Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Christian Hebraism in Twelfth-Century Rome: A Philologist's Correction of the Latin Bible through Dialogue with Jewish Scholars and their Hebrew Texts

  • Marie Thérèse Champagne (a1)

In mid-twelfth-century Rome, one clerical scholar, Nicolaus Maniacutius, honed his philological skills as he endeavoured to return the text of the Psalter to the original. Maniacutius met the challenge of editing Scripture in an unusual manner as a Christian Hebraist, consulting with Jewish scholars to compare the Vulgate Book of Psalms with the Jews’ Hebrew text. In doing so, he followed the example set by his scholarly predecessor, St Jerome, centuries earlier, as well as his contemporary, Hugh of St Victor. While scholars have acknowledged that Maniacutius consulted with Jews and learned Hebrew, the identity of the one or more Jewish scholar(s) remains obscure. The Sephardic scholar Abraham ibn Ezra lived in Rome c.1140–1143, and while there wrote a commentary on the Psalms. Nicolaus also revised the Psalter and wrote of a ‘learned Spanish Jew’. This article explores the phenomenon of Christian Hebraism in mid-twelfth-century Rome through the life and work of Maniacutius, and presents evidence that supports Cornelia Linde's suggestion that Abraham ibn Ezra was the ‘learned Spanish Jew’ with whom Maniacutius worked. In addition, textual evidence supports Maniacutius's work within an informal, cross-confessional discourse community of Jewish and Christian scholars.

Corresponding author
* Department of History, University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, FL 32514, USA. E-mail:
Hide All

I wish to thank Michael Aaron Champagne and Steve Schoenig for their generous assistance with Latin translations.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Studies in Church History
  • ISSN: 0424-2084
  • EISSN: 2059-0644
  • URL: /core/journals/studies-in-church-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 5 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 56 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 26th May 2017 - 16th August 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.