The Late Medieval Hebrew Book in the Western Mediterranean

Hebrew Manuscripts and Incunabula in Context


This collection takes the Hebrew book as a focal point for exploring the production, circulation, transmission, and consumption of Hebrew texts in the cultural context of the late medieval western Mediterranean. The authors elaborate in particular on questions concerning private vs. public book production and collection; the religious and cultural components of manuscript patronage; collaboration between Christian and Jewish scribes, artists, and printers; and the impact of printing on Iberian Jewish communities. Unlike other approaches that take context into consideration merely to explain certain variations in the history of the Hebrew book from antiquity to the present, the premise of these essays is that context constitutes the basis for understanding practices and processes in late medieval Jewish book culture.

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Javier del Barco, PhD (2001), Universidad Complutense, is Associate Researcher at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) in Madrid. He has published on medieval and early modern Hebrew manuscript culture and has catalogued many collections of Hebrew manuscripts.
A Note on Transliteration and the Use of Foreign Languages
Introduction, Javier del Barco
Section 1. Producing and Circulating Manuscripts
Commissioned and Owner-Produced Manuscripts in the Sephardi Zone and Italy in the Thirteenth–Fifteenth Centuries, Malachi Beit-Arié
Immigrant Scribes’ Handwriting in Northern Italy from the Late Thirteenth to the Mid-Sixteenth Century: Sephardi and Ashkenazi Attitudes toward the Italian Script, Edna Engel
Studia of Philosophy as Scribal Centers in Fifteenth-Century Iberia, Colette Sirat
Jewish Book Owners and Their Libraries in the Iberian Peninsula, Fourteenth–Fifteenth Centuries, Joseph R. Hacker
Section 2. Conceptualizing the Hebrew Book
Inscribing Piety in Late-Thirteenth-Century Perpignan, Eva Frojmovic
The Scholarly Interests of a Scribe and Mapmaker in Fourteenth-Century Majorca: Elisha ben Abraham Benvenisti Cresques’s Bookcase, Katrin Kogman-Appel
Le‘azim in David Kimhi’s Sefer ha-shorashim: Scribes and Printers through Space and Time, Judith Kogel
Section 3. Crossing Linguistic and Religious Boundaries
Fifteenth-Century Castilian Translations from Hebrew Literature, Sonia Fellous
The Artist of the Barcelona Haggadah, Evelyn Cohen
Quotations, Translations, and Uses of Jewish Texts in Ramon Martí’s Pugio fidei, Philippe Bobichon
Section 4. Printing in Hebrew on the Eve of the Iberian Expulsion
Unknown Sephardi Incunabula, Shimon M. Iakerson
What Do We Know about Hebrew Printing in Guadalajara, Híjar, and Zamora?, Adri K. Offenberg
Techne and Culture: Printers and Readers in Fifteenth-Century Hispano-Jewish Communities, Eleazar Gutwirth
Anyone interested in Hebrew book history, especially medieval manuscripts and incunabula; in Jewish-Christian relations; and in medieval Jewish cultural history in Iberia, Provence, and Italy.
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