Abstract

One of the most influential Christian lapidaries in medieval Europe was a composite text that combined fragments of several traditions concerning the powers of engraved stones. Here designated the “Techel/Azareus Complex,” this lapidary appears in different configurations in each manuscript, with varying combinations of both individual stones and of larger groupings of stones (“clusters”). Each of these clusters, which are intertwined in the manuscript tradition, has its own stylistic features and theoretical notions, suggesting that they may once have circulated as independent lapidaries. With an understanding of the Latin tradition and its particular fluidity, it becomes possible to recognize three Jewish texts, introduced and discussed here for the first time, that also form part of the textual history of the Complex. The first is a Hebrew translation that derives from an intermediate Anglo-Norman version. The second Hebrew text contains Castilian and Catalan terms; its complicated relationship to the Latin tradition suggests that it may have originated from similar sources, but independently. The third text, written in Italian in Hebrew characters, is remarkably similar to some of the Latin versions. Appendices provide a list of medieval Christian authors who cite the Complex, a bibliography of modern printed editions of this lapidary, a list of Anglo-Norman terms found in the manuscripts of the first Hebrew version, and a preliminary list of manuscripts.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1565-5423
Print ISSN
1565-1525
Pages
pp. 75-143
Launched on MUSE
2014-09-13
Open Access
No
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