Mirroring Samson the Martyr: Reflections of Jewish-Christian Relations in the North French Hebrew Illuminated Miscellany

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Abstract

These are the opening and closing remarks of a lament composed in memory of Rabbi Samson of Metz. His story has come down to us via this single source, which is the only extant evidence of his martyrdom, composed by Benjamin the scribe and copied by him in the London Miscellany, British Library Add. MS 11639, also known as The North French Hebrew Miscellany,2 produced in northern France sometime between 1278 and 1280.3 Although earlier scholars studied the story of Samson of Metz, they never considered it in relation to other texts in the manuscript or to the images.4 In this study, I address this lament against the background of the other texts and images in London Miscellany, with a specific focus on one of the illuminations in the manuscript, portraying the biblical Samson and the Lion and in light of Jewish-Christian medieval relations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJews and Christians in Thirteenth-Century France
EditorsElisheva Baumgarten, Judah D. Galinsky
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan (London)
Pages203-216
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781349449606, 9781137317582
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameNew Middle Ages

Keywords

  • French literature
  • Hebrew language literature
  • 400-1499 Medieval period
  • prose
  • Samson
  • miscellanies
  • illuminated manuscripts
  • Jewish-Christian relations
  • manuscript study
  • British Library (MS Add. 11639)

RAMBI Publication

  • rambi
  • Samson -- (Biblical judge) -- Art
  • North French Hebrew miscellany
  • Jewish martyrs -- France
  • Illumination of books and manuscripts -- France -- History -- To 1500
  • Manuscripts, Hebrew -- France

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