Stealing Wisdom: A story of books (and book-thieves) from Immanuel of Rome's Mahbarot

Ann Brener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


One of the most delightful stories in the Mahbarot of Immanuel of Rome (ca. 1265-1335) is a rhymed-prose narrative relating the encounter of a group of bored young scholars in Perugia with the sealed crates of books belonging to one Rabbi Aaron of Toledo, Rabbi Aaron consigns the barrels into the keeping of these young men and goes blithely off to Rome, thus setting the stage for a story that is not only rich in humor but also a consummate tribute to the power of books and book-learning. The story, fully translated, takes us into the heart of Jewish and Christian book-culture in late medieval Italy, touching on such important topics as the availability of books, the rage for Aristotelian philosophy, and the flow of knowledge from Spain to Italy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalProoftexts - Journal of Jewish Literature History
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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