Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Renaissance England's Chief Rabbi: John Selden

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Renaissance England's Chief Rabbi: John Selden

Article excerpt

Jason P. Rosenblatt, Renaissance England's Chief Rabbi: John Selden (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). x + 314 pp. ISBN 0-19-928615-2. £60.00. Hugo Grotius described John Selden (1584-1654) as 'the glory of the English nation', Ben Jonson styled him 'monarch of letters', and Milton referred to him as 'the chief of learned men reputed in this land'. For Joseph Rosenblatt, he is 'England's Osiris', like Milton's image of truth, 'torn into a thousand peeces and scatter'd to the four winds', to be slowly gathered up 'limb by limb'. Despite his enormous learning and influence, Selden has been comparatively little studied, and almost exclusively for his political thought. Rosenblatt's study is the first monograph to be published on Selden's rabbinic, especially Talmudic, writings, although these comprise the bulk of the six volumes of his complete works. …

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