Beautiful Death: Jewish Poetry and Martyrdom in Medieval France (Jews, Christians, and Muslims from the Ancient to the Modern World)

Beautiful Death: Jewish Poetry and Martyrdom in Medieval France (Jews, Christians, and Muslims from the Ancient to the Modern World)

Susan L. Einbinder


When Crusader armies on their solution to the Holy Land attacked Jewish groups within the Rhine Valley, many Jews selected suicide over dying by the hands of Christian mobs. With their defiant deaths, the medieval Jewish martyr was once born. With the literary commemoration of the sufferers, Jewish martyrology undefined. Beautiful Death examines the evolution of a long-neglected corpus of Hebrew poetry, the laments reflecting the categorical stipulations of Jewish existence in northern France. The poems provide perception into daily life and into the methods medieval French Jews spoke back to persecution. in addition they recommend that poetry used to be used to inspire resistance to intensifying pressures to convert.

The trained Jewish elite in northern France used to be hugely acculturated. Their poetry--particularly that rising from the leading edge Tosafist schools--reflects their engagement with the vernacular renaissance unfolding round them, in addition to awake and subconscious absorption of Christian renowned ideals and hagiographical conventions. whilst, their outstanding poems sign an more and more harsh repudiation of Christianity's sacred symbols and ideology. They demonstrate a posh courting to Christian tradition as Jews internalized parts of medieval tradition even whereas expressing a strong revulsion opposed to the types and ideology of Christian life.

This gracefully written learn crosses conventional obstacles of heritage and literature and of Jewish and normal medieval scholarship. concentrating on particular incidents of persecution and the literary commemorations they produced, it bargains precise insights into the ancient stipulations within which those poems have been written and performed.

Show sample text content

Download sample