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John II

(1319 – 1364)

John II (The Good) was the king of France from 1350. His son Charles V, who assumed the regency while John was in captivity in England, authorized the return of the Jews to France in 1359; it was largely due to their financial contributions that John's ransom could be paid to the English. This was probably the kernel of truth on which Gionnino Guccio of Siena, an impostor who claimed to be John I of France, based the story related in his memoirs, that he had received considerable sums from a Venetian Jew, Daniel, in return for promising to grant the Jews freedom of residence in France, once he was restored to the throne. Although John II confirmed his son’s decree concerning the return of the Jews, he renewed the obligation to wear the Jewish badge in 1363. A draft ordinance, which apparently was never promulgated, ordered the strict isolation of the Jews, prohibited theological disputations with Christians and possession of any books except the Bible, and, finally, ordered that circumcision should be delayed until children were able to answer questions concerning their faith.


U. Robert, in: REJ, 6 (1882), 83; M. Jusselin, ibid., 54 (1907), 142f.; E.G. Leonard, Les Angevins de Naples (1954), 390.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.