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Agimet of Geneva
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Scapegoat
    Jewish merchant
    Subject of Pultus Clesis de Ranz, likely a Swiss nobleman or lord
    Traveled to Venice to buy silks, in 1348
    Arrested in Chatel, on the shores of Lake Geneva, on the orders of Prince Amadeus, Count of Savoy
    Accused of producing the 'Black Death' plague; tried on October 20, 1348
    Confessed (most likely under duress) to deliberately poisoning the wells of Venice with a 'special powder,' which caused the plague; presumably was executed shortly thereafter
    Recorded testimony survives in the form of 'The Confession of Agimet of Geneva, Châtel, October 20, 1348'
    Confession has been credited with sparking the widespread wave of violent anti-Semitic pogroms throughout Europe, in reaction to the devastation of The Black Plague
    Historical accounts tend to identify him as 'Agimet the Jew.'
    Little is known about his life prior to being pegged as an accomplice in a 'conspiracy' to poison the whole of Europe.
    It is widely believed that he waged the long journey to Venice with the intention of buying 'luxuries unavailable in the common market stalls of his home' (either for himself or for his patron nobles).
    His interrogators mocked his inability to tell the difference between the First 5 Books of Moses and the Torah, in the written confession.
    He 'identified' the Rabbi Peyret of Chambery (near Geneva) as the chief conspirator of the poisoning plot, enabling a mass blood libel to 'grow wings.'
    Case in point, in the aftermath of his 'confession,' communities all over Europe initiated massacres of entire Jewish communities, e.g. between 900 and 2,000 Jews of Strasbourg were burned alive by a mob of local Christians on February 14, 1349.
    He traveled hundreds of miles for what he thought was a simple errand for a business venture.
    It was bad enough that he encountered the horrors of a plague of unprecedented magnitude on his long trip.
    He then had the misfortune to be detained and imprisoned along with several Jews 'of both sexes' deemed 'of interest' in starting said horrific plague.
    He was forced into falsely confessing to 'putting poison into the public fountain of the city of Toulouse' and in wells bordering the Mediterranean sea.
    Most likely, he was selected randomly for interrogation, probably by having the bad luck of crossing by the wrong group of Christians by sheer chance.
    He evidently resisted efforts to extract a statement from him implicating the entire Jewish community in the plot (telling them that he 'didn't know' when asked, according to the text).
    The flagellant zealots who extracted the confession from him admitted to torturing him 'a little' (verbatim).
    He had no idea that his confession was going to precipitate a wave of horrific, indiscriminate violence against his fellow Jews (its hard to think of long-term theoretical consequences when your skin is being poked and prodded with hot irons for hours on end...)
    It remains unclear as to what happened to him or the other unnamed Jewish suspects who were interrogated, but it is strongly believed that they were put to death shortly after their 'confessions.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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