1200- 1300 a timeline of natural light, the hidden light, and the ever-present darkness in the Western World
Circa 1201- 1300 Gerona Spain School of Kabbalah
1204: The first Hebrew translation of Maimonides’s Guide for the Perplexed (titled Moreh Nevukhim) written by a contemporary of Maimonides, Samuel ben Judah ibn Tibbon in southern France.
1209: Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse and Marquis of Provence , humiliated and forced by the Catholic Pope to swear that he would implement social restrictions against Jews.
1210 Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival. Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan und Isolde.
1215 The English Nobles force their reigning King to sign the Magna Carta limiting the power of the king. The Fourth Lateran Council headed by Pope Innocent III declares: "Jews and Saracens of both sexes in every Christian province and at all times shall be marked off in the eyes of the public from other peoples through the character of their dress." (Canon 68). See Judenhut. The Fourth Lateran Council also noted that the Jews' own law required the wearing of identifying symbols. Pope Innocent III also reiterated papal injunctions against forcible conversions, and added: "No Christian shall do the Jews any personal injury...or deprive them of their possessions...or disturb them during the celebration of their festivals...or extort money from them by threatening to exhume their dead."
1222: Council of Oxford: Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton forbids Jews from building new synagogues, owning slaves or mixing with Christians.
1223:Louis VIII of France prohibits his officials from recording debts owed to Jews, reversing his father's policy of seeking such debts.
1229: Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse, heir of Raymond VI, also forced to swear to the Pope of Rome that he would implement social restrictions against Jews.
1232: Forced mass conversions in Marrakesh.
1235: The Jews of Fulda, Germany were accused of ritual murder. To investigate the blood libel, Emperor Frederick II held a special conference of Jewish converts to Christianity at which the converts were questioned about Jewish ritual practice. Letters inviting prominent individuals to the conference still survive. At the conference, the converts stated unequivocally that Jews do not harm Christian children or require blood for any rituals. In 1236 the Emperor published these findings and in 1247 Pope Innocent IV, the Emperor's enemy, also denounced accusations of the ritual murder of Christian children by Jews. In 1272, the papal repudiation of the blood libel was repeated by Pope Gregory X, who also ruled that thereafter any such testimony of a Christian against a Jew could not be accepted unless it is confirmed by another Jew. Unfortunately, these proclamations from the highest sources were not effective in altering the beliefs of the Christian majority and the libels continued.
1236: Crusaders attack Jewish communities of Anjou and Poitou and attempt to baptize all the Jews. Those who resisted (est. 3,000) were slaughtered.
1240: Duke Jean le Roux expels Jews from Brittany. Disputation of Paris. Pope Gregory IX puts Talmud on trial on the charges that it contains blasphemy against Jesus and Mary and attacks on the Church.
1241: In England, first of a series of royal levies against Jewish finances, which forced the Jews to sell their debts to non-Jews at cut prices.
1242: 24 cart-loads of hand-written Talmudic manuscripts burned in the streets of Paris. James I of Aragon orders Jews to listen to conversion sermons and to attend churches. Friars are given power to enter synagogues uninvited.
1244: Pope Innocent IV orders Louis IX of France to burn all Talmud copies.
1247 Roger Bacon begins experimental research at Oxford England.
1248 Joseph Gikatilla born in Medinaceli Castile, Spain
1250 Moses De Leon born in Guadalajara Spain. Saragossa: death of a choirboy Saint Dominguito del Val prompts ritual murder accusation. His sainthood was revoked in the 20th century but reportedly a chapel dedicated to him still exists in the Cathedral of Saragossa.
1253: Henry III of England introduces harsh anti-Jewish laws.
1254: Louis IX expels the Jews from France, their property and synagogues confiscated. Most move to Germany and further east, however, after a couple of years, some were readmitted back.
1255: Henry III of England sells his rights to the Jews (regarded as royal "chattels") to his brother Richard for 5,000 marks.
1260: Thomas Aquinas publishes Summa Contra Gentiles, a summary of Christian faith to be presented to those who reject it. The Jews who refuse to convert are regarded as "deliberately defiant" rather than "invincibly ignorant".
1263: the Disputation of Barcelona before King James I of Aragon: between the monk Pablo Christiani (a convert from Judaism) and Rabbi Moses ben Nachman (also known as Nachmanides). At the end of disputation, king awarded Nachmanides a monetary prize and declared that never before had he heard "an unjust cause so nobly defended.” Nevertheless, the Dominicans claimed the victory and Nachmanides was exiled and his report of the proceedings was condemned and burned. A committee appointed by the king censored the passages from the Talmud they deemed offensive.
1264: Pope Clement IV assigns Talmud censorship committee. Simon de Montfort inspires massacre of Jews in London.
1266-73 Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica
1267:In a special session, the Vienna city council forces Jews to wear Pileum cornutum (a cone-shaped headdress, prevalent in many medieval illustrations of Jews). This distinctive dress is an addition to Yellow badge Jews were already forced to wear. Christians are not permitted to attend Jewish ceremonies. Synod of Breslau orders Jews to live in a segregated quarter.
1275: King Edward I of England passes the Statute of the Jewry forcing Jews over the age of seven to wear an identifying yellow badge, and making usury illegal, in order to seize their assets. Scores of English Jews are arrested, 300 hanged and their property goes to the Crown. In 1280 he orders Jews to be present as Dominicans preach conversion. In 1287 he arrests heads of Jewish families and demands their communities pay ransom of 12,000 pounds.
1276: Massacre in Fez to kill all Jews stopped by intervention of the Emir.
1278: The Edict of Pope Nicholas III requires compulsory attendance of Jews at conversion sermons.
1279: Synod of Ofen: Christians are forbidden to sell or rent real estate to or from Jews.
Circa 1280 The Zohar makes its appearance from Moses De Leon. Jean de Meun’s Romance of the Rose.
1280 – 1293? Sha’are Orah (Gates of Light) written by Joseph Gikatilla
1282: John Pectin, Archbishop of Canterbury, orders all London synagogues to close and prohibits Jewish physicians from practicing on Christians.
1283: Philip III of France causes mass migration of Jews by forbidding them to live in the small rural localities.
1285: Blood libel in Munich, Germany results in the death of 68 Jews. 180 more Jews are burned alive at the synagogue.
1287: A mob in Oberwesel, Germany kills 40 Jewish men, women and children after a ritual murder accusation.
1289: Jews are expelled from Gascony and Anjou.
1290 July 18 :Edict of Expulsion: Edward I expels all Jews from England, allowing them to take only what they could carry, all the other property became the Crown's. Official reason: continued practice of usury.
1291: Philip the Fair publishes an ordinance prohibiting the Jews to settle in France.
1298: During the civil war between Adolph of Nassau and Albrecht of Austria, German knight Rintfleisch claims to have received a mission from heaven to exterminate "the accursed race of the Jews". Under his leadership, the mob goes from town to town destroying Jewish communities and massacring about 100,000 Jews, often by mass burning at stake. Among 146 localities in Franconia, Bavaria and Austria are Röttingen (20 April), Würzburg (24 July), Nuremberg (1 August).
1300-30 Spread of mysticism in Rhineland, Meister Eckhart flourishes
1305 Moses De Leon dies in Arevalo Spain and Joseph Gikatilla dies in Penafiel Spain. Philip IV of France seizes all Jewish property (except the clothes they wear) and expels them from France (approx. 100,000). His successor Louis X of France allows French Jews to return in 1315. Duns Scotus teaching in Paris.
1310-14 Dante’s Divine Comedy
1319 Ockham teaching at Oxford.
1320: Shepherds' Crusade attacks the Jews of 120 localities in southwest France.
1321: King Henry II of Castile forces Jews to wear Yellow badge. Jews in central France accused of ordering lepers to poison wells. After massacre of est. 5,000 Jews, King Philip V admits they were innocent. Earliest commentary on the Bahir is written by Rabbi Meir ben Shalom Abi-Sahula, a disciple of Shlomo ben Aderet (Rashba), and it is published anonymously under the title Or HaGanuz.
1322: King Charles IV expels Jews from France.
1333: Forced mass conversions in Baghdad
1336: Persecutions against Jews in Franconia and Alsace led by lawless German bands, the Armleder under the highwayman Arnold von Uissigheim
1347-51 The Plague, aka the Black Death, sweeps Europe.
1348: European Jews are blamed for the plague in the Black Death persecutions. Charge laid to the Jews that they poisoned the wells. Massacres spread throughout Spain, France, Germany and Austria. More than 200 Jewish communities destroyed by violence. Many communities have been expelled and settle down in Poland. Strasbourg massacre.
1349: Basel: 600 Jews burned at the stake, 140 children forcibly baptized, the remaining city's Jews expelled. The city synagogue is turned into a church and the Jewish cemetery is destroyed. Erfurt massacre.
1353: Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron.
1359: Charles V of France allows Jews to return for a period of 20 years in order to pay ransom for his father John II of France, imprisoned in England. The period is later extended beyond the 20 years.
1370: Brussels massacre, end of the Jewish community in Brussels.
1375: public disputations held at Burgos and Avila by Moses Cohen de Tordesillas with converts from Judaism John of Valladolid and Abner of Burgos. Another disputation was held at about the same time in Pampeluna by Shem-Tob ben Isaac Shaprut of Tudela with Cardinal Don Pedro de Luna, afterward Avignon Pope Benedict XIII, the disputations being made the subjects of the books "'Ezer ha-Emunah" (by Moses) and "Eben Boḥan”.
1377 Nicholas Oreme’s Book on the Sky and the World, defends theoretical possibility of moving Earth.
1386: Wenceslaus, Holy Roman Emperor, expels the Jews from the Swabian League and Strasbourg and confiscates their property.
1389: 18 March, a Jewish boy is accused of plotting against a priest. The mob slaughters approx. 3,000 of Prague's Jews, destroys the city's synagogue and Jewish cemetery. Wenceslaus insists that the responsibility lay with the Jews for going outside during Holy Week.
1391: Violence incited by the Archdeacon of Ecija, Ferrand Martinez, results in the destruction of the Jewish quarter in Barcelona. The campaign quickly spreads throughout Spain (except for Granada) and destroys Jewish communities in Valencia and Palma De Majorca. Thousands of Jews are murdered or forced to accept baptism.
1394: 3 November, Charles VI of France expels all Jews from France.
1399: Blood libel in Posen.
And so it goes….