Abstract

Abstract:

The late fourteenth-century Austrian Chronicle (Österreichische Chronik von den 95 Herrschaften), a prose work composed anonymously in Habsburg Vienna, contains a fabulistic history of Austria and its rulers—including a description of heraldic devices. According to the Chronicle, the first geographical designation for Austria was Judeisapta (lit: appropriate for Jews), a land named by a Jew but devoid of Jews. The initial settler, Abraham, was a pagan who, some eight centuries after the deluge, left Terra Ammiracionis (Wonderland) for Judeisapta. Later, Jewish rulers of Austria, under darkly articulated circumstances, converted from idol worship and then reverted to paganism in pre-Christian times. In conformity with the Augustinian scheme of the Ages of the World, Jewish sovereignty in the Chronicle is portrayed as evanescent and transitory, worthy of attention only as a preparatory stage for the Christian ascendancy. An important theme is the conversion of Austrian Jews, whose fictitious history betrays a fragile conception of religious affiliation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-0604
Print ISSN
0021-6682
Pages
pp. 412-433
Launched on MUSE
2020-08-25
Open Access
No
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