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Christian Hebraists: Renaissance Period

(6,136 words)

Author(s): Campanini, Saverio
The first half of the 16th century is considered the blossoming age of Christian Hebraism; the first grammars and lexica of the Hebrew language appeared in print during this period, and the knowledge of the language enjoyed unprecedented popularity among Christian scholars. This growth in interest has been linked by some historians to an unparalleled change in the attitude of Christian scholarly elites toward Judaism—from hostility and mistrust to a new spirit of ‘humanistic’ collaboration and e…


(2,825 words)

Author(s): Campanini, Saverio
Hebrew language and script have often been linked to esoteric secrecy and, at least from an historical point of view, a peculiar relationship between the two is hardly deniable. The following brief theoretical clarification and rapid historical sketch will help ascertain the legitimacy of this claim and verify its implicit assumptions. There is, in actual fact, no special link between any natural language and cryptography. The encoding and decoding of information is an intrinsic feature of language as such, especially in its written form, and th…