Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

History

Major Professor

Thomas Burman

Committee Members

Jay Rubenstein, Maura Lafferty

Abstract

In this study, I first examine the Disputation of Majorca (1286) and analyze how its Christian disputant, Inghetto Contardo, blended apocalyptic thought and anti-Judaic discourse. Although other studies, most notably Ora Limor’s critical edition, have touched upon the nature of Inghetto’s arguments, none have discussed his clear implementation of intertwined anti-Judaic religious polemic and apocalyptic thought in a satisfactory manner. I place Inghetto in an apocalyptic milieu of the later thirteenth century that especially emphasizes the imminence of the Last Days. In effect, Inghetto’s employment of St. Jerome’s Daniel exegesis is perfectly suited to 1286, when Jews are most likely to believe a Christian telling them that Daniel prophesies on Christ’s Second Coming in 1290.

The latter half of my thesis continues to emphasize the close ties between religious polemic and apocalyptic thought that are present in the Disputation. Here, I argue that Heinrich of Oberburg, the scribe of Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana MS Lat. 4074, a fifteenth-century manuscript including the Disputation, copied this codex specifically for a religious audience interested in the twelfth-century abbot Joachim of Fiore’s viri spirituales, a mix of canons, friars, and Jews who would receive heavenly rewards in return for the reforms they would carry out during the End Times. BAV MS Lat. 4074 contains a previously unstudied excerpt from Joachim’s Liber de concordia that describes hermeneutical connections between the Old and New Testaments and collectively intensifies the Daniel prophecies already present in the Disputation. Moreover, I continually argue that Heinrich envisioned his audience employing anti-Judaic polemic in the midst of all their apocalyptic expectation, with the understanding that engaging in disputation was part of the viri spirituales’ role and would help them earn God’s promised rewards.

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