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 ?
For him, the Wandering Jew is a miracle of the faith and a sign of the End Times, one of several such signs bound up with his representation of Jews and Judaism.
The Wandering Jew: Essays in the Interpretation of a Christian Legend.
(11.) An origin for the wandering Jew story can be found in the thirteenth-century Pores Historiarom by Roger of Wendover, Where he was a Roman gate-keeper who spurred Christ on towards the Cross.
What, then, is the vision of the American nation that the Wandering Jew represents in "A Select Party"?
Thus Heinrich Heine stands as an example of the wandering Jew as well as a symbol of the problem.
Yet surprisingly, the origin of the phrase Wandering Jew has little to do with peripatetic Semites.
That is why one could call him a "vagrant." (28) Even though the "wandering Jew" is also called "the walking shoemaker" in Bavaria or "the running Jew" in Switzerland, Werner Zirus already emphasizes in 1930 that the "term 'eternal Jew' for the mysterious wayfarer" makes the "philosophical interpretation" more stimulating than "the more real names." (29) Berbusse speaks aptly of the linguistic connection "eternal Jew--real vagrant," using the example of Waldeck.
This socio-cultural analysis is well connected to a further section on 'Ideology and Economics' in which cultural constructs such as the 'Wandering Jew' or the sandal as a symbol of social equality in Palestine during the early twentieth century are considered.
When Flore, an interpreter, meets a psychiatric patient accused of murdering her daughter, the woman, Emma, stands with her back to the window of her room and has "the look of a stateless wanderer." I love this metaphor, which brings together words used for others, the wandering Jew and the stateless or displaced person.
Griffith (president, A&L Southern Agricultural Laboratories Inc., an agricultural testing and consulting firm) gives practical advice on the growth and care of foliage plants (plants intended to be placed in the home or office for an extended period), covering some 75 species from Adenium (Desert Rose) to Zebrina (Wandering Jew).
"And the wandering Jew of Hollywood would wander no more," Hoffman said.