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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 1137: Jewish-Christian Entanglements in the Mirror of Medieval Manuscripts and Charters

Wednesday 5 July 2023, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Pratima Gopalakrishnan, Department of Classics, University of Texas, Austin
Paper 1137-aClavis Verborum Biblicorum
(Language: English)
Hanna Liss, 'Corpus Masoreticum' Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg
Index terms: Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Language and Literature - French or Occitan
Paper 1137-bHebrew Sounds on Christian Tongues: Transliteration and Translation in a Medieval Anglo-Norman Psalter
(Language: English)
Loraine Enlow, Department of Bible & Ancient Semitic Languages, Jewish Theological Seminary, New York
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Onomastics
Paper 1137-cThe Hebrew 'King Arthur' Re-Evaluated: Vatican Library, Vatican Codex, MS Urb. Ebr. 48 as a Non-Autograph Copy
(Language: English)
Leon Jacobowitz Efron, Department of Humanistic Studies, Shalem College, Jerusalem
Christopher Berard, Department of English, Providence College, Rhode Island
Index terms: Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Language and Literature - Italian, Language and Literature - Semitic, Manuscripts and Palaeography

Paper -a:
Multilingualism is a manifestation of elite education today as it was in the European Middle Ages. The Jews in medieval Northern France had access not only to their Hebrew and Aramaic religious sources but at the same time were highly receptive to French culture and literature. This medieval Judeo-French literacy is documented in particular in Hebrew-French glossaries and vocabularia dating mainly from the 13th century. Their peculiarity lies in the fact that the Old French texts were written in Hebrew script. The overall objective of my paper linked to first-hand sources is the entanglement of Hebrew-French Jewish culture with the non-Jewish vernacular intellectual environment from the 12th to the 14th centuries.

Paper -b:
The Hebrew-Latin Psalter MS R.8.6 at Trinity College, Cambridge (UK) holds remarkable evidence of the entangled nature of textual reception and exegetical practice between Christians and Jews in the late 12th century. An examination of onomastics and hapax legomena in R.8.6’s superscription reveals Christian willingness to depart from the textus receptus, as well as possession of advanced Hebrew knowledge and use of rabbinic commentaries. Most significantly, unique orthographic choices on the part of the scribe expose a nuanced understanding of Hebrew phonemes, including graphemes differentiating between šin and sameḥ, a technique not otherwise yet known in medieval Europe.

Paper -c:
The Melekh Artus (King Arthur) is a Jewish rendering of Arthurian material dated 1278-79. It survives incompletely in a single manuscript, Vatican codex Urb. Ebr. 48 (75r-77r). Past studies have identified the Melekh Artus as a North Italian text (via an analysis of the name variants) and as a mostly literal translation into Hebrew of thoughtfully chosen passages from the Old French Prose Merlin and Mort Artu. Much of this research assumes the single extant manuscript to be the autograph copy. Leviant’s edition (1969), which omits some details, is the basis of many of these studies.
This paper will focus on the manuscript itself and suggest there is enough evidence to assume that the Melekh Artus in Urb. Ebr. 48 is an incomplete copy of another, now seemingly lost, complete copy. If this be the case, some of the assumptions made by previous scholars may need to be reevaluated.