Bodo

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BODO

BODO (ninth century), French churchman who became a proselyte to Judaism. The scion of a noble family, Bodo entered the church and became deacon of the palace to Louis the Pious. In 838 he left the court with a numerous suite ostensibly to go on pilgrimage to Rome. He instead went to Spain with his nephew and on his way adopted Judaism under the name Eleazar. After spending some time in Saragossa he went on to Córdoba, where he is said to have attempted to persuade the caliph to compel his Christian subjects to abandon their faith in favor of either Judaism or Islam. The details of his career are known mainly through the interchange of correspondence between him and a learned Christian layman of Córdoba, Paolo Alvaro. Alvaro wrote him four polemical letters, printed in various ecclesiastical collections, attempting to convince him of the error of his ways. Bodo-Eleazar's rejoinders and arguments were deliberately destroyed, being taken out of the codex in which they were copied, but B. Blumenkranz has reconstructed them from the quotations in Alvaro's letters.

bibliography:

C.M. Sage, Paul Albar of Cordoba (1943); Cabaniss, in: jqr, 43 (1952/53), 313–28; B. Blumenkranz, Juifs et chrétiens dans le monde occidental (1960), 166ff. and index; idem, in: rhpr, 34 (1954), 401–13; idem, in: rej, 112 (1953), 35–42; Roth, Dark Ages, index.

[Cecil Roth]