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Jewish DogsAn Image and Its Interpreters$
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Kenneth Stow

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780804752817

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804752817.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 08 May 2021

The Jewish Version

The Jewish Version

The Bollandist Reconstruction Vindicated

(p.99) Four The Jewish Version
Jewish Dogs
Stanford University Press

The Bollandists' reconstruction of King Philip Augustus' actions appears to be corroborated by a series of letters that are appended to the Orléans Narrative, a Hebrew account of the burning to death of more than thirty Jews at Blois in 1171 by order of Count Theobald of Champagne. If the letters were indeed written in 1171, their message would contradict much of what has been said about Louis VII, a protector who “honors” the Jews, condemns ritual murder, and orders the dismissal of the charge. This chapter argues that the letters were written much later than 1171, and that they show kings to be capable of believing and acting on charges of ritual murder. In addition, the king criticized by the Blois letters is not Louis VII but Philip Augustus. It demonstrates that ritual murder and a perceived Jewish social threat were the main reasons for Philip Augustus's actions, thus supporting and vindicating the Bollandist reconstruction of Rigord and of the events which transpired in 1171–1198.

Keywords:   Bollandists, Philip Augustus, letters, ritual murder, Orléans Narrative, Jews, Blois, kings, social threat, Rigord

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