Early crusades Jewish Priests costume?

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Mark Griffin
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Early crusades Jewish Priests costume?

Postby Mark Griffin » Sun May 12, 2013 7:52 pm

I'm embarking on a tv doco set around the early crusades. Its the Holy Grail, Templars, you know the kind of thing. Well be doing some shots of Jewish Priests hiding treasures but the only 'old' pic i can find is here:

http://www.fromoldbooks.org/Yonge-Relig ... t/#details

which is an 18th cent European woodcut, hardly primary source stuff. Although every other later picture shows pretty much the same (blue robes with various sashes, the occasional fancy breastplate, always the turban) I'd still like to nail it down more.

I'd usually just pop along to my local rabbi but now I'm in mid wales, local is not the word that springs to mind....

Ta!

griff

and before you ask, yes, I will be casting for bearded gentlemen in the near future. Luckily we want Templars too so I guess there will be some doubling up......


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Re: Early crusades Jewish Priests costume?

Postby Brother Ranulf » Mon May 13, 2013 7:25 am

You are up against some major difficulties with Jewish costume of the 11th/12th centuries, since there are almost no primary sources surviving from that period and originating from Jews themselves. In England and Normandy, despite the presence of Jews and Jewish synagogues in virtually every town and city, the people representing them in art were Christian monks who tended to take a more fanciful approach - in the Fecamp Psalter (Norman, circa 1175) Jewish priests are given the mitres of Christian bishops from a slightly earlier period and pseudo-classical robes such as 12th century artists thought were worn in Biblical times:

fecamptown.jpg


The actual Biblical garments of a priest were very different, but I have no idea how much these had changed by the medieval period:

kohen-garments.jpg


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Re: Early crusades Jewish Priests costume?

Postby Bad Viking » Mon May 13, 2013 7:26 am

I have a fine bushy beard and Templar kit all ready to go ! lol :D


I might be in the gutter....but I'm still looking up at the takeaway !.

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Re: Early crusades Jewish Priests costume?

Postby Mark Griffin » Mon May 13, 2013 8:31 am

Thanks for the input.

After more research and digging I find that the ornate costume in the last pic was worn up to AD70, then abandoned. That was the year the Romans stamped all over them and destroyed the Temple. Seem to have lost the urge to dress up after than. Unfortunately my sequence is set during that period so I'll have to find some of that bling. Life of Brian re-enactment here we come! 2 small rocks and bag of gravel and some pebbles please.....

The psalter pic highlights an academic argument I've also come across. a) what did they wear after than and b) were christian vestments derived from them? The jury is out but the smart money seems to be on no, there was enough of a break to be of no influence. The Jewish priest caste had died out by then and there are no specific rules about what to wear whilst delivering a service until much later. And even then, different parts of the world do different things.


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Re: Early crusades Jewish Priests costume?

Postby saracen » Mon May 13, 2013 4:38 pm

Wrong end of the Mediterranean, a bit late, and not actually any priests as far as I know... hang on, is this any good to you at all?!! - but there are quite a few images of 13th c Spanish Jews in the Cantigas illustrations. This book might be useful:
Daily Life Depicted in the Cantigas De Santa Maria, John Esten Keller, Annette G. Cash



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Re: Early crusades Jewish Priests costume?

Postby Mark Griffin » Mon May 13, 2013 4:43 pm

Fraid not, no its the biblical silly ones i need. now searching for cheap sets of Joseph musical costumes to hire! Thanks for trying though!


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Re: Early crusades Jewish Priests costume?

Postby Sophia » Sun May 26, 2013 8:18 pm

For future reference unless you are in a compulsory silly hat or badge area you are basically looking mainly at local dress. Married women will on the whole cover all their hair even when it is not fashionable and generally have higher neck lines and long sleeves even when fashion differs. All men will always cover their heads at all times (except possibly in bed) and will have beards. Depending on the community a rabbi may or may not be very well dressed. He is not a priest he is a teacher and someone with a sufficient Jewish education to make halachic decisions and be one of the three members of a Beit Din (Jewish religious court - bit like church courts).

If you see pictures of men in the synagogue they will also be using prayer shawls which seem to be no different to today except for no artificial fibres (all silk or all wool according to wealth or custom).

Being Jewish is quite helpful when these questions come up :wink:


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Re: Early crusades Jewish Priests costume?

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Mon May 27, 2013 7:05 pm

I'm not even sure about the badge or hat thing Sophia either. The yellow circle and felt hat starts getting worn by Jews in the Papal territories of Italy in the 1340's, ironically as a protective measure as they were being murdered in there hundreds (or even thousands) for "starting the plague", and the Papacy had no desire to see their valuable money lenders/changers being killed off. A red badge is soon adopted by Venetian Jews to show their "shame at having killed the Christ" but at the same time warn anyone attacking them that an attack on the Ducal Jews is an attack on the state and thus punishable by death.


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Re: Early crusades Jewish Priests costume?

Postby Sophia » Mon May 27, 2013 10:47 pm

Thanks for that Marcus - wasn't sure exactly when the silly hats/badges were introduced!


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Re: Early crusades Jewish Priests costume?

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Tue May 28, 2013 7:20 pm

In Florence Jews had to wear hats with tiny bells on them, a double insult as prostitutes also wore required to wear tingly hats and gloves (I have no idea why gloves had to be worn by streetworkers though).


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Re: Early crusades Jewish Priests costume?

Postby Sophia » Tue May 28, 2013 8:36 pm

IIRC they had to wear a yellow wheel badge in Strasbourg and were periodically expelled and ended up in Rosheim and such places. We really ought to get together at some point and compile a definitive list for Medieval/Early Modern mainland Europe just for the hell of it!


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Re: Early crusades Jewish Priests costume?

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu May 30, 2013 12:27 pm

I fear it would be a long and depressing list of folly and failure.


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Re: Early crusades Jewish Priests costume?

Postby Brother Ranulf » Fri May 31, 2013 6:00 pm

I dug out my research notes on the fewer than 5,000 Jews in 12th century England and I noticed something odd. At that time there were no laws specifying any kind of marking or headgear for Jews, but the evidence suggests that men, at least, chose to dress in a specific way with pointy hats being the main element. These were never prescribed by law in England - Bartlett (England under the Norman and Angevin Kings) emphasises that "Jews and all their property are the king's", meaning that they had a very special status, so perhaps they chose to stand out because of this.

It was at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 that the ruling was made for all Jews and Muslims in Europe to wear "on the upper part of their clothing two strips of white cloth or parchment on the breast, so that they may be distinguished from Christians" - there can have been relatively few Muslims in Europe and the Jews could apparently purchase exemptions if they wished.

When illustrating Biblical scenes, Christian monks often portrayed male Jews in pointy hats which stand out from normal headgear. An example is the host in this late 12th century English version of the marriage at Cana, now in the Bodleian (Gough Liturg. 2 folio 20):

marriage at cana, bodleian gough liturg 2 fol 20.jpg


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