The Intolerant Middle Ages: A Reader

The Intolerant Middle Ages: A Reader

by Eugene Smelyansky (Editor)


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


The Intolerant Middle Ages is a collection of primary sources on the history of persecution. The goal of the book is to highlight instances of persecution and violence, as well as those relatively rare but significant episodes of toleration, toward an intentionally broad spectrum of people who existed at the margins of medieval society: heretics, Jews and Muslims, the poor, the displaced and disabled, women, and those deemed sexually deviant. The volume also presents a more geographically diverse Middle Ages by including sources from Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Mediterranean.

Sources are organized in thematic chapters, covering everything from "Heresy and Inquisition" to "Disease and Disability." Each document is preceded by a brief introduction and followed by questions for discussion, making The Intolerant Middle Ages an excellent entrance into the lives and struggles of minorities in the medieval world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781487524128
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division
Publication date: 08/17/2020
Series: Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures Series
Pages: 300
Sales rank: 934,525
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Eugene Smelyansky is a postdoctoral teaching fellow in the Roots of Contemporary Issues Global History Program at Washington State University.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


Chapter 1: Precursors and Origins

1. Christians Accused of Participating in Scandalous Rituals
2. The Martyrdom of Saint Perpetua
3. Emperor Constantine Condemns Arianism
4. Saint Augustine on the Grounds for Religious Persecution
5. Christianity Triumphant: The Theodosian Code on Christianity and Paganism

Chapter 2: Anti-Judaism and Persecution of the Jews

6. “Slay Them Not”: Saint Augustine on the Jews
7. Anti-Jewish Legislation from the Visigothic Code
8. The Massacre in Mainz at the Beginning of the First Crusade
9. Blood Libel: The Murder of William of Norwich
10. A Papal Response: Gregory X against the Blood Libel
11. Jewish Woman in a Christian Miracle Story
12. King Otakar II Promises Royal Protection to the Jews in Bohemia and Austria
13. Well-Poisoning Accusations against the Jews
14. Massacre of the Jews in Strasbourg

Chapter 3: Heresy and Inquisition

15. Heresy in the Carolingian Word: Gottschalk of Orbais
16. Guibert of Nogent and the Heretics of Soissons
17. Hildegard of Bingen Preaches against Heresy
18. A Cathar Origin Story in the Testimony of Arnaud Sicre
19. Origins of the Waldensians
20. Canon of the Fourth Lateran Council Concerning Heresy
21. Inquisitor Bernard Gui at Work
22. Heretical Tricks: Inquisitor Nicholas Eymerich on the Art of Interrogation
23. Individual Resistance: Bernard Clergue
24. Cooperation and Resistance: Arnaud Sicre Infiltrates a Heretical Group
25. Papal Prohibitions against Beguines and Beghards at the Council of Vienne
26. The Fruits of Clerical Imagination: A Heretical Orgy
27. Persecutions of Waldensians in Late Medieval German Cities

Chapter 4: External Others: Contacts, Intolerance, and the Making of Medieval Europe

28. Carolingian Conquest of Saxony: Two Perspectives
29. Gerald of Wales on the Irish
30. Papal Blessing for Henry II's Conquest of Ireland
31. Keeping the Peace after the Conquest: Statutes of the Parliament of Dublin
32. Medieval Europe Old and New: Otto of Freising Describes Northern Italy and Hungary
33. Duke of Lithuania on the Teutonic Order

Chapter 5: Interreligious Violence in the Mediterranean

34. The Martyrs of Cordoba
35. Depictions of Muslims in The Song of Roland
36. Ibn Jubayr on Sicily under the Christian Rule
37. Interfaith Coexistence in Crusader Jerusalem
38. Coexistence and Exclusion in the Siete Partidas
39. Pope Innocent III Forbids the Venetian Merchants to Trade with the Muslims
40. Frederick II's Trade Agreement with Tunisia
41. Accusations against the Genoese Merchants in Service of the Mamluk Sultan

Chapter 6: People on the Margins of Medieval Society

42. Agobard of Lyon: On the Baptism of Jewish Slaves
43. Poverty as Piety: The Rule of Saint Francis
44. Critique of the Mendicant Friars: William of St-Amour's On the Dangers of the Final Days
45. Medieval Serfdom and Manumission
46. Punishments for Impregnating a Female Slave in Genoa
47. Discrimination against the Poor in Siena during the Famine of 1329
48. Living in Poverty in Florence
49. The World Turned Upside Down: Social Anxiety during and after the Plague
50. Wage Control after the Plague: Ordinance of the Laborers, 1349
51. Ordinances against the “Jews, Lepers, and Swine” and the Poor in Late Medieval London
52. Christine de Pizan on the Virtues of Toleration

Chapter 7: Disease and Disability in Medieval Europe

53. Disability and Charity in Piers Plowman
54. False Disability on the Streets of London
55. Rules of the Maison-Dieu in Pontoise
56. Physician Gilbert the Englishman on the Symptoms of Leprosy
57. Humbert of Romans Preaches to the Lepers
58. Ritual of Exclusion for a Leper
59. The Leper Plot against Christendom, 1321

Chapter 8: From the Holy to the Sinful: Attitudes towards Women

60. A Prostitute Saint: Saint Mary of Egypt
61. The Trial of Thiota, A False Prophetess
62. The Life of Christina of Markyate
63. Women in the Sicilian Laws of Frederick II
64. Women and the Ideals of Courtly Love
65. Religious Life of Margery Kempe
66. Marital Problems: An Innkeeper's Wife Leaves Him
67. Bernardino of Siena Preaches on Marriage

Chapter 9: The Control of Sexuality

68. Laws of Justinian Concerning Same-Sex Acts and Blasphemy
69. A Cross-Dressing Saint: Marina/Marinus
70. Punishments for Illicit Sexuality from a Medieval Penitential
71. Prostitution and Religious Reform in Prague
72. Illegal Prostitution in London
73. Confession of a Muslim Prostitute in Valencia
74. Confession of Arnaud of Verniolle
75. The Trial of Katherina Hetzeldorfer
76. Testimony of Rolandina Roncaglia
77. Testimony of Eleanor/John Rykener

What People are Saying About This

Miri Rubin

"The Intolerant Middle Ages will soon become a standard companion for teachers as they introduce students to the presence in medieval Europe of some persistent - and some emergent - prejudices against groups and individuals. The title may puzzle some, but I welcome it, for it will encourage classroom discussion of those aspects of medieval life which were not 'intolerant.'"

Customer Reviews