The project LATTAL edits and studies the Latin translation of the Talmud in the context of the trial and burning of the Talmud in 1240-42 and its aftermath.

While polemics and dialogue between Judaism and Christianity are as old as the Christian religion itself, one can clearly distinguish different periods, trends and intensities in the relations between the faiths. A significant landmark in this long and complex history is the Latin translation of large sections of the Talmud, the most important Jewish post-biblical text, the basis for the development of Rabbinic Judaism and the most direct descendant of intertestamentarian Phariseism.

When during the 13th century Christian theologians started to examine and translate the Talmud from Hebrew and Aramaic into Latin, they were faced with a huge body of texts which represented centuries of legalistic and homiletic materials. The discovery of this immense post-biblical Jewish literature became a source of fascination for Christians who believed that this text, which encompasses every aspect of Jewish life, was fundamental both for refuting the Jewish faith and for substantiating the truth of Christianity. This realization heralded a rethinking of the place of Jews in Christian society and redefined Christian-Jewish dialogue and polemic. In the centre of this process are the Extractiones de Talmud, the largest Latin translation of Talmudic texts; volume one has been edited in CCCM 291; a second volume is in production, CCCM 291A.

LATTAL addresses vital questions of Jewish and Christian identity, still relevant to the 21st century, and is carried out by a transdisciplinary research team including specialists from Latin Philology, Hebrew Studies and History.

“The Latin Talmud and Its Influence on Christian-Jewish Polemic” was funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC Grant agreement n° 613694. Currently it receives funding from the Rothschild Foundation (054/19 RFHE: 2020-2022) and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (PID2020-112592GB-I00: 2021-2024). The team has been distinguished by the UAB as a “Singular research group”.

Read about LATTAL in the EU’s “Results in brief” and please also visit our former project “Latin-into-Hebrew”.

Project address: MRA, Campus UAB, E-08193 Bellaterra