88. Seal of the Community of Regensburg
Ḥotam Kehal Reygensburk
Dimensions: 46 mm. Impression.
Location: Bavarian Main State Archives, Munich, Regensburg City Doc. 1078.†
Bibliography: Altmann, 1913, fig. 3; I. Meyer, 1913, fig. 3; Herlitz and Kirschner, 1927–30, s.v. “Regensburg”; Diamant, 1928; Straus, 1939; Monumenta Boica, 1956, No. 196; Schwarz, 1963, fig. 8; Encyclopedia Judaica, 1972, s.v. “Regensburg.”
This handsome and well-preserved seal is unusually large. Within a double-line beaded border are the Hebrew letters, preceded by a five-pointed star. The field shows a crescent moon to the right and a six-pointed star to the left, the star so close that its right side fits into the arc of the moon. The seal is affixed to a document dated June 8, 1356, illustrated here.
Reverse side of denarius of Emperor Hadrian, I25–28 A.D.
Note should be made of the repetition of the symbols of moon and star, which appear on the earlier Regensburg seals of Petter and Gaedel (Nos. 83–84) and are also seen on antique coins such as the second-century Roman coin illustrated here.
This seal is interesting because the leading Jewish principal of the document to which it is appended is a woman, Chändel, called Chändlein in the Jewish records, who was commissioned by the city to assess the taxes due from Jews newly settling in Regensburg. We have here an excellent example of the independent financial power of Jewish women in the Middle Ages. (Chändlein was murdered a few years later in a crime which was never solved.)