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day, and the Jews, who hud prepared themselves by fasting and alms, went on that day to the synagogues cloathed in white, and in high expectation of him. A Jew, who since turned monk, and wrote against his nation, an. 1458, adds, that they were greatly surprised to find not only their garments all covered with red crosses, but likewise the linen they had in their houses s. It is indeed more likely, that the only cross was the shame of being deceived, and exposed to the laughter and insults of the Christians. They were deceived By a rah- in a different way, about thirty years after, by a poor rabbi, hi, A. C. named Moses de Leon; who, not being able to maintain his 1200. numerous family by the small income of his synagogue, took it into his head to fell complete copies of the book Zohar, which till then could only be had by piece-meal'; and which he had supplied out of his own head. At length, the learned found a sufficient difference between the old and the new, to convince them of the cheat: and this was a new subject of shame and insult, not only on the rabbi, but on the nation. Irruption But the most dreadful of all their disasters was that which ofthcjbet* happened to them about-the beginning of the fourteenth cenherds, tury, and was occasioned by the irruption of a band of enA. C. thnsiastick shepherds, who pretended to work miracles; and, 1320. being swelled into a numerous army, carried fire and sword into many provinces, and were not suppressed till after a dreadful effusion of blood (A). The Jews in particular bore
* Aiphonso De Spina, Fortalit. Fidei, titul. iii. * BartoLoc, ub. sup. torn. iv. p. 8:.
(A) The origin of these shep- being hurried away by the herds is variously related (6). stream, protected them, till they The Trench historians affirm, found themselves obliged to dethat it began in France under the stroy them, to avoid being plunreign of Philip the Long; and dered by them. They ravaged that the pretence for their rife- several of the southern proing was the conquest of the Ho- vinces, broke open the prison ly Land. They had a degraded doors, and listed all the malepriest and a runaway monk at factors they found into their sotheir head, who, by their pre- cietyj by which means they had tended sanctity and miracles, so made themselves masters of seimposed on the credu^ty of the veral cities, and committed the common people, that they left vilest outrages and cruelties, but their flocks, farms, fft to sol- more particularly against the low them; whilst the noblemen, Jews. To avoid which, a con
f6) Vii. Bjfnagt, lib, ix. c, iZ, (§ tujiir, ai to til a:.
their sliare of the cruelties which those enthusiasts committed where-ever they came; which laid the foundation for a long Jews dou- train of misfortunes, which attended them during the rebly perse- mainder of this century. Happy were they that could save ated their lives at the expence of their religion and wealth; but A. C. those that refused to do so were inhumanly butchered everyl321, where, as we have seen in the last note. The pestilence, which spread itself from the shepherds army to the neighbouring countries, proved also the source of new disasters to the Jcvjs, who were accused of having bribed the peasants of Mefura to poison the waters of the river, and having furnished them with the poison ; upon which vast numbers were clapt in prison, and informations were lodged against them. They did indeed clear themselves of that imputation after along imprisonment; but the king, who had no mind to condemn the injustice which he had done to them in detaining such great numbers so long a time in gaol, pretended that he had only done it with a view of converting them; and, upon their refusal of baptism, caused 15000 to be burnt alive u. Al hon- ALP H 0 NSO XI. their friend and protector, who was so J edifi wno"y guided by one "Joseph a Jew of AJligi, tncn magainst tcndant of his finances, was nevertheless prevailed upon by them, his mutinous subjects to issue out an edict against them, on A. C. account of an indignity, pretended to have been committed '333- by a Je-wifb boy, to the sacrament, as it was carried through the streets. And the complaints of the zealots against them were grown to such a height, that a council was called on that very night, to deliberate whether they should be massacred or banished , and, the latter being preferred, they were ordered to depart the kingdom in three months. Happily for them, the prince royal obtained a revising of the process; by which it was found that it was a young Christian, whose curiosity had brought him to the window to see the procession, and_
siderable number of them retired into a castle, under the protection of the French king; in which they were soon after closely besieged by the (hepherds, with a design to destroy them all. After a stout and desperate defence, the besieged, finding their arms to fail, began to fling their children over the walls, in hopes to move their compassion, but in vain j for the besiegers set lire to the gates, and entered the place, where, to their great disappointment, they found nothing bjt the carcasses of the besieged, and some children that had been left alive: for they had butchered one another, to prevent falling into the hands of those merciless barbarians.
The Jeius indeed give us a different account of them, which they pretend to have taken out of some Spanish chronicle which they translated into Hebrew, and is as follows: A young Spanijb shepherd, named Roar, was often visited by a dove, which, as soon as he went to catch it, turned itself into a young man; and, at length, ordered him to put himself at the head of the populace, and raise an army of them to drive the Saracens out of Spain; and, to gain him the greater credit, had imprinted the figure of the cross on one of his arms; on which some of the most expert or credulous could read a promise of success. Roar soon saw himself at the head of an army of 300,000 men, which was designed against the Sara
cens; but, the fear he conceived of being defeated by a nation so well inured in'war, made him alter his resolution, and turn his whole force against the Jews.
A fierce quarrel which happened soon after, between a Jew and one of his shepherds, determined him wholly to it; and his whole army having taken fire at the pretended insult, fell a plundering of their synagogues. The Jew was not only killed upon the spot, but his death was followed by the massacre of all of that nation who were found in that neighbourhood. They passed thence into Navarre, where they found them more numerous, and where they committed the greatest cruelties against them. Six thousand of them were butchered in the single town of Estella; none escaped but such as could retreat into some of the fortified castles belonging to the nobility. Only R. Menahem, then a youth, but since a learned chief of the synagogue of Toledo, found means to save his life by the help of a young soldier, who, being moved with the groans which he uttered for the loss of his father, mother, and four brothers, who had all been butchered just before, and were left naked and covered with wounds on the floor, carried him into his own house, and got him cured of his hurts.
The shepherds pasted thence,
some into Langttedac, Provenct,
X 3 and
u Solom Ben Virc. p. 181, & seq. Vid. & Basnac. 1. ix. c. 18. §. 8.
and other parts of France; whilst ragon and Trance, with the nobiothefs spread themselves farther lity and choicest of their troops, through Spain, and ravaged and marched at length against them, plunderedwhere-evertheycame, and so closely beset them, that Christians as well as Jeius; but one part of them perished by the the latter were every-where more sword, and the other by apescruelly used. The pope, then tilence which raged among them. at Avignon, thundered in vain Thus ended that dreadful inunhis excommunication against dation after having caused a prothem; and the princes in both digious effusion of blood, and kingdoms tried in vain to sup- an infinite variety osother disasprese them. The kings of Ar- ters (7).
(7) Vid. Sa/nag. ub.sup. c. i%, & fij. Soltm. Ben Virg. p. 18 j, & fta.
bad by chance overturned a pot of water upon the chalice ; Recalled. upon which the king recalled his edict (B), to the great mortification of the zealots, who gave out that the young Christian had been bribed to make that friendly deposition in fa-' vour of the Jews w. This did not hinder them however from carrying on their resentment against them in another «
town, where they massacred some of them under the same pretence; and might, in all likelihood, have gone a much greater length, had not the king caused ten of the mutinous ringleaders to be hanged.
They had scarcely escaped this danger, before they found Jews masthemselves involved in a more dreadful one, from a fresh in-sacred at surrection made against them at Toledo; in which they be- Toledo. hived in such a desperate manner, as can hardly be read • without horror. 7?. Ajher had some time before fled thither Their defrom his own native place of Nothemburgh, with eight sons,sf"r» one of whom, perceiving the zealots breaking into the house with an intent to massacre them all, was seized with such fury and despair, that he killed all his relations who had taken shelter in his house, together with his own wife, and that of his
(B) The king had, we are told, dreamed, that he saw some wolves assembled to demand of a shepherd to murder his flock, to make them reparation for the damages they had sustained from it; and that the frighted shepherd was just on the point of doing of it, but was happily diverted from it by a young lion; upon which the wolves came some days after, destroyed a number of his sheep, and fled. The dream seemed too singular and uniform not to have some momentous meaning; and the interpretation, which a favourite of that prince gave him, was, that his mutinous subjects wonld one day demand of him to banish the Jetus out of his
kingdom; but that his sen,
brother Jaacob (C); and last of all dispatched himself, to prevent falling into the hands of those butchers. Alphonso XL who was still alive, and a great friend to them, was forced to suffer that sedition, which he found impossible to suppress. His son and successor Peter, surnamed the Cruel, who mounted Fidelity to the throne on the next year, being some time after killed, at kfogPttcr. the taking of Toledo by his natural brother Henry de tristemar, this last went and besieged Burgos, where the Jews had fortified themselves in their quarter, and refused to surrender to him; alleging, that Peter was their lawful king (not knowing of his death), and vowing, that they would sooner sacrifice their lives than receive any other master than the true heir to the crown. This singular instance of loyalty so affected Henry, that he granted them much better terms when they came over to his fide *. Meir tor- Accordingly Tristemar, being come to the crown, tared for made Don Meir his physician: but dying some time after, poisoning not without suspicion of having been poisoned, Meir was put the hng. t0 tne torture; an(j confessed that he had killed the king >\ But other Spanish authors, such as Gufinan and Mariana, think that be was rather poisoned by a Moor, whom the king of Grenada had sent thither for that purpose. But as his death was occasioned by a weakness in his nerves, there is no great probability that he was poisoned, especially by his physician, to whom he had been so good a friend, as well as to his nation *. However, that did not hinder the Jews from being hated and insulted on that account. They complain accordingly, that, towards the latter end of the fourteenth century, the monks, from a principle of zeal, declared them
* Cardoso, Las Excellentias, p 371. * Fortalit. Fid.
1 Cardoso, ub. sup. p. 373.
(C) This last was not only a Some place this persecution very learned, but a.very gene- in the year 134.0. but others,' rous doctor, who commonly more rightly, nine years after; taught his disciples gratis. He feeing,according to Gantx. and was the author of a famed trea- ti&SbalJheletb, Jaacob was still in tise, intituled, ClIJO JO"1M» Germany, an. 1340, and was A<-bah Tburim, or the tour or- then writing the book abovetiers or rows, alluding to those mentioned; which is a kind of mentioned Exod. xxviii. 17, & collection of civil and ecclesiaffeq.; and of some other works tical laws, out of the Gemarrab, which the reader may fee in the and other Je<wijb writings. authors quoted below (9),
(9) Bartohc, ubisup. Wds. ub.sup. N. 1023. (• 5S*/