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The 10th to the 13th centuries in Europe saw the appearance of popular heresy and the establishment of the inquisition, expropriation and mass murder of Jews, the foundation of leper hospitals in large numbers and the propagation of elaborate measures to segregate lepers from the healthy. These have traditionally been seen as distinct and separate developments, and explain The 10th to the 13th centuries in Europe saw the appearance of popular heresy and the establishment of the inquisition, expropriation and mass murder of Jews, the foundation of leper hospitals in large numbers and the propagation of elaborate measures to segregate lepers from the healthy. These have traditionally been seen as distinct and separate developments, and explained in terms of the problems which their victims presented to medieval society. In this book Robert Moore argues that the coincidences in the treatment of these and other minority groups cannot be explained independently, and that they all are part of a pattern of persecution which appeared for the first time and which consequently became a permanent feature of European society.


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The 10th to the 13th centuries in Europe saw the appearance of popular heresy and the establishment of the inquisition, expropriation and mass murder of Jews, the foundation of leper hospitals in large numbers and the propagation of elaborate measures to segregate lepers from the healthy. These have traditionally been seen as distinct and separate developments, and explain The 10th to the 13th centuries in Europe saw the appearance of popular heresy and the establishment of the inquisition, expropriation and mass murder of Jews, the foundation of leper hospitals in large numbers and the propagation of elaborate measures to segregate lepers from the healthy. These have traditionally been seen as distinct and separate developments, and explained in terms of the problems which their victims presented to medieval society. In this book Robert Moore argues that the coincidences in the treatment of these and other minority groups cannot be explained independently, and that they all are part of a pattern of persecution which appeared for the first time and which consequently became a permanent feature of European society.

30 review for The Formation of a Persecuting Society: Power and Deviance in Western Europe, 950 - 1250

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    This is a nice, if completely joyless, companion piece to Medieval Heresy. It's an attempt to answer why medieval society began to persecute heretics, Jews and Lepers (amongst others), essentially anybody different. One of the principal drivers for Moore is the attempt to gain political power on the part of the persecutors hence the ringleaders in anti-Jewish riots tended to be those most indebted to Jewish lenders, and why in some cases the protectors of Jewish communities might include the rel This is a nice, if completely joyless, companion piece to Medieval Heresy. It's an attempt to answer why medieval society began to persecute heretics, Jews and Lepers (amongst others), essentially anybody different. One of the principal drivers for Moore is the attempt to gain political power on the part of the persecutors hence the ringleaders in anti-Jewish riots tended to be those most indebted to Jewish lenders, and why in some cases the protectors of Jewish communities might include the religious and civil authorities who depended on their medieval style high finance. Lots of interesting material here, including the reinterpretation of the brief life of little Saint Hugh (otherwise known for his appearance in one of The Canterbury Tales)., who Moore argues was most likely the victim of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of his parents who then dumped him in a well once he died, the parents then blamed the Jews for their own crime and the little saint was then to emerge as a reminder of the intrinsically bizarre and horrible religious practises of the Jews, which becomes then one of the ways in which anti-Semitism was built into and memorialised in local culture, if not with a nod to Chaucer even emergent national cultural communities. Power in Moore's thesis, becomes intrinsically linked with persecution rather than the kind of roots we prefer to imagine for our democratic aspirations of consultation and consensus. Instead the foundations of western European culture for Moore, include the mass-manipulation of people against the vulnerable and marginal for personal gain.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Sometimes I think it is too easy for the study of history to turn into an endless series of over-corrections. Some flaws are found in a traditional narrative, they're picked up by a historian with a particularly open sense of imagination, and they're woven into a new narrative, often situated at the opposite end of the ideological spectrum. It's not a bad thing in and of itself: it's how the process is supposed to work, and ideally it means that eventually these oscillations to either side get s Sometimes I think it is too easy for the study of history to turn into an endless series of over-corrections. Some flaws are found in a traditional narrative, they're picked up by a historian with a particularly open sense of imagination, and they're woven into a new narrative, often situated at the opposite end of the ideological spectrum. It's not a bad thing in and of itself: it's how the process is supposed to work, and ideally it means that eventually these oscillations to either side get small enough to begin to zero in on the truth. Unfortunately, sometimes they get bigger, false dichotomies get set up, scholars on each side dig some trenches, batten down the hatches, and start writing prickly academic articles at each other. The Formation of a Persecuting Society self-consciously places itself in this sort of environment, and is very aware that it's about to ruffle some feathers. The medieval response to heresy has always been a touchy subject. Since the Reformation it's been characterized by many as the classic example of medieval close-mindedness and lack of Enlightenment (with a capital E); more recently, historians have noted that the medieval version of the inquisition may have saved more lives that it cost, by transferring the fickleness of mass violence into a trial that was at least somewhat controlled and based on the rule of law. It offers up two drastically different views of what medieval society was, and how its relationship to the present should be conceptualized. My favorite thing about Moore's book is that it never turns into a polemic. It very easily could have (and some of the books it has inspired, such as Mark Pegg's A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Battle for Christendom, embrace that polemic and dive right in). Moore pushes back on the recent idea that the medieval persecution of heretics was simply an inevitable response to the flowering of heresy in the 12th century and a welcoming tempering of the resulting popular demand for violence, but he does so in a way that - at least most of the time - is subtle and incisive. He doesn't feel the need to insist that everything that everyone has said before is wrong. This can, unfortunately, be kind of rare. R.I. Moore's basic premise is this: suggesting that the increased persecution of heresy in the 12th century resulted from the increased presence (an influence) of heretics is the wrong way to approach the issue. Instead, he argues that the eleventh and twelfth centuries marked a period of drastic change in almost every realm of life, a process which naturally engendered quite a bit of fear, concern, and suspicion. Amidst this tumult, the medieval church (and the medieval state) were both in the process of growing, centralizing, and defining what exactly they were as institutions. This process of centralization, while it created all of the lovely things associated with the twelfth century renaissance, also created an atmosphere and philosophy of persecution. To centralize and to unify, he argues, also means to exclude. When medieval clerics came upon something they didn't understand, he argues, they tended to define it as the other, and feared that its spread could bring down the whole operation altogether. This - quickly and probably not intentionally - led to the rise of exaggerated claims of heresy and dissension that were probably a part of the clerical imagination as much as actuality. It's not a perfect book by any means. The claims are sweeping for a 150 page essay, and they're nearly always suggested more than proved. Anthropological evidence from modern-day Africa is inserted rather awkwardly, without adding much of substance to the argument. There are attempts to include the persecution of lepers and Jews along with heretics which don't really work: they're very interesting asides, but lepers were not excluded from medieval society in a way that's analogous to heretics and lumping them together (and even claiming that they're "essentially identical") is very misleading. There is an odd claim near the end that most clerics thought that Judaism was actually the biggest threat to the unity of Christianity, a claim that is hugely unsupported and has a conspiracy-theory vibe that's at odds with the rest of the book. The degree of difference between Carolingian and twelfth century attitudes, particularly the presence of anti-Semitism, is often exaggerated. The use of evidence tends to be a bit cherry-picked, other authors have used it to draw drastically different conclusions (see Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages). Despite all of these weaknesses, I still quite liked the book for two reasons: (1) I think he's right in his big-picture assertion, even if I'd disagree with lots of the details. One can't really be a heretic without a clear, definitive authority to define orthodoxy, and that's not something that emerged until the 11th and 12th centuries. The medieval conception of cultural unity can be lovely, but it also inevitably excluded people, and that's something that should be openly acknowledged. I think the broad assertion that the 12th century didn't only bring more heretics, but also brought a Church that was increasingly concerned about their presence and often inflated their potential as a threat as a result, is absolutely correct. (2) More personally, I like that this argument was made, at least about 80% of the time, with moderation. The inquisition is usually painted as either a group of close-minded monsters or as a group of mostly-benevolent administrators, and I like the Moore paints them as a group of well-intentioned people whose concerns and fears resulted in actions and decisions that often had very damaging results.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jonfaith

    It is the argument of this that however the tremendous extension of the power and influence of the literate is described, the development of persecution in all its forms was part of it, and therefore inseparable from the great and positive achievement with which it is associated. Whether they might have taken place without it is another question, and one which, perhaps thankfully, historians are not called upon to answer. The above is how Professor Moore concludes this harrowing taxonomy on the p It is the argument of this that however the tremendous extension of the power and influence of the literate is described, the development of persecution in all its forms was part of it, and therefore inseparable from the great and positive achievement with which it is associated. Whether they might have taken place without it is another question, and one which, perhaps thankfully, historians are not called upon to answer. The above is how Professor Moore concludes this harrowing taxonomy on the persecution and peril inflicted upon heretics, Jews, lepers, homosexuals and prostitutes across Europe during the High iddle Ages. The period chronicles cited indicate a sort of change of attitudes and stiffening of response around the 11th century. The narrative ascribed to each of these offenses appeared very similar. Around p. 100 we begin to probe for causality. Moore then broaches whether these events constitute either a nascent form of Durkeheimian deviance or a Webernian consolidation of central power. Without a doubt the dislocation of the populace form the feudal/manorial to the urban really disoriented people. Couple that with the emerging cash economy and all bets were off. The author gauges the limits of available information and won't speculate further. Then citing Foucault he does offer another thesis about the threat posed by Jewish scholarship. This learned community was thus a rival to the new literate (Christian) class which were becoming the stewards of power. This last argument isn't quite convincing. The rich bibliography made this an enjoyable excursion on a winter evening.

  4. 5 out of 5

    J.M. Hushour

    Moore makes a sound argument for the roots of "Western" ideas of persecution in nodes of power and authority, rather than in some incoherent "mob" rule. Writing against self-righteous historiographical and political trends in historiography that depict all the terrible bits of the European cultural legacy as emanating from the unruly rabble, Moore shows that it was in fact institutional at its root. His approach is threefold, focusing mostly on Jews, lepers, and gay peeps, to a lesser extent. His Moore makes a sound argument for the roots of "Western" ideas of persecution in nodes of power and authority, rather than in some incoherent "mob" rule. Writing against self-righteous historiographical and political trends in historiography that depict all the terrible bits of the European cultural legacy as emanating from the unruly rabble, Moore shows that it was in fact institutional at its root. His approach is threefold, focusing mostly on Jews, lepers, and gay peeps, to a lesser extent. His argument is brutally simple: no one saw any of these groups as a threat until they were basically scapegoated into fearsome universals that threatened our very way of life. Sounds familiar, right? Moore points out the persecution and its palliative (back then, death, more familiarly now death and segregation, the latter thrown in to keep up appearances) were part of the structures of authority and born out of political rivalries rather than any notion of popular threat. Indeed, Jews, for example were very present and not fussed over at the beginning of the period in question,but it was local lords' propensity for wanting money and property and thus needing excuses to confiscate it, that started the ball rolling. Lepers were objects of charity until it became a marker, at first within elites, of discriminatory need. It thus boils down to imaginary threats making offense against abstractions, highly defensible abstractions (like the church), being the root cause of it all. More simply, if your threat is imaginary, it is all the easier to beat, and makes for effortless victories, all the easier to crow about. Part, too, of a larger shift of highly democratic, personal justice being mooted and militated against by power structures that think in universals and generalities, hardly healthy in any time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Domhnall

    The 2000 edition of this book, originally published in 1987, contains two chapters responding to earlier criticism and willingly accepts some corrections, in at least one case at the expense of an important argument. So this author is not opinionated and is careful about the claims made. Moore acknowledges that violence and persecution are pretty nearly universal, but his thesis is that in the Twelfth Century, the emerging nation states of Western Europe, and also the papacy, established persecu The 2000 edition of this book, originally published in 1987, contains two chapters responding to earlier criticism and willingly accepts some corrections, in at least one case at the expense of an important argument. So this author is not opinionated and is careful about the claims made. Moore acknowledges that violence and persecution are pretty nearly universal, but his thesis is that in the Twelfth Century, the emerging nation states of Western Europe, and also the papacy, established persecution as a distinct feature of the way both secular and church authorities enforced central control at the expense of more traditional, community based power structures. As an example, he notes that the practice of trial by ordeal might appear objective, but depended on the judgement of a group of community figures which could be very subjective indeed. In trial by water, they might find reasons to suggest that the suspect who sank (implying innocence) had floated long enough to be guilty. In the same way, trial by holding hot irons allowed curious debates about whether the hands were healing properly (innocent) or not (guilty). History insists that replacing trail by ordeal with trial by properly educated officials is a move to greater justice, a triumph of Reason over superstition, but as Moore also notes, their operating methods used Reason in ways that had as little to do with objectivity as the popular ordeals they replaced and there was conflict between the two types of judgement. He cites examples of communities who refused to allow their decisions to be overturned by bishops or lords, not out of zealotry towards heretics for example, but to prevent their traditional powers from being encroached upon by external authorities. The persecuting authorities actively sought out targets for their exhibitions of power, if necessary by inventing them, or by taking a real but modest infringement and amplifying it into a major cause. In the 12th century, the three major categories were Jews, heretics and lepers. There was little if anything about their victims to account for the level of persecution and the inquisition process entailed devising a remarkably unpleasant caricature and then straining all reason to apply this to the subject. Typically this would include drawing on ancient sources, including the bible and the early church fathers, for authority, but as Moore observes, the answers they drew from these ancient authorities were entirely the product of their style of questioning. When the inquisitors sought to show that they were dealing with things predicted by the Book of Revelations, for example, they were starting out from that biblical source and then seeking evidence that could, with appropriate ingenuity, be made to fit. In short, the trials and persecutions revealed little about their targets and a great deal about the persecutors. In later centuries, targets multiplied. Moore cites Scribener, who in a 1996 essay showed how in 16th Century Germany, beggars, gypsies, spendthrifts, discharged soldiers and others were made vulnerable by being classified as outsiders. And Moore notes that the modern state has acquired a capacity to persecute beyond the dreams of the most ambitious mediaeval ruler. (p154) Moore points out that persecution has if anything increased and not reduced with the passage of time. He considers that it is used by centralizing authority as a means to displace devolved and popular institutions and to interfere directly in every aspect of daily life. The book is chilling partly for its account of the distant past, but more so because it is so directly relevant to our own times. [He does not give specific examples, but I wonder how helpful it might be to use Moore's model in discussing Stalin's purges or the McCarthy era moral panic of the USA in the Fifties.]

  6. 5 out of 5

    Siria

    (Second edition) This is a fascinating and important work, an extended essay on the persecution of lepers, heretics and Jews by others in medieval Europe. Moore takes issue with the traditional explanation for the increase in the scale and force of that persecution from the eleventh and twelfth century onwards—that it became more strenuous and more oppressive because heretics, Jews and lepers increased in number—and argues that we should seek the cause of persecution not in the persecuted but in (Second edition) This is a fascinating and important work, an extended essay on the persecution of lepers, heretics and Jews by others in medieval Europe. Moore takes issue with the traditional explanation for the increase in the scale and force of that persecution from the eleventh and twelfth century onwards—that it became more strenuous and more oppressive because heretics, Jews and lepers increased in number—and argues that we should seek the cause of persecution not in the persecuted but in the persecutors. Moore argues that in the wake of the Gregorian church reforms and as a result of an increase in socio-economic complexity, with both churchmen and aristocrats making new claims to universal political and cultural authority, the image and the rhetoric of the Other (the dangerous, the polluted, the heretic and the Jew and the carrier of disease) became means of legitimating authority. For the first time, western Europe (the book focuses mostly on France and northern Italy) becomes not a society in which some persecution takes place, but a persecuting society—a change which has ramifications for Western society right down to the twentieth century. As a short book, addressing some very large issues, Moore is making quite a generalising argument at times, but he is careful to acknowledge that and to point out that he seeks to give a partial explanation for persecution, which is dependent always on context and contingency, and not a whole one. There are some points that I'd quibble with in terms of how Moore draws on anthropology (particularly that on African societies; I'm more and more disaffected with how (medieval) European scholars don't seem to realise that slavery is not the same institution in all societies and all time periods) to make his case, but overall this is a persuasive and well-written book. Even if you have not much background in medieval history, I would recommend The Formation of a Persecuting Society if you have an interest in social justice movements because of how Moore teases out the origins of a rhetoric of oppression that's had lengthy consequences.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Fry

    R.I. Moore is a leading British academic of Medieval History. Over a career that has spanned forty years he has published numerous works including; The Birth of Popular Heresy (1975), The Origins of European Dissent (1977), and The First European Revolution c.970-1215 (2000). In recent years Moore has been the Emeritus Professor at the University of Newcastle and is working on a new publication which promises to investigate the War on Heresy from the Eleventh to Fourteenth centuries. Consideri R.I. Moore is a leading British academic of Medieval History. Over a career that has spanned forty years he has published numerous works including; The Birth of Popular Heresy (1975), The Origins of European Dissent (1977), and The First European Revolution c.970-1215 (2000). In recent years Moore has been the Emeritus Professor at the University of Newcastle and is working on a new publication which promises to investigate the War on Heresy from the Eleventh to Fourteenth centuries. Considering his bibliography it should be no surprise that his research interests lay in the late medieval period, with a particular emphasis on social and cultural history. The Formation of a Persecuting Society is the result of years of research within this area. I came across this book during the first year of my history degree. It instantly became one of the most enjoyable and informative books that I had ever read. The style of Moore’s prose is such that it is easily digestible and suitable for the student who may not yet be prepared for the dry academic texts that make up the bulk of their reading lists. That said Moore’s book is not just for the student or academic. Anyone with more than a passing interest in history will find The Formation of a Persecuting Society an enjoyable read that challenges certain historical perceptions of how our present society began. In the Formation of a Persecuting Society Moore challenges the previously held notion that the persecutions of heretics, Jews, and lepers (among others) of the Twelfth and Thirteenth centuries were pursued independently of each other. Instead he suggests that the persecutions of these minorities could not possibly have been explained separately because the rhetoric and mentalities of the persecutors were too alike, with similar patterns repeated in every case. Central to the books argument is that the persecutions were a result of the growing monarchies, both secular and Papal, in the Eleventh century who were beginning to assert themselves in a more dominant way. If we first consider the early medieval period, Moore shows that the legal codes of that society dealt primarily with the individual. For example, the punishment for criminal activity was resolved between the parties involved and often resulted in some form of monetary payment, (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/salic-law.html). Furthermore, order is maintained by the community, family and clan, and not through a distant ruler. In the process of political centralisation late medieval rulers developed a system of state apparatus which included the appearance of specialised groups for the enforcement of law. These included, but were not restricted to, Judges and Police forces. The law itself ceased to be controlled by the mediation of clan and family and instead began to be imposed from above, from a centralised authority who granted verdicts of innocence or guilt in accordance to new codes. This transition, as Moore suggests, had severe repercussions for minorities groups in the Twelfth and Thirteenth centuries. He shows this by arguing that medieval rulers began to assert their fledgling authority by creating victimless crimes which were, in essence, crimes against society, state, and morality. These crimes were actively sought out and the alleged criminals were punished through the new institutions, like the inquisition, even though no individual expressed a grievance. The transition from a passive to a persecuting society can be seen in the increase in secular and papal legislature against minorities. The Fourth Lateran council of 1215, perhaps the most important of the papal councils, was the culmination of a century of anti heresy legislation. The Council was designed to reorganise and reinvigorate the clergy, and put to paper the canons and precepts of the newly reformed Orthodox Church. What is essential to the argument that Moore puts forth is that the Forth Lateran Council of 1215 laid down the mechanism of persecution and created a range of sanctions against those convicted which proved to be adaptable to a much wider variety of victims. Therefore the sanctions originally designed for heretics could just as easily be adapted for Jews, lepers, sodomites and prostitutes and other minority group that did not fit in with the orthodox view of society. The information presented in the Formation of a Persecuting society is concise and well written and has stood the test of time. It has had its critics, what history book has not? But it also has its supporters and it a testament to Moore’s work that it is often included in the bibliographies of modern medieval academic scholarship.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Myles

    Another book from the Trump Toolkit: Scapegoating 101 "We have seen how during the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Jews, heretics, lepers, male homosexuals and in differing degrees various others were victims of a rearrangement of Leach’s ‘internalized version of the environment’, which defined them more exactly than before and classified them as enemies of society. But it was not only a matter of definition. In each case a myth was constructed, upon whatever foundation of reality, by Another book from the Trump Toolkit: Scapegoating 101 "We have seen how during the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Jews, heretics, lepers, male homosexuals and in differing degrees various others were victims of a rearrangement of Leach’s ‘internalized version of the environment’, which defined them more exactly than before and classified them as enemies of society. But it was not only a matter of definition. In each case a myth was constructed, upon whatever foundation of reality, by an act of collective imagination. A named category was created – Manichee, Jew, leper, sodomite and so on – which could be identified as a source of social contamination, and whose members could be excluded from Christian society and, as its enemies, held liable to pursuit, denunciation and interrogation, to exclusion from the community, deprivation of civil rights and the loss of property, liberty and on occasion life itself."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Demolishes the old truism (which I had never encountered) that persecution of heretics, lepers and Jews began in earnest in the 11th and 12th centuries as a result of the concurrent increase in population and power of the same. Argues instead that the practice of persecution was the result of a new European mindset to expel the Other and thereby protect the integrity of the community. Not entirely borne out, and actually blatantly contradicted in the last few pages of the text, which argue that Demolishes the old truism (which I had never encountered) that persecution of heretics, lepers and Jews began in earnest in the 11th and 12th centuries as a result of the concurrent increase in population and power of the same. Argues instead that the practice of persecution was the result of a new European mindset to expel the Other and thereby protect the integrity of the community. Not entirely borne out, and actually blatantly contradicted in the last few pages of the text, which argue that persecution of Jews in England occurred as a result of the particular Christian vulnerability (cultural, intellectual, political, economic) vis-a-vis the Jews.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jackson Cyril

    Hoskins' brilliant thesis on the 'twelfth century renaissance' is well known. Moore studies the negative effects of the rise and spread of literacy during this period. He argues that while governments certainly persecuted populations prior to this period, it was not until the 12th century (Lateran III and IV are key here) that Western Europe developed into a society which began to continuously persecute people based on a variety of vaguely defined censures (Moore begins his work by quoting Monte Hoskins' brilliant thesis on the 'twelfth century renaissance' is well known. Moore studies the negative effects of the rise and spread of literacy during this period. He argues that while governments certainly persecuted populations prior to this period, it was not until the 12th century (Lateran III and IV are key here) that Western Europe developed into a society which began to continuously persecute people based on a variety of vaguely defined censures (Moore begins his work by quoting Montesquieu's acerbic dismissal of these censures). Initial victims included Jews, lepers and gay people-- and we can now add others to this mix. A penetrating study.

  11. 4 out of 5

    David Austin

    Absolutely terrible read. Historical generalizations abound, combined with a severe lack of objective scholarship make this book not worthwhile to read. Do not buy it!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Steve Horton

    I came upon this book the best way possible...a referral by 2 PhD's in their respective areas of expertise. I was listening to two different Learning Company tape series...The Medieval World by Dr. Dorsey Armstrong and The HIgh Middle Ages by Dr. Philip Daileader. During the last lecture of both, when summarizing trends in the field, both mentioned this book. It is well worth the endorsements by both professors, as its thesis is very illuminating. Dr. Moore illustrates through a number of exampl I came upon this book the best way possible...a referral by 2 PhD's in their respective areas of expertise. I was listening to two different Learning Company tape series...The Medieval World by Dr. Dorsey Armstrong and The HIgh Middle Ages by Dr. Philip Daileader. During the last lecture of both, when summarizing trends in the field, both mentioned this book. It is well worth the endorsements by both professors, as its thesis is very illuminating. Dr. Moore illustrates through a number of examples that the "presecuting society" was not created by spontaneous hatred for Jews, or lepers, or heretics by the general populace. Instead, the Church and political entities of the day orchestrated persecution for its own ends. I know this thesis is not a bolt of lightning for most layman who read a lot of medieval history, (or students of human nature) but Moore's argument is tight, cogent, and convincing. It is reasonable to think the powerful would feel compelled by religious or social obligations to protect, or at least not abuse, the powerless. Unfortunately, Moore convincingly shows us otherwise. This book is accessible to any layman with an interest in medieval or early social history. You do not need a PhD to access its riches. SH

  13. 5 out of 5

    Reading Through the Lists

    The first four chapters (essentially the entire first edition) are sound, if a little outdated, and make a compelling case for reading the increased persecution of Jews, lepers, and heretics in the 12th century as a sign of a new "persecuting society" controlled by a new and powerful set of rulers intent on exercising their new domination in a crucial period of change in European history. However, the 5th chapter and the conclusion (added with the second edition) are simply a re-tread of the fir The first four chapters (essentially the entire first edition) are sound, if a little outdated, and make a compelling case for reading the increased persecution of Jews, lepers, and heretics in the 12th century as a sign of a new "persecuting society" controlled by a new and powerful set of rulers intent on exercising their new domination in a crucial period of change in European history. However, the 5th chapter and the conclusion (added with the second edition) are simply a re-tread of the first 4 chapters with places where Moore acknowledges the limitations of his previous work, but in such a way as to still maintain that he was really right all along and that all subsequent scholarship is really in debt to him for his pioneering research. This blatant self-aggrandizement is terribly grating and completely unnecessary, and brought this book down from 4 to 3 stars.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Erika Canto

    Un estudio completo del trato social y gubernamental que se le daba a las comunidades no católicas en la Edad Media baja entre los siglos X y XIII. Pasando por los judíos, los herejes, los leprosos, los homosexuales y las prostitutas. Diferencias en los tratados y decretos en las diversas cortes de Europa: Italia, el papado, Francia, España y en particular en Inglaterra. Inquisición, Segregación, Expulsión y Excomunión. Siempre hay que tratar de entender el comportamiento actual de la sociedad d Un estudio completo del trato social y gubernamental que se le daba a las comunidades no católicas en la Edad Media baja entre los siglos X y XIII. Pasando por los judíos, los herejes, los leprosos, los homosexuales y las prostitutas. Diferencias en los tratados y decretos en las diversas cortes de Europa: Italia, el papado, Francia, España y en particular en Inglaterra. Inquisición, Segregación, Expulsión y Excomunión. Siempre hay que tratar de entender el comportamiento actual de la sociedad dando una visión retrospectiva al pasado.

  15. 5 out of 5

    David Bradshaw

    the rise of persecution - part of a change of control - literate elites in concert with ecclesiastical & secular rulers ushered in their judgments in place of popular judgment - heretics, Jews, lepers, subjects of rulers' control vs. community judgment prejudice from the top-down - literacy downside the rise of persecution - part of a change of control - literate elites in concert with ecclesiastical & secular rulers ushered in their judgments in place of popular judgment - heretics, Jews, lepers, subjects of rulers' control vs. community judgment prejudice from the top-down - literacy downside

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    An incisive view of the function of persecution in medieval society, the groups which it affected, and the literate, clerical origins of what is commonly perceived as based in popular peasant sentiment.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    convincing but the way the author got to his argument was confusing and at times, unclear. the way he writes is largely inaccessible and far too wordy for my taste. run on sentences galore.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Esther

    It was a remarkable thing that Jesus touched the lepers. How he shocked the people of his time! Who would think that the persecution of the Jews is tied to such a thing as the separation of the lepers? R.I. Moore shows how the persecuting society formed in Europe. It is less a persecuting society now, but vulnerable. He goes too far I think however. There is persecution and there is persecution. You cannot so easily equate worse things with lesser.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This, despite being a book I had to read for a class, was legitimately a very interesting one. Some of his ideas are a bit 'out there,' but the whole idea of a society changing as fundamentally as the change he describes is a fascinating one. This, despite being a book I had to read for a class, was legitimately a very interesting one. Some of his ideas are a bit 'out there,' but the whole idea of a society changing as fundamentally as the change he describes is a fascinating one.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. http://jennsbookblog.blogspot.com/200... http://jennsbookblog.blogspot.com/200...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Again I say, I can find value in any book that makes its point in less than 200 pages. I like Moore's other book (First European Revolution) better. Again I say, I can find value in any book that makes its point in less than 200 pages. I like Moore's other book (First European Revolution) better.

  22. 5 out of 5

    AskHistorians

    A game-changer in how we view the development of high medieval heresy and heretics.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Good view point of Europe and persecution.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elfofbooks

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stallfast

  26. 5 out of 5

    Corinne

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Ninnette

  28. 4 out of 5

    Leonardo Rosa

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julia

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