The Jews had been increasingly treated as a pariah people during the Middle Ages because of their role in the Christian myth as deicides, and their perceived threat to the Christian claim to be the true Israel. From the eleventh century onwards, the Jews were expelled from normal professions, deprived of human rights and treated with contempt and persecution. Their image was degraded by artistic means, the Passion Plays being a particular source of popular hatred and contempt. Folklore, taking its cue from the teaching of the Church, produced fantastic images of the Jew as a demonic, subhuman creature. In Spain, theological antisemitism was already transforming itself into racial antisemitism by the doctrine of limpieza de sangre.