Thursday, March 21, 2024

Licoricia of Winchester, Interest, Blood Libel

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This Jewish medieval woman just got a statue | Dress historian on Licoricia of Winchester’s clothes
SnappyDragon | 4 March 2022

3:21 I think there are two differences.

1) The size. A banker is a very huge moneylender. Licoricia may not have been a moneylender, but I don't think moneylenders got past her, and there is a difference between paying taxes for part of a Cathedral and being able to buy the voters of a Republic, as the Medicis could.
2) In part also the issue of interest. A Christian money-lender or banker in most if not all jurisdictions would:

  • not take interest straight off
  • profit from gratitudes, when loans were really made without any contracted interests, and profit from loopholes on what constituted interest.

Our word interest actually comes from one of the loopholes, the one used in connexion with Montes Pietatis. And it was not that kind of modest interest, it was not that loophole, that the Medicis and the Fuggers got rich from. The interest allowed in connexion with a Mons Pietatis was limited to what could pay clerk to register the loans and the savings. And probably also the janitors who cleaned up in the rooms.

Meanwhile, when Jewish moneylending was not closed down bc of high interest or competed out by Montes Pietatis, they were allowed to consider Christians as NOT their brothers and therefore as in relation to Christians NOT bound by Deuteronomy 23:19—20. And they actually did use that allowance.

One of the perfectly licit loopholes was what could be termed an investment loan, a kind of temporary shareholding.

If you lent a businessman 1000 pounds, and his assets after that were 3000, if after the loan expired he had only 2500, you only got 833 back, but if they were 4000, you got 1333 back.

Probably those who were huge gainers had a good nose for good investments.

Probably also, the loans which would have resulted in paying back less were prolonged by mutual agreement.

2500 - 833 = 1667, usually even less adequate for the business than the 2000 pounds the man had before the loan, which is why he loaned in the first place. On the other hand, the lender would hope to get something better than 833 from prolonging the loan.

4000 - 1333 = 2667, a little less good than the 3000 pounds he could move with just after the loan, but better than the 2000 pounds he had before it. And the lender might want to be content with 1333 for 1000.

Unfortunately, there was also another loophole never really ratified by the Church, and which I believe was unfair, but is behind modern banking.

The same amount of 1000 pounds is submitted to BOTH kinds of contract, straight loan (without interest, with a fixed rate of return equal to the sum lent), investment loan, like outlined above, and THEN a third contract overriding both, to the effect of a fixed interest believed to be the mean between what an investment loan and a loan would get.

I'd say if one wanted a mean between the two kinds of contract, the correct thing would be to divide the money on how much was investment and how much was just a loan.

500 + 500 is a simple example. With the outcomes outlined above, this would mean paying back 417 + 500 in the case of loss, and 667 + 500 in the case of gain, to the amounts outlined above example.

917 to 1167 instead of 833 to 1333.

4:28 Norwich 1144.

The picture of William shows him as having a long nose and curly hair.

Now, the religion of Judaism once decided (while they hoped to get the political indendence in the Holy Land back) that a Jew who became Christian should be executed for idolatry or apostasy or whatever.

Could the truth about William be, not human sacrifice, but kind of a token execution?

My mother and I have been somewhat mistreated for pretty long for being Christians, including by Jewish relatives.

Here is wiki on William of Norwich:

The Peterborough Chronicle, a continuation of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, contains an account of the murder of William of Norwich which dates it to c. 1137:[2]

In his time the Jews of Norwich bought a Christian child before Easter, and tortured him with all the same tortures with which our Lord was tortured, and on Long-Friday hanged him on a cross for love of our Lord, and afterwards buried him—imagined that it would be concealed, but our Lord showed that he was a holy martyr, and the monks took him, and buried him reverently in the minster, and through our Lord he performs wonderful and manifold miracles; and he is called St. William.

Here is wiki on Peterborough Chronicle:

It is after 1122 that the Peterborough manuscript becomes unique. Therefore, the document usually called The Peterborough Chronicle is divided into the "first continuation" and the "second continuation" from the time of the fire and the copying. The two continuations are sui generis both in terms of the information they impart, the style they employ, and their language. The first continuation covers 1122–1131. The second continuation runs from 1132 to 1154 and includes the reign of King Stephen.

So, 1137 to 1154 = 17 years. 1144 to 1154 = 10 years.

The report given is not far off decades later. It's not a vague rumour that has been built and again built on.

A boy with long nose, curly hair, Christian religion went missing and was found buried in a place that was not a proper cemetary. Possibly even with marks of a crucifixion procedure.

More on St. William:

Thomas of Monmouth's account is attributed to the testimony of a monk and former Jew named Theobald of Cambridge. Theobald alleged that the murder was a human sacrifice and that the "ancient writings of his fathers" required the yearly killing of a Christian. This was allegedly for two reasons: to one day return to the Holy Land during the Messianic Age and to punish Jesus Christ for the religious persecution that the Jewish people continued to experience at the hands of his followers.[8] While there is no such commandment for human sacrifice anywhere in Jewish theology or Rabbinic literature, Theobald further alleged that William's murderers were not practitioners of conventional Orthodox Judaism. The murder was allegedly ordered at Narbonne, by a cult leader who had declared himself to be the Jewish Messiah and who had cast lots to select where in Europe his followers were to commit the murder. The lots had allegedly fallen upon Norwich and the pseudo-messiah informed his followers among the French-speaking Jewish communities of England by both messengers and letters.[8]

According to many Jewish primary sources from the period, self-appointed Messiahs and their followers were far from unusual in Europe or the Middle East during the 12th century. For example, Maimonides' 1173/4 Epistle to Yemen warns the Jewish community of Yemen against joining similarly heterodox and syncretistic cults led by pseudo-messiahs and mentions the recent violent deaths of a pseudo-messianic cult-leader and his followers in France. According to Jewish Medievalist Jacob R. Marcus, "The Crusades, which began in the eleventh century, stimulated Messianic movements all over the world. Both in Christian and Moslem lands the Jews looked forward to the coming of the Messiah and the return to the Holy Land. Persecutions at the hands of Christian Crusaders and Moslem fanatics, the Christian conquest of Palestine, the political changes in the map of Asia Minor, the oppressive taxation – all these things induced in the Jews of almost every land the hope that the day of their redemption had also come. Self-proclaimed Messiahs arose to lead the expectant masses back to Jerusalem."[9]

I think this overestimates the clarity of Theobald. If it was just a cult within Judaism.

As far as I can see, he considered "kings of the exile" a regular feature of Judaism.

If Thomas of Monmouth's claims about the case were accurate, however, both Jewish and Christian records and chronicles in Southern France would have made at least some mention of a violent messianic cult based at Narbonne.

Why would it necessarily have betrayed its head quarters by being violent near the base?

Plus, it could have been as Theobald thought, a regular Jewish community thing. A bit more violent than Rebbes have been so far.

7:13 Little St. Hugh ...


Hugh's death is significant because it was the first time that the Crown gave credence to ritual child murder allegations, through the direct intervention of King Henry III.[5] It was further bolstered by Matthew Paris' account of the events, and by Edward I's support for the cult after his ordering of the expulsion of Jews from England, particularly his projection of power through the renovation of the tomb in the style of the Eleanor crosses.[6]

The chronicler Matthew Paris described the supposed murder, implicating all the Jews in England: [omitting quote] While the Paris account is significant as the most famous and influential version of the myth, due to his own popularity as a chronicler and talent as storyteller, it is also thought to be the least reliable, and most fabricated, of the contemporary accounts of what had supposedly taken place.[10] Other contemporary accounts include the Annals of Waverley and of Burton Abbey.[11]

For some reason, these more reliable ones are not quoted?

Meanwhile, interesting to know that Matthew Paris, so much in vogue when accusing the Catholic Church for corruption, was of three people reporting the death of Little St. Hugh, the one now considered least reliable, which might mean it was the one trying to smear as many Jews as possible with participation (a bit the equivalent of trying to smear Austrofascists with participation in the Holocaust, just because they had Antisemitic attitudes ... and no labour camps).

8:06 "And probably anywhere in Western Europe."

In Carpentras, Christians had their economy, Jews had theirs. A Jewish leatherworker in the Carpentras Jewry would obviously not be part of a Christian leatherworker's guild in the Christian parts of Carpentras. The Jewry was not just economically but overall a kind of city within the city, a self governing body.

8:51 "It's hard to see this as anything other than an Antisemitic hate crime"

Which was not a juridic category at the time. Much as Anti-Catholic and Anti-Fascist hate crimes are not juridic categories in France right now ...

Meanwhile, some abuse the label to stamp even holocaust denial (with whatever attitude the denier may have to Jews) as inherently an Antisemitic hate crime.

This is the case with legislations in France and Germany and also Russia.

18:56 Thank you for documenting that St. Paul's words in the NT here simply repeat Jewish Tradition.

As you may know, some Protestants attack the Oral Law, not just as it is in Judaism today (with rejection of Jesus or keeping of Kashrut after He made a NT), but the concept as such.

Matthew 15:1 to 9 is often cited as "proof" that the Jesus rejected the concept as such, not just specific examples of it.

Now read 1 Corinthians 11 verse 10 and keep Yehonetan of Lunel in mind ....

20:21 Shaatnez, thanks for reminding ...

1) Christians certainly do not think we are obliged to avoid physical shaatnez in clothing, or rye and wheat mixtures in fields (in France it was sometimes an insurance for a good harvest, rainier years would make more rye, sunnier more wheat or sth);
2) we do however absolutely believe the commandments have a meaning which is still and eternally obliging:

  • to avoid mixing Hebrew truth (that's how St. Thomas refers to it), symbolised by linen and by wheat
  • with Gentile error, symbolised by wool and by rye.

When it came to Shaatnez, my bad memory:

Objection 6. Further, clothing is something extraneous to man's body. Therefore certain kinds of garments should not have been forbidden to the Jews: for instance (Leviticus 19:19): "Thou shalt not wear a garment that is woven of two sorts": and (Deuteronomy 22:5): "A woman shall not be clothed with man's apparel, neither shall a man use woman's apparel": and further on (Deuteronomy 22:11): "Thou shalt not wear a garment that is woven of woolen and linen together."

Reply to Objection 6. It is said of a man in Sirach 19:27, that "the attire of the body . . ."shows "what he is." Hence the Lord wished His people to be distinguished from other nations, not only by the sign of the circumcision, which was in the flesh, but also by a certain difference of attire. Wherefore they were forbidden to wear garments woven of woolen and linen together, and for a woman to be clothed with man's apparel, or vice versa, for two reasons. First, to avoid idolatrous worship. Because the Gentiles, in their religious rites, used garments of this sort, made of various materials. Moreover in the worship of Mars, women put on men's armor; while, conversely, in the worship of Venus men donned women's attire. The second reason was to preserve them from lust: because the employment of various materials in the making of garments signified inordinate union of sexes, while the use of male attire by a woman, or vice versa, has an incentive to evil desires, and offers an occasion of lust. The figurative reason is that the prohibition of wearing a garment woven of woolen and linen signified that it was forbidden to unite the simplicity of innocence, denoted by wool, with the duplicity of malice, betokened by linen. It also signifies that woman is forbidden to presume to teach, or perform other duties of men: or that man should not adopt the effeminate manners of a woman.

Summa Theologiae, Prima Secundae:
Question 102. The causes of the ceremonial precepts
Article 6. Whether there was any reasonable cause for the ceremonial observances?