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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

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Olav Ørum

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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Edited by Claire Clivaz, Andrew Gregory and David Hamidović

Ancient texts, once written by hand on parchment and papyrus, are now increasingly discoverable online in newly digitized editions, and their readers now work online as well as in traditional libraries. So what does this mean for how scholars may now engage with these texts, and for how the disciplines of biblical, Jewish and Christian studies might develop? These are the questions that contributors to this volume address. Subjects discussed include textual criticism, palaeography, philology, the nature of ancient monotheism, and how new tools and resources such as blogs, wikis, databases and digital publications may transform the ways in which contemporary scholars engage with historical sources. Contributors attest to the emergence of a conscious recognition of something new in the way that we may now study ancient writings, and the possibilities that this new awareness raises.