Synopses & Reviews
Between the years AD 1000 and 1500, western Christendom absorbed by conquest and attracted through immigration a growing number of Jews. This community was to make a valuable contribution to rapidly developing European civilisation but was also to suffer some terrible setbacks, culminating in a series of expulsions from the more advanced westerly areas of Europe. At the same time, vigorous new branches of world Jewry emerged and a rich new Jewish cultural legacy was created. In this important new historical synthesis, Robert Chazan discusses the Jewish experience over a 500 year period across the entire continent of Europe. As well as being the story of medieval Jewry, the book simultaneously illuminates important aspects of majority life in Europe during this period. This book is essential reading for all students of medieval Jewish history and an important reference for any scholar of medieval Europe.
"...this book is highly readable and well conceived." -Dean Phillip Bell, H-HRE
" Robert Chazen has presented a clear, concise, yet complex synthetic history of medieval European Jewish communities from 1000-1500. There is much here of use for a variety of readers..."
- Dana Wessell Lightfoot, Canadian Journal of History
In the first new synthesis of medieval Jewish history to be published in ten years, Robert Chazan discusses the Jewish experience in Europe between AD 1000 and 1500. As well as being the story of medieval Jewry, the book also illuminates important aspects of majority life in Europe.
A comprehensive synthesis of medieval Jewish history between AD 1000 and 1500.
About the Author
Dr. Robert Chazan is currently S. H. and Helen R. Scheur Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University.
Table of Contents
Preface; Introduction; Part I. Pre-Medieval Legacies: 1. The Jewish legacy; 2. The Muslim legacy; 3. The Christian legacy; Part II. The Older Jewries of the South: 1. Italy; 2. Southern France; 3. Christian Spain; Part III. The Newer Jewries of the North: 1. France; 2. Germany; 3. England; 4. Eastern Europe; Part IV. The Constellation of Forces: 1. The Roman Catholic Church; 2. The Monarchies; 3. The Barony; 4. The Christian populace; 5. The organized Jewish community; 6. The Jewish populace; Part V. Majority-Minority Successes: 1. Settlement; 2. Security; 3. Economy; 4. Communal integrity; Part VI. Majority Challenges and Minority Response: 1. Proselytizing and resistance; 2. Cultural creativity; 3. Re-defining Jewish Faith; Part VII. Insurmountable Obstacles: 1. Restrictive ecclesiastical policies; 2. Negative ecclesiastical preaching; 3. Accelerating popular intolerance; 4. Political manipulation; Part VIII. Post-Medieval Legacies: 1. Expulsion from the western areas; 2. Negative sterotypes; 3. Demographic mobility; 4. Economic adaptability; 5. Spiritual and intellectual creativity; A guide to further reading.