The oldest Hebrew document on Polish lands (1485) and its translation Cover Image

Najstarszy dokument hebrajski na ziemiach polskich (1485) i jego tłumaczenia
The oldest Hebrew document on Polish lands (1485) and its translation

Author(s): Marcin Starzyński
Subject(s): Cultural history, Jewish studies, Economic history, 15th Century
Published by: Instytut Historii im. Tadeusza Manteuffla Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: Jews; Jewish trade in Poland; Cracow; Hebrew document

Summary/Abstract: The object of interest for the author of this paper is the oldest (1485) surviving document written in Hebrew on Polish lands, connected with the history of the Cracow Jewish community. The elders of the qahal proclaim in it, that from that moment the Jews of Cracow will not participate in retail commerce (with Christians), except for the owners of deposits which were not purchased on time and which they will be allowed to put up for sale, but only in their own houses, except for Tuesdays and Fridays (market days) and during the fairs taking place in Cracow, when they may put them up for sale in public. Poor Jewesses are also allowed to sell coifs and necklaces produced by them. The present article discusses the possible context in which the charter was issued. The author, having studied the history of the Cracow community in the second half of the 15th century, as well as the trade policy of large cities in the Kingdom of Poland, situated it among the activities pursued by burghers of the Crown cities, aiming at restricting the rights of guest merchants, which category was intended to include Jewish merchants. The appendix contains the edition of the charter, together with the translation into Polish, as well as its translations into Latin and German, made in 1492, and also a document of the voivode of Cracow, Jan Amor of Tarnów, dated 14 June 1485, which confirmed its rule.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 83
  • Page Range: 187-202
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Polish