chapter  10
The Origin of a Medieval Anti-Jewish Stereotype
The Jews as Receivers of Stolen Goods (Twelfth to Thirteenth Centuries)
ByGiacomo Todeschini
Pages 13

Preachers implored the leaders of the land to address the problem, such as the Monti di Pietà. To do this, they made a connection between Jewish commercial activity and Christian theology. This chapter shows how theologians like Peter the Venerable were able to create an enduring and effective stereotype. Jewish economic activities were represented as a system of illegal economic transactions normally undertaken by menacing businessmen, whose infidelity was made apparent by their habit of stealing Christian goods and fencing them on behalf of sacrilegious thieves that is, heretics and false Christians. The emergence of an ideology of Christian individual poverty as the complementary side of a representation of the infinite possibility of developing Christian institutional wealth. The development of an international Christian finance, the spiritual meaning of which was confirmed by its continuous interplay with both ecclesiastical and public administration.