Jewish Studies

Aviya Doron

Into the Market and Back Again: Jews, Trust and the Medieval Marketplace

Section: Articles
Jewish Studies Quarterly (JSQ)

Volume 28 () / Issue 4, pp. 349-368 (20)
Published 09.12.2021

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The marketplace was the central hub for economic activity in the medieval city. Among its important functions was the provision of an open, visible space within which transactions were subject to official and communal oversight, thus according them legitimacy. This article examines the validating space created by the marketplace with respect to Jewish-Christian economic interactions. The reliance on spatial divides in Jewish-Christian economic exchange is explored by examining the local variations of the Jewish trade privilege, which allowed Jews in the German Empire to receive compensation for stolen items found in their possession. While the public space of the city initially provided Jews with protection regarding this privilege, later in the 13th century the privilege could not be applied once goods were exposed outside of Jews' homes. The changing attitudes and approaches toward Jewish economic activity are traced by contextualizing local legislation from the German Empire during the 13th century with contemporaneous responsa literature.
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Aviya Doron No current data available.