Deeds of the Second Year of Phillip Augustus, king of the Franks

10. In the year of the Lord's incarnation 1180, 4th kalends june, on that day when our Lord Jesus Chrust ascended to the heavens carried up by the clouds, in the church of St. Denis, at the suggestion and on the counsel of a certain good man who appeared to have the zeal of God, the same king Phillip the second laid on himself the diadem, and then was anointed queen the venerable Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Baldwin illustrious count of Hainaut, niece of Phillip the great count of Flanders, who on that day, as the custom is, honorably carried the sword before the lord king. But, while these things were being solemnly carried out in the church of St. Denis, and the king was kneeling with the queen at the high altar their heads bowed to receive the nuptial blessing from the venerable archbishop Guy, with many bishops and barons standing around them, something worthy of memory happened which we consider useful for insertion into this work. A great crowd of the people from the cities, suburbs, towns and villages around had gathered to see so great a solemnity with great joy, when they caused a disturbance to see the king and queen wearing their crowns. A certain knight, one of the king's officials holding his wand in his hand, was waving it to and fro to calm the tumult, when with one blow he broke three lamps hanging over their heads by the high altar and their oil spilt all over the heads of the king and queen. We believe this to have been miraculous and to spread the fame and glory of his name in all the land about. Concerning which the Song of Solomon's love seems to have prophesied: The oil poured out thy name [Cant., i. 2]. As if to say, the fame and wisdom of thy name shall be spread from sea to sea, and from the river the ends of the lands of the globe; and kings will bow their heads before him and many peoples will serve him [Ps., lxxi, 8 and 11]. We may conjecture from these and other things of the same kind that those things which were done about him by God's will can be understood in this way.

Of the death of the most pious king Louis

11. In the same year, 14 kalends October, on a Thursday, there died Louis most pious king of the Franks in the city which is now called Paris and is the capital of the kingdom of the Franks. By chance and the Lord's provision it so happened that he who was king and head (caput) of the whole kingdom of the Franks happily migrated to the Lord in his palace in the city which is capital (caput) of the kingdom of the Franks. It was thus made manifest to all that he was crossing in glory from palace to palace, from kingdom to kingdom, from the terrestrial palace to the latitude of the celestial paradise, from the transitory kingdom to the eternal kingdom which neither an eye saw nor an ear heard nor could a human mind comprehend, that God prepared since eternity for those who love Him in truth [I Cor., ii. 9]. His body was gloriously buried in the church of St. Mary at Barbeaux [Seine-et-Marne, a Cistercian abbey], which he founded. There day and night are celebrated, to the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ and the blessed mother of God and virgin Mary and of all the saints, offices for his soul and those of all his predecessors and for the state of the kingdom of the Franks. The illustrious Adela, queen of the Franks, mother of the said Phillip Augustus king of the Franks, had built in the same church over the king's grave a sepulcher of stone slabs, gold and silver, most subtly decorated with brass and gems. No such work of so great subtlety was ever found in the kingdoms of the world since the days of Solomon. But enough of these things; we now turn to what was done at God's inspiration by the king about the perfidious Jews.

Here is placed the first reason why the most Christian king Phillip expelled (exterminavit) the Jews from the whole of France

2. At that time there lived in France a very great multitude of Jews who had gathered there over a long period from the various parts of the world on account of the lasting peace and the generosity (liberalitatem) of the French. For the Jews heard that the kings of the kingdom of the Franks were strong against their enemies and kind (pietatem) towards their subjects. So their elders and those more learned in the law of Moses, called by the Jews themselves "didiscali" decided to come to Paris and lived there for a long time and grew so rich that they claimed almost half of the whole city and -- which is against God's decree and the Church's regulations -- had in their houses as servants Christian men and women, who manifestly moving away from the Christian faith judaized with the Jews themselves. And because the Lord had said in the book of Deuteronomy: Thou shalt not lend [at interest] to your brother but to the stranger [Deut., xxiii. 19], the Jews, wickedly understanding "stranger" to mean any Christian, passed their money to the Christians under usury and so burdened the citizens and knights and countrymen of the suburbs, towns and villages that many of them were forced to dispose of their possessions. Others were bound under oath in the houses of the Jews and held prisoner almost as if in jail. When the most Christian king Phillip heard this, he was moved by benevolence (pietate) and asked a certain hermit named Bernard [de Bré] a holy and religiouis man who was living at that time in the forest of Vincennes for advice on what to do. At his suggestion he released all Christians in his realm from debts to the Jews, keeping for himself a fifth part of the whole sum.

A second reason is placed here

13. Church ornaments dedicated to God, gold and silver crosses bearing the image of the crucified Lord Jesus Christ and chalices were deposited with them by way of pawn because of the pressing needs of the churches. To further increase their damnation, they treated these so vilely in censure and reproach to the Christian religion, that their children ate their eggs cooked in wine and drank from chalices that had contained the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, forgetting what is to be read in the book of Kings [4 Reg., xxv], how Nebuchednezar king of Babylon, in the eleventh year of the reign of the reign of king Zedekiah of Jerusalem, through his general Nabuzardan and because of the sins of the Jews, took the holy city of Jerusalem and despoiled the temple and took away with him the precious vases consecrated to God which the most wise Solomon had made. Nut Nebuchednezar, though a gentile and an idolater, nevertheless feared the God of the Jews and was unwilling to drink from those vases nor to transfer them to his own use. Instead he ordered them to be preserved in his own temple next to the idol as a sacrosanct treasure. It was only at the accession of Balthazar, who reigned sixth after him, that when he offered a great feast to his nobles and princes, he ordered the vases which his grandfather Nebuchednezar had taken from the temple of the Jews to be brought out, and the king and his nobles and wives and concubines drank out of them. The Lord was angered against Balthazar that very same hour, and showed him the sign of his destruction, that is the hand writing against him on the wall "Mane, Techel, Phares", which was to be interpreted as number, weight (in the balance), division [Daniel, v]. That same night Babylon was captured by Cyrus and Darius and Balthazar was killed at that feast as Isaiah had long ago prophesied: "Lay out the meal, see in the mirrors (that is on the wall) those eating and drinking from the vases of the Lord: rise up, princes, and take out your arms" [Is., xxi. 9] because the city is taken. And at the unexpected arrival of the Medes and Persians, Balthazar was immediately killed at that feast. Who shall dare to cover up what the Lord deigns to reveal?

The third reason for the ejection of the Jews is placed here

14. At that time therefore when the Jews were afraid that their house might be searched by the king's officials, it happened that a certain Jew who was then living in Paris and had some church ornaments, a gold cross augmented with gems and a Gospel book wonderfully decorated with precious stones, as well as silver goblets and other vases, put these in a sack and most vilely threw it down into a deep pit in which he was (alas!) accustomed to empty his bowels. All of this was soon afterwards revealed by God and found there by Christians.A fifth of the whole debt having been paid to the king, they were carried with the freatest joy and honor back to their own church.

That year can deservedly be called a jubilee. Just as under the Old Law all possessions reverted free to their former possessors, and all debts were remitted, so by a great release of debts made by the most Christian king, the Christians dwelling in the kingdom of France achieved perpetual liberty.

[Oeuvres de Rigord et de Guillaume le Breton, ed. H. Francoise Delaborde, I (Libr. Renouard: Paris, 1882). Translation © Paul R. Hyams 1998]