Imagens das páginas
PDF

At Nuremberg, 1292.

Mordecai
bunged,
A. C.

Nirwmark, Rottemburgh, Amberg, and other towns of Franconia and Bavaria, and burnt as many as fell into their hands; whilst many of the rest chose rather to burn themselves, with their wives, children, houses, isc. than to be dragged into the flames by the Christians. Duke Albert would fain have suppressed those butcheries, but was afraid lest Raind Fleijb, who was looked upon as sent from God, should draw the people over to his competitor. The persecution was at length suppressed, probably by him, and the city of Nuremberg laid under a severe fine, besides having been above half burnt by the fire which the oppressed Jews had set to their houses (L). This did not hinder it from resuming its hatred against them, 10 or 12 years after, and hanging the famed R. Mordecai, who had written some learned comments on the thalmud, andon the works of R. Isaac Aphez, which are highly esteemed by the Je-ws (M).

Some

(L) Some place this transaction after the death of Adolf bus, and add two circumstances to it; wiz. tst. That this tumult was raised on account of the blood which came out osthe consecrated wafer, whilst the Jews were braying it in a mortar. And, edly. That a great number of Christians jorned themselves ■with the oppressed, and made so stout a defence, that the populace was forced to besiege and pursue them into their retreat (6). But these two facts explode each other; for it is by no means credible that such numbers of Christians would have sided with the Jews, if they had been convinced of the miracle of the bloody host; and much less that the archduke would have put himself at their head. So that this was no other than a popular uproar, which the better sort condemned; for there was no man put to death at Francfort on that accusation,

after the magistrates had taken full cognizance of the affair, and proceeded on it according to their laws.

(M) He was hanged soon after his return into Nuremberg, after having retired some yean to Triers, where he taught in company with Isaac of Dijon. The Jews have made a martyr of him (7). But the mischief did not stop there; for soon after, A. C. 1338, one Armleier put himself at the head of a troop of peasants, and made a fad havock and slaughter among them; but being taken, was beheaded by the order of the emperor Lewis of Bavaria; upoo which the rest dispersed themselves (8). Bzcrvius adds, that the Jews were then accused of having stolen an host, and that upon piercing it, they were so alarmed to see rivulets of blood issuing from it, that they fled out of the house. Information being made of it to the duke of Au

[ocr errors]

Some years after the council convened at Vienna, by pope Clement, against the Templars, likewise condemned the usury of the Jews, and those as heretics who approved of them; which was a fresti cause of vexatious law-suits and other mischiefs to them, especially in Germany '. They were, howe- Protefied ver, in some measure relieved by Menicho bishop of Spire, who h '** **'" forbad them to be molested on that account in his domini--^"'^ "f ons, alleging that law could not concern them, seeing the ^re'p church doth mt judge those that are without m. A sew years ,'" after which they were quite banished by Lewis I. king of Hun- Banijbed gary, who had lately subdued the Moldavians, out of all his by the king dominions n. -*f Hun

Abou T five years after, a great number of them were plun- gary, dered and burnt by the newly-started up fraternity of Flagel- A. C. lants (N), at Spire, Strajhurgh, and other places °, especially '344at Thuringen, where they exasperated the people against f"-7sp| them; but the worst of all happened at Francsort,-*. ere, as- £..' ter some disorders committed against them, and their being °^ Q' at length come to some kind of accommodation, a Jew 1*4.0. named Cicogne, whose family was very numerous in that city, a/Francnot satisfied with it, threw a piece of sire-work into the town- fort. house, which consumed both it and all the records preserved in it. The flame spread itself to the cathedral, which was likewise reduced to ashes, and burnt quite as far as Saxenhouse. The crime did not go unpunished, for not only the

1 Clement lib. v. p. 510. Nauci.br ChronoL p. 3003. ■ S Entivany Soc. Jesu sjissertat. Paralipomenic. rer. rhemorabil. Hungar. Catalog, p. 236. ap. BASNAG.lib. ix. c. 23. §. *z. "Id. ibid. ° Hist. Landgr. Thuring. c. 105. p. 941.

stria, he refused to act in it ers which they repeated aloud,
without consulting the then This sect, which had been al-
pope, BeneJili XII. who only most suppressed, took fresh vi-
sent him word that the host gour about this time, under
ought to be reverenced, and those some new chiefs, and pretended
who had pierced it to be punish- to have received a letter from
ed (9). heaven, by an angel, by which
(N) So called from their as- they were ordered to inflict those
sembling and stripping them- macerations on themselves, to
selves stark naked, twice a day, relieve the souls which languish-
ed whipping themselves with ed in purgatory, and to . put .
cords, armed with barbed iron, a stop to the sins which then
and accompanying that cere- reigned in Germany; which let-
aony. with psalms fung to ter was read aloud every time
mournful tunes, and some pray- they met.

(9) Am.hb. ir. 1338. H, zo.

Z 3 Incendiary,

incendiary, but all the Jews of that city, except some few that retired into Bohemia (O), were put to deathp.

A New accusation was brought against them, which hath been already mentioned in (peaking of those of France and Spain; viz. of poisoning the weils and spring-heads of rivers: tho' upon no other foundation than that they escaped from the common mortality which happened in most parts of Europe. This caused a fresh massacre in most provinces of Germany, the very year after that which had happened at Francs ort. In some places they were burnt alive, in others most cruelly butchered. Those of Mentz, however, resolved to stand in their own defence, and having seized on about 200 unarmed Christians, massacred them in a most barbarous manner ; upon

Rewtngt which the incensed populace came in shoals, and fell so surf.

*?. .' oufly upon them, that they murdered about 12,000 of them njtiant Qn tjia(. fi^k occasion. After this, they set fire to their houses,

retaliaad wmcri spread and burnt with such vehemence, that the great bell, 'glass and grate of the cathedral were melted down f.. Their rage spread itself all over Germany ; the imperial cities demoi lished all their houses, and built castles and towers with the mar terials, and the populace was the more eager to pull them down, because they found money and other rich things among the rubbish. The then count Palatine, and his ministers, strove in vain to suppress their violence, and to give shelter to them : they were opposed by some of the nobility, as well as by the common people, and accused of having been bribed by large sums' to take their part. All the inhabitants of Ulms were burnt alive 1, with their wives, children, and effects; and In a word, the whole Jewish nation saw themselves without friends or place of retreat, the princes not daring to interpose, in their favour, at so critical a juncture. Lithuania was the only c rantry where they enjoyed any tranquility; which was chiefly owing to a beautiful Jewess, named Esther, with whom

Pbasnag. ub.sup. \ Naccler. Chronol. gener. 45. p. 1009. ap. eund. 'Crus. Antiq. Suevor. lib. v. p. 253.

(O) And even these met escaped. This misfortune pro»but with a short respite ; the ci- ed so much the more grievous, tizens of Prague, displeased to as it was unexpected, as well as fee them celebrate their Fasso- undeserved, and the Jews of ver, chose that time to burn their Prague have preserved a regretsynagogue; and those that were ful sense of it in a prayer which then at their devotions in it, was composed some time aster, which they did without anv op- in memory of that event. position, so that not one os them

8 Casimi*

Cafimir the Great was enamoured, and at whose request he had granted them several considerable privileges.

Those who had taken refuge in Bohemia, did not fare Massacred much better than those in Germany, as appears by what we in Bohesaid in the last note. Two years after which catastrophe, mia, A.C. Vincenjlas, emperor, and king of Bohemia, desirous to ingrati- '391, ate himself with his subjects, to whom his excessive love of wine and women had rendered him odious, discharged all his nobility of the debts they owed to the Jews'. The people thereupon looking upon them as discarded from his protection, began to make a fad massacre of them at Gotha, which became still more dreadful, as the peasants joined the populace in it. Those of Spire put them all to the sword, without regard to age or sex, some few children excepted, which were spared, and hurried away to the font to be baptised (P). But as such violent persecutions are not only odious, but seldom fail of unpeopling a country, they found it necessary to put a stop to this, by the punishment of some of the ringleaders.

They were soon after accused afresh, of having poisoned rhe wells, springs, ire. and punished for it by the most severe deaths, not only all over Germany, but in Italy, Provence, and other parts. The Je-wifi historians, however, tell us, that the emperor being fully convinced of their innocence, represented again to his council, the impossibility of poisoning springs, which have a continual run of water *; but that the people pretending to have seen them throw the poison into them, and "muttering some words all the time, made the emperor resolve to banish them, to the no small disappointment of the seditious zealots, who cried out, that no punishment was too severe for them. His edict came out according- Banifoed ly against them, either to flee or be baptised; and the Jevnjb the empire. writers above-quoted, highly extol the perseverance of A. C. those of their nation, who, notwithstanding the great misery 1400. which then reigned among them, not inferior in their account to that which followed the destruction of Jerusalem, yet few, if any, were thereby driven to apostatize, or, as they word it, to forsake the glory of their G.,d. But for this we

'Crus. ibid. lib. vi. c. 3. Hist. Landgr. Thsring. c. 132. p. 948. Pi Stor, Hist. Germ. torn. i. Æn. Sylv. Hist. Bohem. c. 3'. Basnag. ub. sup, » Solom. Ben Virg. sub. A. 160. p. 151. Gantz Tzemach, sub. eod. an. p. 146.

(P) The pretence for this ing the viaticum to a sick percruelty was, that they had in- son. suited a priest, as he was carry

Z 4 have

Jews in

the I$tb century banijhei out of Spain.

A conference held between the Chris

have only their bare word, and with it we now close these two centuries and pass on to the i 5th.

In running thro' which, we shall not, as formerly, begin with the eastern Jews, for reasons which will more visibly appear in the sequel; but pass now from Germany into Spain, where we shall find them (after a long and peaceable abode there, during which their synagogues and learned men flourished, and their nation was greatly multiplied) banished at length from that country, excepting those who preferred dissembling to a mortifying exile ; which fatal revolution hath ever since excited the complaints of the Jews, as well as the pity of the more moderate Christians for them; but as it did not take place till the close of this 15th century, and was ushered in by several considerable events, it will be necessary to give our readers an account of them before we pass on to their final expulsion. The first step towards it was promoted by the anti-pope Benedict XIII. who was then in Arragon, the only province left that owned his authority, and was trying to ingratiate himself with the rest of the Spanish nation by his zeal for the conversion of the Jews. He accordingly appointed a conference with them (Q_) in which, as he defrayed all their charges, they treated him with unusual complaisance and respect; tho' they expressed themselves with some bitterness

(Q^Hewasinduccdtoitbyone Hieronymo de Santa Fe, who had forsaken the synagogue to turn Christian, and was then his physician, and promised that he would convince all the Jews, from express passages out of the thalmud, that Jesus Christ was the Messiah. Accordingly he and one Bert rand, a native of Valentia, another proselyte, and then Benedicts almoner, together with one Garcias Alwares ÆAlarcon, a man well versed in the Hebrew, challenged the Jews to a disputatiqn. All the learned rabbies in Spain were summoned to it, and one Dam. Vidal chosen to manage it on their side. This last must not he confounded with another of that name, surnamed de Tolosa,

who flourished in Catalonia forty years before this conference. As to the title of Dom, which is an abbreviation of Dominus, the Jewish rabbies had begun about this time to take it, in imitation of the Spanish doctors, among whom it was then a mark of high honour; but is since become much cheaper, and commonly given to abbots, priors, and other heads of convents. The Jewijh writers do indeed likewise give it to some of their ancient rabbies j and Gedaliah calls one of his ancestors by it, whom he places in the 10th century; but it is plain, it did not come into use among them till after the end of the 14th (10).

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »