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1 Burnside Western Civilization- Medieval

Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages

by

Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Synopsis:

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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction3
Ch. 1The Historical Background18
Ch. 2France, Source of the Troubles: Shepherds' Crusade and Lepers' Plot (1320, 1321)43
Ch. 3Crusade and Massacre in Aragon (1320)69
Ch. 4Lepers, Jews, Muslims, and Poison in the Crown (1321)93
Ch. 5Sex and Violence between Majority and Minority127
Ch. 6Minorities Confront Each Other: Violence between Muslims and Jews166
Ch. 7The Two Faces of Sacred Violence200
Epilogue: The Black Death and Beyond231
Bibliography of Works Cited251
Index281

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691058894
Author:
Nirenberg, David
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Minority Studies
Subject:
Medieval
Subject:
Minorities
Subject:
Crimes against
Subject:
Violence
Subject:
Minority Studies - General
Subject:
European History
Subject:
Jewish studies
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
World History - Medieval and Renaissance
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
January 1998
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2 maps
Pages:
312
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 16 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Immigration
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Medieval
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Medieval and Renaissance
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Differential Equations
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » History

Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages Used Trade Paper
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Product details 312 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691058894 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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.
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