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Jews

jewish century especially ages

During the Middle Ages, Jews lived in Islamic and Christian areas of Europe. The Jewish contributions to medieval life, culture, and urban growth were enormous. Jewish scholars, especially in Spain, were responsible for translating many classical and scientific texts, previously unknown in the west, into Hebrew and Latin from Arabic sources. For example, the study of *Aristotle by the great Jewish scholar Moses Maimonides (1135–1204) was of great influence on the medieval theologian Saint *Thomas Aquinas. However, anti-Jewish attitudes increased through the Middle Ages, based on both religious and economic factors. Jews were persecuted during the Crusades, especially in the Rhineland during the First Crusade, and became the scapegoats for the Black Death in the mid-fourteenth century. Sporadic persecutions and expulsions of Jews from Christian territories were carried out through the High and late Middle Ages.


In early Christian and medieval art before the eleventh century, no distinctive iconography or costume was used to specifically distinguish Jewish persons in illustrations of biblical or other subjects. The *prophets, *patriarchs, and other biblical figures are understood as Jewish simply within the contexts of the pictorial narratives. Beginning in the eleventh century, however, Jews are identifiable in art through a variety of iconographic motifs, especially costumes and hats. Jews wear round caps, pointed, conical, knobbed, or funnel-shaped hats. The Judenhut (pileus cornutus , pointed hat) may have initially been a voluntary fashion but was specified among the required identifying badges for Jews at the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215. The directive of distinguishing Jews by dress was interpreted with some variation in different regions: in France, a circular badge was worn on outer garments; in England, the badge of yellow cloth was tablet shaped. The distinctive varieties of Jewish hats are, however, the most often represented in art from the eleventh century onward.

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