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Black Death Saves Medieval Coins

Jewish Coin and Artifact Display in London


As Black Deathswept over Europe in the Middle Ages, Medieval society, desperate and full of fear and rage, sought out ways to place blame. Minority populations were an easy target and often received harsh treatment and unjust punishment. It seems incredible, but of course we often find the same type of random beliefs cropping up even today.

In the 14th Century, European Jewish communities were blamed for the spread of Black Death. Why? Because of different customs and ways of life, I suppose. But those same differences are now being celebrated through a great accumulationof materials on displayat London's Wallace Collection Museum.

The items on displaycame primarily from Colmar, France and Erfurt, Germany and include about 3,000 medieval coins, along with ornate wedding rings, brooches, a grooming or toilet set, ceremonial cups and more.


If you are visiting London, you can see this exhibituntil May 10, 2009, after which the collection will return to the former synagogue in Erfurt, Germany for permanent display.