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Etymology and historical roots

Etymology and historical roots

Prof. Dan Michman

Though Jew-hatred in its various forms has a long history, the term used commonly today to denote hostility towards Jews, is a relatively new one.

What are the origins of the term “antisemitism”? Who coined it and why?


  • Katz, Jacob, From Prejudice to Destruction: Anti-Semitism, 1700-1933 (Cambridge, M.A. Harvard University Press, 1980).

  • Langmuir, Gavin I., Toward a Definition of Antisemitism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990).

  • Laqueur, Walter, The Changing Face of Antisemitism: From Ancient Times to the Present Day (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).

  • Levy, Richard S., Antisemitism: A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution, Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2005).

  • Poliakov, Léon, The History of Anti-Semitism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003).

  • Volkov, Shulamit, “Antisemitism as a Cultural Code: Reflections on the History and Historiography of Antisemitism in Imperial Germany,” Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook, vol. 23 (1978), pp. 25 – 46.

  • Zimmermann, Moshe, Wilhelm Marr: The Patriarch of Anti-semitism (Studies in Jewish History) (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986).

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Antisemitism: From Its Origins to the Present

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