Dragons of Summer and Winter:

Lay Traditions of Jews and Christians between South and North in Medieval Europe

Dr. Tzafrir Barzilay

The Haifa Center for Mediterranean History (HCMH)

Morgan Library MS G 23, f. 2r.

Water, an element essential to human life, has traditionally been imbued with spiritual significance. In medieval Europe, water played a central role in the liturgy, ritual, and customs of Christianity and Judaism. This talk will examine the idea that water sources were under a threat during liminal times, predominantly discussing the connections between the Jewish tekufah, when Jews feared the poisoning of their drinking water, and the Christian rituals around the eve of St. John the Baptist, when Christians acted to protect their water sources from dragons or demonic forces. We will see that such lay traditions took on a different form in southern and northern Europe and have transformed over time.

Thursday, June 2, 2022, 12:15

Room #146, New Library Wing,

University of Haifa

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