Session209
TitleCologne's Medieval Jewish Quarter, II: Daily Life and Written Sources
Date/TimeMonday 4 July 2022: 14.15-15.45
 
OrganiserMalin Drees, Seminar für Judaistik, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
 
Moderator/ChairMalin Drees, Seminar für Judaistik, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
 
Paper 209-a Medieval Slate Fragments from Cologne's Jewish Quarter: Lists of Names and Texts
(Language: English)
Maximilian Holfelder, Seminar für Judaistik, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Index Terms: Archaeology - Artefacts; Daily Life; Genealogy and Prosopography; Hebrew and Jewish Studies
Paper 209-b Jewish Liturgical Sources from Medieval Cologne
(Language: English)
Elisabeth Hollender, Seminar für Judaistik, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Index Terms: Daily Life; Hebrew and Jewish Studies; Religious Life
Paper 209-c Reconstructing Jewish Life in Cologne from Hebrew Sources
(Language: English)
Ephraim Shoham-Steiner, Department of Jewish History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva
Index Terms: Daily Life; Hebrew and Jewish Studies; Religious Life
 
AbstractMedieval Jewish life in Cologne has previously been reconstructed using Christian archival sources, especially since direct Jewish sources such as the writings of local scholars are rare. Thanks to the excavations of the Jewish Quarter, everyday written sources on slate have been added to the available sources. Among them are records of small scale economic transactions, including an abundance of names of hitherto unknown Jews living in Cologne in the first half of the 14th century. In addition, the presenters use indirect sources in order to reconstruct daily life in the medieval Jewish Quarter of Cologne, such as the liturgical rite that shows some unique features and indicates connections to French communities, and Hebrew sources that mention Cologne, often contrasting Cologne habits and events with rabbinic teaching from Mainz and Worms. Careful comparison allows for the reconstruction of some aspects of Jewish life in medieval Cologne that show a thriving mercantile community with a governance structure that favors laymen, and strong interactions with the surrounding culture, including visual culture.

The panel will discuss the newly available sources and their use in reconstructing everyday life in one of the largest Jewish communities of the early 14th century.