The Jewish Role in Medieval Commerce and Finance

May 6, 2021 | Henry Abramson
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In talmudic times, the Jews of Babylonia and the Land of Israel were engaged in farming, crafts, trade, and other pursuits alike. But by the Middle Ages European Jewry had come to occupy specific niches within the economic systems of the lands where they lived. Most famously, they became involved in moneylending, but also in commerce and finance more broadly. Henry Abramson, in a series of three lectures, explains how this came to be—while debunking some common misconceptions—and how Jewish economic specialization affected perceptions of Jews as well as Jews’ perceptions of themselves. The first lecture can be viewed here, and the others at the link below:

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