Capitulary for the Jews

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The Capitulary for the Jews (Latin original Capitula de Judaeis) is a piece of legislation (specifically a capitulary) attributed to Charlemagne and dated to 814. It prescribes a set of prohibitions (together with punishments for infractions) against Jews engaging in commerce or money-lending.

1. Let no Jew presume to take in pledge or for any debt any of the goods of the Church in gold, silver, or other form, from any Christian. But if he presume to do so, which God forbid, let all his goods be seized and let his right hand be cut off.

2. Let no Jew presume to take any Christian in pledge for any Jew or Christian, nor let him do anything worse; but if he presume to do so, let him make reparation according to his law, and at the same time he shall lose both pledge and debt.

3. Let no Jew presume to have a money-changer's table in his house, nor shall he presume to sell wine, grain, or other commodities there. But if it be discovered that he has done so all his goods shall be taken away from him, and he shall be imprisoned until he is brought into our presence.

4. Concerning the oath of the Jews against the Christians. Place sorrel twice around his body from head to feet; he ought to stand when he takes his oath, and he should have in his right hand the five books of Moses according to his law, and if he cannot have them in Hebrew he shall have them in Latin. "May the God who gave the law to Moses on Mount Sinai help me, and may the leprosy of Naamon the Syrian come upon me as it came upon him, and may the earth swallow me as it swallowed Dathan and Abiron, I have not committed evil against you in this cause."

References[edit]

  • Mediaeval Sourcebook, Capitulary for the Jews, derived in turn from J. P. Migne, ed., Patrologiae Cursus Completus, (Paris, 1862), Vol. XCVII, pp. 369-370.