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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/220

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

remained for a long time within the circle defined by the Emperor. The Jews were forbidden marriage with Christians, the ownership and sale of Christian slaves, and jurisdiction in court over Christians; further, Jews and Christians were not allowed to take a common meal, and the employment of a Jewish physician was forbidden. Bitter hostility against the Jewish people is breathed first in the Frankish Empire in the writings of the Archbishops Agobard and Amolo, of Lyons, about the year 848; the latter recommended Sisibut's action as one acceptable to God, and worthy of imitation—a bad sign of what was to come. However, these writings also indicate, first, that at that time the charge of a usurious fleecing of the Christians by the Jews was not yet brought forward; and, further, that the Emperor, the officers of state, and even the agricultural population, were well-disposed to the Jews, and that the state still protected them.

But with the end of the eleventh century a turn of things began, which proved full of disaster to the Christians as well as to the Jews and the pagans. The highest authority in the Western world had announced the principle of the religious wars, and found the means to foster them and continuously excite them anew. It had become an expiatory and saving work to conquer non-Christian peoples, and to plunder and destroy those who resisted; hence, it was unavoidable that the condition of the Israelitish people should take a much worse shape than before; and, although in general Europe was making steady progress in the formation of orderly civil governments, this progress was of no advantage to the Jewish people; rather did each century, until the Reformation, bring an increase of their misery. For the Israelite was in the eyes of the then existing Christians worse than an unbeliever; he was called in the official language of the Church perfidus i. e., a man who deserves neither truth nor confidence. "Oremus et pro perfidis Judais" stood in the Liturgy for Good Friday, and all theologians and canonical writers of that time used the expression. The Jew should be avoided like one afflicted with a plague, even whose breath contaminates, or like a dangerous tempter, whose words hide the poison of doubt and unbelief. The laity were forbidden to speak even one word with him on the subject of religion.

When, therefore, the hosts of the Crusaders went out to war against the Mohammedans in Asia, they began slaying the Jews at home, and plundering their houses. And the kingdom of Jerusalem began its existence by burning the Israelites who lived there, together with their synagogues.

Those were acts of fanatical and untamed bands. For princes and peoples, for priests and laymen, the utterances of the Popes and councils respecting the rights and duties of Christians to the Jews were naturally accepted as giving the law. Before this, the Roman bishops had not concerned themselves about the Jews; their epistles and enactments during the first six centuries contain nothing about them, the