Shatzmiller J. (1990) “The best Jew in the world”: another look at medieval Jewish usury

January 15, 2009

Joseph Shatzmiller (1990) Shylock reconsidered: Jews, Moneylending, and Medieval Society, Berkeley, University of California Press, 250p.*

Introduction

From February to July 1317, a trial opposing a Jewish moneylender called Bondavin to his client Laurent Girard took place in Marseille. Bondavin accused Laurent of not having paid back a 60-sols loan (15). A significant sum, but nothing extraordinary compared to Bondavin own’s fortune (certainly several hundred pounds) (21). So why did Bondavin engaged in a procedure if not for money? Read the rest of this entry »