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Part II - Medieval Times

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2022

Steven Katz
Boston University
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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Cohen, M., Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages (Princeton, NJ, 1994). An analytic, comparative study of the treatment of Jews under Christian and Muslim rule.Google Scholar
Firestone, R., “Muhammad, the Jews of Medina, and the Composition of the Qur’an: Sacred History and Counter-History,” in Mehnaz Afridi, ed., Special Issue: “Remembering Jewish-Muslim Encounters: Challenges and Cooperation.” Religions 2019, 10, 63: DOI: 10.3390/rel10010063. A focused study on relations between Muhammad and the Jews of his time according to traditional Muslim and Jewish narratives.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Firestone, R., “Muslim-Jewish Dialogue,” in Cornille, C., ed., Blackwell Companion to Interreligious Dialogue (Oxford, 2013), 224243. A study of religious discussion and intellectual interchange between Jews and Muslims from the time of Muhammad to the present.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Meddeb, A., and Stora, B., eds., Encyclopedia of Jewish-Muslim Relations from the Origins to the Present Day (Princeton, NJ, 2013). French edition: Histoire des relations entre juifs et musulmans des origines à nos jours (Paris, 2013). A very large collection of original articles on virtually all aspects of relations between Jews and Muslims: ethnic, cultural historical, liturgical, literary, military, etc.Google Scholar
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Baer, Y., A History of the Jews in Christian Spain, trans. Schoffman, Louis et al., 2 vols. (Philadelphia, 1961–1966). The authoritative reconstruction of Jewish life in Spain subsequent to its reintegration into western Christendom.Google Scholar
Chazan, R., ed., Church, State, and Jew in the Middle Ages (New York, 1980). A collection of useful source materials for studying the history of the Jews in medieval western Christendom during the second half of the Middle Ages.Google Scholar
Chazan, R., The Jews of Medieval Western Christendom 1000–1500 (Cambridge, 2006). A broad overview of Jewish life in medieval western Christendom during the second half of the Middle Ages.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chazan, R., Reassessing Jewish Life in Medieval Europe (Cambridge, 2010). An examination and explanation of the ways in which the preceding overview of medieval European Jewish life differs from the prevailing views.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cluse, C., ed.. The Jews of Europe in the Middle Ages (Tenth to Fifteenth Centuries) (Turnhout, 2004). Valuable essays on Jewish life in medieval western Christendom during the second half of the Middle Ages.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jordan, W. C., The French Monarchy and the Jews: From Philip Augustus to the Last of the Capetians (Philadelphia, 1989). Careful reconstruction of Jewish life and royal policy toward the Jews in medieval France.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kisch, G., The Jews in Medieval Germany: A Study of Their Legal and Social Status (New York, 1970). A broad overview of the history of the Jews in the diverse German principalities by a distinguished legal scholar.Google Scholar
Moore, R. I., The Formation of a Persecuting Society (Oxford, 1987). A pathbreaking study of the enhanced marginalization of a number of medieval minority groups, including the Jews.Google Scholar
Richardson, H. G., The English Jewry under Angevin Kings (London, 1960). A study of medieval English Jewry by a distinguished scholar of medieval England.Google Scholar
Stow, K. R. Alienated Minority: The Jews of Medieval Latin Europe (Cambridge, MA,1992). Another valuable overview of the history of the Jews in medieval western Christendom.Google Scholar
Champagne, M.-T., and Resnick, I. M., eds., Jews and Muslims under the Fourth Lateran Council (Turnhout, 2018). A recent collection of essays on the decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) concerning non-Christians in Christendom.Google Scholar
Chazan, R., Daggers of Faith: Thirteenth-Century Christian Missionizing and Jewish Response (Berkeley, CA, 1989). A study of 13th-century interreligious polemics against the background of unprecedented ecclesiastical efforts to convert Jews to Christianity.Google Scholar
Cohen, J., The Friars and the Jews: The Evolution of Medieval Anti-Judaism (Ithaca, NY, 1982). A study of the new Christian assault on contemporary postbiblical Judaism in the 13th and 14th century, and the role of Dominican and Franciscan friars in implementing it.Google Scholar
Cohen, J., Living Letters of the Law: Ideas of the Jew in Medieval Christianity (Berkeley, CA, 1999). The career of Christianity’s “hermeneutical Jew,” the Jew constructed to meet the needs of Catholic theology, from Augustine to the 13th century.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grayzel, S., The Church and the Jews in the XIIIth Century, 2 vols. (New York, 1966–1989). First published in 1933, the classic collection of papal and conciliar decrees, in their Latin original and English translation, summaries, and/or notes. Vol. 1 is prefaced by Grayzel’s still valuable historical overview, vol. 2 contains Grayzel’s important study of 13th-century ecclesiastical policy, “Popes, Jews and Inquisition from ‘Sicut’ to ‘Turbato.’”Google Scholar
Grayzel, S., “The Papal Bull Sicut Judaeis,” in Studies and Essays in Honor of Abraham A. Neuman, ed. Ben-Horin, Meir et al. (Leiden, 1962), 243248. Grayzel’s foundational essay on the standard papal constitution on behalf of the Jews, protecting their rights to live unharmed under Christian rule.Google Scholar
Linder, A., ed., The Jews in the Legal Sources of the Early Middle Ages (Detroit, MI, 1997). Documents of early medieval legislation concerning the Jews, in their Latin original with Linder’s notes and translation. Pts. 3–5 contain ecclesiastical sources.Google Scholar
Pakter, W., Medieval Canon Law and the Jews (Ebelsbach, 1988). A topically organized legal-historical study of the Jews in ecclesiastical legislation and jurisprudence, through the 13th century.Google Scholar
Rist, R., Popes and Jews, 1095–1291 (Oxford, 2016). A fresh reevaluation of high medieval papal policy, stressing the specific concerns and contexts of individual popes and decrees.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simonsohn, S., The Apostolic See and the Jews, 7 vols. (Toronto, 1988–1991). A monumental collection of papal letters concerning the Jews through the mid-16th century: six volumes of documents followed by a broad, topically organized historical overview.Google Scholar
Stow, K. R., “Hatred of the Jews or Love of the Church: Papal Policy toward the Jews in the Middle Ages,” in Antisemitism through the Ages, ed. Almog, S., trans. Reisner, N. H. (Oxford, 1988), 7189. An engaging presentation of the author’s understanding of constancy and development in medieval papal Jewry policy.Google Scholar
Abulafia, A. S., Christian Jewish Relations 1000–1300: Jews in the Service of Medieval Christendom (New York, 2011). In this clear survey Abulafia draws together much of her decades of focused scholarship to emphasize theology and pragmatism in considering how the crusades and anti-Jewish libels affected those relations.Google Scholar
Bronstein, J., “The Crusades and the Jews: Some Reflections on the 1096 Massacre,” History Compass 5.4 (2007), 12681279. Offers an overview of historiography on the First Crusade.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chazan, R., Medieval Stereotypes and Modern Antisemitism (Berkeley, CA, 1997). The author makes an early argument for continuities rather than a sharp break between medieval and modern Jew-hatred.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Franke, D. P., “The Crusades and Medieval Anti-Judaism: Cause or Consequence?,” in Seven Myths of the Crusades, ed. Andrea, Alfred and Holt, Andrew (Cambridge, MA, 2015), 4869. This essay succinctly lays out questions for classroom discussion, while offering evidence that the Crusades were not a decisive event in Christian–Jewish relations and finding no link between Crusade ideology and Nazi Germany.Google Scholar
Kaplan, L. Figuring Racism in Medieval Christianity (New York, 2019). This work skillfully addresses notions of hereditary inferiority and the Christian doctrine of Jewish perpetual servitude.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lasker, D. J., “The Impact of the Crusades on the Jewish-Christian Debate,” Jewish History 13.2 (1999), 2336. This study explicitly addresses the issue of whether the crusades were a sharp break or part of an incremental transformation in relations between Christians and Jews.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Malkiel, D., “Destruction or Conversion: Intention and Reaction, Crusaders and Jews, in 1096,” Jewish History 15.3 (2001), 257280. Based on a close reading of the sources, this article questions whether Jews were actually offered the choice of baptism during the mayhem of the crusades.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Resnick, I. M., Marks of Distinction: Christian Perceptions of Jews in the High Middle Ages (Washington, DC, 2012). This book examines accusations of physical deformities, leprosy and food, sexual and planetary influences that helped define Jewish otherness. It draws on a wide range of sources including medical texts, encyclopedias, chronicles, exempla collections, sermons, polemical treatises and Bible commentaries.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rose, E. M., The Murder of William of Norwich: The Origins of Blood Libel in Medieval Europe (New York, 2015). This suspenseful unraveling of a medieval trial reexamines the first accusations of the blood libel beginning in 1150. It then looks at “copycat” allegations (Gloucester 1168, Blois 1171, Bury 1180 and Paris 1180) to explain how the blood libel managed to take hold.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rubin, M., Gentile Tales: The Narrative Assault on Late Medieval Jews (New Haven, CT, 1999). This offers a thorough and readable examination of the host desecration accusation, the rhetoric that was used and the violence it frequently produced.Google Scholar
Gamoran, H., Jewish Law in Transition: How Economic Forces Overcame the Prohibition against Lending (Cincinnati, OH, 2008). Surveys the rabbinic discussions of five types of business agreements related to usury from the Bible and Talmud to medieval and early modern rabbinic commentators.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Karp, J., The Politics of Jewish Commerce: Economic Thought and Emancipation in Europe, 1638–1848 (Cambridge, 2008). Traces economic aspects of the debates over Jewish status in Western Europe from 1638 to 1848, giving attention both to Jewish and non-Jewish voices.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kobrin, R., and Teller, A., eds., Purchasing Power: The Economics of Modern Jewish History (Philadelphia, 2015). A collection of articles that explore how Jews’ economic choices and practices shaped their place in the global economy of the early modern and modern world.Google Scholar
Mell, J., The Myth of the Medieval Jewish Moneylender, 2 vols. (New York, 2017–18). Traces the modern construction of the historical narrative of a Jewish economic function as moneylenders in medieval Europe, challenges it empirically with tax and loan documents from medieval England, and explores the consequences of this revision for European history more broadly.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Penslar, D., Shylock’s Children: Economics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe (Berkeley, CA, 2001). Tells the history of how modern Jews have perceived and responded to claims of Jews’ economic distinctiveness in commerce and credit.Google Scholar
Rosenthal, J., and Volovici, M., eds., Jews, Money, Myth (London, 2019). A collection of short scholarly essays published in conjunction with the exhibit of the same name at the Jewish Museum London in 2019. Essays cover topics related to money in Jewish tradition, moneylenders in medieval Europe, Shakespeare’s Shylock, and modern philanthropy and fortune.Google Scholar
Satlow, M., Judaism and the Economy: A Sourcebook (London, 2019). Provides ancient, medieval, and modern sources related to Jewish economic life and thought.Google Scholar
Schraer, M., A Stake in the Ground: Jews and Property Investment in the Medieval Crown of Aragon (Leiden, 2019). Challenges the view of medieval Jews as primarily moneylenders and merchants by documenting Jewish property ownership in medieval Aragon.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Toch, M., The Economic History of European Jews: Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages (Leiden, 2012). Describes the breadth and diversity of Jewish economic life from late antiquity to the central middle ages.Google Scholar
Todeschini, G., Franciscan Wealth: From Voluntary Poverty to Market Society (Saint Bonaventure, NY, 2009). Traces the development of Franciscan economic thought which led to a binary split between the Christian merchant and the Jewish usurer when the marketplace was legitimized by identification with a Christian civic common good.Google Scholar
Abulafia, A. S., Christian-Jewish Relations 1000–1300: Jews in the Service of Medieval Christendom (New York, 2011). A survey and analysis of the theological concept of Jewish “servitude” and of the ways it informed policies towards Jews in medieval Europe.Google Scholar
Bale, A., The Jew in the Medieval Book: English Antisemitisms, 1350–1550 (Cambridge, 2006). An analysis of the narratives involving Jews within English literature, in Latin and the vernacular, before and after the expulsion of 1290.Google Scholar
Cohen, J., Christ Killers: Jews and the Passion from the Bible to the Big Screen, (Oxford, 2007). This book explores the long history of representation of Jews in association with the Crucifixion, and points to intensification in text and image of the active role of the Jews in the Crucifixion, leaving a powerful legacy to Europe and the world.Google Scholar
Cohen, J., Living Letters of the Law: Ideas of the Jew in Medieval Christianity (Berkeley, CA, 1999). This book introduces the theology which underpinned the relations between Judaism and Christianity, and which also influenced the attitudes towards Jews within medieval polities.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lipton, S., Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Jewish Iconography (New York, 2014). The development of the visual representation of the Jew is traced here with great care, and with attention to new developments in the course of the 12th century.Google Scholar
Lipton, S., Images of Intolerance: The Representation of Jews and Judaism in the Bible Moralisée (Berkeley, CA, 1999). A luxurious new type of illustrated bible was created in the early 13th century, and it offered a polemical interpretation of the relation between the Old and New Testaments, through word and image.Google Scholar
Odo of Tournai, On Original Sin and A Disputation with the Jew, Leo, Concerning the Advent of Christ, the Son of God: Two Theological Treatises, trans. and ed. Resnick, Irven M. (Philadelphia, 1994).Google Scholar
Rubin, M., Gentile Tales: The Narrative Assault on Late Medieval Jews (London, 1999).Google Scholar
Rubin, M., Mother of God: A History of the Virgin Mary (London, 2009). This study of ideas and practices associated with the Virgin Mary pays attention throughout to ideas about Jews and Judaism embedded in the theology and devotions associated with Mary.Google Scholar
Thomas of Monmouth, The Life and Passion of William of Norwich, trans. Miri Rubin (London, 2014). This is a translation of the sole manuscript (c. 1200) of the first known version of the child murder narrative against Jews, which was developed by a monk of Norwich Cathedral Priory in the 1150s.Google Scholar
Bale, A., Feeling Persecuted: Christians, Jews, and Images of Violence in the Middle Ages (London, 2010). Argues that images of violent Jewish aggressors reinforced medieval Christians’ identities as victims, and thus justified their own violent attitudes towards the Jews living in their midst. Chapters 3 and 4 are especially valuable for art historians.Google Scholar
Camille, M., The Gothic Idol: Ideology and Image-Making in Medieval Art (Cambridge, 1989). This highly influential study was the first to position antisemitic imagery and pejorative representations of other outgroups, including women and Muslims, at the heart of Gothic image-making.Google Scholar
Lipton, S., Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitism (New York, 2014). Traces the emergence of medieval antisemitic iconography, tracking the shift in artistic treatment of Jews from benign figures of wisdom to increasingly sinister figures designed to provoke fear and hostility in their Christian viewers.Google Scholar
Lipton, S., Images of Intolerance: The Representation of Jews and Judaism in the Bible moralisée (Berkeley, CA, 1999). Analyzes representations of Jews in two Parisian 13th-century copies of the Bible moralisée as figures of sin relevant to changing French social, political, and economic concerns.Google Scholar
Mellinkoff, R., Outcasts: Signs of Otherness in Northern European Art of the Late Middle Ages, 2 vols. (Berkeley, CA, 1993). This lavishly illustrated work identifies the negative visual signs of cultural outsiders, especially Jews, in late medieval Christian art produced in Northern Europe.Google Scholar
Patton, P. A., Art of Estrangement: Redefining Jews in Reconquest Spain (University Park, PA, 2012). Analyzes relationships between Northern and Southern European antisemitic traditions through examination of a wide range of medieval Spanish artworks produced from the 12th through the 14th centuries.Google Scholar
Reider, J., “Jews in Medieval Art,” in Essays on Antisemitism, ed. Pinson, K. S. (New York, 1942), 45‒56. Included in a volume on antisemitism published during the Second World War, this study was one of the earliest to argue that antisemitic works of art were constructed by the Church to poison public attitudes towards Jews.Google Scholar
Rowe, N., The Jew, the Cathedral and the Medieval City: Synagoga and Ecclesia in the Thirteenth Century (Cambridge, 2011). Demonstrates the potency of the Ecclesia and Synagoga motif in the 13th-century North with three case studies of monumental sculptural pairs analyzed in relation to local antisemitic attitudes and policies in their respective cathedral town locations.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rubin, M., Gentile Tales: The Narrative Assault on Late Medieval Jews (New Haven, CT, 1999). A historical account of the circulation across late medieval Europe, especially Germany, of antisemitic stories and images that helped shape multiple communities of violence.Google Scholar
Schreckenberg, H., The Jews in Christian Art: An Illustrated History, trans. Bowden, John (London, 1996). A valuable compendium of over 1,000 antisemitic medieval artworks representative of all media, organized by theme and chronology.Google Scholar
Strickland, D. H., Saracens, Demons, and Jews: Making Monsters in Medieval Art (Princeton, NJ, 2003). Influential study of pejorative representations of Jews, Muslims, Asians, and Black Africans in medieval Christian art that links them conceptually to principles of monstrosity inherited from Classical traditions.Google Scholar

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  • Medieval Times
  • Edited by Steven Katz, Boston University
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Antisemitism
  • Online publication: 05 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI:
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  • Medieval Times
  • Edited by Steven Katz, Boston University
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Antisemitism
  • Online publication: 05 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI:
Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Medieval Times
  • Edited by Steven Katz, Boston University
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Antisemitism
  • Online publication: 05 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI:
Available formats