Linda Stone’s analysis of the anti-Jewish polemic present in three closely-linked twelfth-century Psalms glosses brings a new source to the study of medieval Christian-Jewish relations. She reveals how its presence, within the
magna glosses compiled respectively, by Anselm of Laon, Gilbert of Poitiers and Peter Lombard, illuminates the various societal challenges facing the twelfth-century Church. She shows that, rather than a twelfth-century phenomenon, using such anti-Jewish terminology in Christian Psalms exegesis was a long-standing reflection of Christianity’s ambivalence towards Judaism. Moreover, demonstrating how her analysis of anti-Jewish terminology unravelled the Psalm glosses’ textual relationships, she suggests that analysis of its presence in other glossed books of the Bible could offer a further resource for uncovering their complexities.
This extraordinary commentary by a late twelfth-century anonymous northern French exegete interprets the Song of Songs solely according to its plain meaning as a story of two young lovers and their developing relationship. The exegete pays attention to every detail of the text, offering many enlightening insights into its meaning, all the while expanding upon the “way of lovers” – the ways that young people in love go about their lovemaking. The French background of the exegete is made clear by numerous references to knights, coats of arms, weapons, chivalry, and of course, wine drinking. The edition is accompanied by an English translation and extensive introduction which analyzes the various linguistic, literary, and exegetical features of the text.