publisher colophon

92. Seal of Saadia the Jew


S + Sadia + Ivd +

Dimensions: 28 mm. Impression.

Location: Bavarian Main State Archives, Munich, Regensburg City Doc. 2526

Between heavy beaded lines appear the Gothic letters, rather well preserved in this case. As usual in this group of Regensberg seals, the letters of Ivd are reversed, if read clockwise. Before and after the S are rather elaborate crosses. The designer of the seal left too much space at the end of the inscription, which seems to be filled with a long floral design with a simple smaller cross at each side. The field is filled with a mass of large dots, probably representing the top view of a rose: the writer has seen similar depictions on Christian seals from the same period.

The document is dated July 22, 1384, with the sealer’s named spelled “Sadian.” The seal is extraordinary in that a Jew used such elaborate crosses as a decorative element. This has been noted before on Jewish seals using the vernacular, but here, as will be shown, Saadia was without question a pious and conforming Jew.

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