Book Series Studies and Texts, vol. 237

Salome and the Kin of Jesus: The Treatises of Maurice of Kirkham and Herbert of Bosham

  • Pages: approx. 356 p.
  • Size:152 x 229 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2024



Constant J. Mews is Professor Emeritus in the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies at Monash University, Australia, where he was until his retirement Director of the Centre for Religious Studies. His interests focus around theology and exegesis in the patristic and scholastic periods, and his publications, which range widely in the history of medieval thought and culture, include The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard: Perceptions of Dialogue in Twelfth-Century France (2nd ed., 2008) and Abelard and Heloise (2005). He is currently completing editions of the De XII abusiuis saeculi for Scriptores Celtigenae in the Corpus Christianorum, and an edition and translation of the letters of Hugh Metel.

Antti Ijäs earned his doctorate in Latin Language and Roman Literature at the University of Helsinki. His main fields of interest are Classical and Medieval philology, with a particular focus on Medieval Latin, manuscript studies, and book history. His research revolves around pragmatic and technical literature and language, particularly questions related to the history and semantics of technical terminology and the transmission of knowledge and technique through text and image. He publishes in English, German, and Finnish. He is currently a researcher with the University of Helsinki, working on a new edition, translation, and commentary of Konrad Kyeser’s Bellifortis.


In the twelfth century, a widely circulated hypothesis about the descendants of St Anne, mother of the Virgin, included the idea that Salome, the mother of the disciples James and John, was in fact a man and St Anne’s third husband. Two scholars mounted a challenge: Maurice of Kirkham, prior of the Augustinian abbey of Kirkham in Yorkshire; and Herbert of Bosham, a former student of Peter Lombard and a companion of Thomas Becket. Both men employed scholastic methods of enquiry and knowledge of Hebrew; both decried the acceptance of a flawed hypothesis about the genealogy of the Virgin as symbolic of an uncritical acceptance of scholastic authorities with the potential to distort comprehension of the Gospels. This volume provides the first edition and translation of Maurice’s Contra Salomitas, in both its short and long versions. It also provides an edition and translation of Herbert’s letter to Henry, count of Champagne. A substantial introduction outlines the long evolution of the debate about the kin of Jesus, and situates Maurice and Herbert in the context of their twelfth-century scholastic milieu.


Preface and Acknowledgements
List of Figures
I Maurice of Kirkham and Herbert of Bosham
II Memories of Salome, the sons of Zebedee, and James, brother of the Lord
III The Church Fathers on the kin of Jesus
IV Maurice and the Diffusion of a Fable in Verse and Prose
V The Manuscripts
VI Editorial Principles
Maurice of Kirkham
Contra Salomitas (uersio breuior)
Maurice of Kirkham
Contra Salomitas (uersio longior)
Maurice of Kirkham
Epistula ad Rogerum Eboracensem archiepiscopum
Herbert of Bosham
Epistola ad comitem Henricum
Herbert of Bosham
Nouum opus super sententiis Petri Lombardi super Gal. I:19

Checklist of Prose and Verse Summaries of the Trinubium Legend
Select Bibliography
Index of Manuscripts
Index of Biblical References
General Index