Answers to Quora Questions by Yair Davidiy
How historically accurate is Robin Hood?
Roger Peyrefitte ("The Jews," 1965) claimed that the real name of Robin Hood was 'Reuben Hod' and that he was Jewish.
Peyrefitte seems to have enjoyed making outrageous statements but in some cases he may have been right.
The story of Robin Hood takes place during the times of King Richard (reigned 1189-1199) and his brother King John.
A good portion of the reign of King Richard was spent overseas fighting the Third Crusade (1189 - 1192). Richard returned to England in 1194.
During this period (1189-1194) John served as Regent then when Richard died John became the monarch from 1199 to 1216.
King Richard had been somewhat ambivalent in his treatment of the Jews but he is usually depicted favorably. Anti-Jewish feeling in England at the time was high and Richard may have attempted to moderate it.
King John on the other hand was a tyrant. He was especially cruel towards the Jews whom he tormented.
Robin Hood is depicted as fighting against the agents of John both in the time he was Regent and that in which he reigned.
John on the other hand persecuted and oppressed his Jewish subjects. Could Robin Hood (i.e. 'Reuben Hod'?) have been one of them?
**The Jews in England - 1066 to 1290.**
England History ( )
King John (1167- 1216) imprisoned all Jews, tortured many and extorted 60,000 silver marks. In 1210 John arrested all wealthy Jews and demanded a ransom for their release. Roger of Wendover recorded the story of one "Jew of Bristol" who refused to pay his ransom. The king ordered his torturers to pull out one of his molar teeth every day until he paid the 1000 marks. He stood it for seven days, but paid the ransom when they started on his eighth tooth.
There are historical parallels for Jews having become highwaymen.
The German-Jewish Epoch of 1743-1933: Tragedy or Success Story?Â
By the 15th and 16th centuries Jews were reduced to living at subsistence levels as rag dealers, peddlers, vagrants, or even highwaymen, thus integrating on the lowest level with German criminal elements, as depicted in Johann Schiller's play, The Robbers.
Some of these Jewish highwaymen in Germany had a reputation for being considerate towards the poor.
There was also a similar case in Poland in the 1600s that became the subject of a movie.
Perhaps Robin Hood set the pattern?
Could Robin Hood have been a Jew fighting (as Jews sometimes have done) against tyranny and oppression?