Cheap Books in Medieval Egypt: Rotuli from the Cairo Geniza

In: Intellectual History of the Islamicate World
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Cheap books produced and read by medieval Jews in the East have been little studied so far. The main source for the study of Hebrew book culture in general and popular and cheap books in particular is the Cairo Geniza. Only a few documents contain explicit information about the books’ costs of production and prices. However, as it is argued in this paper, additional information can be deduced from the extant book fragments themselves. Taking as an example fragments of rotuli or bookrolls from the Cairo Geniza, this paper examines the ways of making cheaper books by reducing the cost of wriitng material and of the scribe’s working time.

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    For the most recent edition, see Hayman, Sefer Yeṣira, pp. 59–195.

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