Medieval W. Christendom

Jews, Money, and Metaphor

All Scripture is like a lyre,

and the lower string on its own does not create harmony,

but [only when combined] with all the others.1

The single most common iconographic attribute associated with Jews in the Bible moralisée is the moneybag- Jews are shown holding these purses in more than fifty roundels in each of the Vienna manuscripts. The meanings attached to this sign are driven by and play upon several long-standing anti-Jewish biases, but the commentary imagery in the Bible moralisée also manipulates the various connotations of the moneybag to foster new perceptions about both Jews and Christian society itself. Essentially, the manuscripts employ a general strategy in which a negative polemic against an economic activity—moneylending—is displaced through the use of increasingly more sophisticated figurations (borrowed from the disciplines of logic, rhetoric, and the natural sciences) onto the Jew, who appears as a sign for usury, avarice, and the destructive effects of money capital as a whole. Analysis of this strategy, then, helps to disentangle the intricate processes by which specific developments in the society and economy of early thirteenth-century France intersected with the representation of Jews in this period.

The Social Background- Christian Moralists and the Rise of a Money Economy

From about the year 1050, the rapid expansion and increasing sophistication of the economy of Western Christendom led many Christian writers and thinkers to direct their attention to money and its manipulation. That notice was often hostile; when the mid-eleventh-century reformer Peter Damian declared that “avarice is the root of all evil,” he was reflecting a growing trend among Christian moralists to attribute most social and spiritual abuses to the love of money.2 By the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, many treatises on the sin of avarice were singling out for special censure the practice of “usury,” defined as the collecting of any amount above the principal.3 However, although it is possible to trace a consistent scholastic tradition concerning usury, there are nevertheless some subtle differences in theoretical approaches to moneylending, and greater variation still in attitudes toward regulating actual economic practice, indicating the ambivalence within scholarly circles (and medieval society as a whole) regarding the expanding realm of capital.4 Some canonists conceded that the Bible permitted the exaction of interest from “aliens” or “enemies” (that is, from infidels and heretics by Christians and/or from Christians by Jews);5 the popes themselves apparently countenanced lending at interest by Jews;6 and both civil legists and penitentialists carefully analyzed and dissected commercial transactions in an effort to distinguish acceptable profit from improper gain.7 By contrast, certain conservative members of the theology faculty at the University of Paris went far beyond papal and canonical positions to proscribe a broad range of profitable business transactions, including lending at interest by or to infidels, on the grounds that any and all usury is sinful.8 Reflecting their specialized training and mission, and perhaps, too, in an attempt to assert their spiritual authority over the issue, these conservative moralists framed the debate in terms other than purely financial, employing in their discussions of moneylending a vehemently hostile rhetoric that served to demonize its practitioners.9

The representation of money and moneylending in the Bible moralisée echoes the most censorious of the theological approaches; its complex layering similarly parallels the elaborate interpretive methods developed by the twelfth- and thirteenth-century Scholastics. A complete understanding of the imagery’s formative ideas can be reached only by examining the representation one piece at a time and then reassembling it after careful analysis.

Jews as Usurers; Usurers as Jews

There is little question but that in the Bible moralisée the sign of the moneybag serves, in its most fundamental role, to associate the figure carrying it with professional moneylending. The moneybag became the traditional emblem associated with the occupation of moneylending (in both art and life) probably already in the eleventh century. Moneybags were suspended outside the houses of professional moneylenders to indicate their occupation,10 and they appear in conjunction with usurers in many works of medieval art.11 The regularity with which Jews are shown with moneybags, then, echoes and serves to perpetuate an impression that Jews and moneylending were inextricably intertwined.12

The juxtaposition of commentary images and texts does the same. The Bibles moralisées contain an inordinate number of texts concerned with moneylending; in the vast majority of these cases, textual references to usurers are accompanied by depictions of Jews. For example, on folio 47a of the Latin manuscript, the raven cursed by Moses in Lev. 11-15–19 is said to represent usurers (feneratores), rendered in the roundel as a Jew hiding moneybags within his hood (Fig. 12). In the commentary on chapter 21 of the same biblical book, the man afflicted with “worms” (tineam) is interpreted as a great usurer (maximum feneratorem) and is depicted as a bearded figure wearing a slightly pointed cap (that is, as either a Jew or a man dressed in Jewish fashion) with a moneybag hung around his neck, three moneybags balanced on each arm, and a bowl of coins balanced on his head (Fig. 13).

It is by no means surprising that usurers are generally identified as Jews in the Bible moralisée, as they are in many other twelfth- and thirteenth-century works of art.13 Although the question of the origins, extent, and relative importance of Jewish participation in moneylending is still unresolved, it seems clear that, in contrast to the eleventh and earlier twelfth centuries, by the early thirteenth century lending at interest had indeed become an important factor in Jewish economic life.14 Various reasons for the increased concentration on credit lending by Jews during the course of the twelfth century have been hazarded in many recent works, including the exclusion of Jews from various crafts owing to the growing religious and social nature of the guilds, the separation of Jews from the land as a result of the reliance on oaths as a building block of the feudal relationship, and the need for an easily transportable form of wealth because of the increased uncertainty of Jewish life.15
Whatever the truth of these claims (and the fact that, in effect, these restrictions allegedly imposed on Jews anticipate the forms of “alienation” that capital would impose on European society as a whole suggests that the entire subject bears reexamination),16 by the year 1150 the Jew had become the “stereotypical” moneylender in the eyes of most Christians, or at least in Christian writings. The term “usurer,” meaning either “illicit moneylender” or simply “moneylender,” was considered practically synonymous with the term “Jew.”17 Many thirteenth-century discussions of usury perpetuated these impressions- Robert de Courson, for example, stated in the section of his Summa dealing with usury that “Jews have nothing except what they have gained through usury.”18 This sentence is repeated verbatim in the contemporary Summa for confessors by the English cleric Thomas of Chobham (formerly a colleague of Courson at the University of Paris) and probably reflects widespread popular conceptions in England and on the Continent.19 Similarly, the term “usurer” was used virtually interchangeably with “Jew” in secular texts, and regulation of usury generally figures prominently in sections of both secular20 and ecclesiastical legislation assigned to Jewish issues. The Fourth Lateran Council’s legislation concerning usury, for example, occurs in the context of the canons dealing with the Jews.21 The employment of images of Jews to illustrate textual references to usurers in the Bible moralisée mirrors this tendency to equate the terms.22

However, the concept “Jew” was not only employed by Christian theologians as a synonym for “usurer”; it also frequently functioned as a synecdoche (a figure in which a less inclusive term is used for a more inclusive term), as “Jews” came to stand for the entire practice of moneylending and its negative economic effects as a whole. Bernard of Clairvaux used the term judaizare to mean any form of moneylending,23 and the Council of Paris (1213) called financial institutions “synagogues for the wicked.”24 This synecdochic utilization had, of course, polemical implications. Since many of the late twelfth- and early thirteenth-century objections to moneylending described it as inflicting both concrete and spiritual harm on society, the stereotype of the usurer as Jew consequently suggests that Jews were dangerous to Christians.

One common area of concern was the effect of moneylending on poor Christians. Concern for protecting the indebted poor from predation figures prominently, for example, in an ordinance on the Jews dealing mainly with usury, issued by Philip Augustus in 1219. Loans to poorer laborers were prohibited outright, a three-year grace period was prescribed for poorer debtors, and the taking in gage of tools necessary for the earning of livelihood was forbidden.25 Innocent IV claimed that many people were reduced to poverty by the heavy exactions of usurers (not identified as Jewish), and he warned that the abandonment of agricultural pursuits by farmers who preferred usurious moneylending to hard work would lead to famine, from which the poor suffered disproportionately.26

The text of the Bible moralisée echoes these concerns about the effect of usury on the poor. On the first folio of the French manuscript, the birds created by God at the beginning of time (Gen. 1-20–22) signify “diverse people of the world who hook Holy Church” while the “big fish” signify “great usurers who devour the little, that is, the poor people.”27 Commentary roundel c illustrates only the first half of this text, showing Holy Church personified seated in the midst of various figures (a white monk, a black monk, secular clerics, and a bareheaded layman—all, that is, Christians) who flail at the shrine surrounding her with hooks; the devouring of the poor people is not addressed in the illustration (Fig. 14). But, interestingly, this part of the French commentary text is realized in a roundel on the next folio as well as in the corresponding illustration in the Latin manuscript (Fig. 15). Although both this second French commentary text on the creation of fish and the analogous Latin commentary text remark simply, “The diverse kinds of fish signify diverse kinds of people,”28 the respective commentary roundels, which are nearly identical, are considerably more specific. In each, four professions/ranks are presented- in one quadrant, falcon-bearing noblemen ride on a horse; in the next, female customers holding out coins gesture rather imperiously toward a butcher; in a third, paddle-wielding teachers scold two young tonsured pupils (who are nearly naked in the Latin manuscript); and in each lower-left quadrant, a moneylender or moneychanger (in the Latin manuscript he is bearded and wearing a white cap) weighs out coins on a scale while customers wait apprehensively. All of these scenes recall in some way the abuse of power hinted at in the earlier French commentary text (the last scene even plays on a French pun based on that earlier text- accrocher, “to hook,” is also slang for “to pawn”). In the Latin moneylending quadrant the potential social tensions engendered by this method of wielding power are compounded by the ambiguities inherent in the term “usurer” and maintained in the depiction of the moneylender, who can be read as a Jew or as a Christian exhibiting “Jewishness” because of his occupation.

The Bible moralisée also depicts a Jewish-type figure actively engaged in perhaps the most objectionable of all possible financial activities. In the commentary on the Levitical precepts, the French manuscript interprets the hunchback, the lame, and the scurvied man (all barred from becoming priests in Lev. 21-20) as usurers.29 The commentary roundel consequently has three representations of usurers. Two—both or whom are beardless—are portrayed statically- one is holding a chest of money on his back, another is holding a scale for weighing coins. The third—a bearded figure wearing a round red cap—is more active- he holds a baby away from a woman (Fig. 16). This seems to depict a particularly repugnant transaction- the indenturing, or perhaps the pawning, of a child. The image suggests that this woman is a mother who has lost her child (perhaps even put her child up as a gage for a loan) because of her inability to pay off a debt. Such transactions may indeed have taken place (at least in the earlier Middle Ages), and reports of them, whether or not true, would certainly have added to popular hatred of pawnbrokers.30 It is striking that the most vigorously destructive usurer depicted is the one represented as a Jew—or in clothes similar to those of a Jew.

The exegetical setting for this image of a baby-stealing usurer provides the essential framework for its interpretation. Like so many of the anti-usury texts in the Bible moralisée and in the writings of contemporary theologians,31 it appears in the commentary on Levitical laws of purity and exclusion; this context, I believe, highlights at least some of the concepts underlying the anti-usury polemic here and elsewhere. The primary function of the Levitical precepts, as Mary Douglas has compellingly argued, was to establish visible signs that would inspire meditation among the Hebrews on the purity and unity of God.32 The equation in Scholastic Levitical commentaries of usurers with unclean elements arises out of similar needs. Under the influence of Pauline Christianity’s emphasis on the “spirit” rather than the “letter” of the law, Christian polemicists typically claimed that Christianity rose above Jewish literalness in understanding purity and pollution on an entirely spiritual plane.33 However, even the “spiritualized” notions of purity so self-consciously privileged in medieval Christian writings were accorded specific, concretized forms. Communal life requires communal demonstrations and testimony. It is not enough to condemn sin- for a community to unite behind the concept of cleanliness, pollution must be rendered recognizable. The Glossa ordinaria comment flanking the injunction that lepers be expelled from the Hebrews’ midst (Lev. 13-1) remarks- “A clear transposition from the letter of the law, which among the Jews [is observed], as it were, in sacrifices and purgations and the like; and among Gentile communities, for instance, concerns adultery, rapine, avarice, and the like.” 34 And of course, ideas of physical pollution were never completely eradicated from medieval Christianity. Peter of Poitiers, an early twelfth-century canon of St.-Victor, insisted that the Eucharist “requires not only goodness of life, but also bodily cleanliness.”35 With the official adoption of the doctrine of transubstantiation at the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), physical as well as spiritual cleanliness (of the Host, the celebrant, and the communicants) was brought into still sharper focus. So, for example, Alexander Nequam (1157–1217) preached on the responsibility of priests to wash their hands before handling the Body of Christ,36 priests were enjoined by Innocent III to wear white when celebrating the Easter Mass,37 and ever more elaborate measures for assuring the integrity of the consecrated wafers were adopted.38 Such measures did not serve just to protect the purity of the Host but also to publicly signify it.

Condemnations of usurers fulfilled a similar function. Associated rhetorically and metaphorically with “filth” in a myriad of Christian texts (to the extent that “filthy lucre” is still a cliché),39 money was repeatedly linked with actual filth in the form of excrement and the “filthy” fluid blood in those most vivid and concrete of medieval narratives, the exempla (illustrative or amusing anecdotes inserted into a sermon).40 Money, then, was not just an agent but a tangible sign of sin and pollution, and usurers were considered not only morally tainted (in that they were sinful) but also physically tainted (by virtue of their intimacy with “filthy lucre”).

Such associations, then, form the backdrop for both the child-pawning and other anti-usury images in the Bible moralisée Leviticus commentary as well as the two great anti-Jewish libels to which they are thematically related- the accusation of ritual child murder, which was leveled against Jews from about the middle of the twelfth century (just when Jews began to be strongly identified with moneylending), and the Host desecration accusation, which appeared early in the thirteenth century and whose villain was stereo typically a Jewish usurer.41 Allegedly wallowing in a “filthy” and “bloodsucking” temporal occupation,42 Jews could, when circumstances arose or polemical needs dictated, be presented as threatening to corrupt Christendom (the spiritual Body of Christ) in general, and, especially, its two most sacred precincts- the real body of Christ and the purest and most Christlike of all Christians, innocent children.43 A very early report of attempted abuse of a Host by a Jew, conveyed in a letter written by Pope Innocent III in 1213, recounts that a certain French Jew placed a stolen Host in a box of coins; the coins were miraculously turned into wafers. This element of the story serves to associate the Jew with money; it also underscores the extent to which money was considered to be the diametric opposite of, and thus incompatible with, the Body of Christ.44 The Host desecration and child murder tales, then, use the child’s body and the Body of Christ as synecdoches for the Body Social—encouraging meditation on the purity of the latter by first identifying and then purging (the Jew and his client are usually burned) those dirty elements of society that pollute the former.45 And always the background to such complicated layerings would have been the (perceived) reality of Jewish responsibility for the spread of indebtedness, buttressed by stories, rumors, or memories of its “bloodsucking” consequences.

A roundel in the Latin manuscript depicts a more common and much-criticized aspect of pawnbroking—the transfer to Jews of Church possessions. Folio 77d of Vienna ÖΝΒ cod. 1179 paraphrases the moment in Judg. 16-19 when Delilah cuts off Samson’s hair and thus renders him powerless. In the moralization, Delilah is held to signify the flesh, which makes the soul (Samson) “sleep from greed and gluttony and carries away from it the seven virtues and thus it relinquishes the grace of God.”46 In a very complicated pictorial translation of the commentary, the soul is depicted in the center of the roundel as a tonsured cleric drinking from a horn; this signifies gluttony. From his left shoulder a small figure representing his soul steps into a bowl of money being poured by another figure. Seven doves symbolizing the virtues fly away to the right. With his left hand the cleric hands a cloak to a standing bearded figure holding out a bag of money (Fig. 17).

The taking of Church vestments and vessels in gage was, in fact, the single most censured aspect of credit lending; in addition to the monetary loss suffered by the Church, the critics stressed, such transactions caused “scandal” and rendered vessels and vestments unavailable for spiritual uses. Objections to this practice consequently constituted a very old refrain in canon law;47 when Jews were the lenders the complaints found their way into royal texts as well. A prohibition against receiving Church vessels was included in Philip Augustus’s 1206 charter for the Jews and reiterated in the ordinance of 1219.48 The situation was considered so scandalous that it was brought to the notice of the pope- in 1205 Innocent III complained to Philip about Jewish appropriation of ecclesiastical goods by means of usury.49 An additional and, I believe, crucial dimension, though, resides in the fact that indebtedness entails emotional and social as well as legal obligation. Power over the clerical debtor is conferred upon the lay creditor, and the superiority of clergy (as clerical ideology envisioned spiritual hierarchy) is consequently undermined. Moreover, if lay power over the clergy was at all times a cause for concern, when the laymen in question were infidels a disturbing religious dimension came into play. Reflecting this, in the twelfth century a virulent twist was added to the objections.50 Peter the Venerable alleged that Jews did “horrible things” to the liturgical items that came into their possession through usury.51 Jewish “defiling” of Church goods was cited by Rigord with outrage in his account of Philip Augustus’s expulsion of Jews from the royal domain in 1182,52 and similar expressions are repeated in many subsequent condemnations of Jewish usury. Jewish moneylending becomes not only a way to oppress and offend Christians but also a form of sacrilege.

The assumptions embedded in such texts cannot fail but to infiltrate the early thirteenth-century patron’s reading of the pawn-broking and moneylending imagery in the Bible moralisée; in turn, the images reinforce such cultural suppositions. The peopling of familiar, or least plausible, scenes of contemporary economic distress with Jews or Jew-like figures thus plays upon and perpetuates the (widespread? or constructed?) belief that all the ill effects of usury were perpetrated by or linked to Jews. The resulting impression is that Jews bore responsibility for almost all the financial calamities that might befall a thirteenth-century Christian.

But the image of the money-clutching Jew in the Bible moralisée does more than merely propagate this rather crude economic scapegoating. The relationships established in the text and images of the Bible moralisée between Jews and usurers, and Jews and moneylending as a whole, pave the way for another kind of figuration. Images that function metonymically (representing an idea by means of an associated concept) employ Jews-as-surrogates-for-usury to designate both the sin of avarice and the entire concept of sin itself.

Signs of Avarice

The linkage of Jews and money in the illustrations of the Bible moralisée is clearly informed by and plays upon the well-established Christian literary topos of Jewish greed. As early as the fourth century, John Chrysostom delivered violently anti-Jewish sermons accusing Jews of, among many other things, greed and thievery;53 and in the twelfth-century Disputatio of Pseudo-Gilbert Crispin, Holy Church remarks to Synagoga, “There is no calculating the extent of your avarice.54 Judas, who was often taken to epitomize all of the Jews, was alleged to have been motivated by avarice in his betrayal of Christ.55 Thomas Aquinas wrote that the Israelites of the biblical period were known to be prone to avarice.56

There are several texts in the Bible moralisée that explicitly link Jewish moneylending to this stereotypical Jewish vice. For example, in the French manuscript’s paraphrase of the offerings of the sons of Adam to God (Gen. 4-3–5), Cain is compared to “the Jews, who make offering of their confiscations and avarice and God refuses them.”57 (In the Latin version, “confiscations” is replaced with “usuries.”)

But more commonly, it is the images that link Jews to vice; and the majority of these images do not restrict the vice in question to avarice but instead enlist signs associated with avarice to promote a conception of the overall sinfulness of the Jews. So, for example, a general reference to sinners on folio 4c of Vienna ÖNB cod. 1179 is illustrated with a depiction of a Jew with one moneybag suspended around his neck and another in his hand (Fig. 18). Similarly, on folio 104c of the same manuscript, where the bathing Bathsheba is said to signify Holy Church cleansing herself of “dirty sinners,” the unspecified sinners are portrayed as Jews walking away from Holy Church, who indicates her rejection of the Jews with a downward wave. One of the Jews holds a moneybag (Fig. 19).58

However, the imagery or the Bible moralisée does considerably more than just illustrate or reinforce the topos of Jewish avarice; many roundels go beyond the rather uncomplicated accusations embedded in the synonyms that equate Jews with usurers or even the broader metonymic use of Jews as figures for avarice and sin in general. They also use metaphor—a relation of condensation rather than displacement—to establish the effect of a motivated relationship between Jews and avarice.59 In other words, they affirm not only that Jews are avaricious and sinful (and that avarice and sin are “Jewish”) but also that Judaism by its very nature is avaricious and sinful. For example, the commentary on folio 74c of the Latin manuscript links essential Jewish rites to greed by comparing Jephtah’s daughter, who rejoiced in her father’s military victory (Jud. 11), to Synagoga, who rejoiced in front of Christ in “worldly” things, specified as ceremonies, money, and flesh.60 The accompanying roundel underscores the unity of the three manifestations of “worldliness” mentioned in the text by conflating all three within one sign- Synagoga, holding a moneybag, stands at the head of a group of Jews, one of whom holds a bowl filled with coins (Fig. 20). (I will say more later about the intricate interplay of text and image on this folio.)

The Idol and the Heart of the Avaricious Man

Within the complex iconographic system of the Bible moralisée, then, Jewish greed is reconfigured through a variety of visual emblems as inextricably related to Jewish infidelity.61 Also, a series of similar metaphoric condensations (of greed and idolatry, of avarice and the Antichrist) represents the nexus of Judaism, usury, and avarice not simply as non-Christian but as actively and willfully anti-Christian.

In the Latin version of the Bible moralisée, the paraphrase of II Kings 11 recounts, “David wrote to Joab a letter and sent it by the hand of Uriah saying, put Uriah in the hardest part of the battle and abandon him, that he might be struck down.”62 According to the commentary text, “This signifies Jesus Christ who gave to the Jews the Old Law, which they did not understand, and for which continual incomprehension they will be fittingly damned.”63 In the accompanying image, Christ, on the left, hands the tablets of the law to two Jews. Their “lack of understanding” is represented by an idiotic expression on the face of one who is drawn in profile. On the right, the “lack of understanding” is more actively portrayed- two Jews, one of whom holds a moneybag, pray to an idol (Fig. 21).

The practice of idolatry is, in fact, regularly associated in the manuscripts with the love of money, and Jews are particularly liable to being portrayed as idolaters.64 Such an association is not grounded in dogma- although the extensive self-criticism of the Hebrew Scriptures and a few statements in the New Testament might be thought to provide textual support for calling Jews idolaters,65 Augustine, stated positively that Judaism was not to be considered idolatrous,66 and subsequent Christian doctrine never revised this statement. In the early thirteenth century Alexander of Hales, for example, explicitly resolved in his Summa that Jewish rites were not to be considered the equivalent of idolatry.67

However, the association of Jews with idolatry persisted. John Chrysostom, eloquent as always on the subject, insisted that Judaism was as perfidious as paganism- “Even if there is no idol [in the synagogue], still demons do inhabit the place…. For, tell me, is not the dwelling place of demons a place of impiety even if no god’s statue stands there? Here the slayers of Christ gather together, here the cross is driven out, here God is blasphemed, here the Father is ignored, here the Son is outraged, here the grace of the Spirit is rejected…. So the godlessness of the Jews and the pagans is on par.”68 Most likely, rhetoric associating Jews with idolatry continued to figure in high medieval Christian texts (in spite of the fact that Christian polemicists were often put on the defensive in the face of actual Jewish revulsion for any form of image worship)69 because economic developments accorded the metaphoric significance of idolatry renewed resonance. In Eph. 5-5 and Col. 3-5, Paul identified an idolater as one who is covetous, and idolatry came to be defined as the mistaken worship of a thing in place of God. Adopting this approach in critiques of contemporary society, Alan of Lille recommended Eph. 5-5 as the theme for a sermon against avarice;70 Peter the Chanter (glossing the same biblical verse) remarked that “just as idolatry renders to an idol the worship and service owed to God, an avaricious man, serving money rather than God, tenders to money and wealth the veneration owed to God”;71 and Innocent III compared a miser to an idolater.72 Such statements are echoed throughout the commentary of the Bible moralisée. On folio 68a of the Latin manuscript, for example, the idolatry of the Israelites in Judg. 2-13 is treated as a figure for greed- “The Sons of Israel who dismissed God and adored the devil signify those who despair of God and adore cupidity and lust and scorn God.”73 In the commentary roundel, literal and symbolical renderings of the “adoration of cupidity” overlap- a bearded man with a peaked hat kneels and prays before a table on which rest various golden objects (Fig. 22).74 The “avaricious nature” of the Jewish people (again, as ensconced in Christian polemics) was, then, conceived or represented in certain clerical circles as inescapably tainting their religion, worship of money being incompatible with true monotheism.

It is in the area of this kind of metaphoric condensation that the complex interplay of text and image—and the overall signifying techniques—of the Bible moralisée becomes most evident. The texts I have cited here—both those of contemporary theologians and many in the Bible moralisée itself—preserve the mediating term of a logical syllogism- Jews are avaricious; avarice is idolatry; therefore Jews are idolatrous. But in many images in the manuscripts, there is a passage from syllogism to visual metaphor, as the original associate inspiration is eliminated and figures (usually Jews) are depicted simply worshiping idols without any accompanying moneybags (Fig. 23).75 With the mediating term of the syllogism omitted, an effect of motivation is established in the signs of usury, and the audience is free (or rather induced) to read both roundel and text as actually accusing contemporary Jews of practicing idolatry.76

This technique, this condensation, brings into play the entire range of connotations enlisted by the metaphors in question, and it permits the Bible moralisée to portray Jews as engaged in worse offenses still than idolatry (Fig. 24). Gideon’s destruction of a pagan idol (Judg. 6-28) is interpreted on folio 69d of the Latin manuscript as a figure for Jesus’ triumph over the Antichrist, while the grove in which the idol was located is said to signify “Jewish usurers [or Jews and usurers] and infidels whom God will destroy on Judgment Day in eternal punishment.”77 The roundel echoes the implication conveyed by the text that Jews are accomplices of the Antichrist on account of their usury by placing a moneybag in the hand of a Jew to the right of the Antichrist. The action depicted, however, is not related to usury; rather, the Jews and the Antichrist are shown falling off to an unspecified location to the right, and the majority carry no sign related to usury. The same insinuation is apparent two folios later, again in the context of pagan idolatry (Fig. 25). Judges 9-3 records that the worst of Gideon’s sons was chosen to be king by his brothers, who adorned him with gold and silver taken from the idols Baal and Berith. According to the moralization, those who chose Abimelech to be king “signify Jews and bad youths [?] who will make the Antichrist (born of the devil) their king.” Those who despoiled the idols “signify bad people and infidels who will adore the Antichrist and honor him with greed and usury.”78 The commentary image, however, does not depict the practice of usury, specified in the text as the means by which infidels worship the Antichrist. Instead, it transfers emphasis from the exercise to the effects of greed- a horned, three-faced Antichrist is triumphantly enthroned beneath a crenelated trefoil arch. Three figures present the Antichrist with items associated with wealth (a coin, a moneybag, and a crown). The remaining three kneel in unmediated worship; one kisses the Antichrist’s foot.

Folio 25va of Vienna ÖNB cod. 2554 contains another serious allegation concerning Jewish avarice (Fig. 26). It illustrates the episode that must be the fundamental text for any metaphoric conflation of idolatry and Jewish greed- the worship of the golden calf (Exod. 32-4). According to the commentary, the Hebrews who performed this act signify those who “form the devil and believe in a boc [he-goat] and adore it.”79 This time, the visual exegesis is conflating concepts articulated not in the accompanying commentary text but in moralizing texts by contemporary exegetes such as William of Auvergne, who explained that the prohibition against worshiping the golden calf was actually an injunction against avarice.80 The roundel expands upon the commentary text by explicitly identifying both those who conjure/worship the devil and the vices through which such worship is manifested. The devil is portrayed as a horned goat upon an altar.81 In front of the altar is a large group of worshipers. The central figure is a bearded Jew with a pointed cap, drawn in profile, holding a moneybag toward the goat.82 Two other figures kiss the goat on its anus. Worship of the devil, then, is translated into the sin of avarice, signified by the moneybag and linked to the Jews.83 The obscene gesture, in turn, equates these devil-worshiping Jews with contemporary heretics, accused of similar perversities.84 In such images, the moneybag no longer signifies the specific practice of usury but instead has evolved into a sign for all the Jews’ perfidies, arising from but going beyond their sinful attachment to money. However, the sign never would have entirely shed its original associations with usury, which would have enhanced the plausibility and immediacy of the scene by constituting a link with the more familiar activity of moneylending and the more traditional charge of avarice.

New Signs for Old Sins- The Raven and the Frog

The extension of the sins of the Jews to encompass not only greed but also idolatry and devil worship is strengthened by means of still more inventive practices; entirely new iconographic devices are drawn from syllogistic textual relations in order to identify Jews with evil. Like the images of idolatry and devil worship, symbols of the raven and the frog (appearing, so far as I can tell, for the first time as significant emblems in medieval art) attain special meaning within the manuscripts, and not only reinforce established images regarding Jewish greed but also impose new associations and force new readings of traditional signs.

Figure 27, for example, reproduces a roundel (folio 74d of Vienna ÖNB cod. 1179) that follows the already cited reference to Synagoga’s attachment to money. The daughter of Jephtah is again held to signify Synagoga, who “desired and sought that her life be prolonged, because she wished once more to linger in temporal wealth.”85 (The Latin word used for wealth, lucrum, is also a technical term for interest on a loan.) The commentary roundel depicts Synagoga handing a moneybag and a dark bird—a crow or raven—to two Jews. The commentary text does not explain the introduction here of this bird, but contemporary texts indicate that crows were associated with greed because of certain habits attributed to them in medieval nature lore. For example, William of Rennes included the following comment in his gloss on Raymond de Penaforte’s Decretum (ca. 1241–50)- “Cupidity is the desire for riches based not on need but on curiosity … just as a magpie or a crow is enticed by coins, which they discover and hide away.”86 This piece of lore about crows is also invoked metaphorically in contemporary works, such as Robert de Courson’s comment that overworldly abbots “bring together ravens, that is, other usurers like themselves, that they might effect similar contracts.”87

However, the sign of the raven, particularly when depicted in conjunction with Synagoga and Jewish figures, could hardly fail to connote something far more sinister still than usury, for the raven was linked in a general way with evil in many Christian exegetical texts. In his Liber de Noe et Arca Ambrose concluded that the raven who failed to return to Noah’s ark after having been sent in search of land was a symbol of evil,88 and Hilary of Poitiers compared the raven to a sinner.89 The interpretation of the Flood in the Glossa ordinaria held that the raven signified the “dirtiness of earthly cupidity,”90 and when Thomas of Chobham wanted to criticize his contemporaries he thundered, “They do not make their paschal meal in the church at the table of the Lord, but they feast with the raven on the foul cadaver.”91 According to the Bestiary οf Guillaume le Clerc, the night raven “indicates Jews who rejected God … [and] are in darkness / And see not the truth,”92 and animal fabulists employed the raven as a sign for the devil.93 Such associations provide depth to the symbol of the raven, and would have informed the viewers’ reading of the iconography and affected their attitudes toward its surface referent, usury.

One last innovation used to align Jews with usury again, like the raven, transforms a syllogistic relation in the text into visual metaphor, but in this case the textual inspiration is provided by the Bible moralisée itself (Fig. 28). In a text from folio 2vb of Vienna ÖNB cod. 2554 (already cited), Cain’s offering of the fruits of the harvest is held to signify the offerings of the Jews “of confiscations and of cupidity” (“de fraimture et de couvoitise”). The commentary roundel depicts a Jew lifting a toad or frog toward God, who rejects it with a downward wave. This unusual image of a toad, an animal not commonly accorded symbolic function in medieval art or discussed in the moralizing bestiaries,94 may be understood by consulting a text located on another folio of the Bible moralisée. According to the interpretation of the dietary restrictions imposed by Moses (Lev. 11-20–31), the toad signifies “great usurers” (magnos feneratores).

The same interpretation appears on folio 29b of the French manuscript, whose more elaborate commentary text reveals the logic behind the symbolism- “The frog signifies the usurer who is swollen with usury and greed.”95 Thus, the manuscript creates in one text a new verbal signifier for the concept of usury, which is then translated elsewhere into an image. But although the symbol might originally have derived from a specific attribute of frogs, the omission of the explanatory detail from the image allows it to convey implications beyond its original inspiration. For if frogs are not frequently represented in medieval art, they did begin to make their appearance in a certain literary format in the late twelfth century—the exemplum. In his Dialogue of Miracles Caesarius of Heisterbach repeats an exemplum about a toad that was found on the altar of Jews, who, it is implied, worshiped the creature.96 Nor were stories associating toads with devil worship limited to fictional or instructional genres. Joshua Trachten-berg recounts that in the fourteenth century an episcopal investigation alleged that a Jew placed the devil, in the form of a toad, in a box together with a Host in order to harm the consecrated wafer.97 In 1233 Gregory IX issued a bull authorizing a crusade against German heretics that stated- “When a novice is admitted and first enters the school of these [heretics] a sort of frog, or as many call it, a toad, appears before him. Some of them kiss it disgracefully on its posterior.”98 The appearance of the toad in the hands of a Jew rejected by Christ, then, would have been read by the medieval audience in the light of such current references, and necessarily played into circulating conceptions of Jews as heretics and devil worshipers.99

In the Company of Thieves- Christian Cupidity

At this point I must reiterate that Jews are by no means the only figures in the Bible moralisée to carry moneybags, to worship lucre, or to go against the will of God on account of greed. Christians are portrayed doing all these things, and in just as much variety and with even greater frequency than Jews.100 There are solid reasons for this. The theological attacks on moneylending did not, of course, cleanse medieval Christendom of the practice- the rapidly developing commercial economy was predicated upon the availability of borrowed capital; indeed, many clerics as well as Christian laymen were deeply implicated in that economy.101 Moneylending, then, is not condemned because it is exclusively or primarily a “Jewish” activity; rather, because moneylending is condemned, it becomes in the sign system of the Bible moralisée (as in many contemporary theological works) a “Jewish” activity. The regularity with which Jews are associated with money and greed in the images of the manuscripts serves to essentialize the Jewish (for which read- un-Christian) nature of such activities. Similarly, just as greed and usury are not the exclusive purview of Jews, so too idolatrous and devil-worshiping Jews have many partners in both the images and the texts of the Bible moralisée.

Clerics are often depicted as involved in Jewish moneylending. For example, the Bible text on folio 82d of the Latin manuscript discusses the “Sodomites” who fled to the rocks and mountains (Judg. 20-45).102 According to the commentary text, the Sodomites “signify infidels who left God and are dispersed through the world and live in diverse places among Christians.”103 The “infidels” are clearly identified in the roundel as Jews- one is bearded, one is not; both wear tall, pointed caps. The Jew on the left takes a shirt from a cleric; another seated, tonsured cleric leans over a counting board. Two clerics stand before the Jew on the right. One hands an object to the Jew in exchange for a bowl of money; the other records the transaction on a table with a stylus (Fig. 29).104

Clerics were, in fact, frequently associated with Jewish moneylending. Many were regular customers. In addition to the condemnations of pawning Church goods (discussed previously), ecclesiastics are castigated for allowing Church landed property to fall into the hands of Jews.105 In 1206, Philip Augustus forbade the pledging, without express permission, of Church lands to Jews in security for loans.106 Among the most deeply implicated were the monasteries- in 1216 a council at Melun ordered priors to cease borrowing from Jews, and in 1219 Philip Augustus stipulated that no monk, canon regular, or cleric of any order could borrow from a Jew without a superior’s permission.107 The widespread indebtedness of monastic foundations is hinted at on folio 152a of Vienna ÖNB cod. 1179, in which a depiction of a Jew and a monk exchanging a moneybag is used to illustrate the text “the mind of the just removed from justice to guilt” (Fig. 30).108

One segment of Christian society, identified on folio 65c of Vienna ÖNB cod. 1179, is more liable still to be seen as supporting Jewish moneylending. The commentary to Josh. 9-3–15 states that “lying Jewish usurers [or Jews and usurers] tell princes and prelates that they are better than they are, so that thus their life [sic] might be preserved unharmed.”109 The depiction of the deception perpetrated by the “Jewish usurers” is very subtle (Fig. 31). On the left stand a young bishop and an equally young beardless prince carrying a fleur-de-lis scepter;110 their youthful appearances might be designed to indicate their naïveté. Both figures lean toward the usurers and gesture sympathetically. The “deceiving usurers” (as they are labeled by a scroll) stand in a crowd on the right; their appearances vary somewhat. The one in the front has a very short beard and a rounded or slightly peaked hat; he carries a moneybag and bends humbly in the direction of the prince and the prelate. Paralleling the biblical illustration above, in which “Gabaonites” wear torn clothes and old shoes in an effort to appear poor, the clothes of this foremost usurer and that of the usurer directly behind him are tattered; both figures are barefoot. By contrast, the usurer in the back (the one carrying the scroll inscribed “feneratores decipi … ”) has a longer beard, is wearing shoes, and is well dressed in an intact robe and cloak. The image seems to imply that “pretending to be better” is understood here as “pretending to be poor” (signified by the torn clothing), as “pretending to be humble or pure” (the customary connotation of bare feet in the manuscripts), and as “hiding their Jewishness” (indicated by the shorter beard and cap of the figure in front). Since a Jew could hardly hide his religion from his prince in thirteenth-century France, this last imputed pretense must be metaphoric- the “Jewishness” that the moneylenders attempt to obscure is the sinful nature of their profits, their own moral turpitude, or perhaps both.

Two aspects of this commentary are particularly interesting. First, it highlights the ambiguous status of moneylending in thirteenth-century Christendom. In implying that usurers presented an attractive, or at any rate not automatically repugnant, front to at least some members of the higher echelons of lay and clerical society, the text acknowledges the potential benefits conferred by and the potential respect accorded to moneylenders.111 It seems that in certain circles moneylending had a neutral value unacceptable to the more extreme anti-usury clerics. By refocusing attention on the “Jewish” nature of moneylenders (and, again, it is difficult to determine whether this applies just to Jewish moneylenders or to Christian moneylenders as well), the Joshua commentary repudiates this neutrality, enlisting the negative connotations accorded “Jewishness” in Christian polemic to label lenders and their profession as inherently perfidious and contaminated.112 (The commentary also, tactfully, attributes princely toleration of such perfidy to misunderstanding rather than to conscious indifference to spiritual mores.)

Second, this commentary seems to assume that Jewish usurers have no inherent right to safety, suggesting that if they had not deceived princes and prelates, they would not have been preserved unharmed. Although such an assumption runs counter to all practical experience, it presumably reflects the wishes of those same Parisian theologians who formulated the uncompromising opposition to Jewish lending echoed in the Bible moralisée, and who vociferously objected to the princes’ protection of and profiting from Jewish lending.

The close connection between Jewish moneylenders and secular princes captured in this commentary is well attested in contemporary sources. The “peculiar” relationship between the French kings and regional princes and “their” Jews mentioned in the introduction113 was largely predicated upon the Jews’ financial usefulness to their overlords. This usefulness stemmed jointly from the profitability and vulnerability of the Jews’ moneylending enterprises- in exchange for recording and enforcing the Jews’ contracts, the lords were able to tallage Jewish communities almost at will.114 Through this rhythm of enforcement and exploitation, secular lords essentially became “silent partners” in the Jews’ financial activities—a fact that was by no means unrecognized by contemporary observers. Peter the Chanter remarked in his Verbum Abbreviatum that usurers “are now the close companions [chamber servants] of princes and prelates…. they are both coffers and leeches of princes, because all things they shall have sucked up, they vomit into the fisc.”115 Jacques de Vitry reiterated his master’s opinion, stating that kings were thieves’ accomplices because they favor Jews and usurers.116 Thomas of Chobham expressed wonder that the Church allowed princes to profit from Jewish usury.117

The Joshua commentary consequently may be seen as part of a broader polemical campaign against princely-Jewish cooperation, for the proponents of such views placed increasing pressure on secular authorities to suppress Jewish moneylending.118 This pressure was received at the Capetian court with varying reactions. Philip Augustus’s policy toward Jewish lending was notoriously erratic. He expelled Jews from the Île-de-France in 1182, ostensibly because of their usury, only to readmit them in 1198.119 In 1206 and 1219 he issued two different edicts on Jewish usury that limited the amount of interest charged and attempted to minimize the damage done to Christian society.120 Nevertheless, these edicts still amounted to governmental sanction of Jewish usury- a decree issued in this period ended with a directive instructing royal officials to enforce Jewish loans.121 Royal involvement in Jewish moneylending was withdrawn only upon the 1223 accession of Louis VIII, who in that same year issued an ordinance that constituted a radical break from the past. The driving intention of this ordinance (known as the Stabilimentum) remains elusive, but one clear effect was to end all royal and princely enforcement of Jewish usury in Louis’s realm.122 The hostility of Louis IX toward Jewish usury is so well documented that there is little need to detail it here.123

Why were these later Capetians so much stricter concerning Jewish usury than were the popes themselves? The forceful and polemically dexterous critique of princely involvement in Jewish moneylending presented in this royal Bible moralisée manuscript is an important and heretofore unnoticed piece of evidence for this question. Kenneth Stow has recently argued that in addition to various political considerations, the anti-usury measures of Philip Augustus and other lay rulers were motivated by genuine concern about the purity of their realms and their own souls.124 Such concern is certainly sanctioned by the program of the Bible moralisée- in addition to the overall and consistent conflation of usury with Judaism, perfidy, and allied abominations, the manuscripts pointedly and graphically illustrate the threat to the kings’ claim to be virtuous rulers and to their own chances for salvation brought about by their tolerance of usury. Just to the left of the roundel containing the “lying Jewish usurers,” discussed earlier, is one showing a king (holding a calf and a sheaf of wheat) and a Jew (holding a moneybag) being ordered into hell by Christ; the devil stones them on their way down. Although the text explicitly censures the characters for disparate offenses (“bad princes who retain the tithes of Holy Church and bad usurers who hide all their goods”), the proximity of the two figures to each other as well as the image’s proximity to the text criticizing princes for tolerating Jewish usury cannot be overlooked. The overall effect on the reader/viewer is to subsume all the characters and practices—Jews and their usury, which was often criticized for leading to the Church’s loss of tithe income; princes and their greed—into one set and to identify this set as damnable and damned.

This and other images of money-clutching kings descending into hell or being punished at the side of usurers and/or Jews125 suggest the incorporation of a conscious political program into the Bible moralisée. Clearly it was assumed that kings and princes were not supporting Jewish usurers out of any deep-seated affection for them. The many illustrations of Jewish perfidy and damnation, coupled with basic Christian dogma predicating salvation on belief in Christ, would have conditioned the viewer to accept the Jews’ doom as unquestioned. It must be assumed that this acceptance of the damnation of the Jews would then serve to heighten the fear and revulsion inspired at being depicted as partnered with them. The power of the Bible moralisée roundels showing crowned figures falling into hell with Jews lies in the fact that they alter a standard image in only one respect, but in just that respect best designed to gain the attention of a proud and pious ruler. Although no single text can possibly be held to account adequately for highly complex decisions, the “new phase” in Capetian Jewish policy inaugurated by Louis VIII and noted by so many historians126 becomes considerably more comprehensible in light of the harsh and uniquely forcible indictment of Jewish lending conveyed by this work of art made (I believe) for that king.

The Threat to Christendom

If Christians of various kinds are implicated in usury, then (according to the iconography of the Bible moralisée) they must necessarily be implicated in the still more evil correlates of usury—idolatry, devil worship, and worship of the Antichrist. A catalogue of all the images in the Bible moralisée linking Christians to such activities would be impossibly long as well as tediously repetitive. The incompatibility of Christianity and avarice is succinctly summarized in an image on folio 83a of the Latin manuscript. The text, commenting loosely on Ruth 1-4–16, divides all Christendom into two kinds of men- those who follow Holy Church and those who reject and leave her.127 One of the figures abandoning the church is represented by a man offering a moneybag to an idol; another kisses the anus of a cat (Fig. 32).

Such images and the mental economies underlying them help explain a striking but somewhat perplexing contemporary phenomenon. The visual links forged in the Bible moralisée between usury and the abandonment of the Church, inspired by the internal logic of the iconography, echo an attitude that was increasingly gaining ground among thirteenth-century theologians- the tendency to associate usury with heresy.

Robert de Courson, as always the most severe against usury, called usury and heresy the two greatest evils of his age, and he opined in his Summa that usurers ought to be denounced like heretics.128 The treatise Contra Amaurianos called those university sectarians pecunie cupidi, and Etienne de Bourbon asserted that because Manichaeans believed their perfecti could dismiss any sin, they indulged in usury with impunity.129 During the Albigensian Crusade, a White League was formed to combat the dual sins of usury and heresy; anti-Cathar polemics regularly accused their credentes of usury.130 These perceptions were eventually incorporated into legislation- the Council of Vienne decreed in 1311 that the failure to condemn usury was to be punished like heresy.131 Most of these texts, however, do not elaborate upon the reasons that usury was suddenly associated with heresy. The images of the Bible moralisée make explicit the logic implicit in such an equation- if the avarice from which usury stemmed was equivalent to misdirected worship, then its practitioners had to be considered enemies of Christ. The implications of this train of thought would be especially ominous for Jews, who were inextricably associated with usury in the writings of so many thirteenth-century ecclesiastics.132

The Power of Visual Metaphor

The images described here, when taken together and read as part of a coherent symbolic system, construct a creative and overwhelmingly hostile representation of what were, after all, common and even ubiquitous financial practices. They forcefully align moneylending, which was practiced extensively by both Jews and Christians, with Jewry and Judaism; they intimate that it hurts Christian society not just in practical but also in spiritual ways; they suggest that Jewish usury stems from and is inextricably associated with the worst sins against Christ; and they insist that both Jews and those who support them in their endeavors are doomed. These insinuations are made by repeatedly displacing onto the Jew or condensing within the figure of the Jew those religious, moral, or economic activities and concepts considered most reprehensible by Christian theologians, and such displacements and condensation are effected by recourse (in the text and images) to a wide array of signifying practices—synonym, synecdoche, metonymy, and metaphor.

It is possible that such images represent a conscious attempt to combat vice among Christians—and more particularly among the royal and noble patrons of these manuscripts—by linking usury and greed to activities incompatible with Christian salvation in a vivid and frightening way. The very fact that the displacement of the negative effects of moneylending onto Jews had to be overdetermined through recourse to a host of unprecedented signs supports the conclusion that these relations were not self-evident or widespread; there may therefore have been a perceived need for a self-consciously polemical treatise. This approach would accord closely with the thesis propounded by R. I. Moore in his Formation of a Persecuting Society.133 Moore argued that the increasing repression of Jews, lepers, heretics, and other “deviant” groups in high medieval Europe was not perpetrated by irrational masses but was, rather, promoted by the authorities as an essential element in the construction of a unified and cohesive high medieval culture.

However, I think that it is more likely that the demonization of usury in the Bible moralisée was the product of a considerably less self-conscious process, and that its extreme anti-Judaism grew out of a combination of semantic, pastoral, and social considerations. Early thirteenth-century exegesis, and especially the Parisian biblical moral school—to which the Bible moralisée, as its very name implies, is clearly related—had a double project. First, it endeavored to extract from the Bible teachings relevant to contemporary situations; it did so by applying sophisticated rhetorical devices to the biblical text and constructing elaborate chains of association around key terms. Second, it promoted the dissemination of the meaning thus extracted among the broader lay public through the formulation and promulgation of effective preaching techniques.134 Among the most successful of these didactic strategies was the exemplum—the illustrative anecdote.135 These exempla converted abstract theological concepts into concrete terms, and they employed the characters and vocabulary of the markets and streets familiar both to the lay listeners and to the urban preachers themselves. The fact that numerous visual signs in the manuscripts seem to be inspired by exempla confirms the impression that the Bible moralisée was created by clerics trained in and committed to popular preaching. But this process must surely have had a two-way effect- as the preachers sought out situations and figures that could adequately embody theological notions, their views of both the figures and the notions in question would have been subtly modified.

The proliferation of moneylending—a form of exchange to which the conservative theologians were deeply opposed but in the face of which they were seemingly impotent—lent itself to just such a semantic process. In their search for means by which to understand and describe an economy that differed considerably from that portrayed in the Bible, the theologians constructed metaphors and associative chains that, although artificial, were not necessarily arbitrary—they made use of both traditional exegetical and widespread popular conceptions. In turn, these chains of association were represented as natural and motivated to the lay public through their expression in vivid and striking metaphors, just as the redactors of the Bible moralisée convened their explicitly syllogistic texts into vivid and striking visual signs. R. I. Moore rather despairingly called the kind of linkage of Jews, usurers, and various demonic and anti-Christian activities such as we have seen in the Bible moralisée a “tangled nightmare of association and assumption.”136 To attribute, as Moore does, such rich and evocative imagery primarily to fear and confusion seems unsatisfactory. If clerics trained to categorize, classify, and clarify presided over the creation of what seems to be a polemical tangle, it may well be that this “tangle” is actually the logical outcome of an emerging tendency, from the later twelfth century on, for theological concepts to be articulated in anew rhetorical form—the lay sermon. Moreover, the way the aggregate images of the Bible moralisée were read may well have differed from the way they were intended to have been read, and these manuscripts may thus help reveal the means by which some anti-Jewish topoi came to proliferate in the High Middle Ages. The power of the Bible moralisée imagery stems from the success of its metaphoric condensation; the images veil the elaborate intellectual processes that went into their development and engage the emotions of the viewer in a very direct way, taking on immediate force and commanding novel readings. The depiction of the goat worship described earlier (Fig. 26), by translating metaphoric references to the devil into literal terms, inevitably evokes other accusations against the Jews of devil worship and sorcery, and re-creates the rage and fear such accusations inspired. Depictions of Jews worshiping idols come to be read as illustrations of actual perfidious practices, independent of any allegorical significance. Images such as these could have been enlisted to justify, perhaps on occasion even facilitated, the hysterical anti-Jewish accusations that had already been used and were again to be used to attempt to drive the Jews from Christian lands. Figure 33 shows an image of a goat being consumed by flames from folio 37d of the Latin manuscript; it closely follows the commentary roundel that portrays Jews worshiping the devil in the form of a goat. Given the impossibility of reading the image of the burning goat entirely in isolation from the previous image of his Jewish worshipers, this roundel seems an ominous reflection of actual anti-Jewish persecutions, and suggests that the resonances of the new semantic practices were not always confined to the illustrated page or to the spoken word.

1. Bonaventure, quoted in C. Spicq, Esquisse d’une histoire de l’exégèse latine au moyen âge (Paris, 1944), 269- “Tota Scriptura est quasi una cithara, et inferior chorda per se non facit harmoniam sed cum aliis.”

2. PL 144-234, 424; quoting I Tim. 6-10; for the shift in approaches to the vices, see Lester Little, “Pride Goes before Avarice- Social Change and the Vices in Latin Christendom,” AHR 76 (1971)- 16–49.

3. The most influential canonical definition of usury is that of Gratian, Decretum, C. 14, q. 3.

4. On medieval economic teaching, see especially T. P. McLaughiin, “The Teaching of the Canonists on Usury (XII, XIII, XIV Centuries),” Mediaeval Studies 1 (1939)- 81–147; 2 (1940)- 1–22; John T. Noonan, The Scholastic Analysis of Usury (Cambridge, Mass., 1957); John W. Baldwin, The Medieval Theories of the Just Price- Romanists, Canonists, and Theologians in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, n.s., 49, no. 4 (Philadelphia, 1959); J. Gilchrist, The Church