Download e-book for iPad: Early Medieval Jewish Policy in Western Europe by Bernard S. Bachrach

By Bernard S. Bachrach

ISBN-10: 0816608148

ISBN-13: 9780816608140

ISBN-10: 0816661251

ISBN-13: 9780816661251

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This might suggest that Reccesuinth who was close to Eugenius was not overly partial to his father, King Chindasuinth. 60 Reccesuinth also maintained a close connection with Bishop Taio, Braulio's supporter and successor as bishop of Saragossa. Curiously, and perhaps by coincidence, no sooner did Chindasuinth die than a revolt broke out in the region of Saragossa. 61 The connection of Braulio, Eugenius, Taio, and King Reccesuinth with the pardoning of those who had been supporters of Chintila, the denigration of Chindasuinth's memory, the drawing up of the Visigothic Code, and the reversal of Chindasuinth's policies toward the Jews would seem to suggest that political factionalism and not religious fanaticism motivated Reccesuinth's anti-Jewish policies.

A substantial body of evidence from the Ostrogothic period confirms the suspicion that Theodoric and his successors did not enforce the legislation of the Theodosian Code that prohibited Jews from bearing arms and serving in a military capacity. For example, accounts of urban strife suggest the participation of armed Jews. More important, however, is the evidence of the use of Jewish fighting men to help garrison fortified places in the name of the king. 13 In short it seems to have been Theodoric's policy to enforce the privilegia of the Jews without making a serious effort to implement the legislation intended to curtail their activities.

In the popular view these advisors were considered soothsayers. 25 The Ostrogoths also organized Jewish fighting men as garrison troops. At Naples, for example, the Jewish units in the city's garrison fought heroically in defense of the Gothic cause, as noted by the contemporary Byzantine historian Procopius. Procopius, who was knowledgeable in military matters, praised the Jewish fighting men for their ability and remarked on the martial spirit of the Jewish community at Naples. 26 In light of the Ostrogoths' pro-Jewish policy which won strong Jewish support, it would be reasonable to expect the Byzantine conquerors to have pursued a vigorous anti-Jewish policy.

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Early Medieval Jewish Policy in Western Europe by Bernard S. Bachrach


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