Federico Dal Bo
Talmudic Angelology and the Tosafists: On Metatron in the Latin Translation of Tractates Sanhedrin and Avodah Zarah
Although the angelic figure of Metatron is mentioned in only three passages in the Talmud, these are of particular importance, as they offer insight into the rabbinic negotiation with emerging mystical and metaphysical trends in Late Antiquity. This paper addresses the stream of Jewish thought that held that Metatron was included in the Godhead, and specifically the assumption that the first commentators on the Talmud tended to identify Metatron with either the Godhead or the patriarch Enoch. Significant portions of this debate are documented in both the Tosafot and the Latin Extractiones de Talmud, which were redacted from 1240 to 1244. Both the Tosafists and the Latin Talmud reflect the on-going dispute on the figure of Metatron and provide evidence that the Latin translator was unaware of the dispute among the Tosafists, despite their importance in developing the French school of talmudic exegesis.