This book challenges a common historical narrative, which portrays medieval Jews as moneylenders who filled an essential economic role in Europe. Where Volume I traced the development of the narrative in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and refuted it with an in-depth study of English Jewry, Volume II explores the significance of dissolving the Jewish narrative for European history. It extends the study from England to northern France, the Mediterranean, and central Europe and deploys the methodologies of legal, cultural, and religious history alongside economic history. Each chapter offers a novel interpretation of key topics, such as the Christian usury campaign, the commercial revolution, and gift economy / profit economy, to demonstrate how the revision of Jewish history leads to new insights in European history.
Julie L. Mell is Associate Professor of History at North Carolina State University, USA where she teaches courses in medieval history and Jewish history. She has published in Jewish Historical Studies, Jewish History, and the Wiener Jahrbuch für Jüdische Geschichte Kultur und Museumswesen, and received fellowships from the Yad HaNadiv, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the American Association of University Women.
.Chapter 1 The Discourse of Usury and the Jewish Usurer in medieval France.-.Chapter 2 Commercialization among the Jewish Merchants of Marseille.-.Chapter 3 From Gift Exchange to Profit Economy reconsidered: Towards a Cultural History of Money.-.Conclusion 'Which is the Merchant here? And which the Jew?'.