Depping, Georges-Bernard°

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DEPPING, GEORGES-BERNARD ° (1784–1853), French historian of German origin. Depping was born and educated at Muenster, Westphalia, and settled in Paris, where he wrote on a variety of subjects. In 1823 he participated in a prize contest of the French Academy for an essay on "The Jews of France, Spain, and Italy," which he enlarged as a book in 1834 (Les Juifs dans le moyen âge). It was translated into German in the same year, and republished in French in 1844. Depping's work, while in some part based on original research in the published sources and generally sympathetic to the Jewish people, propagates many of the prejudices of earlier writers and his own time, which give a distorted, unjust picture of Jewish character and the economic role played by Jews in medieval Europe, and their legal position (corrected by O. *Stobbe). Depping has been used widely as a secondary source by historians, such as H. Graetz and W. Sombart, as well as antisemitic writers. He thus influenced the historical image of medieval Jewry.


Nouvelle Biographie Générale, 13 (1866), 702–5; T. Oelsner, in: ylbi, 7 (1962), 189, no. 21.

[Toni Oelsner]