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Although closely focused on the remarkable Hebrew First-Crusade narratives, Robert Chazan's new interpretation of these texts is anything but narrow, as his title, God, Humanity, and History, strongly suggests. The three surviving Hebrew accounts of the crusaders' devastating assaults on Rhineland Jewish communities during the spring of 1096 have been examined at length, but only now can we appreciate the extent to which they represent their turbulent times.
After a close analysis of the texts themselves, Chazan addresses the objectives of the three narratives. He compares these accounts with earlier Jewish history writing and with contemporary crusade historiography. It is in their disjuncture with past forms of Jewish historical narration and their amazing parallels with Latin crusade narratives that the Hebrew narratives are most revealing. We see how they reflect the embeddedness of early Ashkenazic Jewry in the vibrant atmosphere of late-eleventh- and early-twelfth-century northern Europe.
|Prologue: The Time-Bound and the Timeless in Medieval Ashkenazic Narrative||1|
|1||The Hebrew First Crusade Narratives||19|
|2||The Mainz Anonymous: Structure, Authorship, Dating, and Objectives||28|
|3||The Solomon bar Simson Chronicle: The Editorial Prologue and Epilogue||52|
|4||The Solomon bar Simson Chronicle: The Speyer-Worms-Mainz Unit||70|
|5||The Solomon bar Simson Chronicle: The Trier and Cologne Units||83|
|6||The Eliezer bar Nathan Chronicle||100|
|7||The Hebrew First Crusade Narratives: Time-Bound Objectives||112|
|8||The Historicity of the Hebrew Narratives||124|
|9||The Hebrew First Crusade Narratives: The Timeless||140|
|10||God, Humanity, and History||157|
|11||Comparative Dimensions: The 1096 Narratives and Classical Jewish Tradition||175|
|12||Comparative Dimensions: The 1096 Narratives and Their Medieval Setting||191|
|Appendix||The Hebrew First Crusade Narratives: Prior Studies on Relationships and Dating||217|
Posted November 14, 2000
An interesting study of the three surviving Hebrew documents narrating the massacre of the Jewish community of the Rhineland in the year 1096. Chazan not only provides the reader with an analysis of each of the narratives, but also attempts the objectives of each of them (time-bound and timeless objectives). According to Chazan, a new for of narrative developed in order to respond to the Christian belief of divine punishment of the Jews, a form of narrative that focused more in the actions of the Jews living in 1096 and less in the participation of God in the shaping of history. Like most of Chazan's books, this book seems to be small, but the amount of information provided is extensive. The book also provides information concerning the various forms of Christians behavior positive and negative.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.