The French Monarchy and the Jews

The French Monarchy and the Jews
From Philip Augustus to the Last Capetians

William Chester Jordan

384 pages | 6 x 9 | 2 illus.
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512805321 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume

From 1179 to 1328 relations between French Christians and Jews were chronically unstable—exploitation, repression, and expulsion were sanctioned by a government dedicated to a purified Christian state. The French Monarchy and the Jews tells in rich and compelling detail the fate of the Jews in Capetian France.

William Chester Jordan assesses the relationship between "Jewish policy" and the development of royal institutions and ide­ ology in the period during which the foundations of the French state were being laid. The royal policy in the early period (the reign of Philip Augustus) was erratic. Official efforts to humiliate the Jews and ruin their businesses were alternated with attempts to provide a climate that encouraged their business while at the same time imposing economic and social disabilities that made other aspects of their lives intolerable. Louis IX, on the other hand, was single-minded in his efforts to induce the Jews to convert. Whatever the policies, Jordan attempts to measure their impact on Jewish and Christian communities.

During the reign of Philip the Fair, the Jews were expelled and their property confiscated to the financial benefit of the crown. Jordan comprehensively evaluates the effects of the expulsion of the Jews themselves, especially during the first years of their exile to the principalities bordering the French king's domain.

The experience of the Jews during the Middle Ages has been a subject of increasing scholarly interest, and The French Monarchy and the Jews will prove useful to any student or scholar of medieval history.

William Chester Jordan is Dayton-Stockton Professor of History at Princeton University.

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