Post-classical history

Solomon bar Simson

A Jewish chronicler, credited with the longest of the three Hebrew narratives of the First Crusade (1096-1099).

Solomon bar Simson names himself as the recorder of the pogrom in one of the villages to which Jews of Cologne (Ger. Koln) had fled; it is uncertain whether he was also responsible for editing the whole composition sometime between 1140 and the Second Crusade (1147-1149). The narrative contains sections on the persecutions by the so-called People’s Crusades in Speyer, Worms, Mainz (sharing material with the Mainz Anonymous), Cologne, Trier, Metz, and Regensburg, along with an exaggerated account of the difficulties experienced by these crusaders in Hungary. The section on Trier, where most Jews were probably forcibly converted, is especially interesting and probably contemporaneous. The evocative descriptions of Jewish self-martyrdom are arresting, but compelling too is the admonition not to malign those who were baptized against their will.

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