Hebrew Manuscripts of the Middle Ages

Overview

Hebrew manuscripts are our most important source of knowledge about Jewish medieval life, and anyone wishing to engage with Jewish history needs to know about the manuscripts, how to study them, and their literary genres. Colette Sirat offers a comprehensive overview of these subjects in this illustrated introduction. The book is a re-structured, extended and updated version of an earlier presentation in French. It has been translated from the author's revision of her earlier French book, and edited for an ...

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Overview

Hebrew manuscripts are our most important source of knowledge about Jewish medieval life, and anyone wishing to engage with Jewish history needs to know about the manuscripts, how to study them, and their literary genres. Colette Sirat offers a comprehensive overview of these subjects in this illustrated introduction. The book is a re-structured, extended and updated version of an earlier presentation in French. It has been translated from the author's revision of her earlier French book, and edited for an English readership, by Hebrew scholar Nicholas de Lange.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...[a] very welcome and enormously valuable study... Superb prints and illustrations make this an especially attractive volume, as well as a superb introduction...a richly rewarding read." Religious Studies Review

"Sirat...is fully qualified to present to the scholarly community, students, and the general public something quite rare in Jewish Studies, a comprehensive, readable, and useful text that explores all facets of the world of medieval Hebrew manuscripts. From the mundane to the sublime, there is something for everyone—Hebraist and non-Hebraist alike—in these well-illustrated pages. In short we have an elegantly produced and superb introduction to the study of Hebrew manuscripts, their scribes, and their contents that will enlighten students and scholars alike... It is a book written by a master of the material with a sensitive eye and a sharp reed. It is a tribute to the book making craft and Cambridge University Press should be praised for its aesthetic production." H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online

"Hebrew manuscripts are a window into Jewish intellectual, religious and everyday life in the Middle Ages, Hebrew Manuscripts of the Middle Ages...by Colette Sirat, is the last word on this topic." Canadian Jewish News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521090230
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/20/2008
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Colette Sirat is Professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Department of History and Philology, and head of the Hebrew Department, Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Preface
List of abbreviations
Introduction
Pt. I Texts
Before the Middle Ages 19
The Middle Ages 36
Pt. II Books
Codicology 102
Writing: calligraphic and personal scripts 170
The scribe 204
App abbreviations, acrostics and the meaning of the Hebrew letters
Pt. III The history of books and texts
The life and death of manuscripts 234
Libraries 257
Questions of method: codicology and palaeography 265
Texts, copies and text-editions 269
Judgement on readings and the edition of texts 287
Pt. IV Some manuscripts
Solomon ibn Gabirol: Liturgical poem (Azharot) 296
Joseph ben Simon Kara: Commentary on Isaiah 298
Commentary on the visions of Ezekiel from an Ashkenazic pietist work 300
Al-Bitruji: Digest of Celestial Physics, from Judah ben Solomon ha-Kohen's Exposition of Science 302
Isaac ben Joseph of Corbeil: Small Book of Commandments 304
Isaac Israeli: Treatise on Urines 307
The Book of the Pietists, long recension 309
Maimonides: Guide of the Perplexed 313
Abraham ben Alexander of Cologne: Keter Shem Tov 314
On Stones 317
Bibliography 320
Index of manuscripts cited 336
Index of names and subjects 339
Index of modern authors and editors cited 346
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