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- Jewish Book News & Reviews: Jewish Quarterly: Vol 54, No 1
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The story was given credence because Jews had apparently been congregating in Gloucester at the time for a Brit milah circumcision ceremony.
The ritual spilling of a child's blood in circumcision was symbolically linked in the minds of Christians to the Crucifixion. There is no evidence that any Jews were ever arrested or charged with a crime, which suggests that the claims began as no more than speculation after the missing local child's body was found. The story hardened into fact in later retellings. It was never officially supported and died out long before the Reformation. According to historian Joe Hillaby, the story of Harold was never widely circulated, and was much less well-known than that of William of Norwich , but it was crucially important because it established that the mythology created around William's death could be used as a template for explaining later deaths.
For the first time an unexplained child death occurring near the Easter festival was arbitrarily linked to Jews in the vicinity by local Christian churchmen: "they established a pattern quickly taken up elsewhere.
Jewish Book News & Reviews: Jewish Quarterly: Vol 54, No 1
Within three years the first ritual murder charge was made in France. See also the articles of other children whose deaths in medieval times gave rise to the persecution of the Jews:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Saint Harold. Harold Of Gloucester, St. New Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23 December German translation Anti-Judaismus. Eine andere Geschichte des westlichen Denkens, C. Received Laing Prize, Italian translation: Ebraico.
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