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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 11, 2021

Ungewöhnliche Perspektiven auf Juden in der deutschen und italienischen Literatur des Spätmittelalters

Feinde oder bloß nicht-christliche Nachbarn in der Mærendichtung?

Unusual Perspectives on Jews in Late Medieval German and Italian Literature
Enemies or Simply Non-Christian Neighbors in Verse and Prose Narratives?
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From the journal Aschkenas


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).

Published Online: 2021-05-11
Published in Print: 2021-06-08

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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