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It is estimated that in the 11th century Ashkenazi Jews composed only three percent of the world's total Jewish population, while an estimate made in 1930 (near the population's peak) had them as 92 percent of the world's Jews.
Genetic studies on Ashkenazim—researching both their paternal and maternal lineages—suggest a predominant amount of shared Middle Eastern ancestry, complimented by varying percentages of European admixture.
Returning to Frankish lands, many Jewish merchants took up occupations in finance and commerce, including money lending, or usury.
(Church legislation banned Christians from lending money in exchange for interest.) From Charlemagne's time to the present, Jewish life in northern Europe is well documented.
epigraphic evidence in grave site excavations, particularly in Brigetio (Szőny), Aquincum (Óbuda), Intercisa (Dunaújváros), Triccinae (Sárvár), Savaria (Szombathely), Sopianae (Pécs) in Hungary, and Mursa (Osijek) in Croatia, attest to the presence of Jews after the 2nd and 3rd centuries where Roman garrisons were established, There was a sufficient number of Jews in Pannonia to form communities and build a synagogue.In the late Roman Empire, Jews were free to form networks of cultural and religious ties and enter into various local occupations.But, after Christianity became the official religion of Rome and Constantinople in 380, Jews were increasingly marginalized.Ashkenaz is linked to Scandza/Scanzia, viewed as the cradle of Germanic tribes, as early as a 6th-century gloss to the Historia Ecclesiastica of Eusebius.
Conforming to the custom of designating areas of Jewish settlement with biblical names, Spain was denominated Sefarad (Obadiah 20), France was called Tsarefat (1 Kings 17:9), and Bohemia was called the Land of Canaan.These studies have arrived at diverging conclusions regarding both the degree and the sources of their European ancestry, and have generally focused on the extent of the European genetic origin observed in Ashkenazi maternal lineages.