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Silenus Among The Jews? Anti-Jewish Polemics In Ninth-Century Byzantine Marginal Psalters

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Chapter Summary

The chapter suggests that in most aspects the scenes of Chludov and Pantocrator Psalters largely correspond and they apparently use common pictorial sources, the manuscripts differ somewhat in their representation of Jews. It shows that the nuances in depiction of Jews in two Psalters reflect these variant intentions. It sheds light on the problem of dating the two manuscripts, a problem widely debated and still unsolved. Both Psalters depict numerous Jewish figures, usually identified by caption or theological context of the scene. Scenes of moral intention, such as Christ talking to the rich youth, which appear only in the Chludov Psalter, depict figures in Jewish dress but without any Silenic features. There is a clear distinction between the representation of Jews in ?historical? scenes and in scenes of typological and polemical content, taken mainly from the New Testament. The chapter focuses on this last group of scenes.

Keywords: Byzantine Marginal Psalters; Chludov and Pantocrator Psalters; Jewish figures; Jews; New Testament; polemical content; Silenic features



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