[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index][Search Archives]

Re: vegetarians and vietnam

Poster: Suzanne Metzler <SMETZLER/0002152178@MCIMAIL.COM>

I was asked to forward this to the list.

Sue Metzler/Tehair

Forwarded message:
Date:     Tue Feb 10, 1998 01:10 pm EST
Source-Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 13:04:34 -0500 (EST)
From:     stacey jill wahrman
          EMS: INTERNET / MCI ID: 376-5414
          MBX: wahrman@wam.umd.edu
Subject:  Re: vegetarians and vietnam
Message-Id: 98021018104580/INTERNETGWDN3IG
Source-Msg-Id: <Pine.SOL.3.95q.980210122528.17421I-100000@rac5.wam.umd.edu>
U-X-Authentication-warning: rac5.wam.umd.edu: wahrman owned process doing -bs
Tehair, please do me the favor of passing this on.  I'm in the midst of
chaos at school, as usual :-)

In defense of both re-enactors and the Medieval Church and Chivalric
orders, I would like to point out that saying Medieval knights 
hated Jews and bullied/killed them is both an uncomfortable generalization
and in some cases wildly inaccurate.  More often it was the lower classes
who were disenfranchised and looking for a scapegoat, just as in Nazi
Germany it was the working class that was drawn to the Nazi movement.
Jews traditionally acted as moneylenders (one of the few professions open
to them, and one that was illegal for Christians).  The majority of the
time, riots against the Jewish ghettos can be traced back to financial,
rather than religious, concerns.  Burning/killing Jews generally also
involved destroying records of everyone's past debts.  In York's riots the
Church was unable to stem the wave of destruction and mass murder, but
they made sure the ringleaders were captured and punished and the Jews had
trusted the Archbishop enough that extra records were stored in the Church
itself, so the depts were upheld.  Having studied Medieval Jewish history,
I have found this more the rule than the exception.  The folklore about
the blood libel (like the Hugh of Lincoln story) was most often circulated
among the peasants and the middle class.  By the time Chaucer repeated it
the Jews had been expelled from England for so long he had likely never
actually met one.  I wouldn't argue that Medieval knights were bullies,
but they generally didn't have to dirty their hands with mass slaughter.
And if you look at countries other than England, such as France and
Italy, the Jewish communities blended in much more seamlessly and without
as much violence.   

As a Jew who's been an SCA member for almost ten years, I have a problem
with reducing the whole of the middle ages, and the *ideals* of chivalry,
to nothing more than religious intolerance and instances of the strong
preying on the weak.  I would like to further point out that the most 
conservative estimate is that millions of women were killed as
witches throughout the middle ages, yet I don't know of anyone, even the
most militant feminist, who would reduce the entire Medieval period
to nothing more than rampant and organized misogyny.  Aside
from the general offensiveness of the "Mafia" comment, both to
re-enactors and Italians, you're making the mistake of forgetting that not
all Italians belonged to the Mafia... 

Ever in service,

Arianwen ferch Maelgwn
Storvik/Ponte Alto, Atlantia

mka Stacey Wahrman
grad student, Medieval lit.
University of Maryland

List Archives, FAQ, FTP:  http://merryrose.atlantia.sca.org/
            Submissions:  atlantia@atlantia.sca.org
        Admin. requests:  majordomo@atlantia.sca.org