Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

History and Philosophy

First Advisor

Dr. Ronald Delph


This paper explores why anti-Judaism became more prevalent in sixteenth century Germany and Italy than it had been in prior centuries. Each chapter discusses a specific event or person of the 1500’s and explains why each of these contributed to the spread of anti-Judaism. The focuses of the paper include Martin Luther and the Reformation, Pope Paul IV and the Roman Ghetto, the ritual murder myth, and the witchcraze of the sixteenth century. The chapters consist of separate smaller theses which serve to answer the problem of the study from varying angles. The paper culminates with the common thread of intolerance of deviance from Christianity that is found in each of the chapters. This commonality is then used to explain why Germany and Italy during the 1500’s were so vulnerable to the spread of anti-Judaism.