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Martini, Raymond°


MARTINI, RAYMOND ° (1220–1285), Spanish Dominican friar and polemicist. Born in Subirat, Catalonia, Raymond lived for a long time in a monastery in Barcelona, temporarily also in Tunis where he engaged in missionary activity among Jews and Arabs. He studied Hebrew and other Oriental languages at the college of Murcia, founded to train selected friars in the conduct of religious disputations with Jews and Muslims for the purpose of converting them to Christianity. Raymond was able to read rabbinical writings with ease. He took an active part in the disputation with Naḥmanides at *Barcelona in 1263 where Pablo *Christiani was the Christian spokesman (see *Barcelona, Disputation of). In 1264 he was appointed a member of the first censorship commission to examine Jewish books for passages allegedly offensive to Christianity. After the disputation of Barcelona, Raymond Martini became one of the chief executors of the anti-Jewish policy of the church.

Raymond's main work is his Pugio Fidei ("The Dagger of Faith"; c. 1280), divided into three parts of which the second and third are devoted to anti-Jewish polemics. The last part contains extracts from the Talmud, the Midrash, and later rabbinical writings (Rashi, etc.). The book is clearly an attempt to regain the ground lost after the Christian failure in the disputation of Barcelona. Raymond's polemics are innovative in that he derives his "proofs" of the truth of Christianity or falsehood of the Jewish faith not solely from the Old Testament but mainly from the Talmud and other rabbinical literature. Thus, according to Raymond, Jesus is also announced as Messiah in the aggadah, and the talmudic passage, according to which "the commandments will be abolished in the Hereafter" (Nid. 61b) after the advent of the Messiah, heralds the abrogation of the Jewish laws after the advent of Jesus. Furthermore, Raymond claims that the emendations to the Bible undertaken by Ezra's collaborators and cited in the Talmud as tikkun soferim have distorted the original text. But his own interpretation of the aggadic text was not always correct, and by arbitrary grouping of sentences out of their original context he often gave them a christological meaning.

Pugio Fidei became the most important and widely circulated medieval anti-Jewish polemic, and supplied polemical source material to disputant friars, Christian scholars, and Jewish apostates (see *Nicholas of Lyre, *Abner of Burgos, *Pablo de Santa Maria, *Arnold of *Villanova, Joshua *Lorki (in his Hebraeomastix, especially for the disputation of *Tortosa)). The manuscript, which was lost for a long time, was brought to light by Justus Scaliger and published by Joseph de Voisin under the title Pugio Fidei… adversus Mauros et Judaeos (Paris, 1651). A second edition was published by I.B. Carpzov (Leipzig, 1678), who added an anti-Jewish preface "Introductio in Theologiam Judaicam" and a biography of the author. Another anti-Jewish book written by Raymond Martini, Capistrum Judaeorum, was less important and never printed.

Solomon b. Abraham *Adret took part in a disputation with Raymond or with one of his disciples. Adret wrote a small apologetic work refuting Raymond's main fictitious proofs from the aggadah for the validity of Christianity, without mentioning the author's name or work. These refutations, as well as a detailed defense of tikkun soferim against charges of forgeries of the biblical text, are also included in Adret's aggadic commentary Ḥiddushei Aggadot (see: Rashba, Resp., 4 (1958), nos. 31 and 187, and J. Perles, 30–56, Heb. sect.).


Baer, Spain, index; idem, in: Sefer Zikkaron le-Asher Gulak… (1942), 29ff.; A.L. Williams, Adversus Judaeos (1935), 248ff.; J. Rosenthal, in: Perspectives in Jewish Learning, 3 (1967), 48ff.; Graetz, Gesch, 7 (1894), 124f., 150ff.; J. Quetif, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum…, 1 (Paris, 1719), 396–8; Wolf, Bibliotheca, 1 (1715), 1016ff.; 3 (1727), 989ff.; 4 (1733), 572ff., 968; J. Perles, R. Salomo b. Abraham b. Adereth (Ger. 1863), 54ff., 77f.; S.M. Schiller-Szinessy, in: Journal of Philology, 16 (1887), 131–52; L. Levy, in: zhb, 6 (1902), 30f.; P. Browe, Judenmission im Mittelalter und die Paepste (1942), 77, 103f., 108, 120, 122, 272; S. Lieberman, Shekiʾin (Heb. with Eng. summary, 1939), index; idem, in: hj, 5 (1943), 91; Zunz-Albeck, Derashot, 144–5; H. Merḥavyah, Ha-Talmud bi-Re'i ha-Naẓerut (1970), index.

[Bernard Suler]

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