The Mistreatment of Jews

Examples from the Medieval Times and in Literature

Examples in History

Many stereotypes of Jews began in Medieval Times. For example, the stereotypical Jewish money lender comes from this period because it was one of the few jobs they could have that Christians could not have.

More Examples in History

During the Crusades, Jews were seen as "infidels" and were murdered by Crusaders in the Rhineland and major cities throughout the region. In the 1100s through the 1300s Jews were accused of murdering Christian children and causing the Black Plague which ultimately led to their expulsion from England, France and Spain.

Examples in Literature

Jews were also portrayed in a negative light in Medieval literature. One such example is in the Prioress Tale (Canterbury Tales) by Geoffrey Chaucer where a Christian boy is murdered by Jews. The Jews are portrayed as pure evil and are made out to hate the hateful. Jews are portrayed in this negative manner in countless other works of Medieval literature such as, Confessio Amantis by John Gower and Vision of Piers Plowman by William Langland.