Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Erfurt Treasure

The Erfurt Treasure was in the news this week, as part of a discussion in the Times of New York about the Black Death.

The connection between the plague, and the treasure is this: In 1349 the Jews of Erfurt were massacred (by Catholics) who had convinced themselves that the Erfurt Jews were personally responsible for the epidemic that had ravished Europe. (At right is a detail from the Friese Chronicles showing the Erfurt  massacre) Almost 700 years later, in 1998, a huge trove of jewelery - including a Jewish wedding ring (no stones) with Hebrew lettering - 3,141 coins, tableware and a pair of large silver ingot were found in in what had been the Jewish quarter of Erfurt. Because the last king depicted on the coins died in 1350, scholars speculate the treasure was hidden by Jews who did not survive the 1349 massacre. 

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The Erfurt Treasure at

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