Dark Mirror

Author: Sara Lipton
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0805079106
Format: PDF
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Drawing on a vast array of primary sources, an illustrated and extensively researched volume examines the emergence of anti-Semitic iconography in the Middle Ages that were inspired by and designed to provoke fear and hostility.

Dark Mirror

Author: Sara Lipton
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 0805096019
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In Dark Mirror, Sara Lipton offers a fascinating examination of the emergence of anti-Semitic iconography in the Middle Ages The straggly beard, the hooked nose, the bag of coins, and gaudy apparel—the religious artists of medieval Christendom had no shortage of virulent symbols for identifying Jews. Yet, hateful as these depictions were, the story they tell is not as simple as it first appears. Drawing on a wide range of primary sources, Lipton argues that these visual stereotypes were neither an inevitable outgrowth of Christian theology nor a simple reflection of medieval prejudices. Instead, she maps out the complex relationship between medieval Christians' religious ideas, social experience, and developing artistic practices that drove their depiction of Jews from benign, if exoticized, figures connoting ancient wisdom to increasingly vicious portrayals inspired by (and designed to provoke) fear and hostility. At the heart of this lushly illustrated and meticulously researched work are questions that have occupied scholars for ages—why did Jews becomes such powerful and poisonous symbols in medieval art? Why were Jews associated with certain objects, symbols, actions, and deficiencies? And what were the effects of such portrayals—not only in medieval society, but throughout Western history? What we find is that the image of the Jew in medieval art was not a portrait of actual neighbors or even imagined others, but a cloudy glass into which Christendom gazed to find a distorted, phantasmagoric rendering of itself.

Images of Intolerance

Author: Sara Lipton
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520215516
Format: PDF, Mobi
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"The book addresses a hot topic, using a source that has nowhere been given the attention it deserves. The arguments are subtle, persuasive, and frequently brilliant. It will appeal to a wide reading public—those interested in Jewish history, medieval art history, and the history of France."—William C. Jordan, author of The Great Famine

The Murder of William of Norwich

Author: E.M. Rose
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190219645
Format: PDF, Docs
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In 1144, the mutilated body of William of Norwich, a young apprentice leatherworker, was found abandoned outside the city's walls. The boy bore disturbing signs of torture, and a story spread that it was a ritual murder, performed by Jews in imitation of the Crucifixion as a mockery of Christianity. The outline of William's tale eventually gained currency far beyond Norwich, and the idea that Jews engaged in ritual murder became firmly rooted in the European imagination. E.M. Rose's engaging book delves into the story of William's murder and the notorious trial that followed to uncover the origin of the ritual murder accusation - known as the "blood libel" - in western Europe in the Middle Ages. Focusing on the specific historical context - 12th-century ecclesiastical politics, the position of Jews in England, the Second Crusade, and the cult of saints - and suspensefully unraveling the facts of the case, Rose makes a powerful argument for why the Norwich Jews (and particularly one Jewish banker) were accused of killing the youth, and how the malevolent blood libel accusation managed to take hold. She also considers four "copycat" cases, in which Jews were similarly blamed for the death of young Christians, and traces the adaptations of the story over time. In the centuries after its appearance, the ritual murder accusation provoked instances of torture, death and expulsion of thousands of Jews and the extermination of hundreds of communities. Although no charge of ritual murder has withstood historical scrutiny, the concept of the blood libel is so emotionally charged and deeply rooted in cultural memory that it endures even today. Rose's groundbreaking work, driven by fascinating characters, a gripping narrative, and impressive scholarship, provides clear answers as to why the blood libel emerged when it did and how it was able to gain such widespread acceptance, laying the foundations for enduring antisemitic myths that continue to the present.

The Silk Industries of Medieval Paris

Author: Sharon Farmer
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812293312
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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For more than one hundred years, from the last decade of the thirteenth century to the late fourteenth, Paris was the only western European town north of the Mediterranean basin to produce luxury silk cloth. What was the nature of the Parisian silk industry? How did it get there? And what do the answers to these questions tell us? According to Sharon Farmer, the key to the manufacture of silk lies not just with the availability and importation of raw materials but with the importation of labor as well. Farmer demonstrates the essential role that skilled Mediterranean immigrants played in the formation of Paris's population and in its emergence as a major center of luxury production. She highlights the unique opportunities that silk production offered to women and the rise of women entrepreneurs in Paris to the very pinnacles of their profession. The Silk Industries of Medieval Paris illuminates aspects of intercultural and interreligious interactions that took place in silk workshops and in the homes and businesses of Jewish and Italian pawnbrokers. Drawing on the evidence of tax assessments, aristocratic account books, and guild statutes, Farmer explores the economic and technological contributions that Mediterranean immigrants made to Parisian society, adding new perspectives to our understanding of medieval French history, luxury trade, and gendered work.

Communities of Violence

Author: David Nirenberg
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400866235
Format: PDF, Docs
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In the wake of modern genocide, we tend to think of violence against minorities as a sign of intolerance, or, even worse, a prelude to extermination. Violence in the Middle Ages, however, functioned differently, according to David Nirenberg. In this provocative book, he focuses on specific attacks against minorities in fourteenth-century France and the Crown of Aragon (Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia). He argues that these attacks--ranging from massacres to verbal assaults against Jews, Muslims, lepers, and prostitutes--were often perpetrated not by irrational masses laboring under inherited ideologies and prejudices, but by groups that manipulated and reshaped the available discourses on minorities. Nirenberg shows that their use of violence expressed complex beliefs about topics as diverse as divine history, kinship, sex, money, and disease, and that their actions were frequently contested by competing groups within their own society. Nirenberg's readings of archival and literary sources demonstrates how violence set the terms and limits of coexistence for medieval minorities. The particular and contingent nature of this coexistence is underscored by the book's juxtapositions--some systematic (for example, that of the Crown of Aragon with France, Jew with Muslim, medieval with modern), and some suggestive (such as African ritual rebellion with Catalan riots). Throughout, the book questions the applicability of dichotomies like tolerance versus intolerance to the Middle Ages, and suggests the limitations of those analyses that look for the origins of modern European persecutory violence in the medieval past.

Practicing Piety in Medieval Ashkenaz

Author: Elisheva Baumgarten
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812246403
Format: PDF, Docs
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In the urban communities of medieval Germany and northern France, the beliefs, observances, and practices of Jews allowed them to create and define their communities on their own terms as well as in relation to the surrounding Christian society. Although medieval Jewish texts were written by a learned elite, the laity also observed many religious rituals as part of their everyday life. In Practicing Piety in Medieval Ashkenaz, Elisheva Baumgarten asks how Jews, especially those who were not learned, expressed their belonging to a minority community and how their convictions and deeds were made apparent to both their Jewish peers and the Christian majority. Practicing Piety in Medieval Ashkenaz provides a social history of religious practice in context, particularly with regard to the ways Jews and Christians, separately and jointly, treated their male and female members. Medieval Jews often shared practices and beliefs with their Christian neighbors, and numerous notions and norms were appropriated by one community from the other. By depicting a dynamic interfaith landscape and a diverse representation of believers, Baumgarten offers a fresh assessment of Jewish practice and the shared elements that composed the piety of Jews in relation to their Christian neighbors.

Marking the Jews in Renaissance Italy

Author: Flora Cassen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316813029
Format: PDF
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It is a little known fact that as early as the thirteenth century, Europe's political and religious powers tried to physically mark and distinguish the Jews from the rest of society. During the Renaissance, Italian Jews first had to wear a yellow round badge on their chest, and then later, a yellow beret. The discriminatory marks were a widespread phenomenon with serious consequences for Jewish communities and their relations with Christians. Beginning with a sartorial study - how the Jews were marked on their clothing and what these marks meant - the book offers an in-depth analysis of anti-Jewish discrimination across three Italian city-states: Milan, Genoa, and Piedmont. Moving beyond Italy, it also examines the place of Jews and Jewry law in the increasingly interconnected world of Early Modern European politics.

The Experience of Beauty in the Middle Ages

Author: Mary Carruthers
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019959032X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book articulates a new approach to medieval aesthetic values, emphasizing the sensory and emotional basis of all medieval arts, their love of play and fine craftsmanship, of puzzles, and of strong contrasts.It offers an understanding of medieval literature and art that is rooted in the perceptions and feelings of ordinary life.

The Definition of Anti Semitism

Author: Kenneth L. Marcus
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 019937564X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This is the first book-length study to explore, in the context of the new anti-Semitism, the question that has become central to its field of scholarship: What is anti-Semitism? It explains how the failure to define anti-Semitism properly has exacerbated regulatory paralysis at a regulatory agency responsible for combating it. It explores the various ways in which anti-Semitism has been defined, demonstrates the weaknesses in prior efforts, develops a new definition of anti-Semitism, and explain the implications for efforts to combat this problem.