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  • Brill | Sense x
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Edited by Yosef Kaplan

From the sixteenth century on, hundreds of Portuguese New Christians began to flow to Venice and Livorno in Italy, and to Amsterdam and Hamburg in northwest Europe. In those cities and later in London, Bordeaux, and Bayonne as well, Iberian conversos established their own Jewish communities, openly adhering to Judaism. Despite the features these communities shared with other confessional groups in exile, what set them apart was very significant. In contrast to other European confessional communities, whose religious affiliation was uninterrupted, the Western Sephardic Jews came to Judaism after a separation of generations from the religion of their ancestors. In this edited volume, several experts in the field detail the religious and cultural changes that occurred in the Early Modern Western Sephardic communities.


Uriah Kfir

A Matter of Geography: A New Perspective on Medieval Hebrew Poetry takes a ground-breaking approach to the relationships between centers of medieval Hebrew poetry and their implications regarding matters of poetics. It shows on the one hand how literary efforts by members of the Spanish school of secular poetry, from its zenith in the eleventh century to the thirteenth century, helped gradually shape its predominance. On the other hand, it presents thirteenth century Hebrew poets from Iraq, Egypt, Italy and Provence, and charts the different strategies of these “peripheral” authors, who had to cope with Iberian fame. The analysis, which draws on concepts from literary and cultural theories, provides close readings of many works in both the original Hebrew and, in most cases for the first time, an English translation.

"Kfir’s book makes a strong case for the craft, vibrancy, and richness of Medieval Hebrew poetry as rooted in place. Highly recommended for scholars of medieval Hebrew poetry, poetry aficionados, and historians." - David B. Levy, Touro College, in: Association of Jewish LIbraries 8.4 (2018)

The Academic Middle-Class Rebellion

Socio-Political Conflict Over Wage-Gaps in Israel, 1954-1956


Avi Bareli and Uri Cohen

This new research investigates socio-political and ethnic-cultural conflicts over wage gaps in Israel during the 1950s. The Academic Middle-Class Rebellion exposes the struggle of the Ashkenazi (European) professional elite to capitalize on its advantages during the first decade of Israeli statehood, by attempting to maximize wage gaps between themselves and the new Oriental Jewish proletariat. This struggle was met with great resistance from the government under the ruling party, Mapai, and its leader David Ben-Gurion. The clash between the two sides revealed diverse, contradictory visions of the optimal socio-economic foundation for establishing collective identity in the new nation-state. The study by Avi Bareli and Uri Cohen uncovers patterns that merged nationalism and socialism in 1950s Israel confronting a liberal and meritocratic vision.


Bruno Feitler

This book scrutinizes literary works based on Judaism, Jews and their descendants, written or printed by the Portuguese, from the forced conversion of Jews in 1497, until the ending of the distinction between New and Old Christians in 1773. It tries to understand what motivated this vast literary production, its different currents, and how they evolved. Additionally, it studies the image of New Christians and seeks the reasons for the perpetuation of this perception of Jewish descendants in the Early Modern Portuguese world. The Imaginary Synagogue seeks to identify which Jews and which ‘synagogue’ those authors constructed in their texts and their reasons for doing so, and offers conclusions on the self-affirmed Catholic importance of this literary current.

The Expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain

A Mediterranean Diaspora


Edited by Mercedes García-Arenal Rodriquez and Gerard A. Wiegers

The expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain (1609-1614) represents an important episode of ethnic, political and religious cleansing which affected about 300,000 persons. The controversial measure was legimitized by an ideology of religious and political unity that served to defend the expulsion of them all, crypto-Muslims and sincere converts to Christianity alike. The first part focuses on the decision to expel the Moriscos, its historical context and the role of such institutions as the Vatican and the religious orders, and nations such as France, Italy, the Dutch Republic, Morocco and the Ottoman Empire. The second part studies the aftermath of the expulsion, the forced migrations, settlement and Diaspora of the Moriscos, comparing their vicissitudes with that of the Jewish conversos.
Contributors are Youssef El Alaoui, Rafael Benítez Sánchez Blanco, Luis Fernando Bernabé Pons, Paulo Broggio, Miguel Ángel de Bunes Ibarra, Antonio Feros, Mercedes García-Arenal, Jorge Gil Herrera,Tijana Krstić, Sakina Missoum, Natalia Muchnik, Stefania Pastore, Juan Ignacio Pulido Serrano, James B. Tueller, Olatz Villanueva Zubizarreta, Bernard Vincent, and Gerard Wiegers.


Andreas Kaplony

The Quṣayr Documents, one of the few Arabic archives unearthed in situ, shed new light on a lonely 13th-century outpost on the Red Sea shore where Egyptian donkey caravans met with ships coming from the Ḥidjāz and South Arabia.

This is the publication of another twenty-five business letters and process slips from al-Quṣayr al-Qadīm. These unspectacular but elucidative documents follow clear rules in phraseology and in layout, as is shown by a multitude of close parallels with Arabic papyri and papers and with Judeo-Arabic Geniza documents. The book includes a short introduction on how online search strategies can be used in dealing with Arabic mass sources.

Die Quṣayr-Dokumente, eines der wenigen in situ gefundenen arabischen Archive, werfen ein neues Licht auf einen einsamen Aussenposten an der Küste des Roten Meeres, in dem im 13. Jahrhundert ägyptische Eselskarawanen auf die Schiffe aus dem Ḥiǧāz und Südarabien trafen.

Dies ist die Edition von weiteren 25 Geschäftsbriefen und Geleitschreiben aus al-Quṣayr al-Qadīm. Diese unspektakulären Dokumente folgen in Phraseologie und Layout klaren Regeln, wie der Vergleich mit zahlreichen arabischen Papyri und Papieren und mit jüdisch-arabischen Geniza-Dokumenten zeigt. Eine kurze Einleitung führt in den sinnvollen Einsatz von online-Suchstrategien bei arabischen Massenquellen ein.

For more titles about Papyrology, please click here.