According to medieval legend, the "eternal Jew" is a Jew named Agasfer.
Past his house was led to Calvary of Jesus Christ,Who carried His Cross. Jesus asked Agasfer to lean against the wall to rest a little, but he refused him and, according to some versions, even struck.
Since then, he was doomed to eternal wandering.
There is a version that the "eternal Jew", driving awayChrist from the walls of his house, mockingly invited him to rest on the way back, implying that if he really is the Son of God, he will rise again and after that he can rest. Christ calmly replied that he would continue his journey, but also that Agasfer would go on forever, and there would be no death, no rest for him.
According to the legend, once in 50 years Agasfer goes toJerusalem, hoping to pray for forgiveness from the Holy Sepulcher, but when he appears in Jerusalem, the strongest storms begin, and the "eternal Jew" can not fulfill his plan.
The Origins of the Legend of Agasphere
The history of the Agasphere has nothing to do withThe Bible. And it appeared much later. In Western Europe, various versions of the legend appeared only in the 13th century, and the term "eternal Jew" - in the 16-17 centuries. Apparently, from that time Agasfer turned into a kind of symbol of the whole Jewish people dispersed throughout Europe, wandering and persecuted.
The image of Agasphere in the world literature
The image of Agasphere is constantly found inWorks of world literature. Goethe tried to write about him (although his plan was never implemented), he is mentioned in Pototsky's novel "The Manuscript Found in Zaragoza." Widely known was the adventure novel of Eugene Sue "Agasfer". Alexander Dumas dedicated this character to the novel "Isaac Lakadem". Agasfer is also mentioned in the tragedy of Karl Gutskov "Uriel Acosta". In Russia, Vasily Andreevich Zhukovsky wrote about Agasphere in the unfinished poem "The Wandering Jew," created under the influence of German Romantics.
In the twentieth century, the image of Agasphere was addressed by manyWorld famous writers, including Rudyard Kipling (novella "Eternal Jew"), Guillaume Apollinaire (novel "Prague Passer"), Jorge Luis Borges (novel "Immortal"). "Eternal Jew" appears even in the novel Gabriel Garcia Marquez "One Hundred Years of Solitude."
In the Russian literature of the twentieth century a number ofCompletely unexpected interpretations of the image of Agasphere. For example, in the novel Strugatsky brothers "Weighed down by evil, or Forty years later" appears a certain Agasfer Lukich, acting under the guise of an insurance agent.
Ostap Bender in the novel by Ilya Ilf and EugenePetrova "The Golden Calf" tells the story of the Eternal Jew, who wanted to admire the beauty of the Dnieper, but was caught and killed by the Petlyuraites. In the story of Vsevolod Ivanov "Agasfer" appears a theologian from Hamburg, telling that it was him, dreaming of fame and fortune, invented the legend of the Agasphere and, unexpectedly for himself, turned into a real Agasphere.
Centuries are coming, and the "eternal Jew" continues to wander, if not in the real world, then, at least, through the pages of world literature.