We always face a certain danger when we investigate cultural-historical situations or conditions. Our chronicles and other documents tend to emphasize dramatic, if not tragic cases that color our understanding in rather dark light. This also applies to the relationship between Jews and Christians during the late Middle Ages, which has been discussed already from many different perspectives. Less consulted have been late German medieval verse narratives (verse-couplets, or mæren), where we encounter a number of times quite remarkable frameworks which situate the Jews in a much more mundane, ordinary context. As much as the poets endeavored, of course, to present the possibility of converting Jews to Christianity, as much they thereby also reveal a variety of different relationships characterized by a surprising degree of normalcy, free from the usual anti-Judaic hostility. We gain additional support for our approach by way of including two prose novellas by Boccaccio in his Decameron (ca. 1350).
© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston