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840 - 877 REIGN OF CHARLES THE BALD (Carolingian Empire) (823-877)

He and his Carolingian successors refused (until 987) to agree with the anti-Jewish decrees of Amulo, successor to Agobard, the Archbishop of Lyon. Charles was the son of Louis I the Pious and Judith of Bavaria - and the grandson of Charlemagne. He was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 875.

841 AMULO (Lyon, Carolingian Empire)

Successor to Agobard, he wrote to Emperor Charles the Bald demanding that he ratify anti-Jewish measures in the Diet of Epernay. Although he did not succeed directly, his letter and reasons for actively persecuting the Jews were widely circulated and accepted by the Church as part of its doctrine.

842 - 858 PALTOI BEN ABAYA (Babylon)

Is considered the first Gaon of Pumbedita and is credited with increasing its stature. At the request of the Spanish Jewish community, he sent them a copy of the Talmud with explanations. He is also noted for imposing excommunications (cherum), whereby those deemed to have harmed the Jewish people were no longer considered part of the community. (An excommunicated Jew, for example, is not counted for a minyan (quorum) for prayers, nor is he called to the Torah in the synagogue.) Excommunication was considered the most severe form of "civil-religious" punishment and was rarely used.

843 TREATY OF VERDUN (Carolinigian Empire)

Separated Germany from the Frankish (French) empire. Until this time the Frankish Empire also included Germany. As such, when the Carolingians were tolerant to their Jewish subjects it effected all the Jews in the kingdom. With the breakup of Carolingian empire the Kingdom became decentralized, and feudal lords and church leaders gained more power. This adversely affected the position of the Jews.


Sallam, a Spanish Jewish merchant, reached China. Jews often served as a mercantile bridge between the Latin and Arab speaking worlds. Hebrew remained the language used between Jews worldwide. There was also legal conformity between the far-flung Jewish communities, which further stimulated stability in trade. Sallam was said to speak 30 languages.


Under the direction of Amolo, the Council tried to reinstate the canonical restriction that Constantine and Theodosius II placed on Jews after Deacon Bodo converted to Judaism. Amolo feared that social intercourse with Jews would lead Christians to convert to Judaism.

845 OVIEDO (Christian Northern Spain)

King Ramiro I had witches, sorcerers and "not a few Jews" put to death.

846 DEATH OF NATAN BEN EFRAN (Venosa, Italy)

The head of the talmudic college. There is evidence of Jewish life in Italy as far back as the destruction of the Temple.

848 BORDEAUX (France)

Jews were accused to opening the town to Viking pirates. Although the allegation was totally fabricated they were attacked by the local populace. Jews were often accused of “betrayal " and helping "the enemy" whomever it was.

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