skip to content

Cambridge University Library

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Magdalen Connolly on Wed 19 May 2021

Magdalen - which manuscript are you working on today?

This morning I’m working on fragments from the T-S NS 305 and NS 306 sections of the collection, which contain mainly Arabic-script material of a wide variety of genres. In particular, I’ve been looking at an Arabic-script fragment (T-S NS 306.13), which contains part of Qiṣṣat al-Jumjuma (‘The Story of the Skull’). This story is found fairly frequently in the Cairo Genizah collections in Judaeo-Arabic (e.g., T-S Ar.37.39 and JTS ENA 1275.5, 12, 13, ENA 2700.48, and ENA 3239.34). This fragment is particularly... Read More

Has tags: Arabic, Genizah Fragments, literary, Q&A, tale

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Fri 14 May 2021

The items in this shopping list reveal the careful planning and budgeting needed to celebrate the festival of Shavuot in style. First published by S.D. Goitein (Med. Soc IV, pp. 230-231), this fragment (T-S NS J437) dates to the 13th century, and may have been written by the court scribe Solomon b. Elijah. It includes (for Friday): little chickens, meat, a pound of fat tail, a hen, garden mallow, cubeb and garlic, two measures of sesame oil, eggplants; and (for Saturday): a lemon hen, chard, onions, safflower... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, Goitein, Shavuot

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 13 May 2021

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issue 13 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in April 1987:

In the course of editing a corpus of mediaeval Arabic legal and chancery documents preserved in the Cambridge Genizah Collection, Dr Geoffrey Khan, Research Assistant in the Genizah Unit, has discovered a decree on the subject of fishing rights.

The decree was issued by the Fatimid government of Egypt in the twelfth century and is intended to protect... Read More

Has tags: al-Hafiz, Chancery, Fatimid, fishing, Genizah Fragments, Geoffrey Khan

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 13 May 2021

125 years ago today, Solomon Schechter sat down to write to Agnes Lewis. His quick note dashed off ‘in haste and great excitement’ told her that he’d managed to identify one of her recently purchased manuscripts as the original Hebrew text of the book of Ecclesiasticus (Ben Sira or Sirach). It had been preserved in Greek, Syriac and other translations, but the Hebrew original was lost and its very existence was doubted by many scholars who thought the book had originally... Read More

Has tags: Adolf Neubauer, Agnes Lewis, Arthur Cowley, Ben Sira, Bodleian, Ecclesiasticus, Genizah Fragments, Jerusalem Talmud, Lewis-Gibson, Margaret Gibson, Solomon Schechter

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Nick Posegay on Wed 12 May 2021

Q&A Wednesday gives a short interview with a Genizah researcher: what are they working on today? And why?

Nick, what are you working on this week?

Lately I’ve been working on late-dated manuscripts in Genizah collections. Looking at fragments dated after 1864, trying to work out how they ended up in genizot, and thinking about what that means for “Cairo Genizah” collections as we typically understand them.

Have you found many fragments that are dated that late?

I’ve found about 25 that are explicitly dated, but I suspect... Read More

Has tags: Agnes Lewis, Genizah Fragments, Greville Chester, ketubba, Margaret Gibson, printed, Q&A, Solomon Schechter, Yemen

 

By Ben Outhwaite on Wed 12 May 2021

With the relaxing of Covid restrictions on museums and galleries from the middle of May, I’m pleased to report that ‘Ghost Words’ will finally be open to visitors, six days a week from 24th May. Booking is essential, however, as restrictions have been relaxed but not entirely removed. For more information on what to expect and how to book go to:

https://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/ghostwords

‘Ghost Words’ brings together a plethora of CUL’s most important palimpsest manuscripts, and, as you might expect, this includes a... Read More

Has tags: exhibition, Genizah Fragments, Ghost Words, Hexapla, Origen, palimpsest, Yannai

 

By Ben Outhwaite on Fri 7 May 2021

The Jacques (or Jack) Mosseri Collection arrived in Cambridge in 2006. After Schechter brought his famed hoard to Cambridge, Mosseri, a prominent member of Egypt’s Jewish community with a keen interest in its history, and knowing that other manuscripts had been buried, set about retrieving these from various places. Following his death, and with his family leaving Egypt, scholars lost track of the collection, but it re-emerged in the... Read More

Has tags: bulla, Dunash b. Labrat, Genizah Fragments, Gershom, Isaac Luria, Moses Maimonides, Mosseri, podcast, Stefan Reif

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 6 May 2021

Languages Are Good For Us ● By Sophie Hardach ● Head of Zeus, 2021

Fustat’s multilingual community and the practice of stashing away sacred but worn out manuscripts make an appearance in novelist and former Reuters journalist Sophie Hardach’s new book, Languages Are Good For Us (2021). The book, written for a general audience interested in ‘the strange and wonderful ways in which humans have used languages’ is bursting with fascinating stories, ranging from cuneiform tablets, Linear B, the activities of medieval monks, and trading languages, to fairy... Read More

Has tags: Book, Genizah Fragments, language

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Wed 5 May 2021

The researchers of the GRU, toiling away with their noses to the manuscript coalface, are ideally placed to discover new and interesting fragments. Is that another scrap of Ben Sira? Maimonides’ handwriting? A join between two pieces, a drawing of a sailing boat, or an amusing stain? We discuss it over coffee, and chat about it in our office messaging system, and occasionally one might be written up for posterity in our long-running Fragment of the Month series. The others... Read More

Has tags: drawing, Genizah Fragments, Littman

 

Follow the blog

Tags

sea
Q&A
get
ink