Hîstôry¯a yêhûdît = Jewish history

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 43–63 | Cite as

The ideology of reform and changing ideas concerning Jews in the works of rupert of deutz and hermannus quondam iudeus

  • Anna Sapir Abulafia


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  1. 1.
    L. Dasberg,Untersuchungen über die Entwertung des Judenstatus im 11. Jahrhundert (The Hague, 1965).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The Epistolae Vagantes of Pope Gregory VII, ed. and trans. H.E.J. Cowdrey,Oxford Medieval Texts (London, 1972), xviii.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    What was called heresy in the second half of the eleventh century were abuses such as simony against which the reformers were fighting. See e.g. J.H. van Engen,Rupert of Deutz (Berkeley/Los Angeles,1983), 119.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Van Engen, 323–34.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    My discussion of Rupert's disputation will, in fact, tie in with some of the conclusions D.E. Timmer has reached by examining Rupert's attitudes towards Jews in the framework of his exegetical output in: “Biblical Exegesis and the Jewish-Christian Controversy in the Early Twelfth Century,”Church History 58 (1989), 309–21. The article is based on Timmer's dissertation “The Religious Significance of Judaism for Twelfth-Century Monastic Exegesis: a Study of the Thought of Rupert of Deutz, ca. 1070–1129,” Notre Dame, 1983.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Prof. A. Saltman disputes Herman's existence in his “Hermann'sOpusculum de conversione sua: Truth or Fiction?,”Revue des Études juives 147 (1988), 31–56. On Herman's identity see below.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ed. R. Haacke in: M.L. Arduini,Ruperto di Deutz e la controversia tra Christiani ed Ebrei nel secolo XII (Rome,1979), 183–242.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Van Engen, 247.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    A. Funkenstein, “Changes in the Patterns of Christian anti-Jewish Polemics in the 12th Century,”Zion 33 (1968), 129–37 [in Hebrew]; idem, “Basic Types of Christian Anti-Jewish Polemics”Viator 2 (1971), 377–9.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    A. Sapir Abulafia, “Jewish-Christian Disputations and the Twelfth-Century Renaissance,”Journal of Medieval History 15 (1989), 105–25; idem, “Theology and the Commercial Revolution: Guibert of Nogent, St. Anselm and the Jews of Northern France,” inChurch and city, 950–1500. Essays in Honour of Christopher Brooke, ed. D. Abulafia et al. (Cambridge, 1992), 23–40; idem, “Twelfth-Century Humanism and the Jews,” in a volume of articles of theAdversus Iudeos series, ed. O. Limor, forthcoming; idem, “Intentio recta an erronea? Peter Abelard's Views on Judaism and the Jews,”Bar Ilan Studies in History, forthcoming.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Arduini, 62–3. For example in theAnulus, ed. Haacke, 191, 193, 199, 202.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Anulus, 200.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ibid., 193; 203.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ibid., 232.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Van Engen, 42–5; 53; 67–72.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Van Engen, 26–55.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    I am following the chronology of Van Engen, 55; 131–4. See Van Engen, 158–68 and 335–42 on the accusations of heresy against Rupert.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Van Engen, 62–5; cf. Timmer, 315.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Van Engen, 70. It is mostly monks who have received this gift.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Van Engen, 79.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Van Engen, 92–4.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Van Engen, 105–116.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Van Engen, 140.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Van Engen, 136–42.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Van Engen, 222–32.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Van Engen, 246–7;Gesta abbatum Trudonensium, XI.16, ed. D.R. Koepke,MGH SS 10, 304.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Anulus, 184.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ibid., 185–9.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ibid., 191.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ibid., 195–8.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ibid., 201–4; on supposed Jewish jealousy see Timmer, 316.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Luke 15: 11–32.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Anulus, 204.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ibid., 207.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ibid., 207–8.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Ibid., 211.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Ibid., 222–3.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Ibid., 207.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Ibid., 215–6.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Ibid., 224–6. See Van Engen, 148–9 on Rupert's untraditional view that Jesus instituted the Eucharist through his Passion rather than at the last supper.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Anulus, 225.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Ibid., 232.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Ibid., 229. See Van Engen (155–6) on Rupert's insistence that except for infants physical participation in the Eucharist was the prerequisite for salvation for everyone, including the saints of the Old Testament. On Rupert's ultrarealist view of the real presence in the Eucharist see G. Macy,The Theologies of the Eucharist in the Early Scholastic Period. A Study of the Salvific Function of the Sacrament According to the Theologians c. 1080 – c. 1220 (Oxford, 1984), 66–7.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Cf. Psalm 113:8 (in the Vulgate). This Psalm condemns the making and worshipping of idols: “They have hands and feel not ⋯ Let them that make them become like unto them: and all such as trust in them” (ibid. 7–8).Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Anulus, 232–6.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Ibid., 238.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Ibid., 242.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Gilbert Crispin,Disputatio Iudei et Christiani, 157–161, ed. A. Sapir Abulafia in:The Works of Gilbert Crispin Abbot of Westminster, ed. A. Sapir Abulafia and G.R. Evans,Auctores Britannici Medii Aevi, VIII (London, 1986), 52–3. Many of these discussions go back to Gregory the Great's views on the use of images for the illiterate which he expressed in a letter to Serenus, bishop of Marseilles, ed. P. Ewald and L.M. Hartmann,Gregorii I Papae, Registrum Epistolarum, vol. II,MGH, Epist., II (Berlin, 1899), 269–72.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    See Timmer (320) where he asserts that Rupert is not just reasserting exegetical clichés.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Van Engen, 155.Google Scholar
  51. 52.
    Cf. Jerome,Liber in interpretationis Hebraicorum nominum, 75,22,Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina, 72, 154.Google Scholar
  52. 53.
    Cf. John 19: 20.Google Scholar
  53. 54.
    In Iohannis Evangelium, VII, ed. R. Haacke,Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis [henceforth CCCM], 9 (Turnhout, 1969), 390–1; See Timmer (321) on Rupert's role in the demonization of Jews.Google Scholar
  54. 55.
    E.g.In Genesim VIII, 26, ed. R. Haacke,De Sancta Trinitate et operibus eius, CCCM 21 (Turnhout, 1971), 513.Google Scholar
  55. 56.
    De operibus Spiritus Sancti, VIII, 16 ed. R. Haacke,CCCM 24 (Turnhout, 1972), 2095. See Timmer (316 and 320) for insights into the role which Rupert assigns Jews in the last days..Google Scholar
  56. 57.
    Comment. in XII Prophetas minores. In Osee Lib. V; PL 168, 170.Google Scholar
  57. 58.
    De S. Trinitate, XXIX,In Hieremiam, 83, ed. R. Haacke,CCCM 23 (Turnhout, 1972), 1635.Google Scholar
  58. 59.
    Comment. in XII Prophetas minores, in Amos Lib. III, PL 168, 342.Google Scholar
  59. 60.
    De S. Trinitate, In Librum Psalmorum 5, ed. R. Haacke,CCCM 22 (Turnhout, 1972), 1356.Google Scholar
  60. 61.
    De S. Trinitate, XXIX,In Hieremiam, 81, ed. R. Haacke,CCCM 23, 1633–4. This does not refer to enforced ghettoes which were instituted much later. It refers to the fact that Jews often chose to live in a particular part of a city.Google Scholar
  61. 62.
    In Genesim IX ,4, R. Haacke,CCCM 21, 536. On Jewish taxation see K. Stow,Taxation, community and state. The Jews and the fiscal foundations of the early modern papal state. Päpste und Papstum, XIX (Stuttgart, 1982), 68–70. Rupert might be thinking of the canonIam vero dating back to Gregory the Great which recommended the use of the burden of heavy taxation to turn recalcitrant peasants back to God. This canon does not refer to Jews, and it is interesting that Rupert speaks of Jewish peasants. I know of no other instance of this in this period. The punitive taxation system which Rupert admires was in fact applied by the late sixteenth-century popes to the Jews of the Papal State.Google Scholar
  62. 63.
    F.W.E. Roth, “Ein Brief des Christen Rudolf von St. Trond an Rupert von Deutz,”Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde 17 (1992), 617–8. Rudolph also wanted something more on the meaning of Genesis 49: 10, the text Christians used to prove to Jews that they and not the Jews are now the chosen people.Google Scholar
  63. 64.
    PL 169, 14; Van Engen, 361.Google Scholar
  64. 65.
    Saltman, 31–56;Hermannus quondam Judaeus Opusculum de conversione sua, ed. G. Niemeyer,MGH, Die deutschen Geschichtsquellen des Mittelalters 500–1500, IV (Weimar, 1963).Google Scholar
  65. 66.
    Opusculum, Epistola, ed. Niemeyer, 69–70. It seems to me that the male and female religious he speaks of must be members of his own mixed Premonstratensian order.Google Scholar
  66. 67.
    See also A. Momigliano, “A Medieval Jewish Autobiography,” in:History and Imagination. Essays in Honour of H.R. Trevor-Roper, ed. H. Lloyd-Jones et al., (London, 1981), 32–3.Google Scholar
  67. 68.
    Opusculum, 106–8.Google Scholar
  68. 69.
    Ibid., 83–7.Google Scholar
  69. 70.
    On the Opusculum and twelfth-century spirituality see also J. Cohen, “The Mentality of the Medieval Jewish Apostate: Peter Alfonsi, Hermann of Cologne, and Pablo Christiani,” inJewish Apostasy in the Modern World, ed. T.M. Endelman (New York, 1987) 31–2.Google Scholar
  70. 71.
    Opusculum, 70–2. Herman writes that his name was Judah, the son of David and Sephora and that he was a Levite.Google Scholar
  71. 72.
    Ibid., 72–6.Google Scholar
  72. 73.
    Ibid., 83–7.Google Scholar
  73. 74.
    Saltman (p. 36) points out that Herman could not have met Godfrey in Cappenberg because Godfrey died before Egbert gained his see. But Herman does not actually say that he met the founder of Cappenberg. What he says is that he took notice of the religious way of life (religiosam conversationem) of the counts [Godfrey and his brother Otto] and the brethren. Godfrey did not have to be alive for Herman to see the lifestyle he had helped to create at Cappenberg.Google Scholar
  74. 75.
    Ibid., 88–93.Google Scholar
  75. 76.
    Ibid., the term used ispaschalis festivitas and it can mean both. I think Herman and Baruch must have gone home for Passover; it would have been too difficult for Jews to spend that holiday among Christians. See below for the dates of Easter and Passover for the year in question. There is no evidence of a Jewish community in Münster in this period, nor indeed does Herman refer to one. (Germania Judaica, ed. I. Ellbogen et al., [Tübingen, 1963], 238;Encyclopaedia Judaica, XII, s. v. Münster).Google Scholar
  76. 77.
    Opusculum, 94–6.Google Scholar
  77. 78.
    Ibid., 76.Google Scholar
  78. 79.
    Saltman (pp. 51–2) rightly cast doubt on the possibility of Herman meeting Rupert in Münster.Google Scholar
  79. 80.
    Arduini (p. 57 n. 197) thinks it more likely that Rupert and Herman talked in Cologne, but she does not draw any implications from this for understanding the sentence about Rupert in theOpusculum. Google Scholar
  80. 81.
    Opusculum, 76–79.Google Scholar
  81. 82.
    Cf. Gregory the Great, see note 48.Google Scholar
  82. 83.
    Opusculum, 79–83. There are hints of Gilbert Crispin'sDisputatio Iudei in Herman's rendering of his disputation with Rupert, as there is in his description of Cappenberg as the fulfilment of Isaiah's prophecy concerning the lion lying with the lamb. But this does not mean that what Herman writes is pure invention. TheOpusculum gives Herman's subjectivepost factum description of his discussion with Rupert, not a verbal statement of what was actually said. See Saltman's views on this on pp. 45–8 of his article.Google Scholar
  83. 84.
    The homily (PG 12, 946) was incorporated in the standard gloss on Joshua: Saltman, 47 n. 68. It is worth mentioning that Peter Alfonsi seems to have used Origen's homily in a similar context. In hisDialogi he says that just as the altar in Transjordan reminded the children of Reuben of the true altar, so Christians make copies of the cross Jesus Christ died on to remind them of the original cross and of the fact that all Christians are brothers in Christ (PL 157, 670). (There is no reason to suppose that either Rupert or Herman had knowledge of Peter's disputation.)Google Scholar
  84. 85.
    H. de Lubac,Exégèse médiévale. Les quatre sens de l'écriture, vol. I.1 (Paris, 1959), 226, 237, 327; see also Van Engen 289–90, 298.Google Scholar
  85. 86.
    Opusculum, 82–3.Google Scholar
  86. 87.
    Ibid., 96–7.Google Scholar
  87. 88.
    Ibid., 98–104.Google Scholar
  88. 89.
    Ibid., 104–6.Google Scholar
  89. 90.
    Ibid., 106–8.Google Scholar
  90. 91.
    Ibid., 108–9. The existence of this seven year-old is not without interest. If we recall that Herman's dream about Emperor Henry occurred seven years before his visit to Münster, then that must have coincided with the boy's birth. That must mean that Herman's parents were divorced or that Herman's mother had died before his father had remarried the woman who was Herman's half-brother's mother. The absence of Herman's parents in Cologne is borne out by hisOpusculum. He does not consult his father (or mother) about his dream; he turns to a relation. Throughout the historyparentes, brothers and friends appear, not a father or a mother. One cannot help wondering whether the lack of parental guidance had anything to do with Herman's subsequent change of religion. See B. Blumenkranz's ideas on this in his “Jüdische und christliche Konvertierten im jüdisch-christlichen Religionsgespräch des Mittelalters,”Miscellanea Mediaevalia 4 (1966), 275–8, reprinted in hisJuifs et Chrétiens — Patristique et Moyen Age (London, 1977), essay no.XIV.Google Scholar
  91. 92.
    Ibid., 112–4. Herman writes that they were studying “the commentary of Gamaliel on the Scriptures.” Gamaliel is a word Christians used to denote the Talmud. In the same way Herman uses the Vulgate throughout theOpusculum. One of Professor Saltman's objections to the possible authenticity of theOpusculum is Herman's Christian parlance, even at the stage of the story when he was still supposed to be a Jew (Saltman, 50). I would argue that the Vulgate was used throughout the composition because at the time of writing Herman was a Christian. There would be no purpose in him shedding doubts on the sincerity of his conversion by quoting the Hebrew Bible. In the first place his intended audience was Christian. Secondly, he was convinced that debates with Jews on the meaning of the Bible were not an effective method of converting them. It is surely not without meaning that he informs us that he himself could make no headway against the Jews in the synagogue in Worms. Thus there would be no point in furnishing Christians with texts from the Hebrew Bible. It is, I think, for the same reason that he uses the very un-Jewish word Gamaliel when referring to the Talmud.Google Scholar
  92. 93.
    Ibid., 114–5.Google Scholar
  93. 94.
    Ibid., 115–6.Google Scholar
  94. 95.
    Ibid., 116–8.Google Scholar
  95. 96.
    Ibid., 121–2.Google Scholar
  96. 97.
    Ibid., 122–7. On the interpretation of the dream see G. Misch,Geschichte der Autobiographie, III.1 (Frankfurt am Main, 1959), 507.Google Scholar
  97. 99.
    Opusculum, 10–24.Google Scholar
  98. 102.
    Ibid., 47–8. Niemeyer does not rule out a later date, thinking that Herman might have written his autobiography in Scheda or in Cologne after leaving Scheda. But the fact that no mention is made of Scheda makes it more likely that he wrote it before becoming prior there. That would mean that he probably wrote it in Bonn. We do not know why he waited all this time before writing his story. Perhaps the sight of hasty conversions during the second crusade inspired him to write about his own sincere conversion.Google Scholar
  99. 103.
    G. Niemeyer, “DieVitae Godefridi Cappenbergensis,”Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 23 (1967), 460.Google Scholar
  100. 104.
    Vita Godefridi comitis Capenbergensis, ed. Ph. Jaffé,MGH, SS 12, 517–8.Google Scholar
  101. 105.
    For Professor Saltman the interdependence of theOpusculum and theVita Godefridi was the final proof that Herman'sOpusculum is fictitious. According to Saltman, the author of theOpusculum gained the idea of writing an autobiography from the brief mention of a converted Jew in theVita. The elaborate details stem from his own imagination. He called his convert Herman out of respect for the prior of Scheda, who bore that name and had been a Jew. Saltman concluded by suggesting that theOpusculum was written in Cappenberg at the close of the twelfth century. See Saltman, 42–3; 52–6. In fact the overlapping passages are not so similar that the author of theOpusculum must have had theVita in front of him.Google Scholar
  102. 106.
    See my “Christians disputing disbelief: St. Anselm, Gilbert Crispin and Pseudo-Anselm,”Conference proceedings of 25. Wolfenbütteler Symposion, 11. bis 15. Juni 1989, forthcoming, for a discussion of this problem in the context of the intellectual endeavours of the period.Google Scholar
  103. 107.
    Van Engen, 141; cf.1 Cor. 11:27.Google Scholar
  104. 108.
    SeeOpusculum, 87.Google Scholar
  105. 110.
    Timmer (321) speaks of the “politicization of the Jewish-Christian polemic” in this period, arguing against Jeremy Cohen's thesis that that process took place in the thirteenth century through the activity of the friars. See J. Cohen,The Friars and the Jews. The Evolution of Medieval Anti-Judaism (Ithaca and London, 1982.) My articles listed in note 10 all show how different aspects of twelfth-century intellectual life set into motion the marginalization of Jews. I understand that an article will shortly appear inRevue des Etudes Juives by Aviad Kleinberg entitled “Hermannus Judaeus's Opuslum: In Defense of its Authenticity.”Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Haifa University Press 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Sapir Abulafia
    • 1
  1. 1.Lucy Cavendish CollegeCambridgeUK

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