Marie de France in the Synagogue
Author: Chernick, Michael
Source: Exemplaria, Volume 19, Number 1, Spring 2007 , pp. 183-205(23)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:"King Solomon's Daughter" is a thirteenth-century Jewish tale probably used as an exemplum in a sermon. Interestingly, the tale demonstrates many of the same tropes as Les Lais de Marie de France. This study translates "King's Solomon's Daughter" from the Hebrew, points out its connections to Les Lais, and provides both a possible medieval reading of the story and a contemporary analysis of it. This article also considers how the story entered the Jewish community. Rabbi Berechiah b. Natronai ha-Naqdan, a thirteenth-century fabulist whose biography parallels Marie's, seems to be the likely conduit. He translated Marie's Ysopet into Hebrew, demonstrating conversance with her work. In general, "King Solomon's Daughter" indicates greater cultural interplay between the Normans in England and the Jews in France and England than is usually assumed.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2007-03-01