publisher colophon

81. Seal of Judah Son of Baruch Hacohen / Judeli

[at left]

Yehudah ben Harab Baruk Hacohen

Judah Son of the Master Baruch the Cohen

[at right]

S’ IVDELI. IV[D]EI.

S[igillvm] Ivdeli.Ivdei.

Seal of Judeli the Jew

Dimensions: 44 mm. Impression.

Location: Bavarian Main State Archives, Munich.

Bibliography: Monumenta Boica, 1956, 35, Pt. 2, No. 23; Schwarz, 1963, Fig. 2.

These two seals will be treated together because they are attached to the same document, shown here. They are unusual not only because both are still in good condition despite their age, and bear interesting devices, but also because they belong to men with known histories. They are affixed to a document from June 2, 1307.

The inscription on the seal of Lamb shows his name in German on the outer rim, though it is partly effaced by time. The inner rim shows the Hebrew inscription of the name. The device is unusual. Below, a lamb walks to the left. Above is a Jew’s hat. Between the two is an object so blotched by age that it cannot be identified. In the middle to the left is a small star; to the right is another small object, most likely a crescent moon, since these two symbols almost always appear together on Jewish seals of the period.

The name appearing in the document is Lamp. This cannot be confirmed on the seal itself because the part of the rim inscription which shows the name in Latin letters is obliterated. However, Lamp or Lamb was a known person whose name was spelled in various ways according to the careless orthography of the time. In the 1298 document with the seal of the Augsburg Jewry, where he is also a principal, the name is spelled Lambt. In another document from 1308, shortly to be discussed, the name is written both as Lamp and Lamb. Other spellings are Lamblin and Lamplin, as well as Lampl (still not an uncommon Jewish name), these last being diminutives. Dr. Friedrich Blendinger, former director of the City Archives of Augsburg, has suggested that Lamp comes from the Bavarian dialect whereas Lamb indicates the Swabian dialect, Augsburg being located on the border between the two areas. Raphael Straus (1939) always refers to him as Lamb of Augsburg. The conclusive evidence, of course, is the image of the lamb on his seal, indicating armes parlantes. It seems that Lamb took the name he used in the Christian community from that of his father, Pesach, rather than using his own name of Asher.* Unusual for German Jews of the time, the father had two names, that is, Pesach Solomon.

Nos. 80 and 81, attached to Munich quittance of June 2, 1307. Left: No. 80, seal of Asher son of Pesach Solomon/Lamb; right: No. 81, seal of Judah son of Baruch Hacohen/Judeli (reduced in size).

The seal of Juedlin (also Juedlein), called Judeli on the seal in Latin letters and referred to as Judel in the document itself, is unusually large for a personal Jewish seal. The Latin letters run to the right in conventional form while those in Hebrew run to the left, both sets of letters being enclosed by solid lines. The device is a lion rampant, perhaps from the association with the Bavarian lion, as shown in the badge and Christian seal illustrated here. Since the Hebrew name of Juedlin (“little Jew” in German) is Judah, the lion here represents armes parlantes as well. In this seal the Jewish and German traditions come together in perfect harmony.

Bronze and silver identification badge, southern Germany, 15th century. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1904, No. 04.3.299.

Seal of Count Hugo von Bregenz, 1300. Illustration from Hohenlohe-Waldenburg, 1973, No. 107. Cast from which this drawing was made is in the Waldenburg Palace Museum of Seals.

The document itself is short and can be readily translated. It reads: “We, Lamp and Judel, the Jews of Augsburg, and our heirs and employees, proclaim and announce to all those who look at this letter or hear it being read that we have released the good citizens of Munich of 750 pounds new Augsburg pfennigs which they shall have given to us on St. George’s Day past and so announce by this letter to which we have affixed our seals. 1307 the Friday before St. Erasmus’ Day.” This date corresponds with June 2, 1307.


*In the strict sense, the name Lamb in Hebrew is not Pesach but rather Keves, but this writer believes the son chose the name Lamb because of its association with Pesach. This name was rare but not extraordinary in the period. Pesach ben Abraham Hacohen, a thirteenth-century German Jew, wrote several piyyutim, or liturgical poems. Pesach son of Moses is mentioned in Hungarian records from around 1400, and at this time a Bohemian Jew called Pesach Peter (the latter name possibly taken at his baptism) viciously attacked his former coreligionists.

*In the strict sense, the name Lamb in Hebrew is not Pesach but rather Keves, but this writer believes the son chose the name Lamb because of its association with Pesach. This name was rare but not extraordinary in the period. Pesach ben Abraham Hacohen, a thirteenth-century German Jew, wrote several piyyutim, or liturgical poems. Pesach son of Moses is mentioned in Hungarian records from around 1400, and at this time a Bohemian Jew called Pesach Peter (the latter name possibly taken at his baptism) viciously attacked his former coreligionists.

Additional Information

ISBN
9780814344859
MARC Record
OCLC
1055142843
Pages
175-176
Launched on MUSE
2018-10-02
Open Access
Yes
Creative Commons
CC-BY-NC-SA
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.