By Haim Beinart
Atlases facing the heritage of the Jews have started showing in English only in the near past. it's accordingly a very good contribution to the sphere to have this translation of a quantity first released in Israel, the place students have lengthy discovered the significance of such works for either scholars and researchers. The meticulous study of Beinart (Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem), one of many leading students of medieval Jewish historical past, is clear on each web page. He has divided the booklet into 3 significant sections: an preliminary component extending from the barbarian invasion of Europe to the Crusades; a moment dedicated to the interval finishing with the expulsion from Spain; and a last phase masking advancements during the Chmielnicki massacres and Sabbatean stream. each scholar of the interval will treasure the 116 maps and illustrations, demographic facts, and art. the amount additionally encompasses a helpful bibliography and map, topic, and folks indexes. This much-needed examine and academic software makes a superb spouse to Evyatar Friesel's Atlas of contemporary Jewish historical past ( LJ 1/1/91); it covers extensive fabric touched on in Martin Gilbert's The Illustrated Atlas of Jewish Civilization (one of LJ 's "Best Reference Books," 4/15/91). hugely urged to libraries and the final audience.
- Jehuda Reinharz, Brandeis Univ., Waltham, Mass.
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It was fortunate that Louis VD of France did not heed the counsel of Peter the Venerable, abbot of Cluny (c. 1092-1156), who, in a vitriolic and vituperative letter unprecedented even for the Middle Ages, called for the total annihilation of the Jews. In England King Stephen (1135-1154) protected the Jews. In Germany the Jewish communities attacked were those of Cologne (only a few Jews were saved by hiding in the Wolkenburg fortress), Worms, Mainz, Bacharach, WOrzburg and Aschaffenburg. The rioting against the Jews ended in the summer of 1147.
During this period the behavior toward the Jews in Christian Spain was entirely different from that in the rest of Europe. Alfonso VI, who assumed the title of Emperor of All Spain, carried the battle standard against the Muslims. His preoccupation with the Reconquista, in which he employed French knights, was probably one of the reasons why the Jews were not massacred like their brethren in other parts of Europe. The services rendered by the Jews to the ruling power stood them in good stead. The Jews of Spain, who were more numerous than their brethren in Ashkenaz (FrancoGermany), remained where they were after the Muslim retreat southward.