The historical experience of Jews in medieval Christian Europe has conventionally been presented as the epitome of what Salo Baron termed “the lachrymose view of Jewish history.” This 700-year experience was undeniably marked by numerous episodes of adversity, beginning with the First Crusade and ending with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. Nonetheless, rather than define this extended period simplistically as an unyielding age of persecution and Jewish suffering, it is more accurate to explore the ebb and flow of Jewish life in medieval Christian Europe in terms of a combination of three broader factors. First, law in medieval Christian Europe combined elements of Christian doctrine and Roman law; the legal status of Jews was often an amalgam of Christian and Roman policy and tactics. Second, the situation of Jews often reflected the give and take between temporal (royal and noble) and ecclesiastic authorities (“throne, sword, and altar”). Third, as in the world of Islam, there was consistently a discrepancy between law and its actual implementation and enforcement.