Thou Art the Man: The Masculinity of David in the Christian and Jewish Middle Ages 9780812297997

Exploring the different configurations of David in biblical and Talmudic commentaries, in Latin, Hebrew, and vernacular

245 39 46MB

English Pages 368 [309] Year 2021

Report DMCA / Copyright


Polecaj historie

Thou Art the Man: The Masculinity of David in the Christian and Jewish Middle Ages

Citation preview

Thou Art the Man


Ruth Mazo Karras, Series Editor Edward Peters, Founding Editor A complete list of books in the series is available from the publisher.

THOU ART THE MAN The Masculinity of David in the Christian and Jewish Middle Ages

Ruth Mazo Karras

un iver sit y of pen nsy lvan i a press phil adelphi a

Copyright © 2021 University of Pennsylvania Press All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations used for purposes of review or scholarly citation, none of this book may be reproduced in any form by any means without written permission from the publisher. Published by University of Pennsylvania Press Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4112 Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Karras, Ruth Mazo, author. Title: Thou art the man : the masculinity of David in the Christian and Jewish Middle Ages / Ruth Mazo Karras. Other titles: Middle Ages series. Description: 1st edition. | Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, [2021] | Series: The Middle Ages series | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2020037028 | ISBN 978-0-8122-5302-3 (hardcover) Subjects: LCSH: David, King of Israel. | Masculinity— Europe—History—To 1500. | Masculinity—Religious aspects—Judaism—History—To 1500. | Masculinity— Religious aspects—Christianity—History—To 1500. Classification: LCC BS580.D3 K36 2021 | DDC 222/.4092—dc23 LC record available at

For CGK, again and again


Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations


ix xiii


Chapter 1. David His Tens of Thousands: Prowess and Piety


Chapter 2. Surpassing the Love of Women: Love, Friendship, Loyalty Between Men


Chapter 3. I Have Sinned Against the Lord: Sex and Penitence


Chapter 4. With Sacred Music upon the Harp: Creativity and Ecstasy


Chapter 5. O My Son Absalom: Establishing a Dynasty











My work on what would become this book began in 2012–2013 at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. I thank the then director, David Ruderman, and the staff for making that year possible, and my colleagues there, especially Esperanza Alfonso, the late Remie Constable, Elisheva Baumgarten, Judah Galinsky, Elisabeth Hollender, Katelyn Mesler, S. J. Pearce, Rami Reiner, Rebecca Winer, and Luke Yarborough, from whom I learned a great deal. It continued in 2016–2017 at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies. Thanks to Moshe Rosman for the invitation, and to medievalist colleagues Elisheva Baumgarten, Renée Levine Melammed, Claudia Rosenzweig, Paola Tartakoff, and Oded Zinger for the help particularly with Hebrew sources. The latter research year was supported by a fellowship from EURIAS, European Institutes for Advanced Study. It continued once again in 2018 as the Donald Bullough Fellow at the University of St Andrews, and in 2019 as Scholar in Residence at the American Academy in Rome. During most of the time I worked on this book, I was employed by the University of Minnesota. I thank the College of Liberal Arts and Department of History there, especially Gary Cohen and Elaine Tyler May as chairs, for making the research leaves possible, and all my colleagues there, especially Bernard Bachrach, Mary Franklin Brown, Michelle Hamilton, Michael Lower, Wim Phillips, Kathryn Reyerson, Andrea Sterk, and John Watkins, for making it a wonderful intellectual community. The Department of History as a whole slowed my progress on this book by electing me its chair from 2013 to 2016, but I nevertheless thank them for their confidence in me and their support. I have presented portions of this work to a variety of different audiences, and I thank them all for their invitations and feedback. In roughly chronological order: University of Rochester; Gruss Colloquium in Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania; Peking University; “New Directions in Medieval Masculinities” conference, Duke University; Ohio Wesleyan University; Hollins College;


Ac k n ow l ed g men ts

University of New Mexico; Haskins Society; “Warrior, Poet, Prophet and King: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam” conference, University of Warsaw; “God’s Own Gender? Religions and Their Concepts of Masculinity” conference, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster; “The Middle Ages Now” conference, University of Haifa; Midwest Medieval History Conference; Durham University; University of Aberdeen; Trinity College Dublin, Medieval History Research Centre; Bullough Lecture, St.  Andrews Institute for Mediaeval Studies; Queen’s University, Belfast; History of Sexuality Seminar, Institute for Historical Research, University of London; Sophus Bugge Annual Lecture, University of Oslo; Trinity Centre for Biblical Studies, Trinity College Dublin; Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies, King’s College, London. The audience members who gave me useful feedback are too numerous to list, but I am deeply grateful to all of you for your enrichment of the work. I have been fortunate to have several excellent PhD students as research assistants on this project: Jesse Izzo, Katherine Pierpont, and Emma Snowden at the University of Minnesota, and Sigrun Wik at Trinity College Dublin. Emma in particular lent her linguistic skills to the project. I have been able to use Arabic texts only in translation, but Emma made it possible for me to get a sense of the range of meaning of particular terms and better understand the translators’ choices. Elisheva Baumgarten, Dyan Elliott, and Christopher Karras, as well as the two anonymous readers for the University of Pennsylvania Press, read the entire manuscript and saved me from many errors and infelicities. Margot Fassler, Amy Livingstone, and Julian Luxford read portions that touched on their areas of expertise, for which I am grateful. The librarians at the Katz Center and at Trinity College Dublin were most helpful in helping me to track down what I needed, often involving interlibrary loan. The final editing of the manuscript was completed under lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. I am grateful to the scholars of #MedievalTwitter, especially Máirín MacCarron and Anna Dorofeeva, who came to my rescue when the libraries were closed by checking citations for me, and to Renée Levine Melammed for last-minute checking of Hebrew references in the National Library of Israel. The pandemic is also responsible for the omission of several images I would have liked to have included: waiting till libraries reopened for photography would have held up the production of the book indefinitely. Portions of Chapter 1 appeared in “Royal Masculinity in Kingless Societies,” Journal of the Haskins Society 28 (© 2016): 83–100. Portions of Chapter 2 appeared in “David and Jonathan: A Medieval Bromance,” in Rivalrous Masculinities, ed.

Ac k n ow l ed gmen ts


Ann Marie Rasmussen (University of Notre Dame Press, © 2019), 151–173. Portions of Chapter 3 appeared in “David and Bathsheba: Sexuality in Medieval Judaism and Christianity,” in God’s Own Gender? Masculinities in World Religions, ed. Daniel Gerster and Michael Krüggeler (Ergon Verlag, © 2018), 201–228. All are included by kind permission of the respective publishers. The soundtrack for this book is Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” I ultimately decided not to go with epigraphs for each chapter, but if I had used them, several would have been from this song. Go listen to it! A special thank-you to Jerry Singerman, Erica Ginsburg, and everyone from Penn Press. After the good experience I have had with them on previous work, I did not consider submitting this book anywhere else. As always, Chris Karras makes my work possible in every sense. I dedicate this once again to him.

a b b r e v i at i o n s


British Library, London Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris Babylonian Talmud (Talmud Bavli), The William Davidson Talmud, ed. and trans. Adin Steinsaltz, Sefaria, https://www.sefaria .org /texts/Talmud Corpus Christianorum, continuatio medievalis Corpus Christianorum, series latina Corpus Scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum Septuagint Monumenta germaniae historica Masoretic text Patrologia cursus completus, series graeca, 161 vols., ed. J.-P. Migne (Paris: Imprimerie catholique, 1857–1866) Patrologia cursus completus, series latina, 221 vols., ed. J.-P. Migne (Paris: Imprimerie catholique, 1841–1855) Jerusalem Talmud (Talmud Yerushalmi), The William Davidson Talmud, ed. and trans. Adin Steinsaltz, Sefaria, https://www.sefaria .org /texts/Talmud/Yerushalmi


How do we approach the study of masculinity in the past? In the present, we can conduct opinion polls, observe day-to-day interactions, or read formal and informal writing by a wide range of people. For medieval Europe, we do not have these options. The documents of practice that have come down to us tell us a great deal about the things that men did, but not much about what they did specifically as men, or what these practices meant to them in terms of masculinity. Men were the unmarked category—the default, the normal human. To apply contemporary models of what masculinity entails and to look for practices in the past that match them would be to make anachronistic assumptions; we must start from the position that masculinity was constructed and configured differently in different societies and cultures.1 Alexandra Shepard writes of early modern masculinities in terms that might equally well apply to medieval ones: “a fully comprehensive history of early modern masculinity needs to take into account both the cultural construction of maleness/manhood/manliness and the social (and, where possible, psychic) experiences of men as a diverse group of people in relation to those categories.”2 She also calls for scholars to recognize masculinity as created by relations among men, not just relations with women, in this way echoing Raewyn Connell’s concept of “hegemonic masculinity” by which one group of men may control another.3 To understand medieval masculinity, or masculinities, however, it is not enough to look at what practices medieval people labeled as “manly” or “virile” or characteristic of men. We need to look also at the unexpressed assumptions that medieval people had about their world, even as we critically examine our own. As Rachel Stone points out, “the metaphor of [gender] ‘performance’ implies that a role can be played ‘correctly’ even without fully conscious thought; such an internalization may in fact aid the performance.”4 Christopher Fletcher has suggested that even the term “masculinity” brings with it modern assumptions,


I n t rod u c t ion

including the involvement of sexuality, whereas medieval concepts of “manhood” did not include it.5 I would argue that medieval concepts of “manhood” did in fact include sexuality—either by participation or by abstinence—but concur with Fletcher that this is a question to be answered by reference to medieval sources. Those sources must be read for what they assume as well as what they explicitly say. We must look not just at the behavior of men that was labeled “masculine” or manly but also at the expectations for such behavior. The figure of King David helps us disentangle some of the explicit and implicit meanings of masculinity in the Middle Ages. The different topics treated in the chapters here are chosen based both on what medieval people expressly stated to be characteristic of men and on broader understandings of medieval gender systems. The chapters also explore whether gender in general and masculinity in particular were in fact the main issues at stake in David’s role as exemplar of virtue. It is generally accepted that within medieval Christian culture, attitudes toward women suffered from an Eve/Mary dichotomy: women were either virginal and maternal, although, in fact, only Mary could be both in a literal sense, or they were fallen temptresses. This book suggests that Christianity could be said to have a David/Jesus dichotomy for men. Jesus was the perfect man, a model everyone should strive to imitate, although, as he was at the same time divine, no one else would ever be fully successful. David was the imperfect man, the sinner, the disobedient upon several occasions. But unlike Eve, he carried with him the potential for repentance and eventual triumph. In order to figure out what masculinity looked like in a given society, we need to turn to sources that do not just describe what men did on a day-to-day basis. When a text describes a behavior as manly, we may take it as evidence of a certain ideal of manliness. But whose? The writer’s alone, or the culture in which (usually) he was situated? Who was expected to strive toward that ideal, and who toward a different one? Part of the answers to these questions involves identifying the audience of the work and their horizon of expectations, insofar as we can determine it. Historians have moved beyond a simple assumption that literary texts or artistic works reflect social practice. But this work operates on the assumption that they do in some ways shape that practice. The stories and symbols that are important in a given culture play a role in shaping the way people think about their world. The ways in which they operate may be quite different from in the contemporary era, in which electronic media can transmit ideas, tropes, and memes around the world in an instant and where masses of people (even if not evenly distributed globally) have a range of such thoughts constantly

I n t rod u c t ion


at their fingertips. In the medieval period, where the sermon, the church window, the oral account, and a quite limited range of reading material constituted the means by which ideas could spread, spread they nonetheless did. People in all periods make use of, but also reinterpret, what Joan Scott calls “culturally available symbols” to think about their world.6 King David is one of those symbols. In late medieval Christian western European culture, King David was one of the Nine Worthies (Neuf preux—the three biblical, three classical, and three medieval figures who were held up as models of valor and virtue by Jacques de Longuyon in the early fourteenth century and by many other authors and artists who followed him) and is by far the most famous of the three biblical exemplars (the others were Joshua and Judah Maccabi). In medieval Jewish culture, he was the paradigmatic king, not just a remnant of the past but also a part of living heritage. This book investigates a cross-cultural selection of medieval texts and images involving King David in order to better understand the medieval construction of manhood. Not every man could be expected to be like David; the more extraordinary a historical figure, the less the expectation that people could equal him. Yet exemplarity does not necessarily imply a prospect of successful imitation, as the models of Jesus and Mary indicate. David is exemplary in both positive and negative ways, and the multifaceted depictions in medieval sources indicate that masculinity is more than just the fighting prowess, defense of honor, and sexual dominance that contemporary people connect with it. Any given culture’s expectations are not the same for all men: masculinity helps maintain the privilege of some groups over others, as Raewyn Connell has so eloquently explained.7 David represents an elevated social stratum whose expectations are different from those for his subjects; and yet, as a central religious figure he was available as a model and cultural symbol for all. Much recent work on masculinity, and on gender generally, argues that it is a performance: not an abstract quality that someone has, but something that people constantly create through their actions and words. This is a very useful way of viewing gender, allowing a historian to address gender ideals of the period on their own terms. But let us remember that David was not performing anything in the Middle Ages. He was a literary figure, not an agent. Rather, it was those who made use of him who were the agents. They took for granted that he was an ideal and performed their own understandings of what that ideal constituted through the ways in which they represented him. For us to find that this ideal man also has feminine characteristics should be no surprise: this


I n t rod u c t ion

apparent paradox was often the case in the Middle Ages. Much recent study of gender, in the Middle Ages and other periods, also proceeds from the assumption that gender was not binary, or at least that we cannot assume that it was. Many of the fluidities that scholars have identified in medieval constructions of gender, however, were understood by medieval people as largely metaphorical, operating within a fundamentally binary system.8 David was a figure of masculinity in the Middle Ages even if not every action of his was described as “manly.”9 He represents a complex of intertwined ideas that together added up to an exemplar of how a king, and by extension other men, should be. This book asks not whether this was masculinity but what kind of masculinity it was, what kind of man he was understood to be, and how it fit other conceptions of masculinity in the same cultural context. The focus is largely on western European Christian culture, with considerable attention to Jewish culture as an example of how competing versions of masculinity can exist in the same space and use the same symbols. Material from Islamic cultures, and from eastern Christianity, is included mainly as a point of comparison rather than a focus of analysis. This book is not a comprehensive account of David in the Middle Ages. Were I to attempt this, it would require, among other things, a much more detailed discussion of David’s kingship and its role in medieval political theory. Several chapters of this work touch on that subject, but only in relation to the issues around masculinity that are the focus here. They highlight aspects that are central to medieval conceptions of David and that are in dialogue with medieval ideas about gender and masculinity; political theory is, of course, gendered, assuming as it often does the masculinity of the ruler, but the story of David does not participate significantly in this gendering, and therefore the book has little to contribute on this score. Each individual chapter focuses on one aspect of masculinity and how David fits into it. These aspects emerged in part through a reading of the sources and in part from a general knowledge of medieval cultures and ideas about masculinity within those cultures. Each aspect—martial prowess, friendship, sexuality, creativity, parenthood—is common but hardly universal in understandings of masculinity cross-culturally. For example, Michael Satlow has discussed the place of Torah study in classical rabbinic masculinities. The Palestinian rabbis, he argues, viewed Torah study as an alternative to hegemonic competitive masculinity: it involved control of self rather than control of others. Their Babylonian counterparts, on the other hand, placed Torah study within the hegemonic discourse of weapons and domination.10 Medieval interpreters could draw on

I n t rod u c t ion


both traditions, although in the European Middle Ages the Babylonian Talmud loomed larger, and David participated in both.

The Bible(s) The basic material that the Jewish and Christian (and to some extent Muslim) cultural traditions worked with is the biblical story of David, which begins in the latter part of 1 Samuel and runs through 2 Samuel, repeated more briefly in Chronicles. When we refer to Jews and Christians reading the Bible, they were generally not reading the same thing.11 Not only did they interpret the stories differently, the texts they read were different texts, and not just because they used different languages. The Hebrew Bible was largely set in antiquity.12 It consisted of twenty-four books grouped into Torah (Torah, the Five Books of Moses), Prophets (Nevi’ im), and Writings (Ketuvim). The initials of these three groups of books make up the word Tanakh, the current Hebrew word for the Hebrew Bible. But the twenty-four books did not necessarily circulate together as they do today. The Torah was copied, as it still is, in scroll form, divided into units called parashot, one of which was read every Sabbath so that the whole Torah would be read each year. The Torah readings were accompanied by Haftarah readings, portions from the Prophets. In either scrolls or later in codices, the Prophets were sometimes broken up so that each Haftarah reading could be placed with its appropriate Torah reading.13 In antiquity Greek-speaking Jews used the Septuagint, or LXX, a Greek translation so called because of the legend that seventy scholars working independently each produced exactly the same translation. The LXX, particularly in the books of Samuel (the first two books of Reigns in the LXX), is very different in places from what came to be the standard Hebrew text, the Masoretic text (MT). The text of the Tanakh most widely used was produced between roughly 500 and 1000 CE by a group of scholars in Palestine and Babylon known as the Masoretes.14 Because Hebrew is written only with consonants, the way words were vocalized could change their meaning. The Masoretes placed vowel signs to indicate how the text should be pronounced. Because the text was considered sacred it was not permissible to emend it in writing, but they noted places where the oral reading (qere) should be different from what is found in the written version (ketiv).15 In the many places where the Masoretic text differs from the LXX, there has been great dispute over whether the Masoretic text


I n t rod u c t ion

(or the text on which it was based) added material from another source, or whether the LXX took a more elaborate text like that on which the MT is based and edited it down.16 For our purposes we need not be concerned with the question of priority of LXX versus MT. By the period we are concerned with, while scholars could argue about the apparatus and used different formats, the Masoretic text itself remained relatively stable and was used by medieval Jews along with the Targum. Western Christians took a while longer to adopt a common text. In late antiquity several different variations on a Latin translation, known collectively as the Old Latin, or Vetus Latina, version, were in use.17 The Old Testament portion of the Vetus Latina was translated from the Greek Septuagint rather than from the Hebrew. St. Jerome (d. 420) made his own translation of the New Testament from the Greek, and then turned to the Hebrew Bible rather than the Greek for his translation of the Old Testament. (Throughout this book I will use “Old Testament” for the first part of the Christian Bible, and “Hebrew Bible” for the Jewish Bible.) Jerome’s version, known as the Vulgate, did not become established as the most popular until around 850.18 Even after that time, the history of manuscript transmission is very complicated. Although luxury Bibles were prepared as presentation copies for churches or the private devotions of the wealthy, much of the time the books of the Bible circulated separately, especially Psalms and the Gospels. The individual psalms in the book of Psalms were attributed in the Middle Ages to David as author. The most widely circulated version of Psalms, which became standard in western Europe, was not the version Jerome translated from the Hebrew, but rather what was known as the Gallican version, which he translated from the Septuagint. Hence the numbering of the psalms is different in the Vulgate than in the Hebrew Bible.19 Even when most people were using Jerome’s text, the order of the books, or even which books were included, could vary.20 Medieval sources that retell the story of David do not represent elaborations on a fixed text, but lie on a continuum: from Latin to Latin paraphrases to Latin commentaries, and at the same time from Latin to vernacular translations to vernacular paraphrases to vernacular poetic adaptation, and from Hebrew to midrash and peshat commentary to Yiddish retellings. Nevertheless, the outlines of the story of David as presented in various medieval versions of “the Bible” are well agreed upon. The Vulgate and the Hebrew Bible differ noticeably, however, in the name of the books. The two books of Samuel in the Hebrew Bible, following the pattern of the LXX, become the first and second book of Kings in the Latin, the two books of Kings from the Hebrew becoming the third and

I n t rod u c t ion


fourth. Medieval Christians thus understood the four books as part of a continuous story, with its focus on the kings rather than on prophets. Modern biblical criticism has shown that the story of David was not written down all at once but is the work of several authors. Not only do the books of Samuel and Chronicles tell an inconsistent story about David, but Samuel is also internally inconsistent, and Chronicles is repetitive. Not everyone agrees on which parts of the books of Samuel are from an early and which from a later source, but scholars all agree that the version we currently have includes material from several sources. The books of Samuel, or parts of them, are commonly agreed to form part of the “Deuteronomic history,” which includes the books of Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings and is believed to have been composed or redacted by a group of scholars during the Babylonian exile. A tension can be seen between the Deuteronomistic author(s) and other views of David. Some scholars see an added stratum with a more negative view of David in which he is not quite the hero he seems in most of the story; others argue that the whole story of David is a whitewash sponsored by his (putative) son Solomon; yet others, that Samuel/Kings should be read as a collection of stories that cohered around a shadowy semihistorical figure, akin to the corpus of King Arthur legends.21 For readers of the Bible in the Middle Ages, whether Christian or Jewish, the question of redaction was irrelevant. These books were true as history, even if their words also had other types of significance as well. Any contradictions or repetitions were opportunities to look for a deeper meaning that could reconcile them, rather than calls to look for authors with different points of view. Christians, Jews, and Muslims considered David a prophet and found different ways of explaining away the places where he deviated from God’s will. For the purposes of this book, we can largely overlook the circumstances of composition of the biblical story and take it as one, albeit contradictory, whole. However, it is worth a brief note here about the historicity of the story and what is at stake in it. David is supposed to have ruled from 1010 to 970 BCE. Some scholars completely deny the existence of a unified kingdom at that time. According to them, David was at best a chieftain in Judah/Judaea, where Jerusalem was a village. Archaeology does not reveal the existence of any of the building works David is said to have undertaken.22 The northern kingdom of Israel was much more powerful, and the monotheism that became Judaism was more highly developed there. The various histories that became the Bible were politically motivated in different ways, but the Deuteronomic history, in this view, was an attempt to project backward in time a united kingdom and a monotheistic belief.23 This idea


I n t rod u c t ion

of the retrojection of a Davidic kingdom has, not surprisingly, failed to win universal approval and is very tied up in contemporary political questions.24 The beginnings of the archaeology of the “Holy Land” were tied to a wish to prove the truth of the Bible; today the question of a unified kingdom of Israel and Judah as a historical precedent for a Jewish state in the territory, and its extent, looms large in some branches of Israeli political discourse. Recent excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa in Judaea indicate a previously unknown urban site earlier than anything else in the region; the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem titled its exhibit on the excavation “In the Valley of David and Goliath.” The excavation, of a major fortified city, strengthens the argument of those who would see a developed kingdom of Judah in the period, although it does not prove there was a unified kingdom, and others suggest the site is Canaanite or an outpost of a northern Israelite kingdom. Nothing at the site links to a historical David. The earliest evidence for the existence of a king by that name is a late ninth-century inscription (about 150 years after his death) from Tel Dan, in the very northeast of modern Israel, whose Aramaic inscription includes the word or phrase “bytdwd” (House of David)—unless it means something else, like House of the Beloved. This inscription seems to support the idea of David as an important historical figure, although it has also been interpreted in other ways.25 But people in the Middle Ages did not know any of this, and since our concern is with the reception of the David story in the Middle Ages, we need only note in passing that the truth of the story is hotly debated today. Even if we take it that at that time there was a recognized king from a dynasty known as the House of David, that does not mean that he ruled over a kingdom in the sense that many people imagine; David and his successors were what we should think of as tribal chieftains. But the key point for our purposes is that the Bible presents David in a way that could be interpreted, that medieval people did interpret him as a medieval king with a military and state apparatus and a government and justice system. For medieval people, Christian and Jewish, David’s Jerusalem was the capital of the world. David appears in the Bible not only in narrative but also as the author of Psalms. The second book of Samuel and Chronicles contain several songs of praise from David, which include material found in the book of Psalms, and a number of the psalms are attributed to him already in manuscripts found at Qumran (the Dead Sea Scrolls) and in Paul’s Epistles. Modern scholarship recognizes that the psalms were clearly composed over a period of centuries. However, in the Middle Ages both Jews and Christians, the latter following Augustine, believed David to be the author of Psalms. Some of them were linked to specific points in his

I n t rod u c t ion


life, such as the penitential psalms with the Bathsheba/Uriah affair. As Theresa Gross-Diaz notes, “That all the psalms were written by the prophet David, a type of Christ, was almost universally accepted throughout the Christian Middle Ages; the suggestion of different authorship in the titles of some psalms was generally treated as an opportunity to allegorise. That the psalms were prophecies of Christ was accepted absolutely.”26 The Qur’an also makes David the author of the psalms, or at least the one to whom the psalms were given by God. Although the psalms have less to do with David’s narrative history than the books of Samuel, they are tremendously important for his role in Christianity. Monks would have heard all the psalms every week, as perhaps would pious laypeople who attended church regularly. If they were wealthy enough to own a private prayer book—a book of hours—it would include psalms prominently, and psalters were popular wedding gifts among the elite. If a boy received education outside the home it would be initially at a “song school” where Psalms acted as the first reading textbook.27 Of the biblical allusions in the writing of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, 20 percent are from Psalms.28 The Old Irish word for psalter, saltair, became a word simply for “book.”29 People knew the psalms if they knew much Bible at all, and they took them, and therefore David, as moral guides. Michael Kuczynski suggests that in late medieval England commentators “help to move the Psalms beyond the narrative of David’s own moral decline, fall, and reform into the context of the Christian community’s collective moral history, by exposing carefully the various allegorical senses and applications of the Psalm text.”30 Not all the psalms are in David’s voice; some are in God’s. But the use of Psalms in the liturgy and in sermons would have provided a powerful connection between the average believer and David. The psalms are discussed further in Chapter 4.

The Story of David Not everyone reading this book will be familiar with the biblical story of David. Those who are may wish to skip this section, which is a retelling rather than an analysis and covers only those elements of the narrative that will be taken up later in the book. Alternatively, you may instead choose to read 1 Samuel 16 through 1 Kings 2, along with 1 Chronicles 11–22. The account here is based on Samuel/Kings, although differences in Chronicles are noted. As the story of David opens, Saul is king of Israel, having been anointed by the prophet Samuel after the Israelites insisted on having a king. Saul has offended


I n t rod u c t ion

God, however, and God tells Samuel to anoint a new king from among the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem. Samuel inspects seven of Jesse’s sons but considers none of them to be the future king. He asks if there are any more sons, and Jesse sends for David, who is keeping the sheep, whereupon Samuel anoints him as king. David’s ancestry and selection as king will be discussed in detail in Chapter 5. When Saul is tormented by an evil spirit he seeks a musician to calm him. On the advice of men who know David’s reputation as a harpist as well as a brave warrior, they send for him. Upon meeting Saul for the first time, he becomes Saul’s armor-bearer, playing for him when the evil mood afflicts Saul. Saul is engaged in an ongoing war against the Philistines. A very large Philistine warrior, Goliath, issues a challenge to single combat. David’s brothers are in Saul’s army, but David has been home in Bethlehem watching the sheep, and Jesse asks him to deliver food to his brothers. When he finds out about the challenge, he takes Goliath on and defeats him, wearing no armor and using only a sling. Saul does not know who the young warrior is, but Abner, Saul’s general, brings David, bearing Goliath’s head, to Saul, and David tells him that he is the son of Jesse of Bethlehem. This inconsistency—Saul being already familiar with David as his armor-bearer and musician—is just one among many signs that the books of Samuel have a very complicated history of composition. In any case, Saul’s son Jonathan is immediately taken with David and makes a pact with him. The killing of Goliath, discussed in Chapter 1, is not included in Chronicles. Saul soon turns against David. When the army returns from the field, the women come out to celebrate, singing that “Saul has slain his thousands; David, his tens of thousands!” Saul becomes jealous and worries that David will seek to take his throne. He attempts to kill David. Upon failing, Saul sends him into the field with an army, where he is very successful. Saul offers David his elder daughter Merab in marriage, but then marries her to someone else and offers the second daughter, Michal, instead. Michal loves David, and the prospect of the marriage makes David happy as well; he is pleased to provide her bride-price, which is the foreskins of a hundred Philistines. After the marriage takes place, however, Saul becomes increasingly jealous of David’s success and plots further against him. When he discusses killing David, Jonathan persuades him to change his mind, and David returns to Saul’s presence. Again, however, after David wins another victory against the Philistines, Saul attacks David while he plays for him. David flees, with the help of his wife Michal, who puts a dummy in the bed to fool Saul. David seeks the prophet Samuel’s protection. He suggests to Jonathan that at the feast of the new moon Jonathan should gauge Saul’s reaction to David’s absence, and then tell David

I n t rod u c t ion


whether it is safe to return. They make a covenant again, for Jonathan loves David as his own life. Saul does react badly to David’s absence and becomes violent against Jonathan, saying that Jonathan has chosen David over him, to Jonathan’s shame and his mother’s (i.e., that Jonathan is no true son of Saul). Jonathan goes into the field and warns David by means of a prearranged signal. He sends his servant away and the two men embrace and weep. The story of David and Jonathan’s love, which is the major focus of Chapter 2, does not appear in Chronicles. David continues fighting against and allying himself with various Philistine groups. When Saul once again pursues David to En Gedi, he enters a cave where David and his men are hiding. His men urge David to kill Saul while he has the chance, but he refuses. Instead he merely cuts a piece of Saul’s garment. When Saul leaves the cave, David follows him and points out that he has no wish to harm Saul, as evidenced by his having cut a piece off his cloak when he could have killed him. Saul then weeps, acknowledges that David will be king because of his righteousness, and asks only that David not kill all Saul’s descendants. David swears to this, but he still does not accompany Saul home. David requires food for his men, and he sends soldiers to a rich landholder, Nabal, to request it, pointing out that they have not molested Nabal’s followers in any way when they could have done so. Nabal, however, refuses. David proposes to kill Nabal and all his male followers. When Nabal’s wife Abigail hears what has happened, she has her servants bring food and drink and goes to meet David. She urges him to overlook her husband’s foolishness and accept the supplies from her. She argues that in this way he will avoid blood guilt. He thanks her for saving him from committing slaughter. When Abigail tells Nabal what has happened, he falls paralyzed and dies ten days later. David sends for Abigail to be his wife. He also marries another woman, Ahinoam of Jezreel; in the meantime, Saul gives David’s wife Michal to another man. David remains estranged from Saul. He serves Achish of Gath, a Philistine king, but does not fight the Judaeans and Israelites. While he is away from his base he finds that there has been an Amalekite raid, and all the women and children have been captured, including David’s two wives. He goes after them and recovers everything that was taken, as well as a great deal of additional spoil, which he shares with those who did not fight and with all the leaders of Judah. The Philistines fight Saul and his army. Three sons of Saul, including Jonathan, are killed. Saul requests his armor-bearer to kill him, but he is afraid to do so, so Saul falls on his own sword. A young Amalekite comes to David, bringing Saul’s crown and bracelet, and tells him of the deaths. He explains that Saul’s


I n t rod u c t ion

falling on his sword had failed to kill him, and Saul had requested that the young man provide the coup de grâce. David has the Amalekite put to death for daring to raise his hand to an anointed king. David then composes a lament for Saul and Jonathan. David has himself crowned king of Judah, but Saul’s general Abner has Saul’s surviving son Ishbosheth, or Ishbaal, crowned king of Israel. (In Chronicles, David is crowned king of both Judah and Israel immediately.) The two groups meet in battle, where a group of David’s champions defeats a group of Abner’s. Abner escapes and kills Joab’s brother, who is pursuing him. Abner goes home, but quarrels with Ishbosheth, who is upset that Abner has taken one of Saul’s concubines, and Abner goes over to David’s side. David demands his wife Michal back, and Ishbosheth sends her. Joab kills Abner. Upon Abner’s death, two of Ishbosheth’s commanders turn on him and bring his head to David, expecting reward; David has them put to death. David gives Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth Saul’s lands. David is crowned king of Israel, captures Jerusalem from the Jebusites, and makes it his capital. He and his men set out to bring the ark to Jerusalem. Michal sees David dancing before the ark’s procession and despises him for it, calling him shameless. God speaks to the prophet Nathan, indicating that he will make David the founder of a great house so that his throne will endure forever. When David sins, God will punish him through human agency, but he will not withdraw his love from him. David wins major battles over the Philistines, the Moabites, and other enemies. He establishes officials in his kingdom, including Joab as commander of the army. While Joab is in the field fighting the Ammonites, David happens to see from his rooftop a beautiful woman bathing. He inquires who she is and learns that she is Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of Joab’s generals. He sends for her and has sex with her. Later she notifies him that she is pregnant. In order to keep his adultery hidden, he sends for her husband Uriah to give him a report on how the war is going, and then tells Uriah to go home and “bathe his feet” (have sex with his wife). Uriah remains camped at the gate, however, unwilling to enjoy his house and his wife’s company while the army is still in the field. David invites him to dinner and gets him drunk, but he still declines to go. David, therefore, sends Uriah back with a letter to Joab, asking him to place Uriah in the vanguard where he is most likely to be killed. This is exactly what happens. Bathsheba mourns for her husband for the prescribed period, and David then marries her. The story of David and Bathsheba (and its aftermath), which does not appear in Chronicles, is at the center of Chapter 3.

I n t rod u c t ion


God is not happy about David’s actions and sends Nathan to remonstrate with David. He tells David a parable. There was a rich man with abundant flocks, and a poor man with just one ewe lamb, which he loved and cared for. When the rich man needed to prepare a feast, he did not have one of his own animals slaughtered but sent for the poor man’s one lamb. David reacts as he is meant to: the rich man deserves to die. “Thou art the man!” Nathan exclaims. Because God had given David the two kingdoms, and wives and concubines of his own (and Saul’s), but David nevertheless took Uriah’s one wife and put Uriah to death via the Ammonites, now David deserves to die. God promises that another will take David’s wives and concubines and lie with them, and it will not be a secret as was David’s relationship with Bathsheba. When David admits his sin, Nathan tells him that God relaxes the punishment a bit: David will not die, but the son Bathsheba is going to bear will die. David does public penance, fasting and rending his garments, but the child nonetheless dies. David’s servants wonder why he stops his fasting when the child has died, and he replies that as the child is already dead, he can accomplish no more by fasting. It appears, indeed, that God is satisfied with the death of the child, because when David consoles Bathsheba over the boy’s death, they conceive another son, Solomon. Joab sends for David and the remainder of the army to administer the final blow to the Ammonites; this is accomplished, and it seems that David has passed through the storm and all is well. Over the course of his wars to establish himself in the monarchy, David has fathered many children with his wives and concubines, and this leads to the next set of conflicts in his life. During his time in Hebron as king of Judah, his sons Amnon (firstborn, son of Ahinoam), Chileab (son of Abigail), Absalom, Adonijah, Shephatiah, and Ithream were born. In Jerusalem Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet were born. The Bible does not mention the names of the daughters, nor the mothers of the sons born in Jerusalem. (The distinction in place of birth may have been significant because it means that David was ruler of a united kingdom when the children were born in Jerusalem, which may have given them more of a claim to inheritance.) One of David’s daughters, however, Tamar, the full sister of Absalom, is named, because she becomes the center of the conflict. Her half brother Amnon desires her. On the advice of a friend, he feigns illness and asks to have her take care of him. When they are alone in his room, he rapes her, even though she begs for him to ask their father for her in marriage and claims that David would grant it. After he rapes her he conceives a loathing for her and sends her away. She weeps and rends her garments and tells Absalom what has


I n t rod u c t ion

happened. David also hears of it. Absalom counsels her just to bear it, because Amnon is her brother. Absalom, however, does not forget what Amnon has done. Two years later, he invites all his brothers to a feast and has his servants kill Amnon. Absalom then flees. After three years, David forgives the death of Amnon and misses Absalom greatly. Joab (through the ruse of a female petitioner with a parallel case) persuades David to allow Absalom to return to Jerusalem. David stipulates, however, that Absalom is not to enter his presence, and Absalom abides by this for two years. Eventually he persuades Joab to go to David on his behalf. David agrees to see him; they kiss and reconcile. Absalom, however, has big plans (although the story of his rebellion, further discussed in Chapter 5, is absent in Chronicles). He recruits people who have come to seek justice from David, telling them that if he were king he would give them proper justice. After four years he sets himself up as king in Hebron. Absalom’s forces grow, and David decides to flee Jerusalem, taking with him all his household except ten concubines. Mephibosheth claims the throne of Jerusalem; Shimei, another member of the house of Saul, throws stones and curses David, who declines to fight back. Meanwhile, Absalom goes to Jerusalem and claims his father’s concubines in the hope of gaining further support as king. In a great battle—in which David, at the demand of his men, does not fight—David’s forces defeat Absalom, and Joab kills Absalom, despite David’s command to spare him. When David hears the news, he mourns and says that he wishes he had died instead of Absalom. Joab rebukes him, saying that by mourning their enemy he is belittling all the men who fought for him and the noncombatants who supported him. David resumes his duties of kingship. David forgives the man who threw rocks at him and Mephibosheth as well. David returns to Jerusalem with the Judaeans and builds a new house for his concubines who had been with Absalom, although he never again has sex with them. David fights further wars against the Philistines, although he is tired, and his men decline to let him take further part in battle. At the incitement of God, who is angry at the Israelites (or, in Chronicles, at the incitement of Satan), and against Joab’s advice, David orders a census of the people of Israel and Judah. David realizes, however, that what he has done in numbering the people is a sin, and he repents. God gives him a choice of a three-year famine, a three-month exile pursued by enemies, or a three-day plague. He chooses the plague, although God relents and makes it shorter. God has told David that he will not build the temple in Jerusalem, but that his son will do so. In Chronicles, David begins to prepare for the building of the

I n t rod u c t ion


temple. He notes that Solomon is young and inexperienced, so David provides materials and has his artisans begin to work on them, dressing the stone. David also provides a detailed plan for the temple, which God had revealed to him, including all the furnishings and the names of the priests who are to serve. He explains to Solomon that he had wanted to build a temple but that God had forbidden him to do so because he had shed so much blood, whereas Solomon was to be a man of peace. David is now an old man. He cannot get warm, so he is given a concubine, Abishag, to warm his bed, although he does not have sex with her. David’s son Adonijah prepares to be king, making alliances with his brothers and other leading men (although not in Chronicles, where the succession of Solomon is smooth). The prophet Nathan warns Bathsheba that her son Solomon is in danger of being excluded from the kingship. Bathsheba and Nathan go to see David, and he repeats a promise he has apparently given before, that Solomon will succeed him. The high priest Zadok anoints Solomon. The dying David speaks to Solomon, urging him to punish Joab, who killed several men in cold blood in peacetime, and Shimei, who had thrown the stones at David and whom David himself had declined to punish.

David in the Middle Ages: Sources Interpretive issues with individual sources will be detailed as they arise throughout the book; here I provide a brief overview of the kinds of sources used. Because the story of David is based on the Bible, its medieval incarnations are as well. The most direct and deliberate form of commentary on the Bible is works of exegesis that go line by line or verse by verse and explicate. Commentaries like this are found both in Judaism and in Christianity. The study of exegesis has its own long and complicated history, with scholars disagreeing as to whether it developed according to its own internal rules, was shaped according to the sociocultural history of the societies in which it was embedded, or was influenced by or appropriated material from other religious traditions.31 As David Stern suggests, it is always overdetermined: problems or contradictions in the text and its relation to other scriptural texts give rise to discussions, but the ways interpreters choose to answer questions are shaped by their training, the materials and methods available to them, and the needs of their community.32 Biblical commentary was a flourishing genre, or set of genres, from the early Middle Ages onward, as scholars took the views of earlier commentators and


I n t rod u c t ion

incorporated and reworked them in various ways.33 The best known commentaries in the central Middle Ages were the Glossa ordinaria for the Christians (compiled in the early twelfth century but with a complicated textual history) and Rashi’s eleventh-century commentary for the Jews.34 The latter is devoted fairly straightforwardly to elucidating the meaning of the words of the text— what Christians would have called the historical sense of the work and Jews peshat—but there were also other interpretive possibilities. In Christian interpretation, as well as in Jewish midrash, the literal or historical meaning—the narrative—often took second place to spiritual meanings. This did not mean that the literal meaning was not true. But the literal meaning could be problematic, as when important historical or prophetic figures (including David) do less than admirable things. The events that compose the literal meaning were simply taken as having happened for the sake of a deeper meaning that God wished to convey. The phrase “spiritual meaning” was used in Christian commentary, but it was also broken down into a number of different categories. Exegetes often used a fourfold schema: literal, allegorical, tropological and anagogical meanings.35 “Literal” meant the historical events; it could also cover philological investigation of the text. “Allegorical” generally meant typological. The events of the Old Testament prefigured those of the New. Christ was a new David. If the Old Law was no longer valid, the Old Testament was only relevant in relation to the New. The tropological sense was also called the moral sense. Here the text was interpreted to give guidance on behavior and belief. Finally, the anagogical sense referred to eschatology and involved using the Bible to explain the Second Coming of Christ and the eventual fate of human souls. Jewish nonliteral interpretation took the form of midrash, which consists of extended analyses, often homiletic, in which the author comments on one text by bringing together other texts, and riffing on them, often by telling stories (aggadot).36 Early midrash is found in the Talmud, and in classical collections of midrash on particular books of the Hebrew Bible. Medieval collections, largely anonymous, incorporated much of this early midrash. Midrash remained a common mode of interpretation throughout the Middle Ages, even after the rise of peshat, literal historical and contextual interpretation, and the Hebrew grammarians concerned with meaning on the level of the words. Peshat did not deny allegorical meanings; sometimes the plain reading was allegorical. It did, however, claim to explicate the text as it was within its context on the page, rather than relating its words to other verses from different contexts as did midrash.37 By the thirteenth century kabbalistic interpretations also offered a way of reading texts

I n t rod u c t ion


mystically rather than literally. Bible texts were read as speaking about the relations among the ten sefirot, or emanations of the unknowable God, and of the human soul to the sefirot. Indeed, the earliest Kabbalah has been seen as a form of midrash.38 Jews developed theories of plural meanings of texts, including ideas about fourfold meanings that were likely related to Christian ideas, although the four meanings claimed were different.39 Throughout the Middle Ages a few authors wrote commentaries on the entire Bible (for the Jews, obviously, the Hebrew Bible, and for the Christians both the Old and New Testaments).40 Most commentaries, however, are on a subset of biblical books, and the historical books, including Samuel, were not the most popular. The book of Psalms was more so, and the narrative about David is often adduced in discussions of the work attributed to him. The midrashic texts we have are difficult to attribute to an author, as they are compilations, which make it difficult to put dates on individual elements; nevertheless for some it is possible to put an approximate date and region of origin. Besides works of commentary in which a scholar sets out to elucidate a particular text, there are other works that also comment on the biblical texts but are not organized around them. Pride of place here belongs to the Talmud, a huge compilation, or rather two compilations (from Babylon and from Palestine) of law (halakha) and narrative (aggadah). The Talmud is by no means a biblical commentary; it is a body of law on its own, recording in the Gemara how the early rabbis wrestled with the Mishnah, a third-century CE redaction of the oral law thought to have been given to Moses at Sinai at the same time as the Torah. Bible verses are used to explain the Mishnah or to provide examples. By the central Middle Ages, if not much earlier, the Babylonian Talmud became normative for the Jews of western Europe.41 One might view the New Testament as being in something of the same relation to the Old as the Talmud was to the Tanakh— not a commentary on it, but containing comments on it and making heavy use of it. The biblical stories were also used in passing in sermons and treatises of all sorts. The idea of exemplarity was strong in the Middle Ages, in Christianity perhaps more than in Judaism, but present in both. When a theological or an ethical point was made, it needed to be backed up with examples, which often came from the Bible. And biblical exemplars or models are often cited in prayer. The psalms, in particular, were part of the liturgy in both Christianity and Judaism, sometimes placed in the context of their composition by David and sometimes not. Biblical stories were also cited in mystical and esoteric literature such as


I n t rod u c t ion

Kabbalah. Medieval religious cultures were thoroughly intertextual, and stories are often implied and evoked with one word. Several other genres that are not always thought of as biblical commentary need also to be considered. One is art. Most, although not all, of the illustrations of David’s story are from Bible manuscripts, either illustrations of the book of Samuel or of Psalms. Iconography develops and varies, and the way artists conceived of a text can be thought of as constituting an interpretation. The works of art reproduced here are only a small segment of the total of medieval art depicting David: I give references to other examples, but a detailed listing (let alone analysis) would take a whole book on its own.42 Retelling of narrative, too, creates an implicit exegesis: to put the story into one’s own words (as I did earlier in this chapter) requires deciding on a meaning for often ambiguous passages. The simplest retelling is translation, as with Jerome’s Vulgate. A Latin paraphrase, the twelfth-century Historia scholastica of Peter Comestor, created for use in the schools, formed the basis for a number of vernacular translations and paraphrases, into Flemish, German, French, Czech, Norse, Catalan, Castilian, and Portuguese, although many of these versions also made independent use of the Vulgate to fill in some places where the Historia scholastica abbreviated.43 The Historia scholastica and the Vulgate also formed the basis for a number of other vernacular retellings that expanded on the Bible story in various ways. These versions take the form of either epic poetry or drama. They are found not only in Christian culture but also in Jewish: the fifteenth century saw the development of a number of Yiddish texts known to scholars as Midraschepik, midrashic epics, for the way they tell the Bible stories incorporating midrash.44 The Shmuel-bukh, a retelling of the books of Samuel, is one of these. Translation, and particularly translation with paraphrase and reshaping into another genre, should be considered a form of implicit exegesis. It is not the same as a work commenting explicitly and directly on a biblical text, but interpretation is obviously necessary in the act of translating, paraphrasing, or expanding. The translator/author needs to have a clear idea of what the text means, and the act of translation or adaptation is the process of explaining it to others. Thus, throughout this book, I will speak of “interpretations” of the biblical text as a term that includes exegesis, translation, paraphrase, expansion, and illustration. A translation may be aimed at—or may reach, unintentionally—a different audience from its original and may be read in a completely different way, even if the changes in the text are entirely minimal. They are often far from minimal: the distinctions among translation, paraphrase, and rewriting were not sharply

I n t rod u c t ion


drawn in the Middle Ages. With regard to the Bible, Hans Robert Jauss speaks of a “literarization” as it was taken up in vernacular forms.45 Genre matters: the same story told in two different genres—or in two different recensions that are treated as different genres by their audiences—will have an entirely different meaning based on the expectations that those readers bring to it.46 Formal exegesis and commentaries in Latin or in Hebrew would have been aimed at a rather limited, although influential, audience. The audience would have been largely male, though not exclusively so; many women of the Christian nobility could read Latin, at least enough to read the Bible and prayers, and nuns would have been even more likely to do so. Elite Jewish women similarly might know Hebrew, especially for reading the Bible and prayers. It probably would have been slightly more unusual that these women would have had access to exegetical works, many of which were intended for use in the university or yeshiva. But in both Christian and Jewish cultures there were compilations, in Latin or Hebrew and only later in the vernaculars, that aimed to make such scholarly material accessible to a wider audience—to the educated laity, or to parish priests who might preach to the average person. Not all men would have been able to read Latin or Hebrew either, and they might require the ser vices of a homilist or a vernacular text (if they could even read that). To say that the audience for works in the learned languages was largely male does not mean that the audience for works in the vernacular was largely female. The proposition “male is to female as Latin is to vernacular” is no longer tenable, nor the equivalent for Hebrew. We may say that to some extent the vernacular is feminized. Vernacular texts may be said to be appropriate for women: for example, one manuscript of the Shmuel-bukh is dedicated to a woman, and another manuscript says that the story should be read by women on Shabbat.47 This by no means indicates that men did not read it, either men who were not educated enough to read the original Hebrew or who had read the Hebrew Bible story but not the midrash or who were highly learned in Hebrew texts and enjoyed reading the Yiddish version as well. Think of books being made into films or television shows today: the video may find a much wider audience, because more people like to watch than like to read, but that does not mean that the people who see it in video form are not capable of reading the book version, or indeed that they have not already done so. But even if vernacular texts were not read just or mainly by women, they were still identified to some degree as women’s texts, which may have affected how men and women read them. More people could likely read the vernacular than scholarly languages, although perhaps not a very much larger number. Many schools,


I n t rod u c t ion

Christian and Jewish, taught boys and even some girls with a view to their learning to read the holy texts in Latin or Hebrew. A basic knowledge of the alphabet, though, for whatever purpose it was originally learned, might be used more easily to read in the vernacular. Merchants and others who needed to be able to read and write for the sake of their profession (women included) would have acquired a practical literacy in the vernacular that might not have extended to reading for recreation. Vernacular texts would have been readily understood if read out loud, however, and poetic versions would have lent themselves to that. If one family member could read the vernacular, one could easily imagine these texts being read aloud in a domestic setting. Further, dramatic versions of the stories could have been performed for large numbers of people. Monumental art—less so manuscript illumination, whose viewership would have been limited to those who could afford expensive books—would also have a wider viewership. The idea that the stone carvings or stained glass of cathedrals constituted “books for the illiterate” is now rejected, as art historians have shown that these works can encapsulate very sophisticated theological arguments. But, while they may have had more layers of meaning for the learned, they were also accessible to the nonlearned. It is extraordinarily difficult to identify particular texts or images that would have constituted “the popular view” of King David, but we can be sure that sermons, as well as vernacular texts and art, brought scholarly views to a wider public for whom David was a heroic figure. Jewish art contains many fewer narrative illustrations, although the number is certainly nontrivial. The prohibition on “graven images” clearly was not taken to prohibit figurative illustration. In Islamic regions, however, Jewish manuscript illumination was mainly limited to the ornamental.48 Symbols could be depicted, but people were generally not shown in Bibles. Haggadot (books containing the order of the Passover seder) from Spain were richly illustrated including many narrative images of people, but David was not involved in the Exodus and thus was not included there.49 Ashkenazi Bibles and other works were more likely to depict human figures, although in many cases they were given the heads of birds or animals. The book of Psalms was far more popular among Christians than the books of Samuel, not only for liturgical purposes but for individual prayer, especially by the end of the Middle Ages. Many of the most luxurious works of art are psalters or books of hours, which included psalms to be said at particular times of day. As we shall see, certain images from the David story became very popular there.50 The ways in which people came in contact with the story of King David

I n t rod u c t ion


varied across the Middle Ages by religion, social position, and intellectual and political currents, as the following chapters will explore.

This Book Each chapter deals with a different aspect of masculinity as it would have been understood during the medieval period and sets the reception of David’s story within those understandings. The most obvious one is physical prowess and success in warfare: both the sine qua non for a medieval nobleman or king and the aspect of David’s life most likely to be known to people who are unfamiliar with the Bible, because of the story of the fight with Goliath. This fight, however, raises questions about masculinity and prowess, because its point is precisely that David was physically weaker than Goliath. Chapter 1 attempts to resolve this paradox. This book began with research on a potential project on male friendship in Christian and Jewish cultures in the Middle Ages. Thinking that the story of David and Jonathan would provide a good entry point into the topic, I began reading medieval versions of the story. Ultimately, I concluded that the story of David in the Middle Ages was so rich that it deserved to be a book itself, and this research became Chapter 2. Here, too, there was a paradox that needed to be resolved: the love between two men is a motive force in the work and is also a model for medieval friendships, but there is also a strong risk of its being read in a way religious authorities would not approve, and retellings had to exert great delicacy to resolve this issue. Narratively, David’s sin in his adultery with Bathsheba and indirect killing of Uriah is usually taken to represent the turning point in the story, when David’s upward trajectory ceases and what he has built begins to fall apart. This episode, discussed in Chapter 3 along with David’s other sexual relations with women, was interpreted in strikingly different ways in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, representing in large part the importance of sin and penance in Christianity. Islam plays a less prominent role in this book than the two older religions, in part because David (Daoud) is much less important in Muslim cultures than his son Solomon (Suleiman). However, the question of whether a prophet can sin was an important one and is discussed here. Physical force, male bonding, sex with women—these are much discussed as aspects of masculinity. Creativity, the subject of Chapter 4, is less so. David


I n t rod u c t ion

was probably most important in the Middle Ages, however, as the author of the psalms, and this chapter considers the relationship between authorship—a usually masculine attribute—and performance of music and dance. The latter could not only be gendered feminine, this gendering can be found in the Bible, and presents us with yet another paradox. Finally, Chapter 5 turns to the importance of David as ancestor, founder of a dynasty. David’s line was important to medieval Jews in apocalyptic terms— the foretold Messiah, or one of them, was to be a descendant of David. Christians seized on this prediction and used it as a proof text for the fulfillment of prophecy by Christ. This chapter discusses medieval dynastic thinking, as well as the way David stood for problems of dynasticism and father-son conflict.

chapter 1

David His Tens of Thousands: Prowess and Piety

The fight with Goliath is probably the part of David’s story best known to a modern audience. Even the nonreligious are familiar with the tale of a small and powerless lad armed only with a sling bringing down a giant. So well known is the story that when a popular author like Malcolm Gladwell writes a book entitled David and Goliath we know what it is going to be about: underdogs defeating favorites. Sportswriters use the term frequently to refer to contests where one opponent is strongly favored over the other but the favorite is defeated.1 In the original story the imbalance is due to David’s size relative to the very large Goliath, as well as to his inexperience in battle. Medieval authors and illustrators, as we shall see, found an explanation for both these factors by depicting David as very young. Some saw him as not only young but also delicate and beautiful, perhaps feminine.2 One need only think of Donatello’s statue of David in the Bargello: victorious, but also preening.3 The emphasis of David’s small stature in medieval retellings bears on the understanding of his manhood: is he small because he is a child, or because he is weak and able to triumph only with God’s assistance, or because Goliath is not a man but an enormous monster? Strength, both physical and emotional, is a common feature of masculinities across societies. Physical strength allows the successful use of violence, or at least its threat. Emotional strength may lead to abstention from violence, but its use as a component of masculinity relies on a clear understanding that it is good judgment or superior power, not fear or inferiority, that allows the wielder to avoid violence. Thus a man is able to avoid demonstrating his strength through using violence if he has already proven himself able to do so. But the balance between physical and emotional strength, which of course is a continuum rather


c h a p t er  1

than strictly binary, and the circumstances under which it is manly to use violence vary considerably across cultures. In medieval Christian society, warfare was the raison d’être of the secular elites. The division of society into “those who fight, those who work, and those who pray” was far from universal, but it was clear that the obligation of the nobility and the rest of the landholding class to fight was central to their identity.4 Although the idea that each vassal held a fief granted by the king or another lord in return for military ser vice is far too neat a description of a complicated world that varied across time and space, a variety of bonds of land tenure, loyalty, kinship, contract, and religious or ethnic solidarity motivated elite men to go to war, whether serving a social superior, leading social inferiors, or both.5 The superstructure of chivalry that for many modern people characterizes medieval Europe—the notions of honor, of protection of the weak, especially women, and of single combat as the epitome of valor—took a back seat to the successful deployment of violence.6 Sometimes conflict could arise between the ideal of the prowess and honor of the individual knight and the needs of a general in battle, but in practice knights were professional fighters, whether participating in war as part of a feudal levy or, especially in the later Middle Ages, as paid soldiers of their own king or mercenaries of another.7 Not all elites in medieval society, of course, were military; there were also “those who pray.” And yet such was the dominance of thinking about physical domination that churchmen often thought of themselves in military metaphors. Scholars engaged in debates spoke of weapons and military engagements.8 Ascetics concerned with maintaining their chastity carefully described skirmishes with the devil and his army of demons.9 Demonstrating prowess was a crucial aspect of masculinity, even if that prowess was metaphorical. Successful use of violence in the form of warfare was all the more required of kings. Kings who did not demonstrate military success might have a hard time keeping their thrones, although, as Katherine Lewis points out, writers on kingship in the later Middle Ages urged them not to be too ready to go to war.10 But there were a number of elements to military success, and individual skill at arms did not always go hand in hand with skill at generalship. The former mattered a great deal to the image of a king, although the latter made him successful as a monarch. Leading armies, perhaps strategic leadership rather than battlefield tactics, was a king’s job. It was imperative to defend territory, and, of course, the boundaries of medieval polities were constantly changing, meaning that there was always some territory in dispute. In addition to defending his territory or that of his allies from external threats, a king had also to defend his throne against

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


challenges to his legitimacy as ruler, or at least be perceived as ready to do so. Royal masculinity was, then, in a sense, masculinity writ large: it had to be tested, and failure in the test could lead to the loss of honor, status, wealth, or even life. But something even larger might be at stake: salvation. The battle, like the ordeal, demonstrated that God was on one’s side. This was most obvious in the case of crusaders, who explicitly considered themselves the armies of God, but was common elsewhere as well.11 Armies were blessed by churchmen and gave thanks for their victories, which they interpreted as signs of divine favor; individual combatants also felt it important to have God on their side.12 For medieval Jews the relation between warfare and masculinity was slightly different. They had, of course, no king of their own. Indeed, they had no army, and although there were many occasions when Jews fought, it did not become a prominent cultural theme. As Michael Chabon wrote in the epilogue to his novel Gentlemen of the Road, set in the eleventh century, whose working title had been “Jews with Swords”: “It has been a very long time, after all, since Jews anywhere in the world routinely wore or wielded swords, so long that when paired with ‘sword’ the word ‘Jews’ (unlike, say, ‘Englishmen’ or ‘Arabs’) clangs with anachronism, with humorous incongruity, like ‘Samurai Tailor’ or Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.”13 Daniel Boyarin has suggested that the ideal Jewish man before Zionism was pious and meek, a scholar, not a fighter; although his work does not focus on the medieval period, he uses illustrations of the Evil Son from medieval haggadot to make his point.14 But the Jews had a strong idea of a victorious military tradition. Their military success in biblical times reflected their rightful title to the Land of Israel, to which they longed to return. Among Jews in medieval Ashkenaz, knightly metaphors in texts or knights drawn in the margins of manuscripts were not unusual, and there was a chivalric literature in both Hebrew and Yiddish.15 A variety of Jewish manuscripts represent not only biblical figures like Judah Maccabi as knights, but also anonymous pairs of jousters.16 Thus military success, while perhaps not as continuous a presence in Jewish life as in some Christian circles, remained very important in the context of Jewish history, again because it demonstrated that the Jews were the chosen people of the God who had given them victory. Given the importance of warfare and the physical prowess needed to conduct it in medieval societies, David’s masculinity is paradoxical. He was a renowned hero who was physically weak until a miracle assisted him. His most famous military deeds were either in single combat as a very young man or carried out by others. Yet he came to be an exemplar of martial success. This is where his piety becomes a key part of the story. For both Jews and Christians, although


c h a p t er  1

in different ways, David’s military triumphs are a reward for his obedience and faith; the message to laymen was clear. By the end of the Middle Ages, David’s renown among Christians as a fighter was such that he took his place as one of the Nine Worthies. The topos, originating in the early fourteenth-century Voeux du paon by Jacques de Longuyon, put David on a par with the greatest heroes ever.17 The Nine Worthies comprised three threesomes, from pagan times (Hector of Troy, Alexander the Great, and Julius Caesar), the Old Testament (Joshua, David, Judah Maccabi), and the Christian era (Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Bouillon, king of Jerusalem). The theme spread widely across Europe. It was largely for their military success that the Worthies were selected, although this was combined with other chivalric virtues such as loyalty. A representation on a fountain in Nuremberg, probably begun in the 1360s and restored/amended between 1385 and 1396, with the Nine Worthies among other figures, shows David holding a harp.18 This is not meant to present him as a man of peace, however, as he, like the other figures, wears armor. In other versions of the Nine Worthies, for example, a manuscript of Le chevalier errant by Thomas of Saluzzo, made in Paris in 1403–1404, David still has the harp as his heraldic device but is armed for battle as are the other Worthies.19 A similar depiction of the Nine Worthies comes from a fresco at the Castello della Manta, near Saluzzo. Commissioned in the early fifteenth century by the illegitimate son of the author of the Chevalier errant, whose family was still in possession of the illustrated manuscript, it showed the nine heroes on one wall and nine illustrious women on the other.20 David is again identified by the harp as his device, but also by his weapon. The other famous kings and knights (David is the only king among the biblical Worthies, but the classical and Christian figures include kings) hold swords. David, even though he is depicted as old in this fresco (although not in the manuscript of the Chevalier errant), holds a book representing his piety or his composition of the psalms, a key to his medieval importance (see Chapter 4), and the weapon of his youth: a sling. The text of the Voeux du paon also reflects a particular identification of David’s prowess with his skill with the sling. Longuyon gives a brief account of the prowess of each of the Worthies, and with David it is the killing of Goliath that is described, followed by the statement that he always did good and “was one of the holy sinners,” that is, penitents.21 R. Allen Shoaf argues that David was used in the Alliterative Morte Arthure as a way of excusing Arthur’s misdeeds: like David, he was a sinner who became a military hero.22 But Arthur’s strength is as a battle leader. It is David’s fight with Goliath rather than his leadership of the

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


Israelites in battle that gave him his renown as a military hero during the later Middle Ages, and it is to the story of David and Goliath that we now turn.

The Fight with Goliath Biblical scholars, even those who find much that is historical in the David narrative, agree overwhelmingly that the Goliath encounter is a fabrication. It is much shorter in the LXX than in the Masoretic text, and scholars disagree over whether the latter combines several different narratives and whether it or the LXX has priority.23 In contrast to the story as told in 1 Samuel 17, 2 Samuel 21:19 claims that Elhanan of Bethlehem killed Goliath. The author of 1 Chronicles 20:5, who apparently took note of the discrepancy, says that Elhanan killed Goliath’s brother. It is most likely that a story connected with another figure was borrowed in order to help create the heroic David.24 The description of the fight in 1 Samuel 17 never explicitly calls Goliath a giant, in the sense of a separate type of being (so any echo of the Nephilim, or giants of Genesis 6:4, born to the “sons of God” and the daughters of men, is not explicit). He is simply described as a very large man. But some interpreters in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages did come to see him as part of a different race or species, which clearly affected how David’s achievement could be understood. Goliath’s parentage and ancestry matter to the question of David’s masculinity because it makes a difference whether David is to be thought of as defeating a great warrior who happens to fight for the other side—a more straightforward military task, although it may involve the miraculous as well—or a monster, which more directly connects the hero with some sort of spiritual power. Here again, we have a case where the Christian Bible and the Jewish Bible say two different things, and Jewish interpretation greatly influenced Christian interpretation. The Hebrew text (1 Sam. 17:4) describes Goliath as “ish habenayim” (‫)איש הבנים‬, a phrase that clearly caused interpreters some difficulty.25 It is generally, and properly, translated as “champion,” someone who comes out between the two armies to engage in single combat. Jerome, however, translated it as “vir spurius,” a bastard, not just someone born out of wedlock but someone born out of a totally inappropriate relationship such as incest or adultery with a married woman. This seems an odd mistranslation, but it is very likely that Jerome got it from the rabbis. A discussion appears in the Babylonian Talmud (Sotah 42b), too late for Jerome to have known it in this form, but the sages quoted


c h a p t er  1

are before Jerome’s time, and he, or the converted Jew he said helped him with his Hebrew translation, could well have been familiar with their interpretations. The multiple interpretations that the sages gave for “benayim” suggest that it was somewhat confusing to them in this context. Rav said that it meant that Goliath was built (muvneh) perfectly, without blemish, a connection that is not etymologically related. Samuel said that he was a middle brother (beinoni), which is etymologically connected. R. Shila’s school said that he was built like a building (binyan), which is not. And R. Yochanan suggested that he was the son of a hundred fathers and one mother (or one dog; ben nanai, variously translated). The latter points to a tradition of Goliath as the son of a promiscuous woman, as does the subsequent explanation of another ambiguous word in the biblical text. In Samuel 17:23 Goliath comes forth from the me‘arot of the Philistines. The word means “caves,” but this is one of the biblical words where there is an early tradition of qere (the word as read) versus ketiv (the word as written); the text of the sacred work cannot be emended but it can be read aloud differently, and the qere is ma‘arkhot, “ranks.”26 The question is, then, what the ketiv means. R. Joseph explains it as me‘arot, “from sexual intercourse,” and suggests that it means that all men had sex with Goliath’s mother. The meaning of “Gath,” the place from which Goliath is said to come, was also up for discussion. The word can mean winepress, and R. Joseph suggested that it was used because “all men pressed his mother like a winepress.” The Talmudic text also suggests that Goliath was descended from Orpah. In Ruth 1:4, Orpah and Ruth are the daughters-in-law of Naomi, who had moved with her husband and sons to the land of Moab. In the book of Ruth, after Naomi’s sons die, she wants to return to her Israelite homeland. Both younger women say that they will go with her, but Orpah changes her mind and turns back, to remain in her country. Ruth stays with Naomi, becomes a Jew, marries Boaz, a relative of her late husband, and becomes the great-grandmother of David. Because there was also a rabbinic tradition that Ruth and Orpah were sisters as well as sisters-in-law, if Goliath was Orpah’s son, he and David would be kinsmen. Indeed, in a history attributed to Philo of Alexandria, probably originally written in Greek but known to us from a Latin version translated around the fourth century and widely quoted in the Middle Ages, David points out this relationship to Goliath at the beginning of their fight: “The two women to whom you and I were born were sisters.”27 BT Sotah 42b identifies Orpah with Harafah. In 2 Samuel 21 Goliath and three others are said to be the sons of Harafah, which the Talmud takes to be a name, but which the Septuagint and in the Targum, the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, take as meaning “giant.”

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


Rav suggests here that the name Orpah comes from the word ‫ ערף‬meaning “nape of the neck,” because many men had sex with her from the rear; R. Samuel states that her name came from the actually unrelated harifot (hulled grain) because all men ground her. Thus, while the Talmud offers several different etymologies, they focused around a tradition of Goliath as the product of promiscuity. And although Midrash Ruth Rabbah, probably compiled sometime around 500 CE, explains the derivation of Orpah from ‫ ערף‬as being because she turned her back on Naomi, it also includes the danger of Orpah’s sexuality (and by implication the sexuality of non-Jewish women in general): R. Isaac recounts that the night that Orpah left Naomi, a hundred men had sex with her (possibly an interpretation of me‘arot as me’a ‘arot, “a hundred acts of sexual intercourse”). R. Tanhuma added that one dog had sex with her too; this is connected to Goliath asking David whether he thinks he is a dog to be beaten with a stick.28 The Midrash Shmu’el, compiled sometime before the eleventh century, repeats the midrash.29 Medieval Jewish interpreters followed up on the interpretation of Goliath as the result of promiscuity, but did not emphasize it. Rashi, for example, repeated in his Talmud commentary the explanation of ish ha-beinayim as referring to multiple men having sex with Goliath’s mother.30 In his biblical commentary, however, he accepted the interpretation that ish ha-beinayim meant a champion who would stand between the two sides drawn up for battle.31 He did not discuss 1 Samuel 17:4 in relation to Goliath’s parentage, although in commenting on 1 Samuel 17:23 he did repeat the explanation about Orpah having had sex with a hundred men, noting its Talmudic derivation. Neither he nor other medieval Jewish commentators take the interpretation based on promiscuity or miscegenation beyond what was in the Talmud or early midrash (the Tosafot, a set of twelfth- to thirteenth-century commentaries often printed with the Talmud, follow Midrash Ruth Rabbah in saying that Orpah had sex with “a hundred pagan foreskins,” meaning a hundred pagans). Yalqut Shimʻoni, a very popular collection of midrashim probably compiled in the thirteenth century in Frankfurt, also repeats but does not elaborate on the Talmudic understanding.32 Christian commentators, however, took the question of Goliath’s parentage in a number of different directions, including making him a member of a different race. Jerome’s translation of ish ha-beinayim as spurius must have been based on a familiarity with rabbinic interpretations; Jerome clearly knew many of these, which he likely received orally.33 His well-known hostility toward Judaism and its “carnal” interpretation of scripture did not prevent him from making use of Jewish learning.34 Louis Ginzberg rules out the possibility that Jerome’s


c h a p t er  1

spurius was based on the reference to “sons of the giant” in 2 Samuel 21 because Jerome interpreted Harafah as a name, rather than as “the giant.”35 Goliath’s birth from promiscuity is so prominent in the rabbinic sources, which Jerome is known to have made use of directly or indirectly, that it is hard to believe that Jerome would have developed the idea independently. From Goliath’s not merely illegitimate but totally repugnant birth developed the idea within western Christian culture that he was of a different race. One of the most influential early medieval interpretations of the book of Samuel was attributed in the Middle Ages to Jerome, although it was actually written in Carolingian Francia sometime between 800 and 829, either by a convert from Judaism to Christianity or by a Christian who consulted with Jews in the writing process (“Pseudo-Jerome”).36 The author may have been a Christian who misunderstood Jewish traditions, but could equally as well have been born and educated a Jew with some knowledge of rabbinic traditions, even if not access to written collections.37 There had been relatively little Christian commentary on the book of Samuel, or indeed on any of the historical books of the Bible, so Pseudo-Jerome’s text became very influential, taken up by the Carolingian exegetes Hrabanus Maurus (whose work was crucial for the development of the Glossa ordinaria) and Angelomus of Luxeuil and later used independently for the Glossa ordinaria and the Historia scholastica. Pseudo-Jerome’s gloss about Goliath’s birth ignores the hundred fathers and, indeed, the identity of Goliath’s mother as Orpah. It says simply that “he is called a bastard because he was born of a giant father and a mother from Gath.”38 Like Jerome, Pseudo-Jerome may have drawn on 2 Samuel 21 to identify giant parentage and brought it together with Goliath’s illegitimacy. It is not just illegitimacy in question, however, but spuriousness, and the spurius was a child born to parents who could not marry—for reasons of adultery or incest, but also because under Roman law (from where the term derives) people from different classes or nationalities were not permitted to marry.39 And the giant here is definitely a member of a different nation or even nonhuman race, as understood in some early medieval writings.40 Christian interpretation appropriated the idea of Goliath’s conception from a loose woman from Judaism and built upon it an edifice of otherness. In the Jewish interpretation—and in the Christian one via the text attributed to Philo—although Orpah was promiscuous, she was the sister of Ruth, David’s great-grandmother, and therefore Goliath was not a monster but a relative, albeit a rejected one. Christian interpretation went in two directions, the nonhuman monster and the outcast and unacceptable kinsman.

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


In the central Middle Ages, the Glossa ordinaria tries to have it both ways, as it does on so many questions. It includes two glosses on spurius: that Goliath was the son of a woman of Gath and a giant (de patre gigante), and that he was born from a common (ignobilis) father and a noble mother. The latter explanation appears to originate with Bede, writing in England in the eighth century.41 One makes him monstrous; the other makes him an outcast. In medieval Europe a bastard of a noble father and a nonnoble mother might be acknowledged and supported by his father, even if the difference in rank made it impossible legally or socially for him to have any claim on inheritance or membership of the larger kin group, but the offspring of a noble mother and a nonnoble father was much more problematic. Peter Comestor’s Historia scholastica goes farther in explaining Goliath’s otherness. It explains both the biblical spurius and the Glossa’s ignobilis by saying that the “ignoble” father refers to a gentile and the “noble” mother to a Jew. Goliath thus becomes a child of an unacceptable (to both sides) mixed union, a hybrid, a manser (from the Hebrew mamzer, bastard) and a nothus (Latin for an illegitimate son from a known father, or a mixed breed).42 Even though Goliath comes from among the ranks of the Philistines and is one of their most renowned soldiers, the Christian explanation makes him into something very abject, even in the context of the already hated enemy. David is truly fighting evil. A few examples of central and later medieval Christian exegesis demonstrate how these ideas were developed. Hugh of St. Cher (1200–1263), the French Dominican whose study of the Bible was highly influential (he was the author of the first concordance), says nothing about Goliath’s birth or ancestry in the explanation of this passage in his Postilla.43 Nicholas of Lyra (ca. 1270–1349), the major fourteenth-century exegete who was familiar with Jewish interpretation, does not try to interpret the word spurius but notes that the Hebrew refers to a man in between.44 Denis the Carthusian (1402–1471), who worked at the monastery of Roermond in Limburg, left volumes of exegesis as well as philosophy, providing a literal/historical combined with allegorical exegesis. He was familiar with the work of Nicholas and Hugh.45 Denis accepted the Historia scholastica’s reading of Goliath as a spurius. He was more concerned with straightening out possibly contradictory historical details, such as why, if David had previously been a harper for Saul, he was now coming from his father’s pastures; why Saul and Abner did not recognize him; exactly when in his career he killed the lion and the bear (it must have been after he was anointed); and why it was all right for David to fight Goliath, since duels were forbidden in Denis’s time (David had a special dispensation).46 Denis also followed this material with a section on the


c h a p t er  1

spiritual interpretation of the story. He stands as a good example of the way in which the Historia scholastica’s reading of Goliath’s background became standard. The monstrous nature of Goliath was, of course, emphasized by his size, which the Masoretic text and the Vulgate state as six cubits and a span (nine and a half feet), although the LXX and the Qumran fragments have a more realistic four cubits and a span (around six and a half feet). The greater height made Goliath even more inhuman. David’s common depiction as a mere boy, smaller than the full-grown men around him, creates even more of a contrast with the huge Goliath who appears commonly in western art. The idea of a huge size imbalance may not seem surprising, as it is what the matchup has come to signify in western culture. It was not, however, the only possible depiction. In Byzantine art, which certainly influenced western European iconography, the two figures confronting each other, while still unequal, are more evenly matched. A Byzantine silver plate, the largest of a set of nine from Cyprus, probably made for the emperor Heraclius in the seventh century, depicts the fight.47 Here the two combatants are approximately on the same scale; Goliath is a bit taller and is shown crouching, but it is the difference between a youth and an adult, not a man and a monster. The plate may be commemorating a single combat between Heraclius and a Persian general that supposedly happened during the war in which he recaptured Jerusalem, and may thus have been attempting a certain realism.48 The relative size symmetry between David and Goliath may be due, too, to the constraints of the form, the need to fit both characters within the circle; the same thing happens in the twelfth-century Melisende Psalter, made for the queen of the Frankish kingdom of Jerusalem (1105–1161).49 The ivory cover of this book is a David cycle where each scene must fit within a roundel. The artist has made use of Byzantine as well as Armenian and Syrian stylistic features. David and Goliath of commensurate although not equal size also appear in other Eastern Christian representations, including manuscript illuminations that do not have to fit into a circular shape: for example, the eleventh-century Psalter of Theodore of Caesarea and other works into the fourteenth century.50 An especially well known example, and one whose iconographic model may have influenced western iconography, is the Paris Psalter (Figure 1.1). As in many other Byzantine examples, David is assisted by an angel—here given the name Dynamia, or Power.51 This iconography draws on eastern Christian exegesis, which has David assisted by an angel rather than fighting Goliath on his own; it uses the angel pulling Goliath down to explain why the Bible says that Goliath falls on his front after being struck on his forehead.52 Western authors did not under-

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


Figure 1.1. Paris Psalter, tenth century. Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS gr. 139, fol. 4v. © Bibliothèque nationale de France.

stand David as successful totally on his own; the Bible stresses that he can only defeat Goliath with God’s assistance, and all interpretations recognized this. But God’s assistance in western European medieval art and literature is perhaps more of a miracle, emphasized by David’s miniature size, and less of a direct intervention. Western Christian art most often depicts a tiny David and a large Goliath. Their battle is commonly shown in the context of Psalm 151, an autobiographical psalm found in the Septuagint but not in the Hebrew Bible and hence known


c h a p t er  1

as “deuterocanonical” in those Eastern churches that accept it today.53 It is attributed to David after his fight with Goliath. One of the earlier Western psalter examples, the Corbie Psalter from the early ninth century, shows a David who is not only small but childlike, with a huge Goliath. In this image the hand of God explicitly descends to assist David’s slinging.54 The same childlike David and huge Goliath are found in the Harley Psalter, made in Wessex, England, in the early eleventh century, where Goliath is wearing a conical helmet that may identify him as a Viking, possibly the Danish conqueror Cnut.55 In the Bible of Stephen Harding from the early twelfth century the artist depicts Goliath at the moment of David’s stone striking his head. In the subsequent scene in which David decapitates him, the head is even larger. Goliath is here labeled as “Philisteus,” or Philistine, rather than as a giant; that is, he is of a different people, but not a nonhuman race.56 This image is not a direct illustration of a particular psalm but part of an entire David cycle of nineteen scenes at the beginning of the book of Psalms, in which he can be seen growing larger in size and also acquiring a beard and a crown.57 A good example of central medieval representations of David as especially small and vulnerable in comparison to Goliath comes in a leaf from the Winchester Bible (Figure 1.2). This artist has paid great attention to the mail worn by Goliath and other military figures, both Israelite and Philistine. David’s unarmored figure here is not merely small in comparison, but slim and delicate, more so than in the succeeding panels where he is still a youth as Saul threatens him with his spear (1 Sam. 18:11), and where he is anointed. This page preceded not the book of Psalms, which was more usual, but the book of Samuel. An even smaller David coming at Goliath with a stick appears in the late twelfth-century northern French La Charité Psalter, and a tiny child in the early fourteenthcentury English Queen Mary Psalter.58 In all these images the main contrast between David and Goliath is size, not species or race. The David and Goliath story continued very popular in psalters throughout the Middle Ages. David as harpist commonly appeared at the opening of the book of Psalms (see Chapter 4), but the image was very often accompanied by the fight between David and Goliath. The first psalm in Latin begins with the word Beatus, and the B was often illustrated with David harping in the upper space and David and Goliath in the lower. In Günther Haseloff’s survey of ninetyfour French Psalter manuscripts in the thirteenth century, he found that fortythree of them illustrated Psalm 1 with David and Goliath, frequently in combination with David playing his harp.59 A less common iconographical pairing depicted David and Bathsheba instead (see Chapter 3).60

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


Figure 1.2. Leaf from Winchester Bible, 1160–1180. Morgan Library and Museum, M619v (detail). Upper left: Saul watches David fight Goliath. Upper right: David decapitates Goliath. Lower left: Saul threatens David with a spear. Lower right: Samuel anoints David. The lowest panel on the page (not shown) depicts the death of David’s son Absalom, and David’s mourning. © Morgan Library and Museum.

Other twelfth-century examples (e.g., Figure 1.3) reflect the same slimness and delicacy the Winchester Psalter gives David. He is not shown as especially short, but he wears tight or form-fitting clothing. This is not simply a stylistic feature, because other figures in the same images or illustration programs are not as slim nor are their bodies as clearly articulated; David is presented as more youthful and perhaps more vulnerable than the others.61 In the context, however, David would not have been read as weak or effeminate. Rather, his deliberate placement of himself in danger despite his physical vulnerability is brave if not foolhardy. Saul has offered him his armor, something that is played for

Figure 1.3. Winchester Psalter (“Psalter of Henry of Blois”), mid-twelfth century, British Library MS Cotton Nero C.iv, fol. 6r. © The British Library Board.

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


Figure 1.4. Metz Pontifical, early fourteenth century, Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 298, fol. 7r, detail. © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

humor in late medieval German drama as the armor does not fit.62 In 1 Samuel David rejects the armor because he is inexperienced in wearing it, with the implication that it encumbers him; but in rejecting it he demonstrates his own courage, which is completely related to his trust in God. A further attempt at making David small and vulnerable comes in a humorous image in the margin of a pontifical (a liturgical book) made for a bishop of Metz in northwestern France in the early fourteenth century. A rabbit or hare with a shepherd’s staff and a sling, clearly alluding to David, approaches a heavily armored knight holding a banner with a snail on it (Figure 1.4). The page concerns the dedication of a church and contains a large image of a bishop sprinkling holy water. The marginal illustration is one of a number of humorous ones involving rabbits and snails in this and other manuscripts of the period and does not bear any obvious relation to the subject matter of the page.63 The implication seems to be that even a rabbit can be brave if God is on his side, but also that David’s masculinity may be like that of a hare: he certainly did father many children, fulfilling the fertility-symbol aspect of the animal, and there may perhaps be an implicit reference to same-sex love (see Chapter 2).64 Jewish manuscripts have many fewer narrative illustrations, although they are far from unknown. Sometimes objects rather than persons are illustrated, as with a Spanish Bible from 1300/1301, which illustrates the David/Goliath scene in 1 Samuel with David’s sling and Goliath’s sword, as well as the bear and lion that David previously killed.65 A noteworthy Jewish representation of David and Goliath, however, may be found in a copy of Maimonides’s Mishneh Torah, made in Cologne in the late thirteenth century, does show David and Goliath, in much the same manner as Christian illustrations, with a very small David with a sling


c h a p t er  1

Figure 1.5. Kaufmann Mishneh Torah, 1291–1296, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Kaufmann Collection MS A77/II, fol. 118r, detail. © The Oriental Collection, Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

(Figure  1.5).66 The depiction of David as a small boy and Goliath as a huge armed man—in which “the stress on the frailty of the tiny David is almost a caricature”67—would have carried much the same valence as it did in Christianity. The idea of inversion, the weak defeating the strong, is expressed in Matthew 20:16, “the last shall be first,” but it is hardly unique to Christianity. It is noteworthy, however, that the tiny David in this manuscript is crowned, which is not the case in most Christian depictions of this scene. The artistic style can be located to the Lorraine region of France, with influences from Artois and Picardy. The relation of the image to the text is not immediately evident. The page on which it appears is the introductory page of the book Zera’ im, or Seeds. Gabrielle

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


Sed-Rajna, who has studied this manuscript extensively, suggests that several of the illustrations in this book are prompted by a single word in the text taken out of context. Here, she suggests that the section dealing with leaving pe’ah and leqet (portions of the harvest) for the poor calls to mind the story of Ruth and her gleaning and therefore Orpah, and that the image references the descent of David and Goliath from Ruth and Orpah respectively.68 Sed-Rajna takes this and similar examples to suggest that the illustrator was Jewish, since he appears to have been highly familiar with the text. More recently, however, Evelyn Cohen has shown that the illustrator used some standard Christian iconographical formulas, as in Abraham’s benedictional position and Isaac’s praying in the Akedah. More telling, however, is the scene in which Moses presents the tablets of the Law to the Israelites. The Israelites are lumped together within the outlines of Mount Sinai. Ultraviolet light and a photograph taken from the verso of the page and enhanced both indicate that the mountain and the Israelites were added to cover up another picture: Moses receiving the tablets from a nimbed figure, as occurs in Christian manuscript illumination but never in Jewish. Moses also originally had horns, as in contemporary Christian depictions.69 It seems clear that the illustrator was accustomed to working on Christian manuscripts. We can at least say that a Jew was intimately involved in the production of the illustrations, requesting specific images from a Christian illustrator. Likely what we see here is Jews and Christians working together in an atelier. Another Jewish David and Goliath, also with clear Christian artistic resonances if not parallels to other specific manuscripts, is found in a Jewish miscellany from thirteenth-century northern France, now in the British Library.70 Again, the point is the emphasis on David’s youth and small size rather than Goliath’s alterity. Despite the emphasis in the rabbinic sources on Goliath’s identity as a Philistine and a son of promiscuity rather than on his size, Jewish illustrations as well as Christian ones present the idea that even a lad of unimposing physique, less well equipped, can demonstrate his manhood by fighting a stronger opponent such as Goliath with his impressive size and weapons. David is the ninetyeight-pound weakling and Goliath the bully who kicks sand in his face, although it is the support of God rather than the exercise program of Charles Atlas that allows the apparently weaker man to prevail. For the small, unarmed, and unarmored David to face the powerful Goliath in this way with confidence is a sign of his trust in God, but also of a masculine strength and self-reliance. Christians were encouraged to interpret the story allegorically; the strength and self-reliance is not that of a young man destined to become king, but of the faithful generally. Goliath represents the devil, according to the Glossa ordinaria,


c h a p t er  1

a good example of the Christian allegorical reading method. Each item described in the Bible story has its specific symbolic meaning: the forty days that Goliath stands challenging the Israelites symbolize mankind sinning against the Decalogue by means of the four elements; the five stones David places in his bag represent the Pentateuch; the law, however, cannot operate without grace, and grace is like mother’s milk that is freely given and is therefore represented by the shepherd’s bag in which David places the stones, which is used for milking. The armor Saul gives David, which does not fit, represents the law that is overturned or reinterpreted by Christ. Jesse’s sending David to his brothers prefigures God’s sending Christ to humanity. The ephah of grain he brings them is equivalent to three modii (it is actually slightly more), signifying the trinity. The ten cheeses he brings are the Ten Commandments, which are taken from the Jews and given to the Christians. The bear and lion that David tells Saul he has already defeated are the devil and Antichrist. In the actual fight Goliath represents the pride of the devil, with the Philistines as his demons, and David represents Christ. Although David has five stones, he needs only one to kill Goliath, signifying the unity of the Bible. When David uses Goliath’s own sword to cut off his head, this is Christ turning the devil’s own wiles against him. Saul’s inquiry about David’s identity and ancestry signifies the Jews not recognizing Christ.71 The allegorical approach also comes through clearly in illustrations of the scene, for example, in insular eleventh-century psalters that juxtapose David’s defeat of Goliath with Christ’s battling Satan, including via the Crucifixion, or a twelfth-century German missal that includes the fight with Goliath in a set of images surrounding the women praying at Jesus’s tomb, accompanying the text of the Easter mass, and referencing the idea of resurrection.72 The Speculum humanae salvationis, or Mirror of Human Salvation, an early fourteenth-century encyclopedia of typological interpretation, which became extremely popular in the later Middle Ages and appeared in a number of woodblock as well as manuscript versions in Latin and vernaculars, included the fight between David and Goliath as one of the prophecies of the Temptation of Christ.73 In one fourteenth-century copy, the diabolical connection of Goliath is manifested through an image of a demon on his shield.74 These allegorical interpretations demonstrate the pervasiveness of the Augustinian view that Goliath represents the devil, defeated by David as Christ. This became a standard set of Christian interpretations. The twelfth-century Cistercian writer and preacher Bernard of Clairvaux elaborated on them when he wrote a sermon about David and Goliath. Bernard distinguishes between the historical interpretation, in which, he says, we must marvel at the courage and faith of a young boy, when the rest of the Israelites were afraid to come forward

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


and fight Goliath; he stresses the imposing size and impregnable armor of the Philistine. Spiritually, however, Bernard connects Goliath not with the devil’s pride but with human pride. He alone among the Philistines came forward to challenge the Israelites because he was the most arrogant among them. The five stones represent scripture in a different way from the Glossa: rather than five books, they are five features of the Word (prediction, promise, love, imitation, and prayer). These are the weapons that God gives us to combat pride. Goliath as a representation of pride comes through also in vernacular texts, for example, the French verse translation of the Bible by Macé de la Charité: Thus Goliath lost his life, and this signifies That humility must always defeat prideful hearts.75 One medieval text flips Goliath’s arrogance on its head: the Icelandic biblical paraphrase Stjórn, from the second half of the thirteenth century. Iceland came under the Norwegian crown in 1262, and the dating of Stjórn before or after that event is unclear. It has several parts; Stjórn III includes the books of Samuel. Stjórn III has been attributed to Brandr Jónsson, bishop of Hólar, who had close ties with Norway, although the text may not really be as pro-monarchical as scholars have argued when supporting this attribution.76 The author followed the Vulgate version of this story and his other source, Peter Comestor’s Historia scholastica, fairly closely.77 And yet Stjórn deviates in significant ways. Where some commentators downplay or explain away David’s flaws, Stjórn magnifies them. Stjórn is stylistically a saga. The author makes use of alliteration and saga diction. The Philistines and Amalekites are “Vikings” and Goliath in particular is a “vfagnaðar oc vansignaða vikingi man,” a “wicked and accursed Viking”— ecclesiastical terminology, but in a Norse alliterative style.78 Characters are introduced with “There was a man called Jesse,” as in the sagas. David is a saga character, a successful warrior and leader and admired for it, but all the same, like many kings in the sagas, a proud and at times difficult leader. Sagas, even when they are hagiographical, do not present ideal heroes, and this can be seen from the story of the fight with Goliath. When Goliath asks David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with a stick?” (1 Sam. 17), he adds, “you, a boy [smasvæinn].” 79 As we have seen particularly in art, David’s youth was central to medieval understandings of the episode, but by putting it in Goliath’s mouth this author emphasizes it as a shaming


c h a p t er  1

insult—calling a man a boy—which David will have to overcome through successful violence. Closely following the Vulgate, Goliath curses David and says that he will give his body to the beasts of the field. David replies with the speech about how he comes in the name of the Lord of hosts, and God will give the Philistines into his hand. Then, in the Bible, they fight; but in Stjórn, the fight is preceded by a reaction: “Goliath thought David rather boastful.”80 The placement of a description in the mouth of a character, or of “people” in general, is a classic saga technique for describing someone and at the same time describing his or her social position. Since Goliath here is the villain, we cannot interpret it for certain as the author/translator’s editorial comment, but this text differs from other interpretations in implying David’s speech here is prideful. In the Norse tradition, a heroic boastfulness is not necessarily a negative thing, provided that the speaker is able to live up to it, as David does. While other texts do not make David proud or arrogant, they do stress his prowess, his fighting ability, which is so clearly a part of masculinity. The Latin exegetical texts discussed up to this point, and, indeed, the Hebrew ones, were read largely by a learned audience, and the Historia scholastica is, as its name implies, a school text. But the story was also retold for a wider audience, in various vernaculars. We cannot assume an entirely lay audience, but vernacular texts were available either to those preaching to the laity or to literate laity who could afford books. These are the versions in which the Old Testament stories likely reached the widest audience, either through reading or through preaching. The Somme le Roi, a didactic work written in French in 1279 by a friar named Lawrence for Philip III of France, setting out the basics of the church’s teaching in the wake of the Fourth Lateran Council, which formed the basis for a number of English works as well, gives illustrations for each of the virtues and makes David in his fight with Goliath the example of the virtue of prowess.81 Christian vernacular texts also give God, rather than David’s innate strength, the credit. The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament does not call Goliath a giant or a bastard, just makes him a very strong man; it is God’s help that allows David to defeat him. My help is wholly in God’s hand; I know his strength is much greater. Yet even though this man is strong, He does not live lawfully. In God’s name I shall go And defeat him soon for you [Saul].82

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


Goliath’s unlawfulness here is not that he is a criminal but that he is a Philistine, a gentile; he does not live under the law, that is, the Old Testament. We also have a Jewish vernacular version, a Yiddish text dating to the last quarter of the fifteenth century. The Shmuel-bukh was clearly influenced by chivalric literature, including both content and verse form. It was widely sung, since its melody (niggun) was popular for other works as well.83 One of the two surviving manuscripts, from Italy in the first quarter of the sixteenth century, was dedicated by its scribe to a woman patron.84 As with Christian vernacular texts, Yiddish ones were thought to be appropriate for women, but the author in this case had to be an educated man, who knew not only the relevant biblical text and some midrash but also German vernacular literature. The sixteenth-century Paris manuscript indicates that his name was Moshe Esrim Ve-arba, “Moses Twenty-four,” the nickname referring to the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible. The Shmuel-bukh—unlike the Bible, and most Christian retellings—has Saul recognize David when he appears and asks to fight Goliath. In other versions, even though David has previously been Saul’s harper, Saul has to ask Abner after the fight who this young man is. Here, however, Saul knows perfectly well who he is and uses this to mock him: Then the king laughed, all at once, That it was little David, the lute player. “Mischief-maker with the fiddle, what are you trying to do? You are a little child, He is a strong man. He has, in his time, Fought many battles. Your organ and your lute Will be out of tune. He will pull your strings So that it will hurt.”85 The reference to a wide variety of instruments may be reflective of performance traditions, but Saul uses them to mock David in a vivid evocation of what will happen to him. Whereas in the Bible and in the other texts David’s youth is evoked in contrast to Goliath’s experience, here the implication is that David is inexperienced because has chosen a nonmilitary profession. Unlike in Christian


c h a p t er  1

versions, Saul’s armor is not ill-fitting on David; this text follows the midrashic tradition in making it miraculously fit David perfectly, which makes Saul jealous.86 Nevertheless Saul, albeit begrudgingly, recognizes David’s youthful masculinity here. After David has defeated Goliath, Saul tells him, “If you become a man, no one will dare to look at you with hostility.”87 The implication is that he may not live that long, a foreshadowing of Saul’s attempts to kill him. The mocking of David, either in the Yiddish or the Icelandic text or anywhere else, serves only to emphasize his victory. In Norse culture, and elsewhere in late medieval literature, the mocking of a man could create a challenge to his manhood that could only be countered through a show of superior power. That power need not be physical—saints, for example, may respond to mocking through a demonstration of the power of God—but in secular literature it generally is physical. David is able to combine both divine power and embodied masculinity. God causes the victory of this small and apparently weak youth, but he causes it not through striking Goliath with a lightning bolt or turning him into a pillar of salt but by giving David the strength to overcome his age and physical limitations, bolstering David’s own masculinity rather than simply erasing that of Goliath. Medieval people would have understood the fight between David and Goliath in light of parallel occurrences in secular literature, and vice versa: that is, their knowledge of the David and Goliath story would have shaped their understanding of secular literature as well. For example, in the image of David and Goliath in the Morgan Bible (also called the St. Louis Bible or Crusader Bible) from the 1240s, there may be a reference to the Song of Roland and Roland’s sword Durendal.88 This would place Goliath within a tradition of the pagan warrior who is formidable not only because he is large but also because he is a skilled knight, as opposed to another literary tradition in which giants are comic, brutish, stupid, and armed with clubs.89 Beowulf ’s fight with Grendel is not a very close parallel, but the author may have had the Goliath story in mind; it includes the element of a king offering a reward for the defeat of a single enemy and an unknown young man appearing to fight him. The young man battles the monster without a sword and uses his enemy’s sword to cut off his head, which he subsequently brings to the king.90 Tristan’s fight with the Morholt as recounted in medieval French, German, and Icelandic texts echoes David’s fight with Goliath, notably the way the two fight as champions representing their countries, both behead their enemies, and both play the harp for their king, although the Morholt seems to be not inhuman but just a large man.91 Jeffrey Jerome Cohen suggests that the story of King Arthur fighting the giant of Mont-Saint-Michel,

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


first extant in a mid-twelfth-century Latin text by Geoffrey of Monmouth, would have been influenced by the Goliath story: “Because David fought a giant as the first step to assuming his identity as hero and king, so future heroes and future kings such as Arthur fight the same battle, triumph against the same monster, come of age through the same ritual of dismemberment. By secularizing the biblical narrative of David and Goliath, Geoffrey constructed in Arthur a vision of embodiment that equates self-determination with communal good.”92 A twelfthcentury manuscript of Geoffrey’s History of the Kings of Britain shows Arthur looking young, “childlike“ in Cohen’s words.93 A similar ugly giant, with a mature Arthur, is found in a fourteenth-century manuscript of Wace’s Anglo-French Roman de Brut.94 As Cohen also recognizes, however, the chronological priority of the biblical story does not mean that the arrow of influence went only one way; Arthur could also have influenced the way medieval people understood Goliath. These representations of brutish giants in secular literature are in line with some late medieval representations of Goliath. In the late fourteenth-century Visconti Hours, commissioned by Duke Gian Galeazzo Visconti of Milan, the illustration to Psalm 143 shows Goliath with a club, like Arthur’s giant, rather than the sword with which he is described in the Bible. Here David is unusually and prematurely crowned and wearing armor, contrary to the biblical tale. Goliath, however, is wearing armor as well and appears to be a large man rather than particularly monstrous.95 The Cursor Mundi, a lengthy Middle English history poem from the beginning of the fourteenth century, also describes Goliath in terms that make him somewhat less than a knight. He is not said to be a Philistine, but rather a giant whom the Philistines had brought with them. He was like Satan to look at; Between his eyes, three feet wide, His face was loathsomely made. He could eat six sheep by himself. He “was begotten in full whoredom,” no doubt an interpretation of Jerome’s spurius.96 Vernacular versions of the David and Goliath story also draw on other romance themes besides the fight with a giant or monster. In the Bible, before David volunteers to fight, he is told that Saul will marry his daughter to whomever will kill Goliath. The Bible does not stress this as a motivation for David, however; Saul and David do not mention it to each other either before or after the fight. After David fights further against the Philistines, Saul does offer his


c h a p t er  1

daughter Merab to David. After he then marries her to another, he promises another daughter, Michal, who is said to love David, only if David will bring a bride-price of a hundred Philistine foreskins. The potential reward for David did not go unnoticed in the central Middle Ages: Adhemar of Le Puy, in a sermon preached at Antioch to the participants in the First Crusade, said that they were morally superior to David, because he fought Goliath for worldly gain.97 This theme comes out much more clearly in some late medieval versions of the story, where the marriage to Saul’s daughter is expressly part of David’s motivation in fighting Goliath: in the Cursor Mundi Saul, despairing of finding a champion, exclaims that if someone comes forward, I will make him rich all his life, and give my daughter to him as wife. David heard this, and stood forth.98 In a carnival play from Bozen, the marriage takes place immediately after the killing of Goliath.99 The story thus incorporates the traditional theme of the poor boy able to perform a feat of heroism that no one else is able to do, in order to marry the princess. In a Heidelberg passion play, the statement that he who defeats Goliath will marry Saul’s daughter is attributed to the soldiers of Israel, as in the Bible, rather than to Saul himself. The statement that follows it—that his father’s house will be exempt from tribute in Israel—is translated differently, although the manuscript includes the Latin of each Bible verse before the drama that interprets it.100 Here, the king will establish the victor “as a father in his house / Over the people of Israel.”101 The promise is thus more closely related to the later position of David as king. The Lucerne Easter play attributes to the character Salmon the promise that Saul will give his daughter to whomever defeats Goliath and exempt his father’s house from taxes. It also makes Abner, Saul’s general, a brother of David, and depicts him comically quaking at Goliath, all the more to underscore his younger brother’s heroism: “He is so strong, so big, so monstrous, I fear he will kill us all.”102 Such dramas, whether for carnival, Easter, or the feast of Corpus Christi, were meant for popular entertainment, although they were based on religious themes and had a didactic purpose as well. Precise recounting of the Bible narrative took second place to telling a good story in which marrying as well as succeeding in battle was an important sign of adult masculinity. A Corpus Christi play from Eger (now Cheb in the Czech Republic), from the late fifteenth century, which runs through all of sacred history and chooses the Goliath episode as the

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


single one to represent David, has Goliath threaten the people and David tell him how he will kill him with the sling, concluding with You disregard me because I am small And look at me as just a fake But I will defend against you manfully Both women and men shall see this.103 David’s small stature and young age make him eager to claim his manhood. As we have seen, the single combat version of prowess was enough of a concern to exegetes that they might feel the need to explain why it was acceptable in David’s case even though the church disapproved of it generally. The single combat between David and Goliath was also used metaphorically, particularly in the context of scholarly debate in which the participants did not physically fight at all. As Michael Clanchy shows, several competing scholars (including Bernard of Clairvaux, who was hardly a tiny and inexperienced intellect) cast the twelfthcentury Christian theologian Peter Abelard as Goliath to their own David.104 It was the arrogance of Abelard and his challenge to all comers that led to the comparison, but of course Bernard and the others wanted to feel that, like David, they had virtue and God on their side. The notion of God on the side of the more vulnerable was long-lived, extending to two well-known sculptures of David from Renaissance Florence, by Michelangelo and Donatello. These have received a huge amount of scholarly attention in part because of their virtuosity as examples of Renaissance sculpture, in part because of their relation to civic virtue and civic politics, and in part because of their homoerotic appeal. Both depict David at the time of his fight with Goliath, a young man, not a child. The particular appeal of David in Florence, it has been suggested, is that he represented not divine assistance (although that idea cannot have been far removed) but republican liberty and tyrannicide. These sculptures stood in a long tradition of depictions of David as representing the ideal ruler whose victories are enabled by God, and fifteenth-century writers, both those in the ser vice of kings and those in the Florentine republic, followed in this tradition.105 The victory against Goliath is key to David’s masculinity. He is a vulnerable boy in relation to Saul, when he plays the harp for him (see Chapter 4), and when he appears before Goliath. He may play a junior role in relation to Jonathan immediately after the fight (see Chapter  2). But his victory in battle overwhelms these power imbalances. As Theodore W. Jennings Jr. says, questioning whether David can be considered feminine in relation to God, “it is pre-


c h a p t er  1

cisely the warrior character of the social reality portrayed in this text that prevents the masculinity of the beloved from being brought into question. In a homosocial context such as this, masculinity is not strongly dependent upon one’s relationships with women but is acted out among males in terms of boldness and loyalty.”106 David fulfills the heroic masculine ideal of personal prowess and success in combat through his fight with Goliath. In Christian exegesis this comes only through the intervention of God, since he is small and vulnerable on his own. In texts less obviously intended for an ecclesiastical audience, however, while God is by no means absent, it is the inversion of the weaker party winning that makes for his manfulness.

David as General David’s personal prowess, as reflected in his fight with Goliath, became one of the most memorable aspects of his career. His military success continued both in the ser vice of Saul, as when he brought the Philistine foreskins as the brideprice for Michal, or in opposition to him, as when David fought as an outlaw in Judah or as a mercenary for the Philistine Achish of Gath. But what David really became renowned for was the building or making of a permanent unified kingdom. Regardless of whether there was actually anything in the time he lived that could be called a kingdom, unified or not—regardless of whether David should be seen as a monarch ruling an established state, or as a petty chieftain controlling a few hill-forts, or indeed as a figment of a creative imagination—medieval Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interpreters all saw him as having built a powerful and enduring kingdom. He was not the first king of the Israelites, but he was the first to establish an enduring dynasty, according to the biblical accounts. As discussed in the Introduction, the existence of a unified kingdom is a point of some dispute among archaeologists, with some arguing that there is no evidence of a united kingdom until centuries after David, others arguing that although the archaeological evidence from Jerusalem is scant (due in part to the repeated demolition of buildings over thousands of years in order to reuse the stone from which they were built) it points to such a kingdom. To get there, David had first to be a successful general. The praise for David from the women of Israel—“Saul has slain his thousands; David, his tens of thousands!”—comes in 1 Samuel 18:7 after David has not only killed Goliath but has been placed at the head of Saul’s army. And yet he has not apparently killed anyone so far other than Goliath. The Bible (in both

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


Hebrew and Latin) says that the women sang after David returned from killing “the Philistine,” in the singular. The tens of thousands may be metaphorical, Goliath counting for a great deal, or there may be a sort of telescoping of time, with other deeds by David coming between the killing of Goliath and the reception by the women. Even though the killing of ten thousand men implies the leadership of an army, rather than killing that many on his own, the medieval texts tend to emphasize David’s prowess in individual combat—important in gaining the kind of masculine reputation that would make one a plausible and popular king. This can involve crediting him with ten thousand actual killings himself. The Shmuel-bukh recounts this scene, explicitly comparing David’s manhood to Saul’s: The noble king Saul Is full of manhood. With his sharp sword He can fight well. The king and his heroes We must truly praise. We see the noble lord rage. He has with his sword Killed a thousand men. Therefore we want to sing, Whoever is able to sing. ................ ... A strong young warrior Is named David. He just arrived; We just got to know him. He is a strong warrior The very best of men That one can nowhere Find his equal. From the big strong giant He didn’t want to bear anything; Besides, of the heathen He killed ten thousand. We can well value Those he slew with his sword.


c h a p t er  1

One should honor the lad; He is worthy of honor.107 Here David is clearly understood to have killed more than just Goliath. Saul certainly takes the praise as an invidious comparison. In the Jewish context, the military aspects are quite distant from the daily life of the audience; nevertheless, Christian vernacular interpretations are similar. In the Heidelberg passion play (written down in 1514), as soon as David defeats Goliath, his brother calls on the women to greet him joyfully. They do so, and make the comparison with Saul even more directly than in other texts. Saul has struck a thousand dead. We see at this time That David is much stronger: He has killed ten thousand And saved us all from danger.108 Immediately after this, Isaiah appears and summarizes the action and how the women’s praise of David prefigures the entry of Christ into Jerusalem, the subject of the next vignette. But the women’s praise could be used not only to prefigure Christ but to connect David to contemporary rulers, as happened with Byzantine depictions of the women coming out to greet him, with David clad in imperial robes.109 Although prowess as one individual fighting another individual was central to medieval ideas of masculinity, in practice it was not what was expected of a soldier and certainly not of a king. A successful soldier had to follow orders, and a successful general had to lead his army. David does this for Saul, especially to the extent medieval people understood him literally as killing the ten thousand men in Saul’s ser vice. He successfully brings Saul a hundred or two hundred foreskins of Philistines as a bride-price for Michal.110 Hugh of St.  Cher suggests that Michal, representing the contemplative life, required the amputation of all impurity, thus two hundred foreskins, whereas Merab, representing the active life, would have required only one hundred since it is not possible to remove all impurity while living an active life.111 The foreskins may be a way of symbolizing the emasculation of the enemy, or an emphasis on that which distinguishes the Philistines from the Israelites.112 The use of foreskins was not a common form of bride-price. Cutting off the foreskins is something of a substitute here for converting the Philistines.113 It is also a comment on their mascu-

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


linity, that they are not only to be defeated but also to have their genitals cut off. The Glossa ordinaria took the foreskins to represent the impurity of the gentiles, which Christ (David) would prove himself by removing before he was married to Synagoga (Michal).114 Hugh of St. Cher said that the foreskins stand allegorically for heads: because the heads of the Philistines were impure, the text calls them foreskins. However, in the literal sense, he gives two reasons for Saul’s demand: first, because the Philistines had a fierce hatred of circumcision and therefore this would cause them great distress, and, second, because by asking for foreskins Saul could be sure that they came from Philistines, rather than Israelites.115 Nicholas of Lyra and Denis the Carthusian follow this analysis.116 The suggestion that the foreskins were necessary to distinguish Philistine from Israelite corpses may be a reference to David’s activity after fleeing Saul’s court. He recruits an army of his kin and others, and serves various other kings or chieftains. Military conquest, as Katherine Lewis has shown, is a key part of royal masculinity. It is not just a matter of personal military skill or prowess, although that can certainly help a king build his reputation. It is a matter of generalship.117 The Nine Worthies of medieval Christianity were not all kings, but they were all understood as generals, not just soldiers skilled in individual combat. Territory was important to kingship in purely practical terms: it brought booty for soldiers, tax revenue for the royal coffers, and land to be distributed to keep followers happy. But it was also important symbolically. Acquisition of land in the Middle Ages could happen through ways other than conquest, most notably through marriage diplomacy, but few territories were satisfied to be transferred to a new ruler as part of a marriage, and military activity was often necessary.118 Masculinity was commonly demonstrated by control of resources, and kings, who controlled more, were exceedingly manly, but they also needed to demonstrate control on a much higher level. Indeed, one of the resources that kings controlled was women. When the Amalekites kidnap David’s two wives among others from David’s stronghold at Ziklag (1 Sam. 30), his men are upset with him to the point of wanting to stone him because their own wives have been taken; but the fact that his wives are also gone casts doubt on his ability to lead. Control of resources required not only generalship in acquiring territory but also a firm grip on administration once it was conquered. A king commonly demonstrated his masculinity through the administration of justice, which had to find the right combination of sternness and mercy. Too much of the latter, obviously, made a man, and especially a king, look weak and encouraged people to take advantage of him; but too much of the former could undercut the loy-


c h a p t er  1

alty of his followers. Machiavelli would write, in a later era, that it is better to be feared than loved, and most medieval kings would probably have thought so too, if they had to choose between the two; but the ideal was to be both. A real man was a bad enemy but a good friend. Doing justice did not only involve a calculation of what would best motivate followers, it also involved a sense of what was right or wrong before God. Medieval people saw David as a priestly or prophetic figure, performing God’s wishes on earth, even if he did sometimes deviate from them. The Morgan Bible illustrates the completed David history and concentrates heavily on military matters. It depicts David in the heat of battles on behalf of Saul (fols. 29v, 30v) and independently against the Philistines (fol. 33r) and Amalekites (fol. 34v). After Saul’s death in battle, David is crowned king of Judah, but Ishboseth is crowned king of Israel, and the forces of the latter’s general Abner fight against David’s forces under his general (and sister’s son) Joab (fol. 36v). After Ishboseth’s death and David’s coronation as king of Israel, David participates in battle against the Philistines (fols. 39r, 40r). In a war against the Ammonites (fol. 41r) Joab wins a great victory, but they regroup and David himself leads an army against them.119 But it is when David is not participating in battles that the greatest harm comes: his adultery with Bathsheba (fol. 42r; see Chapter 3) and the death of his son Absalom both occur when Joab is leading David’s army in the field. The leaves depicting Absalom’s rebellion were removed from this particular manuscript—perhaps because it was later given to Shah Abbas (1571–1629), who was concerned about a possible rebellion by his son. But one of the leaves is now at the Getty Museum, and it shows, again, David sitting at home while his army pursues Absalom, who dies when his hair becomes entangled in a tree while he rides under it at a gallop.120 It makes tremendous sense in medieval practical terms that a ruler would stay at home and send his army out to fight. Great harm could come if a king were killed in battle, or perhaps even worse, taken prisoner, thereby creating uncertainty whether or not the heir should immediately succeed the king. Not going to battle enabled a king to continue to administer justice (precisely the point made by 2 Samuel 8:15–16), make sure taxes were being properly collected to support the military efforts, and coordinate the efforts of battles on various fronts. Not only actual kings in practice might leave the fighting to their subordinates, especially as they aged, but ideal kings in literature as well, for example, King Arthur. In this picture cycle, David is majestic enough as he sits and has brought to him the news of the death in battle of Saul and Jonathan or of Absalom, or even as he orders the death of Uriah. But there would still have been a

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


question in the mind of medieval readers: if David was such a great warrior, why was he not fighting himself? Medieval interpretation, both Christian and Jewish, had an answer to this question. In the Bible of Stephen Harding, between the page with the full David historical cycle and the first psalm, we find a full-page image of David playing the harp, surrounded by musicians (Figure 1.6). Also in the frame are fighting men defending battlements. This is a mature David: enthroned, bearded. At this point his business is worship and prophecy, rather than actual fighting. The contrast here between the worship of the mature David and the fighting that he leaves to others corresponds with the Talmudic discussion. Stephen Harding was abbot of Cîteaux, and his Latin Bible was revised from the Vulgate text with the help of Jewish scholarship; even though Bible scholars and Talmudists were not necessarily the same people, Talmudic interpretations could still have influenced his illustration program.121 Abba b. Kahana’s statement in the Talmud would have been familiar to Jewish scholars: “Were it not for David, Joab would not have waged war, and were it not for Joab, David would not have studied Torah. What is the reason David ‘executed justice and judgment for all his people’? Because Joab ‘was over the army.’ And what is the reason ‘Joab was over the army’? Because ‘David executed justice and judgment for all his people.’ ”122 The rabbis also stressed David’s status as a Torah scholar, getting up in the night to study. At midnight a wind would come and cause the strings of his harp to play, waking him so he could get up and study (BT Berakhot 3b). David also concerns himself with the building of Jerusalem, and the attempt to build a temple, until God tells him that he will not be able to do so (see Chapter 5). Although David’s military success in the killing of Goliath and the rest of the victories won by him or on his behalf were important to Jewish exegetes also, they stressed the importance of piety over prowess. But the Bible leaves it open to question whether a king could get away with the piety alone. In 2 Samuel 12:26–28, Joab is about to take Rabbah. He sends for David and tells him to come and take the city; if not, he will do so in his own name. Joab, the son of David’s sister and his top general, could certainly be thought of as a threat to the throne if he began acquiring territory. But the incident can be read as one of loyalty to the king, who (despite his admonishment by Nathan and period of penitence for his sin, which immediately precede this passage) must be seen to take the leadership role in battle. The Glossa ordinaria, as one might expect, makes an allegory out of this account. Joab, who prepared the way but did not actually capture the city, corresponds to preachers of the Word armed with the shield of faith, but the final victory belongs to Christ, “to

Figure 1.6. Bible of Stephen Harding, Cîteaux, 1109–1111, Bibliothèque Municipale de Dijon, MS 14, fol. 13v. © Bibliothèque Municipale de Dijon.

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


whom all the strength and power of the kingdom are attributed.” David, standing for Christ, takes the crown.123 The allegorical and the literal interpretation here are actually fairly close: the subordinate prepares the way but the leader must, finally, lead. On the literal level, the king must get the credit for his wars. The key text in the description of David’s conquests is 2 Samuel 8, which some scholars have concluded comes from an inscription of some sort and is one of the parts of Samuel most likely to be contemporary or close to David’s life, even if it may exaggerate what land he actually conquered or how thorough his domination actually was.124 To medieval people, however, the biblical king took territorial control like a medieval one, fighting with and then becoming overlord over the great barons of his enemies. Jewish texts are less concerned with actual territorial conquest, perhaps because the parallels to medieval kings were less compelling. However, they are still concerned with David’s heroic reputation as a general. Although the Shmuelbukh does not list the conquered lands as 2 Samuel 8:11–12 does, David’s battles are depicted as many and glorious. David engages in personal combat, nearly dying in a fight against Goliath’s younger brother Ishbi, only to be rescued by Abishai. David’s men then say that he should no longer go along with them to fight, because “if he were at some point to be slain—may God, blessed be He, guard against it—then all Israel would be without joy.” This distresses David greatly, but he allows his men to go fight the heathen without him—until he finds it just too frustrating and thinks, “I must find a ploy by means of which I may again go out [to battle]: how long am I to molder here in my house!” He has to be released from his oath.125 This version of the story of David needing credit for his army’s conquest emphasizes David’s continuing valor in battle, not just as superior general. Rather than stress the particu lar nations he conquers, it stresses the wealth he gains from them: “That which King David took from all the other peoples, all of it together was taken into the tabernacle. King David had it retained and securely locked up, in order to build the temple therewith. . . . Above all, King David did not want to give up that which he had taken from all his enemies in all lands.”126 We find a similar focus on David’s military leadership in a very different type of Jewish literature, the thirteenth-century kabbalistic text Sha‘are Orah by the Castilian Joseph b. Abraham Gikatilla, which describes the sefirah Malkhut (kingship, domination, although personified as female) in relation to David: “This is also the attribute which avenges the covenant that Saul never fulfilled completely [i.e., the annihilation of AMaLeK]. Wearying of Saul, [the attribute] gave this power to David and it was named MaLCHUT BeiT DaViD [the King-


c h a p t er  1

dom of the House of David]. It was the attribute that was David’s constant companion, waging his wars and rising victorious against his enemies.”127 “For it is with the power of this attribute David smote and pursued his enemies. It is also the same attribute which waged Abraham’s war with the kings.”128 This description is presented in the context of explaining the tenth sefirah, or attribute of God, and the references to David are merely in passing, but it is an indication that his association with this feminine attribute does not feminize him; rather, it strengthens his warlike nature. Yet another kind of Jewish literature, folktales that could elaborate on biblical stories, involved stories of the valor of Joab, as opposed to that of David. In a collection of tales found in a thirteenth-century manuscript from France, Joab leads a large army to an Amalekite city and has himself flung over the walls disguised as an Amalekite. In a very gory tale he slaughters most of the city himself. The text graphically describes his killing of a pregnant woman who has cared for him after his catapulting; he runs her fetus through with his sword. His army rejoices when they see blood running from the city.129 This story appears elsewhere as a midrash to Psalm 18, itself a fairly bloodthirsty piece of poetry. It might be problematic for a story of this degree of indiscriminate violence to attach itself to David, although certainly his killing of tens of thousands points in that direction, and David praises Joab for his killing. Joab does save one Amalekite to be killed by David himself: the king, whose crown David then takes. The Talmudic distinction between the praying and study of David and the generalship of Joab plays into this tale. Joab is clearly to be admired for what can be seen as a deed of heroism; like David against Goliath he triumphs over long odds. However, such behavior might not have earned entire admiration if performed by a king. Rella Kushelevsky compares David in this story to Charlemagne and Joab to Roland, the great warrior who is completely loyal to his king.130 An incident from the First Crusade may spur us to ask to what extent Christians thought being an active warrior was essential to being a king. In 1099 the crusaders of the First Crusade captured Jerusalem. Deciding to establish a kingdom, they offered the rulership first to Raymond of Toulouse, who refused it (possibly in the hopes that the council would insist). The second choice, Godfrey of Bouillon, accepted it. There is considerable scholarly debate over what exactly it was that Godfrey accepted. Most scholars hold that Godfrey was not regarded as king, although Jay Rubenstein has persuasively argued that he was.131 For current purposes, Godfrey’s eventual status as king or advocatus does not matter; instead, we focus here on a moment before the capture of Jerusalem and

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


Godfrey’s elevation, a moment when the appropriateness of a king apparently came under discussion. Raymond of Aguilers, a canon from Le Puy who accompanied the crusade as chaplain of Raymond of Toulouse and therefore was not especially favorably disposed toward Godfrey, wrote his chronicle shortly after the 1099 establishment of the kingdom. He tells us that consideration was given to the choice of a king before the crusaders actually took Jerusalem. “It was asked whether one of the princes should be elected king, to take charge of the city, if God should deliver it to us, lest, with no one in charge, collectively guarded it should be collectively destroyed. To which the bishops and clergy responded: ‘A king should not be chosen where the Lord suffered and was crowned, because in his heart he might say, “I sit upon the throne of David and have received his kingdom,” but not live up to the faith and virtue of David, and God should destroy him and become angry at the city and the people.’ ” They suggested instead an advocate for the city. Because of this and other reasons, the election was postponed until after the capture of the city.132 The reference to Jerusalem as the throne of David and the king as needing to live up to the virtue of David is cryptic given that David was not at the forefront of the crusaders’ minds. It is true that there were a number of landmarks in the city of Jerusalem named for David, which had acquired their names by the sixth century.133 Crusade chronicles mention them in passing but do not comment on the connection of the Tower of David and David’s kingship. To the extent that the crusaders were interested in historical places, they were the places of the life and passion of Christ. Reestablishing the kingdom of David and Solomon was not one of the goals, although David could be cited as an example to kings of Jerusalem, for example, by Achard of Arrouaise in a poem dedicated to Godfrey’s brother Baldwin I.134 The specific virtues of David that the clergy feared a king might not live up to as the crusaders debated whether or not to establish a king in their new land are also unclear. Because a major aspect of David’s role in Christian thought was as a symbol of repentance because of his adultery with Bathsheba (see Chapter 3), it could be the crusaders were thinking of repentance as one of those virtues. “Not live up to the faith and virtues of David” might be a veiled reference to one of the potential candidates being involved in an adulterous relationship, which they feared he might not repent. There is no evidence of anything like this in the life of Godfrey. He seems never to have married, but whatever sexual involvements he had were discreet.135 As for Raymond of Toulouse, the church had twice excommunicated him for consanguinity: his first wife had been too closely re-


c h a p t er  1

lated to him (he was married to his third wife by the time of the First Crusade).136 While consanguineous marriage and adultery are very different offenses, one of the eleventh-century texts to make prominent use of David connects them explicitly. This is the life of Robert II the Pious by Helgaud of Fleury, written probably between 1033 and 1041. Robert had been excommunicated for his consanguineous marriage to Bertha of Burgundy. His very admiring monastic biographer deals with this behavior by comparing him to David. “Just as the holy David, against law and custom, desired and took Bathsheba, so he, acting against the laws of the holy faith, took that aforesaid woman in an abominable marriage.” But, “as in the example of the blessed David, our lord Robert confessed his fault, begged for indulgence, bewailed his distress, fasted, prayed and by making public the grief of his confession, set an example for the ages.”137 Not many other works took much note of the Epitoma vitae regis Rotberti pii, so there is no obvious path of transmission to Raymond of Aguilers, but he and other French clergy could have known it. If an implied comparison to Robert were the reason why the clergy were unwilling to elect Raymond of Toulouse as king, his chaplain Raymond could have wished to embed a reprimand or warning to him. It is possible, then, but hardly proven that the reference to the virtue of David and not living up to it relates to the sexual and marital history of Raymond of Toulouse. Another eleventh-century use of David, this one in Wipo of Burgundy’s biography of Conrad II, presented to the latter’s son in 1046, provides a more likely explanation of David’s virtues as Raymond’s clerics understood them. The prologue suggests biblical models that a king should have always before him: “David’s battles [praelia], Solomon’s counsel, Gideon’s genius, and the Maccabees’ fighting [pugna].”138 David is an example because of his military success; not his own combat skill, as with the Maccabees, as much as his generalship. When Raymond has the clerics say that they were concerned lest someone be named to the throne of David who did not have David’s faith or virtue, perhaps “virtue” is the wrong translation of virtus and we are to understand it not in the medieval religious sense but as manliness, as mea sured in considerable part by military strength. A king of Jerusalem, especially one appointed before Jerusalem was actually taken, would have to combine faith and good generalship. This combination is seen, for example, on a slightly later work of art from the Holy Land, the Melisende Psalter, commissioned around 1135, probably for Queen Melisende, the daughter of Baldwin II, wife of Fulk, and mother of Baldwin III and Amaury I. The ivory panel on the front shows David demonstrating his strength and military prowess, being anointed, and showing “his humility and interest in the harmony of church and state”; on the rear of the book, he carries out the Christian works

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


of mercy.139 Here, then, he combines his faith and his virtus both in the sense of Christian virtue and of manly prowess.140 Manly prowess and success in battle was important, of course, not just symbolically but because it led to territorial expansion. According to the book of Samuel, David was not the first king of Israel and Judah—that honor was Saul’s—but he was the first to found a dynasty that would hold the land, and he fought against and defeated the Philistines, Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, and Amalekites. In medieval sources, however, it is the permanence of the kingdom rather than its territorial extent that emerges as David’s major achievement. The foundation of a house (see Chapter 5) and the establishment of a stable administration were the focus of medieval appreciation of David’s work. The military success was an end in itself, making him a glorious hero, but it was also a sine qua non. Military success combined with faith was a major way in which, in the eyes of medieval people, David performed masculinity. It was particularly important in the First Crusade as the army approached Jerusalem. What the clerics were saying in Raymond’s account was likely that it would be premature to choose a king before the ultimate success in generalship, the capture of the holy city, had been achieved. Both Raymond of Toulouse and Godfrey of Bouillon were proven leaders, but they faced a final test. To name someone to David’s throne who did not have the actual ability to seize that throne would be, in modern terms, to tempt fate; in medieval terms, to show a dangerous lack of humility, in addition to assuming an element of manly military success that remained to be put to the ultimate test.

Prowess and Justice David’s successful generalship sometimes stood in contrast to his administration of justice, which is one of the clear prerequisites established in nearly all medieval texts on kingship. The obligation to settle disputes among his people, or to deal fairly with them if the dispute involved him directly, was so basic that it justified the existence of kingship, and its absence could be invoked to justify rebellion, as we will see in Chapter  5. On a smaller scale, the performance of justice to and for his subordinates was a requirement of mature manhood; any householder, master of a workshop or estate, military commander, or religious leader had to maintain justice and order among his subordinates. The second book of Samuel, chapter 8, ends with a verse saying that David rendered judg-


c h a p t er  1

ment and righteousness unto his people. As the Yalqut Shimʻoni says, quoting several elements of BT Sanhedrin 6b but in a different order, “Is it not so, that wherever there is judgment there is no righteousness, and wherever there is righteousness there is no judgment, but that justice which includes righteousness, I would say this is compromise,” from whence R. Joshua b. Qarhah said “it is a mitzvah to make a compromise” and the Lord your God “execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates” [Zech. 8:16] but wherever there is peace there is no judgment and wherever there is judgment there is no peace [the Yalqut puts this the other way around from its Talmudic source], but that justice which includes peace, I would say it is compromise. In the teaching of the Tannaim, “if a poor person owed money, he [presumably David] would pay with his own property. Judgment to this one since his money was returned to him, and righteousness to that one since he paid it out of his own property. Rabbi had this difficulty, it says ‘to all his people’ when it should have said ‘to poor people.’ Rather, Rabbi says that even if he did not pay from his own property it is still judgment and righteousness, judgment to this one because he paid him his money, and righteousness to that one since he took stolen property from his hands.”141 The conquests, then, were closely tied up with the doing of justice, particularly with regard to the ownership of property. The Yalqut takes this passage from a section of the Talmud that is concerned with the justice system and that therefore does not discuss David’s conquests in this context. But the Yalqut also takes a Talmudic response to 2 Samuel 8:15–16 to undercut David’s claims to conquest in the earlier part of the chapter. The reference to David’s justice is followed by the passage that says Joab was appointed the head of the army, and the Yalqut Shimʻoni quotes the Talmudic passage (BT Sanhedrin 49a, quoted above) that comments on this, stating that Joab and David were complementary, the one leading the army and the other studying Torah and rendering judgment. The Talmud itself does not look at the first part of 2 Samuel 8 in discussing this, but Yalqut Shimʻoni does, and thus uses the Talmudic passage to counter it and present David as more of a judge than a conqueror. It then moves to quoting Midrash Tanhuma on Deuteronomy 16:18, “You shall appoint magistrates and officials,” drawing a distinction between the judgment and its enforcement: “R. Eleazar ben Pedat said: If it had not been for

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


the law-enforcing office of Joab, David could not have enforced justice. . . . whenever someone did not heed the judge, they delivered him into the hands of Joab, and he extracted compliance from him against his will.”142 In essence David’s role is reduced to that of wisdom, not conquest and not even an effective judiciary. This chapter, of course, follows the one in which God has promised David that he would establish his house as rulers in perpetuity, but the Yalqut interprets it to undermine the power of that kingship. The Shmuel-bukh, as one might expect, does not mention David’s doing justice, nor his appointment of Joab. Joab certainly appears later as a military leader but he never formally takes David’s place as general. The Sha‘are Orah describes David’s blend of military leadership and civil justice in another way. David is compared to Esau, since both were described as red. David, however, was described as also having bright eyes. One learns from this that Esau, the wicked, inherited the sword and the spilling of blood, while David inherited the kingdom in full measure, which is to render acts of loving-kindness, mercy, justice and righteousness as well as acts of stern judgment, and even to kill in accordance with the law. . . . . . . Therefore when David clothed himself with the attributes of an ADMoNiY he would wage the war of the Lord against the Lord’s enemies and his sword would not return empty. When he would dress with the attributes of one who is “bright-eyed,” he would provide for Israel and do compassionate deeds with a generous eye.143 We may wonder, despite David’s exemplarity, how just a judge he actually was understood to be. In the matter of Uriah, as we will see, he behaved in a manner that medieval Christians considered manifestly unjust, even if it had an allegorical meaning that excused it and even if Jewish sources could argue that Uriah deserved the death penalty. In the aftermath of the Uriah affair, David is asked to judge—in the Bible, in a hypothetical case that Nathan puts to him, and in the Qur’an in a matter in which the two litigants actually appear before him. Here he proves himself capable of giving a just judgment, which reflects badly on himself. This motif of giving good judgment without seeing how it reflects on himself appears again, in the case of the woman of Tekoa whom Joab sends to David. She asks mercy for one of her sons who has killed the other, and David makes a clear statement against blood vengeance without realizing that the tale she has told applies to him (2 Sam. 14:1–20). The duplication of a narrative de-


c h a p t er  1

vice is not unusual in the Bible; what is noteworthy here is that, like Nathan, the woman of Tekoa is given license to speak by the judgment that David utters first. In the Bible, after he promises her son safety, she asks why he has not acted similarly in the case of his own banished son. The Glossa ordinaria takes this further, pointing out what is implied by her comment that his behavior was an act “against God’s people”: Absalom had not fled alone, he had many men with him, who were at risk, “who like those who were banished and captive cannot be returned to the inheritance of God, and in a foreign land will be forced to serve foreign gods.”144 It is not just a matter of David’s relationship with his own son, the Glossa emphasizes, but of proper judgment on his people. The Shmuel-bukh relates this instance not to justice to the Israelites, however, but to Absalom’s mother, Maccah. “Grant clemency to the child whom she bore you. If you wish to kill Absalom, then her heir is dead. Then it would be as if the noble princess had never been born. Most excellent king, grant justice for her child—grant that that which would be just for someone else also be just for her and let her beloved child be returned to your favor.”145 The woman of Tekoa also goes on to argue that Absalom may not actually be guilty, that his servants may have killed Amnon without his knowledge. The incident is clearly interpreted as being about the question of justice. The examples with Uriah and with the woman from Tekoa are not the only ones in which David needs to have his sense of justice prompted. Before David becomes king, when Abigail comes to persuade him not to take vengeance against her husband Nabal, he thanks her for preventing him from wrongdoing. It is important for a king, or a military leader as he was at that time, to be able to show toughness and make people afraid to defy him. Abigail’s request for mercy allows David to have it both ways. It might be dangerous to be merciful on his own, but it is entirely appropriate to do so at the request of a woman. David shows himself merciful at times—for example, during Absalom’s rebellion, he declines put to death a man who insults him, indicating that he would not have done it if God had not commanded him to do so. This is not an example of royal weakness but of obedience to God’s will; the Glossa ordinaria cites Gregory the Great explaining David’s patience as part of his penance for his sin with Bathsheba.146 The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase makes this explicit: he does not allow his men to attack Shimei because “I know it is God’s will; I suffer it for my sin.”147 Again, humility and patience are part of his justice. In other instances David is merciful yet gets someone else to eliminate his enemies for him. For example, after Saul’s death, Saul’s lieutenant Abner has crowned Saul’s son Ishbosheth as king of Israel, while David becomes king of

Dav i d H is T en s of T housa n ds


Judah. The two sides continue at war with each other. Abner has a falling-out with Ishbosheth, however (over the issue, fraught here as elsewhere, about sex with a former king’s concubines), and Abner goes over to David. Joab, whose brother has been killed previously by Abner, becomes very upset at this and kills Abner, not in battle but by stabbing him in the stomach when Abner thought they were to have a conversation (2 Sam. 3:27). The Bible tells us that David knew nothing of this and that he claimed the blame would inure to Joab’s house forever. If this death was unwanted by David, however, it was not exactly inconvenient, as Abner’s loyalty was always to Saul and his house. Joab is also the one responsible for the death of Absalom after his rebellion, when an accident has prevented him from escaping (2 Sam. 18:14), this time explicitly against David’s orders but again not too inconveniently for David. He loves his son, but as Joab points out when David’s mourning for Absalom becomes excessive, it would have eroded his support among his army if he were to pardon a rebel. But despite Joab’s repeating taking of matters into his own hands, he remains David’s chief commander, and David never acts against him—until his deathbed, when he warns Solomon against him, not for what he did to Absalom, but for what he did to Abner and Amasa (1 Kings 2:5). Indeed, as discussed above, the rabbis specifically said that Joab’s generalship is to be contrasted with David’s Torah scholarship, but also with his exercise of justice. Not being engaged in battle, David’s “heart was [able to be] open to judge righteously.”148 David, as we have seen, does not always display the prowess we might expect from a medieval hero—or at least displays it only when he is given special help from God, as in his fight with Goliath. God is also on his side in later battles, but he does not fight them himself. This is not seen as detracting from his masculinity, however. A king is not like other men, of course, but for the Jewish commentators ideal manhood seems to have consisted of a balance between prowess and piety—a balance in which the king himself provided the piety and a subordinate the prowess—and for Christians the king himself provided the prowess but it was entirely enabled by the piety.

chapter 2

Surpassing the Love of Women: Love, Friendship, Loyalty Between Men

Since masculinity is defined in large part in contrast to femininity, it both shapes and is shaped by male interactions with women. But masculinity is, of course, also created by relations among men. This is true both in the sense of hegemonic masculinity, the dominance of one group of men over another, and in the interpersonal sense. These relations among men can take the form of a physical struggle for dominance, as discussed in Chapter 1. They can also take the form of bonds between men, often shaped by shared experiences of war or sports and involving deep emotion. In some periods this deep emotion contrasts with the shallower and merely sexual bond men are expected to share with women. Some societies frown on the outward expression of emotionality between men, whether because emotion is viewed as unmanly or because too much emotion about a fellow man is seen as homoerotic. At other times expressions of emotionality are the chosen language for relationships based on political considerations. In the last half century, the shift from buddy films in which men bond without ever touching or even seriously talking, to the contemporary bromance in which the phrase “I love you, man” comes more easily to a man than do those three little words to a woman, shows how ideas of appropriate manly friendship can change across time or across genres. In ancient and medieval literature, the relationships between men could also become metaphors for political relations in the sense that relations that we would think of as instrumental alliances were cast as relations of friendship and love.1 This chapter examines David as an exemplar of male friendship, primarily through his relationship with Jonathan but also through some of his other friendships. It examines the story in light of several key themes across medieval under-

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


standings of male friendship: the age and power structures within friendship relations, which were not necessarily expected to operate on a level of equality; the use of emotional language as conventional; the distinction between love and friendship, and the relation of both to the divine; the presence or absence of eroticism; and the differences between same-sex and opposite-sex bonds. The relationship between David and Jonathan did not loom nearly as large in medieval uses of the figure of David, either in Christian or in Jewish culture, as the story of the fight with Goliath, which preceded it, or the various events that took place after he became king. Nevertheless, the way this story depicts bonds between men is central to the understanding of what constituted masculinity in the Middle Ages. In medieval Europe friendship may be thought of as the primary emotional relationship for many elite men, whose marriages were often chosen for them (or if self-selected, chosen for reasons other than companionship) and whose sexual relationships with women may often have been casual if not coercive. Marriage helped ratify alliances, but it was homosocial networks that made them happen. In some ways ancient and medieval friendship relations paralleled marriage, which in terms of formal social structure was the pair bond par excellence. David Halperin suggests that in Western culture “friendship is the anomalous relation: it exists outside the more thoroughly codified social networks formed by kinship and sexual ties.”2 This is not necessarily true in the premodern world, where more or less ritualized friendship could form the basis of a political bond and could be compared in some ways to marriage.3 Neither was a relationship of equality; both involved power dynamics based on the status of the individuals involved, including both age and position in a social hierarchy such as an army or an educational institution. As in relationships between men and women, whether erotic or not, one partner was cast as the senior in age and authority, even if (as in the classical pattern of lover and beloved) the junior partner was considered the desirable or sought-after one because of his or her beauty.4 Another stream of friendship in the Christian world, also couched in emotional terms but this time more spiritualized, may be found within the monastery and parallels the intense emotional friendships that some holy men had with women. In various medieval narratives, the instrumental and the spiritual streams of friendship may come together. Ancient and medieval texts do not always draw a sharp line between friendship and romantic or erotic love. Although some biblical scholars have argued other wise, it is unlikely that most of the authors meant medieval people reading the texts discussed here to think that David and Jonathan were definitely engaged in sexual activity—at least they wanted plausible deniability. Both Christian and


c h a p t er   2

Jewish teaching discouraged sexual contact between men. Bonds of friendship may have been erotic in the sense that they involved love and physical desire, but this was to be imagined without genital contact. For that reason these bonds could be assumed to be more honorable than bonds with women, which were assumed to include a barely suppressed inclination to sexual activity and were thought worthy of comment when they remained pure and chaste.5 This purer nature of male friendship seems to sit uneasily with medieval condemnations of sodomy, and, indeed, same-sex emotional relationships did occasion anxiety around sexual activity. Refusing to see it in exemplary relationships did not make it go away. Monastic texts warn of this as a problem particularly with the teaching of young boys, and Hebrew texts point out the possibility of a problem, although they tend to repeat the Talmudic statement that Jews were not suspected of same-sex intercourse.6 That religious teaching condemned same-sex intercourse does not mean that it did not take place. Indeed, when some religious writers praised love between men they may have implied or understood a sexual component. In instances where the bonds between men were held up as admirable, it was easy enough to assume sexual contact did not take place, to willingly turn a blind eye, or to make the erotic subtext into an inside allusion. That does not mean that all medieval readers and writers did so. Medieval texts do not explicitly state that David and Jonathan’s relationship was sexual, but some of them imply it, and many do not exclude it. A tradition that condemns male-male sex while at the same time praising male-male love must contain paradoxes and blind spots. The relation between friendship and love, then, is complex; a sharp distinction cannot be made, and the overlap forms part of the object of study here. John Boswell, for example, refers to the “passionate attachment between persons of the same gender” reflected in medieval accounts of David and Jonathan, such as that by Peter Abelard, discussed below. Boswell called this a “gay convention”; while I would not use that term, it is certainly true that the relationship was presented as deeply intimate and loving.7

David’s Friendships We turn first to an examination of the passages from the Bible most relevant to the development of male friendships. Different parts of the story as it ended up in Samuel derive from different layers of redaction, but medieval readers saw the work together as a piece (indeed, for medieval Christians, the two books of Sam-

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


uel together with the two books of Kings constituted one work). The bonds that structure the early part of David’s life are with King Saul and his son Jonathan. He first meets Saul when the king is tormented by an evil spirit after God has withdrawn his favor from him. (Saul had disobeyed God by not putting all the Amalekites to death after he had defeated them.) Saul’s followers seek a musician to improve his mood, and someone mentions David, the son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, “skilled in music; he is a stalwart fellow and a warrior, sensible in speech, and handsome in appearance, and the Lord is with him” (1 Sam. 16:18). Saul asks Jesse if David may stay with him, because “I am pleased with him” (1 Sam. 16:22). The relationship between Saul and David here can hardly be called one of friendship; it is that of lord and follower, or even master and servant. But the bond will continue, in a strange sort of love-hate relationship. David as Saul’s young male sidekick has raised issues of homoeroticism among some modern biblical scholars. Saul is said to have loved David, just as Jonathan did. David is in a subservient position to Saul, a position that medieval people would have found not at all surprising, as young men often served older ones as part of their training or life-cycle service—indeed, the retainer who tells Saul about David is a puer (boy) as well, whether by age or by position. Choirboys were often objects of older men’s affection, and medieval people could have understood David in this context.8 Other cues have led scholars to speculate about a possible erotic relationship between David and Saul: Theodore Jennings Jr. suggests that David soothes Saul “as if he were a favorite wife or concubine,” that Saul’s later jealousy may be due not to David’s military prowess but to David’s love for Jonathan, and the intimacy of the cave scene where David refuses to kill the sleeping Saul, only cutting off a piece of his robe, suggests a “parallel to more familiar scenes of erotic intimacy.”9 The second bond that we see David forming is with Saul’s son Jonathan, a mighty warrior in his own right. It begins immediately after David’s battle with Goliath. “When [David] finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan’s soul became bound up with the soul of David; Jonathan loved [‫ ]ויאהבו‬David as himself. . . . Jonathan and David made a pact, because [Jonathan] loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the cloak and tunic he was wearing and gave them to David, together with his sword, bow, and belt” (1 Sam. 18:1, 3–4). The love comes suddenly and must be assumed to be due to David’s bravery and success in battle. What are we to make of the word “love” here, also repeated in 1 Samuel 20:17? It is the same word used when David subsequently marries Saul’s daughter Michal, who “had fallen in love with [‫ ”]ותאהב‬him (1 Sam. 18:20). Like the modern English word “love,” the Hebrew had and has a great range of meaning. An


c h a p t er   2

English speaker can love chocolate without any erotic connotation or any expectation of the feeling being mutual, and a Hebrew speaker can ‫ אוהב‬chocolate in the same way. But it is also the word for deep emotion and romantic involvement.10 Note that it takes a direct object. One party is the lover and the other the beloved, unless it is stated that they loved each other. In 1 Samuel 17 Jonathan is the lover and David the beloved, although some scholars have read the relationship differently. Susan Ackerman suggests that Jonathan is cast in the position of a wife, to be superseded by Michal.11 It is not that David and Jonathan are to be understood as married, but, in her view, the analogy feminizes Jonathan, placing him in a “wifelike role” subordinate to David. David Halperin suggests that a marriage as a means of making an alliance was not remarkable enough and the later source of Samuel included a close bond between men intending it to be “most startling and unusual.”12 The “feminization” that Ackerman proposes “furthers the tradition’s goal of affirming David’s right to the throne over the claims that might otherwise be advanced on behalf of Saul’s descendants.”13 Medieval versions struck various balances between Jonathan’s love and Michal’s, but in neither the Jewish nor Christian traditions do they feminize Jonathan. Rather, Jonathan turns out to be better than women at even the thing—love— that women do best. David’s friendship with Jonathan was born in a military context, a buddy story par excellence. It also involves a spiritual aspect in the binding of the souls, something that was not prominent in medieval notions of marriage where in Christianity the two people become one flesh. Biblical scholars debate whether this friendship is to be seen as an emotional, even an erotic bond, or the making of a covenant. Some of the modern scholarship protests too much in trying to deny the existence of any erotic relationship.14 From the point of view of the Middle Ages the existence of a treaty or covenant and the existence of eroticism are not by any means incompatible. The language of love was commonly used in the type of correspondence that in the modern world would be called “diplomatic.”15 Just as marriages were expected to involve love, or at least to be described as if they did, even if they were diplomatically arranged, so for military/political relations between men, where a lord and his follower could be described as caring passionately about each other (Arthur and Lancelot, for example). More crucial, from the medieval point of view, was how the love was described. The direction of the one-way arrow from lover to beloved could be structured by age but also by power. The question of who is the lover and who the beloved becomes more complicated in David’s lament upon the news of Saul’s and Jonathan’s deaths. David delivers a long poem in the memory of both. Of Jonathan he says, “I grieve for

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


you, my brother Jonathan, you were most dear to me. Your love was wonderful to me more than the love of women” (2 Sam. 1:26). This passage, unlike the others, can be translated in such a way as to make the love mutual, if “you were most dear to me” meant “you were beloved by me.” The Vulgate, however, implies that “your love” was not the love of Jonathan for David, but that David loved Jonathan more than he loved women: “I mourn for you, my brother Jonathan, beautiful and lovable beyond the love of women.” The phrase “lovable and beautiful” (or in the Hebrew, “beloved and cherished”) is also used of both Saul and Jonathan in 2 Samuel 1:23. The Vulgate applies it to Jonathan in particular. But the Vulgate as it was known in the Middle Ages added a line not found in the Hebrew that changed the nature of David and Jonathan’s relationship. Many manuscripts of the Vulgate, beginning in the ninth century and continuing in the Clementine edition, the official Latin Bible of the Roman church until 1979, inserted “As a mother loves her only son, thus I loved you.”16 This may have originally been a gloss that was incorporated in the text.17 The copyist/glossator seems not to have known what to do with “beyond the love of women” and to have explained it by a particular kind of womanly love, maternal only. This, of course, implies that David was the older, the lover to Jonathan’s beloved, although 1 Samuel 18:1 understood it other wise. As we shall see, most of the Christian western Eu ropean versions relied on a text that included this line, which clearly functioned (however its purpose) to place David as the senior partner in the relationship and also to de-eroticize it. After the death of Jonathan the Bible does not show David forming other close bonds of friendship. His trusted adviser and loyal general Joab is perhaps the closest, and David values him enough to decline to act even when Joab has gone against his wishes, as in killing Abner. But Joab is a family member, the son of David’s sister. David shows favor to Mephiboseth for the sake of Jonathan, his father. The prophet Nathan, the best adviser David has, does not really fit either a medieval or a modern understanding of friendship; he is a conduit for the divine but there is little mutuality. One might argue that the moral here is that a king is isolated and has no friends, and that David was not really a friend of Saul’s either, although Saul at least had Abner.

Avot and Its Commentaries Without focusing further on what the biblical text meant at the time of its writing, we will turn to how medieval people interpreted it in terms of the age and


c h a p t er   2

power relations between David and Jonathan. The Talmud is largely silent about this friendship, nor does midrash discuss it much, compared to other aspects of David’s life. However, it does appear in the tractate Avot, which was recited regularly and was one of the most quoted parts of the Mishnah, although there was no Gemara on it. Additional material was added to it, and it became a stand-alone ethical text under the name Pirqe Avot, Chapters of the Fathers. It was widely read and studied in medieval western Europe and commented upon a great deal, especially in Iberia in the later Middle Ages.18 There was also a more elaborated version, Avot de’ Rabbi Natan, a minor tractate that forms part of the Talmudic corpus although not the Talmud itself. Avot de’ Rabbi Natan was an expansion of and commentary on Pirqe Avot, which was likely based on an earlier version than that incorporated in the Mishnah.19 The Avot tradition was the context in which medieval Jewish writers had the most to say about David and Jonathan in the medieval period. Here they found a ready-made taxonomy of love (ahavah), in which David and Jonathan were the exemplary couple. Avot makes extensive use of the technique of oppositions: “Three who eat at one table and do not speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten of idolatrous sacrifices . . . but three who eat at one table and speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten at God’s table” (3.3) The reference to David and Jonathan is similar. Most of chapter 5 consists of lists, but 5:16 returns to the oppositional technique: “Any love [ahavah] that is dependent on something—when the thing ceases, the love also ceases. But a love that is not dependent on anything never ceases. What is a love that is dependent on something? The love of Amnon and Tamar. And one that is not dependent on anything? The love of David and Jonathan.”20 The love of Amnon for Tamar, found in 2 Samuel 13, was an incestuous one that culminated in rape. The thing on which it depended was Amnon’s sexual desire, and perhaps Tamar’s purity as well; once the former had been achieved and the latter obliterated, the love no longer existed. David and Jonathan’s love, hence, must be understood as not depending on sexual desire. But it could not depend either on the other aspects often cited: mutual admiration of military prowess and mutual interest as expressed in an oath or covenant. The contrast between these two loves may be read in the context of two other passages found in the first chapter of Pirqe Avot. The first passage, 1:5, cites Yossi b. Yochanan saying that one should not converse too much with women, even one’s own wife. “A man who converses too much with a woman causes evil to himself, abandons the Torah, and, in the end, inherits Gehenna.”21 The following passage, 1:6, has Joshua b. Perachya saying, “Make for yourself a teacher, acquire for yourself a friend, and give every person the benefit of the doubt.”22 This

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


word for “acquire” (q’neh) may also be translated “purchase.” The way these two passages are juxtaposed—do not talk too much to women, acquire a friend—may suggest that we should read the contrast in 5:15 as the contrast between a love between a man and a woman and a love between two men. Eyal Levinson reads the passage in just this way.23 But the contrast must be much more than that. Amnon and Tamar’s relationship is not that of lover and beloved, or husband and wife, but of rapist and victim; it is hard to make this stand for all love between men and women. And the use of “love” instead of “friendship” here should also make us wonder about the relationship of the passages. A look at some of the medieval commentaries can help us understand how the relation between two men was to be understood. The major medieval commentaries on Avot are in fundamental agreement on the meaning of 5:16, although they take it in different directions. Rashi (Shlomo b. Yitzchak of Troyes, 1040–1105), who became the founder of Ashkenazic Talmud commentary, may or may not have written the Avot commentary attributed to him, but it emerged from his school. This commentary has nothing to say about the David and Jonathan passage. It does deal with 1:6, understanding a friend here clearly as a study partner: some explain “a friend” as referring to books, others say it is good because two are better than one (Eccles. 4:9).24 In his focus on study—and in the reference to Ecclesiastes—Rashi (or Pseudo-Rashi) seems to be relying on the Avot de’ Rabbi Natan, which explains that “this teaches that a man should get a companion for himself, to eat with him, drink with him, study Scripture with him, study Mishnah with him, sleep with him, and reveal to him all his secrets, the secrets of the Torah and the secrets of worldly things.”25 Thus, rather than an image of friendship based on intimacy or on virtue in an Aristotelian or Ciceronian mold, Rashi presents a more exclusively Jewish one of a friendship based on study of the halakha. A commentary on Avot that composes part of a manuscript of the Mahzor Vitry, a halakhic/liturgical compilation by Simhah b. Samuel of Vitry (d. 1105), a pupil of Rashi, and including commentary based on that by Jacob b. Simson, another member of Rashi’s school, also understands this passage in terms of study.26 The passage about Amnon, Tamar, David, and Jonathan explains the phrase “depends on something” with “on his own attraction and not because of closeness,” contrasting a friendship based on sexual desire and one on intellectual or emotional intimacy. David’s love for Jonathan is “not for the sake of his own pleasure but because of closeness, or because of the good that is in it. This thing does not cease, so the love does not cease.” Amnon is explicitly said to have loved Tamar because he desired to have sex with her. David, on the other hand,


c h a p t er   2

“said when he mourned him [Jonathan]: your love was wonderful to me beyond the love of women.”27 There is a clear contrast between the carnality of Amnon’s love and the purity of David and Jonathan’s. Moses Maimonides (Rambam/Musa ibn Maymun, 1135–1204), the Spanish philosopher and polymath living in North Africa who wrote his commentary on Avot in Arabic, also makes David’s love for Jonathan based on closeness, but takes a more philosophical tone: “those material causes will cease and pass away. And its passing is necessary with the passing of its cause. And from this, if the cause of love is a divine thing, that is true knowledge, it is not possible that it will ever pass away, because its cause exists permanently.”28 The worldly desire of Amnon for Tamar is inevitably transient; Maimonides’s discussion of material versus divine causes is highly Aristotelian. Also Aristotelian is the commentary on 1:6, where Maimonides highlights the choice of the term q’neh and suggests it is important to have a friend to learn with, even if one has to pay. The Hebrew version of Maimonides—translated by the medieval Provençal scholar Samuel ibn Tibbon (ca. 1150–1230) from the original Arabic and widely used in medieval Europe—shifts from the term chaver, “friend,” used in the first part of 1:6 to the word ohev, or one who loves, although the Arabic word that Maimonides used, sadiq, would normally be translated as “friend,” with connotations of a “true or sincere friend.”29 Thus, while speaking in the context of a Mishnah about friendship, he includes the higher emotion of love.30 Maimonides classifies the types of ohev according to the categories of friendship that Aristotle had developed in his Nicomachean Ethics: for benefit, for attraction, and for higher things.31 The first involves mutual self-interest. The third is the praiseworthy type of friendship, as with the friend that the Mishnah directs one to acquire: one in which both partners have as a goal the realization of the good. The second is the more problematic. Again, it is divided into two parts. It may be based on pleasure or on trust. That based on pleasure is “the love of men for women and what follows from that.”32 This is where Amnon’s love for Tamar would fall. It is not clear where Maimonides would intend David’s and Jonathan’s love to fall, whether it is a question of attraction based on trust and perfect confidence, or whether it is the one based on improvement, what we might call virtue. It is likely, however, that it is the former. David and Jonathan are referred to in terms that imply a loving attachment, not just companionship and study partners, but in Maimonides this is also true of the friend of 1:6, who moves from chaver to ohev. Maimonides’s Aristotelianism—reflected here in his statements about friendship, and also appearing abundantly throughout his work, including his

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


Guide of the Perplexed—was controversial among Jewish intellectuals for what some understood to be a denial of the literal meaning of the Torah and a championing of philosophical method as the means for achieving religious understanding.33 Maimonides’s work was translated from Arabic into Hebrew and read throughout western Europe.34 It does not appear, however, that his analysis of friendship was taken up by many other scholars. The Catalan rabbi Yonah Girondi (d. 1264), who had studied in northern France, an anti-Maimonidean in that he supported the traditional study of Talmud as opposed to philosophical rationalism, agreed that friendship was largely about study, but he also attributed a component of emotional intimacy to it. He implied, although he did not quote, the Maimonidean distinction between an attachment based on trust and intimacy and one based on virtue. He makes the love for the sake of something worldly versus divine a much more general point than the love of the individuals referred to in 5:16: “When people assemble in order to gain honor at each other’s expense, their love for one another will eventually disappear, because its basis is transitory. . . . The love of those who assemble for the sake of Heaven is not dependent on transitory factors.”35 He cites the love of David and Jonathan as being specifically for the sake of heaven. This phrase (‫ )לשם שמים‬appears in Pirqe Avot itself in 5:17, in a discussion of which quarrels are for the sake of heaven (Hillel and Shammai) and which are not. But the fact that David and Jonathan’s love is for the sake of heaven implies that it is a type of virtue friendship, or for mutual improvement, and would seem to rule out the idea of personal passion. This relationship between David and Jonathan, then, does not fit easily into the reasons that R. Yonah presents for acquiring a friend in 1:6. He gives three. First, for study together; second, for the sake of mitzvot, as each will reprove the other when he sins and thereby promote each other’s virtue; and third, for advice, from someone whose loyalty and discretion you can trust entirely.36 The first two of these could be considered for the sake of heaven; the third, perhaps not. R. Yonah is not juxtaposing the David and Jonathan passage with the friendship passage as clearly as, for example, the Mahzor Vitry. It is friendship in 1:6 and love in 5:16, without overlap (Gerondi does use the word ohavim once in 1:6, when referring to those to whom a friend will not tell secrets, not to the friend who has been entrusted with those secrets).37 It is clear enough, however, that despite the different language for friendship and love, David and Jonathan’s love could be fit into the model of friendship as improving virtue. Gerondi also confronts directly the ambiguity in “acquire/buy yourself a friend”: “if you cannot find a friend for free, you should acquire him with money. Use your assets to obtain


c h a p t er   2

a good friend, or else acquire him through kind words and gentle language.”38 It is possible to fit David and Jonathan into this context—Jonathan presenting David with clothing and armor after he has killed Goliath, for example—but not altogether clear that Yonah meant to bring these passages together. He is only trying to explain an anomaly in the text, not to make all friendship negotiable. All the Jewish writers, but Yonah especially strongly, contrast male friendship with relationships with women. The latter are unavoidably sexual because of the yetzer ha-ra, or evil inclination.39 No concern about temptation to sin emerges in relationships between two men described here, either in the case of David and Jonathan or in general. In that sense, although the comparison between Amnon/Tamar and David/Jonathan is not just a comparison between male and female love, there is a hint that sexual sin in the former is what talking to a woman inevitably tends toward. Male friendship does not. We can also ask whether Avot and its commentaries understand the relationship between David and Jonathan to be egalitarian or age- or power-structured. Mahzor Vitry, with its reference to David’s lament for Jonathan, would seem to imply that David was the lover and Jonathan the beloved, but the other commentaries say nothing about this. The text itself speaks of the “love of David and Jonathan,” which could well be understood as reciprocal, although it is contrasted with the “love of Amnon and Tamar,” which definitely was not. Medieval Jewish sources, in fact, devote surprisingly little attention to malemale eroticism. The Jews in western Europe did not find homosexual intercourse acceptable. The Babylonian Talmud, in dealing with idolatry, includes a passage (Avodah Zarah 15b) commanding Jews not to allow their children to be educated by idolaters. Rashi’s commentary explains that this is because of the possibility of homosexual intercourse.40 BT Qiddushin 82a and its commentaries also discuss the reason for a prohibition on an unmarried man or a woman teaching children. The Mishnah prohibited this, along with an unmarried man serving as a shepherd or two unmarried men sleeping under one blanket. However, “the sages permit.” The Gemara asks why the sages allow it and quotes a Baraita saying “Israel is not suspected of homosexual intercourse or bestiality.” Thus the reason for the prohibition on an unmarried teacher is not due to a fear of intercourse with the children, but rather a concern about a female teacher’s encounter with the fathers of her students, or an unmarried male teacher’s encounter with their mothers. The argument that it is permissible for two unmarried men to share a blanket because Jews are not to be suspected of same-sex sexual practices could be taken to mean that Jews are above suspicion on this count, or to mean that suspicions are not to be voiced.

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


In medieval Jewish society marriage and reproduction were even more the norm than in Christianity, and this idea was used in arguments about the inappropriateness of male-male intercourse. For example, the thirteenth-century Pinḥas ha-Levi of Barcelona wrote, “He commanded us that human seed should not be destroyed by carnal relations with males: for this is indeed destruction, since there can be no fruitful benefit of offspring from it.”41 The idea of reproduction was also central to Aristotelian ideas about gender and about the body and nature that Maimonides helped spread. But medieval Jewish authors did not, as did Christians, develop complex taxonomies of sexual sins that culminated in the worst, “the sin against nature,” usually understood as nonreproductive intercourse in general with male-male intercourse as one subset. For example, Abraham ibn Ezra (1089–1164), an influential Torah commentator who lived in Spain, North Africa, Italy, and France, cited Saadia Gaon (d. Baghdad 942) for a taxonomy that did not divide reproductive from nonreproductive; the least serious was intercourse with a virgin or widow, then one’s own wife when niddah (understood as “nonreproductive”), someone else’s wife, a non-Jewish woman, then a man, and finally an animal.42 These Jewish writers did not need to go to extraordinary lengths to argue that David and Jonathan were not physically involved. They could have an emotionally deep, even erotic, relationship embracing, sharing clothing, and even (although not mentioned in the Bible or in Avot) sleeping under the same blanket without necessarily incurring official suspicion. The status of David and Jonathan in Avot as the paradigm of virtuous love would have been present in the minds of Jewish interpreters of the story. Rashi does not comment on any of the passages of the book of Samuel that discuss their love, but he does cite 1 Samuel 18:1 in his commentary on Psalm 105:22 when he wishes to explain what it means for souls to be bound, a key aspect of the story in the eyes of Jewish interpreters.43 Moshe ben Naḥman (Naḥmanides, or Ramban; 1194–1270) of Girona took up an idea of unselfishness similar to that of Avot when he explained “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Lev. 19:18) with reference to David and Jonathan, “ because Jonathan had removed [altogether] the attribute of jealousy from his heart.”44 This does not take a position on the question of sexual involvement, but makes either denial or acceptance possible. Some commentators did write on the actual story in 1 and 2 Samuel. David Qimḥi, from Narbonne (1160–1235) wrote about the great love and desire with which Jonathan removed his clothing and gave it to David, but did not discuss the other passages.45 Levi ben Gershon (Gersonides, or Ralbag; 1288–1344, from southern France) was mainly concerned, not with the scenes in 1 Samuel where David and Jonathan were said to have loved each other, but with David’s lament.


c h a p t er   2

He suggested that in fact Jonathan’s love for David may have had a practical component to it: he loved David because he knew that he was going to become king of Israel.46 But Isaac Abravanel (1437–1508, from Portugal) wrote that David and Jonathan made a covenant out of love, not the love of a boy (that one feels for a boy?) or out of advantage, but because of virtue. At the same time as it suggests that homoerotic, even pedophilic love was an expected emotion, it removes David and Jonathan from it. Abravanel noted when discussing the lament that this love was so remarkable because Jonathan had good reason to hate David for usurping his place as heir. Abravanel also noted that Jonathan’s giving David his clothing was a sign that he would be considered the son of the king and heir to the kingdom.47 Jewish authors drew varying interpretations from David’s statement in the lament that Jonathan’s love for him was wonderful beyond the love of women. A very early collection of aggadic midrash made jealousy the key characteristic of women’s love.48 Gersonides wrote that “Jonathan’s love to David was stronger and more wonderful than the love of women for their [male] beloved, which love is very strong, even when the [male] beloved strikes his [female] beloved and curses her, and no part of her love for him declines because of this.”49 In other words, the love to which it is compared is the love of a woman for a man, which is wonderful because of its extreme strength and patience. As a woman puts up with abuse, the implication is, so Jonathan’s love could withstand his ejection from the succession to the kingship. Similarly Avraham Saba (late fifteenth century, Navarre) discussed how notable it was that women should love their husbands so much, given the pain that they undergo in childbirth, which is caused by their husbands, and he cited this remarkable aspect of women’s love as the reason for David’s comment; Jonathan was even more altruistic than these women, “as the wife at least will have a child after her pains have subsided,” whereas Jonathan got no tangible benefit, indeed a loss of succession to the throne, because of his bond with David.50 Abravanel, on the other hand, compared Jonathan’s love for David not to the love of a woman for a man but to the love of women for each other: “in spite of all this [Saul’s antagonism toward David and David’s anointing by Samuel] he loved him. And this is considered a wonder as surprising as the mutual love of two women between two women who love one man, because ordinarily there is enmity or trouble between such women. . . . Your love to me is as surprising as the love of two women married to the same man, and for this reason it is written ‘your love to me was as surprising as the love between co-wives’ as it is so rare to find love between such women. As a result, you should have duly hated me

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


but you loved me.”51 Jonathan might have been expected to be as jealous as a cowife, and the fact that he was not was even more wondrous than two co-wives’ love for each other. This sort of practical reading in a historical context was typical of Abravanel, who focused on the “derivable social, ethical, and political implications” of texts.52 These Jewish commentators thus took “the love of women” in different ways, but all expand on the nature of women’s capacity for love, rather than whether Jonathan is therefore like a woman. There is no feminization; rather, he as a man can surpass women even at that thing that women do best.

Christian Readings: David and Jonathan as Exemplars When Christian writing in the early and central Middle Ages invoked David and Jonathan as a model of actual friendship (as opposed to allegorical use, which was quite common) it was usually within the monastic context. This is not the only place where a discourse of friendship can be found. As Stephen Jaeger has shown, the courts of both secular and ecclesiastical nobles made ample use of it. The friendship of one courtier for another (for friendship and love are not sharply distinguished here) was an integral part of the social system and a way of including both in a hierarchical as well as horizontal network. This did not make their love, or what Jaeger calls “passionate male friendship,” false or part of a mere facade; it was part of the way aristocrats constructed and expressed their social relations.53 David and Jonathan could certainly be deployed in this context, as Jaeger demonstrates. Dhuoda, a Frankish noblewoman writing a guide for her son in the 840s, suggested that her son should be a loyal servant as David was; this loyalty was equated with “extreme love.”54 The Cambridge Songs, from the German imperial court before the mid-eleventh century, refer to Jonathan being drawn to David because of the latter’s great virtus, a Latin term that can be understood either in the Roman sense as “manliness,” or in Christian terms as “virtue.”55 The idea of friendship as promoting good moral behavior, and the need to choose a friend on the basis of the qualities of character he displays, is not unique to Christian and Jewish contexts; the Middle Ages inherited classical traditions as well. We have seen how Maimonides drew on an Aristotelian typology of friendship, suggesting that it could be based on mutual advantage, on enjoyment of each other’s company, or on virtue, mutually admired between two men of approximately equal status. Cicero brought religion into the picture, calling


c h a p t er   2

friendship an “identity of feeling about all things human and divine, as strengthened by mutual good will and affection.”56 However, he suggested that a friend be chosen on a rational basis; this rationality did not replace emotion, but went along with it. The juxtaposition of a feeling of two people about each other and a decision to harness their interests together that Cicero posited continued to characterize medieval Christian approaches. Both the emotion and the rational decision were to be based on the virtue of the friend or beloved and thus selfless. David and Jonathan could also be used, either explicitly or in the background, to provide a context for emotional or emotional/political friendships. When Roger of Hoveden tells us that Philip Augustus of France loved Richard, Duke of Aquitaine, the future Richard I of England, “as his own soul,” there is likely an allusion here to David and Jonathan, particularly because Richard’s father, Henry II, can be seen as playing the part of Saul, very concerned about his son’s relationship with someone who might be a political rival.57 Richard and Philip did at a certain point ally themselves against Henry II, but Richard survived Henry (and his older brother) to become king, and subsequently fell out with Philip during the Second Crusade. Philip allied himself with Richard’s younger brother John against Richard. Although the analogy does not work entirely, the reader of the chronicle was clearly supposed to understand Richard and Philip’s friendship in the combined political/emotional sense of David and Jonathan’s. In this sense, the relationship between Richard and Philip as described by medieval writers does parallel that between David and Jonathan in the Bible. The signs of friendship, love, and trust they displayed were certainly a matter of political alliance, but that does not mean that they were not also signs of true feeling, which is much harder to discern. As to whether that love was thought to have extended into sexual activity, that remains as ambiguous in the case of Richard and Philip as in that of David and Jonathan. Some scholars have suggested that Richard was not attracted to women, based on the lateness of his marriage and the fact that he spent very little time with his wife Berengaria once he did marry.58 John Gillingham rejects the idea of a sexual relationship between Richard and Philip; Jean Flori argues that contemporary writings, although not very specific, lend credence to the idea that Richard, who was also accused of lechery with women, was bisexual.59 It is entirely plausible that Richard enjoyed sexual relations and emotional intimacy with both men and women, without being “bisexual,” which was not a medieval concept any more than “homosexual” was. Most use of David and Jonathan’s friendship in the Christian central Middle Ages is found in the monastery.60 Monks had to think about a way of

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


developing close relationships with their fellows that did not disrupt the overall communal life of the monastery (and some were also concerned with the possible carnal implications). The Cistercian order, founded in France in the early twelfth century, was particularly concerned about friendship within the monastery. They built on the Ciceronian understanding of friendship by emphasizing the shared religious faith between two friends. Spiritual friendship, a mutual love that urged both toward the love of God, found other biblical referents, notably the love between Jesus and John. However, David and Jonathan featured prominently. The English Cistercian Baldwin of Forde, who became archbishop of Canterbury from 1185 to 1190, wrote a tract on love and friendship, “On the Order of Charity” (using caritas, yet another term for love), in which he developed a taxonomy of love. His examples were mostly drawn from the Hebrew Bible. The natural love of parents for children was represented by Jacob’s love for Joseph or David’s for Absalom; David and Jonathan represented social love (amor socialis), which Baldwin equated with bonds of friendship (amicitiae foedera). Here the Ciceronian amicitia is coupled with the term amor, which the Vulgate uses for the “love of women,” which David’s love for Jonathan excelled. Other types of love in the taxonomy included conjugal love, incestuous love (Amnon’s love for Tamar and Shechem’s love for Dinah), vain love (the love of the things of this world), and holy love of God. This taxonomy equates friendship and love; friendship, though not in any way sinful, can arouse deep emotion.61 Alain of Lille, a nonmonastic twelfth-century author, created a similar taxonomy: in his philological work he gives David’s statement of Jonathan’s love “surpassing the love of women” as his example of the type of love that is a “natural feeling” (affectio naturalis), as opposed to love that is “cupidity,” “charity,” or love of the Holy Spirit or Christ).62 It should be noted that Alain is also known for his Complaint of Nature, in which the goddess Natura bemoans the fact that men are wrongly having sex with each other rather than reproducing; it is likely that his classifying David and Jonathan’s love as “natural” meant that he assumed it was not sexual. The most prominent Cistercian to write about friendship, although not as part of a taxonomy of love, was Aelred of Rievaulx, also English and a generation older than Baldwin of Forde. He had a similar emphasis on same-sex affection as a natural form. Aelred’s treatise De spirituali amicitia (On Spiritual Friendship) celebrated friendship between men, indeed, between monks, adapting Cicero to a type of friendship that “must begin in Christ, continue with Christ, and be perfected in Christ.”63 In other words, true spiritual friendship must be a part of true religion. Aelred, in describing his own personal life and in


c h a p t er   2

what he permitted among the monks in his monastery, was a proponent of love between men, although he stressed that it was not a carnal love. His attitude was not typical, particularly in using language to describe relationships between men that might have been used to describe marriage; as Brian Patrick McGuire points out, he differentiated it from a romantic love entirely focused on the beloved and stressed that “there could be no conflict with one’s social or moral obligations”— certainly a good description of medieval marriage.64 Yet although Aelred could describe his own relationships in quite passionate terms, when he turned to David and Jonathan he focused not on feeling but on virtue, particularly the selflessness of their love. He suggested that “the worthy covenant consecrated between David and Jonathan, with no hope of future gain but with contemplation of virtue, benefited both,” a formulation that draws from Cicero.65 When Jonathan defends David against abuse from Saul, Aelred explains that Saul was jealous, but “this youth, supreme in love, reverences the rights of friendship. Unflinching in the face of threats and unmoved by insults, unmindful of fame but mindful of kindness, he despises a kingdom for the sake of friendship.”66 It is not the emotional relationship between the two but the disinterested nature that is worth mentioning: Jonathan was willing to give up a great deal of worldly status for his friendship. The Premonstratensian Philip of Harveng (d. 1193) implied not only that Jonathan was giving up worldly status but also that this was a sign of Christian charity toward others as well as disinterestedness. He suggested that what was notable about Jonathan’s love for David was precisely that they were not equal, one being the king’s son and the other a shepherd; the emphasis was not on a bond between two individual men, or on David’s particular virtues, but rather that a Christian should love his neighbor no matter how lowly, even “a harpist coming from the field.”67 Peter of Blois, a Paris theologian in the latter half of the twelfth century, in a tract that owes much to Cicero and Aelred, also wrote about David and Jonathan in the context of friendship.68 He argued that love should be rational and based on virtue, as it was in Jonathan’s case—here Jonathan is not struck by a sudden bolt of love but chooses David for his good characteristics. The self-interested choice, following David’s preferment, would have been for Jonathan to envy him rather than protecting him. A friendship like this, not based on advantage, is true and stable and promotes equality (aequalitate fovetur). David and Jonathan’s love was “social” as opposed to fraternal or conjugal, other praiseworthy kinds of human love.69 Both these writers situate Jonathan as the lover, the more powerful if not necessarily the older of the two, the one in a position to make a choice and single out the love object.

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


Medieval Christian authors, like Cicero, all recognize the relationship, etymological and conceptual, between love (amor) and friendship (amicitia).70 But although love could exist between a man and a woman—whether romantic or chaste love—when they talk about friendship they largely talk about men. Aristotle was willing to allow friendships between men and women, keeping in mind that the man had superior capacity and the two did not get the same things out of friendship.71 The medieval authors who drew on him generally did not discuss the question; they for the most part simply assumed that only men were involved. Women were not present in the male monastery; they were not absent from the courtly milieu, but they were not expected to be involved in the same relationships of loyalty and friendship, and the love in which they were expected to engage was of a different sort. There are, true, examples of male confessors or spiritual advisers writing to or about their female advisees in terms expressive of love; Goscelin of Bracelond and Eve of Wilton provide the best example.72 But Goscelin and Eve are not described as friends. Friendships with women had no place in the monastery because monks (and nuns, in their own monasteries) were excluded or exempted from marriage. Indeed, Dyan Elliott suggests that we should read these “alternative intimacies” like that of the confessor and the penitent as taking the place of marriage. The idea behind the “courtly love” complex involving poetry directed from a man to a woman (with a few exceptions directed from a woman to a man or to another woman) is that the love of a woman is supposed to ennoble a man, although there is much scholarly debate over how much this poetry reflected social norms and practices and how much it simply relied on the repetition of tropes.73 To this extent, the love of a man for a woman could be seen as a parallel to the “ennobling love” between men of which Jaeger writes. But the difference is that the love of one man for another, or of a religious man for his spiritual daughter, as medieval writers understood it, did not overtly look to consummation. In those cases where it did—where it was thought to be “carnal”—it raised concerns. Love between men might be erotic, but it was also tightly interwoven with the idea of virtue. Therefore at least in theory it excluded sexual consummation, although it did not exclude touching and kissing if done in a nonconcupiscent way. Desire was certainly there, and passionate writing would have both reflected it and encouraged it. Even in treatises on male love of women, as Jaeger explains, “the point is not to renounce desire, but to stoke it and inflame the lovers, to maximize desire so that the victory over it will appear all the greater. . . . Of course it is natural to consummate desire brought to the border of consummation. But in a society that saw the contest against nature as an


c h a p t er   2

essential part of moral training, what is natural is vulgar.” 74 This outlook toward love is characteristic of a certain type of literature in the central Middle Ages; Jaeger argues that this view is transformed later in the twelfth century with the rise of “courtly love.” He posits that the ethical aspects of courtly love can only exist because of the male-male love of the earlier Middle Ages. But in practical terms an unconsummated love between men and women could hardly be the goal of most people. Within the secular world male-female love was supposed to lead to marriage, reproduction, the establishment or continuation of a dynasty, while in the monastic world such love, in the few cases where it could exist, needed to remain chaste in physical terms, regardless of how emotionally intimate it might be.75 Male-male love was clearly acceptable in medieval Christendom.76 If this love were to be carnally expressed it had to be very discreet. Highly emotional expressions of friendship could place it above marriage in priority—the story of Amis and Amiloun, known in Latin and a variety of vernaculars throughout the Middle Ages, is an example.77 The swearing of an oath between brothers could be considered in some ways equivalent to a marriage—indeed, the Middle English word wedden, which comes from a root meaning “pledge,” was used for both.78 The now famous tombstone of Sir John Clanvowe and Sir William Neville, two English knights who died in Constantinople in 1391 and were buried together, shows their arms quartered as was often done when the descendants of two important families married. A chronicle tells us that Clanvowe and Neville were “sworn brothers” and the tombstone depicts them kissing.79 This sort of passionate love can be found also between men and women in the biographies of saints. Nothing is explicitly said about sexual consummation, either positive or negative, so there was room for readers to bring their own imagination to the text. But relations between men and women at least had a legitimate model in marriage, whereas there was no approved sexual union for men. Peter Dronke suggests that Peter Abelard (1079–1142), a major theologian and ethicist, thought of David and Jonathan as being sexually involved, based on his reading of Abelard’s passionate version of David’s lament for Jonathan. Abelard, an accomplished poet, composed a series of six planctus, or laments, based on biblical figures, the last of which is a lament of David for Saul and Jonathan. It expresses such deep emotions that Dronke suggests “that the griefs and longings which here emerge with the greatest intensity, and which move furthest beyond the Old Testament narratives that the songs take as points of departure, have true, and disconcerting, counterparts in the autobiographical Historia Calamitatum, and in the correspondence of Abelard with Héloïse.”80 Abelard

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


and Heloise, of course, had a sexual relationship and married, although after Abelard’s subsequent castration they both took monastic vows.81 The emotionality Dronke mentions is more overt in the lament of Dinah for Shechem—a couple whose relationship in the Bible was clearly sexual—but even in the lament for Jonathan, Abelard introduces material about love and longing that is not in the biblical text. Although it is a version of David’s lament for Jonathan and Saul in 2 Samuel 1, and it does deal with Saul, Abelard’s lament emphasizes the loss of Jonathan a great deal more. Here it is David who wishes to be undivided from Jonathan in death, whereas in the Bible it is Saul and Jonathan who were not divided. David refers to the “que peccata, que scelera nostra sciderunt viscera,” “What sins, what crimes have sundered our innermost parts,” which Dronke explains as “a shared agony of guilt.”82 This could be a reference to physical aspects of love, expressing a feeling similar to the shame and remorse that Abelard said he felt in addition to grief when he and Heloise were parted, for the “vile corruption” he later regretted.83 But it could also be translated as “What sins and wickednesses separate our hearts,” in other words, “What horrible things have happened that have caused us to be apart,” evils not necessarily committed by the two of them.84 Abelard’s planctus for Samson mentions David along with Solomon and Adam as having been, like Samson, brought low by their desire for women, suggesting it is unlikely that Abelard understands David’s main sexual sin as having been with Jonathan. Abelard nevertheless takes this friendship to be one of the great histories of passion in the biblical tradition, and the verse reaches a level of emotionality not found in his letters to Heloise, but found only in hers to him. John Boswell suggests that “whether or not he [Abelard] intended to portray the relationship as sexual, he certainly used erotic vocabulary to invest it with pathos.”85 Juanita Feros Ruys, the most recent editor and translator, suggests, indeed, that the planctus uses erotic language to create an ungendered love, a nonsexual version of pure intimacy of souls, like that which Abelard offered to Heloise.86 Yet this lament is a lament for a warrior: it uses the language of bloodshed, of defeat and conquest. David bewails that he was not present for the battle, so he could be “a partner in your triumph or a comrade in defeat / so that I should either snatch you back or fall to your death with you.”87 He laments that his own victory over the Amalekites, won while Saul and Jonathan were fighting the Philistines, is now meaningless: “Unpropitious victory won in the meantime: / how empty, how brief the joys I took from it!”88 This is not ungendered love; it is the love of male comrades in arms. Nevertheless, the parallel to Abelard’s and Heloise’s love points to an important feature of the lament. For this Christian writer—and as we will


c h a p t er   2

see, for others as well—the deep and intimate love between two men could resemble that which would be found in a marriage, or even go beyond it. Hugh of St. Cher finds the key to David and Jonathan’s binding of the souls the fact that they were similar, citing Ecclesiasticus 13:19, “every animal loves its like,” which places the two much more on a plane of equality than the Glossa ordinaria’s “Jonathan loved David as a warlike man does a youth ready for battle,” which Hugh also cites.89 Nicholas of Lyra makes clear that the bond was one of charity, and Denis the Carthusian expanded, explaining that the soul of Jonathan was bound to that of David with “a most fervent and indissoluble bond of love,” and that “this love was sincere and spiritual” and refers to holy charity. The covenant between the two was “a pact of unbreakable love, binding themselves first with words to each other to perpetual, companionable and familiar love, and afterwards they confirmed this pact with an oath or promise.”90 In distinguishing between mere words and an oath, Denis emphasizes the formal nature of the bond, much more than does the Historia scholastica (below), which simply notes the fact of the pact and later the oath, or the Glossa ordinaria and Hugh of St. Cher who do not comment on the nature of the pact.91 In the later Middle Ages, then, friendship was not just an emotional relationship, but was ritualized with the oath that was so important in medieval legal proceedings (as well, of course, as in medieval marriage). Denis also discusses in more detail the way like is drawn to like; since Jonathan was an “illustrious and great-souled man, and praiseworthy in his warlikeness, and a strong and handsome youth, of bright complexion and greatest talent,” and saw the same in David, they loved each other; Denis also moves beyond earlier exegesis when he then compares the pair to Amelius and Amicus.92 Common to all the versions are several points of comparison to the David and Jonathan story: a close bond of friendship in which one partner is socially superior to the other, the marriage of one to the daughter of the ruler, and the willingness to sacrifice for each other, although it is his children’s lives that Amicus gives up, whereas Jonathan gives up his kingdom. Silke Winst argues persuasively that the standard distinction between “hagiographic” and “romantic” versions of the Amelius and Amicus story does not hold up. She classifies the versions not by whether they have an explicit hagiographical purpose but by whether they are primarily courtly or primarily religious in sensibility.93 As Denis only mentions them in passing it is not possible to determine what version he had in mind; it is probable that he was thinking of the Latin version from the Historia septem sapientium, which was repeated in Vincent of Beauvais’s popu lar Speculum historiale and the Dutch translation Spiegel Historiael by Jacob van Maerlant.94 Thus, while he was not quite putting David and Jona-

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


than’s story into a courtly or feudal context, he did think of it in terms of the most popular medieval nonbiblical buddy story, in which the ties between the men are stronger than those with wife or children. Christian exegesis, even when it makes much of the love and covenant between Jonathan and David in 1 Samuel, downplays the love of David for Jonathan in the lament in 2 Samuel. Hugh of St. Cher explains that David lamented for both Saul and Jonathan and that he had an especial lament for Saul but does not elaborate on the wording. More attention is given to the reasons for Saul’s death. David called Jonathan his brother because of their love and their shared religious cult.95 Denis the Carthusian elaborates, adding that David called him “ brother” because of their religion and also because they were alike in being Israelites, and because David was married to Jonathan’s sister; neither expounds on the closeness of brotherly love, and Denis drops Hugh’s use of the term “love.” The focus on the brother-in-law relationship here is unusual. Denis, once again following Nicholas, raises the question of whether “beyond the love of women” meant that David loved Jonathan more than men love women, or more than women love, and like some of the Jewish interpreters uses this as an opportunity to discuss the nature of women’s capability for love: in commenting on the Vulgate’s “As a mother loves her only son,” he notes that especially a widowed mother devotes all her love to her son and that is why Christ resurrected the widow’s son.96 Denis implicitly compares Michal to Jonathan in a different way from other texts. Her love for David, which leads to their marriage, is simply omitted from his account; the first time she appears is as David’s wife when she hides him from Saul. However, whereas 1 Samuel 19:11–17, where Michal hides her husband, does not mention that she dearly loves David, Denis makes this point: “She said this [that David had forced her to help him escape] to placate her father, but it was a dutiful lie, because this same Michal, loving [amans] her husband dearly [intime], persuaded him to flee.” Whereas Jonathan’s love is dilectio, Michal’s is amor.97 It would be dangerous to place too much weight on this difference in word choice, and diligo, which the Vulgate also uses for the mother’s love for her son, can certainly imply very strong feeling. However, Denis does diverge from the Vulgate’s use of diligo for Michal’s love for David, but not for Jonathan’s love for him; this may suggest that he saw them as different in quality. Michal is also not allegorized as the disciples to David’s Christ, although Denis does offer this explanation for Jonathan.98 In Denis’s retelling, then, Jonathan and David are bound by a legal pact and oath; but the use of the term “ brother” for Jonathan in the lament is taken to be literal, as they have become brothers-in-law.99 In the


c h a p t er   2

tradition of Christian exegesis in the central and later Middle Ages, Jonathan and David’s love is based on physical appearance, which is not explicitly said of Michal’s love for David, but it is appearance in a battlefield context: strong and warlike. The lament is less emotional than versions like Abelard’s and focuses on the military cause rather than on David’s interior feeling. Denis also stresses Michal’s feeling for David in a situation where the Bible does not. We will return to David’s relationship with Michal, which becomes more prominent in later medieval retellings. Christianity did not for the most part denigrate marriage for the laity, although some Christian writings suggested that celibacy was far better.100 But David and Jonathan were used as the epitome of true friendship/love, and David’s relationships with the various women in his life were not. In part this is because David and Jonathan’s love was explicitly compared to that of women, and deemed better. The phrase “beyond the love of women” was not problematic for Christian commentators, because they were using the Vulgate text which compared David’s love for Jonathan with maternal love. However, before we turn to the narrative retellings of David and Jonathan’s story, we must look at those writers who took it not as a story but as an allegory.

Allegorical Readings in Judaism and Christianity The first part of this chapter showed how the early midrash on Samuel affected Christian interpretations. Unsurprisingly, it influenced Jewish ones too. Midrash Shmu’el was compiled in its current version around the eleventh century but includes midrashim from many earlier sources, known and unknown.101 It discusses the comparison between David’s love for Jonathan and his love for women (2 Sam. 1:26) in this way: “ ‘beyond the love of women.’ Two women. And how so? Michal and Abigail, Michal in this world and Abigail in the next.”102 The comprehensive thirteenth-century midrashic compilation Yalqut Shimʻoni, probably from Frankfurt, repeats this explanation.103 Michal and Abigail were two of David’s wives, but the explanation is not that Jonathan loved David more than his wives did; rather, the use of the plural is allegorized to impart a theological message about the afterlife that did not have anything to do with David and Jonathan’s love. In the midrash on Psalms (Midrash Tehillim; likely early, but documented since the eleventh century), however, Jonathan’s and Michal’s love for David are directly compared. Psalm 59 was supposedly written by David when Saul was having his house watched and Michal helped him escape. The phrase

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


“Two are better off than one” from Ecclesiastes 4:9 is adduced in explanation. “The phrase Two are better alludes to Michal, the daughter of Saul, and to Jonathan, both of whom loved David. . . . Michal saved David from danger inside the house, and Jonathan from danger outside the house.”104 This midrash focuses more on the nature of women, here presented as positive, than on the relationship between David and Jonathan. The two (not described here as brother and sister) are compared not in terms of the nature of their love but in terms of narrative parallel, while still emphasizing the man as active outdoors. The passage is an example of the way midrash brings together texts from different parts of the Bible to explain each other. Tuvia b. Eliezer (1036–1108), a Byzantine rabbi, in the influential midrashic collection Midrash Lekakh Tov, uses “beyond the love of women” not to comment on the quality of David and Jonathan’s love but as one of many passages juxtaposed to God’s love in Deuteronomy 7:13.105 The love between David and Jonathan was also used as a symbol of the love mankind should have for God. The Duties of the Heart, written in Arabic by Baḥya ibn Paquda in 1080 and later translated into Hebrew, adduces both Jonathan’s love for David as his own soul and David’s statement that Jonathan’s love was wonderful in a discussion of what it means to love God “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5).106 The midrashic tradition moved away from the consideration of David and Jonathan as a pair of friends, focusing on their love as a reference to the love of God. Early medieval Christian interpretations also allegorized the story. For Bede (late seventh to early eighth century) Jonathan and David were Christ and the church.107 For Angelomus of Luxeuil (ninth century), Jonathan’s gift of clothing to David represented the transfer of spiritual riches from Judaism to Christianity.108 Christian exegetical traditions from the patristic and early medieval period were compiled during the twelfth century into the Glossa ordinaria, which would have been familiar to any Christian Bible scholar. This gloss explained Jonathan’s love for David thus: “And Jonathan loved him [1 Sam. 18:1]. Jonathan loved David as a warlike man does a youth ready for battle. Jonathan signifies those Jews who believed in Christ, and having perceived by the grace of the holy spirit, having left everything for Christ’s sake, followed him. Hence Peter: ‘Behold, we have left everything and followed you’ [Matt. 19:27]. And thus Jonathan gave David his clothing, from his robe to his sword-belt, as believers gave everything they have for the ser vice of Christ.”109 Jonathan is clearly marked as the elder and David the younger in the relationship, as David becomes the Christians who superseded the Jews. Lest anything in the literal meaning seem suspicious, the Glossa, without explicitly mentioning the possibility of anything sinful


c h a p t er   2

in such a relationship between a man and a boy, precludes that possibility by noting in the gloss to 1 Samuel 20:17, “he loved him according to the law of God” and “he loved him for his virtue, because he himself was a virtuous man.”110 Artistic representations also made David and Jonathan personifications of friendship in Christian art. They could be used in a nonnarrative way as an illustration of friendship. For example, in the Somme le Roi, David and Jonathan were depicted as exemplars. In a particularly beautiful late thirteenth-century example, friendship and hate, here seen as opposites rather than love and hate, are personified. Friendship is a crowned woman holding a dove and treading on a dragon; hate is a man refusing a falcon offered by another man. Below these two figures are narrative scenes relating to the two qualities. Below Friendship, David and Jonathan embrace; below Hatred, Saul threatens David with a spear (Figure 2.1). The same iconography of David and Jonathan is found in other manuscripts of the Somme le Roi.111 Can the embrace between the two be considered erotic? The positioning of the figures here, standing slightly apart from each other and extending their arms, is quite similar to that seen in depictions of, for example, Joseph embracing his brothers after he reveals himself to them, or other embraces of greeting. Embraces of lovers are often—although not always—indicated with a touch of the face.112 What is striking in these Somme le Roi illustrations is the relative age position of the two figures. David is the senior in status, as indicated by his wearing a crown. Of course, in the Bible story David was never king during Jonathan’s lifetime. The crown may be there simply to indicate that he was anointed; David does not wear a crown, however, in the accompanying image of his being attacked by Saul while playing the harp for him, although in the Bible story this incident also takes place after David’s anointing. Saul is the only crowned figure in that scene. The crown must indicate David’s position as the superior to Jonathan. Although the extant copies of the Somme le Roi agree in that detail, they differ on another signal of either status or age. In Figure 2.1, David wears a beard and Jonathan does not. The same is true in two other versions, in the Bibliothèque nationale de France and in St. John’s College, Cambridge.113 In another copy in the British Library, however, not only is Jonathan bearded and David not, but Jonathan’s beard is long and his hairline receding, clearly an indication of age.114 Even though David is crowned and therefore of higher status, Jonathan appears the elder. The iconography of the crowned David tells a slightly different story from the texts discussed above, where Jonathan as king’s son is seen to be of higher rank than the shepherd boy whom he immediately loves for his valor. The crown cannot be taken as something David would literally have been wearing in the

Figure 2.1. Somme le Roi, 1290–1300, British Library Add. MS 28162, fol. 6v. © The British Library Board.


c h a p t er   2

scene, but it is an indication that he is already seen as being of kingly rank, as Jonathan acknowledges in the scene where they meet after Saul’s enmity and David’s escape. What explains the difference in these depictions? The manuscripts are all from northern France and all from the late thirteenth century or first part of the fourteenth. They were all based on the same model (probably the original presentation copy, which does not survive), as indicated by their use of David and Jonathan juxtaposed with David and Saul as exemplars of love and hate, something not indicated in the text. In a similar image from another copy of the Somme le Roi, the two figures personifying Friendship are not labeled as David and Jonathan, and they are interchangeable: they are wearing identical hats and beards.115 In yet another copy, now in Hannover (Figure 2.2), one of the two figures is depicted as a woman.116 This may be an artist’s error, the artist following instructions saying “two people embracing” and not paying attention to the instruction that David and Jonathan are the example, and assuming that a couple embracing to represent friendship would be cross-sex. It could also be a piece of subversion on the part of the artist, or a comment on a relationship he found disturbing.117 The artists clearly had some latitude in how to depict the two, and the fact that within France at roughly the same time different artists understood the age/status/power differential between David and Jonathan differently indicates that it was not an issue on which there was full consensus, possibly because not many people thought about it carefully.

Narrative The most common use of David and Jonathan in the medieval Christian world was as seemingly straightforward narrative characters. Most retellings of the story did not have the passion of Abelard’s; like the Glossa ordinaria they played down the love between David and Jonathan. The pairing is not as common in art as David and Goliath or David and Bathsheba, appearing largely when a complete Bible story is presented. An example is the richly illustrated Morgan Bible discussed in Chapter 1. After David kills Goliath and presents his head to Saul, Jonathan gives him his clothing and armor (fol. 28v). Because Jonathan has his clothing over his head we cannot judge relative age. However, in the fight with Goliath and in the subsequent meeting with Saul, David appears as a young boy. He is also depicted as small when Saul attacks him with his spear (fol. 29r). On the subsequent page, when he comes before Saul to ask for Michal’s hand (fol. 29v), David is as tall as the rest of the men in the image, although not

Figure 2.2. Somme le Roi, Hannover, Landesbibliothek, MS I 82, fol. 101v, detail. © Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek–Niedersächsische Landesbibliothek.


c h a p t er   2

bearded as they are. When Jonathan warns David that Saul intends to kill him (fol. 30r), both are clean-shaven, although Jonathan (as identified by his appearance with Saul in the previous frame) appears to be wearing the more elaborate lined cloak as a sign of his princely rank; David is not crowned in these scenes. When David and Jonathan meet again after David has been hiding in the wilderness, they do not embrace as in the Somme le Roi, but merely join hands (fol. 31v). David here is armed as Jonathan is not. Finally (fol. 32r), after their last meeting, they do embrace. Lacking a beard is not necessarily a sign of age in this pictorial narrative. We still see David beardless when the messenger comes to bring him the news of Saul’s and Jonathan’s death and bring him Saul’s crown (fol. 35v). However, in the very next panel (fol. 36r), when David orders the messenger to be put to death for having killed Saul, David, not yet wearing the crown, has sprouted a full beard. In the Bible story, no more than minutes elapse between these two scenes. The beard here cannot represent his aging. It could be referring to letting the beard grow as a sign of mourning. However, it seems more likely that the beard represents authority, which has now been transferred to David because of Saul’s death. David’s and Jonathan’s equivalent beardlessness earlier signals a similarity not necessarily in age but in social rank; unlike the other bearded men around Saul, neither has yet been able to assume the position of an independent and mature man. This manuscript is a useful reminder of the fact that we cannot take these physical details as indications of the actual ages that the artist or patron, let alone other medieval people, thought the characters were. In some other narrative cycles David and Jonathan do not appear. In the Queen Mary Psalter, a fourteenth-century manuscript possibly made in France for the English court, which contains a pictorial Old Testament history before the psalter proper, Jonathan disappears from the story before the rise of David.118 This is also the case for one of the most famous of the Bibles moralisées, made in France in the thirteenth century, now found in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna (MS 2554).119 These works were essentially typological, page after page of Old Testament scenes juxtaposed with the New Testament scenes that provide their allegorical or moral meaning.120 Although the Vienna manuscript does not include images of David and Jonathan, omitting their friendship completely, however, another early luxury copy now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, includes them.121 The pair are not shown embracing, however; in one scene, Jonathan consoles David but only their hands touch, and in another, David hides while Jonathan tells his servant where to shoot arrows in order to signal to David. The moralization has to do with seeking consolation from

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


Christ or the three arrows as three aspects of preaching, rather than anything about David and Jonathan themselves. Peter Comestor’s Historia scholastica, the biblical paraphrase from the second half of the twelfth century that became part of the standard university curriculum in theology, repeats the passage about David and Jonathan after the killing of Goliath: “the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David,” and he gave him his clothing and gear.122 However, this text downplays the other instances of Jonathan’s love for David; the description of the lament, for example (on which Hugh of St.  Cher drew), says only that David made a song in three parts, the first cursing the place where the battle had taken place, the second praising Jonathan and Saul together, and the third especially praising Jonathan, “showing how much he had loved [dilexerit] him” (the antecedents of these pronouns are not entirely clear).123 The Historia, which provided a basis for most Christian narrative retellings of the story, did not actually put any of the lament into direct speech. In this text, Michal is also said to have loved (dilexit) David, or perhaps vice versa, a standard term used for romantic love but also for other strong emotional relationships (including that of a mother and her son).124 The Historia scholastica was an important source for retellings of the Bible in Flemish, German, French, Czech, Norse, Catalan, Castilian, and Portuguese, some of which were closer to translations or paraphrases and some of which substantially reworked the Historia together with other material for a vernacular audience.125 Most of these also made independent use of the Vulgate, in that they include the words of the lament, not merely a summary of it, and include the line about David loving Jonathan as a mother loves her son. The vernacular versions also tend to use language that makes it clear the union between the two men is a political bond involving loyalty and lordship. This is not an inaccurate translation from the Hebrew term brit. However, the language of these texts often seems to come directly out of the chivalric world. Jacob van Maerlant’s thirteenthcentury Flemish rhymed Bible says that Jonathan and David each gave the other honor and peace (hulde ende vrede, peace in the sense of a treaty or pact).126 After Jonathan’s death David “mourned the love that had been for many years between Jonathan and him.”127 This text does not mention Michal’s love for David, although it does state that Saul gave her to him. The fact that van Maerlant’s work relies heavi ly on the Historia scholastica in general, but differs in including David’s lament for Jonathan and omitting Michal’s love for David, indicates several possibilities, all of which may be simultaneously true: the story was in wide circulation in a variety of forms so that van Maerlant was not reliant on


c h a p t er   2

any one version, he may have used the Bible directly himself, and he was less concerned than Peter Comestor with downplaying the Jonathan story. Rudolf of Ems (1200–1254), writing in Middle High German and also using the Historia scholastica, also basically translates the episode from the Historia when they first meet into a slightly more courtly register, using the terms lieplich, minne, and liebe, as well as trúwe to describe their bond.128 Rudolf ’s version develops David’s lament for Jonathan further than the biblical version, adding that “your manhood was unalloyed.”129 Stjórn, the Old Icelandic Bible paraphrase (also based on the Historia scholastica), says that Jonathan “loved David as himself as long as he lived” and that they made an “unbreakable bond, which they kept afterward for the rest of their lives.” Jonathan gave him not just the clothes off his back, but his “best clothing,” typical of a friendship gift in the Old Norse world. Michal loved David in the same terms as Jonathan did.130 Unlike the Historia scholastica, this text more directly translated the lament from the Vulgate.131 The General estoria made for Alfonso X the Wise of Castile (r. 1252–1284), a Catalan rhymed Bible translation from the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century, and a Portuguese prose version from the fourteenth or fifteenth century also have Jonathan as the lover when he gives David his clothing and weapons, and David as the lover when he laments for the man he loved as a mother loves her son.132 A French version written in England in the twelfth century, the Quatre livre des reis, recounts that after the death of Goliath, Jonathan “began to love [David] as his heart” and gave him his clothing and weapons; this phrase is repeated again at 1 Samuel 20:17.133 When Saul asked his servants and Jonathan to kill David, Jonathan refused because “he loved him tenderly.” The narrative adheres very closely to the biblical story, but with an emphasis on emotion rather than simply loyalty, and adopts the Vulgate reading where David is the lover rather than Jonathan.134 This text also uses identical language to describe David’s feelings for Michal and hers for him as to describe Jonathan’s feelings for David: after Saul gives his daughter Merab, David’s betrothed, to another man, “David loved the other daughter of Saul,” and after the two are married, Michal “loved her husband greatly.”135 Another French version—a play from Lille, from the fifteenth century, one of a series of mystery plays performed on pageant wagons—has Jonathan tell David, as he warns him of Saul’s threats, “I love you more than I can say.”136 Michal makes no such claims, but repeatedly calls David “my friend/my love” (mon amy).137 A whole play in the cycle is devoted to David and Jonathan and their pact. David calls Jonathan his “dear brother and good friend/lover.”138

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


When they make the pact, it is Jonathan who asks David to love him as his soul, as he agrees to do. David promises to love loyally permanently, without deviating, the good Jonathan, without anywhere for whatever reason doing anything to him or his but love and joy, guarding their estates, families and goods.”139 The episode is described in elaborate allegory: Jonathan is God, David is Jesus, who is threatened with death by Saul, standing for the “envious scribes.” The boy who accompanies Jonathan and shoots the three arrows, stands for the Jews, who had three kinds of scripture (Law, Psalms, and Prophets—a not entirely inaccurate description).140 The English Cursor Mundi does not say much at all about David and Jonathan’s love.141 Where the original Bible text says that Jonathan loved David as himself, the Cursor Mundi says that “everyone in that kingdom loved him.”142 Michal was simply given to David: The king then gave him his daughter Named Michal, a beautiful woman; The king’s son, named Jonathan, Was a true fellow to David.143 Here there is a parallel between brother and sister who are mentioned in rapid succession, but it is not complete. The term “love” is only used for the general public’s feelings toward David, not for either sibling, and while Michal was “given to” David, the standard term for a marriage, Jonathan and David were “fellows,” on terms of equality. The idea of a bond created between warriors by the marriage of one to the sister of the other is not at all unusual in medieval epic.144 A French rhymed Bible paraphrase from the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century, by Macé de la Charité, also downplays the David/Jonathan relationship.145 This version simply omits Jonathan both after the fight with Goliath


c h a p t er   2

and in David’s repeated flights from Saul; he appears in the David narrative only among the list of sons who die with Saul. The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament (which is based on Peter Comestor and Cursor Mundi, and perhaps on a French paraphrase, as well as on the Bible itself), like the Cursor Mundi, omits any mention of Jonathan from the celebration after the killing of Goliath. Rather, when Jonathan defends the absent David before Saul, the two are referred to as the equivalent of brothers, and on an equal, covenantal basis: “As brothers they were bound as companions, each to do as the other asked.”146 This text also goes into more detail about David and Michal’s love than do some of the others. Michal’s feelings about David are described somewhat elliptically: he had her heart entirely, she was sad when he was in a bad mood or when he was in battle, and she swore to marry no other but him. Clearly these are signs of love, but the word “love” is not used in direct description of her feelings.147 The text seems to be making some effort not to make her feelings an exact parallel with Jonathan’s. When David and Jonathan meet at Ramatha, the passage about Jonathan’s loving David as his soul appears somewhat differently from the Bible text: the two had “true love,” David “loved [Jonathan] faithfully, both openly and quietly,” and when the two part they “kissed full courteously.”148 David’s lament for Saul and Jonathan is not translated; rather, David says “Alas!” for Saul and more so for Jonathan, “for truer love there never was in the world than between those two.” Thus “true love” is used of Jonathan but not of Michal. This is typical loyalty language: David and Jonathan are behaving as a lord and his follower should do, though it is not made clear that one is the lord and who the follower. A dramatization of the lord/follower relationship comes in the Mistère du Viel Testament. The first meeting between David and Jonathan occurs in this text when David plays the harp for Saul, and Jonathan predicts “One day I will make him my great personal friend,” suggesting that this is not just an instrumental military friendship.149 The text later depicts in detail the pact between David and Jonathan as raising David from a lowly to a still subordinate position, without making it clear whether Jonathan is aware this was Saul’s harper: Jonathan: I have such a great desire To form an alliance with you That I don’t have the strength To withdraw from your presence. David: But you must consider That I am not equal to you.

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


Jonathan: We will make a pact between us, David, and such an alliance That neither of us will leave the other To battle or cruel death, And will always be friends Without fraud, quarrel or deception. David: My lord, I accept it from you, And you make me very happy. Jonathan: [He gives him clothing.] For the love of the great sweetness That I have in you, I wish to give you New clothes, which are very fine; Here, I give them to you with a good heart. David: My dear lord, I devote myself To serving you.150 This language of chivalric loyalty contrasts with Michal’s expressions of pining when David goes off to fight the Philistines to obtain her bride-price: “I think, if he is away from me for long, ladies, I will die; I will never be able to love another than him, because my love is there.”151 Michal has previously expressed admiration for David, not as a lover but almost as a mother: “What pleasure, what joy, what solace one must have from such a youth!”152 She also speaks of her perfect love for him when the marriage takes place, and later when she helps him escape from Saul.153 But this text does not speak of love of David for Jonathan or of Jonathan for David, either when they make their pact or when David laments for the deaths of Saul and Jonathan: everything he says of them there is in the plural, there is nothing specifically for Jonathan.154 David and Jonathan’s pact here is a joyful bond of ser vice, rather than a matter of romantic love. Although the vernacular texts may use the same word for Michal’s and Jonathan’s relationships with David, they do not in general equate the two. David has his romance with Michal and not with Jonathan. His bond with the latter is knightly. That by no means makes it entirely nonerotic, as the relationship between two knights could certainly be erotically charged, but we are not supposed to think of them as life partners, and especially not to think of David as the husband to a feminized Jonathan. It is a matter of Jonathan, the king’s son, as the senior partner in a lordship or loyalty relation. Michal, if anything, brings the two together in a parallel to the sort of triangulation discussed by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (although in this case the two men are not erotic rivals but rivals for a


c h a p t er   2

kingdom). Sedgwick posits “the potential unbrokenness of a continuum between homosocial and homosexual” in the past, a continuum that is “radically disrupted” today.155 Sedgwick goes no farther back than Shakespeare, but her insight is applicable to the medieval understanding of David and Jonathan’s relationship; they certainly participated in bonding through the exchange of women. In the fifteenth-century Yiddish Shmuel-bukh, David, although he has been a shepherd as in the Bible, is frequently referred to as “noble” or a lord. After he kills Goliath, Jonathan comes to embrace him: Jonathan right away Went to David. With both arms He embraced him. With hugs and with kisses: No one can drive me away, He loved him as much As his own life. They swore a firm oath, These exceptional heroes, With unflinching courage, And without anger That they would be sworn companions In every need No one should come between them Except only bitter death.156 There is much less about love than in Rudolf of Ems’s German version, and much more about heroism. The lament for Saul and Jonathan is drawn out for many stanzas, but the part that directly translates the Bible’s comments about Jonathan reads: I am sorrowful about you, Friend Jonathan, Woe for the friendship, Woe, you worthy man. Now God (blessed be he) must be merciful Since I received the news: No one can believe our love,

Su r pa ss i n g t h e L ove of Wo men


Neither man nor woman. There is no woman on earth That I love so much As you, my companion, Whom I must let lie.157 Here, as in the Christian tradition, it is David’s love for Jonathan that is greater, not Jonathan’s for David as in the original Hebrew or as in all the Jewish exegesis; and it is greater than David’s love for women, not women’s love for David. In the Paris manuscript, however, David refers to his woe for “my brother Jonathan,” as in the Hebrew Bible, whereas the edition (and Paulus Aemilius) have “friend.” Since “ brother” is used not for a biological brother but as an intensification of friendship here, the difference in meaning is not great. The text fits in the larger world of late medieval western European society or at least that society’s literature, in terms of the chivalric ethos and language (as well as form). It interprets the lament as one would expect in a courtly environment: David loved Jonathan better than he loved any woman. The author of the Middle English Metrical Paraphrase also approached this idea, although not as explicitly. As we saw, most earlier commentators and retellers, Christian or Jewish, interpreted the passage differently, to comment on women and their capacity for love. The interpretation of the text as a comment on women’s capacity is what one might expect from Aristotelian-influenced scholars. In the later Middle Ages, however, the interpretation moves out of the realm of the study of natural abilities and affections and becomes romanticized. The idea that the bond between two men can be truer than that between a man and a woman was not, of course, new at this point, and in a medieval context is found in Amicus and Amelius and in Arthurian romances, explicitly or implicitly, where a man is willing to give up the love of a woman for the sake of a male friendship. That does not mean that these texts understood one man as playing the role of a woman to the other. Rather, women, because they are for the formation of alliances and for reproduction, and because they do not fight alongside men, can never be as worthy objects of love. This is not a theme found in the Bible story originally; but it is what medieval Jewish as well as Christian culture came to make of it. Jewish and Christian writings both thus ignored the fact of love between two men, the latter by interpreting it away, the former by mentioning it only in a symbolic way; but neither condemned or denied it. David and Jonathan do not appear in the context of the penitential psalms, indicating that medieval people did not understand (or want to understand)


c h a p t er   2

anything sinful about their relationship. Medieval illustrators and book designers did not understand the pair as having done anything worthy of penance. In David’s lament he never blames himself for having loved too much, and Abelard’s planctus is the only place where it is even possible to read the two as having sinned together. This is not because David is seen as generally pure and blameless overall; in the following chapter we will see how Jewish, Christian, and Muslim thinkers dealt with David as a sinner. But not with Jonathan. David and Jonathan’s relationship seems to fall into the general trend of medieval attitudes to male same-sex relationships: condemn those that are obviously and unavoidably sexual, praise those that involve intimate and loyal friendship, and turn a defiantly blind eye to any possible connection between the two. It is true that David and Jonathan could be invoked in a context where, most scholars agree, sex did take place: Edward II of England is said to have mourned for Piers Gaveston, the Gascon knight whom he elevated to an earldom, as David mourned for Jonathan.158 Clearly the greatness of David and Jonathan’s love was a culturally available symbol that could be used to express other male love, sexual or not. David’s friendship with Jonathan validates him as a medieval man; he is able to form deep bonds with the kind of person who matters.

chapter 3

I Have Sinned Against the Lord: Sex and Penitence

One of the ways in which a medieval man could prove his masculinity was by his sexual performance with women. This could be seen as another version of prowess, as seduction could be another form of battle or diplomatic maneuver. Men could express power through control or monopolization of scarce resources, as elite men expressed their domination over other men or men of one religious/ national/ethnic group expressed their domination over another by taking their women (of course, such a view requires considering the women as property or at least under the control of men, which is consistent with many medieval attitudes). Fatherhood and dynastic lineage, discussed in Chapter 5, are one result of male sexual activity with women. But this activity could also demonstrate that men had won a competition with other men.1 The plural relationships into which elite men could enter were also a sign of their privilege more generally. Just as a wealthy and powerful man could have the most houses or castles, the best clothing and armor, the best food, so too he could have the best or the most women. In a society in which social hierarchy subordinated almost everyone to someone else, the wishes of someone in a higher position could not be denied with impunity, giving elite men sexual access not only to servants—which was largely a given— but also to the wives or daughters of their subordinates. Such a view does not exclude women’s agency.2 Women might seek out a powerful man for the protection or economic support that he could give them. But this was the case, of course, within a system that allotted the power to the men, even though it may also have blamed the women for the formation of extramarital relationships. The foregoing describes many premodern societies. But medieval European societies differed from, for example, ancient Rome in that both Christianity and


c h a p t er  3

Judaism placed more constraints upon men’s behavior. In Rome, a married man could have sexual relations with his servants, with prostitutes, indeed, with just about anyone except a married woman or a virgin daughter of a respectable man, without violating the law or even much in the way of social norms.3 A man was an adulterer only if he violated the marriage of another man; infidelity to his own wife was not adultery. The Abrahamic religions changed this. Although the Bible provided examples of men with many wives and slave women or concubines, plural marriage was forbidden in Ashkenazic Jewish Europe by a decree of R. Gershom ben Judah of Mainz (960–1028).4 It continued to be allowed elsewhere, but documents from the Cairo Geniza, which includes letters, contracts, and other legal papers documenting many aspects of social life, indicate that it was relatively rare.5 Spanish rabbis promulgated excommunications against men who kept servants as concubines, especially those of other religions.6 The fact that something like this was banned may be an indication that it was happening, but it also indicates that it was not legally acceptable. While a double standard prevailed in many areas of behavior as it did in Christianity, religious teaching clearly demanded that men restrict themselves sexually to their wives, and men were encouraged to marry young for this reason.7 Christianity, too, abolished the double standard in sexual behavior in law: by the twelfth century marriage was permanent and indissoluble for both parties. A married man who had sex with a woman not his wife was an adulterer, although this point was not universally recognized, and most men punished as adulterers were those who had sex with a married woman.8 Although chastity— fidelity within marriage and abstinence outside of it—was not as paramount for men as it was for women, it was still the teaching of the church for all. This sat somewhat uneasily with the reasons discussed above for the importance of sexual activity to elite men. As a broad generalization one may say that it was quite common for churchmen and other nobles to turn a blind eye to the sexual activities of aristocratic men, and at times for men to encourage their female family members to become sexually involved with men of higher rank in order to gain advantages, even though the church officially frowned on it. King David could not be a direct example of appropriate sexual behavior for any religion. As medieval Christian readers of the Bible were well aware, the laws about polygamy were different before the advent of Christianity, and therefore Old Testament figures who had more than one wife, or who divorced a wife, were not to be condemned. Concubines, too—again, not officially permissible in Christianity, although many churchmen in fact had them—were permitted under the Old Law.9 Adultery, however—the taking of someone else’s wife—was

I H av e S i n n ed Ag a i nst t he Lord


never permissible, and the question of adultery forms one of the narrative turning points in David’s story, as well as one of the key moments for those who attempt an overall evaluation of David’s character. David as king had a number of wives and concubines (Samuel and Chronicles are not entirely specific on the status of all the mothers of his children, but it is clear that he had both). He has often been read as a figure governed by his sexual desires. For example, when David, while in exile as chieftain of a band of marauders, orders his men to kill Nabal because he has refused to provide them with food, Nabal’s wife Abigail goes to conciliate David and offer him food. After Nabal’s death Abigail becomes one of David’s wives. Some scholars read the Bible story as euphemistic, suggesting that we are to understand Abigail as offering herself to David, if not seducing him. The story does not require this, and his admiration for her is presented as esteem for her good judgment; however, the Babylonian Talmud understood David as having been tempted by her, as she revealed her thigh to him and he greatly desired her. It related her statement “Do not let this be a cause of stumbling” (1 Sam. 25:31) to sexual temptation: this is a prophecy that someone else would be a stumbling block, and that person is Bathsheba.10 David is said to love Saul’s daughter Michal, whom he wins by presenting her father with twice the required bride-price of one hundred foreskins of Philistines (although in the LXX he provides only the requested one hundred). The marriage with Michal is a clearly political union. David had previously— immediately after his fight with Goliath—been offered Saul’s daughter Merab, but Saul then married her to someone else. The substitution of Michal for Merab may be due to the incorporation of several different stories in the book of Samuel, and feelings of love are never discussed in relation to Merab as they are to Michal, suggesting that we might understand Michal’s relationship with David differently.11 However, the idea of sisters being fungible in relation to a marriage that creates a bond between families would have been familiar to medieval readers. At least one of David’s other wives (Maccah) is the daughter of a local king. About the others we are given no information other than their names and those of their children; we do not even know for sure that they were officially wives and not concubines. When David became king he also took on Saul’s concubines, or at least some of them, and when Absalom rebelled against his father he signified this in part by sleeping with his concubines. This is a sign of lordship or dominance and of masculinity, not of outsize lust; one takes over the kingship by possessing the previous king’s women. This was problematic for medieval interpreters allegorically more than literally: it was not that Absalom committed


c h a p t er  3

incest by sleeping with his father’s concubines but rather that the concubines symbolized the Jews who turned away from the “true David,” or Christ.12 Bathsheba could be allegorized as well (see below), but David’s actions with her were sinful literally. To have sex with another man’s wife was clearly wrong in all Abrahamic religious traditions, and each took a different approach to explaining it. The rabbis and later Jewish authors came up with a wide variety of reasons why David’s sleeping with Bathsheba actually did conform with the will of God even though it was a grave offense. This chapter discusses Muslim interpretations as well because they were well developed and make a striking contrast based on the understanding of the moral status of prophets: some Muslim interpreters argued that David never sinned and did not sleep with Bathsheba until she was widowed. And Christianity used the story to depict David as a grave sinner who could stand as the prime example of praiseworthy repentance. It is important to note that David’s adultery (in the religious traditions that accepted that he had committed this sin) was an offense against Uriah and against Bathsheba’s marriage, not against his own wives. Ways in which he was potentially harming them are never mentioned.13

Bathsheba in Judaism and Islam The rabbis had a major problem accounting for David’s imperfections. He was a prophet, the founder of the house that would bring forth the Messiah. How could he be a worthy and admirable king if he went against the will of God? The Babylonian Talmud explains away the sins that David clearly commits in the Bible. According to an anonymous baraita in the tractate Bava Batra there were “three over whom the evil inclination [yetzer ha-ra] had no power. They were: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. . . . Some say even David.”14 The yetzer ha-ra, or the inclination to evil, is generally understood as particularly a sexual urge.15 Yet if not the yetzer ha-ra, what prompted David’s action with Bathsheba? Modern academic Talmud scholarship has a variety of explanations for the way David is excused from his sins, having to do with the political circumstances of its compilation; the explaining away of David’s offenses as virtues may be intended ironically (for example, Michael Satlow suggests that the Babylonian Amoraim are alluding to David’s lust when they praise him for not allowing illness to keep him from his conjugal obligations).16 The Talmud, as usual, is not at all clear on these points, and in the Middle Ages Rashi and the Tosafot interpreted it in ways that have also influenced

I H av e S i n n ed Ag a i nst t he Lord


contemporary interpretations and translations. They had to explain why, as R. Yochanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yochai, “David was not suited to perform that deed [with Bathsheba],” but did so anyway.17 The emphasis of the rabbis was more on God’s plan and David’s obedience than on human free will and God’s mercy (or seen another way, for the Jews, David used his free will to do what God wanted, even if what God wanted was for him to sin and repent). As Rashi detailed in the eleventh century and the Tosafot in the twelfth, David committed a deed to which he was unsuited in order to set an example of how an individual could atone for a sin, just as the Israelites created the golden calf in order to set an example of how a community could atone.18 Tosafot held that although the patriarchs were not subject to the yetzer ha-ra, they still had to fight against it, because other wise they would have not deserved reward—quite similar to the Christian view that virtue lies not in being immune to temptation but in overcoming it.19 Sefer Ḥasidim, compiled by Judah the Pious of Regensburg (1150–1217), on the other hand, took the view that all men are sinners by having David take responsibility for everyone’s sin: “If I had not sinned, Amnon would not have slept with Tamar, and Absalom would not have rebelled against his father and slept with his father’s wives.”20 The focus in this passage on sexual sin is more characteristic of the Ḥasidei Ashkenaz than other Jewish traditions and may reflect in part their knowledge of Christian culture. The Talmud itself focused more on David’s culpability for the death of Uriah than on his adultery with Bathsheba. In Tractate Shabbat, R. Samuel bar Nachmani asks in the name of R. Jonathan, “is it possible that sin came to his hand and nevertheless the Divine Presence was with him?” The answer comes from Rabbi, who was descended from David, and other sages, who explain that Uriah actually deserved to die for offenses he had committed in rebellious action by refusing to go to his house when David told him to do so. David’s sin was one of omission, in not putting Uriah on trial before the Sanhedrin, but he did not kill an innocent man. Nathan had accused him of killing Uriah with “the sword of the Ammonites,” but Rabbi explains this as meaning quite the opposite. David cannot be held responsible for “the sword of the Ammonites” and therefore neither can he be held responsible for the death of Uriah.21 Further, R. Samuel says, all men who fought in David’s wars wrote out gittin (bills of divorce) before they went, the implication being that it would save the women from “chained” status if the husband’s death could not be certified. This means that Bathsheba was technically an unmarried woman and David was not an adulterer. In the Middle Ages Tosafot cite a text from elsewhere in the Gemara (Megillah 14b) to demonstrate that a king has the right to summarily execute a rebel; other


c h a p t er  3

commentators suggest that the statement that David should have had the Sanhedrin try Uriah was for the sake of appearances, so his marriage to Uriah’s wife, or former wife, would not appear suspicious.22 Nor, indeed, according to the Talmud and its commentators, were David and Bathsheba’s sexual arrangements sinful in any way, because David married her legally. The verb for married is lakakh, “took,” which can mean “took as a wife” but also other types of taking. Rashi, in his eleventh-century gloss, certainly understood this as a marriage at the point where the couple first had sex before Uriah’s death. Tosafot say that even had David committed adultery with her he would have been able to marry her later; an adulterer and adulteress are prohibited from marrying only if the woman consented to the original relations, and Tosafot claim Bathsheba was raped (‫)אנוסה‬. One would think that the claim that David was a rapist is a strange one to use to rehabilitate his reputation, but it is passed over in silence. Tosafot disagree with Rashi as to whether Bathsheba was married to Uriah when David first had sex with her, that is, on whether the divorce given was conditional; they cite R. Tam, who argues that the divorce was unconditional.23 The Talmud also adduces 1 Kings 15:5, saying that David had always followed God’s wishes “except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.”24 Tosafot do not understand this as saying that he sinned only with regard to Uriah and not Bathsheba, but rather only in this matter and not at other points in his life (they ask whether he sinned in taking a census of the people). Nevertheless, the sin was considered to be in relation to Uriah—killing him or taking his wife. Rav, quoted in the Yalqut Shimʻoni, explains the story of David’s response to the parable of the one ewe lamb by paraphrasing Nathan: “You took his wife as your wife,” again emphasizing David’s offense, not the temptation.25 The harm of adultery lies in usurping that which is someone else’s prerogative. The Talmud also has another story to tell in mitigation of David’s offense. In Sanhedrin 107a R. Judah retells in Rav’s name the story of David’s encounter with Bathsheba. David inquires of God why prayer refers to “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” but does not speak of “the God of David.” God replies that the three patriarchs were tested, and David was not; David then asks to be tested too. As David walks on the roof of his house, Satan comes to him in the form of a bird; when he shoots an arrow at it, he hits the screen that was blocking his view of Bathsheba, and this leads him to inquire about her and sleep with her. This story conveniently maintains Bathsheba’s modesty: she was not bathing in full view.26 David’s offense with Bathsheba, then, was not due to his lust, but appears to be more related to his pride in thinking he could withstand a test from God. Rava uses the passage from Psalm 51:6,

I H av e S i n n ed Ag a i nst t he Lord


“Against You alone have I sinned,” to depict David making his case to God: he could have overcome the yetzer ha-ra but chose not to do so, because he did not want people to say that he had bested God. In other words, to the extent he gave in, he did so knowingly for a spiritually valid reason. This is a difficult passage, and it is hard to explain why David demanded the test and then deliberately failed it. In the sixteenth century the Maharal of Prague has an answer for this: that David would have been able to pass the test if God had chosen to test him but failed because he himself had demanded it. Other later commentators pursue the same line. The Talmud, however, does not explicitly say that the fault was in David’s pride or any other character flaw in him. We can also see in medieval midrash how David’s piety is upheld even in light of the Bible’s presentation of him as a penitent sinner. In the Midrash Shmuel David is accused of causing Uriah’s death (the blood of Uriah is mentioned in the exposition of David’s request in Psalm 51:14 to be forgiven for bloodshed). Bathsheba is not mentioned; that is, the sin for which David repents is that of murder rather than that of adultery.27 Throughout the Talmudic discussion and the commentaries on it no one blames Bathsheba for seducing David. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that they would do so; there are plenty of other passages in midrashic works that speak of women as figures of danger and temptation, and Bathsheba could easily have been cast as an Eve-like character.28 While the Jewish sources for the most part preserve the idea of Bathsheba’s modesty, or do not address it, however, one undated Geniza fragment, giving a general critique of women for tempting men, blames Bathsheba specifically. The text is a midrash on Proverbs, but not the standard Midrash Mishle known from other manuscripts.29 That this interpretation was not more common is perhaps due to the respect allotted to Bathsheba’s son Solomon but it is also an indication that for Jewish authors this text was not really about David as a sexual sinner.30 His sexual activity is more or less taken for granted, and neither he nor Bathsheba come into much discussion for it; it is the murder of Uriah for which he is blamed. One medieval dissent against this exculpatory view of David comes from a text that scholars believe to have been deeply influenced by contemporary Christian thought, particularly with regard to sin and repentance. Sefer Ḥasidim presents Bathsheba as an object of serious sexual temptation to David and does not excuse his behavior. It argues that even the most pious of men can sin sexually, and very easily too. “David did teshuvah [repentance]. He paid his debt in this world, but the Torah he studied took away that offense so that he would not be brought to judgment for that offense.”31 This text, however, while it discusses women in general as objects of temptation to men and even as deliberate


c h a p t er  3

seductresses, does not present Bathsheba in that way. In a passage talking about Samson, David, and Solomon, it notes that the strongest of the strong, the most pious of the pious, the wisest of the wise fell because of women triggering “the increase of the evil inclination on good men.” Yet although David sinned because of Bathsheba’s beauty, she herself is not blamed. “The recounting of the deed of David tells us that the chief of the pious who did everything for the sake of God, even so, when he saw a woman, he stumbled.”32 The sin is that of David, and he must atone for it; notably, he does so by reading Torah, in line with the Talmudic emphasis on his extreme piety.33 Not only the Talmudic rabbis and their halakhist successors interpreted the David and Bathsheba story so as to remove or minimize the couple’s guilt. The Zohar—the main medieval kabbalistic corpus, written or compiled in thirteenthcentury Spain—takes as its key text on the subject the statement in Sanhedrin 107a, which holds that David and Bathsheba were designated for each other from the six days of creation. The problem was not that he took her as his wife, but that he took her in an untimely manner, before she was ripe. God has a conversation with the angel Dumah, who wishes to claim David for having “ruined the covenant by lewdness.” God, however, replies that not only did Uriah divorce his wife before going into battle, and not only did the biblical dates indicate that David waited the requisite three months and more before marrying her, the three months were not actually relevant in this case, because the purpose of the threemonth rule was to prevent a pregnant woman from remarrying, and “it is revealed before Me that Uriah never approached her.” Bathsheba was a virgin before her marriage to David.34 The reason she had been given as a wife to Uriah first was the reason the Holy Land was given to Canaan before the Children of Israel; the right time had not yet come, and David had married the daughter of Saul.35 Nevertheless, the Zohar cannot entirely excuse David from sin, for the Bible talks about him repenting. In what, then, was the sin, if not in taking another’s wife? The Zohar gives several different answers. One is that David, who says in Psalm 51:6 “Against You alone have I sinned,” did not actually sin against Uriah, either by taking Bathsheba or by putting him to death. Bathsheba was no longer Uriah’s wife, and Uriah was rebellious, not in refusing to spend time with Bathsheba, to whom he was no longer married, but in referring to Yoav as his master rather than David. If David had killed Uriah on the spot it would have been fine. However, he sent Uriah back to the battlefront to be killed “by the sword of the Ammonites.” This was the sin against God: the Ammonites’ swords had images of their serpent god on them, and to have them kill Uriah empowered the serpent, thus constituting a sin against God but not against any human.36

I H av e S i n n ed Ag a i nst t he Lord


The other answer is that David sinned against the sefira Malkhut. Kabbalistic theory established ten sefirot, or emanations of God. Malkhut, or Kingdom, was feminine and closely related to the Shekhinah, the feminine aspect of God; the Zohar repeatedly connects Bathsheba to the Shekhinah, based on her name, derived from “Bat sheva,” “Daughter of seven,” the holy number of the lower sefirot. Therefore, David was punished, not by the death of his son, which in the Bible is the limit of his punishment for this transgression, but by losing his kingdom to Absalom.37 Another kabbalistic text takes a different approach, although it does not excuse David from sin entirely. Joseph Gikatilla (1248–1325) was a major kabbalistic author, although the work in question, “The Secret of the Marriage of David and Bathsheba,” is one of his minor ones. It appears to be a responsum to a question about Sanhedrin 107a and David’s and Bathsheba’s predestination to each other. Gikatilla posits a doctrine of original androgyny, although not explicitly along Platonic lines. When God creates a man, he creates a woman at the same time; they are destined to be married, and they are parts of the same soul. They represent the earthly form of the union of the sefirot Yesod (Foundation) and Malkhut (Kingdom). If a man behaves perfectly, he finds the woman destined for him, and their coupling is entirely good, helping bring about the heavenly union. If sin intervenes, however, the woman marries another man; when that marriage does not work out, as evidenced by its childlessness, the marriage may end, and she may marry her destined partner. King David was not worthy of marrying Bathsheba at first, because of his yetzer kashe (hard inclination). Like Adam, whose sin lay in eating the fruit before it was ripe, David sinned in taking Bathsheba before the proper time, and it is for this that he was punished by the death of his son.38 Aggadic ideas about David and Bathsheba from the Talmud and its interpreters found their way into vernacular epic and thus into wider Ashkenazic culture, as demonstrated by the Shmuel-bukh, in the late fifteenth century, while at least in this case kabbalistic ideas did not. In the Shmuel-bukh, David asks God to test him, but much more directly and pridefully than in the Talmud, and the midrash that draws on it: “I know that Abraham does not measure up to me.”39 He shuts himself up in his room, and with nothing to do but look out the window, he shoots at a bird (really the devil) that blocks his view. He goes to look for the bird and sees Bathsheba, who in this telling is not protected by any sort of screen and is therefore not accorded quite the same degree of modesty. When David has her brought to him, she says explicitly what the Talmudic sages suggest: Uriah has given her a get so that she will not have to marry his brother if he


c h a p t er  3

dies in battle. There is no question of it being conditional. The bath she has been taking is also discussed more explicitly: it is a ritual bath for cleansing after menstruation, and David understands this as preparing her for sex. He asks her for whom she was preparing herself; she says it was in case Uriah should suddenly arrive. He then tells her that since she accepted the get, he has taken her as his wife from the moment she entered the room. There is no financial exchange and no request for consent, as was required in a Jewish marriage. It is implied, although not explicitly stated, that they have sex. God then reenters the story and asks David whether he has passed the test, and David claims that he sinned (gebrochen) because God had predicted that he would, and he did not want to prove God wrong. The story is Talmudic, whether the author took it directly from the Talmud or from midrash that repeated it: the story appears verbatim in the Yalqut Shimʻoni and was no doubt circulating in other forms, written and oral.40 The character of David appears much more brash here, however, as it is rewritten for a wider audience. The recall of Uriah here follows the Bible quite directly, with the added detail that Uriah had earned death by disobeying David and not going to his wife. David marries Bathsheba after her week of mourning: he sends her the message “you shall give your body to the king.”41 This text poses more explicitly than the biblical text the question of when the two are actually to be considered married, since in the Shmuel-bukh they are stated to be married when they first have sex, and it is not clear why another wedding is necessary. The author comments at this point that “King David had committed so many sins that God wanted to avenge them on him.”42 Nathan’s speech castigating David for having killed Uriah and taken his wife is rendered fairly closely to the original, but in both cases the major sin is not the illicit sex act but the killing. To the extent the adultery is a transgression, it is because David has taken something belonging to another man, not because it is an expression of lust or yetzer ha-ra. Clearly by the fifteenth century stories were being prepared by the learned for the general public, following the Babylonian rabbis in presenting David’s sins as being in fulfillment of God’s command and explaining away the penitence of a great hero in this manner. David is not shown as a man of lust; no motive is given for his intercourse with Bathsheba, although her beauty is mentioned. She was not forbidden to him, as it is explicitly stated that she had a get (whereas even the Talmud only mentions this as a custom, not a definite fact in relation to her). Uriah deserved to die. The sexual appetite of a hero king is simply assumed, and any love relationship is irrelevant. This text does not depict David as a rapist, but

I H av e S i n n ed Ag a i nst t he Lord


nor does it show Bathsheba’s consent. It simply does not matter; taking women is what kings do. Muslim authors went further in excusing or explaining away David’s misdeeds in order to maintain the high moral status required of a prophet. This was possible because the Qur’an was much more elliptical than the Bible in telling David’s story. In Sura 38, two litigants burst in on David. One of them had ninetynine ewes and the other only one. However, the richer of the two (possibly brothers, although the word “ brother” could be used metaphorically) demanded the one ewe from the poorer. David rules that the man who demanded the poor man’s one ewe had wronged him. David then realizes that the whole dispute has been sent by God to test him. It is not specified just what sin David might have committed that could be analogized to the two litigants, but when he repents, God rapidly forgives him, telling him that he will be a caliph on earth, and foretelling the birth of his great son Solomon. There is no intervening punishment.43 Medieval authors recognized that the Qur’an here alludes to the story of Bathsheba and Uriah. Khaleel Mohammed has analyzed the tradition of tafsīr, or Qur’anic exegesis, suggesting that there was a shift from the early period in which interpretations relied on the Bible and rabbinic interpretations, into the classical period (early tenth century until 656/1258) when the doctrine of the inerrancy of the prophets began to be espoused.44 These same varying points of view appear in another genre, the hadith, and texts that drew on them. Abū Ja‘far Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-Ṭabarī (839–923), in his History of the Prophets and Kings, retold many stories drawn from hadith. Al-Ṭabarī was also an author of tafsīr and his erudition in a number of areas clearly overlapped. He makes clear that the story of the litigants is in response to this incident, specifically by saying that David had ninety-nine women easily comparable to the ninety-nine ewes.45 As in the Talmud and some of the early tafsīr, al-Ṭabarī explains that David asks God to grant him the status of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and God warns that he will have to be tested.46 God sends Satan in the shape of a golden dove.47 David chases the bird and sees Bathsheba bathing on her roof (rather than from his roof). When she notices that he is watching, she lets down her hair to cover herself, and this increases his desire for her. David inquires as to her identity. In this version, however, he does not immediately have sex with her. He orders that her husband be sent into battle, but Uriah does not obligingly die as in the Bible; it takes three battles to kill him. After Uriah’s death, David does marry Bathsheba. This is followed by the incident with the litigants, who in this telling are actually angels. When David realizes that he has failed God’s test, he repents, with great emphasis on the physical manifestations of that repentance, and God


c h a p t er  3

forgives him after forty days. Al-Ṭabarī notes that People of the Book claim that Absalom’s rebellion (see Chapter 5) occurred while David was doing his penance.48 Another historian and collector of hadith as well as midrashic material, alThaʿlabī (d. 1035), mentions David’s sin more than fifty times, without being explicit as to exactly what it was.49 The implication, however, is that pride in thinking that he can go without sinning is a major part of it. He notes that scholars differ on whether David had requested that God put him to the test, or God had done it for his own reasons. Like al-Ṭabarī, al-Thaʿlabī notes a tradition about David boasting of his ability to go without sin for a period of time (here, a year negotiated down to a moment) and his offense against Uriah proving other wise. But not all the transmitters of hadith agree as to David’s culpability, and they disagree as well about where Bathsheba was bathing (and hence how easily available she would have been for David’s gaze). Al-Thaʿlabī quotes his teacher as saying, “David did not intend to look at the woman, but rather returned her glance, and she became an evil consequence to him.” This blaming of the woman for tempting the man is far from remarkable given traditions about women in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam at the time; more remarkable is that this is merely one strand of opinion. Another tradition states that anyone who tells these negative stories about David should be flogged. “In this story, there is no sin.” Uriah and Bathsheba were not married yet, only betrothed (thus Bathsheba was a virgin when David married her, and his sin was competing with another’s marriage proposal), but David still chooses to put Uriah in the front lines. Because of his desire for Bathsheba, he does not feel the same compassion for Uriah that he did for others who were killed in his wars.50 David visits Uriah’s grave and Uriah takes his exposure to death as a military decision: “You exposed me to Paradise as you were free to do.” When David explains, however, that he did so because of his wife, Uriah does not answer.51 He proves unwilling to forgive David even at the day of judgment.52 By contrast, al-Kisā’i reports a story that once David has confessed to Uriah that he sent him to be killed so he can take his wife, Uriah replies simply, “God is the best of all judges,” and another that Uriah encountered in paradise a beautiful house reserved for him who relinquished what was his and pardoned his fellow Muslim, and that he then forgave David.53 The conflicting views reported by al-Thaʿlabī reflect several disputes within Islamic exegesis. One concerns whether prophets sinned at all.54 Some argued that they did, even deliberately; some that their sins were inadvertent (but that “the sins of the prophets, even if small, are great in the eyes of God”);55 and some that they did not sin.56 The story of David and Bathsheba was drawn from

I H av e S i n n ed Ag a i nst t he Lord


Isrā’īliyāt, Jewish material. Qur’anic interpreters disagreed on whether such material was valid or falsehood; the Hebrew Bible, although a respected or even sacred book, could contain lies and distortions, as could Jewish interpretations. Although there was a well-known hadith saying “Narrate traditions from the Children of Israel, for there is nothing objectionable in them,” by the central Middle Ages Jewish material could be and was easily dismissed.57 Al-Kisā’ī agrees with al-Thaʿlabī that the idea that David committed an unlawful act was a misunderstanding on the part of the Jews.58 Ibn Ḥazm, the eleventh-century Andalusi writer, says specifically that the Jewish claim that David committed adultery with the wife of one of his generals is a lie.59 The exegete al-Rāzī (d. 1210) sets out detailed arguments about David’s culpability. Either he committed a major sin— not possible because God urges Muhammad to imitate him—or a minor one, or he was blameless. The minor sin might be seeking in marriage a woman who was betrothed but not yet married to another, or it might be desire for her, without action. Al-Rāzī concludes, however, that David was not actually guilty of any sin. He was said to have repented not for anything he did but for having wished to kill the two men who came before him as litigants, because they had intended to assassinate him and made up the litigation story as a cover. Realizing that he was being tempted to violence, however, he repented and God forgave him.60 Thus it became possible for Muslim writers—far from unanimously, but increasingly— to deny utterly the sinful nature of David’s desire for Bathsheba.

David and Bathsheba in Christianity Christianity also offered an exculpatory reading of David’s adultery with Bathsheba: as one might expect, an allegorical one.61 David’s love for Bathsheba was the love of Christ for the church. Uriah represented the devil, to whom the church was bound until the coming of Christ. Thus, similar to the situation in Kabbalah, Bathsheba’s marriage to Uriah was a distraction or a stumbling block to the proper course of history. The interpretation of Bathsheba as the church turning to Christ is supported by the image of her bathing, which can be taken as a figure of baptism.62 As Angelomus of Luxeuil suggested, Uriah must represent the Jews and Bathsheba the Old Testament: “What is having Bathsheba brought to him, except joining to himself the spiritual understanding of the letter of the law, which was wedded to a carnal people? . . . What, indeed, does Uriah signify except the Jewish people? His name is said to be interpreted ‘God is my light’; the Jewish people, who are exalted with the knowledge of received law, are glorified


c h a p t er  3

Figure 3.1. Bible Moralisée, Paris, 1225–1249, Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, MS 2554, fol. 45r, detail. © Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.

by the light of God.”63 When David tells Uriah to go and wash his feet, this is Christ telling the Jews to cleanse themselves of error and take up the spiritual meaning of scripture. When Uriah declines to go home to his wife while the ark is in the field, this signifies the Jews’ refusal to accept the truth and stubborn maintenance of their error of carnal interpretation. Uriah carries to Joab the letter demanding his death, just as the Jews transmit the scripture that convicts them of error. The Bibles moralisées, which coupled Old Testament scenes with the New Testament scenes they prefigured, focused not on this anti-Jewish aspect (although they were anti-Jewish in many other regards) but, rather, on the role of David as a prefiguration of Christ. In a manuscript made in Paris in the second quarter of the thirteenth century (Figure 3.1), David’s sighting of Bathsheba in the bath is coupled with an image of Christ and a woman who must be taken to be the church, and David’s embrace of Bathsheba is coupled with the marriage of Christ and the church.64 In the Latin rhymed Bible history of Peter of Riga, writing in France between 1170 and 1200, David represents Christ, Uriah the synagogue, and Bathsheba the law of the Jews. David did not love Bathsheba when she was clothed (with Talmud and midrash? Peter does not say) but only

I H av e S i n n ed Ag a i nst t he Lord


when she is naked, representing purity. Christ took the law from the Hebrews as David took Uriah’s wife from him. Following Isidore of Seville, Peter also holds that David’s many wives signify the many nations who follow him.65 Angelomus does not deny David’s sin; he merely looks beyond it and notes that many historical events use sin to signify virtue. “Just as some deed is in fact a cause of damnation, in the Bible it is a prophecy of virtue.” Properly read, David is holy and Uriah unfaithful. “The former by guilt in life signifies innocence in prophecy; the latter by innocence in life expresses guilt in prophecy.”66 David’s view of Bathsheba from the roof also signifies Christ looking down from above, seeing the Church of the Gentiles cleansing herself from the filth of the world in the water of regeneration; she, however, destroyed by the devil, had bound herself to him. The interpretation of Bathsheba’s name as “seventh well” or “well of abundance” prefigures the church in which is the sevenfold grace of the Holy Spirit, by whose gift all the elect are satiated. Uriah may mean “God is my light,” but the ethnonym “Hittite” is interpreted as “cut off,” signifying the devil, who was cut off from the land of the living and transformed himself into an angel of light, pretending to be what he was not and daring to say that God is his light. Angelomus concludes with a discussion of how we should understand David’s sin. “Let us therefore hate the sin, but let us not blot out the prophecy. Let us love David inasmuch as he is to be loved, since he freed us from the devil by his mercy. Let us also love the penitence of David, who healed himself of such a grave wound of sin by the humility of penitence and confession.”67 David’s fall from virtue is a warning to all against pride, and his forgiveness for his transgression is a sign for all against despair. Angelomus also is concerned with those who might ask why it was all right for David to practice polygamy: “But perhaps someone might say, if David bears the image of Christ, why does scripture show him as having many wives and concubines, since Christ abhors and hates these things? This is explained figuratively. The many wives of David are an image of many peoples and nations, who are joined together in partnership by faith in Christ. His concubines signify the churches of the heretics, who glory in remaining under the name of Christ, but since they divide Christ for carnal advantage, they are not called wives but concubines.” Besides, it would be a crime for a king today to have plural wives or concubines, since the reason they were previously permitted—in order that they could have a figurative meaning—has passed.68 In addition to the allegorical meanings, David also served as a moral exemplar. Medieval Christians stressed the idea that David had, in fact, sinned. The point of the story is his sin and repentance. As a passage from Augustine cited in the Glossa ordinaria noted, “Many wish to fall like David, but do not wish to


c h a p t er  3

get back up like David. He is not an example of the falling, but of getting back up when you fall.” Similarly, the Glossa cited Gregory: “Let no one be proud of his rank because of David’s fall; let no one despair of his sin because of David getting up again.”69 Because of the centrality of repentance to Christian theology, and the impossibility of anyone remaining without sin, a leader who did appropriate penance for his transgression and was forgiven was a useful model. The Latin vocabulary Jerome used to translate the story of David’s repentance became the standard Christian language for sin and admonition.70 Exegetes in the central Middle Ages, for example, Honorius “Augustodunensis” (ca. 1080– ca. 1140) and Rupert of Deutz (ca. 1075–ca. 1129), writing commentaries on Samuel and on Psalms, repeated the ideas both of inversion (the sinner signifies the pious man) and of repentance.71 Although practices of penance changed significantly over the course of the Middle Ages—while distinctions between earlier public and later private, or earlier communal and later individual penance do not necessarily hold up, it was not until the central Middle Ages that annual confession was required of all Roman Christians—David remained a primary model because of his true contrition and his acceptance of admonition.72 David did not hold himself apart from typical aristocratic or kingly behavior, not until after Nathan pointed out to him his culpability. As Ambrose noted, again in a passage picked up by the Glossa, “David sinned, as kings are accustomed to do; but he wept and did penance, which kings are not accustomed to do.”73 In essence, David as a model of masculinity has it both ways: he displays the strong sexual urge and the privilege that permits its immediate gratification, but he also can serve as a model of Christian virtue. A variation on the account of the Nine Worthies indicates to us the extent to which David was seen as a sinner. In the earliest account of the Nine Worthies, the Voeux du paon by Longuyon, as we saw in Chapter 1, David is praised for his encounter with Goliath, although he is also referred to as one of the “holy sinners.” This is the same story told by the Alliterative Morte Arthure: David is a model for Arthur because he defeated Goliath and wrote the psalms.74 So favorable was Longuyon’s account of David, however, that an English translator around 1350, perhaps finding it implausible or inappropriate to present him as the perfect hero, juxtaposes this encounter with his sin by adding a quatrain about Bathsheba and Uriah. After he kills Goliath, David was dear to the lord himself, A praiseworthy prophet, and often praised; But he grieved God greatly thereafter, For he sent Uriah his own knight into danger.

I H av e S i n n ed Ag a i nst t he Lord


He died of that deed, dolorous to hear, For Bathsheba his bride that evil-doing was brought about.75 Here the crime that grieved God is, in the first instance, the death of Uriah, although it is clearly caused by David’s love or lust for Bathsheba. A fourteenthcentury French continuation of the Voeux du paon, the Restor du paon, also (although in a different context) mentions David’s presumption in taking a census of his people, and also his “homicide, lust, and betrayal,” though emphasizing that nevertheless he was a prefiguration of Christ.76 For Christianity in most cases, however, unlike for Judaism, David’s offense is primarily sexual. His murder of Uriah certainly compounds the offense, but it is a direct result of David’s lust. Making the sexual sin primary was typical of medieval Christian thought. The original sin of the disobedience of Adam and Eve had as its main ramification concupiscence, which subjected humankind universally to strong sexual temptation—not so different in concept from Judaism’s yetzer ha-ra but coming in for much more discussion. This no doubt had much to do with the fact that Jewish authors of halakha or ethics generally had a remedy for the yetzer ha-ra at hand, and marriage was a quasi-universal expectation. In Christianity, however, the ecclesiastical elites who wrote the biblical exegesis, didactic treatises, and even most of the narrative retellings were committed to celibacy and heavily invested in holding up sexual abstinence as a virtue. They did not expect abstinence of laypeople, particularly not of kings, but their deep concern, not to say obsession, with sexual activity was reflected in the kinds of sins they assumed to be the most common and easiest to fall into. It is not a coincidence that the primary repentant sinner in Christianity, Mary Magdalene, who is referred to in the New Testament merely as a sinful woman, was understood in the Middle Ages as a prostitute.77 A sinful woman is very likely sexually sinful; this is less universally true of a man, but temptation to sexual sin was assumed to be very common and dangerous. The church fathers quoted in the Glossa made a large point about the sins of the eye, which would be reiterated throughout the central and later Middle Ages. As Ambrose wrote: “David would not have adulterated the right of another’s bed, and the vows of bound spouses, if he had not seen from inside his house a naked woman washing herself. Therefore it is written [Ecclus. 25:18]: do not look upon women, and you will not feel concupiscence for women.”78 Once again Denis the Carthusian gives us an example of a late medieval exegete who provides both a historical/literal and a figurative interpretation and serves in essence as a compilation (many of these points are repeated from earlier


c h a p t er  3

authors such as Hugh of St. Cher).79 He begins his discussion of 2 Samuel 11 by saying that he will describe David’s “great and multiple sin, not to defame him, but to praise divine mercy and for our instruction, warning, and comfort.” We should not despair if we fall into sin, but should follow David’s “penance, humiliation, compunction, and satisfaction.” His literal interpretation involves telling us, for example, that some say Bathsheba was bathing because it was hot, and some to cleanse her of her menstrual impurity. When David sent to know who she was, it was not her name that he was interested in, but her marital status, so that he could marry her if she were single or widowed. But he was overcome by evil concupiscence and took her even though she was married. He speaks of her bath as purifying her in terms either of purifying her after intercourse or after her menstrual period, the latter possibility discussed in some detail but without reference to Jewish custom. He attributes Uriah’s refusal to go home to his wife to his love of justice rather than disobedience to David. David insists that Uriah drink with him because he knows that if Uriah becomes irrational with drink he will give in to concupiscence. Denis adds an element of specificity to the contents of David’s letter, explaining that when David wrote to Joab he stated that Uriah had sinned against him and deserved to die, which Joab believed. When Uriah dies, Denis notes, some believed that Bathsheba was feigning her mourning, so as to avoid being stoned as an adulteress and be able to marry the king. Denis himself, however, believed that she “wept from her heart for her lost husband, whom she loved, even if her sadness was mixed with a certain consolation for the aforesaid cause [of marrying David].” He cites Nicholas of Lyra quoting Rashi (actually Talmud) that men gave their wives a get upon leaving for battle and therefore she would not have been married at the time she conceived and therefore not an adulteress subject to stoning. Denis, however, finds this absurd and false: if it were the case, David would not have been an adulterer either, which implicitly Denis believes that he was. He denies that Jews were permitted to divorce their wives except in case of the woman’s fault. He takes the opportunity to cite “Rabbi Paulus” (Pablo Christiani) against Rashi, saying that although the Jews are too literal in their interpretation of scripture, sometimes they commit the opposite error, “making up much which is contrary to the letter, and cannot be found in the authentic scripture.” He claims that a get would have been pointless, since the wife would have been free to marry anyway if her husband died in battle, missing the point of the get as a precaution against an unprovable death. Rashi’s view depends on “certain Talmudists” who said that David never committed adultery, but in the text itself David himself admitted

I H av e S i n n ed Ag a i nst t he Lord


that he had done so (although in fact he does not specify this in his confession of sin).”80 Denis follows his explanation of the text with his spiritual interpretation, drawn largely from the Glossa ordinaria. He does not, however, immediately do what the Glossa and other exegetes do in attempting to turn Uriah into the villain and David and Bathsheba into predestined soulmates. He repeats the point about David feeling concupiscence because of his reckless looking. “It is not permitted to look where it is not permitted to seek, and it is especially dangerous for a man thus to look at a woman, or vice versa.” He goes on at some length about the relation between looking and sexual temptation, a connection made frequently in medieval moral literature. He then skips directly to David’s sending for Uriah, without any discussion of what Bathsheba, Uriah, or David might symbolize through their names or other wise. He represents the less allegorical turn of the later Middle Ages and also the increasing focus on sin and penitence. He even points out that David committed two sins—killing Uriah and taking his wife—because he had not repented for the first. He continues the theme of the literal interpretation: David lived in luxury, and leisure leads to sin. Uriah is to be understood as a pious man who declines to indulge in such luxury and vanity. The ark, which Uriah is concerned to protect, is the church; Israel is the contemplative life, and Judah the active life; Joab and his servants, a leader and his followers whose dwelling in booths represents the peregrinatio of worldly life. Only after this discussion does Denis acknowledge the interpretation that what is evil in life may allegorically represent what is good, and attribute to Isidore the explanation that David represents Christ, Uriah the devil, and Bathsheba the church, or to others the explanation that Uriah is the synagogue, Bathsheba the law, and David Christ. He does not develop these interpretations as much as his sources, and he notes that one needs to speak very carefully when suggesting that something like adultery represents Christ.81 Denis does not, as we will see that some late medieval Christian versions do, place blame on Bathsheba. In this Christian exegesis there is nothing about David asking to be tested by God, or the devil in the shape of a bird deliberately leading him astray. David’s temptation is something that could happen to anyone. This, however, leaves the door open to a blame-the-woman strategy. There is no curtain to be dislodged by David’s arrow; she is naked (a detail not given in the Bible; the Vulgate just says she was washing herself) where he can see her without much difficulty. The blame on Bathsheba does not develop until the later Middle Ages, but the Christian approach, even from the time of the church fathers, is conducive to it.


c h a p t er  3

The main place where David’s repentance is discussed is not in commentaries on or paraphrases of the book of Samuel, which were reasonably rare, but rather in those on Psalms, which were much more common. The psalms were central to medieval Christian worship. Their recitation made up a huge portion of the liturgy, and in monasteries all of them would be chanted each week. Confessors assigned laypeople to recite psalms, especially the seven penitential psalms, as part of their penance. If laypeople owned any parts of the Bible it was likely to be the Psalter.82 In the later Middle Ages when private prayer by laypeople was encouraged, the main texts they were urged to use were the psalms, as presented in books of hours. In commentaries on the psalms, the focus is heavily on David’s repentance, not on the deeds that called it forth.83 Peter Lombard in the twelfth century argued that David was appropriately understood as the author of all the psalms, since he embodied their three themes of penitence, justice, and eternal life (the latter through his foretelling of Christ).84 Few Christians in the Middle Ages doubted the attribution of the entire book to David. Indeed, the repentance of David for his sin with Bathsheba came to represent the occasion for the composition of the entire book of Psalms, which he composed, according to Latin legend, sitting under a tree, the wood of which would later be used to make Christ’s cross.85 But it was also tied to specific points in the psalms. In both the Jewish and Christian Bibles as known in the Middle Ages, Psalm 51 (50 in the Vulgate) is stated to have been composed when Nathan chastised David after he lay with Bathsheba (not after he had Uriah killed), and all of the seven penitential psalms were associated with this event. David observing Bathsheba in her bath became in the later Middle Ages a standard illustration for Psalm 6. But the scene could also appear elsewhere in the book of Psalms, as for example in the Beatus initial at the beginning of Psalm 1 (Figure 3.2).86 In this image, David is the one actively looking; Bathsheba is merely bathing, even covering her chest in modesty, although there was still room for the viewer to see her as displaying herself in an erotic manner. This is far from the only way in which David and Bathsheba are depicted in the psalms. In the well-known Queen Mary Psalter, from the early fourteenth century, Bathsheba is fully clothed, not bathing, and the two look at each other.87 The fact that Bathsheba is not shown here as passive, but not as brazenly erotic either, may have to do with the fact that this psalter was made for a woman; but there are psalters made for women that illustrate a passive and naked Bathsheba. The following page does show the couple in bed together, so it is not that the illustrator wished to sanitize the relationship. Anne Rudloff Stanton points out

Figure 3.2. David sees Bathsheba bathing (top); David’s repentance (bottom). St. Louis Psalter, between 1253 and 1270, Bibliothèque nationale de France MS Lat 10525, fol. 85v. © Bibliothèque nationale de France.


c h a p t er  3

that these images are closely followed by a depiction of the rape of Tamar by Amnon, a scene less common in psalters, and that Bathsheba’s overt sexuality in actively participating in her affair with David allows the rape to happen.88 Other Christian sources are ambivalent about Bathsheba’s complicity. The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament explains that “David fell into foul adultery / with the wife of Uriah, who was his knight.”89 There is no sense that she was minding her own business and bathing. In fact, when Nathan appears to recount the parable of the ewe lamb, he tells it to both David and Bathsheba, as though they are both responsible.90 A Middle Cornish play based on the Historia scholastica and Cursor Mundi makes Bathsheba even more of a participant. When David asks for Bathsheba’s love, she demurs for fear that she will be discovered: “Were a certain villainous man ever to find out, he would kill me then and there.” She agrees to go to bed with David only when he pledges to her that Uriah will die.91 The fourteenth-century alliterative romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight mentions the story only in passing but in doing so places the blame on Bathsheba. In a list of men beguiled by women—Adam, Solomon, Samson—the author has Gawain include David: “David similarly was deluded by Bathsheba, and suffered great misery.”92 The inclusion of these four men in a complaint about the wiles of women is found elsewhere, for example, in Abelard’s planctus on Samson. Usually, however, the stress is on the fact of David’s temptation, rather than Bathsheba as agent.93 Piers Plowman is an exception, blaming David for the death of Uriah but not going into detail about why.94 Even when Bathsheba came in for some of the blame, it was always David who was the key figure in the narrative, because he was the king and the one whose sin was wiped away by penitence in such an exemplary manner. Penitence was one of the key concepts in a medieval Christianity that held that all humans were tainted by Adam’s and Eve’s original sin, and medieval Christianity’s deep concern with sexual behavior ensured that David’s penitence would be interpreted as a response to a sexual sin.95 As Augustine had influentially pointed out in his On Christian Doctrine, referring to the parable of the one ewe lamb, “But in this analogy it is only the sexual sin that is signalled by the sheep of the poor neighbour. David was not asked in this analogy about the murder of the woman’s husband—the killing of the poor man himself, that is, with his single sheep—and so it was on his adultery alone that he issued his self-condemnatory verdict.”96 The fact that Psalm 50’s header said that it had been written on the occasion of the sin with Bathsheba (not against Uriah) no doubt influenced this interpretation. The public nature of David’s repentance was held up as an example

I H av e S i n n ed Ag a i nst t he Lord


to Christians.97 The fact that his penitence was voluntary—it followed his chiding by Nathan, but was still undertaken by choice—was also important. Some didactic texts for the laity, however, although they mentioned David, focused more on the saints as models of repentance, possibly not wanting to stress the example of adultery as a sin that could be atoned for.98 The life of Robert II the Pious, discussed in Chapter 1, provides an example of how David’s penitence was put to use. David was also used implicitly as an example earlier in the Psalter of Charles the Bald, where the cover depicts Nathan admonishing David, while Bathsheba stands beside him, and Uriah’s dead body can be seen below (Figure 3.3). The close association of the Charles the Bald with David is indicated also in another work, the Vivian Psalter (see Chapter 4).99 The scene on the cover differs from the more common iconography of David’s repentance, in which only David appears with Nathan, and Bathsheba is not in the scene at all: for example, the tenth-century Byzantine psalter now in Paris, where David’s repentance is accompanied by the personified figure of Metanoia.100 But it is similar to and may be based on that found in the Utrecht Psalter, a somewhat earlier ninth-century manuscript. The Utrecht Psalter is profusely illustrated, but its illustration for Psalm 50 is the only one that depicts the titulus, or heading (explaining that the psalm was written on the occasion of David’s sin with Bathsheba), rather than the text of the psalm itself.101 This suggests that Bathsheba appears in the scene not because she too is being scolded equally with David, but in order to identify the occasion of David’s sin. Byzantine emperors were also compared to David. A psalter from around 1059 uses five images for the David and Bathsheba story, along with multiple images of David’s penitence; it was possibly created at the time of a major dispute between the patriarch Michael Kerularios and the emperor Isaac I Komnenos.102 This psalter depicts Bathsheba’s bathing and Uriah’s death, whereas most Byzantine examples depict only Nathan’s admonition and David’s repentance. The appearance of Bathsheba in Byzantine psalters in the scene of David’s repentance, according to Mati Meyer, casts her as a prefiguration of the Annunciation.103 Michael VIII Palaiologos (1259–1282) also used David particularly to refer to his repentance of sin. The emperor’s close associate Manuel Holobolos wrote the emperor’s “confession” in an attempt to get his excommunication for having reconciled with the Western church lifted. Quoting the penitential psalms, he compared Michael to David.104 David was also used as an example for Western kings in the later Middle Ages. A reference in a poem by John Bridlington, talking about David preferring

Figure 3.3. Psalter of Charles the Bald, rear cover, 869–870, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, MS Lat 1152. © Bibliothèque nationale de France.

I H av e S i n n ed Ag a i nst t he Lord


other women to his own wife, likely refers to Edward III of England and his mistress Alice Perrers.105 This text is somewhat unusual in that David’s adultery is seen as being an offense to his own wife, not to the man whose wife he has taken. He finds other “wives” better than his own wife, but this could mean simply “women.” Alice was not married until later in her life, and the “wives” here are not said to belong to other men. This may be a sign of a change in the later Middle Ages in the nature of adultery, toward more restriction on the conduct of married men.106 David was invoked as a model of repentance not just in a situation of adultery. Thomas Becket, in his dispute with Henry II of England, cast the latter in the position of David. Becket himself identified by implication with Nathan in his admonition about Henry’s sin. Writing to Henry sometime after June 1166, in a letter that its editor characterizes as the “most threatening of Thomas’s letters to Henry II,” he lists kings who have been admonished by churchmen, concluding with David: Even when David had committed adultery and murder, God sent the prophet Nathan to rebuke and correct him; he was rebuked and swiftly amended his ways. Taking the diadem from his head and laying aside his imperial majesty, the king was not embarrassed to humble himself before the face of the prophet, to confess his sin, and seek pardon for what he had done. . . . And you, dearest son, most serene king, most respected lord, turn to the Lord your God with contrite and humble heart, and do precise penance for your transgression, following the example of the most excellent and devout David.107 Henry II could be mentioned in connection with Nathan and David in regard to sexual offenses as well. Gerald of Wales attributed the problems Henry had with his sons to the fact that he had fathered them “less licitly and legitimately than was right,” and miscited Nathan’s prophecy.108 The context is a discussion of his marriage with Eleanor of Aquitaine, who had previously been married to Louis VII of France, although the church had officially nullified that marriage. There is an allusion here to Absalom, David’s rebel son, as well; this will be discussed further in Chapter 5. Peter of Blois, too, has David as an example of penance in in imagined dialogue between Henry and the abbot of Bonneval.109 The use of David as an example of repentance specifically in relation to a king was far from typical and seems to have been deployed especially to demonstrate


c h a p t er  3

submission to the church.110 However, the idea of repentant David standing not just for kings but for all Christians was common, in relation to his authorship of the penitential psalms. The sins of his life story, particularly that of lust, made him relevant to all sinners, and his life and the psalms needed to be interpreted together.111 As Augustine argued, David was the prophet doing for all Christians what Nathan had done for David.112 Cassiodorus suggested that if a king could confess his sins and repent then everyone should; Peter Lombard suggested that if an adulterer and murderer could become a teacher and prophet, no one should hesitate to do penance.113 For fourteenth-century English hermit Richard Rolle, to interpret the psalms was to move David’s penance from the individual to the communal level.114 The Cursor Mundi urged readers to seek mercy for their sins, taking an example from David who was forgiven for murder.115 A Scottish book of legends of the saints contextualizes Matthew, who was a publican, by referring to Paul, who was arrogant and proud, and David, who was lecherous: the persecutor Saul became the defender Paul, the tax collector Matthew became an evangelist, and the adulterer and murderer David became a prophet and the author (makare) of the Psalter. They are examples of God’s great mercy as a result of repentance.116 Sermons throughout the Middle Ages and beyond stressed David as a model of penitence.117 Gottfried of Admont (d. 1165) linked David’s penitence to his strength: in discussing the passage of Genesis 1:12 in which God creates both plants/grasses and trees, he explains that David was weak as grass when he committed adultery and homicide, but strong as wood when he does penance, going without food and water.118 Penitence might require self-abasement in relation to God, but it was not weakness. Strength, physical or spiritual, was generally seen as a manly attribute, whichever sex exercised it. For the most part up through the central Middle Ages David’s repentance was the most important part of the story, in text and image; the naked Bathsheba, if shown, was secondary, as David’s exemplary repentance was general and not related to a specific historical incident. In the thirteenth century, with greater emphasis on moral guidance for the laity, this began to change.119 The manuscript shown in Figure 3.2, from the middle of the thirteenth century, may be a turning point in this regard, as may be the depiction in the Morgan Bible (Figure 3.4), which illustrates the entire sequence, the bathing, the sex, the summoning of Uriah, Uriah’s dining with David but refusing to go to his house, David sending Uriah back to the war, Bathsheba’s receipt of the news of Uriah’s death, the couple’s marriage, the birth of their son, and Nathan’s warning. Images of David and Bathsheba appear in the later Middle Ages not only in illustrations to the psalms but also in the context of 2 Samuel, relating them to

Figure 3.4. David and Bathsheba sequence, 1240s, Morgan Bible, Morgan Library and Museum, MS M 638 fol. 41v. © Morgan Library and Museum.


c h a p t er  3

a more elaborate narrative.120 A group of late medieval German retellings of the Bible, based on the Historia scholastica and universal chronicles, especially from southern Germany between 1440 and 1475, shows several different approaches.121 In one manuscript, from St.  Gall, the illustrations are found in the book of Samuel; the first image is not of David seeing Bathsheba bathing but of the couple in bed (Figure 3.5), which is followed by an image of Uriah being killed in battle, and then the birth of Solomon. The emphasis here, in the choice of images, is on the way the incident leads to the conception of that great king, although the narrative describes the adultery, homicide, and repentance. The text also gives a reason, if not a justification, for David’s adultery: it was based on true love.122 Another of the group shows Bathsheba bathing her feet in the river, fully clothed with her dress pulled up to her knees.123 This scene does not seem erotic, on the face of it, but it must be recalled that in 2 Samuel 11:7 David tells Uriah to go home and bathe his feet when he really means that Uriah should have sex with his wife.124 The scene is followed by Uriah’s death in battle, Bathsheba in childbed with the son who died, and then the stories of Amnon, Tamar, and Absalom. Another south German Bible manuscript, however, illustrates the story of David and Bathsheba only with the bathing scene.125 When illustrated in the context of Psalms rather than Samuel, the one bathing scene is the more typical image. The iconography of Bathsheba bathing at the focus of the picture, with David as Peeping Tom, becomes the most typical in the later Middle Ages. This may be in part because of the rise of private reading of psalms in books of hours, which led to more emotional and sometimes erotic images.126 An eroticized Bathsheba was not universal: some images of Bathsheba bathing had a strong similarity to an image of Susanna from the story of Susanna and the Elders, thereby emphasizing her innocence.127 But late medieval books of hours typically showed Bathsheba totally naked or with only a diaphanous shawl, and sometimes wearing jewelry or headgear that could connect her with a prostitute. In the Hours of Louis XII, illuminated by Jean Bourdichon (Figure 3.6), her entire genital area is clearly visible underneath the water. She is completely central to the scene, with David far in the background.128 In another early sixteenth-century French book of hours (Figure 3.7) she is not naked, but although she is washing only her feet, her bodice is unlaced, exhibiting her breasts, and she is combing her long golden hair, an action signifying seduction. David looks surprised and points. It appears in this image that she is displaying herself to him, and that he did not go looking for her. But as scholars have noted, she is displaying herself to the viewer too, who could enjoy the charms of the beautiful woman while at the same time

Figure 3.5. History Bible (Historienbibel), from the workshop of Diebold Lauber, circa 1450, St. Gall, Kantonsbibliothek Vadiana, VadSlg MS 343c, fol. 178r. © Kantonsbibliothek Vadiana.

Figure 3.6. Leaf from Jean Bourdichon, Hours of Louis XII, 1498, J. Paul Getty Museum, MS 79 recto. Courtesy of the Getty Digital Content Program.

Figure 3.7. Book of hours, France, early sixteenth century, San Marino, California, Huntington Library, MS HM 1161, fol. 61r. © The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


c h a p t er  3

absorb the critique of the sin to which she led. These bathing scenes take place not on the roof or in an upper story, but in a garden, a classic medieval venue for seduction. Such images appeared in books made for female patrons also, although it was more common in books for women that Bathsheba appeared clothed.129 Images like this in the later Middle Ages created a sympathy for David. In many other late fifteenth- to early sixteenth-century French psalters Bathsheba is surrounded by attendants including one holding a mirror, a symbol of vanity. This is no modest bather behind a screen; this is a woman aware of her beauty and charms, leading the reader to see why the king was easily led into temptation. Other fifteenth- and sixteenth-century texts make the point that Bathsheba is to blame for tempting David and that a virtuous woman should bathe indoors in private. The Chevalier de La Tour Landry, who wrote a guide for his daughters in 1371–1372 that became popular throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and appeared in several printed editions, used Bathsheba as a negative example to them, criticizing her for combing her hair in front of a window.130 The Ancrene Wisse, from the thirteenth century, although intended as a guide for anchoresses and not laywomen, blamed Bathsheba as well: “In the same way Bathsheba, by undressing herself in David’s sight, caused him to sin with her.” The point is not the sinfulness of women, but how easily tempted a man is, and how women should be careful not to tempt them.131 By the sixteenth century authors more commonly showed Bathsheba apologizing and taking responsibility for the death of her husband.132 The shift toward blaming Bathsheba can perhaps be explained by the rise of misogynistic discourse in Christian preaching and didactic texts in the later Middle Ages.133 The constant urging of laypeople to examine themselves for sin in everyday life through the means of the senses, including the sins of the eyes, was a factor. So was the development of a virulent anti-woman discourse in the support of a waning clerical celibacy. In late medieval books of hours we see, too, another change in relation to David: whereas previously the essential image of David connected to the psalms was playing or holding his harp (see Chapter 4), late medieval books of hours show the harp next to him, as though he has put it aside in order to conduct his repentance. It is not that the harp is a negative or worldly symbol, but the emphasis for laypeople is on a striking visual representation of a changed mode of life.134 Besides the incident with Uriah and Bathsheba, David’s other major injustice—at least the occasion on which he accuses himself of having committed injustice—is when he takes a census of the people. The Hebrew Bible tells us

I H av e S i n n ed Ag a i nst t he Lord


in Kings that God was angry at the Israelites and incited David to number the people—at least that is how it is generally interpreted (including by the Latin Vulgate), but the subject of the verb “incited” is not entirely clear, and Chronicles claims that Satan (or ha-Satan, “the adversary,”) incited him to do it. In the Lille play of the census of the people, David is struck suddenly with an inexplicable desire to count them.135 In 1 Chronicles God becomes angry at David for this, and in 2 Samuel it is David who expresses awareness of sin and guilt before God expresses anger. In atonement for the census the prophet Gad offers David the choice of seven years of famine, three months of exile, or three days of plague. David chooses the plague, which God cuts short because of David’s repentance. Oliver of Paderborn used this example in counseling the leaders of the Fifth Crusade on their strategy after the fall of Damietta in 1219: he suggested that waiting for reinforcements before proceeding, the equivalent of three days of plague, was appropriate.136 It is not immediately clear why taking the census should be so displeasing to God, sinful, or unjust. It was certainly an assertion of royal power, having to do with taxation or conscription, and thus perhaps impious if it were done contrary to God’s command, but in Samuel anyway it does not appear to be. A census was prohibited, according to Exodus 30:12. In BT Yoma 22b, where Rav Huna says that David committed two sins, Uriah and “incitement,” where God incited David to take the census, but unlike with Saul, David’s sins were not counted against him. The Talmud here also discusses David’s punishment for his sin with Bathsheba via four of his children (the deaths of Bathsheba’s unnamed son, Amnon, and Absalom, and the rape of Tamar) and his affliction with tzaraas, an affliction of the skin sometimes translated as “leprosy” but generally interpreted as a punishment for sin. The purging with hyssop of Psalm 51:9 was the method of purifying someone with tzaaras, hence the suggestion that David was afflicted with it for six months and that the divine presence (Shekhinah) withdrew from him. But there is no discussion in this Talmudic section about why the blame for the census fell on David, when God incited him to do it. Radak, as a practitioner of peshat, was looking for a reading that would make sense. In 1 Chronicles 21:1 Satan is made the inciter, and Radak brings Samuel’s phrasing into his commentary on Chronicles, suggesting that God did the inciting through Satan, because of the sins of Israel.137 In the Shmuel-bukh, no one commands David to take the census; the command comes from David alone, although he is confident that God will support him in it.138 This is also true in Christian narratives. In the Mistère du Viel Testament David comes up with the idea on his own, although Joab suggests that it came from Satan, an equation the Glossa ordinaria makes too, glossing “And the


c h a p t er  3

anger of the Lord flared up against Israel” in 2 Samuel 24:1 as “Satan,” based on Chronicles.139 The idea seems to be that David is claiming a level of almost bureaucratic control over the people, an extension of kingship that God is not willing to allow. Christian exegesis tended to explain it more with regard to pride, or with regard to the simple fact of disobedience to God’s commandment in Exodus.140 The point here is how much more easily David completes the penance and earns forgiveness for his actions with regard to the census, compared to the sexual transgression whose repercussions haunt him and his family for the rest of his life.

Royal Sexuality and Masculinity It might seem that placing the blame on a woman for tempting a man to sin detracts from his masculinity. If he is weak and passive, putty in the hands of a temptress, how can he be dominant and in control? And yet medieval masculinity contained both the idea of dominance and the idea of male passion as an unstoppable force. This can be seen, for example, in the text so often falsely attributed to Thomas Aquinas that establishes a “hydraulic theory” of male sexuality for the purpose of explaining the necessity for brothels.141 Prostitutes are like the sewers in a house: they are necessary for carrying away foulness, but the foulness is a given. Men will always lust and always act on it. The keeping of official or semi-official mistresses by fifteenth- and sixteenth-century kings— Edward IV or Henry VIII of England, Francis I of France, for example, among many others—along with sexual activity with a variety of ladies of the court, was simply a given as well. Henric Bagerius and Christine Ekholst have recently discussed the way chronicle and other authors across late medieval Europe used sexuality to critique rulers, but the critique is based on impotence (real or imagined) or neglect of the queen and the responsibility to father children.142 Infidelity, as long as it did not prevent the fruitfulness of proper marriage, was not the main issue. More important in the eyes of the nobility might be the idea that a king would take their own wives; from this perspective his sin might be seen not as adultery or murder but treachery against a follower. David could still be important as a symbol of repentance, even if his sin was to be blamed on a woman; but at the same time, the act for which he repented was typical royal behavior. When he saw a beautiful woman tempting him, he was in a position to act on it. Masculinity resided both in being subject to temptation—that is, having an appetite for women—and in being powerful enough to act. Rather than see a large chronological shift here, we should see an

I H av e S i n n ed Ag a i nst t he Lord


ongoing ambivalence about male sexuality.143 The lack of a complete chronological change is supported also by fifteenth-century texts like the Lille mystery play of David and Bathsheba, in which Bathsheba says that she is sinless in the matter because she was only obeying the king. When she first receives the command to come to him, although it is clear that she is married, she says, “Because it pleases him [King David] I will go with you”; when she finds she is pregnant, she says, “If the king has had his pleasure, I am not made worse by it, for I feel myself clearly cleansed from the impurity that I felt.” She mourns for the death of her husband, noting that she would be without honor if she did not.144 While it was acceptable for kings to enhance their masculinity by taking mistresses, their cuckolding (meaning the inability to retain control of their wives or women) could be that much more damaging to their reputation and ability to govern than that of another man. This may be in play when the Amalekites raid David’s fortress at Ziklag (1 Sam. 30) and kidnap the wives and children of all his men, including his own two wives (see Chapter 1). It is certainly the case when his son Absalom claims the throne and takes his father’s concubines (see Chapter 5), fulfilling Nathan’s prophecy that just as David had taken Saul’s concubines when he became king, so would his concubines be taken from him. Having multiple women was a sign of power and honor, and taking control of someone else’s women meant taking the man’s power and honor. The need for the king to be sexually active appears paradoxically near the end of David’s life, where he is given a beautiful young woman named Abishag to warm his bed. It is made clear in 1 Kings 1:4 that he does not have sexual intercourse with her, and many scholars have taken this as a sign that he is no longer potent as a king; his son Adonijah attempts to claim the throne. The Glossa ordinaria, drawing on Jerome, asks why it was necessary for David to be given this young virgin, when Abraham got to be much older and yet did not seek a wife other than Sarah during her lifetime, and Isaac at twice David’s age was content with Rebecca. It was not the great virtue of Abishag that caused him to not have sex with her, but old age, which harms all the abilities except wisdom.145 In medieval medical theory heat was required in order to generate semen required for intercourse.146 David already has sons at this point in the story—too many, as Adonijah is claiming the throne over his chosen heir Solomon—so the point in reclaiming his sexual abilities is not to engender an heir. Nor is it to make an alliance. The potency of a king was more symbolic. The medieval church may have preached chastity and celibacy except for those creating offspring, but a king could garner admiration for violating that rule, whether in his vigorous days as when he conceived Solomon with Bathsheba, or at the end of his life.

chapter 4

With Sacred Music upon the Harp: Creativity and Ecstasy

Ask people today to free-associate to the biblical “David,” and they are very likely to respond: “Goliath.” A medieval person might well have responded “Messiah” (see Chapter 5) but more likely would have said “music,” “harp,” or “Psalms.” The liturgy would have been the way in which most medieval people encountered David.1 Of eighteen references to David in Chaucer, fourteen are to the psalms, with similar ratios for other medieval English authors.2 Images of David playing the harp—whether as a boy, in order to soothe the very stressed King Saul, or as an adult, playing or composing the psalms—were by far the most popular medieval depiction, not least because of the popularity of psalters among medieval Christians.3 And David performed in another way too, with his dancing before the Lord as the ark went forward to enter Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:14). When his wife Michal mocks this dancing, medieval authors were eager to defend its appropriateness for a king. Much current gender theory, drawing ultimately on Judith Butler, treats gender as performative: it is constituted through behavior. In this understanding every aspect of David’s career can be seen as performative: he is performing kingship and manhood. But “performance” can also be used in the narrower sense of the creative arts, here particularly music, dance, and the combination of the two, particularly as embodied in religious ritual.4 The first understanding of the term would not have been familiar to medieval writers, although if it were phrased in other terms they could certainly have understood it. The second may well not have made sense either, as someone performing a dance to entertain would be seen as something quite different from someone chanting the liturgy or acting in sacred drama.5

W i t h S ac r ed Mus i c u pon t he H a r p


David’s artistic performances (using “performance” here in the sense of ritual or the performing arts) do not seem to connect easily to medieval ideas of masculinity. Musical performance was not part of the standard package of masculine characteristics. Men did perform—monks chanting the divine office, troubadours or minstrels singing before courts—but neither of these groups are considered paragons of manhood. Nor did music or dance exclude women in the way other aspects of masculinity like military or sexual prowess did. David, as a prophet who composed and performed text and music, was an exemplar of inspired creativity and an indication of how that creativity was embodied, here in a specifically masculine body; he performed music in ways appropriate to men.6 Yet in the area of creativity and performance we will see that David also embodied aspects of femininity.

David and Saul After David’s anointing by Samuel, his first encounter with the king he is to replace is as a musician. In Samuel 16, Saul is troubled by an evil spirit. His advisers believe that his spirit can be soothed and the evil spirit driven away by harp or lyre (kinnor) music. They suggest that David, son of Jesse from Bethlehem, play for the king.7 David does so successfully and calms Saul. He subsequently becomes Saul’s armor-bearer, which makes it all the more surprising that in the next chapter he is back with the sheep, takes food to his brothers, and fights Goliath without Saul recognizing him. As with other features of the biblical story of David, David’s musical success required some explanation by the church fathers, who often considered musical performances frivolous at best and deeply sinful at worst—certainly not part of the ideal man’s repertoire. Therefore, as they were wont to do, they interpreted them allegorically: for example, Pseudo-Athanasius (a commentary written in Alexandria relying on Athanasius and some of his contemporaries), commenting on the references to musical instruments in the psalms, equates the kithara with the body and the psalterium, or psaltery, with the soul, and from late antiquity on the form of the kithara was related to the shape of a cross.8 Augustine connected the psaltery and the harp of Psalm 57:9 (Psalm 56 in the Vulgate) with two kinds of action by Christ, miracles (divine, connected with the psaltery) and suffering (human, connected with the harp).9 Cassiodorus and others allegorized the instruments of the psalms: the kithara had ten strings, referring to the Ten Commandments.10 Some took a more literal approach, John Chrysostom suggesting that the Jews’ use of these instruments in worship was due to their poor


c h a p t er   4

understanding of divine law, Clement of Alexandria saying that it was acceptable to use them because David did.11 Medieval writers generally repeated and built on these patristic allegorical interpretations, thus frustrating those musicologists who wish to use medieval understandings of biblical instruments to tell us about medieval musical practice.12 David and his musicians, or even his instruments and their number of strings, symbolize celestial harmonies and allow a distinction between the music of the flesh and that of the spirit.13 A psalm commentary attributed to Haimo of Halberstadt or Auxerre but which probably dates to the eleventh century presents a literal explanation as well, which also makes the music more carnal than the word alone. “David, wishing to expand the worship of God, since he could not bring people to the worship of God through the meaning of the psalms because they were bestial, attempted to encourage them to it by the harmony of instruments and human song.”14 The thread that runs through the late antique and early medieval discussions of David’s music has less to do with him as an individual or exemplar than with the spiritual meaning of his playing. The literal David remained part of the story, but the emphasis throughout most central and later medieval commentary as well remained not on him as a man in a particular past time playing a particular instrument, but on his role as inspired creator and worshipper. Music, Martine Clouzot suggests of late thirteenth- to early fourteenth-century psalters, is an allegory of the Word.15 Even if it was not entirely allegorical—if music could partake in celestial harmony as well as figuring it, as more recent and corporeal interpretations of medieval music would suggest—David’s music was not just beautiful sound, it was prayer. David’s psalms were part of his prophecy. Yet the repeated depictions, especially in the late Middle Ages, of David as musician outside of the context of the psalms, particularly in his playing for Saul, connect him with a masculinity perhaps more aristocratic than prophetic. If David’s harp playing is anything other than sui generis, it makes him a typical nobleman or cultivated gentleman. David, in the earliest manifestation of his musical ability, is young, still a shepherd; he is sent for via his father. His early playing for Saul presages later developments. He will play for Saul again after his feat with Goliath, and it is on these occasions (1 Sam. 18 and 19) that Saul attacks him with a spear. This scene with the attack is most common in depictions of the young David playing the harp: for example, in the Somme le Roi image discussed in Chapter 2, in which David and Jonathan are the paradigm of friendship, David and Saul are the paradigm of hatred. Especially in another copy of this image, David is smaller and

W i t h S ac r ed Mus i c u pon t he H a r p


his features more delicate than in the parallel image with Jonathan; he is a vulnerable young boy when he plays for Saul even after he has defeated Goliath.16 The idea of the woman (or young boy in the place of a woman) performing music to help relax a dominant man is a cross-culturally fairly common one, but it is not particularly prominent in medieval Europe. Bruce Holsinger suggests with regard to medieval music that “the fact that these are predominantly homosocial musical cultures—cultures that carefully segregated their musical performances and enjoyments into all-male and all-female environments—implies that the musical desires and pleasures they embrace will often be homoerotic.”17 Medieval monasticism certainly provided a homosocial culture, although laypeople of both sexes would have heard male and sometimes female choirs sing in liturgical performances. David also sang for Saul in a homosocial context, the two of them alone together or with other male courtiers. The calming effect of music on a powerful and easily enraged man was something that both women and men could exert. The late eleventh-century music theorist Johannes Afflighemensis names David’s playing for Saul as an example of the power of music to accomplish a variety of effects, all of them good.18 Performing for Saul clearly does not entirely feminize David. Medieval writers took his musical performance as part of his identity as king. Indeed, when Saul first seeks a harper, 1 Samuel 16:18 tells us that David is not only a skilled musician but also a valorous man of war (although he has not yet had his encounter with Goliath, and the passage does not make chronological sense). These characteristics can be presented together without comment; they would have fit with the idea of the warrior bard in the earlier Middle Ages, especially in the Celtic regions, or the accomplished courtier of the later.19 While most images of David playing the harp are found in manuscripts, there are a good number carved in churches. This is particularly true of early medieval Scotland and Ireland. While the harp is so connected in the modern imagination with Celtic culture that it does not seem particularly noteworthy to find it here, the compositions have something in common with Byzantine iconography and may have drawn from manuscripts in wide circulation; there is some dispute as to whether or not they depict the actual practice of musicians and instruments in the region. A manuscript from Cassiodorus’s Commentary on the Psalms, from Northumbria in the second quarter of the eighth century, is an example of the kind of manuscript that may have been a model for—or may have been copied from—Pictish stone carving.20 The image resembles others from southern England with Byzantine influence. Here the artist has seen fit to label David, as though readers could not be expected immediately to identify the figure with the harp.


c h a p t er   4

A number of Irish examples from stone crosses (see Figure 4.1) as well as metalwork can be difficult to date in the absence of surviving inscriptions. The images are similar to that from an Irish psalter in the British Library, Cotton Vitellius F xi, which, however, is dated in reference to the stone crosses to the early part of the tenth century.21 In both Irish and Pictish stonework the image of the harpist resembles Byzantine models, but there are innovations, such as David sitting on the ground playing to a variety of animals, not just his flock.22 Not all images of harpists are necessarily meant to represent David, especially when they appear in scenes outside the David narrative. However, in Crucifixion scenes particularly, they may be included for typological reasons, indicating David as a precursor of Christ, while at the same time drawing on local cultural meanings for the instrument.23 The harp’s close association with David has led art historians to identify other wise obscure figures with him. For example, a carving of a man playing the harp and a woman leading a horse from a capital at Notre-Dame-des-Doms, Avignon, has been interpreted as David and Abigail. David is nowhere in the Bible said to have played the harp in Abigail’s presence. However, each of the capitals from this church is “thematically coherent,” and the other images on this capital are from the life of David, making it likely that this one is too.24 In the early medieval context, it clearly was not feminizing for a man to play the harp, and the extant images do not show him harping in submission to another man. Although in the central and later Middle Ages David’s playing for Saul may be implied in all the images of him playing, submissiveness is far from an explicit theme. David’s playing that soothes the evil spirit afflicting Saul does fit in a line of medieval depictions of the effects of music. It may allude to the story of Orpheus, whose music calmed beasts. The first written reference to Orpheus is from the sixth century BCE; it is not obvious, nor is it relevant here, whether there is an ancient connection to the David story. But the church fathers did make such a connection, which appears in art in late antiquity.25 Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150–ca. 215 CE), criticizing the Greeks for “imagining brute beasts to be enchanted by music,” suggested that Orpheus’s music was in the ser vice of a religion that glorified violence, whereas “my minstrel,” Christ, turned “rapacious beasts who were in the form of men” to “men of gentleness.” Christ’s ancestor David, as harpist, “urged us toward the truth and away from idols,” but Christ “scorned those lifeless instruments of lyre and harp,” using the universe as his instrument.26 In the Middle Ages, the iconography of David and of Orpheus was not immediately distinguishable.27 There are obvious differences in the overall narrative, Orpheus’s being a love story and involving calming wild animals;

Figure 4.1. Castledermot, County Kildare, Ireland, Church of Ireland churchyard, North Cross, West Face, ninth century, David playing the harp. Photo courtesy of C. G. Karras.


c h a p t er   4

David’s association with wild animals is fighting to protect his sheep from them, and his playing is for the king. John Tzetzes, the twelfth-century Byzantine poet, compared David’s banishment of the demon from Saul through his music not to the portion of Orpheus’s story where he calms the wild beasts, but to that where he saves Eurydice from hell.28 In a tenth-century Byzantine psalter, David was seen, inspired by the personification of Melodia, playing his harp to calm animals rather than to calm Saul, and this composition was reflected in later psalters; in a twelfth-century rhymed French retelling, David’s playing to calm his sheep is what called his playing to the attention of Saul’s men.29 The theme of musician-hero is not limited to Orpheus. Gunnar plays a harp with his feet in a snake pit in the Old Norse Volsung cycle. In early poetic versions of the story Gunnar plays the harp, but it is not until the thirteenth-century prose version that it is specifically stated that he does so in order to calm the serpents, a possible echo of the Orpheus legend, but with little connection to David. Tristan provides another parallel: like David, he is both a great warrior and a harpist, and fights a giant. In the thirteenth-century Prose Tristan, however, he plays not to calm someone else, but when he himself is injured, attracting the attention of the Irish king, whose daughter Yseut nurses him back to health. In the Old Norse version he teaches her to play the harp, and he has previously demonstrated his musical skills in playing the harp in King Mark’s hall.30 The use of Davidic themes in the Tristan legend creates a parallel with a courtly (though not therefore unwarlike) figure. The Prose Tristan also makes clear that playing the harp is not just a masculine accomplishment. When Tristan is convinced that Yseut loves another and falls into a deep depression, he is cared for by a demoiselle for whom he plays the harp; she too sings to him and tries to learn to play the harp well so that she can comfort him. Late medieval manuscripts of this text depict the demoiselle playing the harp.31 In biblical illustrations David usually appears as the sole harper, and where musicians accompany him they are generally men. When women appear as musicians in biblical illustrations, in both Byzantine and Western medieval art, they are most often using percussion instruments, especially the tambour.32 They also appear as dancers. This need not be reflective of musical practice at any given time; there is not sufficient evidence to say that outside of a courtly context women did not play stringed instruments, and some exceptions in manuscripts show them harping. In a Bible from northern France/Flanders from the thirteenth century, which contains a number of narrative illustrations in the bas-depage, David displays Goliath’s head to two women who hold harps. This image conflates the bringing of the head to Saul with the women singing David’s praises

W i t h S ac r ed Mus i c u pon t he H a r p


after the battle.33 What ties David’s harp playing to masculinity is not the fact that women do not typically do it, but that those who recruit him to play for Saul connect his musical ability with his military skill and that it provides the setup for Saul’s attack on him, which is part of the heroic story. Another chief function of the story of David harping for Saul is that it sets David up as a musician for the main feature of his medieval iconography and function: his composition of the psalms. The Glossa ordinaria explains in its comments on 1 Samuel 16:16 that David was summoned because he was expert (eruditus) in music (as opposed to the Bible’s “someone who can play”). The scene in which David plays the harp for Saul could be used to draw the direct connection between David and Christ; again according to the Glossa, the power to drive out Saul’s evil spirit was not in the instrument but in Christ’s cross, which is signified by the wood of the harp and Christ’s body as signified by the strings attached to it.34 Walter of St. Victor (d. 1180) used this image to good effect in a sermon: for a lyre such as David’s the strings must first be dried so they will have the proper sound and then attached to the wood; “our David” (Christ) dried the strings of his flesh by fasting in the desert, and then stretched them over the wood of the cross, and played on them with the hand of his love (dilectio) a love song (canticum amoris).35

B Is for Beatus As we saw above, far from all the representations of David performing music are in the context of his playing for Saul. The majority involve him as author of the psalms, holding or playing the harp or lyre. David and his accompanying musicians, sometimes angels, are the most commonly depicted musical performers in manuscript illumination and other arts, and they are mostly seen as performing in praise of God (although that is not incompatible with performing for Saul). Psalm 97, for example, was sometimes illustrated with David playing instruments, despite the fact that the psalm refers to singing (“Sing unto the Lord a new song”), although in northern French and other psalters by the central Middle Ages it came commonly to be illustrated with a group of people singing: at first apparently laypeople but from the 1230s on clearly monks, singing unaccompanied.36 Liturgical music, of which the psalms composed a major portion, was quite different from secular. As the psalms were primarily performed vocally, the references within them to the use of instruments in praise of God needed to be interpreted allegorically. But the instruments also provide a shared motif across David’s life, where he transfers a skill associated with a cultivated


c h a p t er   4

man from one kind of music to another. David’s playing of instruments makes him relatively unusual among saints, but books (like the psalm book, with which David is often depicted) are more typical. The Bible itself does not directly connect David’s playing of the harp with his authorship of the psalms; it was a choice by medieval interpreters to emphasize this aspect of his history. The headnotes indicating his authorship were present already in early versions of the work, including the Septuagint, the basis of Jerome’s translation of the psalms. It was an early iconographic choice to use the attribute of the harp, taken from the narrative in which he plays for Saul, to indicate his composition of the psalms, rather than a book as used in most author portraits. His composition and performance of the music as well as of the words were universally accepted among medieval writers, for example, Johannes Afflighemensis who notes that the psalmist played a ten-stringed instrument, and that he urged people not only to “sing unto the lord a new song” but also to praise him with musical instruments.37 David’s association with composition and performance of the psalms also emphasizes the continuity of the narrative, the shepherd boy who plays for Saul becoming the king becoming the prophet. Although David is shown harping as a king, the performance of music is not a standard attribute of kingship either in biblical or secular portraits; David stands as unique. His performance for God, like that for Saul, can also be read as that of a servitor, with implications for his gender identity.38 By the later Middle Ages, however, as music became an accomplishment associated with noblemen, David’s performance of the psalms takes on new meaning; Ruth Harvey suggests that even in the heyday of the troubadours in Occitania “the division between ‘gentlemen and players,’ between aristocratic ‘amateur’ troubadours and lowly ‘full-time, professional’ joglars is not clear-cut.”39 It is not clear exactly to what extent medieval people would have understood David as a professional performer. As John Stevens notes, “practically all music theorists are most actively concerned with the ecclesiastical chant and its proper performance in the liturgy. . . . It is especially difficult to acquire an understanding of the way medieval listeners or musicians of various types responded to secular (i.e., non-liturgical) music, the music associated for example with courtliness and with personal devotion.”40 There was some attention to secular music by music theorists from the fourteenth century on.41 Representations of David also indicate a link between sacred and secular music by the later Middle Ages, as, although the compositions attributed to him were used in the liturgy, depictions are similar to those of secular musicians. A poem in a German collection of the eleventh century indicates that David was seen as the literal or spiritual ancestor of musicians generally:

W i t h S ac r ed Mus i c u pon t he H a r p


The famous progeny of king David strumming upon their lyres strumming with a plectrum in hand between their fingers, upon their lyres In the manner of David, David, David, then, they call out, In the manner of David, David, David, then, they call out, In the manner of David, David, David, then, they call out For Saul.42 Clearly a hymn, the song is included along with others, some of a much more secular nature, in an English manuscript from a monastic context. It is not clear whether the collection itself is monastic, however; its audience and purpose are not certain but it seems to have been created for someone interested in music in general, whether a performer or listener, rather than in a particular genre.43 The image of David as psalmist appears mainly in one of two specific contexts: either as an author portrait on a separate page at the beginning of Psalms, or in the initial B at the beginning of the first psalm, “Beatus Vir” (Blessed is the man).44 The B can contain a variety of images of David, as we have seen—the battle with Goliath, the peeping at Bathsheba, the Tree of Jesse (see Chapter 5). Most often one of these images appears in one of the bows of the B and David playing the harp in the other. The Beatus initial can also combine an image of David and his harp with something related to David typologically rather than narratively—for example, Christ as Man of Sorrows, perhaps prefigured by David’s penitence that considered the occasion for his composition of the psalms.45 This identification of Christ as a new David was quite widespread. One of the earliest and most famous author portraits/frontispieces, showing David on a separate page at the outset of the psalms rather than enclosed in the letter B, is that found in the Vivian Bible (Figure 4.2). This manuscript was one of a number of Carolingian Bibles created in the scriptorium of Tours; this one was created under Abbot Vivian and belonged in the Middle Ages to the cathedral of Metz.46 In the center appears a figure labeled “David rex et propheta” (David, king and prophet). He is apparently naked under his cloak. He is surrounded by four musicians and two guards, and personified virtues appear in the corners. David plays a triangular harp or psaltery. He is clearly in motion, dancing while he plays. Herbert Kessler suggests that the composition draws on a model also used in other Tours Bibles, and similar to that used for the frontispiece of the Psalter of Charles the Bald. This latter manuscript emphasizes the close connection between Charles the Bald and David; the cover, discussed in Chapter 2, depicts

Figure 4.2. Vivian Bible, mid-ninth century, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Cod. Lat. 1, fol. 215v. © Bibliothèque nationale de France.

W i t h S ac r ed Mus i c u pon t he H a r p


Nathan admonishing David for his adultery and murder. A half-naked dancing David is also found in an eleventh-century psalter, now in Munich. Kessler demonstrates that the musicians and guards who appear with David draw from headnotes to the Psalms and to references in Kings and Chronicles, but the par tic u lar instruments with which the individuals are depicted correspond to a Carolingian variant of the Origo Psalmorum, a text that often appeared as a preface to Psalms. David dancing with musicians as he plays appears in earlier iconography, but the lack of clothing is new, related to a preface to Psalms printed in the editio princeps of the Glossa ordinaria but not found in the manuscripts.47 Here David is said to precede the ark “naked, with a lyre,” an allusion to the scene described in Samuel where he dances before the ark clad only in an ephod, but which does not mention an instrument. The composition of the psalms is thus tied in these images to David’s ecstatic experience before the ark. The slightly earlier Stuttgart Psalter shows David with other musicians in a similar composition, and he may be dancing, but he is fully clothed; there is a naked man at the bottom of the picture dancing, but he is not crowned. This picture illustrates Psalm 150, rather than appearing at the beginning of the book. Other Carolingian and earlier western and eastern David portraits show him seated. Byzantine psalters typically show him wearing the robes of an emperor, enthroned as king, stressing his relation to Christ in majesty.48 But eastern Christian art was less likely to include separate Christological images with the book of Psalms than was western; rather, the Christological significance of David was expressed through such means as the inclusion of Christ in a mandorla above David playing his harp in the ninth-century Khudlov Psalter.49 The fact that David performs naked, or nearly so, does not make him less masculine or indeed less kingly. According to Kessler, David’s crown is in the Carolingian style and he is given some of the facial features of Charles the Bald. In addition, the personified virtues do not appear in other psalter author portraits, but they are found in portraits of Charles the Bald elsewhere.50 This ruler associated himself not only with the Davidic idea of repentance (a repentance that in David’s case was followed by the establishment of his house to rule for generations) but also with the idea of praising the Lord through creative performance. The Carolingian illustrators chose to emphasize David’s kingship with his crown and the association with Charles, but to depict royalty actively participating in the emotionality of worship rather than seated in majesty. The David of the Vivian Psalter is not humbled by his emotionality or his nakedness.51 The connection of David’s composition of the psalms with royalty also appears in the dedication of the Dagulf Psalter, made for Charlemagne between 783 and


c h a p t er   4

795 in Mainz, Worms, and Aachen, to be used as a gift to Pope Hadrian, which has no illustrations: it says “that the psalms are the golden words of King David and that Charlemagne is his golden successor.”52 The psalms were music, but they were also poetry and prophecy, and David in performing them must be understood as author as well. Frank O. Büttner suggests that the author portraits in psalters were different from those in other works, because they were intended to depict not the circumstances of composition of the work, but the praise of God. The line between creation and performance is blurred. David is sometimes shown writing rather than composing or playing, and sometimes his portrait is doubled, writing in one part of the B and playing in the other, indicating the close relationship between the two activities.53 It is the composition and content of the psalms that marked David out as prophet and leader. Nicholas of Lyra, for example, claimed that David was the foremost among the prophets (rather than Moses, whom Thomas Aquinas and others following him had claimed) because his prophecies are, even on the literal level, directly about Jesus Christ.54 Yet, although most author portraits in medieval manuscripts depict the author with a pen or a book, David is most commonly depicted with his instrument instead. He usually is not playing the harp, however, merely holding it or sometimes tuning it. It is presented as his attribute rather than as a narrative image. Images of David with his scribes, although not as common as those of David with his musicians, paralleled the latter. One early example is a plaque from one cover of the Dagulf Psalter (Figure 4.3), which includes two scenes of David, one with scribes and the other with musicians.55 The plaque from the other, presumably back cover includes scenes of Jerome being told to translate the psalms and at the bottom, doing so. The juxtaposition shows the importance of writing and not merely of performance in the creation of the psalms. The writing of poetry could be gendered masculine, as, for example, in Horace’s De arte poetica where he makes Orpheus the originator of the poetic art, a prophet (“sacred intermediary of the gods”) as well as a peacemaker and tamer of wild beasts.56 While writing could be among the achievements of an ideal man (and although there were many women writers in the Middle Ages, biblical authors were all thought to be men), performance was not considered so masculine. Medieval music, as a subject of scholarly study, was highly theoretical.57 Music theory following Boethius had held that reason was better than actual performance, which kept the performer in servitude, although Augustine acknowledged that something could be added to the psalms by performing them.58 It was possible for people to learn to play an instrument without understanding the theory, but (for

Figure 4.3. Dagulf Psalter, late eighth century, ivories from front cover. Paris, Musée du Louvre. Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée du Louvre) / Stéphane Maréchalle.


c h a p t er   4

those who wrote about it, who were of course the ones who knew the theory) music itself was a sign of divine harmony. Elizabeth Leach suggests that learning theory of music, rather than just how to sing, was a sign of manhood: boys sang like emotional women until they had studied. Boethius’s claim that a man who learned music only with his ears was passive and feminine resonated through the Middle Ages.59 In the central and later Middle Ages, polyphonic liturgical music required boy choristers.60 These boys were in the process of learning and might be considered effeminately ignorant for that reason; but they were also feminine in the pitch of their voices, and the two factors worked together to call into question the masculinity of performance alone. David as composer and author as well as performer was an intellectual master of music. And yet the playing remained important as liturgical sequences referred to David as a citharoedus, or lyre player, and compared the sound produced by the monastic voices to his playing; the instrument stood in for the idea that the psalms were to be understood as music and not merely poetry.61 John of Salisbury had nothing but approval for the praise of God through music, voices imitating the playing of David, even though he objected to its corruption or even prostitution by the use of “lascivious voices” in a “womanly manner,” by which he seems to have meant polyphony generally.62 Christians read the Psalms as a foretelling of Christ, a companion to the prophecies of Isaiah and others (discussed in Chapter 5). Every psalm was about Christ either literally or spiritually, or both. In addition to the allegorical explanations of music in general discussed above, medieval interpreters could see David’s instrument very specifically as a symbol of Christ’s cross. Indeed, he composed the psalms while sitting under the tree from whose wood the cross would later be made. These prophecies were set at particular biographical moments in David’s life. As Michael Kuczynski suggests, David’s penitence as occasion for the psalms meant that he was “both a visionary poet and a moral reformer or teacher.”63 The depiction of instruments was not a literal rendering of the way medieval people praised or worshipped God or imagined biblical people had worshipped him. Rather, it was understood as symbolic of God’s order. The instruments could be seen as a poor approximation of the divine harmonies that they were meant to produce. Clement of Alexandria, for example, had written that David’s harp performance was a prefiguration of Christ, but that Christ did not require the musical instrument; he “who is the supramundane Wisdom, the celestial Word, is the all-harmonious, melodious, holy instrument of God.”64 This idea of Christ as musical instrument carries through the Middle Ages, more concretely: Christ nailed to the cross is like the string of a

W i t h S ac r ed Mus i c u pon t he H a r p


Figure 4.4. Speculum humanae salvationis, fifteenth century, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS Latin 9585, fol. 30r. © Bibliothèque nationale de France.

harp or psaltery, which must be struck to make a sound.65 Psalm 56 (the Easter Psalm) refers to both the psalterium and the cithara; Richard Rolle, the fourteenth-century English mystic, explains the psaltery as “gladness of mind in the contemplative life” and the harp as “purification of all faults with submissiveness in extreme trouble.”66 The distinction between the contemplative and the penitential life is reminiscent of the story of Mary and Martha, the contemplative versus the active, with the contemplative being the better part; but here the two are combined. The doubling of the instrument here can be related to the two natures of Christ. Christ on the cross is thus what is prefigured by David’s harp, in what William F. Pollard suggests may be a widespread oral tradition.67 In a fifteenth-century manuscript of the Speculum humanae salvationis (Mirror of Human Salvation) (Figure 4.4), the Crucifixion is juxtaposed with David being observed by Michal as he accompanies the ark to Jerusalem. Her mocking of David may be coupled with the mocking of Christ by the Roman soldiers. Yet David here is not visibly dancing, and he is showing no skin; he is playing the harp, even though in the Bible he does not do so in this scene, and Holsinger is right to point out the connection between Christ stretched on the cross and David’s harp strings. Human beings, although to a lesser extent,


c h a p t er   4

can be instruments as well—indeed, female bodies in par ticu lar could be understood as musical, as Holsinger notes of Hildegard of Bingen, although he also presents a twelfth-century German frontispiece to Peter Lombard’s commentary on Psalms in which David’s body is part of the harp, with the strings attached to him.68 By the end of the Middle Ages, in addition to the religious symbolism of David’s playing, secular musical performance was coming to be a hallmark of gentility. Polyphony, once considered effeminate, was popular at courts, performed by men for men whose masculinity was established by their military activity.69 Music was composed and performed in the court and the cathedral; literary accounts tell us of jongleurs as companions of lords who entertained them and also advised them, much like David and Saul.70 Medieval French literature provides examples of men singing and dancing in order to appeal to women in a courtly context, and in thirteenth-century French lyric anthologies knightly trouvères are depicted quite distinctly.71 It is not that people would have thought of David as a knight wooing a lady—his musical accomplishments were clearly depicted as in praise of God—but as with his playing for Saul, his performance for God was nevertheless in line with the behavior expected of noblemen, in singing and dancing (and playing instruments) as well as in his military activity. Ecclesiastical criticism of actors and performers as sinful in encouraging lasciviousness could be moderated, too, by a differentiation according to subject matter and the moral character of the performer, especially if they played music in praise of God and followed Boethius’s strictures against effeminate music.72 David’s musical performance could be part of a general court ethos. But we must remember, too, that although performers in the ser vice of a lord might be better respected than those who performed in public squares, they were still retainers or subordinates, as David was to Saul. As Sylvia Huot points out with regard to thirteenth- and fourteenth-century French lyric, those who were real composers of lyric were distinguished from those who were only performers by their participation in the written word: instead of a jongleur, the person depicted performing is a poet/ author.73 David represents this combination of song and book: he is depicted performing, but this performance is masculine and noble because it involves a written text, in his case a sacred one. Jewish culture, like Christian, could see David’s musical performance as an intensification of what he was already producing as a writer; the text of the psalms was key, rather than their connection to music.74 Sefer Ḥasidim in the thirteenth century suggested that “The root of prayer is heart’s joy in God . . . because of this King David played the lyre [kinnor] with all his prayers and songs, to fill his heart

W i t h S ac r ed Mus i c u pon t he H a r p


with joy in his love of God.”75 The music was not itself the praise but it contributed to making the experience of prayer a joyful one. In a very different strand of Jewish thought, Joseph Gikatilla wrote in his Sha’are Orah (Gates of Light) that the psalms removed the forces of disorder that prevented people’s prayer from ascending to heaven: “When David, peace be with him, came and created the psalms it was for man who arranges the psalms in his prayers, thus dispersing the destructive, ruinous, and disrupting forces.” 76 David’s authorship of the psalms was thus a manifestation of divine order; the worshipper was like a traveler threatened by highwaymen on a dangerous road, and the psalms cleared the way. It is their writing rather than performance that accomplished this. The Zohar had David writing the psalms to prepare the maidens of Matronita (a symbol for the Shekhinah) for her wedding to Tiferet, an occasion of great joy.77 For the most part David in the Zohar is associated with Malkhut, or sovereignty, but the text emphasizes his creativity as part of this. David’s harp as a material object also made an appearance in Jewish thought. In BT Berakhot 3b the rabbis discuss how David used to sleep in the first part of the night and then rise to pray. He knew when it was time because he had a lyre (kinnor) hanging over his bed, and at midnight a wind came and caused its strings to sound. This indicates the close connection of David with the instrument from rabbinic times. The idea of David and his psalms being connected with night prayer also appears in Christian writings: a fourth-century Greek text attributed to John Chrysostom and describing monks and nuns chanting psalms at night wrote, “And at night all men are dominated by physical sleep and drawn into the depths, and David alone stands by, arousing all the servants of God to angelic vigils, turning earth into heaven and making angels of men.”78 Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer, a text from the first century CE (although with later interpolations), connects David’s harp to other Bible stories, not as Christian exegesis did by looking forward in time, but by looking back. It describes the origin of David’s harp: the strings were made from the sinews of the ram that appeared just when Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac. This was part of a larger story about the ram of the Akedah: its hide was used for Elijah’s belt, one horn was sounded at Sinai and the other was to be sounded in the world to come.79 This bit of midrash became widespread, included in the fourteenth-century Midrash Gadol collection known mostly from Yemen, and the thirteenth-century western European Yalqut Shimʻoni.80 The clear inference is that David’s instrument, used to praise God (and, in the Talmud, to represent a voice calling David to prayer and study), participated in the tradition of God’s provision for his people. Jewish manuscripts less commonly have author portraits


c h a p t er   4

so we have few images of David harping, but one from thirteenth-century northern France, perhaps created by a Christian artist for this Hebrew manuscript, shows that the image was common to Jews and Christians, or at least known to the former (Figure 4.5). As Sara Offenberg argues, even if the image was created by a Christian, it was done for a Jewish patron or scribe who certainly understood what he or she was asking for and getting.81 The image is part of a series that follows the text of the Pentateuch in this volume; the series includes images of David and Solomon, then illustrations belonging to Genesis and Exodus, and two from the story of Judith, which is not included in the manuscript. David with his harp, along with his son Solomon studying the Torah, stand out of relation to their narratives but in a place of honor accorded to their importance as biblical figures.82 According to Thérèse and Mendel Metzger, the image was made by a different artist from the others in the group, but the figures chosen as a whole represent “messianic hope, providential heroes, those who in the moments of greatest peril have been the instruments of survival of the Jewish people.” The fight against evil is also an important theme, and an illustration later on in the manuscript of David fighting Goliath provides one of several examples.83 Only Aaron, Solomon, and David, however, are individual portraits, and only Solomon and David are abstracted from the narrative rather than connected with a particular Bible verse. The book of Samuel was not included in the miscellany, and these were the two figures from it considered important enough to depict. The presence of David underscores his importance in Jewish history as the king who united the kingdoms and as the founder of the messianic house, but to evoke him outside of his narrative context still meant showing him performing music.

David’s Dancing Playing the harp and composing songs of praise and repentance are not David’s only creative performance. His dancing, while it does not receive as much emphasis in medieval literature, exegesis, and art, because it is not directly related to his composition of the psalms, is also important to the development of his masculine persona. It must be read in light of a distrust within the church of dancing generally, but also of biblical examples of dancing as praise of God.84 The occasion on which David dances is the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 6. As they start out from Baalah in Judah, “David and all the House of Israel danced before the Lord to [the sound of] all kinds of cypress wood [instru-

Figure 4.5. Northern French Miscellany, David playing the harp, British Library, Add. MS 11639, fol. 117v. Caption: “This is David playing the harp.” © The British Library Board.


c h a p t er   4

ments], with lyres, harps, timbrels, sistrums, and cymbals” (2 Sam. 6:5). However, at one point the oxen stumble and one of David’s men reaches out and touches the ark; God strikes him down and he dies. David becomes afraid of what will happen to him if he brings the ark all the way to Jerusalem, so he leaves it for a time with Obed-Edom the Gittite. Seeing that God favors Obed-Edom, David decides it is time to bring the ark to the City of David. As they bring it in, “David whirled with all his might before the Lord; David was girt with a linen ephod” (2 Sam. 6:14).85 When David returns home, his wife Michal, the daughter of Saul, says to him, “Didn’t the king of Israel do himself honor today—exposing himself today in the sight of the slavegirls of his subject, as one of the riffraff might expose himself!” David replies that he “will dance before the Lord and dishonor myself even more, and be low in my own esteem; but among the slavegirls that you speak of I will be honored” (2 Sam. 6:20–22). The text then goes on to tell us that Michal had no children; it does not specifically say that this was God’s punishment for what she said to David (administered perhaps through the medium of David’s withdrawing his affections from her), but the juxtaposition clearly implies this, and the Glossa interprets Michal as a type of “the sterile Synagogue.” Christian exegetes, for example, Gregory as quoted in the Glossa, interpreted David’s nonregal dancing as his humility before God. According to the Glossa, the reference to nakedness did not mean total nudity, but rather not wearing the signs of kingship.86 The biblical text understands Michal’s accusation of David as being humiliated and dishonored as wrong; the implication is that David’s dancing was proper worship. Theodore Jennings Jr. suggests that David was doing an erotic dance, seducing God, and may have been exposing his genitals to the slaves; he says that the language of the Hebrew text evokes satyrs. As he points out, the scene as described in 1 Chronicles 15 does not include Michal’s scolding of David, although she does despise him in her heart; Chronicles describes much more priestly involvement, more of a formal ritual or liturgy, and David wears a linen robe in addition to the ephod.87 In Samuel, Michal seems to be criticizing David for behaving inappropriately for a man of his class, who should be dressed in a more dignified manner.88 One might think that the church fathers might be inclined to agree with her that he behaved frivolously; but they found ways to explain why she was wrong. Medieval writers would also have understood Michal as calling David’s masculinity into question. He is not only dancing in the view of the slaves, she implies; his dancing is something an enslaved woman would do. Exposing oneself

W i t h S ac r ed Mus i c u pon t he H a r p


in dancing is a way of making oneself vulnerable and humble (although it can also be, as in the Vivian Bible, proud and forceful). Female slaves dance before their owner to express that they are at his beck and call; some modern exotic dancers may take pride in their performance as a mode of self-expression, but most of those historically employed or enslaved to perform erotic dances are not there voluntarily, so even when someone does make the choice to participate, it has an element of degradation to it. When David humbles himself before God, Michal thinks of it as a humiliation. The exposing of the genitals (if this is, indeed, how the story is to be interpreted) may be tied to ideas about fertility, Michal’s infertility being the punishment for her rejection of David’s fertility. But the use of this passage in the Middle Ages suggests that fertility was not the primary meaning. Rather, it was about dominance and subordination. Gregory the Great suggests that Michal was quite right about the dance being humbling, but not in a bad way: “ because it was the custom of the common people to dance before the ark, the king turns himself about in the dance, in obedience to God. He, therefore, whom the Lord has especially preferred, places himself beneath the Lord, both by being equal to the least of people and by displaying abjection.” David does not fear being thought vile or low by his people, because it is his humility in relation to God that matters. He performs “vile and extreme” deeds before God, in order to “strengthen through humility what he had performed with strength before men.” Gregory noted that “I am more surprised by David dancing than fighting. For in fighting he subdued his enemies, but by dancing he vanquished himself before God.”89 Gregory presents David as abjected in terms not only of gender but also of social class: he is behaving like a member of the common people. His abjection, however, is deliberate and symbolic. Michal’s complaint about David brings out a fundamental contradiction within medieval understandings of masculinity. Masculinity is very much about the domination of others, as we have seen in Chapter 1; but within a Christian scheme even the powerful are required to be subjected to God. If masculinity universally requires domination and femininity subjection, then no follower of the Lord could be masculine. Such an apparent contradiction should not surprise us. Medieval writers loved playing with reversals such as the high becoming low or the last first. Humility was not an especially or exclusively masculine virtue, but it was very much a virtue, all the more remarkable if displayed by someone of elevated status. If a powerful man humbled himself before God, it could add to his reputation without detracting from his masculinity. Gregory’s formulation, which was widely disseminated throughout the Middle Ages, suggested that


c h a p t er   4

what would be emasculating for a king to do before his fellow men is redeemed by its purpose before God. The aspect that medieval writers emphasized most was not David’s humility, however, but his expressing joy through his dancing. Dancing, like the composition and singing of psalms, was a way to give praise to God, not necessarily by making oneself vulnerable or seductive. As we saw, when David is depicted harping in the Beatus initial, he is sometimes dancing there too, even without the presence of the ark. It was an important part of his mode of worship and expression of joy in God. David’s dance in a Christian context appears in the earliest centuries of Christianity, in a Coptic text, the Dance of the Savior.90 Another well-known example in which he appears dancing before the ark appears in a Byzantine psalter now in the Vatican.91 The relation of dancing to masculinity in the Middle Ages, as in other periods, is problematic, not least because of the wide variety of different types of dance. Dancing always was somewhat suspect to moralists because it ran the risk of arousing lust, although it was a common social practice in both village and court as well as at church.92 As an activity engaged in by men and women together, in groups or with partners, it was closely linked to secular music, but there was dance on religious occasions as well, even in church. While some men might disdain time spent learning or participating in dances as frivolous, as opposed to military activity, it was no worse than music, feasting, or other courtly pursuits.93 Dance performance, that is, dance for the enjoyment of viewers rather than of participants, was more commonly associated with women alone and could be seductive and sinful (in the Bible, the dance of Salome before Herod, when she requests the head of John the Baptist, is an example).94 Although there were certainly church writings that opposed dancing, particularly in secular contexts, the joyous dancing in praise of the Lord was a commonly evoked if not widely imitated part of the Psalms.95 The Beatus initial from the twelfth-century Winchcombe Psalter at Trinity College Dublin provides an example of joyful dancing (Figure 4.6).96 There are two Beatus initials on the page, because the psalms are given in two different versions (Gallicum and Hebraicum). In the first initial, David sits at the center playing the harp, surrounded by other musicians and grotesques. In the second, lowercase b, amid elaborate interlace, a crowned woman looks up and points at an acrobat or dancer, evidently Michal watching David.97 The dancing figure wears a sort of crown, which, however, does not contain the trefoils of the crowns on the other version of David or the woman watching him. This iconography of David seems to be unique in medieval art.98 Laura Cleaver suggests

W i t h S ac r ed Mus i c u pon t he H a r p


Figure 4.6. Winchcombe Psalter, England, 1130–1140, Trinity College Dublin, MS 53, fol. 151r. © Trinity College Dublin.

that the Shaftesbury Psalter (British Library, Lansdowne MS 383 fol. 15v), from around the same date, contains the main themes in the combination of the two initials on this page: the musicians and the grotesques.99 But the Shaftesbury Psalter Beatus initial does not include David dancing. The depiction here of David doing a backbend is significant because it connects him with acrobats or tombeurs, who along with jongleurs and actors were often considered outsiders or abject: as John Baldwin notes, Peter the Chanter at the end of the twelfth century grouped jongleurs “with other dubious trades such as prostitutes, gamblers, magicians, and participants in tournaments.”100 The mere fact of bodily performance made them suspect. But that did not keep medieval people from enjoying their performances, or indeed keep them from gaining recognition


c h a p t er   4

and some measure of collective power or influence.101 Like dance, musical performance could be done in praise of God, and stories of saints and Bible tales formed part of the repertoire. The sense of movement in this David is especially striking. Dancing before the ark (depicted as a reliquary), he resembles medieval images of acrobats, including some of those on Irish stone crosses.102 The purpose of acrobats generally was to entertain, but David’s performance must be seen as having another purpose, that of worship. The story of “Our Lady’s Jongleur,” based on a late twelfth- or early thirteenth-century French poem originally from Picardy, later made famous by Anatole France, likely makes reference to this biblical passage. In Anatole France’s version, a monk who was formerly a jongleur juggles before the statue of the Virgin, since he is uneducated and does not know the liturgical chants. His juggling makes the baby Jesus smile.103 In the French poem, however, he is an acrobat, performing leaps like David’s in the Bible.104 There is only one manuscript in which this story is illustrated, and the jongleur or tombeur is doing a backbend not unlike that of David in the Winchcombe Psalter.105 The ethos of the story is very similar, with the acrobatic activities as an act of worship. Like David, the jongleur is mocked: a monk sees him performing for the Virgin and tattles to the abbot, who, however, realizes that this man is worshipping as he can and that this worship is as acceptable, or more so, than chanting the words he does not know. Dancing as a form of ecstatic prayer also turns up in lives of medieval mystics, for example, Elisabeth of Spalbeek, whose ritualized movements Karen Silen has classified as dance, and who also did backbends.106 Elisabeth’s dance was closely related with the Passion and other events in the life of Christ, and a similar image of an acrobat, possibly female, doing a backbend also appears in the margin of the book of Hosea in the same FrancoFlemish Bible from the late thirteenth century that includes the women harping; it also appears in depictions of Salome dancing before Herod, and Barbara Baert relates the position to later theories of hysteric dancing.107 This does not mean that any such dancing or acrobatics would be seen as holy. When Bernard of Clairvaux in the twelfth century compares himself to a tumbler or acrobat walking on his hands, he does so in the sense of an inversion, a worshipful humility akin to that of being a holy fool.108 Bernard makes a direct reference to the story of David: “A good game, which annoys Michal and pleases God.”109 He speaks of the delight that such a performance can give but is careful to separate it from the normal performance of a jongleur, which is dissolute and done to provoke lust. This would have been a fairly standard churchman’s attitude; Bernard also presents it as a form of self-defense, comparing

W i t h S ac r ed Mus i c u pon t he H a r p


himself, mocked as a jongleur by his contemporaries, to David, mocked by Michal for his dancing.110 Paul Bretel suggests that the Jongleur of Notre Dame represents a Dionysian approach to Christianity, incorporating “play, festivity, jubilation.”111 Other Christian texts also connected David with such acrobatics, dance, or performance, for example, an eleventh-century German psalter where the image of David playing the harp and surrounded by his four musicians was annotated “David became a performer for the sake of religion.”112 Like Bernard comparing himself to a jongleur, he inverts his high position. Michael Camille relates this letter of St. Bernard to a capital from the monastery of La Daurade in Toulouse, which depicts the Transfiguration (Matthew 17), with “ludic activities” around the top: wrestling, board games, music, and acrobatics. Camille is not quite certain that this is Bernard’s type of inversion: rather, he suggests it is “playing on the juxtaposition of the sacred drama with its worldly counterpart above, reversing our expectations of the sacred being ‘higher’ than the secular.”113 David’s joyous dancing may be a model for monastic devotion, and it is possible that representations of acrobats elsewhere, including capitals in monastic cloisters, may be references to David.114 Given this connection between David and “acrobat” capitals, it is possible to speculate that the capital from Notre-Dame-de-la-Grande-Sauve now in the Cloisters identified by the Metropolitan Museum of Art as two acrobats and described on the museum’s website as among the “mischievous, and sometimes mystifying, motifs,” but identified by John Boswell as two men having sex, may be a monastic allusion to David and Jonathan.115 Dancing and jubilation in worship were found at other junctures in the Christian Middle Ages. In the thirteenth century, the Cantigas de Santa Maria, collected and partially composed by Alfonso X of Castile, used singing and dancing as “a supreme expression of thanksgiving, of joy and exultation in the worship of God in the Old Testament and, more specifically, in the Book of Psalms.” Alfonso aspired to be a new King David, successful in war and a great poet as well, although his poems focused specifically on the Virgin Mary. They drew heavily on the Psalms, however, and included miracles, praise of God, and an emphasis on the chosen people combating their (and God’s) enemies. Singing and dancing were important elements of that praise, and indeed the Cantigas may have been written to be performed by jongleurs.116 Joseph Snow points out how the praise of God in Psalm 150:3–5 is echoed in the refrain of Cantiga 409: “May the Crowned Virgin who is our hope be praised by us with singing


c h a p t er   4

and dancing.”117 Snow suggests that the references to singing and dancing here and in other cantigas reflected courtly entertainments but also attempted to extend this sort of religious jubilation more universally. Illustrations in one of the Cantigas manuscripts indicate that the author or artist envisioned the use of the same instruments that were used to praise God in the psalms.118 In the later Middle Ages, Walter Salmen has identified a topos of Jesus as performer, playing a tambour and a vielle.119 In images from the fourteenthand fifteenth-century German lands, he performs for a woman, either a saint or the “loving soul” (minnende Seele). The iconography aligns with the bridal imagery of the text. The bodily movements Christ appears to be making with the tambour suggest dancing; in some images, he leads a round dance.120 There may be an element of inversion and humility here, as in Bernard’s identification with a jongleur (although leading the round dance is different from a dance done for the entertainment of a watching audience), but it combines with Christ’s assumption of the masculine role, performing music as part of wooing a woman.121 When David dances in medieval illustration, it is not for a woman but for God. The Jewish tradition also emphasized David’s dancing as honoring God, as, for example, in the Shmuel-bukh: King David was not wearing much clothing; the worthy man was dancing in a linen girdle. The lord of the land made many a fine leap before the holy ark in honor of God, blessed be He. . . . . . . He was not well received by Queen Michal. She said: “King David, you may well be a dissolute youth: for dancing and leaping you clothe your body like any other dissolute youth courting wicked women.”122 The Yiddish text does not interpret David as being feminized by the dancing; rather than being like the non-elite women, Michal accuses him of showing off for them. The text imagines her seeing him as hypermasculine in the sense of sexually aggressive; but she is wrong because he is performing not for women but for God. This text once again draws on midrash, where David emphasizes to Michal that God’s honor is more important than his personal honor.123 The idea of exultation in worship, along with the implication of feminization of the worshipper in relation to God, appears in Judaism especially among Kabbalists, in that branch known to scholars as “ecstatic” as opposed to theosophic and represented by scholars such as Abraham Abulafia (1240–after 1291),

W i t h S ac r ed Mus i c u pon t he H a r p


who sought to reach the divine through mystical union. Religious ecstasy could be considered as sexual or closely related to the sexual, because human reproduction can be considered an imitation of the divine work of creation.124 David was particularly identified with the sefirah of Malkhut, which is a feminine noun and played a feminine role in pairings among the sefirot. Elliot Wolfson suggests that this does not mean that David is feminized; rather, it is the Shekhinah, the divine presence, understood as the divine feminine, which is masculinized.125 Jay Michaelson suggests that “we find the leading male poet of God playing the female role in erotically unifying with the masculine Godhead. In fact, since it is generally understood that all of Israel stands in relationship to God just as David does, all of (male) Israel also stands before God as a woman, and yet also takes the part of God as a women [sic], praising God’s masculine nature, and seeking to unify with God by embodying the Divine feminine in order to erotically arouse the masculine potency.”126 Although the men who achieved union with the divine in this way also played the masculine role in sexual union with their wives that signified the divine union, their relationship with God was such that they were cast in many ways as feminine. Even if their spiritual achievements contributed to their masculine status, the language reflects this feminization. It is not at all clear, however, that this fluidity in language corresponded to a reconfiguration of social relations; it all depends on how metaphorical we consider the erotic relationship with the divine and its gender implications to have been.127 In Elliot Wolfson’s words, the Kabbalah offers “no mechanism by which gender difference in the historical arena is to be transcended.”128 David’s ecstatic dancing could place him in the position of a woman in relation to God without detracting from his masculinity as king in relation to other men. David is a performer in the Butlerian sense, performing gender, as well as a performing artist. But the gender he performs through his harping and dance contains aspects of the feminine as well as masculine. Globally speaking, dance has been used or interpreted as a means of seduction of the divinity in order to harness its power.129 It can also be used to promote fertility through encouraging procreative sex, but that does not appear to be what is going on here. Nor is it at all clear that medieval people, Christian or Jewish, understood David as trying to seduce or persuade God to anything in particular. Rather, David seems to have been celebrating, praising, expressing joy, a function that is expressed in the Bible itself especially through women: Miriam and her women singing after the Israelites cross the Red Sea, or the women of Jerusalem praising David himself after the battle with Goliath.


c h a p t er   4

David’s musical and dance performance was part of his prophetic status. Although the biblical prophets were all men, the way prophecy was gendered was complicated: biblical authorship and composition were limited to men, but hardly all men could aspire to them. David is not just a mouthpiece for God; he is also a character in a particular relationship to God. If we understand any dependence and subordination as feminizing, David is feminized. But a medieval man who was a good follower—loyal, brave, wise in giving advice—could be more masculine than a king who was not a good leader. David’s music making is not feminizing because it is the composition of prayer; David’s dancing is arguably not feminizing because it is prayer and because God punishes the woman who claims that it is. But this punishment required explanation for medieval people, an indication that they might not agree.

chapter 5

O My Son Absalom: Establishing a Dynasty

A crucial part of masculinity in the Middle Ages was the fathering of children. This remains so even today, where male anxiety over infertility is still often tied up with ideas about virility. A contemporary stereotype is that men are eager to have sons; women who have only daughters will be asked if they are planning to have a boy for their husbands, despite the fact that today daughters can inherit their fathers’ property or business enterprises equally with their brothers. In the Middle Ages, inheritance practices varied by region and legal system. Both sons and daughters inherited, although many systems favored males to varying degrees over females, sometimes even at the expense of moving titles in particular out of the direct line. The status of households could be far more dependent on the place of the family within the community over generations than on the achievements of one individual in one generation, and there could therefore be concern about passing on a name or house. Under these circumstances many men considered it crucial to father sons, especially nobles and kings, whose power rested on a military basis and might be difficult for a woman to maintain even if she could inherit the property. The presence or absence of a son could lead to civil war or the breakup of an empire. Having children, especially sons, of course, was not just about the practicalities of succession. It could also be about demonstrating virility and dominance, even if those children were not in a legal position to inherit. The grudging admiration for elite men’s extramarital sexual exploits discussed in Chapter 3 extended to the fathering of children: in an era with no effective birth control, sexual activity and the begetting of children were inseparable, and it is impossible to say which was primary. Men’s support of their illegitimate children, although it came by the late modern era to be done out of a sense of moral obligation and a wish not to see one’s own biological children suffer, was also done in the


c h a p t er  5

Middle Ages to enhance the social prestige of the father and provide individuals who would support their more privileged half siblings without being a threat to them or who could inherit if no appropriate siblings born in wedlock were available. Elite women in the Middle Ages were sometimes expected to welcome their husbands’ illegitimate children into their homes, and this seems to have happened not infrequently without causing a marital breach. Yet for men of royalty or nobility having sons born in wedlock was not without its problems. An heir could be overly eager to acquire his inheritance while his father still lived. In situations of primogeniture jealousy could develop between the heir and other siblings, and in situations of partible inheritance too there could be major rivalries.1 Bastards might not settle into a role of supporting their luckier siblings as readily as hoped.2 These patterns recur in the history of medieval Europe and indeed just about every place where power is passed on through families and, of course, are major themes in literature in every culture. The story of King David as retold in the Middle Ages provides several superb examples. Having children is not just a question of who will inherit one’s wealth or position in the next generation. In the Middle Ages the concept of the “house,” a set of people defined by their relationship to a common ancestor, was important. In history books that are periodized by dynasty, membership of a house is generally seen as passed through the male line, and a house comes to an end when there is no son left to carry on the name. There were many exceptions to this, both societies where lineage could be understood with relation to the mother as well as the father and individuals who because of circumstances particu lar to their context had an identity derived more from their mother’s ancestry than their father’s.3 A dowry system meant that wealth came from the mother’s family even if membership of a lineage did not. Of course, lineage as well as social capital could be, and often was, passed on from both sides of the family; this is one reason why even poorly dowered daughters of major families could be sought as marriage prizes. In medieval Jewish society, perhaps precisely because of the lack of involvement in the larger-scale political and military power struggles that concerned the majority societies, family connections from both sides of the family were extraordinarily important, even though women themselves may not always have been. The figure of King David can illustrate all these issues, but another aspect of his fatherhood is unique to him within medieval culture. David and his house were understood in both Jewish and Christian traditions as the subject of prophecy, particularly that of Isaiah. A variety of Jewish traditions about the Messiah,

O M y Son A b sa lo m


or Anointed One, held that he (or one of several) would be from the house of David, or perhaps David himself come again. The Christian Gospels explicitly placed Jesus in this tradition, emphasizing his descent from David as well as his fulfillment of messianic prophecy. Thus, the standard understanding of a man at the apex of a family tree as a virile progenitor who establishes an enduring line was developed for David in a unique way.

David’s Ancestry David himself was in a somewhat peculiar position for a king. Given the importance that genealogy had in the Middle Ages, explaining Samuel’s (and God’s) choice of David as the one to be anointed as king after Saul’s failures raises the question of what work this piece of the narrative did. David was not chosen because of any relationship to Saul; he was a new king from a new bloodline. There were efforts in the Middle Ages to make the house of Jesse into a noble house, from which it would be logical to seek a king: for example, the Middle English Metrical Paraphrase calls Jesse gentyll, “noble.”4 In the Mistère du Viel Testament Jesse tells his older sons to take their place in the nobility, while David must tend the sheep.5 The Bible offers no reason for God’s choice of one of Jesse’s sons to be king, nor did most commentators think it necessary to invent one. God chooses whom he chooses. God’s choice of a man from a family other than Saul’s might not be seen as that striking today. After all, in the biblical story there was no tradition of kingship: Saul is the first king of the Israelites and only because the people asked God for one, and the hereditary principle was not yet established (Deuteronomy 17:20 refers to a hypothetical future king whose descendants will rule after him, but this is conditional on his obedience to God), so it is not so surprising perhaps that God chooses a new dynasty.6 Although the hereditary principle was very important in the Middle Ages, so was that of anointing, a ritual that medieval kingdoms adapted from the Hebrew Bible.7 The church was eager to use the book of Samuel to make the point that the validity of a king depended on his anointing by a priest, who transmitted the choice of God. Thus the choice of Saul initially, and of David after, could be understood not as meritocratic but as empowering the church hierarchy. However, this did not always mean empowering the papacy; when a monarch like Philip the Fair was in dispute with the pope, his anointing could be seen as having come directly at God’s command, rather than via the church hierarchy. William of Ockham (ca. 1287–1347) made


c h a p t er  5

this point: “For Samuel was not a high priest, but only a levite. And Samuel did not anoint Saul or David king by the authority of some office he had, but only by God’s command, and in this way any peasant can anoint as king anyone whatever.”8 While it was possible to explain why the Bible depicted God choosing a new king from a different line when the first king had failed to obey him, this passage from Ockam suggests another aspect of the biblical text that may have been more difficult for medieval people to accept. For Christians, the fact that David was a shepherd plucked from the field became an example of the will of God being able to reverse what might be seen as natural hierarchies. As discussed in Chapter 2, David’s humble shepherd status made his friendship with Jonathan remarkable, let alone his kingship. Where the Vulgate has God explain to Samuel that Jesse’s eldest son Eliab is not the chosen one by saying “a man sees those things which are visible, but God sees into the heart,” the Historia scholastica, on which so many medieval Christian recountings of the story came to be based, has him say, “I do not bring about the highest honor of kingship based on the beauty of the body, but the virtue of the soul.”9 The word virtus here can refer to moral virtue, but also to strength or power. The rabbis had a different answer to the problem of why David was out in the field when Samuel came to Jesse’s house with instructions from God to anoint one of his sons, and also as to why the Bible describes David as admoni (red). The Vulgate makes this rubicundus, or ruddy, but the Hebrew word can also mean red-headed. The same term was also used of Esau, the older son of the patriarch Isaac, and may be (via imaginative etymology) the reason Esau is said to have been the ancestor of the Edomites, a people living to the south of Judea. In a biblical context, it might not be so surprising that one of the sons of an important family should be put to mind the sheep; while there were slaves to do such work, this pastoral society was on a relatively small scale and we should expect most people to have had a familiarity with animals. By the Middle Ages, however, this was not so much the case, and in a more urbanized society it was necessary to explain why someone from a distinguished family was a shepherd (a different point from the Christian authors discussed in Chapter 2 who stressed David’s low birth to emphasize Jonathan’s generosity). A midrashic collection, the Yalqut ha-Makhiri, provides a back story to David’s work assignment. According to this midrash, Jesse abstained from sex with his (here unnamed) wife for three years. He then wished to have sex with one of his enslaved women. She, weeping, went to her mistress and told her what Jesse wanted. The two concocted a plan so that Jesse would come to the

O M y Son A b sa lo m


enslaved woman, but she would slip out after she extinguished the light and Jesse’s wife would slip in. Jesse’s wife thus had sex with him, unbeknownst to him, and became pregnant. When she had a child nine months later, Jesse’s older sons wanted to kill her and the baby boy, who was ruddy. Jesse, however, prevented this, decreeing instead that the ruddy boy would be made to work as a shepherd (in the Torat ha-Minḥah version of Ya‘acov b. Hananel Sikili [thirteenth–fourteenth centuries], explicitly as a slave). This explains his absence when Samuel arrives; after God rejects Jesse’s other sons, Samuel has to ask Jesse whether he has any other sons besides those present and have David called from the field. The story of David’s selection by Samuel appears elsewhere in Jewish commentary in the context of Psalm 118, particularly verse 22, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” Part of the point is to emphasize that an outsider, if chosen by God, can become the king. The midrash thus works well as an explanation of why David was of lower status than his brothers and why that was not a bad thing. It raises a number of other questions related to David’s ancestry, however. Why did Jesse want to have sex with this woman—was it just a matter of desire? He tells her, “Prepare yourself for tonight and come to me and you will be freed.”10 A much later (eighteenth-century) interpreter explained that Jesse was concerned because a Moabite man was not allowed to marry an Israelite woman. As a descendant of Ruth and Boaz, he worried that he counted as a Moabite and therefore his marriage was not valid and his sons were outside the Jewish community. However, a Moabite could marry an Israelite freedwoman; thus his previous children might not be technically Israelites but a son that he had with this formerly enslaved woman would.11 There is no known indication that this explanation was in circulation in the Middle Ages. We must also wonder why the enslaved woman reacts so strongly to Jesse’s request, asking her mistress to deliver herself (the mistress), her (the speaker’s) soul, and her master from hell. Men with plural wives and concubines were entirely common in the books of Samuel and elsewhere in the Bible. The midrash, in fact, adduces the example of Leah and Rachel, both wives of Jacob, in recounting disagreement about whether David should be considered the son of the beloved or the hated wife. In this midrash Jesse is described as having sixty sons, where in the Bible he has eight. Even given biblical lifespans, it is hardly plausible that one wife would have been the mother of all sixty, although it is “her sons” who are said to want to kill her when she gives birth to David. The enslaved woman’s reaction can be seen as a plot device to have Jesse end up with his wife


c h a p t er  5

and perhaps also a medieval reflex toward a male marital fidelity not found in the Bible but more common in the Middle Ages.12 The other question raised is whether Jesse believed David to be his son. His sons apparently did not, as they wanted to kill their mother, presumably on the grounds that she had committed adultery, and perhaps also out of a wish not to have another competitor for the inheritance. Whether or not they knew that Jesse had not had sex with her for three years, the fact that she gave birth to a ruddy child suggested a different father. The midrash explains that David was ruddy because Jesse loved the enslaved woman; Louis Ginzberg takes this to mean it was because of Jesse’s great passion, but Charlotte Fonrobert argues that it had to do with medieval Jewish (and, I would add, Christian) embryological theory. Jesse was thinking of the enslaved woman when he had sex with his wife, and the child was born resembling neither himself nor his wife, but presumably the woman Jesse was thinking of.13 Although David did not resemble his father, there is a hint in the story that Jesse knew what had happened, because he did not treat his wife as an adulteress nor David as a mamzer (bastard; see Chapter 1), merely as a less privileged son. He was treated as a slave and sent to herd the sheep, but Ginzberg suggests this was a compromise between Jesse and his older sons.14 Marianna Klar suggests that David’s physical difference as it appears in al-Thaʿlabī’s Arabic account, although it is of size rather than complexion, may be rooted in the same tradition as the midrash that suggests David’s illegitimacy, although here Jesse specifically sends David away because he is embarrassed at David’s small stature.15 Unfortunately, we do not know the date of the midrash included in the Yalqut ha-Makhiri. The collection comes from sometime from the twelfth to the fourteenth century, and was compiled in Spain or Provence, but we know nothing about the author except his name, Makhir b. Abba Mari.16 The story, of course, may be much older than the collection. Makhir attributes many of his stories to particular sources, but not this one. What seems clear is that the story comes from a context in which the fact that a future king was working as a shepherd required some explanation. Twelfth- to fourteenth-century Provence would be one such place; although there were certainly shepherds, they would most likely not be Jews. Avraham Grossman suggests, however, that the midrash shows linguistic signs of originating in Babylon in the seventh or eighth century CE, based on a debate that raged at the time within the Jewish community over the status of the exilarch Bustanai’s sons with his Persian wife, who had not converted. A story that involved the misguided questioning of the legitimacy of a figure such as David would then be a clear argument in favor of those sons. Gross-

O M y Son A b sa lo m


man identifies another version dating from the fourteenth century that he thinks must go back to the same source: in the Torat ha-Minḥah.17 The purpose of the story would be, then, to point out similarities between David, wrongly believed to be of slave status, and the contemporary political situation, and the midrash cannot be taken as a reflection of medieval conditions.18 Nevertheless the fact that it survived and was eventually included in this collection indicates that it spoke to people. The reason why I have spent so much time on one unique midrash is the way it points to the importance of David’s female ancestry. It is perhaps dubious whether David is Jesse’s son; but perhaps he is Jesse’s son and it is dubious whether his mother is Jesse’s wife or a slave. Moreover—and especially if Azulai’s interpretation in the eighteenth century reflects the way the story was understood earlier—Jesse’s concern in the whole affair is related to the idea that his female ancestor was a Moabite, Ruth. The story of Ruth in the Bible is particularly important because it establishes the ancestry of David, and, in fact, in the Vulgate version of the Bible the book of Ruth immediately precedes Samuel. The book of Ruth contains a scene of seduction; Ruth must persuade Boaz to marry her. The story of the ancestor of the Moabites also contains such a scene: Moab, the eponymous founder of the nation, was the son of one of Lot’s daughters, who made him drunk and had sex with him in order to replenish the world after the flood. The tricking of Jesse by his wife fits into this theme of seduction.19 In each case it is two women working together to trick the man. But although Ruth and Naomi are named, Lot’s daughters and Jesse’s wife and slave are not. They exist to make sure that the messianic line is established. In a rabbinic world with little room for women’s participation, Charlotte Fonrobert writes, “the reproductive powers of women in this sphere ultimately interfere with the fantasy of the ideal world without women. This tension gives birth to the narrative motif of the women who can lay claim to their reproductive power only through tricksterism, camouflage and seduction.”20 The importance of female ancestry will also emerge in the messianic traditions discussed below, in both Judaism and Christianity. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was not a trickster, but the genealogy in the book of Matthew that traced Jesus’s ancestry from David via Joseph was a problem to Christians, who, as discussed below, had to explain why Mary, the only human parent of God, was not listed. The inclusion of female ancestry for David is relatively unusual, although it is not unknown in other medieval contexts. The fact that his female ancestor has her own book of the Bible that traces how she came from Moab and married into the Judahite line emphasizes the divine providence in David’s selection. In


c h a p t er  5

Christian interpretation Ruth is important for the same reason David was: as an ancestor of Jesus. But David’s descent from Judah, through the male line, was also important to medieval Jews. In Sefer Hasidim the delay in David’s ascension to the throne until he was thirty is connected to his ancestor Judah’s failure to marry until he was thirty. As will be discussed below, it is the king’s (or tribal leader’s) responsibility to marry and beget children. David was punished not for his own failure but for that of an ancestor.21 Kabbalistic texts also stressed the importance of descent in the male line. As Charles Mopsik notes, an unfaithful or promiscuous woman was a very common symbol for the people of Israel turning away from God, because fidelity guaranteed paternity: “this fidelity assures the truth of carnal filiation, that is, the bond with the fathers and mothers who first bore the consecrated seed. Thus, the engendered and engendering body becomes the vector of the divine image. The body is the multiplier of this image as long as . . . he can be recognized as the child of a man who was his mother’s husband.”22 Because of the importance of the seed it is the male line that carries the image of God. Despite his illustrious ancestress Ruth, it is David’s male ancestors who count the most, just as he is the one who counts for his sons. The Midrash on Psalms (Midrash Tehillim) recounts that David was one of thirteen biblical figures who were born circumcised.23 As he is not the only one this need be taken as no more than a sign of his status as a prophet. However, it also underscores his membership of the Jewish community, which his Moabite ancestry might be thought to have brought into question (although halakhically the children of a Moabite female convert are Jewish). His membership of the community is not a matter of choice but is written on his very body. It is worth remembering the obvious fact that only men have their membership in the community marked by a physical alteration to their bodies. The symbolism of circumcision appears later in David’s life, as we have seen, when he had to provide a hundred Philistine foreskins in order to marry Michal; it was the very male part that marked them as non-Israelite, and the mutilation of their bodies in what could be construed as a sexual way was part of David’s task.

David’s Children Although David’s female ancestors are important, this cannot be said for his female descendants. The Bible names nineteen sons of David and mentions two additional unnamed ones. Only one daughter is named; there is no mention of marriage diplomacy involving alliances via his daughters. And the one daughter

O M y Son A b sa lo m


who is mentioned, Tamar, reveals poignantly that daughters do not matter in this story. Tamar is raped by her half brother Amnon. The rabbis make a case that she was not forbidden to him halakhically because she was born when her mother was a slave (BT Sanhedrin 21a), although her full brother Absalom was born after her mother was officially married to David. Indeed, the Shmuel-bukh says that Tamar’s mother was pregnant with her when David took her as wife and that she was not David’s daughter.24 But the rabbis do not deny that it was rape. The relationship between the two is used in Avot to contrast with the pure love of David and Jonathan (see Chapter 2), but it is only Amnon’s love for Tamar; Tamar’s feelings of revulsion are completely unconsidered by everyone involved. Absalom is angry about the rape (as her brother, he now has to support her instead of marrying her off), but the Bible does not mention his reaction to the shame she is said to feel. Absalom asks her to keep the matter quiet because Amnon is her brother. But where the Bible says “keep quiet now” or “for now,” and the Vulgate translation includes this, leaving open the possibility that the time will come when the matter will be taken up (as it eventually is), the Historia scholastica, for example, says only “keep quiet,” not even hinting that Absalom will at some time avenge her.25 Absalom eventually kills Amnon, causing a breach in the family, but David becomes reconciled with it. In no retelling do we see much elaboration on what 2 Samuel 13:21 has to say about David’s reaction to his daughter’s rape: “he was greatly upset” but takes no action.26 It is, of course, David who has sent Tamar to Amnon, but he is rarely shown as taking responsibility for it. In the Lille play of the Rape of Tamar, he does lament after he is informed of what has happened, by way of feeling sorry for himself: “Behold piteous fate. I ought to leave my kingdom and abandon body and soul like the most wretched of the world. . . . I pray that God confound me and deprive me of all joy, because so much evil falls on me that I will never be able to bear more.”27 David also prevents Absalom and other brothers from killing Amnon. In general, the main shadow the rape casts over the narrative is the strife between the brothers over it. When Absalom invites his brothers to a feast and kills Amnon, David first hears erroneously that all his sons are dead and grieves greatly, rending his clothing, until he finds out the truth (another detail omitted by the Historia scholastica as well as other Christian retellings).28 Absalom flees, but David is persuaded to welcome his return. David’s relationship with his sons emerges as a focus of the narrative at two further points. One is when Absalom tries to take the kingship from him; the other is at the time of his death, when he appoints Solomon as his successor. I focus here on the story of Absalom because of the way the son challenging the


c h a p t er  5

father is a staple of kingship narratives, both historical and fictional (not that a line can always be drawn between these two types). The notion of a father fighting against his rebel son for the kingdom, yet still loving him and weeping for him even when he dies an enemy, is a powerful one, used, for example, by contemporary chroniclers in relation to Henry II of England and his son the Young King.29 Helmold von Bosau’s Chronicle of the Slavs did not specifically name Absalom but alluded to the story in its account of Emperor Henry IV’s conflict with his son Henry V.30 The allusion to David is likely to be made only where the author’s main sympathies lie with the father rather than the son. A theme similar to the Absalom story appears in one common story in medieval literature, that of Mordred and his rebellion against Arthur. There are, of course, significant differences. Absalom’s mother Maccah was of high birth and one of David’s wives, whereas Mordred’s mother was Arthur’s sister (in early versions Mordred is Arthur’s nephew, not his son, and only later does he become an incestuously conceived bastard). In the earliest version of this story, the twelfth-century History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth and presumably the Welsh versions on which it relies, Mordred takes Arthur’s throne and Guinevere along with it.31 This parallels the situation in David’s story where Absalom takes his father’s concubines (just as David had taken Saul’s); the point is to claim the previous king’s control over his woman or women. However, the Anglo-Norman Brut by Wace, which relies heavily on Geoffrey of Monmouth, adds a passage making Mordred’s love for Guinevere a cause of his rebellion.32 No medieval version of Absalom romanticized the story by making him rebel against his father for love of one of his father’s concubines. The taking of women remained a story about masculine power with the women as collateral damage.33 The prelude to Absalom’s rebellion begins with Absalom’s dangerous suggestion that David is not able to do justice for his people. David is at first unaware of Absalom’s disruption, because Absalom is intercepting complainants and telling them that the king has not appointed anyone to hear their case and if he were judge he would do better (2 Sam. 15:2–6). Without directly accusing the king of anything, he manages to insinuate that a young man such as himself would provide a more vigorous justice. This incident receives little comment in medieval learned commentaries either in Latin or Hebrew, but vernacular retellings add a bit of indication as to how medieval people understood the incident. Nicholas of Lyra and Denis the Carthusian following him are among the Christian exegetes who do explain, saying that Absalom meant that David had not appointed anyone to hear the cases because was burdened with old age.34 In the Shmuel-bukh Absalom says to the people not that David has not appointed any-

O M y Son A b sa lo m


one to hear the case, but that the king is so busy that he has no time to hear it. Absalom tells each litigant that he is in the right (presumably, on a first come, first served basis) and actually provides a judgment for them, which goes beyond what the Bible mentions that he did. He claims that David has appointed him to judge both women and men. This gendered division plays no part in the narrative and must be taken as a way of saying “everyone.” The text emphasizes the success of Absalom’s deception; everyone thought that David had appointed him as the judge, and “in this way Absalom at once stole the heart of Israel.”35 The notion of competitive masculinity appears here; the people of Israel are like a woman who can be stolen from another man, in a prelude to what Absalom will do with David’s concubines in order to prove he has taken the kingdom. Challenging one’s judgment is equivalent to challenging one’s sexual and political dominance. Sefer Ḥasidim understands the whole sequence of events as following from David’s transgression. It compares a rabbi who took the blame on himself for someone else’s action to David allowing Shimei to hurl abuse at him, blaming his own sin for Amnon’s rape of Tamar and Absalom’s taking (certainly rape by modern standards) of his father’s concubines.36 Rabbinic sources place great emphasis on David’s love for Absalom despite his rebellion. David is happy that the rebel is his legitimate son and not a slave or bastard, because a legitimate son can be expected to be more merciful (BT Berakhot 7b). In the moving scene when he learns of Absalom’s death, he repeats “O my son!” and the Talmud (BT Sotah 10b) explains that he does so eight times to get Absalom out of Gehenna and give him a share in the world to come.37 Sefer Ḥasidim suggests that David’s love for Absalom was inappropriate and that David was responsible for the rebellion: “He reached out to Absalom, and look how many people were killed on account of him.”38 Absalom dies when David’s general Joab disobeys David’s command to spare him and runs him through with a spear. What allows him to do so is that Absalom is hanging helplessly by his hair from a tree where his long hair has gotten caught. As with many biblical details, the long hair cried out to the rabbis for explanation. They suggest that Absalom was a Nazirite, someone who had taken a special vow not to cut his hair, although the vow did not necessarily imply to them any comment on his virtues.39 Whereas for Jewish interpretation Absalom’s rebellion represented the fulfillment of Nathan’s warnings to David at the time of the Bathsheba/Uriah affair, at least some Christians imagined that Absalom himself gave the warning. A tenth-century Irish tale, one of a number of Bible story retellings clustered together in one manuscript, makes Absalom rather than Joab the general who, following David’s order, sends Uriah to his death. Absalom rather than Nathan


c h a p t er  5

is also the one who tells the parable of the poor man with one ewe lamb and who scolds David. As Elizabeth Boyle writes, the story has been altered “to focus on the familial relations between David, the son of Jesse, and his own sons, Absalom and Solomon.”40 The story serves to explain the origin of Psalm 50 (51), which the heading says David wrote as his repentance, but it also provides a reason for Absalom’s rebellion against David other than the possible level of mistrust that obtained since Absalom’s killing of his half brother Amnon.41 David becomes angry at being scolded by Absalom and attempts to kill him, although he soon repents of it. The story seems to leave open the possibility of reading Absalom as the virtuous son, unjustly attacked by his father, with a reason to rebel, as well as reading him as an insubordinate and ambitious son who criticizes his father, setting himself up as more virtuous, and suffers for it. In another tale in the same collection, Absalom orders that David be killed if found, whereas David (as in the Bible) commands that Absalom’s life be spared. In this telling Absalom is killed not by a man who sees himself as defending David, even against the latter’s command, but rather by a soldier who has been a companion of Uriah, specifically as a means of revenge against David. “It is vengeance for my colleague whom you killed in order to acquire his wife.”42 Absalom has in this version been complicit in the death of Uriah, although against his will, and it may be that this is a punishment against him too, but the soldier blames David. This makes the killing of Uriah, rather than the sexual transgression with Bathsheba leading inexorably to Amnon’s sexual transgression with Tamar, the motor of the downward cycle of David’s later years. For Christians, too, Absalom getting caught in the tree is the key moment of the story as depicted in art: for example, the Eadwine Psalter from around 1155 to 1160, made at Christ Church Canterbury.43 Psalm 3, which this image illustrated, says in its headnote that it was written when David was fleeing from Absalom, and this illustrator, although following the illustration of the Utrecht Psalter for the most part, has added this scene.44 Absalom was interpreted in twelfth-century commentary as a type of Judas, who hanged himself; he betrays his father David as Judas betrayed Christ.45 The Bible of Stephen Harding gives a great deal of attention to the Absalom story, devoting four images to it; Yolanta Zaluska suggests that the prominence given to this part of the biblical narrative may be due to Cistercian emphasis on the importance of pardon as opposed to war (David does not want his son killed) or Cistercian interest in desert settings.46 The La Charité Psalter, from northern France in the last quarter of the twelfth century, does not show Absalom’s death. Instead, in the initial capital for the Psalm 142/143, one of the seven penitential psalms, in which the psalm-

O M y Son A b sa lo m


Figure 5.1. La Charité Psalter, northern France, second half of twelfth century, British Library, Harley 2895, fol. 81v. © The British Library Board.

ist cries out to God for support when he is pursued by his enemy, David flees from Absalom (Figure 5.1). He holds up his robe as he flees, exposing his legs. The gesture is perhaps practical, as it can be hard to run in a long gown, and thus meant to indicate rapid flight. But it also shows David making himself vulnerable through his exposed flesh, a pitiable figure although crowned. A man attacked, but particularly by his son, has his masculinity seriously threatened. Absalom hanging helpless in a tree so that Joab is able easily to spear him does not create an image of masculine dominance for David. It is Joab and not David who does the killing; David has ordered him not to, which creates an


c h a p t er  5

image of the father as merciful but perhaps also weak. David has difficulty leading an army against Absalom, perhaps because he himself has not been leading an army for a while, leaving that work to Joab.47 He mourns for Absalom even though the latter led a rebellion against him, his paternal love triumphing over his royal vengeance. However, David’s leniency toward Absalom is not always taken as unmasculine weakness; medieval sources can also cast it as appropriate fatherly behavior. In the Mishle Sendabar, a (probably) twelfth-century Hebrew version of a collection of stories that became popular in both Middle Eastern and European medieval cultures as the Seven Sages tradition, the frame story is about a prince who is accused of attempted rape by his stepmother and is to be put to death. The stepmother and the king’s advisers tell competing stories in order to persuade the king to act as they wish. The stepmother (the eventual villain of the piece) suggests that David should have been harsher. If David had put Amnon to death for raping Tamar, then Absalom would not have killed him or rebelled. It was David’s lenience that led Amnon to rape Tamar in the first place: “And his father would not have seen all the misfortune he was to suffer except that he did not wish to vex him. But because his father never vexed him by saying to him, ‘Why do you act so?’ therefore, his heart urged him to do this wanton deed with Tamar his sister.” The counselors, on the other hand, praise David’s mercy with his sons. “And how could your wife cite David, King of Israel, as an example? Had he not more sons than you and yet did he not forgive their sins?” He also commanded his forces not to kill Absalom, and mourned for him, all this despite the fact that Absalom was clearly evil, whereas (so the advisers claimed) the king’s son in the frame story was innocent. Mercy to one’s sons was especially appropriate for a king who needed to establish a dynasty; it was more remarkable for David who had many sons to succeed him.48 The Mishle Sendabar was widely influential on the spread of these stories into Latin and European vernaculars, in a wide variety of versions, but without reference to David and Absalom.49 But David’s love for Absalom could still be cited as a prime example of fatherly love: when Louis the Pious’s son Lothar, who had refused to obey his father, became ill in an epidemic in Italy in 836, his biographer compared him to David, who deeply mourned Absalom’s death despite the latter’s many offenses.50 David’s son rebelling against him is, of course, a primary exemplum of dynastic strife that medieval people could draw on. It is the earliest such biblical example, because David was the first king whose son was even in a position to succeed him. David himself, in fact, had kept Jonathan from being in that position, and he had quickly defeated Saul’s other sons. The fact that the rebel against David is not trying to establish a new house, as David did, but is trying to take

O M y Son A b sa lo m


leadership of the existing ruling house is an indication that David represents not only the establishment of an important dynasty but the establishment of the whole idea of dynasty. Absalom is likely David’s oldest living son at the time of the rebellion; he has killed Amnon, the oldest, and the second, Chileab, is not mentioned. David became king after a man to whom he was not related; it was his singling out by the prophet Samuel, under God’s inspiration, that made him monarchical. There is no such prophecy in favor of Absalom. His claim is hereditary, and medieval texts took note not explicitly but simply by assuming that sons succeeding fathers was the usual process. Medieval Christian exegesis, however, tended to be negative toward Absalom. Like Uriah, he is defeated in battle and therefore needs to represent someone who is defeated. According to the Glossa ordinaria, Absalom taking his father’s concubines represents the Pharisees corrupting the Jewish people with superstition.51 The Glossa cites Isidore to say that Absalom signifies Jerusalem, which left Christ and went to the pagans, and Hrabanus Maurus to say that Absalom being trapped in the tree by his hair is like the Jews being trapped by superstition, to be killed by the darts of the devil.52 Absalom’s excess of hair can be compared to an excess of worldly goods.53

David’s House More important to the medieval uses of David than his own ancestors or his relationships with his sons was the role of Davidic descent. Fathering children, particularly in order to carry on a family line, was an important feature of noble masculinity in the Middle Ages, and David could be a prime example here too. God promises David that his house and his kingdom will endure: “your throne shall be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:16). Even after David’s sin of adultery and murder, God does not withdraw this promise in the Hebrew Bible, and indeed it becomes part of the Christian prophecy of Christ’s reign. David’s descendants, however, ceased to be kings of Judah when the Babylonians conquered it in the 580s BCE. The Davidic line remained important—the exilarchs, heads of the Jewish community in Babylon, were descendants of David, but were no longer kings. The Talmud emphasizes the continuity of the Davidic line when it discusses David’s responsibility for the deaths of the priests of Nob at Saul’s hands. R. Judah said that Rav said: “The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to David: ‘Until when will this sin be concealed in your hand? Through you Nov, the city of priests, were massacred, and through you Doeg the Edomite was banished, and


c h a p t er  5

through you Saul and his three sons were killed. . . . Is it your desire that your descendants will cease or you will be handed to the enemy?’ He said before Him: ‘Master of the Universe, it is preferable that I will be handed to the enemy and my descendants will not cease.’ ”54 While some or most medieval Jews and Christians understood the continuity of the Davidic line as making possible the Messiah, from a modern vantage point the causality may actually go the other way: the expectation of the Messiah led to awareness of the Davidic genealogy. Arnold Franklin has discussed Davidic descent among the Jews of the Muslim world in the tenth through thirteenth centuries. Starting from Baghdad, the descendants—or claimed descendants—of the exilarch spread out in a context in which Muslim genealogical consciousness was critically important.55 Jewish culture took a corresponding genealogical turn. Their ancestry no longer entitled the Davidides to an official position in all Jewish communities, but they were known as Nasi, or prince. Franklin suggests that it was not the existence of the descendants of David that led to the rise of Jewish Messianic movements in the Islamic world but rather that Messianic hopes sharpened an awareness of Davidic descent and accorded more prestige to those who could thus trace their genealogies.56 There were also Nesi’ im in Spain, although there is little evidence there that they claimed to be descended from David, and some were of the Cohen or Levite tribes so they could not have been descended from David, who was of Judah.57 A number of the prophets of the Hebrew Bible—notably Isaiah and Jeremiah—referred to a descendant of David who would eventually return to reign. Exactly what they were originally referring to cannot be determined without knowing the date of the redaction of the texts. Scholars now believe that parts of the book of Isaiah were written at different times, some well before and some after the Babylonian exile. The idea of the continuity of the Davidic line was important to the Israelites in both periods.58 The pre-exilic prophecy has sometimes been taken as referring to Hezekiah, a king of Judah (late eighth– early seventh century BCE) who was credited by the book of Kings, which is extremely favorable toward him, with restoring proper monotheistic worship after a period of degeneration. Once again, for current purposes it is not necessary to know when the texts were written or what the author had in mind; we are interested in the ways people in the Middle Ages interpreted them. It is sufficient here to know that in the later Second Temple period, many of these prophecies came to be understood as referring to one or more messiahs (Hebrew ‫משיח‬, “anointed one”) who would redeem the people of Israel. The biblical texts themselves, including the Psalms, do not use the term, but the Targum pseudo-Yonatan, the

O M y Son A b sa lo m


Aramaic translation from possibly the fourth century CE, does so in Isaiah 52:13, in the discussion of the suffering servant.59 Aramaic was the Jewish vernacular of the time, and the Targum often indicates to us how the Bible was understood. The Psalms of Solomon, a pseudepigraphal text probably from the first century BCE, speaks as well of a Messiah from the house of David, and the Qumran texts (Dead Sea Scrolls) are familiar with the idea.60 Peter Schäfer writes that in the Hasmonean period the standard Jewish messianic belief developed: “a Davidic messiah sent by God who purges Israel of the Gentiles, judges Israel as well as the nations, gathers together the people of Israel in their holy land and holy city to which all the nations go on pilgrimage in order to render homage to him and his kingdom of justice and righteousness.”61 Jews developed a tradition about two messiahs, one priestly (Messiah ben Joseph) and one royal (Messiah ben David).62 The fact that the kingdom was ruled in the first century BCE by the Hasmoneans, who were not of Davidic descent, may have played a role in a reinterpretation of the older prophecies to imply the coming of a better king who would free the nation from foreign domination. The Davidic messiah was the more important of the two messiahs, expected to endure and rule after the priestly messiah was killed in the war of Gog and Magog. The traditions about the Messiah ben David were important enough that when, a few decades after the destruction of the Second Temple, two men known to us as Matthew and Luke wrote about a religious leader they believed to have been the messiah (Greek christos), they were careful to include genealogies that showed his descent from David. Matthew and Luke also criticized the Pharisees, or legalists, who, around the time of the writing of the Gospels, were establishing themselves at Yavne to adapt the Jewish law as they understood it, focused around temple worship, to a life without a temple.63 The intellectual descendants of the Yavne community wrote the Mishnah, the Talmud, and other rabbinic writings. The rabbis believed in the eventual coming of the Davidic messiah, but there does not seem to have been much belief in his imminence after the defeat of the rebellion of 132–135, whose leader, Simon bar Kokhba, may have thought of himself as the Messiah. Jewish messianism in the Christian era, perhaps with an awareness of Christianity in the background, became more eschatological whereas previously it had been more political. The Talmud clearly expects a Davidic messiah, but it does not expect him immediately. The teaching refers to “when the Son of David comes,” presuming that his coming is not in question. The rabbis present the signs of the generation of the Messiah, a term used as the equivalent of “Son of David.”64 Much of this discussion is concerned with calculating the date of the Messiah’s coming, although


c h a p t er  5

“Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says Rabbi Yonatan says: May those who calculate the end of days be cursed, as they would say once the end of days arrived and he did not come, he will no longer come. Rather, wait for him, as it is stated: ‘Though it tarry, wait for it.’ ”65 Amid all the discussion of signs of the Messiah, Hillel is said to have taught that the Messiah had already come, equating him with Hezekiah.66 The Mishnah on which all these passages were commenting does not place heavy emphasis on these Davidic/messianic themes, although they were certainly in circulation at the time. The Talmud also suggests that the Messiah may be David himself reborn: “David, king of Israel, lives and endures,” used as a password to prove the validity of the news of the new month in Rosh Hashanah 25a, hints at this possibility. The rabbis were writing in a world in which the claims of Christians that Jesus was the Davidic messiah were increasingly important. The Gospels— particularly that of Matthew—had been written with an eye on Isaiah and the other prophets, whom they quote repeatedly. Whether the claims to messianic status were all made by Jesus during his lifetime or whether his life was shaped by the evangelists to fit the prophecies, the Gospels presented him as the fulfillment of the Old Testament’s predictions, sometimes explicitly by quotation and sometimes implicitly, as by providing the genealogies. The question of how the genealogies—which gave Joseph’s ancestry—applied to someone who was not considered to be the biological son of Joseph was problematic, as the thirteenthcentury Jewish polemical text Sefer Niẓẓaḥon Yashan indicates, although Christians since Jerome had answers for this question.67 The law presumed that the child of a married woman was the child of her husband (unless the mother was obviously unfaithful or promiscuous and the child was declared a mamzer, or bastard, which Jewish sources would claim that Jesus was).68 For some Jews, the denial of Christ’s fulfillment of the prophecy meant a downplaying of the messianic meanings of the texts on which the Christians drew. For others, it meant demonstrating that Christ could not be the fulfillment but that someone else would. The fervent and apocalyptic messianism of the Second Temple era, which for many people attached itself to the figure of Jesus, did not continue within rabbinic or medieval Judaism. One important messianic text, Sefer Zerubabel, was written in Palestine in the early seventh century. The purported author, Zerubabel, was a descendant of David and a leader of the effort to rebuild the temple after the return from the Babylonian exile. Sefer Zerubabel was written in a period when Byzantine Christians were fighting the Persian Empire. The Davidic messiah in the story is Menahem ben Amiel, whose mother Hepzibah was married to a man named Nathan. Nathan is identified

O M y Son A b sa lo m


with both Nathan, the prophet, and a son of David called Nathan. The Gospel of Luke traces Joseph’s descent from David via this Nathan rather than through Solomon, and it is possible that Luke was drawing on the same tradition that Sefer Zerubabel draws on.69 Further texts from Jews living under eastern Christianity and later under Islam speaking of a Davidic messiah include the Ma’aseh Daniel, a Judeo-Persian work likely from the tenth century, 3 Enoch, which is one of what Peter Schäfer calls the “macroforms” of Hekhalot literature, and the Pirqe Mashiaḥ.70 The image of David in the Hekhalot imagery as the son of God may be drawing on themes from the Christian milieu.71 There were Jewish messianic movements during the Middle Ages, largely in the Middle East.72 The messianic pretenders mostly claimed to be descended from David. Indeed, Obadiah the Proselyte, a western Christian who converted to Judaism in 1102, wrote skeptically about one such messianic claimant precisely because he did not have (or claim) such descent.73 None developed a large following on the scale of the seventeenth-century messianic claimant Shabbetai Zvi. Maimonides wrote a “Letter to Yemen” in 1173/4, in which he warned the Yemenite Jews against erroneous ideas being taught among them. He reiterates a strong belief in prophecies of a Davidic messiah, but denies that a certain man at that time present in Yemen is the anointed one, as is evidenced by his meekness, as opposed to preeminence, and his lack of wisdom. He downplays the Davidic element: although it is “one of the fundamental articles of the faith of Israel, that the future redeemer of our people will spring only from the stock of Solomon son of David,” it is also true that “the Messiah is not a person concerning whom it may be predicted that he will be the son of so and so, or of the family of so and so. On the contrary he will be unknown before his coming, but he will prove by means of miracles and wonders that he is the true Messiah.”74 In Ashkenaz, in particular, messianic writings seem to have been dampened somewhat by the dominance of Christianity, and there were few or no messianic claimants.75 Arguing that Christians had correctly identified messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Bible but had the wrong messiah was perhaps less convincing than arguing, as did Rashi, that prophecies like that of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53 referred not to a Messiah at all but to the Jewish people as a group.76 Avraham Grossman, however, working from a text of Rashi based on manuscripts that are less likely to have been censored by or in fear of Christians, suggests that the anti-messianic views Rashi offers may not have been his own. In relation to Isaiah 9:5–6, “For a child has been born to us, / A son has been given us / . . . / Upon David’s throne and kingdom,” Rashi connects the Prince of Peace with Hezekiah, but says “this is in response to the apostates [i.e., Christians],” suggesting


c h a p t er  5

that his real view may be different.77 Isaiah 9:5–6, of course, is a key prophecy for Christians, and Jewish polemicists had to argue against it as a prophecy of Christ. Sefer Niẓẓahon Yashan, which became quite important in ChristianJewish debates, for example, argued the prophecy applied to Hezekiah rather than Christ.78 Abraham ibn Ezra also applied it to Hezekiah, although in relation to Isaiah 11 he cites authorities both for and against the idea that it foretells a Messiah still to come, without giving his own view.79 Ibn Ezra was writing in Spain, where messianism tended to be more fervent; the rabbis of Ashkenaz focused especially on calendrical calculations, rather than on individuals. Although there was a wave of messianic expectation in Ashkenaz in the generation leading up to 1240, no messianic claimants arose, only harsh Christian reactions.80 Moshe b. Naḥman (Naḥmanides, or Ramban), writing in Spain, held that the correct interpretation of the suffering servant passage applies it to the whole of Israel, but since the Midrash explains it as the Messiah, he must explain it in that way. “The prophet says, The Messiah, the son of David, of whom the text speaks, will never be conquered or perish by the hands of his enemies.” Implicitly, then, this messiah cannot be Christ, who was put to death. Naḥmanides then interprets the whole text understanding “my servant” as the Messiah.81 The issue came up in Barcelona in 1263, when the Dominican friar and Jewish convert Pablo Christiani had him summoned to a disputation held before Jaume I. Pablo’s idea was to use the Talmud and to a lesser extent other rabbinic texts to prove that Christ was in fact the predicted Messiah. He claimed that because Isaiah 53 refers to the death of the servant, and because Jews take this text as speaking of the Messiah, then they must believe that the Messiah has been put to death and therefore that it is Christ. Naḥmanides replied that the true meaning of the passage was about the people of Israel and not about the Messiah, and that those rabbis who interpreted it as being about the Messiah son of David said nothing about his being put to death.82 The biblical prophecy that medieval Christians most often evoked specifically for the Davidic descent of Christ was the Tree of Jesse. Isaiah 11:1 foretold that “a shoot shall grow out of the stump of Jesse, a twig shall sprout from his stock.” This was understood by Christians as a reference to the Davidic messiah. The book of Isaiah was one of the most popular (in the sense of being used widely in the liturgy and commented upon) in the Christian Old Testament during the Middle Ages; it was an important part of Jewish liturgy and exegesis as well.83 For Christians it was a favorite choice because of its Christological importance. For the same reason it also became a central part of the liturgy particularly for Advent.84 The Vulgate translates the Hebrew as “Et egredietur virga de radice

O M y Son A b sa lo m


Jesse, et flos de radice eius ascendet,” “and a rod shall come forth from the root of Jesse, and a blossom shall grow from his root.” Although the vegetative image was metaphorical in Isaiah 11:1, Christian art literalized it. This development was in line with the emergence of a visual way of depicting family relationships: the family tree. Genealogies can be depicted visually in a number of different ways: the apex can be at the top, bottom, right side, or left side, and it can be either the common ancestor, branching out toward numerous descendants, or the figure whose descent is being traced, branching back toward numerous ancestors. The iconographic setting in which such an image first appeared in Europe was in a table of consanguineous relationships, known from early medieval examples but which go back to late antique or possibly even classical models (in earlier times the concern would have been with inheritance, rather than prohibited degrees of marriage).85 Such tables were called trees (arbor iuris, arbor consanguinitatis) in the Carolingian period, as, for example, in a copy of a Carolingian canon law manuscript, the Quadripartitus, or in a manuscript of Isidore of Seville’s Etymologies.86 This type of depiction continued to be popular in canon law manuscripts from the late twelfth century.87 In a ninth-century manuscript of Isidore in Montpellier, the table of consanguinity is decorated with foliage, as a literal tree.88 In this example, the central “ipse” is found at the top, and the ancestors spread downward from it; the trunk of the tree is at the bottom, although the apex of the genealogy is at the top. Christiane Klapisch-Zuber suggests that the tree image was important: speaking of the later development of actual family trees, she suggests that “its vitalistic connotations appealed so strongly to men who were anxious to ensure the future of their line and to root their dynastic hopes firmly in some mythic past.”89 I would go farther and suggest that this was also the case for images of the Davidic family, and that they are specifically male and phallic. KlapischZuber suggests that new kinds of historical writing in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, focusing on genealogies, required a new kind of visualization, although it took several centuries before the genealogies were depicted as trees.90 Although she is correct that the Tree of Jesse is not a family tree as the latter would emerge later, we do see here, in connection with an emphasis on patrilineal descent, a combination of a tree of filiation, the genealogy of Christ as found in the Gospel of Matthew, and the tree image from Isaiah.91 In the meantime, of course, the tree image was used in the Middle Ages to depict the virtues, which can branch out from God at the base, as well as other religious themes.92 The early arbores consanguinitatis are not related to Isaiah, but from the late eleventh century we begin to see an iconographic tradition of the Tree of Jesse


c h a p t er  5

(a name that was not given to it during the Middle Ages).93 The first known example is from Bohemia, in the Vyšehrad Codex, a Gospel manuscript from 1086.94 In this image, a tree grows from near the foot of a seated Jesse and comes up at an angle between his knees. Next to him the prophet Isaiah holds a scroll with the verse from Isaiah 11:1–2, which wraps around Jesse, and the tree is full of seven nimbed doves, the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 40:2). But no other figures appear in the image. Christ and his ancestors appear in the codex, but on entirely different pages; they are not part of the tree.95 A Cistercian manuscript of Jerome’s commentary on Isaiah, found in Dijon and dated to 1120–1133, shows Jesse sleeping and a trunk emerging from him and splitting into two; however, the two branches then simply disappear. Above them looms a huge figure of the Virgin holding the Christ child and flanked by angels, but not attached to the tree; nor are there other ancestral figures. The connection of the rod of Jesse with Mary is evident, but not the genealogical aspect.96 A lectionary from Siegburg (Diocese of Cologne) from the second quarter of the twelfth century now in the British Library shows Jesse in a coffin, the tree coming from behind or beside him, and the seven doves in roundels growing from the tree.97 A tree growing out of the belly of a recumbent Jesse appears on a panel from a pulpit from S. Leonardo in Arcetri, Florence. An enthroned Virgin and Child sit in the tree; four prophets hold scrolls, including Isaiah with his prophecy and David with a verse from Psalms. Arthur Watson dates it to the end of the twelfth century; later scholarship says the second half of that century.98 There are several similar twelfth-century French versions with the Virgin as Theotokos, holding the Christ child.99 Medieval art in the twelfth century and later shows a variety of possible configurations of the Tree of Jesse: a seated Jesse holding a rod with the Virgin next to him; Jesse’s head only, with the rod growing out of it; a tree with the kings branching out to the sides rather than in a direct line between Jesse and the Virgin.100 The Tree of Jesse can appear at the beginning of Isaiah, at the beginning of the book of Matthew (the generations of Christ), or at the beginning of the book of Psalms in which it replaces the Beatus initial or (in the later Middle Ages) appears within the B.101 All the variations speak to the importance of the dynasty from which Christ came, descending through the male line except for the Virgin Mary as the unique female link. One of the earliest manuscript Jesse trees in which Christ appears separately (not in the Virgin’s arms) is in a manuscript of Pliny’s Natural History in Vienna, but it does not depict an actual tree, only an initial S with Jesse’s, Mary’s, and Jesus’s heads in the foliage.102 Another is in the Lambeth Palace Bible, from 1150– 1170. Here Jesse is lying down, with a tree growing apparently out of his hip or

O M y Son A b sa lo m


possibly from between his legs (the draperies make it impossible to say for sure which). The Virgin Mary takes up most of the tree, here equating the virgo (virgin) with the virga (rod, staff, trunk), and Christ appears above her, with seven doves, the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Various figures appear in the branches of the tree, including Ecclesia and Synagoga, the Apostles, prophets including Isaiah with his scroll, and personifications of virtues.103 While it does illustrate the Isaiah verse, however, this image is not heavily genealogically focused: the generations between Jesse and Mary do not appear, although two kings, possibly David and Solomon, appear in roundels at the bottom. David does appear between Jesse and the Virgin in the Winchester Psalter from 1121–1151; here the tree clearly grows out from between the legs of the sleeping Jesse.104 The same is true of a manuscript of the Praise of the Holy Cross by Hrabanus Maurus, in Douai, whose iconography comes the closest to that found at Chartres: the tree grows from between Jesse’s legs and extends to David, Mary, and then Jesus, with figures on the sides that include prophets, Solomon, and the Sibyl. Fassler notes that the tree is labeled “Stirps Jesse” in a reference, she suggests, to Fulbert of Chartres’s responsory on the Feast of the Virgin (see below).105 From about the same time we begin to get the most famous depictions of the Tree of Jesse, those in stained glass. The first one was probably at St.-Denis, and Abbot Suger wrote about it in 1144 assuming that his readers would know what the stirps Jesse (branch/stock/lineage of Jesse) was as an image.106 However, no one really knows what the original of this window looked like. The glass of St.-Denis was destroyed and dispersed. Pieces of it were identified in various collections, and the windows have been reconstructed based on descriptions of what they depicted and on the iconography of those scenes as known from the period. Thus the St.-Denis Jesse Tree is similar to that found at Chartres, but in part because it was reconstructed based on the one at Chartres (although there are significant differences, for example, the presence of lions at St.-Denis and not at Chartres). We know that the sculptural program at Chartres was related to the one at St-Denis and the windows may have come from the same atelier.107 Given that the Chartres window was used as a basis for the St. Denis reconstruction, St-Denis cannot be considered an independent witness, at least not for the details.108 In the Chartres tree (Figure 5.2), Jesse lies with a tree growing out of his body, and the more illustrious members of the Davidic lineage leading to Christ are depicted growing out of it. On either side are half-roundels containing the prophets. James Johnson suggests that the image is not actually a tree, once it gets to the first king; rather, what might be seen as branches are actually the outlines of

Figure 5.2. Tree of Jesse, Chartres Cathedral, Bay 49, twelfth century. agefotostock/Alamy stock photo.

O M y Son A b sa lo m


Figure 5.3. Chartres Cathedral, Tree of Jesse window, Bay 49, detail. The Picture Art Collection/Alamy stock photo.

fleurs-de-lis, symbol of the French kings perhaps even going back to the Carolingians, although of course used in the twelfth century in many other contexts as well, including as a symbol of Christ.109 However, while the negative space is in the shape of fleurs-de-lis, the whole image is as much a tree as any other version. In this depiction we can clearly see, because of the placement of the trunk in relation to Jesse’s left leg, that it grows out of his groin, rather than from his hip or from the chest or belly as in some other images. We must read this as a direct reference to fatherhood. He is not just an ancestor, he is the founding male ancestor, the one from whom the seed proceeds (Figure 5.3). The word virga, like many other words with meanings like rod, staff, or other objects longer than they


c h a p t er  5

are wide, was used in both classical and medieval Latin for “penis.” As far as I know, no one made this direct connection in any written text about the rod of Jesse, but the artist clearly understood the double meaning. The Chartres Tree of Jesse depicts a number of kings who were part of the lineage of Christ, but the most illustrious member of the lineage before Jesus, who appears at the top, is the Virgin Mary.110 The Latin virga (rod) and virgo (virgin) are related etymologically, but they are quite distinct Latin words; there is no grammatical form in which the two are identical. Their closeness, however, makes a pun between them almost inevitable, and the connection was exactly the sort that would appeal to many medieval exegetes seeking to show direct foretellings of Christian history. The Virgin was traditionally connected to rods or staffs, including those of Moses, Aaron, and Jesse.111 A text attributed to Alain of Lille makes the play on words explicit: “with a change from A to O, the virga becomes a virgo.”112 It is the virgin, then, who is the shoot, rod, or staff, rather than Christ himself; he is the twig or blossom. Margot Fassler relates the development of the Jesse Tree image in France in the middle of the twelfth century to liturgical developments in Marian devotion: specifically, in the Carolingian period, the Gospel reading for the Nativity of the Virgin, which had previously been the Visitation story from Luke 1:39–45, was replaced by that of the genealogy of Christ from Matthew 1:1–18, thus emphasizing her lineage.113 Fulbert of Chartres in the eleventh century expanded the importance of the feast of her nativity: on the eve of that feast in 1020 the church, containing an important relic of the birth of Jesus, the chemise of the Virgin, burned to the ground, and Fulbert wrote chants and sermons for the feast in order to link “Mary, her relic, and his church in a fiery marriage that would capture the imaginations of Chartrains and pilgrims to Chartres for centuries after his liturgical innovation.”114 In his sermons he praised Mary for transmitting David’s fleshly lineage to Christ. He connected the rod of Aaron, which spontaneously flowered, to the rod of Jesse, the Virgin, who flowered in bearing Christ: “for just as that rod without a root, without any support of nature or artifice, bore fruit, so Mary the Virgin, without the act of marriage, brought forth a son, a son surely denoted by the flower and the fruit.”115 Based on apocryphal stories about Mary he made her descent double, from Aaron the high priest as well as from Jesse and David. “She descended both from the root of that man with the faith of noble Abraham, to whose seed the blessings of all people had been promised from on high, and from the shoot of David, whom God, on account of the goodness known to him, exalted with surpassing praise, saying, ‘I have found a man according to my own heart’ (Acts 13.22). From both the royal tribe and the priestly, at the same time,

O M y Son A b sa lo m


she took her origin, she who was about to bear the supreme King and Priest.”116 The use of the Isaiah verse in the responses for the feast of the Nativity of Mary from the eleventh century on may have been one of the reasons for the choice of the Tree of Jesse as a major component of the Chartres stained glass.117 The beginning of the Gospel of Matthew makes much of the descent of Jesus from the house of David.118 This was important in establishing him as the Messiah of Jewish prophecy; it was also important in making him royal. The Tree of Jesse at Chartres, although, as Fassler suggests, it may have been prompted by the importance of Chartres’s Marian relic and the centrality of the feast of the Nativity there, does something that many other representations do not by placing an adult Jesus on his own at the top of the tree. The Virgin is important in the genealogy, but he is the Messiah. The Tree of Jesse depiction, however, emphasizes not David’s dynasty but Jesse’s, following the text of Isaiah but also making a choice as to the relative prominence. It is the shoot from Jesse that becomes the common representation, not the “branch of David’s line” of Jeremiah 23:5. We may therefore ask what work is done by beginning the genealogy of the Messiah not with the king whom God promised an enduring house, but with his nonroyal father. It would have reinforced the idea of patrilineal kingship that became especially important in the twelfth century. David is chosen by God and does not have to be the son of the previous king; but he is nevertheless depicted here as part of a patriline that not only follows him but also precedes him. The house is that of David, but he is no upstart. Indeed, a tree image found in a twelfth-century German Speculum Virginum manuscript takes the dynasty even farther back, showing Jesse’s grandfather Boaz at the bottom of the tree. David is the only link between Boaz and Christ (Jesse is off to one side, and Obed to the other) and they are wearing pointed hats that mark them as Jews.119 This work was intended for the instruction of nuns and consists of a dialogue between a holy virgin Theodora and a priest Peregrinus, who are depicted in roundels off to the sides. Holy virgins appear in the other roundels in the tree. These indications of the text’s being intended for a woman may also help explain why Boaz is in the picture: as the husband of Ruth, whose role as David’s ancestress was important for biblical prophecy as discussed above. That does not, of course, explain why Ruth herself is not there. Similar iconography is found in other Speculum Virginum manuscripts, while the Hortus deliciarum by Herrad of Hohenbourg, also intended for nuns, depicts the entire genealogy of Christ, with God the Father himself at the base of the tree. It has become an actual family tree, rather than simply the Virgin as the virga of Isaiah’s prophecy. Even more of Christ’s ancestors besides those mentioned in


c h a p t er  5

Matthew are depicted in a Tree of Jesse on the ceiling of St. Michael’s church in Hildesheim.120 Although the image sometimes appeared in manuscripts in the book of Isaiah, it was more often separate, and it is clear that it was intended to be genealogical, even if it did not follow the typical layout of the arbor iuris, since it went from bottom to top. We can think of this Jesse/Davidic genealogy in the context of dynastic thinking in France at the time the images at Chartres and St-Denis—the only representations with ancestral kings as well as the Virgin Mary—were being produced.121 The period of the eleventh century particularly was seen by some scholars as a time of “mutation,” a change from more loosely defined kin groups who either shared land or divided it up among members, to a patrilineal and primogenitary system of succession as small castellan dynasties established themselves and passed the land down through the family.122 Georges Duby proposed this model for the Maconnais, and it came to be accepted within the historical profession as the standard “feudal” model, although the tide of historical opinion has turned against it.123 More recent scholarship has made quite different arguments, however. Theodore Evergates for the county of Champagne, Amy Livingstone for the Loire region, and Constance Bouchard for Burgundy, among others, have demonstrated that women could and did inherit and hold land, that land did not always go to the oldest son or indeed not always to one son (rather being held impartibly but collectively), and that land could be transmitted through the female line. Lawyers tried to regularize a complex system, but legal practice did not always conform to legal treatises; this did not amount to the law being stretched or gotten around in practice, but to authors of treatises not necessarily getting it right, or enunciating principles where they did not previously exist.124 Where there were not fixed principles, however, there were still patterns. Even in the work of scholars who point out women’s ability to hold feudal land, and not just as rare exceptions, it is clear that male heirs were often preferred when they were available. Where they were not, a woman was acceptable, especially if she herself had sons to whom to transmit the inheritance, and many women did exercise lordly power.125 Evergates argues that land was conceived of belonging to the entire lineage, including daughters and younger sons. He points out that “both the organization of aristocratic families and the ways in which they distributed property were far more complex and contingent than patrilineage with strict primogeniture would have allowed in practice.”126 Was it, however, patrilineage without strict primogeniture?127 Evergates suggests not: the “more conventional understanding of lineage as kinship, including all consanguines, accords far better with medieval usage.”128 He points out many instances where the term

O M y Son A b sa lo m


is used to mean simply kinship. This accords with the church’s idea of consanguinity, which ran equally on both sides, as depicted in the arbores iuris. But, when it came to inheritance of titles, this most often ran through daughters only in the absence of sons. Women might receive a dowry, which constituted their share of inheritance (and might call it their patrimony), and might pass it on to their sons (or daughters), but this ran outside the distribution of land upon the death of the father, whether partible or impartible, and the inheritance of titles. R. I. Moore suggests that what the variety of different inheritance systems across Europe in the twelfth century had in common was that they were patrilineal, often with family stories told to include “the mythical descent from some valiant, even supernaturally favoured adventurer, to whose skill and luck the inauguration of the family fortune is attributed.”129 This descent was generally from a man. Moore’s description could, in fact, apply to the descent of Christ from David. Gabrielle Spiegel suggests that “raised to the royal level, genealogy took on the overtones of a dynastic myth,” and it is clearly a primarily male one, despite occasional inclusion of women, as is that of Christ’s descent from David.130 These dynastic myths were also represented visually.131 If patrilineality means the exclusion of women, then it was certainly not present in high medieval France. Amy Livingstone points out that women did play an active role in management of land, especially as guardians for their minor children, or as heiresses in the absence of brothers.132 But it is important to keep in mind that men can be favored even if women are not totally excluded. Strict patrilineality would mean that people could only inherit from their fathers, but a patrilineal system could include daughters or younger sons among those inheriting. As Evergates notes, the basic principle in Champagne was one of partible inheritance; all children inherited something, daughters usually as dowry. In the absence of sons, daughters would inherit the entire property rather than it going to a collateral relative. Perhaps this should be called “lineality” rather than patrilineality: property descends in a line, although not always through men. But even Evergates, who is at pains to argue against the traditional Duby-esque model of aristocratic kinship, acknowledges that sons were advantaged over daughters. Constance Brittain Bouchard argues that both in the early and central Middle Ages, passing inheritance to sons was the ideal even though often not the practice.133 And, while it is important to look at the way people actually behaved, as Evergates does, it is also important, as Eric Bournazel suggests, to look at their mythmaking: what were the stories they told?134 They may have envisioned their world as more patrilineal than it actually was, indicating the powerful hold of dynastic thinking on medieval imaginations.


c h a p t er  5

The genealogy of Jesus and its depiction on the Tree of Jesse provides an example of what we might call lineality that is not primogenitary and not entirely patrilineal. David was not Jesse’s oldest son, nor was Jesus descended from David through the latter’s eldest son. Yet he was a member of the house of David, or, in Isaiah’s terms, of the house of Jesse. Descent from a male ancestor was critical, not primogeniture. The Tree of Jesse as interpreted with the Virgin Mary as the stock or rod also includes a woman as a link in the chain. This makes the descent not strictly patrilineal although it does go back to a male ancestor. Indeed, Livingstone, writing about the church of St. Genest in Lavardin, where a Tree of Jesse painting was added around 1175, suggests that the emphasis is on the maternal ancestry of Jesus. In this case the painting shows only Jesse at the root, Mary, and Jesus. The all-male genealogy—whether it is understood as Jesus’s maternal or paternal ancestry—has either been edited out or never added.135 Livingstone, indeed, suggests that the entire Tree of Jesse image is a celebration of maternal kin.136 It is true that Mary, not Joseph, is depicted in the Tree of Jesse, but in examples where other links in the lineage appear, they are all male; it does not trace Mary through her female ancestors. Already in late antiquity if not earlier people were wondering about the genealogy of Jesus as described by Matthew and Luke. They traced Jesus’s ancestors from Abraham via David down to Joseph. But Joseph, of course, was not the father of Jesus: he was “the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah” (Matt 1:16). Jerome gave a historical explanation of this that was to become common in the Glossa ordinaria and other medieval commentaries: it was not the custom of the scriptures to put women in their genealogies, and therefore Matthew did not do so. He also pointed out that Mary was a close relative of Joseph’s, and therefore if he was descended from David so was she.137 This idea of lineal descent, one ancestor named in each generation, is well adapted to a tree, but that is not the only way of visualizing it. Hrabanus Maurus explained the genealogy of Christ as given in Matthew in terms of a baited hook, which is tossed by God into the sea of this world in order to defeat the devil and death; the people named are the lines of rope, “a genealogy woven together like a net” with Abraham at the beginning and Christ as the hook.138 Rupert of Deutz picked up on this metaphor.139 This, however, did not become the dominant image; the tree did. Even though Jerome explained the place of Mary in the genealogy of Christ, one might argue that she appears more prominently in the Tree of Jesse iconography than she does in the Matthaean genealogy. She is even less prominent in Luke’s genealogy, which works differently. Not only are some of the names given

O M y Son A b sa lo m


differently—a problem that concerned many Christian exegetes greatly—they are given in a different order. Matthew begins with Abraham and traces the generations to David, to the Babylonian exile, and to Jesus. Luke goes in the other direction, beginning with Jesus as supposed son of Joseph and not mentioning Mary, and tracing the genealogy all the way back to Adam. The Tree of Jesse, then, is a clearly Matthaean image.140 It makes two key points: the importance of a woman as the transmitter, and the tracing back of the house to a founder through a line other than primogenitary. Both of these points accord with inheritance patterns in the region of Chartres in the twelfth century, as does the Marian piety of the period. Of course, the twelfth century did not rediscover Isaiah—it had never fallen out of favor—nor was the identification of the stump/ rod of Jesse with Mary at all new. The idea of going back to an ancestor who was not, in fact, king is not unique to the Bible. David was considered the founder of his dynasty; the Bible refers to the house of David, the Messiah is to be the Son of David or a new David. But the tracing of ancestry not to David but to his father Jesse would not have seemed so unique to medieval Christians, although the visual depiction may have been. The Carolingian dynasty, which still loomed large in the European imagination in the central and later Middle Ages, also had a nonroyal ancestor as the beginning of the line.141 The “Charles” of the dynastic name (which appears as Karolingi at least from the eleventh century) was Charles Martel, who was not himself king.142 Indeed, the evocation of David by the Carolingians and again by the Capetians (prominently in the biography of Robert the Pious, the son of Hugh Capet) would have reminded subjects that God could select and anoint someone to begin a new dynasty who was not, in fact, the son of the previous king, Carolingians replacing Merovingians like Davidides replacing Saulides.143 Jesse as dynastic founder was important to Christians because of his own parentage. Grandson of the Israelite Boaz and the Moabite Ruth, he represented the union of the Jews and the gentiles in the church, as the Glossa ordinaria noted in commenting on the genealogy in Matthew 1.144 As discussed above, medieval Jews were certainly aware of Jesse’s status as part Moabite, in the female line, and thus his doubtful identity as Israelite; this would also have been true of his father Obed, but the latter was less important narratively. Christians picked up on Jesse as a link not to ask how someone of non-Israelite ancestry could be the father of the great prophet-king but to celebrate that fact. They took it as a representation of the universality of the church. Jesse may also have been a more appropriate ancestor to depict as the base of the dynasty than David, because David’s relations with his sons other than Solomon was so problematic. Jesse’s other sons are not


c h a p t er  5

depicted in the Tree of Jesse iconography, nor do they lurk invisibly in the background: once David appears in the biblical narrative, they quickly lose relevance. Of David’s sons, only Solomon appears in the Tree of Jesse, but Absalom, Amnon, and Adonijah are prominent in the narrative as well. To make David the root might raise the question of why these other sons do not appear; this is less true for Jesse’s other sons who do not play much of a role once David defeats Goliath. While the Tree of Jesse image is not primogenitary, it is completely dynastic. In this, it was a useful image for the Capetians to promote in their churches. By the twelfth century or indeed the eleventh, the Capetians were placing some emphasis on their Carolingian descent, which came through the female line and had not been considered sufficient in the tenth century, when Hugh Capet first became king in 987, to make them Carolingians.145 While they could not make this claim in patrilineal or primogenitary terms, they could claim a lineal connection that involved younger sons and women. One of the ways the Capetians tied themselves to the Carolingians was through claiming the advocacy of St.Denis, beginning in 1177.146 Suger or those around him made efforts to connect the Capetians to the legend of Charlemagne by creating forged documents connecting Charlemagne with donations to St.-Denis, and the Capetians chose (with Suger’s help) their burial places near those of Charles and Carloman at St.Denis.147 Margot Fassler suggests that the importance of the Matthaean genealogy verses in the Chartres liturgy had to do not only with the Capetians but with the various claimants to the English crown in the mid-twelfth century, the houses of Blois and Anjou, both of whom traced their claims through a female line.148 A “ family tree” that showed the descent of Jesus following this pattern was not created to justify Capetian claims, but its adaptation from manuscript iconography would have been conducive to those claims, particularly because of the association of Charlemagne with David (see Chapter 4). As James Johnson wrote in 1961 in his classic and widely cited article on the Chartres tree, suggesting that the iconography related to the laudes regiae, liturgical chants praising Christ as King and also praising the secular ruler, “The Tree of Jesse windows of SaintDenis and Chartres are the visual counterparts in color and light of these hieratic ruler acclamations, at once a focal point of religious observance and of many long-fostered political objectives of the Capetians. Fused together in rich and complicated patterns are elements drawn from Frankish history and tradition mixed with religious symbolism and political propaganda.”149 Part of this tradition was a tie to the Carolingians.150 Indeed, there is a “Charlemagne window” at Chartres, depicting his (fictional) crusading activities.

O M y Son A b sa lo m


The Capetians placed great emphasis on coronation ritual, anointing sons during the lifetimes of their fathers and emphasizing their status as the chosen of God. The idea that the Tree of Jesse was an attempt to identify Frankish or French kings with Old Testament kings and stressing their anointed status and their parallel with the royal Messiah is by no means new. However, James Johnson and other scholars studying the relation of this iconography to kingship have not attended to the gendered dimension. It is not just a depiction of Old Testament kings who can be analogized to the Capetians; it is a patriline, stressing particularly their descent from a father, and a phallic one at that. But it also contains the Virgin Mary. As the Tree of Jesse celebrated lineage, it strengthened the idea that lineage could be transmitted through a woman. But only when the male ancestor was God; the line is entirely patrilineal up to Jesus’s immediate parent. The growth of new shoots from a stump would have been a common image in medieval Europe, and perhaps in ancient Israel too (Job 14:7). Coppicing was a practice of active forest management. Cutting down a tree did not mean killing it; it meant providing a basis for new growth. New branches or shoots grow faster than older tree trunks, so particularly when wood was needed for firewood, coppicing promoted productivity. The shoots could be regularly harvested, while the stump could remain for a very long time; thus, not just the woods but the individual tree became a renewable resource.151 Jesse, though dead, can keep reproducing. This indeed may be what Isaiah envisioned, because in another passage (6:12) the prophet refers to coppicing: “It shall be ravaged like the terebinth and the oak, of which stumps are left even when they are felled: its stump shall be a holy seed.” Some images of the Tree of Jesse make it clear that this is what was going on, as in the Cathedral of Burgos (Figure 5.4), where the positioning is not phallic, but the roots of the new growth can be clearly seen growing from Jesse’s chest. David, who is to be reborn in Christ, cannot be the ancestor who is a chopped-off stump, but Jesse can. This latter, fifteenth-century Tree of Jesse is in a Chapel of St. Anne and emphasizes the lineage of the Virgin Mary: David is not directly above Jesse but to the left. The place above Jesse is held by Joachim and Anne, who as Mary’s parents are not part of the Matthean or Lucan genealogy. Capetian France was not the only place where the Tree of Jesse was used in a genealogical context, although its glass monuments are the most spectacular. The coronation order for a queen of England in the thirteenth century included a list of the matriarchs who were the wives and mothers of the earliest figures in the genealogy of Christ from Abraham, as well as invoking the Virgin Mary, thus


c h a p t er  5

Figure 5.4. Altarpiece, Chapel of St. Anne, Burgos Cathedral, Spain, Diego de la Cruz and Gil de Siloé, before 1487. Forget Patrick/SAGAPHOTO.COM/Alamy stock photo.

constituting “a liturgical counterpoint to the Trees of Jesse that linked the Queen of Heaven to males of the Davidic lineage.”152 In 1237 Henry III ordered a Tree of Jesse stained glass for the bedchamber of his wife Eleanor of Provence. The queen was undoubtedly being compared to the Virgin Mary in her desired fruitfulness; she herself was not part of a holy lineage. But, as Margaret Howell writes, “it may certainly be supposed that Henry III had placed this image of royal genealogy deliberately and appropriately in the room in which he and his wife came together in the conjugal act.”153 We began the discussion here of lineage with Roman and canon law; from there the tree image was adopted into biblical imagery, but it came full circle. In a thirteenth-century manuscript of the Fuero juzgo, a thirteenth-century translation of the Visigothic Roman law, the arbor iuris, or consanguinity tree, becomes conflated with the Tree of Jesse; it grows either from behind him or out of his hip. This image, like other consanguinity tables and unlike trees of Jesse,

O M y Son A b sa lo m


begins with one individual at the top (some have a couple) and widens as it moves down. It combines the descending genealogy with a recumbent Jesse, identified by name: “this is Jesse, from whom was born the lineage of the virgin St. Mary.”154 The tree is not obviously attached to his body, but the image suggests that by this time the figure of Jesse was heavily connected with the idea of genealogy such that it made sense to put him on a page like this.155 As these Spanish examples of the Tree of Jesse—and many others from all over Europe, including many wall paintings in parish churches that would have been seen by the non-elite—indicate, the interest and power of this image is by no means limited to northern France. I have attempted to explain its choice for prominent windows at St.-Denis and Chartres on the basis of issues around inheritance in that place and time. But the point about male genealogy that nonetheless can be traced through a woman was a general one that could apply to most places in medieval Christian Europe. The Davidic descent of Jesus was an important part of Christian Old Testament interpretation and supersessionism, but it also provided a culturally available symbol for people from different medieval societies to draw upon. A Jewish counternarrative made Jesus illegitimate, the son of someone other than Mary’s husband, and therefore not descended in the male line from David and not the Messiah. The Toledot Yeshu, or Generations of Jesus, is a textual tradition rather than a single text; a myriad of versions are known from all over the Jewish world, and the tradition goes back to late antiquity.156 Whereas some Jews (as discussed above) were reluctant to directly challenge Christian teachings by writing about a literal and imminent Messiah who was not Jesus, others did not hesitate to attack from the other side by challenging the Davidic ancestry that Christianity relied on to show that Jesus was the fulfillment of prophecy. Since Christianity believed that the conception of Jesus was miraculous and did not involve a human man, Davidic ancestry, as we have seen, went through Mary. However, in Jewish tradition where membership in a tribe or house was patrilineal, the Messiah, son of David, would be a descendant in the male line.

Building Jerusalem When God promises David to establish his “house” in the sense of a dynasty (2 Sam. 7:11), he also refers to the Temple, to be built by Solomon, as a “house” for God. The creation of a dynasty or a kingdom is easily described using metaphors of the careful construction of a long-standing edifice. But it is not just a metaphor.


c h a p t er  5

Medieval men (and women too, though they less often had the resources to do it) created lasting memorials for themselves by building. Kings and lords built palaces, castles, fortresses; but they also built religious edifices. These expressed the masculine features of power and control of resources in a very tangible way and also demonstrated their own loyalty to God, who enabled their military and political success. For medieval people David’s establishment of a capital at Jerusalem was especially significant. David renamed the citadel of Jerusalem the City of David (1 Chron. 11:7) and began a major building program. The “tower of David” currently standing in Jerusalem does not date to his era (the foundations are thought to be Hasmonean, and most of the current construction is from the Mamluk era). When the illustrators of the medieval Bibles moralisées wanted to illustrate Song of Songs 4, in which the author compares the beloved’s neck to the Tower of David, the illustrations unsurprisingly are unidentifiable as any particular monument.157 At the time of the First Crusade one tower of the Herodian fort survived and was known as the Tower of David. There was also a Street of David. These landmarks had acquired their names by the sixth century.158 The current archaeological site known as the City of David, which is the subject of a good deal of controversy between Israel and Palestine, was not identified as such in the Middle Ages.159 But the city was nevertheless closely associated with David. The Byzantine emperor Heraclius, in 630, made a ritual entry into Jerusalem that deliberately evoked the biblical one of David; he was believed in the Middle Ages to have returned the True Cross to the city at that time. His announcement of his victory used language directly drawn from the Psalms and alluding to David: the New David was returning to the City of David the cross on which the Son of David was sacrificed.160 These places do not seem to have held huge significance for the first crusaders. They do not comment on the connection of the tower and David’s kingship; they do not accord the name any special meaning. To the extent that the crusaders were interested in historical places, they were the places of the life and passion of Christ. Reestablishing the kingdom of David and Solomon was a goal. Later pilgrims, as evidenced by their guidebooks, traveled to a wider range of holy places and were interested in the events of both the Old and the New Testament, including a number of sites from the life of David, but the First Crusade was much more focused on the Holy Sepulchre.161 Raymond of Aguilers did use the Tower of David as a place marker to locate the various armies at the time of the siege and lists the tomb of David (along with the tombs of Solomon and St. Stephen Protomartyr, and various episodes in the life of Christ) as being situated on Mount Zion, where Raymond of Toulouse’s camp was lo-

O M y Son A b sa lo m


cated.162 But although Raymond of Aguilers made a great deal of Raymond of Toulouse’s wish to hold the Tower of David, he did not relate it to the life of David in any way.163 Other crusader chroniclers referred to David’s rule as a prophecy to be fulfilled by the crusaders, but not by way of a direct comparison.164 Both Jewish and Christian medieval commentators report on David’s building of the city. King Hiram of Tyre sent cedar logs for him to build with (2 Sam. 5:11). The Shmuel-bukh makes Hiram the king of Rome, thus making him a far more important figure.165 But in building the city David does not go on to build its central monument. As with David’s sexual transgression with Bathsheba (and, indeed, not unconnected to it), David’s failure to build the Temple in Jerusalem derogates from his depiction as an ideal ruler and requires explanation. The Temple was a central focus of Jewish worship before its second destruction in 70 CE, and the desire to recover the territory where it had stood and eventually to rebuild it was part of Jewish diasporic yearning and messianic hope. The Temple of Solomon is described in detail in 1 Kings 6, and both Christian (beginning with Bede) and Jewish (especially kabbalistic) commentators had a field day describing the allegorical significance of each measurement and each item of furnishing.166 It required some explanation, then, that the founder of the kingdom had not built it. Was Solomon more of a man or more of a king than his father because his creativity included this building? The Bible recounts that David wanted to build a temple for the Lord. Why should he live in a palace of cedar while the ark remained in a tent? God, however, reveals to Nathan that he does not want David to build him the temple (2 Sam. 7). This is the point at which God promises to establish David’s dynasty, including the specific promise that David will be succeeded by a son, who will build the temple. Since David was considered a prophet, hero, and dynastic founder, however, a reason had to be provided why he himself was not allowed to build it. In 1 Chronicles 22:8 and 28:3, David says specifically that God will not let him build it because he is “a man of battles, and h[as] shed blood.” This implies that the masculine ideal of prowess and military success is not, in fact, the highest ideal. Jewish commentators develop this notion of David’s inability to build the temple much more than Christian ones. The Talmud Yerushalmi suggests that people mocked David for not having built it: they would stand beneath his window and ask when it would be built. He did not get angry, however, saying that it was good that they wanted it to be built.167 The rabbis here wish to rescue David from any possible criticism, yet the fact that they saw a need to do so indicates that they imagined he might, indeed, have been mocked. The Yalqut Shimʻoni incorporates the Chronicles reading into its commentary on


c h a p t er  5

2 Samuel 7 and has David explicitly recognize that he has lost the opportunity to build it.168 Several different lines of rabbinic opinion developed about David and the Temple. Although the Yalqut Shimʻoni emphasizes that he was disqualified from building it, the main Midrash on Psalms, Midrash Tehillim, compiled gradually over the period from late antiquity to perhaps the thirteenth century, stresses David’s important role in the building of the temple. According to Psalm 132 David makes a vow to find a dwelling place for the Lord—implicitly by building the temple. Samuel and Chronicles mention no such vow. Midrash on 2 Samuel 7 (with slight variations in Midrash Shmu’el, Yalqut Shimʻoni, and Rashi) attempts to reconcile these passages. God tells Nathan to hurry and tell David not to build, lest he should have already hired workers or made a vow, and God’s decision not to let him build it would therefore lay David open to expense or even perjury.169 Even though David is a man of blood, this is the passage in which he is reminded of the military success that God has granted him and promised a homeland and an enduring throne. The Shmuel-bukh makes this explicit: Nathan tells David he cannot build the temple because his hands are bloody, but also that his son will be a great ruler and build the temple; David “rejoiced in his heart because of it; his grief disappeared. He thanked God, blessed be He, with great praise, with harps and songs and all kinds of stringed instruments, that after his death the kingdom would endure and remain under his children and never disappear.”170 His musical creativity here fills in some of the gap left by his inability to build. Midrash Tehillim, however, emphasizes David’s vow, not in its commentary on Psalm 132, which does not mention that aspect of the psalm, but in Psalm 22. It makes the wish to build a temple into a boyhood promise of David’s in return for God’s saving him from wild animals, rather than a conclusion he reaches after his military successes, and reads Psalm 78 as suggesting that David actually did build it.171 But in another midrash the reasons that he could not accomplish the final construction are attributed to his great faith and piety. The ninth-century Pesiqta Rabbati states that “David was worthy of building it.” The text appears to be arguing against a tradition based on Chronicles that David’s history of violence, not only in war but particularly against Uriah, was the obstacle to his performing this holy act. It was not because of his violence—in the killing of Uriah or any other action—that he was not able to do so: God tells him, contrary to David’s statement in Chronicles, “to me [the blood you have shed is] like that of a gazelle or of a hart. . . . to me all the blood you shed is offerings.” Uriah’s could certainly be counted as among the blood that David shed but he is not

O M y Son A b sa lo m


blamed for this. Rather, according to this midrash, the reason why David could not be the builder is that God knew that someday Israel would sin and he would have to destroy the Temple. “If you build it, it will endure and not be destroyed.” Therefore, it must be built by Solomon instead.172 David was too perfect to have built a non-eternal temple. But medieval authors did not necessarily agree. Rabbi David Qimḥi of Narbonne (Radak, ca. 1160–1235) suggests that God did not directly tell David that he had shed too much blood to build the temple—rather, “it was David who, in his heart, thought that God had prevented him from building the Temple because of this.” Then, in some manuscripts but not all—possibly a later addition to the text by Qimḥi himself—he suggests that it may have been Nathan who told him that this was God’s reason, although the text of Samuel does not say so. Qimḥi also emphasizes the amount of blood that David may have been responsible for shedding: innocent people including Uriah, the priests of Nob killed by Saul, righteous gentiles who were not actually opposing him in battle.173 Radak claimed specifically to have written this commentary to reconcile apparent inconsistencies between the books of Samuel and Kings on the one hand and Chronicles on the other, and to counter midrashic commentary with peshat, or more literal interpretation.174 Clearly here he saw the Bible imputing guilt to David, whether it was guilt he felt himself or of which others accused him. Christianity followed the same line of thought in stating that David was unable to build the temple because he was a “man of blood.” Abbot Suger, responsible for the building of the famous church of St.-Denis patronized by the Capetian kings, applied this phrase to himself, thanking God for letting him build the church anyway.175 The passage is decontextualized here, and Suger was not a warrior, but it does show medieval Christian reflection on who is and is not allowed to build in the name of God. David was not, while Suger was, a point about the ability of clerics rather than laymen to gain the requisite divine permission. The Glossa ordinaria interpreted the “man of blood” passage allegorically, making David stand for the Jews and his son Solomon for Christians, who were more worthy of building an edifice for God.176 In Psalm 132, the Glossa— drawing here particularly on Augustine—interprets God’s dwelling place as the church or the believer rather than a physical space. David, then, could be understood as having built a proper temple by worshipping God in himself. All these interpretations skirt around the point that David wished to build the temple and put his mark on the city in this way but was not permitted to do so. Instead, this duty and privilege fell to his son Solomon. Solomon, as David’s youngest son, does not assume much importance in the Bible until David’s death,


c h a p t er  5

but he becomes very important in other traditions, including in the medieval Arab world where he was credited not only with wisdom but with magic, and in the twentieth century in Rastafari belief, where Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, from a ruling house that claimed descent from Solomon and the queen of Sheba, was considered to be either Jah incarnate or a prophet. Dynastic politics and father-son relations were difficult in the Middle Ages, but a successful elite man had to navigate them both. David was one of the biblical figures available for medieval Jews and Christians to think with as they implicitly—or more than implicitly—defined the appropriate masculine role for a son, father, and founder of a dynasty.


Cultures take stories and pass them on, remaking them in their own image. Bible stories can be extraordinarily good canvases because many Bible narratives are widely known across Christian, Jewish, and Muslim lands, even by people who are not themselves believers. The Bible(s) also tell many of the stories laconically or with contradiction, leaving an opening for retelling or invention. Because King David appears in such central and paradoxical ways, the echoes of his story amply replay analysis. The story of David and Goliath, discussed in Chapter 1, has become a common metaphor in the modern world, in the arenas of sports, business, and politics. But the metaphor has lost some of its referent: the smaller and apparently weaker combatant can slay the giant because of pluck and effort, nimbleness and speed, and wits. For most people the will of God does not enter into it (although for some sports fans it may). When David is taken as an exemplar of specifically religious warfare, it can go beyond Goliath to other military exploits. In December 2016 I was in the South Hebron Hills with a group of Israeli activists accompanying Palestinian farmers from Susya to their fields, to witness and film any interactions of the farmers with settlers from the nearby religious Jewish settlement of Susiya and illegal outposts, or with the Israel Defense Forces (the Israeli army). Two young settlers from an outpost wished us a good Shabbat and told us that our presence there was a provocation. One of the activists asked one of the settlers how old he was. When he said he was eighteen, she asked him if he was going into the army (those who are studying in a yeshiva may be exempted from or postpone their required military ser vice). He replied, “I am already in the army of King David!” The united Davidic kingdom can be used to justify Israeli territorial expansion. This interpretation was less common in the Middle Ages when David stood as an example of how God could turn a weak and vulnerable man into a conqueror, and how a studious man could also be the leader of a kingdom.


Con c lus i on

David’s friendship with Jonathan (Chapter 2) is invoked today in a variety of egalitarian or human rights contexts to indicate that same-sex relationships have a long history and were accepted in biblical times, despite the denial of some traditionalists that any such thing is reflected in the Bible passages.1 Yael Dayan, a Labor member of the Israeli Knesset and the daughter of a famous general, invoked the story of David and Jonathan in a 1993 debate about the status of gay people in the Israeli military, eliciting angry responses from members of the religious political parties.2 Medieval writers did not explicitly link David and Jonathan erotically or romantically, and some directly excluded the possibility, but here too David is a contradictory figure, and room was left for a homoerotic interpretation as long as it went largely unspoken. David’s adultery with Bathsheba and subsequent killing of her husband Uriah was the biggest stumbling block for those desiring to hold David up as an ideal, but it was also an opportunity to emphasize penance and forgiveness. Some contemporary ultra-Orthodox Jews go farther than the early rabbis in excusing David. In 1994 Shimon Peres, then Israeli foreign minister in the government of Yitzhak Rabin, got himself into trouble for denigrating David. Peres and Rabin had come under criticism from the religious political parties for sharing the Nobel Peace Prize with Yasser Arafat. Peres said that Judaism did not include occupation. A religious MK (member of parliament) said, “Joshua conquered this land, and David did as well!” Peres replied that “not everything that King David did, on the ground, on the roofs, is acceptable to a Jew.” “On the ground” was taken as a reference to his wars of conquest and “on the roof ” to his affair with Bathsheba. There was an uproar, with the religious political parties proposing a vote of no confidence in Rabin’s government (which failed). The Talmud passages discussed in Chapter 3 about David’s sin with Bathsheba were a central part of the debate.3 The idea of David as a symbol of repentance for sexual sin was powerful and enduring among Christians. During the U.S. presidential campaign of 2016, it became apparent that Donald Trump’s attitudes and behavior toward women were not in line with the standards of Christian “values voters.” Conservatives supported him for other reasons, however, and were eager to excuse his behavior. Jerry Falwell Jr., the prominent evangelical and president of Liberty University, compared Trump to King David: “God called King David a man after God’s own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer. You have to choose the leader that would make the best king or president and not necessarily someone who would be a good pastor.” This prompted a series of outraged critiques from other Christians (and leading rabbis as well), who stressed that David’s re-

Con c lus ion


pentance was the key, and that Trump had not repented, indeed, quite the opposite.4 Conservative blogger Erick Erickson wrote that “Donald Trump has said repeatedly he has never sought forgiveness from God and never felt the need to repent. David was as famous for Bathsheba as he was for repenting. That Jerry Falwell Jr. would compare David’s adultery to Donald Trump’s, for which the former cried and repented and the later bragged about on television and radio, is mocking God and shameful.”5 The repentant David figure continued to matter greatly to a significant wing in American politics. Rick Perry, then U.S. secretary of energy, cited David among other Old Testament kings who sinned to justify Trump’s 2019 claim to be the “chosen one.”6 Evangelicals more commonly identify Trump with the Persian king Cyrus the Great, who appears in the book of Ezra as rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem, even though he himself is not a Jew. But the sexual nature of David’s sin, and the opportunity it provides once again for a contradictory analysis—a leader who sins, but in ways that specifically demonstrate his masculinity—makes him a natural comparison for Trump as well. The Psalms remain a central feature of worship for most Jews and Christians today, and David resonates in the emphasis on joy in praising God. The harp remains David’s attribute and a feature of modern religious art, as in famous stained-glass depictions by Marc Chagall at the Fraumünster in Zurich and the St.-Stephanskirche in Mainz.7 In medieval terms, taking David’s singing, harping, and dancing out of the realm of the secular (as in his performance before Saul) and into the realm of the divine made it more appropriate to him as a man, although the association of public dancing with non-elite women meant that there was once again a set of contradictory meanings. David’s position as a prophet through his writing of the Psalms was not different in kind, although perhaps in quantity, from other biblical prophets, but whereas other prophets are most often shown writing, performance was deemed in the case of David inseparable from his authorship and composition. David’s position as the ancestor of the Messiah tends to be elided in the contemporary Christian world among those who are not themselves religious. The chorus from Handel’s Messiah, “For unto Us a Child Is Born,” stops with Isaiah 9:6, where the reference to David comes in 9:7. But the nineteenth-century Christmas carol “Once in Royal David’s City,” identifying Bethlehem with David, underscores the connection, though only geographically. Even for those who attend Christmas ser vices, the Gospel reading may begin with the Annunciation or Nativity rather than with Christ’s genealogy. In a modern Western world in which with a few exceptions we expect people to take up a position in life based


Con c lus i on

on their own achievements and interests rather than on who their ancestors are, it makes sense that this would not be as much a part of popular culture. And yet the millions of people of every religious persuasion tracing their own ancestry through historical research and DNA tell us that genealogical thinking has not died. Geraldine Brooks’s The Secret Chord (2015) is perhaps the most widely read modern interpretation of the life of David and makes it quite tragic. In modern terms, it is; David wins everything but then loses it, and although he lives a long life it is a lonely one having lost wives and sons. The things that David did achieve—military success and sexual potency—are still important to modern conceptions of masculinity. But the way in which he achieved them, so tied into religious teaching yet at the same time a model for all men, shows us the distance between our conceptions of manhood and medieval ones. The use of the plural here is important: the Middle Ages contained many Davids, not only the separate ones within Jewish and Christian interpretations of a textual heritage that was in many ways shared but in many other ways divergent, but also distinct ways of understanding the figure within each tradition over time.


introduction 1. Jeanne Boydston, “Gender as a Question of Historical Analysis,” Gender & History 20, no. 3 (2008): 550–583, provides in the context of U.S. history an excellent discussion of the historical contingency of gender in general (not masculinity in particular). See esp p. 559: “too often, we assume that whatever female people do is ‘femininity’ and whatever male people do is ‘masculinity.’ ” 2. Alexandra Shepard, “From Anxious Patriarchs to Refined Gentlemen? Manhood in Britain, Circa 1500–1700,” Journal of British Studies 44, no. 2 (2005): 281–295, here 289. 3. R. W. Connell and James Messerschmidt, “Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept,” Gender and Society 19, no. 6 (2005): 829–859. 4. Rachel Stone, Morality and Masculinity in the Carolingian Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 17. 5. Christopher Fletcher, “The Whig Interpretation of Masculinity? Honour and Sexuality in Late Medieval Manhood,” in What Is Masculinity? Historical Dynamics from Antiquity to the Contemporary World, ed. John H. Arnold and Sean Brady (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2011), 57–75, here 61–62. 6. Joan C. Scott, “Gender: A Useful Category of Analysis,” American Historical Review 91 (1968): 1053–1075, here 1067. 7. Connell and Messerschmidt; R. W. Connell, Masculinities, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005). 8. This is not to deny the existence of nonbinary people in the Middle Ages; but, in general, the evidence we have about medieval attitudes seems to me to point to the society’s insistence on assignment of people to one gender or the other, although they could have characteristics of the other gender. This point is currently much debated and will not be treated comprehensively here. On intersex people, see Ruth Evans, ed., “Medieval Intersex: Language and Hermaphroditism,” special issue, postmedieval 9, no. 2 (2019). On transgender people, see Karl Whittington, “Medieval,” Transgender Studies 1 (2014): 125–129; Gabrielle Bychowski, “Were There Transgender People in the Middle Ages?” The Public Medievalist blog, 1 November 2018, https://www.publicmedievalist .com/transgender-middle-ages/, accessed 30 December 2019. 9. See Christopher Fletcher, “Introduction: Masculinity and Politik,” in The Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Political Culture in Europe, ed. Christopher Fletcher et al. (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), where he sets out differing understandings of the term. 10. Michael L. Satlow, “From Salve to Weapon: Torah Study, Masculinity, and the Babylonian Talmud,” in Religious Men and Masculine Identity in the Middle Ages, ed. P.  H. Cullum and Katherine J. Lewis (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2013), 16–27.


n ot es to pages 5–8

11. For an excellent example of how the stories could be interpreted differently in different traditions, see Robert C. Gregg, Shared Stories, Rival Tellings: Early Encounters of Jews, Christians, and Muslims (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015). 12. See Judith Olszowy-Schlanger, “The Hebrew Bible,” in The New Cambridge History of the Bible, vol. 2, From 600 to 1450, ed. Richard Marsden and E. Ann Matter (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 19–40, for background. 13. Ibid., 33 14. Martin Jan Mulder, “The Transmission of the Biblical Text,” in Mikra: Text, Translation, Reading and Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity, ed. Martin Jan Mulder (Assen: Van Gorcum; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988), 87–135, esp. 104–113. 15. Olszowy-Schlanger, 27. 16. Discoveries among the Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran have revealed an older Hebrew text that in some ways resembles the LXX, although it is not its source text. For a good summary of the state of research, see Philippe Hugo, “Text History of the Books of Samuel: An Assessment of the Recent Research,” in Archaeology of the Books of Samuel: The Entangling of the Textual and Literary History, ed. Philippe Hugo and Adrian Schenker (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 1–19. 17. Benjamin Kedar, “The Latin Translations,” in Mulder, Mikra, 299–338. 18. Pierre-Maurice Bogaert, “The Latin Bible, c. 600 to c. 900,” in Marsden and Matter, 69–92. 19. Theresa Gross-Diaz, “The Latin Psalter,” in Marsden and Matter, 427–445, here 433. 20. See John Barton, A History of the Bible (London: Penguin Random House, 2019), 264–284 and passim, on canon formation. 21. See Albert de Pury and Thomas Römer, eds., Die sogenannte Thronfolgegeschichte Davids: Neue Einsichten und Anfragen (Freiburg, Schweiz: Universitätsverlag, 2000), especially the chapters by John Van Seters, “The Court History and DtrH,” 70–93, and Thomas Naumann, “David als exemplarischer König: Der Fall Urijas (2 Sam 11) vor dem Hintergrund altorientalischer Erzähltraditionen,” 136–167; John Van Seters, The Biblical Saga of King David (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2009). Although Van Seters is arguing a not universally accepted point of view, the first chapter of his book is very useful in giving the state of the question. See also Azzan Yadin, “Goliath’s Armor and Israelite Collective Memory,” Vetus Testamentum 54 (2004): 373–395. Baruch Halpern, David’s Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001), makes a forceful case for the book having been initially written during the reign of Solomon. Adele Berlin very helpfully reviews three books on the biblical David—Steven L. McKenzie, King David: A Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000); Marti J. Steussy, David: Biblical Portraits of Power (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1999); and Halpern, David’s Secret Demons—in AJS Review 26, no. 1 (2002): 111–117. Stanley Isser, The Sword of Goliath: David in Heroic Literature (Leiden: Brill, 2003), argues for a folkloric nature for the life of David. 22. Van Seters, Biblical Saga, 53–89, presents a summary of the archaeological controversies. 23. Daniel D. Pioske, David’s Jerusalem: Between Memory and History (London: Routledge, 2015), while he does not deny the existence of a unified kingdom, argues that its depiction in the Bible is a result of the development of a “Zion ideology of place.” See also Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible’s Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition (New York: Free Press, 2006); for the argument that we should think in terms not of a unified kingdom but rather of a set of patronage networks, see Emanuel Pfoh, The Emergence of Israel in Ancient Palestine: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives (Abington: Routledge, 2009). 24. The controversy is treated in a number of works, which take different postions on it. See Halpern, David’s Secret Demons, and Pioske, David’s Jerusalem; both use archaeological material

n ot es to pages 8 –17


and argue for the historicity of a Davidic kingdom, while accounting for the fragmented composition and tendentiousness of the books of Samuel. Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts (New York: Touchstone, 2001), 123–145, find the archaeological evidence for the Davidic kingdom in Judea extremely unconvincing, while not doubting the existence of David and Solomon as kings. 25. Halpern, 71; see also 427ff.; Pioske, 179–180; Finkelstein and Silberman, David and Solomon, 261–268. Most scholars seem to agree that it means House of David. 26. Gross-Diaz, 444. Nicholas of Lyra, among others, questioned David’s authorship of the entire book of Psalms, but accepted him as author of most. Klaus Reinhardt, “Die Postilla litteralis super Psalmos des Nikolaus von Lyra (ca. 1270–1349) im Lichte der Additiones des Paulus von Burgos (ca. 1350–1435),” Archa Verbi 10 (2013): 88–105, here 90, 93. 27. Stella Panayotovna, “The Illustrated Psalter: Luxury and Practical Use,” in The Practice of the Bible in the Middle Ages: Production, Reception, and Performance in Western Christianity, ed. Susan Boynton and Diane J. Reilly (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), 247–271, here 248. 28. Grover Zinn, “Introduction,” in The Place of the Psalms in the Intellectual Culture of the Middle Ages, ed. Nancy van Deusen (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999), xi–xv, here xii. 29. Joseph Falaky Nagy, “Psalm as Praise Poem in Medieval Celtic Traditions,” in van Deusen, 25–42, here 26. 30. Michael Kuczynski, “The Psalms and Social Action in Late Medieval England,” in van Deusen, 191–214, here 197. 31. David Stern summarizes in “On Comparative Exegesis—Interpretation, Influence, Appropriation,” in Jewish Biblical Interpretation and Cultural Exchange: Comparative Exegesis in Context, ed. Natalie B. Dohrmann and David Stern (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), 1–19. 32. Ibid., 13. 33. For the early medieval period in Christianity, see Celia Chazelle and Burton Van Name Edwards, “Introduction: The Study of the Bible and Carolingian Culture,” in The Study of the Bible in the Carolingian Era, ed. Chazelle and Edwards (Turnhout: Brepols, 2003), 1–16. 34. Lesley Smith, The “Glossa Ordinaria”: The Making of a Medieval Bible Commentary (Leiden: Brill, 2009), is the best work on this text or corpus of texts; see 17–38 on composition. 35. The classic work on this is Henri de Lubac, Medieval Exegesis: The Four Senses of Scripture, vol. 1, trans. Marc Sebanc (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998); vol. 2, trans. E. M. Macierowski (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000). 36. See Robert Harris, “Jewish Biblical Exegesis from Its Beginnings to the Twelfth Century,” in Marsden and Matter, 596–615; Ramon Kasher, “The Interpretation of Scripture in Rabbinic Literature,” in Mulder, Mikra, 547–594. 37. David Weiss Halivni, Peshat and Derash: Plain and Applied Meaning in Rabbinic Exegesis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 19. 38. Joseph Dan, “Midrash and the Dawn of Kabbalah,” in Jewish Mysticism, vol. 2, The Middle Ages (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1998), 1–18, here 2. On kabbalistic hermeneutics, see Moshe Idel, Kabbalah: New Perspectives (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988), 200–249. 39. Gershom Scholem, On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism, trans. Ralph Manheim (New York: Schocken Books, 1969), 52ff.; see also Mordechai Z. Cohen, “Nahmanides’ Four Senses of Scriptural Signification: Jewish and Christian Contexts,” in Entangled Histories: Knowledge, Authority, and Jewish Culture in the Thirteenth Century, ed. Elisheva Baumgarten, Ruth Mazo Karras, and Katelyn Mesler (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017), 38–58.


n ot es to pages 17–24

40. The Old Testament is not exactly the same as the Hebrew Bible, because it includes some books not included in the latter. Which books are included varies among Christian denominations. 41. Talya Fishman, Becoming the People of the Talmud: Oral Torah as Written Tradition in Medieval Jewish Cultures (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), places this development later than the received wisdom. 42. Indeed, there is such a book: Colum Hourihane, ed., King David in the Index of Christian Art (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002), is a listing of all the images of King David found in the Index of Christian Art at Princeton (also at www://ima organized by scene. 43. See Mark J. Clark, The Making of the “Historia scholastica,” 1150–1200 (Toronto: PIMS, 2015), for the creation and importance of this work. Like the Glossa ordinaria, this is a complicated text. It is beyond the scope of this work to sort out the different recensions, and I have used the Patrologia Latina edition, which is by no means a critical edition. 44. See Wulf- Otto Dreeßen, “Midraschepik und Bibelepik: Biblische Stoffe in der volkssprachlichen Literatur der Juden und Christen des Mittelalters im deutschen Sprachgebiet,” Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie 100, Sonderheft (1981): 78–97, for a discussion of how Yiddish epic, although it shared some characteristics with German biblical epics, was quite different, incorporating midrash rather than telling the Bible story, whereas Christian retellings of Bible stories often brought a typological moral to bear. 45. Hans Robert Jauss, Toward an Aesthetic of Reception, trans. Timothy Bahti (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982), 103. 46. Jauss, 76–109, is the classic statement on this, but it became much clearer to me in relation to medieval Jewish and Christian Bible interpretation in the formulation of Claudia Rosenzweig, “Between Tradition and Counter-Reception: Uses of the Bible in Early-Modern Yiddish Culture,” at “The Bible in the Renaissance” conference, held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, May 2017. 47. Paris, BnF hébreu 92, fol. 3v. I am grateful to Claudia Rosenzweig for this reference 48. Katrin Kogman-Appel, Jewish Book Art Between Islam and Christianity: The Decoration of Hebrew Bibles in Medieval Spain, trans. Judith Davidson (Leiden: Brill, 2004), 1. 49. Ibid., 193, on the reasons for the different illustration style in Haggadot. 50. Paul Saenger, “Books of Hours and the Reading Habits of the Later Middle Ages,” in The Culture of Print: Power and the Uses of Print in Early Modern Europe, ed. Roger Chartier, trans. Lydia G. Cochrane (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989), 141–173.

chapter 1 1. As just one example, BBC Sports, “David v Goliath: Famous Upsets,” 21 February 2013,, accessed 4 June 2018. 2. Benjamin J. M. Johnson, Reading David and Goliath in Greek and Hebrew: A Literary Approach, Forschungen zum Alten Testament, 2. Reihe 82 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2015), 41–46, 110. 3. See Laurie Schneider, “Donatello’s Bronze David,” Art Bulletin 55, no. 2 (1973): 213–216. 4. On the tripartite division of society, see Georges Duby, The Three Orders: Feudal Society Imagined, trans. Arthur Goldhammer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980); and the useful corrective in Giles Constable, “The Orders of Society,” in Three Studies in Religious and Social Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 249–360. On the organization of medieval society more generally around warfare the literature is vast. A good set of overviews is

n ot es to pages 24–25


found in the New Cambridge Medieval History: in vol. 2, C. 700–c. 900, ed. Rosamond McKitterick (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), see Stuart Airlie, “The Aristocracy,” 431–450, and Hans-Werner Goetz, “Social and Military Institutions,” 451–480; in vol. 5, C. 1198–c. 1300, ed. David Abulafia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), see Robert C. Stacey, “Nobles and Knights,” 11–25; and see chapters in all volumes on individual polities. 5. The idea of medieval society as primarily a network of feudal obligations was challenged by Susan Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals: The Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994). Scholars following Reynolds have not entirely proceeded to throw out the concept of “feudal” but have tended to use it much more carefully and with more sensitivity to context. As an example of the complexity in one time and place, see Thomas N. Bisson, The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009). 6. Maurice Keen, Chivalry (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1984), is a classic; see also Richard W. Kaeuper, Medieval Chivalry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016); and for a work that focuses on a particularly important period for the idea of chivalry, see Craig Taylor, Chivalry, Honour and Knighthood in Late Medieval France (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013). 7. See Adrian R. Bell et al., The Soldier in Later Medieval England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), for a prosopography-based overview of knights in practice. 8. Ruth Mazo Karras, From Boys to Men: Formations of Masculinity in Medieval Europe (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), 90–92. 9. Jacqueline Murray, “One Flesh, Two Sexes, Three Genders?” in Gender and Christianity in Medieval Europe: New Perspectives, ed. Lisa M. Bitel and Felice Lifshitz (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), 34–51; Ruth Mazo Karras, “Thomas Aquinas’s Chastity Belt,” in Bitel and Lifshitz, 52–67. 10. Katherine J. Lewis, Kingship and Masculinity in Late Medieval England (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013), 23–25; see also chap. 9, “The Unwarlike King,” 170–192, on Henry VI. 11. See Natasha R. Hodgson, Katherine J. Lewis, and Matthew M. Mesley, eds., Crusading and Masculinities (London: Routledge, 2019). 12. See Richard W. Kaeuper, Holy Warriors: The Religious Ideology of Chivalry (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009). 13. Michael Chabon, Gentlemen of the Road (New York: Ballantine, 2007), 197. 14. Daniel Boyarin, Unheroic Conduct: The Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), 1–29 and passim. 15. Curt Leviant, ed., King Artus: A Hebrew Arthurian Romance of 1279 (New York: Ktav, 1969); Claudia Rosenzweig, ed., Bovo d’Antona by Elye Boker: A Yiddish Romance; A Critical Edition with Commentary (Leiden: Brill, 2016). 16. Ivan G. Marcus, “Why Is This Knight Different? A Jewish Self-Representation in Medieval Europe,” in Tov Elem: Memory, Community and Gender in Medieval and Early Modern Jewish Societies; Studies in Honor of Robert Bonfil, ed. Elisheva Baumgarten, Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, and Roni Weinstein (Jerusalem: Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies and Bialik Institute, 2011), 138–152; Sara Offenberg, “A Jewish Knight in Shining Armor: Messianic Narrative and Imagination in Ashkenazi Illuminated Manuscripts,” University of Toronto Journal of Jewish Thought 4 (2014): 1–14. See also Erika Timm, “Wie Elia Levita sein Bovobuch für den Druck überarbeitete: Ein Kapitel aus der italo-jiddischen Literatur der Renaissancezeit,” Germanische-Romanische Monatsschrift 41 (1991): 61–81, for the argument that this Arthurian story was “de-martialized” in the process of moving from manuscript to print.


n ot es to pages 26–29

17. See Horst Schroeder, Der Topos der Nine Worthies in Literatur und bildender Kunst (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1971). 18. Hubert Herkommer, “Heilsgeschichtliches Programm und Tugendlehre: Ein Beitrag zur Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte der Stadt Nürnberg am Beispiel des Schönen Brunnens und des Tugendbrunnens,” Mitteilungen des Vereins zur Geschichte der Stadt Nürnberg 63 (1976): 192–216; photo at, accessed 4 June 2018. Also depicted on this fountain are the seven liberal arts and philosophy, each represented by one (male) figure, four church fathers, four evangelists, Moses and the prophets, and six electors. See Ludwig Zintl, Der Schöne Brunnen in Nürnberg und seine Figuren: Geschichte und Bedeutung eines Kunstwerkes (Nuremberg: A. Hofmann, 1993). 19. BnF MS fr 12559, fol. 125r. Image and information about the text available at http://gallica /f253.item.zoom, accessed 4 June 2018. For a fifteenth-century French universal chronicle with the Nine Worthies, showing David playing the harp, as well as sixteenth-century representations of the Nine Worthies, see Elizabeth Morrison and Anne D. Hedeman, Imagining the Past in France: History in Manuscript Painting, 1250–1500 (Los Angeles: Getty Museum, 2010), 242, 313–315. 20. Maria Luisa Meneghetti, Storie al muro: Temi e personaggi della letteratura profana nell’arte medievale (Torino: Einaudi, 2015), 203–214. 21. Longuyon’s text has been edited along with a Scottish version of the story of Alexander, for which it was a source: John Barbour, The Buik of Alexander, ed. R. L. Graeme Ritchie, vol. 4 (Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1929), p. 404, lines 7530–7537. See also R. S. Loomis, “Verses on the Nine Worthies,” Modern Philology 15, no. 4 (1917): 211–219; Glynnis M. Cropp, “Les vers sur les neuf preux,” Romania 120 (2002): 449–482, with a new edition of the text. See Chapter 3 for David as penitent. 22. R. Allen Shoaf, “The Alliterative Morte Arthure: The Story of Britain’s David,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 81 (1982): 204–226. 23. For the classic discussion, see Dominique Barthélemy et al., The Story of David and Goliath: Textual and Literary Criticism, Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 73 (Fribourg: Editions Universitaires, 1986); see also Benjamin J. M. Johnson, Reading David and Goliath. 24. Halpern, 148. The Elhanan story is much briefer and does not include anything about the sword of Goliath, which plays an important role in the developing story of David and Saul; see Isser, 35–36. 25. The LXX has “a mighty man.” See Benjamin J. M. Johnson, 73. 26. On ketiv and qere, see Olszowy-Schlanger, 29. 27. Guido Kisch, ed., Pseudo-Philo’s Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum, Publications in Mediaeval Studies 10 (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame, 1949), 263 (61.6). 28. Midrash Ruth Rabbah 2:9, Sefaria, https://www.sefaria .org /Ruth _ Rabbah.2?lang = bi, accessed 7 July 2020, trans. L. Rabinowitz, vol. 8 of Midrash Rabbah, ed. H. Freeman and Maurice Simon (London: Soncino, 1939), p. 31; 2:20, p. 39. 29. Midrash Shmu’el 20, ed. Berachyahu Lifshitz (Jerusalem: Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, 2009), 68. 30. Rashi on BT Sotah 42b.5, William Davidson Talmud, https://www.sefaria .org /Rashi _on_ Sotah.42b.5?lang = bi, accessed 10 June 2018. 31. Rashi on 1 Sam. 17:4. 32. Yalqut Shimʻoni al neviʼ im le-rabenu Shimʻon ha-Darshan, ed. Dov Hyman, vol. 6, Neviʼ im rishonim (Jerusalem: Mossad ha-Rav Quq, 1999), 255.

n ot es to pages 29–32


33. On the meaning of this term in the early Middle Ages, see Sara McDougall, Royal Bastards: The Birth of Illegitimacy, 800–1230 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 28–34. McDougall suggests (32) that Jerome’s spurius was a mistranslation, but if so it was a far from ignorant one, as it was based on Jewish interpretation of the passage. 34. Megan Hale Williams, “Lessons from Jerome’s Jewish Teachers: Exegesis and Cultural Interaction in Late Antique Palestine,” in Dohrmann and Stern, 66–86. Jerome condemned “Judaizing” but was also accused of it; see David Nirenberg, Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2013), 120–123. 35. Louis Ginzberg, Die Haggada in den pseudo-Hieronymianischen “Quaestiones,” part 1 of Die Haggada bei den Kirchenvätern (Amsterdam, 1899), 30–31. 36. Pseudo-Jerome, Quaestiones on the Book of Samuel, ed. Avrom Saltman, Studia PostBiblica 26 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1975), 12, 16. 37. Ibid., 18–19. 38. Ibid., 74. All translations where no translator is cited are my own. 39. Ruth Mazo Karras, Unmarriages: Women, Men, and Sexual Unions in Medieval Europe (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), 96. 40. Marios Costambeys, Matthew Innes, and Simon MacLean, The Carolingian World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 92, citing Beowulf, lines 111–113. 41. Bede, On First Samuel, trans. Scott DeGregorio and Rosalind Love (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2019), 336–337; In primam partem Samuhelis, vol. 2B of Opera exegetica ed. D. Hurst, CCSL 119B (Turnhout: Brepols, 1969), 147–148. 42. Peter Comestor, Historia scholastica, PL 198:1311B. On the history and the text of the Historia scholastica, see Clark, Making of the “Historia scholastica.” The PL text is not ideal, but no critical edition is available. 43. Hugh of St. Cher, Opera omnia in universum Vetus et Novum Testamentum (Lyon, 1645), 1:232. See Paul F. Stuehrenberg, “The Medieval Commentary Tradition: The Glossa Ordinaria, Hugh of St. Cher and Nicholas of Lyra and the Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages,” Journal of Religious & Theological Information 1 (1993): 91–101, for basic background. 44. As with Hugh of St. Cher, the edition of Nicholas of Lyra that I used was the one to which I was able to get access: Biblia sacra cvm glossa interlineari ordinaria et Nicolai Lyrani postilla, eiusdemque moralitatibus, Burgensis additionibus, & Thoringi replicis (Venice, 1588), 2:81v. On Nicholas’s use of Jewish interpretation, see Deanna Copeland Klepper, The Insight of Unbelievers: Nicholas of Lyra and Christian Reading of Jewish Texts in the Later Middle Ages (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007). 45. On the work of Denis the Carthusian, see Kent Emery, Dionysii Cartvsiensis opera selecta, vol. 1, Prolegomena, CCCM 121–121A (Tournai: Brepols, 1991). 46. Denis the Carthusian, “Enarratio in librum primum Regum,” in Opera omnia, vol. 3 (Tournai, 1897), 357–362. 47. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 17.190.396, /works-of-art/17.190.396/. See Suzanne Spain Alexander, “Heraclius, Byzantine Imperial Ideology, and the David Plates,” Speculum 52, no. 2 (1977): 217–237. Rainer Stichel, “Scenes from the Life of David in Dura Europos and Byzantine Art,” in The Real and Ideal Jerusalem in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Art: Studies in Honor of Bezalel Narkiss on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday, ed. Bianca Kühnel (Jerusalem: Center for Jewish Art, 1998), 100–116, questions the attribution to Heraclius. 48. Vasiliki Tsamakda, “König David als Typos des Byzantinischen Kaisers,” in Byzanz: Das Römerreich im Mittelalter, vol. 1, Welt der ideen, Welt der Dinge, ed. Falko Daim and Jörg


n ot es to pages 32 –37

Drauschke (Mainz: Verlag des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums, 2010), 24–54, 30–31 on the question of the direct link to Heraclius and single combat. 49. BL MS Egerton 1139; Jaroslav Folda, The Art of the Crusaders in the Holy Land, 1098– 1187 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 137–159 (photographs of cover on 152). 50. Psalter of Theodore of Caesarea, Byzantine, eleventh century, BL Add. MS 19352, fol. 182r; Anthony Cutler and Annemarie Weyl Carr, “The Psalter Benaki 34.3: An Unpublished Illuminated Manuscript from the Family 2400,” Revue des études byzantines 34 (1976): 281–324, here 289–290. 51. Hugo Buchthal, The Miniatures of the Paris Psalter: A Study in Middle Byzantine Painting (London: Warburg Institute, 1938), 21–23. 52. Stichel, 109–112. 53. On the deuterocanonical status of those parts of the LXX not found in the MT, see Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963), 208–209. 54. Amiens, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS 18, fol. 123v. See Takashi Nagasawa, “Notes sur l’évolution de l’iconographie du ‘Combat de David contre Goliath’ des origines au Xe siècle,” Byzantion 58, no. 1 (1988): 123–139. 55. Robert L. Schichler, “Ending on a Giant Theme: The Utrecht and Harley Psalters, and the Pointed-Helmet Coinage of Cnut,” in Intertexts: Studies in Anglo-Saxon Culture Presented to Paul E. Szarmach, ed. Virginia Blanton and Helene Scheck, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, vol. 334 (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2008), 241–254. 56. Cîteaux, 1109–1111, Bibliothèque Municipale de Dijon, MS 14, fol. 13r, http://www Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht6/IRHT_093728-p.jpg, accessed 5 June 2018. 57. On this manuscript, see Yolanda Zaluska, L’enluminure et le scriptorium de Cîteaux au XIIe siècle (Cîteaux: Commentarii cistercienses, 1989), 63–111. The first volume of the manuscript is dated 1109 by its colophon; the images in question are in what was once the second volume, completed possibly a few years later. The cycle notably omits every thing between the coronation at Hebron and Absalom’s rebellion, including the affair with Bathsheba (Chapter 3) and David’s dancing before the ark (Chapter 4). 58. La Charité Psalter, late twelfth century, northern France, BL MS Harley 2895, fol. 82v, .uk /catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ ILLUMINBig . ASP?size = big&IllID = 20875, accessed 5 June 2018; Queen Mary Psalter, 1310–1320, BL MS Royal 2.B.VII, fol. 51v, https://www. bl .uk /catalogues /illuminatedmanuscripts / ILLUMIN . ASP ?Size = mid&IllID =53895, accessed 5 June 2018. 59. Günther Haseloff, Die Psalterillustration im 13. Jahrhundert: Studien zur Geschichte der Buchmalerei in England, Frankreich und den Niederlanden (Kiel: G. Haseloff, 1938), 106–117. 60. Ibid., 31. 61. See also Navarre Picture Bible, Pamplona, Spain, 1197, Bibliothèque d’Amiens, MS 108, reproduced in François Bucher, The Pamplona Bibles, vol. 2, Facsimile (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1970), fols. 84r–85v. 62. Stephen Wright, “The Tyrolean Play of David and Goliath,” European Medieval Drama 8 (2004): 51–90, here 65. 63. See Lucy Freeman Sandler, “The Study of Marginal Imagery: Past, Present, and Future,” Studies in Iconography 18 (1997): 1–49, on such images. 64. For the connection between the hare and anal receptivity, see John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), 305–309.

n ot es to pages 37–4 2


65. Bible from Tudela, Spain, Paris, BnF, MS Hébreu 20, fol. 170r, http://gallica /12148/btv1b90027611/f171.image, accessed 6 June 2018. See Bezalel Narkiss, Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts (Jerusalem: Leon Amiel, 1974), 25. 66. Narkiss, 100. 67. Gabrielle Sed-Rajna, “The Illustrations of the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah,” Journal of Jewish Art 6 (1979): 64–77, here 72. 68. Ibid., 76; Gabrielle Sed-Rajna, “The Illuminated Pages of the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah,” in Codex Maimuni: Moses Maimonides’ Code of Law; The Illuminated Pages of the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah (Budapest: Strassburger, 1984), 27–40, here 31; facsimile of the page on p. 128. 69. Evelyn M. Cohen, “The Kaufmann Mishneh Torah Illuminations,” in David Kaufmann Memorial Volume, ed. Éva Apor (Budapest: Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 2002), 97–104. 70. “The Northern French Miscellany,” /collection-items/north-french -miscellany-add-ms-11639, accessed 1 June 2019; Thérèse Metzger and Mendel Metzger, “Les enluminures du Ms. Add. 11639 de la British Library, un manuscrit hébreu du nord de la France (fin du XIIIe siècle–premier quart du XIVe siècle): Problèmes iconographiques et stylistiques,” Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte 38, no. 1 (1985): 59–113, at 89–94. See more on this manuscript in Chapter 4. 71. Glossa ordinaria to 1 Sam. 17:16, _ chapitre.php ?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber12.xml&chapitre =12_17 (electronic version of the 1481 edition), accessed 6 June 2018. None of these explanations are original; the Glossa ordinaria is essentially a compilation, and I cite it here because it became the standard. 72. Kathleen M. Openshaw, “The Battle Between Christ and Satan in the Tiberius Psalter,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 52 (1989): 14–33; Openshaw, “Weapons in the Daily Battle: Images of the Conquest of Evil in the Early Medieval Psalter,” Art Bulletin 75 (1993): 17–38; Stammheim Missal, 1170s, Getty Museum, MS 64, fol. 111r, /collection/objects/105412/unknown-maker-the-women-at-the-tomb -german-probably-1170s/, accessed 7 June 2018. 73. For illustrations of this scene, see Warburg Institute Iconographic Database, https:// iconographic .warburg . sas . ac .uk /vpc/ VPC _ search /subcats .php?cat _ 1 = 14&cat _ 2 = 812&cat _ 3 =2903&cat_4=5439&cat_5=13111&cat_6=10453&cat_7=3650, accessed 7 June 2018. 74. Speculum humanae salvationis, Germany, 1350–1400, Morgan Library M140, fol. 16r, http://ica /manuscript/page/26/77070, accessed 7 June 2018. 75. La Bible de Macé de la Charité, ed. A. M. L. Prangsma-Hajenius (Leiden: Leiden University Press, 1970), 3:21, lines 11366–11369. 76. Ian J. Kirby, Bible Translation in Old Norse (Geneva: Droz, 1986), 66–69; cf. Ruth Mazo Karras, “Royal Masculinity in Kingless Societies,” Journal of the Haskins Society 28 (2016): 83–100. 77. On the author’s technique (but relating especially to Stjorn I), see Reidar Astås, An Old Norse Biblical Compilation: Studies in Stjórn (New York: Peter Lang, 1991). 78. C. R. Unger, ed., Stjorn: Gammelnorsk Bibelhistorie fra verdens skabelse til det Babyloniske fangenskab (Christiania: Feilberg & Landmarks Forlag, 1862), chap. 234, p. 463. 79. Ibid., p. 464. 80. Ibid. 81. BL Add. MS 28162, 1290–1300, fol. 8v, Viewer.aspx?ref =add _ms _28162_fs001r, accessed 6 June 2018. 82. The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament, ed. Michael Livingston, TEAMS Middle English Texts Series (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute, 2011), pp. 210–211, lines 6079–6084.


n ot es to pages 4 3–4 4

83. Oren Roman, “Be-nign Shmuel-bukh: On the Melody (or Melodies) Mentioned in OldYiddish Epics,” Aschkenas 25, no. 1 (2015): 145–160. 84. Jean Baumgarten, Introduction to Old Yiddish Literature, ed. and trans. Jerold C. Frakes (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 58, 149; Baumgarten, “Le manuscrit de Cambridge (1382): De la philologie germanique aux études Yiddish,” Le Miroir allemand 4 (1995): 69–85 for discussion of the field and genre. See also W. Staerk, “Zur Überlieferungsgeschichte des jüdischdeutschen Samuel- und Königsbuches,” Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums 22 (1919): 20–33. 85. Felix Falk, ed., Das Schemuelbuch des Mosche Esrim Wearba: Ein biblisches Epos aus dem 15. Jahrhundert, vol. 1, Einleitung und Faksimile der Editio Princeps, Augsburg 1544 (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1961), sts. 50–51, fol. 21r. As a guide to interpretation of the Yiddish, I have used Paulus Aemilius Romanus, Die zway ersten Bücher der Künig, wölche Samuelis genandt werden (Ingolstat, 1562); and Jerold C. Frakes, ed. and trans., Early Yiddish Epic (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2014), 15–148. All subsequent references to the Shmuel-bukh refer to Falk’s edition and Frakes’s translation. Although Paulus claims that this text is “auβ dem Hebraischen büchstaben mit fleiβ in unser hochteütsch gebracht,” it is not just a transliteration: there are stanzas present in Paulus that are not in the Yiddish version, and throughout some words are different, for example “fest” for “hart,” and additional words are inserted to correct the meter. Sometimes these do not change the meaning (“den David umbfienge” for “in um ving”) but sometimes they do, as when the reading is “Herr David” instead of simply “David.” It is not clear whether Paulus used the editio princeps (the only one that had appeared by the time he wrote) and corrected it or whether he used a manuscript. Falk, 1:20 and 1:31, suggests that the editio princeps used a manuscript from a different branch of the tradition than the three surviving manuscripts (which are very close to each other) and that it had many problems that the editor attempted to correct. I have been able to compare the facsimile of the editio princeps with the Paris manuscript, BnF hébreu 92, available at, accessed 28 February 2020. There are some significant differences, stanzas that do not appear in one or the other. In the case of the passages under discussion here, the differences are relatively minor. However, it is clear that the manuscript does not agree with Paulus in those spots where he disagrees with the edition; either he used a base text from yet a third branch of the tradition, or he was quite free with his supposed transliteration. Friedrich Zarncke, “Des Paulus Aemilius Romanus Übersetzung der Bücher Samuelis,” Berichte über die Verhandlungen der königlich-sächsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, philologish-historische Klasse 22 (1870): 212–226, argued that Paulus must be the original translator/adapter from the Hebrew and “the Judeo-German poem is a hasty and rough transcription of the German, as all other Judeo-German reworkings of German writings tend to bear the same hasty and rough character” (225). Zarncke appears to have known only a 1612 edition, not the 1544 edition or the manuscripts, but he is right that Paulus has a more consistent meter. 86. Frakes, Early Yiddish Epic, 43–44. Cf. Rashi on 1 Sam. 17:38 and BT Yebamot 76b for Saul’s garments or armor fitting David. The Muslim historian Al-Tābarī (late ninth–early tenth century) also makes Saul’s armor snug on David even though he is a “sickly, pale” man. Abu Jafar Muhammad b. Jamir al- Tābarī, The History of Al-Tābarī, vol. 3, The Children of Israel, trans. William M. Brinner (Albany: SUNY Press, 1991), 136. I will introduce Muslim interpretations in Chapter Three, where the way in which they develop the story marks an important theological difference; I mention this one here only because it indicates agreement between the Muslim and Jewish traditions in contrast to the Christian. 87. Falk, st. 378, fol. 22v.

n ot es to pages 4 4–4 6


88. Morgan Library, MS M638, Crusader Bible, 1240s, fol. 28v, http://ica /manuscript/page/56/158530, accessed 7 June 2018; C. Griffith Mann, “Picturing the Bible in the Thirteenth Century,” in The Book of Kings: Art, War, and the Morgan Library’s Medieval Picture Bible, ed. William Noel and Daniel Weiss (Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, 2002), 39–59. 89. Reinhard Hahn, “ ‘Got selbe gap ime di craft’: David und Goliath in erzählenden Texten des deutschen Mittelalters,” in Deutsche Sprache und Literatur in Mittlelater und früher Neuzeit: Festschrift für Heinz Mettke zum 65. Geburtstag (Jena, 1989), 145–152. 90. Andy Orchard, A Critical Companion to Beowulf (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2001), 142–144; Sylvia Horowitz, “Beowulf, Samson, David, and Christ,” Studies in Medieval Culture 12 (1978): 17–23. 91. Jacques Chocheyras, “Tristan et David,” Cahiers de civilization médiévales 52 (2009): 159– 166; John Richardson, “Niuwer David, Niuwer Orpheus: Transformation and Metamorphosis in Gottfried von Straßburg’s Tristan,” Tristania 17 (1996): 85–109, here 89–92; Alex. J. Denomy, “Tristan and the Morholt: David and Goliath.” Mediaeval Studies 18 (1956): 224–31, suggests that the name Morholt may derive from the Irish mor, “big,” and the name Goliath. Other scholars have been hesitant to adopt this suggestion. 92. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Of Giants: Sex, Monsters, and the Middle Ages (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 32. See Shoaf, “Alliterative Morte Arthure,” who also cites the Mont-Saint-Michel giant as parallel. On David and Arthur, see also M. Victoria Guerin, “The King’s Sin: The Origins of the David-Arthur Parallel,” in The Passing of Arthur: New Essays in Arthurian Tradition, ed. Christopher S. Baswell and William Sharpe (New York: Garland, 1988), 15–30. 93. Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia regum Britanniae, late twelfth century, Douai, Bibliothèque municipal, MS 880, fol. 66v, detail,, accessed 7 June 2018; Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, 44. 94. Roman de Brut, BL MS Egerton 3028, fol. 49, manuscripts/ILLUMIN. ASP?Size =mid&IllID =11739, accessed 7 July 2020. 95. Millard Meiss and Edith W. Kirsch, eds., The Visconti Hours, National Library, Florence (New York: George Braziller, 1972), fol. BR 132. 96. Ibid., 85–86; Cursor Mundi, a Northumbrian Poem of the XIVth Century, ed. Richard Morris (Oxford: Kegan, Paul, Trübner, 1874), EETS 59, 2:430, lines 7443–7454 (subsequent references are to this edition). The eating of six sheep is also found elsewhere: Li Romanz de Dieu et de sa mere d’Herman de Valenciennes, chanoine et prêtre (XIIe siècle), ed. Ina Spiele (Leiden: Presse universitaire de Leyde, 1975), p. 231, st. 320. 97. Katherine Allen Smith, The Bible and Crusade Narrative in the Twelfth Century (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2020), 138. 98. Cursor Mundi, 2:432, lines 7481–7483. 99. Eckehard Simon, “Geistliches Fastnachtspiel: Zum Grenzbereich zwischen geistlichem und weltlichem Spiel,” in Transformationen des Religiösen: Performativität und Textualität im geistlichen Spiel, ed. Ingrid Kasten and Erika Fischer-Lichte (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2007), 18–45, here 27; Stephen Wright, 82–85. 100. According to the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) version, the Hebrew here is unclear, but the Vulgate is quite clear that it understands the victor’s father’s house as being exempt from tribute. 101. Gustav Milchsack, ed., Heidelberger Passionsspiel (Tübingen: Litterarischer Verein in Stuttgart, 1880), p. 112, lines 2123–2124. 102. Heinz Wyss, ed., Das Luzerner Osterspiel (Bern: Francke Verlag, 1967), 1:178–179.


n ot es to pages 47–52

103. Gustav Milchsack, ed., Egerer Fronleichnamsspiel (Tübingen: Litterarischen Verein in Stuttgart, 1881), p. 37, lines 1031–1034. 104. Michael Clanchy, “Abelard: Knight (Miles), Courtier (Palatinus), and Man of War (Vir Bellator),” in Medieval Knighthood V: Papers from the Sixth Strawberry Hill Conference, ed. Stephen Church and Ruth Harvey (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1995), 101–118, here 114–115. 105. Andrew Butterfield, “New Evidence for the Iconography of David in Quattrocento Florence,” I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance 6 (1995): 115–133, here 124–127, summary of this historiography at 116–117. 106. Theodore W. Jennings Jr., Jacob’s Wound: Homoerotic Narrative in the Literature of Ancient Israel (New York: Continuum, 2005), 72. 107. Shmuel-bukh, sts. 394–398, ed. Falk, 23v–24r. 108. Milchsack, Heidelberger Passionsspiel, p. 118, lines 2644–2648. 109. Mati Meyer, “Did the Daughters of Israel Come Out Dancing and Singing to Meet . . . David? A Biblical Image in Christian-Macedonian Imperial Attire,” Byzantion 73 (2003): 467–487. For depiction on a particu lar Byzantine object, see Magda Bárány-Oberschall, The Crown of the Emperor Constantine Monomachos (Budapest: Magyar Történeti Múzeum, 1937), 76; Tsamakda, 45–47. 110. The Masoretic text and the Vulgate have Saul set a bride-price of one hundred, but David delivers two hundred (1 Sam. 18:25 and 27); the LXX has one hundred in both places. All versions agree that 2 Samuel 3:14 reads one hundred. The two hundred in the Masoretic text could be an error, or it could be a deliberate attempt to make David an overachiever, with the Septuagint reading as a scribal intervention to make things agree that did not agree in the original; see Benjamin J. M. Johnson, 471. 111. Hugh of St. Cher, 1:233v. 112. There is also a practical consideration. If one is collecting body parts to prove to a superior that one has actually killed a number of the enemy, foreskins are much easier to transport than heads or even hands. 113. Circumcision as a condition for marriage appears in Genesis 34, when Jacob agrees to give his daughter Dinah to the gentile Shechem if all the men of his city would be circumcised. Here, however, it is a ruse for the Israelites to conquer the city while the men were weakened from the procedure, and even though the circumcision is spoken of in response to a question about brideprice, the foreskins are not specifically requested. 114. Glossa ordinaria to 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 18), http://gloss-e .irht .cnrs .fr/php/editions _ chapitre .php?livre =. ./sources/editions/GLOSS -liber12 . xml&chapitre = 12 _ 18, accessed 17 May 2017. 115. Hugh of St. Cher, 1:233v. 116. Nicholas of Lyra, Biblia sacra, 2:85; Denis the Carthusian, 367. 117. Lewis, Kingship and Masculinity, esp. 22–24. 118. On marriage diplomacy, see John Watkins, After Lavinia: A Literary History of Premodern Marriage Diplomacy (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2017), 7. 119. Morgan Library, MS M638, /manuscript/158530, accessed 7 June 2018. 120. Leaf from the Morgan Picture Bible, /unknown-maker-leaf-from-the-morgan-picture-bible-french-about-1250/, accessed 7 June 2018. 121. On Harding’s Bible, see Michael Graves, “Glimpses into the History of the Hebrew Bible Through the Vulgate Tradition, with Special Reference to Vulgate MS θG,” in The Text of the Hebrew Bible and Its Editions: Studies in Celebration of the Fifth Centennial of the Complu-

n ot es to pages 53–57


tensian Polyglot, ed. Andrés Piquer Otero and Pablo A. Torijano Morales (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 217–254 at 229. 122. BT Sanhedrin 49a, https://www. sefaria .org /Sanhedrin.49a?lang = bi, accessed 10 June 2018. 123. Glossa ordinaria to 2 Rg. 12:27, http://gloss-e .irht .cnrs .fr/php/editions _ chapitre .php ?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber13.xml&chapitre =13_12, accessed 8 June 2018. 124. Halpern, 203, 206–208. 125. Shmuel-bukh, st. 1121, trans. Frakes, Early Yiddish Epic, 98; st. 1134, trans. Frakes, 99. 126. Shmuel-bukh, sts. 1154, 1157, trans. Frakes, 101. 127. Joseph Gikatilla, Sha‘are Orah, ed. Yosef Ben Shlomo (Jerusalem: Mossad Bialik, 1970), vol. 1, p. 75, trans. Avi Weinstein, Sha‘are Orah: Gates of Light (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1994), 36. Material in brackets is the translator’s. The translator here has translated it in a mixture of upper and lower case to indicate which are the Hebrew letters and which the supplied vowels. 128. Sha‘are Orah, 1:78; trans. Weinstein, p. 40. 129. See edition and translation in Rella Kushelevsky, Tales in Context: Sefer ha-ma’asim in Medieval Northern France (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2017), 98–103. Eli Yassif suggests that it draws on themes from the popu lar Alexander romance: “The Story of Joab’s Deeds of Valor: The Literary Aspects of the Medieval Heroic Tale” [in Hebrew], Yeda-’am 19 (1979): 17–27. See Rella Kushelevsky, Penalty and Temptation: Hebrew Tales in Ashkenaz [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Magnes, 2010), 80–99. 130. Kushelevsky, Tales in Context, 387–389. 131. Jay Rubenstein, Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for the Apocalypse (New York: Basic Books, 2011), 297–299. There exists a letter in which Godfrey is signed as “Advocate of the Holy Sepulcher,” which Rubenstein (303) thinks was written by Raymond of Aguilers and Godfrey had nothing to do with. However, in Rubenstein’s more recent work, Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream: The Crusades, Apocalyptic Prophecy, and the End of History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 46, he discusses possible reasons for Godfrey’s refusal to wear the crown in Jerusalem, having to do with prophecy. 132. Raymond of Aguilers, Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Iherusalem 20, in Recueil des historiens des croisades (RHC), Historiens occidentaux, vol. 3 (Paris: Imprimerie imperiale, 1866), 295–296. “Sedeo super solium David” alludes to Luke 1:32. The phrase “degener a fide et virtute David” is given as “deneger a fide et virtute David” in the edition by John Hugh Hill and Laurita L. Hill, Le “Liber” de Raymond d’Aguilers (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1969), 143, based on Paris, BnF Lat 14378, fol. 223v (see digital copy of MS at http://gallica /f231.image, accessed 26 February 2016). The Hills’ translation of the text, Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Iherusalem (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1968), 121, renders it as “degenerate,” indicating they too think it likely that degener is the correct reading. They give the whole phrase as “Suppose he became a David, degenerate in faith and goodness.” Since the name David is not declined, the phrase is susceptible in grammatical terms of being interpreted as either a degeneration from the faith and virtue of David, or a David degenerated from faith and virtue. However, while an eleventh-century author might have seen David as deviating temporarily from virtue, it is not likely he would have used degenero or have said that David did not have faith; thus I have used the former interpretation. Katherine Allen Smith, however, understands the statement as casting David as a negative example, deviating from faith and virtue (pp. 147–148). 133. C. N. Johns, “The Citadel, Jerusalem: A Summary of Work Since 1934,” Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine (Government of Palestine, Jerusalem) 14 (1950): 121–190; reprinted in Johns, Pilgrims’ Castle (‘Atlit), David’s Tower (Jerusalem) and Qal’at ar-Rabad


n ot es to pages 57–63

(‘Ajlun), ed. Denys Pringle (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997), 159–163; Adrian J. Boas, Crusader Archaeology: The Material Culture of the Latin East (London: Routledge, 1999), 17. 134. Julian Yolles, “The Maccabees in the Lord’s Temple: Biblical Imagery and Latin Poetry in Frankish Jerusalem,” in The Uses of the Bible in Crusader Sources, ed. Elizabeth Lapina and Nicholas Morton (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 421–439, here 430; Paul Lehmann, “Die mittellateinischen dichtungen der Prioren des Tempels von Jerusalem Acardus und Gaufridus,” in Corona Quernea: Festgabe Karl Strecker zum 80. Geburtstage dargebracht, ed. Edmund E. Stengel (Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1941), 296–331 at 308–312. 135. Given that Godfrey’s younger brother left the church and made a good marriage, Godfrey’s nonmarriage may be a reflection of his own wishes. See Alan V. Murray, The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: A Dynastic History, 1099–1125, Prosopographica et Genealogica, vol. 4 (Oxford: Linacre Unit for Prosopographical Research, 2000), 34–36, on Godfrey’s choice of his brother Baldwin already as his heir before the trip to Jerusalem. 136. John Hugh Hill and Laurita Lyttleton Hill, Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980), 11–13. 137. Helgaud of Fleury, Epitoma vitae regis Rotberti Pii, ed. and trans. Robert-Henri Bautier and Gillette Labory (Paris: CNRS, 1965), c. 17, pp. 94–96. On this text see also Philippe Buc, “David’s Adultery with Bathsheba and the Healing Power of the Capetian Kings,” Viator 24 (1993): 101–120, esp. 102. 138. Wipo, Gesta Chuonradi imperatoris, prologue, in Die Werke Wipos, 3rd. ed., ed. Harry Bresslau, MGH Scriptores rerum Germanicarum in usum scholarum separatim editi, vol. 61 (Hannover: Hahn, 1993), p. 5. 139. Folda, 158. 140. I thank Basit Qureshi for the suggestion that the Melisende Psalter’s failure to include scenes of David’s repentance for adultery with Bathsheba may be related to the rumors against Melisende herself for adultery with Hugh of Jaffa. The dating of the rebellion connected with these rumors is not clear but Hans Eberhard Mayer, “Studies in the History of Queen Melisende of Jerusalem,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 26 (1972), 93–182, here 102–110, suggests late 1143–1135. 141. Yalqut Shim‘oni, ed. Hyman, 320. 142. Yalqut Shim‘oni, ed. Hyman, 320; Midrash Tanhuma, ed. Salomon Buber (Vilna: Rome, 1885), Devarim [Deuteronomy], 29 [books of the Bible separately paginated], trans. Townsend 3:326. 143. Gikatilla, Sha‘are Orah, 1:148, trans. Weinstein, p. 117. “Admoni” refers to his redness. The translator here has translated it in a mixture of upper and lower case to indicate which are the Hebrew letters and which the supplied vowels. 144. Glossa ordinaria to 2 Kings 14 (2 Samuel 14), 2 Rg. 14, /editions _chapitre.php?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber13.xml&chapitre =13_14, accessed 28 February 2020. The Quatre livres des reis picks up this point: Li quatre livre des reis, ed. Ernst Robert Curtius, Gesellschaft für romanische Literatur 26 (Dresden: Gesellschaft für romanische Literatur, 1911), 84. 145. Shmuel-bukh, sts. 1393–1394, ed. Falk, 79r; trans. Frakes, 119. 146. Glossa ordinaria to 2 Kings 16 (2 Samuel 16), http://gloss-e .irht .cnrs .fr/php/editions _chapitre.php?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber13.xml&chapitre =13_16), accessed 9 January 2019. 147. Middle English Metrical Paraphrase, lines 8651–8652. 148. Rashi on 2 Sam. 8:15, ed. and trans. Avraham Davis (Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1985), https:// www.sefaria .org /Rashi_on_ II _ Samuel.8.15?lang =bi, accessed 5 August 2019, brackets in original.

n ot es to pages 64–68


chapter 2 1. For recent work on male friendship in the Middle Ages (among others), see Alan Bray, The Friend (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006); Louis-Georges Tin, The Invention of Heterosexual Culture (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012). 2. David M. Halperin, “Heroes and Their Pals,” in One Hundred Years of Homosexuality: And Other Essays on Greek Love (New York: Routledge, 1990), 75–87, here 75. 3. John Boswell, Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe (New York: Villard, 1994), discusses rituals of same-sex friendship. 4. Of course, relations of equality could also exist within these institutions, as between two students in a yeshiva, two novice monks, or two soldiers. For the dark side of asymmetrical power relations in the monastery and their relation to rape culture, see Dyan Elliott, The Corrupter of Boys: Sodomy, Scandal, and the Medieval Clergy (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020). 5. See discussion of “alternative intimacies” in Dyan Elliott, The Bride of Christ Goes to Hell: Metaphor and Embodiment in the Lives of Pious Women, 200–1500 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), 150–171. 6. For examples from Christian texts dealing with love between men or between men and boys, see Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality. The lack of published scholarship specifically on homosexuality in the medieval Jewish tradition is a reflection in part of the fact that this was not seen as a major issue in western Europe, but see Steven Greenberg, Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004), 124–134. 7. Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, 252. 8. Elliott, Corrupter of Boys. 9. Jennings, Jacob’s Wound, 14, 23. 10. On the Hebrew word, see Thomas Naumann, “David und die Liebe,” in König David— biblische Schlüsselfigur und europäische Leitgestalt, ed. Walter Dietrich and Hubert Herkommer (Freiburg, Schweiz: Universitätsverlag, 2003), 51–83, here 55. 11. Susan Ackerman, When Heroes Love: The Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), 185–187, 192–194. Ackerman’s book is the most complete discussion of the David and Jonathan story as it appears in the Bible, with detailed references. Note that she suggests (p. 194) that Jonathan is “to be metaphorically understood as David’s wife,” rather than literally. See critique in Jean-Fabrice Nardelli, Homosexuality and Liminality in the Gilgameš and Samuel, Classical and Byzantine Monographs 64 (Amsterdam: Hakkert, 2007), 26–63. 12. Halperin, 82–83. 13. Ackerman, 221–227, quotes at 221 and 222. 14. See James E. Harding, “David and Jonathan: Between Athens and Jerusalem,” Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception 1, no. 1 (2011): 37–92, at 42–44. Saul M. Olyan, “ ‘Surpassing the Love of Women’: Another Look at 2 Samuel 1:26 and the Relationship of David and Jonathan,” in Authorizing Marriage? Canon, Tradition, and Critique in the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions, ed. Mark D. Jordan, Meghan Sweeney, and David Mellott (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006), 7–16, summarizes and builds on the scholarship on the rhetoric of covenant love, concluding that it is possible that a homoerotic and possibly sexual relationship is implied in the lament; see also Silvia Schroer and Thomas Staubli, “Saul, David und Jonatan—eine Dreiecksgeschichte? Ein Beitrag zum Thema ‘Homosexualität im Ersten Testament,’” Bibel und Kirche 15 (1996): 15–22;


n ot es to pages 68 –72

and, in opposition, Markus Zehnder, “Observations on the Relationship Between David and Jonathan and the Debate on Homosexuality,” Westminster Theological Journal 69 (2007): 127– 174. Zehnder’s detailed textual analysis is helpful, but his point of view (or perhaps his editor’s) is indicated by the fact that paragraphs of his work which include the words “penis” or “anal sex” are printed in smaller type and preceded by a warning to the reader who may wish to skip the explicit language. His argument that because David and Jonathan’s love was not said to be mutual it could not have been erotic love is belied by thousands of years of unequal erotic relationships, not just between men but also between men and women (and probably, although less documented, between women). 15. See, e.g., Christina Antenhofer, Briefe zwischen Süd und Nord: Die Hochzeit und Ehe von Paula de Gonzaga und Leonhard von Görz im Spiegel der fürstlichen Kommunikation (1473–1500), Schlern-Schriften, vol. 336 (Innsbruck: Universitätsverlag Wagner, 2007), 266–277. 16. Biblia Sacra iuxta Vulgatam versionem, 3rd ed., ed. Robert Weber and Bonifatius Fischer (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1983), 417. 17. A Hebrew text from between 70 and 150, erroneously attributed to Philo of Alexandria, compares David and Jonathan’s separation to “an infant who is taken from the milk of his mother,” so the metaphor of maternal love was not new; see Howard Jacobson, A Commentary on PseudoPhilo’s “Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum” (Leiden: Brill, 1996), 1:84 for Latin text (Liber 62.10), and 1:191 for English translation. 18. See Joseph Dan, Hebrew Ethical and Homiletical Literature: The Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Keter, 1975), 146–166. The version generally used for commentary was Pirqe Avot, which consisted of the Mishnaic tractate plus additional chapters. 19. Based on the authorities cited, the tractate is not likely to be later than the fourth century, although the versions that come down to us are later. See Judah Goldin, introduction to The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan, Yale Judaica Series 10 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1955), xxi. 20. The numbering varies in editions of Pirqe Avot. I have used the standard Vilna edition, in which this passage appears as 5:16, but in commentaries that use different numbering I have cited according to the numbering they use. The Minor Tractates of the Talmud (Vilna: Romm, 1900), 28. 21. Ibid., 9. 22. Ibid. 23. Eyal Levinson, “ʻFor my soul desires you and my love for you is eternal’: Male Friendship in Medieval Ashkenaz,” in Friendship in Jewish Culture, History, and Religion, ed. Lawrence Fine (University Park: Penn State University Press, forthcoming). . 24. Rashi’s commentary, Minor Tractates of the Talmud, 9. 25. The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan, chap. 8, trans. Judah Goldin, p. 50; original in Avot de-Rabbi Natan in the Edition of S. Z. Schechter, ed. Menahem Kister (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1997), 36. 26. A. Berliner, ed., Commentar zu den Sprüchen der Väter aus Machsor Vitry (Frankfurt: J. Kauffmann, 1897), 8–9. 27. Ibid., 87. 28. Moses Maimonides, Perush ha-Rambam le-’Avot, 5:15, ed. Mordechai Rabinowitz (Jerusalem: Mossad ha-Rav Quq, 1961), 203. Translation mine from the Hebrew, but see also Pirkei Avot with the Rambam’s Commentary, trans. Eliyahu Touger (New York: Moznaim, 1994), 140–141. On Maimonides’s ethical works generally, and the manuscripts of Avot commentary and other works, see Joseph I. Gorfinkle, introduction to The Eight Chapters of Maimonides on Ethics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1912).

n ot es to pages 72 –76


29. Edward William Lane, An Arabic-English Lexicon (London: Williams and Norgate, 1863), s.v. sadiq, p. 1668, http://www.tyndalearchive .com/ TABS/Lane/, accessed 27 November 2016. Thanks to Oded Zinger for his help with this. 30. Perush, ed. Rabinowitz, 14. The edition of Yitzchak Shilat, Perush ha-Rambam le-’Avot (Ma’ale Adumim: Shilat, 1998), 8–9, gives ‫ חבר‬but that is not what appears in the editio princeps: Perush ha-Mishnah: Avot (Soncino: Soncino, 1485), fol. 19r. 31. Don Seeman, “Maimonides and Friendship,” JSIJ 13 (2015): 1–36. See Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 3, ed. and trans. Roger Crisp (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 145–47. 32. Perush 1:6, ed. Rabinowitz, p. 13. This passage is often translated as “a man and a woman in marriage” but it does not actually say that. 33. Daniel Jeremy Silver, Maimonidean Criticism and the Maimonidean Controversy, 1180– 1240 (Leiden: Brill, 1965), argues that it was not Maimonides’s ideas that were controversial but rather that western Jewry feared learning from the Judeo-Arabic world and possible Christian reactions to it. 34. See S. J. Pearce, The Andalusi Literary and Intellectual Tradition: The Role of Arabic in Judah ibn Tibbon’s Ethical Will, Indiana Series in Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017) on the Tibbonid family as translators. 35. Yonah Gerondi, Perush Rabbenu Yonah mi-Gerondi al Masechet Avot, ed. Moshe Shlomo Kasher and Yaakov Yehoshua Blecherowitz (Jerusalem: Machon Torah Shlomo, 1966), 5:16, p. 91; Rabbeinu Yonah on Pirkei Avos, trans. David Sedley (Jerusalem: TorahLab, 2007), 5:16, p. 363. 36. Gerondi, ed. Kasher and Blecherowitz, 8; trans. Sedley, 33–34. 37. Gerondi, ed. Kasher and Blecherowitz, 8; trans. Sedley, 33. 38. Gerondi, ed. Kasher and Blecherowitz, 8–9; trans. Sedley, 35. 39. Gerondi, ed. Kasher and Blecherowitz ed., 6–7; trans. Sedley, 28–32. 40. Rashi on Avodah Zarah 15b.8, William Davidson Talmud, https://www. sefaria .org /Rashi _on_ Avodah _ Zarah.15b.8?lang = bi, accessed 10 June 2018. 41. Pinḥas ha-Levi, Séfer ha-Ḥinnuch: The Book of (Mitzvah) Education, 209, ed. and trans. Charles Wengrov (Jerusalem: Feldheim, 1984), 2:365. 42. Abraham ibn Esras langer Kommentar zum Buch Exodus, trans. [into German] Dirk U. Rottzoll (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2000), 2:609–611. He also mentioned, but did not place in the hierarchy, sex with one’s mother, sister, or daughter. Other Jewish authors during the Middle Ages put the same categories in a different order. 43. Rashi’s Commentary on Psalms, ed. and trans. Mayer I. Gruber, Brill Reference Library of Judaism, vol. 18 (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 623 (Hebrew on p. 849). 44. Naḥmanides, (Moshe ben Naḥman, Ramban), Perush ha-Ramban al ha-Torah, ed. Pinḥas Yehuda Lieberman (Jerusalem, 1984), 3:247; Commentary on the Torah, trans. Charles B. Chavel (New York: Shiloh, 1971), 3:293. 45. David Qimḥi, Neviʾim Rishonim (Soncino: Soncino, 1485), 55. 46. Gersonides (Levi ben Gershon, Ralbag), Perushe ha-Nevi’ im, ed. Yaʻakov Leyb Levi (Jerusalem: Mossad ha-Rav Quq, 2008), 1:206. 47. Isaac Abravanel, Perush ʻal Neviʾim Rishonim (Jerusalem: Hotsa’at Sefarim Torah ve-da’at, 1954), 263. 48. Midrash Tanhuma, trans. John T. Townsend (Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1989), 1:248. 49. Gersonides, 1:228. 50. Avraham Saba, Tzror Hamor, trans. Eliyahu Munk (Jerusalem: Lambda, 2008), 1:97, commenting on Genesis 3:16, and 2:800–801, on Genesis 49:8.


n ot es to pages 77–8 1

51. Abravanel, 314; I am grateful to Yechiel Schur for correcting my translation. 52. Halivni, 28. 53. C. Stephen Jaeger, Ennobling Love: In Search of a Lost Sensibility (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), 14. 54. Ibid., 43; Dhuoda, Manuel pour mon fils, 3:8, ed. Pierre Riché, trans. [into French] Bernard de Vregille and Claude Mondésert, Sources chrétiennes 225 bis (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1976), 166. 55. Jaeger, 55; Jan Ziolkowski, ed. and trans., The Cambridge Songs (Carmina Cantabrigiensia) (Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1998), no. 82, pp. 158–159. 56. Cicero, De amicitia 6.20–22, in De senectute, De amicitia, De divinatione, trans. William Armistead Falconer, Loeb Classical Library, vol. 154 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1923), 130–131. A good discussion of Cicero and his medieval influence is Lars Hermanson, Bärande band: Vänskap, kärlek och brödraskap i det medeltida Nordeuropa, ca 1000–1200 (Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2009), in which he argues that medieval friendship was largely hierarchical but that that should not mean it was less “real” somehow than modern. On the historiography of medieval friendship, see Bray, 35–41. 57. Jaeger, 1–12 and 243 n. 4. 58. Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality, 231ff. 59. Jean Flori, Richard the Lionheart: King and Knight, trans. Jean Birrell (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999), 380–393; John Gillingham, Richard I (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991), 84, 264. 60. The detailed work on this is Brian Patrick McGuire, Friendship and Community: The Monastic Experience, 350–1250, 2nd ed. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010). 61. Baldwin of Forde, Tractate 14, PL 204:539C; Baldwin of Forde, Spiritual Tractates, trans. David  M. Bell, Cistercian Fathers Series (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1986), 2:141–142. 62. Alain of Lille, Distinctiones dictionum theologicalium, s.v. amor, PL 210:699B. 63. Aelred of Rievaulx, Spiritual Friendship 1.10, trans. Lawrence C. Braceland, ed. Marsha L. Dutton, Cistercian Fathers Series 5 (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2010), p. 57. 64. Brian Patrick McGuire, Brother and Lover: Aelred of Rievaulx (New York: Crossroad, 1994), esp. 105–118, quotation at 110. The quotation is McGuire’s words, not Aelred’s. See also p. 114 for direct comparison to marriage. 65. Aelred, 2.64, p. 85; Cicero, De amicitia 9.30, pp. 140–143. 66. Aelred, 3.94, p. 112. 67. Philip of Harveng, letter 13, PL 203:100D. 68. These texts assume, without discussing it, that friendship should be between two men. 69. Peter of Blois, “De amicitia christiana,” chaps. 19 and 8, in Opuscula, vol. 3 of Opera omnia, ed. I. A. Giles (Oxford: J. H. Parker, 1846), 155–157 and 140. 70. Cicero, 8.27, p. 138; 11.33, p. 146. 71. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 8.7–11, pp. 152–157. 72. McGuire, Friendship and Community, 202; Elliott, Bride of Christ, 151–152, 164–167 on Eve and Goscelin, and passim for other cases. 73. E. Jane Burns, “Performing Courtliness,” in The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, ed. Judith M. Bennett and Ruth Mazo Karras (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 396–411; see Fredric L. Cheyette, “Women, Poets, and Politics in Occitania,” in Aristocratic Women in Medieval France, ed. Theodore Evergates (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), 138–177, on the real-world impact of the language.

n ot es to pages 82 –84


74. Jaeger, 121. 75. See Ruth Mazo Karras, “Friendship and Love in the Lives of Two Twelfth-Century English Saints,” Journal of Medieval History 14 (1988): 305–320. A great deal has been published about Aelred of Rievaulx and Christina of Markyate since 1988, but I stand by this analysis for the most part. 76. See Tom Linkinen, Same-Sex Sexuality in Late Medieval English Culture, Crossing Boundaries: Turku Medieval and Early Modern Studies (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2015); Ruth Mazo Karras, Sexuality in Medieval Europe: Doing Unto Others, 3rd ed. (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017), 197–207. 77. Bray, 39; Silke Winst, Amicus und Amelius: Kriegerfreundschaft und Gewalt in mittelalterlicher Erzähltradition, Quellen und Forschungen zur Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte 57 (291) (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2009). 78. Middle English Dictionary, s.v. “wedden,” http://quod . lib.umich .edu/cgi/m/mec /med-idx?size =First+100&type = headword&q1 = wedden&rgxp = constrained, accessed 29 October 2016. 79. Helmut Puff, “Same-Sex Possibilities,” in Bennett and Karras, 379–395. 80. Peter Dronke, Poetic Individuality in the Middle Ages: New Departures in Poetry, 1000– 1150, 2nd ed. (London: Westfield College, 1986), 117. 81. For good analyses of Abelard’s work and his relationship with Heloise, see Michael T. Clanchy, Abelard: A Medieval Life (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999); and Constant J. Mews, Abelard and Heloise (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005). 82. Ed. Juanita Feros Ruys, in The Repentant Abelard: Family, Gender, and Ethics in Peter Abelard’s “Carmen ad Astralabium” and “Planctus” (New York: Palgrave, 2014), 255, with translation, 265; Dronke, 116. Eileen Kearney, “Peter Abelard’s Planctus ‘Dolorum solatium’: A New Song for David,” in Rethinking Abelard: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. Babette S. Hellemans (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 253–281, here 269, suggests that David is referring here to his own sins against Saul or more likely Saul’s against him. There is a possible allusion to Job 13:23: “How many are my iniquities and sins [peccata]? Make me know my crimes [scelera] and offences,” which would suggest that David’s own sins are meant. 83. Abelard, Historia Calamitatum, ed. J. T. Muckle, “Abelard’s Letter of Consolation to a Friend,” Mediaeval Studies 12 (1950): 163–213 at 184; trans. William Levitan, The Letters and Other Writings (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2005), 20 and 13; Letter 4, ed. Muckle, “The Personal Letters Between Abelard and Heloise,” Mediaeval Studies 15 (1953): 47–94 at 89; trans. Levitan, 94–95. 84. Although eager to find queer readings where possible, Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, does not think they imply sexual activity (238 n. 108). 85. Ibid., 238. 86. Feros Ruys, 78–79, 87–90. 87. Ibid., 266, lines 53–54. 88. Ibid., lines 57–58. 89. Hugh of St. Cher, 1:232v; Glossa Ordinaria to 1 Kings 18 (1 Sam. 18), https://gloss-e.irht _chapitre.php?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber12. xml&chapitre =12 _18, accessed 30 December 2019. 90. Nicholas of Lyra, Biblie iampridem renouate (Basel, n.d.), 2:84. Denis the Carthusian, “Enarratio in librum primum Regum,” in Opera omnia, vol. 3 (Tournai, 1897), art. 34, p. 364. Subsequent references in text are to this edition. 91. Peter Comestor, Historia scholastica, PL 198:1312D, 1315A; Glossa Ordinaria to 1 Kings 18 (1 Samuel 18), _chapitre.php?livre =../sources/editions /GLOSS -liber12. xml&chapitre =12_18, accessed 30 December 2019. The Glossa ordinaria is an


n ot es to pages 84–8 8

extremely complicated text, or set of texts. The gloss on Kings (1 and 2 Samuel here are labeled as 1 and 2 Kings) “rel[ies] very heavi ly on Rabanus, who is himself using Jerome, Gregory, and Isidore, as well as Bede on Kings,” and makes some reference to Gregory, Augustine, Isidore, and Jerome directly (Smith, The “Glossa Ordinaria,” 47). 92. Denis, 364–365. A thorough analysis of this story in all its medieval versions is found in Winst, Amicus und Amelius. 93. Winst, 5–31. 94. J. J. Mak, ed., Amijs ende Amelis: Een middeleeuwse vriendschapssage, naar de berijming van Jacob van Maerlant tezamen met zijn latijnse bron (Zwolle: N.V. Uitgevers-Maatschappij W.E.J. Tjeenk Willink, 1954). On the books to which Denis had access, see Peter A. J. Nissen, “Die Bibliothek der Kartause Bethlehem zu Roermond: Ein Forschungsüberblick,” in “Kartäuserregel und Kartäuserleben,” special issue, Analecta Cartusiana 113 (1985): 182–225. 95. Hugh of St. Cher, 1:243v. 96. Denis, 434–435. See Nicholas of Lyra, Biblie iampridem renouate 2:98. 97. Denis, 370. Amo is the verb used, but amor is the corresponding noun. 98. Denis, 367–368. 99. John Boswell, Same-Sex Unions, discusses the ritual of adelphopoeisis for male friendships. The specific rituals he reproduces use saints as examples, not David and Jonathan; as Boswell points out, however, the latter pair provided a model of the use of sibling language for a deep emotional relationship between nonkin (Same-Sex Unions, 182). 100. Ruth Mazo Karras, “The Reproduction of Medieval Christianity,” in The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Christian Theology, ed. Adrian Thatcher (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 271–286. 101. H. L. Strack and Günter Stemberger, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash, 2nd ed., ed. and trans. Markus Bockmuehl (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1996), 357. 102. Midrash Shmu’el, ed. Shlomo Buber (Vilna: Romm, 1925), 80. 103. Yalqut Shimʻoni 6:299 104. Midrash Tehillim, ed. Shlomo Buber (Vilna: Romm, 1891), 301; William G. Braude, trans., The Midrash on Psalms (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1959), 1:509. 105. Midrash Lekakh Tov, ed. Shlomo Buber (Vilna: Romm, 1921), vol. 2, Dvarim [Deuteronomy], p. 24. 106. Baḥya ibn Paquda, The Duties of the Heart, Gate 10, chap. 2, trans. Yaakov Feldman (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1996), 444. 107. Bede, In 1 primam partem Samhuelis, 164. 108. Angelomus of Luxeuil, Enarrationes in libros Regum 18, PL 115:313D. 109. Glossa Ordinaria to 1 Kings 18 (1 Sam. 18), https://gloss-e .irht .cnrs .fr/php/editions _chapitre.php?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber12.xml&chapitre =12_18, accessed 30 December 2019. 110. Ibid. 111. See Rosamond Tuve, “Notes on the Virtues and Vices,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 27 (1964): 42–72, on the iconography of the image cycle of this text. 112. On touching in images of lovers, see Michael Camille, The Medieval Art of Love: Objects and Subjects of Desire (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1998), 122–140. 113. Somme le Roi, BnF MS Fr 938, 1294, fol. 82r, http://gallica /btv1b84478782/f173.image, accessed 11 June 2018; St. John’s College, Cambridge, MS B.9, second quarter of fourteenth century, fol. 201v, _ collections

n ot es to pages 8 8 –93


/manuscripts/medieval _ manuscripts/medman/A / B9/ B9f201v. htm, accessed 11 June 2018. The beard is hard to distinguish in the latter image and I have not been able to confirm with the original manuscript, but it is indicated by a slightly irregular jawline, paralleled by that on King Saul in the accompanying miniature. 114. BL Add. MS 54180, ca. 1295, fol. 107r, /catalogues/illuminated manuscripts/ILLUMIN. ASP?Size =mid&IllID = 60442, accessed 11 June 2018. 115. BL MS Royal 19.C.II, fol. 59v, .uk /catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts /ILLUMINBig. ASP?size = big&IllID =40527, accessed 11 June 2018. In the similar copy from the Bibliothèque Mazarine, the corresponding page is missing. Henry Martin, “La Somme le Roi: Reproduction des miniatures du manuscrit 870 de la Bibliothèque Mazarine, XIIIe siècle,” in Les trésors des bibliothèques de France, vol. 1 (Paris: G. Van Oest, 1926), 43–57, here 53. 116. Hannover, Landesbibliothek, MS I 82, fol. 101v; Helmar Härtel and Felix Ekowski, Handschriften der Niedersächsischen Landesbibliothek Hannover (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1982– 1989), 1:98. On fol. 102r are instructions for this illustration, which the illustrator seems to have followed, which name David and Jonathan as the subject of one of the images, but later describe that images as “two persons embracing,” not specifying that they are men. 117. I thank Dyan Elliott for these possibilities. 118. On this manuscript, see Anne Rudloff Stanton, The Queen Mary Psalter: A Study of Affect and Audience, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 91 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2001). 119. Gerald Guest, Bible Moralisée: Codex Vindobonensis 255, Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (London: Harvey Miller, 1995). 120. John Lowden, The Making of the Bibles Moralisées, vol. 1, The Manuscripts (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000), is an excellent analysis of the tradition. 121. The manuscript is broken up and held in several different libraries, but the relevant portion here is Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodl. 270b, fol. 138r, fol. 139v, http://bodley30.bodley .ox . ac .uk:8180/luna /servlet/detail /ODLodl~1~1~34401~107809:Bible-moralisée,-part-I-?qvq = q:Shelfmark%3D”MS .%2BBodl.%2B270b”;lc:ODLodl~29~29,ODLodl~7~7,ODLodl~, accessed 11 June 2018. 122. Peter Comestor, Historica scholastica, PL 198:1312C. On this work and its influence, see Maria C. Sherwood-Smith, Studies in the Reception of the “Historia scholastica” of Peter Comestor, Medium Aevum Monographs, n.s., 20 (Oxford: Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, 2000); David Luscombe, “Peter Comestor,” in The Bible in the Medieval World: Essays in Memory of Beryl Smalley, ed. Katherine Walsh and Diana Wood (Oxford: Blackwell, 1985), 109–129; James H. Morey, “Peter Comestor, Biblical Paraphrase, and the Medieval Popular Bible,” Speculum 68, no. 1 (1993): 6–35. 123. Peter Comestor, Historia scholastica, PL 198:1324D. 124. Ibid., 1313A. The phrase that this translates is unambiguous in the Hebrew: Michal is the subject and David the object. In the Latin it is ambiguous as neither name is declined: “Dilexit autem David Michol.” 125. For an example of how such texts used the Historia scholastica, see Rosemarie Potz McGerr, “Guyart Desmoulins, the Vernacular Master of Histories, and His Bible historiale,” Viator 14 (1983): 211–244. McGerr argues that whereas the students who read the Historia scholastica in the classroom would have the Bible text handy, the vernacular readers would not, and therefore scriptural texts were more thoroughly integrated. It also included apocryphal material and rapidly accreted additions.


n ot es to pages 93–97

126. Rymbybel van Jacob van Maerlant, ed. J. David (Brussels: Hayez, 1858–1861), 1:413, chap. 182, lines 9279–9283. On the sources of this text (which range much wider than just Peter Comestor), see Karina van Dalen-Oskam, Studies over Jacob van Maerlants “Rijmbijbel” (Hilversum: Verloren, 1997). See particularly pp. 65–66 for the representativeness of the Historia scholastica edition used in the Patrologia Latina. 127. David, Rymbybel, 1:437, chap. 191, lines 9829–9831. 128. Rudolf of Ems, Weltchronik, lines 24262–24270, ed. Gustav Ehrismann, Deutsche Texte des Mittelalters 20 (Berlin: Weidmann, 1915), 339. 129. Ibid., line 26919, p. 377. 130. Unger, Stjorn, 465–467. 131. Ibid., 495. 132. Alfonso X el Sabio, General estoria: Segunda parte, ed. Belén Almeida (Madrid: Fundación José António de Castro, 2009), 2:655; Catherine Ukas, “The Biblia Rimada de Sevilla: A Critical Edition” (PhD diss., University of Toronto, 1981); Serafim da Silva Neto, ed., Bíblia medieval portuguêsa (Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Nacional do Livro, 1958), 229. 133. Curtius, Li quatre livre des reis, 36, 38, 41. 134. Ibid., 62. 135. Ibid., 37. 136. Alan E. Knight, ed., Les Mystères de la procession de Lille, vol. 2, De Josué à David (Geneva: Droz, 2003), play no. 20, p. 309, line 26. 137. Ibid., p. 320. 138. Ibid., play no. 21, p. 334, line 25. Amy here does not likely mean “lover” but it is noteworthy that it is the same word Michal uses for her husband. 139. Ibid., 340, lines 188–197. 140. Ibid., 351. The allegory is drawn from Pierre Bersuire, or Petrus Berchorius, a fourteenthcentury Benedictine monk. Petrus Berchorius, Super totam Bibliam 9.15 (Lyon: Jacques Mareschal, 1520), fol. 80v; Charles Samaran and Jacques Monfrin, Pierre Bersuire: Prieur de Saint-Éloi de Paris (1290?–1362) (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1962), 88. 141. James H. Morey, Book and Verse: A Guide to Middle English Biblical Literature (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000), 99–107. 142. Cursor Mundi, 2:431, line 7598; Morey, Book and Verse, 146–153. 143. Cursor Mundi, 2:442, lines 7645–7648. 144. See, for example, Ruth Mazo Karras, “Marriage and the Creation of Kin in the Sagas,” Scandinavian Studies 75 (2003): 473–490. 145. La Bible de Macé de la Charité, ed. Prangsma-Hajenius, vol. 3. 146. Middle English Metrical Paraphrase, ed. Livingston, p. 214, lines 6193–6195. 147. When David goes to kill the Philistines for her dowry, Michael Livingston glosses “For Mycoll luf hym lyst not layn” as “Michal’s love he did not deny,” but it seems more likely to mean “For the love of Michal he did not refuse.” Ibid., p. 215, line 6235. 148. Ibid., lines 6359, 6366, 6383. 149. Le Mistère du Viel Testament, ed. James de Rothschild, vol. 4 (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1882), p. 119, lines 29810–29811. 150. Ibid., pp. 132–133, lines 30099–30118. 151. Ibid., p. 138, lines 30223–30226. 152. Ibid., p. 133, lines 30129–30130. She uses the word enfant, which more usually means “child.” 153. Ibid., p. 143, line 30336; p. 151, 30495.

n ot es to pages 97–10 2


154. Ibid., p. 165. 155. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985), 1–2. 156. Shmuel-bukh, ed. Falk, fol. 23r. Falk, in his notes, Das Schemuelbuch, 2:154, corrects vol vurdukhtm mut to vol bdkhtm mut. 157. Falk, vol. 1, fol. 50r. 158. Scholarly debate about whether Edward II can be said to have been gay in the modern sense is largely pointless. Contemporary chronicles complain that he was far too fond of Piers Gaveston and then Hugh Despenser the Younger. One explicitly mentions sodomy. These could be attempts by hostile nobles (of which there were many) to smear him. Edward did father children both with his wife and extramaritally, but this does not mean that he did not also have or prefer sex with men. If we want to know whether people at the time thought he was having sex with Gaveston, the answer is probably yes. See W. M. Ormrod, “The Sexualities of Edward II,” in The Reign of Edward II: New Perspectives, edited by Gwilym Dodd and Anthony Musson, 22–47 (Woodbridge: York Medieval Press, 2006), 22–47; Ian Mortimer, “Sermons of Sodomy: A Reconsideration of Edward II’s Sodomitical Reputation,” in Dodd and Musson, 48–60. Pierre Chaplais, Piers Gaveston: Edward II’s Adoptive Brother (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 7–10, is dubious about whether such allegations circulated during Edward’s lifetime.

chapter 3 1. Karras, From Boys To Men, 35, 60–61. 2. On the theoretical problem of agency, considered in a very different context, see Lynn M. Thomas, “Historicising Agency,” Gender & History 28 (2016): 324–339. 3. See, e.g., Kyle Harper, From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013). 4. Avraham Grossman, “The Historical Background to the Ordinances on Family Affairs Attributed to Rabbenu Gershom Me’or ha-Golah (‘The Light of the Exile’),” in Jewish History: Essays in Honour of Chimen Abramsky, ed. Ada Rapoport-Albert and Steven J. Zipperstein (London: Peter Halban, 1988), 3–23. 5. S. D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza, vol. 3, The Family (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978) 147–150, 205–210; in disagreement as to the frequency of such unions, see Mordechai Akiva Friedman, Jewish Polygyny in the Middle Ages: New Documents from the Cairo Geniza [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 1986). 6. Karras, Unmarriages, 113. See David Nirenberg, Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996), 135, on rabbis opposing sex with foreign women in particu lar. 7. David Biale, Eros and the Jews: From Biblical Israel to Contemporary America (New York: Basic Books, 1992), 50–51 for a summary of the Talmudic texts on early marriage that “would echo long and loud for Ashkenazic Jews throughout the Middle Ages.” 8. Sara McDougall, “The Opposite of the Double Standard: Gender, Marriage, and Adultery Prosecution in Late Medieval France,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 23 (2014): 206–225, argues that married men who had sex with women not their wives were actually prosecuted at a higher rate than were married women who had sex with men not their husbands; but the term “adulterer” was not used.


n ot es to pages 10 2 –106

9. There is a great deal of scholarship on clerical concubines, some of it discussed in Karras, Unmarriages, 115–164. For more recent scholarship, see, e.g., Michelle Armstrong-Partida, Defiant Priests: Domestic Unions, Violence, and Clerical Masculinity in Fourteenth-Century Catalunya (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2017). 10. BT Megillah 14b, https://www.sefaria .org /Megillah.14b?lang =bi, accessed 12 June 2018. 11. Benjamin J. M. Johnson, 155–163. 12. Glossa ordinaria to 2 Kings 16:21, _chapitre.php ?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber13.xml&chapitre =13_16. 13. Thus when Jennings ( Jacob’s Wound, 55) suggests that God’s anger over the Bathsheba incident is because David was in a special, marriage-like relationship with God and cheating on him with Bathsheba, this is not supported by the text. 14. BT Bava Batra 17a, https://www. sefaria .org /Bava _ Batra .17a .8-10?lang = bi, accessed 13 March 2020. 15. See Daniel Boyarin, Carnal Israel: Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 63–70. 16. Sandra R. Shimoff, “David and Bathsheba: The Political Function of Rabbinic Aggada,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 24, no. 2 (1993): 246–256; Richard Kalmin, “Portrayals of Kings in Rabbinic Literature of Late Antiquity,” Jewish Studies Quarterly 3, no. 4 (1996): 320–341; Kalmin, The Sage in Jewish Society of Late Antiquity (London: Routledge, 1999), 83–93; James A. Diamond, “King David of the Sages: Rabbinic Rehabilitation or Ironic Parody?” Prooftexts 27 (2007), 373–426; Michael L. Satlow, Tasting the Dish: Rabbinic Rhetorics of Sexuality (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995), 278 n. 40, referring to BT Sanhedrin 107a. 17. BT Avodah Zarah 4b, https://www.sefaria .org /Avodah _ Zarah.4b?lang = bi, accessed 12 June 2018. 18. Rashi to Avodah Zarah 5a:6, Zarah.5a.6?lang =bi&with =all&lang2 = en. 19. Tosafot to BT Bava Batra 17a. 20. Sefer Ḥasidim (Bologna, 1538), §183, .php, accessed 13 June 2018; see Sefer Chasidim: The Book of the Pious, by Rabbi Yehudah HeChasid, abridged trans. Avraham Yaakov Finkel (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1997), 197, for another translation. See Ivan G. Marcus, “Sefer Hasidim” and the Ashkenazic Book in Medieval Europe (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), on this text and whether it should really be considered a book. 21. BT Shabbat 56a, https://www.sefaria .org /Shabbat.56a?lang = bi, accessed 12 June 2018. 22. Tosafot to BT Shabbat 56a. 23. Tosafot to BT Shabbat 56a, Shabbat.56a.8?lang =bi, accessed 1 January 2020. In Sanhedrin 107a the School of Ishmael says that Bathsheba was destined for David, but that he took her too soon, implying that she was still married to Uriah. 24. BT Shabbat 56a. 25. Yalqut Shimʻoni, ed. Dov Hyman (Jerusalem: Mossad ha-Rav Quq, 1999), 325. 26. BT Sanhedrin 107a, https://www. sefaria .org /Sanhedrin.107a?lang = bi, accessed 12 June 2018. For detailed analysis of rabbinic rhetorics of adultery, see Satlow, Tasting the Dish, 119– 183, but these discussions do not refer specifically to David. An early version of this portion of this chapter was drafted before I heard the lecture of Meira Polliack, “A Question of Character: Biblical Bathsheba as a Case Study of Cross-Cultural Exegesis and Typology,” at the conference “Warrior, Poet, Prophet, and King: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,”

n ot es to pages 106–111


held at the University of Warsaw, 26–28 October 2016, which addressed the question of why Bathsheba is not blamed when typically a woman in this situation would be. 27. Midrash Shmu’el 20, ed. Lifshitz, p. 97. On the dating of this text, see Strack and Stemberger, 357–358; Lifshitz, 13–14ff. 28. See Judith R. Baskin, Midrashic Women: Formations of the Feminine in Rabbinic Literature, HBI Series on Jewish Women (Hanover, NH: Brandeis University Press, 2002), 29–40. 29. Cambridge University Library, Taylor-Schechter Collection C1.63, described and transcribed in the Friedberg Genizah Project, /FgpFrames.aspx?mainSiteType = false&lang = eng&UIT=3a373237-4c33-43f9-a5ad-d7fc95ca5b8e. Previously published by Louis Ginzberg, Ginzei Schechter, vol. 1 (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1928), 163–168. The verso contains additional midrash corresponding to the edited Midrash Mishle, which is dated to between the late eighth and late tenth centuries: Burton L. Visotzky, ed., Midrash Mishle (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1990); trans. Visotzky, The Midrash on Proverbs (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992). 30. On respect for Solomon, see Polliack, “A Question of Character.” 31. Sefer Ḥasidim, §589, hasidim/manuscripts.php, accessed 13 June 2018. 32. Ibid., §619. 33. Judith Baskin, “Representations of Biblical Women in Sefer Hasidim” (paper presented at the “Sefer Hasidim in Context” conference, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 19–22 March 2017). 34. Zohar 1:8b, trans. Daniel C. Matt, The Zohar (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003), vol. 1, pp. 55–56. Daniel Abrams, Kabbalistic Manuscripts and Textual Theory: Methodologies of Textual Scholarship and Editorial Practice in the Study of Jewish Mysticism, 2nd ed. (Los Angeles: Cherub Press, 2013), argues that the Zohar cannot be regarded as a book before the earliest manuscripts that make it one, and that Matt’s translation of the Zohar is actually a translation of a version that never existed (332–333). For current purposes it is sufficient to know that these ideas were present within the Zoharic corpus, and I have not investigated the textual history. 35. Zohar 1:73b, trans. Matt, 1:436; see also 3:78a (Matt, 7:537). 36. Zohar 2:107a (Matt, 5:121–123). 37. Zohar 3:24a (Matt, 7:152). 38. Joseph Gikatilla, David et Bethsabée: Le secret du marriage, ed. and trans. (into French) Charles Mopsik (Paris: Editions de l’Eclat, 2003). An English translation may be found in Charles Mopsik, Sex of the Soul: The Vicissitudes of Sexual Difference in Kabbalah, ed. Daniel Abrams, trans. Esther Singer (Los Angeles: Cherub Press, 2005). See also Gabrielle Oberhänsli-Widmer, “Joseph Gikatilla: Das Mysterium, dass Bathscheva David seit den sechs Tagen der Schöpfung vorbestimmt war (Ende 13./Anfang 14. Jahrhundert),” Kirche und Israel 22 (2007), 73–82. I thank Rainer Barzen for calling my attention to this text. 39. Shmuel-bukh, st. 1230, ed. Falk, 70r; trans. Frakes, 106. 40. Yalqut Shimʻoni, ed. Hyman, 2:322–327, including material from both Sanhedrin 107a and Shabbat 56a. See Dov Hyman, Meqorot Yalqut Shimʻoni (Jerusalem: Mossad ha-Rav Quq, 1965), 2:64–65. 41. Shmuel-bukh, st. 1272, ed. Falk, 72v; cf. Frakes, 110. 42. Shmuel-bukh, st. 1273, Falk, 72v; cf. Frakes, 110. 43. M. M. Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Qur’an: An Explanatory Translation (New York: Knopf, 1930). Jean-Louis Déclais, David raconté par les musulmans (Paris: Cerf, 1999), provides background on David in Islam, although he treats Judaism extensively also.


n ot es to pages 111 –113

44. Khaleel Mohammed, David in the Muslim Tradition: The Bathsheba Affair (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015). Because of my lack of Arabic, I give only a few examples here from Arabic texts, either from published translations or (where noted) translated for me by Emma Snowden, who also checked the published translations against the originals and explained them to me. 45. Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī: Tārīkh al-umam wa-l-mulūk, (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyya, 1995), 1:283; The History of al-Ṭabarī, vol. 3, The Children of Israel, trans. William M. Brinner (Albany: State University of New York Press), 145. 46. See Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Kisā’i, Vita Prophetarum, ed. Isaac Eisenberg (Leiden: Brill, 1922), 259; trans. Wheeler M. Thackston Jr., Tales of the Prophets (Qiṣaṣ al-anbiyā’) (Chicago: Great Books of the Islamic World, 1997), 279; al-Kisā’i has the Israelites first suggesting to David that he has surpassed the other prophets and thereby prompting his pride. For another version of the testing, see Ibn al-Athīr, Al-Kāmil fī-l-ta’rīkh, ed. C. J. Tornberg (Leiden: Brill, 1867; reprint, Beirut: Dar Beirut, 1965), 225. I am not aware of an English translation of this text; Emma Snowden located and summarized the Arabic passage for me. 47. Al-Kisā’ī cites ibn ʿAbbās saying that Satan (Iblīs) was not part of it, because the prophets could not be tempted by him (Vita Prophetarum, 262; trans. Thackston, 282). 48. Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī 1:282–284; History of al-Ṭabarī, 3:144–146. 49. Marianna Klar, Interpreting al-Thaʿ labī’s “Tales of the Prophets”: Temptation, Responsibility and Loss (London: Routledge, 2009), 102. 50. Abū Isḥāq Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Ibrāhīm al-Thaʿlabī, Qiṣaṣ al-anbiyā’ almusamma ʿarā’ is al-majālis (Cairo: Dār Iḥyā’ al-Kutub al-ʿArabīyah, 1928); ʿArā`is al-majālis fī qiṣaṣ al-anbiyā, or Lives of the Prophets, trans. William M. Brinner (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 468– 476, here 473. On al-Thaʿlabī, see Marianna Klar, “Stories of the Prophets,” in The Blackwell Companion to the Qur’ān, ed. Andrew Rippin (Oxford: Blackwell, 2009), 338–349; Klar, Interpreting, 102–116. 51. Al-Thaʿlabī, Qiṣaṣ, 250; trans. Brinner, 471–472. 52. Klar, Interpreting, 116. 53. Al-Kisā’i, Vita Prophetarum, 266; trans. Thackston, 286. 54. Not only did David have the status of a prophet, the life and character of Muhammad resemble his in many ways. Ze’ev Maghen, “Davidic Motifs in the Biography of Muḥammad,” Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 35 (2008): 91–139, suggests that this is not just coincidental. To the extent David’s life is a model for Muhammad’s (or both are based on the same pool of available stories), it must be beyond reproach. 55. Al-Thaʿlabī, Qiṣaṣ, 250; trans. Brinner, 472. Al-Thaʿlabī’s use of “the narrators have said” here suggests that he does not find the report entirely reliable. 56. Camilla Adang, “Reading the Qur’ān with Ibn Ḥazm: The Question of the Sinlessness of the Prophets,” in Controverses sur les écritures canoniques de l’ islam, ed. Daniel De Smet and Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi (Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 2014), 269–295. 57. M. J. Kister. “Ḥaddithu ‘an banī isrā’īla wa-lā ḥaraja: A Study of an Early Tradition” Israel Oriental Studies 2 (1972): 215–239; Jane Dammen McAuliffe, “Assessing the Isrā’īliyyāt: An Exegetical Conundrum,” in Story-telling in the Framework of Non-fictional Arabic Literature, ed. Stefan Leder (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1998), 345–369; Marc S. Bernstein, Stories of Joseph: Narrative Migrations Between Judaism and Islam (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2006), 6–11. 58. Al-Kisā’ī, Vita Prophetarum, 264; trans. Thackston, 284. For another critique of the Isrā’īliyāt, see Ibn Kathīr, Qiṣaṣ al-anbiyā’, ed. Muṣṭafa ‘Abd al-Wāḥid (Maṭba‘a dār al-ta’līf, 1968), 2:272; I thank Emma Snowden for summarizing this for me.

n ot es to pages 113–117


59. Camilla Adang, Muslim Writers on Judaism and the Hebrew Bible: From Ibn Rabban to Ibn Hazm (Leiden: Brill, 1996), 240. 60. Translated in Mohammed, 90–107. 61. See David Lyle Jeffrey, “Bathsheba in the Eye of the Beholder: Artistic Depiction from the Late Middle Ages to Rembrandt,” in Sacred and Profane in Chaucer and Late Medieval Literature: Essays in Honour of John V. Fleming, ed. Robert Epstein and William Robins (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010), 30–45. 62. Frans van Liere, “Biblical Exegesis Through the Twelfth Century,” in The Practice of the Bible in the Middle Ages: Production, Reception, and Performance in Western Christianity, ed. Susan Boynton and Diane J. Reilly (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), 157–178, here 162. 63. Angelomus of Luxeuil, Enarrationes in libros Regum 2:11, PL 115:361C–363C. On Angelomus, see Silvia Cantelli, Angelomo e la scuola esegetica di Luxeuil, vol. 1 (Spoleto: Centro Italiano di studi sull’alto medioevo, 1990). 64. On the anti-Semitism or anti-Judaism of these manuscripts, see Sara Lipton, Images of Intolerance: The Representation of Jews and Judaism in the “Bible moralisée” (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999). 65. Peter Riga, Aurora: Petri Rigae Biblia versificata; A Verse Commentary on the Bible, ed. Paul E. Beichner (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press 1965), 1:278; similarly, Bible de Macé de la Charité, 3:47–48. 66. On this type of inversion, see Barbara Newman, Medieval Crossover: Reading the Secular Against the Sacred (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2013), 18–19. 67. This point comes from Hrabanus Maurus, Commentaria in libros IV Regum 11, PL 109:99A, also citing Gregory. 68. Angelomus of Luxeuil, Enarrationes in libros Regum 2:11, PL 115:361C–363C. 69. Glossa ordinaria to 2 Kings 11 (2 Sam. 11), http://gloss-e .irht .cnrs .fr/php/editions _ chapitr14e .php?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber13. xml&chapitre = 13_ 11, accessed 14 June 2018. 70. Mayke de Jong, The Penitential State: Authority and Atonement in the Age of Louis the Pious, 814–840 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 118–20. 71. Rupert of Deutz, In libros Regum 2:33–34, PL 167:1135B–D; Rupert, De divinis officiis 11:1, PL 170:294B– C; Honorius Augustodunensis, Selectorum psalmorum expositio, Ps. 50, PL 172:283B–D. 72. For a review of the history of medieval penance, see Sarah Hamilton, The Practice of Penance, 900–1050 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2001), 1–24; Rob Meens, “The Historiography of Early Medieval Penance,” in A New History of Penance, ed. Abigail Firey (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 73–95. 73. Glossa ordinaria, Gloss-E, _chapitr14e.php?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber13.xml&chapitre =13_11, accessed 14 June 2018. Hrabanus also picks up the Gregory passage (Van Liere, 162). 74. Shoaf, 206. 75. The Parlement of the Thre Ages, ed. M. Y. Offord (London: Oxford University Press, 1959), pp. 20–21, lines 448–454. 76. Jean Brisebarre: “Li Restor du Paon,” ed. Enid Donkin (London: Modern Humanities Research Association, 1980), p. 70, lines 319–323. 77. Ruth Mazo Karras, “Holy Harlots: Prostitute Saints in Medieval Legend,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 1 (1990): 3–32. The “woman who was a sinner” of Luke 8:36 was identified in the Middle Ages with Mary Magdalene.


n ot es to pages 117–12 2

78. Ambrose, Apologia Davidi altera [Apologia II] 3.12, in Opera, part 2, CSEL 32.2 (Vienna: Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1897), 364. 79. Hugh of St. Cher, 1:249v. Hugh makes some of these points but more briefly than Denis, who drew from a range of other exegetes as well as his own interpretation. 80. Denis the Carthusian, 2 Kings, art. 18, 3:497–501 81. Ibid., art. 19, 3:501–503 82. Gross-Diaz, 437–442. 83. Michael Kuczynski, Prophetic Song: The Psalms as Moral Discourse in Late Medieval England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995), 5 and throughout, argues that David’s position as maker or composer of the psalms is closely linked to his penitence. 84. Marcia Colish, “Psalterium Scholasticorum: Peter Lombard and the Emergence of Scholastic Psalms Exegesis,” Speculum 67 (1992): 531–548, here 539. For more on David’s authorship of the psalms, see Chapter 4. 85. Clare L. Costley, “David, Bathsheba, and the Penitential Psalms,” Renaissance Quarterly 57, no. 4 (2004): 1235–1277, here 1241–1243. Costley (later King’oo) suggests that the use of the image of Bathsheba bathing only becomes popu lar in the later part of the fifteenth century and before this the psalms are most commonly illustrated with an image of David composing or praying; as we saw in Chapter 1, this is not entirely true. 86. Harvey Stahl, “Bathsheba and the Kings: The Beatus Initial in the Psalter of Saint Louis (Paris, BNF, ms lat. 10525),” in The Illuminated Psalter: Studies in the Content, Purpose, and Placement of Its Images, ed. F. O. Büttner (Turnhout: Brepols, 2004), 427–434. 87. Queen Mary Psalter, 1310–1320, BL MS Royal 2.B.VII, fol. 56v, .uk /catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ ILLUMIN. ASP?Size = mid&IllID = 53878, accessed 16 June 2018. See Anne Rudloff Stanton, “From Eve to Bathsheba and Beyond: Motherhood in the Queen Mary Psalter,” in Women and the Book: Assessing the Visual Evidence, ed. Lesley Smith and Jane  H.  M. Taylor (London: British Library, 1996), 172–189, in which she argues that this fourteenth-century manuscript, in which David and Bathsheba, both clothed, look at each other, does not represent Bathsheba as passive (179). 88. Stanton, The Queen Mary Psalter, 126. 89. Middle English Metrical Paraphrase, ed. Livingston, p. 264, lines 8069–8070. 90. Ibid., p. 266, lines 8163–8164. 91. Markham Harris, trans., The Cornish Ordinalia: A Medieval Dramatic Trilogy (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1969), 57–58; for the original, see excerpts in Davyd hag Urry, ed. R. Morton Nance and A. S. D. Smith (St. Ives: Cornish Language Board, 1973), 2. 92. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, lines 2418–2419, ed. and trans. W. R. J. Barron, 2nd ed. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998), 160–161. Benjamin Utter, “Gawain and Goliath: Davidic Parallels and the Problem of Penance in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 44 (2013): 121–155, suggests that Sir Gawain and the Green Knight uses the story of David and Goliath, not directly but with several allusions and in order to bring out the theme of penance. 93. Utter, 133; Greti Dinkova-Bruun, “Biblical Thematics: The Story of Samson in Medieval Literary Discourse,” in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Latin Literature, ed. Ralph Hexter and David Townsend (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 369; Walter Map, “Dissuasio Valerii ad Rufinam,” in Jankyn’s Book of Wikked Wyves, ed. Ralph Hanna III and Traugott Lawler (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1997), 1:126–127; Matthias of Boulogne, Lamentationes Matheoluli 2:234–235, ed. Thomas Klein (Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, 2014), 111; “Planctus Israel super Samson,” lines 42–43, in Feros Ruys, Repentant Abelard, 253.

n ot es to pages 12 2 –125


94. William Langland, Piers Plowman, C-text, passus 11:263–265, ed. George Russell and George Kane (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), 427. 95. Ambrose, for example, leads with the lust for Bathsheba and the adultery (Apologia I 1.1, CSEL 32.2:319–320; Apologia II 1.1, CSEL 32.2:359–360). 96. Augustine, De Doctrina Christiana 3.34, ed. and trans. R. P. H. Green (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), 162–165. For a later medieval example of blame for sexual sin alone, see a fourteenth-century Scottish book of saints’ legends in which, of three types of sin (pride, lechery, and avarice), David is the example of lechery: Legends of the Saints in the Scottish Dialect of the Fourteenth Century, ed. W. M. Metcalfe, Scottish Text Society (Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1896), 1:205–206. 97. For excellent background, see Claire Costley King’oo, Miserere Mei: The Penitential Psalms in Medieval and Early Modern England (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press, 2012); and Lynn Staley, “The Penitential Psalms: Conversion and the Limits of Lordship,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 37, no. 2 (2007): 221–269. 98. Simone Maser, “L’image de David dans la littérature médiévale française,” Le Moyen Âge 99 (1993): 423–448, here 435. 99. Herbert Kessler, The Illustrated Bibles from Tours (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977), 109. 100. Paris, BnF, Cod. gr. 139, fol. 136v, http://gallica .image, accessed 16 June 2018; Buchthal, Miniatures, 27–28; Gilbert Dagron, Emperor and Priest: The Imperial Office in Byzantium, trans. Jean Birrell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 117. It is possible that the biblical story is used on the cover of the Psalter of Charles the Bald to allude to the marriage of Louis the Pious to Judith of Bavaria, Charles’s mother, who was accused of alleged incestuous adultery with her chamberlain, a godson of Louis; see Kathleen Corrigan, “Early Medieval Psalter Illustration in Byzantium and the West,” in The Utrecht Psalter in Medieval Art: Picturing the Psalms of David, ed. Koert van der Horst, William Noel, and Wilhelmina C. M. Wüstefeld (t’Goy: HES, 1996), 85–103, here 93. On Judith, see de Jong, 195–213; Pauline Stafford, Queens, Concubines and Dowagers: The King’s Wife in the Early Middle Ages (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1983), 18–20, 93–94. 101. Koert van der Horst, “The Utrecht Psalter: Picturing the Psalms of David,” in Van der Horst, Noel, and Wüstefeld, 22–84, here 70. 102. Corrigan, 92; Ioli Kalavrezou, Nicolette Trahoulia, and Shalom Sabar, “Critique of the Emperor in the Vatican Psalter Gr. 752,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 47 (1993): 195–219. 103. Mati Meyer, “Refracting Christian Truths Through the Prism of the Biblical Female in Byzantine Illuminated Manuscripts,” in Jews in Byzantium: Dialectics of Minority and Majority Cultures, ed. Robert Bonfil et al. (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 969–998, here 979–982. 104. Dimiter G. Angelov, “The Confession of Michael VIII Palaiologos and King David: On a Little Known Work by Manuel Holobolos,” Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik 56 (2006): 193–204. 105. Thomas Wright, ed., Political Poems and Songs Relating to English History (London: Longman, 1859), 1:141; W. Mark Ormrod, Edward III (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011), 465. 106. For discussion of a related shift in the thirteenth century toward the devaluation of those born outside of wedlock, see McDougall, Royal Bastards. 107. The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162–1170, letter 82, ed. and trans. Anne J. Duggan (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000), 1:338–339 (quotation from Duggan at 1:328 n. 1). I am grateful to Michael Staunton for pointing me to this passage. See discussion in


n ot es to pages 125–128

Gesine Oppitz-Trotman, “The Emperor’s Robe: Thomas Becket and Angevin Political Culture,” in Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2014, ed. Elisabeth van Houts, Anglo-Norman Studies 37 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2015), 205–219, arguing that the comparison with David carries an implied comparison with Charlemagne as well. 108. Gerald of Wales, Instruction for a Ruler (De Principis Instructione), ed. and trans. Robert Bartlett (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2018), 449 and n. 35. 109. Peter of Blois, “Dialogus inter regem Henricum secundum et abbatem Bonaevallensem,” in Opera omnia, 3:289–307, here 290. 110. Sarah Hamilton, “A New Model for Royal Penance? Helgaud of Fleury’s Life of Robert the Pious,” Early Medieval Europe 6 (1997): 189–200; Hamilton, Practice of Penance, 177–180. 111. Kuczynski, Prophetic Song, 63–66. 112. Augustine, Enarrationes in Psalmos, Ps. 50:5, CSEL 38:602. On Augustine as guide to the contradictions between David as exemplar and David as sinner, see Kucynski, Prophetic Song, 21–28. 113. Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum 50:3, ed. M. Adriaen, CCSL 97–98 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1958), 97:454; Peter Lombard, In psalmos Davidicos commentarii, preface, PL 191:57C. 114. Kuczynski, “The Psalms and Social Action,” 197–199; Kuczynski, Prophetic Song, 75–77. 115. Cursor Mundi, ed. Morris, 5:1474, lines 25772–25777. 116. Legends of the Saints, ed. Metcalfe, 1:205–206, lines 525–572. 117. Charles A. Huttar, “Frail Grass and Firm Tree: David as a Model of Repentance in the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance,” in The David Myth in Western Literature, ed. Raymond-Jean Frontain and Jan Wojcik (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press 1980), 38–54, here 40. 118. Gottfried of Admont, Homily 68, PL 174:476C. 119. Adelaide Bennett, “The Transformation of the Gothic Psalter in Thirteenth-Century France,” in Büttner, The Illuminated Psalter, 211–221, here 213–214. 120. Sarit Shalev-Eyni, “Purity and Impurity: The Naked Woman Bathing in Jewish and Christian Art,” in Between Judaism and Christianity: Art Historical Essays in Honor of Elisheva (Elisabeth) Revel-Neher, ed. Katrin Kogman-Appel and Mati Meyer (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 191–213. 121. See Jeffrey Hamburger, “Rewriting History: The Visual and the Vernacular in Late Medieval History Bibles,” in “Retextualisierung in der mittelalterlichen Literatur,” ed. Joachim Bumke and Ursula Peters, special issue, Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie 124 (2005): 260–308. 122. Stefanie Rüther, “Die Vergegenwärtigung des Krieges: Zur Visualisierung von Gewalt in spätmittelalterlichen Historienbibeln,” in Ecclesia als Kommunikationsraum in Mitteleuropa (13.–16. Jahrhundert), ed. Eva Doležalová and Robert Šimůnek (Munich: Collegium Carolinum, 2011), 287–304, here 294–297. 123. Books of Old Testament, Stuttgart (?), Workshop of Ludwig Henfflin, 1477, Heidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek, Cod. Pal. Germ. 17, fol. 54v, /0116/image, accessed 16 June 2018. 124. Jeffrey, 36. 125. Rüther, 293. 126. Monica A. Walker Vadillo, “Emotional Responses to David Watching Bathsheba Bathing in Late Medieval French Manuscript Illumination,” Annual of Medieval Studies at the Central European University 13 (2007): 97–109. 127. Ibid., 101. 128. Thomas Kren, “Looking at Louis XII’s Bathsheba,” in A Masterpiece Reconstructed: The Hours of Louis XII, ed. Thomas Kren and Mark Evans (Los Angeles: J Paul Getty Museum and British Library, 2005), 43–61.

n ot es to pages 132 –136


129. Ibid., 56. 130. Le Livre du chevalier de La Tour Landry, ed. Anatole de Montaiglon (Paris: Jannet, 1854), 154–155; Kren, 50. 131. Ancrene Wisse: Guide for Anchoresses 2:8, ed. Bella Millett, Early English Text Society 325 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 22–23, trans. Bella Millett (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2009), pp. 22–23. 132. Edith Wenzel, “Die schuldlose Schöne und die schöne Schuldige: Batseba in mittelalterlicher Kunst und Literatur,” in Böse Frauen–Gute Frauen: Darstellungskonventionen in Texten und Bildern des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit, ed. Ulrike Gaebel and Erika Kartschoke (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2001), 89–107, here 94–97. 133. Ruth Mazo Karras, “Misogyny and the Medieval Exemplum: Gendered Sin in John of Bromyard’s Summa Praedicantium,” Traditio 47 (1992): 233–257. 134. Margareth Boyer Owens, “The Image of King David in Prayer in Fifteenth-Century Books of Hours,” Imago musicae 6 (1989): 23–38. 135. Knight, Les Mystères de la procession de Lille, 2:572. 136. Jessalynn Bird, “Preaching and Narrating the Fifth Crusade: Bible, Sermons and the History of a Campaign,” in The Uses of the Bible in Crusader Sources, ed. Elizabeth Lapina and Nicholas Morton (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 316–340, here 325–327. 137. Perush Radaq l’ divrei hayamim, ed. Yitzhak Berger (diss., Yeshiva University, 2003), 109; The Commentary of Rabbi David Kimḥi to Chronicles: A Translation with Introduction and Supercommentary, trans. Yitzhak Berger (Providence, RI: Brown Judaic Studies, 2007), 152–153. 138. Shmuel-bukh, sts. 1750–1758, ed. Falk, 99r–99v; trans. Frakes, 144–145. 139. Mistère, lines 32457–32471, 4:237–238; Glossa ordinaria to 2 Kings 24 (2 Sam. 24), http:// gloss-e .irht .cnrs .fr/php/editions _ chapitre .php?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber13 . xml& chapitre =13_24, accessed 9 January 2019. 140. Denis the Carthusian, 3:573; Middle English Metrical Paraphrase, p. 294, lines 9244– 9246. 141. Ruth Mazo Karras, Common Women: Prostitution and Sexuality in Medieval England (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 133–134. 142. Henric Bagerius and Christine Ekholst, “For Better or for Worse: Royal Marital Sexuality as Political Critique in Late Medieval Europe,” in The Routledge History of Monarchy, ed. Elena Woodacre et al. (Abingdon: Routledge, 2019), 636–654. 143. Wenzel, 97, makes this point with regard to attitudes toward women. 144. David et Bethsabée, Play no.  24, in Knight, Les Mystères de la procession de Lille, 2:447, 454. 145. Glossa ordinaria to 3 Kings 1 (1 Kings 1), .php?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber14 . xml&chapitre = 14_ 1, accessed 17 June 2018; Jerome, Epistola 52, PL 22:528. 146. Joan Cadden, Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages: Medicine, Science, and Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 23, 156. I thank Yossi Ziegler for reminding me of this point.

chapter 4 1. Particularly good on the historical importance of the medieval liturgy is Margot Fassler, “The Liturgical Framework of Time and the Representation of History,” in Representing History,


n ot es to pages 136–137

900–1300, ed. Robert A. Maxwell (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010), 149–171, especially the historiographical comments. 2. Timothy S. Jones, “Reading Biblical Outlaws: The ‘Rise of David’ Story in the Fourteenth Century,” in Chaucer and the Jews, ed. Sheila Delany (New York: Routledge, 2002), 109–132, here 113. 3. For the basics of the psalter and its role in worship, see Rosemary Muir Wright, “Introducing the Medieval Psalter,” in Studies in the Illustration of the Psalter, ed. Brendan Cassidy and Rosemary Muir Wright, St. Andrews Studies in the History of Art (Stamford: Shaun Tyas, 2000), 1–11. Even when David is not depicted playing the harp, it appears as his attribute; see Owens, “The Image of King David.” 4. Richard Schechner, Performance Studies: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (New York: Routledge, 2006), is a basic introduction to the field that sets out the way the terms are commonly used. 5. On professional dance performance in the context of music, see John Stevens, Words and Music in the Middle Ages: Song, Narrative, Dance and Drama, 1050–1350 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 159–163. 6. The terms “perform,” “performance,” and “performative” are themselves problematic. I am using them here in the sense of a set of behaviors in which a person steps out of everyday mode and displays a prescribed set of actions intended for an audience; this could be music, dance, theater (the “performing arts”) or ritual. In a broader sense to “perform” something means to express that characteristic through actions—for example, performing masculinity, performing charity. In this chapter unless other wise noted I am using the narrower sense. 7. On the different kinds of stringed instruments, see Nigel Wilkins, “Instruments and Their Music,” in The Cambridge History of Medieval Music, ed. Mark Everist and Thomas Forrest Kelly (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 1:451–474, esp. 454–458. Hans J. Zingel, König Davids Harfe in der abendländischen Kunst (Cologne: Musikverlag Hans Gerig, 1968), focuses on actual biblical instruments and then how they were imagined in the early modern era, largely skipping over the Middle Ages. Roughly, he equates the kinnor with the cithara (kithara) or lyre and the nebel with the psaltery or harp; Wilkins treats cithara as a more general term that can encompass lyres and harps. The different ways in which David’s instrument has been depicted is important to musicologists attempting to reconstruct medieval musical practice, but less important to the current project, except for possible gender or class implications of the different instruments. For the symbolism of instruments, see Martin van Schaik, The Harp in the Middle Ages: The Symbolism of a Musical Instrument (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1992). This chapter will use “harp” in a layperson’s sense as a general term to denote David’s stringed instrument. 8. Van Schaik, 42. Helmut Giesel, Studien zur Symbolik der Musikinstrumente im Schrifttum der alten und der mittelalterlichen Kirche (von den Anfängen bis zum 13. Jahrhundert), Kölner Beiträge zur Musikforschung 94 (Regensburg: Gustav Bosse Verlag, 1978), 54. Giesel’s work as a whole is a summary of late antique and medieval interpretations of musical instruments referred to in the psalms; see 157–159 for a list of the commentators who interpreted the psaltery and kithara as contrasts (soul/body, divinity/humanity, vita active/vita contemplativa, and so on), including Hilary of Poitiers, “Tractatus super psalmos,” prologue, PL 9:237C. On the authentic Athanasian commentary, see Paul R. Kolbet, “Athanasius, the Psalms, and the Reformation of the Self,” in The Harp of Prophecy: Early Christian Interpretations of the Psalms, ed. Brian E. Daley and Paul R. Kolbet (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2015), 75–96, suggesting that the musical instruments mentioned in the psalms are a sign of corporeal harmonies. 9. Augustine, Enarrationes in Psalmos 56:16, ed. E. Dekkers and J. Fraipont, CCSL 38–40, (Turnhout: Brepols, 1956), 39:705–706 (taken up in the Glossa ordinaria to Psalms 56 (57), http://

n ot es to pages 137–139


gloss - e . irht . cnrs . fr/php/editions _ chapitre .php?livre = . . /sources/editions/. . /sources/editions /GLOSS -liber26_4.xml&chapitre =2, accessed 25 May 2018); see also 32:2:1:5, 38:250–251 (taken up in the Glossa ordinaria, _chapitre.php?livre =../sources /editions/../sources/editions/GLOSS-liber26_2.xml&chapitre =2, accessed 25 May 2018). This explanation was used by medieval authors, for example, the text attributed to Haimo of Halberstadt, Commentarius in Psalmos Ch. 1, PL 116:196A. The attribution is incorrect; nor does the work appear to have been written by Haimo of Auxerre to whom it was later attributed. Dominique Iogna-Prat, “L’oeuvre d’Haymon d’Auxerre: État de la question,” in L’ école carolingienne d’Auxerre de Murethach à Remi, 830–908, ed. Dominique Iogna-Prat, Colette Jeudy, and Guy Lobrichon (Paris: Beauchesne, 1991), 157–164. This connection of the psaltery with the divine is also given in other texts as the reason the book of Psalms is called by the same name as the instrument: for example, Gregory the Great, Expositiones in septem psalmos poenitentiales, preface, PL 79:551A; the preface to a twelfth-century psalm commentary attributed to Bede, PL 93:481C. On the authorship of that commentary, see Wilfried Hartmann, “Psalmenkommentare aus der Zeit der Reform und der Frühscholastik,” Studi Gregoriani 9 (1972): 313–366 at 320–324. 10. Isabelle Marchesin, “Les images musicales occidentales aux VIIIe et IXe siècles: Une exégèse visuelle,” in Biblical Studies in the Early Middle Ages, ed. Claudio Leonardi and Giovanni Orlandi (Florence: SISMEL, 2005), 259–282, here 263; Cassiodorus, 32:2, CCSL 97:284. Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae 3.22.7, PL 82:168A, says that the psaltery of the Jews had ten strings for this reason. Later writers follow Cassiodorus in making the allegorical point instead of attributing it to someone else; see, for example, Pseudo-Bede, PL 93:481C, and a commentary falsely attributed to Jerome, Breviarium in Psalmos, PL 26:915A, on Psalm 32; Hrabanus Maurus, Expositio in Paralipomena on 1 Chronicles 15, PL 109:346B; Pseudo-Haimo, PL 116:195D; Remigius of Auxerre, Enarrationes in Psalmos 32, PL 131:306A–B. 11. James W. McKinnon, “Musical Instruments in Medieval Psalm Commentaries and Psalters,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 21, no. 1 (1968): 3–20, here 6–8; see also Emanuel Winternitz, “Secular Music Practice in Sacred Art,” Early Music 3, no. 3 (1975): 221–226, here 222. 12. See Leslie Lassetter, “Music Iconography and Medieval Performance Practice,” College Music Symposium 31 (1991): 91–116, pointing out at pp. 93–94 David’s unrealistic hand position in a number of medieval representations of him harping. Indeed, medieval writers do not seem to have been consistent in their terminology; see van Schaik, 31. 13. Isabelle Marchesin, “Le corps musical dans les miniatures psalmiques carolingiennes et romanes,” in Le geste et les gestes au moyen âge (Aix-en-Provence: CUERMA, 1998), 403–427; Martine Clouzot, “Les allégories de la musique dans les livres peints (XIe–XVe siècle): Mouvements, musicalités et temporalités d’une herméneutique,” in L’allégorie dans l’art du Moyen Âge: Formes et fonctions; Héritages, creations, mutations, ed. Christian Heck (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), 253–270, here 257. 14. [Pseudo-]Haimo, PL 116:195C. 15. Clouzot, 258–260. 16. Somme le Roi, 1295 London, BL Add. MS 54180, fol. 107r, /illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN. ASP?Size =mid&IllID = 60442, accessed 1 June 2019. 17. Bruce Holsinger, Music, Body, and Desire in Medieval Culture: Hildegard of Bingen to Chaucer (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001), 88. 18. Johannes Afflighemensis, De musica cum tonario, chap. 17, ed. J. Smits van Waesberghe (Rome: American Institute of Musicology, 1950), p. 114, .edu/tml /9th-11th/JOHDEM, accessed 31 May 2019. Stevens, 387, gives further examples of medieval commentators mentioning David’s playing for Saul as an example of the power of music.


n ot es to pages 139–14 2

19. The harp exhibited in the Trinity College Dublin library and known as the Harp of Brian Boru (941–1014), which now appears on Irish coinage and passports, actually dates from the late fourteenth or fifteenth century, and the first mention of its connection with Brian is from the eighteenth century. There are no early references to Brian as a harpist (Seán Duffy, personal communication, 7 February 2020). 20. Cassiodorus, Commentary on the Psalms, around 730, Durham Cathedral Library MS B.II.30, fol. 81v, = t2mrn3011371&canvas = t2t6q182 k23p, accessed 31 March 2020. 21. On this manuscript, which is badly damaged, see Françoise Henry, “Remarks on the Decoration of Three Irish Psalters,” Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy: Archaeology, Culture, History, Literature 61 (1960): 23–40, here 29–32. 22. Isabel Henderson, “The ‘David Cycle’ in Pictish Art,” in Early Medieval Sculpture in Britain and Ireland, ed. John Higgitt, BAR British Series 152 (Oxford: BAR, 1986), 87–123, here esp. 103–106; Helen M. Roe “The ‘David Cycle’ in Early Irish Art,” Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 79 (1949): 39–59; Ross Trench-Jellicoe, “Pictish and Related Harps: Their Form and Decoration,” in The Worm, the Germ, and the Thorn: Pictish and Related Studies Presented to Isabel Henderson, ed. David Henry (Balgavies: Pinkfoot Press, 1997), 159–172, here 159; Alasdair Ross, ‘ “Harps of Their Owne Sort’? A Reasessment of Pictish Chordophone Designs,” Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 36 (1998): 37–60. 23. Ann Buckley, “Representations of Musicians in Medieval Christian Iconography of Ireland and Scotland as Local Cultural Expression,” in Art and Music in the Early Modern Period: Essays in Honor of Franca Trinchieri Camiz, ed. Katherine A. McIver (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), 217–231. 24. Andrew H. Chen, “Abigail and David: The Iconography of a Romanesque Capital from Notre-Dame-des-Doms, Avignon,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 76 (2013): 131–136, quotation at 133. On Abigail, see Elisheva Baumgarten, Biblical Women and Jewish Daily Life in the Middle Ages (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming). 25. John Block Friedman, Orpheus in the Middle Ages (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2000), 149–150; Asher Ovadiah, “The Symbolic Meaning of the David-Orpheus Image in the Gaza Synagogue Mosaic,” Liber Annuus 59 (2009): 301–308. 26. Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks, chap. 1, trans. G. W. Butterworth, Loeb Classical Library, vol. 92 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1919), 4–13. 27. Friedrich Ohly, “Typologische Figuren aus Natur und Mythus.” in Formen und Funktionen der Allegorie, ed. Walter Haug (Stuttgart: J. B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1979), 126–166 at 134. 28. Ibid., 136. 29. Buchthal, Miniatures, 13–15, where he suggests that the iconography may be based on that of Venus and Adonis and that a second type of Greek psalter illustration is based on the story of Orpheus; Li Romanz de Dieu et de sa mere d’Herman de Valenciennes, ed. Spiele, p. 231, st. 317. 30. Le Roman de Tristan en prose, ed. Renée L. Curtis (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1985), 1:157 (§311). The Old Norse version is the surviving translation/adaptation of a different branch of the Tristan story. Tristrams saga ok Ísöndar, chaps. 22 and 30, ed. and trans. Peter Jorgensen, in Norse Romance I: The Tristan Legend, ed. Marianne Kalinke (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1999), 60–63 and 86–87. 31. Mary Beth Winn, “Tristan’s Harp in the Prose Tristan,” Early Music 45, no. 2 (2017): 171– 183, esp. 173.

n ot es to pages 14 2 –14 8


32. Rita Steblin, “The Gender Stereotyping of Musical Instruments in the Western Tradition,” Canadian University Music Review 16, no. 1 (1995): 128–144, here 131. 33. Lausanne, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Lausanne, U 964, Biblia Porta, fol. 93r, I thank Katherine Pierpont for this reference. 34. Glossa ordinaria to 1 Kings 16 (1 Sam. 16), http://gloss-e .irht .cnrs .fr/php/editions _chapitre.php?livre=../sources/editions/GLOSS-liber12.xml&chapitre=12_16); Denis the Carthusian 3:352, citing the Glossa. 35. Walter of St. Victor, Sermo 3:9, in Galteri a Sancto Victore et quorumdam aliorum sermones ineditos triginta sex, ed. Jean Châtillon, CCCM 30 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1975), 254–255. See Margot Fassler, Gothic Song: Victorine Sequences and Augustinian Reform in Twelfth-Century Paris (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 312–313. I thank Margot Fassler for calling this to my attention. 36. McKinnon, 16; Haseloff, 29, 104–115. 37. Johannes Afflighemensis, De musica, chap. 17, p. 115. 38. On women servitor/musicians, see Maria V. Coldwell, “Jougleresses and Trobairitz: Secular Musicians in Medieval France,” in Women Making Music: The Western Art Tradition, 1150– 1950, ed. Jane Bowers and Judith Tick (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1986), 39–61, here 43–44, with the suggestion that jougleresses were understood as typically dark-skinned. Coldwell, however, notes that aristocratic women were trained in singing and playing instruments the same as were aristocratic men. 39. Ruth Harvey, “Courtly Culture in Medieval Occitania,” in The Troubadours: An Introduction, ed. Simon Gaunt and Sarah Kay (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 8–27, here 16. 40. Stevens, 391–392. 41. Thomas Christensen, “Music Theory,” in Everist and Kelly, 1:357–381, here 373. 42. Ziolkowski, ed. and trans., Cambridge Songs, no. 81, pp. 156–157. 43. Ibid., xxvi–xxx. 44. For other places where David’s harp is found in the Psalms, see van Schaik, 97. 45. Grażyna Jurkowlaniec, “A Typological Confrontation of the Man of Sorrows and David at the Turn of the Thirteenth Century,” Konsthistorisk Tidskrift 73 (2004): 87–97. 46. Kessler, 6. 47. Ibid., 96–103, for this and the following paragraph. “Prothemata in librum Psalmorum,” https://gloss - e . irht . cnrs . fr /php /editions _ chapitre . php ?livre = . . /sources /editions /GLOSS -liber26_1.xml&chapitre =26_1_ Prol.2, accessed 31 May 2019. 48. Hugo Buchthal, “The Exaltation of David,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 37 (1974): 330–333, here 331. 49. Corrigan, 87. 50. Kessler, 109. 51. One audience member when I spoke about this suggested that David in this image is “strutting like Mick Jagger,” which I find apt. 52. Christopher De Hamel, A History of Illuminated Manuscripts (London: Phaidon Press, 1994), 44; Corrigan, 89. 53. F. O. Büttner, “Der illuminierte Psalter im Westen,” in Büttner, The Illuminated Psalter, 1–106, here 39–42; in the same collection (Büttner, Illuminated Psalter), see Rainer Kahsnitz, “Frühe Initialpsalter,” 137–155, at p. 140; and Wolfgang Augustyn, “Zur Illustration von Psalterien


n ot es to pages 14 8 –152

und Psalmenkommentaren in Italien vom frühen 11. bis zum ausgehenden 13. Jahrhundert,” 165– 180, at p. 174. 54. Reinhardt, 90–91. 55. Kessler, 107–108; Kurt Holter, Kommentar, vol. 2 of Der Goldene Psalter “Dagulf-Psalter”: Vollständige Faksimile-Ausgabe im Originalformat von Codex 1861 der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek (Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1980), 58–65, including discussion of the placement of the two plaques in relation to possible allusions to Charlemagne as David and to contemporary popes in the Jerome scene. 56. Horace, De arte poetica, lines 391–393, ed. C. O. Brink, Horace on Poetry: The “Ars poetica” (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971), 69. I thank Rita Copeland for calling my attention to this. 57. Although not to the exclusion of the corporeal. For discussion of this issue, see Holsinger, 1–20. 58. Christopher Page, The Christian West and Its Singers: The First Thousand Years (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010), 175, 196 59. Elizabeth Eva Leach, “Music and Masculinity in the Middle Ages,” in Masculinity and Western Musical Practice, ed. Ian Biddle and Kirsten Gibson (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009), 21–39, here 22–24. 60. See Elliott, Corrupter of Boys. 61. E.g., Prosarium Lemovicense: Die Prosen der Abtei St. Martial zu Limoges, ed. Guido Maria Dreves, Analecta hymnica Medii Aevi, vol. 7 (Leipzig: Fues’s Verlag, 1889), 270–271, no. 254. I thank Margot Fassler for this reference and for the suggestion to look at liturgical sequences in a systematic way, which I have sadly not been able to take up, and David Wallace for an astute comment. 62. John of Salisbury, Policraticus 1.6, ed. K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, CCCM 118 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1993), 48. 63. Kuczynski, Prophetic Song, 9. 64. Clement of Alexandria, Cohortatio ad gentes, PG 8:59–60; Holsinger, 33, 39. 65. Holsinger, 202–204 (anonymous Middle High German poem Die Erlösung, around 1300, and Speculum humanae salvationis, early fourteenth century and widely translated into various vernaculars). 66. Richard Rolle, The Psalter, or Psalms of David, and Certain Canticles, ed. Henry Ramsden Bramley (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1884), 203–204; modern English from The English Writings, trans. Rosamund S. Allen (New York: Paulist Press, 1988), 74. 67. William F. Pollard, “The ‘Tone of Heaven’: Bonaventuran Melody and the Easter Psalm in Richard Rolle,” in The Popular Literature of Medieval England, ed. Thomas J. Heffernan (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1985), 252–276, here 269. 68. Holsinger, 102, 210–213. 69. See Leach, 33–38; see also Leo Treitler, “Gender and Other Dualities of Music History,” in Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship, ed. Ruth A. Solie (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 23–45. 70. John W. Baldwin discusses this for France around 1200: “The Image of the Jongleur in Northern France Around 1200,” Speculum 72 (1997): 635–663. 71. Christopher Page, Discarding Images: Reflections on Music and Culture in Medieval France (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), 179–183; Sylvia Huot, From Song to Book: The Poetics of Writing in Old French Lyric and Lyrical Narrative Poetry (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987), 53–64.

n ot es to pages 152 –156


72. Baldwin, “Image of the Jongleur,” 643–645. 73. Huot, 328–330. 74. Muslim culture, too, focused less on the psalms as songs than as David as a prophet transmitting the words of God; many Arabic texts labeled as “Psalms of David” are not the biblical texts but what David Vishanoff calls “rewritten Qur’an,” lending David’s authority to an intraIslamic message (“An Imagined Book Gets a New Text: Psalms of the Muslim David,” Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 22, no. 1 [2011]: 85–99). 75. Sefer Ḥasidim, §18, fol. 4v,, accessed 15 November 2018. 76. Gikatilla, Sha‘are Orah, ed. Ben Shlomo, 54, trans. Weinstein, 12. 77. Moshe Idel, Kabbalah and Eros (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press 2005), 142; The Zohar, 2:145a, trans. Matt, 5:321. 78. Pseudo-Chrysostom, De poenitentia, PG 64:12–13, cited in Renie S. Choy, Intercessory Prayer and the Monastic Ideal in the Time of the Carolingian Reforms (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 76. 79. Pirqe de Rabbi Eliezer, chap. 31, fols. 71b–72a, passage attributed to R. Chanina ben Dosa, ed. and trans. Gerald Friedlander (New York: Hermon Press, 1965), 229–230. 80. Midrash ha-Gadol on Genesis 22:13, ed. Mordecai Margoliot (Jerusalem: Mossad ha-Rav Quq, 1975), 1:358; Yalqut Shimʻoni, 101, ed. Dov Hyman, 1:1:451–453. 81. Sara Offenberg, “Mirroring Samson the Martyr: Reflections of Jewish-Christian Relations in the North French Hebrew Illuminated Miscellany,” in Jews and Christians in ThirteenthCentury France, ed. Elisheva Baumgarten and Judah D. Galinsky (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 203–216, here 205; see also p. 212 n. 9; and Offenberg, Illuminated Piety: Pietistic Texts and Images in the North French Hebrew Miscellany (Los Angeles: Cherub Press, 2013), 9–18, for earlier bibliography on the illuminations; Yael Zirlin, “The Decoration of the Miscellany, Its Iconography and Style,” in The North French Hebrew Miscellany (British Library Add. MS 11639): Companion Volume to an Illuminated Manuscript from Thirteenth- Century France in Facsimile, ed. Jeremy Schonfield (London: Facsimile Editions, 2003), 75–161, suggesting a close relationship to Christian iconography including the Bibles moralisées. 82. The full-page illuminations were added to the text and the captions on them are written by a different hand. See Malachi Beit-Arié, “The Making of the Miscellany,” in Schonfield, 47– 73, here 67–69. 83. Metzger and Metzger, 68. 84. Elina Gertsmann, The Dance of Death in the Middle Ages: Image, Text, Per for mance (Turnhout: Brepols, 2010), 53. 85. The ephod he wears is generally interpreted as a sort of loincloth, although Rashi explains it as a linen robe. Rashi on 2 Samuel 6:20. 86. Glossa ordinaria to 2 Kings 6 (2 Sam. 6), .php?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber13. xml&chapitre =13_6. See also Denis the Carthusian, 3:470. 87. Jennings, Jacob’s Wound, 39–47; Theodore W. Jennings Jr., “YHWH as Erastes,” in Queer Commentary and the Hebrew Bible, ed. Ken Stone (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 36– 74; Teresa J. Hornsby, “The Dance of Gender: David, Jesus, and Paul,” Neotestamentica 48 (2014): 75–91, at 83. Denis the Carthusian interprets the ephod as a sign of chastity, not of exhibitionism (3:472). 88. Walter Dietrich, “Die Überführung der Lade nach Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6),” in For and Against David: Story and History in the Books of Samuel, ed. Graeme A. Auld and Erik Eynikel


n ot es to pages 156–160

(Leuven: Peeters, 2010), 235–253, here 237–240, suggests that Michal is not criticizing him for lasciviousness but rather for consorting with slaves instead of people of the court. 89. Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job, part 5, book 27, chap. 46, sect. 77, PL 76:443C–D. 90. Paul Dilley, “Christus Saltans as Dionysos and David: The Dance of the Savior in Its LateAntique Cultural Context,” Apocrypha 24 (2013): 237–254, esp. 246–250. 91. Kessler, 105. 92. Walter Salmen, “Dance and Dance Music, c. 1300–1530,” in Music as Concept and Practice in the Late Middle Ages, ed. Reinhard Strohm and Bonnie J. Blackburn, New Oxford History of Music 3.1 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 162–190, here 163–168. 93. See Karras, From Boys to Men, 44–47. 94. Salmen, “Dance and Dance Music,” 171–172; see also Barbara Baert, Revisiting Salome’s Dance in Medieval and Early Modern Iconology, Studies in Iconology 7 (Leuven: Peeters, 2016). 95. On the church’s attitudes toward dancing in the later Middle Ages, see Alessandro Arcangeli, “Dance Under Trial: The Moral Debate, 1200–1600,” Dance Research 12, no.  2 (1994): 127–155. Arcangeli notes the ambivalence of many early modern writers, including Bucer who explained that David’s dance for the Lord was acceptable because it was the custom at the time (144). 96. Laura Cleaver and Helen Conrad O’Briain, Latin Psalter Manuscripts in Trinity College Dublin and the Chester Beatty Library (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2015), 54–57. 97. On the fine line between professional dancing and acrobatics, see Stevens, Words and Music, 161. 98. Adelheid Heimann, “A Twelfth-Century Manuscript from Winchcombe and Its Illustrations: Dublin, Trinity College, MS 53,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institututes 28 (1965): 86–109. 99. Cleaver and O’Briain, 56. 100. John W. Baldwin, “Image of the Jongleur,” 639. See also John W. Baldwin, Masters, Princes and Merchants: The Social Views of Peter the Chanter and His Circle (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1970), 1:198–204. The standard but now somewhat dated work on jongleurs is Edmond Faral, Les jongleurs en France au moyen âge (Paris: Champion, 1910); now, see Jan M. Ziolkowski, The Juggler of Notre Dame and the Medievalizing of Modernity, vol. 1, The Middle Ages (Cambridge, U.K.: Open Book Publishers, 2018), 79–90. Faral suggests (11) that Roman mimes or histriones who went north after the fall of Rome were the literal ancestors of jongleurs; he is correct that the terms were sometimes interchangeable. On church criticism of jongleurs, see Faral, 26–43. 101. Carol Symes, “The Lordship of Jongleurs,” in The Experience of Power in Medieval Europe, 950–1350, ed. Robert Berkhofer III, Alan Cooper, and Adam Kosto (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), 237–252. 102. Roe, 51. 103. Jan M. Ziolkowski, “Juggling the Middle Ages: The Reception of Our Lady’s Tumbler and Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame,” Studies in Medievalism 15 (2006): 157–197. The relevant portion of Ziolkowski’s larger six-volume work is The Juggler, 1:17–169. 104. Paul Bretel, ed. and trans. (into French), Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame (Paris: Honoré Champion, 2003), 79 and n. 7. 105. Paris, Bibliotheque de l’Arsenal, MS 3516, fol. 127r, http://gallica /btv1b55000507q/f259.item. See Ziolkowski, “Juggling,” 187 n. 14, and The Juggler, 39; on the relation to King David in general and the Winchcombe Psalter specifically, The Juggler, 205. See also Johann-Christian Klamt, “ ‘Le tumbeor de Notre-Dame’: Gaukler in Demut,” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 60, no. 3 (1997): 289–307, here 289–290.

n ot es to pages 160–162


106. Karen Silen, “Elisabeth of Spalbeek: Dancing the Passion,” in Women’s Work: Making Dance in Europe Before 1800, ed. Lynn Matluck Brooks (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2007), 207–227. On Elisabeth of Spalbeek, see Sean L. Field, Courting Sanctity: Holy Women and the Capetians (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2019). 107. Lausanne, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire, MS U964, fol. 343v, https://www.e, accessed 5 June 2019; Baert, 20–21, 37. For an image of Salome, see the missal from 1232, The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, MS 78 D 40, fol. 108, _78d40%3A108r_randfig, accessed 10 July 2019. 108. Jean Leclercq, “Le thème de la jonglerie chez S. Bernard et ses contemporains,” Revue d’ histoire de la spiritualité 48 (1972): 385–400, here 386; Bernard, Lettres: Tome II (42–91), no. 87, in Oeuvres complètes, vol. 3, ed. Jean Leclercq, trans. Henri Rochais, Sources chrétiennes 458 (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 2001), 472–474; Ziolkowski, The Juggler, 96. See also Klamt, 295, on the inversion involved in making a jongleur the humble devotee of the Virgin. 109. Bernard, Lettres, no. 87, p. 472. 110. Leclercq, “Thème,” 393. 111. Bretel, 38. 112. The word I have translated as “performer” is histrio, which can mean an actor or jongleur but here must have a broader meaning. Pommersfelden Bible, Pommersfelden, Gräfl. Schönborn’sche Schloßbibliothek, MS 334, fol. II, f. 148v, reproduced in Peter Williams, The Organ in Western Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 173. 113. Michael Camille, Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art (London: Reaktion Books, 2004), 57, 60. 114. Laura Slater, “Lessons in Leadership and Liturgy in the Winchcombe Psalter,” English Studies 98 (2017): 49–62; Klamt, 305. 115. “Corbel with a Pair of Beard-Pulling Acrobats,” ca. 1150–1200, https://www.metmuseum .org /art/collection/search/471136, accessed 29 November 2018; Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, plate 8. Dyan Elliott (personal communication, 30 November 2019) suggests that the men are not likely monks having sex, because they both have beards. 116. Manuel Pedro Ferreira, “The Medieval Fate of the Cantigas de Santa Maria,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 69, no. 2 (2016): 295–353, here 325–333. 117. Joseph T . Snow, “‘Cantando e con dança’: Alfonso X, King David, the Cantigas de Santa Maria and the Psalms,” La Corónica 27, no. 2 (1999): 61–73; Alfonso X, Cantigas de Santa Maria, no. 409, ed. Walter Mettmann (Coimbra: University of Coimbra, 1964), 3:369; Songs of Holy Mary of Alfonso X, the Wise: A Translation of the “Cantigas de Santa Maria,” trans. Kathleen Kulp-Hill (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2000), no. 409, p. 493. This particu lar poem is known from only one of the four manuscripts. 118. Snow, 67. 119. Walter Salmen, “Jesus Christus, der himmlische Spielmann,” Music in Art 33 (2008): 5–10. 120. Ibid., 6–7: Henry Suso, Christus und die minnende Seele, second half of fifteenth century, Einsiedeln, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 710, fol. 18r, /0/Sequence-1028, accessed 7 June 2019; Mainz, Wissenschaftliche Diöcesanbibliothek, MartinusBibliothek, Hs 46 (1496), full description at /mz-mb-hs-46/, accessed 7 June 2019. 121. On the distinction between round dances and other types, see Salmen, Dance and Dance Music, 163. 122. Shmuel-bukh, sts. 1076–1079, ed. Falk, 61v; trans. Frakes, 95.


n ot es to pages 162 –169

123. Midrash Shmu’el, ed. Lifshitz, 86; Yalqut Shimʻoni, 343, ed. Hyman, Nevi’im Rishonim, 310–311. 124. Moshe Idel, Abraham Abulafia: An Ecstatic Kabbalist; Two Studies, ed. Moshe Lazar (Lancaster, CA: Labyrinthos, 2002), esp. 159–192. 125. Elliot R. Wolfson, Circle in the Square: Studies in the Use of Gender in Kabbalistic Symbolism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995), 103. 126. Jay Michaelson, “Kabbalah and Queer Theology: Resources and Reservations,” Theology and Sexuality 18 (2012): 42–59, here 51. 127. Ibid., 45. Scholars today considering queer aspects of Kabbalah tend to be particularly concerned with the possibilities it opens up for contemporary thought; I suggest here only how medieval people may have understood it. 128. Elliot R. Wolfson, Language, Eros, Being: Kabbalistic Hermeneutics and Poetic Imagination (New York: Fordham University Press, 2005), 49. 129. Judith Lynne Hanna, Dance, Sex and Gender: Signs of Identity, Dominance, Defiance, and Desire (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), 47.

chapter 5 1. Cameron Bradley, “Between Brothers: Brotherhood and Masculinity in the Later Middle Ages” (PhD diss., University of Minnesota, 2015). 2. See McDougall, Royal Bastards. 3. There is a huge literature on lineage in the Middle Ages, some of which developed using anthropological models to fill in patchy historical evidence, for example, Jack Goody, The Development of the Family and Marriage in Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), a stimulating work that nonetheless has now been largely rejected or revised. 4. Middle English Metrical Paraphrase, ed. Livingston, p. 205, line 5883. It is true, of course, that the term was likely inserted here because the syllables were necessary for metrical reasons, but there are a number of two-syllable words that could have been chosen. 5. Mistère du Viel Testament, 28. 6. See Walter Dietrich, The Early Monarchy in Israel: The Tenth Century BCE, trans. Joachim Vette (Atlanta: Society for Biblical Literature, 2007), on early kingship. 7. See Robert Benson, “Images of David in Psalters and Bibles: Medieval Interpretations of Biblical Kingship as Mirrored in Art,” in Law, Rulership, and Rhetoric: Selected Essays of Robert L. Benson, ed. Loren J. Weber (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2014), 131–157. Benson argues that until the mid-twelfth century anointing was not understood as having made David a king, hence the involvement of the priest Samuel was not constitutive of his kingship. 8. Wilhelm von Ockham als politischer Denker und sein Breviloquium de principatu tyrannico, 5:7, ed. Richard Scholz, MGH Schriften 8 (Stuttgart: Hiersemann Verlag, 1944), p. 181; trans. in William of Ockham, A Short Discourse on Tyrannical Government, ed. Arthur Stephen McGrade, trans. John Kilcullen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 143; Anne Walters Robertson, Guillaume de Machaut and Reims: Context and Meaning in His Musical Works (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 236. 9. Peter Comestor, Historia scholastica, PL 198:1310C. 10. Makhir b. Abba Mari, Yalqut ha-Makhiri al sefer Tehillim, ed. Shlomo Buber (Berdichev: Scheftel, 1899), on Ps. 118, p.  214: “‫תקני עצמך הלילה כדי שתכנסי אלי בגט שחרור‬.”; Ruth Kara-Ivanov Kaniel, Holiness and Transgression: Mothers of the Messiah in the Jewish Myth, trans. Eugene D.

n ot es to pages 169–17 3


Matanky with Ruth Kara-Ivanov Kaniel (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2017), 74 (I have changed her translation slightly). Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert, “The Handmaid, the Trickster, and the Birth of the Messiah: A Critical Appraisal of the Feminist Valorization of Midrash Aggada,” in Current Trends in the Study of Midrash, ed. Carol Bakhos (Leiden: Brill, 2006), 245– 275, here 252, translates it as “Purchase yourself and come to me with a certificate of emancipation.” The phrase is ambivalent, however; the verb form in question ‫ תקני‬could derive from either of two verbs, ‫“ קנה‬purchase” and ‫“ תקן‬prepare,” but as Jesse’s wife uses the same form in the passage to refer to herself it would seem to make more sense to translate it as “prepare.” The Hebrew edition of Kara-Ivanov Kaniel’s book, Qedeshot u-qedoshot (Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2014), has more extensive notes as well as additional text material; see p. 115. I am grateful to Professor KaraIvanov Kaniel for discussing this midrash with me. 11. Fonrobert, 253; BT Yebamot 76b, BT Qiddushin 68b–69a for the relevant halakha. 12. See Ruth Mazo Karras, “Love, Sex, and Sexuality,” in A Cultural History of Marriage in the Medieval Age, ed. Joanne Ferraro and Frederik Pedersen (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), 115–129, here 123–124. 13. Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, vol. 6 (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1928), 247 n. 13; Fonrobert, 254–255. This explanation has been cut from the twovolume abridged version of Ginzberg’s work. 14. Ginzberg, Legends, 6:247 n. 13. 15. Klar, Interpreting, 120. 16. Carol Bakhos, “Jewish Midrashic Interpretation in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages,” in A History of Biblical Interpretation, vol. 2, The Medieval Through the Reformation Periods, ed. Alan J. Hauser and Duane F. Watson (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009), 113–140, here 116–117, dates it to the fourteenth century. 17. Ya‘acov bar Hananel Sikili, Sefer Torat ha-Minḥah, ed. Baruch Ḥefetz (Tsfat, 1991), 227. 18. Avraham Grossman, “David, the Loathsome and Repulsive? A Controversial Midrash of the Middle Ages” [in Hebrew], in Studies in Bible and Exegesis, vol. 5, ed. Moshe Garsiel et al. (Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University Press, 2000), 341–349. 19. Fonrobert, 257–271. 20. Ibid., 273. 21. Sefer Ḥasdim (Bologna, 1538), §504, .php, accessed 9 July 2018. 22. Charles Mopsik, “The Body of Engenderment in the Hebrew Bible, the Rabbinic Tradition and the Kabbalah,” in Fragments for a History of the Human Body, ed. Michel Feher with Ramona Naddaff and Nadia Tazi (New York: Zone Books, 1989), 1:48–73, here 55. 23. Midrash Tehillim 9:7, 108, trans. Braude, 1:139–140 and 2:425 n. 28. The prooftext is Ps. 16:1, which labels the psalm “a mikhtam of David.” The midrash interprets mikhtam as makh tam, or “the wound is whole.” See also BT Sotah 10b, where the meaning of mikhtam is at issue and David’s being born circumcised is given as one explanation. 24. Shmuel-bukh, st. 1343, ed. Falk, 76v; trans. Frakes, 115. 25. Historia scholastica, 2 Samuel 13, PL 198:1335B. 26. For a lengthy book devoted to this incident, see Ilse Müllner, Gewalt im Hause Davids: Die Erzählung von Tamar und Amnon (2 Sam 13, 1–22) (Freiburg: Herder, 1997). 27. Le viol de Tamar, in Mystères de la procession de Lille, ed. Knight, 2:472–473, 484–485. 28. Historia scholastica, 2 Samuel 14, PL 198:1335D. It is, however, included in other Christian versions of the story: e.g., Li quatre livre des reis, 82; but not the Mistère du Viel Testament or the Middle English Metrical Paraphrase.


n ot es to pages 174–176

29. For example, William of Newburgh, Historia rerum Anglicarum 2:27, in Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I, ed. Richard Howlett, vol. 1, Rolls Series 82 (London: Longman, 1884), 170. See Alheydis Plasmann, “The King and His Sons: Henry II’s and Frederick Barbarossa’s Succession Strategies Compared,” Anglo-Norman Studies 36 (2013): 149–166; Björn Weiler, “Kings and Sons: Princely Rebellions in Western Europe, c. 1170–c. 1280,” Historical Research 82 (2009): 17–40. Weiler argues that over the course of the central Middle Ages rebellion by a son when a father was seen as abrogating his royal duties became increasingly acceptable. For a narrative of Henry II and his conflict with the Young King Henry, see Matthew Strickland, “On the Instruction of a Prince: The Upbringing of Henry, the Young King,” in Henry II: New Interpretations, ed. Christopher Harper-Bill and Nicholas Vincent (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2007), 184–214; W. L. Warren, Henry II (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000), 580–93; Richard Barber, The Devil’s Crown: A History of Henry II and His Sons (Conshohocken, PA: Combined Books, 1997), 49–66. John of Salisbury identified Gilbert Foliot, bishop of London, with Achitophel, the adviser to Absalom who had encouraged him to rebel against his father; implicitly, Becket himself was David here. Correspondence of Thomas Becket, ed. Duggan, 1:111 n. 6, and letters 209, at 2:915, and 212, at 2:931; Anne Duggan, “John of Salisbury and Thomas Becket,” in The World of John of Salisbury, ed. Michael Wilks (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984), 427–438, here 432. 30. Helmold, Cronica Slavorum, 1:32–33, ed. Johannes Lappenberg and Bernhard Schmeidler, 3rd ed., MGH Scriptores rerum Germanicarum separatim editi 32 (Hannover: Hahn, 1937), 59– 66; The Chronicle of the Slavs, trans. Francis Joseph Tschan (New York: Columbia University Press, 1935), 113–120. The elder Henry uses a passage drawn directly from 2 Samuel 16:11 and another directly alluding to 2 Samuel 18:5. Helmold also compares Henry IV at his death, not forgiven for his sins, to David, who sinned but repented. 31. Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia regum Britannie, 176, ed. Neil Wright (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1985), p. 129. 32. Wace, Roman de Brut, lines 11177–11186, ed. and trans. Judith Weiss (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2002), 280. 33. On Mordred and Guinevere, see Watkins, 94–96. 34. Nicholas of Lyra, Biblie iampridem renouate, 2:112v; Denis the Carthusian, 3:524. 35. Shmuel-bukh, sts. 1426–1427, ed. Falk, 81r; trans. Frakes, 121. 36. Sefer Ḥasidim (Bologna, 1538), §183, .php, accessed 13 June 2018. 37. See also Yalqut Shim‘oni, ed. Hyman, 6:339. 38. Sefer Ḥasidim (Bologna, 1538), §189, .php, accessed 8 July 2018, trans. Finkel, 318. 39. BT Nasir 4b; Midrash Shmu’el, ed. Buber, 129. 40. Elizabeth Boyle, “Biblical Kings and Kingship Theory in Medieval Ireland and Norway,” in Speculum Septentrionale: Konungs skuggsjá and the European Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, ed. Karl G. Johansson and Elise Kleivane (Oslo: Novus Forlag, 2018), 173–199, here 181. 41. Ibid., 182. 42. Translated in Boyle, 184. 43. Trinity College Cambridge, MS R.17.1, fol. 8r. The manuscript is discussed in detail in The Eadwine Psalter: Text, Image, and Monastic Culture in Twelfth-Century Canterbury, ed. Margaret Gibson, T. A. Heslop, and Richard W. Pfaff (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992). 44. T. A. Heslop, “The Psalm Illustrations,” in Gibson, Heslop, and Pfaff, Eadwine Psalter, 43–52, here 45.

n ot es to pages 176–18 1


45. E.g., Gilbert of Poitiers in the early twelfth century; see Marcia Colish, Peter Lombard (Leiden: Brill, 1994), 1:170. 46. Zaluska, 105; Dijon, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS 14, fol. 13, http://www.enluminures _035-01.htm, accessed 9 July 2018. 47. Van Seters, Biblical Saga, 317. 48. Morris Epstein, ed. and trans., Tales of Sendebar (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1967), 228–237. 49. For example, the French Le Roman des sept sages, ed. Jean Misrahi (Paris: Droz, 1933); the story of the queen begins at p. 24. See the edition of the Latin text, Historia septem sapientum, ed. Detlef Roth, 2 vols (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 2004). 50. De Jong, 54; Astronomus, Vita Hludowici imperatoris 55, ed. Ernst Tremp, MGH Scriptores rerum Germanicarum 64 (Hannover: Hahn, 1995), p. 508. 51. Glossa ordinaria to 2 Kings 16:21 (2 Sam. 16:21), _ chapitre.php?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber13. xml&chapitre =13_16, accessed 6 January 2020. 52. Ibid., 17:10, 18:9. 53. Elizabeth A. Peterson, “Scholastic Hermeneutics in Historiated Initials of 13th-Century French Psalters,” in Büttner, 349–59, here 356. 54. BT Sanhedrin 95a, https://www.sefaria .org /Sanhedrin.95a .7?lang =bi&with=all&lang2 = en, accessed 11 July 2020. 55. Arnold E. Franklin, This Noble House: Jewish Descendants of King David in the Medieval Islamic East (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013). 56. Ibid., 157. 57. Elka Klein, Jews, Christian Society, and Royal Power in Medieval Barcelona (Ann Arbor: Unversity of Michigan Press, 2006), 53–55; for discussion of the purported status of the “patriarch” or Nasi of Narbonne, see Jeremy Cohen, “The Nasi of Narbonne: A Problem in Medieval Historiography,” AJS Review 2 (1977), 45–76. 58. Joseph Blenkinsopp, David Remembered: Kingship and Identity in Ancient Israel (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2013) provides an overview from Hezekiah up to Bar Kokhba. 59. The Fifty-Third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters, vol. 2, Translations, ed. S. R. Driver and Adolf Neubauer (Oxford: James Parker, 1877), 5. 60. George J. Brooke and Hindy Najman, “Dethroning David and Enthroning Messiah: Jewish and Christian Perspectives,” in On Prophets, Warriors, and Kings: Former Prophets Through the Eyes of Their Interpreters, ed. George J. Brooke and Ariel Feldman, Beihefte zur Zeitschrift fūr die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 470 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016), 111–127; Peter Schäfer, “Diversity and Interaction: Messiahs in Early Judaism,” in Toward the Millennium: Messianic Expectations from the Bible to Waco, ed. Peter Schäfer and Mark R. Cohen (Leiden: Brill, 1998), 15–35, here 29–32; Mireille Hadas-Lebel, “Les débuts de l’idée messianique,” in Aux origins des messianismes juifs, ed. David Hamidović (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 93–100. 61. Schäfer, “Diversity and Interaction,” 32. 62. Martha Himmelfarb, The Apocalypse: A Brief History (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 52. 63. The Pharisees, that is, among others. On the pluralism of the Yavne community, see Shaye J. D. Cohen, “The Significance of Yavneh: Pharisees, Rabbis, and the End of Jewish Sectarianism,” Hebrew Union College Annual 55 (1984): 27–53. 64. BT Sanhedrin 97a–99a. On messianism in the Talmud generally, see Dan Jaffé, “Croyances et conceptions messianiques dans la littérature talmudique: Entre rationalisme et utopie,” in Hamidović, 174–202.


n ot es to pages 182 –184

65. BT Sanhedrin 97b, https://www. sefaria .org /Sanhedrin.97b.10?lang = bi&with=all& lang2 = en. 66. BT Sanhedrin 99a. 67. David Berger, ed. and trans., The Jewish-Christian Debate in the High Middle Ages: A Critical Edition of the Niẓẓaḥon Vetus (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1979), 107 (English), 61 (Hebrew). 68. For the Talmud’s take on Jesus, see Peter Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007). 69. Martha Himmelfarb, “The Mother of the Messiah in the Talmud Yerushalmi and Sefer Zerubbabel,” in The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture, ed. Peter Schäfer (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002), 3:369–389. 70. Jewish messianic texts in translation are collected in Raphael Patai, The Messiah Texts (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1979); and in John  C. Reeves, Trajectories in Near Eastern Apocalyptic: A Postrabbinic Jewish Apocalypse Reader (Leiden: Brill, 2006); see Ma’aseh Daniel in Patai, 164; Pirqe Mashiaḥ in Reeves, 153; and others. For 3 Enoch, see 3 Enoch; or, The Hebrew Book of Enoch, trans. Hugo Odeberg (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1928), 45:5, p. 144, and 48:10, p. 159. In the second cited passage here, versions differ on whether the Messiah is specifically stated to be of the house of David. On the Hekhalot literature generally, see Peter Schäfer, The Origins of Jewish Mysticism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011), 243–330. 71. Clemens Thoma, “David im antiken Judentum,” in Dietrich and Herkommer, 213–228. 72. See Gershom Scholem, “ Toward an Understanding of the Messianic Idea,” trans. Michael  A. Meyer, in The Messianic Idea in Judaism: And Other Essays on Jewish Spirituality (New York: Schocken Books, 1971), 1–36, esp. 17–33. 73. Franklin, 136. 74. Moses Maimonides, Epistle to Yemen: The Arabic Original and the Three Hebrew Versions, ed. Abraham S. Halkin, trans. Boaz Cohen (New York: American Academy for Jewish Research, 1952), xv, xvii. 75. Gershon D. Cohen, “Messianic Postures of Ashkenazim and Sephardim (Prior to Sabbethai Zevi),” in Studies of the Leo Baeck Institute, ed. Max Kreutzberger (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1967), 115–156. 76. Joel E. Rembaum, “The Development of a Jewish Exegetical Tradition Regarding Isaiah 53,” Harvard Theological Review 75, no. 3 (1982): 289–311. 77. Avraham Grossman, “The Commentary of Rashi on Isaiah and the Jewish-Christian Debate,” in Studies in Medieval Jewish Intellectual and Social History, ed. David Engel, Lawrence H. Schiffman and Elliot R. Wolfson (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 47–62, here 49–50. Rashi’s text in https:// www.sefaria .org /Rashi _on_ Isaiah.9.6?lang = bi, accessed 5 August 2019. 78. Berger, Jewish-Christian Debate, 102 (English), 57 (Hebrew). 79. The Commentary of Ibn Ezra on Isaiah, ed. and trans. M. Friedländer (London: Society of Hebrew Literature, 1878), 1:51, 59; Hebrew in 3:20–21, 24. 80. Israel Jacob Yuval, “Jewish Messianic Expectations Towards 1240 and Christian Reactions,” in Schäfer and Cohen, 105–121. On Jewish messianism’s attitude toward the miraculous and the exclusion of the Messiah ben Joseph, see Ephraim Kanarfogel, “Medieval Rabbinic Conceptions of the Messianic Age: The View of the Tosafists,” in Me’ah Sheʻarim: Studies in Medieval Jewish Spiritual Life in Memory of Isadore Twersky, ed. Ezra Fleischer et al. (Jerusalem: Hebrew University Magnes Press, 2001), 147–169.

n ot es to pages 184–18 6


81. Naḥmanides, “Commentary on the ‘Servant of the Lord’ passage,” in Katvei Rabenu Moshe ben Naḥman, ed. Hayyim (Charles B.) Chavel (Jerusalem: Mossad ha-Rav Quq, 1951), 1:322; trans. in Driver and Neubauer, 2:78. 82. Naḥmanides, “Refutation of the Ramban,” in Katvei, ed. Chavel, 302–320, here 307; Naḥmanides, “The Disputation at Barcelona,” in Writings and Discourses, trans. Charles B. Chavel (New York: Shiloh, 1978), 651–696, here 666–667. On the disputation generally, see Robert Chazan, Barcelona and Beyond: The Disputation of 1263 and Its Aftermath (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), with discussion of this passage at 158–171. 83. See John F. A. Sawyer, The Fifth Gospel: Isaiah in the History of Christianity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1996), for Christian usage. 84. Lawrence E. Frizzell and J. Frank Henderson, “Jews and Judaism in the Medieval Latin Liturgy,” in The Liturgy of the Medieval Church, ed. Thomas Heffernan and E. Ann Matter (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2001), 187–214, here 191. 85. Hermann Schadt, Die Darstellungen der Arbores consanguinitatis und der Arbores affinitatis: Bildschemata in juristischen Handschriften (Tübingen: Wasmuth, 1982), provides detailed background on the history of this image. 86. Quadripartitus, Vatican Library MS Lat. 1352, fol. 62r. The digitized manuscript may be found at, accessed 3 November 2017. See the blog post of Jean-Baptiste Piggin, -scala-diagram.html, accessed 3 November 2017. For Isidore, see Arthur Watson, The Early Iconography of the Tree of Jesse (London: Oxford University Press, 1934), p. 40 and plate 35. This one may or may not be a tree; it is tree-shaped but does not have much in the way of foliage. 87. Simon Teuscher, “Flesh and Blood in the Treatises on the Arbor Consanguinitatis (Thirteenth to Sixteenth Centuries,” in Blood and Kinship: Matter for Metaphor from Ancient Rome to the Present, ed. Christopher H. Johnson et al. (New York: Berghahn, 2013), 83–104. He accepts Christiane Klapisch-Zuber’s claim that these were not depicted as trees until the beginning of the modern period; this is not entirely true, as in the example below. 88. Montpellier, Bibliothèque universitaire de médecine, MS H 53, fol. 138r, http://www.biu _report.jsp?recordId= documents:BIU _ DOCUMENTS:705&volumeIndex =1, accessed 12 July 2108; see Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, “The Genesis of the Family Tree,” I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance, 4 (1991): 105–129, here 113 and fig. 9; and Joan A. Holladay, Genealogy and the Politics of Representation in the High and Late Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), 13. 89. Klapisch-Zuber, 106. 90. Ibid., 115. 91. Cf. ibid., 120–121, where Klapisch-Zuber suggests that the “these new virgae breathe new life into the arboreal metaphor” by placing Jesus at the top as culmination in a moral hierarchy, rather than at the bottom in a chronological line. See Anita Guerreau-Jalabert, “L’Arbre de Jessé et l’ordre chrétien de la parenté,” in Marie: Le Culte de la vierge dans la société médiévale, ed. Dominique Iogna-Prat, Eric Palazzo, and Daniel Russo (Paris: Beauchesne, 1996), 137–170, tying together the spiritual and carnal meanings of kinship. 92. See Sara Ritchey, “Spiritual Arborescence: Trees in the Medieval Christian Imagination,” Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality 8, no. 1 (2008): 64–82. 93. Margot Fassler, “Mary’s Nativity, Fulbert of Chartres, and the Stirps Jesse: Liturgical Innovation Circa 1000 and Its Afterlife,” Speculum 75 (2000): 389–434. 94. Prague, National Library, MS XIV a 13, fol. 4v, /main/index .php?request = show_ tei _ digidoc&docId = set20070920_ 13_ 1&client = , accessed


n ot es to pages 18 6–18 7

12 July 2018; Jean Ann Hayes Williams, “The Earliest Dated Tree of Jesse Image: Thematically Reconsidered,” Athanor 18 (2000): 17–23. 95. Jean Ann Hayes Williams, 17. 96. Watson, p.  89 and plate 5; Dijon, Bibliothèque municipal, MS 129, fol. 4v, http:// patrimoine . bm - dijon . fr /pleade /img -viewer / MS00129 /iipviewer . html ?bnp = FR212316101 _CITEAUX _ MS00129_000_01 _ PS .jpg&bnd =FR212316101 _CITEAUX _ MS00129_130_ PF .jpg&base=mets&monoid=MS00129&treq=&vcontext=book&prev =mets, accessed 12 July 2018. 97. Watson, p. 85 and plate 2; BL MS Harley 2889, fol. 4r, .uk /catalogues /illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN. ASP?Size =mid&IllID =27149, accessed 12 July 2018. 98. Watson, pp. 91–92 and plate 7; Marta Gómez Ubierna, “Salvaging a Cultural Identity Through Reintegration: Restoration Work on the Pulpit of ‘San Leonardo in Arcetri,’ Florence,” CeROArt 1 (2010), /1804, accessed 12 July 2018. 99. See Kati Ihnat, Mother of Mercy, Bane of the Jews: Devotion to the Virgin Mary in AngloNorman England (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016), 96 and 225 n. 220. 100. For further Tree of Jesse images, see Watson, 92–112; and Fassler, “Mary’s Nativity,” 427–431. 101. C. M. Kauffmann, Biblical Imagery in Medieval England, 700–1550 (London: Harvey Miller, 2003), 130–133, 157, 213. There are also variations in which Christ’s genealogy is depicted but not in the form of a tree growing from Jesse: see, for example, the Winchcombe Psalter, Trinity College Dublin MS 53, fol. 7v; see Laura Slater, “Visual Reflections on History and Kingship in the Medieval English Great Church,” Journal of the British Archaeological Association 167, no. 1 (2014): 83–108, at 86–88, where she suggests that this type of image (not necessarily in this manuscript) iinfluenced the iconography of English choir screens. 102. Watson, p. 97 and plate 12. 103. London, Lambeth Palace Library, MS 3, fol. 198r, http://images.lambethpalacelibrary .org .uk /luna/servlet/detail/LPLIBLPL~17~17~218~100191?sort = creator%2Ctype%2Cdate%2 Ctitle&qvq = sort:creator%2Ctype%2Cdate%2Ctitle;lc:LPLIBLPL~17~17&mi = 631&trs = 6190, accessed 12 July 2018. For the role of Synagoga here, see Ihnat, 96–98. Better reproduction as plate 10 in Dorothy M. Shepard, Introducing the Lambeth Bible: A Study of Texts and Imagery (Turnhout: Brepols, 2007), as well as discussion at pp. 143–151. 104. Watson, 103–104; BL MS Cotton Nero C.IV, fol. 9r. https://imagesonline .bl .uk /en /asset /show_ zoom _window_ popup . html?asset = 1224&location = grid&asset _ list = 5533,5545, 5386, 5388, 5565, 13496, 26956, 26963, 27440, 5548, 5397, 5481, 2610, 3021, 3022, 3023, 3268, 696, 732,1224&basket_item _id= undefined, accessed 13 November 2017. Cf. the Shaftesbury Psalter, BL Landsdowne MS 383, fol. 15r, =asset&action=show_zoom _window_ popup&language = en&asset =5941&location= grid&asset_ list =163236,48250,48251,4 8252,48253,48254,13158,5996,5943,5941,1163,1250,5942&basket _ item _ id= undefined, accessed 13 November 2017, from around the same time, with a similar iconography, but the tree comes from Jesse’s side; David here holds scrolls that extend to Abraham and Moses. 105. Watson, 100–101; Fassler, “Mary’s Nativity,” 426–427; image at http://initiale.irht.cnrs .fr/codex/8349, accessed 12 July 2018. 106. Fassler, “Mary’s Nativity,” 391. 107. James R. Johnson, “The Tree of Jesse Window of Chartres: Laudes Regiae,” Speculum 36, no. 1 (1961): 1–22. 108. See Madeleine Harrison Caviness, “Suger’s Glass at Saint-Denis: The State of Research,” in Abbot Suger and Saint-Denis: A Symposium, ed. Paula Lieber Gerson (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986), 257–272, esp. 258.

n ot es to pages 18 9–192


109. James R. Johnson, 10–14. Johnson also connects this heraldic imagery to the Second Crusade. 110. It may be useful to understand in this context the idea of queens as spiritually (not biologically) descended from the Virgin Mary. See Sonja Drimmer, “Beyond Private Matter: A Prayer Roll for Queen Margaret of Anjou,” Gesta 53, no. 1 (2014): 95–120. 111. Fassler, “Mary’s Nativity,” 414 n. 88. 112. Watson, 4–5; Alain of Lille, Liber Sententiarum, PL 210:246C; Palémon Glorieux, “Le prétendu Liber sententiarum d’Alain de Lille,” Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 20 (1953): 312–314. 113. Fassler, “Mary’s Nativity,” 395–396. 114. Ibid., 405. 115. J. M. Canal, “Texto critico de algunos sermones marianos de San Fulberto de Chartres o a él atribuibles,” Recherches de theologie ancienne et médiévale 30 (1963): 55–87, here 58; trans. in Fassler, “Mary’s Nativity,” 410. Fassler (ibid., 412) finds a link in Fulbert’s sermons between the Stirps Jesse and the prophets’ plays. 116. Canal, 58, trans. Fassler, “Mary’s Nativity,” 413. 117. Fassler, “Mary’s Nativity,” 422, explains how the music for the Stirps Jesse chant may have promoted this. 118. Ibid., 424, on the placement of Jesse Tree imagery in manuscripts at the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew and at the beginning of Psalms. 119. Watson, p. 129, plate 29. The manuscript is London, BL MS Arundel 44, fol. 2v, from the second or third quarter of the twelfth century (probably after 1140). 120. Watson, 134–35, 144. 121. Holladay, 19, suggests that “genealogical thinking” was “thick in the air” in the twelfth century, giving rise to genealogies for Christ like those discussed below. I did not come across Holladay’s work (published in 2019) until after I had presented versions of this chapter, using the phrase “Dynastic Thinking” in the title, and I have not changed my phrasing here, although I think that we are getting at much the same thing. Guerreau-Jalabert, 161, argues that the image is not in fact genealogical but speaks of “filiation.” 122. See Hans Hummer, Visions of Kinship in Medieval Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 265–323, on biblical genealogy and medieval genealogical thinking. 123. Georges Duby, La société aux XIe et XIIe siècles dans la région mâconnaise (Paris: Librairie Armand Colin, 1953). For critiques of various aspects of Duby’s argument, see Theodore Evergates, “The Feudal Imaginary of Georges Duby,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 27, no. 3 (1997): 640–660, discussion of lineage at 648–650; David Crouch, The Birth of Nobility: Constructing Aristocracy in England and France, 900–1300 (Harlow: Pearson, 2005), 99–155; Sara McDougall, “The Making of Marriage in Medieval France,” Journal of Family History 38, no.  2 (2013): 103–121; Pauline Stafford, “La Mutation Familiale: A Suitable Case for Caution,” in The Community, the Family and the Saint: Patterns of Power in Early Medieval Europe, ed. Joyce Hill and Mary Swan (Turnhout: Brepols, 1998), 103–125; Constance Brittain Bouchard, Those of My Blood: Constructing Noble Families in Medieval Francia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001); Bouchard, “Three Counties, One Lineage, and Eight Heiresses: Nevers, Auxerre, and Tonnerre, Eleventh to Thirteenth Centuries,” Medieval Prosopography 31 (2016): 25–46; Holladay, 8–12, relies heavi ly on Duby’s interepretation of a shift from cognatic to agnatic kinship in the late eleventh and twelfth century; however, this does not invalidate her argument about the visual representation of kin relations from the twelfth century on.


n ot es to pages 192 –195

124. Heather J. Tanner, Laura L. Gathagan, and Lois L. Huneycutt, “Introduction,” in Medieval Elite Women and the Exercise of Power, 1100–1400: Moving Beyond the Exceptionalist Debate, ed. Heather J. Tanner (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), 1–18, here 5–6. Other aspects of Duby’s model—the change in inheritance practices in the eleventh to early twelfth centuries—have also been disproven by more recent scholarship. 125. For examples, see, inter alia, chapters in Tanner, Medieval Elite Women, especially RaGena  C. DeAragon, “Power and Agency in Post-Conquest England: Elite Women and the Transformations of the Twelfth Century,” 19–43; Charlotte Cartwright, “Emma of Ivry, c. 1008–1080,” 91–111; Erin L. Jordan, “Women of Antioch: Political Culture and Powerful Women in the Latin East,” 225–246; Miriam Shadis, “Unexceptional Women: Power, Authority, and Queenship in Early Portugal,” 247–270. 126. Theodore Evergates, The Aristocracy in the County of Champagne, 1100–1300 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), 83. 127. This distinction is made by Bouchard, Those of My Blood, 162. 128. Ibid., 85. 129. R.  I. Moore, The First European Revolution, c. 970–1215 (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), 68–69. 130. Gabrielle M. Spiegel, “Genealogy: Form and Function in Medieval Historical Narrative,” History and Theory 22, no. 1 (1983): 43–53, here 47. 131. Holladay, 10 and passim. 132. Amy Livingstone, Out of Love for My Kin: Aristocratic Family Life in the Lands of the Loire, 1000–1200 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010), 89, 112ff. 133. Bouchard, Those of My Blood, 72 134. Eric Bournazel, “Mémoire et parenté,” in La France de l’an mil, ed. Robert Delort (Paris: Seuil 1990), 114–124, here 122. Bouchard, Those of My Blood, 61, also draws a distinction between family structure and family consciousness. 135. Amy Livingstone, “Piecing Together the Fragments: Telling the Lives of the Ladies of Lavardin Through Image and Text,” in Writing Medieval Women’s Lives, ed. Charlotte Newman Goldy and Amy Livingstone (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 131–151, here 141–145. This was the only Tree of Jesse in the Chartrain other than the cathedral before the fourteenth century (ibid., p. 150 n. 36). 136. Amy Livingstone, “Climbing the Tree of Jesse: Aristocratic Marriage in the Lands of the Loire, 1050–1150,” in Les stratégies matrimoniales (IXe–XIIIe siècle), ed. Martin Aurell (Turnhout: Brepols, 2013), 101–118. 137. Jerome, Commentarium in evangelium Matthae, PL 26:24A. Eusebius gives a much more detailed explanation, including that for appearances’ sake Joseph had to be considered the father of Jesus, as well as the fact that Mary too was descended from David. Eusebius of Caesarea, Gospel Problems and Solutions: Quaestiones ad Stephanum et Marinum (CPG 3470), ed. Roger Pearse, trans. David J. D. Miller et al. (Ipswich: Chieftain, 2010), 6–23; Hummer, 274. 138. Hrabanus Maurus, Commentaria in Matthaeum, PL 107:732C–D. 139. Rupert of Deutz, De Gloria et honore filii hominis super Mattheum 1, ed. Hrabanus Hacke, CCCM 29 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1979), 19. Hummer, 278–279, contextualizes this passage, which the editor does not note comes from Hrabanus Maurus, although he does note Rupert’s use of Hrabanus elsewhere. 140. I am grateful to Richard Gameson for pointing out to me that in some early medieval Bibles, the genealogy in Matthew tended to be laid out like the rest of the text, whereas in Luke it was laid out like a list. The Book of Kells (Dublin, Trinity College MS 68) is laid out this way.

n ot es to pages 195–199


However, this is not true of later Bibles, and even not universally in early medieval ones. Bibles were mass-produced at Tours in the ninth century; in a surviving one in the British Library, Add MS 10546, in both Matthew and Luke the genealogy is presented in normal paragraph layout (fols. 353r and 371v). 141. See, for example, William Purkis and Matthew Gabriele, eds., The Charlemagne Legend in Medieval Latin Texts (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2016); Matthew Gabriele and Jace Stuckey, eds., The Legend of Charlemagne in the Middle Ages: Power, Faith, and Crusade (New York: Palgrave, 2008). See Holladay, 18, on Carolingian family tree graphics. 142. The name is used by Thietmar of Merseburg in the form Karelingi or Karlingi. Thietmar, Chronicon 3:8, ed. Robert Holtzmann (Hannover: Hahn, 1935), 106–107. 143. Aryeh Graboïs, “Un mythe fondamental de l’histoire de France au Moyen Age: Le ‘roi David’ précurseur du ‘roi très chrétien,’ ” Revue Historique 287, no. 1 (1992): 11–31, here 18. 144. Glossa ordinaria to 1 Matthew, _ chapitre.php ?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber55.xml&chapitre =55_1, accessed 13 July 2018. 145. Jim Bradbury, The Capetians: Kings of France, 987–1328 (London: Hambledon Continuum, 2007), 69; Matthew Gabriele, An Empire of Memory: The Legend of Charlemagne, the Franks, and Jerusalem Before the First Crusade (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 22. On an explicit reclaiming of Carolingian ancestry by the Capetians in the thirteenth century, see Gabrielle M. Spiegel, “The Reditus Regni ad Stirpem Karoli Magni: A New Look,” French Historical Studies 7 (1971): 145–174; Holladay, 40–52. 146. Gabriele, Empire of Memory, 60. 147. Eric Bournazel, “Suger and the Capetians,” in Abbot Suger and Saint-Denis, ed. Gerson 55–72, here 61–2. 148. Margot Fassler, The Virgin of Chartres: Making History Through Liturgy and the Arts (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010), 160. 149. James R. Johnson, 6. On the laudes regiae, see Ernst H. Kantorowicz, Laudes Regiae: A Study in Liturgical Acclamations and Mediaeval Ruler Worship (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1946). It is possible that there was another cycle of glass windows at St.-Denis depicting the kings of France back to the Carolingians (Holladay, 192). 150. Elizabeth M. Hallam and Judith Everard, Capetian France, 987–1328, 2nd ed. (Abingdon: Routledge, 2001), 175–176. For analysis of the uses of Charlemagne in the tenth and eleventh centuries, see Gabriele, Empire of Memory. 151. Oliver Rackham, Woodlands (London: Harper Collins, 2010), 16; Ellen  F. Arnold, Negotiating the Landscape: Environment and Monastic Identity in the Medieval Ardennes (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), 68–69. 152. John Carmi Parsons, “Ritual and Symbol in the English Medieval Queenship to 1500,” in Women and Sovereignty, ed. Louise Olga Fradenburg (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1992), 60–77, quotation at 66–67. 153. Margaret Howell, Eleanor of Provence: Queenship in Thirteenth-Century England (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998), 20–21. Henry also had the image painted several other places in his houses. See Tancred Borenius, “The Cycle of Images in the Palaces and Castles of Henry III,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 6 (1943): 40–50, here 42. 154. Watson, p. 42 and plate 36; Madrid, Biblioteca nacional MS Vitr/17/10, fol. 3r, http:// 0000070109&page = 9, accessed 11 July 2020. 155. Cf. Klapisch-Zuber, 114; Schadt, 52. Schadt notes that this formulation of the iconography had no imitators except perhaps in the seventeenth century. There is another example (London, BL Add. MS 15603, fol. 93r, French, mid-twelfth century) of an arbor consanguinitatis


n ot es to pages 199–20 2

accompanied by medallions that are reminiscent of some of the ancestral figures in Jesse trees, but there is no Jesse at the base of this one (Schadt, 69). 156. Michael Meerson and Peter Schäfer, eds. and trans., Toledot Yeshu: The Life Story of Jesus, 2 vols. (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014). The classic work on the versions of this text is Samuel Krauss, Das Leben Jesu nach jüdischen Quellen (Berlin: S. Cavalry, 1902); see also Ricardo di Segni, Il Vangelo del Ghetto (Rome: Newton Compton, 1985). More recent scholarship is collected in Peter Schäfer, Michael Meerson, and Yaacov Deutsch, eds., Toledot Yeshu (“The Life Story of Jesus”) Revisited (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011). 157. Toledo, Tesoro de la Catedral, Biblia de San Luis, vol. 2, fol. 78r, reproduced in Lowden, Making of the Bibles Moralisées, 1:131, fig. 52, and plate 5; Paris, BnF, MS Lat 11560, fol. 78r. The fact that the folio numbers are the same is not a coincidence; the books were likely planned at the same time, in the 1230s, although the illustrations were carried out by different artists and the texts are not the same (Lowden, 183–185). The slightly earlier Bibles moralisées in Vienna do not (any longer) include the Song of Songs. 158. Johns, “The Citadel,” repr. in Johns, Pilgrims’ Castle, 159–163; Boas, 17. 159. Oliver Holmes, “Israel Using Tourism to Legitimise Settlements, Says EU Report,” Guardian, 1 February 2018, -jerusalem-tourism-un, accessed 6 January 2020. 160. Alexander, 233–234. 161. See, inter alia, Basit Hammad Qureshi, “A Hierophany Emergent: The Discursive Reconquest of the Urban Landscape of Jerusalem in Latin Pilgrimage Accounts from the Twelfth Century,” Historian 76, no. 4 (2014): 725–749. 162. See Ora Limor, “The Origins of a Tradition: King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion,” Traditio 44 (1988): 453–462. 163. Raymond of Aguilers, Historia Francorum 20, in RHC 3: 301. 164. See discussion in Julian Jay Theodore Yolles, “Latin Literature and Frankish Culture in the Crusader States (1098–1187)” (PhD diss., Harvard University, 2015, /urn-3:HUL .InstRepos:17467480, accessed 14 June 2019), 256–267. Deborah Gerish, “Ancestors and Predecessors: Royal Continuity and Identity in the First Kingdom of Jerusalem,” in AngloNorman Studies 20 (1998): 127–150, notes that royal charters from the kingdom of Jerusalem have no allusions to David (128). 165. Shmuel-bukh 1021, trans. Frakes, 91. Neither Midrash Shmuʼel nor Yalqut Shimʻoni include any comments on this passage. 166. Bede, “De templo,” in Opera exegetica, ed. D. Hurst, vol. 2, CCSL 119:1 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1969). 167. YT Berakhot 20a, /Jerusalem_Talmud_ Berakhot.20a?lang =bi, accessed 6 January 2020. 168. Yalqut Shimʻoni, ed. Hyman, p. 312. 169. Rashi to 2 Sam. 7:4.; Yalqut Shimʻoni to 2 Sam. 7:4, ed. Hyman, 311; Midrash Shmuel, 26:3, ed. Lifshitz, 87. 170. Shmuel-bukh, sts. 1088–1089, ed. Falk, 62v; trans. Frakes, 96. 171. Midrash Tehillim 22:28, ed. Buber, p. 195; 78:20, p. 357. See Esther M. Menn, “Prayerful Origins: David as Temple Founder in Rabbinic Psalms Commentary (Midrash Tehillim),” in Of Scribes and Sages: Early Jewish Interpretation and Transmission of Scripture, vol. 2, Late Versions and Traditions, ed. Craig A. Evans (London: T & T Clark International, 2004), 77–89, for an explanation of how the rabbis connected the horns of the re’em with the temple.

n ot es to pages 20 3–207


172. Midrash Pesiqta Rabbati, ed. Meir Friedmann (Vilna: Y. Kayzer, 1880), 8, p. 30v; 2, p. 7. Translation here is mine, but see also Pesikta Rabbati: Discourses for Feasts, Fasts, and Special Sabbaths, trans. William G. Braude (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1968), 1:56–57. This explanation appears also in Yalqut Shimʻoni, ed. Hyman, 313. See also Midrash Tehillim, Ps. 62, p. 309. 173. Y. Berger, “Perush Radaq l’divrei hayamim,” 115; trans. Y. Berger, Commentary of Rabbi David Kimḥi to Chronicles, 158–160. 174. Y. Berger, Commentary, 4. 175. De administratione, chap. 25, in Oeuvres complètes de Suger, ed. A. Lecoy de la Marche (Paris: Jules Renouard, 1867), 187. 176. Glossa ordinaria to 1 Chronicles 22:8, _chapitre .php?livre =../sources/editions/GLOSS -liber16.xml&chapitre =16_22, accessed 30 May 2019.

conclusion 1. For an example of the former, see Toby Baxendale, “Same-Sex Relationship in the Bible Ignored by Many Christians,” post, 12 September 2018, Peter Tatchell Foundation website, https:// /the-same-sex-relationship-in-the-bible-that-many-christians -ignore/, accessed 10 January 2020. 2. Lee Walzer, Between Sodom and Eden: A Gay Journey Through Today’s Changing Israel (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), 18–19; Michael Parks, “A New View of David Stirs Goliath-Size Roar: Israel; Liberal Member of Knesset Causes Bedlam by Quoting Ancient King’s Lament for Jonathan and Suggesting That David Was a Homosexual,” Los Angeles Times, 11 February 1993,, accessed 10 January 2020. 3. Clyde Haberman, “The Cohorts of David Smite Rabin,” New York Times, 16 December  1994,, accessed 19 February 2017. 4. “Writers Smack Falwell: Comparison of Trump to King David ‘Utterly Ridicu lous,” Christian Examiner, 16 March 2016, -falwell-comparison-of-trump -to -king-david-utterly-ridiculous/50508. htm, accessed 19 January 2017. 5. Erick Erickson, “Jerry Falwell Jr. Has Taken to Mocking God to Support Donald Trump,” Resurgent, 15 March 2016, -support-donald-trump/, accessed 19 January 2017. 6. Martin Pengelly, “Rick Perry Tells Donald Trump: ‘You Really Are the Chosen One,’ ” Guardian, 25 November 2019, -donald-trump-chosen-one, accessed 1 January 2020. 7. Images may be seen at .com/en/visit/attractions/chagalls-church -windows; and at https://news . artnet .com/art-world/chagall-drafts-for-famous-mainz-church -windows-displayed-at-last-273412, both accessed 11 July 2020.


primary sources Abelard, Peter. Historia Calamitatum. Edited by J. T. Muckle. In “Abelard’s Letter of Consolation to a Friend.” Mediaeval Studies 12 (1950): 163–213. ———. Letter 4. Edited by J. T. Muckle. In “The Personal Letters Between Abelard and Heloise.” Mediaeval Studies 15 (1953): 47–94. ———. The Letters and Other Writings. Translated by William Levitan. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2005. ———. “Planctus Israel Super Samson.” In The Repentant Abelard: Family, Gender, and Ethics in Peter Abelard’s “Carmen ad Astralabium” and “Planctus,” edited by Juanita Feros Ruys. New Middle Ages. New York: Palgrave, 2014. Abravanel, Isaac. Perush ʻal Neviʾim Rishonim. Jerusalem: Hotsaʻat Sefarim Torah ve-daʻat, 1954. Aelred of Rievaulx. Spiritual Friendship. Translated by Lawrence C. Braceland. Edited by Marsha L. Dutton. Cistercian Fathers Series 5. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2010. Aemilius Romanus, Paulus. Die zway ersten Bücher der Künig, wölche Samuelis genandt werden. Ingolstadt, 1562. Alain of Lille. Distinctiones dictionum theologicalium. In PL, 210:685–1011. ——— [Pseudo-]. Liber Sententiarum. In PL, 210:229–252. Alfonso  X. Cantigas de Santa Maria. Edited by Walter Mettmann. Coimbra: University of Coimbra, 1964. ———. General estoria: Segunda parte. Edited by Belén Almeida. 2 vols. Madrid: Fundación José António de Castro, 2009. ———. Songs of Holy Mary of Alfonso X, the Wise: A Translation of the Cantigas de Santa Maria. Translated by Kathleen Kulp-Hill. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2000. al-Kisā’i, Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh. Tales of the Prophets (Qiṣaṣ Al-Anbiyā’). Translated by Wheeler M. Thackston Jr. Chicago: Great Books of the Islamic World, 1997. ———. Vita Prophetarum. Edited by Isaac Eisenberg. Leiden: Brill, 1922. al-Ṭabarī, Abū Ja‘far Muḥammad b. Jarīr. The History of al-Tābarī. Translated by William M. Brinner. Vol. 3, The Children of Israel. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991. ———. Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī: Tārīkh al-umam wa-l-mulūk. Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyya, 1995. al-Thaʿlabī, Abū Isḥāq Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Ibrāhīm. ʿArāʿs al-Majālis Fī Qiṣaṣ AlAnbiyā, or, Lives of the Prophets. Translated by William M. Brinner. Leiden: Brill, 2002. ———. Qiṣaṣ al-anbiyā’ al-musamma ʿarā’ is al-majālis. Cairo: Dār Iḥyā’ al-Kutub al-ʿArabīyah, 1928.


B i b li o gr a phy

Ambrose. De apologia Davidi [Apologia I] and Apologia Davidi altera [Apologia II]. In Sancti Ambrosii opera, part 2. CSEL, vol. 32.2. Vienna: Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1897. Angelomus of Luxeuil. Enarrationes in libros Regum. In PL, 115:243–552. Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics. Edited and translated by Roger Crisp. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Astronomus. Vita Hludowici Imperatoris. Edited by Ernst Tremp. MGH Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum, vol. 64. Hannover: Hahn, 1995. Augustine. De Doctrina Christiana. Edited and translated by R. P. H. Green. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995. ———. Enarrationes in Psalmos. CCSL, vols. 38–40. Edited by E. Dekkers and J. Fraipont. Turnhout: Brepols, 1956. Baḥya ibn Paquda. The Duties of the Heart. Translated by Yaakov Feldman. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1996. Baldwin of Forde. Spiritual Tractates. Translated by David M. Bell. 2 vols. Cistercian Fathers Series 38 and 42. Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1986. ———. Tractate 14. In PL, 204:539–546. Barbour, John. The Buik of Alexander. Edited by R. L. Graeme Ritchie. Vol. 4. Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1929. Becket, Thomas. The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162–1170. Edited by Anne J. Duggan. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000. Bede. De Templo. In vol. 2A of Opera exegetica. Edited by D. Hurst. CCSL 119A. Turnhout: Brepols, 1969. ———. On First Samuel. Translated by Scott DeGregorio and Rosalind Love. Translated Texts for Historians, vol. 70. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2019. ———. In primam partem Samhuelis. In vol. 2B of Opera exegetica. Edited by D. Hurst. CCSL, vol. 119B. Turnhout: Brepols, 1969. Bede [Pseudo-]. “In Psalmos.” In PL, 98:477–1098. Berchorius, Petrus. Super totam Bibliam. Lyon: Jacques Mareschal, 1520. Berger, David, ed. and trans. The Jewish-Christian Debate in the High Middle Ages: A Critical Edition of the Niẓzaḥon Vetus. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1979. Berliner, A., ed. Commentar zu den Sprüchen der Väter aus Machsor Vitry. Frankfurt: J. Kauffmann, 1897. Bernard of Clairvaux. Lettres: Tome II (42–91). In Oeuvres complètes, vol. 3, edited by Jean Leclercq, translated by Henri Rochais. Sources chrétiennes 458. Paris: Editions du Cerf, 2001. Biblia Sacra iuxta Vulgatam versionem. 3rd ed. Edited by Robert Weber and Bonifatius Fischer. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1983. Braude, William G., trans. The Midrash on Psalms. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1959. ———, trans. Pesikta Rabbati: Discourses for Feasts, Fasts, and Special Sabbaths. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1968. Bretel, Paul, ed. and trans. Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame. Paris: Honoré Champion, 2003. Brisebarre, Jean. Jean Brisebarre: “Li Restor du Paon.” Edited by Enid Donkin. London: Modern Humanities Research Association, 1980. Buber, Shlomo, ed. Midrash Lekakh Tov. Vilna: Romm, 1921. ———, ed. Midrash Shmuʼel. Vilna: Romm, 1925. ———, ed. Midrash Tanhuma. Vilna: Romm, 1885. ———, ed. Midrash Tehillim. Vilna: Romm, 1891.

B i b li o gr a phy


Bucher, François. The Pamplona Bibles. Vol. 2, Facsimile. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1970. Cassiodorus. Expositio Psalmorum. Edited by M. Adriaen. CCSL, vols. 96–98. Turnhout: Brepols, 1958. Cicero. De amicitia. In De senectute, De amicitia, De divinatione. Edited and translated by William Armistead Falconer. Loeb Classical Library, vol. 154. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1923. Clement of Alexandria. Cohortatio ad gentes. PG, vol. 8. ———. Exhortation to the Greeks. Translated by G. W. Butterworth. Loeb Classical Library, vol. 92. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1919. Curtis, Renée L., ed. Le Roman de Tristan en prose. 3 vols. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1985. Curtius, Ernst Robert, ed. Li quatre livre des reis. Gesellschaft für romanische Literatur 26. Dresden: Gesellschaft für romanische Literatur, 1911. da Silva Neto, Serafim, ed. Bíblia medieval portuguêsa. Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Nacional do Livro, 1958. David, J., ed. Rymbybel van Jacob van Maerlant. 3 vols. Brussels: Hayez, 1858–1861. Denis the Carthusian. “Enarratio in librum primum Regum.” In Opera omnia. Vol. 3. Tournai, 1897. Dhuoda. Manuel pour mon fils. Edited by Pierre Riché. Translated [into French] by Bernard de Vregille and Claude Mondésert. Sources chrétiennes 225. Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1976. Dreves, Guido Maria, ed. Prosarium Lemovicense: Die Prosen der Abtei St. Martial zu Limoges. Analecta hymnica Medii Aevi, vol. 7. Leipzig: Fues’s Verlag, 1889. Driver, S. R., and Adolf Neubauer, eds. The Fifty-Third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters. Vol. 2, Translations. Oxford: James Parker, 1877. Epstein, Morris, ed. and trans. Tales of Sendebar. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1967. Eusebius of Caesarea. Gospel Problems and Solutions: Quaestiones ad Stephanum et Marinum (CPG 3470). Edited by Roger Pearse. Translated by David J. D. Miller et al. Ipswich: Chieftain, 2010. Falk, Felix, ed. Das Schemuelbuch des Mosche Esrim Wearba: Ein biblisches Epos aus dem 15. Jahrhundert. 2 vols. Assen: Van Gorcum, 1961. Frakes, Jerold C., ed. and trans. Early Yiddish Epic. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2014. Friedmann, Meir, ed. Midrash Pesiqta Rabbati. Vilna: Y. Kayzer, 1880. Geoffrey of Monmouth. Historia regum Britannie. Edited by Neil Wright. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1985. Gerald of Wales. Instruction for a Ruler (De Principis Instructione). Edited and translated by Robert Bartlett. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2018. Gerondi, Yonah. Perush Rabbenu Yonah mi-Gerondi al Masekhet Avot. Edited by Moshe Shlomo Kasher and Yaakov Yehoshua Blecherowitz. Jerusalem: Machon Torah Shlomo, 1966. ———. Rabbeinu Yonah on Pirkei Avos. Translated by David Sedley. Jerusalem: TorahLab, 2007. Gersonides [Levi ben Gershon, Ralbag]. Perushe Ha-Nevi’ im. Edited by Yaʻakov Leyb Levi. Jerusalem: Mossad ha-Rav Quq, 2008. Gikatilla, Joseph. David et Bethsabée: Le secret du mariage. Edited and translated by Charles Mopsik. Paris: Editions de l’Eclat, 2003. ———. Sha‘are Orah. Edited by Yosef Ben Shlomo. Jerusalem: Mossad Bialik, 1970. ———. Sha‘are Orah: Gates of Light. Translated by Avi Weinstein. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1994.


B i b li o gr a phy

Ginzberg, Louis, ed. Ginzei Schechter. Vol. 1. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1928. Goldin, Judah, trans. The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan. Yale Judaica Series 10. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1955. Gottfried of Admont. Homily 68. In PL, 174:472–483. Gregory the Great. Expositiones in septem psalmos poenitentiales. In PL, 79:547–549. ———. Moralia in Job. In PL, 76:9–782. Guest, Gerald. Bible Moralisée: Codex Vindobonensis 255, Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. London: Harvey Miller, 1995. Haimo of Halberstadt [Pseudo-]. Commentarius in Psalmos. In PL, 116:194–696. Harris, Markham, trans. The Cornish Ordinalia: A Medieval Dramatic Trilogy. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1969. Helgaud of Fleury. Epitoma Vitae Regis Rotberti Pii. Edited and translated by Robert-Henri Bautier and Gillette Labory. Paris: CNRS, 1965. Helmold von Bosau. The Chronicle of the Slavs. Translated by Francis Joseph Tschan. New York: Columbia University Press, 1935. ———. Cronica Slavorum. Edited by Johannes Lappenberg and Bernhard Schmeidler. 3rd  ed. MGH Scriptores rerum Germanicarum separatim editi 32. Hannover: Hahn, 1937. Herman of Valenciennes. Li Romanz de Dieu et de sa mere d’Herman de Valenciennes, chanoine et prêtre (XIIe siècle). Edited by Ina Spiele. Leiden: Presse universitaire de Leyde, 1975. Honorius Augustodonensis. “Selectorum Psalmorum Expositio.” In PL, vol. 172. Horace. De arte poetica. In Horace on Poetry: The “Ars poetica.” Edited by C. O. Brink. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971. Hrabanus Maurus. Commentaria in libros IV Regum. In PL, 109:9–279. ———. Commentaria in Matthaeum. In PL, vol. 107. ———. Expositio in Paralipomena. In PL, 109:279–540. Hugh of St. Cher. Opera omnia in universum Vetus et Novum Testamentum. Lyon, 1645. Hyman, Dov, ed. Yalqut Shimʻoni al neviʼ im le-rabenu Shimʻon ha-Darshan, Neviʼ im rishonim. Jerusalem: Mossad ha-Rav Quq, 1999. ibn al-Athīr. Al-Kāmil fī-l-Ta’rīkh. Edited by C. J. Tornberg. Leiden: Brill, 1867; reprint, Beirut: Dar Beirut, 1965. ibn Ezra, Abraham. Abraham Ibn Esras langer Kommentar zum Buch Exodus. Translated by Dirk U. Rottzoll. 2 vols. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2000. ———. The Commentary of Ibn Ezra on Isaiah. Edited and translated by M. Friedländer. London: Society of Hebrew Literature, 1878. ibn Kathīr. Qiṣaṣ al-anbiyā’. Edited by Muṣṭafa ‘Abd al-Wāḥid. Cairo: Maṭba‘a dār al-ta’līf, 1968. Isidore of Seville. Etymologiae. In PL, vol. 82. Jacobson, Howard. A Commentary on Pseudo-Philo’s “Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum.” 2 vols. Arbeiten zur Geschichte des antiken Judentums und des Urchristentums, vol. 31. Leiden: Brill, 1996. Jerome. Breviarium in Psalmos. In PL, 26:821–1277. ———. Commentarium in evangelium Matthae. In PL, 26:16–218. Johannes Afflighemensis. De musica cum tonario. Edited by J. Smits van Waesberghe. Rome: American Institute of Musicology, 1950. John of Salisbury. Policraticus. Edited by K. S. B. Keats-Rohan. CCCM, vol. 118. Turnhout: Brepols, 1993. Jorgensen, Peter, ed. and trans. Tristrams Saga ok Ísöndar. In Norse Romance I: The Tristan Legend, edited by Marianne Kalinke. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1999. 23–226.

B i b li o gr a phy


Kisch, Guido, ed. Pseudo-Philo’s Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum. Mediaeval Studies, vol. 10. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame, 1949. Kister, Menahem, ed. Avot de-Rabbi Natan in the Edition of S. Z. Schechter. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1997. Knight, Alan E., ed. Les Mystères de la procession de Lille. Vol. 2, De Josué à David. Geneva: Droz, 2003. Kushelevsky, Rella, ed. and trans. Tales in Context: Sefer Ha-Ma’asim in Medieval Northern France (Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Ms. Bodl. Or. 135). Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2017. Langland, William. Piers Plowman. Edited by George Russell and George Kane. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. Leviant, Curt, ed. King Artus: A Hebrew Arthurian Romance of 1279. New York: Ktav, 1969. Lifshitz, Berachyahu, ed. Midrash Shmuʼel. Jerusalem: Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, 2009. Livingston, Michael, ed. The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament. TEAMS Middle English Texts Series. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute, 2011. Macé de la Charité. La Bible de Macé de la Charité. Vol. 3. Edited by A. M. L. Prangsma-Hajenius. Leiden: Leiden University Press, 1970. Maimonides, Moses. Epistle to Yemen: The Arabic Original and the Three Hebrew Versions. Edited by Abraham S. Halkin. Translated by Boaz Cohen. New York: American Academy for Jewish Research, 1952. ———. Perush ha-Rambam le-’Avot. Edited by Mordechai Rabinowitz. Jerusalem: Mossad haRav Quq, 1961. ———. Perush ha-Rambam le-’Avot. Edited by Yitzchak Shilat. Ma’ale Adumim: Shilat, 1998. ———. Pirkei Avot with the Rambam’s Commentary. Translated with notes by Eliyahu Touger. New York: Moznaim, 1994. Mak, J. J., ed. Amijs ende Amelis: Een middeleeuwse vriendschapssage, naar de berijming van Jacob van Maerlant tezamen met zijn Latijnse bron. Zwolle: N.V. Uitgevers-Maatschappij W.E.J. Tjeenk Willink, 1954. Makhir b. Aba Mari. Yalqut ha-Makhiri al Sefer Tehillim. Edited by Shlomo Buber. Berdichev: Scheftel, 1899. Map, Walter. “Dissuasio Valerii ad Rufinam.” In Jankyn’s Book of Wikked Wyves, vol. 1, The Primary Texts, edited by Ralph Hanna III and Traugott Lawler. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1997. 121–148. Margoliot, Mordecai, ed. Midrash ha-Gadol. Jerusalem: Mossad Ha-Rav Quq, 1975. Matt, Daniel C., trans. The Zohar. 12 vols. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003–2018. Matthias of Boulogne. Lamentationes Matheoluli. Edited by Thomas Klein. Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, 2014. Meerson, Michael, and Peter Schäfer, eds. and trans. Toledot Yeshu: The Life Story of Jesus. 2 vols. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014. Meiss, Millard, and Edith W. Kirsch, eds. The Visconti Hours, National Library, Florence. New York: George Braziller, 1972. Metcalfe, W. M., ed. Legends of the Saints in the Scottish Dialect of the Fourteenth Century. 3 vols. Scottish Text Society. Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1888–1896. Midrash Ruth Rabbah. Sefaria. https://www.sefaria .org /Ruth _ Rabbah.2?lang = bi. Milchsack, Gustav, ed. Egerer Fronleichnamsspiel. Tübingen: Litterarischer Verein in Stuttgart, 1881. ———, ed. Heidelberger Passionsspiel. Tübingen: Litterarischer Verein in Stuttgart, 1880.


B i b li o gr a phy

Millett, Bella, ed. Ancrene Wisse: Guide for Anchoresses. Early English Text Society, vol. 325. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. ———, trans. Ancrene Wisse: Guide for Anchoresses; A Translation Based on Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, Ms 402. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2009. The Minor Tractates of the Talmud. Vilna: Romm, 1900. Misrahi, Jean, ed. Le Roman des sept sages. Paris: Droz, 1933. Montaiglon, Anatole de, ed. Le Livre du chevalier de La Tour Landry. Paris: Jannet, 1854. Morard, Martin, ed. Glossae Sacrae Scripturae Electronicae. Paris: IHRT, 2016–2017. https://gloss Morris, Richard, ed. Cursor Mundi, a Northumbrian Poem of the XIVth Century. Oxford: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1874. Naḥmanides [Moshe ben Naḥman, Ramban]. Commentary on the Torah. 5 Translated and annotated by Charles B. Chavel. 5 vols. New York: Shiloh, 1971–1976. ———. “The Disputation at Barcelona.” In Writings and Discourses, translated and annotated by Charles B. Chavel. New York: Shiloh, 1978. ———. Katvei Rabenu Moshe ben Naḥman. Edited by Charles B. Chavel. Jerusalem: Mossad ha-Rav Quq, 1951. ———. Perush ha-Ramban al ha-Torah. Edited by Pinḥas Yehuda Lieberman. Jerusalem, 1984. Nance, R. Morton, and A. S. D. Smith, eds. Davyd Hag Urry. St. Ives: Cornish Language Board, 1973. Nicholas of Lyra. Biblia sacra cvm glossa interlineari ordinaria et Nicolai Lyrani postilla, eiusdemque moralitatibus, Burgensis additionibus, & Thoringi replicis. Venice, 1588. ———. Biblie iampridem renouate. Basel, n.d. Ockham, William of. A Short Discourse on Tyrannical Government. Edited by Arthur Stephen McGrade. Translated by John Kilcullen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. ———. Wilhelm von Ockham als politischer Denker und sein Breviloquium de principatu tyrannico. Edited by Richard Scholz. MGH Schriften, vol. 8. Stuttgart: Hiersemann Verlag, 1944. Odeberg, Hugo, ed. and trans. 3 Enoch; or, The Hebrew Book of Enoch. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1928. Offord, M. Y., ed. The Parlement of the Thre Ages. London: Oxford University Press, 1959. Patai, Raphael. The Messiah Texts. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1979. Perush ha-Mishnah: Avot. Soncino: Soncino, 1485. Peter Comestor. Historia scholastica. In PL, 198:1049–1722. Peter Lombard. In psalmos Davidicos commentarii. In PL, 191:31–1296. Peter of Blois. Opera omnia. Edited by I. A. Giles. Vol. 3. Opuscula. Oxford: J. H. Parker, 1846. Philip of Harveng. Epistolae. In PL, 203:1–179. Pickthall, M. M., trans. The Meaning of the Glorious Qur’an: An Explanatory Translation. New York: Knopf, 1930. Pinḥas ha-Levi. Séfer Ha-Ḥinnuch: The Book of (Mitzvah) Education. Edited and translated by Charles Wengrov. 5 vols. Jerusalem: Feldheim, 1984. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Translated by Gerald Friedlander. New York: Hermon Press, 1965. Pseudo-Jerome. Quaestiones on the Book of Samuel. Edited by Avrom Saltman. Studia Post-Biblica 26. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1975. Qimḥi, David. The Commentary of Rabbi David Kimḥi to Chronicles: A Translation with Introduction and Supercommentary. Translated by Yitzhak Berger. Providence, RI: Brown Judaic Studies, 2007. ———. Neviʾim Rishonim. Soncino: Soncino, 1485.

B i b li o gr a phy


———. “Perush Radaq l’divrei hayamim.” Edited by Yitzhak Berger. Dissertation, Yeshiva University, 2003. Rabinowitz, L., trans. Midrash Ruth Rabbah. Vol. 8 of Midrash Rabbah. Edited by H. Freedman and Maurice Simon. London: Soncino, 1939. Rashi. Bible Commentary. Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1985. https://www. sefaria .org /texts/ Tanakh /Commentary/Rashi. ———. Commentary. In BT. ———. Rashi’s Commentary on Psalms. Edited by Mayer I. Gruber. The Brill Reference Library of Judaism, vol. 18. Leiden: Brill, 2003. Raymond of Aguilers. Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Iherusalem. In Recueil des historiens des croisades, Historiens occidentaux, vol. 3. Paris: Imprimerie imperiale, 1866. ———. Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Iherusalem. Translated with introduction and notes by John Hugh Hill and Laurita L. Hill. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1968. ———. Le “Liber” de Raymond d’Aguilers. Edited by John Hugh Hill and Laurita L. Hill. Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1969. Remigius of Auxerre. Enarrationes in Psalmos. In PL, 131:133–963. Riga, Peter. Aurora: Petra Riga Biblia versificata; A Verse Commentary on the Bible. Edited by Paul E. Beichner. 2 vols. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1965. Rolle, Richard. The English Writings. Translated by Rosamund S. Allen. New York: Paulist Press, 1988. ———. The Psalter, or Psalms of David, and Certain Canticles. Edited by Henry Ramsden Bramley. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1884. Rosenzweig, Claudia, ed. Bovo d’Antona by Elye Boker: A Yiddish Romance; A Critical Edition with Commentary. Leiden: Brill, 2016. Roth, Detlef, ed. Historia septem sapientum. 2 vols. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 2004. Rothschild, James de, ed. Le Mistère du Viel Testament. Vol. 4. Paris: Firmin Didot, 1882. Rudolf of Ems. Weltchronik. Edited by Gustav Ehrismann. Deutsche Texte des Mittelalters, vol. 20. Berlin: Weidmann, 1915. Rupert of Deutz. De divinis officiis. In PL, 170:9–388. ———. In libros Regum. In PL, 167:1059–1181. ———. De Gloria et honore filii hominis super Mattheum. Edited by Hrabanus Hacke. CCCM, vol. 29. Turnhout: Brepols, 1979. Saba, Avraham. Tzror Hamor. Translated and annotated by Eliyahu Munk. 5 vols. Jerusalem: Lambda, 2008. Sefer Ḥasidim. Bologna, 1538. hasidim/manuscripts.php. ———. Translated in abridged form by Avraham Yaakov Finkel as Sefer Chasidim: The Book of the Pious. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1997. Sikili, Ya‘acov bar Hananel. Sefer Torat ha-Minḥah. Edited by Baruch Ḥefetz. Tsfat, 1991. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Edited and translated by W. R. J. Barron. 2nd ed. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998. Suger. De administratione. In Oeuvres complètes de Suger. Edited by A. Lecoy de la Marche. Paris: Jules Renouard, 1867. Thietmar of Merseburg. Chronicon. Edited by Robert Holtzmann. Hannover: Hahn, 1935. Townsend, John T., trans. Midrash Tanhuma. Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1989. Ukas, Catherine. “The Biblia Rimada de Sevilla: A Critical Edition.” PhD dissertation, University of Toronto, 1981.


B i b li o gr a phy

Unger, C. R., ed. Stjorn: Gammelnorsk Bibelhistorie fra verdens skabelse til det Babyloniske fangenskab. Christiania: Feilberg & Landmarks Forlag, 1862. Visotzky, Burton L., ed. Midrash Mishle. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1990. ———, trans. The Midrash on Proverbs. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992. Wace. Roman de Brut. Edited and translated by Judith Weiss. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2002. Walter of St. Victor. Galteri a Sancto Victore et quorumdam aliorum sermones ineditos triginta sex. Edited by Jean Châtillon. CCCM, vol. 30. Turnhout: Brepols, 1975. Warburg Institute Iconographic Database. London: Warburg Institute. https://iconographic .warburg . sas . ac . uk / vpc / V PC _ search /subcats . php ? cat _ 1 = 14&cat _ 2 = 812&cat _ 3 =2903&cat_4=5439&cat_5=13111&cat_6=10453&cat_7=3650. William of Newburgh. Historia rerum Anglicarum. In Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I, vols. 1 and 2, edited by Richard Howlett. Rolls Series, vol. 82. London: Longman, 1884. Wipo. Gesta Chuonradi imperatoris. In Die Werke Wipos, edited by Harry Bresslau. MGH Scriptores rerum Germanicarum separatim editi, vol. 61. Hannover: Hahn, 1993. Wright, Thomas, ed. Political Poems and Songs Relating to English History. London: Longman, 1859. Ziolkowski, Jan M., ed. and trans. The Cambridge Songs (Carmina Cantabrigisensia). Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1998. Originally published New York: Garland, 1994.

secondary sources Abrams, Daniel. Kabbalistic Manuscripts and Textual Theory: Methodologies of Textual Scholarship and Editorial Practice in the Study of Jewish Mysticism. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Cherub Press, 2013. Abulafia, David, ed. New Cambridge Medieval History, vol. 5, C. 1198–c. 1300. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Ackerman, Susan. When Heroes Love: The Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. Adang, Camilla. Muslim Writers on Judaism and the Hebrew Bible: From Ibn Rabban to Ibn Hazm. Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Science, vol. 22. Leiden: Brill, 1996. ———. “Reading the Qur’ān with Ibn Ḥazm: The Question of the Sinlessness of the Prophets.” In Controverses sur les écritures canoniques de l’ islam, edited by Daniel De Smet and Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi. Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 2014. 269–295. Alexander, Suzanne Spain. “Heraclius, Byzantine Imperial Ideology, and the David Plates.” Speculum 52, no. 2 (1977): 217–237. Angelov, Kimiter G. “The Confession of Michael VIII Palaiologos and King David: On a Little Known Work by Manuel Holobolos.” Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik 56 (2006): 193–204. Antenhofer, Christina. Briefe zwischen Süd und Nord: Die Hochzeit und Ehe von Paula de Gonzaga und Leonhard von Görz im Spiegel der fürstlichen Kommunikation (1473–1500). SchlernSchriften, vol. 336. Innsbruck: Universitätsverlag Wagner, 2007. Arcangeli, Alessandro. “Dance Under Trial: The Moral Debate, 1200–1600.” Dance Research 12, no. 2 (1994): 127–155.

B i b li o gr a phy


Armstrong-Partida, Michelle. Defiant Priests: Domestic Unions, Violence, and Clerical Masculinity in Fourteenth-Century Catalunya. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2017. Arnold, Ellen F. Negotiating the Landscape: Environment and Monastic Identity in the Medieval Ardennes. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013. Astås, Reidar. An Old Norse Biblical Compilation: Studies in Stjórn. New York: Peter Lang, 1991. Augustyn, Wolfgang. “Zur Illustration von Psalterien und Psalmenkommentaren in Italien vom frühen 11. bis zum ausgehenden 13. Jahrhundert.” In The Illuminated Psalter: Studies in the Content, Purpose, and Placement of Its Images, edited by F. O. Büttner. Turnhout: Brepols, 2004. 165–180. Baert, Barbara. Revisiting Salome’s Dance in Medieval and Early Modern Iconology. Studies in Iconology, vol. 7. Leuven: Peeters, 2016. Bagerius, Henric, and Christine Ekholst. “For Better or for Worse: Royal Marital Sexuality as Political Critique in Late Medieval Europe.” In The Routledge History of Monarchy, edited by Elena Woodacre, Lucinda H. S. Dean, Chris Jones, Russell E. Martin, and Zita Eva Rohr. Abingdon: Routledge, 2019. 636–654. Bakhos, Carol. “Jewish Midrashic Interpretation in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages.” In A History of Biblical Interpretation, vol. 2, The Medieval Through the Reformation Periods, edited by Alan J. Hauser and Duane F. Watson. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009. 113–140. Baldwin, John W. “The Image of the Jongleur in Northern France Around 1200.” Speculum 72 (1997): 635–663. ———. Masters, Princes and Merchants: The Social Views of Peter the Chanter and His Circle. 2 vols. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1970. Bárány-Oberschall, Magda. The Crown of the Emperor Constantine Monomachos. Budapest: Magyar Történeti Múzeum, 1937. Barber, Richard. The Devil’s Crown: A History of Henry II and His Sons. Conshohocken, PA: Combined Books, 1997. Barthélemy, Dominique, David W. Gooding, Johan Lust, and Emanuel Tov. The Story of David and Goliath: Textual and Literary Criticism. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis, vol. 73. Fribourg: Editions Universitaires, 1986. Barton, John. A History of the Bible. London: Penguin Random House, 2019. Baskin, Judith R. Midrashic Women: Formations of the Feminine in Rabbinic Literature. HBI Series on Jewish Women. Hanover, NH: Brandeis University Press, 2002. ———. “Representations of Biblical Women in Sefer Hasidim.” Paper presented at the “Sefer Hasidim in Context” conference, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 19–22 March 2017. Baumgarten, Jean. Introduction to Old Yiddish Literature. Edited and translated by Jerold C. Frakes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. ———. “Le manuscrit de Cambridge (1382): De la philologie germanique aux études Yiddish.” Le Miroir allemand 4 (1995): 69–85. Beit-Arié, Malachi. “The Making of the Miscellany.” In The North French Hebrew Miscellany (British Library Add. MS 11639): Companion Volume to an Illuminated Manuscript from Thirteenth-Century France in Facsimile, edited by Jeremy Schonfield. London: Facsimile Editions, 2003. 47–73. Bell, Adrian R., Anne Curry, Andy King, and David Simpkin. The Soldier in Later Medieval England. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Bennett, Adelaide. “The Transformation of the Gothic Psalter in Thirteenth-Century France.” In The Illuminated Psalter: Studies in the Content, Purpose and Placement of Its Images, edited by F. O. Büttner. Turnhout: Brepols, 2004. 211–221.


B i b li o gr a phy

Bennett, Judith M., and Ruth Mazo Karras, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Benson, Robert. “Images of David in Psalters and Bibles: Medieval Interpretations of Biblical Kingship as Mirrored in Art.” In Law, Rulership, and Rhetoric: Selected Essays of Robert L. Benson, edited by Loren  J. Weber. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2014. 131-157. Berlin, Adele. Review of King David: A Biography, by Steven L. McKenzie; David: Biblical Portraits of Power, by Marti J. Steussy; David’s Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King, by Baruch Halpern. AJS Review 26, no. 1 (2002): 111–117. Bernstein, Marc S. Stories of Joseph: Narrative Migrations Between Judaism and Islam. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2006. Biale, David. Eros and the Jews: From Biblical Israel to Contemporary America. New York: Basic Books, 1992. Bird, Jessalynn. “Preaching and Narrating the Fifth Crusade: Bible, Sermons and the History of a Campaign.” In The Uses of the Bible in Crusader Sources, edited by Elizabeth Lapina and Nicholas Morton. Leiden: Brill, 2017. 316–340. Bisson, Thomas N. The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009. Bitel, Lisa M., and Felice Lifshitz, eds. Gender and Christianity in Medieval Europe: New Perspectives. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. Blenkinsopp, Joseph. David Remembered: Kingship and Identity in Ancient Israel. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2013. Boas, Adrian J. Crusader Archaeology: The Material Culture of the Latin East. London: Routledge, 1999. Bogaert, Pierre-Maurice. “The Latin Bible, c. 600 to c. 900.” In The New Cambridge History of the Bible, vol. 2, From 600 to 1450, edited by Richard Marsden and E. Ann Matter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 69–92. Borenius, Tancred. “The Cycle of Images in the Palaces and Castles of Henry III.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 6 (1943): 40–50. Boswell, John. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980. ———. Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe. New York: Villard, 1994. Bouchard, Constance Brittain. Those of My Blood: Constructing Noble Families in Medieval Francia. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001. ———. “Three Counties, One Lineage, and Eight Heiresses: Nevers, Auxerre, and Tonnerre, Eleventh to Thirteenth Centuries.” Medieval Prosopography 31 (2016): 25–46. Bournazel, Eric. “Mémoire et parenté.” In La France de l’an mil, edited by Robert Delort. Paris: Seuil, 1990. 114–124. ———. “Suger and the Capetians.” In Abbot Suger and Saint-Denis, edited by Paula Lieber Gerson. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986. 55–72. Boyarin, Daniel. Carnal Israel: Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. ———. Unheroic Conduct: The Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. Boydston, Jeanne. “Gender as a Question of Historical Analysis.” Gender & History 20, no. 3 (2008): 550–583.

B i b li o gr a phy


Boyle, Elizabeth. “Biblical Kings and Kingship Theory in Medieval Ireland and Norway.” In Speculum Septentrionale: Konungs Skuggsjá and the European Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, edited by Karl G. Johansson and Elise Kleivane. Oslo: Novus Forlag, 2018. 173–198. Bradbury, Jim. The Capetians: Kings of France, 987–1328. London: Hambledon Continuum, 2007. Bradley, Cameron. “Between Brothers: Brotherhood and Masculinity in the Later Middle Ages.” PhD dissertation, University of Minnesota, 2015. Bray, Alan. The Friend. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006. Brooke, George J., and Hindy Najman. “Dethroning David and Enthroning Messiah: Jewish and Christian Perspectives.” In On Prophets, Warriors, and Kings: Former Prophets Through the Eyes of Their Interpreters, edited by George J. Brooke and Ariel Feldman. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, vol. 470. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016. 111–127. Buc, Philippe. “David’s Adultery with Bathsheba and the Healing Power of the Capetian Kings.” Viator 24 (1993): 101–120. Buchthal, Hugo. “The Exaltation of David.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 37 (1974): 330–333. ———. The Miniatures of the Paris Psalter: A Study in Middle Byzantine Painting. London: Warburg Institute, 1938. Buckley, Ann. “Representations of Musicians in Medieval Christian Iconography of Ireland and Scotland as Local Cultural Expression.” In Art and Music in the Early Modern Period: Essays in Honor of Franca Trinchieri Camiz, edited by Katherine  A. McIver. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003. 217–231. Burns, E. Jane. “Performing Courtliness.” In The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, edited by Judith  M. Bennett and Ruth Mazo Karras. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 396–411. Butterfield, Andrew. “New Evidence for the Iconography of David in Quattrocento Florence.” I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance 6 (1995): 115–133. Büttner, F. O., ed. The Illuminated Psalter: Studies in the Content, Purpose and Placement of Its Images. Turnhout: Brepols, 2004. ———. “Der illuminierte Psalter im Westen.” In The Illuminated Psalter: Studies in the Content, Purpose and Placement of Its Images, edited by F. O. Büttner. Turnhout: Brepols, 2004. 1–106. Bychowski, Gabrielle. “Were There Transgender People in the Middle Ages?” Public Medievalist blog, 1 November  2018. Accessed 30 December 2019. Cadden, Joan. Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages: Medicine, Science, and Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Camille, Michael. Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art. London: Reaktion Books, 2004. ———. The Medieval Art of Love: Objects and Subjects of Desire. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1998. Canal, J. M. “Texto crítico de algunos sermones Marianos de San Fulberto de Chartres o a él atribuibles.” Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 30 (1963): 55–87. Cantelli, Silvia. Angelomo e la scuola esegetica di Luxeuil. Vol. 1. Spoleto: Centro Italiano di studi sull’alto medioevo, 1990. Cartwright, Charlotte. “Emma of Ivry, c. 1008–1080.” In Medieval Elite Women and the Exercise of Power, 1100–1400: Moving Beyond the Exceptionalist Debate, edited by Heather J. Tanner. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. 91–111.


B i b li o gr a phy

Caviness, Madeline Harrison. “Suger’s Glass at Saint-Denis: The State of Research.” In Abbot Suger and Saint-Denis: A Symposium, edited by Paula Lieber Gerson. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986. 257–272. Chabon, Michael. Gentlemen of the Road. New York: Ballantine, 2007. Chaplais, Pierre. Piers Gaveston: Edward II’s Adoptive Brother. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994. Chazan, Robert. Barcelona and Beyond: The Disputation of 1263 and Its Aftermath. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992. Chazelle, Celia, and Burton Van Name Edwards. “Introduction: The Study of the Bible and Carolingian Culture.” In The Study of the Bible in the Carolingian Era, edited by Celia Chazelle and Burton Van Name Edwards. Turnhout: Brepols, 2003. 1–16. Chen, Andrew H. “Abigail and David: The Iconography of a Romanesque Capital from NotreDame-des-Doms, Avignon.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 76 (2013): 131– 136. Cheyette, Fredric L. “Women, Poets, and Politics in Occitania.” In Aristocratic Women in Medieval France, edited by Theodore Evergates. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999. 138–177. Chocheyras, Jacques. “Tristan et David.” Cahiers de civilization médiévale 52 (2009): 159–166. Choy, Renie S. Intercessory Prayer and the Monastic Ideal in the Time of the Carolingian Reforms. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Christensen, Thomas. “Music Theory.” In The Cambridge History of Medieval Music, edited by Mark Everist and Thomas Forrest Kelly. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 1:357–381. Clanchy, Michael. Abelard: A Medieval Life. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999. ———. “Abelard: Knight (Miles), Courtier (Palatinus), and Man of War (Vir Bellator).” In Medieval Knighthood V: Papers from the Sixth Strawberry Hill Conference, edited by Stephen Church and Ruth Harvey. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1995. 101–118. Clark, Mark J. The Making of the “Historia scholastica,” 1150–1200. Toronto: PIMS, 2015. Cleaver, Laura, and Helen Conrad O’Briain. Latin Psalter Manuscripts in Trinity College Dublin and the Chester Beatty Library. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2015. Clouzot, Martine. “Les allégories de la musique dans les livres peints (XIe–XVe siècle): Mouvements, musicalités et temporalités d’une herméneutique.” In L’allégorie dans l’art du moyen âge: Formes et fonctions; Héritages, créations, mutations, edited by Christian Heck. Turnhout: Brepols, 2011. 253–270. Cohen, Evelyn M. “The Kaufmann Mishneh Torah Illuminations.” In David Kaufmann Memorial Volume, edited by Éva Apor. Budapest: Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 2002. 97–104. Cohen, Gershon D. “Messianic Postures of Ashkenazim and Sephardim (Prior to Sabbethai Zevi).” In Studies of the Leo Baeck Institute, edited by Max Kreutzberger. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1967. 115–156. Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. Of Giants: Sex, Monsters, and the Middle Ages. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999. Cohen, Jeremy. “The Nasi of Narbonne: A Problem in Medieval Historiography.” AJS Review 2 (1977): 45–76. Cohen, Mordechai Z. “Nahmanides’ Four Senses of Scriptural Signification: Jewish and Christian Contexts.” In Entangled Histories: Knowledge, Authority, and Jewish Culture in the Thirteenth Century, edited by Elisheva Baumgarten, Ruth Mazo Karras, and Katelyn Mesler. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017. 38–58.

B i b li o gr a phy


Cohen, Shaye J. D. “The Significance of Yavneh: Pharisees, Rabbis, and the End of Jewish Sectarianism.” Hebrew Union College Annual 55 (1984): 27–53. Coldwell, Maria V. “Jougleresses and Trobairitz: Secular Musicians in Medieval France.” In Women Making Music: The Western Art Tradition, 1150–1950, edited by Jane Bowers and Judith Tick. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1986. 39–61. Colish, Marcia L. Peter Lombard. 2 vols. Leiden: Brill, 1994. ———. “Psalterium Scholasticorum: Peter Lombard and the Emergence of Scholastic Psalms Exegesis.” Speculum 67, no. 3 (1992): 531–548. Connell, R. W. Masculinities. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005. Connell, R. W., and James Messerschmidt. “Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept.” Gender & Society 19, no. 6 (2005): 829–859. Constable, Giles. Three Studies in Religious and Social Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Corrigan, Kathleen. “Early Medieval Psalter Illustration in Byzantium and the West.” In The Utrecht Psalter in Medieval Art: Picturing the Psalms of David, edited by Koert Van der Horst, William Noel, and Wilhelmina C. M. Wüstefeld. ‘t Goy: HES, 1996. 85–103. Costambeys, Marios, Matthew Innes, and Simon MacLean. The Carolingian World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Costley, Clare L. [see also King’oo, Clare Costley]. “David, Bathsheba, and the Penitential Psalms.” Renaissance Quarterly 57, no. 4 (2004): 1235–1277. Cropp, Glynnis M. “Les vers sur les neuf preux.” Romania 120 (2002): 449–482. Crouch, David. The Birth of Nobility: Constructing Aristocracy in England and France, 900–1300. Harlow: Pearson, 2005. Cutler, Anthony, and Annemarie Weyl Carr. “The Psalter Benaki 34.3: An Unpublished Illuminated Manuscript from the Family 2400.” Revue des études byzantines 34 (1976): 281–324. Dagron, Gilbert. Emperor and Priest: The Imperial Office in Byzantium. Translated by Jean Birrell. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Dan, Joseph. Hebrew Ethical and Homiletical Literature: The Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. [In Hebrew.] Jerusalem: Keter, 1975. ———. Jewish Mysticism. Vol. 2, The Middle Ages. North Bergen, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1998. DeAragon, RaGena C. “Power and Agency in Post-Conquest England: Elite Women and the Transformations of the Twelfth Century.” In Medieval Elite Women and the Exercise of Power, 1100–1400: Moving Beyond the Exceptionalist Debate, edited by Heather J. Tanner. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. 19–43. Déclais, Jean-Louis. David raconté par les musulmans. Paris: Cerf, 1999. De Hamel, Christopher. A History of Illuminated Manuscripts. London: Phaidon Press, 1994. de Jong, Mayke. The Penitential State: Authority and Atonement in the Age of Louis the Pious, 814– 840. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. de Lubac, Henri. Medieval Exegesis: The Four Senses of Scripture. Translated by Marc Sebanc. Vol. 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998. ———. Medieval Exegesis: The Four Senses of Scripture. Vol. 2. Translated by E. M. Macierowski. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000. Denomy, Alex. J. “Tristan and the Morholt: David and Goliath.” Mediaeval Studies 18 (1956): 224–231. de Pury, Albert, and Thomas Römer, eds. Die sogenannte Thronfolgegeschichte Davids: Neue Einsichten und Anfragen. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis, vol. 176. Freiburg, Schweiz: Universitätsverlag, 2000.


B i b li o gr a phy

Diamond, James A. “King David of the Sages: Rabbinic Rehabilitation or Ironic Parody?” Prooftexts 27 (2007): 373–426. Dietrich, Walter. “Die Überführung der Lade nach Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6).” In For and Against David: Story and History in the Books of Samuel, edited by Graeme A. Auld and Erik Eynikel. Leuven: Peeters, 2010. 235–253. ———. The Early Monarchy in Israel: The Tenth Century BCE. Translated by Joachim Vette. Atlanta: Society for Biblical Literature, 2007. Dietrich, Walter, and Hubert Herkommer, eds. König David— biblische Schlüsselfigur und europäische Leitgestalt. Kolloquium der Schweizerischen Akademie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften, vol. 19. Freiburg, Schweiz: Universitätsverlag, 2003. Dilley, Paul. “Christus Saltans as Dionysos and David: The Dance of the Savior in Its Late-Antique Cultural Context.” Apocrypha 24 (2013): 237–254. Dinkova-Bruun, Greti. “Biblical Thematics: The Story of Samson in Medieval Literary Discourse.” In The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Latin Literature, edited by Ralph Hexter and David Townsend. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. 356–375. di Segni, Ricardo. Il Vangelo del Ghetto. Rome: Newton Compton, 1985. Dodd, Gwilym, and Anthony Musson, eds. The Reign of Edward II: New Perspectives. Woodbridge: York Medieval Press, 2006. Dreeßen, Wulf-Otto. “Midraschepik und Bibelepik: Biblische Stoffe in der volkssprächlichen Literatur der Juden und Christen des Mittelalters im deutschen Sprachgebiet.” Zeitschrift fūr deutsche Philologie 100, Sonderheft (1981): 78–97. Drimmer, Sonja. “Beyond Private Matter: A Prayer Roll for Queen Margaret of Anjou.” Gesta 53, no. 1 (2014): 95–120. Dronke, Peter. Poetic Individuality in the Middle Ages: New Departures in Poetry, 1000–1150. 2nd ed. Westfield Publications in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, vol. 1. London: Westfield College, 1986. Duby, Georges. La société aux XIe et XIIe siècles dans la région mâconnaise. Paris: Librairie Armand Colin, 1953. ———. The Three Orders: Feudal Society Imagined. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980. Duggan, Anne. “John of Salisbury and Thomas Becket.” In The World of John of Salisbury, edited by Michael Wilks. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984. 427–438. Elliott, Dyan. The Bride of Christ Goes to Hell: Metaphor and Embodiment in the Lives of Pious Women, 200–1500. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012. ———. The Corrupter of Boys: Sodomy, Scandal, and the Medieval Clergy. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020. Emery, Kent. Dionysii Cartvsiensis opera selecta. Vol. 1, Prolegomena. CCCM, vols. 121–121A. Tournai: Brepols, 1991. Evans, Ruth, ed. “Medieval Intersex: Language and Hermaphroditism.” Special issue, postmedieval 9, no. 2 (2019). Evergates, Theodore. The Aristocracy in the County of Champagne, 1100–1300. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. ———. “The Feudal Imaginary of Georges Duby.” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 27, no. 3 (1997): 641–660. Everist, Mark, and Thomas Forrest Kelly, eds. The Cambridge History of Medieval Music. 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. Faral, Edmond. Les jongleurs en France au moyen âge. Paris: Champion, 1910.

B i b li o gr a phy


Fassler, Margot. Gothic Song: Victorine Sequences and Augustinian Reform in Twelfth-Century Paris. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. ———. “The Liturgical Framework of Time and the Representation of History.” In Representing History, 900–1300, edited by Robert A. Maxwell. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010. 149–171. ———. “Mary’s Nativity, Fulbert of Chartres, and the Stirps Jesse: Liturgical Innovation Circa 1000 and Its Afterlife.” Speculum 75 (2000): 389–434. ———. The Virgin of Chartres: Making History Through Liturgy and the Arts. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010. Feros Ruys, Juanita, ed., The Repentant Abelard: Family, Gender, and Ethics in Peter Abelard’s “Carmen ad Astralabium” and “Planctus.” New York: Palgrave, 2014. Ferreira, Manuel Pedro. “The Medieval Fate of the Cantigas de Santa Maria.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 69, no. 2 (2016): 295–353. Field, Sean L. Courting Sanctity: Holy Women and the Capetians. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2019. Finkelstein, Israel, and Neil Asher Silberman. The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Sacred Texts. New York: Touchstone, 2001. ———. David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible’s Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition. New York: Free Press, 2006. Fishman, Talya. Becoming the People of the Talmud: Oral Torah as Written Tradition in Medieval Jewish Cultures. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. Fletcher, Christopher. “Introduction: Masculinity and Politik.” In The Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Political Culture in Europe, edited by Christopher Fletcher, Sean Brady, Rachel Moss, and Lucy Riall. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. 1–16. ———. “The Whig Interpretation of Masculinity? Honour and Sexuality in Late Medieval Manhood.” In What Is Masculinity? Historical Dynamics from Antiquity to the Contemporary World, edited by John H. Arnold and Sean Brady. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2011. 57–75. Flori, Jean. Richard the Lionheart: King and Knight. Translated by Jean Birrell. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999. Folda, Jaroslav. The Art of the Crusaders in the Holy Land, 1098–1187. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Fonrobert, Charlotte Elisheva. “The Handmaid, the Trickster, and the Birth of the Messiah: A Critical Appraisal of the Feminist Valorization of Midrash Aggada.” In Current Trends in the Study of Midrash, edited by Carol Bakhos. Leiden: Brill, 2006. 245–275. Franklin, Arnold E. This Noble House: Jewish Descendants of King David in the Medieval Islamic East. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013. Friedman, John Block. Orpheus in the Middle Ages. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2000. Friedman, Mordechai Akiva. Jewish Polygyny in the Middle Ages: New Documents from the Cairo Geniza. [In Hebrew.] Jerusalem: Bialik Institute and Tel-Aviv University, 1986. Frizzell, Lawrence E., and J. Frank Henderson. “Jews and Judaism in the Medieval Latin Liturgy.” In The Liturgy of the Medieval Church, edited by Thomas J. Heffernan and E. Ann Matter. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2001. 187–214. Gabriele, Matthew. An Empire of Memory: The Legend of Charlemagne, the Franks, and Jerusalem Before the First Crusade. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Gabriele, Matthew, and Jace Stuckey, eds. The Legend of Charlemagne in the Middle Ages: Power, Faith, and Crusade. New York: Palgrave, 2008.


B i b li o gr a phy

Gerish, Deborah. “Ancestors and Predecessors: Royal Continuity and Identity in the First Kingdom of Jerusalem.” Anglo-Norman Studies 20 (1998): 127–150. Gertsmann, Elina. The Dance of Death in the Middle Ages: Image, Text, Performance. Studies in the Visual Cultures of the Middle Ages, vol. 3. Turnhout: Brepols, 2010. Gibson, Margaret, T. A. Heslop, and Richard W. Pfaff, eds. The Eadwine Psalter: Text, Image, and Monastic Culture in Twelfth-Century Canterbury. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992. Giesel, Helmut. Studien zur Symbolik der Musikinstrumente im Schrifttum der alten und der mittelalterlichen Kirche (von den Anfängen bis zum 13. Jahrhundert). Kölner Beiträge zur Musikforschung, vol. 94. Regensburg: Gustav Bosse Verlag, 1978. Gillingham, John. Richard I. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999. Ginzberg, Louis. Die Haggada in den pseudo-Hieronymianischen “Quaestiones.” Part 1 of Die Haggada bei den Kirchenvätern. Amsterdam, 1899. ———. The Legends of the Jews. Vol. 6. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1928. Glorieux, Palémon. “Le prétendu Liber sententiarum d’Alain de Lille.” Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 20 (1953): 312–314. Goitein, S. D. A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza. Vol. 3, The Family. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978. Goldin, Judah. Introduction to The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan. Yale Judaica Series, vol. 10. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1955. Gómez Ubierna, Marta. “Salvaging a Cultural Identity Through Reintegration: Restoration Work on the Pulpit of ‘San Leonardo in Arcetri,’ Florence.” CeROArt 1 (2010). https://ceroart /1804. Goody, Jack. The Development of the Family and Marriage in Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. Gorfinkle, Joseph I. Introduction to The Eight Chapters of Maimonides on Ethics. New York: Columbia University Press, 1912. 1–33. Graboïs, Aryeh. “Un mythe fondamental de l’histoire de France au moyen âge: Le ‘roi David’ précurseur du ‘roi très chrétien.’ ” Revue Historique 287, no. 1 (1992): 11–31. Graves, Michael. “Glimpses into the History of the Hebrew Bible Through the Vulgate Tradition, with Special Reference to Vulgate MS θG.” In The Text of the Hebrew Bible and Its Editions: Studies in Celebration of the Fifth Centennial of the Complutensian Polyglot, edited by Andrés Piquer Otero and Pablo A. Torijano Morales. Supplements to the Textual History of the Bible, vol. 1. Leiden: Brill, 2016. 217–254. Greenberg, Steven. Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004. Gregg, Robert C. Shared Stories, Rival Tellings: Early Encounters of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Gross-Diaz, Theresa. “The Latin Psalter.” In The New Cambridge History of the Bible, vol. 2, From 600 to 1450, edited by Richard Marsden and E. Ann Matter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 427–445. Grossman, Avraham. “The Commentary of Rashi on Isaiah and the Jewish-Christian Debate.” In Studies in Medieval Jewish Intellectual and Social History, edited by David Engel, Lawrence H. Schiffman, and Elliot R. Wolfson. Leiden: Brill, 2012. 47–62. ———. “David, the Loathsome and Repulsive? A Controversial Midrash of the Middle Ages.” [In Hebrew.] In Studies in Bible and Exegesis, edited by Moshe Garsiel, Shmuel Vargon, Amos

B i b li o gr a phy


Frisch, and Jacob Kugel. Studies in Bible and Exegesis, vol. 5. Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University Press, 2000. 341–349. ———. “The Historical Background to the Ordinances on Family Affairs Attributed to Rabbenu Gershom Me’or ha-Golah (‘The Light of the Exile’).” In Jewish History: Essays in Honour of Chimen Abramsky, edited by Ada Rapoport-Albert and Steven J. Zipperstein. London: Peter Halban, 1988. 3–23. Guerin, M. Victoria. “The King’s Sin: The Origins of the David-Arthur Parallel.” In The Passing of Arthur: New Essays in Arthurian Tradition, edited by Christopher S. Baswell and William Sharpe. New York: Garland, 1988. 15–30. Guerreau-Jalabert, Anita. “L’Arbre de Jessé et l’ordre chrétien de la parenté.” In Marie: Le culte de la vierge dans la société médiévale, edited by Dominique Iogna-Prat, Eric Palazzo, and Daniel Russo. Paris: Beauchesne, 1996. 137–170. Hadas-Lebel, Mireille. “Les débuts de l’idée messianique.” In Aux origines des messianismes juifs: Actes du colloque international tenu en Sorbonne, à Paris, les 8 et 9 juin 2010, edited by David Hamidović. Leiden: Brill, 2013. 93–100. Hahn, Reinhard. “ ‘Got selbe gap ime di craft’: David und Goliath in erzählenden Texten des deutschen Mittelalters.” In Deutsche Sprache und Literatur in Mittelalter und früher Neuzeit: Festschrift für Heinz Mettke zum 65. Geburtstag. Jena, 1989. 145–152. Halivni, David Weiss. Peshat and Derash: Plain and Applied Meaning in Rabbinic Exegesis. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Hallam, Elizabeth M., and Judith Everard. Capetian France, 987–1328. 2nd ed. Abingdon: Routledge, 2001. Halperin, David M. “Heroes and Their Pals.” In One Hundred Years of Homosexuality: And Other Essays on Greek Love. New York: Routledge, 1990. 75–87. Halpern, Baruch. David’s Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001. Hamburger, Jeffrey. “Rewriting History: The Visual and the Vernacular in Late Medieval History Bibles.” In “Retextualisierung in der mittelalterlichen Literatur,” edited by Joachim Bumke and Ursula Peters. Special issue, Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie 124 (2005): 260–308. Hamilton, Sarah. “A New Model for Royal Penance? Helgaud of Fleury’s Life of Robert the Pious.” Early Medieval Europe 6 (1997): 189–200. ———. The Practice of Penance, 900–1050. Royal Historical Society Studies in History. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2001. Hanna, Judith Lynne. Dance, Sex and Gender: Signs of Identity, Dominance, Defiance, and Desire. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988. Harding, James E. “David and Jonathan: Between Athens and Jerusalem.” Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception 1, no. 1 (2011): 37–92. Harper, Kyle. From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity. Revealing Antiquity, vol. 20. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013. Harris, Robert. “Jewish Biblical Exegesis from Its Beginnings to the Twelfth Century.” In The New Cambridge History of the Bible, vol. 2, From 600 to 1450, edited by Richard Marsden and E. Ann Matter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 596–615. Härtel, Helmar, and Felix Ekowski. Handschriften der niedersächsischen Landesbibliothek Hannover. 2 vols. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1982–1989. Hartmann, Wilfried. “Psalmenkommentare aus der Zeit der Reform und der Frühscholastik.” Studi Gregoriani 9 (1972): 313–366.


B i b li o gr a phy

Harvey, Ruth. “Courtly Culture in Medieval Occitania.” In The Troubadours: An Introduction, edited by Simon Gaunt and Sarah Kay. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 8–27. Haseloff, Günther. Die Psalterillustration im 13. Jahrhundert: Studien zur Geschichte der Buchmalerei in England, Frankreich und den Niederlanden. Kiel: G. Haseloff, 1938. Heimann, Adelheid. “A Twelfth-Century Manuscript from Winchcombe and Its Illustrations: Dublin, Trinity College, MS 53.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institututes 28 (1965): 86–109. Henderson, Isabel. “The ‘David Cycle’ in Pictish Art.” In Early Medieval Sculpture in Britain and Ireland, edited by John Higgitt. BAR British Series, vol. 152. Oxford: BAR, 1986. 87–123. Henry, Françoise. “Remarks on the Decoration of Three Irish Psalters.” In Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy: Archaeology, Culture, History, Literature 61 (1960): 23–40. Herkommer, Hubert. “Heilsgeschichtliches Programm und Tugendlehre: Ein Beitrag zur Kulturund Geistesgeschichte der Stadt Nürnberg am Beispiel des schönen Brunnens und des Tugendbrunnens.” Mitteilungen des Vereins für Geschichte der Stadt Nürnberg 63 (1976): 192–216. Hermanson, Lars. Bärande band: Vänskap, kärlek och brödraskap i det medeltida Nordeuropa, ca 1000–1200. Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2009. Heslop, T. A. “The Psalm Illustrations.” In The Eadwine Psalter: Text, Image, and Monastic Culture in Twelfth-Century Canterbury, edited by Margaret Gibson, T. A. Heslop, and Richard W. Pfaff. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992. 43–52. Hill, John Hugh, and Laurita Lyttleton Hill. Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse. Westport: CT: Greenwood Press, 1980. Himmelfarb, Martha. The Apocalypse: A Brief History. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. ———. “The Mother of the Messiah in the Talmud Yerushalmi and Sefer Zerubbabel.” In The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture, edited by Peter Schäfer. Texte und Studien zum antiken Judentum, vol. 93. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002. 3:369–389. Hodgson, Natasha R., Katherine J. Lewis, and Matthew M. Mesley, eds. Crusading and Masculinities. London: Routledge, 2019. Holladay, Joan A. Genealogy and the Politics of Representation in the High and Late Middle Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. Holsinger, Bruce. Music, Body, and Desire in Medieval Culture: Hildegard of Bingen to Chaucer. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. Holter, Kurt. Der Goldene Psalter “Dagulf-Psalter”: Vollständige Faksimile-Ausgabe im Originalformat von Codex 1861 der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek. Vol. 2, Kommentar. Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1980. Hornsby, Teresa J. “The Dance of Gender: David, Jesus, and Paul.” Neotestamentica 48 (2014): 75–91. Horowitz, Sylvia. “Beowulf, Samson, David, and Christ.” Studies in Medieval Culture 12 (1978): 17–23. Hourihane, Colum, ed. King David in the Index of Christian Art. Index of Christian Art Resources, vol. 11. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002. Howell, Margaret. Eleanor of Provence: Queenship in Thirteenth-Century England. Oxford: WileyBlackwell, 1998. Hugo, Philippe. “Text History of the Books of Samuel: An Assessment of the Recent Research.” In Archaeology of the Books of Samuel, edited by Philippe Hugo and Adrian Schenker. Leiden: Brill, 2010. 1–19. Hummer, Hans. Visions of Kinship in Medieval Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

B i b li o gr a phy


Huot, Sylvia. From Song to Book: The Poetics of Writing in Old French Lyric and Lyrical Narrative Poetry. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987. Huttar, Charles A. “Frail Grass and Firm Tree: David as a Model of Repentance in the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance.” In The David Myth in Western Literature, edited by RaymondJean Frontain and Jan Wojcik. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 1980. 38–54. Hyman, Dov. Meqorot Yalqut Shimʻoni. Jerusalem: Mossad ha-Rav Quq, 1965. Idel, Moshe. Abraham Abulafia: An Ecstatic Kabbalist; Two Studies, edited by Moshe Lazar. Lancaster, CA: Labyrinthos, 2002. ———. Kabbalah and Eros. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005. ———. Kabbalah: New Perspectives. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988. Ihnat, Kati. Mother of Mercy, Bane of the Jews: Devotion to the Virgin Mary in Anglo-Norman England. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016. Iogna-Prat, Dominique. “L’oeuvre d’Haymon d’Auxerre: État de la question.” In L’Ecole Carolingienne d’Auxerre de Murethach à Remi, 830–908, edited by Dominique Iogna-Prat, Colette Jeudy, and Guy Lobrichon. Paris: Beauchesne, 1991. 157–164. Isser, Stanley. The Sword of Goliath: David in Heroic Literature. Leiden: Brill, 2003. Jaeger, C. Stephen. Ennobling Love: In Search of a Lost Sensibility. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999. Jaffé, Dan. “Croyances et conceptions messianiques dans la littérature talmudique: Entre rationalisme et Utopie.” In Aux origines des messianismes juifs, edited by David Hamidović. Leiden: Brill, 2013. 174–202. Jauss, Hans Robert. Toward an Aesthetic of Reception. Translated by Timothy Bahti. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982. Jeffrey, David Lyle. “Bathsheba in the Eye of the Beholder: Artistic Depiction from the Late Middle Ages to Rembrandt.” In Sacred and Profane in Chaucer and Late Medieval Literature: Essays in Honour of John V. Fleming, edited by Robert Epstein and William Robins. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010. 30–45. Jennings, Theodore W., Jr. Jacob’s Wound: Homoerotic Narrative in the Literature of Ancient Israel. New York: Continuum, 2005. ———. “YHWH as Erastes.” In Queer Commentary and the Hebrew Bible, edited by Ken Stone. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001. 36–74. Johns, C.  N. “The Citadel, Jerusalem: A Summary of Work Since 1934.” Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine (Government of Palestine, Jerusalem) 14 (1950): 121–190. ———. Pilgrims’ Castle (‘Atlit), David’s Tower (Jerusalem) and Qal’at Ar-Rabad (‘Ajlun). Edited by Denys Pringle. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997. Johnson, Benjamin J. M. Reading David and Goliath in Greek and Hebrew: A Literary Approach. Forschungen Zum Alten Testament 2. Reihe, vol. 82. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015. Johnson, James R. “The Tree of Jesse Window of Chartres: Laudes Regiae.” Speculum 36, no. 1 (1961): 1–22. Jones, Timothy  S. “Reading Biblical Outlaws: The ‘Rise of David’ Story in the Fourteenth Century.” In Chaucer and the Jews, edited by Sheila Delany. New York: Routledge, 2002. 109–132. Jordan, Erin L. “Women of Antioch: Political Culture and Powerful Women in the Latin East.” In Medieval Elite Women and the Exercise of Power, 1100–1400: Moving Beyond the Exceptionalist Debate, edited by Heather J. Tanner. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. 225–246.


B i b li o gr a phy

Jurkowlaniec, Grażyna. “A Typological Confrontation of the Man of Sorrows and David at the Turn of the Thirteenth Century.” Konsthistorisk Tidskrift 73 (2004): 87–97. Kaeuper, Richard W. Holy Warriors: The Religious Ideology of Chivalry. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009. ———. Medieval Chivalry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Kahsnitz, Rainer.“Frühe Initialpsalter.” In The Illuminated Psalter: Studies in the Content, Purpose, and Placement of Its Images, edited by F. O. Büttner. Turnhout: Brepols, 2004. 137–155. Kalavrezou, Ioli, Nicolette Trahoulia, and Shalom Sabar. “Critique of the Emperor in the Vatican Psalter Gr. 752.” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 47 (1993): 195–219. Kalmin, Richard. “Portrayals of Kings in Rabbinic Literature of Late Antiquity.” Jewish Studies Quarterly 3, no. 4 (1996): 320–341. ———. The Sage in Jewish Society of Late Antiquity. London: Routledge, 1999. Kanarfogel, Ephraim. “Medieval Rabbinic Conceptions of the Messianic Age: The View of the Tosafists.” In Me’ah Sheʻarim: Studies in Medieval Jewish Spiritual Life in Memory of Isadore Twersky, edited by Ezra Fleischer, Gerald Blidstein, Carmi Horowitz, and Bernard Septimus. Jerusalem: Hebrew University Magnes Press, 2001. 147–169. Kaniel, Ruth Kara-Ivanov. Holiness and Transgression: Mothers of the Messiah in the Jewish Myth. Translated by Eugene D. Matanky with Ruth Kara-Ivanov Kaniel. Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2017. ———. Qedeshot u-Qedoshot. Hilal Ben-Chaim Series in Jewish Studies. Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2014. Kantorowicz, Ernst H. Laudes Regiae: A Study in Liturgical Acclamations and Mediaeval Ruler Worship. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1946. Karras, Ruth Mazo. Common Women: Prostitution and Sexuality in Medieval England. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. ———. “Friendship and Love in the Lives of Two Twelfth-Century English Saints.” Journal of Medieval History 14 (1988): 305–320. ———. From Boys to Men: Formations of Masculinity in Medieval Europe. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003. ———. “Holy Harlots: Prostitute Saints in Medieval Legend.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 1 (1990): 3–32. ———. “Love, Sex, and Sexuality.” In A Cultural History of Marriage in the Medieval Age, edited by Joanne Ferraro and Frederik Pedersen. London: Bloomsbury, 2019. 115–129. ———. “Marriage and the Creation of Kin in the Sagas.” Scandinavian Studies 75 (2003): 473–490. ———. “Misogyny and the Medieval Exemplum: Gendered Sin in John of Bromyard’s Summa Praedicantium.” Traditio 47 (1992): 233–257. ———. “The Reproduction of Medieval Christianity.” In The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Christian Theology, edited by Adrian Thatcher. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. 271–286. ———. “Royal Masculinity in Kingless Societies.” Journal of the Haskins Society 28 (2016): 83–100. ———. Sexuality in Medieval Europe: Doing Unto Others. 3rd ed. Abingdon: Routledge, 2017. ———. “Thomas Aquinas’s Chastity Belt.” In Gender and Christianity in Medieval Europe: New Perspectives, edited by Lisa M. Bitel and Felice Lifshitz. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. 52–67. ———. Unmarriages: Women, Men, and Sexual Unions in Medieval Europe. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.

B i b li o gr a phy


Kasher, Ramon. “The Interpretation of Scripture in Rabbinic Literature.” In Mikra: Text, Translation, Reading and Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity, ed. Martin Jan Mulder. Assen: Van Gorcum; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988. 547–594. Kauffmann, C. M. Biblical Imagery in Medieval England, 700–1550. London: Harvey Miller, 2003. Kearney, Eileen. “Peter Abelard’s Planctus ‘Dolorum solatium’: A New Song for David.” In Rethinking Abelard: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Babette S. Hellemans. Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History, vol. 229. Leiden: Brill, 2014. 253–281. Kedar, Benjamin. “The Latin Translations.” In Mikra: Text, Translation, Reading and Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity, edited by Martin Jan Mulder. Assen: Van Gorcum; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988. 299–338. Keen, Maurice. Chivalry. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1984. Kessler, Herbert R. The Illustrated Bibles from Tours. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977. King’oo, Clare Costley [see also Costley, Clare L.]. Miserere Mei: The Penitential Psalms in Medieval and Early Modern England. Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press, 2012. Kirby, Ian J. Bible Translation in Old Norse. Geneva: Droz, 1986. Kister, M. J. “Ḥaddithu ‘an banī isrā’īla wa-lā ḥaraja: A Study of an Early Tradition.” Israel Oriental Studies 2 (1972): 215–239. Klamt, Johann-Christian. “‘Le tumbeor de Notre-Dame’: Gaukler in Demut.” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 60, no. 3 (1997): 289–307. Klapisch-Zuber, Christiane. “The Genesis of the Family Tree.” I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance 4 (1991): 105–129. Klar, Marianna. Interpreting al-Thaʿ labī’s “Tales of the Prophets”: Temptation, Responsibility and Loss. Routledge Studies in the Qur’an. London: Routledge, 2009. ———. “Stories of the Prophets.” In The Blackwell Companion to the Qur’ān, edited by Andrew Rippin. Oxford: Blackwell, 2009. 338–349. Klein, Elka. Jews, Christian Society, and Royal Power in Medieval Barcelona. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006. Klepper, Deanna Copeland. The Insight of Unbelievers: Nicholas of Lyra and Christian Reading of Jewish Texts in the Later Middle Ages. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. Kogman-Appel, Katrin. Jewish Book Art Between Islam and Christianity: The Decoration of Hebrew Bibles in Medieval Spain. Translated by Judith Davidson. Leiden: Brill, 2004. Kolbet, Paul R. “Athanasius, the Psalms, and the Reformation of the Self.” In The Harp of Prophecy: Early Christian Interpretations of the Psalms, edited by Brian E. Daley and Paul R. Kolbet. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2015. 75–96. Krauss, Samuel. Das Leben Jesu nach jüdischen Quellen. Berlin: S. Calvary, 1902. Kren, Thomas. “Looking at Louis XII’s Bathsheba.” In A Masterpiece Reconstructed: The Hours of Louis XII, edited by Thomas Kren and Mark Evans. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum and British Library, 2005. 43–61. Kuczynski, Michael. Prophetic Song: The Psalms as Moral Discourse in Late Medieval England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995. ———. “The Psalms and Social Action in Late Medieval England.” In The Place of the Psalms in the Intellectual Culture of the Middle Ages, edited by Nancy van Deusen. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999. 191–214. Kushelevsky, Rella. Penalty and Temptation: Hebrew Tales in Ashkenaz. [In Hebrew.] Jerusalem: Magnes, 2010.


B i b li o gr a phy

Lane, Edward William. An Arabic-English Lexicon. London: Williams and Norgate, 1863. Lassetter, Leslie. “Music Iconography and Medieval Performance Practice.” College Music Symposium 31 (1991): 91–116. Leach, Elizabeth Eva. “Music and Masculinity in the Middle Ages.” In Masculinity and Western Musical Practice, edited by Ian Biddle and Kirsten Gibson. Farnham: Ashgate, 2009. 21–39. Leclercq, Jean. “Le thème de la jonglerie chez S. Bernard et ses contemporains.” Revue d’ histoire de la spiritualité 48 (1972): 385–400. Lehmann, Paul. “Die mittellateinischen Dichtungen der Prioren des Tempels von Jerusalem Acardus und Gaufridus.” In Corona Quernea: Festgabe Karl Strecker zum 80. Geburtstage dargebracht, edited by Edmund E. Stengel. Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1941. 296–331. Levinson, Eyal. “ʻFor my soul desires you and my love for you is eternal’: Male Friendship in Medieval Ashkenaz.” In Friendship in Jewish Culture, History, and Religion, edited by Lawrence Fine. University Park: Penn State University Press, forthcoming. Lewis, Katherine J. Kingship and Masculinity in Late Medieval England. Abingdon: Routledge, 2013. Limor, Ora. “The Origins of a Tradition: King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion.” Traditio 44 (1988): 453–462. Linkinen, Tom. Same-Sex Sexuality in Later Medieval English Culture. Crossing Boundaries: Turku Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2015. Lipton, Sara. Images of Intolerance: The Representation of Jews and Judaism in the “Bible moralisée.” Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999. Livingstone, Amy. “Climbing the Tree of Jesse: Aristocratic Marriage in the Lands of the Loire, 1050–1150.” In Les stratégies matrimoniales (IXe–XIIIe siècle), edited by Martin Aurell. Histoires de famille: La Parenté au moyen âge, vol. 14. Turnhout: Brepols, 2013. 101–118. ———. Out of Love for My Kin: Aristocratic Family Life in the Lands of the Loire, 1000–1200. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010. ———. “Piecing Together the Fragments: Telling the Lives of the Ladies of Lavardin Through Image and Text.” In Writing Medieval Women’s Lives, edited by Charlotte Newman Goldy and Amy Livingstone. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 131–151. Loomis, R. S. “Verses on the Nine Worthies.” Modern Philology 15, no. 4 (1917): 211–219. Lowden, John. The Making of the Bibles Moralisées. 2 vols. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000. Luscombe, David. “Peter Comestor.” In The Bible in the Medieval World: Essays in Memory of Beryl Smalley, edited by Katherine Walsh and Diana Wood. Oxford: Blackwell, 1985. 109–129. Maghen, Ze’ev. “Davidic Motifs in the Biography of Muḥammad.” Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 35 (2008): 91–139. Mann, C. Griffith. “Picturing the Bible in the Thirteenth Century.” In The Book of Kings: Art, War, and the Morgan Library’s Medieval Picture Bible, edited by William Noel and Daniel Weiss. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, 2002. 39–59. Marchesin, Isabelle. “Le corps musical dans les miniatures psalmiques carolingiennes et romanes.” In Le geste et les gestes au moyen âge. Sénéfiance, vol. 41. Aix-en-Provence: CUERMA, 1998. 403–427. ———. “Les images musicales occidentales aux VIIIe et IXe siècles: Une exégèse visuelle.” In Biblical Studies in the Early Middle Ages, edited by Claudio Leonardi and Giovanni Orlandi. Florence: SISMEL, 2005. 259–282. Marcus, Ivan G. “Sefer Hasidim” and the Ashkenazic Book in Medieval Europe. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018.

B i b li o gr a phy


———. “Why Is This Knight Different? A Jewish Self-Representation in Medieval Europe.” In Tov Elem: Memory, Community and Gender in Medieval and Early Modern Jewish Societies; Studies in Honor of Robert Bonfil, edited by Elisheva Baumgarten, Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, and Roni Weinstein. Jerusalem: Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies and Mosad Bialik, 2011. 138–152. Marsden, Richard, and E. Ann Matter, eds. The New Cambridge History of the Bible, vol. 2, From 600 to 1450. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Martin, Henry. “La Somme le Roi: Reproduction des miniatures du manuscrit 870 de la bibliothèque Mazarine, XIIIe siècle.” In Les trésors des bibliothèques de France, vol. 1. Paris: G. Van Oest, 1926. 43–57. Maser, Simone. “L’image de David dans la littérature médiévale française.” Le Moyen Âge 99 (1993): 423–448. Mayer, Hans Eberhard. “Studies in the History of Queen Melisende of Jerusalem.” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 26 (1972): 93–182. McAuliffe, Jane Dammen. “Assessing the Isrā’īliyyāt: An Exegetical Conundrum.” In Story-telling in the Framework of Non-fictional Arabic Literature, edited by Stefan Leder. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1998. 345–369. McDougall, Sara. “The Making of Marriage in Medieval France.” Journal of Family History 38, no. 2 (2013): 103–121. ———. “The Opposite of the Double Standard: Gender, Marriage, and Adultery Prosecution in Late Medieval France.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 23 (2014): 206–225. ———. Royal Bastards: The Birth of Illegitimacy, 800–1230. Oxford Studies in Medieval European History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. McGerr, Rosemarie Potz. “Guyart Desmoulins, the Vernacular Master of Histories, and His Bible historiale.” Viator 14 (1983): 211–244. McGuire, Brian Patrick. Brother and Lover: Aelred of Rievaulx. New York: Crossroad, 1994. ———. Friendship and Community: The Monastic Experience, 350–1250. 2nd ed. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010. McKenzie, Steven L. King David: A Biography: Oxford University Press, 2000. McKinnon, James  W. “Musical Instruments in Medieval Psalm Commentaries and Psalters.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 21, no. 1 (1968): 3–20. McKitterick, Rosamond, ed. New Cambridge Medieval History. Vol. 2, C. 700–c.900. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Meens, Rob. “The Historiography of Early Medieval Penance.” In A New History of Penance, edited by Abigail Firey. Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition, vol. 14. Leiden: Brill, 2008. 73–95. Meneghetti, Maria Luisa. Storie al muro: Temi e personaggi della letteratura profano nell’arte medievale. Torino: Einaudi, 2015. Menn, Esther M. “Prayerful Origins: David as Temple Founder in Rabbinic Psalms Commentary (Midrash Tehillim).” In Of Scribes and Sages: Early Jewish Interpretation and Transmission of Scripture, vol. 2, Later Versions and Traditions, edited by Craig A. Evans. Studies in Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity, vol. 10. London: T & T Clark International, 2004. 77–89. Metzger, Thérèse, and Mendel Metzger. “Les enluminures du Ms. Add. 11639 de la British Library, un manuscript hébreu du nord de la France (fin du XIIIe siècle–premier quart du XIVe siècle): Problèmes iconographiques et stylistiques.” Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte 38, no. 1 (1985): 59–113.


B i b li o gr a phy

Mews, Constant J. Abelard and Heloise. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Meyer, Mati. “Did the Daughters of Israel Come out Dancing and Singing to Meet . . . David? A Biblical Image in Christian-Macedonian Imperial Attire.” Byzantion 73 (2003): 467–487. ———. “Refracting Christian Truths Through the Prism of the Biblical Female in Byzantine Illuminated Manuscripts.” In Jews in Byzantium: Dialectics of Minority and Majority Cultures, edited by Robert Bonfil, Oded Irshai, Guy G. Stroumsa, and Rina Talgam. Jerusalem Studies in Religion and Culture, vol. 14. Leiden: Brill, 2012. 969–998. Michaelson, Jay. “Kabbalah and Queer Theology: Resources and Reservations.” Theology and Sexuality 18, no. 1 (2012): 42–59. Middle English Dictionary. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Library, 1952–2001. http://quod Mohammed, Khaleel. David in the Muslim Tradition: The Bathsheba Affair. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015. Moore, R. I. The First European Revolution, c. 970–1215. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000. Mopsik, Charles. “The Body of Engenderment in the Hebrew Bible, the Rabbinic Tradition and the Kabbalah.” In Fragments for a History of the Human Body, part 1, edited by Michel Fever with Ramona Naddaff and Nadia Tazi. New York: Zone Books, 1989. 48–73. ———. Sex of the Soul: The Vicissitudes of Sexual Difference in Kabbalah. Edited by Daniel Abrams. Translated by Esther Singer. Los Angeles: Cherub Press, 2005. Morey, James H. Book and Verse: A Guide to Middle English Biblical Literature. Illinois Medieval Studies. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000. ———. “Peter Comestor, Biblical Paraphrase, and the Medieval Popu lar Bible.” Speculum 68, no. 1 (1993): 6–35. Morrison, Elizabeth, and Anne D. Hedeman. Imagining the Past in France: History in Manuscript Painting, 1250–1500. Los Angeles: Getty Museum, 2010. Mortimer, Ian. “Sermons of Sodomy: A Reconsideration of Edward II’s Sodomitical Reputation.” In The Reign of Edward II: New Perspectives, edited by Gwilym Dodd and Anthony Musson. Woodbridge: York Medieval Press, 2006. 48–60. Muellner, Lise. Gewalt im Hause Davids: Die Erzählung von Tamar und Amnon (2 Sam 13, 1–22). Freiburg: Herder, 1997. Mulder, Martin Jan, ed., Mikra: Text, Translation, Reading and Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity. Assen: Van Gorcum; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988. ———. “The Transmission of the Biblical Text.” In Mikra: Text, Translation, Reading and Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity, ed. Martin Jan Mulder. Assen: Van Gorcum; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988. 87–135 Murray, Alan V. The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: A Dynastic History, 1099–1125. Prosopographica et Genealogica, vol. 4. Oxford: Linacre Unit for Prosopographical Research, 2000. Murray, Jacqueline. “One Flesh, Two Sexes, Three Genders?” In Gender and Christianity in Medieval Europe: New Perspectives, edited by Lisa M. Bitel and Felice Lifshitz. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. 34–51. Nagasawa, Takashi. “Notes sur l’évolution de l’iconographie du ‘Combat de David contre Goliath’ des origines au Xe siècle.” Byzantion 58, no. 1 (1988): 123–139. Nagy, Joseph Falaky. “Psalm as Praise Poem in Medieval Celtic Traditions.” In The Place of the Psalms in the Intellectual Culture of the Middle Ages, edited by Nancy van Deusen. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999. 25–42.

B i b li o gr a phy


Nardelli, Jean-Fabrice. Homosexuality and Liminality in the Gilgameš and Samuel. Classical and Byzantine Monographs, vol. 64. Amsterdam: Hakkert, 2007. Narkiss, Bezalel. Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts. Jerusalem: Leon Amiel, 1974. Naumann, Thomas. “David als exemplarischer König: Der Fall Urijas (2 Sam 11) vor dem Hintergrund altorientalischer Erzähltraditionen.” In Die sogenannte Thronfolgegeschichte Davids: Neue Einsichten und Anfragen, edited by Albert de Pury and Thomas Römer. Freiburg, Schweiz: Universitätsverlag, 2000. 136–167. ———. “David und die Liebe.” In König David—biblische Schlüsselfigur und europäische Leitgestalt, edited by Walter Dietrich and Hubert Herkommer. Freiburg, Schweiz: Universitätsverlag, 2003. 51–83. Newman, Barbara. Medieval Crossover: Reading the Secular Against the Sacred. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2013. Nirenberg, David. Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition. New York: W. W. Norton, 2013. ———. Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996. Nissen, Peter A. J. “Die Bibliothek der Kartause Bethlehem zu Roermond: Ein Forschungsüberblick.” In “Kartäuserregel und Kartäuserleben.” Special issue, Analecta Cartusiana 113 (1985): 182–225. Oberhänsli-Widmer, Gabrielle. “Joseph Gikatilla: Das Mysterium, dass Bathscheva David seit den sechs Tagen der Schöpfung vorbestimmt war (Ende 13./Anfang 14. Jahrhundert).” Kirche und Israel 22 (2007): 73–82. Offenberg, Sara. Illuminated Piety: Pietistic Texts and Images in the North French Hebrew Miscellany. Los Angeles: Cherub Press, 2013. ———. “A Jewish Knight in Shining Armor: Messianic Narrative and Imagination in Ashkenazi Illuminated Manuscripts.” University of Toronto Journal of Jewish Thought 4 (2014): 1–14. ———. “Mirroring Samson the Martyr: Reflections of Jewish-Christian Relations in the North French Hebrew Illuminated Miscellany.” In Jews and Christians in Thirteenth-Century France, edited by Elisheva Baumgarten and Judah D. Galinsky. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 203–216. Ohly, Friedrich. “Typologische Figuren aus Natur und Mythus.” In Formen und Funktionen der Allegorie, edited by Walter Haug. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1979. 126–166. Olszowy-Schlanger, Judith.“The Hebrew Bible.” In The New Cambridge History of the Bible, vol. 2, From 600 to 1450, edited by Richard Marsden and E. Ann Matter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 19–40. Olyan, Saul M. “ ‘Surpassing the Love of Women’: Another Look at 2 Samuel 1:26 and the Relationship of David and Jonathan.” In Authorizing Marriage? Canon, Tradition, and Critique in the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions, edited by Mark D. Jordan, Meghan Sweeney, and David Mellott. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006. 7–16. Openshaw, Kathleen M. “The Battle Between Christ and Satan in the Tiberius Psalter.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 52 (1989): 14–33. ———. “Weapons in the Daily Battle: Images of the Conquest of Evil in the Early Medieval Psalter.” Art Bulletin 75 (1993): 17–38. Oppitz-Trotman, Gesine. “The Emperor’s Robe: Thomas Becket and Angevin Political Culture.” In Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2014, edited by Elisabeth van Houts. Anglo-Norman Studies, vol. 37. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2015. 205–219. Orchard, Andy. A Critical Companion to Beowulf. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2001.


B i b li o gr a phy

Ormrod, W. Mark. Edward III. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011. ———. “The Sexualities of Edward II.” In The Reign of Edward II: New Perspectives, edited by Gwilym Dodd and Anthony Musson. Woodbridge: York Medieval Press, 2006. 22–47. Ovadiah, Asher. “The Symbolic Meaning of the David-Orpheus Image in the Gaza Synagogue Mosaic.” Liber Annuus 59 (2009): 301–308. Owens, Margareth Boyer. “The Image of King David in Prayer in Fifteenth-Century Books of Hours.” Imago musicae 6 (1989): 23–38. Page, Christopher. The Christian West and Its Singers: The First Thousand Years. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010. ———. Discarding Images: Reflections on Music and Culture in Medieval France. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993. Panayotova, Stella. “The Illustrated Psalter: Luxury and Practical Use.” In The Practice of the Bible in the Middle Ages: Production, Reception, and Performance in Western Christianity, edited by Susan Boynton and Diane J. Reilly. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011. 247–271. Parsons, John Carmi. “Ritual and Symbol in the English Medieval Queenship to 1500.” In Women and Sovereignty, edited by Louise Olga Fradenburg. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1992. 60–77. Pearce, S. J. The Andalusi Literary and Intellectual Tradition: The Role of Arabic in Judah ibn Tibbon’s Ethical Will. Indiana Series in Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017. Peterson, Elizabeth A. “Scholastic Hermeneutics in Historiated Initials of 13th-Century French Psalters.” In The Illuminated Psalter: Studies in the Content, Purpose, and Placement of Its Images, edited by F. O. Büttner. Turnhout: Brepols, 2004. 349–359 Pfoh, Emanuel. The Emergence of Israel in Ancient Palestine: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives. Abington: Routledge, 2009. Piggin, Jean-Baptiste. “Did Classical Rome Invent the Scala Diagram?” Macro-Typography, 3 November, 2017. https://macrotypography.blogspot .com/2017/03/did-classical-rome-invent -scala-diagram.html. Pioske, Daniel. David’s Jerusalem: Between Memory and History. London: Routledge, 2015. Plassmann, Alheydis. “The King and His Sons: Henry II’s and Frederick Barbarossa’s Succession Strategies Compared.” Anglo-Norman Studies 36 (2013): 149–166. Pollard, William F. “The ‘Tone of Heaven’: Bonaventuran Melody and the Easter Psalm in Richard Rolle.” In The Popular Literature of Medieval England, edited by Thomas J. Heffernan. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1985. 252–276. Polliack, Meira. “A Question of Character: Biblical Bathsheba as a Case Study of Cross-Cultural Exegesis and Typology.” Paper presented at the “Warrior, Poet, Prophet, and King: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam” conference, University of Warsaw, 2016. Puff, Helmut. “Same-Sex Possibilities.” In The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, edited by Judith M. Bennett and Ruth Mazo Karras. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 379–395. Purkis, William J., and Matthew Gabriele, eds. The Charlemagne Legend in Medieval Latin Texts. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2016. Qureshi, Basit Hammad. “A Hierophany Emergent: The Discursive Reconquest of the Urban Landscape of Jerusalem in Latin Pilgrimage Accounts from the Twelfth Century.” Historian 76, no. 4 (2014): 725–749. Rackham, Oliver. Woodlands. London: Harper Collins, 2010.

B i b li o gr a phy


Reeves, John C. Trajectories in Near Eastern Apocalyptic: A Postrabbinic Jewish Apocalypse Reader. Leiden: Brill, 2006. Reinhardt, Klaus. “Die Postilla litteralis super Psalmos des Nikolaus Von Lyra (ca. 1270–1349) im Lichte der Additiones des Paulus von Burgos (ca. 1350–1435).” Archa Verbi 10 (2013): 88–105. Rembaum, Joel E. “The Development of a Jewish Exegetical Tradition Regarding Isaiah 53.” Harvard Theological Review 75, no. 3 (1982): 289–311. Reynolds, Susan. Fiefs and Vassals: The Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994. Richardson, John. “Niuwer David, Niuwer Orpheus: Transformation and Metamorphosis in Gottfried von Straßburg’s Tristan.” Tristania 17 (1996): 85–109. Ritchey, Sara. “Spiritual Arborescence: Trees in the Medieval Christian Imagination.” Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality 8, no. 1 (2008): 64–82. Robertson, Anne Walters. Guillaume de Machaut and Reims: Context and Meaning in His Musical Works. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Roe, Helen M. “The ‘David Cycle’ in Early Irish Art.” Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 79 (1949): 39–59. Roman, Oren. “Be-nign Shmuel-bukh: On the Melody (or Melodies) Mentioned in Old-Yiddish Epics.” Aschkenas 25, no. 1 (2015): 145–160. Rosenzweig, Claudia. “Between Tradition and Counter-Reception: Uses of the Bible in EarlyModern Yiddish Culture.” Lecture presented at “The Bible in the Renaissance” conference, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, May 2017. Ross, Alasdair. “ ‘Harps of Their Owne Sort’? A Reasessment of Pictish Chordophone Designs.” Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 36 (1998): 37–60. Rubenstein, Jay. Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for the Apocalypse. New York: Basic Books, 2011. ———. Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream: The Crusades, Apocalyptic Prophecy, and the End of History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. Rüther, Stefanie. “Die Vergegenwärtigung des Krieges: Zur Visualisierung von Gewalt in spätmittelalterlichen Historienbibeln.” In Ecclesia als Kommunikationsraum in Mitteleuropa (13.–16. Jahrhundert), edited by Eva Doležalová and Robert Šimůnek. Munich: Collegium Carolinum, 2011. 287–304. Saenger, Paul. “Books of Hours and the Reading Habits of the Later Middle Ages.” In The Culture of Print: Power and the Uses of Print in Early Modern Europe, edited by Roger Chartier, translated by Lydia G. Cochrane. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989. 141–173. Salmen, Walter. “Dance and Dance Music, c. 1300–1530.” In Music as Concept and Practice in the Late Middle Ages, edited by Reinhard Strohm and Bonnie J. Blackburn. New Oxford History of Music, vol. 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. 162–190. ———. “Jesus Christus, der Himmlische Spielmann.” Music in Art 33 (2008): 5–10. Samaran, Charles, and Jacques Monfrin. Pierre Bersuire: Prieur de Saint-Éloi de Paris (1290?–1362). Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1962. Sandler, Lucy Freeman. “The Study of Marginal Imagery: Past, Present, and Future.” Studies in Iconography 18 (1997): 1–49. Satlow, Michael L. “From Salve to Weapon: Torah Study, Masculinity, and the Babylonian Talmud.” In Religious Men and Masculine Identity in the Middle Ages, edited by P. H. Cullum and Katherine J. Lewis. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2013. 16–27. ———. Tasting the Dish: Rabbinic Rhetorics of Sexuality. Brown Judaic Studies, vol. 303. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995.


B i b li o gr a phy

Sawyer, John F. A. The Fifth Gospel: Isaiah in the History of Christianity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Schadt, Hermann. Die Darstellungen der Arbores consanguinitatis und der Arbores affinitatis: Bildschemata in juristischen Handschriften. Tübingen: Wasmuth, 1982. Schäfer, Peter. “Diversity and Interaction: Messiahs in Early Judaism.” In Toward the Millennium: Messianic Expectations from the Bible to Waco, edited by Peter Schäfer and Mark R. Cohen. Leiden: Brill, 1998. 15–35. ———. Jesus in the Talmud. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007. ———. The Origins of Jewish Mysticism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011. Schäfer, Peter, and Mark R. Cohen, eds. Toward the Millennium: Messianic Expectations from the Bible to Waco. Leiden: Brill, 1998. Schäfer, Peter, Michael Meerson, and Yaacov Deutsch, eds. Toledot Yeshu (“The Life Story of Jesus”) Revisited. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011. Schechner, Richard. Performance Studies: An Introduction. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2006. Schichler, Robert L. “Ending on a Giant Theme: The Utrecht and Harley Psalters, and the PointedHelmet Coinage of Cnut.” In Intertexts: Studies in Anglo-Saxon Culture Presented to Paul E. Szarmach, edited by Virginia Blanton and Helene Scheck. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, vol. 334. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2008. 241–254. Schneider, Laurie. “Donatello’s Bronze David.” Art Bulletin 55, no. 2 (1973): 213–216. Scholem, Gershom. On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism. Translated by Ralph Manheim. New York: Schocken Books, 1969. ———. “Toward an Understanding of the Messianic Idea in Judaism.” Translated by Michael A. Meyer. In The Messianic Idea in Judaism: And Other Essays on Jewish Spirituality. New York: Schocken Books, 1971. 1–36. Schonfield, Jeremy, ed. The North French Hebrew Miscellany: (British Library Add. MS 11639): Companion Volume to an Illuminated Manuscript from Thirteenth-Century France in Facsimile. London: Facsimile Editions, 2003. Schroeder, Horst. Der Topos der Nine Worthies in Literatur und bildender Kunst. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1971. Schroer, Silvia, and Thomas Staubli. “Saul, David und Jonatan—Eine Dreiecksgeschichte? Ein Beitrag zum Thema ‘Homosexualität im ersten Testament.’ ” Bibel und Kirche 15 (1996): 15–22. Scott, Joan W. “Gender: A Useful Category of Analysis.” American Historical Review 91 (1968): 1053–1075. Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985. Sed-Rajna, Gabrielle. “The Illuminated Pages of the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah.” In Codex Maimuni: Moses Maimonides’ Code of Law; The Illuminated Pages of the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah. Budapest: Strassburger, 1984. 27–40. ———. “The Illustrations of the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah.” Journal of Jewish Art 6 (1979): 64–77. Seeman, Don. “Maimonides and Friendship.” JSIJ 13 (2015): 1–36. Shadis, Miriam. “Unexceptional Women: Power, Authority, and Queenship in Early Portugal.” In Medieval Elite Women and the Exercise of Power, 1100–1400: Moving Beyond the Exceptionalist Debate, edited by Heather J. Tanner. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. 247–270.

B i b li o gr a phy


Shalev-Eyni, Sarit. “Purity and Impurity: The Naked Woman Bathing in Jewish and Christian Art.” In Between Judaism and Christianity: Art Historical Essays in Honor of Elisheva (Elisabeth) Revel-Neher, edited by Katrin Kogman-Appel and Mati Meyer. Leiden: Brill, 2009. 191–213. Shepard, Alexandra. “From Anxious Patriarchs to Refined Gentlemen? Manhood in Britain, circa 1500–1700.” Journal of British Studies 44, no. 2 (2005): 281–295. Shepard, Dorothy M. Introducing the Lambeth Bible: A Study of Texts and Imagery. Turnhout: Brepols, 2007. Sherwood-Smith, Maria C. Studies in the Reception of the “Historia scholastica” of Peter Comestor. Medium Aevum Monographs, n.s., vol. 20. Oxford: Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, 2000. Shimoff, Sandra R. “David and Bathsheba: The Political Function of Rabbinic Aggada.” Journal for the Study of Judaism 24, no. 2 (1993): 246–256. Shoaf, R. Allen. “The Alliterative Morte Arthure: The Story of Britain’s David.” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 81 (1982): 204–226. Silen, Karen. “Elisabeth of Spalbeek: Dancing the Passion.” In Women’s Work: Making Dance in Europe Before 1800, edited by Lynn Matluck Brooks. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2007. 207–227. Silver, Daniel Jeremy. Maimonidean Criticism and the Maimonidean Controversy, 1180–1240. Leiden: Brill, 1965. Simon, Eckehard. “Geistliche Fastnachtsspiel: Zum Grenzbereich zwischen geistlichem und weltlichem Spiel.” In Transformationen des Religiösen: Performativität und Textualität im geistlichen Spiel, edited by Ingrid Kasten and Erika Fischer-Lichte. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2007. 18–45. Slater, Laura. “Lessons in Leadership and Liturgy in the Winchcombe Psalter.” English Studies 98 (2017): 49–62. ———. “Visual Reflections on History and Kingship in the Medieval English Great Church.” Journal of the British Archaeological Society 167, no. 1 (2014): 83–108. Smith, Katherine Allen. The Bible and Crusade Narrative in the Twelfth Century. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2020. Smith, Lesley. The “Glossa Ordinaria”: The Making of a Medieval Bible Commentary. Leiden: Brill, 2009. Snow, Joseph T. “ ‘Cantando e con dança’: Alfonso X, King David, the Cantigas De Santa Maria and the Psalms.” La Corónica 27, no. 2 (1999): 61–73. Spiegel, Gabrielle M. “Genealogy: Form and Function in Medieval Historical Narrative.” History and Theory 22, no. 1 (1983): 43–53. ———. “The Reditus Regni ad Stirpem Karoli Magni: A New Look.” French Historical Studies 7 (1971): 145–174. Staerk, W. “Zur Überlieferungsgeschichte des jüdisch-deutschen Samuel- und Königsbuches.” Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums 22 (1919): 20–33. Stafford, Pauline. “La Mutation Familiale: A Suitable Case for Caution.” In The Community, the Family and the Saint: Patterns of Power in Early Medieval Europe, edited by Joyce Hill and Mary Swan. Turnhout: Brepols, 1998. 103–125. ———. Queens, Concubines and Dowagers: The King’s Wife in the Early Middle Ages. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1983. Stahl, Harvey. “Bathsheba and the Kings: The Beatus Initial in the Psalter of Saint Louis (Paris, BNF, ms lat. 10525).” In The Illuminated Psalter: Studies in the Content, Purpose, and Placement of Its Images, edited by F. O. Büttner. Turnhout: Brepols, 2004. 427–434.


B i b li o gr a phy

Staley, Lynn. “The Penitential Psalms: Conversion and the Limits of Lordship.” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 37, no. 2 (2007): 221–269. Stanton, Anne Rudloff. “From Eve to Bathsheba and Beyond: Motherhood in the Queen Mary Psalter.” In Women and the Book: Assessing the Visual Evidence, edited by Lesley Smith and Jane H. M. Taylor. London: British Library, 1996. 172–189. ———. The Queen Mary Psalter: A Study of Affect and Audience. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 91. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2001. Steblin, Rita. “The Gender Stereotyping of Musical Instruments in the Western Tradition.” Canadian University Music Review 16, no. 1 (1995): 128–44. Stern, David. “On Comparative Exegesis—Interpretation, Influence, Appropriation.” In Jewish Biblical Interpretation and Cultural Exchange: Comparative Exegesis in Context, edited by Natalie  B. Dohrmann and David Stern. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. 1–19. Steussy, Marti J. David: Biblical Portraits of Power. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1999. Stevens, John. Words and Music in the Middle Ages: Song, Narrative, Dance and Drama, 1050–1350. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986. Stichel, Rainer. “Scenes from the Life of David in Dura Europos and Byzantine Art.” In The Real and Ideal Jerusalem in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Art: Studies in Honor of Bezalel Narkiss on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday, edited by Bianca Kühnel. Jerusalem: Center for Jewish Art, 1998. 100–116. Stone, Rachel. Morality and Masculinity in the Carolingian Empire. Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Strack, H. L., and Günter Stemberger. Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash. Edited and translated by Markus Bockmuehl. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1996. Strickland, Matthew. “On the Instruction of a Prince: The Upbringing of Henry, the Young King.” In Henry II: New Interpretations, edited by Christopher Harper-Bill and Nicholas Vincent. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2007. 184–214. Stuehrenberg, Paul F. “The Medieval Commentary Tradition: The Glossa Ordinaria, Hugh of St. Cher and Nicholas of Lyra and the Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages.” Journal of Religious & Theological Information 1 (1993): 91–101. Symes, Carol. “The Lordship of Jongleurs.” In The Experience of Power in Medieval Europe, 950– 1350, edited by Robert F. Berkhofer III, Alan Cooper, and Adam J. Kosto. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005. 237–252. Symonds, John Addington. Many Moods: A Volume of Verse. London: John Murray, 1878. Tanner, Heather J., ed. Medieval Elite Women and the Exercise of Power, 1100–1400: Moving Beyond the Exceptionalist Debate. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. Tanner, Heather J., Laura L. Gathagan, and Lois L. Huneycutt. “Introduction.” In Medieval Elite Women and the Exercise of Power, 1100–1400: Moving Beyond the Exceptionalist Debate, edited by Heather J. Tanner. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. 1–18. Taylor, Craig. Chivalry, Honour and Knighthood in Late Medieval France. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Teuscher, Simon. “Flesh and Blood in the Treatises on the Arbor Consanguinitatis (Thirteenth to Sixteenth Centuries).” In Blood and Kinship: Matter for Metaphor from Ancient Rome to the Present, edited by Christopher H. Johnson, Bernhardt Jussen, David Warren Sabean, and Simon Teuscher. New York: Berghahn, 2013. 83–104.

B i b li o gr a phy


Thoma, Clemens. “David im antiken Judentum.” In König David—biblische Schlüsselfigur und europäische Leitgestalt, edited by Walter Dietrich and Hubert Herkommer. Freiburg: Universitätsverlag, 2003. 83–104. Thomas, Lynn M. “Historicising Agency.” Gender & History 28 (2016): 324–339. Timm, Erika. “Wie Elia Levita sein Bovobuch für den Druck überarbeitete: Ein Kapitel aus der italo-jiddischen Literatur der Renaissancezeit.” Germanische-Romanische Monatsschrift 41 (1991): 61–81. Tin, Louis-Georges. The Invention of Heterosexual Culture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012. Treitler, Leo. “Gender and Other Dualities of Music History.” In Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship, edited by Ruth  A. Solie. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. 23–45. Trench-Jellicoe, Ross. “Pictish and Related Harps: Their Form and Decoration.” In The Worm, the Germ, and the Thorn: Pictish and Related Studies Presented to Isabel Henderson, edited by David Henry. Balgavies: Pinkfoot Press, 1997. 159–172. Tsamakda, Vasiliki. “König David als Typos des Byzantinischen Kaisers.” In Byzanz: Das Römerreich im Mittelalter, vol. 1, Welt der Ideen, Welt der Dinge, edited by Falko Daim and Jörg Drauschke. Monographien des Romisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums, vol. 84. Mainz: Verlag des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums, 2010. 24–54. Tuve, Rosamond. “Notes on the Virtues and Vices.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 27 (1964): 42–72. Unger, C.  R., ed. Stjorn: Gammelnorsk Bibelhistorie fra Verdens Skabelse til det Babyloniske Fangenskab. Christiania: Feilberg & Landmarks Forlag, 1862. Utter, Benjamin. “Gawain and Goliath: Davidic Parallels and the Problem of Penance in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 44 (2013): 121–155. Vadillo, Monica A. Walker. “Emotional Responses to David Watching Bathsheba Bathing in Late Medieval French Manuscript Illumination.” Annual of Medieval Studies at the Central European University 13 (2007): 97–109. van Dalen-Oskam, Karina. Studies over Jacob van Maerlants “Rijmbijbel.” Hilversum: Verloren, 1997. van der Horst, Koert. “The Utrecht Psalter: Picturing the Psalms of David.” In Utrecht Psalter in Medieval Art: Picturing the Psalms of David, edited by Koert van der Horst, William Noel, and Wilhelmina C. M. Wüstefeld. ‘t Goy: HES, 1996. 22–84. van der Horst, Koert, William Noel, and Wilhelmina C. M. Wüstefeld, eds. Utrecht Psalter in Medieval Art: Picturing the Psalms of David. ‘t Goy: HES, 1996. van Deusen, Nancy, ed. The Place of the Psalms in the Intellectual Culture of the Middle Ages. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999. van Liere, Frans. “Biblical Exegesis Through the Twelfth Century.” In The Practice of the Bible in the Middle Ages: Production, Reception, and Performance in Western Christianity, edited by Susan Boynton and Diane J. Reilly. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011. 157–178. van Schaik, Martin. The Harp in the Middle Ages: The Symbolism of a Musical Instrument. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1992. Van Seters, John. The Biblical Saga of King David. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2009. ———. “The Court History and DtrH.” In Die sogenannte Thronfolgegeschichte Davids: Neue Einsichten und Anfragen, edited by Albert de Pury and Thomas Römer. Freiburg, Schweiz: Universitätsverlag, 2000. 70–93.


B i b li o gr a phy

Vishanoff, David. “An Imagined Book Gets a New Text: Psalms of the Muslim David.” Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 22, no. 1 (2011): 85–99. Walzer, Lee. Between Sodom and Eden: A Gay Journey Through Today’s Changing Israel. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. Ware, Timothy. The Orthodox Church. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963. Warren, W. L. Henry II. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000. Watkins, John. After Lavinia: A Literary History of Premodern Marriage Diplomacy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2017. Watson, Arthur. The Early Iconography of the Tree of Jesse. London: Oxford University Press, 1934. Weiler, Björn. “Kings and Sons: Princely Rebellions in Western Europe, c. 1170–c. 1280.” Historical Research 82 (2009): 17–40. Wenzel, Edith. “Die schuldlose Schöne und die schöne Schuldige: Batseba in mittelalterlicher Kunst und Literatur.” In Böse Frauen–Gute Frauen: Darstellungskonventionen in Texten und Bildern des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit, edited by Ulrike Gaebel and Erika Kartschoke. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2001. 89–107. Whittington, Karl. “Medieval.” Transgender Studies Quarterly 1 (2014): 125–129. Wilkins, Nigel. “Instruments and Their Music.” In The Cambridge History of Medieval Music, edited by Mark Everist and Thomas Forrest Kelly. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 1:451–474. Williams, Jean Ann Hayes. “The Earliest Dated Tree of Jesse Image: Thematically Reconsidered.” Athanor 18 (2000): 17–23. Williams, Megan Hale. “Lessons from Jerome’s Jewish Teachers: Exegesis and Cultural Interaction in Late Antique Palestine.” In Jewish Biblical Interpretation and Cultural Exchange: Comparative Exegesis in Context, edited by Natalie B. Dohrmann and David Stern. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. 66–88. Williams, Peter. The Organ in Western Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Winn, Mary Beth. “Tristan’s Harp in the Prose Tristan.” Early Music 45, no. 2 (2017): 171–183. Winst, Silke. Amicus und Amelius: Kriegerfreundschaft und Gewalt in mittelalterlicher Erzähltradition. Quellen und Forschungen zur Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte, vol. 57 (291). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2009. Winternitz, Emanuel. “Secular Music Practice in Sacred Art.” Early Music 3, no. 3 (1975): 221–226. Wolfson, Elliot R. Circle in the Square: Studies in the Use of Gender in Kabbalistic Symbolism. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995. ———. Language, Eros, Being: Kabbalistic Hermeneutics and Poetic Imagination. New York: Fordham University Press, 2005. Wright, Rosemary Muir. “Introducing the Medieval Psalter.” In Studies in the Illustration of the Psalter, edited by Brendan Cassidy and Rosemary Muir Wright. St Andrews Studies in the History of Art. Stamford: Shaun Tyas, 2000. 1–11. Wright, Stephen. “The Tyrolean Play of David and Goliath.” European Medieval Drama 8 (2004): 51–90. Wyss, Heinz, ed., Das Luzerner Osterspiel. Bern: Francke Verlag, 1967. Yadin, Azzan. “Goliath’s Armor and Israelite Collective Memory.” Vetus Testamentum 54 (2004): 373–395. Yassif, Eli. “The Story of Joab’s Deeds of Valor: The Literary Aspects of the Medieval Heroic Tale.” [In Hebrew.] Yeda-’am 19 (1979): 17–27. Yolles, Julian Jay Theodore. “Latin Literature and Frankish Culture in the Crusader States (1098– 1187).” PhD dissertation, Harvard University, 2015.

B i b li o gr a phy


———. “The Maccabees in the Lord’s Temple: Biblical Imagery and Latin Poetry in Frankish Jerusalem.” In The Uses of the Bible in Crusader Sources, edited by Elizabeth Lapina and Nicholas Morton. Leiden: Brill, 2017. 421–439. Yuval, Israel Jacob. “Jewish Messianic Expectations Towards 1240 and Christian Reactions.” In Toward the Millennium: Messianic Expectations from the Bible to Waco, edited by Peter Schäfer and Mark Cohen. Leiden: Brill, 1998. 105–121. Zaluska, Yolanda. L’enluminure et le scriptorium de Cîteaux au XIIe siècle. Cîteaux: Commentarii cistercienses, 1989. Zarncke, Friedrich. “Des Paulus Aemilius Romanus Übersetzung der Bücher Samuelis.” Berichte über die Verhandlungen der königlich-sächsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, philologish-historische Klasse 22 (1870): 212–226. Zehnder, Markus. “Observations on the Relationship Between David and Jonathan and the Debate on Homosexuality.” Westminster Theological Journal 69 (2007): 127–174. Zingel, Hans J. König Davids Harfe in der abendländischen Kunst. Cologne: Musikverlag Hans Gerig, 1968. Zinn, Grover. “Introduction.” In The Place of the Psalms in the Intellectual Culture of the Middle Ages, edited by Nancy van Deusen. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999. xi–xv. Zintl, Ludwig. Der Schöne Brunnen in Nürnberg und seine Figuren: Geschichte und Bedeutung eines Kunstwerkes. Nuremberg: A. Hofmann, 1993. Ziolkowski, Jan M. The Juggler of Notre Dame and the Medievalizing of Modernity. Vol. 1, The Middle Ages. Cambridge, U.K.: Open Book Publishers, 2018. ———. “Juggling the Middle Ages: The Reception of Our Lady’s Tumbler and Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame.” Studies in Medievalism 15 (2006): 157–197. Zirlin, Yael. “The Decoration of the Miscellany, Its Iconography and Style.” In The North French Hebrew Miscellany: (British Library Add. MS 11639): Companion Volume to an Illuminated Manuscript from Thirteenth-Century France in Facsimile, edited by Jeremy Schonfield. London: Facsimile Editions, 2003. 75–161.


Page numbers followed by “fig.” indicate figures; those followed by “n” refer to endnotes. Abelard, Peter, 47, 82–83, 86, 100, 122 Abigail, 62, 86, 103, 140 Abishag, 15, 135 Abner, 62–63 Abravanel, Isaac, 76–77 Absalom, 13–14, 62, 103–4, 125, 135, 173–79, 196 Abulafia, Abraham, 162–63 acrobats, 160–61 Adam and Eve, 117, 122 Adhemar of Le Puy, 46 Adonijah, 13, 15, 135, 196 adultery. See Bathsheba, Uriah, David, and adultery Aelred of Rievaulx, 79–80 Alain of Lille, 79, 190 Alfonso X of Castile, 161 al-Kisā’i, Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh, 112–13 allegorical readings: about, 16; Bathsheba and David, 113–15, 119; David’s music, 137–38; Goliath story, 39–41; Joab story, 53–55; Jonathan and David, 86–90 Alliterative Morte Arthure, 26, 116 Al-Rāzī, 113 al-Ṭabarī, Abū Ja‘far Muḥammad b. Jarīr, 111–12 al-Thaʿlabī, Abū Isḥāq Aḥmad, 112–13, 170 Ambrose, 116, 117 Amnon, 13–14, 62, 70–74, 122, 173, 176, 178–79, 196 Ancrene Wisse, 132 Angelomus of Luxeuil, 30, 87, 113–15 arbor iuris (tree of consanguinity), 198–99 Aristotelianism, 72–73, 81, 99 Arthur, King, 26, 45, 174 Augustine, 8, 115–16, 122, 126, 137

Avot, 69–77, 173 Avot de’ Rabbi Natan, 70–71 Baldwin of Forde, 79 Bathsheba, Uriah, David, and adultery: allegorical readings, Christian, 19, 113–15; bathing scenes and blaming of Bathsheba, 120–32, 121fig., 124fig., 130fig., 131fig.; biblical narrative, 12–13, 15; Christian and Jewish norms, 101–3; consanguineous marriage compared to Bathsheba, 58; David as “man of blood” and not building the Temple, 202–3; exemplary repentance of David, 115–26, 206–7; in Islam, 111–13; in Judaism, 104–11; justice and Uriah, 61; modern interpretations of, 206–7; royal sexuality and masculinity, 134–35; wives and concubines of David, 103–4 battle. See prowess and military might Beatus initial, 145, 148, 158–59, 159fig., 186 Becket, Thomas, 125 Bede, 31, 87 Beowulf, 44 Bernard of Clairvaux, St., 9, 40–41, 47, 160–61 Bible of Stephen Harding, 53, 53fig., 176 Bibles moralisées, 92–93, 114, 114fig., 200 biblical commentary, about, 15–17 Boaz, 28, 169, 171, 191, 195 Boethius, 148–50, 152 Bridlington, John, 123–25 Brooks, Geraldine, 208 Byzantine emperors compared to David, 123 Cantigas de Santa Maria, 161–62 Capetians, 195–97 Cassiodorus, 126, 137, 139, 241n10 census of the people, 132–34