Imagens das páginas

It is now time to pass into Italy, and other parts of Eu- Jews in rope, during these two centuries. We begin with Italy, Italy, duwhere we find the pope still very favourable and kind tor'"i'',e them, both in his own territories, and where-ever his autho- '3'* anti rity reached (R). We have seen these pontifs receive with * . open arms those whom Ferdinand X. and other zealous » j^ princes, had banished out of their dominions; though at the fy the pope. fame time they seemed to commend their zeal against them. Gregory IX. now on the papal throne, followed the steps of his predecessors; and, tho' he was a zealous promoter of the holy war, yet observing, that the crusaders began their pious work in divers places with the massacre of the Jeivs, took all the proper methods of preventing such butcheries. They _ , were grown very numerous also in the kingdom of Naples, ,r .. particularly in that capital, and the city of Trani; where Naples. they had very learned rabbies and good poets, who were protected and caressed by the king, on account of some signal services they had done him. He likewise recommended them at his death to his states ; but these thought it a greater kindness to try to convert them, than to give them the full enjoyment of their religion; so that, to avoid the impending persecution, they promised to turn Christians, with a permission included to marry the daughters of the richest and noblest families in the kingdom. Every body was surprised at such Ma/saered a compromise (except the clergy, who were willing to con- at Tram, vert them at any price); and much more still to see such marriages permitted in favour of conversions so little to be depended upon: for those who could not thus marry to ad

(R) Thus we find pope Ni- derstanding between him and the cholas interposing with the em- emperor Frederic, yet he made peror Rodalphus in favour of R. no hesitation to write a letter to Meir, a German, whom he had him, in which he allowed the caused to be imprisoned, in Jews indeed to be turned over hopes of extorting a large sum to the secular power for crimes from him ; and told that prince, of state; but added, that such that if Meir had been guilty of punishments ought to be conno other crime, than that of fined within due bounds, and stiffly adhering to his religion, not extend to what was barely he deserved no "punishment matter of religion and conscifbr it; and therefore expected, ence. And we may add, that that he should set him at liber- few popes were ever against ty. We have seen a little higher, giving them full liberty of conhow Gregory IX. put,a stop to science; and many of them have the persecution raised against even raised them to dignities of them in France and Spain. And authority and trust in phe dothongh there was then a misiui- minions under them.

Y 3 vantage,

vantage, made no scruple to relapse. It was therefore upon this last account, that a monk otTrani took it into his head to punish them; and having buried a cross in a dunghill, charged a Jew of that city with the fact. This was enough to raise the fury of the zealots, who immediately butchered At Na- ^y tjjg Jnvs they could lay hands on. The riot pasted from J"es' thence to Naples, where tkey would likewise have been mur

dered, had not the chief of the nobility interposed, and concealed the most wealthy, and consequently the most obnoxious, in their houses, and thereby saved them from the fury of the populace. Pope Alexander IV. who then seiged at Rome, was so far from being suspected to encourage that persecution, that he endeavoured to suppress it; but his interposition 'proved fruitless, and he died soon after. However, as the nobility had done it so effectually, there was the less need of his intervention. Peaceable The marqulfate of Ancona, though not then in the pope's at Arico- possession, had likewise been very favourable to them, and iia. A. C. allowed them full liberty of conscience (S). And here it 1280. was that the famed R. Menahem, a native of Ricina Nova, did, by some kind of miracle, from a most stupid dunce, beA; C. cbme one of the greatest cabbalists of that age (T). We '329- have lately seen, how Clement V. who had moved the papal feat to Avignon, strove to stop the persecution of the shepherds against them, as far a3 his anathemas could do it; he was no less industrious to promote their instruction; and ordered that every university should have professors to teach the Hebrew tongue, and to bring up men that should be able to dispute with and convince them by their own books',

• So: Omoh Ben Virg. p. 123.

(S) The po-es did not be- a draught, before he found

come master, of this territory, himself as learned as he had

till an. 1532; when ClemmtVll. been before ignorant. He is

sent his'troops' to seize on it, in commonly known by the name

order to protect it against the otRecanati, from the place os his

furh. birth; and wrote several learned

: (T) The Jews tell us, that treatises in the c.-ibbalistical

he fell afleep one day in the fy- way (32). We do not vouch

nagogue, where he saw, in a for his miraculous change, but

dream or vision, a man who cf- mention it chiefly to ihew, that

(ered him a vessel full of water, the^Ww flourished in this age

of which he hadscarcely drank in most parts of Italy.

(12) Slalfbtlttb, p. 61. Buriikc, ui.stf. mis, N. 1457./. 775. B'f

"Jie: & zhb. '' ''

His successor indeed, John XXII. took a contrary method, being induced thereto by a zealous sister, and much more so by some of his bishops, whom (he had brought with her, and who had accused the Jews of having shewn some indignity to the cross, as it was carried in procession before them.

This produced an edict, by which they were to be ba- An edict nifhed from all the territories of the church; which caused against so much the greater consternation among them, as they were them; grown very numerous and rich under the favour of his predecessors. They applied themselves to Robert, king of Jerusalem, a good friend of theirs, and a favourite of that pontif, who soon after prevailed upon him to revoke his edict ; revoked. which he promised to do, provided his sister could be satisfied about it; and accordingly abrogated it as soon as she had received 100,000 florins from them (U). It is plain, therefore, that this edict was issued out against his inclination, since he was so easily prevailed upon to recall it'. We have Protected seen already how Clement VI. endeavoured to suppress the by Clepersecution which was raised against them in Spain, France, mentVT. and Germany, on the absurd pretence of their poisoning the rivers there; and made no difficulty to give as many as could come a safe sanctuary in his dominions. Some historians have indeed accused him of doing it out of covetousness ; but he easily retorted the charge against them, by shewing, that these persecutions were only raised against them with a view of plundering them of all their riches. His very inquisitors, who exercised such severities against the Albigenses, a kind of ancient Protestants, suffered the Jews to live in peace, and seldom gave them any disturbance, but when they found them guilty of some such enormous abuses as those we have lately taken notice of.

They were no less numerous and powerful at Bologna, , where, besides their old synagogue, which was too small to B0iOKna contain them, they built a new one much larger and finer, ^, c. and erected a kind of academy in that city. This last owes 1394.. its erection to one of the family of the Hannabarim (children)

* Basnac. ub. sup. lib. ix c. 19. §. 8.

(U) Our authors do not name king of that name of Jerusalem,

the pope who issued and revok- Naples, and Sicily, whose chan- ,'

ed this edict, but mention his cellor John XXII. had been,

sister Sanguisa, who is still more and lived ever after in perfect

unknown. But since they as- friendship with him ; he is most

firm, that this transaction hap- likely to be the pontif meant by

pened under Robert king of Je- them, especially as his successor

rusalem, and there was then a Benedict XII. had no sister.

Y 4 whfci

who was then going from Rome thither. This family, which deduces its original from those Jews whom Titus transplanted from Jerusalem to Rome, had continued there till the latter end of the fourteenth century, and was both numerous and considerable; but about this time went and settled at Bologna, where they grew so wealthy that they built stately houses, and the synagogue above-mentioned, which is the noblest in all Italy. They became still more famous for the many learned rabbies which came to teach in it; which is a fresh proof of what hath been said of the popes protecting and favouring them (W). But it is time to pass on to other countries of Europe.


(W) This city did then belong to the ecclesiastical state; arid pope Boniface IX. though so much'dreaded by his subjects, did nevertheless jpermit them to erect the academy above mentioned, and to build that grand synagogue, which, for its largeness and beauty, is justly admired by all travellers (33).

The Jews here did likewise present Emeric, the pope's inquisitor (who flourished about the middle of the fourteenth century, and compiled the directory of the inquisition), with a bible said to have been written by Ezra; which is still carefully preserved in the library of the Dominicans there. It hath the following inscription in Hebrew, at the end of the Pentateuch;

This is the halt of the laiv of Moses, 'which Ezra had •wrote, and 'which he read on a 'v.oodin drjk to a numerous assembly both of men and women. But there is added another Latin one, which more fully explains it; and in which it is

affirmed, that that roll of the law was written by Efdras's own hand at his return from the Babylonijh captivity: 2. That it is asihredjy the original from the testimony of the ancient Jews, who received in their fynagogues, where it was kept: 3. That the Jews believed it such from one generation to another; and as such presented it to Emeric: 4. That the learned rabbies, who had examined it before witnesses, had acknowleged it as such, from some peculiar characters and strokes which are not to be met with in the modern manuscripts: 5. It is there affirmed to have been the manuscript which was shewn to the people on festival days; whence it is concluded, that it ought to be held in great veneration, and as a book dictated by the Holy Ghost, after all the other sacred ones had'been burnt (34).

They likewise shew you there a Megillath, or roll of the hook of Esther, still more ancient than that of Ezra; and a bible written for the use of R. Mer.achem;

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We do not read any thing worth mentioning concerning Jews in the Jews in England, till the time of king John; except that England, they were invited into this kingdom by William the Conqueror, j„y;ted hi and came from Rouen hither; and where, even so early as the William reign of king Stephen, an. 1145. tney were accused of cru-theConcifying a young Christian, in contempt of Christ and his re- queror. . ligion, and were accordingly punished for it. They were . ,, . again prosecuted for the same atrocious fact at Gloucester, in crucif„-lvi the reign of Henry II. an. 1160. And for a third committed Christian at St. Edmondjhury, an. 1181. More of such persecutions children. there may have happened in other places, which Mattheiv Paris hath not mentioned; and these he hath accompanied with some circumstances which we fliall pass by at present, because we shall have perhaps more frequent instances of them in the following centuries, than the generality of our readers will be inclined to believe; though we shall be obliged to mention the most remarkable of them, as they were always, if not the true cause, yet at least the pretence and forerunners, of tho most severe punishments inflicted on that unhappy nation.

We pass on therefore to king John, whose reign was so Banilhci troubled with intestine feuds, that he was forced to maintain by king himself by the hardest exactions; the heaviest of which fell John, of course on the Jews in his dominions, whom he caused to A. C. be imprisoned, and put to most violent tortures, when they Izio. refused to pay such taxes as he laid on them (X); and, at length, we are told u, confiscated all their effects, and banished them by a public edict. They did not fare much under better under the long reign of Henry III. during which many Henry of them chose to turn Christians, to avoid the severity of his III. government; but, being afterwards detected, were justly pu- I233* nistied for their dissimulation. This did not discourage that prince from endeavouring their conversion; to promote which the more effectually, he caused a seminary to be founded

■ Trivet. Math. Paris, Chronk. an. 1210, p. 159.

the inscription of which was, tions one of them at Bristol, of

that it was finished in the month whom the king demanded ten

of Adar, an. 953 (answering to thousand marks; and who suf

A.C. 1187), to the end, that Me- fered his flesh to be torn off his

nachem, and his posterity, and bones, and seven of his teeth to

the posterity of his posterity, might be drawn out, one each day, till

be instruBed out of that book. he complied; but paid the sum,

(X) Our avthor (35) men- rather than loose the eighth.

{35) M. Paris, sub. an, 1210, f. 159.


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