This article is a consideration of medieval religious violence during the time of Richard I set within the historiography of such writers as Nirenberg, Cohen, and Moore. This paper specifically examines a series of anti-Jewish massacres which broke out in England in the immediate aftermath of the coronation of the Crusader King Richard I. While modern violence against minorities is often attributed to the irrational actions of persons with extreme prejudice or ideologies, we find something a bit more nuanced in the situation in 12th century England. Certainly, there were long-standing prejudices against the Jews in England. However, this paper will argue that while general European antisemitism did create an undercurrent of tension across Europe and especially in this case England; similar to Nirenberg’s thoughts these passions were manipulated by those involved to the point that they became incendiary to suit specific local purposes and passions.
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