The Jews in western Europe, 1400–1600
As European politics, society, economy and religion underwent epoch-making changes between 1400 and 1600, the treatment of Europe's Jews by the non-Jewish majority was, then as in later periods, a symptom of social problems and tensions in the Continent as a whole. Through a broad-ranging collection of documents, John Edwards sets out to present a vivid picture of the Jewish presence in European life during this vital and turbulent period. Subjects covered include the Jews' own economic presence and culture, social relations between Jews and Christians, the policies and actions of Christian authorities in Church and State. He also draws upon original source material to convey ordinary people's prejudices about Jews, including myths about Jewish 'devilishness', money-grabbing, and 'ritual murder' of Christian children. Full introductory and explanatory material makes accessible the historical context of the subject and highlights the insights offered by the documents as well as the pitfalls to be avoided in this area of historical enquiry. This volume aims to provide a coherent working collection of texts for lecturers, teachers and students who wish to understand the experience of Jewish Europeans in this period.