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Myth of the Medieval Jewish Moneylender with Julie Mell

In this episode, we talk to Julie Mell, an associate professor of history at North Carolina State University and author of the two volume book, The Myth of the Medieval Jewish Moneylender.

In The Myth of the Medieval Jewish Moneylender, Mell marshals previously untapped primary sources to upend the common historical narrative regarding the role of Jewish moneylenders in the development of the modern economy. On Mell’s reading, the prevailing understanding of the medieval Jewish moneylender–common to both antisemitic and philosemetic discourses in the 19th and 20th centuries– has no more basis in history than does the prevailing myth of barter.

At North Carolina State University, Mell teaches courses in medieval history, Jewish history, and economic thought; she also recently served as a fellow at the Center for the History of Political Economy and as a visiting scholar at the Centre for Hebrew and Judaic Studies at the University of Oxford.

 

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