This article provides a scholarly edition of the correspondence between the literary historian Georg Gottfried Gervinus (1805–1871) and the philologist Wilhelm Scherer (1841–1886) during the years 1869–1870. The exchange of letters between the two scholars whose publications have been highly formative with regard to the developing literary historiography of their time is a document of the history of the germanistische Mediävistik. It yields insights into the contemporary research discussions about philological problems of numerous medieval texts, especially of the 11th and 12th century, as well as into the individual development of the correspondents’ conceptual views on literary historiography.
This article deals with two theological paradoxes in the Book of Esther (Masoretic Text). Arguably, the most striking characteristic of the book is that it does not mention God. At the same time, the two Jewish protagonists bear names that are identical with, or at least strongly reminiscent of, those of the Babylonian deities Marduk and Ištar. While the author of Esther seems to completely ignore the cultic laws of the Pentateuch, at the end of the book he strongly emphasizes the foundation of the Purim feast. Although each of these four topics has been dealt with in scholarship, they are seldomly—and if so, only partly—investigated with regard to their mutual coherence. In aiming to do this, the present article undertakes to reevaluate the theological profile of the Book of Esther (as expressed in the Masoretic Text) as well as its historical location. As for the latter question, the intriguing statement related to “relief and deliverance coming to the Jews from another place” in Est 4:14 provides an important hint.