||A history of the Jews in Saxony by Alphonse Levy (1838-1917), who also wrote Erlebt; Erzaehlungen aus dem juedischen Familienleben, and Sanitaetsrat Stilles "Kampf gegen das Judentum". Publication date on cover is 1901, not 1900, as appears on the title page.
Saxony (Ger. Sachsen), state in Germany, formerly an electorate and kingdom. The first Jewish settlers in Saxony date back to the tenth century. During the rule of the German emperor Otto I (936–973), Jews lived in the towns of Magdeburg, Halle, Erfurt, and Merseburg, among other places. Up to the end of the 12th century they were able to earn their living, primarily as merchants, without interference. In the 13th century, following persecutions during the Crusades and accusations of ritual murder , the position of the Jews deteriorated. According to the medieval German law code Sachsenspiegel (1220–1235) Jews were not allowed to carry arms, build new synagogues, or keep Christian servants, nor could they hold any public office. They were not allowed to appear as witnesses or call Christian witnesses, and were thus entirely at the court's mercy. However, since the economic activities of the Jews were of interest to the margraves of Saxony, many of these restrictions were abolished as early as the middle of the 13th century and were replaced by more liberal regulations. Jews were allowed to have their tribunals and to be landowners. As may be gathered from the responsa literature and from the medieval chronicles, there was already a busy community life in those early days. The communities were collectively responsible to the authorities. Among famous talmudic scholars who resided in Saxony were Asher b. Jehiel (the "Rosh") and Isaac b. Moses of Vienna ("Or Zaru'a"). During the Rindfleisch persecutions (1298) Jews in the southern cities of Saxony were affected. The large-scale persecutions and expulsions from German cities at the time of the Black Death (1348–50) also affected the communities in Saxony.