This now is the second of Jennifer Knust’s three posts on her current project, tracing the history of a Christian manuscript she came upon from the rare book collection at Duke University. Her research led her to booksellers in London, Munich, and Amsterdamn, and implicates the Aryanization policies of the Nazis. Who knew New Testament scholarship could be so interesting? Find below what she has to say.
Jennifer Knust’s most popular books are To Cast the First Stone and Abandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity.
Part II: Nazi Loot?
My own project began when Aaron Ebert, a doctoral student at Duke University, noticed that the manuscript he was studying was one of three purchased by Duke from the London bookseller Raphael King in the 1950s. Very little information about Mr. King is available, so Aaron reached out to the Ludwig Rosenthal Antiquariaat, a venerable antiquarian bookstore now located in the Netherlands that once owned another of Duke’s manuscripts also sold by King, Greek MS 018. According to an important volume on Byzantine hagiography, this manuscript, a twelfth-century collection of saints’ lives for the month of December, was in the possession of the Antiquariat in Munich sometime before 1938 (Albert Ehrhard, Überlieferung und Bestand der hagiographischen und homiletischen Literatur der griechischen Kirche von den Anfängen bis zum Ende des 165. Jahrhunderts, vol. 2, Leipzig, J. C. Hinrichs, 1938, 483-84). The current owner, Mrs. Edith Petten-Rosenthal, kindly replied to Aaron, noting that any manuscript sold from the Munich shop after 1938 was …
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