Stories of a Ritual Murder Trial New edition
By (author) R. Po-chia Hsia
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Trent, 1475 by R. Po-chia Hsia
Book DescriptionOn Easter Sunday, 1475, the dead body of a two-year-old boy named Simon was found in the cellar of a Jewish family's house in Trent, Italy. Town magistrates arrested all eighteen Jewish men and one Jewish woman living in Trent on the charge of ritual murder--the killing of a Christian child in order to use his blood in Jewish religious rites. Under judicial torture and imprisonment, the men confessed and were condemned to death; their womenfolk, who had been kept under house arrest with their children, denounced the men under torture and eventually converted to Christianity. A papal hearing in Rome about possible judicial misconduct in Trent made the trial widely known and led to a wave of anti-Jewish propaganda and other accusations of ritual murder against the Jews. In this engrossing book, R. Po-chia Hsia reconstructs the events of this tragic persecution, drawing principally on the Yeshiva Manuscript, a detailed trial record made by authorities in Trent to justify their execution of the Jews and to bolster the case for the canonization of "Little Martyr Simon." Hsia depicts the Jewish victims (whose testimonies contain fragmentary stories of their tragic lives as well as forced confessions of kidnap, torture, and murder), the prosecuting magistrates, the hostile witnesses, and the few Christian neighbors who tried in vain to help the Jews. Setting the trial and its documents in the historical context of medieval blood libel, Hsia vividly portrays how fact and fiction can be blurred, how judicial torture can be couched in icy orderliness and impersonality, and how religious rites can be interpreted as ceremonies of barbarism.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780300068726
(140mm x 210mm x 13mm)
Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publish Date: 1-Oct-1996
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author R. Po-chia Hsia
Cambridge History of Christianity, Paperback (July 2014)
A history of Christianity from the Protestant Reformation to the height of Catholic Reform.
Jesuit in the Forbidden City, Paperback (May 2012)
The remarkable life of the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci, one of the most famous missionaries of all time and the founder of the Catholic Mission in China. This is the first critical biography to use all relevant sources, not only in western languages but in Chinese as well.
Calvinism and Religious Toleration in the Dutch Golden Age, Paperback (December 2010)
This 2002 collection of outstanding essays sheds new light on the paradox of the strictly Calvinist, yet tolerant, Dutch Republic in the Golden Age.
Cultural Translation in Early Modern Europe, Paperback (June 2009)» View all books by R. Po-chia Hsia
This 2007 volume sheds new light on the practice of translation as part of cultural history.
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Author Biography - R. Po-chia Hsia
R. Po-chia Hsia is professor of European history at New York University.
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