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.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Bibliography for medieval Anglo-Jewry

I was very glad when returning to write up my 1190 article to find the following on the JHSE website:

A Selective Bibliography of Medieval Anglo-Jewry to 1290

It is selective - and I thought it might be fun (and useful) to add to it? Then I realised this would be a large task, especially if we extended it to include the period up to 1500. Here are some suggestions

HYAMS Paul R. , ‘‘The Jews in medieval England, 1066-1290’ in Haverkamp, Alfred; Vollrath, Hanna (ed.), England and Germany in the High Middle Ages : in honour of Karl J. Leyser (Studies of the German Historical Institute London) (Oxford and London: Oxford University Press and the German Historical Institute, 1996) : 173-92

                    Plus Journal of Jewish Studies, 1976

BALE Anthony Paul, The Jew in the Medieval Book; English antisemitisms 1350-1500 (Cambridge, 2006)

                 Plus at least six other publications

COHEN Jeffrey Jerome, ‘The Flow of Blood in Medieval Norwich’, Speculum 79:1 (2004) 26-65

BARTLET, Suzanne, Licoricia of Winchester: Marriage, Motherhood and Murder in the Medieval Anglo-Jewish Community (Vallentine Mitchell, 2009)

HOYLE, Victoria, 'The bonds that bind : money lending between Anglo-Jewish and Christian women in the plea rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews 1218-1280' Journal of Medieval History 34:2 (2008) 119-29 - special issue of the journal on Conversing With the Minority: Relations Among Christian, Jewish and Muslim Women in the High Middle Ages

among many others

What are your recommendations?

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Stones, Houses, Jews, Myths

Are there more myths associated with medieval Jewish history than other kinds? Probably not. But one of them is that all medieval jews lived in stone houses and that all stone houses belonged to medieval jews. (I exaggerate but only a very little).
Not true! Either way around.

The map shows the spread of stone houses recorded in documents across the city of York in the twelfth, thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Yep - they were to be found in all the major streets and in both the city centre and its suburbs. Only two fragments of such houses survive. One -in Stonegate -was occupied by a canon of York Minster, who I guess was probably a Christian ;-). I recently saw somebody write that because it was stone it must have been Jewish - ach! The other we don't know for sure - but from the records we can say that most of these houses were not owned or occupied by Jews - but by all kinds of successful artisans and merchants, clerics, officials, farmers. For more discussion of why, how etc see an article by yours truly in Medieval Domesticity ed Kowaleski and Goldberg.

For more on Jews and stones see Here and I am sure elsewhere at In The Middle. Really - our persistent association of stones and Jews speaks to me of retrospective judgements we want to make about medieval Jews and their place in society.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

1190 Book (update and reminder)

A quick update and reminder for those contributing to the volume. If anything seems amiss please email me. (Image: medieval synagogue in Sopron, Hungary)

The York Massacre of 1190 in context: Reassessing relations between Jews and others in medieval England

The mass suicide and murder of the men, women and children of the Jewish community in York on 16 March 1190 is one of the most scarring events in the history of Anglo-Judaism, and an aspect of England’s medieval past which is widely remembered around the world. The York massacre was in fact only one of a series of attacks on local communities of Jews across England in 1189-90. These were violent expressions of wider new constructs of the nature of Christian and Jewish communities and they were also the targeted outcries of local townspeople, whose emerging urban polities were enmeshed within swiftly developing structures of royal government.

This collection of essays will use the events of 1189-90 as a lens through which to reassess the rapid changes which were reconstructing communities and their relationship to royal and ecclesiastical government both locally and in national and European contexts. It will take advantage of the substantial amount of new work which has been done on twelfth-century England, notably on government and local power, ethnic identity, relationships with Europe, the development of distinct regional identities and new intellectual and religious models of community and pastoral care. Our aim is to consider the massacre as central to the narrative of English history around 1200 as well as that of Jewish history.

Two conversations run strongly through the entire collection. One is on the role of narrative in shaping events and our perception of them. The other is the degree of convivencia between Jews and Christians and consideration of the circumstances and processes through which neighbours became enemies and victims.

Contributors to the volume include many of the leading scholars working on English history and literature in the high middle ages including those most closely associated with studies of medieval anglo-jewry. We are also pleased to include the work of several younger scholars, relatively new to the field.

Sethina Watson, University of York, Introduction

Sarah Rees Jones, University of York

York in the Twelfth Century

Paul Hyams, Cornell University

Faith, Fealty, Lordship, and Jewish Infideles in twelfth-century England

Hugh Doherty, University of Oxford,

The sheriffs of Yorkshire and the massacre of 1190

Joe Hillaby

Prelude and Postscript to the York Massacre: Attacks in East Anglia and Lincolnshire, 1190

Nicholas Vincent, University of East Anglia

Richard I: the new Titus

Alan Cooper, Colegate University

1190: Context and Aftermath. Longbeard’s Uprising in London in 1196

Heather Blurton, University of California Santa Barbara

‘Dies Aegyptiae’: From Passion to Exodus in the Representation of 12th Century Jewish-Christian Relations

Ethan Zadoff and Pinchas Roth, CUNY and Hebrew University Jerusalem

England and the Talmudic community of medieval Europe

Eva de Visscher, University of Oxford

Jewish teachers, Christian pupils: the transmission of rabbinic learning from Jewish to Christian scholars in medieval England

Anna Abulafia, University of Cambridge

Notions of Jewish service in twelfth and thirteenth-century England.

Robert Stacey, University of Washington

The Massacres of 1189-90 and the Origins of the Jewish Exchequer, 1186-1226

Robin Mundill, Glenalmond College, Perth

The Legacy of the Archa System after 1216.

Matthew Mesley, University of Exeter

Cures and Conversions: The ‘Jewish Pilgrim topos’ in 13th century miracle accounts.

Carlee Bradbury, Radford College

“Monstrous contact: the Jew at the funeral of the Virgin Mary.”

Hannah Johnson, Pitt University, US

Massacre and Memory: The New Intellectual Politics of Remembering Jewish Martyrdom”

Jeffrey Cohen, George Washington University, US

The Future of the Jews of York

Anthony Bale, Birkbeck College, London

Text, Memory, Event: The Aesthetics of Persecution