Book Series Monumenta Palaeographica Medii Aevi : Series Hebraica: Cartae hebraicis litteris exaratae...

Hebrew and Hebrew-Latin Documents from Medieval England: A Diplomatic and Palaeographical Study

Judith Olszowy-Schlanger

  • Pages: 846 p.
  • Size:305 x 440 mm
  • Illustrations:26 b/w, 562 col., 3 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English, Hebrew, Latin
  • Publication Year:2016

Temporarily Out of Stock
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55101-2
  • Hardback
  • Temporarily Out of Stock

Hebrew and Hebrew-Latin Documents from Medieval England is a new commented facsimile edition of the documents with Hebrew script written in England before the expulsion of the Jews in 1290.


« (…) cet ouvrage, qui est un véritable écrin des trésors pour les paléographes non moins que pour les historiens (…) collection magistrale que nous offre J. Olszowy Schlanger (…) » (Saverio Campanini, dans Cahiers de Civilisation Médiévale, 240/60, 2017, p. 430)

"(...) den hervorragenden Band, dem man eine möglichst rasche Fortsetzung für andere jüdische Zentren im MA wünschen möchte." (E.G., in: Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters, Band 73-1, 2017, p. 273-275)

“Olszowy-Schlanger’s edition is a magisterial opus, both in its scholarship and in its materiality. Olszowy-Schlanger’s deep knowledge of the languages, documents, and people of medieval England enables her to shed new light on known documents, as well as to identify new charters, unmask forgeries, and provide new analyses.” (Eyal Poleg, in: The Library, 20/4, 2019, p. 545)

"(...) this breathtaking work is now an essential resource for any researcher working on medieval English Jewry." (Sacha Stern, in: Jewish Historical Studies, Vol. 51/1, p. 333)



Judith Olszowy-Schlanger, PhD, Cambridge (1995), is Professor of Hebrew Manuscript Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Sciences historiques et philologiques and an associate researcher at the Hebrew section of the IRHT, Paris. Her main research interests are medieval Hebrew diplomatics and palaeography, Cairo Genizah studies, as well as scholarly contacts between Jewish and non-Jewish cultures.


Hebrew and Hebrew-Latin Documents from Medieval England: A Diplomatic and Palaeographical Study is a new facsimile edition of the entire known corpus of legal and administrative documents containing Hebrew script, produced in England before the expulsion of the Jews in 1290. In addition to the illustrated edition and study of 258 charters on parchment and 58 wooden tallies with Hebrew inscriptions, this book provides fresh insights into the historical, legal and administrative background of the documents' production and use, and their external diplomatic and palaeographical features. Throughout the book, the documents are portrayed as a meeting point between Jewish and non-Jewish legal and intellectual traditions.



Preface by Colette Sirat
Note on coins and measures
Glossary of Hebrew and Latin legal terms
Glossary of frequent palaeographical terms
List of Hebrew abbreviations


Part I : History, legal status and production of Hebrew documents in medieval England
1. English Jews and their documents in the Middle Ages
1.1 Overview
1.2 Historical background
1.3 Hebrew documents in their legal and administrative contexts of production
1.3.1 Legal and administrative status of English Jews
1.3.2 The archae and the Exchequer of the Jews
1.4 Competences of Jewish and non-Jewish courts
1.4.1 ‘Embedded’ autonomy
1.4.2 Jewish courts
1.5 Who wrote the Hebrew documents of our corpus ?

2. The corpus and its edition
2.1 Libraries and archives
2.2 History of research and previous publications
2.3 The corpus of documents
2.4 Tallies
2.4.1 Jewish tallies in England
2.4.2 Tallies with Hebrew inscriptions

3. External characteristics of the documents
3.1.1 Writing materials
3.1.2 Formats and sizes
3.1.3 Page layout Pricking and ruling Layout of the text on the parchment sheet Justification
3.1.4 Means of authentication Signatures Chirographs Seals
3.1.5 Hebrew extra-textual inscriptions
3.1.6 Archiving documents
3.1.7 Means of cancellation
3.2 Tallies

4. The palaeographical study: scripts, styles and scribes
4.1 The importance of writing in Hebrew
4.2 Personal versus professional writing
4.3 Hebrew script in England
4.3.1 The style: square versus documentary
4.3.2 The type of script
4.4 Handwriting
4.4.1 How were the documents written ?
4.4.2 Some exceptional scribes Scribes from Norwich Scribes from Nottingham Scribe from Nottingham and Lincoln Scribes from Canterbury Scribe from Canterbury and Lincoln
4.4.3 Palaeographical study: conclusions

5. The languages of the documents: linguistic features and interfaith contacts
5.1 Multilingualism of Jewish legal contracts in England
5.2 The Hebrew of the Jewish documents from England
5.2.1 Grammatical features Morphology Syntax
5.2.2 Vocabulary Hebrew and Aramaic Anglo-French Latin English
5.2.3 Spelling of vernacular words Consonants Vowels

6. Legal transactions: their typology and formulae
6.1 Real estate
6.1.1 Sale Sale alone Sale of property preceded by remittance of the rights to this property by a third party Sale preceded by a court decision concerning the ownership rights derived from the ketubbah Sale preceded by donation
6.1.2 Remittance
6.1.3 Settlement of ownership by a widow
6.1.4 Donation
6.1.5 Building permission/concession
6.1.6 Division of property
6.1.7 Lease
6.1.8 Settlement of conflict over a party wall
6.1.9 Declaration of guarantees in a sale of land
6.2 Trade in money
6.2.1 Acknowledgement of debts Loans to Christians Inter-Jewish loans
6.2.2 Quitclaims
6.2.3 Receipts
6.2.4 Settlements concerning reimbursement
6.2.5 Licentiae
6.2.6 Business letters
6.2.7 Partnership in the ownership of debts
6.2.8 Assignment of debts Sale of debts Donation of debts
6.2.9 Sale of rent
6.3 Family matters
6.3.1 Shiddukhin
6.3.2 Grant of the rights to dwell in a house
6.3.3 Maintenance settlement
6.4 Administrative documents
6.4.1 Records of bonds
6.4.2 Inquests
6.5 Hebrew and Latin formulae in contact

Part II : The edition
Editorial norms
Charters : n° I – 258
Tallies : n° I – LVIII

Appendix I Chronological list of documents
Appendix II List of documents according to their place and date

Index of names
General index
Index of manuscripts