to defend against Ottoman intrusion into the Adriatic.
Corfu repulsed several Ottoman sieges, before falling under British rule following the Napoleonic Wars, in 2007, the citys old quarter was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, following a recommendation by ICOMOS. Corfu is a popular tourist destination. The island was the location of the 1994 European Union summit, the Greek name, Kerkyra or Korkyra, is related to two powerful water deities, god of the sea, and Asopos, an important Greek mainland river. According to myth, Poseidon fell in love with the beautiful nymph Korkyra, daughter of Asopos and river nymph Metope, Poseidon brought Korkyra to the hitherto unnamed island and, in marital bliss, offered her name to the place, which gradually evolved to Kerkyra. They had a child they called Phaiax, after whom the inhabitants of the island were named Phaiakes, Corfus nickname is the island of the Phaeacians. The name Corfù, an Italian version of the Byzantine Κορυφώ, meaning city of the peaks, derives from the Byzantine Greek Κορυφαί, the northeastern edge of Corfu lies off the coast of Sarandë, separated by straits varying in width from 3 to 23 km.
The southeast side of the island lies off the coast of Thesprotia and its shape resembles a sickle, to which it was compared by the ancients, the concave side, with the city and harbour of Corfu in the centre, lies toward the Albanian coast. With the islands area estimated at 592.9 square kilometres, it runs approximately 64 km long, two high and well-defined ranges divide the island into three districts, of which the northern is mountainous, the central undulating, and the southern low-lying. The more important of the two ranges, that of Pantokrator stretches east and west from Cape Falacro to Cape Psaromita, and attains its greatest elevation in the summit of the same name. The second range culminates in the mountain of Santi Jeca, or Santa Decca, as it is called by misinterpretation of the Greek designation Άγιοι Δέκα, or the Ten Saints
History of the Jews in Venice
The history of the Jewish Community of Venice, which is the capital of the Veneto region of Italy has been well known since the medieval era. Many other onerous regulations were included, in exchange for which the Community was granted the freedom to practice its faith. The first Jews to comply with the decree were the Ashkenazim from mid-eastern Europe and they used to melt metal, getto in Venetian, as their one in two options of income. Other choice was selling second hand items and clothing, when the Germans came, their guttural pronunciation changed the Venetian term from getto into ghetto, creating the word still used today to indicate various places of emargination. The ghetto was closed from 6 p. m. every night to 12 p. m. the next day, the boats of the Christian guards scoured the surrounding canals to impede nocturnal violations. This is how Europes first ghetto was born, known as Scole, the synagogues of the Venetian ghetto were constructed between the early-16th and mid-17th centuries.
Despite a few interventions, these synagogues have remained intact over time, the unusual tall buildings found here were divided into floors of sub-standard height, demonstrating how the density of the population had increased over the years. After the fall of the Serenissima in 1797, Napoleon decreed the end of the Jewish segregation and this provision became definitive when Venice was annexed to the Italian Kingdom. In September 1943, Italy changed from being an ally of Nazi Germany into a country. On 17 September, Professor Jona committed suicide rather than hand over to the German authorities a list of Jewish community residents, in November 1943, Jews were declared enemy aliens in accordance with the manifesto of the Italian Social Republic, to be arrested and their property seized. Although some Jews managed to escape to neutral Switzerland or Allied-occupied southern Italy and those arrested in 1944 included some 20 residents of a Jewish convalescence home, the Casa di Ricovero Israelitica and 29 from a Jewish hospital.
Most of those arrested in the summer of 1944 spent time incarcerated at Risiera di San Sabba concentration camp, only 8 Jewish residents of Venice emerged from the death camps. The 1938 Jewish population of Venice was reduced by the end to 1500. A memorial plaque to Venices Holocaust victims can be seen in Venices Campo del Ghetto Nuovo, chief Rabbi Adolfo Ottolenghi is commemorated there in a memorial tablet, as well as by a memorial woodland at Mestre. What was Europes first ghetto is now a lively and popular district of the city where the religious and administrative institutions of the Jewish Community and its five synagogues still persist. In the heart of the Ghetto of Venice, heir to the ancient traditions of study, the Renato Maestro Library and Archives was opened by the Jewish Community, the library owns a large collection of documents and publications on the Jewish Community dating from the 17th century. The catalogue of modern books numbers 8.000 titles in Italian, French, the Catalogue of Ancient Hebrew Books includes 2500 volumes.
The library subscribes to 35 periodicals and several others, totalling a hundred, are available, the Jewish Museum of Venice is situated in the Campo of the Ghetto Novo, between the two most ancient Venetian synagogues
The Venetian Ghetto was the area of Venice in which Jews were compelled to live under the Venetian Republic. The English word ghetto is derived from the Jewish ghetto in Venice, originating from the Venetian ghèto, the Venetian Ghetto was instituted on 29 March 1516, though political restrictions on Jewish rights and residences existed before that date. In 1797 the French army of Italy, commanded by the 28-year-old General Napoleon Bonaparte, conquered Venice, dissolved the Venetian republic, in the 19th century, the ghetto was renamed the Contrada dellunione. The origins of the ghetto are disputed. The Ghetto is an area of the Cannaregio sestiere of Venice, divided into the Ghetto Nuovo, though it was home to a large number of Jews, the population living in the Venetian Ghetto never assimilated to form a distinct, Venetian Jewish ethnicity. Four of the five synagogues were clearly divided according to ethnic identity, separate synagogues existed for the German, Italian and Portuguese, and Levantine Sephardi communities.
The fifth, the Scuola Canton, was built as a synagogue for the four families, one of them the Fano family, who funded its construction. Today, there are other populations of Ashkenazic Jews in Venice, mainly Lubavitchers who operate a kosher food store, a yeshiva. Languages historically spoken in the confines of the Ghetto include Venetian, Judeo-Spanish, French, in addition, Hebrew was traditionally used on signage and for official purposes such as wedding contracts. Today, English is widely used in the shops and the Museum because of the number of English-speaking tourists. Today, the Ghetto is still a center of Jewish life in the city, the Jewish Community of Venice, that counts 500 people, is still culturally very active. Every year, there is a conference on Hebrew Studies, with particular reference to the history. Other conferences and seminars are held throughout the course of the year, along with its architectural and artistic monuments, the community boasts a Museum of Jewish Art, the Renato Maestro Library and Archive and the new Info Point inside the Midrash Leon da Modena.
In the Ghetto area there is a yeshiva, several Judaica shops, although only few of the roughly 500 Venetian Jews still live in the Ghetto, many return there during the day for religious services in the two synagogues which are still used. Notable residents of the Ghetto include Leon of Modena, whose family originated in France and she was an accomplished writer and even hosted her own salon. Meir Magino, the famous glassmaker came from the ghetto, william Shakespeares play The Merchant of Venice, written ca. 1595, features Shylock, a Venetian Jew, and his family, arnold Weskers play The Merchant written in 1978 retells the story of Shylock and opens in the Nuovo Ghetto. Geraldine Brooks 2008 novel People of the Book which traces the history of the Sarajevo Haggadah has a chapter with action taking place in 1609 in the Venetian Ghetto, ISBN 3-551-71669-2 Mirjam Pressler, Shylocks Tochter
History of the Jews in Naples
The history of the Jews in Naples deals with the presence of Jews in the city of Naples, Italy. The Jewish presence in the city back at least 2,000 years. Today, the Jewish community in Naples numbers around 200 people, records of the first Jews in Naples go back to around the 1st century under the Romans. By 536, the Jewish community of Naples was sufficiently sizeable, in 1159, when Benjamin of Tudela visited the city, he noted that 500 Jewish families lived in the city. In 1288, after Dominican priests spread anti-Jewish sentiments, the Kingdom of Naples issued an order for the Jews. In 1473, the first Jewish press was established in Naples, in 1492, many Jews who were expelled from Spain came to Naples, where King Ferdinand of Naples protected them. However, in 1495, the French conquered the kingdom and persecuted its Jews, in 1510, Spain won control of the city and expelled the Jews, but those who paid 300 ducanti were permitted to stay. In 1535, the price was raised forcing many Jews to leave, in 1735, Jews were permitted to return to Naples.
In 1831, a group of Jews settled in the Maltese Cross Hotel where one of the rooms served as a synagogue. In 1841, the Rothschild family, which had set up an office in Naples, acquired the Villa Pignatelli which, according to some accounts, in 1864, the community rented space in Via Cappella Vecchia, which became the community centre. In 1863, the Rothschild Naples office closed and in 1867 the Villa Pignatelli was sold, napless Jewish community in the 1920s comprised almost 1,000 members. Between 1942 and 1943,50 Jews of Naples were saved from German deportation by being hidden by villagers in the area of Caserta, after World War II, the Jewish community of Naples numbered between 600 and 700. Today, the citys Jewish population numbers about 200, the synagogue in Naples is located on Via Cappella Vecchia. The building, located in the Palazzo Sessa, was inaugurated in 1864 thanks to the influence of Baron Rothschild, the large conference room has been reopened after restoration work that was carried out in 1992
Ferrara is a city and comune in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, capital city of the Province of Ferrara. It is situated 50 kilometres north-northeast of Bologna, on the Po di Volano, the town has broad streets and numerous palaces dating from the 14th and 15th centuries, when it hosted the court of the House of Este. For its beauty and cultural importance it has qualified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Modern times have brought a renewal of industrial activity, Ferrara is on the main rail line from Bologna to Padua and Venice, and has branches to Ravenna, Poggio Rusco and Codigoro. Ferrara appears first in a document of the Lombard king Desiderius of 753 AD, Desiderius pledged a Lombard ducatus ferrariae in 757 to Pope Stephen II. Obizzo II dEste was proclaimed ruler of Ferrara five hundred years later. He became seignior of nearby Modena in 1288 and of Reggio in 1289, in 1452 the Este rulers were created Dukes of Modena and Reggio, and in 1471 Ferrara became a duchy. In 1597, when Alfonso II died without heirs, the House of Este lost Ferrara to the Papal States.
Ferrara remained a part of the Papal States from 1598 to 1859, with an interruption during the Napoleonic period, in 1859 it became part of the Kingdom of Italy. A fortress was constructed by Pope Paul V on the site of the castle called Castel Tedaldo, at the south-west angle of the town, all of the fortress was dismantled following the birth of the Kingdom of Italy and the bricks used for new constructions all over the town. On August 23,1944, the Ferrara synthetic rubber plant was a target of Strategic bombing during World War II, the town is still surrounded by more than 9 kilometres of ancient walls, mainly built in the 15th and 16th-centuries. Along with those of Lucca, they are the best preserved Renaissance walls in Italy, the imposing brick Castello Estense sited in the very centre of the town is iconic of Ferrara. The castle, erected in 1385, is surrounded by a moat, the pavilions on the top of the towers date from the 16th-century refurbishment. The City Hall, renovated in the 18th century, was the residence of the Este family.
Close by it is the former Cathedral of San Giorgio, The Romanesque lower part of the main façade, according to a now lost inscription the church had been commissioned by Guglielmo I of Adelardi. The sculpture of the portal was signed by a Nicholaus. The upper part of the main façade, with arcades of pointed arches, dates from the 13th century, the recumbent lions guarding the entrance are copies of the originals, now in the narthex of the church. An elaborate 13th-century relief depicting the Last Judgement is found in the story of the porch
History of the Jews in Sicily
The history of the Jews in Sicily deals with Jews and the Jewish community in Sicily which possibly dates back two millennia. Sicily is an island off the Southern Italian coast. There has been a Jewish presence in Sicily for at least 1400 years, there is a legend that Jews were first brought to Sicily as captive slaves in the 1st century after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE. However, it is presumed the Jewish population of Sicily was seeded prior to the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem. Rabbi Akiva visited the city of Syracuse during one of his trips abroad, the Jews lived in many Sicilian cities such as Palermo and Catania. From the late 7th century, Sicily joined with Calabria to form the Byzantine Theme of Sicily, in the 6th century, communications were sent to Pope Gregory I about the plight of the Jews in the Kingdom of Sicily. In 831, Sicily came under the Arab dominion, who treated the Jews justly, in 1072, during the First Crusade, Sicily fell to the Normans, and the Jews were again brought under the supremacy and jurisdiction of the Catholic Church.
The Norman Kingdom of Sicily lasted until 1194, when it fell to the Hohenstaufens, in 1210, the Jews of Sicily faced such persecution from the Crusaders that Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II had to intervene on their behalf. But, despite persecution, Sicilian Jews continued to thrive, some Sicilian rabbis communicated with Maimonides posing religious questions. Systematic persecution of the Jews in Sicily started in the 14th century, in 1310 the King of Sicily Frederick II of Aragon adopted a restrictive and discriminatory policy towards the Jews, who were required to mark their clothes and their shops with the red wheel. Jews were forbidden any relationship with Catholics, in 1392, Jews were ordered to live in ghettos and severe persecutions broke out in Monte San Giuliano and Syracuse, in which many Jews fell victim. The next year strict decrees were directed against private ceremonies, for example, Jews were forbidden to use any decorations in connection with funerals, except in unusual cases, when silk was permitted, the coffin might be covered with a woolen pall only.
In Marsala, Jews were compelled to part in the festival services at Christmas and on St. Stephens Day. In comparison with other Jewish communities of Europe, the Sicilians were happily situated and they even owned a considerable amount of property, since thirteen of their communities were able, in 1413, to lend the infante Don Juan 437 ounces of gold. This was repaid on 24 December 1415, in the same year, the Jewish community of Vizzini was expelled by Queen Blanca, and it was never permitted to return. The culmination of persecution came with the expulsion of Jews from Sicily, the decree of banishment dated 31 March 1492 was decreed by Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. At the time there were around 25. 000-30.000 Jews living on the island, all other Jewish property was confiscated by the Crown. After numerous appeals, the date of departure was postponed to 18 December, the departure actually occurred on 31 December 1492