Academic journal article Shofar

Die Juden Im Mittelalterlichen Reich, by Michael Toch

Academic journal article Shofar

Die Juden Im Mittelalterlichen Reich, by Michael Toch

Article excerpt

Die Juden im Mittelalterlichen Reich, by Michael Toch

This book is perhaps the most useful synthesis of the history and historiographical treatment of the Jews in medieval Germany that has ever been written. Michael Toch, one of the leading experts of the history of the Jews in late medieval and early modern Germany, has woven an impressive volume that balances a broad overview of research on, with a detailed account of the newest and most controversial arguments about, the subject. The book, which is the 44th in a planned series of 100 volumes on subjects in medieval, early modern, and modern German history, is well-organized and very clearly and forcefully written, and includes very helpful marginal notes, good indexes, and an expansive bibliography of books in German, Hebrew, and English that is organized according to the sections of the book.

Toch begins the book with a very concise discussion of Diaspora and rabbinic Judaism and early Jewish and Christian relations. He then quickly moves into the early settlement of the Jews in the ninth and tenth centuries and the economic and social history of the German Jews until the twelfth century. Throughout the first part of the book Toch draws in very broad strokes the history of the Jews in Germany until the sixteenth century, combining expertly statistical information and narrative comments. Although he offers a thorough treatment of the subject as a whole, Toch's presentation of the later Middle Ages is somewhat more nuanced. Toch is also careful to balance internal cultural and communal history with discussions of the position of the Jews within a larger Christian environment. …

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