32 Biddick, Kathleen, John R. Clarke, Stephen F. Eisenman, Ikem Stanley Okoye, and Frances K. Pohl. 1996. “Aesthetics, Ethnicity, and the History of Art.” The Art Bulletin 78 (4): 594–621

A RANGE OF CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES: Aesthetics, Ethnicity, and the History of Art

Last summer I encountered two etchings done by Albrecht Altdorfer immediately prior to the destruction of the Regensburg synagogue and the expulsion of its resident Jews by civic order in February 1519 (Figs. 1, 2). His etchings chilled me.[1] I was intrigued by the fact that they were reproduced in a compelling study of his landscapes by Christopher Wood. They can also be found in compendia of Early Renaissance etchings and engravings and in catalogues of Altdorfer’s work. Genre, medium, oeuvre–none of these categories suffices to provide a reading practice capable of addressing the gap between these two images. It is between the one study of two Jews standing on the threshold of the Regensburg synagogue and the second of the stripped architectural interior of the synagogue that an aesthetics of disappearance does its work. How can the viewer read such an aesthetics historically and politically?

What I want to do in this essay is to wrench these etchings out of the familiar categories of genre, medium, and oeuvre and relocate them in a history of scientific representation. Thereby it becomes possible to see how the etchings both encode a history of Christian-Jewish ethnic conflict and foreclose on it through “disappearing” Jews. This aesthetics of disappearance deserves attention in the history of scientific representation as a sign of early modern European ethnography, a “science” which grounded itself on the ontological absence of Jews. The Altdorfer etchings can be read as formative and constitutive of this new science. Critique of their ethnography makes it possible to rethink Christian-Jewish ethnic conflict not as something incomprehensible, instinctive, a historical, but rather as a genealogy of the power of the “rational” and the “technical.”

Clues to a history of Christian-Jewish ethnic conflict abound in the etchings, in each of which Altdorfer incorporated an epigraphic plaque. The first inscription reads: PORTICUS SINAGOGAE / IUDAICAE RATISPONEN[SIS] / FRACTA 21 DIE FEB. / ANN. 1519 (The porch of the Jewish synagogue at Regensburg destroyed February 21, 1519). The second reads: ANNO D[OMI]NI D XIX / IUDAICA RATISPONA / SYNAGOGA IUSTO / DEI IUDICIO FUNDIT[U]S EST EVERSA (In the year of the Lord 1519 the Jewish Regensburg synagogue was utterly destroyed by the just judgment of God). The language of the second epigraph in particular struck me. I knew that the formula “iusto dei iudicio” (by the just judgment of God) came from the juridical world of the medieval ordeal, a method of trial in which the accused was exposed to a physical test, such as hot iron or boiling water applied to the flesh, from which he or she, if innocent, would be protected by God. The rendering of the interior of the synagogue also drew on the rich architectural metaphors developed by Christians for discussing circumcision. I knew from my readings of medieval anti-Jewish polemic that the repudiation of circumcision under the New Law, its effacement as an inscription, was imagined in architectural terms. The epigraph’s claim “funditus est eversa” (was utterly destroyed) hauntingly echoes traditional commentary on Isaiah 28:16 to be found in anti-Jewish polemic, such as the Disputatio by Gilbert Crispin, who compares Christ to the cornerstone of the temple of Sion. As a carefully hewn cornerstone Christ ‘”justifies circumcision from the faith and the foreskin through the faith” (“circumcisionem iustificat ex fide et preputium per fidere”).[2] Altdorfer’s epigraphic gesture, the public lettering of the plaques in each print, also pointed to the importance of transmitting a message of civic and monumental knowledge. Together, these clues suggested to me that the prints worked as a montage condensing the juridical world of the ordeal, the ritual of circumcision, and the work of public writing. To read against an aesthetics of disappearance would thus entail opening gaps in between these various superimpositions, showing their sutures.

What follows is an ethnic genealogy that materializes the space of disappearance in between the two Altdorfer etchings. By the end of the essay this space of disappearance will fold into origami. To assemble this paper sculpture, fold the porch of the synagogue (Fig. 1) to become the inside of a crypt and then roll out the second etching (Fig. 2) to become the slab to be placed over that crypt. As the origami is finished, the slab becomes the surface of inscription upon which ethnographers have written disappearance for half a millennium.[3] Write graffiti there, read a “history that will be.”

The foreskin is the first clue. Beginning in Late Antiquity, who was circumcised and who was not came to play a crucial role in differentiating Christians and Jews not only theologically, but also ethnically. My story about Christian-Jewish ethnic conflict begins, then, with the rites of Baptism and circumcision and how these rites came to confer ethnic status by virtue of their differentiating inscriptions. Richly discursive and passionately held differences over pleasure, sexual renunciation, and the hierarchy of body and soul came to be polarized around the heart in Baptism and the foreskin in circumcision. Since a graphic struggle over the legibility of these ritual inscriptions of Baptism and circumcision marked a divide from Late Antiquity, and since the architectural content of the etchings proposes the persistence of this struggle, I am approaching the cultural politics of Christian and Jewish ethnicities as a contest over inscription.

Rites of Baptism and circumcision do not occur in isolation. They are ritual performances of embodiment that take place within wider institutional settings in which questions of what counts as visible and legible are negotiated. Institutions also have their own graphic processes, their own writing machines. A study of ethnic conflict over these inscriptions, therefore, requires a notion of inscription that can account for how a graphic inscripted on the body or soul can travel from that body or soul into institutional networks. Cultural studies of scientific representation, in particular of inscription, offer a way of thinking about such leaps.

Bruno Latour, a sociologist of science, thinks of inscription as graphic transformations of things in the world, visible and invisible, such as stars, viruses, genes, bodies, and so on, onto paper (and now onto disk) for the purposes of dissemination. Thus, for example, some aspect of dinosaur locomotion can be graphically rendered and that rendering can be photographed or digitally scanned. The image can then be reproduced in a variety of formats, such as museum exhibits, books, slides, films, videos, T-shirts, which can in turn be disseminated and travel. These traveling inscriptions can be seen and recognized by thousands of viewers and can conscript them into believing in the validity of a particular representation of dinosaurs (say, the kinder, gentler, smarter mammalian dinosaur), a beast, which, after all, no one has actually seen alive. Inscriptions, according to Latour, thus “allow conscriptions” of viewers around representation and are therefore powerful mobilizing tools.[4]

Like the initial artistic rendering of the dinosaur, medieval anti-Jewish polemic, mostly fictionalized accounts of disputes between Christian and Jewish intellectuals, can be regarded as a graphic transformation of the invisible inscription of Baptism on the heart and the visible inscription of circumcision on the foreskin into monastic and university networks where disputes over ethnic legibility were further engaged. A brief comparison of two of the most popular medieval Christian-Jewish disputations, namely Petrus Alfonsi’s Dialogi contra Iudaeos (1108-10) and Gilbert Crispin’s Disputatio Iudaei et Christiani (ca. 1096), shows how such translations operate to construct networks of inscriptions organized around ethnic conflicts over the legibility of Baptism and circumcision.

In the prologue to Crispin’s Disputatio, the reader learns the outcome of the debate between the Christian and the Jew, its “happy ending”–the Jewish interlocutor is baptized in a public ceremony in London and becomes a monk. The very writing of this Disputatio, then, constitutes a graphic inscription of Baptism onto the textual body of the Jewish interlocutor. Imagine that Crispin writes his text on the heart of his Jewish interlocutor as a way of making the inscription of Baptism visible. Whereas Crispin, as a Christian, works out the problem of Baptism for Jews, Petrus Alfonsi, as a baptized Jew, works out the problem of both Baptism and circumcision in his Dialogi, disputing with his former Jewish self, which he enfolds in the persona of Moses. He uses scientific arguments and, what is important, for the first time in this polemical genre, scientific diagrams, in order to discredit Moses and his talmudic knowledge for its irrationality.[5] These diagrams are not only scientific inscriptions; they also work to cover over Alfonsi’s circumcision. Alfonsi inscribes these scientific diagrams like tattoos over the visible “writing” of his circumcision, thereby rendering circumcision an illegible inscription that cannot be linked to “science.” Scientific diagrams render visible the invisible graphic of his Baptism.

Alfonsi’s strategy of using diagram and text linked his polemic not only into theological networks but into scientific ones as well. Ethnic conflict thus traveled to new audiences. Not surprisingly, it was the most widely disseminated text among medieval Christian-Jewish polemics precisely because it combined sought-after scientific diagrams with polemic over ethnic inscription.[6] In contrast, the Crispin Disputatio contains no diagrams. It matched the popularity of the Alfonsi text in the twelfth century (with twenty-two manuscripts), but then interest tailed off quickly with only seven copies produced in the thirteenth century and only two copies in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It would seem that the lack of diagrams in Crispin’s Disputatio constrained its circulation to a narrower temporal and pietistic network and thereby dampened its effect on ethnic conflict.

So far I have tried to show how the genre of anti-Jewish polemic came to translate a Christian-Jewish conflict over corporeal inscription into graphic forms that, as a mobilizing tool, could circulate widely beyond the body, thus significantly expanding the discursive field. There were, however, important inscriptional limits to how long the chain of translation could become in twelfth-century Christendom. The dead end lay with the all-important link to the juridical writing machine of the day, the ordeal, a form of proof which relied on hot water, hot irons, or immersion to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused in cases where normal juridical procedures, most notably compurgation, the sworn endorsement of friends and neighbors of the accused, were not deemed applicable.

The second plaque of the Altdorfer etching superimposes the language of the ordeal on the empty, stripped space of the interior of the Regensburg synagogue. The epigraphy, its chiseled quality, insistently reminds that inscription played a crucial role in the ordeal. Hot water or the hot iron “inscribed” the hand of the accused with signs to be read and interpreted for guilt or innocence. The chief ritual parallel for the ordeal was Baptism; indeed, in Old Norse the word for ordeal and Baptism are the same. The limitation of the ordeal, however, lay in its inability to translate the wound or scar of the hot water or iron into a graphic that could be disseminated more widely in inscriptional networks. The ordeal could only inscribe around ritual and could not be produced as disseminating inscription. Just as Crispin’s Disputatio was limited to the ritual performance of Baptism of the Jewish interlocutor in London, so ordeal was confined by its corporeal writing pad. These limitations traced a perimeter to the discursive field of ethnic conflict.

The inquest, which came to replace ordeal by fiat of the prelates gathered at the Fourth Lateran Council convened in 1215, breached the perimeter.[7] Whereas in the ordeal hot iron or hot water “wrote” the corporeal inscription, in the inquest the main gesture was notarial writing: a notary was always present to commit the oral proceedings to parchment or later to paper, thus producing an official record written most often in Latin before 1450. Put another way, inquisitorial process translated the corporeal writing pad of the ordeal into the trial record, which was a portable graphic that could be extracted, stored, copied, and circulated.

The practice of the inquest became incorporated into the inquisitorial procedures of the Church not long after the Fourth Lateran Council. The graphic practices of the inquisition transformed and intensified the conflict over inscription between Christians and Jews by multiplying the possibilities of translation and thus extending the chain of the inscriptional network.[8] Also key to understanding this reframing of inscriptional conflict is medieval torture, the threat of which was necessary to inquisition, and the practice of which predictably accompanied its spread. Torture raises the important question of the relation of the textual bodies produced by the notary’s writing hand and the sentient bodies enduring pain in the torture chamber. Is the tortured body to be thought of as the body of the ordeal displaced by the notarial writing hand? This question, I think, is also relevant to reading the etchings. Are the Jews in the porch of the synagogue in the first etching to be thought of as the body of the ordeal (to which the plaque of the second etching refers) displaced by the etching hand of Altdorfer?

The answer to this question is no, since the question misunderstands notarial writing in the inquisition, and, as I shall further show, misrepresents the Altdorfer etching. Inquisitorial writing produced textual bodies in a writing space that works like a montage, in which different and discontinuous spaces exist simultaneously and collide. If we think of the O. J. Simpson trial, we know that the trial witnessed by the jury was very different from the trial witnessed by television viewers. We might say that the jury occupied a different, noncontinuous space literally and conceptually. Similarly, the space in which inquisitorial writing took place, conceptually speaking, was also different and noncontinuous from the space of both the accused and the tortured. There is no unity of gesture and situation in the inquisitorial writing space. These disjunctures, this issue of montage, sharply question the traditional ways in which medieval historians have read and interpreted inquisitorial trial transcripts and should enhance our understanding of how inquisitions inscribed and disseminated the inscription of Baptism in the Christian-Jewish competition over ethnicity.

Two inquisition cases will show how the inquisitorial writing space worked and also how the gesture of inquisitorial writing actually produced the graphic of ritual during the course of these trials. First, take the famous trial in 1320 of Baruch, a noted rabbi, in the court of Jacques Fournier, bishop of Pamiers, the future Pope Benedict XII.[9] This inquisition revolved around the question of whether or not Baruch’s Baptism under the threat of death at the hands of marauding Pastorelli was authentic or forced. Without the trial the status of Baruch’s Baptism would remain in question, illegible. The question then is one of inscription. How can an inquisition decide legibility?

The bishop draws up the sides in this inquisition. He insists, in outright contradiction of Baruch’s confession, that there was no absolute force (“coactione absoluta”) involved in his Baptism; therefore, Baruch is obliged by law and reason (“secundem iura et racionem”) to concur in his Baptism; otherwise the bishop will proceed against him as an obstinate heretic. An uncanny, elliptical disjuncture then ensues in the trial record. At this point the different and noncontinuous spaces of the inquest collide as the bishop engages Baruch in a lengthy disputation, similar in genre to that of Alfonsi and Crispin. The collision, however, transforms the disputation from a polemic to a trial by battle. Here we have a montage that produces the bishop and Baruch as armed contestants. In the gap between the writing space and the accused, the ritual of the duel over inscription takes place.

To make a long disputation short, Baruch “loses” the judicial combat. He then swears that the persecution which resulted in his Baptism was for the good of his soul; he now believes from the heart. The bishop “wins” the efficacy of the trial record to render legible the inscription of Baptism on the heart of Baruch. If one wanted to find graphic evidence of Baruch’s Baptism, one would revert not to his body but to the trial record. The inquisition produced illegible or invisible inscriptions as visible and legible graphics that then reside in archived inquisitorial registers, which could and did travel.

Trial records were not only handwritten; extracts and versions of trial records were also printed after the 1450s. Remember, too, that Altdorfer, who worked in a variety of print and nonprint media, chose etching, a print medium, for his renderings of the Regensburg synagogue. Did print technology refigure yet again the inscriptional conflict between Christians and Jews? The Trent ritual-murder trial of 1475 offers an important example of the imbrication of inquisition with print culture. The trial record, constructed from the torture and interrogation of eighteen Trent Jews, narrates the details of an alleged ritual murder, including bleeding, mutilation, and circumcision, of a Christian child named Simon. Figure 3 is just one example of the printed images that circulated along with printed as well as handwritten versions of the Trent trial record. It depicts, in the crowded and seemingly medicalized space of the medieval barber, the body of a little male Christian patient/victim spread out on a table. Jewish barbers/torturers pinch his flesh, draw his blood, and circumcise him. This engraving offers important evidence of yet another layer of translation of inscriptional conflict, a translation from the torture chamber to the world of the reader of printed books and collector of “holy images.”

The relays of this translation from torture chamber to printed image are worth pausing over. In the torture chamber at Trent, Christians tortured Jews. In the engraving, Jews become torturers; one brandishes the knife of circumcision. Their victim is a Christian. The tortured bodies of the Jews of Trent are translated by the illustrator into the graphic body of Simon Martyr; the graph of their circumcision inscribes itself onto the little boy’s body, just as the hot water and hot iron of the ordeal inscribed itself on the accused. The engraving turns both the sacrament of Baptism and the torture room inside out. The proliferation of woodcuts and engravings depicting the Trent trial and the boy martyr Simon extended the writing space of the inquisition into the reading space of the viewer; montage is becoming more encompassing.

The violence of the Simon images, their double graphic of a baptized boy being circumcised, tells us about the terror of Christians at their own violence/pleasure. Such inquisitions are not really about “knowledge” but about pleasure, a pleasure that denies its violence and claims it as knowledge. Pleasure and knowledge of inquisition collapse into each other in the Trent engraving and make it impossible to acknowledge “the other’s defiance, which is what encounter consists of.”[10] The Trent engraving teeters on the edge of ethnography, where the ontological absence of Jews becomes a new writing surface.

We have seen that the inquisition, as a writing machine, multiplied the graphic sites of contest over Christian-Jewish inscription, since the inscribed bodies produced by inquisition could be reproduced in other media and disseminated even more widely. The inquisition thus extended the possibilities for chains of inscriptions, ever broadening the discursive field of ethnic conflict. The inquisitorial writing machine worked as a graphic apparatus for performing ritual at a distance, something we have seen that the ordeal could not do.

I would now like to return to the Altdorfer etchings in order to ask whether printing itself had become constitutive of ethnic conflict by the end of the fifteenth century. The answer to this question is crucial to the transformation of ethnic conflict into ethnography.[11] The Altdorfer etchings teach us the strength to be found in conscription through inscription. Altdorfer translates graphic Jews into architectural space. Their absence becomes the formal presence of “perspectival” architecture. This translation marks an important shift in register from ethnicity to ethnography. Ethnography is that writing space where others are reduced to ontological absence.[12] Altdorfer’s very act of etching architectural space, rendering the synagogue as an architectural study, becomes constitutive of a new discourse, ethnography. The architectural space etched by Altdorfer forecloses further ethnic conflict over circumcision between Christians and Jews. In so doing, the etching effaces the inscription of circumcision–violent pleasure has become the “knowledge” of space itself. Architectural rendering as a new category of representation covers over the cut foreskin.

The etchings produce something new, a crypt. It is on that stone surface that the ethnographer Altdorfer inscribes his new ethnography, which he signs with his monogram. His ethnography is not about contested ethnic co-presence of Christians and Jews, but the narcissism of the Same; the conflict is resolved.

I have argued that bodily inscriptions of Baptism and circumcision and the cascades of graphic translations which passed through such diverse media as polemic, torture chambers, and engravings and etchings came to constitute Christian-Jewish ethnic relations at the level of the printed graphic itself. By implication I am saying that printing not only represented this contest but actually came to constitute it. As such, graphic inscriptions signifying ethnic conflict between Christians and Jews linked together cascades of discursive networks. Altdorfer’s architectural translation might then be read not only as the new writing surface of ethnography but also as the crypt in which Christians finally buried the foreskin, thus foreclosing the possibility of mourning the loss of corporeal inscription which Paul had disavowed so many centuries earlier. This crypt, its graphic materiality, has served as a site of European ethnographic authority for half a millennium. Its staunch resistance to brilliant postcolonial critiques should give us pause and urge us to think more attentively about the aesthetics of disappearance and the work of mourning.

1. My thanks to the Rockefeller Foundation and to Jim Clifford and colleagues at the Center for Cultural Studies (University of California at Santa Cruz) for the sabbatical opportunity to think about ethnography (1994). I am grateful to my colleague Graham Hammill for his suggestions about gesture, to Kerry Walk, as ever, for her rigor and enthusiasm, and to Andrea Roth for her work obtaining the reproductions for this essay. The students in my spring seminar, 1996, “Becoming Inquisitorial: Discipline/ Technology,” provided inspiration for this paper to which I am indebted: Gabriel Ash, Scott Baier, Christine Caldwell, Justin Cole, Dan Hobbins, David Mengel, Kevin Russeau, and Sarah Soja. I can only briefly acknowledge here the discursive literature which deeply engages this essay. On Christian-Jewish polemic, see B. Blumenkranz, Disputatio Iudei et Christiani Gilberti Crispini, Antwerp, 1956; Petrus Alfonsi in Pat. Lat., CLVII, cols. 527-672; and John Tolan, Petrus Alfonsi and His Medieval Readers, Gainesville, Fla., 1993. See also Anna Sapir Abulafia, “Bodies in the Jewish-Christian Debates,” in Framing Medieval Bodies, ed. Sarah Kay and Miri Rubin, Manchester, 1994, 124-37; Miri Rubin, “The Person in the Form: Medieval Challenges to Bodily Order,” in Framing Medieval Bodies, 100-122; and Gilbert Dahan, La Polemique chretienne contre le Judaisme au Moyen Age, Paris, 1991. On ordeal and inquest, and here only a starting point, see Howard Bloch, Medieval French Literature and Law, Berkeley, 1977; Talal Asad, “Pain and Truth in Medieval Christian Ritual,” in Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam, Baltimore, 1993, 83-124; and Robert Bartlett, Trial by Fire and Water: The Medieval Judicial Ordeal, Oxford, 1986. Suggestive, too, for problems of inquisitorial writing space and montage are Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish, trans. Alan Sheridan, New York, 1979; Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2: The Time Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta, Minneapolis, 1989; Monique David-Menard, Hysteria from Freud to Lacan: Body and Language of Psychoanalysis, trans. Catherine Porter, Ithaca, N.Y., 1989; Jonathan Goldberg, “The History That Will Be,” GLQ, 1, 1995, 385-404; and Cathy Caruth, Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, and History, Baltimore, 1996.

2. Blumenkrantz (as in n. 1), 42.
3. To consider this question, how ethnicity becomes ethnography, through a study of Christian-Jewish inscriptions is to begin rethinking the colonialdiscipline of European ethnography as emerging not in an imagined encounter of the Old and New Worlds, but within graphic conflicts between Christians and Jews. For the need to do so, see Daniel Boyarin, “‘Epater l’embourgeoisement’: Freud, Gender and the (De)Colonized Psyche,” Diacritics, XXIV, 1994, 17-41; Sander L. Gilman, Freud, Race, and Gender, Princeton, NJ., 1993; John M. Efron, Defenders of the Race: Jewish Doctors and Race Science in Fin-de-Siecle Europe, New Haven, 1994; Michael Ragussis, Figures of Conversion: The “Jewish Question” and English National Identity, Durham, N.C., 1995; Eric L. Santner, My Own Private Germany: Daniel Paul Schreber’s Secret History of Modernity, Princeton, N.J., 1996; and James Shapiro, Shakespeare and the Jews, New York, 1996.
4. Bruno Latour, “Drawing Things Together,” in Representation in Scientific Practice, ed. Michael Lynch and Stephen Woolgar, Cambridge, 1990, 50.
5. For bibliography and more detailed explication of the Alfonsi Dialogi and subsequent layering of inscriptions in medieval mappaemundi, travel literature, and Ptolemaic maps, see Kathleen Biddick, “ABC of Ptolemy: Mapping the World with the Alphabet,” in Text and Territory, ed. Sylvia Tomasch and Sealy Gilles, Philadelphia, 1997, forthcoming.
6. Alfonsi’s Dialogi continued to be copied through the 15th century (21 copies in the 12th century; 24 copies in the 13th; 14 copies in the 14th; 18 copies in the 15th). In only two instances were the Alfonsi and Crispin polemics bound together.
7. For the Latin text and translation, see canons 8 (“De inquisitionibus”/ “On inquests”) and 18 (“De iudicio sanguinis et duelli clericis interdicto”/ “On sentences involving either the shedding of blood or a duel being forbidden to clerics”), in Norman P. Tanner, ed., Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Washington, D.C., 1990, 236-39, 244.
8. For the importance of the gender and sexuality of inquisitorial inscription, see Kathleen Biddick, “The Devil’s Anal Eye: Inquisitorial Optics and Ethnographic Authority,” in Medievalism in Fragments, Durham, N.C., 1997, forthcoming.
9. The Baruch trial can be found in Le Registre d’inquisition de Jacques Fournier (1318-1325), ed. Jean Duvernoy, Toulouse, 1965; for the Trent trial, see Anna Esposito and Diego Quaglioni, Processi contro gli Ebrei di Trento (1475-1478), Padua, 1990; and R. Po-Chia Hsia, Trent, 1475: Stories of a Ritual Murder Trial, New Haven, 1992.
10. David-Menard (as in n. 1), 183; also, crucial to the question of pleasure/knowledge/violence, see Louise O. Fradenburg and Carla Frecerro, “The Pleasures of History,” GLQ, 1, 1995, 373-84.
11. A very important question has not yet been asked and cannot be dealt with adequately here. How did Jews engage in these inscriptional contests? At this juncture the complex story of Hebrew printing in Europe needs to be considered. In brief, 1475, the year of the Trent trial, coincided with the first publication of Hebrew incunabula in Pieve in the shadow of Padua, less than one hundred miles from Trent, as well as the first printing of Hebrew script in non-Hebrew texts in Germany. In the last quarter of the 15th century Hebrew printers could be found in the smaller provincial cities of Mantua, Ferrara, Bologna, Soncino, near Milan, Naples, and Brescia. Noted Hebrew printerssuch as Gerson Soncino also printed Latin and vernacular texts. Venice came to be the major site of Hebrew printing under David Bomberg, a Christian publisher from Antwerp who worked with Jewish scholars in his printing house. Such operations were always vulnerable and the Venetian republic exacted a high cost. Bomberg had to pay extortionate fees to extend his permission to print Hebrew texts, and the ambivalent attitude to Hebrew publishing flared in 1553, when a papal order condemned printed Talmuds to burning. As a starting point, consult Paul F. Grendler, The Roman Inquisition and the Venetian Press, 1540-1605, Princeton, N.J., 1977; and David Werner Amram, The Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy, London, 1973.
12. Johannes Fabian, Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes Its Object, New York, 1983.

PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): 1 Albrecht Altdorfer, Porch of the Regensburg Synagogue, 1519. Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (photo: Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz)

PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): 2 Altdorfer, Interior of the Regensburg Synagogue, 1519. Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (photo: Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz)


Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Rome Copyright © by Jody Valentine. All Rights Reserved.

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