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N o t e s Non-­ Christian ancient sources (including Josephus and Philo) are cited from the editions of the Loeb Classical Library. Rabbinic texts are cited from the most commonly available texts and translations. English translations are listed in the bibliography where available; unless noted, translations are my own. The following abbreviations are used for critical editions: CCG  Corpus Christianorum, series Graeca. Turnhout: Brepols, 1977–­ . CCL  Corpus Christianorum, series Latina. Turnhout: Brepols, 1954–­ . CSCO  Corpus scriptorum christianorum orientalium. Louvain: Secretariat du Corpus CSCO, 1903–­ . CSEL  Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum. Vienna: Akademie , etc., 1866–­ . GCS (n.f.)  Grieschichen christlichen Shriftsteller (neue folge). Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, etc., 1899–­ . PG Patrologia Graeca. Ed. J.-­ P. Migne. Paris: Migne, 1857–­ 66. PL Patrologia Latina. Ed. J.-­ P. Migne. Paris: Migne, 1844–­ 65. PO  Patrologia Orientalis. Paris, Brepols: Firmin-­ Didot, etc., 1904–­ . SC Sources chrétiennes. Paris: Cerf, 1943–­ . Preface Note to epigraph: Guibert of Nogent, De pignoribus sanctorum 2.1.1 (PL 156:629). Guibert claims the “great Origen” said this; he seems to be basing this on an otherwise lost fragment preserved by Pamphilus (whose work defending Origen was, in turn, preserved in Latin by Rufinus of Aquileia), where Origen says: “This circumcision of his, however, sufficiently 192 Notes to Pages ix–x constrains the heretics (ex diverso). For how could a spiritual body be circumcised with earthly iron? On account of this some of them did not blush to publish books even concerning the foreskin of his circumcision in which they attempted to show that it ended as a spiritual substance” (Pamphilus, Apologia pro Origene 113 [SC 464:184–86]). Whatever books Origen (or Pamphilus, or Rufinus) may be referring to do not, alas, survive. 1. See Amy Remensnyder, Remembering Kings Past, 172–82. For a brief, but competent, summary of the veneration of Christ’s foreskin, see Johan J. Mattelaer, Robert A. Schipper, and Sakti Das, “The Circumcision of Jesus Christ,” Journal of Urology 178 (2007): 31–34. 2. Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda aurea 13; text in Th. Graesse, Legenda aurea, 86. 3. See also the roughly contemporaneous discussion of the circumcision of Christ by Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae 3a.37, 1; text and facing English translation in Roland Potter, St. Thomas of Aquinas: Summa Theologiae, vol. 52: 3a. 31–37, the Childhood of Christ, 142–45. 4. Guibert of Nogent, De pignoribus sanctorum 2.1.1 and 2.2.1 (PL 156:629, 631–32, 651–52). For information on Guibert and this work, see the introduction of Thomas Head, “Guibert of Nogent, On Saints and Their Relics,” in Medieval Hagiography, 399–404. 5. For a brief but provocative overview, see Marc Shell, “The Holy Foreskin; or, Money, Relics, and Judeo-­ Christianity,” in Jonathan Boyarin and Daniel Boyarin, Jews and Other Differences, 345–59, expanded from Shell, Art and Money, 30–44. On artistic representations of Christ’s maleness, see Leo Steinberg, The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and Modern Oblivion, particularly his discussion of the circumcision on 50–71; and Carolyn Walker Bynum, “The Body of Christ in the Later Middle Ages: A Reply to Leo Steinberg,” in Fragmentation and Redemption, 86–87. 6. See Catherine of Siena, Letter 221 (to Suor Bartolomea della Seta), Italian text in Niccolo Tommaseo, Le lettere di S. Caterina da Siena, 3:247. Catherine, Agnes Blannbekin, and Birgitta of Sweden (see below) are all discussed by Caroline Walker Bynum, “The Female Body and Religious Practice in the Later Middle Ages,” in Fragmentation and Redemption , 185–86. When Bynum writes that Catherine received the foreskin ring in a vision, she seems to be extrapolating from this letter to a nun, where Catherine equates a virgin’s ring with the foreskin, and Catherine’s own vision of receiving an invisible wedding ring from Christ (see Thomas McDermott, Catherine of Siena, 246). It seems a fair inference. 7. Agnes Blannbekin, Life and Revelations 37, translated and cited in Ulrike Wiethaus, Agnes Blannbekin, Viennese Beguine, 35. 8. Birgitta of Sweden, Revelationes 6.112 text in Birger Bergh, Sancta Birgitta: Revelaciones , Book VI, 272; see Bynum, “Body of Christ,” 86 and 330n.11; and id., “Female Body,” 186 and 369–70n.22. Like Agnes, Birgitta is also sometimes described as ingesting a part of the Holy Foreskin in her Revelationes. The source for this seems to be Marc Shell, who gives the citation as De praeputio Domini 37 (“Holy Foreskin,” 346–47). This is, however, a misreading of Felix Bryk, Circumcision in Man and Woman...


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