2017-2018 W. John Bennett Distinguished Visiting Scholar
Professor Sabine von Heusinger
University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
“Fire, Siege, and the Jews: Real and Imagined Threats to Water Supply in the Late Medieval City”
Knowledge about conflicts over water resources affords revealing insight into the medieval world: What did societies fear most and how did they persecute real or imagined threats to water supply? In times of danger the lines between laity and clergy, between Christians and Jews or “them” and “us” could be redefined – as is witnessed in conflicts over water wells. In times of war even the courses of rivers were changed in order to conquer an enemy. This lecture focuses on late medieval cities in the German Empire as case studies. It explores the handling of an essential resource in strained times.