By Susan L. Einbinder
When Crusader armies on their option 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 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 explicit stipulations of Jewish existence in northern France. The poems supply perception into way of life and into the methods medieval French Jews answered to persecution. additionally they recommend that poetry used to be used to motivate resistance to intensifying pressures to convert.
The proficient Jewish elite in northern France used to be hugely acculturated. Their poetry--particularly that rising from the cutting edge Tosafist schools--reflects their engagement with the vernacular renaissance unfolding round them, in addition to unsleeping and subconscious absorption of Christian well known ideals and hagiographical conventions. whilst, their impressive poems sign an more and more harsh repudiation of Christianity's sacred symbols and ideology. They demonstrate a fancy courting to Christian tradition as Jews internalized parts of medieval tradition even whereas expressing a robust revulsion opposed to the types and ideology of Christian life.
This gracefully written learn crosses conventional obstacles of background and literature and of Jewish and basic medieval scholarship. targeting particular incidents of persecution and the literary commemorations they produced, it bargains specific insights into the ancient stipulations within 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