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Two papal letters on the wearing of the Jewish badge, 1221 and 1229

Nicholas Vincent

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Two papal letters on the wearing of the Jewish badge, 1221 and 1229 NICHOLAS VINCENT The two documents which form the subject of this article and which are printed below as an appendix, survive amongst an extensive collection of papal letters, for the most part addressed to the archbishops of Canterbury, copied into the 13th-century archbishopric cartulary, now Lambeth Palace manuscript 1212. Beyond the fact that they escaped the attention of Shlomo Simonsohn in his monumental survey of papal letters relating to Jews, the documents merit publica? tion on two grounds; firstly because they allow us to take a closer look at the means by which the papacy sought to impose restrictions and segregation on Jews, and secondly because they provide valuable evidence of the way in which such papal legislation was implemented by the English Church.1 Both documents relate to the provisions of chapter 68 of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, which had insisted that Jews and Saracens be distinguished from Christians by the wearing of special clothing. The first of our letters, addressed by Pope Honorius III to Stephen Langton, archbishop of Canterbury, in 1221, orders Langton to enforce the distinction in Jewish dress within his own diocese of Canterbury, insisting that as a protection against miscegenation between Jews and Christian women, the Jews wear 'that clothing (habitus) by which they can be distinguished from Christians'. The second letter, sent in 1229 by Gregory IX to Richard archbishop of Canterbury, responds to a complaint from William of Blois, bishop of Worcester, that the Jews of the province of Canterbury had continued to defy the statute of the Lateran Council relating to the wearing of badges (signa); furthermore, Jews had continued to retain Christian servants in their households. The letters claim that such service was forbidden by the Council of 1215. In fact it finds no place in the 1215 constitutions, having been forbidden earlier by chapter 26 of the Third Lateran Council of 1179. Nonetheless, like the insistence on distinctive dress, the ban on Christian servants appears to have been inspired by a fear of miscegenation and the concern that Jews might prey on the naivety of young women to pervert them away from the Christian faith.2 Pope Gregory's letters command the archbishop to enforce both the wearing of badges and the prohibition against servants, 'lest temporal profit be preferred to the zeal of Christ'. There are two aspects to these letters that command particular attention: first their contents, and secondly their timing and their historical circumstances. With 209</page><page sequence="2">Nicholas Vincent regard to the basic content, it is apparent that in the eight years between 1221 and 1229 the papacy had come to a much clearer understanding of precisely what dress-code should be applied to distinguish Christians from Jews. In the immedi? ate aftermath of the Lateran decree there appears to have been no very certain idea of how the pope's demand that Jews dress differently should be applied in practice. The first of our letters, of 1221, refers merely to a general distinction in dress (habitus). The second, of 1229, states specifically that Jews are to wear badges (signa). The Lateran decrees of 1215 had been introduced to England during the early years of the minority of King Henry III, at a time when the bishops and the papal legates, Guala and Pandulph, occupied a particularly prom? inent place in English government. As early as March 1218 the minority council had issued instructions that all Jews were to wear a pair of white rectangular patches (tabulas) of cloth or parchment on the front of their upper garment, presumably in imitation of the two stone tablets (tabulas in the Vulgate translation) on which Moses had received the Law, and which the council may erroneously have believed were displayed in effigy in every synagogue.3 Similar attempts were made to comply with the Lateran decree elsewhere in Europe, in Sicily for example, where Jews were ordered to wear beards and sky-blue blouses, or in Aragon where they were to be distinguished by a yellow badge and round capes. However, it is important to note that the decree of 1215 had been extremely vague, and hence that its application varied significantly between one country and another.4 In 1215-16, for example, the archbishops and bishops of France had been asked to 'permit the Jews to dress (talem gesture habitum) so that they might be conspicuous among Christians, but not to compel them to dress in such a way that they might be put in danger of their lives'.5 In Christian Spain, where Jews already appear to have dressed in a distinctive fashion, perhaps in consequence of earlier Arab legislation which had imposed restrictive dress codes on Jews and all non-Muslims since at least the 9th century, the pope was actually forced to intervene in 1219 and 1220 to prevent the imposition of badges or signs. These had been so detested that various members of the Jewish community had preferred to seek refuge with the Moors, rather than wear the new badges (nova signa) which the bishops were seeking to impose, as the papal letters put it, not out of excessive respect for the Lateran decrees, but in order to extort money from the Jews.6 A year later the demand that Jews dress differendy was reintroduced to the province of Toledo, but well into the 1230s the papal chancery continued to employ the vague term habitus or dress, rather than specify some distinguishing badge or signum.1 Our letter of 1229, together with a similar admonition of 1231 to the archbishop of Burgos, provides the earliest proof that Gregory IX was prepared on occasion to sanction the imposition of badges (signa). Despite the obvious comparisons to be drawn between the Jewish badge of the Middle Ages and the more recent policies of anti-Semitic regimes, it has been suggested that in its origin the wearing of distinctive costume or badges was not 210</page><page sequence="3">Two papal letters on the wearing of the Jewish badge intended to confer shame or ridicule on Jews.8 Certainly, Jews were by no means alone in facing segregation through enforced codes of dress. The statutes of 1215 coincided with a wider series of measures, intended to regulate the dress of the Christian clergy and to prohibit excessive luxury in clerical costume. For example, the legate Guala, the chief papal agent in England at the time that the Jewish tabula was introduced, had issued statutes for the clergy of France as long ago as 1209, insisting that clerks be tonsured and prohibiting the wearing of copes with embroidered sleeves, copes decorated with fur, red or green shirts, or shoes with pointed toes. Monks were to wear black, not decorated or coloured copes.9 Similar sumptuary restrictions were to find their way into the provincial statutes of the early-13th-century Church, suggesting that the authorities were anxious to enforce outward signs of distinction on the various orders of the clergy, and to insist on the segregation of clerical from secular society.10 Just as Christians were later to mock Jews for their wearing of the badge, so at least one Jewish comment? ator of the 1260s sought to return the insult, by deriding the white robes of the Franciscan friars.11 The Jewish legislation of 1215 sprang, at least in part, from a conservative desire to reinforce the outward marks of distinction between social groups. As at any time of rapid social and economic change, the early 13th century witnessed a series of attempts to resist such change through the stricter demarca? tion of the bounds that had traditionally separated one group from another, now blurred and distorted by the influx of new money and new symbols of wealth. The clergy were to be marked out by their dress and their distinctive way of life, through celibacy and the avoidance of secular pursuits. At the same time, the laity came to exhibit an increasing interest in symbols of distinction, most obviously through their adoption of coats of arms and heraldic devices, promulgated with ever greater precision and subtlety from the 12th century onwards.12 Besides issuing sumptuary legislation for the clergy, in 1217 the legate Guala had stood by during the battle of Lincoln as the supporters of King Henry III sewed white crosses to their clothing as a distinguishing symbol of their allegiance.13 In essence, the Jewish badge, the clerk's tonsure and the knight's coat of arms might be seen as products of the same desire to preserve society against the forces of upheaval. As the Lateran statutes explicitly state, it was necessary that Jews dress differently from the rest of society, not only to protect against mixed mar? riages and sexual relations between Christians and Jews, but because Jews them? selves had come to ignore what were believed to be their own traditional, Mosaic teachings on costume and dress. Indeed, in his letters to the French bishops, Pope Innocent III may have presented the new decree as if it was a concession to Jews, who were to be 'permitted', not compelled, to wear distinctive clothes.14 The authors of the Lateran statutes were undoubtedly familiar with those passages in the Pentateuch which enjoined Jews to wear blue fringes on their garments and forbade the mixing of woollen and linen cloth as part of a wider attack on the interbreeding of live-stock and the mingling of seed.15 As the Glossa Ordinaria 211</page><page sequence="4">Nicholas Vincent puts it, God decreed that Jews should wear fringes (funiculi) as a sign (signum), like circumcision, to divide the people of Israel from the rest of mankind. In biblical times, the Gloss suggests, certain ascetic Jews had substituted thorns for fringes so that the people might be reminded of their duties to God and so that the priesthood could extract money in return for dispensations not to wear such thorns.16 The earliest commentaries on chapter 68 of the Lateran Council spe? cifically compare the insistence on distinctive Jewish dress to the old Mosaic teaching that men and women were to have their own particular apparel and not dress in one another's clothes.17 In England the badge imposed by the authorities was devised in deliberate imitation of the two stone tablets (tabulas) of the Law carried down by Moses from Mount Sinai, while for the Jews of Sicily, the sky-blue blouse imposed by Emperor Frederick II in 1221 may have been inten? ded to imitate the fringes of hyacinth required of Jews by the Pentateuch (Numbers 15:3s).18 Badges and distinctions in dress were thus common to both Jewish and Chris? tian culture. Likewise in countries living under Islamic law they had long been applied to Jews as to all non-Muslims.19 They were not necessarily intended to confer shame on their wearers. Here, however, we need to tread with caution. A coat of arms or a clerical tonsure might be worn with dignity and pride; but other signs bestowed the mark of the outcast. The most obvious example is the white badge of disease planted by nature on the mutilated body of the leper. Save for those living in enforced segregation, who were expected to don the religious habit, lepers were not forced to wear any particular costume, perhaps for the very reason that their disease was badge enough in itself.20 But no one who has read chapters 13 and 14 of Leviticus can be in any doubt that in Jewish as in Christian society, the leper was shunned and expected to live as an outcast. The healthy received warning of the leper's approach through the sound of his bell, or, from the 13th century onwards when attempts were made to restrict the ringing of bells in the street to the proclamation of the holy sacrament, from the sound of his wooden rattle.21 As with Jews, the Church sought to compel lepers to live together in carefully segregated communities where they were to put on the habit of religion.22 Again, as with Jews, there appears to have been a particular horror inspired by the thought of sexual intermingling between the leprous and the healthy. Although the papacy upheld the theoretical duty of a healthy spouse to maintain conjugal relations with his or her leprous partner, in practice, lepers living under supervi? sion were expected to take strict vows of chastity.23 Besides Jews and lepers, prostitutes were also subject to the strictures of the Church. Indeed, the earliest commentators on statute 68 of the Lateran Council draw a direct link between the new restrictions on Jewish dress and a decretal of Pope Clement III (1187-91) which had likened priests who donned secular cos? tume to women who dressed as harlots. Just as in Roman law, an honest woman who dressed like a prostitute could not claim legal remedy if she were set upon 212</page><page sequence="5">Two papal letters on the wearing of the Jewish badge by a man, so, the decretal suggested, a priest who dressed like a layman and who carried arms must expect to face assault and imprisonment without being able to claim privilege of clergy.24 Once again we are reminded of the association between the regulation of Jewish dress and the contemporary restrictions on clerical cos? tume. Furthermore, the early commentators clearly associated the statute on Jewish dress with the opprobrium attached to the dress of harlots. By the 14th century such signs as a badge or a cord belt were being enforced in law on prostitutes; but at the time of the Lateran Council there appears to have been no insistence that they wear a particular badge or symbol of their trade. However, in statutes issued by the papal legate Robert de Courson in 1213, prostitutes are specifically compared to lepers, being commanded to live in segregation, outside any town or city.25 Although as yet they were subject to no particular enforced costume, they were nonetheless expected to avoid the wearing of costumes by which they might be confused with respectable women. Thus they were forbidden to wear veils or coats, and were to refrain from excessive elegance in their dress, nor might they dress in any way that would lead to their being mistaken for nuns.26 Since, like any other tradesperson, the prostitute needed to advertise her services, it is conceivable that the enforcement of a particular dress code was never as unwelcome to the prostitute as it was to Jews. Far closer to the Jewish experience was the legislation, first promulgated in the 1220s, by which penitent heretics were commanded to wear cross-shaped badges on their outer garment.27 At much the same time, Christian artists were refining the inconography by which Jews and heretics were to be represented, and often confused with one another in pictorial terms. From a relatively early date, a peculiar funnel-shaped hat was employed by artists as the distinguishing mark of Jews. By the 1220s the same hat was being used to represent both Jews and heretics in art, and by the late 13 th century the use of such hats had become so stylized that it was no longer adopted, as it had been from time to time in the past, in the portrayal of any other groups in society.28 In origin the funnel-shaped hat appears to have been free from any pejorative connotations; a desirable item of dress, fashionable among some but not all Jewish communities, used on occasion in Jewish coats of arms. However, in a remarkable instance of life imitating art, by the 1260s, like the cloth badge, the pointed Judenhut was being enforced by the Church authorities on all Jews of Germany and Bohemia as a symbol of Jewish segregation.29 Like the papacy, artists sought to devise a distinctive outward symbol for Jews. As with the papal legislation, iconography at first sought merely to distinguish Jews from Christians. Distinction, however, led rapidly to segregation and to the attachment of shame and ridicule to the outward symbols of Jewish identity. In 1215 Innocent III hoped to impose distinctions between Christian and Jewish dress. The stated motive for this legislation - to prevent illicit sexual intercourse between Christians and Jews - was accepted at face value by all 13th-century commentators on the statute.30 The fear of miscegenation was deep-rooted in 213</page><page sequence="6">Nicholas Vincent medieval society, and had already found expression in a series of papal decretals.31 No doubt there was a genuine fear that Jews and Christians might mingle indis? criminately with one another unless clear outward distinctions were imposed. In particular, there may have been concern that Christian men might allege ignor? ance of the identity of Jewish women in order to excuse illicit sexual relations entered into perfectly knowingly.32 But to argue from this that there was no intention in 1215 to humiliate or to downgrade Jews is to overstep the mark. To Innocent III, Jews were usurers, blasphemers and Christ-killers who at best were to be converted to Christianity, or if this proved impossible, to be safely segregated from the rest of society.33 Constitution 68 was only part of a wider programme promulgated by the Council of 1215 in which Jewish money-lending and blas? phemy were severely criticized, in which Jews were forbidden to appear in public on Good Friday or Easter Sunday, and which preceded a series of injunctions concerning Christian converts.34 Living apart, and marked out by their costume, Jews might all the more easily be identified and persuaded to seek conversion. John Teutonicus, the first canonist to comment on the Lateran statutes, regarded the restriction on Jewish dress as a natural extension of earlier papal rulings: just as canon law already insisted that men should dress differently from women, freemen from serfs and honest women from harlots, so ought Jews to dress differently from Christians.35 The parallels drawn here between Jews, slaves and prostitutes suggest that from the outset it was realized that Jews were to be disparaged as a result of the statute of 1215. Like prostitutes, Jews were coming increasingly to be seen not only as a distinct social group, of lower social and legal status than Christians, but as a positive 'out-caste' beyond the bounds of respectable society.36 By the 1230s Jews of Normandy were being forbidden access to brothels frequented by Christians. It would appear that even a Christian prosti? tute was considered superior to a Jew.37 To this extent, the imposition of the badge can only be regarded as a further indication of the desire to segregate, and hence to disparage, Jews. Certainly, this appears to have been the conclusion drawn by Jewish authorities. It is the very fact that Jews resisted the new dress code, that provides us with much of our information about the code's implementation. The motives for resistance are not hard to find. The statutes of 1215 were regarded as an insult in themselves. Moreover, they coincided with preparations for a new crusade; always a time of tension between Jews and Christians. In England, these same years witnessed a break-down in royal government in which Jews could no longer rely on the protection traditionally afforded them by the king. The rebel barons who occupied London between 1215 and 1217 plundered the property and sought to repudiate the debts of the city's Jews, destroying Jewish houses and using the stones for the refortification of the city walls.38 Aware of the dangers posed by preparations for the crusade, both Innocent III and his successor, Pope Honorius issued general protections for Jews in the three years after 1215.39 Innocent 214</page><page sequence="7">Two papal letters on the wearing of the Jewish badge appears to have been especially alert to the possibility that the imposition of distinctive dress on Jews might make them more liable to attack. Hence his demand that they not be compelled to dress in any way by which their lives might be put at risk.40 Nonetheless, as we have already seen, various Jews of Spain preferred to seek refuge with Moors rather than wear the new badges which the bishops were seeking to impose on them, while the letters printed below suggest that in England resistance to the forced dress-code continued for many years. In both Spain and England, it is clear that the Christian authorities imposed the Lateran constitution at least in part for temporal gain. In England, from at least 1221, the receipt rolls of the Jewish exchequer record a stream of fines paid by Jews to be released from wearing the tabula; while in Spain the pope was to accuse the local bishops of having imposed the Jewish badge from a desire to extort money, presumably in similar fines for exemption.41 Since in England it was the secular, royal authority which claimed jurisdiction over Jews, the king and his council were in a position both to enforce the Jewish badge and then to profit by allowing Jews to fine for its relaxation. There is evidence to suggest that this disparity between theory and practice led to tensions between the royal and the ecclesiastical authorities during the early years of the reign of King Henry III. In 1218, for example, during the season of Lent - a period traditionally associated with attacks on Jews - the royal chancery issued special safeguards appointing local committees to protect Jews from attacks by crusaders, and com? manding resistance to an attempt by various bishops to place a prohibition (prohibitionem) on the Jews.42 Similar friction was to arise in 1222, when the bishops of Canterbury, Lincoln and Norwich sought to impose a boycott on Jews who resisted their decrees, including, one assumes, an attempt by the bishops to impose the wearing of the Jewish badge.43 No doubt it was the connivance of the secular authorities in selling dispensations from the tabula that caused Pope Gregory to write to the archbishop of Canterbury in 1229, enjoining him to show Christian zeal and to ignore the lure of temporal gain.44 In England the implementation of the Lateran decrees was hampered by resist? ance from Jews and by the willingness of the secular authorities to profit from Jews' reluctance to adopt restrictive codes of dress. Furthermore, there appears to have been considerable disagreement between local bishops as to how strictly the new papal legislation should be imposed. Here we need to look more closely at the personalities involved in introducing the Lateran decrees after 1215. The two chief papal representatives during this period, the legates Guala and Pandulph, are both assumed to have been hostile to Jews. Guala is known to have issued letters confirming the foundation of a confraternity at Bristol, one of whose functions is believed to have lain in the conversion of the city's Jewry.45 Pandulph complained vigorously against the activities of Isaac of Norwich, a money-lender who had engaged in loans to the monks both of Westminster and of Pandulph's own cathedral church at Norwich.46 However, it remains uncertain whether either 215</page><page sequence="8">Nicholas Vincent Guala or Pandulph was a particular enemy of Jews. Guala cannot be proved, although he may be assumed to have played a direct role in imposing legislation against Jews. Indeed, the Jews go entirely unmentioned in any of his 150 or so recorded letters. It was during Pandulph's years as legate that the royal adminis? tration began allowing Jews to fine for exemption from the tabula. Even more remarkably, in 1232 Pandulph's brother was to issue an award to the abbey of Monte Cassino intended to pay for the monks' habits, an award made in memory of Pandulph, and financed in part out of the profits of the Jewry (iudeca) which his family controlled in the town of San Germano.47 Here we have a remarkable indication, not only of the close ties between Pandulph's family and the exploita? tion of Jewish enterprise, but of a continuing association between Jews and the wearing of distictive clothing, in this case the monastic habit. Among the English bishops there seems to have been considerable diversity in their approach to Jews. Some, most prominently Peter des Roches, bishop of Winchester, were so closely associated with the secular administration that their chief interest appears to have lain in the financial exploitation of Jews, which in turn led to a fair degree of toleration, provided of course that toleration rather than repression ensured a greater income to the royal exchequer.48 Others, such as William de Blois, bishop of Worcester, adopted a far harsher approach. William's diocesan legislation for Worcester went even further than the Lateran decrees of 1215 in imposing restrictions on Jewish usury, and it was following complaints from William that in 1229 Pope Gregory wrote to demand the dismissal of Chris? tian servants from Jewish households, and the imposition of the Jewish badge.49 Mid-way between these two extremes stood the archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, the key figure in English Church politics following the resigna? tion of the legate Pandulph in 1221. Since it was to Langton that the first of the two letters printed below was addressed, apparently at Langton's own request (te referente), it is as well that we take this opportunity to discover what we can of his attitude towards the Jews. Although Langton had attended the Lateran Council of 1215, and although as a former teacher at the schools of Paris he was closely in touch with the debate on usury from which sprang much of the papal rhetoric against the Jews, he was debarred from playing any immediate role in the imposition of the Lateran statutes as a result of political vicissitudes. Until the summer of 1221 he occupied an anomalous position within the English Church, to a large extent subordinated to the papal legates. It was not until 1221 that he broke free from legatine restraint, so that the papal letters of 6 July 1221, printed below, solicited by Langton himself, presumably represent an attempt by the archbishop to counter the laxity of the past few years by insisting on the stricter enforcement of the Lateran decrees. Certainly, when he came to issue provincial statutes at Oxford in April 1222, he incorporated much of the earlier papal legislation: the ban on Jews employing Christian servants, 'it being contrary to reason that the sons of the free 216</page><page sequence="9">Two papal letters on the wearing of the Jewish badge woman should associate with the sons of the servile'; the insistence that they wear a pair of woollen tabulas on their upper garment, made from another colour than the garment itself and measuring at least two finger-breadths by four; and a demand that the Jews pay tithe to their local church. Beyond this, the Oxford Council adopted a series of measures, even more stringent than those to be found in the Lateran statutes of 1215: a demand that no new synagogues be built, that Jews be entirely debarred from entering churches and that they cease to use churches as a safe deposit for their valuables, this last decree copied, perhaps, from the Worcester statutes of 1219.50 At the same Oxford Council of April 1222, a deacon found guilty of conversion to Judaism was degraded and handed over for execution by the lay authorities.51 There is evidence that in the immediate aftermath of the Council of Oxford, the bishops of Lincoln and Norwich and the archbishop himself sought practical implementation for the Council's statutes, enjoining their parishioners to impose a boycott on trade with Jews; a move which forced intervention from the royal authorities.52 Langton himself was a Lincolnshire man whose own family appears to have fallen into debt with Jews, a fact that no doubt reinforced his intellectual and moral objections to usury.53 Before 1213 he is said to have led a preaching campaign against usury in northern France.54 Later, as archbishop of Canterbury, he might from time to time have looked up at the windows of his own cathedral church, where in at least one scene Jews were depicted as usurers doomed to the tortures of hell.55 But to portray Stephen Langton as an outright enemy of the Jews is perhaps to oversimplify. From his scriptural commentaries it is clear that Langton had benefited from discussions with Jewish scholars of Paris, although it should be noted that for the most part Langton cites such authorities merely in order to refute them.56 It is possible that much Jewish-Christian scholastic contact, evidenced in the past as a sign of mutual respect, in fact led merely to deeper misunderstanding and to the further entrenchment of mutual prejudices. One modern authority who has examined the Jewish element in Langton's commentaries on Scripture, Gilbert Dahan, concludes that Langton had no direct personal knowledge of Hebrew, but that he relied on the earlier Christian-Jewish dialogues conducted by Andrew of St Victor, Peter Comestor and ultimately by St Jerome. Dahan suggests that Langton demonstrates a particular fondness for anti-Jewish typology, likening the Jews to the Old Testament figure of Cain, or to the horned ram of Abraham's sacrifice. As with many of his contemporaries, Langton believed that the Jews were set apart through their own fault, through their deliberate rejection of Christ, and their conscious refusal to accept the covenant of the New Testament. As Dahan suggests, it is probably no coincidence that it was to Langton that the scholar Peter of Cornwall chose to dedicate his anti-Jewish tract 'Against Simon the Jew'.57 Nonetheless, just as at Canterbury it is apparent that the relations between the cathedral church and the city's Jews were by no means entirely 217</page><page sequence="10">Nicholas Vincent hostile, we cannot dismiss the attitude of Langton to the Jews as a matter of simple dislike.58 Langton is credited with the authorship of a life of King Richard I, now lost, but used by the 14th-century chronicler, Ranulph Higden.59 Higden's account, which claims to be based closely on that of Langton, incorporates several stories in which sympathy is extended towards Jews: during the attacks which accompanied the king's coronation in 1189, and later during the massacre of the Jews of York, Lincoln and Stamford.60 Although Langton may well have been a canon of York at the time of the 1190 massacre, we have no proof that the stories in the Polychronicon were borrowed by Higden from Langton's lost work; all are to be found in other, surviving chronicles.61 Even so, there is nothing here to suggest that Langton adopted a particularly harsh attitude towards Jews. The fact that so little of Langton's scholastic output has been published, ham? pers us in our search; but at least one of his sermons includes a passage on Jews. Preaching on Palm Sunday on the obligation of Christians to spread the word of God, Langton declares that it is right to fight against (expugnare) Muslims and heretics, but not against Jews. Muslims and heretics are guilty of apostasy, having at one time accepted the Christian faith, but Jews are not, since they have never accepted Christ's teachings.62 In Christian thinking, as in Jewish, apostasy was accounted a particularly heinous crime.63 Here we might bear in mind that the clerk condemned by the Council of Oxford in 1222, presided over by Langton, was condemned for his apostasy, and only incidentally for the fact that it was to Judaism that he apostatized. Perhaps equally significant are the remarks made by Langton in the course of his gloss on the Old Testament. We have seen that a knowledge of the Pentateuch and its injunction that Jews wear fringes on their dress may have played a part in the papal decision to impose distinctive costume on the Jews after 1215. In his gloss on the two key passages in the Old Testament, Numbers 15:38 and Deuteronomy 22:11-12, Langton repeats much of the com? mentary to be found in the Glossa Ordinaria, but to this, he adds various remarks of his own. For example, he adopts a figurative interpretation of the fringe as a symbol of perseverance, and of its specified colour - blue - as a reminder of man's duty to keep his eyes on heaven.64 In addition, he amplifies the remarks already to be found in the Glossa Ordinaria, that the Jews of the Bible had substi? tuted thorns for fringes, more so that they could take fines for dispensation, than to prick men's consciences to a remembrance of God's law.65 This is a particularly significant comment in light of the fact that, after 1221, Langton himself attempted to impose a badge on Jews, more irksome than any thorn: a badge from which the secular authorities were only too keen to dispense the Jews in return for monetary gain. As with Old Testament Jews, so with Jews in 13th-century England, there is evidence to suggest that the wearing of distinctive costume, and in particular of the badge or tabula, was honoured more in the breach than the observance. In the thirty years after 1218 the badge goes unmentioned in royal records save for 218</page><page sequence="11">Two papal letters on the wearing of the Jewish badge the series of fines on the Jewish receipt rolls which testify to the sale of dispensa? tions. Much as the Church authorities may have wished to impose it, it was the king and not the bishops who was responsible for the day-to-day regulation of the Jews, and it seems that for many years, in England as in France, the king held back from any strict enforcement of the badge.66 Our one piece of evidence to the contrary is to be found in a drawing of the great Jewish usurer, Isaac of Norwich and his associates, placed at the head of the receipt roll for 1233. This shows among other figures a woman named Avegaye who, it has been suggested, wears the Jewish badge on the front of her dress.67 Certainly she wears some sort of symbol, but since it is shaped like a crescent moon, and since this in no way accords with the description of the tabula as set out in earlier legislation, it seems just as likely to be purely decorative, perhaps a brooch, rather than an official badge. Certainly the chief figure in the picture, Isaac himself, appears to carry no outward mark of his Jewishness.68 Despite the two letters printed below, there is nothing to suggest that the Jewish badge was actively imposed in England between 1218 and 1253 when, under further pressure from the Church, King Henry III issued a series of statutes on Jews, including a demand that all Jews wear a visible tabula (manifestam tabulam) on their breast.69 What conclusions can be drawn from this? Firstly, earlier commentators have no doubt been correct to claim that the imposition of distinctive Jewish dress after 1215 sprang from a desire merely to distinguish, not specifically to disparage Jews. The Jews themselves may have been as keen to live apart and to preserve their own traditions and customs as the Church authorities were that Jews be segregated from the rest of society. Mosaic law demanded distinctions in cos? tume - the wearing of fringes - a command which many Jews were prepared to see enforced. To this extent the legislation of 1215 was not primarily designed to humiliate Jews. At the same time, however, the authors of the legislation were little concerned that any outward distinction in Jewish dress would generally be regarded as a disparagement. Although they knew of the traditional dress code of the Pentateuch, they made no attempt to ensure that the new restrictions were imposed in such a way as to conform to the Jews' own traditions. Even in England, although the badge adopted after 1218, the tabula was a familiar Jewish symbol, it was not a symbol that had previously played any part in Jewish dress. Likewise in Sicily, the secular authorities sought to impose a blue blouse rather than a blue fringe. Jews had already sunk so low in the estimation of their Christian neigh? bours, and were already so segregated, that any specifically Jewish symbol, be it a cloth badge or a pointed hat, would only reinforce their 'otherness' and bring them into scorn and ridicule. In the immediate aftermath of 1215, Christian commentators deliberately likened the dress restrictions imposed on Jews to those already in force on slaves and prostitutes. Unlike the sumptuary laws imposed on the clergy and the secular aristocracy, the enforced dress code conferred shame rather than honourable distinction on Jews. Jews themselves did their utmost to 219</page><page sequence="12">Nicholas Vincent avoid obeying the statute of 1215, and in this they had the tacit cooperation of Christian rulers who, to begin with at least, preferred to sell dispensations from the new dress code rather than to insist on its strict enforcement. The code itself was initially worded in very vague terms; but in England from 1218, and in the papal polemic from at least 1229, it had come to be interpreted specifically in terms of a Jewish badge. In England, despite the admonitions of the Church authorities, the badge went unenforced for many years after its initial introduction, principally we must assume because of resistance from Jews themselves. Until well into the 1250s, the government of Henry III seems to have made no attempt to impose the Jewish badge, save on those too poor to pay for dispensation. In France general enforcement may have come even later. Nonetheless, as a symbol of the way that Jews were being transformed in Christian thought from yet another minority group into a group positively outside the bounds of society, the dress code of 1215 must take a prominent place in any assessment of the declining fortunes of European Jewry. To this extent the letters printed below allow us yet further insight into a process which, by the end of the 13 th century, was to transform Jews into an outcast group, subject to hatred, harassment and eventual expulsion. Appendix 1. Mandate from Pope Honorius III to Stephen Langton, archbishop of Canterbury. Lateran, 6 July 1221 (London, Lambeth Palace Library ms. 1212 fo. i28r) Honorius episcopus servus servorum (Dei) venerabili fratri archiepiscopo Can tuar' sancte Romane ecclesie cardinali salutem et apostolicam benedictionem. Cum in generali consilio, cuius statuta volumus illibata servari, provida fuerit deliberatione statutum ut ubique terrarum ludei a Cristianis diversitate habitus distinguantur ne illorum isti et istorum illi dampnabiliter possint mulieribus com misceri, et ludei hoc, sicut te referente didicimus, in tua diocesi non observent, propter quod dampnate commixtionis excessus sub erroris potest velamento pre sumi, fraternitati tue per aspostolica scripta mandamus quatinus ludeos eosdem ad ferendum quo a Cristianis habitum distinguantur per subtractionem communionis fidelium apellatione remota compellas. Dat' Lateran' ii Non' lulii pontificatus nostri anno sexto. 220</page><page sequence="13">Two papal letters on the wearing of the Jewish badge 2. Mandate from Pope Gregory IX to Richard Grant, archbishop of Canterbury. Perugia, 27 November 1229 (London, Lambeth Palace Library ms. 1212 fo. 129V) Gregorius episcopus servus servorum Dei venerabili fratri.. Cant' archiepiscopo salutem et apostolicam benedictionem. Ex parte venerabilis fratris nostri .. Wigorn' episcopi fuit propositum quod ludei in tua provincia constituti signa quibus a Cristianis habitu distinguantur, iuxta quod in generali concilio fuit pro vida deliberatione statutum, deferre contempnunt, propter quod multe3 abusiones emergunt urgentes in periculum animarum, iidem quoque contra idem concilium habere presumunt mancipia Cristiana in orthodoxe fidei obprobrium et con temptum. Nolentes igitur presumptiones ipsorum conniventibus oculis pertransiri, fraternitati tue per apostolica scripta mandamus quatinus prefatos ludeos ad defer enda huiusmodi signa et Cristiana mancipia dimittenda per penam in eodem concilio contra ludeos editam monitione premissa cessante apellatione compellas, eandem penam faciens in tua provincia firmiter observari, proviso ut in hiis zelus Cristi ante oculos habeatur ne in hoc ei preferatur aliquod lucrum temporale. Daf Perusii v KaP Decembr' pontificatus nostri anno tercio. a mille ms. NOTES 1 S. Simonsohn, The Apostolic See and the Jews 8 vols (Toronto 1988-91), and see N. Vincent, 'Jews, Poitevins, and the Bishop of Winchester, 1231-1234', in D. Wood (ed.) Christianity and Judaism: Studies in Church History XXIX (Oxford 1992) 120, where the second of the two letters printed here is misdated, leading to confusion between Archbishop Langton and Archbishop Richard Grant. I am grateful to Patrick Zutshi, who alerted me to this error. For many additional references I am grateful to Edward Lipmann, Ken Stow and especially to Robert Stacey, without whose help this article would never have been written. 2 See in this regard the explanation offered for imposing restrictions on Jewish-Christian relations in the province of Tours; J. Avril (ed.) Les Conciles de la Province de Tours (Paris 1987) 130-1. 3 T. Duffus Hardy (ed.) Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum in Turri Londinensi asservati, 2 vols (London 1833-4) 1:378b, also in T. Rymer (ed.) Foedera, Conventiones, Litterae et cujuscumque generis Acta Publica, new edition, vol. I part i, ed. A. Clark and F. Holbrooke (London 1816) 151, presumably borrowing the word tabulas from such passages as Exodus 34:1. 4 For general discussions of the Jewish badge, see Simonsohn (see n. 1) vii: 135-8; S. Grayzel, The Church and the Jews in the Xlllth Century, new edition, 2 vols (New York 1966) i:6o~7o; W. Pakter, Medieval Canon Law and the Jews (Ebelsbach 1988) 289-301; G. Kisch, 'The Yellow Badge in History' Historia Judaica XIX (1957) 89-146; A. Cutler, 'Innocent III and the distinctive clothing of Jews and Muslims', in J. R. Sommerfeldt (ed.) Studies in Medieval Culture III (Kalamazoo 1970) 92-116, esp. 106-8; U. Robert, Les Signes dlnfamie au Moyen Age (Paris 1891) ioff. 5 S. Simonsohn (see n. 1) i no. 94. 6 Ibid, nos 102, 108, following earlier attempts (nos 96, 99) to impose a distinction in dress {habitus). For commentary, see Grayzel (see n. 4) 63-4. For earlier Arab legislation on Jewish dress, see M. R. Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages (Princeton 1994). 7 S. Simonsohn (see n. 1) nos 113, 115, 136. 8 K. Stow, Alienated Minority: the Jews of Medieval Latin Europe (New Haven 1992) 147-8; 221</page><page sequence="14">Nicholas Vincent J. A. Watt, 'Jews and Christians in the Gregorian Decretals', in D. Wood (ed.) (see n. i) 102-3. 9 N. Vincent (ed.) The Letters and Charters of Cardinal Guala Bicchieri, Papal Legate in England 1216-1218. Canterbury and York Society (1996) nos 182, 185. 10 See, for example, Avril (see n. 2) 121 (Council of Tours 1,215), and m general, see R. H. Bautier, 'Clercs mecaniques et clercs marchands dans la France du xiiie siecle' Comptes Rendus de VAcademie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (Paris 1981) 209-42, esp. 211-25. 11 M. Kriegel, Les Juifs ? la fin du Moyen Age dans VEurope mediterraneenne (Paris 1979) 51. 12 See A. Ailes, 'Heraldry in Twelfth Century England: the Evidence', in D. Williams (ed.) England in the Twelfth Century (Woodbridge 1990) 1-16. 13 T. Wright (ed.) The Political Songs of England from the reign of John to that of Edward If Camden Society ist series vi (1839) 23, which echoes the famous agreement prior to the departure of the Third Crusade in 1190, that the English knights were to wear white, the French red and the Flemish green crosses. 14 Simonsohn (see n. 1) no. 94: mandatur [archiepiscopis et episcopis] ut permittant Judeos talem gestare habitum per quern possint inter Christianos discerni. 15 Leviticus 19:19; Numbers 15:38; Deuteronomy 22:11-12. The latter text is referred to explicitly in statute 70 of the 1215 Council: indui vestis non debeat lino lanaque contexta. 16 See the gloss to Deuteronomy 22:11-12 in J.-P. Migne (ed.) Patrologiae Latinae cursus completus (Paris 1844-64) vol. CXIII col. 476, referring to Matthew 23:5: Dilitant enim phylacteria sua et magnificent fimbrias. 17 A. Garcia y Garcia (ed.) Constitutiones concilii quarti Lateranensis, Monumenta iuris canonici series A: Corpus glossatorum ii (Vatican 1981) 267-8, 378-9, derived via earlier decretals from such passages as Deuteronomy 22:5. 18 For the text of Frederick's statute, see Pakter (see n. 4) 296n. 19 Cohen (see n. 6). 20 P. Richards, The Medieval Leper (Cambridge 1977) 30, 54-6, and for the enforcement of religious costume on the inmates of leper houses, see the statutes of the papal legate Robert de Courson (1213) inj. D. Mansi and others (eds) Sacrorum Conciliorum nove et amplissima collectio, 53 vols (Venice, Florence and Paris 1759-98) vol. XXII cols 835-6. 21 For papal legislation on leprosy as interpreted by the English Church, see D. Whitelock, M. Brett and C. N. L. Brooke (eds) Councils and Synods I, part 2 (1066-1204) (Oxford 1981) 970, 981; F. M. Powicke and C. R. Cheney (eds) Councils and Synods II, part 1 (1205-1265) (Oxford 1964) 361 no. 76, and for the wooden rattle, see Robert (see n. 4) i46ff.; Richards (see no. 20) 50-2. 22 Whitelock, Brett and Brooke (eds) (see n. 21) 1068; P. H. Cullum, 'Leperhouses and Borough Status in the Thirteenth Century', in P. R. Coss and S. D. Lloyd (eds) Thirteenth Century England III (Woodbridge 1991) 43-6, which emphasizes the dual role of leperhouses, both to administer Christian charity and to segregate the leper, noting also that there were never enough leperhouses to accommodate all lepers, many of whom continued to live as solitary mendicants. For the compulsory segregation of a leper in the diocese of Lincoln before 1203, per ecclesiasticam districtionem, see D. M. Stenton (ed.) The Earliest Northamptonshire Assize Rolls A. D. 1202 and 1203, Northamptonshire Record Society v (1930) no. 836. 23 Richards (see n. 20) chapter 7. 24 Garcia y Garcia (ed.) (see n. 17) 267-8, 378-9: John Teutonicus and Vincent of Spain quoting the decretal in audientia found in the collection Compilatio Secunda (1210 X 1215) 5. 18. 14, noted in E. Friedberg (ed.) Quinque Compilationes antiquae necnon collectio canonum Lipsiensis (Leipzig 1882) 103, whence Gergory IX Liber Extra (1234) V.39.25, printed in Friedberg (ed.) Corpus Iuris Canonici II: Decretalium Collectiones (Leipzig 1881) cols 897 8; P. Jaffe, Regesta Pontificum Romanorum, ed. S. Loewenfeld and others, 2 vols (Leipzig 1885-8) ii p. 567 no. 16574 (10208). 25 Mansi (ed.) (see n. 20), XXII col. 854. 26 L.L. Otis, Prostitution in Medieval Society (Chicago 1985) 18, 79-80; Robert (see n. 4) i75ff, which needs to be revised in light of the authorities cited in Garcia y Garcia (see n. 17) 267-8, 378-9 27 Mansi (see n. 20), XXIII cols 196, 266, 556. 28 S. Lipton, 'Jews, Heretics and the sign of the Cat in "Bible Moralisee" ', Word and Image, VIII (1992) 362-77, esp. p. 364; R. Mellinkoff, 'The round, cap-shaped hats depicted on Jews in BM Cotton Claudius B.ix', in P. Clemoes (ed.) Anglo-Saxon England 2 (Cambridge 1973) 155? 65, references which I owe to Robert Stacey. For an exhaustive study of such symbolism, see R. Mellinkoff, Outcasts: Signs of Otherness in Northern European Art of the Late Middle Ages, 2 vols (California University Press 1993). 222</page><page sequence="15">Two papal letters on the wearing of the Jewish badge 29 E. C. Pastan, '"Tarn haereticos quam ludaeos": shifting symbols in the glazing of Troyes cathedral', Word and Image X (1994) 69-71, and see the text of the council of Vienna (1267) reprinted by Pakter (see n. 4) 295n. 30 Watt (see n. 8) io2~3n., quoting Hostiensis, and see Pakter (see n. 4) 297-8. 31 J. Brundage, 'Intermarriage between Christians and Jews in Medieval Canon Law', Jewish History III (1988) 25-32; Pakter (see n. 4) 289-93, 297-301; Kriegel (see n. 11) 47-54 32 Pakter (see n. 4) 292-3. 33 Simonsohn (see n. 1) i no. 82; Grayzel (see n. 4) 114-7 no. 18. 34 Lateran IV statutes 67-9, conveniently printed with translation in Grayzel (see n. 4) 306-11. 35 Garcia y Garcia (see n. 17) 267-8, which provides correction to Stow (see n. 8) 248. 36 W. C. Jordan, The French Monarchy and the Jews (Philadelphia 1989) 172-3, referring to the Jews of the Languedoc. 37 L. Delisle (ed.) Recueil des Jugements de VEchiquier deNormandie (Paris 1864) 133 no. 581, with commentary in Jordan (see n. 36) 135-6. 38 J. Stevenson (ed.) Radulphi de Coggeshall Chronicon Anglicanum (London 1875) 171, and for other evidence of the rebels' relations with the Jews, see, for example, H. M. Chew and M. Weinbaum (eds) The London Eyre of 1244, London Record Society VI (1970) no. 296; V. Brown (ed.) Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters 2 vols, Suffolk Charters XII-XIII (Woodbridge 1992-4) i no. 27. 39 Simonsohn (see n. 1) i nos 95, 98. 40 Ibid. no. 94. 41 H. G. Richardson, The English Jewry under Angevin Kings (London i960) 178-80; Simonsohn (see n. 1) i no. 108: quidam tarnen vestrum pretextu generalis concilii, non propter excessus huiusmodi evitandos sed ut tali potius occasione possint pecuniam extorquere, ad portandum eosdem nituntur compellere nova signa. 42 Patent Rolls 1216-25 (London 1901) 157, 180-1; Rot Lit Claus, (see n. 3) i: 354b, 357, 359b; Richardson (see n. 41) 176-83. 43 Rot Lit. Claus, (see n. 3) i: 567, presumably related to the provincial statutes of Oxford, for which see below. On 25 March 1222, during the season of Lent, Earl Warenne had been ordered to bail the Jews of Stamford whom he had imprisoned on account of a play against the Christian faith (propter ludum quendam quern fecerunt in opprobrium fidei Cristiane); Rot. Lit. Claus, (see n. 3) K491. 44 See appendix 2: in hiis zelus Cristi ante oculos habeatur ne in hoc eipreferatur aliquod lucrum temporale. 45 Vincent (ed.) (see n. 9) no. 8a; M. Adler, Jews of Medieval England (London 1939) 182-4. For what may have been another mission to the Bristol Jews, see N. Vincent, 'The Early Years of Keynsham Abbey', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society CXI (1993) 102-3. 46 Richardson (see n. 41) 183-5; Vincent (see n. 1) 121. 47 E. Gattola, Historia Abbatiae Cassinensis per saeculorum seriem distributa, 2 vols (Venice 1733 4) ii:454, and see N. Vincent, 'The Election of Pandulph Verracclo as Bishop of Norwich (1215)', Historical Research LXVIII (1995) 153-4. 48 Vincent (see n. 1) 119-32. 49 Powicke and Cheney (see n. 21) 55 no. 6; Richardson (see n. 41) 187; and see appendix 2. 50 Powicke and Cheney (see n. 21) 120-1 nos 46-7, and see Richardson (see n. 41) i84n., who explores the background in the decretals to various of the measures adopted at Oxford not copied directly from the Lateran statutes of 1215. 51 F. W. Maitland, 'The Deacon and the Jewess', in Maitland, Roman Canon Law in the Church of England (London 1898) 158-79, remains the classic study here. 52 Rot. Lit. Claus, (see n. 3) i p. 567, and for commentary see Richardson (see n. 41) 184-6. 53 After the death of Walter Langton, in 1236 Stephen's brother, the surviving third brother, Master Simon Langton, archdeacon of Canterbury, was required to answer for the debts owed by Walter to Aaron of York; Close Rolls 1234-j (London 1908) 256. 54 J. W. Baldwin, Masters, Princes and Merchants: the social views of Peter the Chanter and his circle, 2 vols (Princeton 1970) K297, ii: 12-13 n. 40. 55 M. H. Caviness, The Windows of Christ Church Cathedral Canterbury, Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi II (London 1981) 134-5, describing a lost scheme of glazing in the presbytery. 56 B. Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages (3rd ed. Oxford 1983) 234-6. 57 For Jewish-Christian dialogue in the schools, see the perceptive remarks of Jordan (see n. 36) 10-14. For Langton, see G. Dahan, 'Exegese et polemique dans les Commentaires de la Genese D'Etienne Langton', in Dahan (ed.) Les Juifs au Regard de THistoire: Melanges en l'honneur de Bernhard Blumenkranz (Paris 1985) 130-48, esp. 132-6, 140-1, 143, 146-7. 223</page><page sequence="16">Nicholas Vincent 58 For the Jews of Canterbury, see Adler (see n. 45) 51-2, 66-9, and see the various transactions recorded in the priory accounts for 1221 and 1249, including purchases from a Jew of Canterbury, and 2s paid in 1221 to the clerks of the (royal) Exchequer of the Jews per manum Benedicti ludei; Canterbury Cathedral Library ms. D. &amp; C. Canterbury DE I i-ii. 59 F. M. Powicke, Stephen Langton (Oxford 1928) 20. 60 C. Babington (ed.) Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden, 9 vols (London 1865-86) viii:82?5, 90-2. 61 The stories can be traced to the chronicles of 'Benedict of Peterborough', Ralph Diceto, Roger of Howden, Roger of Wendover, and in particular to William of Newburgh who, besides a brief allusion in the Life of St Hugh of Lincoln, is the only chronicler to report the events at Northampton in which a man who had plundered Jewish property was murdered and for a time venerated as a saint; W. Stubbs (ed.) Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I, 4 vols (London 1884-90) ^294-7, 308-22, esp. pp. 311-12, whose language is directly mirrored by Higden. For the suggestion that Langton was a canon at York by 1190, see N. Vincent, 'Master Simon Langton, King John and the Court of France' (forthcoming). 62 Leipzig, University Library ms. 443 fo. 76V, printed by J. Longere, Oeuvres oratoires de maitres Parisiens au xiiesiecle, 2 vols (Paris 1975), i:4i8, ii:32i n. 77: Ius est Christianis expugnare gentiles quia post legem susceptam apostaverunt. ludeos vero non debemus expugnare quia nemo cogendus est ad fidem, set fide accepta debet cogi ad conservandam. 63 For the Jewish hatred of apostates, see Jordan (see n. 36) 139 and references there cited. 64 Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale ms. Latin 385 (Langton's Gloss on Numbers 15:38) fo.65v: per fimbrias que sunt in extremitatibus pallii intell(igitu)r perseverantia . . . tinctura vero celestem habeat colorem non terrenum, conversatio nostra ut scilicet ad dominum referatur non ad oculos hominum, also, with minor variations in Oxford, Bodleian Library, ms. Trinity College 65 fo.23ov. 65 Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale ms. Latin 385 (Langton's Gloss on Deuteronomy 22:11-12) fo.i02v: infigebant spinas que eos pungerent et quasi per hoc incitarentur ad habendum memoriam legis Dei . . . sedpotius hoc faciebant ut auram popularis favoris captarent, also in Bodleian Library, ms. Trinity College 65 fo.272r. 66 In France there appears to have been no royal legislation enforcing the badge until late in the reign of Louis IX; R. Chazan, Medieval Jewry in Northern France: A Political and Social History (Baltimore 1973) 150; Jordan (see n. 36) 149 50, 161, 167, 172, 187. 67 Adler (see n. 45) 20. 68 The drawing has been several times printed, for example in J. Gillingham, The Life and Times of Richard I(London 1973) 54-5. Were it not for the fact that the figure to the left of this drawing, carrying a set of scales, is most likely to be regarded as a Christian, the front of his costume is shaded in a way that might suggest the two rectangular patches of the tabulas. 69 Powicke and Cheney (see n. 21) 473 no. 9. 224</page></plain_text>