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14. Seal of Gedaliah Son of Jekuthiel

Gedaliyah bar Yekutyiel

Dimensions: 22 mm. Matrix.

Location: Labouret Collection, Paris, BB2, 23.9.

Bibliography: Blumenkranz, 1965–66, No. 2, 23 (9); Bedos, 1980b, No. 2, 23 (9).

Drachma of Abdera showing seated griffin, ca. 540 B.C.

This seal, in the collection of President Labouret of the French Court of Justice, shows the Hebrew legend around the edge, enclosed by an outer and inner rim of beaded lines. Within the field is a griffin contourné, that is, standing facing to the left. Blumenkranz describes the animal as a winged lion. Note the resemblance to a theme used on classical coins, as seen in the griffin on the coin of Abdera shown here.

Nothing is known of the provenance of this seal, which by style is Ashkenazi. Bedos dates the seal as fourteenth century.*


*An undated anonymous Hebrew chronicle conserved at Parma from the thirteenth century, itself copied from an earlier one probably dating from the first half of the twelfth century, relates that in the year 4767 (i.e., 1007 A.D.) Robert II, king of France, decreed a persecution of all Jews who would not convert. Jacob son of Jekuthiel of Rouen, the representative of the Jews to Duke Richard II of Normandy (the duchy of Normandy having accepted the Capetian decree), succeeded in convincing the duke that only the pope could make such a decision, and received permission to visit Rome. There, by the time-tested method of a large sum of money, Jacob had the decree annulled. The anonymous chronicler states that Jacob sent to all the jewish communities involved “a letter with my seal,” confirming the decision.

Though the chronicler mentions that Jacob had four sons, and mentions their names, Gedaliah is not one of them. This reference to another Jewish seal is placed here because we know nothing else of its background (Golb, 1985, pp. 33, 41, 48, 49).

*An undated anonymous Hebrew chronicle conserved at Parma from the thirteenth century, itself copied from an earlier one probably dating from the first half of the twelfth century, relates that in the year 4767 (i.e., 1007 A.D.) Robert II, king of France, decreed a persecution of all Jews who would not convert. Jacob son of Jekuthiel of Rouen, the representative of the Jews to Duke Richard II of Normandy (the duchy of Normandy having accepted the Capetian decree), succeeded in convincing the duke that only the pope could make such a decision, and received permission to visit Rome. There, by the time-tested method of a large sum of money, Jacob had the decree annulled. The anonymous chronicler states that Jacob sent to all the jewish communities involved “a letter with my seal,” confirming the decision.

Nothing is known of the provenance of this seal, which by style is Ashkenazi. Bedos dates the seal as fourteenth century.*

Additional Information

ISBN
9780814344859
MARC Record
OCLC
1055142843
Launched on MUSE
2018-10-02
Open Access
Yes
Creative Commons
CC-BY-NC-SA
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