Arabic Legal and Administrative Documents in the Cambridge Genizah Collections

Arabic Legal and Administrative Documents in the Cambridge Genizah Collections

by Geoffrey Khan


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This volume, originally published by Cambridge University Press and now reprinted by Archaeopress, contains editions of over 150 rare medieval Arabic legal and administrative documents found in the Cairo Genizah, the storeroom of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fustat (Old Cairo) where hundreds of thousands of worn-out and unusable manuscripts were deposited over centuries by the Jewish community. The documents in Arabic script appear to have found their way into the storeroom largely by accident, but they constitute a unique source for the social and political history of medieval Egypt, especially with regard to the relations between Jews and Muslims. They offer a remarkable insight into the practice of law in medieval Islam and the administrative structure of government offices, mostly from the period of Fatimid rule in Egypt (10th–12th centuries). The documents include depositions, powers of attorney, contracts, petitions to viziers and caliphs (including the famed Saladin), chancery reports and accounts, and comprise extremely important primary source material for a number of disciplines, including Middle Eastern history, Jewish history, Arabic philology and the theory and practice of Islamic law. Geoffrey Khan, Professor of Semitic Philology at Cambridge University, is one of the world's leading experts in medieval Arabic documents. Reviews of the first edition:‘Meticulously edited...this volume is a scholarly work of the highest order’…Daniel Frank, Le’ela 38 (1994): ‘Khan, as one has learnt to expect, has achieved wonders of decipherment’…D. S. Richards, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 58/1 (Originally published by C.U.P.)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781905739042
Publisher: Archaeopress
Publication date: 03/28/2007
Series: Genizah Series Series , #10
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 567
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 11.60(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Abbreviations and references; Introduction; Part I. Legal Documents: 1. Documents of sale; 2. Documents of lease; 3. Documents of endowment; 4. Marriage contracts; 5. Acknowledgements; 6. Testimonies and depositions by witnesses; 7. Declarations; 8. Court records; 9. Powers of attorney. 10. Contract of a tax farmer; 11. Questions to jurisconsults; Part II. Administrative Documents: 12. Petitions; 13. Documents relating to the processing of petitions in the Chancery; 14. Reports to the Chancery; 15. Dispositive documents; 16. Reports of death; 17. Accounts; 18. Orders for payments and receipts; 19. Receipts relating to the tax farm of 'Abu al-Hasan ibn Wahb; Indexes; Plates.

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