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SMOL (Samuel) of Derenburg (14th century), *Court Jew to four archbishops at *Magdeburg, Germany; one of the earliest of the Court Jews. First mentioned in 1347, Smol was a member of a commission arbitrating a dispute between the archbishop and the city of Hollefin in 1365. He was also referred to as representative of the prelate, and in 1366 he was one of four warrantors of a sum promised to the archbishop. In 1370 Smol was among those who participated in the decision in a dispute over the archbishop's inheritance. He was closest to the last archbishop, Peter, who called him "our Jew" and granted him and his children protection in 1372. Peter was, however, given warning about this relationship when the pope, Gregory XI, cautioned him that he would take strong measures if it were indeed true that he had permitted Smol to turn a church into a synagogue. On another occasion Gregory complained to the bishop of Naumburg about the latter's favoring a certain Jew "Marquand" who in all probability was Smol's brother, objecting to the bishop's extending friendship to the Jew and giving him jurisdiction over Christians.


Lewinsky, in: MGWJ, 48 (1904), 457–60; H. Schnee, Die Hoffinanz und der moderne Staat, 1 (1953), 19–23; Germ Jud, 2 (1968), 160.

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