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The Colmar Treasure

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发表于 7-23-2019 13:44:04 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 choi 于 7-24-2019 08:08 编辑

Susan Delson, Hidden Treasures from the Middle Ages; Rediscovered objects shine a light on Jewish life in 14th-century France. Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2019.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/hid ... le-ages-11563468972

Note:
(a) "In May 1863, workmen renovated a building in the French town of Colmar knocked some mortar from a wall and uncovered a long-hidden treasure. The centuries-old building stood at the corner of what had been known, in the Middle Ages, as the Street of Jews. And as the cache of rings, brooches and other objects came to light, so did a vanished community of 14th-century France.  Opening July 22 [through Jan 12, 2020] at the Met Cloisters, 'The Colmar Treasure: A Medieval Jewish Legacy' presents a range of items unearthed that day * * * On Loan from Musée de Cluny in Paris * * *Exhibition organizer Barbara Drake Boehm, senior curator at the MET cloisters"
(i) Colmar
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colmar
(The city is renowned for its well-preserved old town)
(ii)
(A) The Met Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
https://www.metmuseum.org/visit/plan-your-visit/met-cloisters
(B) cloister (n):
"1: a covered walk, usually around a quadrangle in a religious institution, having an open arcade or colonnade on the inside and a wall on the outside
2: (sometimes plural) a place of religious seclusion, such as a monastery"
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/cloister
(iii) the exhibition:
https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibi ... ieval-jewish-legacy
("The Colmar Treasure revives the memory of a once-thriving Jewish community that was scapegoated and put to death when the Plague struck the region with devastating ferocity in 1348–49")

This WSJ article is a review of the exhibition.
(iv) Musée de Cluny
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musée_de_Cluny
(The museum is built atop the ancient Thermes de Cluny, baths from the Roman era of Gaul)
(A) French-English dictionary:
* therme (noun masuline, plural thermes): "therma (Roman hot bath)"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/therme
   ^ The "therma" is, in fact, not English but Latin noun feminine, which is from Ancient Greek adjective masculine thermós hot (temperature) and whose definition is supplied in Wiktionary above.
* hôtel (noun masculine; etymology): "mansion, town house, hotel"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hôtel
   ^ The English noun hotel is borrowed from the French noun hôtel.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hotel
(First Known Use [in English] 1687)
(B) Cluny
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluny
is far from Paris. So why is the Roman bathhouse RELATED to Cluny?  I fail to find out what Romans named the bathhouse (for general public, always); however, association of the name Cluny with the site came later. See Cluny Abbey
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluny_Abbey
("a former Benedictine monastery in Cluny * * * It was dedicated to St Peter. * * * In 1790 during the French Revolution, the abbey was sacked and mostly destroyed, with only a small part of the Abbey surviving.  Starting around 1334, the Abbots of Cluny maintained a townhouse in Paris known as the Hôtel de Cluny [see French definitions in (a)(iv)(A)], which has been a public museum since 1843. Apart from the name, it no longer possesses anything originally connected with Cluny")

Cluny is pronounced differently in English and in French.
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/cluny
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 楼主| 发表于 7-23-2019 13:46:27 | 显示全部楼层
(b) "Located in the Alsace region of northeastern France, not far from the border with Germany, Colmar was already a winemaking center in 1300s [as is presently], with a growing Jewish community. Initially, however, the discoverers of the treasure [this one has lower case for t] didn't recognize its Jewish connections. The first object to be identified as Jewish was a ring designed for use in a wedding ceremony, featuring a raised structure that evokes the lost Temple of Jerusalem. The miniature arcade supports a peaked, six-sided roof bearing Hebrew letters that spells 'mazel tov' ('congratulations'). Only five such rings from this era are known to exist; a second, from a private collection, is also in view in the exhibition."
(i) Neither the First Temple
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon%27s_Temple
nor Second Temple
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Temple
showed a roof (both had a flat roof, though), let alone six-sided one. Rather, I believe this ring has a hexagonal roof to house 1 of the 6 letters each.
(A) Indeed, the roof structure in the Jewish wedding rings were different in shape. SeeBarbara Drake Boehm and Melanie Holcomb (eds), Jerusalem, 1000–1400; Every people under heaven. Published by the Met and distributed by Yale University Press,  at pages 144-146
https://books.google.com/books?i ... rusalem&f=false
62a-c Medieval Jewish Marriage Rings * * * b. Jewish Wedding Ring[:] Germany, first half of the 14th century[;] Gold with enamel[;] H [height] 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm)[;] Musée de Cluny, Musée national du Moyen  ge, Paris (Cl. [standing for 'Catalogue de la Collection'] 10658)" )
(B) Alsace
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alsace
("Alsatian [language] is an Alemannic dialect closely related to Swabian and Swiss German, although since World War II most Alsatians primarily speak French;" section 2 History: Romans conquered in 58 BC + With the decline of the Roman Empire, Alsace became the territory of the Germanic Alemanni, an agricultural people +
Alsace was a province of (German-speaking) Holy Roman Empire until French took it in 1639 + "As in much of Europe, the prosperity of Alsace was brought to an end in the 14th century by a series of harsh winters, bad harvests, and the Black Death. These hardships were blamed on Jews, leading to the pogroms of 1336 and 1339. In 1349, Jews of Alsace were accused of poisoning the wells with plague, leading to the massacre of thousands of Jews during the Strasbourg pogrom")
(ii) arcade (architecture)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcade_(architecture)
(iii) English dictionary:
(A) mazel tov (interjection; First Known Use 1862 [the year the phrase in English]; Late Hebrew mazzāl tōbh, literally, good luck)
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mazel%20tov
(B) mazel tov (from Hebrew mazál star, constellation; fate, luck + Hebrew tov good; literally "good stars, good luck")
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mazel_tov
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 楼主| 发表于 7-23-2019 13:46:59 | 显示全部楼层
(c) "In addition to the ceremonial ring, the Treasure [the T is capitalized, because Colmar Treasure is a proper name]  holds one other dazzling piece, a magnificent brooch inlaid with rubies, garnets, sapphires and pearls [search images.google with (Colmar brooch)]. Other objects reflect daily life: A tiny silver key, for example, would have been used by the lady of the house to lock away her many other keys in a single box during the sabbath. Carrying the keys outside the home was ordinarily forbidden on the Sabbath, but this one would have been an exception: Because it was made of silver, it was considered jewelry, which was permitted to wear [search with (Colmar silver key)]."

Garnet
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garnet
(section 1 Etymology; "Garnet species are found in many colours including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, brown, black and colourless, with reddish shades most common")

(d) "Until the late 1340s, Jews in Colmar -- including the unknown family that owned the Treasure -- lived peaceably among their Christian neighbors. But that safety came to a violent end when bubonic plague swept Europe with devastating force. In its wake, 'people scapegoated the Other [sic], the minority community,' said Ms Boehm, 'which was the Jewish community.' Across Europe, Jews were arrested, and false confessions were obtained under torture to justify the violence against them. In December 1348, a Jewish man in Colmar falsely confessed to poisoning the town's water supply, and in early 1349, the Jews of Colmar were put to death."
(i) peaceable (adj; one synonym is "peaceful"):
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/peaceable
(ii) peaceable: "1: without violence; peaceful <They believe only in peaceable, non-violent protest> ​
2: avoiding arguments  <a peaceable person>"
Cambridge Dictionary
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/peaceable
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 楼主| 发表于 7-23-2019 13:48:13 | 显示全部楼层
(e) "For decades, the Colmar Treasure was thought to be the sole legacy of the town's medieval Jewish population. But research in the Colmar municipal library recently yielded another hidden treasure: fragments of Hebew manuscripts that were later incorporated into the bindings of other books. The fragments are roughly contemporary with the Treasure and suggest the range of books held by the Jewish community at the time. A page from one of those manuscripts, with an illuminated first letter depicting a fanciful bird, is included in the show.  * * * Through one unknown family and their possessions—small, cherished and easily hidden—the exhibition bears eloquent witness to the lost Jews of Colmar."
(i) "research in the Colmar municipal library recently yielded another hidden treasure: fragments of Hebew manuscripts that were later incorporated into the bindings of other books."
(A) Of French nationality, Judith Kogel conducted the research in Colmar. This year, her book is published in French:
Judith Kogel, Sur les traces de la bibliothèque médiévale des Juifs de Colmar. Brill Academic Publishers, Inc (Apr 9, 2019)
https://brill.com/abstract/title/38758?rskey=RnGIxD&result=2
(bilingual in both French and English: "The Colmar Public Library preserves more than 330 Hebrew fragments glued to the bindings of incunabula. Each of them a priori can be considered as a witness to a book that disappeared, probably fallen into the hands of bookbinders as a result of tragic historical circumstances. After describing and identifying them, Judith Kogel was able to partially reconstruct and present in this book, the collection of texts studied and used by Jews in Colmar and the surrounding area in the Middle Ages. Although we cannot know to whom these books belonged and where they were kept, the collection covers all areas essential to Jewish daily life and reflects a structured community committed to the transmission of knowledge")

The cover of this book is the talk of this WSJ review in the quotation (e).
(B) Brill Publishers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brill_Publishers
(based in Leiden, the Netherlands; section 2 History: 1683 Jordaan Luchtmans was registered as a bookseller + 1848, the business passed from the Luchtmans family to that of EJ (Evert Jan) Brill, a former employee)
(C) BUT, Hebrew fragments found incorporated into mainstream books (my words to describe books of the majority) is not unique to Colmar. See

Andreas Lehnardt and Judith Olszowy-Schlanger (eds), Books Within Books; New discoveries in old book bindings. Brill, 2014.
https://books.google.com/books/a ... tml?id=0wFbngEACAAJ
, in which Judith Logel wrote a chapter about her Colmar findings.
(ii) "A page from one of those [Hebrew] manuscripts, with an illuminated first letter depicting a fanciful bird, is included in the show."
(A) My first impression was the bird represented the first letter of a Hebrew word in text (as seen so often in medieval manuscripts and modern prints), though it was obvious fro the beginning that the bird did NOT look like the first letter of a Hebrew word. For lack of other letters. After exhaustive research for two (2) days about Colmar library, Hebrew manuscripts in vain, it dawns on me today that this "first letter" is in fact about Hebrew alphabet!
(B) Hebrew language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_language)"Hebrew had ceased to be an everyday spoken language somewhere between 200 and 400 CE [Common Era = AD; in its place Jews spoke 'Aramaic and to a lesser extent Greek'] * * * Hebrew survived into the medieval period as the language of Jewish liturgy, rabbinic literature, intra-Jewish commerce, and poetry. Then, in the 19th century, it was revived as a spoken and literary language. It became the lingua franca of Palestine's Jews, and subsequently of the State of Israel. * * * The Torah (the first five books), and most of the rest of the Hebrew Bible, is written in Biblical Hebrew ['an archaic form of Hebrew': en.wikipedia.org] * * * Modern Hebrew is written from right to left [same as Arabic] using the Hebrew alphabet, which is an 'impure' abjad, or consonant-only script, of 22 letters")
(C) abjad
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abjad
("a type of writing system where each symbol or glyph stands for a consonant, leaving the reader to supply the appropriate vowel. So-called impure abjads do represent vowels, either with optional diacritics [as in nikkud for Modern Hebrew]* * *")
(D) niqqud
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niqqud
(or nikkud)
(iii) Hebrew alphabet
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_alphabet
has א (aleph; equivalent to a) as the first letter.
(A) Here is the cover of Books Within Books (mentioned in (e)(i)(C) above). Compare it (this cover) with that (cover) of Judith Kogel (mentioned in (e)(i)(A) (. you will see the latter (in the bird) displays a stylized א ALONE:
The Hebrew Alphabet.
https://www.hebrew4christians.co ... -Bet/aleph-bet.html

, whereas Books Within Books displays, right to left, three letters:
א;
6th letter vav ("vav" meaning "hook;" equivalent to many letters in English);
20th letter resh (equivalent to r).
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