Aquinas Bound with a Talmudic Fragment: An Associative Exercise

Yakov Z. Mayer, Ayelet Even-Ezra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fragments of manuscripts were constantly used in bindings of new books throughout the medieval and early modern periods. Usually, no intellectual connection exists between the parchment fragment, stripped to its material function, and the text of the new book. We argue that a fifteenth-century codex containing Thomas Aquinas's Summa theologiae, which was bound with a Hebrew-Aramaic fragment of the Talmud Yerushalmi, presents a unique case of an intertextual interaction, as a later hand inserted an enigmatic list of references to questions in the Summa. Following the references, we reconstruct the subtle relations between these scholastic questions and the Talmudic story presented in the fragment, then examine these associations and the topic they seem to address in two contexts. First, the intricate Christian-Jewish climate in fifteenth-century Vienna and the question of Jewish attitudes towards the crucifix; second, the context of annotations and scholarly practices of reading, note taking and drafting.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)115-142
Number of pages28
JournalMedieval Encounters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Yakov Z. Ma yer and A yelet Even-Ezra, 2023.


  • Aquinas
  • Talmud
  • associations
  • book history
  • converts
  • fragments
  • manuscripts


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