Tzafrir BarzilayDec 24, 2022
Accusations, Persecution, and Minorities in Medieval Europe, 1321-1422
University of Pennsylvania Press 2022
In Poisoned Wells: Accusations, Persecution, and Minorities in Medieval Europe, 1321-1422
(University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022), Tzafrir Barzilay explores the origins of the charges of well poisoning leveled at European minorities in the later Middle Ages. Barzilay asks how the fear took root and moved across Europe, which groups it targeted, why it held in certain areas and not others, and why it waned in the fifteenth century. He argues that many of the social, political, and environmental factors that fed the rise of the mass poisoning accusations had already appeared during the thirteenth century, a period of increased urbanization, of criminal poisoning charges, and of the proliferation of medical texts on toxins.
Tzafrir Barzilay is a Senior lecturer in the Department of History at Bar Ilan University.
Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com.