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Popes and Jews, 1095–1291$
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Rebecca Rist

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717980

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717980.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 10 May 2021

Jews and Money

Jews and Money

(p.136) 4 Jews and Money
Popes and Jews, 1095–1291

Rebecca Rist

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops the theme of marginalization, exploring how—since Jews were denied equal status with Christians and were barred from many positions of importance in a profoundly Christian society—their livelihoods and even their survival often came to depend on their ability to lend money at interest. Furthermore, largely because of papal pronouncements, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries lending at interest became an area of commerce increasingly possible only for Jews, while those needing to borrow money to fulfil their crusading vows were obvious targets for moneylenders. So in lending to Christians, and in particular to crusaders, Jews could not ignore the policies of popes who both authorized crusades and pronounced on money-lending. This chapter explores how financial transactions affected papal-Jewish relations, since the spiritual power of the papacy and the military power of the crusaders would often clash with the relative powerlessness of Jewish communities.

Keywords:   money, moneylending, usury, money-lenders, marginalization, crusades, Christian society, finance, Jewish communities, papal–Jewish relations

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