Monday, March 14, 2011

Gregory of Tours: Context when considering the Jewish expulsion.

"When Alboin went off to Italy, Lothar and Sigibert settled the Swabians and other peoples in the territory which he left vacant. In the lifetime of Sigibert the Saxons who had gone with Alboin came back again and attacked these new arrivals, for they were determined to drive them out of their own land and destroy them. ... (peace offers proposed by Swabians) ... The Saxons would not accept even this offer, for they were determined to do battle. They began to quarrel among themselves about how they should share out the women-folk and whatever else they might capture after the annihilation of the Swabians, whom they already looked upon as dead men. God in His compassion, which is the source of all justice, decided otherwise about them." - History of the Franks, V.15.

As we consider the ill-treatment of the Jews at this time, it is important to keep in mind the fact that we are talking about Germanic tribes whose custom was to emigrate en mass, attack a new area, kill all the men, grab all the beautiful women, and sell the rest into slavery or simply kill them. They then settled into the property of those they had destroyed. Christianity brought a slow, civilizing change into the picture. This was the custom of various peoples all over Europe and Asia.

1 comment:

Max Coutinho said...

Hey Looney,

"grab all the beautiful women"

I suspect that even the ugly women were grabbed in the absence of beautiful females...

"Christianity brought a slow, civilizing change into the picture."

This is true. I always said that the first part of God's Plan (by sending Jesus) was to bring civilization into the world. Of course, Christians made a lot of mistakes (which is natural in humans) nevertheless, looking at the world today, their society has reached a high level of decency and organisation. What is more important, Christians learned from their past.