York 1190: Jews and Others in the Wake of Massacre was organised by Sarah Rees Jones and Sethina Watson of the Centre for Medieval Studies and the Department of History.

The conference was supported by the British Academy, the Jewish Historical Society of England and the Royal Historical Society. The Borthwick Institute republished the essays of Barrie Dobson on anglo-jewish history for the occasion: The Jewish Communities of Medieval England . We are publishing a collection of essays relating to the theme of the conference and developing further related research projects.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The Stiffnecked

Along the same lines as Robert's post on Blindness and the figure of Synagoga, and here seeking the stereotypes that underpin William of Newburgh's use of 'rigidi' for the Jews of 1190, does anyone know of a treatment in the secondary literature of the idea of the Jews as a 'stiff-necked' people, dervied from Exodus 32:9, where God himself is reported as declaring 'Populus iste durae cervicis sit' ?


  1. Anna Sapir Abulafia talks about the trope a little bit in her discussion of the disputations between Christians and Jews: “Bodies in the Jewish-Christian Debate,” Framing Medieval Bodies, ed. Sarah Kay and Miri Rubin (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994) 123-137

  2. Many thanks, Jeffrey. I shall chase this up, I note, incidentally, that there is an awful lot of Matthew 27 in William's account of York 1190 (not just 'praeses/Pilate' but 'invidia' and the ideas behind 'ludibria'. Quite how does this square (re your blog, which I read with some interest) with the idea of the narrative being written independently of the Passion story? The Exodus and Lamentations references, of course, were highlighted by M.J. Kennedy in his ANS piece in 2002, but from William's Song of Songs commentary and from the Historia on the London coronation, rather than from the passages on York.