Grew So Rich"
passage is taken from the Gesta Philippi Augusti, a contemporary
Latin history of the reign of Philip Augustus (1180-1223) by a monk
The wealth and importance of the Jews in Paris is described
in this passage, but their affluence gave them only limited political
influence. The Jews formed a small, privileged, but politically
vulnerable portion of medieval society.
At this time a great multitude of Jews had been dwelling
in France for a long time past, for they had flocked there
from diverse parts of the world, because peace abode among
the French, and liberality. The Jews had heard how the kings
of the French were prompt to act against their enemies and
were very merciful toward their subjects. And therefore
their elders and men wise in the law of Moses, who were
called by the Jews didascali, made resolve to come
When they had made a long sojourn there, they grew so rich
that they claimed as their own almost half of the whole
city , and had Christians in their houses as menservants
and maidservants who were open 1">backsliders
from the faith of Jesus Christ and judaized with the
Jews . . .