The Ancient Sefer Torah of Bologna: Features and History contains studies on the most ancient, complete Pentateuch scroll known to date. It was considered in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance as the archetypal autograph written by Ezra the Scribe. The scroll was rediscovered by Mauro Perani in 2013 at the University Library of Bologna. In this volume, leading specialists study the history, textual and material features, and different
halakhot or norms to copy a Sefer Torah, as adopted in the pre-Maimonidean scrolls. The Hebrew text is very close to the Aleppo codex, and the scroll was probably copied in Northern Iberia in ca. 1200 CE. The scroll contains letters with special shapes and
tagin linking its production with a Jewish milieu which associated the scribal tradition with mystical and esoteric meanings. Besides its codicological and palaeographical interest, the "Ezra scroll" has been preserved for centuries among the treasures of the Dominican convent of San Domenico in Bologna and, in the early modern period, it was the object of reverence and curiosity among the Christians, before being almost entirely forgotten after its confiscation by the French revolutionary troops. This volume presents a detailed overview of the fascinating history and the peculiar makings of this remarkable artefact.
Mauro Perani, Ph.D.
honoris causa (2013), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is Full Professor of Hebrew at the Bologna University, former President (2006-2010) of the European Association for Jewish Studies (EAJS) and President of the Associazione Italiana per lo Studio del Giudaismo (AISG) from 2003 to present.
Table of contents
Part 1: History and Vicissitudes of the Bologna Ancient Sefer Torah
The Many Lives of the ‘Bible of Esdras’: Proposals for a Long-term Investigation Rita De Tata
The “Ezra Scroll” of Bologna: Vicissitudes of an Archetype between Memory and Oblivion Saverio Campanini
Part 2: Writing, Textual and Paratextual Features of the Bologna Scroll
Textual and Para-textual Devices of the Ancient Proto-Sephardic Bologna Torah Scroll Mauro Perani
The Making of the Bologna Scroll: Palaeography and Scribal Traditions Judith Olszowy-Schlanger
The 12th–13th Century Torah Scroll in Bologna: How It Differs from Contemporary Scrolls Jordan S. Penkower
Part 3: Comparison with Other Ancient Sifre Torah
The Sefer Torah of Biella: History of the Unearthing and Initial Investigations Amedeo Spagnoletto
Criteria for Dating the Sefer Torah Meran 1 and Its Peculiar System of Otiyyot Meshunnot Josef M. Oesch and Franz D. Hubmann
The Torah Scroll Fragment from the Parochial Archives in Romont (Switzerland) Justine Isserles, Josef M. Oesch and Franz D. Hubmann
All scholars and people interested in the history of how the scribes copied the Sefer Torah.