publisher colophon

100. Seal of Petter Son of Moses

* * S * Petter * bar * Moshe

Dimensions: 30 mm.* Impression.

Location: Bavarian Main State Archives, Munich, Regensburg City, Doc. 3041.

This elegant seal is very well preserved. Between the usual two beaded lines, the inscription starts with a large rosette succeeded by an S between two small rosettes. The first two Hebrew words are separated by a six-pointed star. On a large shield, which almost fills the field, is a cock walking to the left. A slender thin line around the edges of the shield sets it off from the surrounding inner beaded line. The cock on the shields of Gnendel and Chalman, father and son, is walking to the right and is somewhat more naturally conceived.

It is curious that three of the seals from Regensburg show cocks (as does an earlier one from Augsburg) although, as already indicated, this symbol did appear on seals from ancient Judaea as well as early Greek coins. The cock in ancient cultures, due to his procreative powers, symbolized the generation of new life and has been a folk symbol of aggressive male vitality. A wall painting in the Jewish catacomb of Vigna Randanini in Rome (third century) shows a cock standing amidst wreaths and fillets, a representation of victory.

No. 100 is affixed to a document dated March 10, 1391. We know of another Petter son of Moses from 1302 at Regensburg (almost ninety years earlier), but there is nothing in the records to indicate that the men were related. As in the case of the two eminent persons from Narbonne in Languedoc with the names Kalonymos bar Todros and Todros bar Kalonymos, we can only surmise a relationship.

This seal is interesting in that the Bavarian archives list the document as one sealed by Gnendel with a Hebrew legend; this probably is the same Gnendel who stamped the document from July 17, 1384, with his son Chalman (see No. 90). The German of this 1391 document begins, “I Gnendel.” Apparently Petter sealed for Gnendel in the transaction,* again indicating the close nexus among these Regensburg Jews. The similarity of the seal of Petter to those of Gnendel and Chalman, father and son, strongly suggests a close blood relation. Indeed, the cock on the three seals seems to point to a case of armes de famille. Moses was the father of Disslaba, as noted in No. 97, and Petter and Disslaba were probably brother and sister.

Another example of the connection between family and business relationships is that of David, whom we know sealed two documents in 1391 in which he was a principal, one in March and one in July (No. 97). He also sealed a third document on June 2 of that same year as surety for another Jew by the name of Jacob. The wording of this document tells us that Jacob was David’s father-in-law. Likewise, though difficult to read, the July 22, 1384, document sealed by Veivel (No. 98) seems to start off, “I David Jew,” as though in this case Veivel sealed for David. All these Jews in this small, rich community were obviously related to one another.


*The group of personal seals from Regensburg used in the latter half of the fourteenth century vary from 27 to 30 mm. They were probably meant to be the same size and indeed may have been made (with the exception of that of Meir Hesse) by the same craftsman, the variance being the result of measuring old imprints from casts or photographs.

*The records indicate that Gnendel died in 1391 and that his widow left the city. Gnendel either was too sick to be present at the signing of this transaction or died while the document was being drawn up, and Petter son of Moses acted as legal guarantor.

*The group of personal seals from Regensburg used in the latter half of the fourteenth century vary from 27 to 30 mm. They were probably meant to be the same size and indeed may have been made (with the exception of that of Meir Hesse) by the same craftsman, the variance being the result of measuring old imprints from casts or photographs.

*The records indicate that Gnendel died in 1391 and that his widow left the city. Gnendel either was too sick to be present at the signing of this transaction or died while the document was being drawn up, and Petter son of Moses acted as legal guarantor.

Dimensions: 30 mm.* Impression.

This seal is interesting in that the Bavarian archives list the document as one sealed by Gnendel with a Hebrew legend; this probably is the same Gnendel who stamped the document from July 17, 1384, with his son Chalman (see No. 90). The German of this 1391 document begins, “I Gnendel.” Apparently Petter sealed for Gnendel in the transaction,* again indicating the close nexus among these Regensburg Jews. The similarity of the seal of Petter to those of Gnendel and Chalman, father and son, strongly suggests a close blood relation. Indeed, the cock on the three seals seems to point to a case of armes de famille. Moses was the father of Disslaba, as noted in No. 97, and Petter and Disslaba were probably brother and sister.

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Rothenburg, Bavaria

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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