Paulus de Sancta Maria 1478

PAULUS de Sancta Maria (c. 1352–1435).
Dyalogus qui vocatur scrutinium scripturarum.
Mainz: Peter Schoeffer, 7 January 1478. (06521)

Schoeffer printed the fifth edition of this work, also known as the “Dialogue of Paul versus Saul on the Treachery of the Jews.” Its less-than-objective comparison between the merits of Christian and Jewish beliefs belonged to a genre that was popular among anti-Jewish writers in medieval Europe. Paulus de Sancta Maria, born Solomon ha-Levi in Burgos, Spain, had been a leading Talmudic scholar, but after long study of the Summa theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas he converted to Christianity in 1390. He became a theologian at Paris and was welcomed at the papal court in Avignon. In 1415 he was made Bishop of Burgos and tutor to the royal family of Castile and Leon.

In Bridwell Library’s copy the large initial space on the first leaf has been filled with a beautifully decorated red, blue, and green S with penwork extensions in the style of the Lower Rhine. The upper margin is inscribed “Conventus eremitorij ff. minorum recollectorum.”

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Peter Schoeffer: Alone
Paulus de Sancta Maria 1478