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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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The City of Rome

The City of Rome

(p.226) 7 The City of Rome
Popes and Jews, 1095–1291

Rebecca Rist

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the relationship between the papacy and Jews in Rome, the seat of the pope’s power not as Europe’s spiritual leader but as the city’s bishop. During the High Middle Ages Jewish communities in Europe were of limited relevance to popes whose primary aims were to provide leadership to the episcopacy, to develop pastoral care, to formulate doctrine and canon law, to engage in political life, and to control the papal states. We must not exaggerate papal interest in the Jewish communities of medieval Europe, and in particular the importance of such communities to popes. Yet in the papal states and in particular in Rome itself there was a flourishing Jewish community which enjoyed the most favourable conditions, by contemporary standards, of anywhere in Europe.

Keywords:   papacy, popes, Rome, bishop of Rome, papal curia, Jewish community, Lateran, St Peter’s, papal states, papal-Jewish relations

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