Wandering Jew

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Wandering Jew,

in literary and popular legend, a Jew who mocked or mistreated Jesus while he was on his way to the cross and who was condemned therefore to a life of wandering on earth until Judgment Day. The story of this wanderer was first recorded in the chronicles of Roger of Wendover and Matthew of Paris (13th cent.), but not until the early 17th cent. was he identified as a Jew. The story is common in Western Europe, but it presents marked national variations. Among the innumerable treatments of the subject is Shelley's Queen Mab.


See G. K. Anderson, The Legend of the Wandering Jew (1965); G. Hasan-Rokem and A. Dundes, ed., The Wandering Jew: Essays in the Interpretation of a Christian Legend (1986).

wandering jew,

common name for several creeping plants of the genus Tradescantia (including Zebrina) in the spiderwortspiderwort,
common name for some members of the Commelinaceae, a family of tropical and subtropical succulent herbs found especially in Africa and the Americas. Species of the spiderworts (genus Tradescantia) and the dayflowers (genus Commelina
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 family. T. pendula is most commonly cultivated in window boxes and hanging pots. Wandering jew is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Liliopsida, order Commelinales, family Commelinaceae.

Wandering Jew


(Ahasuerus; in Russian, Agasfer or the Eternal Jew), a character in legends that appeared in the Middle Ages; supposedly condemned by God to eternal wandering for not having allowed Christ to rest on his way to the Crucifixion. The character of Ahasuerus the Wanderer has attracted the imagination of many writers. There have been poems about him by C. F. D. Schubart, N. Lenau, and J. W. Goethe; a philosophical drama by E. Quinet; and a satirical novel by E. Sue.


Shubart, C. F. D. Legenda ob Agasfere“vechnom zhide.”
Edited and with a foreword by M. Gorky. Petrograd, 1919. Sue, E. Agasfer, vols. 1–4. Moscow-Leningrad, 1933–36.

Wandering Jew

doomed to live forever for scorning Jesus. [Fr. Lit.: The Wandering Jew]

Wandering Jew

condemned to eternal wandering for mocking Christ. [Christian Legend: NCE, 2926; Fr. Lit.: Wandering Jew]
References in periodicals archive ?
Thus Heinrich Heine stands as an example of the wandering Jew as well as a symbol of the problem.
Soon the Wandering Jew was featured prominently in English, French and Finnish ballads, and even crept into literature and art.
Put differently, Rose bases his attack on Wagner's art on analogies, such as that the flying Dutchman is analogous to the wandering Jew.
As the novel moves toward its conclusion, the narrator ceases to cast blackness simply as absence and instead, alluding to the myths of Cain and the Wandering Jew, presents it as the sign of a perpetual curse when he declares: "There is nothing I would not suffer to keep the brand from being placed upon" his children (153).
The chief source of this all-out assault in the middle years of the century was the prestigious College de France, and the chief attackers were the distinguished historians, Jules Michelet (1798-1874) and Edgar Quinet (1803-1875), joined by the novelist Eugene Sue (1804-1857) with his depiction of Jesuit intrigue in The Wandering Jew.
Andi mythologizes his father, seeing him at various times as the Wandering Jew, Christ, Prometheus, Noah, Moses, even Tristram.
Small-leafed ivy, hoya, wandering Jew, and miniature bamboo provide a backdrop for bright accents.
Wandering Jew and Methodist, the two of them, deliberately feeling alien to the Yule season, jeered and grumbled when they drove by signs of the season: the draped lines of lights, the mistletoe wreaths, the brass quintet on the corner.
Through the Middle Ages and beyond, legends of the Wandering Jew and the Flying Dutchman, men condemned to an eternity of exile, testify to the enduring fear of isolation from society, a condition Shakespeare has the banished Mowbrey describe to Richard II (and to the Elizabethan audience) as "speechless death" and "solemn shades of endless night"-- descriptions surely fitting PVS.
Sir Donald's first London appearance was in 1924 as Phirous in The Wandering Jew, with Matheson Lang.
of Bristol, UK) focuses primarily on Sexton's Caritas, and secondarily, on such later works as The Wandering Jew.
It is, in fact, far better to perish than to go on eternally wandering--forsaken, forgotten, and forlorn--like the stereotypical Wandering Jew, doomed to roam the earth until Christ's second coming.