Mosaics discovered at Byzantine-era Synagogue in Israel

The newly found mosaic with an inscription in the Horvat Kur synagogue (photographed by Jaakko Haapanen, www.haapanenphotography.com; © Kinneret Regional Project.

Excavations of a medieval synagogue in Israel dating to the Byzantine period (4th—7th c. CE) have uncovered a partially-preserved colorful mosaic floor.

Medieval Jews on Christianity

medieval Jewish manuscript - British Library Additional 14761   f. 35   The Simple Son

Whatever medieval Jews said, or thought, about Christianity, one may be sure that very little of it was good.

Explore the Medieval Jewish Trail in Winchester

Winchester medival Jewish trail map

Visitors to Winchester have a new way to explore the English city’s medieval Jewish past. Winchester City Council and the University of Winchester have launched a new city trail telling the story of this community.

‘But Where are the Dungeons?’: How to Engage the Public at the Tower of London

The White Tower of The Tower of London. Photo by Medievalists.net

A talk about how historical sites, like the Tower of London engage the public. How to handle visitor expectations, what do people come t see and how to tell history in a captivating but accurate manner.

David Nirenberg on ‘Religion and Violence’

David Nirenberg

Do the respective claims of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic holy texts contribute to the violence between the various communities that read them? Or do they provide a basis for solidarity between the three Abrahamic religions?

Moses as a Germanic hero? Biblical Poetry in Anglo-Saxon England

Samantha Zacher

Samantha Zacher talks about Anglo-Saxon Jewish heroes.

Dragons: A Symbol of Evil in European Synagogue Decoration?

medieval Jewish dragon

At first glance, images of evil would seem to be an unexpected element in synagogue art. Only during a relatively short period in eighteenth-century eastern-European synagogues were paintings of predatory beasts and birds catching their prey depicted to convey the idea of the People of Israel pursued by enemies.

The Medieval Myth of Jewish Ritual Murder: Toward a History of Literary Reception

Marginal Illustration from the Chronicles of Offa (British Library, Cotton Nero D. II.), folio 183v, Jews being persecuted. Illustration by Matthew Paris.

An analysis of this myth, beginning with the events around Hugh of Lincoln, is illustrative: The various literary and cultural transformations of the story provide an insight into the transition of the myth from its medieval genesis to its post-medieval reception.

The Regional Impact on Medieval Text and Image: Exploring Representations of Anti-Semitism in English and Northern French Medieval Bestiaries

Manticore from the Salisbury Bestiary

This thesis endeavors to explain the variations in representations of anti-Semitism between medieval bestiaries.

‘Forget Your People and Your Father’s House’: Teresa de Cartagena and the Converso Identity

Teresa de Cartagena

Religion is a very important factor to take into consideration in discussions about the identity of the conversos [converts] or New Christians, an emerging group in 15th-century Castile.

The last wonderful thing: the icon of the Heavenly Ladder on Mount Sinai

The Ladder of Divine Ascent 12th c.

Description and dating of the icon of the Heavenly Ladder Jacob ‘dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached toheaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

Picturing Maternal Anxiety in the Miracle of the Jew of Bourges

2 scenes from the Miracle of the Jewish Boy from Bourges, Lincoln Cathedral (www.therosewindow.com)

During the middle ages, one of the most popular and most frequently illustrated Miracles of the Virgin Mary was the Miracle of the Jew of Bourges. According to the text of the miracle, the Virgin saves a young Jewish boy after his father throws him into a fiery oven upon learning he attended a Christian mass.

The Patriarch Alexios Stoudites and the Reinterpretation of Justinianic Legislation against Heretics

Justinian and his attendants - 526-547 AD (Byzantine) San Vitale, Ravenna

Using normative legal sources such as law codes and imperial novels to illuminate Byzantine heresy is a very difficult proposition. One of the great problems in the analysis of Byzantine law in general is that the normative legal sources rarely were adapted to subsequent economic, political, or social conditions.

Intellectual Cartographic Spaces: Alfonso X, the Wise and the Foundation of the Studium Generale of Seville

The University of Seville, est. 1505 - one of the legacies of Alfonso X's 1254 establishment of escuelas generales (general schools).

This dissertation, “Intellectual Cartographic Spaces: Alfonso X, the Wise and the Foundations of the Studium Generale of Seville,” I reevaluate Spain’s medieval history, specifically focusing on the role of Alfonso X and his court in the development of institutions of higher education in thirteenth-century Andalusia.

Bede’s Temple as History

The Venerable Bede Translates John by J. D. Penrose (ca 1902)

Another IHR paper, this time, a talk given about Bede’s writing and his interest in the image of the Temple and its relation to Christianity. This paper also examined how Bede’s views shifted over time. How did Bede view Judaism? Was he truly ambivalent?

Oldest known Jewish prayer book goes on display

Jewish medieval siddur

An Israeli museum is showcasing a Jewish prayer book that was written in the year 820 – believed to be the oldest known copy of a Siddur.

Taxes, Loans, Credit and Debts in the 15th Century Towns of Moravia: A Case Study of Olomouc and Brno

Medieval Money Lenders

The paper explores urban public finance in the late medieval towns on the example of two largest cities in Moravia—Olomouc and Brno.

Race, Periodicity, and the (Neo-) Middle Ages

Late Middle Ages

My goal is to intervene in ongoing discussions of race and periodicity, particularly vis-à-vis medieval culture, in order to investigate the informing role of the medieval and more particularly of medievalisms in the construction, representation, and perpetuation of modern racisms.

The Depiction of Jews in the Carnival Plays and Comedies of Hans Folz and Hans Sachs in Early Modern Nuremberg

Hans Folz - Carnival Plays

This study will thus demonstrate that the Bakhtinian model and its critics both contribute to our understanding of the Fastnachtspiel and the development of early modern German attitudes toward Jews.

Slaves, Money Lenders, and Prisoner Guards: The Jews and the Trade in Slaves and Captives in the Crimean Khanate

Jewish Slave Trader being presented to Boleslav of Bohemia

Trade in slaves and captives was one of the most important (if not the most important) sources of income of the Crimean Khanate in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

‘That melodious linguist’: Birds in Medieval Christian and Islamic Cosmography

Medieval Birds

“Birds,” writes Albertus Magnus, “generally call more than other animals. This is due to the lightness of their spirits.”

Venetian Trading Networks in the Medieval Mediterranean

Venetians

To understand the system of business relations within the commercial network of the Republic of Venice, this article adopts a network analysis that differs from a standard narrative based on a privileged subset of actors or relations. It allows us to examine the socially mixed group of entrepreneurs, brokers, and shippers at the heart of Venice’s economic system.

Jews in the First Crusade: Culpability, Martyrdom, and Blood Vengeance

Massacre of the Jews of Metz

In medieval Europe, Jewish writers struggled to make sense of Crusaders’ violence and the Jewish response. Zohar Atkins argues that Jews conceived of theology as a weapon.

The Unwritten Chapter: Notes towards a Social and Religious History of Geniza Magic

Officina magica  essays on the practice of magic in antiquity

How might the historian of religions write a social and religious history of Jewish magic in the medieval Islamicate world?

Big Love in the Middle Ages: Adjudicating Jewish Bigamy in Venetian Crete’s Secular Court

Big Love in the Middle Ages

What happened when Catholic doctrine, secular law, and minority religious difference met in that crucible of cultural decision making: the courtroom?

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