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The Siege of Jerusalem : A Broadview Anthology of British Literature Edition - Adrienne Williams Boyarin

The Siege of Jerusalem

A Broadview Anthology of British Literature Edition


Published: 28th November 2013
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RRP $33.99

The Siege of Jerusalem was likely popular in its day; by twenty-first-century standards it is gruesomely violent and offensively anti-Semitic. It tells the story of the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, an event viewed by its author (as by many in the Middle Ages) as divine retribution against Jews for the killing of Christ. The poem anachronistically turns first-century Roman emperors Titus and Vespasian into Christian converts who battle like medieval crusaders to avenge their savior and cleanse the Holy Land of enemies of the faith. While the poem's anti-Semitism is undisputed, there is nevertheless some consensus that Siege of Jerusalem is a finely crafted piece of poetry, and that its combination of horror, beauty, and learnedness makes it an effective work of art. As literary scholar A.C. Spearing has put it, "We may not like what the poet does, but it is done with skillful craftsmanship and sometimes with brilliant virtuosity."

Boyarin's eloquent translation-the first full translation in Modern English- conveys something of the alliterative sound of the Middle English poem without sacrificing meaning or readability. Appendices provide extensive samples of the original alliterative verse, a wide-ranging compendium of materials related to anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages, comparative biblical passages, and other illuminating resources.

More than merely updating an old poem, Boyarin presents a veritable anthology of medieval anti-Judaism. - Times Literary Supplement, 19th June 2015

  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • The Siege of Jerusalem
  • Appendix A: The Middle English Siege of Jerusalem
  • Prologue, lines 1-35
  • Passus 3, lines 573-608
  • Passus 5, lines 1069-1100
  • Appendix B: The Siege of Jerusalem and the Bible: Key Passages
  • 1 Maccabees 6
  • The Gospel According to Matthew 10.1-15
  • The Gospel According to Matthew 24.14-15 and 27.1-9
  • The Gospel According to Luke 19.37-48 and 21.5-28
  • The Gospel According to Luke 22.63-23.38
  • The Gospel According to John 11.47-56 and 18.3-19.21
  • Revelation 21
  • Appendix C: The Siege of Jerusalem and Medieval Christian Legend
  • From The Golden Legend, c. 1260
  • a. From "The Passion of the Lord" (Pontius Pilate, St. Veronica)
  • b. From "Saint James, Apostle" (St. James, the destruction of Jerusalem)
  • c. From "Saint Peter, Apostle" (St. Peter, St. Paul, Nero)
  • Appendix D: Other Medieval Anti-Semitisms and the Crusader Conquest of Jerusalem
  • Crusade Violence in Historical Writings
  • 1. From Albert of Aachen, History of the Journey to Jerusalem (c. 1125-50)
  • 2. From Eliezar bar Nathan, Gezerot Tatnu [Persecutions of 1096] (c. 1150)
  • 3. From Raymond d'Aguilers, History of the Frankish Conquerors of Jerusalem (c. 1100)
  • 4. From William of Newburgh, The History of English Affairs (c. 1198)
  • 5. Ephraim of Bonn, "Tatkan-tatkana b'Angleterre" ["In England, 1189"] (c. 1196)
  • Ritual Murder Libel: The Case of William of Norwich (c. 1173)
  • Ecclesiastical and Secular Legal Documents
  • 1. Pope Innocent III, Canons and Decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215)
  • 2. A Bull of Pope Gregory X (1272)
  • 3. Statute of the Jewry, England (1275)
  • Popular Literature: Miracles of the Virgin and Mandeville's Travels
  • 1. From The South English Legendary, "The Jewish Boy" and "The Jews of Toledo" (c. 1280)
  • 2. From the Vernon Manuscript, "The Child Slain by Jews" (c. 1390)
  • 3. From John Mirk's Festial, "How a Monk Painted a Miraculous Image" (c. 1390)
  • 4. From The Travels of Sir John Mandeville (c. 1360)
  • Christian Dates in relation to the Destruction of the Second Temple: A Jewish Response, from Abraham Zacuto, Sefer Yuhasin [Book of Lineage] (c. 1500)
  • Works Cited and Recommended Reading

ISBN: 9781554811588
ISBN-10: 1554811589
Series: The Broadview Anthology of British Literature
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 170
Published: 28th November 2013
Publisher: Broadview Press Ltd
Country of Publication: CA
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0  x 1.2
Weight (kg): 0.25