Perplexing Pictures In Manuscripts 2

illumanu: “ 14th century (1349-1351) Austria - Lilienfeld Lilienfeld, Stiftsbibliothek Cod. 151: Concordantiae caritatis fol. 244v - Public service. (killing adulterers) The man fornicating/being killed is wearing a Jewish cap, which, astonishingly,...
14th century (1349-1351) Austria – Lilienfeld 
Cod. 151: Concordantiae caritatis fol. 244v 

There is no reason you’d want to include a prejudicial illumination like this in SCA art. But why? What do you see?

This 14th-century illumination shows a man wearing a Jews hat having sex, then being mortally stabbed for it. 

But there’s more that’s perplexing. What’s up with his pointy hat?

The tall unique hat you see in the illumination was worn by Jewish men before 1215. It was required after that in parts of Europe and the Islamic world. Today it’s an easy way you can distinguish Jewish people in Medieval illuminations. 

It’s not the hat alone that makes the picture perplexing. It’s the illustrated deplorable behaviors, the rape, and the stabbing. 

The picture unites the two behaviors. In the Middle Ages repeatedly seeing similar illuminations helped prejudice the viewers against Jews, eventually driving them out of Europe. 

M. Dov with his new Laurel scroll.
Prejudicial pictures like this are only useful for educational purposes. There’s a tiny possibility you might use it in costuming research and documentation because it shows a woman’s hose tied up with a cord. But never in a scroll.

The scribe who created the Laurel scroll for M. David ben Benjamin included people in the same Jews’ hats because Dov often wears one.  But the people wearing the hats are in a respectful “parade”.

It’s the behaviors, not the hat, that make this illumination inappropriate.

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