By Susan L. Einbinder
When Crusader armies on their method to the Holy Land attacked Jewish groups within the Rhine Valley, many Jews selected suicide over demise by the hands of Christian mobs. With their defiant deaths, the medieval Jewish martyr used to be 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 lifestyles in northern France. The poems supply perception into daily life and into the methods medieval French Jews replied to persecution. in addition they recommend that poetry was once used to motivate resistance to intensifying pressures to convert.
The trained Jewish elite in northern France was once 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 well known ideals and hagiographical conventions. whilst, their amazing poems sign an more and more harsh repudiation of Christianity's sacred symbols and ideology. They exhibit a fancy dating to Christian tradition as Jews internalized components of medieval tradition even whereas expressing a robust revulsion opposed to the kinds and ideology of Christian life.
This gracefully written examine crosses conventional limitations of historical past and literature and of Jewish and basic medieval scholarship. targeting particular incidents of persecution and the literary commemorations they produced, it deals special insights into the ancient stipulations during which those poems have been written and performed.
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Additional info for 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) by Susan L. Einbinder