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holy roman emperor Roots of AntiSemitism




After learning about the Holocaust, I’ve asked myself many times how this could have happened.  Why would anyone believe it’s acceptable to massacre an entire people?  This is my reasoning for writing my paper on how Christian theology influenced anti-Semitism.  Much of the Holocaust appears to have it’s beginning with Christian theology.  I will begin my paper with the early writings of Christians and continue chronologically until after World War II.
The Apostle Paul was one the first people to criticize the Jewish people. At first, he tried to explain to the Christians not to adopt a superior attitude towards the Jews.
IF THE PART OF THE DOUGH OFFERED AS FIRST FRUITS IS HOLY, THEN THE WHOLE BRANCH IS HOLY; AND IF THE ROOT IS HOLY, THEN THE BRANCHES ARE ALSO HOLY…DO NOT BOAST OVER THE BRANCHES.  IF YOU DO BOAST, REMEMBER THAT IT IS NOT YOU THAT SUPPORT THE ROOT, BUT THE ROOT SUPPORTS YOU.
At one point this appeared to be Paul’s feeling towards the Jews and the Christians.  His sentiment appeared to change, according to Christian suppressionists.  In the text Romans, many of Paul’s statements were misinterpreted by those Christians to make themselves appear more superior to the Jewish people.
…INCLUDING US WHOM HE HAS CALLED, NOT FROM THE JEWS ONLY BUT ALSO FROM THE GENTILES?  AS INDEED HE SAYS IN HOSEA, "THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE I WILL CALL ‘MY PEOPLE,’ AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED I WILL CALL ‘BELOVED.’"  "AND IN THE VERY PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, ‘YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,’ THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED CHILDREN OF THE LIVING GOD,"
…GENTILES, WHO DID NOT STRIVE FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, HAVE ATTAINED IT, THAT IS, RIGHTEOUSNESS THROUGH FAITH; BUT ISRAEL, WHO DID STRIVE FOR THE RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT IS BASED ON THE LAW, DID NOT SUCCEED IN FULFILLING THAT LAW… [ROMANS 9]
 "In proclaiming his Christian message Paul stressed that the Jewish nation had been rejected by God, and the new Covenant had superseded the old," said David Cohn-Sherbok, in his book The Crucified Jew.  "In these ways the New Testament laid the foundations for later Christian hostility to the Jewish nation…and served as the basis for the early Church’s vilification of the Jews." (Cohn-Sherbok)
Another early Christian writing which may have encouraged Jewish hatred is the Gospels of John.  Scholars believe John wanted to gain favor with the Roman Hierarchy.  Therefore, he emphasized the Jewish involvement in the death of Christ and minimized the Roman role.  "The Gospel of John contains some of the most hostile anti-Jewish statement in the Christian scriptures.  So sharp is the contrast in that gospel between Jesus’ exhortations to his followers to love one another and the hostile references to the Jews…John is ‘a gospel of Christian love and Jew hatred.’" (Charlesworth)
Some examples of John’s apparent sentiments towards the Jewish people include the following.
…THE JEWS REPLIED…[JOHN 18:31]
…MY FOLLOWERS WOULD BE FIGHTING TO KEEP ME FROM BEING HANDED OVER TO THE JEWS…  
…HE WENT OUT TO THE JEWS AGAIN…[JOHN 18:38]
…THE JEWS ANSWERED HIM, "WE HAVE A LAW, AND ACCORDING TO THAT LAW HE OUGHT TO DIE BECAUSE HE HAS CLAIMED TO BE THE SON OF GOD." [JOHN 19:7]
…THE JEWS CRIED OUT, "IF YOU RELEASE THIS MAN, YOU ARE NO FRIEND OF THE EMPEROR…"  
…HE SAID TO THE JEWS, "HERE IS YOUR KING!"  THEY CRIED OUT, "AWAY WITH HIM!  AWAY WITH HIM!  CRUCIFY HIM!…"[JOHN 19:14]
Many scholars believe the Jews and Christians were still worshipping together around the middle of the first century.  They discussed and acknowledged their differences, like a family fight.  Yet, towards the end of the first century their relationships deteriorated.  After the destruction of the second Temple in 70 CE, the Gentiles appeared to break away from the Jews.  Jewish leaders who remained faithful to the Mosaic Law, began excommunicating Christian Jews under Nero’s leadership, ending decades of relatively peaceful coexistence and shared worship. (Hauer)
The presumed superiority of Christianity started to influence Christian teachings.  The ‘Letters of Barnabas’ (late first century or early second) repeatedly proclaims this belief:  I found many passages in his letter regarding superiority.
"…HEAPING UP YOUR SINS AND SAYING THAT THE COVENANT IS BOTH THEIRS AND OUR.  IT IS OURS:  BUT IN THIS WAY DID THEY ... more

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Syphilis In Measure For Measure


Syphilis in Renaissance Europe and in
Shakespeares Measure for Measure


Bibliography

to venereal disease appear as early in the second scene of Shakespeares Measure for Measure. Syphilis, the primary and most horrible of venereal diseases, ran rampant in Shakespeares time. By giving a brief history of the disease in Renaissance Europe one can gain a better understanding of the disease which will provide a greater insight into the play which would have gone unknown. This brief history will include, the severity of the disease in fifteenth and sixteenth century Europe, believed origins and symptoms of the time period, and methods of curing or combating the disease.. By reading and analyzing passages referring to syphilis in Measure for Measure it is clear that Shakespeare himself believed in most of the truths established by the poet and physician Fracastor. Fracastor was the primary source and influence regarding studies of syphilis in Renaissance Europe.
The disease we now commonly identify as syphilis is believed to have arrived in Europe for the first time in the late fifteenth century. Though there are few statistics from that period available to prove such an argument, there is plenty of evidence that supports that the disease suddenly emerged in great abundance during this time period. It is also believed that syphilis was much more severe then, than it has ever been since. Zinsser writes in his book, Rats, Lice, and History that: There is little doubt that when syphilis first appeared in epidemic form, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, it was a far more virulent, acute, and factual condition than it is now (Rosebury 23).
The first time syphilis, called evil pocks at the time, was mentioned in print occurred on August 7, 1495 in the Edict of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian. In this document syphilis was believed to be a punishment sent from God for blasphemy and was described as something which had never occurred before nor been heard of within the memory of man (Rosebury 24). Between the years 1495 and 1498 there were a total of nine similar documents that emerged through out Western Europe.
In 1530 Fracastor, a poet and physician, published the poem, Syphilis sive Morbus Gallicus, translated Syphilis or the French Disease. The main character was a shepherd in Hispaniola named Syphilis. Syphilis caught the disease for disrespecting the Gods. At the time Fracastor believed in the previous documents, but would provide his own original ideas concerning how the disease reached Europe. He also alluded to possible treatments, that Shakespeare will later use in his plays. Fracastor used the name syphilis for both the main character and the disease he contracted. However, the name of the disease continued to be known as the French disease. It was not until the 1850s, more than three centuries after Fracastors poem, that the disease was called syphilis.
Fracastors poem grew widely popular in Western Europe, and was believed to be mostly factual at the time. It might seem odd that a fictional poem with fictional characters would be widely regarded as truth, but under the extreme circumstances of the sixteenth century syphilis epidemic it makes perfect sense. Syphilis had caused terror in the hearts of the people in the sixteenth century due to its rapid spread. Physicians seemed helpless to cure it. No one could do anything, but believe in what Fracastor wrote. In the poem Fracastor had answers concerning its origin, symptoms, and cure for this new disease.
He went along with the common belief that it appeared in the French army before Naples around the year 1495. From France, and justly took from France his name, (Rosebury 31). This quote provides the evidence concerning syphilis former name, The French Disease. He also discussed how he believed that it originated in America, and was brought back with Columbus and his men. This was the popular view of the day, and many researchers still find truth in it. What Fracastor truly believed, at the time, was that the positions of the planets influenced the outbreak of the disease. He believed that they lined up in such a way that provided great conditions for the emergence of the disease. In the poem Fracastor also ... more

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