“Is antisemitism a single phenomenon? Can a term coined in the 1870s be applied retrospectively to the hostility to Jews found in the Roman Empire, in Europe in the High Middle Ages and in Europe since the Enlightenment , without imposing a spurious unity upon diverse phenomena? Recalling Lovejoy’s famous paper ‘On the Discrimination of Romanticisms’, one may be tempted to propose a discrimination of antisemitisms that would dissolve the unity of the concept. Under the impasse of the Holocaust, however, and feeling that such an immense catastrophe must have correspondingly tenacious historical roots, attempts have been made to write a continuous history of anti-Semitism from the ancient world till the twentieth century.” (Robertson p. 151)

Ritchie Robertson (1999): The ‘Jewish question’ in German literature, 1749-1939: emancipation and its discontents, Oxford University Press, 1999.


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