Words and seals: multivalent language and Jewish legal literacy in medieval England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article explores aspects of literacy and written culture in the Jewish community in England during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The Jews of medieval England lived in a multilingual world and created their own multilingual culture. They deployed their spoken language of French (or Anglo-Norman) and their written language of Hebrew with creativity and playfulness, along with knowledge of English and Aramaic. The legal culture of Norman England placed great emphasis on written documents. Although Jews were major participants in this system of legal textuality, some of them remained skeptical about the trustworthiness of documents produced by Christians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-66
Number of pages11
JournalJewish Culture and History
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Literacy
  • medieval England
  • medieval Jewish history
  • rabbinics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

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