Chapter 1. Background

The Context of European and Nazi Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism has been part of European history perhaps as early as Alexander's Empire in the 4th Century B.C.E. What has varied over the centuries since then has been the intensity of the animosity towards Jews, as well as the basis for it, whether it was grounded in political, religious, cultural, or ethnic differences. The early Roman emperors generally had a difficult relationship with Jews in the Empire. There was a major problem over the ritual of emperor worship, which Jews refused to perform. Imperial adjudication was required to settle disputes between Jewish and Gentile communities in such cities as Alexandria and Rome. After Constantine's reign (337 C.E.), the Christian ...

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