ᵓUṣṣit il-Gumguma or 'The Story of the Skull’

With Parallel Versions, Translation and Linguistic Analysis of Three 19th-century Judaeo-Arabic Manuscripts from Egypt. Supplemented with Arabic Transliteration


In ᵓUṣṣit il-Gumguma Olav G. Ørum translates and analyzes three parallel 19th-century Judaeo-Arabic manuscripts from Egypt. These manuscripts present a story (whose earliest version is attributed to Kaᶜb al-ᵓAḥbār) about Jesus reviving the skull of a deceased king. The skull narrates his encounter with the Angel of Death, a painful purgatory and descension to hell.

The manuscripts reveal a wide spectrum of interesting written and spoken Egyptian Judaeo-Arabic variety features in which Ørum pays special attention to signs of linguistic divergence from the standardized written (fuṣḥā) and spoken (ᶜāmmiyya) variety. The unique sociolinguistic situation of the Jewish Egyptian community makes this book an important contribution to those working on Judaeo-Arabic in general, but also for students or scholars interested in Egyptian Arabic historical dialectology and sociolinguistics.

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Olav G. Ørum, M.A. (2014), University of Oslo, is a Ph.D.-fellow at that university. This is his first major publication. He is currently writing a doctoral thesis on Egyptian Judaeo-Arabic prophetic legends, to be finished in 2018.
Preface Acknowledgements Technical Notes and Abbreviations 1 Introduction  1.1 Judaeo-Arabic Texts: The Presence of a Wide Spectrum of Written and Spoken Varieties  1.2 Middle Arabic  1.3 Standard Arabic and the Nahḍa  1.4 Egyptian Arabic, Egyptian Judaeo-Arabic and Non-Standard Cairene 2 The Jews of 19th-Century Cairo and Their Storytelling Tradition  2.1 The Jewish Community in Cairo During the 19th Century  2.2 On the Story ʾUṣṣit il-Gumguma 3 Three Parallel Judaeo-Arabic Versions and an English Translation of ʾUṣṣit il-Gumguma ‘The Story of the Skull’  3.1 Introduction to the Three Judaeo-Arabic Manuscripts  3.2 Reading Guidelines  3.3 ʾUṣṣit il-Gumguma ‘The Story of the Skull’ 4 Linguistic Analysis  4.1 Orthography and Phonology  4.2 Morphology  4.3 Syntax  4.4 Lexical Features 5 Summary and Concluding Remarks  5.1 Orthography and Phonology  5.2 Morphology  5.3 Syntax  5.4 Lexical Features Appendix 1: Arabic Transliteration of the Parallel Versions Appendix 2: Facsimile of ‘Ramle—Rabbi Yosef Algamil 25’ (GAM) References Index
All interested in Judaeo-Arabic as well as historical sociolinguistics and dialectology in Egyptian Arabic, and anyone concerned with prophetic and other sacred narratives of Jewish, Muslim and/or Christian origin.
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