publisher colophon

112. Seal of Jacob Son of Master Nathanael

[Yaa] kob ben Ha[nasi?] Rab Netanel Zayin-Tsadi-Lamed

Jacob Son of the [Prince?] Master Nathanael, the Memory of a Just

Man Be for a Blessing

[at right]

[S’] IACOBI IVDEI

Seal of Jacob the Jew

Dimensions: 25 mm. Impression.

Location: Main Provincial Archives of Koblenz, 1A No. 5248.

Bibliography: Brincken, 1963–64; Schilling, 1964, 1:B166.

Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1972, s.v. “Archives.”

Nos. 110–12 were attached to the same parchment document, illustrated here, dated March 17, 1345, 30 × 22 cm., written in German, and will be treated together. The seal of Michel has fallen off, and there is no record of its size or design. The seal of Samuel son of Isaac, which is quite badly damaged, shows a squirrel to the left, with his paws in front. A popular device in this period, the squirrel represented thrift and industry. An example is the squirrel which appears on the reverse of a pfennig issued in Vienna by Ottaker II. Within the circular line there is a design of small lines, perhaps floral in nature. The remnants of the Hebrew legend run round to the left; on the right the sole Latin letters remaining form the word Ivd or Jew. The name of the seal owner, Samuel, missing both from the Hebrew and Latin inscriptions, is on the document.

The seal of Jacob son of Master Nathanael shows a six-pointed star inside a classic Shield of David six-pointed larger star, all within a solid circular line. The legends in Hebrew and Latin are mostly intact. The document refers to this party as Jacob Daniels (Jacob son of Daniel), obviously the same person who had another seal and is mentioned as a principal in the document dated February 8, 1326 (No. 106). The Hebrew name of Jacob son of Nathanael, which differs from the name written by the German scribe, presents the same problem as before. There is another Hebrew letter between the hay and resh which seems to be a nun; this might stand for nasi or prince, a high compliment to Jacob’s father.

Line drawing of reverse side of Vienna pfennig issued by Ottakar II as King of Bohemia and Duke of Austria, 1261–76. From Szego, 1970, p. 15, No. 80.

The 1345 document is a declaration of an important lease between Archbishop Baldwin and a group of his Jewish bankers. Its contents may be summarized. Michel of Bingen, son-in-law of Jacob son of Daniel, and Sanwel [Samuel] the Little One,* son of the deceased Jew of Trier Isaac, declare to Gerhard von dem Roten Löwen (“of the Red Lion”), magistrate at Koblenz, who is to receive 15 large Tournosen and is acting for the Archbishop Baldwin of Trier, that they lease the Rhine toll at Koblenz for the next three years, for which they will pay 655 pounds Tournosen annually. Freed from toll are all ecclesiastics as well as those with a letter of permit. If the Rhine toll should change considerably during the lease period, then both parties shall invoke a body of arbitration to adjust the matter. The official in Koblenz will also be given a key to the toll-money box. Details as to the distribution of the money are also stipulated.

Rhine river toll lease from Koblenz, March 17, 1345, sealed by Michel, Samuel son of Isaac, and Jacob son of Nathanael, called Jacob Daniels (reduced in size). Main Provincial Archives of Koblenz, 1A No. 5248.


*This is an excellent example of how nicknames became surnames in Germany. Called Klein, or “the Little One” presumably because of his short stature, the name eventually became a last name. According to Dr. van den Brincken, Samuel was one of the Koblenz assessors commissioned by Archbishop Baldwin and thus became involved in this leasing of the Rhine tolls.

*This is an excellent example of how nicknames became surnames in Germany. Called Klein, or “the Little One” presumably because of his short stature, the name eventually became a last name. According to Dr. van den Brincken, Samuel was one of the Koblenz assessors commissioned by Archbishop Baldwin and thus became involved in this leasing of the Rhine tolls.

The 1345 document is a declaration of an important lease between Archbishop Baldwin and a group of his Jewish bankers. Its contents may be summarized. Michel of Bingen, son-in-law of Jacob son of Daniel, and Sanwel [Samuel] the Little One,* son of the deceased Jew of Trier Isaac, declare to Gerhard von dem Roten Löwen (“of the Red Lion”), magistrate at Koblenz, who is to receive 15 large Tournosen and is acting for the Archbishop Baldwin of Trier, that they lease the Rhine toll at Koblenz for the next three years, for which they will pay 655 pounds Tournosen annually. Freed from toll are all ecclesiastics as well as those with a letter of permit. If the Rhine toll should change considerably during the lease period, then both parties shall invoke a body of arbitration to adjust the matter. The official in Koblenz will also be given a key to the toll-money box. Details as to the distribution of the money are also stipulated.

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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