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Judaic Documentation and Reference




Poster: Donald Wagner <polearmed@att.net>

Occasionally I run across something at auction that I want the rest to
know about.

This one is particularly topical to the studies of many SCAdians I know.

The item can be viewed at:

<http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=45734059>

Below is a short description of this two-volume reference(the volumes
are being auctioned separately):

"A Mediterranean Society - The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as
Portrayed in The Documents of the Cairo Geniza, By S.D. Goitein. Volume
I: Economic Foundations. University of California Press; Berkeley: 1967.
Probably a first edition because date on title page. 9 and one-half x 6
and one-quarter inches; 550 coated-stock pp. with Notes and Index. Green
cloth binding in Near Fine condition; contents clean and tight. No DJ.
NOT a library book, but owner catalogued his library, so small numbers
bottom spine. A little-known but fairly representative section of the
medieval world is portrayed in the this book with the aid of a unique
historical source, the documents of the Cairo Geniza. . . Here,
middle-class people from the tenth through the thirteenth centuries have
left us their letters, court records, contracts, accounts, and other
writings in a haphazard selection, as they deposited them in a geniza,
or lumber room. For these people believed that writings on which the
name of God might be found should not be destroyed, but should be buried
like the human body. . . .Most of these documents, which were unearthed
in 1890 Old Cairo and now are found in many libraries all over the
world, are written in Hebrew characters, but in the Arabic language. In
general, they emanate from Jews who lived in the Islamic countries . .
[which] included most of Spain and Sicily. Thus, these papers from a
first-rate source for the social history of the Jewish community on the
one hand and of Islamic civilization on the other. This volume concerns
the world of commerce and finance, the working peoples, and travel and
seafaring."

Volume 2 deals with "This volume deals with communal organizations and
institutions, communal courts, government control, interfaith relations,
education, and the professional class."

I have never seen this book before, but looks like an excellent source
of primary docs.

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