From Court Jews to the Rothschilds

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From Court Jews to the Rothschilds
Author(s) Jewish Museum of New York
Cover artist N/A
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) History, Economy
Publisher Prestel Pub
Publication date 1996
Pages 251
ISBN 3791316249

From Court Jews to the Rothschilds: Art, Patronage, and Power 1600-1800 by the Jewish Museum of New York, edited by Vivian B Mann, Richard I Cohen and Fritz Backhaus, is a 1996 book, published in the United States, which was originally created for internal Jewish reading as part of a museum exhibit on Court Jews. It discusses the extensive history of Jews and finance, giving a general overview, covering also some Medieval history.

The book describes an often overlooked aspect of Jewish history, in regards to their domination of finance in early Islamic history. Jews are described as "all powerful bankers" in Baghdad, Egypt, Tunisia, the Mongol Empire, Morocco, Afghanistan, Persia and amongst the Berbers. This included in some cases, financing conflicts with Christian Europe. The book claims that Muslims placed them into such a position. During the Middle Ages, particularly the 10th and 11th century, the book describes how the Jewish court bankers would sent their sons to Babylonian Academies (in what is today Iraq) to study their trade.

The main focus of the book are the Court Jews of Europe and biographies are given for some of the more infamous figures such as Süß Oppenheimer, Esther Liebmann and Mayer Amschel Rothschild. The book describes, as well as their dominance in banking and jewelry trades, they were used as tax collectors and translators of various texts. Bringing into question just how accurate all of these translations were, or if they had been altered to put across a certain view. The book also discusses how powerful Jewish finance dynasts made a lot of money supplying armies during times of war.

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