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The Ancient Sefer Torah of Bologna

Features and History. European Genizah Texts and Studies, Volume Four

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Edited by Mauro Perani

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.

Edited by William Gross, Orly Tzion and Falk Wiesemann

Catalog of Catalogs provides a comprehensive index of nearly 2,300 publications documenting the exhibition of Judaica over the past 140 years. This vast corpus of material, ranging from simple leaflets to scholarly catalogs, contains textual and visual material as yet unmined for the study of Jewish art, religion, culture and history.

Through highly-detailed, fully-indexed catalog entries, William Gross, Orly Tzion and Falk Wiesemann elucidate some 2,000 subjects, geographical locations and Judaica objects (ceremonial objects, illuminated manuscripts, printed books, synagogues, cemeteries et al.) addressed in these catalogs. Descriptions of the catalog's bibliographic components, contributors, exhibition history, and contents, all accessible through the volume's five indices, render this volume an unparalleled new resource for the study of Jewish Art, culture and history.

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Hannah W. Matis

In The Song of Songs in the Early Middle Ages, Hannah W. Matis examines how the Song of Songs, the collection of Hebrew love poetry, was understood in the Latin West as an allegory of Christ and the church. This reading of the biblical text was passed down via the patristic tradition, established by the Venerable Bede, and promoted by the chief architects of the Carolingian reform. Throughout the ninth century, the Song of Songs became a text that Carolingian churchmen used to think about the nature of Christ and to conceptualize their own roles and duties within the church. This study examines the many different ways that the Song of Songs was read within its early medieval historical context.

Inquisitionis Hispanicae Artes: The Arts of the Spanish Inquisition. Reginaldus Gonsalvius Montanus

A Critical Edition of the Sanctae Inquisitionis Hispanicae Artes aliquot (1567) with a Modern English Translation

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Edited by Marcos J. Herráiz Pareja, Ignacio J. García Pinilla and Jonathan Nelson

The Inquisitionis Hispanicae Artes (Heidelberg, 1567), written by exiled Spanish Protestants, is the first systematic denunciation of the Spanish Inquisition. Its first part is a description of the Inquisition’s methods, making use of the Inquisition’s own instruction manual, which was not publicly known. Its second section presents a gallery of individuals who suffered persecution in Seville during the anti-Protestant repression (1557-1565). The book had a great impact, being almost immediately translated into English, French, Dutch, German, and Hungarian. The portraits very soon passed into Protestant martyrologies, and the most shocking descriptions (torture, auto de fe) became ammunition for anti-Spanish literature. This critical edition presents a new text as well as, for the first time, extensive notes.

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Golda Akhiezer

The present study is the first of its kind to deal with Eastern European Karaite historical thought. It focuses on the social functions of Karaite historical narratives concerning the rise of Karaism from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. The book also deals with the image of Karaism created by Protestants, and with the perception of Karaism by some leaders of the Haskalah movement, especially the scholars of Hokhmat Israel. In both cases, Karaism was seen as an orientalistic phenomenon whereby the “enlightened” European scholars romanticized the “indigenous” people, while the Karaites (themselves), adopted this romantic images, incorporating it into their own national discourse. Finally, the book sheds new light on several conventional notions that shaped the study of Karaism from the nineteenth century.

Justifying Christian Aramaism

Editions and Latin Translations of the Targums from the Complutensian to the London Polyglot Bible (1517-1657)

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E. van Staalduine-Sulman

In Justifying Christian Aramaism Eveline van Staalduine-Sulman explores how Christian scholars of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century justify their study of the Targums, the Jewish Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Bible. She focuses on the four polyglot Bibles – Complutum, Antwerp, Paris, and London –, and describes these books in the scholarly world of those days. It appears that quite a few scholars, Roman-Catholic, protestant, and Anglican, edited Targumic books and translated these into Latin. The book reveals a stimulating and conflicting period of the Targum reception history and is therefore relevant for Targum scholars and historians interested in the history of Judaism, Church history, the history of the book, and the history of Jewish-Christian relationships. 

Senses of Scripture, Treasures of Tradition

The Bible in Arabic among Jews, Christians and Muslims

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Edited by Miriam Lindgren Hjälm

Senses of Scripture, Treasures of Tradition offers recent findings on the reception, translation and use of the Bible in Arabic among Jews, Samaritans, Christians and Muslims from the early Islamic era to the present day. In this volume, edited by Miriam L. Hjälm, scholars from different fields have joined forces to illuminate various aspects of the Bible in Arabic: it depicts the characteristics of this abundant and diverse textual heritage, describes how the biblical message was made relevant for communities in the Near East and makes hitherto unpublished Arabic texts available. It also shows how various communities interacted in their choice of shared terminology and topics, and how Arabic Bible translations moved from one religious community to another.

Contributors include: Amir Ashur, Mats Eskhult, Nathan Gibson, Dennis Halft, Miriam L. Hjälm, Cornelia Horn, Naḥem Ilan, Rana H. Issa, Geoffrey K. Martin, Roy Michael McCoy III, Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Meirav Nadler-Akirav, Sivan Nir, Meira Polliack, Arik Sadan, Ilana Sasson, David Sklare, Peter Tarras, Alexander Treiger, Frank Weigelt, Vevian Zaki, Marzena Zawanowska.

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Peter Malik

Since ancient works were preserved by means of handwritten copies, critical enquiry into their texts necessitates the study of such copies. In P.Beatty III (P47): The Codex, Its Scribe, and Its Text, Peter Malik focuses on the earliest extensive copy of the Book of Revelation. Integrating matters of palaeography, codicology, and scribal practice with textual analysis, Malik sheds new light on this largely neglected, yet crucially important, early Christian papyrus. Notable contributions include a new proposed date for P47, identification of several previously unreported scribal corrections, as well as the discovery of the manuscript’s close affinity with the Sahidic version. Significantly, Malik’s detailed, data-rich analyses are accompanied by a fresh transcription and, for the first time, high-resolution colour photographs of the manuscript.

The Caves of Qumran

Proceedings of the International Conference, Lugano 2014

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Edited by Marcello Fidanzio

In Qumran studies, the attention of scholars has largely been focused on the Dead Sea Scrolls, while archaeology has concentrated above all on the settlement. This volume presents the proceedings of an international conference (Lugano 2014) dedicated entirely to the caves of Qumran. The papers deal with both archaeological and textual issues, comparing the caves in the vicinity of Qumran between themselves and their contents with the other finds in the Dead Sea region. The relationships between the caves and the settlement of Qumran are re-examined and their connections with the regional context are investigated. The original inventory of the materials excavated from the caves by Roland de Vaux is published for the first time in appendix to the volume.

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Katharina E. Keim

In Pirqei deRabbi Eliezer: Structure, Coherence, Intertextuality Katharina E. Keim offers a description of the literary character of Pirqei deRabbi Eliezer, an enigmatic work of the late-eighth-to-early-ninth centuries CE. Katharina E. Keim explores the work’s distinctive literary features through an analysis of its structure and coherence. These literary features, when taken together with the work’s intertextual relationships with antecedent and contemporaneous Christian and Jewish (rabbinic and non-rabbinic) texts, reveal Pirqei deRabbi Eliezer to be an innovative work, and throw light on a new turn in Jewish literature following the rise of Islam.