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Imagining Jerusalem in the Medieval West$
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Lucy Donkin and Hanna Vorholt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265048

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265048.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The Imaginary Jerusalem of Nicholas of Lyra

The Imaginary Jerusalem of Nicholas of Lyra

(p.76) (p.77) 3 The Imaginary Jerusalem of Nicholas of Lyra
Imagining Jerusalem in the Medieval West

Lesley Smith

British Academy

Manuscripts and early printed copies of Nicholas of Lyra's influential biblical commentary, the Postilla litteralis et moralis in totam bibliam, were made to include a series of around forty illustrations, mostly in the biblical books of Exodus and Ezekiel, to accompany the sections on the Tabernacle of Moses, Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem, and Ezekiel's re-visioning of the Temple. Although they are not present in all copies of the work, it is known that they were planned by Nicholas himself, since he refers to them in the text. This chapter considers possible sources for Nicholas's drawings and diagrams, including Richard of St Victor, and the Jewish commentators, Rashi (whom Nicholas uses as a direct comparison with Christian scholars) and Maimonides. It argues that, far from being mere decoration, the illustrations are meant as an integral part of Nicholas's literal exegesis of the scriptural text.

Keywords:   Nicholas of Lyra, Rashi, exegesis, St Victor, Temple of Jerusalem, diagrams, Book of Ezekiel, Jews, Tabernacle, Book of Exodus

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