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  • Writer's picturePaul D. Wilke

When Plague Met Prejudice: Anti-Semitic Violence During the Black Death

In October 1347, a flotilla of Genoese trading galleys from the Black Sea drifted into the harbor of Messina, Sicily, full of dead or dying sailors.

An eyewitness account by Friar Michele wrote that they had "such a disease in their bodies that if anyone so much as spoke with one of them he was infected…and could not avoid death.(1) It was grotesque. The sailors’ skin was peppered with disfiguring dark spots. Their armpits and groins bulged with black swellings that oozed blood and pus, those infamous telltale signs of the Bubonic Plague. When the local authorities realized the horror in their midst and expelled the Genoese, it was already too late. The Black Death had arrived.

No one living at the time could know that the killer was a tiny bacterium (Yersinia Pestis) that infected the foregut of rat fleas and slowly starved them. By lodging itself between the flea’s mouth and stomach, Y. Pestis turned its host into a manic little biter, compelled by instinct into constant feeding to alleviate its hunger.

Each flea bite regurgitated some of the lethal pathogens back into the victim's bite wound, infecting it. After killing all the rats, the fleas moved on to the next best source of food available. That would be us. Unfortunately, the true nature of this disease was way beyond the capacity of Medieval medicine to discover. (2)

Some of Paris’s most esteemed physicians gave it a shot, declaring with solemn yet confident gravitas how the pestilence originated from an unfavorable alignment of the stars. So reads one report: “In 1345, at one hour after noon on 20 March, there was a major conjunction of three planets in Aquarius. This conjunction…signifies mortality and famine.(3)

Others surmised that poisoned air (i.e., “Miasma”) was the cause.

Better, but still way off.

From Sicily, the pandemic spread north up the boot of Italy before turning inland and infecting the rest of Europe over the next couple of years. No one was spared. Noble and peasant, priest and pauper, Jew and Gentile, all suffered alike.

By the time this first wave burned out in 1352, around one-third of Europe’s population lay dead. To put a number on this, about 25 million of the continent’s 75 million inhabitants disappeared in just over three years. (4)

I can think of few times and places in history worse to be alive than in Europe during the fourteenth century. War was constant and pointless. The average person lived cradle to grave as an illiterate bumpkin prone to the wildest superstitions. How could they be otherwise? Remember, education and literacy didn't exist outside the clergy and some nobility.

The Catholic Church still crammed the Medieval mind into a Bible-shaped prison, not that any but a small elite were literate in Latin to read the Good Book. Anyone challenging the status quo burned. It was a time of filth and viciousness, a demon-haunted world lit only by sooty torch fires. Health conditions were atrocious, public sanitation worse, and personal hygiene almost non-existent. People lived and died after short, malodorous lives of profound ignorance.

It was not an amazing time to be alive.

Now imagine how much more miserable this scenario would be if you happened to be a Jew.

Picture this, if you will. You’re hated for your faith and marginalized to the point where only a few professions are open. One of those is moneylender, which makes people hate you more. You can’t own land or join the craft guilds, never mind the nobility or the clergy. You're locked out. If you’re lucky, you become a money lender, a doctor, or a small trader. Yet most of your fellow Jews aren't this fortunate and live in poverty.

Princes and monarchs both protect and extort you. Jews are a piggy bank for rulers, a cash cow to be milked to the max. Pay up or else. Now pay more. What choice do you have? None. The ruling classes are your only protection against the torch-wielding mob. Sometimes they shield you from them; sometimes they plunder you; sometimes they look away when the mob comes to burn your house down and you along with it.

And let me stack one more horrible variable onto this pyramid of woe, and that is the destabilizing effect of history's worst pandemic. As the sickness spread north, rumors swirled. Panic preceded the arrival of the pestilence, sometimes by months, firing up the fevered Medieval imagination in the worst ways. Stories circulated of shadowy cabals orchestrating wicked conspiracies against Christians.

Now guess who would be the obvious choice as a scapegoat?

That’s right, the Jews.

The histories from this time are difficult to read, much less fathom. How do ordinary people turn into murderers? What made the Black Death pogroms so bloody was the fact that local rulers often teamed up with the lower classes to orchestrate the killings. These weren’t always spontaneous outbursts by the common folk. The governing classes participated.

The main plague years (1348-1350) showcased interrogations, confessions, show trials, and premeditated mass executions. Efforts to protect Jewish communities by some rulers and town councils are found in the records. Pope Clement VI twice issued Bulls denouncing the violence. Still, such voices of reason were ignored or intimidated into looking the other way.

Finally, we cannot ignore the recurring economic motives that repeatedly appear in the sources. It’s simple: Dead Jewish moneylenders don’t need to be repaid.

Then there were the fanatical flagellants. These were roving bands of religious masochists who traveled about Northern Europe, whipping themselves and each other in front of adoring crowds. They were also rabid anti-Semites. Where they went, violence against Jews followed.

Reading about these persecutions reminded me that our innate capacity for cruelty is boundless under the right circumstances. When a crisis breaks down the normal bonds governing decent, ethical behavior, we do bad things to one another.

It’s often easy to forget this in our golden age of kindness and acceptance, where love will conquer all, and we assume people are fundamentally good at heart. They can be so, at least when they feel comfortable and safe. However, people can be monsters when those conditions break down, especially when fear turns into hate. This can lead to some pretty dark places, as we've seen recently in the news out of Israel. But this is nothing new. The pages of history are filled with such examples.

So let me tell you about just one from long ago.

Image Generated by DALL-E
Image Generated by DALL-E


The Origins of Medieval Anti-Semitism: A Brief History

Until the Holocaust, no greater calamity befell the Jewish faith than the malicious pogroms during the Black Death (1348-1350). That’s saying something, given the long and ugly history of anti-Semitism. It wasn’t always so. In the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, Jews and Christians lived in relative peace and harmony, especially in Spain and the Carolingian Empire. (5)

If Christians didn’t love their Jewish neighbors, they tolerated them. What's notable about the period between the fifth through the tenth centuries is the lack of widespread persecution. This began to change in the eleventh century when the Crusades ushered in an era of more militant and intolerant Christianity.

Evidence for this came in 1095 when Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade to take back the Holy Land from the infidels. Thousands enthusiastically answered the call and mustered in northern France and Germany. Ill-disciplined Crusader armies meandered through the Rhineland on their way east, stopping along the way to wipe out any Jews they found.

They reasoned that killing infidels should start at home. “We depart to wage war against the enemies of God, while here in our very midst dwell…the murderers of the Redeemer.(6) The stories from this time tell of either ruthless massacres (Rouen, Worms, Trier) or mass suicides (Mainz) as cornered Jews decided death at their own hands was better than being at the mercy of the Crusaders.

Unlike the attacks during the Black Death, which lasted around two years, the Crusader brutality came and went rather quickly once the armies moved east. In addition, the destruction was confined to a narrow geographic band stretching from the Rhineland to Bohemia.

Worth noting, where governments were stronger - for example, in France and England - Jews found better protection from persecution at this time. But where it was lacking, like in the fragmented Holy Roman Empire, Jews had few defenders other than local bishops and city councils. These were often easily intimidated into compliance when mobs formed.

Still, in 1096, authorities in most places cautioned against the anti-Semitic anarchy wrought by the Crusader armies. (7) Or, at least they tried. That would be much less the case during the Black Death.

The events of 1096 revealed a shift in Christian attitudes that did not bode well for Jews. Pogroms became a regular feature in Christendom, with major ones occurring in 1146, 1189, 1204, 1217, 1288, 1298, and 1320 (the Shepherds’ Crusade).

Why so?

Steven Katz describes a "diabolization" of Jewish culture gathering momentum in the eleventh century. The justification for this diabolization "was provided by a new escalation of popular anti-Jewish rhetoric that pictured 'the Jew' as a satanic creature who could only be dealt with in extreme and aggressive ways. As a result, every indecency was legitimized in the popular imagination. The actual and potential victim was tainted with a primordial guilt that allowed for, that called for, such barbarity. What more acceptable justification could there be for inhumanity than that one's enemies are devils." (8)

Katz has a point. The ugliest anti-Semitic stereotypes originate from this time. The blood libel accusations first appeared in the twelfth century and have been a staple of anti-Semitic mythology ever since. We also read for the first time about the recurring conspiracy theory about international Jewish money pulling the strings of power.

Relevant to our current topic, we begin hearing charges in the early fourteenth century of Jews poisoning wells and cisterns. They first appeared after the devastating famines that struck Western Europe between 1315-1319 and that led to the Shepherds' Crusade. Almost identical rumors resurfaced three decades later, driving the worst excesses of the anti-Semitism seen during the Black Death. (9)

What did these look like?

Medieval Burning of Jews
Burning of Jews. From Hartmann Schedel’s Liber Chronicarum (1493)


The Black Death Pogroms (1348-1349)

The first pogroms began in the Spring of 1348 during Holy Week. Angry crowds dragged several dozen Jews from their homes and murdered them. Not long after, a mob in Tarega, Spain, shouting “Death to traitors!” killed three hundred; another eighteen died in similar circumstances in nearby Cervera. (10)

Details were vague at first, telling only of strangers - usually beggars or mendicants - sprinkling poisons into local water supplies. (11) The rumors soon honed in on the Jews. Unlike beggars and mendicants, who were unorganized and isolated, Jewish communities had always been tight-knit and were viewed as having the medical expertise and trade networks to pull off an international conspiracy of this scale. (12)

And remember, in the superstitious fog of the Medieval mind, Jews were evil by nature; they were Satan’s little helpers, working to destroy good, pious Christians.

One fourteenth century writer named Jean de Preis summarized the facts as he saw them: “This epidemic came from the Jews. The Jews had cast great poisons in the wells and springs throughout the world, in order to sow the plague and to poison Christendom.(13)

If this were true, or more relevant, if this were believed to be true, then the stakes couldn’t be higher. It was kill or be killed. Zero-sum thinking like this became the rationale for the pogroms, offering the facade of self-defense for the rampaging killing sprees that followed.

But not everyone bought this line of thinking, most notably Pope Clement VI. As the violence gained steam in the summer of 1348, Clement issued a Papal Bull debunking the rumors and denouncing the attacks.

He argued that “we should be prepared to accept the force of the argument that it cannot be true that the Jews, by such a heinous crime, are the cause or occasion of the plague, because throughout many parts of the world the same plague, by hidden judgment of God, has afflicted and afflicts the Jews themselves and many other races who have never lived alongside them.(14)

He concluded that Christians shouldn’t persecute Jews “unless by the legal judgment of the lord or the officials of the country in which they live.(15)

Unfortunately, it appears some took note of the “unless by legal judgment” loophole and ignored the rest. The violence transitioned in the late summer of 1348 from spontaneous popular actions to something more calculated and backed by regional and local leaders. They began legitimizing the killings by putting together kangaroo courts that offered the veneer of due process.

This hadn’t been Pope Clement’s intention when he issued his Bull but it was the outcome nonetheless. Soon officials made arrests and forced elaborate confessions out of those unfortunates guilty of nothing more than being Jews in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Savoy held the first well-poisoning trials in September 1348. Savoy’s ruler, Amadeus VI, didn’t want his subjects indiscriminately killing Jews on his lands. But he knew popular sentiment trended in that direction. Therefore, he tried to chart a middle course by ordering an official investigation, though the verdict was never in doubt. The investigators began with their conclusion (Jews poison wells...obviously) and worked backward to prove it using every means available in the Medieval justice toolkit. (16)

The authorities arrested eleven Jews and threw them in prison where they were interrogated and tortured until the prosecutors had the story they wanted. As the interrogations continued, those whispered rumors morphed into an elaborately detailed plot populated by diabolical Jewish villains out to destroy Christendom. The accused "confessed" under oath to a laundry list of very specific crimes. After getting “moderately put to the question” (i.e., tortured), the narrative finally formed into the first international Jewish conspiracy. (17)

An impressionist painting of a man by a well
Image Generated by DALL-E

It went something like this: A shadowy rabbi named Jacob Pascal of Toledo had sent couriers out of Spain carrying little leather pouches filled with poison. A wider network of rabbis in France and Germany subcontracted the courier duties out to local Jews, who then traveled around the region and dropped the packets into municipal water supplies. This appeared to explain quite well the reason for the advancing wave of death coming up from the south. It wasn't a contagion killing everyone but poisoned water.

The transcripts of one interrogation lay out the confession of an unfortunate Jew named Agimetus, who got caught up in the hysteria. Under extreme duress, he confessed that a certain Rabbi Peyret had given him pouches of poison to distribute in and around Venice.

Agimetus took the sachet full of poison and took it with him to Venice, and when he arrived he scattered some of the poison into a well or cistern of fresh water near the house of the said Germans to poison the people using it(18)

He confesses voluntarily [!!!]…that he went to Calabria and Apulia and threw poison into numerous wells there, that he put poison in the spring in the piazza of Barletta, into the public spring at Toulouse and into springs along the coast.” (19)

Agimetus was very busy, it seems. The specificity of the confessions, the names, locales, and little touches of detail lent them a certain authenticity that confirmed the anti-Semitic bias of the average Christian. It made intuitive sense that exotic rabbinic masterminds, most of whom were assumed to be kabbalistic practioners of the dark arts, might brew poisons and convince others to help them spread them.

Agimetus eventually collapsed under the strain and told his torturers “that by his soul the Jews richly deserved to die, and that, indeed, he had no wish to live, for. He too richly deserved to die.(20)

His wish was soon after granted. Agimetus and ten other Jews were burned at the stake after the trial. The rest of Savoy’s Jews were subjected to a tax of 160 florins a month for the next six years for the privilege of remaining in Savoy.

The town leaders circulated the transcripts of the confessions to other towns as a public safety measure. This stoked a moral panic, setting off an vicious wave of anti-Semitic violence in Alsace, Switzerland, and Germany over the following year. The trials and "documentary evidence" gave them an air of legitimacy and removed any lingering doubts some may have had about the origins of the crisis. (21)

After all, the accused confessed "voluntarily."

Nearby in Basel, a far worse crime happened. Here as well, the well-poisoning rumors arrived ahead of the plague, stirring the populace into a panicked frenzy. As was often the case, the city council first tried to protect Basel's Jews. However, guild members stormed city hall and demanded the return of some exiled nobles and the destruction of the Jews. The intimidated council readily complied and even went one step further, ordering the execution of the town’s Jewish population without any pretense of trial or investigation.

Basel’s townsfolk spent the Christmas holidays, not making merry and celebrating the birth of baby Jesus away in a manger, but building a large wooden house on an island in the Rhine. On 16 January 1349, they gathered the Jews and offered them the choice of conversion or death. Those who refused (the majority) were herded into the structure and burned alive. Only the children were spared, though they had to convert to the religion of their parents’ murderers. (22)

One can only imagine the cries of terror and agony as the flames leaped into the sky on that dark and gloomy January day. It’s even more challenging for the modern reader to picture this crowd of Christians standing by and watching human beings burned alive and thinking to themselves, ‘Yes, this is good; God’s will be done!’

Chronicler Matthias von Neuenburg summarized the whole episode with laconic matter-of-factness. “Therefore all the Jews of Basel, without a legal sentence [being passed] and because of the clamor of the people, were burned on an island in the Rhine River in a new house. (23)

A quick postscript to this sordid affair: The following summer (1349), Basel’s finest circled back and accused those few who had chosen conversion over death. By then, the plague had arrived and was reaping its grim harvest on the Christian population (God’s will be done!). Who was to blame, now that the entire Jewish community was nothing more than charred bones and ashes?

Death waits in the field
Image Generated by DALL-E

No problem. Blame the converts. Surmising that maybe they only converted out of fear of death and still intended to kill Christians by committing acts of sabotage, the authorities arrested and tortured them. This will not come as any surprise, but after their bones were broken on the wheel and they lay there screaming in agony, they confessed to poisoning the city’s fountains. (24)

Another well-documented massacre took place in Strasbourg, which had one of Europe’s largest Jewish communities at the time. A new city council had taken power, having deposed the old one for trying to protect the Jews. Now calling the shots, the new councilmen decided to deal with their own Jewish problem while they still had time.

The plague was closing in so they needed to act fast to thwart the imaginary well-poisoning conspiracy. They didn't waste any time. All of Strasbourg’s Jews were “stripped almost naked by the crowd” and marched to their own cemetery where another wooden death house had been constructed. They had the usual choice, convert or burn. Around 900 of the 1,884 chose the fire over forced conversion. So it went, as in Basel, they were locked in this large wooden structure and burned alive. (25)

Here we get to the evidence of profiteering as a secondary motive for the violence. After the eradication of Strasbourg's Jewish population, all debts owed to the murdered moneylenders were invalidated. Moreover, the officials who orchestrated the killing divided the spoils amongst themselves.

Contemporary chronicler Konigshofen: “Money was also the reason why the Jews were killed." And, “If they had been poor, and if the nobles had not owed them debts, then they would not have been burned.(26)

This kind of gruesome opportunism wasn't an isolated incident. The most infamous case was that of Augsburg's burgomeister, Heinrich Portnet, who opened the city gates to a rampaging mob out for Jewish blood. Local records show Portnet was heavily in debt to Jewish lenders. Meanwhile, after the pogroms in Alsace, the French king, Philip VI, handed over the victims' property to Archbishop Baldwin. (27)

Generally, though, the violence was driven by the belief that Jews were poisoning wells. The profiteering was an opportunistic fringe benefit for the killers.

Elsewhere, in Speyer, Germany, another mob didn’t bother building one house to burn the Jews. They simply burned them in their homes. As often the case in these situations, many Jews chose death over conversion. Some tried to flee but were killed on the streets. It was a scene out of a nightmare, as torch-bearing lynch mobs roved the streets shouting for Jewish blood. After the carnage, locals cleaned up the human debris by stuffing the corpses into empty wine casks and then rolling them into the Rhine to float away. Problem solved. (28)

In some towns like Worms, Mainz, and Frankfurt, Jews chose the old tradition of mass suicide under extreme duress rather than submitting to the whims of their enemies. They burned themselves in their own houses. (29)

The stories of the massacres all begin to blur together, but all go something like this: The Plague approaches. Rumors swirl. Panic mounts. Jews are blamed. A mob forms. Maybe there’s a trial; maybe not. Local authorities either cave into the mob or lead it. Or both. Either way, Jews eventually confronted a terrible choice: convert or burn. Most chose the latter.

Scene depicting a pogrom
Pogrom. From Johann Ludwig Gottfried’s Historische Chronicken (1633)

Truchess von Diessenhofen, alive at the time, recorded the litany of the violence in numbing detail: “at Solden…all the Jews of were burnt on the strength of a rumor that they had poisoned wells and rivers….all the Jews between Cologne and Austria were burnt and killed for this crime….then in Stuttgart they were burnt….the Jews in Esslingen were burnt in their houses and in the synagogue. In Nagelten they were burnt…the citizens of Ravensburg burnt the Jews in the castle, to which they had fled in search of protection from King Charles…the people of Constance shut up the Jews in two of their own houses, and then burnt 330 of them…they were burnt in Messkirch and Waldkirch…in Speyer and…in Ulm…in the city of Strasburg…in Mengen…in Schaffhausen and Zurich…in St. Gallen…and Constance.(30)

Truchess goes on for pages like this, I’ve only quoted excerpts from one small section so you get the idea. He finished this litany of woe by stating the obvious: “And thus, within one year [September 1348 - September 1349], as I have said, all the Jews between Cologne and Austria were burnt.(31)

Impressionistic painting of medieval houses burning
Image generated by DALL-E


The Flagellants

But wait, it gets worse. A movement arose in Germany in 1349 that sought to appease God’s wrath through self-mortification. Roving the countryside in bands of 200-300, the flagellants incited anti-Semitic violence wherever they went. This was preceded by re-enacting the scourging of Christ on their own bodies so they could buy redemption through pain and suffering.

This unwashed rabble of kooks went from town to town whipping each other. When they arrived in a new location, they put on a performance in the church square. Stripped to the waist and wielding whips tipped with iron spikes, the flagellants sang hymns of lamentations and begged God to have mercy, all while lashing themselves into a bloody mess. This being the Middle Ages, the townspeople got caught up in the ecstasy of the gruesome spectacle. They dipped their clothes in the flagellants’ blood, believing it to have healing properties; others brought sick children to be healed by their redemptive blood. (32)

The other side of this self-righteous masochism revealed an ugly sadism. Where the flagellants went, you could almost count on a pogrom. As Barbara Tuchman puts it, “In every town they entered, the flagellants rushed for the Jewish quarter, trailed by citizens howling for revenge upon the ‘poisoners of the wells.’” (33) In Freiburg, Augsburg, Nürnberg, Munich, Königsberg, Frankfurt, and Regensburg, just to name a few of the largest flagellant-led pogroms.

In Worms, 400 burned themselves in their own houses. In Mainz, the Jews bravely fought back, killing two hundred of the attackers who had come for them. But in the end, the rabble regrouped and returned in greater numbers than the defenders could withstand. With capture imminent, they retreated into their homes and committed suicide. (34)

By 1349, perhaps sensing the dangers of a popular movement they could not control, the elites finally acted. Bishops began excommunicating the flagellants. Towns kept their gates locked, and princes banished them from their lands on threat of death.

Dominican Friar, Heinrici von Hervord, wrote at the time, "Afterwards they disappeared as suddenly as they had come as apparitions or ghosts that are routed by mockery." (35)

Image Generated by DALL-E


Final Thoughts

I’ve always thought the old Latin proverb homo homini lupus (man is wolf to man) to be unfair to wolves. Wolves don’t invent innovative ways of murdering one another like we do. And they don’t manufacture elaborate conspiracy theories to justify it. Only human beings kill for ideas.

After all this carnage perpetrated on the flimsiest of pretexts, and all this murder and mayhem and burning and looting and torturing and interrogating and executing of innocent people, the plague still arrived like Poe's Red Death and reaped its lethal harvest, indifferent to class or religious belief. When the plague washed over Europe and dying time began in earnest, survival became more important than burning Jews. That, and burying the mountains of dead didn't leave a lot of free time for lynching.

Perhaps because of this, or more likely because the majority of Northern Europe's Jews were gone by this point, the bloodshed began to abate by the end of 1349. The last major pogroms took place in Antwerp and Brussels in December when all the Jews living in these towns were massacred.

In less than two years, most Jews between Brussels and Prague had been exterminated. Refugees of the persecutions fled to Eastern Europe where King Sigismund of Poland welcomed them and offered favorable protections and trade rights. Not everyone was a hater. Jewish culture thereafter thrived in Eastern Europe until destroyed in the Holocaust six centuries later.

After a few years, Jews began trickling back to the very places that had persecuted them. They picked up the pieces and tried to resume their precarious place in Christian society. A love-hate relationship characterized Jewish-Christian interactions going forward after the plague. Towns that had recently murdered them (Speyer, Mainz, Erfurt) now offered favorable terms to come back.

A third of the tax base now lay dead and buried in plague pits. At least living Jews could be exploited financially. They were also too useful as moneylenders to keep banished forever. Cash-strapped princes hated Jews but needed their loans to fight their interminable wars. As a vulnerable population with few guaranteed rights, Jews could be punitively taxed in return for the sovereign's fickle protection.

The Black Death was the worst outbreak of anti-Semitism until the Nazi years (1933-1945). That said, Jewish history from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries is a tale of frequent banishments, recurring violence, and constant discrimination. The negative stereotypes of Jews as greedy parasites who drank the blood of Christian children and plotted the destruction of Christianity became embedded in the fabric of European society. Going forward, degradation and ghettoization characterized Jewish life until the modern era. In spite of all this, Jewish communities proved remarkably resilient in the face of this constant, centuries-long persecution.

Something to ponder in closing: As should be obvious at this point, Hitler and his thugs didn't invent anti-Semitism from nothing. No, they only took it to the next, horrific level. No one had to be convinced of anything new. A centuries-old template for persecution was already there. They only had to tap into a long and disgusting tradition of hatred and bigotry to unleash a wave of unprecedented violence on behalf of their racist designs. They tried to finish what the Black Death pogroms had started so haphazardly six hundred years ago; that is, the final eradication of the Jews, a Final Solution.

So let's give the wolves a break. They deserve better.

Homo homini diabolus is better.

After all, we invented the devil. Evil is part of our nature, hiding down in the depths of our souls, waiting, growling, biding its time, knowing that the angels aren't always going to be in charge.


Supplementary Materials



1. John Kelly. The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time. Harper Perennial, 2006, pp. 84.

2. Ole L Benedictow. The Black Death 1346-1353: The Complete History. Boydell, 2008, pp. 16.

3. “The Report of the Paris Medical Faculty, October 1348.” The Black Death, Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK, 1999, pp. 158–163.

4. Kelly, 12.

5. Leon Poliakov. The History of Anti-Semitism: From the Time of Christ to the Court Jews. Vanguard Press, 1965, pp. 33-35.

6. Kelly, 241.

7. Steven T. Katz. The Holocaust in Historical Context. Oxford University Press, 1994, pp. 322-323.

8. Ibid., 271.

9. Poliakov, 110.

10. Kelly, 252.

11. Benezeit, Andre, and Jaime Villanueva. “Accusations of Well-Poisoning against the Poor, Narbonne 17 April 1348.” The Black Death Manchester Medieval Sources Series, Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK, 19952, pp. 222–223.

12. Kelly, 251.

13. Katz, 295.

14. Clement VI. “Mandate of Clement VI Concerning the Jews.” The Black Death - Manchester Medieval Sources Series, Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK, 1995, pp. 221–222.

15. Ibid.

16. Kelly 253-255.

17. Barbara W. Tuchman. A Distant Mirror: A Calamitous 14th Century. Alfred A. Knopf, 1978, pp. 113.

18. Strassburg Urkundenbuch. "Examination of the Jews captured in Savoy." The Black Death - Manchester Medieval Sources Series, Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK, 1995, pp. 211-219.

19. Ibid.

20. Kelly, 254.

21. Tuchman, 113.

22. Kelly, 257.

23. Albert Winkler. "The Medieval Holocaust: The Approach of the Plague and the Destruction of Jews in Germany, 1348-1349" (2005). Faculty Publications. 1816, pp. 15.

24. Ibid., 16.

25. Kelly, 257.

26. Winkler, 23.

27. Norman F. Cantor. In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made. Harper/Perennial, 2002, pp. 160-161.

28. Kelly, 255-256.

29. Tuchman, 115.

30. Heinrich Truchess. "The Persecution of the Jews." The Black Death - Manchester Medieval Sources Series, Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK, 1995, 208-210.

31. Ibid., 210.

32. Tuchman, 114.

33. Ibid., 115.

34. Ibid., 115-116.

35. Heinrici von Hervodia. "The Flagellants." The Black Death - Manchester Medieval Sources Series, Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK, 19952, pp. 152-153.


Works Cited

Benedictow, Ole L. The Black Death 1346-1353: The Complete History. Boydell, 2008.

Benezeit, Andre, and Jaime Villanueva. “Accusations of Well-Poisoning against the Poor, Narbonne 17 April 1348.” The Black Death Manchester Medieval Sources Series, Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK, 19952, pp. 222–223.

Cantor, Norman F. In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made. Harper/Perennial, 2002.

Carroll, James. Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews ; a History. Houghton Mifflin, 2002.

Clement VI. “Mandate of Clement VI Concerning the Jews.” The Black Death - Manchester Medieval Sources Series, Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK, 1995, pp. 221–222.

Katz, Steven T. The Holocaust in Historical Context. Oxford University Press, 1994.

Kelly, John. The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time. Harper Perennial, 2006.

Poliakov, Leon. The History of Anti-Semitism: From the Time of Christ to the Court Jews. Vanguard Press, 1965.

“The Report of the Paris Medical Faculty, October 1348.” The Black Death, Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK, 1999, pp. 158–163.

Tuchman, Barbara W. A Distant Mirror: A Calamitous 14th Century. ALFRED A. KNOPF, 1978.

Winkler, Albert, "The Medieval Holocaust: The Approach of the Plague and the Destruction of Jews in Germany, 1348-1349" (2005). Faculty Publications. 1816.



Falls Church

October 2023


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