top of page
< Back

The Medieval Christian Hebraists of England - Herbert of Bosham and Earlier Scholars

Raphael Loewe

<plain_text><page sequence="1">The Mediaeval Christian Hebraists of England HERBERT OF BOSHAM AND EARLIER SCHOLARS1 By Raphael Loewe, M.A. IHE consideration of the beginnings of Hebrew studies in mediaeval England is a subject that has received desultory attention since it was first treated, within the -* sphere of the knowledge of Hebrew in mediaeval Christian Europe, by Steinschneider and others?notably by S. Berger in an important study published in 1893.2 Of domestic interest is the fact that it formed the subject of Dr. S. A. Hirsch's Presidential Address to the Jewish Historical Society in 1909.3 Since then a certain amount of manuscript material has been noticed; in particular the newly discovered Latin Psalter with Herbert of Bosham's commentary, which dates from the late twelfth century and is thus prior to much of the work of the English Hebraists hitherto known, as well as exceeding it in the extent to which it draws upon rabbinic sources. Herbert of Bosham's Hebrew scholarship forms a subject in itself and is being treated elsewhere,4 but the occasion of the discovery of his commentary may form a convenient point at which to summarise what is known of the work of the non-Jewish Hebraists of mediaeval England, in order to see Herbert in his true perspective. As so often in investigations where Jewish elements are involved, one is faced at the outset with the difficulty of defining one's terms; and the main title of this article, as it stands, begs several questions. I have made it clear that I am concerned with non-Jewish scholars, and there is no reason to think that any of them were themselves Jewish converts. They were frequently dependent on oral information rather than on written sources. Their informants are anonymous; in some instances it is clear (from the title Rabi) that they were professing members of the Jewish community, and in others reference is made to a convert. The status of most of the informants quoted is not clear, so that in default of evidence to the contrary we may presume that they were Jews who had not left their religious community. But if the individuals concerned cause little difficulty as regards methodology, questions of subject matter, geography, and period call for closer definition. First of all, what is a Hebraist ? Some of the names which we shall have to list are brought to our notice by reason only of their appearance as marks of ownership in Hebrew books. Does such possession argue a knowledge of, or even an interest in Hebrew, or may a Hebrew book have been kept by its non-Jewish owner merely as a curio ? If we were to assume the latter we might risk excluding Robert Grosseteste, whose stimulus to Hebrew studies was significant, even though he had no knowledge of Hebrew himself. Consequently, it will be safer to include all such names for the time being. At the other extreme, there are a few scholars who possessed a knowledge of Arabic or Hebrew, but who were concerned with 1 Based on a paper delivered before the Jewish Historical Society of England on April 11th, 1951 ; and repeated before the Oxford Medieval Society on May 10th, 1951, and the Society for Old Testament Study on January 2nd, 1952. 2 For these and all other works fundamental to this study, see the bibliography on pages 248-9. 8 See Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc. of England, VII. 4 A preliminary article by Miss Beryl Smalley appeared in Recherches de Theologie ancienne et midiivale, XVIII, pp. 29ff., and a further article, specifically on Herbert of Bosham's Hebrew sources, has appeared over my name in Biblica xxxiv. 225</page><page sequence="2">226 THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND Hebrew merely as a tool for the study of philosophical works composed in Arabic or translated into Arabic from Greek. The Jewish factor in mediaeval thought, and the English scholars who were concerned in its mediation, have been dealt with by Charles and Dorothea Singer i1 we may consequently omit Adelard of Bath, Michael Scot, Alfred, and Bartholomew, all active as translators or transmitters, and concern ourselves with those scholars who studied Hebrew for its own sake?either because they conceived it, as did Bacon, to be the original source of all philosophical as well as of theological truth, or because they wished to study not only the Hebrew Bible in its original language, but also the traditional Jewish exegesis of it which they thought of, as did the Jews themselves, as ascending to biblical times. With regard to geography, it is as true of Hebraists in our own sense as it is of Adelard and Michael Scot, that their work was often done beyond the Channel; Roger Bacon belonged as much to Paris as to Oxford. We shall therefore be dealing with Englishmen abroad, and conversely with the occasional visitor or immigrant from across the sea. Finally, a major difficulty besetting any mediaeval subject that ranges over an extended period is to know where to stop. One cannot end with the expulsion of the Jews from England, for Hebrew studies were being prosecuted by Christians here after 1290. It is perhaps not entirely arbitrary to choose as a terminus ad quern the establishment of the Regius Professorships of Hebrew at Oxford and Cambridge in 1540, since by the sixteenth century the Hebraist was no longer a rarity in England. The disadvantage in taking so late a date is that the record is almost certain to be incomplete, at any rate in the later part of the period. It is hoped, however, that the present survey may be a useful starting point, and that other students of mediaeval and Jewish history may be able to assist in filling in the gaps. Of necessity this study has to be divided into sections ; in this essay I shall not endeavour to go beyond the close of the twelfth century. It is pertinent to begin by glancing at the conventional sources of information in the Middle Ages to which the cleric, curious on the subject of Jews and Judaism, might turn. Unless he happened to have a personal Jewish contact, these were indeed some? what meagre. Even before the close of pagan classical antiquity and the age of the sub-apostolic and early patristic writers which followed, Latin authors with an interest in things oriental and a competence in Hebrew could be numbered on the fingers of one hand. In fact, had it not been for the popularity continually enjoyed by the writings of St. Jerome, one might well wonder whether any knowledge of Hebraica and Judaica would have survived in Western Christendom at all. Jerome himself, who died in 420, was in touch with Jews at Bethlehem, and consulted with them for literary purposes. Besides his revision of the Latin Bible from the Hebrew, which was in due course to win acceptance in the Western Church as the Vulgate edition of the Scriptures, he treated many passages of the Bible incidentally in the course of correspondence and polemical or other theological writings, as well as composing formal commentaries to many of the books of the Bible and writing prefaces to his own translations of them. His writings betray not only considerable familiarity with Hebrew, but also a knowledge of traditional Jewish exegesis. Since many Bibles contained the prefaces, even the less erudite had the opportunity to pick up some scraps of information; while his treatise de nominibus Hebraicis and the pseudo-hieronymean de formis Hebraicarum litterarum2 exercised a fascination over the mediaeval mind. A mystic spirit surrounded the weird shapes and names of the Hebrew letters, occasionally prefixed in uncouth contortions 1 Legacy of Israel, pp. 173ff. 2 P.L. 23, 77 and 30,307. cf 23, 918a and elsewhere in Jerome's authentic works and translations.</page><page sequence="3">THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND 227 to the alphabetic Psalm 119. The mysterious, almost numinous quality of these letters rested upon the assurance that as the vehicle of God's first revelation of Himself to the Jews they possessed some occult symbolism?a spell under which the Jews themselves also fell. Midrashic works like the 'Othioth deRabbi 'Akiba1 belong to a similar literary genre to that of Jerome's treatise, and are among the putative ancestors of Taffimai Metallumi's tale in Kipling's Just So Stories.2, This aspect of our subject serves as a reminder that we must not, as yet, expect a distinction between scholarship and lore : it is only towards the end of the Middle Ages that a more scholarly approach emerges, reflecting itself in Hebrew grammatical works within Jewry from the tenth century, and Hebrew grammatical interest among Christians from the twelfth. And even then, alongside of this, folk etymologies survive, based upon misunderstanding, wordsplitting, and assonance?felicitous and otherwise. Jerome's Jewish knowledge was either derived direct from Jews or was taken over from Philo and from Origen of Caesarea (died ca. 254), the immediately preceeding great Christian Hebraist; but it was scattered and unindexed, and one must needs be a talmudist, so to speak, to know under which exegetical heading Jerome had recorded the point on which one was seeking information. On the other hand there was a standard if not perfectly systematic work of reference available from the seventh century onwards in the twenty books of Origins or Etymologies by Isidore of Seville.3 Isidore was not an original thinker, but he was widely read in Latin literature, pagan and Christian, and he uncritically condensed the fruits of his reading in loose encyclopaedic form. He also wrote controversially against the Jews in connection with the fourth Council of Toledo convened by the Visigoth King Sisenand in 633, and Graetz was of the opinion that apologetic rejoiners were probably composed in Latin by Spanish Jews.4 In an age of intellectual stagnation, it is not surprising that Jerome and Isidore were mercilessly plagiarised by numerous lesser writers, many of whose tracts are anonymous. One may mention in passing the Irish St. Caimin (d. 653), who is stated to have commented on the Psalms and to have produced a critical text, collated according to Ussher5 with the hebraica veritas; whether this means more than a comparison of the Roman or Gallican Psalter (i.e. that in the Vulgate) with Jerome's other literal version iuxta hebraicam veritatem requires further investigation. Yet a few names stand out and constitute a sort of chain of tradition, since the works of their possessors achieved a wide popularity; but in each case they rest fundamentally on Jerome and Isidore. Bede, who lived and worked at Jarrow from 672 or 3 to 735, knew no Hebrew himself, despite Roger Bacon's statement,6 but he was at pains to gather what knowledge he could about it from Jerome's writings. Alcuin, born at York in the year of Bede's 1 The first rescension, printed by A. Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrasch, Pt. 3, pp. 12ff. 2 On the whole subject see F. Dornseiff, Das Alphabet in Mystik und Magie (Leipsig, Berlin 1922). p. 26-7, 133ff., 141. 8 P.L. 82, 73ff. 4 History of the Jews (Philadelphia, 1891ff.) Ill 50. 6 R. L. Poole in Illustrations of the History of Medieval Thought, p. 12, citing J. Ussher, Britannicarum Ecclesiarum Antiquitates (2nd ed.) (1687) p. 503; Steinschneider in Zeitschrift fur Hebraeische Bibliographie I (1896), p. 53 (Christliche Hebr?isteri). Poole mentions in D.N.B. s.z&gt;.(VTII 213) that a facsimile of part of the MS (later however than the seventh century) now in Dublin, is given by J. T. Gilbert, Facsimiles of the National MSS of Ireland (1884), Appendix, Plate xxii and vol. IV 2, Introduction p. 112. This work is at the time of writing, not available to me. 6 See E. F. Sutcliffe, The Venerable Bede's Knowledge of Hebrew, Biblica XVI (1935), pp. 300ff. \ more briefly, B. Smalley, Bible Study2, p. 36.</page><page sequence="4">228 THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND death, has been said to have known a little Hebrew ;* but the fact that he connects the name Malchus with the Hebrew word for King,2 which was noted by S. A. Hirsch in support of the claim, proves nothing, since Alcuin could have learnt as much from Jerome.3 Of greater significance, however, is the important part Alcuin played in the Carolingian revival, in transmitting back to the Continent the knowledge of earlier writers that had been compiled by Bede. To the age of Charlemagne must also be referred a pseudonymous tract on the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles (de Questionibus Hebraicis in libris Regum et Paralipomenori) included amongst the works of Jerome,4 the author of which was a baptised Jew, or a Christian of recent Jewish ex? traction.5 This tract was utilised by Hrabanus Maurus (c. 776-856), himself a pupil of Alcuin, who became Abbot of Fulda and later Archbishop of Mainz.6 Hrabanus was a voluminous exegete and an erudite encyclopaedist, and he is said to have known Greek and Hebrew. His pupils included Walafrid Strabo (c. 808-849). abbot of Reich? enau, who abridged the commentaries of his teacher Hrabanus on the Pentateuch. Some quotations from this abridged commentary were incorporated into the Glossa Ordinaria, the beginnings of which are traced to the eleventh and early twelfth centuries ?this became the standard commentary on the Bible until the Renaissance and the Reformation7?but the conventional ascription of the authorship of the Gloss itself to Walafrid is now known to be untenable.8 By now, however, ecclesiastical writers (blithely ignorant of the rabbinic adage, perhaps Rabbi Me'ir's,9 that whosoever conscientiously acknowledges his sources of information, as Queen Esther did,10 is instrumental in effecting the work of divine deliverance and redemption), were quoting even their patristic sources at second or third hand;11 and moreover their quotations are sometimes transformed, thanks to inaccurate memory of oral instruction, and are given anonymously or with inaccurate ascription. Thus it is that by the time of the First Crusade the literary sources for information about Hebrew and Jews, available to the West, resemble a river whose fountainhead is, paradoxically, itself a delta?i.e. Jewish Palestinian exegesis of the Bible, Philo in Alexandria, and Origen in Caesarea. Origen, who died in 253, is perhaps more accurately pictured as the first tributary; the next and greatest is St. Jerome, who died in 420. Thereafter the volume of water barely increases, except for an occasional contribution from an occasional Jewish convert, but the stream meanders on into the mediaeval world through a marsh that it creates as it proceeds?a significant but amorphous intellectual factor?being very occasionally canalised, as by Isidore, and applied to the hydraulics of ecclesiastical scholarship. But the effect upon the swamp caused by the increased impetus of the millraces so 1 S. A. Hirsch, Essays, p. 8 ; explicitly denied by Steinschneider, Zeitschrift fur Hebr?ische Biblio? graphie I (1896), p. 52. Cf. ibid V (1901), p. 86. 2 On John 18, 10, P.L. 100, 970c; also in the letters, ibid, p. 426a. 3 On Matth. 26, 41, P.L. 26, 200b, Cf. Jerome's Vita Malchi 2, P.L. 23, 54b. 4 P.L. 23, 1329ff. 5 Berger, pp. Iff.; Hirsch, Trans. Jew. Hist, of Eng.; B. Smalley, Bible Study2, p. 43. L. Ginzberg, Die Haggada in den pseudo-hieronymischen "Quaesttones" (Amsterdam, 1899) doubts the authenticity of the author's Judaism (pp. vfT., 71, 99, 105). 6 P.L. 109, 10a. B. Smalley, Bible Study2, p. 43. But A. E. Sch?nbach (Sitzungsberichte der Philosophisch-Historischen Classe der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna (1903) cxlvi, pt. iv, pp. 138ff. Doubts Hrabarus Maurus' independent use of these Quaesttones. 7 For an account of the origins of the Gloss, see B. Smalley, Bible Study2, pp. 46ff., 60. 8 Ibid. pp. 56 ff. 9 Baraitha de Rabbi Meyir (i.e. Mishnah, 9Aboth 6,) 6. 10 Esther 2, 22. 11B. Smalley, Bible Study2, p. 38.</page><page sequence="5">THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND 229 created is discernible now only, owing to the painstaking application of the apparatus of modern scholarship, which can, so to speak, produce an aerial photograph of the ground under consideration. As opposed to this absence of precise information about Judaism and the Jews, there was a considerable popular consciousness of their existence and curiosity with regard to them. This is scarcely surprising in view of the prominence of the Jews in the Gospel story, and of the fact that Jews were to be found in nearly all the important cities of Europe, having been established in France and the Rhineland for centuries. There was, indeed, an element of awe in the inarticulate curiosity which they aroused, which may account for the occasional attribution to them of megalithic stoneworks and ancient mounds, the ruins of an earlier and forgotten stratum of local civilisation.1 There are a number of examples of this phenomenon in England, a good example being afforded by The Jewry Wall at Leicester, which is in actual fact part of the Roman Forum : unless, as has been tentatively suggested,2 it owes its name to a connection with the twenty-four Jurats of Leicester. It is scarcely surprising that such miscon? ceptions should take root with ease in view of the gullibility of the secular clergy and the laity, between whom and the Jews there would inevitably be some degree of contact wherever a Jewish community existed.3 But in the monasteries, amid the cloisters of which there was confined such learning as did survive in Western Christendom, a deeper interest in Jewry, its faith, and institutions occasionally manifested itself. This is scarcely surprising, since Judaism and its "Law" were thought of as the precursors and indeed the foundation of Christianity, save insofar as they had been superceded by the new dispensation. Thus it is that Alfred the Great prefaced his legal code with the Decalogue and selections from the following chapters of Exodus?both for edification and in order, perhaps, to contrast the "harshness" of the old dispensation, symbolised by the lex talionis, with the new : for Alfred's own code substituted monetary compen? sation for physical retaliation.4 Since, however, the Jewish Oral Law embodies an analogous interpretation of the retaliatory penalties prescribed in Scripture, S. A. Hirsch suggested6 that a comparison of Alfred's code with rabbinic law in the Talmud and early codes might prove fruitful. There was, of course, no Jewish population in England in Alfred's time, but Alfred, who was in correspondence with the Christian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Elias III, and had himself visited Rome and France in his youth, did summon instructors from the Continent to his Court. But beyond this almost academic interest in the institutions of a Judaism that was conceived of in terms of distance receding beyond the Christian era, the continued presence of the Jews in a Christianised Europe, and particularly their spiritual self sufficiency, posed a problem to the thinking Christian. It was only in the more important cities that there was much likelihood of Jewish and Christian scholars coming into contact and occasionally an interchange of views did take place.6 Alcuin records having attended such a disputation in Rome between a Jew named Julius and Peter of Pisa.7 1 See C. Roth Jews' Houses, in Antiquity 98 (June 1951), pp. 66 ff. 2 See Kathleen Kenyon, Excavations at the Jewry Wall Site, Leicester (Society of Antiquaries of London, Research Committee Reports xv, 1948), p. 8. The Jurats met *'in the town Churchyard" ?perhaps that of St. Nicholas, in the immediate vicinity. 8 See J. H. Parkes, The Jew in the Medieval Community (1938), p. 55. 4 See F. Liebermann, King Alfred and Mosaic Law, Jew. Hist. Soc. Trans, vi, p.21. 6 Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc, vii, p. 3ff. 6 Parkes, op. cit., p. 56. 7 Ep. ci, P.L. 100, 314c.</page><page sequence="6">230 THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND The reporting of such interchanges, real or fictitious, in dialogue form had been a literary device adopted by Christian apologists from early times; one of the earliest and best known examples being Justin Martyr's dialogue with Trypho, which dates from the middle of the second century.1 From the end of the eleventh century the popularity of this genre revived, and it is perhaps not a coincidence that Jehudah Hallevi adopted the form of a dialogue between a rabbi and the proselyte king of the Khazars in his apologetic work Alkazari or Cuzari, composed in Arabic in 1140. A number of these disputational tracts are connected with England. William of Malmesbury records2 such a debate held in London under William Rufus, the outcome of which was awaited with some anxiety by the clergy, since the King had declared (no doubt in jest, William hastens to assert) his readiness to adopt Judaism should the Jews' arguments prevail. The Jews afterwards maintained that their defeat was due to "political motives" (se non oratione, sed factione superatos). Probably before 1098 may be dated the courteous debate of Gilbert Crispin, Abbot of Westminster, with an un? named Jew educated at Mainz.3 From the next century we may note the following English tracts.4 An anonymous Dialogus inter Christianum etjudaeum de fide catholica, dedicated to Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln (1123-48) : a Dialogus contra Judaeos ad corrigendum et perficiendum destinatus by Bartholomew, Bishop of Exeter, the dedication of which dates it between 1180 and 1184: and the Invectiva contra perfidiam Judaeorum by Peter of Blois, who was in the employ of Henry II and died as Archdeacon of London after March 1204. Nor must we neglect the Dialogues of Peter and Moses by the Spanish controversialist Peter Alphonsi, which was widely read and exercised considerable influence in England ;5 for Peter Alphonsi, alias Moses Sephardi, was a Jewish convert who owed his adoptive name to the fact that Alphonso I of Aragon6 stood sponsor at his baptism on St. Peter's day (June 29th) 1106. Peter emigrated to England where he became physician to Henry I. The significance of his dialogue lies in the knowledge of post-biblical Jewish writing which the author's Jewish education placed at his dis? posal ;7 because of its popularity, it materially increased the knowledge of Jewish beliefs and institutions available to the Latin-speaking world. An even greater popularity was enjoyed by Peter's collection of moralising tales entitled Disciplina clericalist composed of oriental fables derived from Arabic and other sources that are thus passed in to the stream of European folklore.9 A number of them were incorporated into the Gesta Romanorum, and early translations were made into several European languages and ultimately into Hebrew,10 some being printed by Caxton in 1484 as an appendix to his Aesop}1 From the Gesta Romanorum they were utilised by Chaucer and Shakes 1 P.G.L. 6,47Iff. On the whole subject see A. Lukyn Williams, Adversus Judaeos. A bird's-eye view of Christian apologiae until the Renaissance, Cambridge, 1935 ; Also P. Browe, SJ. Die Judenmission im Mittelalter (see bibliography,) pp. 55ff, 95ff, 99ff. 2 Gesta Regum Anglorum iv, ?317 (P.L. 179, 1279c), cited by Browe, p. 60. 3 P.L. 159, 1007. 4 I am here following Dr. R. W. Hunt's article on the Disputation of Peter of Cornwall, p. 146. 5 Hunt, ibid. p. 147 n.l and p. 151 n. 6. 6 And not, as often stated, Alphonso VI of Castile; see J. M. Millas Vallicrosa, Pedro Alfonso, p. 197 n. 1. 7 For a brief analysis of the Dialogues, see Lukyn Williams, op. cit. (note 1), pp. 234 ff. 8 P.L. 157, 671 ff. A critical text was published by A. Hilka and W. S?derhjelm in Acta Societatis Scientiarum Fennicae xxxvii, 4 (Helsingfors 1911). 9 See C. and D. Singer, Legacy, p. 209. 10 -pan "po See Steinschneider, Catalogue no. 3546, and also his Manna (1847), p. 102. 11 Reprinted by Joseph Jacobs in 1889. See vol. I, pp. 198 ff, 263 ff, and vol. II, pp. 249 ff.</page><page sequence="7">THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND 231 peare. Alphonsi states1 that he translated the book into Latin from his own composition (librum hunc componere, et in Latinum transferre), a statement which Steinschneider2 considered was not to be taken literally. One wonders, however, whether the book was not composed in fact originally in another language, since Alphonsi commences a treatise on the astronomical tables of Alkwarizmi3 with the words Dixit Petrus Anfulsus, seruus IhesuXristi, translator huius libri; while another astronomical work of his (de Dracone) was translated into Latin by Walcher of Malvern4?although the translator's use of dicebat5 suggests perhaps rapportage rather than translation. In any case, the occurrence in the Disciplina Clericalis of the Latin solecism adiungere6 in the sense of compose (sc. poetry) postulates a writer either translating from, or at least thinking in Hebrew (hhibber);1 and the provance of the important MSS points to the Latin recension having been made in England. Moreover, apart from the Jewish element in the source material of the Disciplina,8 the author's Jewish background has sometimes exercised an influence upon the precise details of his matter. As was pointed out by Joseph Jacobs,9 a full investigation of the source material is eminently to be desired. I must limit myself on the present occasion to pointing out one instance only. A section in which a father gives his son some advice on manners at table10 concludes as follows: "After dinner wash your hands, for so to do is both hygienic and polite; for many people sustain damage to their eyes because they are rubbed after dinner with unwashed hands." (Post prandium manus ablue quia physicum est et curiale;11 ob hoc enim multorum oculi deteriorantur quoniam12post prandia manibus non ablutis terguntur). The juxtaposition of the merits of an after-dinner wash and the statement that eye-trouble is due to its omission may appear to constitute a non sequitur, unless the reason given for the rabbinical institu? tion of mayim 'aharonim (the equivalent of finger-bowls) be remembered. According to R. Yehudah b. Hhiyya, the rabbis declared the practice of washing after the last course to be obligatory because of a certain kind of salt, coming from Sodom, which was potent enough to cause blindness.13 We must revert, however, to Peter Alphonsi's controversialist Dialogues, since they form a link with a further English disputation which has recently been described by Dr. R. W. Hunt, between Peter of Cornwall and Symon the Jew.14 This tract was completed in 1208 and dedicated to Archbishop Stephen Langton by the author, who was Prior of the Augustinians at Holy Trinity, Aldgate. Peter was regarded in the fifteenth century as having been the outstanding English doctor of his time. Symon, his controversialist, was well versed in Christian as well as Jewish literature, and knew 1 P.L. 157, 671c. 2 Ubersetzungen p. 934, n. 207. 8 MS Corpus Christi Coll. Oxford 283 fol. 143r. See Vallicrosa, Pedro Alfonso, p. 207. * Sententia Petri Ebrei, cognomento Anphus, de Dracone, quam Dominus Walcerus prior Maluernensis ecclesie in latinam transtulit linguam, in a MS in the Bodleian Library (Auct. F. 1, 9 ff. 85v and 88r-89v). See Vallicrosa, Pedro Alfonso, p. 200. 8 Vallicrosa, op. cit. p. 205. 6 Fabula iii, P.L. 157, 677c. 7 The root is not used in this sense in Arabic. 8 For parallels see Steinschneider, Manna,p. 114 and Jacobs op. cit; on page 230 (note 11), vol.i, p. 263. 9 loc. cit. footnote. 10 P.L. 157, 700b. 11 So read, with the critical text (see p. 230 note 8) for curabile in Migne's text (i.e. that of Labouderie, 1824). 12 Read quoniam for quando, as in the previous note. 13 Babylonian Talmud, Hhullin, 105b, where see Rashi; in 'Erubin 17b the explanation is attributed to R. Hhiyya bar 'Ashi, where see especially the Tosaphoth. 14 MS Eton College 130, F92ra.</page><page sequence="8">232 THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew; he was ultimately convinced, accepted baptism, and entered the Priory at Aldgate. Their theological discussions had proceeded for three years?longer, says Peter, than any similar disputation?and they were summarised in the tract here referred to. It is noteworthy for its avoidance, on the whole, of the growing bitterness of tone that characterised Christian polemical literature directed at the Jews. Modelling himself, probably, on Gilbert Crispin, he writes that by mutual consent point-scoring and cantankerous argument were deliberately avoided, their common aim being an objective search after truth. Peter of Cornwall's only stipulation on engaging in discussion with Symon was that they should both project themselves back into New Testament times, and that Symon should not cut the ground from under Peter's feet "as your brethren, the wicked Jews and persecutors of Christ, always do in their disputations with Christians," by denying the historicity of the Gospel narrative. To this condition Symon agreed, since he "knew from our ancestors and predecessors virtually all the historical facts of the time of your Christ." For his own part, Symon insisted that Peter should not urge against him scriptural texts "save from our law," for he would accept no other testimony?perhaps an astute manoeuvre to attempt to evade battle on the difficult terrain of the Prophets, unless "legis nostre" here has the wider significance sometimes possessed by Torah in Hebrew. In this way, said Symon, each party would be convinced, if convinced he were, on the basis of such matter only as he accepted dogmatically. Peter of Cornwall's Disputation depends on that of Gilbert Crispin and on Peter of Blois' Invectiva. Where he apparently evinces a knowledge of Hebrew, he is dependent on Peter Alphonsi's Dialogues.1 More important is the fact that Peter of Cornwall mentions a lost work of Peter Alphonsi entitled Humanumproficuum in which, in connection with alchemy and the names of the angels auspicious for it, Alphonsi had referred to the Hebrew book Secreta secretorum, revealed by the angel Rasiel2 to Seth. The subject matter suggests that the reference is to the Book o/Raziel, composed, according to Zunz,3 not before the eleventh century; this contains as its second part the Book of Secrets or Book of Noah. A Latin Raziel was in existence by the thirteenth century.4 The objects that induced a few Christian scholars of the later Middle Ages to apply themselves to the direct study of the Hebrew language, of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, and in some cases of Jewish exegetical and other works, were twofold. Whereas in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the Christian approach to the Jews expressed itself mainly in the composition of theological disputations, the need for a knowledge of Hebrew on the part of the missionary himself came to be realised, especially with the institution of the Dominican Order in 1215.5 Beyond this, and of greater significance from the point of view of the consideration of the earliest English Hebrew scholars, went the aim of achieving a correct text of the Bible and its full exegetical 1 Hunt p. 151 n.2. * Read doubtless Rasielem for Rafielem as printed by Hunt, p. 151. 8 Die Gottesdienstlichen Vortr?ge der Juden (1892), pp. 176ff. 4 Steinschneider, ?bersetzungen, p. 937, Bodleian Catalogue, col. 2298 ; also in Serapeum XXXI (1870), p. 296, citing MS Munich cod. lat. 405f. 165, and in Zeitschrift f?r Mathematik und Physik XVI (1871), pp. 386, 396. Alphonsi refers to the Seer eta secretorum also in the Dialogues, P.L. 157, 611a; S. Liebermann, ShekVin (in Hebrew) p. 12 connects this with the mystical Sepher haRazin and Razah Rabbah listed by the Karaite Daniel Alkumsi and the Sode Razaya attributed to Eleazar of Worms. See J. Mann, Texts and Studies in Jewish History and Literature, II (1935), pp. 76, 82, and for Sode Razaya, Steinschneider, Bodleian Catalogue, cols. 918 and 639. 6 See Browe, Judenmission, pp. 268ff.</page><page sequence="9">THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND 233 appreciation. But such textual criticism of the Old Testament was, to begin with at least, involved in a confusion of thought. This was due to a "contamination"?the realisation that the original texts were in Hebrew and Aramaic, alongside the conviction that the inspired text was the Latin as revised by St. Jerome : even though Jerome's own Latin was not to be declared the authoritative Latin text for public use by the Roman Church until the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century.1 The task of freeing the text of Jerome's Vulgate from Old Latin readings was not necessarily best fulfilled by referring to the Hebrew text of contemporary Jews as a touchstone,2 yet such comparisons were sometimes made. Already in the time of Charlemagne and Alcuin, Theodulf, Bishop of Orleans, was applying this method3; and Stephen Harding, who was born in the middle of the eleventh century at Sherborne and became as third Abbot of Citeaux the second founder of the Cistercian Order, has left a pen-picture of such consultations.4 With reference to doubtful readings in the Latin text, particularly that of Samuel and Kings, he consulted certain Jews "well versed in their own scriptures". The latter turned to the relevant passages in the Hebrew or Aramaic in his own presence and set them forth to him in French. In view of the absence of the questionable readings both in the original Hebrew or Aramaic and in numerous Latin manuscripts, he rejected them as spurious. Harding was finishing work on the Vulgate text in France in 1109. We shall have occasion later to note the accession of strength from Jewish sources that flowed some 150 years later into one of the correctoria, as the lists of corrections and alternative readings were called, possibly thanks to the Hebrew scholarship of another Englishman. For the moment, however, we must consider Harding's con? temporaries and Hebrew studies on the soil of England herself. The Jews entered England with the Normans in the latter half of the eleventh century; and the fact that they soon became a significant factor in the English scene, quite apart from the importance of their financial activities, is attested by the occurrence of theological disputations in London before 1100.5 It seems probable that Christian chirographers acquired some knowledge of at least the stereotyped Hebrew phraseology of the Starrs, and there survives a letter addressed, in Hebrew, to William le Breton, Justice of the Jews in 1235. My late father who edited it, concluded from internal evidence that he was probably expected to be able to read it for himself.6 Recently Mr. Cecil Roth has written7 that it can hardly be conceived that students lodging in the aulae of Jacob of Oxford (amongst whom were included Thomas Bek, a future bishop of Durham, and his brother Anthony, destined for the See of St. David's and 1 See E. F. Sutcliffe, The Council of Trent on the Authentia of the Vulgate, in The Journal of Theo? logical Studies XLIX (1948), pp. 35ff. where the text of the relevant canon is reprinted from Concilium Tridentinum (Societas Goerresiana 1911). It is to be noted that the Council did not condemn other Latin versions or declare the Vulgate superior to the Hebrew original; they were indeed, to be studied for the greater appreciation of Catholic faith and morals as set forth in the Vulgate, sanctioned by its traditional usage in the Church. 2 See Hirsch, Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc. p. 5; B. Smalley, Bible Study2, p. 335. 3 B. Smalley, ibid, p. 43. 4 In MS Dijon 9 bis f. 150v. Printed by Berger, p. 9. Cf. H. Denifle, Die Handschriften der Bibelcorrectorien des 13. Jahrhunderts, in Archiv f?r Literatur?u. Kirschengeschichte des Mittelalters vol. 4 (1888), p. 268. B. Smalley, Bible Study2, p. 79. 5 See above, p.230. 6 Starrs and Jewish Charters Preserved in the British Museum, vol. i (1930), p. 85 infra, II (1932) p. 239 note 1176 (b) and p. 297 note 1305 (b); cf. C. Roth, The Jews of Mediaeval Oxford (1951), p. 36. I recall that my Father used to hazard the opinion (although never, I think, put forward in print) that the Jews' financial relations with the clergy must have afforded frequent occasion for the interchange of views on biblical and allied studies. 7 Ibid, pp. 150, 139.</page><page sequence="10">234 THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND the Chancellorship of his own University) "never spoke to their landlord about anything other than their rent." As will appear below, some of the Christian Hebraeists acknow? ledge an indebtedness to their Judeus or Rabi, and their work evinces much knowledge that could scarcely have been obtained save from Jewish informants or books?whether in England or abroad. Although there is thus much circumstantial evidence, there is as yet nothing explicit to attest a pupil-teacher relationship or collaboration on the part of any known English Christian and any known Jew in mediaeval times?if we exclude the apostate Peter Alphonsi, who collaborated with Walcher of Malvern and perhaps with Adelard of Bath,1 and the scientific contact between Michael Scot and Jacob Anatoli, the translator of Averroes, at Naples ;2 while the attractive identification of Benedict le Puintur of Oxford with Berachiah Hanakkedan, translator of Adelard's Quaestiones Naturales into Hebrew and author of the Fox Fables that show an affinity with the writings of the contemporary Alfred Anglicus, must for the moment remain a hypothesis.3 We are able, however, to catch one tantalising glimpse of a friendly interest on the Jewish side in the Hebrew studies of a Christian. Archbishop Gerard of York, perhaps a distant relative of the Conqueror, who died in 1108?wititin, that is, three years of the death of Rashi?owned, apparently, at least two Hebrew Psalters. He enjoyed a reputation both for learning and for the practice of the black arts ;4 so that it must remain an open question whether his interest in Hebrew may not have been due to the cult of Mephistopheles rather than of the Muse, for Hebrew letters might be used for casting magic spells.5 In either event, the psalters were put to good use by Maurice, who was Prior of the Augustinians at Kirkham in Yorkshire towards the end of the century; for he relates that in his youth he had spent three years learning Hebrew, and that he had transcribed 40 Hebrew Psalms from the copies of Archbishop Gerard (iuxta exemplaria domini Gerardi quondam Eboracensis episcopi)&gt; the Jews themselves ad? miring his calligraphy (literarum eleganciam admirantibus).6 We may infer that the Jews of York itself are intended, a circumstance which perhaps enhances the tribute to Maurice's penmanship; for the Hebrew books from York that were sold off to Jews at Cologne and elsewhere after their plunder in the massacre of 1190 are described with enthusiasm by the chronicler Ephraim of Bonn. "They despoiled the splendid books which they [sc. the Jews of York] had written in great number, which were more to be desired than gold, yea, than much fine gold?unparalleled for elegance and magnificence."7 To infer from this the existence of a Jewish scriptorium at York is somewhat precarious,8 but to judge from the names included in the casualty roll, York was a relatively important centre for Jewish studies9 and as such would doubtless number its bibliophiles. 1 See above, p. 231, nd Vallicrosa, p. 214, referring to C. H. Haskins, Studies in the History of mediaeval Science (1924), p. 119. 2 This is asserted as the case by C. and D. Singer, Legacy, pp. 216 ff. 3 C. Roth, Intellectual Activities, p. 48 summarises the evidence. 4 E. Venables in D.N.B., vii, 1089. 5 B. Smalley, Bible Study2, p. 81. 6 M. R. James, The Salomites, in the Journal of Theological Studies xxxv (1934), p. 289, from a Bodleian MS (Hatton 92 f. lOf), MS Lincoln Coll. Oxford Lat. 27 f. 1-5 contains an abbreviated account. 7 Printed as an appendix (in Hebrew) by M. Wiener to his German version of Joseph Hacohen's Emek Habakhah (1856), p. 10 of the Hebrew section. C. Roth, A history of the Jews in England a, p. 270 prints an English translation. 8 So (tentatively only) C. Roth, A Hebrew Elegy on the York Martyrs of 1190 in the Jew. Hist. Soc. Trans., xvi, p. 216. 9 C. Roth, Intellectual Activities, pp. 8, 21ff.</page><page sequence="11">THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND 235 Maurice utilised his Hebrew knowledge in the course of a diatribe against the Salomites, who declared the Salome mentioned twice in Mark to have been a man and the third husband of St. Anne. In the course of his tract he has occasion to remark that Hebrew, like English, has no case endings, and is indeed closer to English than any other "modern" language.1 Salom, he says, means peace, and Jesus greeted his disciples with the formula salom alehem, hoc est Pax uobis.2 The magistri from whom Maurice says that he learned would of course have been Jews, and from his continuation we may reconstruct their pronunciation of the regular Jewish formula of greeting. Salome, he says, like all names (or nouns) of either gender, is accented both in Hebrew and English on the first syllable?Salome; and in a trisyllabic name the second syllable is slurred and the third sometimes disappears completely. Just as in English the distinction between final a and e is not preserved, so in Hebrew; and the Salomite heresy has arisen from the illusion that Salome is a genitive of Saloma, cf. Musa, Muse. Hebrew, however, like English, being unhampered by the cumbrous rules of Latin inflexion (nullis omnino regults obnoxia Latinitatis), has but one singular and one plural case, and makes use of prepositions; the equivalences which Maurice gives are, however, not precise ones. From all this it transpires that Maurice's Jewish friends gave their word of greeting the slightly inaccurate stress characteristic today of the Ashkenazi Jewries of Northern France and the Teutonic and Slavonic lands (shdlom 'ale'khem, rather than shdlom 'alekehm), and that Maurice himself had not mastered the secret of the construct connection that does much of the work of the case system even in those Semitic languages where the latter survives. He also seems to have been under the impression that Salome=Shalom, rather than Shelomith or Shulamith, was the actual form of the female name in Hebrew.3 Although use of the same Hebrew books links the studies of Archbishop Gerard and Maurice of Kirkham, by no extension of language can the two be said to constitute a school of Hebraeists. Such a school was, nevertheless, in process of becoming estab? lished in Paris during Maurice's lifetime; and since several Englishmen participated significantly in its studies, it is this group, working at the Abbey of St. Victor, that we must now consider.4 The religious ideal of the Augustinians is significant in that it refused to countenance the growing polarity between the functions of the scholar and of the cloistered religious. The offshoot began in the eleventh century, and the Abbey of St. Victor at Paris originated in 1110 with the settlement there of a few canons regular around their master William of Champeaux, himself the pupil of Anselm of Laon and the opponent of Abelard. The Abbey's open school made the Victorines unique at Paris as both scholares and claustrales; and the canons, who provided a kind of chaplaincy service to the student body at Paris, constituted a cosmopolitan group. Moreover, the Abbey enjoyed wide contacts and illustrious patronage?in particular that of the French royal family?which furnished it with a great library. In England, daughter houses were to be found at Bristol and Wigmore. The impetus towards an interest in Hebrew at St. Victor's was started by Hugh, who came to Paris from Lorraine or the Low Countries about 1118 and taught from 1 M. R. James, op. cit., p. 289. 2 ibid. p. 290. 3 ibid. pp. 290, 294. 4 The fullest account of the Victorines' Bible exegesis is in the third and fourth chapters of Miss Smalley* s Bible Study 2} pp. 83ff., upon which the following summary is based.</page><page sequence="12">236 THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND about 1125 until he died in 1141, after winning from his contemporaries the reputation of a "second Augustine." It is important to view Hugh's Hebraic interest in the context of his whole approach to lectio divina, for it is all of a piece. Endorsing the patristic teaching that all science should serve as an introduction to Bible study, he directed the attention of the student first to the secular arts, and only thereafter to the literal, historical sense of the Scriptures, which must itself be mastered before passing to the allegorical, and then finally to the tropological sense. The literal and allegorical senses are linked by him in having as their object knowledge, as against the tropological, which is the means to attain the other object of lectio divina?the pursuit of virtue. This shift of emphasis, which joined the "lowly" letter to allegory instead of contrasting it to the spiritual senses, and which consequently gave it a proportionately greater stress relative to them, was of far-reaching consequence; it greatly enhanced the historical sense of the Bible, and as a corrolary postulated a thorough-going study of the plain meaning instead of the supreme disregard for it that was the heritage of the writing and teaching of Gregory the Great. There is here a soundness of approach reminiscent of the fundamental principal of exegesis, formulated at Pumbeditha in Babylonia in the third century and greatly emphasised by Raba (ca, 280-352), viz. that no matter how a text be construed in other senses, its literal meaning can never be superceded.1 In the same way when Andrew came to write his theological Summa, On the Sacraments of the Christian Faith, he rejected the normal theological framework in favour of an historical treatment? scriptural history is the source of world history, and the history of man is the history of the sacraments. If for sacraments we substitute covenants, we have an approach that might have come from a Jewish writer. Hugh's treatment of biblical exegesis opens a new period of scientific study of the Bible. "I personally blame those who strive superstitiously to find a mystical sense and a deep allegory where none is, as much as those who obstinately deny it, when it is there," he writes in his prologue to Ecclesiastes2?and proceeds to expound the literal sense only, devoting himself to the argument and its application. He naturally uses traditional source-material, but with some independence; e.g. the standard, literal commentary of Paschasius Radbertus on Lamentations serves Hugh as a model for an independent commentary of his own. He also "learned the literal sense of the Penta? teuch from the Jews," as his pupil Andrew records, and in places he compares the Vulgate with a literal Latin rendering of the Hebrew, which he sometimes prefers. He moreover progressed a little with Hebrew itself?enough to give occasional transliterations?and consulted the Jews for their traditional exegesis of the Prophets.3 On the Pentateuch, his references to Jewish exegesis are more profuse, and indicate a debt to the contemporary rationalist school of Rashi. Apart from Rashi himself,4 he quotes matter ascribed to his contemporary Joseph Kara,5 and in three places6 matter found in the commentary of Samuel ben Me'ir of Ramerupt, Rashi's grandson, known by his initials as Rashbam. On Exodus 12, 36, "and they spoiled the Egyptians" Rashbam had quoted chapter 3, 1 See Babylonian Talmud Yebamoth, lib, 24a, and W. Bacher, Die Agada der Babylonischen Amoraer (Strassburg, 1878), p. 113. Bartholomew of Exeter, writing (1180-4) concedes the same principle even though defending mystical exegesis against Jewish literalism (quoted by B. Smalley, Bible Study2, p. 171, from MS Bodley 482 f. Id). * P.L. 175, 115a. Translated by B. Smalley, Bible Study2, p. 100. 8 B. Smalley, ibid, p. 103, instances Joel 1, 15 and III, 5 (II, 32 in the English Bible). 4 On Gen. 49, 12, P.L. 175, 59c. B. Smalley, ibid. 5 On Gen. 4, 23, P.L. 175, 44d. B. Smalley, ibid. p. 104. 6 On Ex. 1, 15 (P.L. 175, 61d), 3, 22 (ibid. 62c), and 4, 10 (ibid.). B. Smalley, ibid.</page><page sequence="13">THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS ?F ENGLAND 237 verse 21, "and I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians" as indicating an unconditional gift on the part of the Egyptians rather than a guileful borrowing on the part of the Israelites, this being "its real meaning and a refutation of the Christians." Hugh quotes this opinion but adds (on rationalist grounds) "but our commentators say with more probability that they borrowed." Hugh of St. Victor was breaking new ground, and for this reason his own achieve? ments are less important in themselves than as a harbinger of the work of his successors. Andrew and Richard, the two pupils of Hugh who concern us, both came from the British Isles, although Richard, whom we may first consider, was a Scot.1 He joined the Abbey between 1113 and 1155, and thereafter became sub-prior and, in 1162, prior; he died in 1173. Richard was essentially a mystic, devoted primarily to spiritual exegesis : but owing to his training under Hugh he appreciated the need for an under? standing of the letter. His surviving works include notes on some of the Psalms2 and on the Song of Songs3, which are spiritual commentaries, but also tracts on the visions of Ezekiel4 and on the chronology of the kings of Israel and Judah5 which are literal. His genius for graphic visualisation formed a happy complement to his literal approach when he was writing on the biblical descriptions of the Tabernacle and Temple.6 Yet when he came to write his literal commentary on the visions of Ezekiel he found it necessary to justify this break with Gregorian tradition, for St. Gregory had not only ignored the literal sense, but had gone so far as to declare that the second vision had none.7 Indeed, Richard's contemporary Robert of Cricklade, Prior of St. Frideswide's at Oxford, and Chancellor of the University in 1159, condemned the "foolish raving (stultitia delirantium) of those who think that the building can be placed together" in a spiritual commentary on Ezekiel in which Miss Smalley has found no trace of a know? ledge of Hebrew,8 although Robert is credited with such by Gerald of Wales.9 Of Richard's own knowledge of Hebrew we cannot be certain, for he does not refer to the Hebrew text; but he did follow his master's example in consulting the Jews con? cerning their own writings in connection with his chronological work,10 and found that although their writings (perhaps the Seder 'Olam is meant) concurred with the Christian opinion, they had nothing to add to it. He is, however, circumspect in his adoption of Jewish opinion?not exclusively on doctrinaire grounds?and vigorously criticises his colleague Andrew (without mentioning his name) for his uncritical acceptance of Josephus, merely because he was a Jew, in matters connected with the Tabernacle for which Exodus and the other biblical source-material is superior.11 Dogma, however, 1 For Richard of St. Victor, see Miss Smalley's, Bible Study*y pp. I06fT. 2 P.L. 196, 265ff. 3 ibid. 405ff. 4 P.L. ibid. 527ff. 5 P.L. ibid., 241ff. 6 P.L. ibid., 21 Iff. 7 P.L. ibid., 527D. Cf. Gregory, Horn in Ezekiel II, i, ? 3, P.L. 76, 936c. 8 Bible Study2, p. 109f, quoting MS Pembroke College, Cambridge, 30, f. 145a. 9 De principis instructione VIII, p. 65, ed G. F. Warner (Rolls Series, 1891). Robert is alleged to have been Hebraicae linguae non ignarus and for this reason on terms (famili?rem) with the Jews; and to have identified a christological passage, recently expunged, in two copies of the Hebrew Josephus (i.e. Josippon) collected by him from the Jewries of England for con? troversial collation, cf. C. Roth, Jews of Mediaeval Oxford, p. 121, and H. P. Stokes, Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc. of Eng., viii, p. 84. 10 P.L. 196, 241b. 11 ibid. 214c.</page><page sequence="14">238 THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND played a greater part in urging him to produce his de Emanuele1?a refutation of Andrew's rationalistic, and allegedly judaising exegesis of the Emanuel prophecy in Isaiah 7, 14. Richard's own rejoinder contains both literal and spiritual exposition; he objects, as doubtless Hugh would have done, to Andrew's thorough-going rationalism when it appears to him to undermine the whole Christian interpretation of the Old Testament. Indeed, Andrew's2 rationalistic approach sometimes seems to belong to the eighteenth century rather than to the twelfth : and the practical realism of his scholarship, which is quite uninterested in theological speculation and synthesis, is a suggestively English, or rather Anglo-Norman trait that lends credibility to the tradition recorded in the fifteenth century by John Bale that Andrew was of English origin. In any case, he was at least English by association; for in or after 1147 he came from St. Victor's, where he seems to have been prior, to be the first abbot of the daughter-house at Wigmore in Herefordshire. About the year 1154 there was a difference with the canons?Andrew was perhaps a better scholar than he was administrator?and he returned to Paris. It was probably at this period that he visited Rome. On the death of Roger, his successor as Abbot of Wigmore, he was induced to return there at some time between 1161 and 1163. He remained at Wigmore until his death on October 19th, 1175. Even though Andrew's own knowledge of Hebrew was probably not great, his works (which, save for his commentary on Ecclesiastes, exist in manuscript form only)3 undoubtedly mark the first real achievement in Hebraic scholarship. Cultivating the neglected letter, he claimed to expound the historical sense of the sacred text and to exclude spiritual exposition and theology. This method had potentially dire consequences for the exegete, and Andrew finds it necessary to express a disclaimer?clearly intended apologetically?to the effect that he does not presume to teach or to compose an original work, but merely to compile for his own reference a corpus of what he had learned from the commentaries, the Jews, or "certain others" (Hebreis sive quibuslibet aliis pandentibusy?i.e. his teacher Hugh?together with such new ideas as had been revealed to him by God. His method was not to produce a continuous commentary or gloss, but to write scholia?expositiuncula, he himself styles them?to points of interest or difficulty. Exegesis for him means the bringing out of the sacred author's meaning, not its amplification; which implies an appreciation of the true definition of the Peshat that has eluded many a Jewish "literal" commentator. With regard to the text itself, he collates the Vulgate with the Hebrew, which he is so bold as to prefer; and he is prepared to be no less critical of patristic authority, not excluding his own prototype and great stand-by, St. Jerome, should occasion demand : "We follow Josephus and the Jews rather than Bede," he can write. For the twelfth century such independence is startling; and not less striking is the criticism, frank sometimes to the point of impatience, that he is prepared to level even at his master Hugh although he does not name him. It is precisely the atmosphere of the contemporary Rashi school of French Jewry; and Andrew's sarcasm is reminiscent of that met with in the commentaries of his contemporary Abraham Ibn Ezra, the wandering Jewish scholar from Tudela. In commenting on the Octoteuch, which he first treated, such an independence of mind was comparatively innocuous, since ecclesiastical doctrine is scarcely involved. 1 ibid. 601ff. 2 For a full account of Andrew, see Chapter 4, devoted specifically to him, of B. Smalley's B ible Study2, pp. 112ff. 3 For a list of the MSS see the Bibliography at page 248. 4 Prologue to the Prophets, Paris, MS Mazarine 175, f. 93v, printed by B. Smalley, Bible Study2 p. 377.</page><page sequence="15">THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND 239 Yet even so, his radical approach to the account of the Creation must have made many of Andrew's readers, familiar from the Gloss with the parallel between the Mosaic and the Pauline revelations, rub their eyes; for he finds it plausible to suggest that the account of the Creation was not revealed to Moses, but discovered by him through diligent research into patriarchal tradition originating with Adam himself.1 Here we have not the rationalism of an Abailard applying logic to the understanding and defence of his faith, but a cult of common sense and the preference, for which authority could be found in St. Augustine,2 of any natural over a supernatural explanation. It is this approach which characterises Andrew's cult of the letter as a science, and his turning to the Jews for information as the quest of a scholar for the best equipment for his purpose rather than that of the antiquarian for the unusual. His remarks about current Jewish practice imply direct contact with Jews, and on the Prophets he conducted a series of discussions with Jewish scholars. He himself knew the Hebrew alphabet and some grammar and syntax, but he could not have handled a rabbinic commentary by himself and was dependent upon oral information from those who could.3 His com? mentaries contain much in common with Rashi's and some close parallels to his own contemporary Joseph Bekhor Shor of Orleans. Conversely, Joseph Bekhor Shor, Joseph Kara of Troyes, and Rashi's grandson Samuel ben Me'ir (Rashbam), betray a knowledge of Christian exegesis and a desire to refute it.4 But the essential contribution of Andrew to Christian biblical scholarship?his marked preference for the literal interpretation, his interest in chronology, geography, and modern parallels, his combative ness, and his fondness for glosses in the vernacular (as yet a rare feature in Christian commentaries)?he does not attribute to his Hebraei; yet they are so reminiscent of the school of Rashi that they may well have been stimulated, at least in part, by Andrew's contact with the Rabbis of Paris and also, perhaps, of England. In his early work, on the Octoteuch, Andrew eagerly recorded his new-found Jewish material without passing judgment on its value. To adopt the same principle in the more debatable terrain of the prophets might invite a charge of heresy, so that Andrew must needs characterise what he takes from the Jews, in his own interests, as "fable," or "perverted by the Jews with their wonted shamelessness." He therefore adopts the method of giving first a resume of the conventional Christian interpretation based on the Vulgate, and thereafter another based on the Hebrew text and Jewish exegesis. In spite of the charge of virtual judaising brought against him by Richard in the de Emanuele, Andrew can be capable of equal discrimination, on rational grounds, whether he is handling Jewish or Christian exegetical material. On the famous verse in question (Isaiah 7, 14) Andrew declares that it is pointless to enter into polemics with the Jews, who could contrive to counter any arguments that he himself was capable of putting forward; rather then, than expose the Christian case to ridicule, he passes it over altogether and pursues the literal interpretation?and proceeds to serve up Rashi's explanation that the Jews had proffered. When he comes to the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53,2ff), he does not even mention the Christian interpretation, but cites at length the Jewish explanation that refers the image to the sufferings of the people Israel or of 1 Prologue to Pentateuch, MS Paris B.N. Lat. 356 printed ibid, p. 383 (translation p. 131f.) 2 See B. Smalley, Bible Study,2 p. 144n, citing P. de Vooght, La notion philosophique de miracle chez St. Augustin, in Recherches de Theologie ancienne et medievale, x (1938), pp. 317f. 3 See Calandra's edition of Andrew on Ecclesiastes, p. xxvi. In this commentary Calandra found, however, no rabbinic material and two references only to the Hebrew text (ibid, p. xliv). 4 For similar tendencies in Rashi himself, see I. Baer on Rashi and the historical reality of his time (Hebrew, Tarbiz?Epstein Presentation Number, 1949, pp. 320f.). w</page><page sequence="16">240 THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND Isaiah himself. As Miss Smalley points out,1 this is strange light on a twelfth century abbot who was begged to continue his work and was ultimately buried "with great honour." That Andrew's views commended themselves in his lifetime to at least some of his pupils is clear from Richard's de Emanuele, and the improvement upon his methods by one of them, Herbert of Bosham, would (had he lived to see it) have proved his greatest reward. But it was otherwise that his influence was perpetuated. The corpus of his works was probably still available at Paris in the second half of the thirteenth century,,and the provenance of the surviving MSS show that he was also known in the Rhineland and Austria, in Venice as late as the fifteenth century, and of course in England, where his works gradually became more widely known; and at least one reader, probably an Oxford Franciscan, was capable of collating him with a Hebrew bible.2 Richard's polemical de Emanuele served to increase the number of those who knew of Andrew, and Roger Bacon, writing about 1271 or 2 complains3 that Andrew is being accorded the authority that should be reserved for the Church Fathers. Bacon adds, however, that Andrew had the great merit of sending people back to the Hebrew original, which few would otherwise have troubled to consult. There is enough evidence from England in the form of marginal annotations resting on, or alluding to Andrew to substantiate this reputation,4 but Andrew's influence was maintained principally by the use made of his work, especially on the Octoteuch, by a number of popular writers. Peter Comestor, who himself retired to St. Victor's, produced a summary of biblical history entitled Historia Scholastica,5 which on the Octoteuch uses Andrew as its principal source. The Histories became a classical text-book of the School and enjoyed a wide popularity among clergy and laity, being translated into Italian and French by the end of the thirteenth century. Andrew was also laid under contribution by Peter the Chanter of Notre Dame, best known for his moralistic Verbum Abbreviatum,6 in his exegetical work. These, as contemporaries, quote him anonymously. Adam of Dryburgh, writing about 1180 on the threefold sense of the Tabernacle, refers to him by name, as does Stephen Langton, as yet lecturing in Paris, a few years later in his popular gloss on the Octoteuch.7 From these sources he is taken second-hand by the Dominican Hugh of St. Cher. The increasing popularity of Andrew's work in England foreshadows the biblical scholarship of Grosseteste and the Friars in the following century; while in the fourteenth century he was to be quoted by the English Dominican, Nicholas Trivet, and by the Franciscan Nicholas de Lyra teaching at Paris. From Andrew we may turn to Herbert of Bosham,8 for he was at least Andrew's emulator and probably his actual pupil; for although Herbert neither quotes him nor 1 Bible Study2, pp. 165f. 2 Marginalium to 1 Sam. 2, 1 in MS Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 315, once the property of the Oxford Franciscans. B. Smalley, Bible Study2, p. 177. 3 Compendium Studii Philosophiae viii, ed. J. S. Brewer (Rolls Series 1859), pp. 482-3. 4 B. Smalley, Bible Study2, pp. 183f. gives a number of instances. 6 P.L. 198, 1045f. 8 P.L. 205, 21f. 7 This is not available in print; it is contained in MS Peterhouse, Cambridge, 112. For a full list of MSS, see G. Lacombe and B. Smalley, Studies on the Commentaries of Cardinal Stephen Langton, in Archives d9histoire doctrinale et litteraire du Moyen Age v (1931), esp. pp. 183f, 213f. 8 For Herbert's biography as hitherto known, see Kate Norgate in the D.N.B., xxvi. For his commentary on the Psalms see.B. Smalley, A Commentary on the Hebraica by Herbert of Bosham, in Recherches de Theologie ancienne et medievale, xviii (1951), pp. 29f., and more briefly in her Bible Study2, pp. 186f. A fuller account of Herbert's Hebrew scholarship is given in my article in Biblica. (See Bibliography).</page><page sequence="17">THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND 241 refers to any such discipleship, verbal parallels in their respective prefatory matter are too close to be a coincidence. Herbert was born, as he himself relates, at Bosham, which is near Chichester. He was certainly born a Christian and their is nothing to suggest any recent Jewish antecedents that might account for his Hebrew expertise, for his father took orders after Herbert's own birth. He studied at Paris under Peter Lombard, who himself had connections with the abbey of St. Victor and was teaching from 1139 until his consecration as Bishop of Paris in 1159 : Andrew was himself lecturing at Paris until 1147, and again from ca. 1154-63. The Lombard's famous Sentences soon became a standard theological text-book over whose questionable orthodoxy arose a controversy whence sprang the seed of the University of Paris. Hardly less important was his Magna Glosatura, or enlarged Gloss to the Psalter and the Pauline Epistles, which also became the standard commentary. Of this Great Gloss Peter's pupil Herbert was in due course to produce a most careful edition of which a magnificent copy, written at Canterbury, is shared by the Bodleian Library and Trinity College, Cambridge.1 Herbert was also in connection with St. Victor's through his association with Thomas Becket, his introduction to whom he may have owed to Hilary, Bishop of Chichester.2 When Becket was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury in 1162, Herbert became his special monitor in the discharge of his archiepiscopal duties, and thereafter he was his constant and confidential companion and Becket's master in the study of the Holy Writ. He was with him at the Council of Tours in 1163 and again at Clarendon and Northampton in the following year, when he stood by Becket to the last with a single other disciple, and ultimately escaped with Becket from Northampton on the same horse. After Becket's flight from England they were reunited at St. Omer, and during the exile Herbert was at his side to cheer him, study with him and help him with his correspondence. At Pontigny Becket spent most of his time on the Scriptures that were so dear to him, especially the Psalter and the Epistles, and Herbert's subsequent reading of both must clearly have been infused with reminiscences of his beloved patron. A psalter of Becket's is preserved in Cambridge,3 but the annotations do not appear to have anything in common with Herbert's own later commentary. When he came to write this, he seems to have excluded his own feelings in a proper scholarly manner; for he has no comment at all on a verse where, if anywhere, one might expect his pietas to obtrude itself. For in his preface to his edition of Peter Lombard's Magna Glosatura to the Psalter,4 he records how after his martyrdom St. Thomas of Canterbury appeared to him in a vision with the words of Ps. 119, 134 on his lips : "Deliver me from the oppression of man; so will I keep thy precepts," commending it to him more than any other of the Psalms, as it were enjoining him to bear it in perpetual memory as his testament. In December of 1170, after the Archbishop's reconciliation to Henry II, Herbert returned with him to Canterbury. The tragic denouement of the empty settlement is familiar, and on the 27th of the month Becket sent Herbert off on an errand to the King of France, in spite of Herbert's entreaties to be allowed to stay with him for the end which both knew to be at hand; on the 29th Becket was murdered in his own cathedral. 1 Bodleian MS Auct. E. Infra 6 (the second half of the Psalter), and Trinity College, Cambridge, MSS B 5. 4, 6, and 7. 2 See D. Knowles, The Episcopal Colleagues of Thomas Becket (1951), p. 26. 3 MS Corpus Christi College N.10. 4 Printed by H. H. Glunz, History of the Vulgate in England (1933), p. 344. w*</page><page sequence="18">242 THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND Herbert, apparently, did not return to England until 1184, when he had a frank conver? sation with the penitent and more or less reconciled King Henry, but was generally cold-shouldered by the same English public that was so sanctimoniously devoting itself to the cult of the canonised Archbishop. Herbert may have settled at Canterbury, and from 1184 to 1186 he was at work on his Life of Becket.1 This was followed by his Liber Mehrum,2 a tedious farrago of lyrical prose of which the theme is the parallelism between the life of Christ, the Imperator, and Becket his ideal warrior. There also survives a homily for St. Thomas' day.3 Internal evidence shows that Herbert lived to see the death of Henry II in 1189. His own reputed grave is in the Church at Bosham, his birthplace. A letter4 addressed to Herbert by William of Longchamp, Bishop of Ely, dates his work on his own commentary on the Psalter as in progress on or after 5th June, 1190. He was working on it at the Cistercian Abbey of Ourscamp near Noyons and Compiegne, whither he had retired from the cares of an unnamed court; Peter, Bishop of Arras (ob. 1203), had proposed to him the choice of entering the Order, teaching or writing. He chose the latter and his commentary is dedicated to Peter. The task that he set himself was to comment on the literal sense of the Psalter,5 basing himself on Jerome's latest revision of it, iuxta hebraicam veritatem, which had never succeeded in displacing from the Vulgate his second psalter (the "Gallican"), based on the old Latin and revised in the light of Origen's Hexapla. Even scholars had neglected it, says Herbert?apparently ignorant of the views of Nicholas Manjacoria (ob. ca. 1145) and his Libellus de corruptione et correptione psalmorum.* But the text which Herbert incorporates in his commentary, although basically Jerome's psalter iuxta hebraeos, is a highly individual one. Some interesting variants derived ultimately from hexaplaric readings occur; in one place he rejects a word in favour of a near synonym that corresponds to a twelfth century Latin idiom authenticated from England. But more surprising still is the complete recasting of phrases on the basis of Jewish exegesis elaborated in the commentary in loco. For example, in Ps. 12, 7, "The words of the Lord are pure words, as silver tried in a furnace of earth." The words in a furnace of the Authorised Version represent the obscure Hebrew bd-alil, which in Jerome's text is rendered separatum. Herbert relegates this to the status of an interlinear alternative in favour of discoopertum, exposed. This explanation is based on Rashi, who follows a Talmudic interpretation of the word.7 The commentary with which Herbert supports his text presupposes considerable Hebraic proficiency on the part of its author. Herbert certainly had his Hebraei?one of them, perhaps, capable of reading Arabic?but he seems to have made use of rabbinic texts on his own. In following these he sometimes, like Andrew, sails perilously near the wind of heresy; and his occasional derogatory remarks about Jewish "miscon? structions" probably have the same apologetic intention as Andrew's. For having done his duty by the traditional exegesis of the Church in editing Peter Lombard's Magna Glosatura, he deals with it quite curtly (in his own commentary), frequently stating merely ab ecclesiasticis expositum patet, and turns the spotlight on the exegesis of the 1 P.L. 190, 1073f. 2 ibid., 1293f. 3 ibid., 1403f. 4 P.L. 190, 1474. I owe this reference to Miss Eleanor Rathbone. 5 The only known MS is at St. Paul's Cathedral (case B. 13); its identification is due to Mr. N. R. Ker. 6 See B. Smalley, Bible Study,2 p.80 7 Babylonian Talmud, Rosh Hasshanah 21b.</page><page sequence="19">THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND 243 Rabbis. Besides rabbinic Hebrew his linguistic range seems to have included Aramaic, as he apparently quotes the Targum independently. Since he follows Rashi so closely, we must presume that he read him for himself and did not merely learn of his explanations from Jews; and his mistakes are those of a fluent rather than a halting reader. His knowledge of Hebrew grammar was respectable. He also had an understanding of at least one of the principles of rabbinic hermeneutics, viz. that of the Gezerah Shavah (analogy of expressions). Apart from Rashi, whom Herbert cites twice by name as "Salomon," he refers also (following Rashi) to Dunash ibn Labrat as Dones filius Leward (Ps. 68, 14). He also cites, independently of Rashi, the Hebrew lexicon of Menahem ibn Saruq entitled Mahbereth, or Compilation; Herbert calls it maberez, which he interprets as additio. Of the older sources the chief is the Midrash to the Psalms. Rashi, who often cites it also, gives the point succinctiy, whereas Herbert often quotes more extensively; which suggests that he used an actual text of the Midrash. Should it transpire that he used a fuller text of Rashi (and he is early enough to be a valuable testimony to the state of Rashi's text within a century of his death), one would be forced to the conclusion that the succinctness which constitutes the main value of Rashi's commentary is due to the genius not of the author but a digester. Herbert also quotes from the Targum, i.e. the (sometimes paraphrastic) Aramaic version embodying the quasi-official exegesis of the Synagogue. Berliner considered that he had proved1 that Rashi did not know the Targum to the Hagiographa, so that the question of Herbert's dependence or other? wise on Rashi for this material is of critical importance for the text of Rashi himself. Herbert also has chronological data that derive ultimately from the Seder cOlam Rabba, a Tannaitic world chronicle (as affecting Jewish history) composed in the second or third century. He may have used it directly or be dependent on an intermediate source, perhaps Rashi or Pseudo-Rashi on the Talmud. Two examples of Herbert's comment may be cited. The first, from the introduction to Psalm 90 (A prayer of Moses), indicates the extent of his dependence on rabbinic sources and indeed their indispensibility for his complete elucidation. He records the Jewish tradition that not only Psalm 90 but the following ten, which are unascribed, are also by Moses. The idea had long since entered the stream of Christian exegesis, via Origen, who learned it from the Jew "Huillus," perhaps Hillel the son of the Patriarch Gamaliel III, and it is repeated by Jerome.2 But patristic sources do not mention a circumstance adduced by Herbert, that these eleven psalms correspond to the eleven blessings pronounced by Moses over the Israelite tribes at the end of Deuteronomy. "This," says Herbert, "they do declare because the psalms have something in common with the blessings, or allude to some religious duty of the tribe concerned" (psalmi isti benedictiones illas per materie idemptitatem, uel aliquod mi[ni]sterii sacramentum contingent). Rashi on the present passage merely mentions the fact of the correspondence without giving this reason for it. In the fuller exegesis of the Midrash to Psalms, on which Herbert is here dependent, reasons are discovered to connect the psalms with the tribes 1 Beitr?ge zur Geschichte der Raschi Commentare, p. 29. This view is endorsed by I. Maarsen in his critical edition of Rashi on the Psalms (Parshan-Datha), p. xi. On T.B. Megillah 21 b (top) Rashi states explicitly that there is no Targum to the Hagiographa. a Origen. Selecta in Psalmos, ink., P.G.L. 12, 1056b; See H. Graetz in Monatsschrift f?r Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judenthums, 30 (1881), p. 433. Jerome, Tractatus in Psalmos, ed. G. Morin in Anecdota Maredsolana iii, 3, p. 61. Also Ep. ad Cyprianum, P.L. 22, 1167, and Contra Rufinum ?13, P.L. 23, 408, and also Hilary, PX. 9, 234.</page><page sequence="20">244 THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND blessed. Thus Psalm 90, which contains the words "Thou sayest return, ye children of men" is appropriate to the tribe of Reuben, which did penitence for their ancestor's sin of incest with Bilhah. The Midrash pursues the idea as far as Ps. 95, "O come, let us sing unto the Lord," which belongs to Issachar, noted for their devotion to the study of the Torah, with its droning sing-song. "Thus far" concluded Rabbi Joshua ben Levi in the Midrash, "I have heard tell: for the remainder, you must work it out for yourself." Precisely so Herbert, after alluding in the words quoted above to the fact that there is a detailed correspondence, continues sed soluto numero, quia undecim sunt isti; et ille. I take the words sed soluto numero to mean "but the series is incomplete," and cannot think that they have any meaning unless they allude to the difficulty that beset also R. Joshua ben Levi, of trying to press a happy homiletical idea to a relentlessly logical conclusion. By contrast, the following instance attests not direct dependence on Herbert's part on any extant or likely piece of rabbinic commentary, but the extent to which his thought had become imbued with knowledge of Jewish institutions; for it implies a more than nodding acquaintanceship with halakhah, or the legal and practical side of rabbinic literature. In Psalm 99, 8, he launches into a long digression in order to furnish proof that Samuel died at the age of 52. Two rabbinic proofs are adduced, of which we need here to consider the second only. The part of it here relevant may be summarised as follows. Hannah's prayer for a son was offered on the very day that Eh was appointed judge over Israel?a fact that is taken to be implicit in the otherwise redundant detail in the biblical account (1 Sam. 1, 9) that "Eli the Priest sat upon a seat" : idiomatically, in Hebrew, the seat, which for purposes of haggadic homiletics we may understand to mean the seat of a judge. Her prayer was answered by immediate conception, and Samuel can be shown to have been born prematurely, in the seventh month, if the phrase OWH DIDpn1? (verse 20) be taken au pied de la lettre : for although the Authorised Version paraphrases it as "when the time was come about," it means literally, at the time of the seasons of the days; in other words, a minimum of two seasons, i.e. six months, and two days. Now EH is stated (1 Sam. 4, 18) to have judged Israel for forty years. Consequently, says Herbert, Samuel and Eli were alive concurrently for 39 years. Yet just before, Herbert has stated that Samuel was born in the second year of Eli's judgeship. Herbert's arithmetic is no more at fault than are his obstetrics : the information is correct if Jewish tradition and Jewish constitutional law be borne in mind. Hannah's prayer was offered, according to tradition, on New Year's Day, that is, the first of Tishri (September-October), the "Day of Memorial" upon which she was "remembered" by God and "visited" with immediate conception. Her pregnancy lasted, as has been shown, six months and two days, so that Samuel will have been born on the 3rd Nisan (March-April) following. According to Jewish law, regnal years are to be reckoned for Jewish rulers from the 1st Nisan; so that by the time of Samuel's birth EU, who had been in office just over six months, was nevertheless already in his second regnal year. That is precisely what Herbert must mean when he writes secundo hely iam iudicis anno; samuel natus est. No commentary in locum would have mentioned this point which, although technical, would have occurred to an educated Jewish reader after reflection. Herbert produces it, apparently, quite casually from the storehouse of his rabbinic learning, for he does not labour the point. The rabbinate clearly lost an ornament when Providence decreed that Herbert of Bosham should be born to be a light unto the gentiles, Herbert constitutes the last of the Victorine "succession," and his biblical work.</page><page sequence="21">THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND 245 unlike his Life of Becket, seems to have remained unnoticed.1 Whereas the resources of the Abbey of St. Victor were available to spread the knowledge of Andrew's com? mentaries, Herbert had no patron or institution behind him. We know that on his return to England Herbert received a much cooler welcome than his loyal devotion to the cause of his martyred Archbishop may have justified him in expecting.2 In a letter referred to above3 William of Longchamp, at the time ruler of England in Richard I's absence, as chancellor, chief justiciar and papal legate, expresses hope that Herbert will quickly complete his opusculum on Jerome's Hebrew Psalter and join him as soon as possible. The letter, written after June 5th, 1190, alludes both to the courage with which Herbert had borne his troubles, now apparently over, as well as to Longchamp's own difficulties?doubtless his quarrels with his fellow justiciar, Hugh of Durham, and his increasing unpopularity. Since William Longchamp's power was largely broken by John at Winchester on April 25th, 1191, and thereafter he was scarcely more than the adjutant of Richard I abroad and later back in England, he was perhaps in no position to exercise influential patronage for Herbert. But Herbert and Andrew were not the only Englishmen besides Maurice of Kirkham to cultivate Hebrew studies in the twelfth century. A competence that bears some comparison to Herbert's was achieved also by the author of the Isagoge in Theologiam of which one copy only is known, in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge ;4 it previously belonged to the abbeys of Cerne (Dorset) and Belvoir (Lines.). This little work, a succinctly written theological summa upon which S. A. Hirsch touched,5 has now been published by A. Landgraf ;6 he has shown that the body of the work is distinct from the foregoing dedication by "suus Odo" to Gilbert Foliot which can be dated as not later than 1148. The author is thus unknown, but in view of the manuscript's provenance we may perhaps tentatively label him as an Englishman. Landgraf has shown that the work has been strongly influenced by Abelard through the Summa Sententiarum of Hugh of St. Victor, whereas it shows no trace of any knowledge of Peter Lombard's quattuor libri Sententiarum. He therefore dates it between 1148 and 1152.7 And as against Hirsch, he rightly detects8 a distinctly conversionist tendency in the treatment of the numerous Hebrew quotations with which the second part of the work is embellished. The text of these Hebrew passages, which are all adduced for the sake of the christological construction which the author places upon them, has been painstakingly collated with the Massoretic text by J. Fischer.9 He draws attention to a number of remarkable coincidences with the text of the Septuagint as against the Massoretic; but his conclusion, that the author had before him a Hebrew Bible anterior in date to the final fixation of the Massorah,10 and furnished with a rudimentary form of the Tiberian 1 The only place where I have noted affinity with Herbert's commentary is in the Hebrew Latin psalter at Lambeth Palace MS. 435; Latin annotations mid-13th century. See B. Smalley, Bible Study,2 p3\7i. ; Hebrew Scholarship, etc., p.l5f.). The implications of this have still to be worked out. 2 See Kate Norgate, in the D.N.B, xxvi. 3 See p.242 n.4 and D.N.B, xii on Longchamp (Kate Norgate). 4 MS B. 14. 33. M. R. James' Trinity College Catalogue, no. 317, I, p. 431. 5 Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc. VII, p. 9. 6 Ecrits Theologiques de VEcole d'Abelard, fascicule 14 of Spicilegium Sacrum Lovaniense, Louvain 1934. 7 See Landgraf, op. cit. pp. xlv-vi, xlix-liv. 8 ibid., p. xlvii. 9 Die Hebr?ischen Bibelzitate des Scholastikers Odo, Biblica 15 (1934), pp. 50f. i? ibid., p. 88.</page><page sequence="22">246 THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND system of vocalisation ascending perhaps to the eighth century/ is not entirely con? vincing. Fischer himself recognises2 that some of these variants tend to facilitate christological exegesis, and accounts for the character of the Hebrew text by supposing3 that its archetype found its way at an early date to a sequestered monastery in Scotland or Ireland and there led an individual existence subject to Christian tradition. It is perhaps simpler to credit the author of the Isagoge himself with the manipulations and accommodations in the text of his Hebrew citations; particularly since in the "literal" Latin translations which he provides he is not beyond modifying his translation to suit his controversialist purpose. Thus Gen. 3, 15 is construed4 as a presage of the merits of the Virgin Mary, and the rendering of nt^xn (the woman) is carefully selected: Odium ponam inter te et viraginem, etc. Similarly in Hosea 2, 5 (A.V. 2, 3), referred to5 the rejection of Israel, (sic) nintPDK |D (lest I strip her) is rendered quia exuam earn; and in Isaiah 52, 10 a past verb, (hath made bare), becomes Revelabit.6 For the famous crux in Gen. 49, 10, the Shiloh passage, the singular rendering usque dum veniat. In Siloque ipsi adiungent se populi is given.7 In similar strain the abbreviation of the Tetragrammaton by three yodhs written pyramid-wise is commended8 as most appropriate to the Trinity. Of more concern to us, however, is the knowledge of Hebrew evinced by the author of the Isagoge. Apart from his proficiency in this respect there is no positive evidence to suggest that he was a Jewish convert.9 Yet he knew that the Jews call the Minor Prophets "the twelve" in Aramaic (tereacar, treasar),10 and that such accounts of Tobit, Judith, and the Maccabees as the Jews possess11 are dependent on the Greek (a grecorum voluminibus excerptas). It is possible that he was familiar with the Aramaic rendering of Zechariah 12, 11 by the Targum.12 In any case, a knowledge of biblical Aramaic is attested for him by his inclusion of three passages of Daniel.13 Unfortunately the author, or more probably the copyist, has failed to implement throughout the scheme which he proposed of setting forth the Hebrew text with each word surmounted by its transliteration in Latin characters and its literal Latin translation,14 although the latter does follow each citation. With this plan in view he details15 a number of equivalences which, although they have not all been accurately transmitted in the MS., are of con? siderable interest from the point of view of contemporary pronunciations.16 The full scheme has been carried out for the first citation only, viz. the first of the Ten Command? ments.17 The idea of superimposing the literal Latin translation is interesting as 1 ibid., pp. 52, 85f. 2 ibid., pp. 63, 92. 8 ibid., p. 92. 4 Fol. 43v-44r. Landgraf, p. 140. Fischer, p. 62. 5 Fol. 48v-49r. Landgraf, p. 146. Fischer, p. 66f. 6 Fol. 47r. Landgraf, p. 144. Fischer, p. 65. 7 Fol. 58r. Landgraf, p. 154. Fischer, p. 78. 8 Fol. 109v. Landgraf, p. 282. Fischer, pp. 69, 79, 92. 9 Fischer, p. 57. 10 Fols. 46r, 51r. Landgraf, pp. 142, 148. Fischer, p. 57. 11 Fol. 46r. Landgraf, p. 143. 12 Fol. 56r. Landgraf, p. 152. Fischer p. 79f (Hadadrimmon is rendered Iosue, ?corrupt for Josiah=Targumic rendering). 18 2,35, 7, 13-14,3,25, Fols. 47v, 56v, 1 lOv. Landgraf, pp. 144,153, 283. Fischer, pp. 66,76f, 82. 14 Fol. 36v. Landgraf, p. 128. Fischer, p. 52. 15 ibid. Fischer, p. 54f. 16 G tarnen ante a et o sonum gimel retinet, ut cum dicitur : longa longo longum. Nam e vel i sequentibus potius iot quam gimel sonat, ut cum dicimus gero vel giro. 17 Ex. 20, 2, fol. 39v. Landgraf, p. 132f. Fischer, p. 59, where a facsimile is reproduced. A better one is given by Hirsch, Trans. Jew, Hist. Soc. of Eng., VII, p. 9?</page><page sequence="23">THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND 247 foreshadowing the more ambitious undertakings of the thirteenth century. Care has been taken to conform the Latin word order to the Hebrew, and where the latter is a compound word, the relevant Latin is placed above the appropriate part of the Hebrew word. In the Emanuel passage (Isaiah 7, 14)1 the crucial word H?^tf young woman, is rendered abscondita?merely to point a christological moral (si absconditam communi sensu accipit infidelis pro ea, que domi recluditur, quod ammirandum vel quod novum vel cuius rei Signum dicet esse conceptum ilium?) This comment and the derivation from Jn^S conceal, might be based on Jerome's comment in loco on the word 'Almah.2 Reference has been made3 to the use made by Stephen Langton (ob. 1228) of Andrew of St. Victor on the Octoteuch. Langton also interested himself in the textual correction of the Vulgate, and for this purpose referred to the Hebrew text?whether directly or by means of consultation with Jews has not been definitively established.4 It is not without interest that he himself disapproved of theological disputations with the Jews, and when commenting on the words of Jonathan to his armour-bearer (1 Sam. 14, 9), he drew from them the lesson that such disputations should be undertaken only if the challenge came from the Jewish side.5 Langton's activity in the Paris schools ended when he was created a Cardinal in 1206. Among his elder contemporaries at Paris was Ralph (Radulphus) Niger (ca.1149-ca.1199), an English Bible-commentator and chronicler who has been connected, on no very substantial grounds, with Bury St. Edmunds.6 Niger was in France at the time of Becket's exile, and in 1165 he was in touch with the Archbishop's circle, although he was not then himself a fellow-fugitive; his own exile, and his consequent violent abuse of Henry II, date from later, and will have been due either to his continued sympathy for Becket or perhaps to some implication in the rebellion of Henry's sons in 1173.7 His commentaries on the Heptateuch, Samuel, and Kings8 are theological in character, and there is little in them, according to G. B. Flahiff, to testify to a knowledge of Hebrew on the author's part. But he also left a tract de interpretationibus Hebraeorum nominum, largely a rearrangement of Jerome's own work on the same subject;9 but the title as given in the only known MS10 is Phil ippicus. As Niger explains at the beginning, he has set in the title not his own name but that of one Philip, a converted Jew, on whose help he had greatly relied in composing his book. With the aid of Philip he utilised, as did Herbert of Bosham, Menahem ibn Saruq's lexicon or Mahhbereth, which he calls Machuere, as well as the cArukh ("Aruch") of Nathan of Rome?a larger lexicographical work including post-biblical vocabulary. Since, however, Niger always mentions the two together, it has been suggested that he refers in fact to the Mahhbereth ha'arukh of his contemporary Solomon Parhhon of Salerno. Jerome's own explanations are given, though not always accepted; and the author has been equally circumspect with regard to the Jewish material supplied by Philip, accepting it only if it tallied with the Mahhbereth or 'Arukh, and not even then, unless "the Jews" 1 Fol. 45r-v. Landgraf, p. 141f. Fischer, pp. 56, 64. a P.L. 24, 162.a So also Aquila in Gen. 24, 43. 3 See p. 240. 4 See B. Smalley, Bible Study2, pp. 220, 235, referring to J. P. Martin, Le texte parisien de la Vulgate latine, Museon vii (1888), pp. 287f. 5 See B. Smalley, ibid. p. 235, referring to Bodleian MS Rawlinson C. 427, fol. 10a. 6 See Ralph Niger?An introduction to His Life and Works, by G. B. Flahiff, C.S.B., in Mediaeval Studies (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies) ii (1940), pp. 104f. 7 ibid., pp. 105, 108. 8 ibid, pp. 115, 117f. where the MSS are mentioned. 9 P.L. 23, 815f. 10 Lincoln Cathedral MS 15, fols.59v-86. Flahiff, p. 120.</page><page sequence="24">248 THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OF ENGLAND not only concurred but corroborated their explanation by reference to the Old Testament, or at least to "their Gamaliel" (pel saltim de Gamaliele sud)?a name which was used, it seems, by Christians to mean the Talmud or talmudic literature.1 Ralph seems to have acquired through this collaboration a modicum of Hebrew, whose content he is careful not to exaggerate :2 and he was able to correct Jerome in connection with the pronounciation of certain letters (Pe and Phe)s, while endorsing Jerome's remarks about the Hebrew sibilants, on the evidence of contemporary Jewish practice. BIBLIOGRAPHY Altaner, B. Zur Kenntnis des Hebr'ischen im Mittelalter, Biblische Zeitschrift 21 (1933), p. 288f. Andrew of St. Victor. P. Gregorius Calandra, O.F.M., de historica Andraeae VictoriniExpositione in Ecclesiasten. Panormi, 1948. The other commentaries of Andrew remain unprinted, the known MSS being as follows : Heptateuch, Paris Bibl. Nat. Lat. 356, Lat. 14798, Vatican Barbarini Lat. 693. Octoteuch, Chronicles, Cambridge, C.C.C. 217. The same -f Minor Prophets, Oxford, Bodleian Library, Laud Lat. 105. The same + Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, Cambridge, C.C.C. 30. Samuel and Kings, Cambridge, Trinity Coll. B.I.29. The same+ Chronicles, Paris, Bibl. Nat. Lat. 14803, Cambridge, C.C.C. 315. Isaiah, Paris, Mazarine 175. The same + Daniel, Paris, Bibl. Nat. Lat. 574. The same + Jeremiah, Cambridge, Pembroke Coll. 45. Ezekiel, Paris, Bibl. Nat. Lat. 14432. Visions ofEzekiel, Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodl. e. Mus. 62. Corpus of Works (less Jeremiah), Vatican, Lat. 1052. (See B. Smalley, Bible Study2 p. 175f. Extracts are printed, ibid. pp. 375f, covering the prologues to the Prophets, Isaiah, Ezekiel, the Pentateuch (extract only), and selected comments to Genesis, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Ecclesiastes). Berger, S. Quam notitiam Linguae Hebraicae habuerunt Christiani medii aevi temporibus in Gallia, Paris, 1883. Browe, P. (S.J.). Die Judenmission in Mittelalter und die Papste. Miscellanea Historiae Ponu ficiae, vol. 6, no. 8. Rome, 1942. Calandra. See Andrew of St. Victor. Encyclopaedia Judaica. Art. Christliche Hebr?isten (A. Spanier), vol. 7, p. 1083,f (includes a bibliography). Hirsch, A. A. Presidential Address to the Jewish Historical Society of England, 1909, printed m the Society's Transactions, vii, pp. If. London, 1915. Early English Hebraists: Roger Bacon and his Predecessors, in the Jewish Quarterly Review (Old Series), xii, pp. 34f., 1899 and thence reprinted in A Book of Essays, pp. If, London, 1915. (With E. Nolan), The Greek Grammar of Roger Bacon and a fragment of his Hebrew Grammar, Cambridge, 1905. Hunt, R. W. The Disputation of Peter of Cornwall against Symon the Jew, in Studies in Mediaeval History presented to Frederick Maurice Powicke, pp. 143f., Oxford, 1948. Jewish Encyclopaedia. Art. Hebraeists, Christian (R. Gottheil), vi, pp. 300f (includes a biblio? graphy with a list of Christian Hebraeists, mostly post-Renaissance). Loewe, R. Herbert ofBosham's Commentary on Jerome's Hebrew Psalter, Biblica vol.34, pp.45f, 1953. Migne, J. P. Patrologiae Cursus Completus. Series Prima (Latino), Paris, 1844f. (Abbreviated as P. L.) Series Graeca, Paris, 1857f. (Abbreviated as P. G. L.) 1 See C. Roth, Intellectual Activities, p. 9 citing Select Pleas, etc., from the Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews, ed. J. M. Rigg (1902), p. 18. Cf W. Bacher in Winter and W?nsche, Die J?dische Literatur vol. ii, p. 293. Mr. Roth also draws my attention to the Minhath Kena oth of Abba Mari Yarhi (i.e. of Lunel), ed. M. Bisliches (1838) p. 142, where a Christian uses this term as if familiar to Jews. 2 Flahiff, p. 121. 3 Cf. Jerome on Dan. 11, 45, P.L. 25, 575b.</page><page sequence="25">THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN HEBRAISTS OP ENGLAND 249 MiLLAS Vallicrosa, J. Ma. La aportacton astronomica de Pedro Alfonso, Sepharad 3 pp. 65f, 1943, and thence reprinted in Estudios sobre historia de la ciencia espanola, p.l9f, Barcelont, 1949. P. G. L. and P. L. See Migne, J.P. Roth, C. The Intellectual Activities of Mediaeval English Jewry, British Academy Supplemental Papers, no. viii, London, [1951]. The Jews of Mediaeval Oxford, Oxford Historical Society, New Series, Oxford 1951. Singer, C. and D. The Jewish Factor in Mediaeval Thought, in The Legacy of Israel, ed. E. R. Bevan and C. Singer, pp. 173f. Oxford, 1927. smalley, B. The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages, 2nd edition, Oxford, 1952. Hebrew Scholarship among Christians in xiiith century England, as illustrated by some Hebrew-Latin Psalters, London, 1939. A Commentary on the Hebraica by Herbert of Bosham, in Recherches de Theologie ancienne et midievdle, 18, p. 29. 1951. [soury, J. Des etudes hebraiques et exegetiques au moyen age chez les chretiens d* Occident, Paris, 1867. This work is unavailable to me]. Steinschneider, M. Manna, Berlin, 1847. Catalogus librorum hebraeorum in Bibliotheca Bodleiana, Berlin, 1852-60. Die Hebr?ischen Ubersetzungen des Mittelalters, Berlin, 1893. Christiche Hebraisten, in Zeitschrift fur Hebraeische Bibliographie I and II (1896-7) and 5 (1901). Williams, A. Lukyn. Adversus Judaeos. A Bird's-Eye view of Christian Apologiat until the Renaissance. Cambridge, 1935. Manuscripts Referred to (See also s.v. Andrew of St. Victor, above). English Libraries, cambridge Corpus Christi College 315 p. 240 N.10 241 Pembroke College 30 237 Peterhouse 112 240 Trinity College B.5, 4, 6, 7 241 B. 14.33 245 Eton College 130 231 Lincoln Cathedral 15 247 London Lambeth Palace 435 245 St. Paul's Cathedral Case B.13 (no 242 pressmark) Oxford Bodleian Library Auct. E Infra 6 241 Auct. F 1.9 231 Bodl. 482 236 Hatton 92 234 Rawlinson C 427 247 Corpus Christi College 283 231 Lincoln College Lat. 27 234 Foreign Libraries dijon 9 bis 233 Munich cod. lat. 405 234 paris Bibl. Nationale Lat. 356 239 Mazarine 175 238</page></plain_text>

bottom of page