Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Research Blog #3 - "Jew Poisoning a Well"
This woodcut is from Pierre Boaistuau's Histoires Prodigieuses. It is dated around 1569 and depicts a Jewish man poisoning a well that the Devil is urinating into and in the background there is a child hanging on a cross. All these images support Anti-Semitic beliefs about Jews in the Early Modern period and each part represents a different stereotype of the Jew. There is the stereotype about Jews being in a relationship with the Devil, a common fear was that Jews were very dexterous with poisons, and there was another morbid belief that Jews sacrificed and ate children. While this is all very disturbing, it provides insight about the perception of Jews in Early Modern England.